Thursday, December 16, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
And finally, I made this lovely roasted chicken and butternut squash soup back before Thanksgiving. Honestly, I think I should've just eaten the roasted chicken and squash separately. I cut up a butternut squash (not an easy feat) and roasted it on a cookie sheet with some oil and chicken thighs. I ate quite a bit of it off of that pan before I managed to get it in the soup. If I can bring myself to cut up another butternut squash, I will definitely roast it that way again. The soup was okay, but for some reason I never like soup when I make it. I think I must be doing something wrong.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
This is one of the blogger challenges that I skipped a few weeks ago. Cardamom was ridiculously expensive at the grocery, and I just couldn't quite bring myself to buy it that week. But, this week I managed to find a smaller and more reasonably priced container. I didn't feel like doing something sweet (I still have muffins to make), so I decided to try Cardamom Chicken and Rice. I found the recipe on the Food and Wine website. It was pretty easy.
The recipe actually called for chicken legs, but I couldn't find any leg/thighs still attached. So instead, I got some bone-in chicken breast halves. I rubbed the chicken with some canola oil and seasoned it with cardamom, salt, and pepper. It roasted on 375 for about 50 minutes I think.
In the meantime, I had to work on the rice. I needed 2 1/4 cups chicken broth for 1 1/2 cups of rice, but I forgot broth at the store and certainly didn't have time to make my own. I did have some chicken bouillon though, and so I made about 2 cups of that and added another 1//4 cup of water (it seemed a bit strong/salty). I sauteed some shallots in oil (the recipe called for onions, but I thought shallots would be nicer, and I was totally right).
Then, I stirred the shallots around in the oil/shallot mixture until all the rice was coated, added the broth and about a teaspoon of cardamom, and brought to a boil. Like really any rice, once it's at a boil, you cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Let it stand for 5, then fluff it and serve.
It was so good! I was very proud of having used cardamom in both dishes. Travis didn't like the rice much, but he did enjoy the chicken so it all worked out.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I wasn't sure what to do for the ingredient this week, tomatoes. I love tomatoes, but especially in the summer, I usually just eat them marinated and raw. So good. But I wanted to try something different, and I remembered that in the Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook, there is a recipe for tomato pie.
It's actually really easy. Prebake a pie crust, layer 4 peeled and sliced tomatoes, about 10 chopped basil leaves, and some chopped green onion. Top with a mixture of shredded cheddar and mozzarella mixed with mayonnaise. I think I could have used slightly more cheese or slightly less mayo, I'm not sure which. But, the pie was delicious.
I also learned a ridiculously easy way to peel tomatoes. It was craziness.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
My dad came out to visit LA this weekend, so I did not finish the blogger challenge for last week. I'm planning to do coffee and maybe even cardamom this week!
In the meantime, here are some beautiful macarons from Europane Bakery in Pasadena and some sea salt caramels from Little Flower Candy Company. They're all really quite delicious.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
The secret ingredient this week is yogurt. I don't like yogurt at all, but I felt confident that I could find ways to use it that would be delicious. I was right.
I've been thinking for a while about using yogurt in baking, and I've been very curious as to whether or not this could in any way be successful. I actually talked to someone at work about it earlier this week, and they said they hadn't had any luck with this, because they found the final product too tangy. I wondered if greek yogurt could possibly help this, since I've noticed it has less of that distinctive yogurt tanginess.
So, I tried these double chocolate brownies. I get the recipe out of Food Network Magazine. Maybe it's the double chocolate, but they are So. Good. Chocolatey, moist.. just lovely. Travis even likes them, but I didn't tell him that they have yogurt in them. Shh, it's a secret.
The recipe also calls for whole grain pastry flour, but being sort of drowsy at the grocery, I accidentally bought whole wheat flour. No worries though, some quick internet research told me that I could use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup cake flour. If you didn't have cake flour on hand like I do (I have a very well stocked pantry, in spite of the lack of cardamom), you could use the full whole wheat flour, your final product would just be denser.
I definitely recommend this one. You cannot beat a brownie this tasty for 160 calories. You know, just don't feel like that entitles you to eat the whole pan or anything :)
Double Chocolate Brownies
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup whole grain pastry flour, or 1/2 cup whole-wheat and 1/2 cup all-Purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 large eggs
1 cup light brown packed sugar
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.
Whisk the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and brown sugar until smooth, then add the yogurt, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in the pan on a rack before slicing.
Last weekend, I ate the most amazing thing. It is a maple bacon biscuit from Huckleberry Cafe and Bakery in Santa Monica. It was really crumbly and delicious, with bacon pieces and this lovely maple glaze on top. Oh, man. There's really not much else to say. It's just good stuff. It was a little tough to eat while walking down the street, being super crumbly and all.
I have come up with a formula that expresses how I feel about this:
Salty + mapley + bready = perfection.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
However, I did get a new phone yesterday! And in the process of going through my old phone, I found some delicious looking food picture that I had never posted. So, I decided to do a food truck round up with a few of my favorites.
Border Grill Taco Truck:
The Border Grill truck is amazing. These tacos are sooo good, particularly the potato and the fish. It's funny, the third taco shown here is pork. Pork is almost always my favorite, but not in this case. I've also tried the carne asada since then, but I'm still fish and potato all the way. Not together, although that might be interesting.
The fish taco (on the far right) is a crispy fish with chipotle honey and a creamy salsa fresca. It's one of the best things I've ever eaten. The potato rajas taco (center I think) is roasted potatoes, chiles, mexican cheeses, and pickled onion. They both have amazing texture. The fish is crispy, the potato is soft and all the ingredients sort of melt together. Hmm, this is actually making me quite hungry.
You can also see the rice and beans side. It was alright. On that particular day, my red rice was sort of hard. The green rice and the beans were pretty tasty though.
Next: Vesuvio LA
This is a good truck as well, but this appetizer is my favorite. Their entrees and sandwiches are pretty good, but generally I will just get these for a snack. These are arancini, or fried Italian rice balls. Italian salame, parmesan cheese, and parsley with a mozzarella core. Deep fried. Usually they put a bit more cheese on top and serve it in a really nice marinara sauce. Not quite enough for lunch on its own, but it makes a delicious (if probably unhealthy) snack.
Finally: Fishlips Sushi
I know the idea of sushi from a truck can be a bit scary. But come on, it's not like they don't have a refrigerator! This truck advertises a 'real sushi man!' on the side of their truck. And you can see him through the window, making sushi. He looks very serious, the truck looks very clean, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone.
What makes it so amazing is the temari sushi. Those are the 5 perfect tiny sushi pieces that you can see above. You don't have to try to cram a whole sushi piece in your mouth or awkwardly bite it in half while rest sort of falls apart. It is the perfect size for sushi. I would actually rather have a huge tray of this and just leave out the california/tuna rolls that come with the lunch plate. I remember it being fresh and light and just a fantastic lunch. Come to think of it, I might have to track this one down again soon...
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
That's right, the festival was on the field at the Rose Bowl. Maybe this is only strange to me because I went to the University of Tennessee, where the field of Neyland Stadium is worshiped as a minor deity. NO ONE is allowed on that field. The grass is grown with the blood of those who have tried. And failed.
But there we were - 5,000 food fest attendees tramping all over that field in front of god and everyone. No kidding.
I had a pretty awesome celebrity sighting too! For a good while, I was right next to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Susan Feniger (co-founder of Border Grill in Santa Monica and recent contestant on Top Chef Masters). She's not in the picture below, that is just the Mayor of Los Angeles with his recently broken elbow.
I don't have any food pictures. There was a lot going on.. I was by myself, standing in lines, carrying around food trays, avoiding hipsters. It was a busy day. I ate a couple of amazing things: deep fried shrimp tacos from Mariscos Jalisco and something fried with cheese in it from Antojitos Carmen. I was a big fan of both. There was also a lot of great looking stuff that I missed. I left about an hour and a half early because my feet were killing me, I had to drive home from Pasadena still, and because I desperately did not want to miss the finale of Doctor Who (I wear a fez now. Fezzes are cool.)
All in all, it was not a bad afternoon.
I found this photo the other day, and I realized that I totally forgot to blog this! A few weeks ago, we decided to have a dessert party at work. A few people chipped in, and I made this chocolate pound cake. The recipe is not for the faint of heart. It is from Paula Deen's The Lady and Son's Savannah Country Cookbook, and you know how that goes. I ate only a couple of very thin slices, but it was really good. The color was a little strange I thought, but no one seemed to mind.
I was pretty sure this wasn't going to come out of my bundt pan for a while (I don't have a tube pan, I just use the bundt pan interchangeably). However, after a bit of zaniness (insert cake montage here), it all worked out fine.
Chocolate Pound Cake
Serves 16 to 20 (at least)
3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
1 stick margarine
3 cups cake flour
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350. Mix sugar with butter and margarine; add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Mix together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to butter mixture, beginning with flour and ending with flour. Add vanilla. Bake in a greased and floured tube pan for about one hour.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Last week I neglected to complete the challenge, due to some forgetfulness while grocery shopping combined with laziness. So, this week I decided to combine last week's and this week's ingredients into one delicious recipe. I settled on: pizza! The pizza contains: baby portabello mushrooms, spinach, red onions, goat cheese, and mozzarella cheese. It is drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I thought the pizza was okay, but it needed the following:
1. more salt
2. onions to be caramelized
4. mushrooms possibly pre-cooked a bit? I'm not sure about that one.
Other than that, it was pretty tasty.
Travis did not eat any of this. In fact, he was pretty disgusted by what I had done to the poor defenseless pizza crust. He made a grilled cheese with fresh mozzarella and colby jack. It smelled fantastic. I was a little jealous.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I'm going to be really honest here. I did not make this blackberry recipe during the week of the blackberry challenge. I had recently made it but just had not posted a blog yet. And, I was so proud, I decided to use it for this week's challenge.
I made this yummy looking pie! It's probably the best pie I've made yet. As you can see below, it actually thickened properly and didn't ooze apart after being cut! I realize that doesn't seem like a big deal, but I was super proud.
I don't really have a recipe, but I do have some pie tips that I followed from The Lost Art of Pie Making Made Easy, which is my favorite pie book.
Use 5 cups of fresh fruit, 3/4 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch or tapioca. Start off in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, then turn down the heat to 350, bake another 30-45 minutes. Allow the filling to totally bubble for a few minutes in the innermost part of the pie to insure a filling that "sets". That's where lattice crust comes in handy. Plus it looks so yummy when it bubbles over. Delightful.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Nom Nom Truck
I have never had authentic Vietnamese banh mi, so I don't know how this sandwich holds up in comparison. I only know that I love this sandwich. I had it a couple of times and passed it up a couple of times at the Century Blvd truck lot because I thought it would always be there. Then they went off the road for a couple of months, which was rough. But, now they're back!
There are a variety of meats you can get on your banh mi, but I always go with grilled pork. It also includes: cilantro, marinated carrots/daikon radish, cucumbers, jalapenos (which I leave off), and some sort of mayonnaise spread. I don't even like cilantro, but I don't mind it on this sandwich for some reason. The marinated vegetables are amazingly tangy, the grilled pork is to die for, the baguette is perfect. I really do adore this sandwich.
As a side note, I got curious about the origins of banh mi - turns out it's a remnant of French colonialism in Indochina. Hence the baguette!
Dim Sum Truck
Also last week, I finally found the Dim Sum Truck at Santa Monica College. From left to right above, there is a peking duck taco, shrimp har gow dumplings, and steamed chicken and mushroom buns. The dumplings were amazing. The taco was really good too (but not as good as the duck taco from the Flying Pig truck). The buns were okay too but not my favorite. However, the problem here could be more that I don't love buns than that they weren't good. A bit too starchy for my taste, I definitely prefer dumplings.
Again, I haven't really had authentic dim sum (I find the ordering process overwhelming), so I don't know how this truck compares. However, I have heard that it is really good dim sum (particularly for Westside Los Angeles).
Since we got an origin story for banh mi, here's one for dim sum as well. Did you know that dim sum originated from tea houses that opened along the Silk Road to provide food to travelers? It's true.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
For the ingredient puff pastry, I really wanted to make some sort of meat wrapped in pastry. Mini beef wellingtons sounded best, but I ultimately opted for Chicken Wellington instead. You can find the recipe here.
It's basically a mixture of cream cheese, mustard, and herbs, some pulled rotisserie chicken, and a sweet onion/mushroom/garlic mixture seasoned with some salt and pepper. You layer all that in a square of puff pastry and I loved it, although it was way too hot to heat when first cut open. The only strange thing was that the recipe said you only needed one sheet of puff pastry to make four of these, but for the life of me I could not get the dough to roll out enough. I think my puff pastry had been partially thawed and then refrozen before I purchased it, so it wouldn't unfold properly.
For the sauteed onion, mushroom and garlic mixture, I used walla walla onions and cremini mushrooms. The mixture was so amazing that I ate the leftover straight out of the skillet. (I only ended up making two pastries, and I left this mixture out of one of them because Travis hates mushrooms). All in all, it was a successful and not that difficult of a dinner. A perfect start to a holiday weekend.
Saturday, July 3, 2010
This was a while ago, so I must say that I don't remember a ton about this meal. I liked it quite a bit, but not as much as I like In N Out. Michele F and I went for dinner one evening. The hamburger was nice and charred on the outside, and the patty is thin so it got sort of crispy, which I do like in a hamburger from time to time. So, in the chronicle of California hamburger chains, I place this one in second. Honestly, I just wanted to post this because I'm fond of the photo for some reason. It looks so yummy.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
So, Mrs. Beasley's bakery also has a truck! They were at the Century Blvd food truck lot the same day that I had the grilled cheese from the previous post. I decided to purchase this cupcake to use as an incentive to get a lot of work done that afternoon. It is peanut butter with a marshmallow on top!
I ended up not eating the cupcake that day, but waiting until later that night to share it with Travis. I don't remember a lot about the cupcake itself, but the icing was divine. It tasted basically like really fluffy peanut butter. The marshmallow on top was pretty good as well, in spite of having sat there all day.
I love the grilled cheese truck. It's one of those things that you want to dislike because it's quite popular, but then it's so good that you can't. This was my second time eating at the truck, so I got their special for that day. I can't remember exactly what it was.. at least two kinds of cheese, one of which I think was gruyere, lots of mushrooms (crimini I think), and chicken. Possibly grilled onions as well. It was really really tasty, if a bit overwhelmed by the mushrooms. Not a problem for me, as I love mushrooms, but I can understand if some people thought it was a bit off-putting.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
It was my week to pick the ingredient this week, and I thought lemons would be a lovely summery flavor. Plus, it gave me a reason to make lemon bars! I made some a long time ago from a Paula Deen recipe, but I thought they were too sweet. So, to correct this, I resorted to my Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook.
Considering that this book was an old edition when I bought it for $2 at a Junior League rummage sale six years ago, I get an awful lot of use out of it. For quite a while, I was trying more and more complicated recipes, making a huge mess, and then getting upset because nothing was turning out quite like I wanted it. So, I decided to go backwards a little in the complicated-ness of things I cook. I've been working on my more basic cooking skills.
The lemon bars were really delicious. I didn't have enough peel (my lemons were a week or so old and had gotten a bit soft. The juice was still fine but they were a bit difficult to try to zest.) Travis seemed to like them a lot as well, judging by how fast they disappeared.
I love that the texture was sort of like a chess square, with this thin sugar crisp layer on top. Yum.
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
In a medium mixing bowl beat butter or margarine with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/4 cup granulated sugar; beat until combined. Beat in the 1 cup flour until crumbly. Press mixture into bottom of an ungreased 8x8x2 baking pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until just golden.
Meanwhile, for filling, in a small mixing bowl combine eggs, the 3/4 cup sugar, the 2 tablespoons flour, lemon peel, lemon juice, and baking powder. Beat 2 minutes or until combined.
Pour filling over baked crust. Bake 20 minutes or till lightly browned around edges and center is set. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, sift powdered sugar over the top. Cut into bars. Makes 20 bars.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
For the secret ingredient eggs, I decided to make egg drop soup. It was okay. I didn't really like it as much as I like egg drop soup from Chinese restaurants. I think I might have made my slurry improperly, and so it didn't thicken quite right.
However, it's very easy to make. It's just 4 quarts of chicken stock with 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger and a tablespoon of soy sauce. Bring that to a boil. Separately mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with an extra 2 tablespoons of chicken stock. Once the soup is boiling, stir this mixture in slowly while stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer, slowly pour in two lightly beaten eggs while stirring. That's my favorite part - watching the eggs sort of feather out. Then remove from the heat and add 2 chopped green onions.
And there you go. Personally, I'll probably just order take out next time and make less of a mess :)
Friday, June 18, 2010
I have made the decision to start abbreviating Iron Chef Blogger Challenge into ICBC. I know. This is a Big Deal.
Last week the ingredient was mustard. I made this fish, then forgot to blog it. It was really yummy. And really fast. I am too tired to blog much today, so here is the recipe. I left out the chives, because I think chives are no bueno.
Dijon Mustard Fillets
from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
1 pound fish fillets, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
lemon pepper seasoning
1/4 cup dairy sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon dijon style mustard
2 teaspoons snipped fresh chives
Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into 4 serving size pieces, if necessary. Measure thickness. Place fish on unheated rack of broiler pan. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Broil 4 inches from heat till fish flakes easily with a fork. Allow 4-6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness of fish. Turn 1 inch thick fillets over halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan stir together sour cream, milk, mustard, chives, and a dash black pepper. Heat through but do not boil. Serve with fish.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Secret ingredient this week? Strawberries. I love strawberries, and they are in season right now! We have a lot of amazing things in California, and this is one of them. My friend Beth Abernathy and I picked strawberries once when I lived in North Carolina, and I remember that she made freezer jam with them. I did not do anything so industrious with mine. Actually, I think I tried to make some sort of jam, but it turned out more like ice cream topping. Delicious, yes. But it was not my intended result. Now, 6 years later, I decided to conquer freezer jam once and for all.
I had some stumbling blocks on the way. I had some "trouble" finding 1/2 pint freezer jars. I use trouble in quotes because it turned out Ralph's had them the whole time, I just hadn't realized that they were freezer safe.
I bought too many strawberries, as per usual. It actually only took me one normal sized strawberry basket (although they do pile them pretty high at the farmers market). I had two extra, one of which I will address shortly.
The first thing to do is to crush the strawberries. You need 4 cups whole to make 1 3/4 cups crushed. You can do this with a pastry cutter, a blender, or a food processor.
I started off, all cute in my new apron, trying to crush them with a pastry cutter.
I quickly switched to my food processor.
From there, you add 4 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel. I know it seems like way too much sugar, but most recipes are pretty adamant about not reducing the amount of sugar. Apparently it affects how the jam ultimately sets. Let this mixture stand for 10 minutes.
Then, mix half of a 6 ounce package of liquid fruit pectin with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. (For the mathematically challenged, that's 3 ounces of liquid fruit pectin.) Add this to the berry mixture. Stir it for 3 minutes.
Ladle this into half pint freezer containers. Leave a half inch headspace. Seal and label. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, or until set. Store 3 weeks in refrigerator or 1 year in freezer. It theoretically makes 4 half-pints. Somehow, mine made 5.
I still had 2 baskets of strawberries left! So I made the delightful raspberry lemonade you see below. I just mixed it with cold water instead of sparkling water or club soda, but that sounds amazing too. I ate the other basket plain. They were quite tasty.
Emeril's Strawberry Lemonade
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
- 2 cups cold sparkling water or club soda
- Mint sprigs, garnish
- Whole strawberries, garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add the lemon peel and lemon juice, stir, and remove from the heat. Let cool completely, then strain into a clean pitcher.
In a blender, puree the pint of strawberries and add to the pitcher with the lemon juice. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled.
Add the sparkling water and stir well. Pour over glasses filled with ice and serve, garnished with mint and strawberries.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
This isn't really a recipe, because you know how to make smores. It's more of a process question, because something interesting happened to the smores you see above.
Michele Fitzgerald and I decided to make oven smores on Memorial Day. We preheated the oven to 350, laid down graham crackers (one with chocolate, one with the marshmallow, as shown above), and left them in the oven a while.
The marshmallows browned as expected, but the chocolate didn't melt. The inside was so hot it felt like a little fire in your mouth, but the chocolate stubbornly refused to lose it's shape. It actually sort of dehydrated, which is not the reaction one would expect at all.
Michele F. had done this before and says the chocolate would barely stay on the cracker. So, I've been pondering this and come up with a couple of possibilities for what went awry.
1. There is some physical difference between large and snack size Hershey bars (I used snack size.)
2. The oven temperature should have been higher.
3. The chocolate should have been left in longer and the marshmallow added later in the cooking time.
There could also be any combination of these three possibilities. Thoughts?
On Saturday I made this pasta, mostly because it was really fast and I still had a few anchovies to use. I was seriously impressed by how delicious it was and how quickly it all came together. I could easily do this after work.
Again, you can't really taste the anchovies, they just add an underlying flavor. Of course, that could also be because I only used the few fillets I had leftover instead of a whole tin. Anchovy side note: it's safe to eat the tiny little bones, but I pulled out as many as I can anyway.
While this was cooking, it looked and smelled like something I could get at a restaurant. I was so proud.
PASTA WITH SHRIMP, GARLIC AND ANCHOVIES
8 oz. spaghetti
1/2 lb. shrimp, cleaned
1/4 c. olive oil
4 lg. garlic cloves, minced
1 tin flat anchovy fillets, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
Chopped fresh parsley
Grated Parmesan cheese
Over low heat, cook garlic, shrimp and anchovies in oil. Add lemon juice and season with pepper.
Cook pasta as directed on package and drain. Return to pot, add oil mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle generously with parsley and serve with Parmesan cheese.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
It seemed to be a fairly big hit at the cookout we went to yesterday. At least it was until the sun turned it brownish.
I wanted to plant the avocado seeds to see what happened, but Travis vetoed it.
Sorry for the lackluster blog this week...
from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook
2 medium very ripe avocados, halved, seeded, peeled and cut up
1/2 small onion, cut up
1/2 of a 4 ounce can diced green chili peppers, or several drops bottled hot pepper sauce (I used Texas Pete)
1 tablespoon snipped cilantro or parsley (I left this out... my parsley has gone rogue again and I think cilantro tastes like soap.)
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a food processor bowl combine all ingredients. Cover and process or blend till mixture is smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve immediately or cover and chill up to 24 hours. Serve with chips. Makes 2 cups dip.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Last weekend I bought some fresh berries, with the intent of having berries for breakfast and being all healthy. But then I decided it would be much more fun to make muffins. I used a mixture of blackberries and raspberries. They were very tasty! Some of them turned sort of blue at the top, but they still tasted fine. It wasn't their fault that they looked like smurfberry muffins or something. At any rate, I had delicious breakfast for the week, if not the most healthy ever.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups fresh berries , such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries or sliced strawberries, or a combination.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Lightly butter twelve 2 1/2-inch muffin cups or place paper muffin cups in the muffin tin.
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine and make a well in the center. In another medium bowl, whisk the milk, oil and eggs. Mix well and pour into the well. Stir just until blended. Fold in the berries. Spoon equal amounts of the batter into the muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins and serve warm or cool on a wire rack.
This beef stew recipe is one of my favorites ever. I make it a lot, especially when it's chilly or gray outside. You can tell I like it a lot, because the page it's on in my copy of The Lady and Sons Savannah Country Cookbook is really stained. The recipe includes carrots and celery. However, I like my stew to be basically meat and potatoes, so I tend to omit those. I also cook the stew a bit longer than necessary so that everything is falling apart. It tastes wonderful and comforting, just like stew should. And, like most stews, it is even better reheated.
2 lb stew beef
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cup water
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
dash ground allspice or ground cloves
3 large carrots, sliced
4 red potatoes, quartered
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 tablespoon cornstarch
Brown meat in hot oil. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, and allspice. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves and garlic clove. Add carrots, potatoes, and celery. Cover and cook 30 to 40 minutes longer. To thicken gravy, remove 2 cups hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until bubbly.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
This week's secret ingredient was spinach. There was also a rule that it could not be a salad. I was a bit sad about that, because I wanted to try making a warm bacon dressing like the one I had at Mt. Vernon. However, I discovered another equally delicious way to combine bacon and spinach. I made a quiche! I had never made a quiche before, but it really wasn't too hard. And, I think it came out beautifully. It probably helped that I was starving by the time it was done, but it was filling and very tasty. I would definitely recommend it.
I accidentally dropped the lid to my nutmeg in the egg mixture, but it still seems to have turned out okay. Also, if you don't have white pepper, black pepper is fine. I think it's a visual difference more than a taste difference.
The only other issue is that the original recipe calls for pre-baking the pie shell. I didn't, but it might help keep the crust from getting mushy. I thought it was just fine without (and I didn't have to deal with foil on the crust or anything).
Spinach Quiche (from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)
1 pie crust
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 cup dairy sour cream
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Dash ground nutmeg
3 cups lightly packed chopped fresh spinach
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
Preheat oven to 325. Cook onion and bacon in a large skillet until onion is tender and bacon is crisp. Drain on paper towels.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat eggs slightly with a fork. Stir in sour cream, half and half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg (if desired). Stir in onion mixture, spinach, and both cheeses.
Pour egg mixture into pastry shell. Bake in 325 degree oven 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean. If necessary, cover edge of foil to prevent over-browning. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
The ingredient this week was anchovies! I was more excited than you might originally think. A few years ago I experimented with anchovies, in this recipe where you make a thin dressing and grill romaine lettuce a bit. It was really good.
I immediately thought I wanted to make my own Caesar salad dressing. While I was looking up that recipe, I found one for anchovy deviled eggs as well.
They were both really good. Anchovies, especially when minced, really aren't that strong and add a nice salty sort of meaty flavor. I would definitely recommend both recipes!
The Caesar salad recipe can be found here. I went with the option to substitute 1/4 cup mayonnaise for the coddled egg. I reduced the olive oil to somewhere between 4 and 5 tablespoons (at 4 I thought it was still a bit thick).
The anchovy deviled eggs recipe is here. I didn't use the caper garnish, and I didn't use the fresh parsley either. My parsley plant has gone rogue again, so I just used a little bit of dried.
And, here are some other Iron Chef Blogger updates:
Garlicky Baked Shrimp (This looks amazing and pretty easy; I am definitely going to try it.)
Eggplant and Anchovies (in the same meal, not the same dish)