Monday, January 6, 2014

Garlic Blistered Green Beans

Today for lunch I went to Shophouse. It's like a an Asian Chipotle (and also owned by Chipotle).  While I was eating the spicy blistered green beans, I thought, I have green beans in the fridge, maybe I can make them like this!  So tonight, along with our grilled lamb and final duchess potatoes, I blistered some green beans. They were delicious!  Luckily, they are also fast and rather healthy!  Yay green beans. These were a hit with Joey too.

Ingredients
8 oz green beans
1/2 t olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt & pepper

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat
2. Add green beans when oil is fragrant, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, tossing for 8-15 minutes or until blistered on some sides.
3. At the very end, add 1 clove garlic, crushed and cook 30 seconds. Immediately remove from heat and pan and place in a serving dish

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Green Eggs and Beef

When we got our first dog when I was in second grade, my mom was told she had to cook a special breakfast for this dog. She did. It combined ground beef and onions maybe and eggs and it smelled really delicious in the morning. We ate cereal. This week, we had leftover lean ground beef. We decided to to use it to make dinner but to make slightly different dinners for each of us. I decided on green eggs and beef, Joey made a sandwich.

I highly recommend that you make green eggs and beef. It's delicious! You can also use whatever is in your fridge. I recommend adding more vegetables such as tomatoes, extra peppers, lots of greens. Anything you want really and you could make this without the beef if you really wanted.

Ingredients (serves 1)
1 1/2 handfuls of greens (I used a mix of kale, spinach and two other greens)
1/4 lb lean ground beef
1 egg
3 T chopped bell pepper
2 T finely diced onion
salt
pepper
hot sauce or hot peppers

Directions
1. Over medium heat, saute onion and green pepper briefly until fragrant, season with salt and pepper
2. Add beef and break up with spoon, add a dash more salt
3. Once beef is brown, add greens and let wilt
4. Add egg and break the yolk, stir together quickly and remove from heat, sprinkle with hot sauce or mix in peppers
5. Serve with fruit


Friday, January 3, 2014

Roasted Turkey Legs

Just after Thanksgiving, I saw this fantastic sale for Turkey Legs for only $2 for 2! I bought them and threw them in the freezer for a rainy day.

Well it wasn't rainy, but it was sunny and warm and I decided to roast the legs. I looked up recipes online but I didn't want to do anything crazy. We like our meat to have flavor but not to be covered in oils and brines. Dry rubs or BBQ sauce are the main favorites.

I was interested in the Pioneer Woman's recipe and cooking method but I didn't like the brine part, so I skipped it. The results were delicious! I kind of eyeballed the cooking time because I was sure my legs were bigger than PW's and also because chicken thighs usually take 45-50 minutes so bigger turkey legs had to take longer.

Ingredients:
2 turkey legs
1 T spice rub
1 t salt
1 t paprika
1/2 t fresh ground pepper
1 t chili powder (I used chipotle)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 400
1. Mix spice rub in a small bowl
2. Pat turkey legs dry with a paper towel
3. Rub spices all over legs and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
4. Bake 30 minutes at 400, turning once. Then, reduce the temperature to 350 and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Check out PW's recipe if you're interested in brining or have small legs.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Duchess Potatoes

There are a lot of meals I make that would taste good over potatoes. But making potatoes on a week night is not usually an option. Baked and mashed potatoes take too much time and even crispy roasted can take 40 minutes. After my commute, I'm not usually dreaming about cooking potatoes.  Recently, I saw on Everyday Food a recipe for portion-sized make ahead mashed potatoes. Sold!  These potatoes are slightly richer than mashed potatoes and can be used even for a big event. I just spooned my duchesses onto a pan but I bet they'd be beautiful piped onto the pan!

I froze these right away and then baked two stacks to go along with my cherry pork. It took exactly 15 minutes and they were absolutely fantastic. I did not put an egg wash on at baking and I did not miss it. I love having these on hand. The recipe makes 8 stacks but it could easily be doubled.

Duchess Potatoes
2 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes
salt & pepper
3 T cold unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1/4 C heavy cream
pinch of nutmeg

1. Peel potatoes and cut into 1 inch pieces. Cover the potatoes in a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until tender about 15 minutes. Drain, let sit 5 minutes and return to pan.
2. Add butter and mash together with a potato masher until smooth. Season with salt
3. Add cream and stir with a spoon to combine. Add egg yolks and stir in.
4. Mound potatoes in 8 mounds on a buttered and parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Make a well in the center of each mound for gravy with the back of a spoon
5. Freeze at least 15 minutes, then bake. Or Freeze 15 minutes until solid. Add potato mounds to a gallon-sized ziploc bag and keep in the freezer.
6. To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray a baking sheet with cookie spray. Space potato mounds on the sheet and bake 15 minutes straight from the freezer. Serve.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Pork with Cherry Sauce

I like watching Everyday Food videos with Sarah Carey whenever I can. I love meals that are 30 minutes are less but still delicious and easy to make. THIS meal is one of those things. The cherry sauce was pretty good I thought but Joey found it too sweet. The pork had a nice crispy outside which made it extra delicious. The recipe calls to be served over polenta but I chose duchess potatoes (recipe coming soon!). I thought this was a delicious meal and quick and easy. It could also impress your guests instead.

Ingredients
1lb pork tenderloin
1/4 C flour
3 T olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 C red wine
1/4 C chicken broth
12oz frozen cherries, defrosted
2 t fresh grated ginger
2 shallots, thinly sliced
polenta or duchess potatoes for serving

Directions
1. Pound tenderloin to flatten and then cut into four equal pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge pork in flour and shake off excess.
2. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Remove pork to plate and tent with foil.
3. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallots and cook 4-5 min or until softened. Add wine & broth and cook stirring until reduced by half about 3 minutes.
4. Add cherries and ginger and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Smash some cherries with the back of a spoon and leave others whole.
5. Add pork and juices back into the pan and cook about 2 minutes until everything blends together. Server pork and sauce over polenta or potatoes

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Warm Brussel Sprout and Chickpea Salad

I went to a wedding last weekend and discovered that I really like brussel sprouts. Then, I went to my favorite grocery store and found they were selling brussel sprout totes which I think are awesome. If you aren't familiar, a vegetable tote is a pre-determined amount of one type of vegetable housed in a handy clear tote bag! Sounds lame? Well it's not! It's cute and it comes in it's own bag and you don't have to weigh it!

I saw this salad on Beantown Baker and revised it just a tad but it was fantastic! If you are a vegetarian or you can't eat nuts you could omit both of those ingredients and this would still be delicious. If you had any shallots or garlic it may be a nice addition.

I used the food processor to shred the brussel sprouts and what a time saver that is! You could also use the food processor for the shallots if you used them and the mushrooms.  Don't have a food processor? Fine, cut it by hand but don't skip the recipe just because you have to do some cutting.

Warm Brussel Sprout Salad
Ingredients
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed, divided
1 t olive oil
salt
cayenne pepper
3 T butter
1lb brussel sprouts, sliced or shredded (food processor!)
8oz white mushrooms, washed and sliced (food processor!)
1/4 C pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
1/2 C cooked ham or 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Drain and dry one can of chickpeas. Place on a sheet pan and roast for 15 minutes in the oven. Toss in 1 tsp olive oil, salt and a dash of cayenne pepper. Roast for an additional 15 minutes. Then turn off the open, open it up a crack and let the pan sit until you need them
3. Using your food processor, shred the brussel sprouts and slice the mushrooms
4. In a large skillet or small dutch oven, heat 2 T butter over medium heat.
5. When butter is melted, add mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes stirring occasionally
6. Add sprouts and a dash of salt and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring. Don't worry, the sprouts will shrink.
7. Add the pecans, ham, nutmeg, raw chickpeas, and more salt and pepper to taste
8. Cook 3-4 minutes until ingredients are melded. Toss in roasted chickpeas to individual servings so they don't get soggy and serve warm.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice-Baked potatoes are one of those foods that sound delicious and comforting but also seem to be a lot of work. People only seem to make them for holidays!  We decided to change all people's ever traditions and make them on a regular Saturday night!  These potatoes weren't actually as hard as expected. So maybe the reason people save them for holidays is actually because they aren't very healthy! The only snags we had were keeping the potato shells together, but nothing a little edge of the pan couldn't help with!

If you are interested in wowing your friends and family with a fun side then you should make these twice baked potatoes!

My father in law raved about these potatoes and said they wer one of the best he'd had in years. Why were these particular potatoes so good? We think it has to do with the 5-year aged sharp cheddar we used which helped make the potatoes not just cheesy but instead cheesy and flavorful.  So when you make these, use at least in part a really sharp cheddar.

This recipe serves 4 with a large half of cheesy yummy goodness. If you are serving to kids or other people with smaller appetites, you could easily have them share a single half.

Original Recipe, quartered.

Ingredients
2 large baking potatoes, scrubbed and dried
4 T butter, cut into pats
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated, separated
1/4 C light sour cream
1/2 t salt
black pepper to taste
1/4 C crispy bacon bits
1 green onion, sliced
1 T canola oil + more salt, preferably kosher
1/8 C milk (you may not need this)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Rub the cleaned potatoes with oil and salt and poke all over with a fork. Place potatoes directly on the oven rack with a tray on the next shelf to catch drippings. Bake for 1 hour or slightly longer until potato is soft inside and outside is crispy.
3. Let sit until they are cool enough to handle.
4. Meanwhile, add butter, sour cream and bacon to a bowl.  Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out potato pulp leaving a small rim for stability. Add potato to the bowl.  Smash together with a potato masher or a fork.
5. Add 1/4 C cheese, green onions, salt & pepper and stir together. If your mixture is too stiff add up to 1/8 C milk
6. Scoop potato insides back into the potato shells and top with cheese
7. Place potatoes on a baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake 15-20 minutes until warmed through and cheese is melted. Serve warm.