Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Saturday, March 25, 2017
salads and crispy fried it to sprinkle over eggs, but we also enjoyed it in soup. This one is healthy but still robust enough to be hearty on a chilly spring day. A bonus: it can be make in a snap!
Ingredients for Four Servings:
4 good sized cloves garlic, put through a press or finally minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (8 oz.) package of diced ham or 1 cup of left-over ham
2 (14.5 oz.) cans beef broth
2 (16 oz.) cans butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 large bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped (Lacinato is nice, but any variety works.)
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place olive oil in large saucepan over medium low heat. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic. Cook for a minute or until the garlic browns. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until it browns - about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen up any bits that might be clinging to the bottom. Then gently stir in the beans, chopped kale, and pepper. Bring the mixture up to a boil, then turn it back down to medium low heat and allow to simmer for five minutes. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.
Sunday, March 5, 2017
Last weekend I found myself in a little predicament. We had come back home after being in Florida just in time to host an extended family get together. Because of the circumstances, I fell back on my usual easy go-to meal for a crowd: Classic Coleslaw and Barbecue Baked Beans. But since it was way too cold to grill, I took the easy way out and oven roasted pork loin with a neutral rub. I served it sliced thin with BBQ sauce and little slider buns. That turned out great; my problem was that the next day, I still had a houseful of people to feed and nothing in the refrigerator but left overs! I had a package of flour tortillas, extra cooked pork, the remains of a vegetable tray, an unopened bag of coleslaw mix, and some Asian condiments. The perfect thing to do was make Asian burritos. It turned out to be a big hit - maybe even more fun than the dinner the night before. Everyone could make their own just the way they wanted and we all had a good laugh at my ineptness at rolling a burrito!
Ingredients for Six Burritos:
1 pound cooked pork tenderloin cut into 18 slices (suggestions for cooking below)
6 large flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups carrots, cut into matchstick sized pieces
1 1/2 cups cucumber, cut into matchstick sized pieces
1 1/2 cups red onion, cut into thin slices
3 cups white vinegar
1 (14 oz.) package of coleslaw mix
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce, divided (I used Huy Fong brand)
1 cup mayonnaise
Bunch of fresh cilantro
Suggestions for Cooking the Pork Tenderloin
As I mentioned above, I just used a very neutral, but still delicious rub and baked it in the oven at 425 degrees. For a one pound tenderloin, a cooking time of 20 minutes will yield an internal temperature of 145. For those who like their pork on the well done side, 30 minutes of cooking time will bring it up to 155 degrees and 40 minutes brings it a bit past 160.
It could also be grilled over medium heat for the same amount of times.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic gloves, minced or put through a press
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
But - If planning ahead is an option, here is a recipe for an incredibly delicious marinade. It is the family recipe from my Vietnamese friend Kim. Whisk all the ingredients together and let the pork marinate for several hours. Kim says grilling is best, but baking works fine.
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon Maggi soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
To Assemble the Asian Burritos:
Place the carrots, cucumbers, and onions is separate containers. Pour 1 cup of vinegar over each one and set aside for five to 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce.
In a second small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon garlic chili sauce.
Heat the tortillas up by wrapping them in a couple paper towels and cook on full power in the microwave for 30 seconds.
Place the tortillas on serving plates.
Spread a heaping 1/2 cup of the coleslaw mix on each tortilla.
Sprinkle a tablespoon of the oil and vinegar mixture over each coleslaw covered tortilla.
Top each tortilla with three slices of tenderloin.
Drain the pickled vegetables and evenly divide them over each tortilla.
Sprinkle a heaping tablespoon of cilantro leaves over the top.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mayonnaise mixture over each tortilla.
Roll each one up by folding it in half, then pulling the top side halfway back. Next fold the perpendicular sides in and finally roll to close it up.
Friday, February 3, 2017
Two weeks ago today our two youngest little birdies landed in our empty nester motor home. Jet lagged from flying in from the Philippines, they were finally back from an 18 month tour of the world. We were headed north after being in the Florida Keys and rendezvoused with them at the Fort Myers airport. The next 10 days were a flurry of activity as the girls rewrote resumes, had skype interviews, and reentered the U.S. culture. Sadly, Jenn has already left to seek her fortunes in California, but while she was here we followed her practice of no dairy, no wheat, no sugar. Some might say that sounds like no fun as well, but I had a ball rising to the challenge of cooking meals. Most of all, I loved having the girls there to cook for; they are always so appreciative! This post is one of the dishes I made for breakfast. It's simple, incredibly easy and very yummy!
Ingredients for four fritters:
2 medium zucchinis (about two cups shredded)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil for frying
Fresh chopped tomato and sliced green onions for garnish
Cut the ends off the zucchinis and grate into a bowl. Add the salt, stir, and let sit 10 minutes.
Line another bowl with a clean dish cloth and pour the grated zucchini mixture in the middle of the cloth. Gather the towel together and squeeze as much water as possible from the zucchini. Discard the resulting water.
Remove shredded zucchini from the towel and place back in bowl. Add slightly beaten egg and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
Heat oil in skillet to medium hot. Scoop up 1/4 cup of zucchini mixture and gently overturn into skillet to make a patty. There should be enough mixture to form four patties. Brown each side for five minutes. Remove from pan and serve.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Last year, when we spent a week in the Florida Keys, it rained every single day. What a disappointment! When we were deciding whether or not to take another chance on going for a week this January - I really had doubts. We decided to go for it and I am so glad because it has turned out to be absolutely gorgeous. The turquoise water is breathtaking and who doesn't love palm trees? One of the best things in southern Florida is the fresh seafood. We found a market the "locals" go to and I've enjoyed cooking up the fruits of the sea. The recipe posted here is a spin off traditional Shrimp & Grits. Whether the shrimp is grilled or baked in the oven, it's a yummy comfort food whatever the weather.
Ingredients for Four Servings
1 pound of 21-25 count raw shrimp
3/4 cup grits (not instant)
3 1/4 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup sliced green onion (for garnish)
4 slices bacon (for garnish)
3 tablespoons blackening spice - store bought or recipe below
The Hot Stuff - Blackening Spice Recipe
Ingredients for Blackening Seasoning - yields 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoon roasted garlic (I used Penzeys brand)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (according to taste)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Stir together until well combined. Store in a covered container.