Archive | October, 2010

Some Kind of Concoction

31 Oct

Sometimes the best things to come out of your kitchen had nothing to do with a recipe book, but rather come from the random mix of things you had in your pantry. On this particular evening, we had no idea what we were about to throw together, and frankly didn’t even know if it was going to be any good. Thank goodness this one didn’t suck.

Thrown into the mix:

4 pork chops (bone in or out)

Soy sauce

Honey

Cabernet sauvignon

Quarter of a medium-sized onion (chopped)

One green pepper (chopped)

One stalk of green onion/scallions (thin slices)

Two fat cloves of garlic (smash-chopped)

Salt and pepper

One orange (half juiced, half sliced)

One lime (half juiced, half sliced)

Sesame oil

Mix it all up:

Season the chops with salt and pepper, and then marinate the chops in a combination of all the ingredients in a bowl, except for the oil). You need enough of all the liquid ingredients to cover the chops in the pan…I didn’t measure, but I have faith that you can feel it out.

In a large pan, heat the sesame oil on medium, and then dump the marinating chops with all the contents into the pan. Season the mixture with salt and pepper as needed and cover with a lid.

Flip ‘em once and then munch munch munch.

 

Served with Fried rice

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Huevos Rancheros…Dos Tiempos!

19 Oct

OLE! Another way to make eggs! I’m always searching for new ways to get my fill of chicken fetus in the morning. According to my long-time friend Wikipedia, huevos rancheros is a traditional Mexican breakfast dish. It’s usually made with a chili sauce, but I’m not really into rules in the kitchen (except when baking). Here’s two spins on the recipe.

The Smitten Kitchen version gives a freshhhhy touch to this dish with salsa fresca. Go nuts children.

Numero Uno

Tortilla

Shredded Chedder

2 eggs, scrambled with milk

Cap (not cup)of milk for scrambled eggs

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Butter

Salsa verde (As much as you want!) 

  1. Slightly brown tortilla on one side in butter
  2. Sprinkle cheese
  3. Drop the egg on top and wait for the edges to thicken up
  4. FLIP! Good luck, mine was a wee bit of a mess. Leave it for another minute.
  5. Flip on to your plate, sprinkle with a bit more cheese, and slap on the salsa

Numero Dos

Tortilla

Shredded Chedder

2 eggs

Spinach leafs

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Butter

Salsa verde (As much as you want!)

Numero Dos is the same idea as Numero Uno, but lay the spinach down with the cheese, and then crack the eggs right on top of the toasting tortilla. Cook it as you would a fried egg…but attached to a tortilla.OLE!

Rose’s Mexican Chili

17 Oct

 

 

You know you want it

 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.” Well my Aunt Rose has left many footprints on my heart and my stomach! Ask anyone who has had the privilege of sitting at her dinner table, and they will tell you she’s the best around. For Christmas last year, she gave me a killer recipe book with some of her favorites, and I’ve been slowly working my way through it. In honor of her birthday this week I thought I would share her Mexican chili recipe with you all. Happy Birthday to my fave Aunt!

Make this chili with corn bread or eat it up with tortilla chips.

Olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 chopped sweet pepper (any color)

1 clove of crushed garlic

2 lbs of ground beef

2 cups tomatoes (undrained)

1 cup tomato paste

2 tbsp sugar

3 tsp salt

Black pepper

¼ tsp paprika

2 Bay leaves

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp basil

Dash of Cayenne

2 cans of kidney beans (undrained)

1. Heat oil in a large pot, sauté onion, pepper and garlic, stirring until tender. Season with s&p.

 

Shhhaute

 

2. In a separate pan, brown the beef, drain and add to onion mixture. Season with s&p.

 

Brown it up

 

3. Add all remaining ingredients except beans. Let simmer for at least ½ hour until it’s very thick.

 

Just stick your face in it. Go ahead

 

4. Add beans and cook through.

Local Lunch: Organixx

16 Oct

Under normal circumstances, I throw away any and all junk mail that comes into my mailbox including pages of coupons. But in this time of recession and the lacking of personal funding that has resulted from it, I have taken a liking to checking out these money savers and using them A LOT. Yes, I have turned into a coupon clipper, but hell if that means I get to eat out every once in a while I will take it. A 50-percent-off coupon led me to Organixx, located at 1520 Blake St., just around the corner from the 16th Street Mall.

Organixx features “organic, natural, local, wild caught and traditional products” and a decent price, with sandwiches and salads running you around $8-9. We went for dinner, which is apparently not Organixx busiest time of day, given that we were the only people in the restaurant, but it was pretty good. While the food was fresh and “microwave-free,” there seemed to be something lacking in both of the meals we ordered. The steak dinner with a thick Asian-inspired ginger and wine sauce was savory, but the portion was teeny tiny, and the jerk chicken sandwich was lacking in any real “jerk” as far as I could tell.

Overall, if you are looking for a fresh alternative to McDonald’s and you’ve grown sick of Chipotle burritos then Organixx is definitely worth checking out. The restaurant also has a free-wine special during happy hour, and that my friends is worth looking into.

Home-grown Chinese Take out

10 Oct

This meal was one of those “here’s what I have in my pantry” meals that ended up turning out quite nicely. Risotto makes for surprisingly great fried rice, and the combination of Asian, BBQ and citrus flavors in the chicken made my taste buds dance. I hope you guys like it too.

 

Ingredients:

4 Chicken breasts

Splash of OJ

2 fat spoonfuls of crushed pineapple

Soy sauce

BBQ sauce

Dijon honey mustard

3 large garlic cloves (minced)

¼ red onion (chopped)

1 Italian red pepper (chopped)

1 small head of broccoli

1 cup of risotto rice

3 cups of chicken (or veggie) broth

Olive oil

Sliver of butter

Salt & pepper

Italian herb blend

Allspice

 

  1. Season the chicken breasts with S&P, Italian blend and allspice. In a separate bowl, combine the pineapple, soy, BBQ and mustard with S&P. Then, let the breasts marinade in the sauce blend.
  2. In a small pot, sauté half of the onions and one garlic clove in butter and O.O. for three minutes, and then add the risotto and stir for two more minutes. Slowly add in the chicken/veggie broth one cup at a time. Season w/ spices. Leave the rice on medium heat and stir occasionally until the water has absorbed.
  3. Coat a pan with a little bit of O.O., and dump in the chicken and marinade. Cook at medium heat. Once the chicken is done, take out the breasts and keep warm on the side. Add in the OJ, and turn up the head to high. Dash in a bit of pepper and allow to reduce.
  4. Grab another pot, and sauté the remaining onion and garlic until tender. Season. Throw in the rest of the veggies, season, and continue to let it cook for about five minutes. Splash in soy sauce.
  5. Once rice is done, mix it in with the veggies. Season with S&P and other spices as needed.

 

Sweet Potato & Apple Pork Chop dinner

10 Oct

Mmmm...

Whether you’re having a blast-tastic type of day that makes you jump out of your shoes from happiness, or if you’re at the end of a day when you need to drink a large bottle of wine immediately or risk killing the next person you see, a solid dinner is in order. And in both cases, I think that the wine is too.

This dinner is comfy like your pink bunny slippers and will make you feel cozy as hell no matter what the day has put on your plate so far.

The Supplies

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 4 pork chops
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Marjoram
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Large piece of tinfoil (maybe two)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rub the pork chops with garlic, S&P, nutmeg, thyme and marjoram
  3. Toss the potatoes, apples, onions and garlic with mustard, spices, and salt & pepper. Cut up 3 tbs of butter into pieces and scatter around the
  4. Wrap the mixture in tinfoil so that it is completely covered. Place it on a baking sheet, and leave it in the oven for at least 18 minutes (the potatoes should be tender).
  5. While the potato mix is roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large pan on medium heat and brown up the porch chops. You want to make sure there is no pink on the inside, about 7 minutes on each side depending on how thick your cut is.

Ready for the Oven

Fish & Veggie Pockets

5 Oct

Once again, my favorite Food Network Italiano, Giada, has won with these fish and vegetable pockets. This easy-bake fish dish is just as simple to throw together as it is healthy. I got my hands on some tilapia for this one, but any white fish you enjoy will do. I threw a slightly different spin on Giada’s version based on what was available in my own kitchen, but that really is the great thing about cooking…making it your own. Enjoy.

  • 1 lemon; zest it, get the juice, slice it up
  • 1 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • ¼ sweet onion sliced
  • 2 small garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • A small head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • Drizzling of soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 (4-ounce) white fish fillets, skinned (or other fish about 1/2-inch thick)
  • 2 large pieces of aluminum foil (or parchment paper)

Ready for the oven

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest, salt and pepper.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss the veggies with the soy, lemon juice and olive oil, and season them with salt and pepper.
  4. Split the tossed veggies in half and place one pile in the middle of each piece of tin foil. Get all the juices in there too.
  5. Place a fillet on top of each veggie pile, and sprinkle the zest mixture on to each one. Throw the lemon slices on top.
  6. Fold the tinfoil in half around the fish and veggies, and continue to fold the excess foil over in half until it is tight. Then fold in the sides of the tinfoil pocket so that it is as air tight as you can get it.
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes. The fish will be flakey when it’s done.

Served with roasted potatoes and more fish.