104 degrees weather, let’s cook!

It’s the third day in a row of super hot weather here in Northern California. The house easily reaches 94 Degrees and last night was brutal as it never cooled off.

I used my Sous Vide to make a Pork Tenderloin that got grilled. Some veggies from my little garden and we were set.

I wanted burgers tonight but Himself was not in the mood. He was however interested in a cold soup. So the idea of Gazpacho formed in my mind. If you want to not use the stove at all a 32 ounce can of stewed tomatoes works just as good.
Recipe is from Alton Brown. The only thing I did not add was Worchester Sauce because it has gluten.

Gazpacho

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

Tomato juice

1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced

1 medium garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 lime, juiced

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves

Directions

  1. Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.
  3. Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with strips of basil.

I grilled large shrimp that were marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and 1/3 Jalapeno (seeded and sliced)
Once cooked I cooled them down by putting them in a Ziploc bag and putting the closed bag in an icebath.
I cut the shrimp in half and added them to the soup.

You can see Alton in action here:

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/gazpacho-recipe-1937573

Happy Birthday Martin, here is some Dutch food for you.

There is such a thing as Dutch comfort food and this dish is just it for a cold afternoon.

I cannot recall how many times I have made it in my life. It’s a bar type of food, we serve it at parties too. Easy to make ahead and very popular, trust me. It’s the original tapas!

Bitterballen (roughly translated “bitterballs”

They are not bitter though. The name derives from the drink they were used to be eaten with, “bittertjes”.

3 tbsp butter
4 tsp gluten free flour, or amount needed to thicken the roux
1  cup broth
2 cups thinly chopped meat, I’m using left over steak
1 tsp parsley
1tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup fine gluten free breadcrumbs
1 egg
Enough high heat oil, avocado or safflower oil, so that the bitterballen are submerged

Melt butter on low heat, you are making what is called a Light Roux
Add flour, make sure to stir well. You’ll get a mixture that looks lumpy
Let it cook for a minute and then slowly add milk
Stir until smooth and lower heat, keep stirring until it becomes a thicker mixture (thicker than cream of wheat but not as solid as oatmeal)
Turn off heat and add the spices and the meat.
Mix well and pour mixture onto a plate, refrigerate until cooled down and set, I leave it for a day.
With wet hands make 1/2 inch balls.
Roll in flower and put in a single layer on a plate
Mix eggs and dip balls in eggs and in breadcrumbs.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to fry

You can fry the bitterballen in 2 inches of oil in a pan or in the deep fryer until golden.(about 1-2 minutes)
Serve warm with mustard, the Dutch way.
Be careful as these will be HOT on the inside. Break open for kids so they don’t burn their mouths.

Enjoy!

I promise 2021 will be year to blog again.

2020 has been something, we all can agree on that.

For this coming year I will get back to blogging about food.

I’ve got some new recipes I’ve been trying and would love to share. If there are requests for me to blog about a food you’d like to have made from scratch, let me know!


5 cloves of Garlic Lemon Chicken with potatoes.

Week 17 of Shelter in Place in California because of the Corona Virus.
I’m still cooking from scratch and mostly supplies from the fridge/pantry.
I found this easy recipe on Delish 
I  did alter the amount because it’s just the 2 of us. Also no bones or skin on my chicken.
INGREDIENTS

4 chicken thighs

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c.(half a stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
cloves garlic, minced

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves ( I only had dry but it works)

lemon, cut into rounds
.5 lb. baby potatoes, quartered
1 tbsp.freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towel and season all over with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium bowl stir together butter, garlic, lemon zest, and thyme. Rub butter mixture all over chicken thighs, including under the skin.
  3. Place lemon rounds, potatoes, and chicken thighs in a 9″-x-13″ baking dish and bake until thighs register 160°F on an instant-read thermometer, about 35 minutes. If you’d like the skin more crisp, broil on high for 1 to 2 minutes until golden.

 

Because there was no bone the temperatures might be different. I usually don’t use a thermometer but go by juices being clear.

 

Enjoy, stay safe and be heatlhy.

 

I’m back!!!!

Like a video game I unlocked a new level of recipe last Friday. Every year we, Himself and his old company, have a crab fest in Half Moon Bay (California) Our friend Dan buys and cooks the crab and we eat!

This year we bought 6 crab, 3.5 were eaten and we took the rest home. ManKid (new name for the youngest) took 1.5 home and we cleaned the other one and I vacuum sealed it.

I found some really good Gluten Free Breadcrumbs at Safeway. Nothing artificial and no Soy, a big deal for me.

Here’s what I came up with.

  • 12 ounces of shredded crab.
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 2 tbs extra for breading
  • 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1 beaten egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 fine cut up shallot, about a tbs.
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • dash of cayenne, I used a tsp of hot sauce

Mix everything together, except the 2 tbs of crumbs, gently coating the crab. I tasted the mixture and then put in the egg.
Let it rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. Make six equal patties. Coat the outside of the patties with the remaining breadcrumbs creating a crust. You might need a little more to fully cover the patties. Then let them rest in the fridge for 30 minutes on wax paper.

In a pan heat up 1/2 cup of peanut or Avocado oil. Olive oil won’t be hot enough to get a nice crisp and it will burn leaving a bitter flavor.
I prefer Avocado oil.

Cook on each side until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.
Place on a paper towel to get rid of any grease.
Serve with Tartar Sauce.

Tartar Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise, I use the kind without sugar
  • 1 small dill pickle, chopped very small (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon capers, chopped, optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard, optional
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together and refrigirate for 30 minutes before making the cakes.

img_8652

 

If you want to make your own breadcrumbs here is a good link to a video.
I suggest adding dried Oregano and garlic powder to the mix.

How to make your own breadcrumbs

ps.
You can make this with shrimp as well, stay tuned for that recipe!

Enjoy!

Please let me know if you made this and how it turned out.

Under Water.

A few months ago one of my dance friends brought chicken to a potluck.
It was super tasty, not dry and every one loved it.
I asked C. how she managed to get it this way and she told me it was done “Sous Vide”, with vacuum under water.
After that day I started to read up on it and was intrigued.
I had a lovely chat with her husband about it a few weeks later and REALLY wanted a Sous Vide machine.
But, BUT, BUT!!!!!!! that would be another appliance in the kitchen taking up space. Was it worth it?

So I did my usual hemming and hawing and shelved the idea.
I did keep reading about the cooking method and then found that you can buy a stick that you could add to any pan and get the same results.
I had a Target gift card left so I decided to at least look at it.
videThey had one on sale, but it was still $140 and I was a bit hesitant. But it would fit in the cabinet and not sit on the counter so I decided to go for it.
I started walking to the registers when my phone rang. I set my box down on an endcap.
After I hung up I saw a box, with a Sous Vide machine. On SALE!
If I applied my card the total price would be $24 plus tax. It originally was $144!
I don’t know why it was discounted so much, it has all it’s parts and is in working order.
My Dutch heart was very happy because now I felt it was justified due to the low price.

The picture explains it best.

IMG_1184

So far I’ve made chicken twice, pork chops twice and am going to make a salmon dish tonight.

 

Fast forward a few weeks to September and I’m in love.
The salmon was a big MEH but since then I dove into Filet Mignon ( divine) Pork Tenderloin, more steak cuts and some more pork (Cordon Blue) and chicken.
The two only “failed” things were poached eggs and a cut of steak that became well done. It was tasty but I like my meat a little more red.

Next up is Risotto, yes you can make that Sous Vide!, and some sort of white fish.

Recipes and pictures soon to follow because right now my  phone is not talking to my computer.

Risotto for One, Please!

It has happened, we are officially Empty-Nesters.
RatherTallOne has moved out and is now cooking for himself and his girlfriend.
Early reports from her are that he is quite the chef, making me rather proud.

We found out a few months ago that he has a wheat, barley and hops allergy. In solidarity I gave up all wheat (but not beer every now and then).
Cleaning the pantry and fridge of all things EVIL wheat was the way to go sadly.
I found out that a staple we eat a lot, Risotto from Trader Joes, had wheat in it to thicken the rice.
What is a mom to do? It has never occurred to me to make it from scratch because I thought it was hard to do.

Who hasn’t seen an episode of Hells Kitchen where Gordon Ramsey screams out that the Risotto is BLAND!

If professionals can’t do it who was I to try?
I’ve been hesitant to make foods I wasn’t trained in or comfortable with. Cooking rice, piece of cake. Risotto is scary.

So one day we were wanting Risotto with our salmon and I bit the bullet.
It was amazing!
I made it 3 times since and it comes out creamy, garlicky and really good.

The next 6 days Himself is in the Netherlands so solo food it is.
I was going to eat just chicken and roasted peppers when all of a sudden I wanted Risotto as well.
Math done, here is a recipe for Risotto for One.

1 TBS butter
1 TBS Olive Oil
2 TBS chopped onion or shallot
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Arborio Rice aka Italian-Style Rice
About 1.5 cup of chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste (don’t make it bland!)
Any mushrooms and vegetables chopped up
Parmesan cheese to taste, I add at least 1/4 cup

Saute onion and garlic in butter and olive oil on lower heat for 3 minutes
Add rice and stir for 2 minutes
Stir in broth until rice is covered
I had leftover asparagus and mushrooms I added in.
I’ve added peas and mushrooms, it’s all tasty.

IMG_0685

Continue cooking a stirring until broth is absorbed.
Add more broth but make sure it’s absorbed before you add more.
Try the rice if it’s cooked towards the end of cooking before you add more broth. It’s not a timed process, more a “taste as you go”.
You are aiming for sticky, gooey rice as the cheese will bind it.

Once it’s fully cooked add the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

IMG_0688

 

 

 

My take on Macaroni and cheese, bacon style!

A few food items are always in my fridge, cheese, eggs and bacon.

A friend posted a recipe she tried last week on Facebook and I tinkered with it a little and came up with this new recipe.
I made it for The Boy and Himself and they deemed it good for a repeat.
If you can’t find the cheese I used you can substitute with cream cheese, garlic and parsley.

ETA: rinsing the pasta under cold water will stop the cooking process and also avoid melting the cheese too soon.
Also letting the meat cool off a little helps in this process.

Creamy, bacon bake.

1 box pasta (elbows, bow-ties or rotini)
Boursin cheese (not the low-fat kind)

boursib
1 cup grated cheese, I use half parmesan and mozzerella
4 slices of bacon
8 ounces of chicken
1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook pasta to almost fully cooked, drain and set aside
Cook bacon until crisp, crumble and set aside
Sautee cut up chicken in bacon grease (or in 1 tbs butter, but trust me cooking it in the bacon fat enhances the flavor)
Drain fat from chicken and mix macaroni with bacon, chicken, cream and the cheeses.
Preheat the oven at 350
Coat an ovenproof dish with butter.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until all the cheese is melted.
Halfway stir the pasta so that the cheese coats all over (it stays creamier that way)
If you have a broiler give the dish a quick broil to get a crunchy crust.

Enjoy!

food

 

It’s starting to feel like Fall finally!

I love soup and Split Pea is comfort food for me.

It’s a slow simmer in the crock pot so once you done the prep it’s a straight shot all by itself for hours.
This recipe is how my mom used to make it, there are variations where leeks and carrots are used but it comes out too heavy for me.

Oma’s Split Pea Soup

This recipe is for 4 people with enough left over for another meal. Reduce the peas and water by half if making it for 2 people or if you want no left overs.

2 bags green split peas (or 2 pounds)
1 medium sized celery root
1 pound beef shank
1 package salted pork
1 smoked sausage

Rinse peas, place in crock pot ( I have a 6 quart one)
Clean celery root by peeling it,cut celery root and salted pork in chunks
Add celery root, salted pork and beef shank to the crock pot
Cover with water, stirring a few times to get the peas wet.
Cook on low until peas fall apart, 6 hours depending on your crock pot.Stir occasionally to prevent the peas from sticking to the bottom or sides.
Remove bone and salted pork.
Using a stick blender or food processor blend the soup until smooth.
Cut up smoked sausage and add to soup.
You can cut up the salt pork in small pieces and add it to the soup. Be aware you need to let it sit for a little bit before you add salt in order not to oversalt it.
The soup will thicken if refrigerated, when reheating add some chicken stock to it and heat it slowly.

Enjoy!

Last week at Cost Plus World Market as I was lusting over another piece of equipment…

 

I’ve been wanting to buy a Tangine for ages, it’s used for a lot of Moroccan dishes. Read more here.
I’ve hemmed and hawed numerous times but never could get myself to commit.

Happened again last week at my other favorite kitchen/gadget/ all the things store Cost Plus World Market.
I petted the tangine on display, had a moment of doubt and then did not buy the pot.
However on the side it had a tag with a recipe for Honey and Cardamon Chicken with olives and Chickpeas.
So I took a picture, petted the pot once more and went on the hunt for ingredients.

lambtagine (not *the* pot but pretty!)

For 4 people, or leftovers for 2, you need:

8 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cumin seed
Seeds from 8 Cardamon pods
2 tablespoons Honey
1.5  inch chunk of ginger,grated
2 garlic cloves, chopped
pinch dried chili flakes (optional)
6 tablespoons olive oil.
1 large red onion, chopped
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
14.5 ounce can chickpeas
2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped (How to peel a tomato)
Handful green olives, without pimentos
a few fresh coriander leaves, chopped.

Place the 8 chicken thighs in to a shallow dish.
Toast 1 tablespoon cumin seeds in a small pan over a gentle heat until they begin to pop. Transfer them to a pestle and mortar and add the seeds from 8 cardamom pods and grind them to a coarse powder.

My note: if you do not have cumin seeds don’t worry. Using plain cumin will work. Just add a tablespoon of ground cumin to the dish. However!  
 it’s worth the purchase
Cumin seeds and Cardamom pods will keep for two years in an airtight container away from sunlight.
If you do not own a mortar and pestle ( I do!!) you can put the seeds in a ziplock bag and with a rolling pin or heavy pan 
pulverize them by hitting the bag. 

Put both spices  in a small bowl.
Stir in 2 tablespoons honey,ginger, garlic cloves, finely chopped chilli (or chilli flakes) and 4 tablespoons Olive Oil. Mix thoroughly.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and pour over the marinade.
Mix by hands to make sure the marinade is covering all of the chicken.
Leave to marinate for 30 minutes to a couple of hours.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan,and gently fry the chicken until the chicken is golden brown all over. Transfer the browned chicken to the tagine and pour over any remaining marinade

My note:If you do not have a tangine, like me, this can be cooked in a Dutch oven or a good covered glass dish.

Scatter over 1 large red onion, add the chicken stock. Drain the chick peas, and add to the tangine (or other vessel)
Add the tomatoes and green olives.
Put the lid on the tagine and cook in the oven 375 for one hour.

Stir in a generous handful of chopped fresh coriander and serve immediately with cous cous or plain boiled rice.

I didn’t add the chickpeas because it’s not something we care for.
I also flaked and had no fresh koriander bought.

The critics (my Men and a friend with a new family) loved it and it’s deemed a repeat recipe.

I forgot a picture, but trust me it was good!

 

Pumpkins and Squash, oh my!

Adventures in Food.

We joined a Community Sustained Agriculture Farm (CSA) delivery service last year.
Most of the time I remember to go on to their website the weekend before the delivery date but this Sunday I completely flaked and forgot to change my order.
So then you get what is seasonal, a total surprise most of the time.
In my box this week were 2 pumpkins, a squash the size of a small dog, a jumbo leek, celery, kiwi’s and 7 pears.

IMG_0975

Clearly this called for a big knife. The pumpkins were  the size of a soccer ball!

I love to make soup, so I decided to use the squash and pumpkins.
I tweaked a recipe my daughter sent me.

I’ll write out the recipe for less, this yielded enough soup for 2 big containers, 3 small and a square large container.

Curried Pumpkin Squash soup.

1 medium size pumpkin
1 squash
Medium…

View original post 225 more words

Gallery

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 661 other followers

%d bloggers like this: