Saturday, December 20, 2014

Spicy Teriyaki Sauce

Some sort of spicy sauce to put on fish... that was my goal of the night. And after some squabbling with my computer, I found this little inspiration, minus that crappy tofu. As usual, measurements are out the window, but the one thing I can say is that I used boatloads more sugar than suggested.

Minced garlic
Green onion
Toasted sesame seeds
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Red pepper flakes
Brown sugar

Throw it all in a pan, I boiled it until it was a thicker consistency and then voila!
(apparently I forgot to take a picture, but basically, it looks like any teriyaki sauce)

I used it as a dipping sauce, but it would probably make a good glaze for baking, stir frying, or BBQing too! I love a good sauce and this turned out, again, better than all of those bottles I have bought.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Menu Plan Monday 11/3-11/7

Did you know it's NaBloPoMo?  I had no idea until about 15 minutes ago so I'm a little late to the party but that's not surprising.  I also found out today was National Sandwich Day on my way to work, where I brought a salad for lunch.  Clearly I need a better calendar system.  Maybe there's a Google Calendar plug-in for every holiday ever invented?  In fact, I Googled "national sandwich day" and randomly picked a result so I could see what tomorrow is.  I was supes excited to see that tomorrow is allegedly National Chicken Lady Day and then immediately disappointed that the day has nothing to do with the Kids in the Hall character.

So all that to say, here's my dinner menu plan for the week:

Pork tenderloin with garlic and rosemarycouscous and sauteed kale

Turkey chili

Takeout (class night)


Spaghetti bolognese, garden salad and garlic bread

Honestly, my shopping trip this week was poorly planned so while we have enough to eat through the week, I feel like I can do better. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Inspired to Share: Queso and Swayze Sauce

I just happened across this video and I want everything in it right now. I want to make it and eat it and maybe also swim in it. But I am not going to the store again today.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sausage and artichoke soup

Breakfast sausage is so versitile! I love to use it in place of other meats when I am feeling creative, or when it is the only thing in the freezer. This started out as a soup based on two things I couldn't use up in the freezer, artichokes and breakfast sausage, but turned into a soup that I love making and eating. It is super easy and serves as an uncommon twist on vegetable soup.

Start with chopping a standard soup base of celery, carrot and onion. Then cook your sausage in your soup pot. I like my sausage to get pretty brown and crispy, then add the celery, carrot and onion to saute for a bit, and then remove the excess fat. Add your stock (if using canned artichokes, you may hold them out until a little later so they don't fall apart).

Add the spices of your choice (I like basil, parsley, allspice, Cavender's and pepper) and then bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 20 or so minutes, add your artichokes if you left them out, check your spices, and then simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Ladle yourself up a bowl (maybe with some Fiesta cornbread!) and warm up with some awesome soup. The veggies are so tender and somehow the sausage seems to fit so much better than chicken or beef!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fresh Fig & Caramelized Onion Flatbread

April since we posted? Man, we suck. Well, shit happened, but I am back. Cooking for the first time in 2 months and I wanted some damn figs! It's fall, so I found them and I only had to go to 2 stores to get them.

About a summer ago I was at the Plaza, bopping around, wasting time and money with a friend. The sun was blazing and there is really no shade in the middle of all of those expensive-ass stores so we decided to duck into the closest restaurant, which happened to be Seasons 52. They serve stuff that is "inspired by the season" which is hippy nonsense, but the food was delicious. I had a flatbread pizza with fig and arugula and a few other things I can't remember that inspired this recipe.

Flatbread dough (I used this recipe)

Fresh fig, thinly sliced
Baby Kale
Caramelized onions

Make the flatbread dough first, this is the long part. But you can freeze some of it for later. While the dough is rising or thawing (depending on your pre-planning), caramelize your onions in some butter, and slice your figs. Don't over-cook your onions because they will continue to cook in the oven.

I didn't use exactly the ingredients called for, but whatev. It was still ok.

 I also didn't use a food processor or a mixer with a dough hook. I'm a rebel.

Preheat the oven to 450. If you have a pizza stone, good for you.

Roll out the dough on a piece of parchment (on a baking sheet if no stone) for easy transfer to the oven. I actually used my hands to pat it out, it didn't really require a roller.

Then I cut thin slices of room temp brie and placed them on the crust and covered them with about 1/2 the onions. Then I piled on the fig slices and kale, alternatingly... yes, this is a word... and then finished with the rest of the onions.

Pop the whole thing in the oven for 15-18 minutes, until the crust is a lovely brown.

Awesomeness! I was worried that the crust wouldn't crisp up under the weight of the toppings, but no problem at all.

You want to eat it right now don't you? I don't blame you. It is beautiful. It could have even used more of each of the toppings piled on. This crust was a little thick, maybe a roller would have helped...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fiesta cornbread

Cornbread is about the only bread that I have successfully made taste good when I cook it. Also, it is probably the least labor and tool intensive of any bread I have made. Therefore, I have many cornbread variations, both savory and sweet. This savory version is cheesy and peppery and fun and the most delicious thing you will ever eat. EVER!

2 tbsp butter
1/4 c chopped anaheim pepper
1/4 c chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped pimento
Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
2/3 c milk
1/2 c roasted corn
1 c shredded cheese

Preheat the oven to 400.

Melt the butter in a small pan and saute the pepper, onion and pimento until softened. It seems like a lot of butter, but there is a creaminess that you want to achieve in the final product and this is an aid. In a medium bowl, combine the Jiffy mix, egg and milk (I use about twice the milk called for in the original Jiffy recipe because the other ingredients suck up the moisture). Add the pepper mixture and corn to the bowl and combine. Then add the cheese and combine.

Grease a loaf pan, and then pour the mixture in the pan, and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick, make sure it comes out clean.

Enjoy with pretty much anything! Soup, enchiladas, pork roast, or just eat the whole pan with a spoon secretly while hiding from your family... IT IS THAT GOOD! It's like the inverse of a fruit pie, but better! Hang on... I gotta go eat some more... YYYYUUUUMMMMMMM!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Preserved Meyer Lemons

I picked up a bag of Meyer lemons the other day at the grocery store because they looked absolutely beautiful and I couldn't pass them up. I had never eaten one raw, and I highly recommend it... if you enjoy lemons otherwise. I love eating wedges of lemon and these are just a little sweeter version. My bag had about 7 of them so I wanted to find a couple other uses then just eating them straight. I did some Googling and found some articles on preserving lemons and how easy it was, so I decided to give it a shot.

Get yourself a jar that seals well, some kosher salt and your lemons. Cut a bit off each end of the lemon and then quarter them. Put a little salt in the bottom of the jar and cover the wedges in the salt as well. Cram those suckers in there, so much so that some of the juice squeezes out. Make sure that when the jar is full that there is enough juice to cover all the lemons, and add more juice if not.

Seal it up and label the date you crammed them, because now you have to wait 3 whole weeks to use them! Leave them on the counter for a couple days and then put them in the fridge for the rest of the 3 weeks. Flip the jar upside down every once in a while.

I read several places that you are supposed to discard the flesh and then only use the rind once they are preserved, but I say, hey, need salt and lemons in a recipe, use that part. After those 3 weeks, lemon it up to your hearts content! I used some to make a fish tagine that was... interesting, though I don't think the interestingness was the fault of the lemons.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Dave joked to me the other day that my body content is 80% sour cream.  Which is probably true considering how much of that deliciousness I was eating with my breakfast when he said.  So much, in fact that I almost reached for his ramekin of sour cream after I finished mine.

There's no real point to this anecdote other than a) I love sour cream and b) this recipe uses it.

This recipe is slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats' Lazy Girl's Chicken Enchilada Casserole but I made a few modifications.  First, I made the enchilada sauce.  It's not turribly difficult to make and I wanted to try this tomato-less sauce.  The sauce recipe I used is listed below and I used the full 2 cups it yielded 'cuz we like things nice and saucy!

So without futher ado,

Chicken Enchilada Casserole (slightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)

1 lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup sour cream
1 batch enchilada sauce (below) or 2 cups prepared sauce
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
4 oz can of diced chiles
8ish corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 cup shredded cheese 
salsa, for serving
green onions, for serving
extra sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and brown in a well-oiled skillet.  Remove from heat.  Mix sour cream, enchilada sauce, corn and chiles in a large bowl.  Add chicken and tortilla strips to the bowl and mix well.  Pour mix into baking dish and top with cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes.  After allowing to cool slightly, serve garnished with salsa, green onions and sour cream.

Enchilada Sauce (slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

1/2 onion, minced
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp Chipotle Southwest seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
2 cups chicken broth

Put a pan over medium heat.  Add minced onion and cook until slightly softened.  Add oil and flour and stir until slightly browned.  Add seasonings and stir well.  Slowly add chicken broth and stir well while it thickens, about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Meal Plan Monday (3/3-3/8)

You might've noticed some recipes move from week to week.  This is my way of using up things in our fridge before they go bad if we veer from the menu plan.  Which happens quite a bit.

When I was planning this menu yesterday morning, it was 60 degrees and humid.  Today it's 25 and we've had an ice storm overnight so that may change the way we eat this week.  We'll see...

Lunch: Tomato soup (canned)
Dinner: Chicken Noodle soup (homemade)
Lunch: Chicken Noodle soup
Dinner: Jet's Pizza!
Lunch: Arnold's!! (only the best soul food in Nashville)
Dinner: Pork loin rice bowls
Lunch: rice bowls
Dinner: Honey Sriracha chicken thighs and roasted sweet potatoes
Lunch: TBD
Dinner: Butter chicken and curry roasted broccoli
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Pesto tortellini

Monday, February 24, 2014

Meal Plan Monday (2/24-3/1)

I reviewed my meal plan from last week and while it accurately reflects how my meal planning goes, it doesn't reflect what we actually ate.  I think meal planning is important for grocery shopping and it's nice to not have to decide what to eat when you're already hungry.  But there's no point in feeling bad if you don't adhere to the plan.  At least I don't.  So here's my plan for this week. I'm including lunches this week because I feel like that's a place where I could step up on planning.  And I'm struggling with a lunch plan so here's hoping we have enough leftovers not to starve!

Lunch: Chicken, veggie and couscous bowl
Dinner: Beef stroganoff with egg noodles and roasted asparagus
Lunch: leftover stroganoff
Dinner: Takeout
Dinner: Pork loin rice bowls
Lunch: with colleagues
Dinner: Penne with bleu cheese sauce
Dinner: Creamy tomato basil soup with crostini
Dinner: Pesto and chicken white pizza