Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chicken with Leeks and Creamy Mustard Sauce

Today is a big day in history for Oregon because marijuana is now legal.  In other Oregon news, Portland was named one of America's best food cities.  I definitely have to agree, the amount of amazing restaurants popping up left and right makes it hard for me to keep up with trying all of their delicious food without going broke.  Last night my boyfriend and I went to the Doug Fir and saw Active Child, his first album came out in 2011 and he is amazing.  He plays harp and keyboards in his band and toured with M83 who is one of my favorite bands of all time, if you get a chance check him out.  I use to go to so many concerts and last night made me realize again how much I miss it, doesn't help getting older and wanting to just relax at home more often ;)  Anyway, I adapted this SUPER DELICIOUS recipe last night and wish I had leftovers.  Enjoy.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2 lbs Chicken drumsticks
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large leeks, washed and cut in half and sliced into 1 inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cremini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup half-n-half
3 tablespoons sherry
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter


The Process
1.  Marinate the chicken with lemon juice, salt and pepper for about half an hour (while you get on with the rest of the prep.)

2.  Heat 1 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp butter in large non stick pan with cover and then brown the drumsticks on all sides on medium high heat. Remove and keep aside and sprinkle on paprika.

3.  Lower the heat. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil in the same pan and add the garlic. When the garlic just starts to soften, add in the onion, leeks, and mushrooms and stir well and cover the pan. Remove cover and stir after 3-4 minutes – the reason to cover is to get onions and leek to soften up in the steam without getting brown.

4.  Keep cooking for about 10 minutes or so, remove about 1/3 to ½ of the onion and leek mixture from the pan and keep aside.

5.  Add the broth to the pan and stir in the mustard. Increase the heat and let the stock come to a quick boil.

6.  Reduce the heat to low, add in the chicken and sherry and cover the pan. Let the chicken cook for about 30 minutes.

7.  Add back the leeks removed earlier and let it cook uncovered for another 10 minutes or so till the chicken is completely cooked and sauce is of nice consistency.


8.  Gradually add the cream, a bit at a time. Let the sauce simmer on the lowest heat for about 3-4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper as necessary.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Spicy Ginger Beef & Bok Choy

Today is an amazing day in history in achieving marriage equality for our entire nation!  I am overwhelmed with happiness and love and couldn't be more proud of how far our country has come.  Below is a wonderful image that I have seen all over social media.  So it is Friday, we have marriage equality, and I'm headed out on an amazing adventure up the gorge for the weekend!  Tonight we are headed to Hood River, OR to see my grandmother, then tomorrow early afternoon we are going wine tasting at our favorite spot AniChe Cellars, and then we are headed up to Horsethief Lake on the Washington side of the Columbia to go swimming.  Tomorrow it is suppose to get into the hundreds temperature wise so a swimming hole is a must.  Then when we are done swimming we are headed to the Historic Balch Hotel in Dufur, OR.  We went there once 3 years ago and had so much fun that we just had to go back.  It is a ghost town with beautiful fields all around and big blue skies.  Onto the food, I adapted this recipe last week and was pleased with the results.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 Tbs. dry sherry
1 1/2 Tbs. tamari
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1 Tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. Asian red chile paste, plus more if desired
1 lb. (500 g.) bok choy
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs. peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 lb. (500 g.) flank steak, thinly sliced across the grain


The Process
1.  In a small bowl, stir together the sherry, tamari, rice vinegar, honey, and chile paste. Set aside.

2.  Chop up bok choy including stem.

3.  In a wok or a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the bok choy and cook, stirring, just until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

4.  Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil to pan. When hot, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the beef to the pan and cook, tossing and stirring, just until no longer pink, about 2 minutes.


5.  Return the bok choy to the pan along with the sherry mixture and cook for 1 minute until heated through. If you like your food extra spicy, top with additional red chile paste.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

French Beef Stew with Red Wine

So Noraneko was ok, not as good as Boxer Ramen.  They did have excellent kimchee and kara age.  As for OMSI After Dark...all I have to say is if you don't like crowds don't go, we waited in line for 45 minutes just to get in!  Of course I did end up having fun after I started the cider tasting ;)  As I'm sure many of you know today is the NBA draft and I am sitting here at work waiting very impatiently for 4pm to come around.  The Blazers already lost Nic Batum and I am very afraid we are also going to lose LaMarcus Aldridge.  In other news part of No Kid Hungry put together a great resource: summer is when too many kids are hungry.  You can text FOOD to 877-877 to find free summer meals for kids and teens in your community.  I personally tried it to make sure it worked and I was amazed at how quickly it sent me lots of information, what a great tool.  Also did you know that it is national ceviche month?  Andina is celebrating it and I just might have to get down there and try theirs, I LOVE good ceviche.  This adapted recipe is one I made on our beach trip last weekend and while it is amazingly delicious I found the process to be quite odd.  Serve over garlic mashed potatoes!

Serves 8

The Ingredients
3 lb stew beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 (750-ml) bottle Cote du Rhone (I used Shiraz and it was fine)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 orange, washed well and cut into 8 wedges
1 large onion, peeled and cut into rings
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
olive oil
1 6-oz can tomato paste
3 1/2 oz. Kalmata olives


The Process
1.  Season meat with salt and pepper on all sides.  Place meat in a big bowl with wine, thyme, bay leaves, carrots, orange, onion, and garlic.  Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 12 hours, and preferably 24 hours.

2.  Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large stockpot.  Remove the meat from the marinade and brown the pieces in the oil on all sides.  Pour the marinade (including the oranges, bay leaves, etc.) over the meat and bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes, skimming any foam from the surface.

3.  Lower the heat to a simmer, stir in the tomato paste, and add 4 1/2 c. water.  Cover, and let stew on low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

4.  15 minutes before the stew is ready, add the pitted olives.  Let cook for 15 minutes on medium heat without the lid to thicken the stew.

5.  Serve over mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Paleo Salisbury Steak

Today is my birthday and we have some fun things planned for the evening.  First off we are going to check out Biwa's new sister restaurant called Noraneko, it is a ramen restaurant that is suppose to be stellar.  Then we are headed to OMSI's "after dark" night featuring "seed to cider," which includes cider tasting.  In other news what is everyone doing for the 4th of July weekend?  I'm personally headed to the coast but if I weren't I would probably have to check out the Estacada Timber Festival, looks like it could be entertaining.  Also look at this awesome James Beard Market that is being built in PDX, can't wait!  Onto the food, one day last week I decided I should make Salisbury steak because I've never had it or cooked it.  I adapted this recipe and was a little surprised to say it was better than what people have told me.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients

To make patties:
1 lb. ground beef sirloin
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp granulated garlic
large pinch salt or to taste
large pinch ground black pepper or to taste
olive oil

Onion and Mushroom Gravy:
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I used cremini)
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp mustard powder
2 cups beef broth
2 tbsp almond flour


The Process
1.  In a large bowl combine the ground meat mix with spices. Use your hands to work the spices into the meat. Make 4 even sized patties. Heat just a tiny bit of olive oil to coat the pan. Cook the patties for 8 minutes then flip and cook another 8 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Drain off all the fat from pan, remove the patties and set aside.

2.  In the same pan saute the onions until they begin to soften, then add the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Next add the salt, black pepper, garlic, paprika and mustard. Stir until well combined and place the patties back in the pan.


3.  Place the almond flour in a small bowl and whisk in the beef broth. Continue whisking until there are no flour lumps in the broth. Pour the broth mix into the pan, cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce, or gravy, thickens. Serve over mashed potatoes and your favorite green vegetable.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Summer has officially begun and boy does it feel like it in PDX, by this Saturday it is suppose to be 102 degrees in Portland.  We happened to be headed up the Columbia Gorge to an even hotter destination for my birthday this weekend too...we will just have to find a swimming hole!  This past extended weekend was amazing, we went on our yearly trip down to Manzanita, OR with my mom's side of the family.  It consisted of many beach walks, tons of ladder golf, and amazing food.  I adapted this recipe for Monday morning breakfast and it turned out super delicious.  In other news links have been found between eating fermented food and how it calms the nerves.  I already love fermented food and this is just another reason to add to the list!

Serves 10

The Ingredients
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small red onion, cut in half vertically and thinly sliced
6 ounces (170 g) fresh baby spinach leaves
2 cups diced yellow potatoes
8 ounces (226 g) sliced mushrooms (I used shiitake and portobello)
9 large eggs, whisked
1-1/2 (228 g) cups crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
16 ounces (454 g) carton cottage cheese
1/2 cup (20 g) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup (85 g) grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced


The Process
1.  Preheat the oven to 400° F/200° C.

2.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the nonstick skillet, then sauté the red onion over medium heat. Add all the spinach and cover with the lid. Allow to sweat until the spinach starts to shrink, about 5 minutes. Drain off any liquid and transfer the spinach mixture to the prepared casserole dish.

3.  Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet, and add the potatoes and mushrooms. Sauté over medium heat until they have softened, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid.

4.  In the large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, Feta cheese, milk, cottage cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Stir in the potato and mushroom mixture. Pour over the spinach in the casserole dish. Sprinkle sharp cheddar cheese all over the top, then lay the tomato slices on top of the cheese.


5.  Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350° F/175° C and continue baking until the casserole is lightly browned and just set, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool about 5 minutes or so, then serve. (if top isn't golden enough broil for a couple minutes).

Beautiful Manzanita

Monday, June 15, 2015

Beef Chili

Can't believe it is Monday again, that weekend went by way too fast.  Our adventure out of town turned out to be amazing, Saturday we were on the river in a boat all day long.  We made several stops to fish and go swimming in a beautiful little spot, below are a couple pictures from this adventure.  Last week I adapted this chili recipe and it was one of the best I have had in a while.  Of course because the chili was so good and because I was so hungry I completely forgot to take a picture of it  The picture you see is from the original recipe and the photo credit goes to Chef Shapeweaver. Enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
3 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
3⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
1 (15 -16 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Sharp cheddar cheese to top the chili (optional)


The Process
1.  Cook beef, onion and garlic in 3 qt saucepan until beef is brown.  Stir in remaining ingredients except beans.

2.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3.  Stir in beans.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness.

Friday, June 12, 2015

French Onion Steaks

I'm not sure I have ever expressed my love for French onion soup, but it is undeniably delicious.  The fact that I have two different versions of it on my blog may have given you a clue, but this dish is the tipping point and it was amazing.  TGIF!  I am so ready to spend time outside, bbq, swim, do projects around the house, and maybe even go out mushroom hunting!  This evening we are headed out to farm country to hang with two of our good friends, it will be very nice and relaxing to spend time out of the city.  Lately the city life has been getting to me (which is very rare), I've just been feeling the need for space, silence, and some solitude.  It must have something to do with how quickly Portland is expanding, an estimated 700,000 people are predicted to move here over the next 20 years and we are already running out of room :(  Anyway I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and perhaps you will make this delicious recipe that I adapted.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 petite sirloin steaks
4 slices of Swiss cheese
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup warm beef broth
Onion flakes
Garlic powder
Olive oil
Salt and pepper


The Process
1. Rinse beef steak and pat dry. Pat salt, pepper, onion flakes, and garlic flakes evenly onto meat.

2.  In a medium frying pan and heat olive oil over medium heat, when hot add onions.  Let the onions cook for a couple minutes and then add a little salt and the balsamic vinegar.  You are going to continue to cook them for about 15-20 minutes to give them a quick caramelized flavor.

2. While onions are cooking pour olive oil into an 8- to 10-inch ovenproof nonstick frying pan over high heat; tilt to coat pan bottom. When hot, add steak and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes total. Supporting meat with tongs, tip steak onto its edge and rotate to brown lightly, about 2 minutes total.

3. Put pan with steak in a 400° regular or convection oven and bake until meat is done to your taste (cut to test), 8 minutes for rare or about 25 minutes for well done.

4. Turn oven heat to broil. Remove pan and mound caramelized onions onto meat and lay two pieces of Swiss cheese over each steak. Broil in pan about 6 inches from heat until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove pan from oven and pour broth around meat, stirring to release browned bits.

5. Then serve on plates but make sure to serve with some of the broth. (Broth not in the picture)