Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Petite Sirloin with Asparagus, Spring Onions, and Preserved Lemon Relish

Today is the day after election day and I am very proud that Bernie Sanders won Oregon, at least we are representing the nation well over here in the PNW!  Last weekend was lots of fun with my friend's birthday BBQ on Friday and my African dance class on Saturday.  The class was so awesome and intense that I was sore for a full 3 days after, but it also felt great!  I've been feeling pretty strong lately and can't wait for more sunshine so I can get out and hike more, the woods make me feel complete and calm and I can't get enough of them!  Have you heard of the campaign Feeding the 5000?  If not check it out, it is an amazing movement.  What they do is take food waste from all over the city they are in and use it to feed 5,000 people lunch for free.  It teaches people about how much food we waste and brings awareness to the issue.  They just had one in New York and in D.C. let's make one to happen here in PDX!  I adapted this recipe last night and now I am in love with roasted spring onions!  I hadn't ever had them like that and they are so sweet and amazing!

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 petite sirloins, about one lb. each, patted dry with paper towels
Coarse sea salt
1 ½ lbs asparagus, ends chopped off
6-8 thin spring onions, sliced lengthwise in half
Extra virgin olive oil

Preserved Lemon Relish:
2 preserved lemons, finely chopped
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon chile flakes, or to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

The Process
1.  Chop up everything for relish and mix together.

2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees and drizzle olive oil over asparagus and roast in oven for 9 minutes.  Then add spring onions and roast for 6 more minutes.

3.  In the meantime salt and pepper the steaks. Then pan sear the steaks in some butter over medium high heat. Sear 3-4 minutes each side for a rare steak.

4.  When steak is done let rest for five minutes, and slice thinly.  Put a bed of asparagus and spring onions on plate with some meat on top and then top with the relish.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ginger-Chicken Meatballs with Chinese Broccoli

So happy that tomorrow is Friday because this week has felt pretty darn long.  This weekend I am hoping to get some real downtime so I work on things at home, plant some more herbs I got, and maybe even take a nice stroll around the neighborhood.  On Saturday I have a 2 hour African dance class that I am pretty excited for and it will even have live drummers!  In other news The Portland Kitchen is having an event called Rooftop Grill-Off. You get to watch as students from The Portland Kitchen pair with local chef "mentors" and compete to provide our panel of "celebrity judges" - including Chef Bonnie Molares of the deliciously amazing Kachka restaurant; NickyUSA, the Northwest’s leading butcher and producer of the highest quality game and mainstream meats; and CEO of NW Priority Credit Union in Portland, Mark Turnham - the most scrumptious gourmet burgers based upon taste, presentation and creativity.  I am looking forward to this because not only will it be fun but all the ticket sales go to The Portland Kitchen. (Below is a banner with all the detail).  Anyway onto food, my friends and I adapted this delicious recipe several weeks ago and had ourselves a feast!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2 garlic clove, finely grated
1 lb ground chicken
1/4 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 teaspoons finely grated ginger
6 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 bunch Chinese broccoli, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

The Process
1.  Using your hands or a rubber spatula, gently mix garlic, chicken, soy sauce, ginger, 6 scallions, almond flour, and 1/2 cup broth in a medium bowl just to combine. Scooping out by the tablespoonful, form mixture into 1”-diameter meatballs.

2.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown all over, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3.  Combine broccoli and red pepper flakes in same skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add meatballs and remaining 2 1/2 cups broth. Bring broth to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until meatballs are cooked through and broccoli is tender, 5–8 minutes. Serve sprinkled with more scallions.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas and Harissa

Recently I had the fabulous opportunity to go to the restaurant Imperial and it was super amazing!  Between my fiance and I we got SRF wagyu flat iron, fried chicken, ember roasted potatoes, the meat plate, and the grilled caesar salad...yes we were stuffed by the end.  (Food pictured below.)  The flat iron was cooked rare which I prefer and it was so buttery and tender and amazing. The ember roasted potatoes had so much flavor with very simple and delightful ingredients. The fried chicken (the chef's special) was crunchy, tender, and moist all at the same time. The meat plate was fun but nothing to write home about. And the grilled caesar was so so delicious I couldn't get enough!  I can't wait to go back and try other amazing foods on their menu, and yes you should definitely go and eat at this restaurant.  Last night one of my best friends came over and I adapted this super delicious recipe for us.  It is a great summertime meal, light but still filling. Enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 head cauliflower, separated into bite-sized florets
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
1 small red onion, finely sliced
3 tablespoons harissa (mild)
1 tablespoon garlic chili paste
½ bunch each Italian parsley and cilantro
1 lemon
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

The Process
1.  Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread the cauliflower out on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt and the cumin seeds. Roast 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden. Add the chickpeas and roast an additional 10 minutes.

2.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in an 8 – 10-inch sauté pan. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat until the onions are very soft. Stir in the harissa and garlic chili paste along with 1 tablespoon water.

3.  Pick the leaves off the parsley and cilantro and tear into rough pieces; throw them over the chickpeas. Squeeze the lemon over and toss together with the onion mixture.  Then add the feta, toss and serve.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Vinegar-Marinated Chicken with Buttered Greens and Radishes

Where do I even start, so much has happened since I last posted.  April was such a chaotic month full of fun and lots of not so fun crazy work projects.  So let's talk about the fun stuff, in the beginning of April I went to Austin, TX for the first time to visit one of my best friends and her lovely husband.  It was too short of a trip but we did do a lot of awesome things including eating at some very yummy restaurants.  My favorite restaurant was the Launderette the food and service were incredible.  I was blown away at how kind and genuine the staff was, makes me think twice about a lot of Portland restaurants now.  Let's talk food, we ordered labneh with crackers; Zucchini salad- feta, pine nuts, cilantro, mint, carrot dressing; Grilled Broccolini - romesco, fresno, almonds; Whole Branzino - sliced almond, preserved lemon, herbs; Charred Octopus - upland cress, garlic aioli, beluga lentils, avocado; and Brick Chicken - sauce aligot, braised greens (pictures below). I couldn't get enough of it. It was all cooked perfectly and well seasoned and super fresh with tons of herbs and citrus. The decor of this place was adorable too kind of like an old 50's restaurant.  If you are in Austin you must check this place out.  My good friend Branden (with this amazing blog) came up from Houston and joined us at this restaurant for dinner too.  We ended the night at this funny little dive bar that had a cockroach crawling on the wall, but hey what would my southern experience be like without some cockroaches.  Last night I adapted this incredibly delicious spring recipe and am having some leftovers for lunch, yum!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 radishes, quartered, halved if small
1 bunch mustard greens, leaves torn
2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, divided

The Process
1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large baking dish. Pour ¼ cup vinegar over chicken and let sit 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Reserve baking dish (no need to wipe it out).

2.  Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches (if need be), cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes; turn and cook until other side is just browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to reserved baking dish; reserve skillet. Bake chicken until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°, 10–12 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, heat butter in same skillet over medium-high. Add radishes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and tender, about 4 minutes. Add mustard greens and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mustard greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes (they should still have some spring in their step). Add 1 Tbsp. tarragon and remaining 1 Tbsp. vinegar; toss to combine.

4.  Serve greens and radishes with chicken topped with remaining 1 Tbsp. tarragon.  I also added a little extra vinegar to my greens because I love vinegar.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Asparagus Salad with Toasted Almonds and Goat Cheese

Last night I got to see my favorite band of all time, The Smashing Pumpkins.  When I was younger and they were on their Infinite Sadness tour one of the band mates overdose on tour and died so the show they were suppose to play in Portland was canceled and I was heartbroken.  The band then proceeded to have a music career but it just wasn't as awesome as before and they eventually broke up.  Then come 2016 two of the original members including the main singer songwriter Billy Corgan decided to reunite and go on tour.  At first of course I was skeptical thinking to myself it just won't be the same...but boy was I surprised!  Their performance was so awesome that it brought me to tears several different times, it also reminded me of a time in my life as a youth that was hard. If you get a chance to catch them on this tour definitely do it.  Also I keep forgetting to write about my experience at Accanto at Portland Dining Month, so I promise next post I will get to it.  A couple weeks ago my friend Rebecca came over and we caught up on life and made this amazing salad from The Food Lab and paired it with a pan seared rib-eye and red wine pan sauce which I will blog about next time.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, and cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 medium shallot, finely sliced (about 1/4 cup)
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup red wine olive oil vinaigrette, vigorously shaken (recipe below)
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

(makes 1/2 cup)
4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon Dijon
1 medium clove of garlic, grated
1 small shallot finely minced
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 fresh ground pepper

The Process:
1.  For salad dressing combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add asparagus and cook until bright green and tender but still with a bit of a bite, about 3 minutes.  Drain in a colander and run under cold water until cool.  Drain and dry in a salad spinner.

3.  Transfer the asparagus to a large serving bowl and season with salt and pepper.  Add the almonds, shallots and half of the salad dressing and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with goat cheese and serve immediately, passing extra dressing at table.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup

I am in a full blown reading kick of reading memoirs of chefs right now.  I just finished Fresh off the Boat by Eddie Huang and it was such a good book.  Learning about his Taiwanese culture, the family he grew up in, the many brushes with the law he had, and to now see him so successful.  It is truly inspiring to see how people make their own unique way through this world and how they survive it.  Speaking of surviving it has been a hard day waking up to yet another terrorist attack in Brussels.  This world just doesn't make a lot of sense and it is so hard to see and experience such devastation.  This is why I hold my friends and family so close to my heart and cook for them as often as I can, because that is something that makes sense to me in this world.  We had a wonderful time in Eugene visiting with my fiance's family and I will say I had some very delicious Shepard's Pie.  This upcoming weekend is Easter and usually my parents host an Easter dinner but this year they are busy so I am going to create my own Easter meal for my fiance and I.  I am currently researching recipes and figuring out if I want to do the traditional ham or not.  Any of you have favorite Easter recipes?  Perhaps a treasured family recipe?  Well I recently adapted this wonderful recipe and felt very soothed and healed by it.  Enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
½ pound ground pork
3 cloves garlic, pressed
3 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
2 tablespoons chili garlic paste
½ teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
8 oz. wide rice noodles

The Process
1.  Mix pork, garlic, ginger, garlic chili paste, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.

2.  Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, tamari, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.

3.  Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.  Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over and serve.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dublin Coddle

I have been feeling really inspired lately because I just finished reading Yes Chef by Marcus Samuelsson.  It is an amazing memoir that is very personal and really makes me appreciate him as a chef even more than before.  It is amazing the barriers he had to break down to get where he is now and how he is constantly trying to help better the world around him, he is a remarkable man.  What books have you all been reading lately?  I just can't seem to get away from books that revolve around food.  It just feeds my passion of cooking, discovering new foods, and learning about so many different cultures.  I love being whisked away into these food worlds.  Anyway every St. Patrick's day I love making an Irish meal, last year I made a not so traditional one so this year I went the very traditional route.  I love celebrating because it is an excuse to cook something different and I am 1/4 Irish myself.  I adapted this recipe last night and it was ridiculously delicious...the broth is pretty much a bacon onion broth, drool.  Enjoy!

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound fresh pork sausages (3 large sausages)
7 ounces thick cut bacon, cut into bite size pieces
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 large carrots, chopped into big chunks
1 pound yellow potatoes, quartered
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Pepper to taste
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

The Process
1.  In a large, heavy bottomed pot, drizzle oil over medium heat. Once thoroughly heated, add the sausages. Cook just until all of the sides are browned. Remove to a plate.

2.  Add the bacon and onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and beginning to turn golden. Stir in the potatoes, carrots, and sausages.

3.  Cover with the chicken stock, then add pepper. Increase heat to bring stock to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. Stir in parsley and serve immediately.