Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dill-Yogurt Green Beans

Of course I forgot to take a picture so I will use the picture from the original recipe, and I actually mixed it all together so upon each serving there wasn't just a dollop of yogurt mixture on the green beans.  Anyways I made this veggies dish to go with the Greek mac n' cheese I made, both had a nice Greek theme.  I love recipes like this because I am always looking for a new way to eat veggies and this recipe has such simple and wonderful flavors.  It is adapted from The Perfect Pantry which is also where I got the photo. Enjoy!

Serves 4 (as side dish)

The Ingredients
1 pound green beans, steamed and trimmed (or you can use two cans)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

The Process
1.  While steaming green beans, in a medium bowl mix all the ingredients together.

2.  When green beans are done steaming rinse in cold water and let cool for about 5 minutes.

3.  In medium bowl mix together yogurt mixture and green beans and serve.

Simplicity can be so nice.

Greek Mac n' Cheese

OMG! Well the reason why I used that word...is because it is actually in the dictionary now (that was an FYI from Beefy).  Anyways tonight at the lovely home of Bethany and Dan we decided to make this Greek mac n' cheese.  I haven't had mac n' cheese in soooo long, and I'm not trying to make so many fat kid recipes, but apparently that is my current trend.  I worked out today for the first time in 9 days because of vacation at the beach and in Cali....it was exhausting to say the least, but it also definitely justifies this meal.  This recipe is adapted from Steamykitchen, an awesome blog that I love following.

Serves 6 (healthy portions)

The Ingredients
1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
2 cups Havarti cheese
8 oz Feta cheese
3/4 red onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag spinach, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
3 cups milk
3 tablespoons wheat flour
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
olive oil
salt and pepper

The Process
1.  Boil noodles till done (according to the package).  Preheat the oven to broil.

2.  In a skillet warm up oil over medium high heat and add red onion.  After 4 minutes add garlic cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the spinach, and cook till wilted about 2 minutes, take off heat and set aside.

3.  In medium saucepan heat butter over medium heat until melted.  Add flour and whisk until light golden brown, about 4 minutes. 

4.  Add 4 cups milk to the saucepan and turn up to high to bring to boil while constantly stirring.

5.  When boiling reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.  Take off the stove and add cheeses and stir 'till mostly disolved/melted into sauce.  The Feta cheese won't fully melt in saucepan.

6.  In meantime grease large casserole dish, put in cooked noodles, capers, dill, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, spinach/onion/garlic mix and stir thoroughly.

7.  Then add cheese mixture to casserole dish, pour over top then stir in cheese sauce 'till all is fully covered.  Spread bread crumbs over the top and put in oven (broil) for about 5 minutes but watch it very carefully as to NOT burn the top.

8.  Definitely let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving so that it can coagulate like blood.

I also made some lovely veggies that went with the Greek theme.....will follow.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Seared Tuna and Salsa

Its a trick!  I know several of you are probably disappointed because you really thought I was going to give you my secret recipe.  This is one of those recipes that I made up and yes it is ammo as a chef and also the secret amazing recipe that keeps my friends intrigued in my cooking.  I made this for our wonderful friends Liz and Nature who put us up in their beautiful house down in the Mission in San Francisco.  Elisa and I decided last minute (right after I got home from my lovely trip to Yachats) that we had to get the hell out of Portland.  And my boss being the awesome boss that he is just let me go, so so so awesome!  Anyways the meal was a hit! They all loved it, Elisa has had it before and continues to beg me for it which of course makes me happy.  I am glad it turned out so well because I hadn't made it in over a year.  Elisa roasted some awesome asparagus and Liz made a full and nutritious salad as well. So since I won't give you the recipe I will say it is an extremely healthy meal and here are a lot of pictures so you can drool at your computer.

Breakfast Bagel Sandwich

These bagel sandwiches were to die for!  Once again this is most definitely a fat kid recipe created at the beach with my lovely friends.  We could hardly move after eating these monsters.  Combined by yours truly.

Serves 3

The Ingredients
3 bagels (we had 10-grain Kettleman's bagels the best)
9 tablespoons scallion cream cheese (Kettleman's if possible), this is 3 tablespoons per sandwich
3 slices bacon, cooked
2 tablespoons bacon grease
1/2 bag fresh baby spinach
1/2 tomato, sliced in small pieces
3 eggs

The Process
1.  In skillet fry up 3 eggs (individually) in bacon grease.  Make sure the centers are still runny.

2.  Cook up bacon to preferred crispness.  Then begin toasting bagels.

3.  Put bacon grease in hot skillet and add spinach, cook for about 1-2 minutes until spinach is wilted and covered in bacon grease.

4.  When bagels are done toasting put cream cheese on them, then stack on tomato slices, bacon chunks (torn apart), then fried egg, and then cooked spinach.

Also watch out because since the egg is still runny it will spurt everywhere so make sure you eat over your plate.  These were amazing and I want to eat them everyday!

Roasted Chicken

The first weekend of spring break I went to the coast with my two lovely library friends Serenity and Turner (they also have rad blogs).  At the beach we decided we must make gourmet meals, and while they were simple they were amazing!  I decided to make a lovely roast chicken after a day full of adventuring on the beach, walking to town and taking oyster shooters, walking back in a semi-CRAZY storm and then back into the wonderful cozy happy beach cabin.  Once we put the chicken in the oven to cook for 3 hours we watched the movie Adventures in Babysitting, if you have not seen this movie I insist you must! Anyways we brought tons of bacon on this trip so we had lots of bacon grease that we decided to add to everything, sick but sooooo good!  So I guess I would call this a fat kid recipe.  Made by yours truly.

The Ingredients

1 whole chicken

1 red onion, chopped coarsely

3 fresh beets, quartered

1 cup fingerling potatoes, chop each in half

3 large carrots, chopped thick

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups vegetable broth

1 stick butter, melted for basting

1 tablespoon bacon grease, for basting

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

olive oil

salt and pepper

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Rinse chicken off, take out the gizzard bag, and place chicken in large deep roasting pan.

2.  Rub chicken down with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic powder.

3.  In pan on stove melt the stick of butter and add the bacon grease to the melted butter.  Baste the chicken with butter/bacon mixture.

4.  Stuff the chicken with 1/4 of the red onion and 1 teaspoon of the chopped garlic.

5.  Put all the veggies around the chicken in the roasting pan, the veggies include carrots, beets, potatoes, onion, and garlic.  Then pour the broth over the veggies in the roasting pan.

6.  Cover the chicken pan with tin foil and bake for 2 hours, basting with butter/bacon mixture every half hour.  After the first 1 1/2 take off foil.

Note: the chicken will fall right off the bone, sooooo good!  Might I add that Serenity made a perfect and wonderful gravy (with bacon grease) for the chicken and veggies.  And Turner made very yummy roasted asparagus to accompany the lovely meal.  Success is almost an understatement for this meal :) Oh and the beets turn everything red! Awesome!  I also kept all of the extra broth-ness and am going to make us a wonderful soup! So wait for that one to come!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Black and Tan Pork Chops

I made these pork chops for the St. Patty's day dinner.  I also made an AMAZING warm red cabbage, bacon, goat cheese salad to accompany the pork.  I thought about posting the recipe but it is one of the recipes that cooks can use as ammo.  Or as a person who likes to entertain it is one of those recipes that can keep your guests enthralled in your cooking.  So yes the salad was that good, and sorry you can't have the recipe but if you are lucky I will make it for you:)  I hadn't seen my awesome friend Brittany in far too long so I invited her over for a St. Patty's day dinner that we actually drank wine with instead of Guinness because beer kind of just hurts to drink these days, but I made sure to include Guinness in my cooking.  I found the recipe for the glaze on the Food Network's site and I adapted it, as for  cooking the pork I did my own thing.  I chose to make pork this year instead of corned beef because a) I tend to get tired of corned beef, b) takes a while to cook, and c) they usually only sell it in large chunks....and it was just the two of us for dinner.  So pork it was! I will say that I used the glaze as a sauce over the pork and it is pretty sweet which normally I dislike, but I added salt to it and in the end over the pork it was just perfect.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
 2 boneless pork chops
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1- 12oz bottle Guinness beer
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
Olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The Process
1.  In saucepan heat up some olive oil over medium heat.  When hot add onions and garlic and cook about 3 minutes.

2.  Lower heat slightly and add 1 tablespoon Guinness and 1 tablespoon brown sugar.  Cook for 3 more minutes.

3.  Then add rest of the Guinness, honey, brown sugar, and ginger.  Bring to boil and then lower to simmer for 20 minutes.

4.  While sauce is simmering heat some oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Rub pork chops in salt and pepper (and nature's seasoning if you have it).

5.  When skillet is hot add pork chops, sear each side (about 3 minutes each side).  Then turn heat down slightly and add vegetable broth and cover pan as to steam the pork chops.

6.  After 5 minutes flip pork chops and cook for another 5 minutes or until cooked through.

7.  When sauce is done, turn off heat and add corn starch and mix well.  The sauce does not get thick.  At this point add as much salt and pepper as you want to taste.  I added quite a bit of salt but make sure to add and taste add and taste.

8.  Slice pork chops up into thin slices (after letting meat rest for 5 minutes) and generously pour sauce over the top.

This is a very sweet savory dish....super super good!  And seriously the cabbage salad....holy shit, amazing.

Veggie Meatball Subs

So I can't take credit for this recipe because I have never had the yearning to make a veggie meatball, I love meat.  Besides that I found this recipe and had to try it because it is something different, not the same old meat, potatoes, salads, grains...blah blah blah.  I adapted the recipe slightly from The Small Boston Kitchen and I am impressed with how well the balls actually stuck together.  This night began with going over to my friends' (Legrand and Corey) lovely house.  Welcoming me at the door was their adorable dog Phoebe and a dirty martini, amazing.  Since this was a new recipe I wanted to try I gave the "I hope this turns out good" disclaimer and we began our decent.  And one more disclaimer I went a little photo crazy with this one:)

Serves 4

1 jar marinara sauce
4 small french baguettes
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
3 cups chicken broth
6 button mushrooms, finely chopped
1/2 bag baby spinach, finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 eggs, one for wash
a couple generous pinches of crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil
Parchment paper

The Process
1.  Cook quinoa with chicken broth according to package and set aside to cool.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  Heat up oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and mushrooms, cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.

3.  Lower heat and add garlic, red peppers, and spinach.  Cook for about 1 minute until spinach is wilted.

4.  In large bowl combine quiona, veggies mixture, pine nuts, crushed red pepper, oregano, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and one egg.  Mix very well.

5.  Make egg wash with the last egg.  Beat egg with a little water.

6.  Take mixture and roll into meat ball size balls and place on cookie sheet with parchment paper.

7.  After all mixture is rolled brush the tops of each ball with the egg wash and put in oven.

8.  Bake about 15-20 minutes or until the balls get a light golden brown.  While these are cooking heat up marinara and cut baguettes and place provolone cheese slices on halves.

9.  When veggie balls are done take out and place on counter.  Turn oven on broil and broil the cheese baguettes until melted and remove from oven.

10.  Place veggie balls in sandwich and douse with marinara sauce and eat!

These were unbelievable good!  I could have eaten 20 of them.  We served them with a nice simple green salad and it was the perfect combination.

Monday, March 14, 2011


The is right you can read, a lambwich is a lamb sandwich.  Anyways I had to use up the rest of the huge lamb leg that I received from a friend and to eat it all before it went bad was quite a challenge.  It was very large and luckily pre-roasted so it was just a matter of carving and creating many different dishes with lamb meat all week long.  On the last day of lamb I created these lovely gourmet lambwiches for my lovely friend Alaina and I (check out her blog, she is an amazing artist).  This was Friday night and we decided to stay in due to a long and tiring week, Alaina also brought over some wonderful goodies from the bakery she works at including the awesome ciabatta bread we used for the sandwiches.  Now I do understand that sandwiches are easy to make but sometimes recipes for them are nice so you can spice up your sandwich world.  While eating we watched the social network finally....what a weird movie.  Ok, on to the sandwich:

Serves 2

The Ingredients4 slices ciabatta bread
3 tablespoons mayonaise
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 large zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick, long way for slabs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large tomato, chopped
4 oz lamb leg, shredded (cooked)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to salt

The Process
1.  In small container or bowl mix vinegar, oil, mustard, and garlic.  Add zucchini and let marinate at least 15 minutes.

2.  In mean time chop up tomatoes and shred lamb.  Turn on oven to 350 degrees.

3.  Put zucchini mix in roasting pan and roast about 7 minutes, or until mostly cooked.

4.  In the mean time take one two slices of ciabatta and put mayo on each then sprinkle each with cheese and toast until cheese is melted and golden brown.  With the other two slices, put mayo on them and put them in toaster as well.

5.  Also heat up lamb however you want to. 

6.  To assemble lambwich: take one slice of toasted ciabatta with cheese add several slices of roasted zucchini and garlic, 2oz lamb, top with tomatoes and salt and pepper, and then put toasted ciabatta with mayo on top. Done!

I would say that perhaps this is a fat kid recipe with the ciabatta, cheese, mayo, and fatty lamb but is was really good.  Also it would be nice with a bitter green salad.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Roasted Potatoes and Zucchini

That's right another roasted item.  It is nice to move off the stove top and into the oven sometimes, and when summer comes around out of the house and onto a grill! Spring fever is hitting me hard, I'm so ready for short skirts, grilled steaks, and cold sangria!  This recipe also follows my simple yet lovely theme I started last post.  I finally went to the store and stocked up on groceries which has led to pure happiness because I actually have food to cook and then eat!!!  Anyways I also had the leftovers the next day for lunch and I put about 1/4 cup toasted and salted pepita seeds over the top of it and to say the least I would DEFINITELY recommend it.  This meal got me through the end of a rather brain taxing assignment of answering 20 reference questions for my academic library reference and research class.  And by taxing I mean spending 2 1/2 hours researching one question and then giving up, I never did find the answer but I think now I have to take it on as a personal goal and find the damn answer!  On to the meal:

Serves 2

The Ingredients
15 small fingering potatoes, cut in thirds
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, sliced and halved
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup pepita seeds roasted and salted (optional)

The Process
1.  Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  In bowl add potatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, salt, pepper.  Mix well and put on cookie sheet save the juices.  Put in oven for 10 minutes.

3.  While potatoes are roasting put zucchini in leftover juices (oil, vinegar, garlic, spices) and stir well.

4.  After 10 minutes take potatoes out, stir them up, and add zucchini to sheet.

5.  Put back in oven for 5 minutes more, or until potatoes are golden brown, and zucchini is al dente.

6.  Optional: Garnish with pepita seeds.

Super good the next day too!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Roasted Broccolini

So this picture is definitely not my own and because I forgot to take a picture of such a lovely and simple side dish I am asking you to image my roasted broccolini looking like this but instead of pecans I used red onions.....so just squint and pretend, it works.  So this was part of a feast I made with my lovely friend Mike who I have known FOREVER, which is awesome but we don't get to see each other enough...anyways now when we do see each other we get down and to the point with eating (ie red meat, and some sort of green).  We don't even want or need carbohydrates involved, one because they get in the way, and two because we like to buy copious amounts of meat (this time london broil) so honestly carbohydrates become obsolete.  And might I add how creepy this little chubby baby-like hand looks that is grabbing at the broccolini?!  I will assure you there was none of that involved in my simple and happy roasting of broccolini.  Might I also add this is a recipe I use for many green veggies that I roast so please explore the possibilities.  By yours truly.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
1 bunch broccolini, trim off bottoms slightly
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard or dijon
2 1/2 tablespoons champagne vinegar, or red wine or apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 large red onion, roughly chopped

The Process
1.  Mix in small bowl mustard, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, garlic. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2.  In large bowl mix broccolini and onion, then add liquid mixture and toss until all vegetables are thoroughly coated.

3.  Put vegetables on flat cookie sheet, put in oven, roast about 10 minutes or until vegetables start to slightly wilt and brown.

EAT!  So the point to this post was to provide simplicity.  Everyone is always making these over zealous and complicated meals that do take a lot of "skill".... so I wanted to provide one of my easy, simple, yet wonderful tasting side dishes for a slightly fancy but easy dinner.

Werido photo:

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Pork Fried Rice

So Sunday night I went to my little bros first show with his new band and they were amazing, they are the wild ones and my brother plays the keyboard though he is piano trained.  It was at the venue the woods and here are future shows that I'm sure are great too (flier below).  Anyways I made this dish while trying to use up ingredients and to make my lunches for the work week.  So because I was using up ingredients I would consider this a pretty simple version of pork fried rice.  And its made by yours truly...not that fried rice is hard, but still.

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1 5-ounce lean pork chop, cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili oil
2 1/2 cups cooked brown jasmine rice
2 cups collard greens, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, crushed (jar)
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic chili paste
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

The Process
1.  In large skillet heat up olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and pork.  Stir and cook for about 2 minutes, then add collard greens and cook for 1 more minute.

2.  Then add rice and chili and sesame oil and turn heat up to medium high heat to help fry rice.

3.  Add eggs and ginger, fry for 2 minutes.

4.  Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, black pepper, and garlic chili paste, stir and keep frying.

5.  Cook for about 7 more minutes or until the eggs are cooked and rice is getting crispy and fried.

Can add more soy sauce or hot sauce in the end just depends on how salty and hot you want your fried rice to be.  A lot of the flavor comes from the sesame and chili oil so don't leave them out.  And if I were making a full on stir fry I would definitely add green onions, mushrooms, carrots, water chestnuts and probably fish sauce. Enjoy:)