Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Carrot and Feta Salad

This is the first recipe I have actually been able to make this week, things have been chaotic with me being out of town last weekend and the holiday time approaching.  I have found so many awesome recipes for Thanksgiving but once again I was shot down and I am not allowed to cook anything.  I am given "assignments" which entails, "we are eating this, now you make it"...and honestly I don't respond well to demands of that sort.  Being in charge of a dish in my book means you have the full right to be creative and make what you want, but apparently that isn't how it goes until "the dinner is under my own roof."  So once again this year I have refused an assignment and will force an appetizer of my own choice. 

Serves 3

The Ingredients
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup feta, crumbled

The Process
1.  In medium sauce pan add water, carrots, honey, and mustard.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer (high simmer) for about 20 minutes.

2.  In the mean time toast the walnuts and crumble the feta.

3.  Take carrots out of pan with a slotted spoon, and put in a salad bowl.  Then spoon several spoonfuls of leftover simmering liquid over the carrots.  Then add cheese and nuts and mix well and serve warm.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shanghai Chicken

I made this recipe on one of the recent stormy nights here in Portland, OR because I wanted something that was tasty, healthy, and easy.  Speaking of Portland, OR everyone has this idea that Portland pretty much breeds hipsters...and yes I will admit there are a lot of them here but take a look at this awesome article from NPR about what a hipster is and where the MAJORITY of them live, Portland isn't mentioned once! Ha!  The article is called The Hipsterfication of America.  Currently I am sitting up on the hill at my job in the Oregon Health & Science University Library hoping for snow, being really tired because I still have 2 more hours to work on a 11 hour work day, and really wanting to just meet up with my friend for a nice warm hot toddy.  Today was a good day unlike several recent days, most of my day consisted of writing metadata for photos in the Digital Resource Library collection here at OHSU, and while I was writing this metadata I was listening to Drake's new album...again...and again...and well perhaps you should listen to it.  Ok now eat some tasty ass chicken.

Serves 3 Adapted from JoCooks

The Ingredients
2 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless sliced into strips (like chicken strips)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon dill, dry
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
Spray olive oil

The Process
1. In a medium bowl add 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mustard, flour, cornstarch, dill, garlic, eggs, and a little salt and pepper and beat to mix well.

2.  In a small bowl add sesame seeds.  Then heat stove up to medium heat and use a medium skillet and spray with oil.

3.  Then take chicken strips and first dip in egg batter, then in sesame seeds, do this with all the chicken.

4.  Put chicken in pan and cook until cooked through and slightly golden brown, about 4 minutes each side depending on how big you made the strips of chicken.

5.  While these are cooking you are going to make the dipping sauce, in a small bowl mix together the left over 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon mustard, and 1/3 cup sweet chili sauce.  Mix well and serve with Shanghai Chicken!

Egg Vinaigrette and Asparagus

As another attempt to make something different, healthy, and full of protein I decided to adapt this recipe from Seven Spoons.  It is so filling and amazing you can eat it as a main dish, but I ate it with a light little piece of fish.  I also had leftovers the next day and the dressing for the salad tastes even better after sitting for 10 hours.  While I ate this dish with dinner it could also be an amazing brunch, oooOOOoo the options:)  As for the Portland life, it has been extremely rainy (of course) and all the beautiful colorful leaves are now all over the street causing flooded roads and mayhem, which is pretty entertaining to me.  It has also been ridiculously foggy and dark lately, I feel like every morning and every evening I am in the movie Twilight, because where I live which is up on a hill and there are tons of trees and crazy animals...well just deer but still.  Also on my morning commute to work today while crossing the Steel Bridge oh the Occupiers were at their best again, getting ready to Occupy the bridge and shut it down...and the S.W.A.T. team was ready and waiting...  All I have to say is power to the people!  Oh also on a very random and different note y'all should listen to Drake's new album Take Care, it's dope.  Here is the recipe:

Serves 4 (large portions)

The Ingredients
1 pound asparagus, cooked however you prefer (I steamed mine)
2 crowns broccoli, cooked however you prefer
4 green onions, white and light green parts separated and finely sliced
4 eggs, hard boiled and peeled
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 - 2/3 cup olive oil
20 capers, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 cup italian parsley, chopped
1 cloves garlic, pressed
Salt and Pepper

The Process
1.  In a small bowl, pinch together 1/4 teaspoon salt with the white part of the sliced green onions. Once the green onions begins to release some juice, stir in the red wine vinegar and set aside.

2.  Separate the egg yolks from the hard boiled eggs. Place one egg yolk in a medium bowl. Chop the other egg yolk and egg whites separately, and keep both aside for later.

3.  Mix the Dijon mustard into whole egg yolk until smooth. Using the back of a fork, beat in the olive oil in a thin, steady stream. Once emulsified, stir in the vinegar and white green onions.

4.  Add the reserved egg whites to the sauce, along with the capers, the chili flakes, garlic, and most of the parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

5.  To serve, arrange the cooked asparagus and broccoli on a plate. Spoon over the sauce, then garnish with the chopped egg yolk, reserved parsley and green onion tops.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Spinach and Apple Chicken

Yup you're right, I have been doing a lot of cooking...and enjoying every second of it.  This is what happens when you are saving money to be able to up and leave when that job calls and wants you!  So if you like reading about cooking and my meals you are in luck, and if you don't like me or my meals...well you can cry about it.  This recipe is a particularly healthy recipe with simple and delicious Fall produce.  What are you favorite kind of apples?  I have several including: Honey crisp, Fuji, and Galas.  Apple season is great because I love eating fresh apples, baked apple goods are awesome too but we all know I hate with this in mind I decided to create a savory apple dish based on a recipe from Health.  While it is a easy and pretty straight forward recipe I would not have thought to put apple juice in the dish, but it really tied everything together.  So on another note as part of my writing process for my blog posts I obsessively scrap the internet for any sort of brain stimulating piece of information whether it be text, photo, art, etc.  This is not only due to my A.D.D (yes diagnosed, just like 2/3's of the world) but it helps me (hopefully) not write really boring blog posts....(which I think I am currently on the edge on to the recipe!)

Serves 3

The Ingredients
3, 5oz chicken breasts (skinless and boneless)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup apple juice (I used organic cause it has less sugar)
1 large Honey crisp apple, cored and sliced
1 normal size bag of baby spinach

The Process
1.  Heat large skillet on stove over medium high heat, add oil.

2.  In mean time lightly salt and pepper the chicken breasts.  When oil is hot add the chicken breasts to the pan, cover and cook for 5 minutes each side, or until the chicken breasts are well browned.

3.  Then remove chicken (and juices from pan) and put on a plate and keep warm.

4.  Return the pan to the stove and add garlic, salt, pepper, mustard, apple, and apple juice.  Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

5.  Then return chicken and juices back to the pan and add the spinach.  Cook covered for about 2 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

While there are several little things that I did change in this recipe the nutritional facts should be pretty darn similar to the original recipe, so here they are:

Calories: 202; Fat: 5g; Sat. Fat: 1g; Protein: 27g; Fiber: 2g

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pho Bo

Well...o.k. this is once again a slight cheater recipe, but it is more real than the Faux Chicken Pho I previously posted.  The reason why this is a cheater recipe is because the broth is made from this amazing boullion base I found at Fubonn last weekend, normally making the broth can take around 5 hours so I haven't tried to make Pho from scratch...yet.  Anyways I still technically assembled the Pho bowls and created a fantastic meal.  If you don't know what Pho is first of all you are missing out and second click the link.  Pho is also a very lean and healthy meal full of protein.  In other food related news check this NPRHealth story out, it is about bringing cooking back into the classroom, a step in a great direction for American education.  On a sadder note please read this if you love seafood, it is disturbing how much the U.S. inspection codes are lacking in comparison to other countries.  As for  news in my life, same old job hunt...but there maybe a wonderful and exciting development which I will divulge when it is a more solid plan ;)  Until then EAT PHO BO!

 Serves 5

The Ingredients
2 1/2 cups petite sirloin, sliced extremely thin
1 1/2 tablespoons pho beef flavor paste (similar to the link)
4 1/2 cups water
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup fresh basil, de-stemmed
1 lime, cut in half and then with one of the halves cut into quarters for serving
1 cup fresh cilantro, de-stemmed
1 package rice noodles, cooked (follow directions on package)
Olive Oil

The Process
1.  In large pot add a little olive oil and stove to medium heat.  When hot add garlic and yellow onion.  Cook for about 2 minutes.

2.  Then add water, pho beef flavor paste, mushrooms, ginger, and squeeze half of the lime into soup and stir well and bring to a boil.

3.  Then turn stove down to a rolling simmer for about 10 minutes.  This is the point that I made the rice noodles and set them aside.  I also prepared all of the fresh ingredients and put them on a plate to serve on the side of the soup.

4.  Then add petite sirloin to soup and cook for 30 seconds and remove soup from heat.

5.  To serve: in a large bowls put noodles, then pour pho soup into bowl, then add as much bean sprouts, cilantro, basil, green onions, and lime as you want to your pho bo!

I would also recommend as flavors to add if you want: Sriacha sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili oil, and plum sauce.  Eat up!

The finished product to the left, and a plethora of condiments directly above.

Trip to Fubonn

There are recipes that will follow this post as a result of my trip to Fubonn with my friend Elisa.  Fubonn is a very large Asian supermarket, and I love it.  I hadn't ever been so this was my first experience and for some reason we thought it was a great idea to go on a Saturday...mmmmm not so much, crowds of people tend to make me feel a little crazy, hence the photos to come.  This store has an amazing variety of foods and kitchenware, and I finally bought one of those bamboo layered steamers so that I can make hum bao!  Our original mission for the day was to go to Fubonn and get the ingredients to make hum bao, but once we started to read the recipe we realized this process was close to 6 hours because the dough has to we decided to make hum bao on a different occasion and to just go to Fubonn and explore.  Elisa loves to try all the crazy weird snacks at these stores and often times will buy several odd things for us to try, our results of good vs. bad will follow.  As for other things in the store I found a wonderful bouillon base for pho, which is awesome because making pho from scratch is a very long process, or at least the broth is.  Below are some other interesting things found in the store. P.s. the color tag reflects the amazing time we had.

                                                                Escaped Snail!




Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Beef Carpaccio

Fancy shmancy times here in Portland, Oregon...Or well I try my hardest to be fancy shmancy.  And who better than my best friend Elisa to eat fancy raw beef!  Friday night hangout after a very long week = cooking, sangria, delirium, and Bridesmaids...a hilarious movie.  In addition to the amazing raw beef Elisa made fried polenta cakes with spice and cheesy goodness.  This recipe came together because while I was willing to put in the MAJOR effort and really cook, we both finally agreed we were hungry as shit and just needed some protein, so we ate raw beef.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2/3 pound organic top sirloin beef, thinly sliced (ask the butcher to do it and have the butcher also take out the gristle)

1 bunch watercress, rinsed

1/4 cup delicately shaved (with veggie peeler) Parmesan cheese (or any hard cheese)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons olive oil (extra fancy)

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (fancy pants as well)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

5 tablespoons capers, chopped

The Process
1.  In small jar put olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard; shake/mix well.

2.  Take rinsed and de-stemmed watercress and dress lightly with mustard/balsamic dressing.

3.  Next assemble beef carpaccio rolls: at the end of a piece of beef layer watercress, a few chopped capers, 2-3 slices of cheese, and then roll up the beef carpaccio.  Do this with the rest of the ingredients.

Please note that this is most safe/and best when eaten right away; but you can eat it until noon the next day...well that was that last point in time that I ate the raw beef.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tomato Egg Drop Soup

Sounds different, I know but that is the exact thing that attracted me to this recipe.  Not only did I find and adapt it from Serious Eats but I love Chinese soups especially during soup and cold season!  This is a nice and healthy recipe after my last cheesy/pumpkiny fat kid recipe.  With much of my near future undetermined and ideas of what I need and what I want in terms of a job boggling my brain, I made this soup to bring some ease to my mind.  In other things that do not ease my mind, the world population... I mean seriously all I have seen lately is the celebration of what 7 billion? and the celebration of all the babies being born?  India's population alone is increasing so quickly that I can't even keep up!  Not that I am against people having children, in fact I want a couple little troublemakers of my own, but WTF this is not something to celebrate when our world can't even take care of the humans that are already alive.  I highly reccomend you watch this video that NPR put together that helps you visualize the immense increase, and then tell me how scared or disturbed you are.  Let this soup sooth you and just think about all the good foods in the world, not babies.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3/4 pound rip tomatoes, cored and chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 (1/2 pound) pork loin chop, chopped into 1in. cubes
2 cups vegetable broth
3 1/2 cups water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
Black pepper

The Process
1.  In large pot heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  When hot add onion and stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.

2.  Then add tomatoes, garlic, and salt, stir well and cover and cook for about 5 minutes, the tomatoes will break down.  Make sure you turn the heat down if the tomatoes start stick to the pan, and make sure to stir occasionally.

3.  Next removed the cover and add the pork, cover and cook for 3 minutes.

4.  Then add fish sauce and stir well.  Next add the broth and water turn to high heat and bring pot to boil.

5.  When it reaches a boil turn down and simmer with no cover for 15 minutes.

6.  Remove from heat and stir in eggs in a wide slow circle.  Serve with fresh cilantro, and optional sriacha sauce.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese

oh my god! This recipe is absolute insanity in flavor!  It is one of THE BEST macaroni & cheeses I have EVER tasted, so much so that yes, today marks my third day in a row of eating it willingly and lovingly.  I made this for Halloween dinner because I wanted to be festive without going out, I couldn't go out due to the fact that I now work at 7:30am on Mondays and Tuesdays, and to say the least I am NOT a morning person.  Plus I was fine with staying in because I had enough Halloween parties during this last weekend to keep me covered.  I attended these parties as "hot chick with steve buscemi eyes"...if you haven't seen this internet trend you need to look now.  And here is my lovely picture being this exact thing: ------------------------------------------------->
Halloween night I also watched the scary movie Quarantine, if you have not seen this movie and you like scary movies about viruses you need to watch it.  As for the recipe I adapted it from the blog Blissfully Delicious and by adapted I did quite a few things different especially in the cooking process.  As for the rest of life I am still trying to balance out my options and I am still feverishly applying for Librarian jobs, cause I am so ready to start my wonderful career!

Serves 5

The Ingredients
1/2 pound elbow macaroni noodles, cooked al dente
4 tablespoons salted butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons Tabasco sauce
1 cup cooked pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces evaporated milk
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
2 ounces medium cheddar cheese, grated
Italian bread crumbs
Parmesan cheese, granulated
Spray oil

The Process
1.  Once noodles are cooked al dente and drained return them to the large pot (keep off heat) and melt in the butter and toss well.

2.  In the mean time in a small bowl whisk together eggs, evaporated milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and dry mustard.  Then pour and stir into noodles.

3.  Turn oven onto broil.

4.  Return large pot of noodle mixture to stove and heat over low heat stir in extra sharp cheddar and medium cheddar cheese.  Stir for about 3 minutes or until the macaroni and cheese mixture is smooth and creamy.

5.  Then add pumpkin and mix thoroughly.  Next spray a 9 x 9 glass baking dish with spray oil.  Pour pumpkin mac & cheese mixture into baking dish and smooth out the top.

6.  Then generously sprinkle bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top and put in preheated oven until slight brown on top, about 3 minutes but make sure to watch it as to not burn it.  When it is done take it out of the oven and let set for about 3 more minutes so that it can thicken and become even creamier!