Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cheesy Garlic Pork Chops with Brown Sugar Glaze

I know this sounds like an odd recipe and I often don't like cooking with sugar, but trust me this is super delicious!  I adapted this recipe and paired it with simple oven roasted broccoli tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  I haven't blogged in an entire week so where do I start?!  Oh yeah, last week I was pretty sick therefore I wasn't very active in the kitchen or online.  Luckily I started feeling better Friday and had a lovely girl date with my two best friends and we BBQ-ed and enjoyed many memories including our love for the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack.  Saturday consisted of gardening and preparing our large bed for seeds and starts.  I purchased sweet Walla Walla onion starts this year, I've never grown onions but it looks like fun.  Saturday night we went to my older brother's improv show at University of Portland and then had a relaxing night.  Sunday was one of our good friend's birthdays so we celebrated by eating tasty homemade lasagna and playing darts and boccie ball.  Sunday I also volunteered to help my boyfriend with a community work event he assisted with.  It was an Easter candy hunt for kids 1-12 yrs old, it was pretty adorable and it was a beautiful sunny day.  This week I have a lot going on at work and I started my accounting class so I am keeping it low key and staying home and cooking every night, plus now I have homework due on Sunday!  It's been so long since I've had homework, it definitely feels strange.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
4 — 5 oz boneless, thin pork chops
2 Tbsp garlic, pressed
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp paprika
½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Rub both sides of the pork chops with garlic and brown sugar. Place in square baking dish.

3.  Drizzle butter over top. Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper.

4.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until internal temperature is 155 degrees.

5.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for another five minutes. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beef Chuck Stew with Oyster Mushrooms

This past weekend was wonderful, on Friday I got to go to the opening of PNCA's new building where they served delicious food and drinks, and I hung out with some of my best lady friends at a semi new bar called Church.  Church has really delicious food, I got the falafel bowl and it was only $8!  Then on Sunday we went out mushroom hunting with our friends, we intended to get morels but it is still a little too early.  We did end up with some delicious oyster mushrooms (pictured below) and spent the day playing around in the forest.  In other news I just started reading North: The new Nordic cuisine of Iceland, it is a really interesting book that also talks a lot about the history of culture in Iceland.  I would recommend reading it if you are looking for a fun new food book.  Onto the recipe the beef chuck I used in the recipe came from my wonderful friend's family farm and the mushrooms we foraged ourselves!  Enjoy!

Serves 6

The Ingredients
3 lbs beef chuck roast
4 cups of beef stock
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups baby carrots
2 small potatoes, cubed
3 celery stalks, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of paprika
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 teaspoon each dried rosemary, basil, and oregano

The Process
1.  Place meat into crockpot. Add liquids, stir in spices, then all other ingredients expect for the oyster mushrooms.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  Then add oyster mushrooms and cook for 1 more hour.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Seared Steak with Roasted Cabbage Rounds and Spicy Lime Dressing

The end of my week is here again and much to my delight tonight I am going to The Old Gold with a friend.  This is a wonderful, relaxed neighborhood bar with tasty foods and an amazing selection of Whiskey.  My favorite foods there are their bahn mi and kale salad and they serve whiskey with pickle backs, yum!  And on Sunday (if the plans don't fall through) we are heading out mushroom hunting with our friends, specifically hunting morels which are my favorite.  I haven't ever been mushroom hunting because my lack of knowledge and not a ton of people in my life have this knowledge either.  I hope we come back with tons of them!!!  Onto the food.  I'm not going to beat around the bush, the star in this meal were the cabbage rounds all the way.  I love simple seared petite sirloins (recipe found here, follow step #3) but I must always have something exciting and different happening on my plate, and what better way to use up leftover cabbage from St. Patty's day but by roasting it!  I adapted this recipe because I don't have a gas grill I can use year round.  Enjoy.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 8oz petite sirloin
1 tablespoon butter
Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 head green cabbage
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

The Process
1.  Cook steak according to the directions linked above.

2.  In the mean time heat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut cabbage into steak rounds and leave the core in the cabbage (it holds the rounds together).  Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

3.  When oven is hot place the cabbage rounds on a greased sheet pan and place in oven.  Cook for 7 minutes.  Take out and flip the cabbage rounds and cook for 7 more minutes.

4.  While cabbage is cooking whiz the limes, 1/4 cup olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, cilantro, salt, cayenne and sugar in a small chopper or blender until the sauce is pale orange or green and the garlic is pulverized.

5.  Serve with spicy lime dressing drizzled over the cabbage rounds.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Corned Beef Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Creamy Guinness Sauce

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone, hope it was a festive holiday for all!  I love St. Patty's day it is a great reason to cook Irish food and drink green drinks or a dark Guinness.  I cook a festive meal every year for this day and usually I use more traditional recipes like boxty, colcannon, cabbage and corned beef, etc.  This year I went for something a little different and adapted this recipe.  We had a wonderful night with a couple of our friends and then played the game we are officially addicted to, Settlers of Catan.  This weekend is shaping up to be a fun and relaxing one, Saturday I hope to check out this free CSA Fair, it will have chef demos, food and drinks, etc.  Then it is officially the start of BBQ season since we will be attending our first one on Saturday night.  Onto to the food!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2-2 1/2 pound First Street corned beef brisket
Corn tortillas

Guinness dipping sauce:
1 cup Guinness (or other stout beer)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
1 1/2 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
4 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

The Process
For corned beef:
1.  Place corned beef, fatty side up, in a slow cooker and cover with water. Set on low and cook for 10 hours.

2.  Remove corned beef from water and let sit at about 10 minutes, until cool enough to handle. Scrape off fat and discard. Shred remaining meat.

For Guinness dipping sauce:
1.  Heat Guinness in a small saucepan over high heat. Let reduce to 1/3 cup.  Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar. Let cool.

2.  In a small bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk Guinness reduction into mixture until smooth.

For coleslaw:
1.  Mix together cabbage, red onion and jalapeno in a large bowl.

2.  In another bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.

3.  Pour over cabbage mixture and toss until combined.

To assemble:
1.  Warm tortillas. Spread a spoonful of Guinness dipping sauce down the middle, add shredded corned beef, then top with coleslaw.

2.  Serve with extra dipping sauce on the side.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Shallots and Spinach

What a weekend!  On Friday I went on a 6 1/2 mile hike called Heart of the Park with my friend Carrie in Forest Park, we were lucky that the rain held off the whole day otherwise it would have been super muddy. Eugene was amazing as usual, I got to eat tomato cheese soup at one of my favorite spots, The Glenwood.  On Saturday night my boyfriend's parents took us out to Beppe and Gianni's for a fancy birthday dinner, I got the Cappelli Di Vescovo: (bishop hats) Fresh handmade pasta stuffed with swiss chard, prosciutto, ricotta and parmesan cheese in a brown-butter sage sauce.  The food was super delicious and the atmosphere was friendly. On Sunday I hung out with a very good friend and her family, we made a delicious soup and talked away the rainy afternoon. (Below is a picture of her baby Oscar and I).  In other news I am pretty excited for St. Patrick's day, I love cooking traditional and non-traditional foods for this holiday.  We are having a couple friends over and I can't wait to share with you what I am making, until then Happy St. Patty's day!  I adapted this recipe and followed this recipe for the chicken cooking and it came out great!

Serves 2

The Ingredients
4 chicken thighs
1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 package (10 ounces) fresh spinach
1/4 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 475°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a 12" cast-iron or heavy nonstick skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Nestle chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook 2 minutes.

2.  Reduce heat to medium-high; continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging chicken thighs and rotating pan to evenly distribute heat, until fat renders and skin is golden brown, about 12 minutes.

3.  Transfer chicken to a oven safe dish and put in oven and cook 13 more minutes. Flip chicken; continue cooking until skin crisps and meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes longer.

4.  While chicken is cooking in oven use the same skillet, cook and stir shallots until tender. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook until wine is reduced by half. Add spinach and salt; cook and stir just until spinach is wilted. Stir in yogurt; serve with chicken.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chickpea Soup with Saffron, Yogurt, and Garlic

I'm so excited it is the end of the week (Thursday is my Friday), I have been so exhausted all week and just want to sleep in and eat foods.  In other news there is a new restaurant opening up in PDX, it is a sushi-style cheese bar called Chizu and it looks awesome.  It is opening next week and is very small so I'm sure it will be packed but it is something I must check out due to my passion for cheese. I also just signed up for an accounting class at PCC, it will be interesting being in school again since I haven't been in 4 years. It is sunny again and all I want is our rain back that we had yesterday which inspired me to make and adapt this delicious soup.  This is a lovely vegetarian Middle Eastern soup, enjoy!

Serves 4

The Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
Fine-grain sea salt
3 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 1/2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads (2 modest pinches)
3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular)
Sweet paprika
Small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

The Process
1.  In a medium-large pot over medium-high heat, combine the olive oil, onion, and a couple of big pinches of salt. Cook until the onions soften up a bit, a few minutes.

2.  Stir in the chickpeas, and then add the vegetable broth and garlic. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

3.  In a medium bowl, whisk the saffron and egg yolks, then whisk in the yogurt. Slowly add a big ladleful, at least 1 cup, of the hot broth to the yogurt mixture, stirring constantly. Very slowly whisk this mixture back into the pot of soup.

4.  Return the pot to medium heat and cook, stirring continuously for another 5 minutes or so, until the broth thickens to the consistency of heavy cream, never quite allowing broth to simmer. Ladle into individual bowls and serve sprinkled with a touch of paprika and plenty of chopped cilantro

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Steak and Eggs with Caramelized Onions

As a foodie I do lots of research looking into local events, restaurants, and stores and this week I came upon Blind-Tasting Bingo at OMSI.  It looks so amazing, chef Ryan Morgan from Bon Appetit will be cooking all the tasters and people have to guess what they are eating while blind-folded.  Unfortunately I can't go this time but I hope it is a reoccurring event.  I also recently listened to an episode of America's Test Kitchen and it was all about Iceland and their cuisine and I now have a hold on the book they talked about North: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland .  I can't wait for our trip to Iceland to try all of the traditional and new foods.  It finally started raining in PDX again, we had so much sunshine for a while that I needed my rain back.  Rain is perfect soup weather which has inspired my dinner plans for tonight.  Onto the recipe, who doesn't love breakfast for dinner?  Created by yours truly.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 eggs
2 6oz petite sirloin steaks
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced in rings
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
Steak sauce (optional)

The Process
1.  Salt and pepper steaks and set aside.

2.  Heat olive oil in a small skillet to medium heat, when hot add onions.  If onions start to brown right away turn the heat down.  These will cook for about 20 minutes.  At about 15 minutes add the balsamic vinegar.

3.  While onions are cooking heat up butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, when hot add steaks.  Cook on the first side for 5 minutes.  Then flip and cook 4 minutes (for a rare steak).  Take steaks off skillet and let rest.

4.  While onions and steaks are cooking and are almost done, heat olive oil another skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot add eggs and cook until desired done-ness, mine were over easy.

5.  Service with steak sauce drizzled over the top of the steak and eggs.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spicy Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce with Asparagus Caesar Salad

Last weekend it was so nice outside that we went to Sauvie's Island and hung out with friends and bar-b-qued.  Sunday we were going to get some gardening done but Spring cleaning our house was the major priority, while it was exhausting it feels amazing to have such a clean house!  Also it has been so nice in PDX that yesterday I walked out of the gym wearing a tank top, it was 72 degrees, unreal but I like it.  Tonight I am excited to go see my older brother do some improv at Kickstand Comedy, he is part of a duo that I have heard awesome things about and have yet to see.  In other news this weekend my boyfriend and I are headed to Eugene, OR to visit friends and family.  His parents also want to bring us out for dinner to celebrate his 33rd birthday (last week), can't wait to see where they take us :)  As always I love visiting Eugene, so many college memories.  Also a random fact, did you know that Caesar salad originated in Mexico?  The more you know!

The spicy meatballs recipe in creamy tomato sauce can be found here on one of my previous posts. But to make it spicy substitute 1 1/2 pounds of chicken for 1/2 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound hot Italian sausage.  In addition you don't need the extra cheese that goes on top of the original chicken Parmesan meatballs.  I adapted this recipe for the salad dressing.

Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 bunch of asparagus, ends snapped off
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used Nancy's lowfat)
1/2 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons anchovy paste
2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch of black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

The Process
1.  Make an ice bath to put asparagus in after you blanch them.

2.  Heat up frying pan over medium-high heat, when hot add asparagus.  Then add 1/2 cup water and cover for 1 minute.  This steams the asparagus slightly.  After a minute put the asparagus into the ice bath, let sit for 5 minutes.

3.  In the meantime mix all the other ingredients together in a bowl, mix thoroughly.

4.  Drain asparagus and roughly chop (into thirds).  Then add some of the dressing to the asparagus and mix, add to taste.  You will definitely have leftover dressing.  I then put the salad in the fridge and let it marinate while I cooked the meatballs.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Golden Chicken Thighs in Creamy Mushroom Sauce

I can't believe it has been so long since I've blogged!  My business all started with a last minute work trip to Dallas, TX for 6 days, yes during the ice/snow storm.  It was my first conference that I assisted my company with and while it was crazy it turned out to be lots of fun too.  I ate very well, ranging from potato chip crusted pork schnitzel at the Omni to super fresh ceviche at Meso Maya.  Dallas is an odd town, there didn't seem to be many people out in the city even when it was nice out, not even very many cars, so when we went out to explore Dallas on our last night we found that we were some of the only people at the bar.  After I got home from Dallas, TX my boyfriend and I took at trip to Ocean Park, WA with some friends for the weekend.  I went razor clamming for the first time and learned how to clean them properly (pictured below).  It was a beautiful weekend full of lots of seafood, sunshine, and Settlers of Catan.  Then last week was my boyfriend's birthday so we went out to Clyde Common to celebrate and take advantage of Portland Dining Month.  This was the menu:

First course:
Beet trio featuring beet soup with smoked horseradish crème fraîche; poached beet, olive oil cake, chèvre and mint; and fried beet with honey-jalapeño glaze

Second course:
Crispy soft-boiled egg, citrus vinaigrette, chorizo and greens

Third course:
Trout, rice, shrimp étouffée
Pork loin with mustard-braised onions and garlic spätzle
Crispy risotto cake with mushrooms and root vegetable ragout

The food was delicious and worth every dollar, I had the crispy risotto cake and my boyfriend got the pork loin which they changed to pork belly, we shared these and were very happy.  Onto the recipe, I adapted this recipe last Thursday and paired it with roasted broccoli.  Enjoy!

Serves 2

The Ingredients
4 chicken thighs
1/4 cup almond flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 large clove garlic, chopped
3/4 cups white wine
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoons dry)
1/4 cup Asiago cheese (or other hard cheese like Parmesean)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup half n half

The Process
1.  In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil on medium high heat.

2.  Dredge chicken in seasoned almond flour and cook in butter/olive oil mixture until golden brown. About 5 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

3.  Reduce heat to medium add mushrooms and garlic to pan. Saute for a few minutes until mushrooms are slightly limp.  Add white wine and thyme - scraping up all the bits in the bottom of the pan.

4.  Add chicken back to pan and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

5.  Remove chicken from pan and add cream, asiago, dijon and salt and pepper to taste.

6.  Add chicken back to pan to reheat and serve!