Saturday, January 30, 2010

Chicken and Rice

Chicken & Rice

I had the idea of making slow simmered chicken served with rice pilaf, I really didn't have a plan about what was going in it, I just used ingredients that I have on hand. I started by cutting up the whole chicken into eight pieces and seasoning it with salt and pepper, next I browned it in a hot pan with a touch of olive oil. Next sliced onions and garlic go in for a few minutes to sweat, I then added a touch of smoked paprika, saffron, cooked chick peas, pitted green olives and enough water to cover chicken. This was brought to a simmer and cooked covered for about a hour, a couple of cups of the cooking liquid was removed and used to cook rice. Fresh chopped parsley goes into the finished chicken and it is served along side the cooked rice. It turned out great for a made up recipe.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Pear & Almond Strudel

I am attending a big crab feed at my daughters high school tonight, I have volunteered to help out by making a strudel for dessert. For the filling I chose to use bosc pears to be a little different from the normal use of apples, I added raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and toasted almonds. The filling is placed in a roll of puff pastry and scored for looks and to release steam from the filling, also the use of egg wash on the puff pastry forms a golden color when baked. With the strudel done its now time to go eat local dungeness crab!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Easy Dinner at Home or To go

A really fun idea for feeding kids with out all the mess is to make a simple stir fry using lots of vegetables and either steamed rice or noodles, adding meat like chicken or pork is a option as well. These quick and healthy meals go into little to-go boxes served with a pair of chop sticks, the kids love it and think its a cool way to eat. Leftovers go right into the fridge or the boxes can even be packed for school lunch or after school sports. The meal is over and you have only one or two pans to clean. The boxes can be found at Asian markets or warehouse restaurant food & supply stores.

Yellow Beet, Orange and Apple Salad

With all of the rain we have been getting this week a bright and colorful salad is in order. Very simple with only a few ingredients and the time it takes to cook the small beets.

1 Fuju apple, washed and sliced lengthwise
3 small beets, simmered unpeeled till tender
1 orange, zest and segments removed
1 dash extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon good white vinegar
1 pinch Parsley, rough chopped
Pinch of kosher salt/fresh cracked pepper

1. Start by cooking the beets in simmering water, about 15-20 minutes.
2. Prepare the rest of the ingredients while the beets cook.
3. Peel and slice the beets, allow to cool before adding to the salad.
4. Toss all ingredients together and check for additional seasoning
Yield = 2

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Soy Glazed Pork Belly with Miso Risotto

I had a piece of long simmered pork belly, cooked till falling apart tender. I had the idea of cooking thick slices of this pork belly till crisp, then coated with a rich glaze of soy sauce. In keeping with the use of Asian flavors I made a simple risotto using miso paste as the principal flavoring. It turned out good and I will make it again with the addition of maybe stir fried bok choy.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wine Library TV, really cool wine video blog

In the world of food, wine is standing right up there with it, enhancing and adding to its pleasure. Wine is ancient and its mystic is just as old, most people are intimidated by wine when they shouldn't be, the best advice with wine is "If you like it, then its good". Enter Gary Vaynerchuk, who is a unconventional New York wine expert who created "Wine Library TV" which is a daily webcast of all things wine, his blue collar approach breaks down the barriers keeping people from enjoying wine, very entertaining and you will learn a thing or two.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Wilted Mustard Greens

Braised or wilted greens are a nice side dish to serve with a variety of cold weather foods and also very healthy to eat, high in fiber and Vitamins A and K . The Mustard plants scientific name is Brassica Juncea and is often found in African, Indian and Chinese cooking. In the United states its a common ingredient in Southern Soul Food cooking. Slowly cooked for a long periods of time and flavored with smoked ham hocks. I chose to simply saute the washed leaves in extra virgin olive oil with a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper.