Well on Saturday, I made a really nice flank steak, kale, and thyme-roasted potatoes. I'll post those soon. But the meal didn't sit well (or should I say at ALL) with me, because I had a sour stomach from drinky-poos the night before. Shoulda known better.
Anyway, I popped these in the oven at 9:30 pm because that's when I started to feel somewhat human again.
What's that you say? KimDeC baked? Just me and Trader Joe! We're the best of friends. It's the first time I tried his Snickerdoodle dough - no preservatives - and HOLLA! They were fantastic!! I'll definitely buy them again, and they are perfect for the lazy mama who wants warm cookies and milk STAT!
BIG pinch of saffron - (this makes the rice yellow, and paella is known for it's saffron taste!)
1/4 cup EVOO
1/2 onion (grated)
1/2 red or green pepper, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tomato, grated (cut in 1/2 first, then grate and discard the skin)
1 1/2 cups medium grain rice
2 lemons, cut in wedges
First, make your clam broth.
In a saucepan, add 3 cups of salted water and bring to boil. Pull the tails and shells off the shrimp and add to the broth. Add Clam juice. Turn down to low and add the saffron. Simmer for 10 mins and remove from heat.
In the paella pan, over med heat, add the EVOO. This will get hot FAST, so be careful. Add the scallops and shrimp and cook for 2 mins. Remove from heat and onto a plate.
In the same paella pan, over medium heat, saute the onion, pepper, garlic, and tomato. Season with salt. Cook and stir often, until this darkens but does not burn. If it gets too thick and burns, add water. About 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, fire up the grill and cook the chorizo, then slice. Leave the grill on, because we finish the paella out there!
Add rice to the paella pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring into the sofrito. Turn up heat to med-high and add 3 cups of the broth. Shake the pan to even out the rice.
Off to the grill!
Carefully transfer the paella pan to your grill over medium heat.
The mixture should be bubbly. Keep turning the pan to ensure even cooking. The rice should get to the same level as the liquid, about 8 to 10 mins.
Arrange all the seafood and the chorizo in the pan.
Continue to simmer, and keep rotating the paella pan. When all the liquid is absorbed, test a grain of rice from he very top. If it still has a bite to it (al dente), add a bit more broth, and cook a few minutes more.
Turn the heat up a bit, and you should start to hear the cracking of the rice now. This is the crispy crust that is the best part of paella! It's called the socarrat, and some even consider it an aphrodisiac! Don't let it burn, but let it crisp up like this for about 2 more minutes, rotating.
Remove from the heat, and cover with foil to let rest for at least 15 minutes.
It's not uncommon to offer your guests to eat directly from the pan. Supply plenty of lemon wedges, so each guest can season their own sections.
I scored a really old Descoware cast iron enamel skillet/braiser on eBay, and I couldn't wait to use it. I love cooking in cast iron enamel, and a skillet was missing from my arsenal.
Only cast iron (to my knowledge) can give you these results for a simple egg. Puffy whites, crispy browned edges, and the yolk firm, yet not fully cooked. I had eggs like this in Costa Rica (they serve them with rice and black beans) and I've been waiting to recreate them. I'm pretty certain the Costa Rican locals use lard, but canola oil works just fine.
2 TB canola oil
Heat cast iron enamel skillet on med high heat. Add canola oil, and allow to get hot. Test by sprinkling cold water on the pan - if it sizzles, it's ready.
Add the eggs and cover. Check periodically. When the edges are brown and the white is crawling up to the yolk, they are done. Season with salt and pepper. Remove with a metal spatula.
One of my favorites in a while! This little number had so many things going on at once: the crunch of the tostada, the creaminess of the homemade guacamole, the warmed juicy shredded beef, and the cool sour cream, the soft chihuahua cheese, and the tender black beans, the salty olives, the sweet onions and the spicy salsa...OMG! What a party in my mouth. It begged for a Coronita!! And I did reward myself, TYVM.
The only thing that could've made this better was a little shredded lettuce. I didn't miss it, though...every bite left me wanting more!
Why does this post sound X-rated?
I followed Pam's recipe for the shredded beef, since I had a chuck roast in the freezer. Ohhhh what a keeper!! Thanks again, Pam!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the tortilla(s) lightly with canola oil and sprinkle with salt. Place on cookie sheet. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn, and bake for 3-6 minutes longer until the tortillas are crisp and light brown.
While torillas are baking, saute a couple slices of red onion rings in a tsp of EVOO.
Build the tostada any way you wish! No rules here, just a ton of flavor.
I had a ton of fresh strawberries to use up, and I can only put so many in my cereal. I also had a TJ's frozen puff pastry in the freezer (I see a theme, here) that needed to be used up! I had a pint of heavy cream, too! What a menage a trois this made!
1 sheet of puff pastry
1 egg, whisked in a small cup
1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
1-2 TB of confectioner's sugar
1 cup of fresh strawberries chopped
Thaw frozen puff pastry to room temperature (about 20 minutes).
Put a sheet of parchment onto a baking sheet, and place the pastry on top. Brush the egg wash over the entire pastry sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.
In a mixer, add the heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip til stiff, refrigerate while the pastry is cooling.
When pastry is cool and whipped creme is chilled, assemble!
I'll bet by now you're wondering what ever happened to my summer slimdown meals. Shush it.
I haven't made these in a couple years, but they were always requested at parties when our friends did a lot of entertaining. If you leave them in long enough, they are fall-off-the-bone yummy!
Very easy, very tasty, and a cheap meal!
2 lbs buffalo cut chicken wings (thawed or fresh)
1 bottle of teriyaki sauce
couple shakes of soy sauce
green onion for garnish
**These are best cooked in 2 cast iron skillets in the oven, if you have them, use them!**
Add the teriyaki and wings to a large ziploc bag and marinate for at least an hour.
Oven at 400F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray. Add the wings with the marinade to the pan, and shake soy sauce on top. (Not much, because the teriyaki is salty as it is).
Bake at 400 degrees for up to 1.5 hours, turning every 10-15 minutes. The marinade will be thin for the first 45 mins or so. When you see the sauce getting thick, you're just about done so keep a close eye on it and keep turning to avoid burning. Let cook to desired tenderness.
Garnish with green onion. Also great garnished with toasted sesame seeds!
I served mine with Trader Joe's Vegetable Fried Rice as well as their Chicken Potstickers. Oh! And their Gyoza dipping sauce for the potstickers. Can you tell I'm a TJ fan?
This is a variation of Mario Batali's Bolognese, which is pretty controversial regarding whether or not it is "authentic" Bolognese. Which, to me, is crap...because there is not just one way to cook any one recipe. This was excellent, and I'd make it again in a heartbeat.
Mirepoix (equal amounts of celery, onion, and carrot, amounting to about 2 cups total.)
5 garlic Dorot cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground by butcher or thinly sliced and pulsed in food processor until finely chopped (I used bacon)
2 lbs meatloaf mix (ground pork, veal, beef)
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine (pinot grigio used here)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook onions, celery, carrot, and garlic in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add bacon and meatloaf mix and cook over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, milk, wine, water, and thyme and gently simmer, covered, until sauce is thickened, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat. Sauce may be made 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before chilling, covered. Frozen, it keeps for 1 month.
I still had some rotisserie chicken left over from Kristin's delivery, and this turned out to be the perfect ingredient for the Mexican meal that would be...
I had no idea what I would make, but I knew it would involve shredded chicken and flour tortillas. I wanted to make enchiladas, but they called for corn tortillas. Hmm. What to do?
So, I hurried on over to Pam's site, For the Love of Cooking - because you know darn well she has something up her sleeve when it comes to anything Mexican.
I found her recipe for shredded beef chimichangas, and I tweaked it to my liking. Here's what I ended up doing:
2 cups shredded chicken and...
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1 garlic cube (thawed)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp dried oregano
Mix all above ingredients (including oil) and toss together with your chicken, lightly coating the meat with the mixture. Next:
4 flour tortillas
1/2 onion, thinly sliced and sauteed in EVOO
Shredded mexican cheese
In a skillet, saute the onion in a small amount of oil, til transluscent. Set aside. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Spray with cooking spray.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take 1 tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Then place a couple spoonfuls of chicken and onion to taste. Roll like a burrito, tucking in the sides. Place flap side down, on a baking sheet. Repeat for all 4 tortillas. Lightly coat the tops of the chimichangas with EVOO for browning. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 mins, then flip and bake another 10 minutes.
Thanks for the great idea, Pam!
I served these with homemade guacamole, salsa, tomatoes, and sour cream. Don't forget the margarita while you're prepping! Oh, and the Mexican music on Sirius radio!
I washed it down with a Coronita.
Calories for 1 chimichanga with salsa, guacamole & sour cream: 510 Calories for an 8 oz margarita: 170 Calories for a Coronita light: 58
I have chicken upon chicken in the fridge, and needed something different to do with it. I took a roasted breast, some frozen spinach, EVOO, butter, garlic, Parmesan cheese and half & half and made this in minutes. It was really creamy, with nice flavor.
3/4 cup chicken cut into chunks 1/2 cup frozen spinach (thawed and drained) 1 cup of half & half 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese 1 T butter 1 T EVOO 1 frozen cube of Dorot garlic (or 1 garlic clove, mashed) 1/2 box of fettucine
Cook pasta, set aside & coat with EVOO to prevent sticking.
Melt the butter and EVOO in a med high skillet. Add garlic, spinach and chicken. Add half & half and cook til bubbly. Add pasta and cheese and mix till thickened.
An impromptu lunch on a yucky, rainy day. This was the cure!
4 strips of leftover grilled flank steak
1 multigrain tortilla
handful of bell pepper strips
1 thick slice of red onion
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese - shredded
Coat the steak, onion, and peppers with EVOO and Adobo seasoning. Place on grill pan, or Forman Grill.
In the meantime, place cheese on 1/2 of the tortilla. When all ingredients are grilled, place over cheese. Fold other half of tortilla over itself, and place in Forman grill for 2 minutes, or until cheese melts. YUM!