Category Archives: Veg.

Creole in a bowl

That was the name of a Good Eats episode the other day on Food Network that inspired me to make red beans and rice.  An American, creole classic.  This dish is very satisfying.  The only omission for me on this recipe was the pickled pork.  I subbed 9 ounces of bacon instead.  I didn’t have the foresight or time to pickle pork.  This still turned out damn good.  I topped the concoction with pan fried andouille.  Screw that zataran’s box nonsense.

cimg0464

Advertisements

A Mighty Sprout

Brussels sprouts.  Before you click “back” on your browser in disgust, let me tell you that these little things are one of the best vegetables out there.  Seriously.  Most of you have had brussels sprouts long ago (most likely boiled till mushy) and decided that you definitely don’t like them.  I urge you to give them a second try.  This recipe utilizes all of 4 ingredients to make a wonderful sidedish or in my case a hearty, affordable dinner.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Get out a small, glass baking dish.
  2. Wash and quarter 1 pound of brussels srouts.  If they have long or woody stems, chop those off.
  3. Dice 4 cloves of garlic and 1 large shallot.
  4. Place garlic, sprouts, and shallot in the baking dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover with about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, and toss all ingredients together.  Place in the oven.
  5. While the brussels sprouts are baking, crisp up one half pound of diced bacon.
  6. The sprouts will be done in 25 minutes.  Toss dish together with the crisped bacon.  Serve with bread or as a side dish.

Mmm.  Don’t those look good.  They taste good too!  And they are good for you!  On an unrelated note, I plan on opening this blog up to friends for posting in order to have more content flowing regularly.  Now that I’m cooking only for myself, I often resort to quick and easy (read: un-blogworthy) meals.  Stay tuned for new posters…

cimg0444

White Bean Chicken Chili

Recently, I was challenged to a chili “throwdown” of sorts.  I, being the person that cannot turn down a culinary challenge, graciously accepted.  Then it dawned on me that I do have a good chili recipe, but I wouldn’t consider it competition worthy.  I then panicked.  What if I go down in flames???  My goal is to avoid defeat at all costs, so I decided to give an alternative to chili con carne a whirl in order to prepare for this chili throw down that is to come.  I went with a white bean chicken chili as an experiment.  I adapted a recipe by Paula Deen that came highly recommended.   Basically,

  1. Soak one pound of dried navy beans in water over night (after picking them over for stones)
  2. The next day when you are ready to eat, drain the beans and put them in a large pot for making soup.
  3. Cover them with 5 cups of chicken broth and bring to a boil.
  4. In the meantime, dice up 1 bell pepper, 3 jalapenos (no seeds), 2 small onions, 2 cloves of garlic, and 3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  5. Cook all of these veggies in a skillet with half a stick of butter until they sweat out some flavor, 5 minutes.
  6. Add the cooked veggies and the raw chicken to the boiling bean mixture.  Stir.
  7. Add 1 tbsp of kosher salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, 1 tbsp of cumin, 1tbsp of dried oregano, and a few generous dashes of red pepper flake to the pot.  Stir again.
  8. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer for 90 minutes.

I topped mine with a touch of shredded cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and a dash of cayenne pepper.  At first I was underwhelmed, but once the sour cream and cheese got mixed in and thickened everything, it all began to taste better with each spoonful.  I’ll definitely cook this again, but still on the fence as to whether this will be my competition chili.  More chili recipes to come I guess…

cimg0434

Chili

It’s been several weeks since I posted, and for that, I am greatly sorry.  I haven’t embarked on any culinary endeavors as of late.  I got my groove back per se, so this post is devoted to the best soup/stew of fall: chili.  To mark the start of autumn, I decided to whip up a huge batch of my trust worthy comfort food.  I use a recipe adapted from the one handed down to me from my mother.  Ingredients:

  1. 2 pounds ground beef (or turkey, or bison, or chicken, etc.)
  2. 2 large cans of tomato sauce
  3. 1 can of tomato paste
  4. 2 jalapenos – diced with seeds included
  5. 1 large onion – diced
  6. 2 cans of dark red kidney beans
  7. 1 small package of frozen corn
  8. chili seasoning (I mix 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 table spoon black pepper, and 1 table spoon garlic powder)

It’s a pretty straightforward dish.  Get out a huge pot (cast iron dutch oven), brown the beef for 5-7 minutes.  Stir in the onion and the jalapenos.  Cook until soft, another 5 to 7 minutes.  At this point I add in half of my seasonings.  I then add the cans of beans and the frozen corn (all rinsed of course under cold water), and I then stir to mix everything together.  Drop in the tomato paste and stir.  Then add 1.5 cans of the tomato sauce and bring the whole mixture up to a boil.  Depending on how liquidy the sauce it, you can let it simmer uncovered for about 30 minutes to reduce.  If it’s already to your thickness liking, just cover with the lid and simmer for 90 minutes to 2 hours.  I serve mine along side Margaret’s corn muffins, and I top it with sour cream, cheddar, and green onion.  This recipe makes about 8 servings.  This is best eaten while watching football or to warm the soul on a blustery fall evening.  Enjoy with beer.

Farmers Market Loot #2

10$ got me:

  1. 2 green peppers, 1 white pepper
  2. 3 pickling cucumbers
  3. a basket of some sort of cherry tomato variation
  4. a tiny raspberry tart

These ingredients will be consumed throughout the week.  Mmmm.

Farmers Market Loot (week of July 13)

Every Saturday, I typically go to the H ST Fresh Farm Market (*all produce is grown within about 100 miles of DC).  It’s one of the smaller of the Fresh Farm markets in the city, but the farmers have some dank produce, bread, and meat.  I’m going to make a habit of going every Saturday with a $10 bill and seeing what I can get.

This week, I spent 8$ on: fresh okra, 2 sweet onions, 3 cubanelle peppers, and one head of purple cabbage.

Look out for what I do with these things.  The okra is not pictured because I fried it and forgot to document the whole thing!  It’s ok though, they weren’t very photogenic (but delicious!).

Potatoes Au Gratin

I’ve never made this before, but I was struck with a gratin craving the other day, so I had to satisfy it.  It’s a rather simple dish.  I just thinly sliced some small organic baking potatoes, diced some onion, and chopped some garlic.  I layered the potatoes in a casserole dish and then sprinkled the onion and garlic on top.

The rest is a simple beschamel sauce.  Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot.  Once melted, add two tablespoons of flour and make a blonde roux (about 4-5 minutes of stirring).  Then, add two cups of whole milk and bring up to a boil while whisking.  Once the milk is bubbling, turn off the heat and add two cups of cheese.  I just used some leftover shredded cheese scraps from the freezer, so it was a mix of cheddar and mozzarella…at this point, I believe, a beschamel is now a mornay sauce.  Top the potatoes with the sauce, and place in a preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for one hour to 80 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and tender.  Season with salt, pepper, and sprinkle with parsley for fun.