Category Archives: recipe

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve (Closer)

OK… I’ve been focusing a leeeetle too much on the sweet stuff lately. Here’s my first recipe post in a little while; this one has both sweet and salty going on.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Chickpeas
from the Cupcake Project

Ingredients :

  • 1 can (14 oz) chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or your spice(s) of choice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

1) Place chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat. Bake at 450 F for 30 minutes. Note from the Cupcake Project: You didn’t miss anything here. You don’t oil or season them until after they are done. In fact, for an extra healthy treat, try them when they get out of the oven before even adding the oil. They are enjoyable all on their own.

Chickpeas Ready to Bake (closer)

Oven Roasted Chickpeas (even closer)

2) Transfer chickpeas to a bowl and mix thoroughly with the rest of the ingredients.
3) Enjoy hot, or bring to room temperature and store in an air-tight container.

Here’s what the roasted chickpeas look like after they’ve been tossed in oil and spices:

Roasted Chickpeas: Spiced and Ready to Serve

Instead of straight cinnamon, I generally go for fivespice to shake things up a little bit. I may try this recipe with a little pumpkin pie spice next time around. The spice combinations are really up to you on this one!

There are many things to love about this recipe.  The recipe is very simple and the finished chickpeas are easy to transport from place to place. While the chickpeas tend to lose their crunch the longer you keep the chickpeas, they are still really tasty days after you bake them. They are like beer or corn nuts, but I think a lot better tasting and possibly a little better for you. Once I pop one into my mouth, it’s tough to stop myself (sorry, Pringles 😉 ).

Need to figure out a way to keep ’em crispy/crunchy once they have been out of the oven a while, though.

Sweet Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Glazed Pork Tenderloin Cut Into Medallions #1

Ah, pork tenderloin… one of the leanest meats around; I always grab one (or two) when the cut’s on sale. Last week, we baked the tenderloins and basted them in a sweet glaze made of honey, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce.

Here is the recipe we used:

Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin
from http://allrecipes.com/

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 (3/4 pound) pork tenderloins
 Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    2. Mix the honey, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl.Dark Honey Glaze & the Tongs...
    3. Place the pork tenderloins in a roasting pan, and roast 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
      The below shot was taken after the high-heat period in the oven…Glazed Pork Tenderloins: After High Heat Session

    4. Remove pork from oven, and baste with the honey sauce. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F , and continue roasting pork 45 minutes, basting occasionally with the honey sauce, to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.

The below shots are sort of time-lapse shots from step 4. This shot was taken after the first baste….

Glazed Pork Tenderloins: After First Baste

…and after the second.

Glazed Pork Tenderloins: After Second Baste

These were after the third.

Finished Glazed Pork Tenderloins (Horizontal View)

It would be just about the right temperature…

Just the Right Temperature...

We made sure to let the tenderloins rest before cutting into them.

Glazed Pork Tenderloin Cut Into Medallions #2

The batch also turned out quite tender, though I wonder what would happen if I had brined the tenderloins first. The glaze only surrounded the outside of the pork, so unless you soaked the medallions in the leftover glaze, you wouldn’t have too sweet of a medallion. The recipe made for quite a few days’ worth of lunches and dinners.

Pork Tenderloin Medallions and Spinach

Waiter, There are Fungi in My Soup!

This recipe from Eating Well is a hearty, earthy mushroom soup — great for Fall and Winter. Yep… I know it’s now summer, but I like my ‘shrooms any time of year!

I see one of the Usual Suspects vehemently disagreeing with me in 3… 2… 1…

Anyhoo, recipe below the stove shot:

Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup (In Dutch Oven)
Yep… I’m making a mess already…

Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup
From Eating Well

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, thinly sliced (the fresh-ish ones found already sliced in the store are fine… Yep… those cartons)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons paprika, preferably Hungarian
  • 2 tablespoons dried dill
  • 4 cups mushroom broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 cups low-fat milk (best if you go for cow’s milk here)
  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

    1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid evaporates, 10 to 15 minutes.
    2. Reduce heat to medium and cook, making sure to stir frequently, until the mushrooms are very soft (about 3 minutes more). Add flour, paprika and dill and cook, stirring, for 15 seconds. Add broth, milk and potatoes, then cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and salt.

Can be covered and refrigerated for up to two days; reheat over low flame (It seemed to last fine for a little longer length of time in our fridge).

Here’s a shot of the finished soup closer up. You might find some graininess/white flecks in the soup pictured below, as I tried to use soy milk in this batch.

Creamy Hungarian Mushroom Soup (Closer)

I will definitely make this recipe again, but later in the year.  Next time, I’ll go for low-fat cow’s milk, and have Dan drink the rest. I have some lactose intolerance, but it is nothing Lactaid tablets can’t handle. Also, I couldn’t find Hungarian paprika at the Giant Dan and I usually frequent; we went with smoked paprika instead. According to Cooking Well, the Hungarian paprika gave a fuller, richer flavor.  The smoked paprika I used gave a more smoky character to the soup (naturally).

Eat Your Veggies: She’s Choppin’ Broccoli (and Cauliflower)

On Wednesday evening, I made a very simple veggie recipe found at Eating Well. The veggies will be taken to a friend’s house for a potluck dinner this evening.

Roasted Florets from Eating Well

  • 8 cups bite-size cauliflower florets, or broccoli florets (about 1 head), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges, (optional)

I chopped the broccoli and cauliflower into smaller pieces and placed then in a bowl. I tossed them in olive oil and garlic salt, then placed them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil like so:

Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets: Ready to Bake

Here are the pre-baked florets (and some stem pieces) a little bit closer…

Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets (closer)

I baked them in the oven for 20-30 minutes, making sure to turn the veggies about halfway through baking. The cauliflower ultimately had tinges of brown, and the broccoli: a darker green.

Pan of Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets

I moved them from the cookie sheet to another pan so they can be carried to our destination this evening. Here are the finished florets and stems (a little bit closer):

Roasted Cauliflower and Broccoli Florets (closer)

Hoping my fellow dinner guests enjoy them as much as I liked sampling them; I will get the verdict tonight once they’re heated, served, and eaten.

And for dessert…Some Dana Carvey audition deliciousness.

Eat Your Veggies: Simple Sautéed Spinach

Often I enjoy the simple things
“Often I enjoy the simple things” by Flickr user niquimerret. Used under CC license: BY-NC-SA

Yep… another spinach post. What can I say? I really like the stuff!

A quick and easy recipe this go around.  I don’t really measure what I put in here, but this recipe from Eating Well comes pretty close (…well… if you omit the red pepper).

Simple Sautéed Spinach
From: Eating Well Magazine

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 20 ounces fresh spinach, (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Preparation

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and toss to coat. Cover and cook until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add lemon juice, salt and crushed red pepper. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Note: Baby spinach is immature or young spinach—it’s harvested earlier than large-leaved mature spinach. We like the sturdy texture of mature spinach in cooked dishes and serve tender, mild-flavored baby spinach raw or lightly wilted. Baby and mature spinach can be used interchangeably in these recipes (yields may vary slightly); be sure to remove the tough stems from mature spinach before using.

I prefer to put the garlic through the press before browning it; it saves me a little time. Here’s the garlic cooking in a little olive oil.

Garlic... Cooking in Olive Oil

I can’t leave them in for very long, as the garlic cooks quickly. I’ll then add the spinach and toss everything together. About a minute later,  lemon juice and a little kosher salt are added to the mix.

Sautéed Spinach w/Garlic (in pan)

This batch used frozen cut spinach (I usually keep a bag or 2 on hand). Fresh spinach works just as well (though the finished product will naturally look a little different).

Here’s the finished product close-up…with little flecks of garlic within…

Sautéed Spinach w/Garlic (closeup)

Bistek…Bisteeeeeeek!

Bistek Tagalog is just simply… Filipino-style beef steak.  Like many other Filipino dishes, there are as many ways of making bistek as there are people making bistek (like my mom’s version pictured below), but it’s generally a simple dish:  beef strips slowly cooked in soy sauce and calamansi juice (or lemon juice if you don’t have access to calamansi).

Mom tends to make it with red bell peppers as well as the standard ingredients.

Mom's Bistek

Mom’s bistek…

I opted for Burnt Lumpia’s version when I made bistek the last time (for a iSchool student potluck back in January). Recipe and shots behind the jump (as usual…)

Read the rest of this entry

Beyond the (Beer) Bottle…

Long Trail Blackbeary Wheat

While many of us are content with downing a cold one (or not-so-cold in my case) with friends, beer as an ingredient is not crazy talk. When one thinks of cooking with beer beer-can chicken, quick bread, and many things battered come to mind for most. All of them are tasty, but once one leaves the American-style lager road, a new range of possibilities open up. Because beers are as different as night and day depending on how the beer is brewed, it’s a versatile ingredient.

NPR’s Kevin Weeks describes the reasons why well in this feature saying: “Beer brings three things to food. The hops add bitterness, which is offset with the sweetness of the malted grain and complemented by the flavor of the yeast. Dark beers also provide a distinct roasted flavor.”

Much as I sometimes cringe about not drinking the Guinness I bought (which makes for tasty cake, I might add), Kechara reminds me: “Unlike with wine, it’s best to cook with beer you want to drink.” She has a point. Some of these recipes won’t work with Bud or Natty Boh (those two aren’t really up my alley unless I’ve already had a few). Below the jump is a recipe for sherbet and one for an entree for the grill.

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How to Train Your Cornbread*

Ah… Cornbread…

Depending on where you come from it can be a completely different being. Where I grew up, cornbread meant a slightly crispy, unsweetened creation… sometimes a little bit salty even. Pieces were often wedge-shaped as the cornbread was made either in a skillet or a round pan.

Don’t forget that it’s also often cooked with bacon grease… mmmm… bacon.

A prime example of southern-style cornbread is pictured below, from Charleston, SC’s Hominy Grill. (Yes…you’ll see this slice later…):

Hominy Grill's Cornbread...

…and here’s its northern cousin… Usually with a higher ratio of flour to cornmeal, more sugar than its Southern counterpart, and is cut in a square/rectangle . One from Hard Times Cafe is pictured below:

Cornbread @ Hard Times

Sometimes there are variations on the two themes. For example, jalapeno peppers or cheese is sometimes added to the more savory cornbreads. Sometime maple syrup is added to the more sweet ones.

There are definitely partisans of their regional style of cornbread. I’m good for both depending on where I am and whether or not I’m in the mood for sweet or savory. I end up making/having the below recipe more often than not, though. Yep…my sweet tooth betrays me (nothing wrong with that, IMHO).

Recipe and shots behind the jump…

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From the Photo Archive: Bird is the Word

Herb-Roasted Chicken

The things I love about Mark Bittman’s simple roast chicken recipes are that they are relatively quick and easy, and they produce a nicely browned and juicy roasted chicken. While this batch was made with thyme, you can make these birds in a number of different ways (as illustrated in his recipe updated for How to Cook Everything’s 10th anniversary edition). I prefer to use the older recipe below since I do not own a cast iron skillet and I don’t want to test the lone skillet I have in the oven.

Simple Roast Chicken
from: How to Cook Everything (1998)

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole (3‐ to 4‐pound) chicken, trimmed of excess fat, then rinsed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, or sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs for garnish

Instuctions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 500ºF.
  2. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Begin roasting. Mix together the olive oil, herb, salt, and pepper.
  3. After the chicken has roasted for about 20 minute, spoon some of the olive oil mixture over it; baste every few minutes. When the bird begins to brown, turn the heat down to 325ºF, baste again, and roast until an instant‐read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 160º to 165ºF. Total roasting time will be under an hour.
  4. Before removing the chicken from the pan, tip the pan to let the juices from the bird’s cavity flow into the pan (if they are red, cook another 5 minutes). Remove the bird to a platter and let it rest for about 5 minutes. While it is resting, pour the pan juices into a clear measuring cup, and pour or spoon off as much of the fat as you can. Reheat the juice, carve the bird, garnish, and serve with the pan juices.

And so we get to the end…  A close look at the drumstick and thigh:

Herb-Roasted Chicken: Drum and Thigh

…nicely browned and ready to nom after a good rest…

Suman* or Hash Browns?

Like most living in the DC area, I was home again yesterday weathering the area’s second blizzard in a week. I was also still hit by the cooking bug, despite having lots of leftovers and fewer ingredients on hand. What we did have were a couple of russets and some onion that needed to be used up….and access to our complex’s convenience store.

Breakfast for lunch it was… Turkey bacon from the downstairs convenience store and hash browns. I used Sara Moulton’s recipe as a roadmap (recipe below the shot)…

Turkey Bacon and Hash Browns...

Hash Browns Recipe
From Food Network’s Cooking Live

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large baking potato, baked, peeled, and diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

In a heavy medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until softened and caramelized. Remove onions from skillet. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and heat. Add diced potatoes in an even layer in the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom, 6 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking. Add onions back to skillet, press into a pancake. Season with salt and pepper.

Step by step pictures after the jump. Read the rest of this entry