Wednesday, January 31, 2018

miso braised pork shoulder

the sauce is really good, tastes the same as Japanese gyudon (the thin sliced beef with sauteed onions served on top of warm rice).

miso braised pork shoulder
serves 6

2 1/2 - 3 lbs pork shoulder, cut into large chunks
freshly ground pepper
canola oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 pack of baby carrots, or 4 carrots, cut into large chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 cup rice wine or dry white wine
1 cup water
3 tbsp miso paste, preferably red
2 tbsp soy sauce

noodles or rice
sliced scallions
sesame seeds

parchment paper

Preheat oven to 325ºF with rack positioned in lower third of oven. Season pork shoulder chunks generously with black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil over medium-high flame in a Dutch Oven. Working in batches, brown pork on all sides, adding more oil to the pan if needed. As pork is browned, transfer to a large bowl.
Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil over medium flame in a Dutch oven. Add onion and carrots and sweat vegetables about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning of onions (reduce heat if necessary). Add garlic and ginger to pot and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add half the wine and half the water to the pot along with the miso paste and soy sauce and stir to combine, breaking up the miso paste with the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour remaining wine and water into Dutch oven and add pork and any accumulated juices. Stir to combine. Liquid should nearly cover pork. If not, add a little water. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Carefully press parchment paper down onto meat mixture in Dutch oven.
Cover pot with lid and transfer to oven. Braise for 1 hour. Remove from oven, check to see if you need to add a little more water (be judicious here). Give it a good stir, return to oven and braise until meat is completely fork tender, about another 1/2 hour.
Meanwhile cook rice or noodles, depending on your choice. Time it to finish when pork is done.
If the remaining liquid is fairly watery, transfer pork and carrots to a large bowl with a slotted spoon and tent with foil. Bring sauce in Dutch oven to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced, about 5 minutes. Don’t overdo this, though—concentrating it too much will make it overly salty. If the broth/sauce is to your liking, proceed to the next step, using a slotted spoon to plate the meat and carrots and ladling the sauce separately.
Spoon noodles or rice into individual shallow bowls. Top with meat and carrots and ladle sauce over it. Garnish with scallions, sesame seeds, and serve.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

chickpea tikka masala

really good! (but didn't really taste like tikka masala - or at least my knowledge of it)

chickpea tikka masala
serves 6-8

4 (15 oz) cans (or 1 lb dried) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp coarsely chopped, peeled ginger
1 tbsp brown mustard seeds (optional)
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
2 cups water
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk, well shaken
2 tsp salt
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
5 handfls baby spinach or kale, chopped
lime wedges, for serving

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds (optional)

If using dried chickpeas, place in a large bowl and cover with 3 quarts cold water. Stir in 1 tbsp of kosher salt and let sit at least 10 hours or overnight at room temperature.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender, about 5 mins.

Add the mustard seeds (optional), cumin, turmeric, coriander and cardamom and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth (rserve the blender, no need to wash). Transfer to a 4 quart or larger slow cooker.

Add the coconut milk and 2 tsp salt. Add the canned chickpeas or drain the soaked chickpeas and add to the slow cooker. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on LOW until chickpeas are tender, 6-8 hours for canned or 8-10 hours for dried.

Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Refrigerate until the chickpeas are ready.

Add the blended tomatoes and stir to combine. Cover and cook until the flavors meld, at least 30 minutes but up to 1 hour. Just before serving, make the tarka.

For the tarka: Heat the oil in a small frying pan over medium high heat until just starting to smoke. Add the cumin seeds, red pepper flakes and mustard seeds and fry, swirling the pan, until sizzling and very fragrant, about 20 seconds. Immediately scape the tarka into the chickpeas.

Add the spinach and gently stir to combine and wilt. Taste and season with salt as needed. Serve warm over rice, with lime wedges on the side.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

light, fluffy pancakes

sweet and simple. a hit with the cousins over Christmas!

light, fluffy pancakes
makes 8 pancakes

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour2 tablespoons sugar1 tablespoon baking powder3/4 teaspoon kosher salt1 1/4 cups (295 ml) milk, dairy and non-dairy both will work1 large egg4 tablespoons butter, melted, plus more for skillet1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and the salt in a medium bowl.
    Warm milk in microwave or on top of stove until lukewarm, not hot (you should be able to keep your finger submerged for 10 seconds). Whisk milk, egg, melted butter and the vanilla extract until combined. (By warming the milk slightly, the melted butter mixes into the milk instead of turning into small lumps).
      Heat a large skillet (or use griddle) over medium heat. The pan is ready if when you splatter a little water onto the pan surface, the water dances around the pan and eventually evaporates.
      Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour milk mixture into the well and use a fork to stir until you no longer see clumps of flour. It is okay if the batter has small lumps, in fact you want that – it is important not to over-mix the batter.
      Lightly brush skillet with melted butter. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto skillet. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle.
      When edges look dry and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top surfaces of the pancake, turn over. This takes about 2 minutes. Once flipped, cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle. Serve immediately with warm syrup, butter and/or berries.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Chen Shepherds Pie

What we made when there were too many mashed potatoes leftover from Thanksgiving!

Chen Shepherd's Pie (adapted from here)
makes 8 servings

For the Potatoes:
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
1/4 cup half and half
2 oz unsalted butter
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 egg yolk

For the meat filling:
2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 celery stalks, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 lbs ground beef or lamb
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp freshly chopped rosemary, sage, and/or oregano leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green beans, sliced into 1 in pieces

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in the yolk until well combined.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

pan seared rib eye steak

Maybe one of the best steaks we've ever had, and definitely the best we've ever made.

Pan-Seared Rib Eye Steak
Makes 4-6 servings)


Two 2-inch boneless rib-eye steaks (~3 lbs total)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 oz dried porcini
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil

Place steaks and soy sauce in a large, resealable plastic bag. Seal bag, releasing excess air, turn to coat. Let steaks marinate at room temperature 2 hours, turning occasionally. (I didn't read carefully and just left them in the fridge)

Process porcini mushrooms in food processor to fine powder. Mix 1 1/2 tbsp mushroom powder, rosemary in a small bowl (save ay remaining powder for another day).

Drain steaks, pat dry. Sprinkle mushroom-rosemary rub generously over both sides of steaks, pressing to adhere.

Heat oil in heavy, large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry steaks until browned and cooked to desired doneness, about 6-7 mins per side for rare, adjusting heat to medium if browning too quickly.

Transfer steaks to plate. Let rest 10 minutes and then slice into 1/2 thick slices and serve.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

sausage + greens pasta

a quick and go-to pasta that we have for dinner all the time.

sausage and greens pasta
makes 8 servings

1 lb pasta shapes
olive oil
1 lb italian or spicy sausage, crumbled
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 big handfuls of greens like spinach or arugula (sometimes I use chopped kale)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.

While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in another large skillet and add the crumbled sausage and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the sausage is cooked through.

Add the greens and cook until barely wilted, then add the pasta and cheese and stir until all is combined and gooey.

Taste, and add any extra salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve with extra cheese.

hash brown egg cups

an addition to our breakfast rotation and it makes our mornings that much better.

hash brown egg cups
makes 24

1 bag frozen shredded potatoes
1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
12 eggs
6 slices thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup spinach, sliced into strips
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cook bacon and drain on paper towels. Chop into small strips. Set aside.

Combine shredded potatoes and cheese. Season with salt and epper.

Generously spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Add potato mixture to each cup, pressing firmly so mixture creates a nest. Make sure that some mixture spills over the top.

Bake potato mixture in 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until edges are golden brown Remove from oven and let cool for 5 mins.

Crack eggs into a bowl and combine with 1/4 cup of milk, breaking up the yokes. Add spinach and salt and pepper.

Spoon egg mixture into hash brown nests, top with chopped bacon.

Return muffin pan to oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until eggs are set.

When cool enough to handle, carefully remove egg nests. You may need to use a knife to remove the nests in one piece.

Serve and enjoy!