Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Zaatar and Sumac are sexy!

IMG_4270

So I was snooping around on Kitchen Play and they are having a contest to recreate a dish that was made with this months sponsor's product. The sponsor this month is MySpiceSage.com. Pam of Cave Cibum had made Za’atar Crusted Chicken as this months main course and I loved the looks of this recipe. I happened to have the two ingredients in my cupboard. I can recreate that! Dr. Food will love it. Oh wait! One major problem... I don't have chicken I only have Pork Chops. Well the show must go on. I will take ingredients that probably never touched pork before and give it a go. So I forged ahead and you know what? It was really good. I mean REALLY good.

Here is the Zaatar. Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice blend.

IMG_4269
Here is Sumac also a Middle Eastern seasoning.

IMG_4268


I took Pork Chops and dipped in egg white. Oh wait! Since you are all my closest friends on here I have to show you this really disgusting egg seperator that I got a long time ago. It is gross but I want to share.

IMG_4271

Crack the egg and pour into his head and voila!

IMG_4273
Maybe this should go to the next White Elephant Party that Dr. Food has at his work.

Ok, back to the recipe. After the egg whites I dipped the chops in a combo of the spices and Panko. I then browned them in some butter and olive oil. After they browned I put them in a dish and covered with grated cheese and parsley. I let them heat through and let the muenster cheese melt and brown.

IMG_4278

Zaatar and Sumac Crusted Pork Chops
Adapted from Pam at Cave Cibum for Kitchen Play

2 Pork Chops
2 cups shredded muenster cheese
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/2 cup za'atar
1/2 cup panko
1 Tbsp sumac
2 egg whites
1 tsp salt
1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil

Combine za'atar, panko, and sumac on a plate. Put 2 egg whites into a bowl. Dip pork chop in egg white and then in panko mixture. Heat olive oil and butter in pan over med/high heat. Brown pork chops (about 4 minutes on each side). Meantime grate cheese and mix with parsley. Cover chops with parsley and cheese mixture. Bake in a 350 oven for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted and brown.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hi it is me and yes I have been cooking

I know that I haven't posted in a while but I have been busy. I have been opening up presents and eating and playing with new toys. Like this one

IMG_4220

Actually, that is a recipe on there and I was cooking and playing at the same time. See? *I* can multi-task.

IMG_4232

I have also been having fun watching the BLIZZARD of 2010 (as the news likes to call it). Pretty cool getting all this snow. I even got to stay home from work today. My boss called and told me that I should. How cool is THAT?

IMG_4233

This is the view out my front door. Why didn't I go OUT in it? You crazy? No no...I will later to shovel. Really.


IMG_4218

Meantime we made a Red Pepper, Goat Cheese and Mushroom thingy. It did take a little time layering the phyllo, but it was well worth it.

IMG_4221

IMG_4224

This is a great dish for vegetarians. I really will make this again.

IMG_4226

We loved how it came out.

IMG_4227

It also has a balsamic glaze that you drizzle on the top of it. I also think this would be really good with feta instead of goat cheese.

IMG_4229

Oh, and stay tuned for our onion soup trapped in wonton appetizer post. We were (ok, *I* was) too lazy to cook them for our guests so we will try them out today. I already froze the onion soup that you need for this recipe. My sis predicts that this is going to be a disaster in the making. Ok, we will see. Meantime you can find me in front of the fireplace drinking hot buttered rum. Thanks "A Thought for Food!"

Savory Mediterranean Baklava (not really called "Red Pepper and Goat Cheese and Mushroom thingy")
Fine Cooking - Magazine Special Appetizer Issue

Printable Version


Look for Athens brand phyllo twin packs (two 8-ounce packs in one box). The phyllo sheets are the perfect size for this dish. The components can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Wait to assemble the baklava until you're ready to bake it.

FOR THE MUSHROOM LAYER:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
½ cup finely diced sweet onion
4 cups roughly chopped assorted fresh mushrooms (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ cup low-salt vegetable or thicken broth
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE RED PEPPER LAYER:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 large red bell peppers, cut into1/4-inch dice (about 3 cups)
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 cup finely diced red onion (about 1/2 medium red onion)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

FOR THE GOAT CHEESE LAYER:
20 to 22 ounces good-quality goat cheese
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely minced rosemary
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt

FOR THE BALSAMIC ROSEMARY SYRUP:
2 cups balsamic vinegar
2 to 3-inch-long sprig fresh rosemary; more sprigs for garnish

1 pound 9x14-inch frozen phyllo dough, thawed in the refrigerator overnight
½ pound unsalted butter, melted; more as needed

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.

Make the mushroom layer: Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and onion; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, rosemary, broth, and wine if using; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool.

Make the red pepper layer: Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the peppers, garlic, onion, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until the peppers and onions are well softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Don't let them brown; add more oil if the pan is dry. Let cool.

Make the goat cheese layer: In a food processor or with an electric mixer, blend the goat cheese, eggs, cream, rosemary, pepper, and salt until smooth. Set aside.

Make the balsamic-rosemary syrup: In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar and rosemary to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until reduced to a thin syrupy consistency, about 15 minutes. Watch closely during the last few minutes of cooking. (The reduction goes fast at the end and if you overreduce it, it may be too thick or even burn. It will thicken more as it cools.) You should have about 1/2 cup syrup. Remove from the heat; discard the rosemary.

To assemble: Unroll the phyllo; keep it covered with plastic wrap and a damp cloth. Liberally brush the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish with some of the melted butter. Lay a sheet of phyllo in the dish and, starting from the edges, brush lightly with butter. Repeat with seven more sheets, brushing each with butter.
With a rubber spatula, spread the mushrooms evenly over the phyllo. Repeat the layering and buttering with eight more sheets of phyllo. Spread the goat cheese evenly over the phyllo. Repeat the layering and buttering with eight more sheets of phyllo. Spread the red peppers evenly over the phyllo. Top with eight more phyllo sheets, buttering as you go. Butter the top two sheets as evenly as possible.
With a sharp knife, cut the baklava lengthwise into thirds, cutting all the way to the bottom of the pan, holding the top layers of phyllo in place with your fingers. Next, cut diagonally from one corner to an-other. Continue making diagonal cuts about 2 inches apart to create 2x3-inch diamonds. Bake until deep golden brown, 40 to 50 minutes. Let rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

To serve: Drizzle a little of the syrup on each plate. Arrange one or two pieces of the baklava on each plate, drizzle with a bit more syrup, and garnish with a rosemary sprig.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stop the madness - no more pizza balls or other snacks

IMG_4210

I have to start off with a whine. I am tired. Really tired. I am tired of everything and I am also grumpy. I am grumpy because there is no snow yet but it is so cold that it hurts to go outside. It is Xmas and I know that it should be a fun time but lets face it, it just isn't. Could have something to do with me never celebrating Xmas when I was a kid. I am Jewish. I really am a novice at this Xmas thing and I have to tell you that it isn't for the weak.

So lets get on with me being festive. Pizza balls. I was having a neighborhood Xmas party (yes, Ms. Jewish was having the Xmas party for the street. Someone had to do it). I found a recipe for pizza balls and they really were good.

IMG_4205

Inside was pepperoni (you don't have to use that though) and cheese. You can fill them with anything you like. We also made sandwiches. They had Prosciutto, Romesco, Provolone cheese and basil. All you do is butter a baguette and spread with romesco sauce. Lay down some prosciutto and provolone and a couple pieces of basil. Yum. They are really good.

IMG_4209

I made a hot Artichoke and Spinach dip. It had artichokes and spinach in it (duh).

IMG_4195

I made mini cheese and green onion quiches. They are easy to do. They also freeze well if you want to do them ahead of time.

IMG_4197

IMG_4203

These are smashed potato things. You boil the small potato and then they are baked. I was stressed and didn't get the baked picture so all you get to see are smashed anemic potatoes (they were really good though...shut up....they were).

65803_476889946918_584061918_5870543_2232855_n

Ok ok...I just threw in that picture of Parker because I felt like it and I am grumpy tonight. He looks like a little beatnik in his turtle neck...no Annie he doesn't look like Steve Jobs.

steve_jobs

Ok, sorta.

IMG_4207

Um, I am a little scattered here... These are Eggnog cupcakes. They were awesome and if you want to make them go to Gingerbread Bagels and get the recipe. That is where *I* got it. She is not grumpy like I am and not lazy either.

IMG_4200

My buddy Lynda from Running on Butter surprised me and sent me my very own apron (and *I* am #1 to her!). Now we can cook together even though she is in a cool city like New York and I am stuck in Massachusetts. Ok, I know it is only 3 hours away but I love being a drama queen and overstating everything when I am grumpy. It's my party I can cry if I want to and I can also have run-on sentences.

I love you Lynda. I love my apron.

Oh, one more thing. If you want the recipe of any of these ask and I will send it to you. Just too tired to post them. Really.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mark Bittman's Skillet Tamales rock!

IMG_4188

First off let me say that Dr food bought me the neatest gift for no reason. Well there was a reason but I don't feel like telling you. I told him that I saw these bowls on someone's "favorite" list (Please don't ask which one because in the last month there have been a gazillion of em). They are from Anthropologie. Next thing I know they are in my possession.

IMG_4187

They are so cute because they are measuring bowls and have the amounts marked on them.

Ok, but let's talk about Mark Bittman. I got the "Food Matters Cookbook" from the library and started cooking from it. Now I have to own it. I already told you about the Crisp and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas with Lamb and how good it was. Now I am telling you about the "Skillet Tamales" from this cookbook. We loved it. Not only that but my coworkers kept asking who was cooking and what was it when I heated the leftovers the next day. They said this in a good way not in a "reheating broccoli" kind of way.

IMG_4172

I started off with my favorite lamb ever .

IMG_4177

Browned up lamb with some onions.

IMG_4173

Soaked some cornmeal. I would have used masa but living in New England sucks. I can't just go to the grocery store and get masa like I could in California. Then again I couldn't go into a grocery store in California and just buy Farofa and here in Marlborough, MA I can.

IMG_4180

The cornmeal gets spread on top and the whole thing is put in the oven.

IMG_4185

Comes out of the oven and tastes great. Unfortunately once again I forgot to take a picture of my plate with the food on it. I also don't have lights for photography to get a good picture of my food. Also, I don't have a white backdrop and all the other fancy stuff you need to make the photo look good. Oh yeah, like a good camera. Last but not least if I played with the food that much I would probably lose the desire to eat it. Just sayin....

3d02a295622b4d44bc5266bd4413fe3b_7

Oh and Parker called me on the down low and asked that I make this for his mom and dad next time I am there.

Skillet Tamales
adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook - Mark Bittman

Printable Version
1C cornmeal (fine or medium grind)
1 1/2 C hot water, or more as needed
salt
2 Tbl olive oil, or more if needed
8 ounces ground beef, pork, or lamb (we used lamb)
black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbl minced garlic
1 Tbl chili powder
8 Roma tomatoes, chopped (canned are fine; drain their juice)
3 C corn (I would use only 2 next time)
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Heat the oven to 400F. Combine the cornmeal, hot water, and a large pinch of salt; stir with a fork until smooth. Let it sit while you prepare the filing.

2. Put the oil in a deep, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, add the meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, 5 to 20 minutes. Lower the heat a bit, add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes more; add more oil if the mixture starts to look too dry. Stir in the chili powder, tomatoes, and corn and turn off the heat.

3. Stir the baking powder into the cornmeal mixture until it's completely incorporated. The mxture should be the consistency of thick pancake batter; if not, add a little more water. Spoon the batter into the skillet on top of the filing and spread it around. Bake until the cornbread has cracked and turned golden and is cooked all the way through 20-25 minutes/ Garnish with cilantro and serve hot or room temperature.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bwhaaaa....I made Dol Sot Bi Bim Bap and it was good

IMG_4170

We went to H Mart last weekend and finally bought the bowls to make Korean food in. I have said it a thousand times before but I will say it again. Korean food and Vietnamese food are my favorites. They are MY comfort food. I wish my mom was Korean so she could have cooked this stuff for me when I was a kid (no offense mom. I asked you if I could say that before I wrote it here. I do love you just as you are but I do wish we had been Korean). Ok enough. On with the subject at hand.

IMG_4166

When we were at H Mart we bought some "stuff" to eat. We weren't even thinking about the Bi Bim Bap. This is spinach, bean sprouts and watchimicallit. I don't know what that other stuff is but it was really good. It was fern of some kind.

IMG_4162

I cooked up some mushrooms to put in the bowl.

IMG_4163

Here are the bowls that I heated in a 500F oven. You can be sure that I stayed away from these and let Dr. Food handle them. I am well known for burning myself and I have the scars to prove it.

IMG_4159

I marinated some grated carrot (such a great picture I should submit it to Foodgawkr and Foodspotting. These photos will make me famous I tell ya.. har har har)

IMG_4165

I made some Ginzu sauce (I know I know. This isn't what it is called but I also didn't have a recipe either so I can call it what I want). It was red pepper paste, a Korean condiment called gochujang and some vinegar. I also added a little sugar and garlic.

IMG_4168

There was also a little meat involved. I marinated this meat in some soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and a little sugar.

IMG_4167

I also had gotten some of my beloved Ggakdugi Kimchi (Korean Pickled Daikon Radish). It was sorta embarassing because some of it spilled on the floor the day before. If you saw my refrigerator you would know why it fell. Anyhow, my neighbor came over and when she came in she said "Um, ya know your house smells a little funny". How polite can you get? My house didn't just smell a "little" funny, it smelled like something died in here.

On to my favorite part. The Egg!

IMG_4164

Check it out! It came out perfect. I finally did what I read about but never believed. I didn't grease the crap out of a pan to make an egg. I wiped on some olive oil and that was it. A tiny bit. I also didn't futz around with it. I left it there. A thing of beauty. You know how I feel about eggs.

IMG_4170

And there you have our Monday night dinner. Another perfect blurry and dark photo shows you that you should have been here. The rice was even crunchy on the bottom.

Oh. Wait.

155804_471179471918_584061918_5785468_635240_n

P-man opted for some milk.

So if you want to make it I suggest you get the recipe at Tasty Meals at Home I didn't really have a recipe but I used this one as a guide.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ok, this is my new favorite recipe for REAL

IMG_4156

I have to say that I have been cooking up a storm lately. I must admit that I am a bit burnt out from cooking. Maybe it is the time of year or maybe I am just burnt out.

IMG_4145

We went and got a Xmas tree last weekend. The next morning we decorated. I have to say that this year we compromised on the size of the tree. I usually plead for a huge one and Dr Food usually hates that idea. I think we are both happy with this one though. So it was a lazy day and we opted for a lamb dish for dinner. I didn't feel like making a big deal out of it so Dr Food found a recipe for Crisp and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas with Lamb. This was a recipe from Mark Bittman's "The Food Matters Cookbook". Ok, this is my new favorite recipe. Shut up, I mean it this time. I know that I say that a lot but this time I mean it.

IMG_4146

The recipe starts off with roasting chickpeas. I used canned because of my recent bout of apathy.

IMG_4149

Other ingredients included orange rind and red onions and green beans.

IMG_4150

I have to stop to talk about something. It is sorta embarrassing but I know that only my closest friends read this blog. I have this "issue" with oranges that have been denuded. Look at it. Now that they have these amazing rasps to zest an orange look at the little guy after it has it rind removed. It looks sorta vulnerable and pathetic. It bothers me. Ok ok...

IMG_4155

So all that is really necessary is some roasting. I am telling you that this recipe (if you like lamb) is amazing. If you don't like lamb you could also do this with ground beef or ground pork. It would work just as well.

Crisp and Spicy Roasted Chickpeas with Lamb
The Food Matters Cookbook Mark Bittman

Printable Version

2C cooked or canned chickpeas, drained
3 Tbl olive oil
salt and black pepper
8 oz ground lamb
1 red onion
8 oz green beans, roughly chopped
1 Tbl minced garlic
Grated Zest of 1 orange
1 Tbl cumin
Cayenne to taste
Juice of 2 oranges
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley for ganish

1. Heat oven to 400F. Combine the chickpeas and 2 Tbl of the oil in a large roasting pan and bake, shaking the pan once or twice, until they're crisp and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper, toss, and remove the chickpeas from the pan with a slotted spoon.

2. Add the reamaining 1 Tbl oil to the pan along with the lamb. Break it up a bit and roast until it is no longer pink and has cooked dry, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir, breaking it up more, and continue baking until it begins to crisp, another 5 minutes or so.

3. Stir the onion, green beans, garlic, orange zest, cumin, and cayenne into the lamb; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return the roasting pan to the oven and continue roasting until the vegetables are tender and browned, the lamb is very crisp, and the spices are fragrant, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, stir in the chickpeas, and transfer everything to a serving dish.

4. Put the roasting pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the orange juice and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan, until warm and slightly thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Drizzle the orange reduction over lamb and chickpeas and taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the parsley and serve.