Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pumpkin Hummus Recipe and more blatherings


I bought another big turkey this year. Every year Dr. Food tells me not to buy such a big bird and every year I do anyhow. I will explain why...

I used to have very big Thanksgivings when I lived in California. I mean like 20 people or more. I had big birds and I always have bought a fresh and local bird. Since moving to New England our Thanksgiving have gotten way smaller but I still have a thing for fresh and local and 26lb turkeys. So, this time was no different and we were only having 7 people (including us). I went to the butcher to pick up the bird without Dr. Food so that I didn't have to listen to him complain that I just spent 82.00 on a TURKEY. I felt so proud of myself until I got home and opened up THIS email:

Picture 3

WHAT THE ???? Seems that Dr Food was paying bills online as I was buying that bird and the charge came through and he saw it. NO FAIR. Next time HE can go get a turkey...wait, no he can't. He will buy the frozen one with the scrawny legs. Stay tuned until next year to see who wins "Iron Chef Turkey Edition".


This was my star of the show though. It is Pumpkin Hummus. I was watching TV the morning before and some local chef was making this. I had to try it. It was a huge winner in my book. So, I have to share. The recipe was for about 100 people so Dr. Food cut it down to a reasonable size.

Spicy Pumpkin Hummus
Printable Version

1/4 C olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 tsp Sriracha chili sauce
2 15oz cans chickpeas, drain water and save
2 tsp cumin, ground
2 Tbl Tahini paste
2 Tbl lemon juice
1 C pumpkin puree
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan, add the olive oil and garlic. Saute for until garlic starts to turn golden. Add the chickpeas and sauté for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add remaining ingredients. Stir well and puree in food processor in batches with some of the reserved chickpea liquid. There will be extra liquid, just use enough per batch to help the mix puree into a smooth consistency. Puree until very smooth and cool down. Serve in a shallow bowl and top with diced cucumber, red onion, crumbled feta cheese and olive oil. Serve with pita chips.

Next star is the "Harvey Wallbanger Cake". When I lived in California my friends Monte and Peter would every year bring this cake the day before Thanksgiving for my family to have. Now that I live in New England I don't have my Monte and Peter delivering me cakes and treats and shoes (they used to leave shoes on my porch to be funny. They got them off the street [ yes, the streets! This was California NOT New England] and at thrift stores and they would leave them on my porch. Oh, one time they left a broken guitar.) Ok, so I am getting off point. I made a Harvey Wallbanger Cake to keep with tradition.


Yes, it really does have to good stuff in it.

Harvey Wallbanger Cake
Monte and Peter gave me the recipe

Printable Version

Harvey Wallbanger Cake
1 Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme Cake Mix (or any 2 layer lemon cake mix)
1 large Instant French Vanilla Pudding
¼ c. oil
4 eggs
¾ c. orange juice
¼ c. vodka (or to taste…)
¼ c. Galliano (or to taste…)

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into well-greased and floured 10" tube pan. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and then take out of pan and let cool completely.

1 c. powdered sugar
½ tsp. vodka
½ tsp. orange juice
½ tsp. Galliano

Blend ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over cake when cake has completely cooled


So it was a wonderful Thanksgiving with new friends and old traditions (well not THAT old, I didn't come over on the Mayflower or anything like that. Just MY traditions.

At any rate the bird came out pretty.


Oh, and Parker got a new hat and should be ready to come visit Gammy in time for snow.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Indian food, stews and chickens...oh my!


This post is a bit late but oh well. I just haven't had time to post lately. I have been cooking for people and hanging out with family and friends. As you can see above Evan my boy came into town. I was so happy to see him because I miss my kids more than anything. Look at that face. I had to cook for him so I decided on Indian food.


This is a vermicelli dish that I love.


This is a banana flower recipe that I love as well.


I made this chickpea recipe for the first time. It was good but I am not sure that I would make it again.

Next night dinner was a Pork, Buttercup Squash, and Chard Chili. YUM! I got this recipe from Tastebook


Oddly enough when I asked Evan what the one thing he really wanted me to make was he said "Artichokes!". I made lots of artichokes when the kids were growing up.


Here is dinner #2.


So, I have been cooking and Thanksgiving did take place and I DO have lots of turkey leftovers. I also am really tired and lazy so not much is going on at Casa Bite Me.

Pork, Buttercup Squash, and Chard Chili
Printable Version
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt, pepper
1lb pound pork stew meat
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces brown ale
2 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup black beans*
1 buttercup squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks (you could substitute another kind of winter squash, if you like)
1 cup corn kernels
1 small bunch swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces

small bunch swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces
In a medium bowl, mix together the cumin, chili powder, coriander, and smoked paprika. Add the cubes of stew pork and toss them well in the spice mixture. Season well with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss again, rubbing the spices into the meat.

Heat a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, then add the olive oil - it should shimmer. Add the cubes of stew pork and let them get nice and browned on all sides. Don’t be impatient — you want them to get a nice brown crust! Once all the cubes of pork have been browned, remove them from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside (you can just keep them on a plate to the side of the stove.)

Add the onion and garlic to the pot, and cook them over medium heat until they soften and become translucent. Don’t turn the heat on the pot up too high, or the nice brown fond that’s developed on the bottom from browning the meat will burn. When the onions have softened, add the ale and use a wooden spoon to scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pot.

Return the pork to the pot, and add the chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 1 hour (*note: if you are using dried beans that have been soaked overnight, add them now, with the pork.)

Add the butternut squash cubes to the pot, and cook for another 20 minutes. (*note: if you are using canned beans that are already cooked, you can add them at this point, with the squash cubes.)

Finally, add the chopped swiss chard and corn kernels, if you’re using. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the chard is bright green and wilted. Taste the chili and season with more salt or pepper as needed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Easy week night salmon recipe - Good enough for weekend cooking


I always have a dilemma the nights that I am working. What do I make for dinner. Yes, I am sure you do too. You see, I love cooking but not the kind of cooking that is "lets just eat and get it over with. I hate to admit that I don't care some nights what it is that I eat as long as it isn't junk. So, I went online to find a recipe for something different to do with salmon. What? salmon is perfect the way it is with a little butter and lemon? Yeah, but not when you eat it all the time (wait, am I REALLY answering myself? May be time for an intervention).


So I decided to make Buffalo Salmon from Gourmet Magazine. Let me digress for a minute. I have this pantry that has everything in it. I swear it does.


Yeah yeah yeah. Not everything is "healthy and natural". I do drink Crystal light with artifical sweeteners. I do make matzo ball soup from mix when I am sick. I also had Panko in that pantry. Ok, here is where the BUT comes in. BUT they were so stale that when I opened them I could smell something that smelled like gasoline. I threw them out and used breadcrumbs that I had. I would suggest the panko though.


Really though...look how international I am.


Anchovies in BULK ... Aren't you impressed? Shut up, I know the ones in salt are better.


Anyhow, this recipe was great and I would DEFINATELY make it again.


Buffalo Salmon
Gourmet 2008

Printable Version

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup hot sauce such as Frank's Redhot
1/3 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (2-pound) piece salmon fillet with skin

1. Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in upper third. Lightly oil a shallow baking pan.
2. Melt butter with hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper over medium heat. Set aside 1/4 cup sauce.
3. Toss panko with oil in a bowl.
4. Put salmon, skin side down, in baking pan and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, then brush with remaining sauce. Sprinkle panko evenly over top of fish, then bake until panko is golden and fish is just cooked through, 16 to 22 minutes. Serve reserved sauce on the side.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hunter Stew and Hank is my new food crush!


I had lots of big meat in my freezer. I wanted something that cooked on the stove and was hearty and hot and good for eating in front of a BIG fireplace.


No, I mean REALLY big. This is it from the second floor


(Oh quit complaining, you just have to tilt your head a little).

So, BIG meat (3 kinds of pork product!) and BIG fireplace. Almost makes me feel like a caveman. Oh speaking of cavemen....


Parker and his girlfriend on Halloween. Ok ok, I know that was a cheap grandma shot.

So on with the Hunter stew and my food crush Hank...

I got this recipe on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. More and more I am heading over to Hank Shaw's website to find food that really interests me. I love the concept that he is foraging for what he is eating and coming up with options that I never even thought about. I hope that soon Hank will post about foraging in the frozen tundra of New England in the winter. Brrrrr. I can feel winter coming in my bones. Ok, enough drama.


At the same time as cooking Hunter Stew I was making peanut butter for a friend. I have posted this recipe before. It is the BEST peanut butter I have ever had. Even Dr. Food loved it and he hates peanut butter. The recipe is by my BFF Mitch Omer of the REAL Hells Kitchen Love you Mitch!


Oh and at the SAME time I was making Injera for the little ones next door. I am a good multi-tasker if I haven't been nipping at the wine.


Back to Hunter Stew! Lots of mushrooms. I love mushrooms. Big meat and mushrooms. There is also cabbage and sauerkraut in this dish. I also love these ingredients.


When it was sitting on the plate I stirred in some horseradish. Not the wimpy sauce stuff, the real deal. It was suggested and since it is another favorite of mine (No! not EVERYTHING is my favorite. Remember I hate chocolate) I took the suggestion.

Go make this recipe.

Polish Hunter’s Stew Recipe
by Hank Shaw posted on Simply Recipes

(Printable Version)

I used beer as the liquid, although lots of people use red wine. If you are making the tomato-based version, skip the beer and use the can of tomato sauce. If you cannot drink alcohol, use some beef stock. (NOTE: *I* did the beer version)

1 ounce dried porcini or other wild mushrooms
2 Tbsp bacon fat or vegetable oil
2 pounds pork shoulder
1 large onion, chopped
1 head cabbage (regular, not savoy or red), chopped
1 1/2 pounds mixed fresh mushrooms
1-2 pounds kielbasa or other smoked sausage
1 smoked ham hock
1 pound fresh Polish sausage (optional)
1 25-ounce jar of fresh sauerkraut (we recommend Bubbies, which you may be able to find in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket)
1 bottle of pilsner or lager beer
1 Tbsp juniper berries (optional)
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp caraway seeds
2 Tbsp dried marjoram
20 prunes, sliced in half (optional)
2 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (optional)
1-2 Tbsp mustard or horseradish (optional)

1. Pour hot tap water over the dried mushrooms and submerge them for 20-40 minutes, or until soft. Grind or crush the juniper berries and black peppercorns roughly; you don’t want a powder. Cut the pork shoulder into large chunks, about 2 inches. Cut the sausages into similar-sized chunks. Drain the sauerkraut and set aside. Clean off any dirt from the mushrooms and cut them into large pieces; leave small ones whole.

2. Heat the bacon fat or vegetable oil in a large lidded pot for a minute or two. Working in batches if necessary, brown the pork shoulder over medium-high heat. Do not crowd the pan. Set the browned meat aside.

3. Put the onion and fresh cabbage into the pot and sauté for a few minutes, stirring often, until the cabbage is soft. Sprinkle a little salt over them. The vegetables will give off plenty of water, and when they do, use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. If you are making the tomato-based version, add the tomato paste here. Once the pot is clean and the cabbage and onions soft, remove from the pot and set aside with the pork shoulder.

4. Add the mushrooms and cook them without any additional oil, stirring often, until they release their water. Once they do, sprinkle a little salt on the mushrooms. When the water is nearly all gone, add back the pork shoulder, the cabbage-and-onion mixture, and then everything else except the prunes. Add the beer, if using, or the tomato sauce if you're making the tomato-based version. Stir well to combine.

5. You should not have enough liquid to submerge everything. That’s good: Bigos is a “dry” stew, and besides, the ingredients will give off more liquid as they cook. Bring everything to a simmer, cover the pot and cook gently for at least 2 hours.

6. Bigos is better the longer it cooks, but you can eat it once the ham hock falls apart. Check at 2 hours, and then every 30 minutes after that. When the hock is tender, fish it out and pull off the meat and fat from the bones Discard the bones and the fat, then chop the meat roughly and return to the pot. Add the prunes and cook until they are tender, at least 30 more minutes.

Bigos is best served simply, with rye bread and a beer. If you want a little kick, add the mustard or horseradish right before you eat it. Bigos improves with age, too, which is why this recipe makes so much: Your leftovers will be even better than the stew was on the first day.

Serves 10 to 12.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It got really ugly when I faked I was Vegan.


It started out just like every other weekend when I am cooking for people. I spent a couple of days deciding what I wanted to make. In THIS case, our guest was a vegan. He was slowly moving away from it though and has added seafood to his diet. He will even partake of a little dairy here and there. So, I decided to make a seafood paella. It is pretty easy to make and it always seems to work out well.


A seafood stock is made right off the start. It is made with the shells from the shrimp that are going into the paella.


This paella had mussels and shrimp along with lots of vegetables. It had the traditional saffron in it but it didn't have the smokey paprika that I love so much. It used chipotle instead.

I have to say that it was a good paella but not like my standard one that I always make. I missed the smokey taste from the paprika and also from the spanish sausage that I usually use. Our guest liked it though.

I then had to come up with a dessert and this was vegan.


It was called Ooey Gooey Caramel Apple Blackout Cake and it is from Desserts For Breakfast I am sure that I must have done something wrong because it came out looking really pretty but it tasted ...uh....ew. Now the others thought it was "ok" but *I* hated it. Don't get me wrong you maybe should try it for yourself. I think that the part that got me was the salting the caramel with course salt part. Anyhow, go on over to this blog after you read this post and check it out. It is a beautiful blog with beautiful pictures and *I* am just an idiot that can't bake.


This was how much salt *I* used when it said liberally. Dr food thought it might be too much but to me it wasn't overboard. I just didn't like the taste of the salty chocolate and carmel and apple. Then again, I don't like chocolate that much.


Hi pretty cake!


Just looking at the picture sort of makes my mouth water and not in a good way either.

Ok enough. I will let it go. I will just say that dinner on Sunday was AWESOME! Saturday not so much.

Grilled Seafood Paella
Food and Wine - Marcia Kiesel
Printable Version


2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Reserved shrimp shells (see below)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 quarts of water
6 large garlic cloves, chopped
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 large chipotle chile in adobo
Large pinch of saffron threads

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large poblano chile—stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups short-grain Spanish rice, such as Valencia or Bomba
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1/2 pound green beans, preferably flat Romano, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Large handful of woody herb sprigs, such as rosemary or thyme
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, shells reserved
1 1/2 pounds small mussels, scrubbed and debearded


MAKE THE BROTH: In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the shrimp shells and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and carrot and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, 5 minutes longer. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the sherry and boil for 1 minute, then add the water and return to a boil. Stir in the garlic, thyme, bay leaves, chipotle and saffron and simmer over low heat for 25 minutes.
Strain the broth into a saucepan, pressing hard on the solids; you should have 6 cups. Season with salt. Cover and keep warm over low heat.

MAKE THE PAELLA: Light a grill. If using charcoal, build a large fire that will last at least 30 minutes. Start more coals in a chimney starter to feed the fire. If using a gas grill, set the center burner on high heat and the side or front and back burners on low.

Place a 14- to 16-inch paella pan or a 14-inch stainless steel roasting pan over a medium-hot fire. Add the olive oil and heat until sizzling. Add the scallions, onion and poblano. If using charcoal, move the pan over to the cooler side of the grill; if using gas, reduce the heat to low. Cook, stirring with a large wooden paddle or spoon, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, green beans and salt.

Add the hot broth to the rice; shake the pan to distribute the rice evenly. Move the pan to the hotter part of a charcoal grill or increase the heat to moderately low on a gas grill. If using charcoal, scatter the herbs over the coals. If using a gas grill, place the herbs in the smoker box or scatter over the heat bars. Cover the grill and let the paella cook, shaking the pan once or twice, until the broth has been absorbed and the rice is almost tender, about 20 minutes. The rice should cook at a steady simmer; add hot coals to the fire if it starts to fade.

Scatter the shrimp over the rice and nestle the mussels in the paella, hinge side down. Cover the grill; cook until the shrimp are pink and the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Discard any mussels that do not open. Using a large wooden paddle or spoon, transfer the seafood paella to plates, scraping up the crusty rice from the bottom of the pan, and serve.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The perfect egg or I just wanted some Kimchi Fried Rice


It all started because Dr. Food was going out to a business dinner. Yeah, I am sure he is wolfing down some huge old steak and a cocktail or two. Me? I am left with food scraps (well, not really but I want you to feel sorry for me). I decided to make Kimchi Fried Rice. It is my standard when the big guy is out of town or eating at some fancy shmancy restaurant (well again an overstatement since he was going to Burlington, MA to eat) and I am watching "Mystery Diagnosis" (shut up, I usually watch less intellectual things when Dr Food is home....like reruns of Seinfeld and stuff like that). Ok, I will get on with it.

First off let me tell you that we have pretty much taken all processed food out of our diet. We eat only brown rice and grains. We eat wheat pasta (ew, I really still don't like it). Anyhow, I sorta snuck some of the white rice in tonight.


PLEASE, I know that Dr Food is gnawing on a steak as we speak (well as *I* write) and I KNOW that he goes for Chinese Food for lunch when he "forgets" his turkey sandwich at home. So I also felt justified in sneaking in some chorizo into my Kimchi Fried Rice. I am getting to the egg part of this post. Before I do lets just say that this was a very "international" dinner. I think the next time I make it I will use pastrami instead of chorizo. It would be GOOD. Pastrami, and Kimchi and rice...with an egg on top.


Did I mention that I hate this rice cooker? I want the fancy Zojirushi one. I enter contests on blogs to win one but I never do. This is because I don't have a publicist and I am not very popular. So, ya know...

oh oh...I know what I wanted to tell you. I used scapes that I froze this summer. How cool is that?!


I went to my Jacques and Julia book (it is autographed by her before she died and everything. It has the wrong name but that is ok). I looked up how to poach an egg. She tells ya (I didn't want to listen to Jacque because I am Julia's girl) to use a canning jar rim if you don't have an egg poacher. Um, yeah, like I have an egg poacher sitting around.


So, I followed her directions and dropped it into the boiling water.


Looking good! I love you Julia (but I refuse to make your beef bourguignon because of the horrible movie I watched).


And then this is when it took a turn for the worse.


Then I took it out and it was perfect. Well sorta. It kind of stuck to the paper towel (YES, JULIA said to drain it on a paper towel! Maybe it was Jacque that said it. I shouldn't have listened if it was Jacque.)


It was actually amusing that when I tried to move it forcibly it did this kind of cool thing and just separated.

On to Egg 2. The perfect FRIED egg. Julia had no advice for this one so I turned to Joël Robuchon. He is French and he knows everything. Hey! another culture to add to my multicultural dinner. Portuguese chorizo with Kimchi Fried Rice and a French Egg on top.


Ah, pretty egg! Wait...wait... FLIP!


Damn. Lets try again.




GOOD ENOUGH. Not really since all the blog posts that I see on the "Popular" sites have perfect eggs. I mean PERFECT. I know they must sit and make one egg after another for it to look like that but *I* refuse. I have my limits and 3 eggs is it!


I just threw the other stuff together and cooked.


There ya have it.

Dr Food is gone so I can eat what I want Kimchi and Rice

2 C cooked rice (I won't tell if you don't use brown rice)
2 tsp garlic (I used scapes)
1C Kimchi + juice from Kimchi
Any kind of protein you want....I use chorizo for the kick but you could use anything. Next time I swear I am going to try pastrami
Egg (or eggs in my case....as many as it takes to get a good photo)

Brown the garlic and protein and add kimchi. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add rice. Cook and top with any kind of egg you like as long as it is "perfect".


Um, I told you my Gammy is a little "different". She is really very nice just a little ....you know..."confused".