Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hey Coco's mom! Manchego Cheese Custard - Natillas de Queso Manchego


Ok, yes... I could communicate directly with Coco's mom. However, I am in a mad rush to get things going for Thanksgiving. I haven't even shopped yet. I also have 2 trips in the works and a guests for dinner next weekend. Oh wait! I also have a Xmas party to go to in there somewhere. So, I promised this recipe to Coco's mom (yes, I DO know her name but she is Coco's mom to me). I love Coco. Did I ever tell you that? You should see the ears on this pooch. I digress.

This dessert is wonderfully rich and really tasty. It did call for doing it in a mold and unmolding it but I laugh in the face of instructions. The following are my instructions. They are better than the original (so there!)

Manchego Cheese Custard - Natillas de Queso Manchego
adapted from La Tienda's website

1/3 lb ripe Manchego cheese, grated
1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 liter cream
1/2 cup sugar to make the caramel
1 dozen walnuts

Place the sugar in the pan, sprinkle with water and caramelize over a hot flame. Coat the walls of ramekins with the caramel.

Beat the eggs with the sugar, add the very finely grated cheese and the cream. Beat together well and pour into the ramekins. Place in a dish of hot water and bake in a moderate oven for 30-40 minutes until, when a needle is inserted in the center, it comes out clean. Decorate with the walnut halves.

Oh wait! This salad was really good too but no one ate it.


and lookie here, we made our own lobster stock with these roasted lobster sells.


Okay okay I will go and get started on Thanksgiving...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ok, I do kind of miss you.

Janis: I kind of miss my blog

Janis's mind: Really???

Janis: Yeah, I really amused myself with it and cracked myself up.

Janis's mind: Pfffft. You are an idiot.

So, I decided that I wanted to share a great recipe and more importantly than that I wanted to share a picture of my new pumpkin.


Graham Everett Anderson. I love my new baby.


I love my best friend Parker. I love my Ricki too.

So, this is what has been going on since I last wrote. Sorta. I mean lots more than this but here is a glimpse.


Oh, and just wanted to say Happy early birthday to Evan. I love you Ev.

My favorite monkey.

Ok so what is the recipe? Totally embarassed to tell you that I don't have any pictures of me making it, eating it, it in perfect lighting, it in a light box getting cold so some blogger can put it up on a blog that no one reads. Sorta like this one. I have nada. Just my word and the recipe itself.

Maybe I should go back into hiding. I wasted most of the morning posting this and well, it just isn't all that exciting. I still crack myself up though.

Thai Beef with Basil
Bon Apetite Nov. 2013

2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
6 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 red chiles, thinly sliced and seeded, divided
1 lb ground beef
Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
1/2 C Chicken broth
3 C fresh basil leaves, divided
2 Medium carrots, julienned or coarsely grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar

steamed rice and lime wedges for serving

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add garlic and 1 chili and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up with a spoon and pressing down firmly to help brown, until cooked through and nicely crisped in spots 8-10 minutes. Add broth and 2 C basil and cook, stirring, until basil is wilted, about 2 min.

Toss carrots, scallions, 1 Tbsp lime juice and remaining chili, 1 C basil leaves and 1 Tbsp oil in small bowl.

Mix soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and remaining 3 Tbsp lime juice in another small bowl until sugar dissolves.

Top rice with beef and slaw and drizzle with soy dressing. Serve lime wedges alongside.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Public Service Announcement. No more... no less.

See the picture above? This is the most perfect bowl of food. It is nothing fancy. It is nothing that unusual. It is perfect. Do you ever have a bite of something and it reminds you so strongly of something from your past. For me it is a weird one (go figure). The smell of limes and mint are just magical in my book. The smell of limes and tequila too but I will save that for another time. Limes in Mexican food, Limes in Asian food. It reminds me of something. Mint does the same to me.

This bowl of perfection is Bun. The recipe came from Charles Phan. One bite of this food and the flavor punches you in the kisser and makes you fall in love. Be careful who you are dinning with...

Vermicelli (Bun) Bowls

Rice Noodles, cooked, drained, and cooled
Pickled carrots (recipe below)
Shredded lettuce
Spearmint sprigs
Cilantro sprigs
Grilled Shrimp (recipe below)

Put it all in a bowl and sprinkle special fish sauce (recipe below) on it.

Simple Grilled Shrimp

1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tbl kosher salt
1 Tbl minced garlic
1-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbl canola oil
1 lb medium sized shrimp, peeled and deveined

1. In a medium bowl combine sugar, salt, garlic and black pepper. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water over the mixture and stir until sugar and salt dissolve completely. Stir in the oil and let cool to room temp.

2. Prepare a medium-hot fire for direct heat grilling in a charcoal grill. Add shrimp to cooled liquids. Toss to coat and then transfer to grill.

Pickled Carrots

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 kosher salt
1/2 cup peeled and finely julienned carrots

In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add carrots and let stand at least 20 minutes before serving. If not using right away, cover an refrigerate for up to a week. Drain the carrots well before using.

Flavored Fish Sauce

1/2 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 to 2 thai chiles, stemmed and minced

In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water and stir until sugar has dissolved. Add garlic and chilies and stir to combine. Use immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

This concludes my public service announcement.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Existential Crisis or just sick of chicken?


I have always been sort of the down beat type of person. Here I stand at the ripe age of 2 or 3 pissed off at the world. Would you believe me if I told you I have turned a new leaf. Actually, I turned that leaf when I started realizing that I am a wastin time. I have given up on being mad. I am done with being around negative negative negative. Ever notice how much people complain? Not that I am complaining about it. Is anyone ever happy? I saw a post on my FB feed of someone that was happy and felt lucky for it. It made me want to kiss my screen. Well maybe not kiss it but you know what I mean.


My other modus operandi was to try and make people laugh. Truth of the matter I was the youngest...need I say more? I am not sure if this prank was intentional or not. I am betting it was. So what does this all have to do with cooking? In a convoluted way it does. Blogging people make me pissed off. Myself included. What is it for? It is kinda bullshit. So, I am done. I don't want a book deal. I don't want free samples (although more on that later). I want to live my life in the moment.

Janis: I want to live in the moment.

Brain: Pfffft.

Janis: What?

Brain: How pretentious can you be?

Janis: I mean it.

Brain: Yeah, lets see how that goes...


Unnamed company sent me some Vegan, Noodle and Rice samples. Actually they sent me a lot of them. I ate a package of them and had a dilemma. They were disgusting. I appreciate that they sent them to me but what does one do when free product taste like crap? You quit blogging because if you can't be honest what is the point?


So we have been eating but not much cooking. Here stands roasted on the green egg turkey. It was great and you HAVE to try the rub recipe. That is stove top stuffing. That is canned peas. Now you see why I am having a crisis?


Dr. Food smoked some short ribs. Something about Cherry Dr. Pepper...yada yada yada.


This coleslaw was awesome. Simple and awesome. A coleslaw margarita!

So, that is about it. I might write again and I might not. I just don't like feeling like I have to do it. No one is putting that on me but me.


I am gonna go make maraschino cherries.

Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro
Cooking Light

1/4 C Canola mayo
3 Tbl lime juice
1 Tbl tequila
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 C thinly sliced green onion
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1/2 head cabbage (recipe calls for 14oz packagek of coleslaw but really?)

Throw it all together and toss.

Oleta's Poultry Rub

I got it on line. It was someones ex-mother-in-laws recipe.

2tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbl oil
2 Tbl lime juice

1. Mix dry ingredients together well in a small bowl
2. Slather the turkey down with the oil and the lime juice and massage on the rub.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Short Rib Burgers, Swimming Pools, Indian Potatoes that almost made me cry.


So, it is turning to Summer and I love it. I used to love the rain and cold but now that the rain and cold are the norm, I love Summer.


I bought Dr. Food a new toy for his Birthday. Pffft. I know his birthday isn't until September something. I just thought that buying it now so he could use it for the whole summer would be good. Little did I know that he would want to cook every meal on it. Smoked Cheerios not so good.


So, I wanted Korean burgers. Yeah, all of a sudden I woke up and thought "Janis! I think you need to go find some short ribs to grind up to make Korean Burgers!" Yeah, no, it didn't happen that way. Actually it happened like this:

Janis: Shit, what am I going to make for dinner tonight. Dr. Food will want to use that damn egg to cook on.

Janis: Well, you could just do some chicken.

Janis: I am sick of chicken.

Janis: Lets make Korean Burgers!

That isn't quite how it happened either. More like I felt like Korean food so I went to my favorite Korean cookbook (Kimchi Chronicles)and found a recipe for Tteokgalbi (what? You think it was pretentious that I called it that because I am not korean? Yes, I am an honorary Korean!) ok ok burgers.


So, I went and bought shortribs. I actually found boneless shortrib. I ground it up in the Cuisinart. I didn't even have to drag out the meat grinder.


Dr. Food made the ground meat into patties and we were good to go. I sat back and sipped on a cocktail while Dr Food grilled these puppies up.


Yum. That is all I can say. Yum. These were so good that neither of us spoke. We just ate.




I made a Korean potato salad and something else that I don't remember what it was. What? No, I am not going senile. I know we just had this a few nights ago. Shut up. I know that it was a salad with jicama and asian pear, and cabbage and a lot of stuff that I had to stand there and cut into small pieces. It just wasn't worth it. Dr. Food almost made "that face".

Ok, the potatoes. It wasn't for the same dinner but they are so good that I can't stop making this. Ok, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement. I made it twice so far.


It isn't hard to make at all. I am begging you to make these.


I warn you that they are addictive.


So now what? Nothin....

Tteokgalbi (Seasoned Short Rib Burgers)
Marja Vongerichten The Kimchi Chronicles

1 1/2lb ground short ribs (If you can't find short rib you can substitute ground meat). I simply bought 3lbs of boneless short rib and ground it myself. You can also buy 3lbs of bone in and take it off the bone and grind it.

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic

1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger

3 tablespoons grated Korean pear

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon roasted sesame seeds

1/2 teaspoon course salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat grill to high or preheat a ridged cast iron grill pan over high heat.

Use your hands to gently mix together all of the ingredients just enough to combine and form into burgers. Grill to desired doneness.

Masala Roasted Potatoes
US Masala

12-15 baby red potatoes (washed and halved)
3 fat cloves minced garlic
1" minced ginger
3 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1 tsp chaat masala
2 chopped (I used one) green chili
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4 to 5 curry leaves (I used them once and didn't use them once and there wasn't that much difference)
1/2 cup packed cilantro and mint leaves
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper powder

Preheat oven to 400F.

Grease a large non stick pan and add potatoes.

In a medium pan add oil on medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, followed by the curry leaves. Allow them to sputter. Add the chili, ginger and garlic and cook for a minute. Add the salt and turmeric and take off heat. Pour over potatoes making sure to stir to coat evenly.

Bake until tender and brown about 25-30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so so they brown evenly. Remove from oven and stir in the cilantro, mint, chaat masala, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hi, it's me. I have two salads for you. You need to try them.

2013-05-17 18.13.40

I stink at this blogging stuff. I just don't have enough to say that is worth putting out there. I knit, I cook, I go to work. Repeat. The thing is this... I keep having a dialog with myself.

Janis: You really need to do a blog post

Self: Why? It really doesn't matter.

Janis: Yeah, but it is good to follow through with the blog you started a million years ago.

Self: Really? No one reads it.

Janis: Can you just work with me here?

Self: Ok, for instance... look at the stupid title of this post.

Janis: What about it?

Self: You didn't even say what kind of salads. How can anyone know if they are interested or not if you don't say up front what the recipe is.

Janis: You mean I make them read this shit to find out what the recipe is and that isn't very "honest".

Self: Yeah, kinda like that.

Janis: Shut up.

2013-05-15 17.37.21

This salad was so so so good. It really made me want to stick my face in the bowl. Dr. Food made the "I will eat this but I don't like it" face. What does he know. He is from Texas. Vegetables are optional to Texans. Being a California gal, I could eat these salads with no meat and have no problem with that. To me the meat is optional. We compromise. We only have a goat, pig, and lamb in our freezer. Not much left of any of it.

2013-05-17 18.11.52

See? Meat. I made lamburgers. I even made the pita bread for them to go into.

2013-05-17 16.39.47

Dr. Food liked these. I didn't. HEY! We are kinda like Jack Spratt... Oh, wait. No we aren't.

2013-05-20 17.02.43

Beets! A rice salad with beets. Thing is that it is brown rice. The recipe said that it was a pretty color when done. I disagree.

2013-05-20 18.14.27

I thought it was ugly but tasted really good. Dr. Food made THAT face again. Tell tell sign was that it was almost all left on his plate that he pushed away and said "Thanks for dinner, that was good." Liar. You hated it.

Don't let that sway you. If you are not a Texan and you love vegetables, or if you are a Texan that does like vegetables. Give these recipes a try. This Californian loved them both.

Fava Bean & Corn Salad with Fresh Mint
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Eat Well, by Charity Ferreira (Oxmoor House, 2008).

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (I used fresh corn)
1 1/2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (about 1 1/2 lb.)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs. cider vinegar
8 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn and cook for 1 minute. Remove with a strainer and set aside.

Add the fava beans to the pot and cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Slip the fava beans from their skins.

In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Stir in the corn, fava beans, radishes, mint, 1/2 tsp salt and a few grindings of pepper. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Serves 4.

Beet and Brown Rice Salad with Goat Cheese
Whole Living

1 cup brown basmati, or other brown rice
1 bay leaf
Coarse salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 medium red beets (about 1 pound), without greens, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
2 ounces (about 3/4 cup) soft goat cheese, crumbled

Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in rice, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover. Reduce heat to low; simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand, covered.

Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until nuts are just browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer nuts with a slotted spoon to a small bowl.

Reduce heat to medium-low; add onions and garlic to skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add beets and 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until beets are tender, about 25 minutes (if beets stick to skillet, add up to 1/4 cup water).

Remove bay leaf from rice. Stir rice, half of pine nuts, the lemon zest, and parsley into beet mixture. Transfer to a platter. Top with remaining pine nuts and the goat cheese. Garnish with parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.