Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pork Fried *Rice*

It's been awhile since I've done anything with my food blog..... And I figured out why today... It's impossible to take good pictures and be able to cook all at the same time! Worse yet, now that my hubby is working eves, I have no one to take my pictures! However, I do want to pay more attention to my blog and give it some love, so I decided to try taking a few pictures of what I had prepped and then talking about the dish some.

One of my goals this year has been to work on eating less processed food. We are already pretty much well on our way as most of the food I now buy is from a CSA that I belong to called *Bear's Honeypot*. Bear and his wife Karrie strive to provide the freshest food year round to those who order from them. I got involved with Bear's about two years ago when my doctor asked me to give stronger consideration to my diet due to some health issues that may develop for me down the road. We've always eaten pretty fresh, but now the majority of our food is the freshest we can get. Bear's has become sort of a sensation here...and the amazing thing is, the business has grown due to Facebook. Just amazing.

Last week saw us get pretty much a boatload of veggies in our share. So many that I really needed to figure out what to do with some of them since there was only so much we could eat at a sitting. In my quest for less carbs, that crazy website Pinterest kept coming up with *Fried Rice* made with cauliflower. My initial thought of this was *are you kidding?* Seriously, the only way I ever ate cauliflower as a kid was swimming in cheese or cooked to the point of mush! (My mother, God love her, thinks that a pressure cooker makes everything taste good!) For that reason, it was never really a favorite vegetable of mine at all. I really avoided it like the plague!

Our share the previous week had this beautiful cauliflower in it. I really didn't know what to do with it at all. I was afraid that it was going to go bad and I would end up putting it in the compost pile. I started searching for a recipe last week and the main one that came up was the Paleo happy recipe called Pork Fried *Rice*. The next load of veggies came in last week and lo and behold, there was still a lonely cauliflower staring at me from the fridge! There were also mushrooms, spinach, purple carrots, spring onions, free range eggs, and garlic. I had some boneless pork ribs in the basement freezer and some frozen peas and thought I would give it a chance. The recipe consists of the following:
1 cauliflower head
3 carrots (I had purple ones, but any will do)
1 cup baby spinach
1 small onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of mushrooms
5 spring onions
3 boneless ribs (pre-marinated in a low sodium soy)
2 free range eggs
1/2 cup or so frozen peas
Organic Shoyu or soy sauce
sesame oil

Now this is where it gets a little strange. I went looking for how to *rice* this cauliflower. I found all sorts of methods. The one I selected was the blender method. I cut the cauliflower up and stuck it in my blender (I have a Cuisinart with a pulse button) along with some water....roughly 2 cups. I turned the blender on pulse and pulsed the vegetable until it turned rice like. I then drained it in a strainer until I finished preparing the other veggies....this gave it ample time to drain the water.
I cut the carrots in fourths and hacked them up. I diced the small onion into pieces as well as the garlic. I placed all three of these in a large measuring cup. I washed the baby spinach and mushrooms. I quartered the mushrooms and put them in a bowl. I cut the pork into small pieces and set them aside. I sliced up the green onions, taking the white part of the onion and putting it in the large measuring cup so that it would cook. I pushed the sliced green scallion to the side. I broke the two eggs in a cup, added a sprinkle or two of the shoyu, beat the eggs and set aside.
I have a wok and a power burner, so I heated the wok up way hot, added some sesame oil and got cooking! I made the onions, garlic and carrots first. I then added the pork, a little at a time. I then added the mushrooms. Once I had all of it done, I pulled them out and started cooking the *rice*, adding some shoyu to it. I then added the spinach and peas, whisking it around with the *rice*. I cleared out the bottom of the pan, cooked the scrambled egg until done, then added the pork and veggies back to the wok, along with the green onion slices, mixing them up just a little more. At this point, my son Josh came in and said what are we having....lol, I told him *Fried Rice* with cauliflower. He looked at me like I had two heads. He proceeded to try it and come back for seconds. This means it's a winner. I have to say, it was pretty darned tasty!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

My take on Cincinnati Chili

Chocolate in chili....are you kidding??
Ok, so we are snowed in today and I have so many other things that I could be doing, but I thought it would be a lot more fun to make Cincinnati style chili rather than try to work on my project of downsizing our house since I really have no place to put the junk that we pitch even if it does seem like an ideal day. I always make this for the Super Bowl....my youngest son Josh just expects it to be on the table! I have eaten it in Ohio several times and it seems to have a lot of interpretations....this is a variation of a recipe that I found on the Food Network that I have tweaked a little more to suit our tastes here at home. Yeah, if you are from Cincinnati, Ohio, this one may not be your thing, but to me recipes are only meant to be a guide....I love to be adventurous and make recipes my own!
This is spice intensive....I usually buy my spices at either Trader Joe's or Whole Foods....SOOOOOO much cheaper! Have fun!

* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 onions, chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground allspice
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 2 pounds ground chuck
* Kosher salt
* 1 1/2 cup tomato juice
* 1 cup diced tomatoes
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 full cubes of unsweetened baking chocolate
* 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
* 4 tablespoons brown sugar
* Freshly ground pepper
* 12 ounces cooked spaghetti
* 1 19-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 pound grated cheddar cheese

Directions

Heat the oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add half the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, a few turns of pepper and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy. I allow this to simmer for about 45 minutes.

Discard the bay leaf and add the drained and washed kidney beans. Serve on top spaghetti with cheddar cheese. We usually put sour cream on as well. Not the traditional with the oyster crackers and raw onions, but it's well loved in our house!






Very ingredient intensive







Getting ready to cook!







Cooking the onions!







Getting ready to mince the garlic







Garlic minced







Cooking the onions and garlic until somewhat tender







Adding all the spices!







I bought a mortar and pestal so that I could buy whole spices. That way I only need one kind and I can crush the spice for the amount I need. In this case, it's cloves. I didn't need much to make 1/4 of a teaspoon! You can also use a coffee bean grinder which works just as well.







My cloves after just smacking them a little.







Throwing the myriad of spices in!







Adding the ground chuck







Breaking it up in the pot







Meat is done, getting ready for the tomatoes







A can of diced tomatoes and about 1 1/2 cups of tomato juice







Adding the tomatoes to the mixture







Adding the chocolate(!) bay leaf, vinegar and worcestershire







Finished pot before adding the beans....yum!

Friday, February 20, 2009

*Brick* oven style pizza











I just LOVE working with yeast!

One of the things that I wanted to make was pizza. I kept finding recipes that were for a bread dough style pizza and I was looking more for a brick oven style....something like you would get at Bertuccis. Since we aren't wealthy, the first problem was how would I make it. We don't have a wood fired oven and thought it would be impossible to even come close to even getting the product I was looking for! I read some bread maker blogs and then came across this one http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001199.html
and so far the recipe on that site has been a dream! The next thing I did was purchase a baking stone from King Arthur flour.
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/detail.jsp?id=5236"
I originally tried to bake a pizza on the Pampered Chef stone, but because the stone needed to be heated for an hour at 500 degrees, I was afraid of breaking my beloved, well seasoned stone. Took two weeks for shipping, but when I got it, I planned to make pizza within the week.

Some things I have learned. I make my dough in my Kitchen Aid mixer. I found that by keeping it in the refrigerator for 3 days made working the dough much easier. It has rested and much easier to stretch. I wasn't too sure of instant yeast when I bought it from King Arthur. I had always used normal yeast, but I have had very good luck with the instant and I am very happy with my results. Use good olive oil and you will get amazing results. Also San Marzano tomatoes make really good pizza sauce. You really will be pleased with the flavor! When you make your own pizza, you know what goes into it and it's a food that even amateurs can be creative with. Just remember on a Neapolitan pizza, less is more. It doesn't mean you can't have fun, but this isn't a Chicago style pizza that you can just load up with the kitchen sink.

I have plans to make some different varieties pizzas as I go along...I have stayed with the classic of tomato, cheese and adding pepperoni and mushrooms.

We haven't had a pizza out in a few months!

Monday, January 19, 2009

The joy of cooking

I have been renewing my love lately of cooking for my husband and family. Many people find it hard to understand but for me it's a very passionate thing. For me, it's like creating great art. I use it as stress relief. A recipe for me is only a guide.....I change things around often.

I am one of Ina Garten's biggest fans and I love to watch her in the afternoon on the Food Network. While I don't feel we necessarily cook alike mainly because most of the food she makes tends to be on a higher end of what the local supermarket handles, I love how at ease she is with food. I understand the feeling well because it's the way I feel.

My daughter and son in law came for breakfast today and I made biscuits. The following is the recipe.

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups of flour
6 tablespoons of butter
1 cup and 1 teaspoon of buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Sift the dry ingredients together. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the flour takes on the look of small peas. Add buttermilk gradually then kneed on a floured board, but do not overkneed. Cut out biscuits and bake on a stoneware sheet if you have on. If not, it will work on a buttered cookie sheet. Brush with melted butter if desired.

Here is what you will end up with!

Bon Appetit!!