EwE: Pork bahn mi sandwiches~

29 04 2015

I’m always disappointed when I don’t have time to cook with this group…the ladies are wonderful, and there’s no pressure.  I get even more disappointed when my selected recipe comes and goes and I don’t get to play!!  Pork bahn mi sandwiches were scheduled for April 9th….it’s now the 29th.  Wow, how time flies!!

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A bahn mi is a Vietnamese sandwich filled with grilled meat, cilantro, pickled veggies and crisp cucumber.  I hiked to The Wooly Pig Cafe in San Francisco to try a bahn mi….  The sandwich was well worth the hike, but SF is 150 miles away so I can’t do that as often as I’d like bahn mi!

Time was against me, so I cooked, and didn’t take pictures this time.  I used a softer whole wheat roll rather than the crisp-chewy baguette, and I forgot to buy daikon, so we were “daikon-less.”   I didn’t add quite as much sriracha as the recipe called for….I figured there was some in the marinade for the meat, and some on the sandwich…and I don’t have an asbestos tongue.

Even with the minor adjustments, the sandwiches came out great.  The pork was done just right to be tender and succulent, and with those seasonings and pickled veggies….oh yum!!  All the flavors I was hoping for were there…a little heat, a little cool cucumber to offset it…  Sheer pleasure!

I hope the other ladies enjoyed this recipe from Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders cookbook.  It truly was easy to put together too….after a full workday and a weed-eater session!!

Oh….by the way, the next time I get to venture to The Wooly Pig Cafe….I’m having “The Wooly Pig”!!





EwE: Chicken Paprikash and Parmesan Crusted Chicken

31 03 2015

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I’m so far behind in posting and cooking that I’ve stopped thinking I’ll “catch up”.  I’ll have to settle for posting what I’ve cooked and cooking what calls loudest to me for now.  It’s a challenge to work full time and volunteer semi-full time and still COOK at all some weeks!  A couple concerts and a children’s musical stage play will certainly rearrange your life!

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A few weeks ago, when I was still reasonably on schedule, or doing a reasonable job of convincing myself I was still cooking on schedule, I fixed Ellie’s Chicken Paprikash as selected by Kayte….   Like all Ellie dishes, this went together so very quickly and was super tasty.  We truly enjoyed this one.  I put mine over a bed of noodles

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Next up was the Parmesan crusted chicken… This tasted far better than it looks.  I lost a lot of the Parmesan crust when I turned the chicken.  Doggone it.  Still….darn quick to put together and very tasty.  Sometimes the entrees go together so quickly the sides need to be started first!!

I’m about caught up on rest and ready to jump back into the kitchen…maybe I can even get my dish done ahead…we like Bahn mi!!  We’ll see….  Easter does need to sneak in here somewhere!





Eating with Ellie: Shotgun Wedding Soup

28 01 2015

This post will prove beyond all doubt…I am not a photographer!  I don’t have the right setting to try to make my pictures perfect, and I really don’t have the time to get crazy about that.  It’s cook and take some snapshots, or well…nevermind.  I’ll cook and we’ll leave it at that!  Having said that….trying to get a decent shot was the hardest aspect of this dish!!Featured image

I made the full recipe of Ellie Krieger’s Shotgun Wedding Soup…I wish I knew why!  It was way too much for just the two of us.  I thought maybe that there was only 8 cups of broth would make the batch on the smallish side…but I neglected to take into consideration 1/2 pound of meat and eggs…and some cheese…and a lot of baby spinach.  I’d been warned a half batch as a lot…silly me.  That’s okay…. I love this kind of dish for lunch.  Or a small serving with something else for dinner…there’s an idea!!

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Again…this Weeknight Wonder recipe went together super fast.  It had a nice flavor and a wonderful aroma.  I just couldn’t get a good picture without the flash dancing off the little bit of oil that came to the top of the bowl.  So…you don’t really get to see just how pretty it was…the delicate yellow against the emerald green of the spinach.  I’m sorry.  It really was pretty.  You’ll have to trust me on that part.  Margaret made a great selection!

I followed the recipe almost to the letter…I wasn’t absolutely strict about measurements.  I decided my eggs weren’t quite large enough…or I was a little heavy handed with the parsley…or maybe the parmesan…so I added a small egg and then it looked fluid enough.  I found my mouth wanted some kind of Italian seasoning though.  I’m not sure if I wanted a bit of oregano in the broth or in the meat.  But…messing with the meat might change the delicate texture.  I’ll have to play with a much smaller batch to see what I think in the end!  We had the soup with a big side salad, but a side of pasta would be pretty yummy too.

Next week we have Peggy’s choice… Penne with Grape Tomatoes, Spinach, and Toasted Garlic.   And I have the whole week with only one job.  Time for catch-up cooking!!





I♥CC: MJ-Everything’s Better with Yogurt-Carrot Salad~

27 10 2012

The challenge before us this week at I♥CC is to get to know yogurt a little better…think outside the carton, so to speak…  With the theme, Everything’s Better with Yogurt we were asked to “incorporate yogurt into your dish this week.”  No problem.  I’ve had my eye on a recipe for a couple weeks.

This week I’m cooking from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking.  The recipe for Yogurt with Carrot and Golden Raisins is on page 109.  It’s got a short ingredient list…yogurt, carrot, golden raisins, a bit of oil and a few spices.  And it goes together just about that fast.

Okay, I admit…I made the jump to a carrot-raisin salad with a yogurt dressing…not so  much.  But, once we both got our brains to accept and evaluate what our tongues were trying to tell us, we found it quite interesting and intriguing.  Every new dish brings a new application of familiar spices and other ingredients, opening us to whole new flavor profiles.  This particular dish is served at the end of a meal…kind of a cross between a salad and a dessert.  I’d be inclined to serve this alongside my first hot curry.  It would be a good thing to have handy.   I didn’t find it particularly sweet as in dessert. A traditional carrot-raisin salad done this way has some merit too.  Hmmm….

Next week ought to be most interesting!  With the theme of Indian Tea Party we’re invited to brew some tea and bring a snack for sharing!  Virtually, anyway…  See you then!





I♥CC: Madhur Jaffrey-Spice Bazaar-Tandoori Style Chicken

12 10 2012

We’re in the 2nd week of cooking with Madhur Jaffrey at I♥CC.  This week our theme is “Spice Bazaar.”   That’s for sure!  The cuisine of India is filled with spices…cinnamon, fennugreek, coriander, mustard, star anise…and that’s only the start!  Garam masala is totally foreign to me, but I dutifully ground the ingredients (this time I selected a pre-mixed blend while I await my spice order!) and sifted them, bottled them and I’m using them.  The aroma is enchanting!  Still…I’m really in foreign (no pun intended) territory with this cuisine, so I’m doing my best to select recipes that get us there a little bit at a time…this week I selected Jaffrey’s Tandoori Style Chicken.

One thing I quickly discovered is that not all recipes can be made “same day” in my world without some serious forethought.  I’m not good about forethought.  It took 2 weeks for me to time this with our active-with-diminishing-energy lifestyle.  The chicken marinates at least 8 hours, but overnight would work.  You begin with a salt and lemon short rub and soak, followed by a long bath in yogurt mixed blended with onion, ginger, chile pepper and seasonings…including the enchanting garam masala.  After a long autumn nap in the yogurt mixture, the chicken was baked at a high temp in the upper third of the oven.  Okay…

I seriously think my oven ran overly hot on this one.  I cooked the meat just to the minimum time listed in the recipe…but the juices and marinade were pretty dried and caramelized by that point.   This recipe leads in to Ms. Jaffrey’s recipe for Chicken Tikka.  I was hoping to get to take that extra step…but not with this particular batch.  Maybe next time.  And there will be a next time!

Tasting notes~ This didn’t rate overly high on my scale.  I was anticipating more flavor…although what flavors that were there were rather nice.  I think I need to try this again and keep a careful eye on the cooking time.  It felt like it had some potential….but then…the breast looked underdone.  A couple extra minutes to try to brown it up a little…and it was dry.   I’ll try it again…because I’m really intrigued by Chicken Tikka!  I didn’t photo the finished plate because it was pretty WHITE.  The chicken was light, the steamed basmati rice was white…too much white with no contrast makes not a pretty picture!  LOL!





IHCC: Going RED with Rick Bayless-Salsa and Pork with Potato Taco Filling~

7 09 2012

My selection for IHCC’sEsta Rojo” theme of the week is Rick Bayless’ Essential Chopped Tomato-Serrano Salsa .  Mine was made with jalapenos, rather than serranos as I wanted a nice chile flavor, but not as much heat.  My jalapenos are “gringo” perfect…lots of fruity chile taste without quite as much fire.   We have salsa, but we need something to put it on…must be time for tacos!

This tasty little concoction is Guajillo Spiked Pork and Potato Tacos filling.  Well…almost.  Last week I made the Shredded Beef Soft Tacos from Rick and Lanie’s Excellent Kitchen Adventures.  I had quite a bit of liquid left, and it smelled too wonderful to do anything other than save for something special…I was thinking soup…  However, it looked perfect for the half recipe of pork and potatoes I was putting together, so I went with what I had.  I had used guajillo peppers in my shredded beef, so we were still right on track.

Mmmm…. A little cheese, a few hot tortillas, a swipe of crema, fresh salsa…it’s hard to eat better than this.  It says the recipe is better a day or so later… I’ll have to get back to you on that!  I can say that we didn’t notice the potato wasn’t a piece of the meat, as it absorbed a lot of the flavor…even though I used russet potatoes rather than red potatoes.





Food ‘n’ Flix: Mistress of Spices~

28 06 2012

June brings heat, and what else gives us heat?  Spices…  June’s movie choice at Food ‘n’ Flix was Mistress of Spices, an Indian tale of the mysterious mistresses of the spices, who intuit all manner of needs and cures for their customers through the spices.  Everyone has their own special spice…  This comes at a price, however…the mistress must never touch the skin of another, and she must never, ever leave her shop…  Enter…THE MAN.  I’ll let you watch the movie for yourself…

Now, I honestly cooked for this movie!!  What I didn’t do was take PICTURES!!  I am so ticked off at myself!  I can’t believe I did all that and then blew off the camera!  Arrrrrgh!!

Mistress of Spices Inspired Breast of Chicken

1 tsp. coriander seed
1 tsp. cumin seed
1 tsp. fennel seed
2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1 chicken breast per serving

Toast the ingredients in a hot pan until they’re aromatic and their oils are being released.  Grind (I used a mortar and pestle).  Dust chicken breasts with the ground spices and bring to almost room temperature.   Cook breasts over medium heat in a non-stick skillet until just done.  They will sit while you make the sauce.

To the pan add about 1/4 cup chicken broth to deglaze the pan.   Reduce until syrupy.  Stir in 1/2 cup unflavored yogurt per person.  Serve over rice (good time to use jasmine rice), with the sauce and a vegetable on the side.

Much as you’d have to imagine how it tastes…this time you also have to imagine how it looks… A bit on the pale side for my liking…white rice, light chicken, white sauce…a bit of cilantro snipped overall helps the appearance some…and adds yet another layer of flavor.  There were no complaints about the meal…we both enjoyed the complex spice combination!  Now if I’d only remembered…the…

Now to see how the rest of the group was inspired by this movie, head on over to Culinary Adventures with Camilla for the Food ‘n’ Flix round up!