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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

This was one of my favorite dishes growing up, and is a good way to eat a lot of fresh veggies. The name is just what my mom used to call it, it most closely resembles chow mein.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

      • 2-3 lbs chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
      • 2 carrots, julienned*
      • 1 red pepper, thinly slices*
      • 1 bunch green onions, sliced to ~1inch pieces on the diagonal (both white and green parts)*
      • 1-2 cups sugar snap peas, stringed*
      • 1-2 cups bok choy, roughly chopped*
      • 1 cup bean sprouts*
      • 6-8 servings Chinese egg noodles, get the kind that looks like this (I have had good luck finding them in Asian markets).
      • 1.5 cups chicken broth
      • 3 Tablespoons corn starch
      • ~1/4 cup soy sauce, to taste
      • 1 egg white
      • Neutral cooking oil (such as vegetable or canola)

*Note, you can leave out or change the amount of any of the veggies to suite your taste

 

Directions:

  1. Prep veggies and chicken.
  2. Start a large pot of water to boil and preheat the oven to 350F.
  3. In a bowl combine the egg white with 1 tablespoon corn starch, once well mixed stir in the chicken and then cover and set aside. (Note, you can do this step several hours/a day in advance and then keep refrigerated.)
  4. Add egg noodles to boiling water and cook them according to the instructions. Once done cooking strain and toss with 1/8-1/4 cup oil, until the noodles are well covered. Spread noodles out on a baking sheet in an even layer. Put noodles in the oven, check every 10 minutes until the start to become crispy. Once they begin to become crispy toss/stir them and then spread in a thin layer again and put back in the oven. When they get close to your desired done-ness, start checking them every 5 minutes. While the noodles cook move on to the rest of the cooking, this way everything is done roughly at the same time. Once the noodles are done, remove them from the oven and set them aside.
  5. On high heat add ~1 Tablespoon oil to a wok. Once very hot add chicken, stirring often cook until brown bit start to form on the chicken. Once done remove chicken to a bowl and set aside. Return wok to high heat.
  6. Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok, once very hot add all the veggies except for the bok choy and bean sprouts. Stirring frequently cook until veggies are almost done and still crispy.
  7. While veggies cook, make the sauce by combining the chicken broth, soy sauce and 2 Tablespoons corn starch, mixing until corn starch is dissolved.
  8. Once veggies are almost done add the bok choy and cooked chicken and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Once bok choy leaves are wilted add the sauce, and stir to coat. Then add the bean sprouts and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat.
  10. To serve, in a large dish arrange the noodles around the platter, breaking them up into smaller chunks to make for easier serving, leaving a whole in the center. Then add the chicken and vegetable mixture to the middle. By not covering all the noodles on the serving platter they will stay crispy longer. Serve immediately.
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Baked Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Baked Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

Makes about 15 meatballs

Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce

  • 2 T Olive Oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • Salt to taste

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 lb ground veal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t dried oregano
  • some pepper
  • 1/4 onion, very finely diced
  • 5-6 small, dark mushrooms, very finely diced
  • 3-4 sprigs parsley, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In an wide, oven-proof pot saute onions in olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat.  Then add garlic and saute until garlic starts to brown.
  3. Once garlic starts to brown reduce heat to medium-low and add both cans of tomatoes. Bring to a low simmer and add basil. Now make the meatballs, stirring the sauce every few minutes. If sauce sticks to the bottom then lower than heat.
  4. To make meatballs: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Create medium sized meatballs, about half the size of the palm of your hand (they won’t bet very sticky.) Put meatballs on a plate or pan while you make them.
  5. Once meatballs are made and the sauce has been simmering for 10 minutes or more, turn off the heat of the sauce. Gently place the meatballs in sauce, makings sure they are close, but not completely touching.
  6. Place the pot in the middle of the oven, uncovered, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir every 5-10 minutes. The first few times stirring be very careful and mostly just turn the meatballs in their place. Once they become more cooked, you should be able to gently stir them.
  7. Garnish with Parmesan if inclined

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So I’ve been a bit lax about posting the last year, so to try a new approach I am going to share some of my favorite recipes from other sources and some of the changes I made to them.

Pork tenderloin with pureed cauliflower

Pork tenderloin with pureed cauliflower

This is probably my favorite pork tenderloin recipe, it’s just amazing! Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/grilled-pork-tenderloin-recipe/index.html

I made just a few tweaks here. I add 2 more chipotle peppers to the marinade to kick up the heat and flavor, and I use all the marinade in the first step (In the “tent” step, I just tent it without the extra liquid). Instead of discarding the marinade I cook it down for at least 20 min and serve the reduced marinade over the pork. Another trick I use when I don’t have time to let it marinate over night is to use a vacuum sealer as it infuses the flavor into the food faster. I serve this with a quick cauliflower puree, made with cooked cauliflower, lots of butter, a little cream, and some salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

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lasagna

Campfire Dutch Oven Lasagna

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

  • Spinach and Meat Sauce (see below for recipe, make before the trip and then keep cold)
  • 12 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 32 oz ricotta
  • 1 package fresh lasagna noodles
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Build up a large camp fire for at least an hour to ensure an abundance of coals.
  2. Oil the inside of the dutch oven.
  3. Spread a layer of sauce across the bottom, add a layer of noodles (you will have to cut them to fit the shape of the dutch oven.) Top the noodles with a layer of ricotta and a layer of mozzarella. Repeat until sauce and noodles are used up, end with the mozzarella layer.
  4. Keep a small fire going in one corner of the fire circle. Put a layer of coals down, place dutch oven on top, add a layer of coals to the lid. Rotate the dutch oven every 15 minutes (since the heat for the fire will also do some cooking.) Every 30 minutes replace the coals.
  5. After 1 hour check for done-ness, cheese should be starting to brown, check every 15-20 minutes after that.

Spinach and Meat Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Sweet or Spicy Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 3 large cans of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 onions, diced
  • 1/2 head of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 large handfuls of basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 bag or large bunch of spinach, washed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a enameled cast iron pot*, cook sausage in a healthy amount of olive oil for about 8-10 minutes (does not need to be fully cooked, but should be broken up.)
  2. Add onions and more olive oil if needed and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook on low for about an hour, stirring often.
  5. Add basil and cook for another 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in spinach, cook until spinach wilts. Remove from heat and serve or let cool and store.

*I find a heavy pot works best for slow cooking sauces because there is less potential to burn. Use what you have, just be careful of burning if you use a lighter pot.

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Carnitas

 

carnitas

Spicy Carnitas in a Crock Pot

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Pork Shoulder (3-4lbs)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregano
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 small can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (use less if you prefer less spicy)
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Salt, to taste (~1 teaspoon)

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for 6-8 hours
  2. Remove meat from crock pot and shred on a baking sheet. Add some of the cooking liquid until moist (about 1.5 cups)
  3. Broil meat until crispy on the outside but moist in the middle, stirring every 5-10 minutes. Add more cooking liquid if necessary

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Eggs for Dinner

This fast and hearty dish was inspired by a recipe for fried eggs topped homemade chive olive oil from one of my latest cookbooks. However I wanted something more substantial that I could eat for dinner, so after rummaging through my fridge this is what I came up with. The chickpeas become nice and crunchy, the kale gives a great salty flavor, served with thinly sliced and lightly toasted french bread you have yourself a fantastic meal in less than 30 minutes!

Eggs for Dinner

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 eggs (depends on how hungry you are)
  • 1 bunch kale or chard, washed and roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1.5 ounce pancetta (or bacon), roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • herb blended/infused oil* (optional)
  • French bread, sliced and toasted for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan (preferably cast iron) on medium high heat and add the pancetta. Give a few good stirs and add shallots. After 1-2 min, before shallots start to brown add the chickpeas and cook for another few minutes until shallots and chickpeas start to brown. If pancetta is not fatty enough add a little bit of olive oil so that the chickpeas have a bit of crunch.
  2. Once everything starts to brown add the kale (or chard) and a little more oil if needed. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Cook until kale is throughly cooked, about 6-8 minutes. Divide between two plates.
  3. Add oil to the pan and coat. Crack eggs into pan and cook until desired firmness (I prefer mine sunny side up, but you might like your flipped). Drizzle with herb oil while cooking.
  4. Top the chickpeas and greens mixture with eggs and serve immediately.

Notes:

*While you can buy herb infused oils at the store you can also make your own, just combine 1/2 extra virgin olive oil with 1 cup chopped herb of your choice and some salt in a food processor until well blended. (I made my herb oil with chives!)

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This recipe is a great alternative to a traditional lasagna, using bacon and braised winter greens. Feel free to substitute the Swiss chard with kale, or even spinach in the summer. You could also go meatless and skip the bacon, but what would be the fun in that? Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do.

White and Green Lasagna with Bacon

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 fresh lasagna sheets (I prefer to make my own whole wheat lasagna for this)
  • 2 cups ricotta Cheese
  • 14-16 ounces Mozzarella Cheese, sliced thinly
  • 12 pieces thick center cut bacon (about one package)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook bacon in a large skillet until still chewy. Put bacon on plate or cutting board reserving the fat in the pan.
  3. Add onion and mushrooms to the bacon fat and sauté until golden. At this point add the Swiss chard and cook for another minute or two until it begins to wilt. Add the tomatoes and broth, salt to taste, cover and simmer stirring every few minutes for 10-15 minutes, until chard is tender.
  4. While the chard is cooking, dice the bacon. Once the chard is done add it to the mixture and remove from heat. Drain off some of the remaining liquid into a separate cup.
  5. Oil you baking pan. Line the bottom with 1/3 of the Swiss chard mix. Top with 1/4 of the ricotta and mozzarella slices. Cover with lasagna sheets. Repeat twice more. Now you should have lasagna sheets on the top and 1/4 of the ricotta and mozzarella left. drizzle the reserved braising liquid over the lasagna sheet and crumble on the ricotta and add the slices of mozzarella trying to cover most of the pasta.
  6. Bake for 45min – 1 hour, until cheese on the top has melted and turned a golden brown and most of the liquid has cooked off. Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

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