Friday, October 30, 2009

Spiced Shrimps (crevettes d'epices)

these are good. so good. i make them pretty often. we all like them, almost too much.... he he.

2 pounds large shrimp
3 tbsp olive oil or other oil
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)
1 tsp garlic powder (or several cloves minced garlic)
1 tsp obion powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

heat the broiler with the rack on the second rung. mix the spices with the oil. you can peel the shrimp or leave them unpeeled and have peel and eat going on. toss the shrimp with the spice mixture. spread out on a baking sheet in a single layer. place under the broiler about 10-15 minutes, or until firm. Don't overcook!

you can make scampi this way too, just use butter and garlic instead of spices, and add lemon juice.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hot and Sour

This was an utter accident. I AM NOT CLAIMING THIS IS TRADITIONAL IN ANY WAY!! i was making pot roast and one mistake was fixed by one thing, and another was added...and so on. The reason i call it hot and sour soup is that the broth is so similar. the ingredients, however, are very different. this is a soup so as always, veggies and meats may vary. this was the only broth Yacine ever told me to keep in the freezer for later.

one pot roast
oil for browning

2 beef bullion cubes
1/8 cup soy sauce
1 tsp Korean chili paste (sambal olek) or chili paste of choice
1 tbsp sugar
red wine vinegar
celery leaves from a bunch of celery (optional) 

one sliced onion, some mushrooms, bamboo shoots, anything else you wish. scallions would be good instead of onions, and so on.

heat the oil. salt the meat liberally. brown every side very well. i like to see every inch browned until almost crisp. cover with water. simmer on low for 4 hours. add flavorings except vinegar, simmer another half hour. add veggies. one more half hour or until veggies are cooked and meat is falling apart tender. add vinegar, a few splashes at a time, until it is to your liking. add more sugar if needed, or more chili paste. it all depends on what you like.

shred the meat ( it should take nooo effort). serve in the soup or on the side. i made sandwiches with the meat and the soup was a sort of french dip au jus.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shepherd's Pie

I just made this dish tonight with all the leftover veggies and potatoes, including one and a half pounds of lean ground beef, a cup of shredded cheddar and paprika to top it off. Here's a complete list of the ingredients:

6-8 medium potatoes, cut in pieces and boiled to be mashed (boil with 2 cloves of garlic and some leek or onion for more flavour)
1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef fried with olive oil and:
1-2 chopped onions, 1 red pepper, 1/2 cup vegetarian broth (or beef broth); when the meat is browned, add any vegetables left in your fridge (chopped cabbage, corn, peas, carrots, etc.)
Add 2-3 tablespoons of flour to the mixture to thicken it; allow it to cool and spoon it into a baking dish
Mashed potatoes (with a little cream and butter) can be added to cover the top of the meat and veggie mixture. Sprinkle the top with paprika and shredded cheddar and/or mozzarella

Other variations to this recipe:
For some spice, add some cayenne or chili pepper to the meat while cooking.
Fresh dill or parsley can be mixed in with the potatoes when mashing

Saturday, October 24, 2009

easy sausage sandwiches.

I will preface this posting with two points. 1. Since school started for the quarter, My cooking has reduced to what i can make in 30 minutes or less. This is fine, there is a pretty rich lady named Rachael Ray who got rich off this concept. but dont expect a lot of fancy pantsy stuff until winter break. 2. Sandwiches are THE perfect food of all time.

I like this recipe because it has veggies that are so good, you barely know they are veggies.

Italian sausage links (or sausage of choice)
french bread rolls

for the veggies
1 onion, sliced thinly
1 bell pepper, also sliced thinly
about 3 cups shredded cabbage
1 shredded carrot
1/4 cup red wine vinegar (or white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, or rice wine get the point)
chili flakes (optional and to your taste)

cook the sausage and toast the rolls. if the rolls are not pre-cut, try cutting them almost in half, rather than in half, that way the veggies don't fall all over your lap.

in a deep pan, heat a little oil. add the onion and bell pepper, cook until soft. add the cabbage and continue to cook, tossing occasionaly, until browned and caramelized. add salt, chili flakes and vinegar. cook about 5 minutes more.

assemble sandwiches, two sausages and a big pile of veggies. if you wish you can melt some cheese on top in the broiler. this would also be good without the cabbage, and with roasted or sliced tomatoes. or tomato sauce and cheese. sun dried tomatoes could be good in there. this is why i love sandwiches. they can be anything!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Apple Egg Rolls

Tired of the same old apple pie? Or the same old egg rolls? Try these instead:

Apple Egg Rolls


1/3-3/4 cups water
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the egg, mix with water. Combine flour and salt and slowly add 1/3 c of the water and egg mixture. If its too dry, add the water a little at a time until a pliable dough has formed. Knead dough until elastic. Divide into two balls and let rest under damp towel or in a sealed plastic container at least 10 minutes. Divide again into four and roll as flat as you can (or, if you have a noodle maker, use the flat rollers in progressively thinner settings). Cut into squares, fill with apple filling, roll, seal by applying a thin layer of water.

Apple filling:

Several apples, I prefer fujis, galas, or granny smith. Peel and slice.
White Sugar
Brown sugar
2-3 tbsp Flour
Raisins, chopped dates

Mix apples and desired amount of sugar, spices, and flour. Sorry I can't be more specific but it depends a lot on how many apples you used and its hard to measure that kind of thing. The secret ingredient here is experience. This would be the same filling you would use for an apple pie.

Fry rolls in oil until golden brown. Sprinkle immediately with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. If you have leftover egg roll wrappers, cut them into triangles, fry and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or honey. They are like mini elephant ears.

salmon rice pt 2

by Andrea

So I was hungry today and I decided to make this for lunch just after Jacque posted it (see previous post: Cheesy Salmon Rice w/Artichokes)

But I had some different stuff. Here's what I used:

Jasmine rice instead of regular, vegetable boillion instead of chicken, Alaskan smoked salmon, and frozen peas instead of artichokes, tossed in during the final step so they didn't overcook. I also added a splash of milk to make it more creamy.

So not including the 20 minutes it takes for rice to cook, this took me like 5 or 10 minutes to cook, and was at least as easy (if not easier) than making a box of mac & cheese.

So I suppose if I were to rewrite this recipe for how I cooked it, it would look like this:

1 cup Jasmine rice, cooked with 2 cups vegetable broth
2 Tbsp Butter
3-4 Tbsp milk
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup frozen peas

Cook rice in broth. Melt butter in pan. Add rice, milk, and cheese. Mix together. Break salmon into chunks (remove skin if desired). Add salmon along with peas to rice mixture. Cook until heated through. No need for salt, pepper only if desired.


Delicious, easy, and it would have been cheap if I hadn't used fancy local smoked salmon. But even with that it was cheap for how good, filling, and nutritious it was. It's also another example of a technique that can be applied with any number of ingredients. Different varieties of fish, either fresh, canned, or smoked, different vegetables, different rice (try long grain brown for an even healthier version), different cheeses, and it can be a side dish or a main dish. You could even use different meat entirelly. I would say its basically the same thing if you used chicken, mushrooms, and swiss cheese. Or cubed pork, brocolli, and monterey jack. Etc etc. I love versatility.

Cheesy salmon rice with artichokes

The baby Shoveled this cheesy concoction in his mouth like there was no tomorrow. and i think the whole dish cost me 4 dollars.

1 cup uncooked rice
1 chicken bullion cube

1 can salmon, no bones or bones removed (tuna is ok too)
1 can artichoke hearts, chopped small
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other melting cheese of choice)
chopped parsley

cook the rice according to the package, but add the bullion cube. meanwhile mix the remaining ingredients. add the cooked rice and mix well. 

heat a little oil in a frying pan. add the rice and spread out. cook on medium high until the bottom starts to brown. mix and serve.

easy as rice.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chadya coleslaw

This is easy and a great way to make summer when only winter veggies are available.
1/2 head cabbage
1 apple
1/2 cup golden raisins (black is ok but not as pretty)
1 carrot


1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp sweet hot mustard (or any mustard you choose, dijon or spicy brown is good too)
1 tbsp sugar or honey
pinch salt
chop the cabbage in small cubes (like KFC does), shred the carrot, chop the cored and peeled apple into small cubes, add raisins. toss with the dressing. chill until serving time. eat.

easy as coleslaw.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Okay, the woman herself, Chadya or Jacque, as I know her, recently did a post on roasted tomatoes. So, why another? Because this style of roasting is a bit different, the tomatoes are slow roasted at 225 for 8-9 hours. That's right, HOURS!!! The flavor is much more intense, similar to sun-dried tomatoes and when covered in good olive oil, can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.

The tomatoes I used were organic red and yellow slicing tomatoes, grown by a farmer about 12 miles from my house. I got them at my local Food Co-op, which is where I buy pretty much all of my produce. I would rather buy local produce, in season, especially tomatoes. Who wants a tomato in January, pale, bland, insipid? So, the next best thing is either can, which I cannot be bothered to do, sun-dry or slow roast. I have had success freezing the tomatoes, but they must be covered in good olive oil and I cannot stress the "good" part enough. You do not have to spend a fortune for extra virgin olive oil, just use something that you would cook with and you will be set. About the only difference after freezing is the tomatoes become a bit mushier, but since they are already fairly mushy after roasting, this is really a non-issue.

Wash and dry tomatoes well, then get out your cutting board and have at it. Slice in half, then place cut side up on a baking sheet. Make sure you use one that has sides as you will be pouring olive oil over the tomatoes and a flat sheet just will not cut it. Make sure there is about 1/2 inch between tomatoes, then drizzle with oil. I like to mince garlic and fresh thyme leaves to top them with, just gives added depth of flavor. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and grated fresh black pepper then place in the oven. I like to do two sheets at a time, then rotate every other hour so they roast evenly.

Be prepared for the entire house to smell heavenly; garlic, thyme and tomatoes slowly roasting is a scent I now relate to the end of summer. This batch took about 8 hours to cook. You can tell when they are done by how the sides have wilted inward and the tomatoes are looking pretty wrinkled on the sides. After they have cooled for a bit, the tomatoes are ready to taste. Take a small bite, feel the crunch of the garlic and the savory tomatoey taste, then right before you swallow, the most intense rush of tomato flavor explodes in your mouth! I can taste it now, so rich and almost sweet, you literally cannot eat just one. I must have had at least four before I could bring myself to stop, at least so I could take a photo. These beauties have been used as a topping on toasted French bread, topped a divine pizza recently made but forgot to take a photo of in my haste to eat, as well as been eaten straight from the bowl. Once you have put them in a container and covered with oil, being in the fridge will make the oil congeal, so just take out how ever many you want and let come to room temperature then enjoy. I think I will have the last two pieces of pizza and enjoy my little bit of summer's bounty.

Cheese Potatoes (or twice baked potatoes)

deeeeeeeliscious. either with or without the bacon is fine.

10-12 baking potatoes
1 1/2 cups sour cream (more if needed)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 package bacon, cubed and cooked. 
1 stick butter

bake the potatoes until soft. cool enough to handle. slice in half legthwise and scoop out the the potatoes, keeping the skins intact (these are little bowls now). add cheese, sour cream, bacon, and onions. mash with a potato masher and mix well. place a small pat of butter on each potato skin. scoop the potato mixture back into the skins, place on baking sheets, and bake at 425 degrees until they start to brown at the edges.

you can reheat and eat these, so they are great to make in large batches and freeze or bring to lunch. Also they are deeeeeeliscious.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Roasted tomatoes

heat the oven to 425 degrees.

cut roma tomatoes in half, pull out the seeds but not the ribs. sprinkle with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and a little sugar.

roast until all squishy. if they start to fill up with water tilt the pan until they empty. add a little more sugar at this point if they arent caramelizing....

scoop from the skins (they remove easy) and serve with whatever makes sense (i made mine with spaghetti squash and sauteed mushrooms.