Sunday, August 5, 2018

Breakfast Frittata

     I have mentioned before my enduring love of the frittata. I've done a baked pasta frittata and a vegetable frittataSomehow I just never got around to making one for breakfast. Not surprisingly, it was delicious. It's pretty hard to screw up breakfast unless you just burn the living shit out of it.
Not much else to say about this. It's versatile. Add other veggies, change out the sausage with bacon or ham, or just leave it out if meat's not your thing. Use different cheese. Get crazy. As always, notes are in blue.

Breakfast Frittata

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 lb. pork breakfast sausage
  • 4 small potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup salsa (we used Red Cactus Sweet Heat Salsa)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C, Gasmark5)
  2. On the stovetop, place a cast iron skillet on medium high heat and add oil. Add potatoes. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until potatoes start to get tender. 
  3. Add onions and sausage. Mix and cook until sausage is cooked through. Drain any excess oil.
  4. In a bowl, add the eggs and milk (please remember to crack open the eggs.) Add salsa seasoning to desired level. Whisk until everything is incorporated.
  5. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook on the stovetop for about 5-7 minutes. 
  6. Move skillet into oven and cook for about 15 minutes, or until eggs are almost completely set.
  7. Top with the shredded cheese and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted and started to bubble.
  8. Take out of oven and let set for a few minutes. 
Good times!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Too Damned Easy Spicy Orange Chicken

     If there is any one thing we, as a species, can agree on, one unifying truth, it is that orange chicken is the bomb-diggety. The gold standard is Panda Express. That sickly sweet, orange, cloying sauce that sticks to everything. It fills you with happiness and self loathing as you order a three item combo and then ask for orange chicken for all three items. I decided to attempt to replicate that recipe at home. I totally failed. However, what I made was still really, really good. It still had the sticky sweet consistency tinged with orange, with a little heat added from some Sriracha. This is a really quick and easy recipe if you already have pepper jelly on hand. If you don't, you're going to have to make it. Alternately, you could probably get away with using orange marmalade mixed with some Sriracha or pepper flakes if you can't bring yourself to make the jelly from scratch. Give it a try and tell me what you think! You won't hurt my feelings; I just delete negative comments anyways. :) As always, notes are in blue.

Too Damned Easy Spicy Orange Chicken

  • 1-1/2 pounds breaded chicken tenders, cooked (have not breaded if you don't like breading or have a gluten intolerance)
  • 1/2 pint pepper jelly (if you don't have access to pepper jelly, and you have the time, I recommend the recipe I use. Just click this link! Mind you, making pepper jelly from scratch renders this recipe "not too damned easy" but is still worth the effort)
  • 3 tablespoons butter/margarine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bag (12-16 ounces) frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 2 teaspoons white sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Sriracha to taste (optional) 
  1. In a large, deep pan, add water, butter, and pepper jelly. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. simmer until water has reduced by about half. You'll know if you're ready if you run a spatula along the bottom and it leaves a trail in the jelly. 
  2. In a small cup, add the corn starch and water and mix into a slurry. Stir into the pepper jelly in the pan.
  3. Add the chicken, broccoli, extract, zest and sesame seeds. Toss to ensure everything is evenly coated. (if you're using Sriracha, or some other hot sauce, you would add it here. Alternately, you could just serve it with the meal and add it to your individual serving.)
  4. Serve over white rice and garnish with the green onion.
Good times!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Pork Chops in Mulberry Sauce

Ah, the mulberry. Mulberry bushes are an absolute blight on my property. I have spoken at length on the mulberry in my post about making Mulberry Jam. The bushes are just as out of hand as they were when I wrote that post a couple of years ago, and now we have discovered we have a bush that produces WHITE mulberries! We thought they were unripe regular mulberries, but it turns out we are very stupid. Anyways, I have been looking at things to do with our regular load of mulberries (we are getting over a half pound daily), and I found an old Pol Martin recipe that used blackberries with veal chops. I modified it and here we are. The Wife and I were both really surprised at the flavor. We expected it to be noticeably sweet, but it turns out to be very subtle and a great compliment to the pork. This sauce would also work great with chicken. Give it a try and tell me what you think! Or don't I haven't really posted in like three months so you don't really owe me anything. As always, notes are in blue.

Pork Chops with Mulberry Sauce
  • 4 pork chops, about 4 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup mulberries, stems removed (have fun with that. I recommend using fingernail clippers to just snip them off)
  • 1-1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (we used Pinot Grigio. If you can't or don't use wine, just bump the beef broth up to 2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bavarian Seasoning from The Spice House (if you don't have access to it, just season with salt and pepper to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  1. Heat oil in a pan. Cook chops on medium-high heat for about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and keep them warm.
  2. Add the wine to the hot pan to deglaze the pan (scrape up all the good bits that are at the bottom of the pan). Add the onion and mulberries and cook  on high for about 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Add the beef stock and seasoning. Lower to a simmer and cook for about 5-7 minutes. 
  4. In a small cup, mix the corn starch into the water. Pour the mixture into the sauce. Turn off heat. Stir until sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Serve the pork chops and cover with a spoonful of the sauce and berries.
Good times!

BONUS! Here's the video of the recipe!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Multi-Cooker Pressure Cooker Posole (Pozole)

     Ah, posole (pozole). This is such a simple dish. At its core, just pork, hominy and peppers. Done well, it is one of the greatest winter comfort foods we can think of. Served with some corn bread or tamales, you really have something special. If you have a few hours to spend to make it right, do it. If you don't, it's time to drag out the multi-cooker. I took a Bon Appetit recipe and repurposed it for pressure cooking. The ingredients are fundamentally the same. However, the actual cooking process has been significantly changed. We found that the pressure cooker version tasted close enough to identical to the original recipe, but shaved over two hours off the time. Do yourself a favor and try this. As always, notes are in blue.

adapted from Red Posole with Pork from Bon Appetit 
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder (Boston butt) (we used a 3 pound pork loin)
  • 1 large white onion, sliced, plus chopped for serving
  • 2 heads of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 10 guajillo chiles, ribs and seeds removed
  • 6 dried chiles de ├írbol, ribs and seeds removed
  • 3 15-ounce cans white hominy, rinsed
  • Thinly sliced cabbage and radishes, dried oregano, and lime wedges (for serving)
  1. In a pot (not the multi-cooker, we're talking about stove-top right now), add the chiles and three cups of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Pour peppers and water into a blender/food processor, or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into your multi-cooker.
  2. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf, cloves, and hominy to the multi cooker. Add salt, if desired (we have used adobo seasoning with good results; about 1 teaspoon). Lay the pork (fat side up) on top of the contents of the multi-cooker.
  3. Add enough water to the multi-cooker to bring it a bit under the 2/3 full line.
  4. Attach lid and set cooker to HIGH pressure for 1 hour. (on our Crock-Pot cooker, this is the MEAT/STEW setting)
  5. After cooking, use a natural steam release for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, open the release valve and carefully let out the remaining steam.
  6. Remove the pork and discard the fat. Shred the pork and return to the pot. Stir, and set to BROWN/SAUTEE for about 10 more minutes. 
  7. Serve with the garnishes. 
Good Times!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder In Turnip Gravy

So people have been yammering about the Instant Pot for quite a while now. They swear by it. As for me, I was too cheap to buy one. However, The Wife came through at Christmas and bought me a Crock Pot Multi-Cooker. It was less money than an actual Instant Pot, and basically does all the same things. I have to say, these things are great. They do legitimately save a bunch of time and are super easy to use. I used mine enough that I worked through most of the recipes in the manual and the recipe book I got along with it. It was time to try a recipe of my own and see how it worked. It worked great! I ended up with a hearty, tasty main course that unfortunately looks like canned dog food. I imagine maybe running an immersion blender in the gravy might help with the visuals, but I'm lazy like that. If you have one of these multi-cooker, I'd say give it a try. If you don't like it, it's probably something you did wrong. I've tried to explain the settings in a way that you could figure out what buttons to use if you have a different cookers. If there's confusion, just message me. As always, notes are in blue.

Pressure Cooker (Instant-Pot/Multi Cooker) 
Pork Shoulder in Turnip Gravy
  • 4-5 pound pork shoulder, preferably boneless, cut in half
  • 3 turnips, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cup dry white wine (if you don't want the alcohol, substitute chicken or vegetable stock. As a last resort, you can just use water)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • OPTIONAL: 3-4 tablespoons of pepper jelly/jam (we used Darn Hot Berrily Hot Jam. Unfortunately, it looks like they don't make it anymore. However, they have a number of other items that would work here. Check them out at Darn Hot Peppers)
  1. Add oil to pot and set pot to "SAUTEE/BROWN"
  2. Add pork to pot and brown each piece on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove pork to a plate.
  3. In a large bowl, toss vegetables with sage, salt, and pepper (use however much salt and pepper you like. I used probably about 1 teaspoon of each. You could probably bump up to 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt if you like that sort of thing). Add vegetables to cooker and sautee, stirring occasionally, for about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add the liquid to the veggies and let it get to a boil (give it a couple minutes at the boil if you're using wine to get rid of the alcohol)
  5. Lay the pork on top of the veggies. If you're using the pepper jam, spread it over the top of the pork. 
  6. Put on the lid and set the cooker to HIGH pressure for 1 hour. (In our case, we used the MEAT setting and adjusted the time to an hour)
  7. At the end of the cooking, use a NATURAL release for about 10-15 minutes, then open the valve to release any steam (be careful, there's still going to be a fair amount of steam in there)
  8. Remove pork to a plate. Shred or slice depending on how you like to serve it. 
  9. Get a plastic or vinyl masher and smash the living hell out of the veggies. Leaving in some chunks is fine.
  10. Mix the corn starch with an equal amount of cold water. Add the mix to the cooker and set the cooker back on BROWN/SAUTEE until the mixture starts to bubble. Let it go for a minute or two, stirring, then switch the heat to WARM for serving.
  11. You can either throw the pork back in the gravy or serve the gravy on the side. 
Good Times!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I haven't quit posting!

For the record, I'm still cooking. It turns out having a toddler takes up a fair amount of time. I've gotten really good at shouting "NO NO! THAT'S HOT HOT! DON'T THROW YOUR RUBBER DUCKS ON THE SKILLET!" I assure you, I will have more recipes and videos coming soon.