Biscuits for Bryan

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, frozen 30 minutes
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1⅓ cups buttermilk – (who has buttermilk in their fridge? I used milk + 1.5 T lemon juice)

Heat oven to 375°. Whisk sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 4 cups flour in a large bowl. Using the large holes of a box grater, grate butter into dry ingredients, tossing to coat as you go. I did not have the foresight or patience to pre-freeze the butter, but as long as it’s cold, you should be okay.

Whisk egg yolks and buttermilk (or milk and lemon juice) in a medium bowl. Using a fork, mix buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients, then gently knead a few times just until a shaggy dough comes together. You may need to add more milk at this point to make sure it comes together, just add a bit at a time until everything’s sticking together. If it’s too sticky (i.e. it’s completely adhered to your hands and the bowl), add flour until the dough is more manageable.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and pat out until 1” thick; quarter dough and stack pieces on top of one another and press down to adhere (this will create flaky layers). Roll out dough until 1” thick. Using a 2”-diameter biscuit cutter (I used the measuring cup), cut out biscuits.

Place biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown on the tops and bottoms, 20–25 minutes.

Collard Greens and Chorizo Rice & Beans

Beans & Greens

Full Disclosure: I am not Southern. Not even close. So why would anyone listen to me about how to cook collard greens and a bastardized version of dirty rice?  (Especially when I’ve been a horrible slacker and not posted on this blog in ugh… months) Well, dear readers, the proof is in the, well, collards, as it were. I adapted this recipe from Men’s Health, where the measurements are denoted in “glugs” and feature lengths of cook time such as “shake your manly booty.” Though sauteing collard greens does not require the exact science of making french pastries, I’d like to at least provide you dear readers with standard and gender neutral instructions. These are also referred to as “enlightened” collard greens because they eschew the traditional bacon fat, but I disagree with that value judgement. These are greens. Have at ye:

Collard Greens:

Serves 6.

  • 2 bunches collard greens, de-stemmed and cut into strips
  • 3-4 T olive oil (enough to coat the greens as they wilt)
  • One medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1-2 cups stock (any kind will do)
  • T Maple Syrup
  • T white wine, sherry, or apple cider vinegar

There is a bit of an art to chopping collard greens, kale, swiss chard, or any other giant leafy plant (that’s probably not the scientific term). You can slice out the stems with a knife, or what I do is run my hand along the stem so that the leaf rips apart from the stem. I then lay the collards flat on top of each other and roll them lengthwise, sort of like a jellyroll (but healthier). Then, starting at the top, slice the greens into strips and wash them. You’re going to need a big bowl.

In a large pan or wok, add olive oil and saute onions on medium heat until translucent. Add garlic, chili flakes, and salt and pepper until fragrant. Add collards, and use tongs to slowly coat with the oil. You’ll have to wait until the greens wilt a bit to add in all of them. Once the greens are coated and bright green, add the wine and stock. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the collards are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, and stir in the maple syrup and vinegar. ~fin~

Now. As I do not expect you to eat only a pile of leafy greens for dinner, let me tell you about Chorizo Rice and Beans. This dish is quite simple, as aside from a mirpoix and some cilantro, the dish calls for exactly that. Chorizo. Rice. Beans. The spiciness from the chorizo flavors the whole dish.

Chorizo Rice and Beans:

Serves 6.

  • One chorizo sausage, sliced
  • One medium onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, pared and diced
  • 3 ribs celery, diced
  • one can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups brown rice
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Add 3.5 cups water and the rice in a large pot on high heat. Bring to a boil with the lid off and once it reaches a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Slice the sausage and put it in a large pan on medium heat. Allow the sausage to soften and release the oils. After 5-7 minutes, add the onion, carrots and celery. Once the onions are translucent and the vegetables have a nice sweat going, add the beans. Make sure it’s mixed together well. If necessary, add olive oil, but the oil from the chorizo should coat everything quite nicely. The beans should be cooked for about 10 minutes. Once the rice is ready, add in the rice and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t add too much salt, as the chorizo is already pretty salty). Mix in the cilantro and serve.

The Best Vegan Coleslaw: With Miso-Sesame Dressing

A happy cabbage.

A happy cabbage.

Sunday night I tried my hand at Kenji Lopez’s Carne Adovada— my first time slow cooking pork and my first time reconstituting dried chilies. If I may say, it was a rousing success, though my slow cooker really takes that term literally and took twice as long as the recipe said. I guess that’s what you get with a kitchen appliance you pick up off the street with nothing to recommend it but a post-it note that says that it, “works great.”

However, this post is not about that.

This post is about the side. Until fairly recently, I’ve been wary of coleslaw. It always looks so sad in diners and next to the baked beans at a picnic. However, no longer! Also, this recipe is sans-mayonnaise, so it is vegan-friendly, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Miso-Sesame Coleslaw:

Serves 4-6

Dressing from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, slaw components by yours truly.

  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, cut into thin strips
  • 3 carrots, julianned or grated
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (i used a microplane grater)
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Slice and grate the vegtables and toss in a large bowl. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk thoroughly. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and carrots, coating thoroughly. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, allowing the cabbage to wilt and soften. Enjoy!

Vegetable Chili and the Quest for Delicious Cornbread

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Chili is one of our go-to dishes, no matter the time of year.  It satisfies all of my requirements for a good meal: it’s super healthy, it’s cheap, it’s delicious, and the recipe makes a good amount of food (not to mention how easy it is to pack a bowl of chili to take to work the next day.) This recipe is from my (Lord Tupperware) mother, who, when we told her how often we make it, was surprised to hear how prominent it was in our cooking repertoire.

Cornbread is another matter.  I don’t get cornbread.  Is it sweet? Is it savory? Does it taste like anything at all? What is its relationship to chili? Am I supposed to be able to dip it in the soup or crumble it on top? Should I bake it pot pie style with the chili underneath the cornbread? MAKE UP YOUR MIND ALREADY!

::deep breath::

What I mean to say is, I have not yet found a recipe that I’m happy with.  The cornbread featured so prominently in the photo above is from “Cooking in Cast Iron” and was a step up from our usual recipe (it had pieces of jalapeno and corn kernels in it which provided some good texture and cheddar on top which was good, but, well, fat.) But I am still not satisfied and shall continue my noble quest.  I am, however, continually satisfied with this chili, so without further ado, here is the recipe:

Vegetable Chili

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3-4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3-4 celery stalks, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper (color of your choice), diced
  • 3 jalapenos, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef/turkey (optional)
  • 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 8 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1 t. basil
  • 1-2 t. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • black pepper
  • hot sauce or red pepper flakes for seasoning (optional)
  • 3 cans beans, rinsed and drained (we use 2 kidney and 1 black bean)

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in the a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion, pepper, carrots, celery, garlic, and jalapenos.  Saute until all the vegetables have a good sweat going, but making sure nothing burns, about 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, if you’re choosing to use some ground beef/turkey, heat a large skillet with a splash of oil and break down the meat in the pan until all sides are no longer pink.  A considerable amount of liquid (called fat) will be in the pan, so be sure to drain that before removing the cooked meat into a separate bowl.  Once the vegetables are done, add the diced/crushed tomatoes, the tomato paste (rinse the can with 1.5 cans of water added to the pot), and all the seasonings through the hot sauce.  Cover and let cook over medium heat for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally so that nothing burns at the bottom.  Then add the beans (and ground meat if using) and continue to cook for another 30 minutes.  Truth be told, chili gets better the longer you cook it (and even being reheated the next day) so be patient when cooking this dish.  It’s easy to think it’s done since you’re not looking for any visual cue, but it’s worth the wait.  Enjoy

Mee Goreng and the Launch of the ‘Making Ramen Magnificent’ Series

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This past week, I was on a mission to find fresh egg noodles for the dish pictured above. I went to several groceries before I found what I took to be fresh egg noodles, but after some googling, found out I had make a mistake. What I had spent 4.99 on in an organic grocery store was in fact yaki-soba, or pre-boiled ramen noodles. As you can imagine, I felt like a chump. However, henceforth, I will be forsaking egg noodles, cooking this dish with ramen noodles of the 29 cent variety, and taking the laborious task of boiling water upon myself. This mistake spawned an idea for a series on this blog of ways to give what my elementary after-school teacher “oodles of noodles” more… pizzazz. Readers, I bring you the ‘Making Ramen Magnificent’ recipe series. 

Mee Goreng, according to Ottolenghi’s Plenty, is a popular Indonesian street food composed of spicy fried noodles, vegetables, and citrus. This recipe doesn’t contain any sugary sauces like a lot of stir fries, which is part of what makes it appealing to me, but also because it’s one of those dishes that keeps you coming back for more, and is actually quite easy to make. 

Mee Goreng:

serves 3- I bought twice the ingredients and made it twice within the week

Recipe Credit goes to Yottam Ottolenghi, though parts of it have been tweaked.

  • Oil (I used olive, but peanut or vegetable work as well)
  • Small shallot, thinly sliced
  • Small onion, diced
  • 12 oz tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/3 lb green beans, trimmed 
  • Two baby bok choy, chopped into 1 inch sections
  • 3 packages Top Ramen (The seasoning packets should, for the love of all that is holy, be thrown in the trash)
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 2 t cumin
  • T sambal oelek — this guy
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • One lemon

Bring pot of water to a boil. While the water heats up, get your mise-en-place game on— chopping, dicing, slicing, etc. Once water is hot, add ramen to the water and cook for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or large sautee pan and add the shallots. When shallots are starting to brown, add the onions. Once onions are translucent, push them to the side and add the tofu. (You may need to add more oil). When tofu begins to look golden brown after about 3 minutes, turn them to the other side and repeat until the tofu is golden on all sides. While the tofu is cooking, remove the noodles from heat and drain. Drizzle with a tiny bit of oil to prevent sticking. Add the green beans to the wok and sautee until bright green. Next, add the bok choy, spices, water, and soy sauce. Finally, add the noodles and stir until ingredients are thoroughly mixed. For best results, serve hot with a generous squeeze of lemon and some shredded iceberg lettuce. Enjoy!

My First Baby…er… Making a Dutch Baby Pancake

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Saturday was my first experience making a Dutch baby pancake, which is, as far as I can tell from my cursory research, exactly the same as a German pancake. I’ve been intrigued about this since I saw the recipe in Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen cookbook. As was mentioned in the earlier post, we got a new cookbook for Christmas, and when I saw another Dutch baby recipe therein, I knew it was fate. This recipe is a bit of a bastardization  combination of the two recipes. Before I include the recipe, I’d like to extol the virtues of the Germanic pancake over its American cousin.

  1. No flipping! Seriously— flipping pancake after pancake just seems exhausting when you’re hungover.
  2. While the pancake in the oven, you can use that time to do the rest of your prep for the meal— either making eggs or pouring mimosas or all of the above.
  3. There’s no butter in the batter— not that it’s low fat or anything, (there’s plenty of butter in the pan, after all), but it feels much lighter than a regular pancake.
  4. Since you can only fit one in a pan at a time, there’s no pressure to eat a stack of them.
  5. NO FLIPPING!

Winter Spice Dutch Baby with Warm Apple Slices:

Serves 2– major shout out to the Gingerbread Spice Dutch Baby in Smitten Kitchen

Apple Slices:

  • One apple, peeled and sliced thinly
  • T Butter
  • T Brown sugar

Dutch Baby:

  • 2 eggs
  • T brown sugar
  • t Molasses
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Jamaican allspice
  • 1/2 t fresh ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 T butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Beat the eggs and milk until pale. Add sugar, molasses, and spices and blend until smooth. Melt 2 T butter in a cast iron skillet (make sure to get it up the sides), and one T butter in a small non-stick pan. Pour the batter into the cast iron skillet and put it in the oven for 15-20 minutes (17 was the perfect amount of time for mine). While the dutch baby is in the oven, sautee the apple slices with the butter and sugar, making sure they are evenly coated and hot. I also used this time to fry some eggs and make whipped cream, but no need to go crazy. After 17 minutes, pop that sucker out of the oven (use a mitt!) and remove the pancake from the pan with tongs. Once on a plate, pour the apple mixture on top, and feel free to add powdered sugar (whipped cream was gilding the lily, I found. Share with a loved one or just take that wonderful carb straight to the face.

 

 

Cider Glazed Pork Chops with Cranberries and Thyme

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Hello all! Lord Tupperware here for my first post.  I had a pretty lazy Wednesday this week and thought I would cook up something a little out-of-the-ordinary.  I love pork chops, but they don’t really satisfy my usual criteria of being able to make a bunch of it at once and eat through the week because they tend to dry out.  But for one or two meals, they’re delicious.  I used  a recipe from “Cooking in Cast Iron” (a recent gift from the Lady Tupperware’s parents) but instead of dried figs (which were nowhere to be found in the grocery store) I used fresh cranberries instead. To accompany the chops, I made some risotto a la the America’s Test Kitchen recipe and roasted some broccoli with garlic in the oven at 400 for about 20 minutes. On to the recipe:

Cider Glazed Pork Chops with Cranberries and Thyme:

  • 4 bone-in center cut pork chops (each about 1 inch thick)
  • Salt + Pepper (duh)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1-2 T fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup apple cider

Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel (as you should with any meats) and season lightly with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high and add the garlic, shallots, and thyme.  Cook until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes.  Add the pork chops to the skillet (our chops were a bit too big for the pan, so we did them in two batches) and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to a plate, and tent with foil.  Add the apple cider to deglaze the pan.  Then add in the fresh cranberries.  The cranberries will begin to pop and the liquid will start to reduce.  At this point, about 3-5 minutes later, add the chops back in to cook to their desired temperature (about 5 minutes for medium).  Serve with the risotto and broccoli. Pack it up for lunch the next day!

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