Category Archives: meat

alllayers

International Identity Crisis Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”

If you have been with me for a while now, you have come to realize that consistency in posting is not my strong suit.  Being still uncertain of my camera and a fear that what I cook is either too boring or not “good” enough to share are top reasons for my infrequent entries.  The second concern is strong enough that I don’t like to tell people that I keep a food blog.  I get embarrassed if someone asks me about it, something to do with the implication that if you write a food blog you are/should be either more knowledgeable or a better cook than “other people”. . .and I am fully aware that I am not and dread having others think that I think I am!  Then I come to a moment in which I remind myself why I started this blog in the first place.  It wasn’t to win awards, find sponsors, or get a cook book deal (have you noticed this intimidating trend among food bloggers?), fantastic as those things may be; I started writing in the hopes of being able to help people.  In my own way, with my own often unimpressive food, I would like to make a difference.

In addition to these tiny self-esteem issues :), travel and a family business venture have been keeping me on the run.  We recently spent ten days in Georgia trying to make up for the family time that was cut drastically short by the diabolical Christmas flu (note: we will be getting flu shots this year!).  At the same time, Jason (that’s the hubs) is starting a pretty exciting, very tiny business  and I’ve been lucky enough to get to help out with a few minor things, like building a photo light box for his product pics and some drafting and sewing.

So, in a great big nutshell, that is where I have been.  I didn’t get on today intending to have a public therapy session, despite how it is panning out so far.  Nope, I wanted to share a recipe.  I mentioned a few months ago that Jason loves, LOVES marinara and pasta but that I have developed a . . . block against it.  It is crazy, I know, but I feel a little sick just thinking about it.  So, we are still looking for ways to satisfy his sauce longings and keep the cook happy too.  This dish has actually been hanging out in our arsenal for years, but has always played a distant second string to the real noodles.

Chorizo and Feta Spaghetti Squash “Lasagna”

Does the title make better sense now?  This “lasagna” is composed of Mexican chorizo, goat feta, and a basic Italian marinara.  You could easily resolve this identity crisis by doing a more standard italian sausage and mozzarella, but I really enjoy this flavor combination.

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strands

basil

lemon

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finalsquash Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

1 batch basic marinara

3/4 lb mexican chorizo (or sausage/meat of your choice)

6 oz. feta (or mozzarella)

tomato

olive oil

salt

pepper

oregano

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400.  Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and place flesh down on parchment lined pan.  Bake at 400 until shell gives slightly under pressure (between 40 minutes and and hour, depending on the size of your squash).  Remove pan from oven.  With forks or spoon, scraping/scooping width-wise across the squash, remove the strand like flesh into a strainer.  Lightly salt and pepper squash strands and leave to drain.

In large pan over medium high heat, brown meat.  Pour off excess oil when complete, then add 1.5 cups marinara sauce to pan.  Cook meat and sauce together for approx. 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

In hollowed shell, place and press down a small amount of squash.  To this base add one quarter of the meat mixture to each.  Top with one quarter of cheese.  Now distribute one quarter of remaining squash strands and press firmly to create a tight package.  Repeat process, ending with next layer of squash.  Top with sliced tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with oregano.  Return to oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until juices are bubbly and tomatoes are coloring.  Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

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Hot Wings and the State of Things

Hello again.  It has been awhile, but this time I make no apologies.  We have been busy: working, nesting, living, grieving.  We are now firmly planted in our new apartment, and loving it more every day.  We’ve built bookshelves, sold furniture, scouted Craigslist in vain for a sofa small enough to fit up the staircase, enjoyed evening strolls around the neighborhood, and Saturday mornings at the farmers market.  We lost a very dear friend to the darkness of PTSD. In the aftermath we have spent time enjoying one another, making the most of every moment we are blessed to have together.  We have been reminded to appreciate our friends and family, and to invest in those relationships more intentionally.

The transition from winter to warmth, combined with the hectic and the sad, has brought inventive cooking to a standstill.  I have again fallen back to the well known, the easy to produce, comfortable in familiarity.  Though it isn’t earth shattering, I thought I would take a moment to share one of those easy everyday recipes with you, something you can throw together when all you really want is time to enjoy the people around you, while providing a good meal.

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I served these wings with Toasted Millet Salad with Arugula, Quick Pickled Onion and Goat Cheese by Sara Forte as seen at My New Roots

If you are already familiar with processing chicken wings, feel free to skip down to the recipe.  For the rest of you, we are venturing back into the somewhat scary territory of poultry here, but stay with me.  In this post about Herbes de Provence Roasted Chicken we addressed some of the concerns sometimes felt about working with meat and poultry.  If you are new to cooking meat, wings can be far less daunting than a whole bird.  Many stores offer the wings already cut up into two segments, and if time or knife skills are a concern, go for these.  But the whole wings are really easy to process and usually a good bit less expensive.  Here’s what you do:

First, find the joint between the lower wing and the wing tip (the pointy bit with no meat on it).  Find the point where the joint flexes and cut in between.  It may take a few tries, but you will know you’ve found the right angle when the knife doesn’t meet much bone resistance.  Now, same with the upper wing and lower wing.  Flex the joint between the two.  Start cutting through the flap of skin, aiming down toward the knob at the bottom of the upper wing (the part that looks like a miniature drum stick).  Once you’ve gotten there, you will see the elbow joint, a rounded white knuckle of bone.  Cut under that.  Now, practice!  Heck, if you don’t get it right with the first full batch (or five), the things are still edible.  Just make sure you don’t have any little bone fragments attached to your cut pieces.  Rinse, if necessary, and pat dry.

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Hot Wings

Ingredients

garlic powder

cayenne pepper

olive oil

chicken wings (I made about 20 full wings here)

butter

hot sauce (like Franks, Red Hot, etc.)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.

Line large baking pan with parchment; do not use foil because the meat will stick and tear.  Dust prepared wings with cayenne and garlic powder.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Turn oven down to 375; bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Check for doneness (no pink).

Meanwhile place 1/2 cup hot sauce and 1.5 tablespoons of butter in a large pan.  Heat over low to melt butter and combine.  Remove wings from oven and transfer to pan.  Toss (or carefully turn) in sauce to coat.  Heat until sauce is slightly thickened and wings are fully coated.  Serve with lots of napkins!

I’d love to know: What is your favorite meal to share with family and friends?  Tell us about it in the comments below.

 

qpull

Brown Butter Cookies, Q, and a Merry Christmas to You!

Feliz Navidad, mes amis!  I know, I know, I’m mixing my languages, but those two phrases are each so lovely, they should be together once in awhile.  Jason and I are back in Georgia for the Christmas holiday, spending quiet, happy time with family.  My dad gave us an astoundingly tasty welcome with some homemade bbq.

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Say hello to Frank’s Smokin’ Hot Butt!  After 17 hours of smoking and baking, we gorged ourselves on this porky pulled goodness.

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Add homemade sauce, green beans, “cracked taters” and coleslaw, and it was a very nearly perfect meal.  And while I’m not allowed to share the secret recipe for that beautiful butt, I can slip you a little sugary Yuletide cheer.  What would you say to a gluten-free brown butter, chocolate-chip oat cookie?  If you are smart, you are saying, “Yes, please!”.

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This recipe is an update of last Christmas’s gluten-free Chocolate Chip Cookie

Gluten-free Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 c. gluten-free old fashioned rolled oats

½ c. brown rice flour

2 c. tapioca starch

1 c. amaranth flour

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 ½ tsp kosher salt

2 ½ sticks butter, browned and cooled slightly

1 ¼ c. brown sugar

1 c. + 2 Tbs. granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp vanilla

9 – 12 oz. chocolate (I use 70% or higher), chips, chunks or chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.

In a large bowl whisk together flours, starch, oats, baking soda and powder, salt and sugars.In a separate bowl, mix browned and cooled butter, vanilla, and eggs.

Stir wet and dry ingredients together until fully mixed. Finally, add the chocolate and stir until evenly distributed.  Allow dough to rest in refrigerator  at least one hour, or up to three days, then bake .

Bake cookies in oven for 8-15 minutes, depending on desired doneness. Note: cookies may appear lighter in color than wheat flour cookies when done.

Aside from eating and cooking, I’ve spent just a bit of time finishing up my last sewing project.  This is an unflattering photo of my badly ironed new shirt (I’m blaming my mother’s iron, which I am pretty sure predates the last ice age).

newshirt

It is an ivory silk/cotton blend that feels amazing!  I love this fabric so much, this is the second time I’ve used it.  Anyway, enough about my boring-to-you shirt.  I really just wanted to take a few minutes  before Tuesday to say Merry Christmas, and may God bless you as this year comes to a close.

Merry Christmas

 

beetneggburger2

This Is How They Do It Down Under: Aussie Burgers

Can you be homesick for a place you have never called home?  I miss Australia. I miss the smell of the air, the sounds of the voices, the quality of the sunlight, and the amazing wildlife.  To try and assuage my longing a bit, I decided to make a very Australian version of an everyday food: the humble hamburger.

An Australian hamburger has several key elements that differ from the typical American variety:  sliced, cooked beets, fried eggs, and capsicum, a condiment made from bell peppers  and spices that is used as a sandwich spread.  Also, rocket, a play on the French rocquette or arugula, is typical rather than lettuce, at least in restaurants.   I wasn’t able to find any capsicum on short notice, but the beets, egg, and arugula were enough to bring a cozily reminiscent taste to the meal.

Of course, every burger needs a fry, just ask my husband.  His food wish is my command, so here are two recipes for the price of one.

Oven Thyme Fries

serves 4-6

2 med.-lg. russet potatoes, cleaned (and peeled if not organic), and cut in 1/4 to 1/3″ thick stick, or wedges, or whatever you like

olive oil

kosher salt

fresh or dried thyme

Preheat oven to 450.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss cut potatoes with olive oil, salt and thyme.  Cook in oven, turning over gently once, until goldeny brown or done to your liking.  Check at 15 minutes and again every 5 minutes after.

Aussie Burger

serves 4

1+ lb. ground beef (or turkey or your meat substitute)

kosher salt and pepper

bacon optional (a really, really good option)

rocket/arugula

red onion

tomato

1 cooked beet (canned or boil it yourself with water and a touch of vinegar), sliced

1 egg per person

capsicum (or condiments of your choice)

buns optional

Heat cast iron pan on medium heat.  Separate ground meat into four equal portions and, manipulating it as little as possible, form into patties.  Salt and pepper the outside of the meat.  Place on hot pan and cook to desired doneness.  Fry eggs in a bit of olive oil or butter (just a touch).  Layer on your goodies and enjoy this, perhaps unusual, treat!

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Maple-roasted Pumpkin and Crispy Bacon Risotto

Here in mid-November, dark night falls at 5:30 pm.  The quality of the sunlight has changed to a pale, mellow, slanting light from the harsh glare of summer.  Christmas songs keep floating through my mind, to be fought off until the end of Thanksgiving.  I want to cherish each moment, not rush blindly through the holiday season, only to feel exhausted and disenchanted by New Year’s Eve.

In that vein of slowing and savoring, I offer you a warm, cozy meal that combines many of the flavors I associate with  the late fall-come winter season.  This maple roasted pumpkin and crispy bacon risotto is fabulously rich and creamy and meaty tasting.  It is so luscious, indeed, that I recommend serving it with a bright salad (perhaps with orange slices and a pomegranate vinaigrette) to help clear you palate, allowing you to fully luxuriate in each delicious bite.  The colors of all the different elements of this dish are beautiful.  Take a few minutes to appreciate the beauty of what you are cooking (you have to look at it anyway, so you might as well enjoy it!). maple-roasted pumpkin and crispy bacon risotto at www.oneishungry.com

If this is your first risotto, and you feel a bit nervous, check out this post where I talk about some of the hows and wherefores of making a basic risotto and why it really isn’t that intimidating.  So, I implore you to try this, in a hearty bowl before the fire, at a small dinner with friends, or maybe even as a new side for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Trust me, your taste buds and sun-starved soul (for those of us in the dark lands) will thank you!  Not sure what to do with left over pumpkin?  Try throwing it in with your morning oatmeal along with some pecans, or pureeing it to add to yogurt or your favorite pumpkin bread recipe.  This really is the meal that keeps on giving!

Maple- roasted Pumpkin and Crispy Bacon Risotto

inspired by Donal Skehan

makes 4-6 (or 7) mains, or many, many sides!

Ingredients

1 small pumpkin, halved, seeds removed (and saved for roasting!), peeled and cubed- this recipe will use roughly 2-2.5 cups of roasted cubes

2 tsp maple syrup

6-8 pieces of bacon

olive oil

4 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock

1 cup of white wine

3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 sage leaves

1 small to medium red onion, small dice

2 cups Arborio rice

3 tsp butter

3/4 to1 cup parmigiano reggiano, finely grated

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  On a large pan, lined with parchment, toss pumpkin cubes with maple syrup.  Roast in oven until beginning to carmelize and soften, but not mushy.  Check at 20 minutes.  When done, remove from oven, transfer pumpkin to clean plate and place bacon on parchment.  Return to oven and bake until crisp (even if you are a soft bacon person.  the crispness makes it easier to crumble in the final stage).

In a small pan bring stock to a simmer.  Heat wine separately.  In a large pan over medium heat add one tablespoon of olive oil, and sautee onion, garlic, and sage until onion just begins to soften.  Add pumpkin, and continue to cook until onions are soft and translucent.  Return all ingredients to pumpkin plate.  Return pan to stove; add more oil if necessary.  Add rice, and stir to coat each grain with the fat.  Over medium heat sautee rice until it begins to become translucent and give off a warm, toasty fragrance, roughly five minutes.  Add pumpkin and onion mix back to the pan, and continue cooking for about two minutes, then add heated wine (if the wine is cold it will shock the rice causing the outside surface to flake while the inside remains hard).

When the wine has evaporated, increase the heat to medium high and begin to gradually add the simmering stock,one ladle at a time, stirring constantly from this point on. Before the liquid has completely absorbed add more stock. Continue the cycle of stock and stir for 15 to 20 minutes until four cups of the stock have been absorbed. Taste to see if the risotto has reached a desired level of doneness. If you like yours a bit less al dente, add and cook down remaining 1/4 to1/2 cup of stock. Remove from heat; add butter and parm. regg. and stir till smooth and creamy.  Plate, crumble bacon over each portion, and serve immediately.