Category Archives: pork

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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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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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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).

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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

 

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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.