Monday, February 27, 2012

Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

The perfect hard-boiled egg.  For me, having a cooked egg in the fridge is the start of a good day.  It's a healthy and quick way to get some protein punch, and with only 70 calories, it really is a dieter's friend.  If overcooked the egg can get a greenish yolk with a dry powdery texture - and that, my friends, is not good eats.  Follow my lead and your yolks will be just cooked - golden and creamy, and well, perfect!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pork Lo Mein

So what to do with all that super tender pork butt you made the other night?  This time around I decided to go in an Asian direction.  With no Chinese restaurants in my town, I often get that craving for some MSG (oops! I mean umami).  Pork Lo mein to the rescue!  This is a great recipe to use with chicken, beef or tofu as well.  So get your woks out and let's begin!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Boneless Pork Butt

Pork Butt, also called Boston Butt, is actually a somewhat tough (but full of fat and connective tissue) cut of meat from the upper shoulder area.  It is the perfect braising cut!  In the past, I've used the picnic, or the lower shoulder, but that usually comes with bone and skin (which is a pain to remove.)  So having a ready to go, boneless cut of meat makes this a low maintenance dish which involves 3 steps: dry rub marinade, searing and braising.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Apple Chicken Sausage with Roasted Butternut Squash and couscous

When chicken sausage goes on sale, I scoop it up.  You've seen the spicy, Italian and garlic options, but have you ever seen Al Fresco's Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage and thought to yourself, "what on earth would I do with that?!"  Cooking with apples always makes me think of fall and all its wonderful flavors -- so why not put them all into one dish?  I also had apples and a butternut squash on hand, so I took it from there.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Eggplant Dahl with yellow split peas

Dahl (dal) is a thick stew-like dish made from dried lentils, peas or beans and provides a protein punch for people on a mostly vegetarian diet.  For people on a budget, this is a winner!  A pound of yellow split peas for a dollar along with an eggplant and some crisper staples will provide you with at least 6-8 servings!  Instead of using a ton of individual spices to liven it up, I choose to use Penzey's Garam Masala.  It's a lovely mix of coriander, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, charnushka, caraway, cloves, ginger and nutmeg.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Broccoli Rabe - Rapini

Broccoli Rabe with quinoa, brown rice and cranberries

Broccoli rabe, aka rapini, is a member of the turnip family and is a common Italian sidedish. It has a slightly bitter quality and it reminds me of a mix of spinach, broccoli and kale. A bunch of Andy Boy brand rabe ($2.39) from the market is enough for 4 servings. It packs a good dose of Vitamins A & C as well as calcium and iron. Cooking it in the correct manner (blanching it before sauteing) will eliminate a majority of its bitterness. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Olive Oil Pumpkin Bread

I was recently lent an issue of Fine Cooking magazine - and immediately decided that I had to make every single recipe in it. I haven't made them all yet, but I started out with this one that really spoke to me. Ellie Krieger is a nutritionist who hosts a show on the Food Network. I've always loved her healthier recipes, so this one for olive oil pumpkin bread made my mouth water!