Got this recipe from Eating Well (September/October 2015) but it was a little fussy on the ingredients. Simplified it to just use stuff in the house
Pork and Snow Peas Ramen
A simple (45 minutes start to finish) weeknight meal. Tender pork, crunchy snow peas, and filling noodles.
Servings: 4 -6
- Soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sherry or rice wine
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 Tbls toasted sesame oil
- 1 lb pork loin
- 1/4 cu chicken brth
- 1 Tbls Sambol hot chili sauce optional
- 1 tsp molasses
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- ground pepper to taste
- 8 oz snow peas
- 4 packages ramen noodles
- peanut or canola oil for sauteing
- 3 Tbls chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
- 3 Tbls toasted sesame seeds
- 3 scallions diced
Prep marinade by combining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 Tbls dry sherry, cornstarch, 1/2 tsp sesame oil in medium bowl. Cut pork at an angle into slices 1/4" thick, then cross-cut those into strips about 1/2" wide. Toss pork with marinade and set aside for at least 30 min.
While marinading, whisk together broth, 3 Tbls soy sauce, molasses, sugar, pepper, 2 tsp sesame oil. Also add the Sambol chili sauce if using.Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add snow peas and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the peas are bright green, but still crisp. Remove peas quickly, leaving water to boil. Immediately rinse peas with cold water.
Add noodles to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse.
Heat skillet (or wok if you have one). Add peanut or canola oil and heat until smoking. Add pork to pan and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes.
Add noodles, snow peas, and sauce to the pan with the pork. Toss to combine.
Serve topped with peanuts, scallions, and sesame seeds.
Beef chili is one of those meals that you think needs to simmer all day. But it doesn’t have to; in fact, this has become one of our standards that can be made in about an hour, and keeps on giving all week.
The recipe is based, originally on a Smokey Beef and Bacon Chili recipe from Sunset Magazine. Over the years, we’ve tweaked it to make it a bit easier and tastier.
Beef Chili Recipe
Quick beef chili
A beef chili recipe that's simple, quick, and filling. Great for a crowd, with rich flavors of bacon, beef and spices. Not very hot, but it's simple to increase the spiciness
- 6 slices bacon chopped
- 1 onion diced
- 1 clove garlic diced
- 1.5 lbs ground beef
- 1.5 Tbls chili powder
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1.5 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 can 14.5 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 can 14.5 oz tomato sauce
- 12 oz dark beer
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 can 14.5 oz black beans
- 1 can 14.5 oz kidney beans
- 1 can 14.5 oz pinto beans
Saute the bacon for a few minutes until it starts to brown a bit (5 min), then add onion and cook another 5 minutes or until it start to get translucent. Toss in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
Add the ground beef and brown it for about 5 minutes. Add spices and stir for a minute. Add tomatoes, sauce, beer, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
Drain and rise the beans and add, then simmer for another 5 minutes.
Serve with rice, cheese, sour cream, all the usual fixings. Feel free to add more spice, since this isn't very hot.
I love hot cocoa. I mean, really love it. But I feel like a lot of people are willing to count any warm brown liquid off as the real deal. It’s disappointing to me, when I’m shivering around a camp fire to watch someone tear open a pack of Swiss Miss. The powdered stuff just doesn’t have real cocoa flavor. It’s all the sadder because great cocoa is only 1 extra step.
A super easy recipe for hot cocoa with deep, rich chocolate flavor
Servings: 4 -6
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder. I like to use a mixture of regular and dutch process cocoa
- 1/3-1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 1/2 cup milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- pinch salt
Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and water in a sauce pan.
Stir over high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Stir to dissolve all the sugar and break up lumps in the cocoa.
Add milk, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the temperature reaches ~135F.
Serve with marshmallows.
This is one of our favorite recipes. The sweetness of the butternut squash contrasts perfectly with the saltiness of the bacon. It cooks up fairly easily except for the pain of cutting up the butternut squash. If you’ve read my other risotto post, you know that cooking the risotto is way easier than most cookbooks make it out to be.
Butternut Squash Risotto with Bacon
Servings: 6 -8
- 1 small butternut squash should be about 4-5 cups cubed
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 3 cups chicken broth 2 cans
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/4 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 slices bacon
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Chop the squash in cubes, about 1/2 - 3/4 inch. This can be done in advance and frozen. We discussed grating or mincing a lot of it to ease absorbing into the mix.
Heat the broth and water and leave simmering
In a big skillet (with a cover), heat some oil or butter and saute the onion until a bit tender.
Add arborio rice and saute for a few minutes
Add wine and stir until absorbed
Dump in about 2-3 cups of the broth along with the squash. Stir well, then slap the cover on and reduce to simmer. See my other post about why you don't need to do that "stir constantly" crap.
Microwave the bacon, probably about 6-10 minutes. When it's done, chop into small bits
Every so often, stir the rice and add more broth if needed.
After about 20 minute, rice will be tender. Mash up the squash. Add bacon and cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
SUNDAY I ATE
Breakfast: Custard filled doughnut from All Star
Lunch: Leftover pizza.
Dinner: Beef and beer chili
Dessert: Leftover peppermint cake
Originally inspired by Epicurious. This is a favorite; it’s fairly quick and easy, but tastes like the sort of thing that should have taken all day and several trips to the store.
It’s great with rice or pasta. Also delicious as leftover lunch the next day.
A quick chicken dish with a sophisticated taste.
Servings: 4 -6
- 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
- 8 sage leaves
- 4 prosciutto slices
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 cup low-salt chicken broth
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
The original recipe calls for pounding the chicken breasts, which is fine. They're more tender that way, sure. But that makes a gross mess in the kitchen and this works just fine without that step.
Pre-heat over to 200 degrees and place a heatproof platter inside.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Press sage leaves into the chicken breast. Drape with a slice of prosciutto and press them tightly together. Pat chicken into flour and cover lightly but completely on both sides.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken, prosciutto side down, about 4 minutes. Turn chicken over and cook another 4 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer chicken to oven and allow to rest until interior temp reaches 140 or whatever temp makes you feel all safe and stuff.
Whisk wine with remaining 1 tablespoon flour in small bowl. Pour broth and lemon juice into skillet and bring to boil. Add wine mixture a bit at a time, whisking until sauce thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with rice, topped with sauce
This has been our go-to recipe for salmon for a long time, mainly because it is so easy and we usually have what we need in the house. It adds very subtle flavors. I think the original inspiration may have come from Bon Appetit a long time ago. Theirs was in the oven, but in practice, I often do this on the grill.
- 1-2 lbs of salmon had 1.5 lbs today... that was ample for 2 adults, one salmon-crazed kid and one picky eater.
- 4-8 stems of rosemary
- 1 red onion sliced
- 2 lemons thinly sliced
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
Heat grill on high or oven to 500 F
For the grill, make a foil tray, large enough for all the fish
Arrange about 1/2 the rosemary on the tray
Spread sliced red onion on top of rosemary.
Drizzle some olive oil around.
Place salmon, skin down, on top of onions and add salt and pepper.
Arrange more rosemary on top of fish
Top with the lemon slices and more olive oil.
Grill for about 15 minutes, until just cooked through.
MONDAY I ATE
Breakfast: Grapenuts with cranberry juice
Lunch: Leftover pizza from Little Star
Afternoon snack: A couple of chocolate chip cookies from Bittersweet.
Dinner: Pasta with arugula pesto from the garden.
Dessert: Egg creams (actually we quickly turned them into chocolate sodas). This is a revelation for us dessert-wise… when I was growing up, my brother’s friend, Tom, worked at Baskin Robins. He was 9 or so years older, so I was maybe 6 and thought it was so cool that I knew the guy at Baskin Robins. If it wasn’t busy, I got to try all sorts of flavors and one day he made something special for me — an Ice Cream Soda. This was just chocolate sauce, seltzer water, and a scoop of ice cream. It kind of reminded me of that scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where Willy Wonka hands Charlie the mug of chocolate to drink (“hasn’t there been anything to eat in your house lately”) and as the “chocolate ran down his throat… his whole body… began to tingle with pleasure, and a feeling of intense happiness spread over him.” Seriously, I love chocolate sodas that much. I used to order them all the time, which gave many an ice-cream parlor employee a conniption fit. I eventually learned to just tell them how to make them. But I’ve kind of stopped ordering that kind of stuff, and hadn’t had one in a while. Then Suzanne was reading Seriously Bittersweet (by Alice Medrich) and she had a great description of her love of egg creams. Now I’d never had an egg cream and always assumed I wouldn’t like them because I don’t like eggs, but it turns out they don’t have eggs in them… you know how it goes. Turns out I love them. But I like them better with a scoop of ice cream and now we’re right back to my beloved ice cream soda.
Basically, pour some milk in a glass, and some soda water (hello Sodastream!) and add chocolate sauce.
To make it better, Alice offers a chocolate sauce recipe. I always kind of thought I should just bottle up the first step of making hot chocolate, and it turns out, I should have. This stuff is fantastic.
Originally found this recipe in The Joy of Cooking and it quickly became a favorite. But then, what with one thing and another, it dropped out of the rotation. The ingredients here are pretty similar, but over time I’ve changed the order of operations and really sped things up.
One of my favorite risotto tips I got from my brother. He currently tests missiles or something else he can’t talk about, but once upon a time, he was a line cook in one of those really fancy restaurants at a resort with a celebrity chef’s name on the door. One day, cooking there, he was gently massaging the stock into the risotto 1/2 cup at a time the way everyone says you’re supposed to do, when a more experienced chef walked by. That guy laughed at him and said “watch this” then dumped all the stock in gave it a stir and told him to walk away. Sure enough, 15 or 20 minutes later, it tasted just the same. A bunch of stirring at the end gets the starch mixed in, but meanwhile, you’re free to prep the later ingredients instead of stuck at the stove. The one thing to watch out for is to make sure it doesn’t run out of liquid before it’s tender… the rice will burn and stick to the pan, and that’s no fun.
Corn and Tomato Risotto
Quick and simple risotto recipe with a bright, fresh taste. Corn and ripe tomatoes give a summer flavor to the rich rice.
Servings: 6 -8
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup scallions white part only finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cup arborio rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 3 ears corn
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- dash salt
Put the chicken stock on to simmer.
Heat the butter in a large skillet (one with a lid) until it foams and subsides. Add onions and saute until softened. Add arborio rice and saute for a minute or two. Add white wine and simmer until reduced.
Pour about 1/2 of the chicken stock into the saute pan. Stir well to mix it in. Then put the cover on (you can also skip the cover, but then you have a bit more evaporation) and leave it to simmer for about 10 minutes while you prep some other stuff.
Speaking of prepping other stuff... Cut the kernels off the corn (should be about 2 cups). Take 1 cup of kernals and puree in the Cuisinart. Maybe give the rice a stir and make sure it's not scorching. Add more broth if it's mostly absorbed.
Cut up the tomatoes, add with the basil and the lime juice. Throw in a dash of salt.
Check the rice. Again, might need to give it some more broth and a quick stir. If it's starting to soften a bit, throw in the pureed corn. Pop the lid back on and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.
When the stock is well absorbed, taste to make sure the rice is tender enough to eat. Then stir in the rest of the corn kernels and the tomato mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with Parmesan cheese.