Monthly Archives: January 2011
Happy Monday my friends! Before you start grumbling under your breath about there being no such thing as a happy Monday, prepare yourself. Grab a cup of coffee and spend the next few minutes at work (or at home) in the sweetest form of escapism that exists. For the next few minutes, I invite you to dive into the sweet and delicious compilation of treats that have been gathered on two wonderful sites.
The first party is taking place over at Steph’s Bite by Bite blog. At 7am this morning, the auction opened for bidding on all of the baked goods that were donated for Steph’s bake sale. Her Team in Training is working to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It is such an important cause and one that is very dear to me. Please run (not walk!) yourself over to her site and consider bidding on those delicious treats!
The second party is being hosted by Nancy over at Spicie Foodie. The Your Best Recipe roundup is a collection of dishes that participating bloggers have contributed. Each month, we get to pick our favorite dish that we made and share it with the awesome community of readers on her blog.
Come on, isn’t this a great way to start a new week? You get to contribute to a great cause and drool over a collection of delicious recipes! Can us food blog readers ask for more on a Monday morning? I think not!
The last thing I wanted to share with you is my *happy dance*! On Saturday afternoon, I received in the mail a treat that I had been hoping for ever since she announced it’s release. It’s Nancy’s cookbook! I can’t wait to try the different recipes and drool over the phenomenal photography on each page.
Well, here we are. It is finally Friday of what has been a long and very busy week. But the weekend is finally upon us, and I have plenty of fun plans to celebrate the last three days of the Triangle Restaurant Week!
Since the last few days have been so packed, I planned ahead with the week’s menu and made a sauce that would last me for a few lunch and dinner meals.
Before you gasp at the quantities listed in the ingredients to the left, know that I doubled the recipe so that I could have enough to last us over a few days. And, if you’re normal (unlike me) you can make enough pasta in advance so that all you have to worry about is reheating it in the microwave.
However, if you aren’t normal (like me) and you have a thing against reheated pasta, then you’ll have to take an extra couple of minutes into account in prepping the leftovers. Don’t roll your eyes! I’m not imagining it (I don’t think..)! The consistency of pasta changes once it has been microwaved. It gets gummy, or hard and it just bugs me. All this means is that you have to warm up water in a tiny pot just for pasta. It will take an extra 15 minutes, but it’s worth it to me to have freshly cooked past. (Ok… I suppose it’s silly enough that you can roll your eyes…)
The recipe is adapted from Spitler & Yoakam’s 1,001 Best Low-Fat Recipes, and is very simple and versatile. If you are of the vegetarian persuasion, you can simply omit the chicken and have a very flavorful dish. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, I don’t think you would miss the chicken if you left it out. There are enough harmonious notes in the dish to keep your palette intrigued. The only thing I will try changing next time is the olives. The black olives were nice, but I’d like to taste what kalamata olives would do to the flavor.
It’s time to start getting ready to close up shop and let the Friday fun begin! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
A few nights ago, the pelirojo took charge of supper by making his famous blue cheese steaks and mashed potatoes. The meal was delicious (as usual) and left us with a big tupperware full of leftover mashed potatoes. Do you know what we do with leftover mashed potatoes in this house? We make potato cakes!
Knowing what to do with the potatoes was the easy part. Now came the hard part: finding a new recipe that would produce some sauce or broth to spoon over the cakes.
Enter one of my new cookbooks: 1,001 Best Low-Fat Recipes by Sue Spitler. I found a delicious recipe for a beef roast that had a really interesting combination of ingredients for the rub. The apricot preserves combined with the mustard and horseradish made my mouth salivate enough to add the ingredients to the grocery list. After a quick trip to the store, I had everything I needed to start.
The recipe originally asks you to roast the roast (hehe) in the oven, but I liked the thought of throwing it in the crock pot and forgetting about it until supper time. After measuring out the first five ingredients into a bowl, I got to bust out my mortar and pestle to crush the caraway seeds and the peppercorns. I added the crushed spices and the allspice into the bowl, stirred everything well, and then smeared it onto the roast. The roast went into the crock pot with a bit of beef broth (to assist with the juiciness) for four hours.
During the last hour of the beef’s cooking time, I started working on shaping the mashed potatoes into little cakes. Once I achieved the desired shape, I dropped each cake into a mixture of corn meal, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. During this step of the process, the mashed potatoes start warming up in your hands from being handled. For this reason, after I shaped the cakes and covered them in the meal mix, I put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. This helps the cakes to keep their form during the frying process. While they were chilling in the freezer, I started warming up the olive oil in a frying pan. I used the wooden spoon trick to see if the oil was ready and then dropped the cakes in one by one.
The hardest part of frying the cakes is trying to flip them over without them falling apart. I can never get them to look particularly pretty, but this batch turned out just how I wanted them. The outside of the cakes was a crispy golden color and the texture was perfect to accompany the roast. The beef turned out juicy and tender, and the broth that was left behind was great for spooning over the cakes.
It’s hard to go wrong with this kind of combination. Meat and potatoes always go well together, no? The kick of the beef’s seasoning was unique, bold, and incredibly flavorful. It’s definitely a ‘keeper’ recipe!