Archive for ‘Quick’

March 18, 2012

Weeknight Wow | Pork Jowl Pasta with Monkfish

We all get stuck in a weeknight routine, I know.  I’ve heard the complaints — “I don’t know what to make and I don’t have the time to make it anyway.”

Maybe all you need is to take something familiar and give it a little tweak.

Enter pork jowls.  In Italian it’s guanciale, and it’s sliced and cured in a manner similar to bacon.  But it’s a deeper, richer almost gamey flavor that brings something different to your weeknight plate.  Fry them up, toss them with some familiar ingredients and you’ll have a pasta that’s delicious on its own.  Add some slices of easily-prepared monkfish and you can serve your loved ones something wonderfully unexpected.

Just be sure to maintain the mystery: don’t tell them how easy it was.

Pork Jowl Pasta with Roasted Monkfish

For the pasta sauce:

1/3 lbs. of sliced pork jowl

Pinch of red pepper flakes

read more »

March 10, 2012

Quick Deliciousness | Walnut Aillade

ImageThis is the most marvelous thing to put on top of pasta, fish, crispy duck breasts, wild rice.  Oh goodness.  It’s good on anything.  I’m planning on putting it on top of some eggs and cream cheese and bagels from The Bagel Tree tomorrow morning.

It is many times like this that I feel very much like Nigella Lawson in the final few shots of her television program, greedily going through the fridge, late at night, slathering spicy spreads on whatever it is that she cooked that day.  But you know, the woman really knows how to cobble together a bite.

And I do, too, if I do say so myself.

This little spread will work wonderfully on lots of things.  And it comes together with just a few ingredients and a fast whiz in the food processor.  Moments, really.

Walnut Aillade, makes enough to sauce a dinner for three or four, plus a bit for late night slathering of snacks

1/2 c walnuts

read more »

February 26, 2012

Southern Twist | Black-eyed Pea Hummus

I made a whole mess of black-eyed peas and had plenty of leftovers.  And to me, black eyed peas are already so creamy, that they almost just beg to be made into a hummus.  With only four ingredients, aside from the aforementioned peas and saltpepperoliveoil, it’s a snap to fix.

And I have to say, this batch came out even more velvety than I could imagine.  I think it was the generous use of tahini along with an already willing bean.

It was all gobbled up in no time flat.

Black-eyed Pea Hummus

3 green onions, thinly sliced

3 large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled

read more »

January 17, 2012

Best Topping for Tacos | Cactus with Prickly Pear Vinaigrette

I was recently forwarded this Nigel Slater article that really drives home the importance of doing some big cooking on the weekend (such as this roast pork shoulder in the article) so that you have enough for several meals that require minimal prep for the rest of the week.  I love cooking in this way.  And pork shoulder is literally one of the most cooked cuts in this house.  It’s economical and super, super flavorful.

Our leftover roast pork was converted into tacos one night.  And one of the things I often find elevates the humble taco is the quality of the crispy cold salad on top.  At good taco stands, you’ll find some cold radishes, or perhaps some chopped onion and cilantro, maybe a bit of lime to squeeze on top of that rich carnitas or barbacoa.  I love the contrast in flavors, textures and temperatures.

This quick cold salad is tasty enough on its own for lunch, but is fantastic on some of that pork.  You can sub some radishes and apples (add lovely sweetness) for the cactus or jicama, if you have trouble finding them.   But the cactus is so full of gorgeous green flavor, and the jicama so sweet and crunchy, do make an effort to stop in a reputable Hispanic market with brisk turn over in its produce department to track some down to try.  Next time I make this, I might also toss in a green onion thinly sliced and perhaps some pomegranate arils for extra crunch.

Nopales and Jicama with Prickly Pear Vinagrette

For the salad:

1 small cactus pad, carefully trimmed well of all spines, rinsed, then cut into small batons

read more »

January 1, 2012

Craving | Fastest Cinnamon Rolls

I didn’t plan on having a craving for cinnamon rolls this morning.

If I knew it would have been coming on, I might have got a yeast dough together last night to be ready to bake this morning.  But it just happened as I was coming down the stairs thinking about scrambled eggs and bacon for New Year’s morning breakfast.  And, I thought, wouldn’t some cinnamon rolls be so good with that?   Mmmm.

So it is entirely possible to satisfy that spicy sweet craving for dough; it will just be with a quick rise dough (using baking powder) instead of yeast.  It’s about as much trouble as making a batch of homemade biscuits, which is to say not much trouble at all.

Happy New Year.  Here’s to resolving to make it yourself this year!

Fastest Cinnamon Rolls, makes a dozen, inspired by various recipes around the interwebs

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

For the Filling

4 T softened butter

3 heaping t cinnamon

read more »

December 10, 2011

Homemade Hostess Gift | 20-Minute Cranberry Clementine Chutney

I love pressing a small gift into the hands of a host when I visit.  And you know me, I like it even more if it’s a quick little homemade something.

This cranberry clementine chutney takes just a few minutes of care and stirring and is quintessentially wintery.   It is fantastic with cheese, delicious with pork, lovely smoothed on buttery toast.  The ingredients aren’t at all exotic, but combined transcend into something special.  And this is one of the easiest recipes ever: combine and stir.  You can do it!

Spiced Cranberry Clementine Chutney, makes one small jar, with a bit leftover for you to enjoy

12 oz fresh cranberries

2 clementines, zest and juice

1/4 c dried currants

3/4 c sugar

1 whole star anise

1 cinnamon stick

read more »

October 22, 2011

Because You’re Only 4 1/2 Once | Chocolate Pudding

Birthdays call for cakes.  Half birthdays, pudding.  Cherub celebrated her four and half years in this world just this past Friday.  We had pudding as a special I-turned-four-and-a-half dessert.  Homemade chocolate pudding is no harder than a box mix, honestly.  Just just need a few ingredients.  Like anything else.  But these few ingredients can make a little person feel awfully special.  Or a big person for that matter.

PK’s Celebratory Chocolate Pudding, Serves 4

3 T corn starch

3/4 c granulated sugar

1/2 t ground cinnamon

read more »

%d bloggers like this: