Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey & Barley Soup

Sunday evening I was surveying my kitchen and realized that I had a lot of bits and pieces left over, but not really enough for a whole meal.  After going through the pantry I realized that I could cobble together a soup in my crock-pot.

1 cup chopped turkey chunks
1 small onion chopped (you can use celery instead or a mix of both if you prefer)
1 cup sliced carrots (I used some leftover baby carrots)
1 can chicken stock
leftover turkey broth from Thanksgiving (I had about 1/2 cup of pan drippings)
2/3 cup of barley (feel free to use rice or some chopped up potato pieces
3 cups of water
Spices: liberal amount of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of savory, a dash of red chile flakes, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder and a few shakes of salt.

I tossed this all in the crock-pot and let it cook on low while I was at work.  The smell when I got home this evening was amazing and it tasted even better.

You could add a can of chopped tomatoes to this for an even heartier soup.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Non Food Entry

Dear Food Lovers,

I really wanted to share this awesome site with you for childrens clothing.  Shannon Marie hand makes all the items from Pipsqueak Couture.  The dresses are amazing.  She is based out of Colorado and is the amazing mom to two little girls.  Please share this site with your friends.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Baked Beans

I decided to use some slab bacon that I picked up at McCall's Meat & Fish Market to make some fantastic baked beans for game night.  Instead of baking them I threw them in the crock pot.

Ingredients: 2.5 cups of navy beans, 1/2 lb of slab bacon, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of onion granules, 1 tablespoon of tomato powder, 3 tablespoons of molasses, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 4 splashes of Worcestershire sauce, 2 big squirts of ketchup, lots of ground black pepper & some salt.

Precook the Beans:  Pick over the beans and discard any funny looking ones.  Rinse them off and place in a large pot.  Cover with water and turn the heat on medium.  Once the beans start to boil turn the heat down to simmer for 5 minutes.   Turn the heat off and let soak for 2 hours.

Once your beans are precooked you can add them to the crock pot.  Add in enough water to just barely cover.  Chop up the slab bacon into chunks and add that in. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir.  Cook on low heat 8-10 hours.  Stir after 6 hours and add some more liquid if needed.

I served the beans with pigs in a blanket.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

McCall's Meat & Fish Company Paprika Sausages

Round 2 meal from McCall's Meat & Fish Company: Paprika Sausages.

  1. 2 Paprika Sausages
  2. 1 cup hot water
  3. Herb & Spice Blend: 4 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon of savor, 1 teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of course salt, 1 teaspoon of oregano, fresh cracked black pepper.
  4. 1 teaspoon of olive oil
Heat a pan with the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add in the sausages and brown on all sides.  Meanwhile crush the garlic cloves and add them to a cup of hot water.  Add in the herbs and spices.  Once the sausages are browned pour in the fragrant water and simmer until cooked through.  About 10 minutes.

I served the sausages with buttery garlic toast, steamed broccoli and corn on the cob.  Everything but the sausages contained butter and yes it was delicious.

Sour Cream Sweet Potato Bread

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup cooked cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1./2 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • dash of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • spoonful of vanilla paste or vanilla extract (i like lots)
  • decent squeeze of caramelized honey or molasses
  • Optional Ingredients: 1/3 cup of chopped chocolate pieces or toasted nuts.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pulse all the dry ingredients in the food processor and then add in the wet stuff.  Pulse to combine.  Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

The Nickel Diner

Yesterday I went to the Nickel Diner in downtown Los Angeles for some brunch.  It was 3.5 stars out of 5.

  1. They have bacon maple donuts.  It was unbelievably good.  Although I felt like having a heart attack after eating it.  I chose to eat it over the course of the afternoon rather than one giant artery clogging glutton session.
  2. The food is pretty good.  I ate a bacon scramble of some sort with a side of polenta.  The eggs were the perfect consistency and the polenta was nice and creamy.
  3. Prices are good.  15 bucks for a breakfast plate, a donut and a cup of coffee is pretty decent.
  1. I ordered the #1 and ended up with the #2.  I really wanted to try the ham and leak scramble but ended up eating what showed up anyway.  
  2. The coffee sucked.  It was really weak cheap diner coffee.  This place deserves better.
  3. The waitress was pretty inattentive.  I had to flag someone down when I wanted to order my donut to go and had to ask for some more coffee.
  4. The menu said the plate came with toast, and choice of polenta or potatoes.  I only got the polenta.

Rib Eye Steaks from McCall's Meat & Fish Company

Last night was date night.  I took him to McCall's Meat & Fish Company for little TLC.  He picked out 2 incredible 1 inch thick boneless natural CAB rib eyes.  They were glorious.

I chose to cook them in a very minimalist fashion so that the taste of the beef came through loud and clear.  I heated a cast iron pan over medium high heat with a little olive oil.  The beef was seasoned liberally with coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  The seasoning was massaged in with some more olive oil and then the steaks were set out to come to room temperature.

Each steak was cooked 6 minutes per side to achieve a nice medium rare.

I served the steaks with sauteed mushrooms & asparagus along with a liberal dollop of sour cream mashed potatoes.  The trick to awesome mashed potatoes is a lot of fat.  The more fat the creamier the potatoes.  I used a reduced fat European style sour cream and half & half.  The potatoes with seasoned with salt & fresh cracked black pepper.