Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Asparagus and Feta Omelet

It's the morning after Sandy. I was fortunate enough to make it through unscathed, but my thoughts and prayers are out there with everyone who wasn't as blessed. If you would like to help those in need, click here to make a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief effort.


Whether you're safe at home with your loved ones or picking up the pieces after Sandy, a good breakfast will give you the energy to get through the day. Here I scrounge through my refrigerator to find a few leftover asparagus stalks and a half empty tub of feta cheese. Mix with a few eggs, serve with a nice cup of tea, and you have a delicious breakfast to fuel your day's activities.

Monday, October 29, 2012

3 Meat Chili with Beans

Like most everyone else on the east coast, I'm holed up in my apartment bracing for Hurricane Sandy. My roommate made an early morning trip to the grocery store this morning and is now in the kitchen whipping up a turkey chili. Chili seems to be a perfect meal for this less than ideal weather, so I want to share with you a delicious recipe for a spicy three meat version with beans (sorry to all those chili "purists" out there). This will be sure to keep you warm inside as all the craziness takes place in the streets. Stay safe everyone!


Ingredients:
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 7 jalapenos, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 8 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 small cans tomato paste
  • 1 beer
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • black pepper
  • cumin
  • dried oregano
  • paprika
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon (ground or a stick)
  • 2 quarts beans
Procedure:
  1. In a large stock pot, start to brown all three ground meats in a little bit of vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the jalapeno and onion. You can vary the amount of heat by increasing/decreasing the amount of jalapenos you decide to use; this can also be done by choosing whether or not to include the seeds. I went for the full heat effect by including all of the seeds, and the result was pretty spicy (some like it hot).
  3. After the onion and peppers have cooked down a little bit, you can add the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. (Don't forget to continue to season as you add the different layers of flavor!)
  4. Deglaze the pan with a beer of your choosing by pouring it in and scraping up any brown bits that might have gotten stuck to the bottom. A nice bottle of dark beer would work well to add a good depth of flavor.
  5. At this point you can add the rest of your seasonings and the beans (I had borlotti beans on hand—black, pinto, or kidney are others that would work well too). I know you may think I'm slightly off with the addition of a little bit of cinnamon, but it adds a nice hint of warmth as it travels to your belly.
  6. Let simmer for about an hour or so. Be sure to taste and adjust the flavors to your liking!
  7. Serve with all of your favorite chili trimmings—mine are shredded cheddar, sour cream, and tortilla chips. What do you like to eat with your chili?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweet and Tangy Chicken with Roasted Green Beans and Oregano-Scented Rice

Warning: This post has plenty of gratuitous food photography that is sure to whet your appetite. I hope you've already eaten.

I've made a version of this sauce before and applied it to country-style ribs, but this time I switched it up a little bit for use as a delicious seasoning for chicken. It's so simple to prepare and it has so much delicious flavor to excite your taste buds. You'd be a fool not to give it a try.

Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsps. honey
  • garlic powder
  • cayenne pepper
  • black pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs
Procedure:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400˚F.
  2. Combine the mustard, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and honey in a baking dish; season with garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to your liking.
  3. Add the chicken and toss to coat; turn skin side up and place in oven; bake 40 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 500˚F; turn chicken skin side up again and place back in oven. (You could also just use your broiler for this).
  5. Serve with oregano-scented rice (white rice cooked with oregano) and roasted green beans (toss the vegetables in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and place in a 400˚F oven for 25 minutes). Drizzle plate with pan juices.
Pre-pan juices added to plate.

Post-pan juices added to plate.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Cauliflower Gratin

Like most of you out there tonight, I too watched the presidential debate between Obama and Romney. Part way through, I grew tired of the back-and-forth and went back to baking port-soaked cherry brownies for Candice Kumai's latest cookbook launch party tomorrow night. (Yes, baking brownies was my job for the day, and yes, that was a plug for her book.) If you're looking for a little distraction from all the political jargon and discussions taking place on Facebook, Twitter, and the rest of the interwebs, here is The Hungry Hutch to the rescue! This time it's with a cauliflower gratin—which turned out to be the lovechild of a potato gratin and macaroni and cheese. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • enough milk to cover cauliflower in pan (~2-3 cups)
  • 2 Tbsps. butter
  • 2 Tbsps. flour
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
Procedure:
  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Place cauliflower in pan large enough to hold it and cover with milk. Cook until just tender.
  3. Strain cauliflower, reserving milk.
  4. In separate saucepan, melt butter and add flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add milk to roux and bring to simmer to thicken, stirring continuously. Season with salt, black and cayenne peppers, and garlic powder. Stir in cheddar cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Fold cauliflower into cheese sauce (or a "Mornay" sauce for all you foodies out there). Pour into baking dish and top with breadcrumbs.
  7. Place in oven and bake until golden and bubbly (approx. 25 minutes).