Tuesday, February 14, 2012
As I mentioned in my burger post, I recently guest-posted for Beth of Eat.Drink.Smile. while she spends time with her little bundle of joy. I got to meet him when I delivered this quinoa salad for her.
I knew I wanted to bring her a dish that would be well rounded in vegetables, protein, but also have flavor so you’d want to eat it! Personally when I look for healthy fuel for my body, I think of quinoa, because it’s a great source of protein. I thought about bringing her my favorite quinoa dish, but I wanted to something with more veggies. So, I turned to my bookmarked recipes and found one from Weight Watchers. I’ve made another quinoa recipe from Weight Watchers and loved it, so I thought I’d give this one a go. To add a bit more visual pop, I used a mixture of red & white quinoa. As far as I know, there’s no added nutritional value in red quinoa. I liked the flavor of this, but felt it needed a bit more pop, so I added some lime juice & zest to perk it up. Unfortunately, the red cabbage (which is often more purple than red) will turn the quinoa a purple/gray color before too long. It’s a good thing I snapped the photos right after making it! I liked this dish, and loved all the veggies. I will say, I think when I make this again, I’ll just sub shelled edamame for the sugar snap peas. I love edamame, and that way I wouldn’t need to spend the time trimming the sugar snap peas. If you were to use edamame, and a bag of cabbage mix, this meal would come together even quicker! I’m glad I have another quinoa dish in my reportoire!
Asian Quinoa Salad
Yield: Approximately four servings, about 1 heaping cup each
You could simplify this recipe by using bagged coleslaw mix.
1 1/2 cup(s) canned chicken broth, or water
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa, well-rinsed
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp orange marmalade
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 cup uncooked sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved, OR shelled edamame
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 small sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
3 Tbsp cilantro, fresh, chopped
2 Tbsp uncooked scallions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
In a small saucepan, combine broth and quinoa; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, to make dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, marmalade, oil, ginger, salt and lime zest & juice; set aside.
After quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, toss in snap peas (or edamame) to partially steam them; cover and simmer until most of liquid has been absorbed, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and stir in carrots, cabbage, peppers and dressing; mix to thoroughly combine. Garnish with cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
As promised, here’s the recipe for the Pretzel Roll Buns used in yesterday’s burger post! Not only were they awesome on the Bacon Jalapeño Jack Burgers, I’ve since made guacamole burgers and they were great on those as well. As I mentioned in the burger post these are the perfect combination of a burger bun and a homemade pretzel. They are strong & sturdy, so they don’t mush under pressure. They’ll hold up the strongest burger, but they don’t taste dry at all. I’ve never made homemade buns of any other kind, but I have made homemade pretzels. (Laugh at the photo all you want, but those babies were delish.) When making these I was wondering how much like a bun they would turn out, because the process of making them is so similar to just making pretzels. The best part was I didn’t have to make any lame attempts at forming pretzels. I was delighted upon first bite to discover they really are a hybrid between a bun & a pretzel!
Now, I haven’t tested a way to adjust this, but we found them to be a bit too much bun for the burger. Instead of just slicing the buns in half I would actually slice out a portion from the middle. The middle would later be using for snacking, as it was too delicious to throw away. But, I am wondering if perhaps I should try and make 9 or 10 buns next time. Or would that yield too small of a bun width wise? The “manly” solution would of course be to just make the burger bigger. ;) If you figure this out, please report back. Either way, these are buns worth making!
Pretzel Roll Buns
Yield: 8 large rolls
Prep Time: 20 min active time + 1 1/2 hours rise time
Cook Time: 15-20 min
1 ½ cup warm water (110°F)
1 package active dry yeast (not instant rise yeast)
2 teaspoons sugar
4-½ cups unbleached all-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted Butter, melted
¼ cups baking soda
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
Pretzel Salt, for sprinkling
In the bowl of your stand mixer (fitted with the dough hook attachment), add the water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let rest 5-10 minutes until foamy (mine didn't look all that foamy but still turned out).
Add the flour, salt, and melted butter and mix using the dough hook until combined well. Cover with a plastic wrap (or a towel) and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured clean surface.
Line 1 large sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Cut the dough into 8 pieces (4 1/2 - 5 ounces each). To shape the dough "take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand."
Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. I like to stagger mine: 2 rolls side by side, then one down one row but between the two in the top row... Then 2 more side by side, followed by one down a row but between the 2 in the top row... etc (this will fit all 8 on one cookie sheet). Cover with a towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes until they rise & double (mine didn't rise a whole lot).
Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven rack in the middle position. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Remove from heat and slowly add the baking soda, place back on heat and lower to a simmer.
Place 2-3 of the rolls at a time into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds and then carefully turn the roll over and poach for another 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.
Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely & then prinkle each roll with a little pretzel salt. Using a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash (or 2) -or- an “X” shape in the top of each roll. Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot!
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
This is recipe is half of a two part series I’m doing. I am guest posting over at Eat.Drink.Smile for my friend Beth as she spends time with her new baby (who I got to meet, and he is tiny, precious, and absolutely adorable!). Eat.Drink.Smile talks about a lot of Nashville restaurants, something I wish I had more time for on my blog. I took my guest posting opportunity on her site to write about all our favorite burger spots in Nashville. Head on over to check it out!
Uh… yeah. If this burger isn’t proof I love Nathan, I don’t know what is. The man LOVES burgers. Especially ones with bacon. As soon as I saw Tina from My Life as a Mrs post this recipe I knew I’d be making it for my man soon! I’ve made him turkey burgers, chicken burgers, and bison burgers, but have never actually made him a beef burger. That’s because I rarely ever buy ground beef. When there’s healthier options like ground chicken, ground turkey, and bison, I just don’t see the point in beef. HOWEVER… once you know the health benefits of grass fed beef over grain/corn fed commercial beef, it totally changes the game. We can now enjoy ground beef on occasion, with less guilt.
What made this extra special, was that the beef & the bacon were grown in the county I went to high school, by a former high school classmate who runs Emerald Glen Farm. And the cheese, Kenny’s Farmhouse Cheese, came from the county Nathan grew up in. I got to go visit last year and check out how they make their cheeses! You may recognize the names of these suppliers because many of the BEST restaurants in Nashville serve meat & poultry from Emerald Glen, and cheese from Kenny’s!
Also putting this over the edge in amazingness is the pretzel roll buns. WOWZA! As I mentioned a couple times over at Eat.Drink.Smile, the bun is an integral part of a burger. Some restaurants overlook this, and serve subpar buns with great burgers. The ones that get it right do so because they haven’t forgotten the importance of good buns! ;) These buns are the perfect combination of a burger bun and a homemade pretzel. (Recipe for pretzel buns coming tomorrow, today, it’s ALL about the burger.) They are strong & sturdy, so they don’t mush under pressure. They’ll hold up the strongest burger, but they don’t taste dry at all.
Overall this was a great combination of flavors, and made for a delicious burger. The grass-fed beef was juicy & flavorful, with a lot less guilt. The jalapeno jack cheese gave it the perfect kick, and paired great with the pickled jalapenos. I have to brag a little and say this is on par with any of the burgers I mention in my Nashville Burger Round-up for Eat.Drink.Smile!
Bacon Jalapeño Jack Burgers
Yield: 4 burgers
My Life as a Mrs included a chipotle mayonnaise recipe, the first night I served these burgers I didn't make it, as Nathan doesn't like mayo. The second time I did make the mayo, and it was good, but you won't miss it if you don't make it.
For the Chipotle Mayonnaise:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1-2 chipotle peppers
2 teaspoons adobo sauce*
For the Burgers:
1 1/3 pounds ground beef (I highly recommend grass-fed beef)
A sprinkle of salt, pepper, garlic powder
4 rounds of red onion
4 slices jack cheese (pepperjack, colby jack, jalapeño jack, etc)
8 slices crispy cooked bacon
16-20 pickled jalapeno slices
4 pretzel rolls (or other rolls if you choose)
*Note: You can find cans of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the Ethnic aisle at your grocery store. Store unused peppers in an airtight container in refrigerator, or freeze for later use.
For the Chipotle Mayonnaise:
Mix together ingredients until combined.
For the Burgers:
Divide the ground beef into four 1/3 pound burgers. Patty them out and set them on a large plate. Season with a simple sprinkling of salt, pepper, and garlic powder (make sure you season both sides). Set aside until ready to grill (or pan fry).
Heat grill (or pan) to medium to medium-high heat and grill for a 4-7 minutes on each side until desired doneness. During last minute of cooking - add a slice of cheese to each burger and close cover until cheese begins to melt. While the burgers are cooking, add the onion sliced and allow them to char a bit on each side and begin to soften. Remove burger and onions from grill and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving.
Place a burger on each bun and top with 2 slices of bacon and 4-5 jalapeno slices. Slather some of the chipotle mayo on the top bun and place a grilled onion round on top. Add a little lettuce if you so desire and place to halves of the bun together.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
I don’t know about you, but when I heard Gwyneth Paltrow coming out with a cookbook, I rolled my eyes. I was a bit like “What can that skinny-macrobiotic diet-eating B know about real food? Doesn’t she only eat her food raw?” (Yes I am the type to make snap judgements, in case you can’t tell.) But then I heard some pretty good reviews about it, so when I was browsing the library one day and saw it, I decided to check it out. Another reason I thought I’d give it a shot is because when Gwyneth was in Nashville for a couple months shooting “Country Strong”, she did some great write ups in her newsletter GOOP about my fair city. Some of the spots she named were favorites of mine, and it seems she really took the time to explore what we have to offer, rather than just staying cooped up in her penthouse apartment. (GOOP Nashville Part 1 and Part 2)
One of the first dishes I chose to make was this Kale Fried Rice, along with her Teriyaki Salmon (sorry guys, didn’t get a picture, but it was delicious). The last time I made brown rice, it was sticky & mushy, so I knew I needed to change up my method. I was really hoping Gwyneth would include a method for cooking brown rice (because I assume she probably makes it a lot), but alas she did not. After some quick googling, I found Pinch My Salt’s adaption of a method from Saveur, and I can safely say this will be my preparation from now on. The rice was the perfect texture for frying in this dish. We really love kale, and I’m a bit disappointed we didn’t get around to signing up for a share in the Winter CSA this year. I miss all those lovely greens. The key to integrating it into this dish is to prepare it well. Chop off the thick stems, and slice it thin into ribbons.
This went perfect with the salmon, but I was very excited to have leftovers. I knew EXACTLY what I was going to do with it for lunch the next day… Top it with a runny fried egg! That may have been the best decision I made all week. The egg added some protein, but also added tons of flavor. It was rich, savory, and perfect for the rice. Though prepping kale can be a bit time consuming, it is definitely worth it in this dish. In fact, I can see myself preparing a double batch of this to eat on throughout the week. All you’d need to do is reheat the leftovers in the microwave, and fry up an egg to top it off. This dish will be made again and again in my kitchen.
I’m eating my words, maybe Gwyneth knows a thing or two around the kitchen! Her cookbook is named My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness and is available on Amazon. Or be like me and check your library! (This is NOT a sponsored post, obviously I would not refer to her as a B if it was. I just liked the first two recipes I tried from her cookbook and thought y’all would want to know!)
Kale Fried Rice
Yield: 4 servings
This is great as a side dish in an Asian inspired meal, or perfect on its own topped with a runny friend egg.
1/2 lb (225 g) kale (about 1/2 bunch), thick stems discarded
1-1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely minced
3 scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced on diagonal
2-1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Cut the kale leaves in half lengthwise and then cut crosswise into very thin ribbons (chiffonade). Steam the kale for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, being careful not to brown the garlic. Raise the heat to medium and add the steamed kale and scallions. Cook for 2 minutes and then add the rice and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring. Add the soy sauce and cook for 30 seconds more.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
We are a house divided when it comes to syrup choices. I prefer real Vermont maple syrup. The good stuff, with one ingredient, which is Vermont maple syrup. Nathan insists on “pancake syrup”. You know, the kind where the ingredients are: corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, water, cellulose gum, caramel color, salt, sodium benzoate and sorbic acid (preservatives), artificial and natural flavors, and sodium hexametaphosphate. To be honest, I’m not happy that I have to keep this in my house. But marriage is about compromises. I lecture him on food a LOT, and he eats things like lentils, quinoa, kale, and other healthy things I throw his way. (And he likes them!) In return, sometimes I have to turn a blind eye, and try my best not to nag him. After all, it’s waffles, not exactly like we’re starting out with a super healthy breakfast anyway!
Whether you choose to top your waffles with real maple syrup, that OTHER stuff, fresh fruit & whipped cream, peanut butter, nutella, or whatever, you won’t be disappointed with this recipe! It was SO simple to prepare. I mixed it together in a matter of minutes and put it in the fridge, to be enjoyed the next day. (Side note: rather that use my stand mixer, or even my hand mixer, I thought this would be a great use for the OXO Hand Egg Beater I got at Food Blog Forum: Nashville. Sure enough, it worked awesome! I love that little gadget!) Come morning, I loved that all I had to do was turn on the waffle iron, and give the batter a stir. Seriously. That’s ALL you have to do. You go from your warm bed to warm waffles in a matter of MINUTES. Thanks Jessica for sharing this recipe!
Overnight Yeasted Waffles
Yield: 6-8 waffles (I got 6)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and cinnamon. Add in the milk, eggs, oil and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until thoroughly combined. Cover the batter loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel and chill overnight or up to 24 hours.
Stir the batter before using. Preheat and lightly grease your waffle maker. Pour about 3/4 cup batter onto waffle iron and close lid quickly; do not open until done. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular waffle iron. When done, use a fork to lift waffle off the grid. Repeat with remaining batter.