Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fried Artichoke Hearts

A couple of months ago, we took a Sunday drive down the coast and ended up in Castroville, the artichoke capital of the world, where we stopped to get fried artichoke hearts.  I found myself jonesing for some today so I thought I'd try making a batch. Ends up, it's easy and tastier -- like most recipes -- when you make these yourself. I only cooked up half the batch for lunch and will finish off the remainder as a side with tonight's dinner.

This recipe makes enough for a party.

 Fried Artichoke Hearts
19 oz. jar of artichoke hearts in water
2 eggs
splash dairy
AP flour, Italian breadcrumbs, Panko
vegetable oil
splash olive oil

  1. drain and half the artichoke hearts
  2. beat two eggs with 2-3 T of cream or milk
  3. fill one bowl with flour (I used AP flour)
  4. fill another bowl with equal parts flour, Italian breadcrumbs and Panko
  5. combine oils in frying pan until oil is about 3/4 " deep and heat on medium high
  6. when the oil is ready, dip the artichoke hearts first in flour, then egg wash, then the panko crumb mix and fry.
  7. remove when golden brown on both sides and serve warm with ranch dressing or a splash of lemon

Monday, January 27, 2014

Cooking Therapy

We've been relying far too much on take out, so I decided to make my way through the many recipes I've saved. Planning is the key to healthier and more interesting meals.

A couple of our dinner choices this week have already been featured here but most are new, simple recipes I hope to add to my repertoire.

Sunday dinner
Monday dinner
  • Mediterranean Chicken on basmati rice
    Note: I added shreds of fresh basil and oil-cured anchovies on top and baked it for 40 minutes covered with foil, then 10 minutes uncovered. 
  • White bean salad (for tomorrow's lunch): cannellini, celery, red onions, roasted garlic, pepperoncini, parsley, olive oil, splash of balsamic vinegar, splash of rice vinegar
Tuesday dinner
Wednesday dinner
  • Baked chicken wings
  • Veggie Nicoise Salad (leftovers for tomorrow's lunch will include albacore, thank you Cheryl and Mike)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Sultan's Soup

I call this the Sultan’s Soup because it is incredibly luscious, fit for a sultan so to speak. It’s my favorite kitchen sink soup, i.e. made with ingredients I have on hand with no recipe in mind.  

While this recipe makes a big stock pot of soup, I don’t recommend cutting this recipe in half. This soup tastes better the second or third day, and freezes well.

Omit linguica if you don’t have it handy or you’re vegetarian.  Omnivores can certainly sub another lean spicy sausage. Elsewise, you may want to add sriracha to counterbalance the natural sweetness of the kabocha.

Don’t have kabocha? I’m sorry. Yes, you can use any winter squash, but it won’t be the same, imho.

P.S. sorry for yet another cruddy pic. not a food stylist or photog. but I am a damn good cook.

Sultan's Soup
1 kabocha squash, thinly sliced and cut into 2-3” bits
Optional: 2 slices smoked applewood bacon, cooked and chopped.
1 red onion,  minced
2 T. olive oil
5 cups broth (chicken or veggie)
1-2 fresh (not pickled) jalapenos, minced
1 cup potato (I used garlic-braised fingerling potatoes leftover from the previous night’s dinner)
Fresh chopped herbs: Italian flat leaf parsley, cilantro (1/3 c. each)
Optional: 1/2 t. za'atar *
1/2 c uncooked red quinoa
1 can coconut milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 c. sliced linguica
Optional: dash of sriracha
Garnish with sliced scallions and cilantro

  1. Slice the veggies. 
  2. Saute the red onion in olive oil until it glistens.
  3. Cook the smoked bacon separately and drain.
  4. Add the veggies, linguica, quinoa, and broth to a stock pot and let the soup simmer until the squash and taters are tender.
  5. At this stage, use a pastry blender to break up the squash. You could use a hand blender, but I prefer to preserve the texture of the quinoa and veggies as much as possible.
  6. Add bacon, fresh herbs, coconut milk and cream. Let simmer on your lowest heat for 5-10 more minutes and then taste the broth. If it’s too sweet (totally depends on the kabocha), spice it up with a dash or more of sriracha.
  7. Before serving, top with more chopped cilantro and scallions.
  8. Mangia!
 It’s divine, right?  

* Za'atar is a middle eastern spice blend made with thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. I order online.