Pan Fried Corn

to post graphic

I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting this drafts ‘as is’….

Pan Fried Corn

Adapted from Add a Pinch

BAH Note: To make this creamy, add about 1/2 cup milk to the pan along with the corn.

  • 4 strips bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 4 ears of corn, kernels cut off
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Cook the bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat until browned, but not crisp.  Add the corn kernels, salt, and cumin and cook for approximately 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  Add the butter and stir to combine before serving.

{printable recipe}

 

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Crispy Smashed Potatoes

to post graphic

I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting this drafts ‘as is’….

Crispy Smashed Potatoes

Adapted from Shutterbean

BAH Note: Mine never look quite as sexy as Tracy’s.  I think it’s because I’m a wuss and only set the oven to 400.  If you’re feeling brave, crank it up to 450 degrees for the roasting.

  • 1 pound small Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt

Bring the potatoes to a boil in a pot of salted water.  Cook for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are just fork tender.  Drain the potatoes and let them cool a bit in a colander.

Dry the cooled potatoes with a dish towel and working in batches on a cutting board give them a good whack with a small pan to smash them flat.

Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet, coat with olive oil, and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.  Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes, turning the potatoes over after 15 minutes, until crisp and golden.

{printable recipe}

Big Batch Perfect Rice

let's pretend all this rice is already cooked ok?
let’s pretend all this rice is already cooked ok?

I remember how the lid of my grandmother’s butter dish would clang as I removed the top and let my knife sink into the achingly soft stick of Land o’ Lakes (salted).  That creamy goodness quickly melted into the pile of snowy white grains, steaming hot from the stove.

Plain.  Simple.  Delicious.

So I ask you, is there anything better than a bowl of buttered rice?

Big Batch Perfect Rice

Adapted from Parents Need to Eat Too and Kim Severson

BAH Note:  This IS a lot of rice.  But the point is to portion it into smaller servings and stash them in the freezer.  I divided the cooked, cooled rice into 1 cup portions, put them into sandwich size plastic bags (rolled out all the air), and then froze them.  Reheating was easy…I added maybe 1 tablespoon of water to my dish and microwaved until the rice was hot and steaming.

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups water

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Give the rice a quick rinse in a strainer while you melt the butter over medium heat in an oven safe pot.  Add the rice to your pot and stir to coat the rice with the butter.  Once the rice starts to smell a bit toasted, add the water and salt to the rice and bring to a boil.

Cover tightly with foil or a lid and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the pot sit, covered, for another 10 minutes before digging in.

{printable recipe}

Butter Broasted Carrots

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They aren’t exactly braised.  They aren’t exactly roasted.  They’re somewhere in between…they’re broasted.  And they are exactly how I’m cooking up six pounds of carrots this weekend.  I know that sounds like a whole hell of a lot but between a carrot loving toddler, the base for a carrot soup, and a pot luck contribution, I think it might not be enough.

Butter Broasted Carrots

Adapted from Cooking Light, Pick Fresh

BAH Note:  I’m a wimp when it comes to high heat roasting.  It always ends up badly for me.  If you are braver than I am, try using Cooking Light’s recommended temp of 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Me, I take a lower and slower approach.

  • 2 to 3 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Heat oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.  Combine the carrots, butter, olive oil, and salt on the baking sheet and toss to fully coat the carrots.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the carrots reach your desired tenderness.

{printable recipe}

Flashback Friday – Muscle

The following post was originally published on BAH on 28 August 2009.

A good amount of the disk space on our Tivo gets taken up with cooking shows. Food Network, PBS, I like to mix it all up. When I watch them, I frequently experience kitchen envy. Seriously, have you seen Paula Deen’s or Ina Garten’s kitchen? Dreamy. Multiple cooktops, deep fryers, and refrigerator drawers. Best of all are those professional stoves. 48 to 60 inches of high btu muscle with double ovens. They are the kitchen equivalent of the Ford Mustang in Steve McQueen’s Bullitt. High revving, rubber burning, wild horses. I so wish I could have one of those. My kitchen, in comparison, is more like a Honda Accord. It’s reliable for getting you where you need to go but would never win in a drag race.

Not that having fancy, expensive equipment means anything when it comes to serving up good food. Deb, who I heart, from Smitten Kitchen turns out the best food from a teeny, tiny New York City apartment kitchen. Think your kitchen is small? Try working in a 24 square foot space. That’s smaller than my closet. And yet, without the aid of fancy equipment, she turns out all sorts of baked, fried, and roasted goodness.

Like anything else, your equipment is a tool that either you know how to use or you don’t. That 48 inch Viking isn’t going to magically transform a bad dish into a good one. So work with what you have, find its muscle, and make it work for you. Your kitchen may not burn rubber like Steve McQueen’s Mustang, but it won’t need new tires as quickly either.

Oven Roasted Salmon

Cook’s Illustrated

I added paprika and chili powder, not original to the CI recipe.

  • 1 skin on salmon fillet, 1 3/4 – 2 pounds (I used two individual skinless fillets)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Paprika
  • Chili powder
  • Salt

Place a sheet pan on an oven rack in the lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. If your salmon has skin, make 4 or 5 shallow slashes about an inch apart along the skin side of each piece.  Do not cut into the flesh.

Dry salmon with a paper towel, rub with oil and season with salt, paprika, and chili powder. Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees and remove the HOT baking sheet. Carefully place salmon (skin side down) on your sheet pan. Roast until salmon is still translucent in the thickest part of fillets when cut into with paring knife or when an instant read thermometer inserted in thickest part of the fillets registers 125 degrees, 9 to 13 minutes. Transfer fillets to individual plates or platter.

{Printable Recipe}

Pineapple Avocado Salsa

The Washington Post

  • 4 ounces fresh or canned pineapple, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice (1/2 cup)
  • Flesh of half a medium avocado, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch dice
  • 1 scallion, white and light green parts, cut crosswise into thin slices (2 to 3 teaspoons)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes (1 tablespoon)

Combine the pineapple, avocado, scallion, salt, and lime juice in a mixing bowl. Toss to combine.

{Printable Recipe}

Flashback Friday – Habit

The following post originally appeared on BAH on 24 August 2009.

Steaming

Just because I am a creature of habit, doesn’t mean I won’t try a new way of doing things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes it works but I like my way better.

This recipe falls into that last category.

Restaurant Style Asparagus

Washington Post

Asparagus can be parcooked 1 to 2 hours in advance; refrigerate, then saute just before serving.

  • big pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pund asparagus, woodey ends discarded
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • lemon zest

Fill a large skillet with 1 or 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Have a clean, dry towel ready.

Add the asparagus, adding water if necessary to  make sure the vegetables are covered. Cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes for thin spears or 6 to 10 minutes for thicker spears. Use tongs to transfer the asparagus to the towel. and pat dry.

Use just enough oil to coat the bottom of the skillet and heat over medium-high. When hot, add the asparagus and salt and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, until they start to brown a little. Garnish with lemon zest and serve hot.

{Printable Recipe}

Flashback Friday – Hot Mess

The following post originally appeared on BAH on 17 August 2009.

SK Broccoli Slaw

I seem to have hit an all new low with regards to trashy reality television. Why? Because despite having way too many channels of programming to choose from, I found myself unable to look away from VH-1′s Charm School. Here’s how it happened. It was a Sunday afternoon and we had plans for later in the day right around supper time. Since dinner at home was out, we were going old school with supper. You know supper, that earlier version of dinner or later version of lunch.

I like supper to be easy and fuss free. Heck, I like most things to be easy and fuss free, this is just one example. Our menu was Bon Appetit’s Mustard Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli Slaw from Smitten Kitchen. The broccoli had been slawed and the shrimp was chilling in its mustard bath in the fridge. So I had at least an hour before I had to be back in the kitchen. Flipping through the tv guide, anything that looked promising had either already started or wasn’t on till after we’d leave. I know, I could have just picked up a book. Or folded laundry. Or scrubbed the toilet. Any of those would have been more productive and satisfying than the trainwreck that is Charm School.

The premise is to take a group of women who express a desire to change their lives for the better and put them to the task of doing so. Those who excel make the Dean’s List. Those who don’t go to Detention and may be Expelled. So they basically take a bunch of insecure women and put them in a group living situation with copious amounts of alcohol at their disposal. What do you think happens? People get ugly, petty. It’s every bad day you ever had in middle school only with tequila. That’s a hot mess.

And group dynamics take over. It’s like watching a pride of lions hunt prey as the dominant ones band together to single out the weaker ones. You want to look away as the weakling gets pulled away from the herd and slaughtered. Really, you do. But you can’t. It’s that powerful.

I’m all for self improvement. Sometimes all it takes is changing the channel.

Broccoli Slaw

Adapted from smittenkitchen

  • 1 bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, well shaken
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

Combine the broccoli with the cranberries and onion in a bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a separate small bowl. Season the dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Pour approximately half of the dressing over the broccoli and mix to combine.  If the slaw is not moist enough, add additional dressing to taste.

Keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

{Printable Recipe}