I know I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I’ll say it again, I love my slow cooker. I broke mine out this week, after neglecting it for several months, to make spicy slow cooker pulled pork with salsa verde. I was watching an old episode of Mexican Made Easy, and Marcela Valladolid was making cochinita pibil, a slow roasted pork dish that combines onions, citrus flavors, achiote paste and pork shoulder. She made it in the slow cooker and it looked absolutely delicious when it was finished. It inspired me to make my own version of slow cooked pulled pork.
Cooking confession: Sometimes, giant cuts of meat are intimidating to me. But I promise you, this is so easy and delicious and it makes a ton. We had pulled pork tacos the first night and bbq pork sandwiches the second night and I still have enough for a 3rd meal. Not sure what I’ll do with the leftovers yet. Maybe some tostados or nachos. Anyway, don’t let the big cut of pork shoulder intimidate you. By the way, a pork “butt” is actually the same thing as a pork shoulder. Another cooking confession: For years I did not know this. I’m still not sure why they call a shoulder a butt, but whatever, it’s the same thing. A nice, fatty piece of pork that is perfect for slow cooking and pulled pork dishes.
I love Ina Garten and am often inspired by her recipes. I was watching Food Network the other day, as I often do, and an episode of Barefoot Contessa came on. Ina was making all kinds of delicious things, including tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons, which I quickly added to my “to make” list. She also made lemon chicken with broccoli and bow ties which was the inspiration behind this recipe. Tonight I needed to make a quick, satisfying dinner and her recipe came to mind. Only, I didn’t have time to marinate the chicken and I don’t have an outdoor grill. Even if I did, it’s way too cold to be outside. So, I came up with this quick version and called it lemon chicken pasta with broccoli. It combines many of the same flavors and ingredients but it cuts out a lot of the steps in Ina’s original recipe. I’d venture to say that it’s probably just as good as Ina’s, although, I can’t say for sure, because I’ve never tried hers. (more…)
I’m not a huge fan of traditional Thanksgiving sweet potato side dishes. You know the ones I mean. Those super sweet dishes where the potatoes are mashed and topped with brown sugar or marshmallows or some other sugary topping. They have their place but they just don’t do much for me and, in my opinion, they don’t go with all the other savory items on the plate like the turkey, stuffing and gravy. Maybe I’m in the minority but I generally don’t like to mix savory and sweet things. Which is also why I usually skip over the cranberry sauce as well. It’s not that I truly dislike “sweet” sweet potatoes, but I definitely prefer the savory side dishes. (more…)
If you know me at all, you know I have a long standing love affair with Indian food. And although I tend to gravitate more towards the vegetarian Indian dishes (like palak paneer) I enjoy the meat dishes as well. And I love me a good chicken tikka masala. Between the mildly spiced tomato cream sauce and the tender pieces of juicy chicken, what’s not to love? Seriously, if you think you don’t like Indian food, give chicken tikka masala a try. I’ve never met anyone who tried it and didn’t like it, and I’m not sure I want to. (more…)
Sometimes it amazes me how simple recipes turn out to be the best ones. Most people often think that complicated cooking techniques, a slew of exotic ingredients, and a lot of time make a good recipe, and sometimes they do. But many times it’s just the opposite. Dishes that utilize only a few, good quality, local ingredients can turn out just as well as the fancy, complicated ones. Sometimes, they turn out even better. And that’s what happened when I made this simple eggplant, corn and feta salad. When I took my first bite, I was honestly surprised at how good it turned out because it’s too easy! (more…)
I’m so sorry for my absence on the blog, as of late. I realize it’s been almost a month since I last posted but it’s been an incredibly hectic few weeks for me. Between the day to day grind of work and social obligations, as well as participating in my friend’s wedding and a recent trip to Saint Lucia (which I will be sharing about on the blog soon), September just flew by. BUT I have a delicious, healthy crab pasta to share with you today to make up for my lack of posts this past month. You guys, this pasta is DELICIOUS. (more…)
I like to cook (obviously) and most of the time, the stuff I make turns out pretty well. Granted, this doesn’t happen all the time. One time I attempted to make “Indian stuffed peppers” and they were completely inedible. It was a total waste of ingredients because, after attempting to choke down half a pepper, I threw out the second half along with the other five peppers I made. Even my husband, who usually manages to eat even the so-so meals, admitted they were terrible. So, yes, I definitely have some moments I am not proud of in the kitchen but, most of the time, I manage to turn out pretty decent meals. I feel like I have to defend myself and say that the Indian pepper catastrophe was fairly early on in my cooking “journey” and also let you all know that only the good stuff makes it onto this blog. I don’t post the bad recipes, or even the so-so ones. Maybe that goes without saying, but I’m feeling slightly self conscious after admitting that not everything I make turns out delicious, in case any of you were under that impression.
This is all to say, that even though I’ve had some kitchen mishaps, I’ve also had “wow” moments in the kitchen and creating this pasta with heirloom tomatoes and feta (and basil and pancetta) was definitely a wow moment for me. This is a recipe I’m really, really proud of. Sometimes after I make something, I think of all the things that could be improved upon for next time. Additional ingredients I would add, or ingredients I’d omit the next time I make the dish. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe. I’ve been thinking about it all day and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner tonight. That’s how good it is. I felt that way about my brunch casserole with eggs, potatoes and bacon as well. There’s something extraordinarily satisfying about creating a dish that tastes this good. I’m proud of all my recipes on this blog, and they’re all special in their own right, but this one has to be one of my favorites. (more…)
Happy Saturday! It’s overcast and rainy in this corner of the world today, and, although I do love sunny days, there’s something about days like today that make me feel relaxed. I don’t know about you, but this week was a doozy for me and a relaxing, lazy Saturday feels SO good. So, in the spirit of lazy days, I have a super simple (aka lazy) recipe for sour cream marinated chicken for you. Marinades for meat are so great because, most of the time, you can prepare everything for the marinade in advance and let the meat sit in it until you’re ready to eat. Perfect for relaxing, lazy cooking because there’s really very little actual cooking involved. (more…)
When I’m not sure what to make for dinner, my go-to is usually pasta because it’s quick cooking, easy and because it’s a great vehicle for using up other leftovers. Case in point, last night, I had one lone chicken breast in my fridge and some diced pancetta. Two people probably can’t make a meal off of one piece of chicken and some pancetta but combine that with some veggies and bulk it up with pasta and you’ve got yourself a pretty hearty meal, plus leftovers for tomorrow. (more…)
I need to make shopping lists before I go to the grocery store. If I don’t I almost always wind up forgetting something or buying something we already have. Case in point, we have three bottles of unopened Windex sitting on a shelf in our apartment. The good news is I won’t have to buy Windex for many, many years. Recently, I managed to do the same thing with eggs. I asked Matt to pick some up and he brought home a dozen. Then, a couple of days later, I forgot that we already had plenty of eggs and I picked up another dozen on my way home from work. I mean, honestly, it’s going to be really hard to eat 24 eggs between the two of us before they go bad. Unfortunately, unlike Windex, eggs don’t keep for years. So, needless to say, I’ve been trying to come up with recipes that incorporate eggs. This sweet potato hash with caramelized onions and sausage is one such recipe. (more…)