Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
It was late -- almost too late to start dinner, certainly too late to get to the store and still make dinner -- and I was tired, tired, tired. It was Wednesday. I don't like Wednesdays. People are always all: it's hump day, half way toward the weekend, but for me it's just another indication that another week of my life has whizzed by and what do I have to show for it.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The answer is always, "no."
However, I never ever learn, plus sometimes, as my mother used to say, "tastes change." I remember when my daughter hated cucumbers for a while, and then suddenly started eating them again. Kids do that -- they like to mess with your head. So, beans. Pinto beans, to be exact, which were knocking about the cabinet. I sauteed them with carrots, celery, some leeks. Cooked them for a minute with a cube of chicken broth (I like to freeze chicken broth in ice cube trays so you have just a tablespoon or so when you need it, without having to open a 15oz box or defrost a whole container) I threw in a bay leaf and some cilantro and let it all simmer a bit.
I cooked up a pot of rice and served the beans and the wee bit of broth over it.
I loved them. They were fresh, and very satisfying. My husband loved them -- although he added several dashes of tabasco at the table, because he likes things HOT.
The girls ate chicken nuggets.
Rice and Beans (sorry, no picture for this one, camera battery's dead)
1 TBLSP olive or grapeseed oil
1 leek or onion -- whatever you have
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 carrot peeled and chopped
1 can of pinto beans (or, again, whatever you have, black beans, navy beans...) rinsed and drained
1 TBSLP dry white wine
2 TBLSP chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup of cilantro
Cooked Rice (I used white, but brown is better, just didn't have any)
Heat the oil in a skillet, when it's shimmery toss in the onion, celery and carrotts. When those are soft, add the beans, wine, broth and bay leaf. Let this simmer until the liquid is reduced - about 5 minutes. Add the cilantro, and cook for one minute more. Serve over rice.
If you like more heat than a few dashes of Tabasco can give you, cut up a fresh jalapeno or serrano chili and add when you are cooking the vegetables.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I stole got the idea from Cooks Illustrated who made speedy beef empanadas by using Pillsbury Pie crust - which I like a lot and believe is the closest you can come to fresh pie crust without cutting all that butter into flour.
This exciting leftover meal originated last Sunday. Sunday was the final day of Winter Break, and almost Epiphany, which is, apparently, the 12th day of Christmas (did you know that annoying song is about the 12 days AFTER Christmas? I did not until I heard it on NPR, which is where I get most of my education these days) -- and I’m a big believer in drawing special occasions out as long as possible. (For instance, I firmly celebrate the birthday week). (Apparently, I’m also a big believer in the parenthetical.)
So, in an effort to draw Christmas out to its absolute last day, I made a big dinner of everyone’s favorite comfort food: Turkey Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes. We had candles, and wine glasses filled with orange cream soda - ok, Smith and I had a nice red Zinfandel - I fired up the Christmas music one more time, and after dinner we lit candles in the fireplace and opened one last present each. It was really nice. Our girls sat with us for a full ten minutes after the present opening before dashing off to their respective electronic devices, and then Smith and I drank a bit of 12 year old Scotch and watched the candle flames flicker until the dog managed to swipe an un-rinsed dinner plate off the counter, and we had to rush into the kitchen and pull bits of china from her jaw. Good times.
I'd made a huge meatloaf thinking people would eat it for lunches -- nothing better than a cold meatloaf sandwich with extra ketchup -- then somehow, no one did eat if for lunch, and I realized that if I didn’t do something else with those leftovers soon it would go bad and there is nothing I hate more than throwing out something that could have been made into something else (hence, my packed attic, but that’s an entirely different story.)
But after seeing the empanadas, I suddenly thought, I could chop up the meatloaf and reheat it with the mashed potatoes then wrap it up in pie dough. I just threw the meatloaf, potatoes, as well as several 1/4 bags of vegetables I had lying around the freezer, along with a tablespoon or so of Ketchup and a 1/4 cup or so of chicken broth, into my cast iron skillet and stirred everything around until it was hot. Then I cut the 2 pie crusts in half, placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheets, and plonked a spoonful of my turkey mixture in the center of each and sprinkled it with some shredded cheddar. I closed up the pies by folding them over into little triangles, dampening and smooshing the edges together to make a pocket. Then I baked them at 400 degrees for about 24 minutes. (See pictures below - it will all become clear)
One little pie for each member of the family, like a little present left to open. See? I can make Christmas stretch as long as I want to, baby.