Eat!

Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Potato Leek Tart

If you follow my blog then you know that I am not a vegetarian.  However, we do try to go Meatless on Mondays. I was going to make a quiche, but realized that I had no pie crust. I did have a puff pastry, so I decided to make a tart instead.

This was really easy and very delicious.  I used dill, because I had feta cheese and those flavors pair well together. I didn’t know how those would taste with potatoes.  The answer is scrumptious.  Even my carnivore husband loved it. I’m already looking forward to making this again. Next time I may add mushrooms and spinach.  So good.


Potato Leek Tart
Fast, easy, yummy
Servings:  4 Time:  Thaw: 30 minutes, Prep: 20, Cook: 30 minutes total
Hardware:  Measuring spoons and cups, a cutting board and knives, a bowl, a clean flat surface, a rolling pin, a pastry brush, 2 baking sheets and parchment paper, a spatula

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound potatoes
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill (more for garnish)
  • Salt
  • 4 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Flour for dusting
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°.  Cover the baking sheets in parchment paper and set aside. Allow the pastry to thaw for about 30.
  2. Slice the leek into rings. Place the leek into a bowl of water until you need it.
  3. Scrub the potatoes and slice them as thin as possible. Liberally salt the potatoes and spread them out on one of the baking sheets.  Place the potatoes into the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Lower the oven temperature to 375˚.
  5. Unfold the pastry sheet onto the lightly floured work surface. Roll the pastry out to a 12’x12’ square. Place the pastry onto the other baking sheet.
  6. Toss the potatoes with the drained leeks, the torn dill, cheese, and a little more salt. Spread the potato mixture evenly on top of the pastry, leaving about a one inch boarder. Fold the edges of the pastry over and lightly press down.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the tart is golden brown. Immediately brush the tart with butter and sprinkle with more dill.
  8. Cut into quarters. Serve warm.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili
Autumn is the perfect weather for chili. However, we eat Tex-Mex around here so often that I get bored. So I decided to make White Chicken Chili.  AND because I have been at work every day from about 6 am ‘til 4 pm, I decided to cheat.  I opened cans and used a rotisserie chicken that I purchased from the deli.  It turned out great.

Servings: 6-8
Hardware:  A cutting board and knives-or a food processor, measuring spoons and cups, a large Dutch oven (or other big pot with a heavy bottom), a wooden spoon, a can opener
Time:  Prep:  10 minutes    Cooking: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled, diced
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño peppers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon each, salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1-4 ounce can mild green chiles
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 2-16 ounce cans white kidney beans-drained
  • 3 cups cooked chicken-chopped or shredded
  • Rice, sour cream, corn chips and shredded cheese for garnish

  1. Wash the onions and garlic and dice them.  Dice the jalapeño. Roughly chop the cilantro. OR throw the onions, garlic, jalapeño, and cilantro in the food processor and pulse until everything is practically a liquid. Set the veggies and herbs to the side. 
  2. Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven on medium. Add the onions, garlic, pepper, and cilantro into the Dutch oven. Stir and allow the onions, etc to sweat for 4-5 minutes.  The onions should be bubbling, but not browning.  Stir occasionally. 
  3. Push the veggies to the side. Turn up the heat to medium high.  Add the spices and flour to the empty spot in the pan. Allow the flour to brown, but not burn.  Stir often.
  4. Add the stock and scrape the bottom of the pan, loosening up all the brown bits of flour.  Allow the stock to come to a boil. Stir in the beans and chiles. Allow the chili to come to a boil and then turn down to low.
  5. Simmer the chili, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the salt. Stir in the chopped chicken during the last few minutes of cooking.  If you add it earlier, it will get mushy.
  6. Serve over rice.   Garnish with sour cream, corn chips and shredded cheese.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Italian Beef

Italian Beef
The Italian Beef is a version of the French Dip.  It was created by the Italian immigrants who worked in Chicago’s stockyards.  The beef for the authentic sandwich is slow roasted and an au jus created from the pan drippings. It is topped with giardiniera, a relish made of pickled vegetables.  The entire sandwich is then dipped in the au jus before being served.  It is a sloppy, delicious mess.

This is my version of an Italian Beef.  It may seem like a lot of work for a sandwich, but trust me it is worth it.  And this is about 500 (billion) times easier than making a genuine Chicago Garlic Hot Wet Beef (which is how you would order this.)
 
Servings: 4 sandwiches (enough to serve 8)
Time:  Prep: 10 minutes   Cooking:  2 hours (active time 10 minutes)
Hardware:  A cutting board and knife, measuring spoons and cups, a gallon plastic bag, a large pot, a sieve, a large bowl, tongs, a spatula, a baking sheet and foil

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (maybe more)
  • 1 ½ pounds the best deli roast beef cold cut slices you can afford (I used Boar’s Head Londonport)
  • 4 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 32 ounces low sodium beef stock
  • Beef shank (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons garlic butter
  • ¼ pound thin sliced provolone cheese
  • 4-6 tablespoons hot, cherry pepper hoagie spread (I use Cento)
  • 4 hoagie rolls

  1.  Place the meat, olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the Italian seasoning and the pepper flakes into the plastic bag. Shake to make sure the slices separate and are coated with seasoning.  You may need to add more oil. Place in the fridge until needed.
  2. If you are using the beef shank cut the bone open so that the marrow is exposed.  Place the shank, stock, crushed garlic, bay leafs, and the rest of the Italian seasoning into the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the broth to a low simmer.  Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.  If you simmer it low enough this should take about 1 ½ hours.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚.  Cover the sheet in foil.  Cut the rolls open, but not through.  Spread them with garlic butter and toast in the hot oven until they are lightly browned (like garlic toast.)  This takes about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Strain the liquid through the sieve. Return the liquid to the pot.  Discard the stuff you strained out. Pour the lunch meat into the hot liquid.
  5. Use the tongs to pile meat onto the garlic toast. It is okay if it is messy. Spread with hot pepper spread.  Top each sandwich with slices of cheese and return to the oven until the cheese melts, another 2 minutes.
  6. Serve each sandwich with a small dipping bowl of the broth.
Chicago Tradition-Southern Style