recipes

what to do with leftover roasted broccoli

So, I made roasted broccoli for dinner the other day and I have about 2 cups leftover roasted broccoli. It’s time to remix that into a delicious new meal. Here it is:

Broccoli pasta
Broccoli pasta
1 pound of spaghetti

 

2 cups roasted broccoli

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup half and half

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 beaten eggs

Boil pasta until al-dente.  While the pasta is boiling, sauté the broccoli in the olive oil.Drain the pasta (save about a cup of the pasta water) add the pasta to the broccoli.Add half and half and bring the pasta to a simmer.  Add the parmesan cheese , salt, pepper and red pepper flakes then remove from heat. Stir in the two beaten eggs , if the sauce is too thick you can thin it with the pasta water (just add a little bit at a time)Serve immediately with a little more grated parmesan if you like.
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The Chicken Challenge

Getting ready to do the chicken challenge. One chicken is from a "factory" farm and one is from a "family" farm.
Getting ready to do the chicken challenge. One chicken is from a “factory” farm and one is from a “family” farm.

I just completed my latest  “CHALLENGE”!!  We finished shooting a video looking at all aspects of these two very different chickens.  Price is a HUGE factor as well as taste.  We’re editing the video right now so stay tuned to see how it all pans out!!

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the Bacon comparison

the bacon comparisonstore bought bacon on the left, homemade bacon on the right
the bacon comparison
store bought bacon on the left, homemade  salted bacon on the top right,homemade  cane syrup rosemary bacon on the bottom right
a strip of store bought bacon(can you hear the sad trombone playing?)
a strip of store bought bacon
(can you hear the sad trombone playing?)

The homemade bacon is so thick and delicious, you can really sink your teeth into it.  It’s moist and juicy inside but crisp on the outside….the store bought bacon has no inside so there is really no comparison.

The homemade bacon has a rich smoky flavor but it’s not too strong,  you can really taste the slightly sweet flavor of the pork as well.  Unfortunately the flavor of the store bought bacon was weak and wimpy, there was not much to it at all.

So the verdict is : I will take a little effort and a bit of time to make my  bacon at home.  It is TOTALLY worth it.

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The Bacon Project

BACON!
BACON!

Bacon is everywhere. Its on doughnuts, ice cream, chocolate bars, even candles and soap. To each their own, but  I just want delicious, smoky, crispy bacon on a BLT or with oysters, something savory, salty and delicious.  One of the problems I’ve found with bacon from the grocery store is that it tends to be sliced too thin, even the “thick” bacon from fancy grocery stores is fairly thin which is fine for a sandwich but for some of the recipes I want to try I need a big hunk of bacon.  Another problem is that I have not been happy with the taste of store bought bacon .  It just ain’t right.

I decided that I’d make my own bacon.  First decision, to nitrite or not nitrite.  Nitrites (also referred to as pink salt or curing salt) in combination with kosher salt are added to cured and smoked products to inhibit the growth of bacteria.   There were several recipes I found that used only kosher salt to treat bacon but I don’t feel that is sufficient.  The pork belly that I was turning into bacon would sit in my refrigerator for a week and then be smoked at a low temperature for a few hours and that is  the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Also, the nitrites give bacon that special bacony good taste.

bacon ingredients
bacon ingredients

Get it started. I ordered the pink curing salt and some cane syrup  from Amazon and received it within a few days.  Then I visited Assi, an international market, to find my pork belly.  They had some pieces in the meat case but they were a bit too small, about 2 pounds each, I was looking for a large piece that was a least 5 pounds.  I asked the ladies that were packaging sausages behind the counter if they had any larger pieces of pork belly.  There was a bit of confusion, a language barrier and some strange looks but finally they called the butcher over and he brought out a huge 12 and a half pound pork belly.

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twelve and a half pound pork belly cut in half

Stay tuned.  I’ll fill you in on how I got from belly to yummy, yummy bacon in a future post.

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Squashed

Seared Patty Pan Squash

I love this simple vegetarian dish, I’m using patty pan squash ( I don’t know the specific varieties) that I bought from the farmers market this weekend.  They were so beautiful that I almost couldn’t bring myself to cook them….actually I didn’t cook one of them, it’s just too pretty.  When you make this, cut the squash so that you show off the beautiful flower shape.

Seared Patty Pan Squash Steaks

2 Patty Pan Squash (about 2 1/2 inches in diameter)

1 teaspoon of canola or olive oil ( I used canola oil for it’s mild flavor)

1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

Slice the squash into 1/3 inch steaks ( see the picture attached to this note for an example)

Coat the patty pan squash slices in oil and season with thyme, salt and pepper

Let this stand (or sit) at room temperature for about 5 minutes

Heat a frying pan over high heat…let the pan get really hot.  Sear the patty pan squash slice quickly over high heat for about 1-2 minutes per side..until beautifully browned

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“Krab”

I’m a sucker for “krab”. I love it. I love it in fake krab sushi, in krab salad with cucumber and carrot,spicy  krab dip, as a krab appetizer stuffed into tiny tomatoes, krab and pasta, krab in coleslaw (that’s what’s in the picture over there krab with shredded cabbage, carrot, cucumber, sriracha, mayo, rice wine vinegar and sweetfish roe) ….KRAB I love it. Well, I only love one brand, the one from Sam’s Club. It’s a little dryer with a firm, flaky texture that I prefer to what I find in the regular grocery store. All of the other brands I’ve tried seem very mushy to me.

OK, it is a  processed item, ground up fish meat and such, probably some MSG, and it doesn’t really taste like crab (crab is a miracle from God and can not be duplicated) but it is sweet and fishy and tasty.

That’s it really. I just wanted to tell you that I love Krab.

Thanks for listening

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