Thursday, March 22, 2018

Christopher's Collard Greens

2 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes (or a pinch of red pepper flakes)
1 large bag chopped collard greens
2 tablespoon Bragg's Amino Acid
½ cup veg stock

  1. Heat butter and oils in Dutch oven on medium-high until shimmery
  2. Add onion and saute 8 minutes
  3. Add garlic and pepper flakes, cook for 30 seconds
  4. Add greens, amino acid and veg stock. Use tongs to turn greens every 60 seconds until most look wilted (about 5 turns)
  5. Cover and cook on LOW for about 45 minutes.
* This recipe can also be done with chopped kale!  If using kale: reduce the cooking time in step 5 to about 20 minutes.

* A non-vegetarian variation: Omit the butter and add about 1/3 cup of diced slab bacon (or pork belly).  Remove the cooked meat before adding the onions to the fat/olive oil mixture (in step 2).  Add the cooked meat back to the pot and stir well before serving.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Smothered Baked Potato

Today was a cold, ice rainy day.  After two slippery walks with the doggo I realized that the weather was screaming "BAKED POTATO FOR DINNER".  The Vegetable Roux that I am using as a gravy is inspired by a recipe from New Orleans Food by Tom Fitzmorris that he calls Peas in a Roux.  I added some wine, some other veggies in addition to peas and the idea of serving it poured over a hot baked potato just seemed natural.

2 baking potatoes, washed and dried well
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Salt & Pepper
8 scallions, sliced
4 oz baby bella mushrooms (about a heaping 1 1/2 cups)
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into half moon discs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 dry white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon Bragg's Amino Acids
1 teaspoon of Sriracha
  1. Preheat oven to 425 with rack in middle.  Using a fork poke each potato 4 or 5 times (leaving 16 or 20 holes).  Lightly coat the potatoes with olive oil.  Lightly salt the outside of the potatoes and place them on a wire rack that is on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
  2. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake for about an hour.
  3. Once the potatoes are done take them out and let them sit for about 10 minutes.
Start the following steps about 10 or 15 minutes before the potatoes come out of the oven.
  1. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the flour and make a light roux - making sure to NOT burn the roux by constantly stirring.
  2. Add the 'shrooms, carrots and scallions and lower the heat to medium-low.  Add a pinch of black pepper and two pinches of salt.  Stir every few minutes.
  3. After the 'shrooms about half their volume (about 12 minutes) deglaze the pan with the wine then add the stock, Bragg's and Srirachi.
  4. Stir in the peas and raise the heat slightly until the peas are hot.  Cover and lower heat.
  5. After the potatoes have sat for 10 minutes: Hold each potato with tongs use a fork to make a continuous dotted line lengthwise across the top of the potato.
  6. Place the potato in the tongs so the tongs are holding each "pointed" side of the potato.  Squeeze the tongs and the potato will pop open.
  7. Serve the potatoes smothered with the Vegetable Roux as an accompaniment to a salad, or blackened fish or by itself.

    Note: Not all the gravy will be used.  I find that I need to add another spoonful of gravy about halfway thru eating the potato.
- Add grated cheese before the gravy for a fun twist.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

My Big Fat Greek Springroll

My first recipe of 2018 and it's a weird one.  I accidentally bought some fillo dough; I wanted puff pastry sheets.  I looked at what I had lying around and came up with this idea.  I like to save time and space by building the "Greek Logs" directly on the parchment lined cookie sheet.

Serves 4

1 9x14 inch square of fillo dough, thawed, cut to form two squareish rectangles
1 pack of goat cheese (4 oz)
1 lemon
1 bulb fennel sliced thin
quarter of  an onion sliced thin
1 red bell pepper cut into thin strips
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 tablespoons Panko breadcrumbs
freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
dry white wine
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  1. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place thawed dough on it.  Preheat the oven according to dough package instructions.
  2. In a bowl mix the goat cheese, a little lemon zest, a lot of cracked black pepper, the juice of half a lemon and a third of the parsley.  Set aside.
  3. Heat a couple tablespoons of oil 10 inch non-stick skillet over medium high heat.  Add the fennel, onion and bell pepper and a little salt and pepper and cook for about 7 minutes.  
  4. Add a quarter cup of wine, cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 or 6 minutes.
  5. Off heat add the olives, juice of the other lemon half.  Toss to combine.  Mix in the panko.
  6. Using a cheese knife or spoon spread half the cheese mixture across the center third of the Phylo.  It will look like three even parallel striped flag.  Dough on the top and bottom, cheese spread in the center.
  7. Top with parm!
  8. From one of the dough ends start rolling up your "Greek Log".  
  9. Bake per dough package instructions.  I like to over cook them just slightly...  They burn quickly so keep an close eye if you attempt this.
  10. Slice each in half on a bias and serve with a side salad or soup.