The dilemma – we are grilling steaks. We picked up beautiful bone-in ribeyes, the king of all steaks. He wants lionized hash browns as a side. She wants healthy sides. Ahhhhh! How do we make everyone happy?
I took a stab at making a healthier version of this diner favorite. It was fantastic.
Baked Lionized Hash Brown
- 4 potatoes
- 1/2 purple onion sliced thing
- 1 c grated Mexican blend cheese
- Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
- heat oven to 450
- grate the potatoes
- in a bowl, mix potatoes, cheese, onion, and seasoning
- grease cast iron skillet with Crisco
- form hash brown in skillet
- mist top with vegetable oil
- bake for 1 hour – until crunchy on top
“One cannot think love sleep well if one has not dined well”
This recipe calls for Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, one of my ultimate favorites. You can make your own spice mix; however, having a Tony’s on hand is an easy, remarkable add in for: potato salad, macaroni salad, grilled shrimp fish and chicken, and deviled eggs.
Sometimes it’s not the foods our kids (and husbands) won’t eat, it’s the way they are prepared. For instance, most people steam brussel sprouts. Yuck! You can’t get most people to buy in to them this way. Try roasting them with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and orange peel. DELICIOUS! The same goes for asparagus. Steamed, not so liked. Grilled or roasted it takes on an entirely different flavor, and texture, that will get more wins and empty plates.
I find that the best way to make sure that my family gets enough vegetables is to hide them in a fruity flavored smoothie. Sometimes I sneak a few too many veggies in there and I am busted. Sometimes I hit a home run like with this limey flavored smoothie.
“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Hide the Spinach, An Antioxidant Smoothie
- 1 orange peeled
- 2 kiwi peeled
- 1 banana
- 1 lime wedge
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup ice
- 1 squeeze agave
- Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Wait to see if anyone detects your secret ingredient. I bet that they can’t
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ~Julia Child
I love to experiment in the kitchen. Some trials are hits and some hit the trash can. Some are originals and others come from reliable sources like Food Network or Food and Wine Magazine. Super Bowl Sunday I found another homerun from the January 2014 Bon Appetit magazine, Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup. I made it as a first course, but it could easily be an entree as well.
- ½ pound ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tsp finely grated peeled ginger
- 1tsp Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
- ¾ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
- 1Tbs vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch mustard greens, torn (I used 1 bag pre-cut)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 8 oz. wide rice noodles
Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over.
Notes: If you can find rice noodles that come in 2 oz individual packages that works best. I made a double recipe of the soup and found that 8 oz. of noodles was perfect. I would recommend only making 4 oz. with a single recipe.
If you are specialty market challenged, as I am, Sichuan peppercorns may not be found. I Googled a substitute and this is what I found
Sichuan peppercorn is not a pepper at all. Substitute with black peppercorns.
That made no sense at all to me so I kept digging until I found one that made sense -use equal parts black peppercorns and anise seeds. Although the recipe was missing the “tingly mouth sensation” that Sichuan peppercorns are used for, it was still delicious.
Usually, when I get my hair done is the only time I allow myself to indulge in tabloids. They are there. I am there. Why not? At my last appointment the January 2014 edition of Bon Appetit was sitting in the processing room and caught my eye. I found page after page of tempting recipes that I couldn’t wait to try our for my family and since it was the January version most of the recipes were healthy. This one was at the top of the list. I love that one pan goes from the stovetop, to the oven, to the table and I couldn’t wait to see how tolerable my family would be to the heat of this dish. They did not disappoint. The entertainment I hoped for was pricesless. When you try it make sure to make sides that double as extinguishers.
Chicken Thighs with Harissa Chickpeas
1 Tbs olive oil
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (I had 2 packs of 5 thighs so I used 1 1/2 times everything else)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs tomato paste
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed
¼ cup harissa paste
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 425°. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in 2 batches, cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.
Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. drippings from pan. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 1 minute. Add chickpeas, harissa, and broth; bring to a simmer.
Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas; transfer skillet to oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes. Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.
Our 9 year old son is a very picky eater so I spared his thighs from any garnish and served his chickpeas on the side. For the rest of us I served this dish on top of couscous with a side of roasted asparagus with lemon and olive oil (which I threw in the oven with the chicken and took out at the same time – presto, easy breezy).
Note: there are no specialty grocery stores near me so I had to improvise for the harissa. I used sriracha chili sauce. When I can get out to a market I will try this recipe again with harissa and compare the two.
Smoothies are an excellent way for hiding veggies from 9 year old boys who won’t eat them any
other way. The trick is keeping your smoothie recipe from turning sludgie yucky brown and looking like swamp water. Here’s a recipe that stays purple (ish) keeping the mass amounts of spinach in it your secret.
1/2 c water
1/2 c ice
2 cups red grapes
1 c fresh blueberries
1 peeled orange
1 slice lemon peel on
2 large handfuls baby spinach (about 4 cups)
1 squeeze agave