Swiss Chard Aloo “Saag”

6 leaves Swiss Chard, roughly chopped
6 stems Swiss Chard, diced
2 tbsp butter or ghee
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tspn ginger root, minced or grated
2 tspn toasted coriander, ground
2 tspn toasted cumin, ground
1/2 tspn cayenne pepper, ground
1 toasted cardamom pod, ground
1 dash of ground nutmeg
2 yukon gold potatos, skinned and cut into medium sized cubes
4oz cup chicken stock
4 oz coconut milk

4 servings 

I was having one of those “I have nothing to cook” mornings and couldn’t inspire myself to go to the grocery store. But after scanning around my pantry and fridge I found onion, swiss chard, garlic, and potatoes and I had just gone to Kalystians so I had really good coriander seeds. Next thing you know I’m making a mock-curry. I LOVE Indian aloo saag, a rich and spiced blend of spinach and potatoes. But Indian food is expensive and I can never order just one curry – so I figured let’s give it a try with chard instead of spinach. The result: Heavenly homemade curry. Make a bunch, it keeps well as leftovers.

In a medium-large pot, add butter over medium heat. Add onions, chopped chard stems, salt, pepper, cook for 5 min.

Meanwhile, toast spices in a small dry pan, then blend in a spice grinder or mini-food processor (or mortar and pestle but why? Get a mini food processor or spice grinder)

Add garlic, ginger and ground spices to onion base. Stir and cook on medium low for another 5 min, until stem-onion base is tender and fragrant.

Add chard leaves and cook on medium for about 3 minutes

Add coconut milk and chicken stock a and stir. Bring to boil then reduce to simmer

Add potatoes, stir, cover. slow cook for about an hour on low heat setting, stirring occasionally.

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Steak and mushroom pie

This British pub fare doesn’t have to take two days to make. This recipe is full of short cuts, but packs in major savory flavor. The crust is heartier than most pastry (thanks to the egg and the sour cream) so it won’t melt when you put it over the hot filling to bake. The fish sauce and dried porcini ups the umami – and gets rid of the need to brown for your Millard reaction. If you live alone, make it on a weekend and enjoy leftovers all week. If you live with people, make it and enjoy the compliments.

Filling
2.5 lbs quality beef chuck, trimmed into 1-2 inch cubes (grass fed if possible, around 2 lbs total after trimming)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp pepper
1 tbsp fish or Worcestershire sauce
2 slices bacon, cut to lardons
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
fresh thyme, 2 tsp
1 lb of mushrooms, cut
2 dried mushrooms, powdered (optional)
1/4 cup flour
1 cup brown or pale ale
1.5 cups beef broth (go easy on salt if you’re using bullion)
1 teaspoon cornstarch + water (slurry)
1-2 tablespoons Parsley or chives, minced

Crust
1 cup flour
tsp salt
5 tbsp cubed, cold lard, butter or a mix of the two
1/4 cup sour cream, chilled
1 egg, beaten (separated in halves)
1 large pinch of caraway seeds

Six servings

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

You can make the filling and crust on different days, then bake it another time… or knock it out all at once. Your call. But I’m going to break it down as if you were doing it all in one go.

Cube beef (around 1 inch), toss with salt, pepper and mix of water and baking soda. Reserve.

Using a food processor, finely chop garlic (5-7 pulses). Add roughly quartered onion and thyme, pulse until garlic is minced, onion is diced and herbs are well mixed (usually about 8-12 pulses). Reserve in a bowl. *Time saver* – instead of mincing garlic, then chopping onions, then finely chopping herbs, I use my food processor to get ‘er done quick saving myself about 10 minutes or so of chopping. You can always use a knife instead.

Wipe out food processor until dry, then add flour and salt, pulse about 10 times. Add cold butter/lard. Pulse until about dough begins to form pea sized pieces. Add half the sour cream and egg mixture, pulse about 3-5 more times. Then add remaining mixture and pulse another 3 times or so. On a floured surface, fold the dough a few times and create a disk. Cover with cling wrap and reserve in the fridge.

Add bacon to a hot dutch oven. Wipe or wash mushrooms clean of dirt and quarter or slice them. Add mushrooms to semi cooked bacon and a little beef broth to scrape up any brown bits. Cook for about 5 minutes.  Add onion, garlic and herbs cook for about 5 more minutes. Add 1/4 cup flour, mix and cook for another few minutes.  Add broth and beer. Mix well, then add beef, mix and bring to boil, then reduce to simmer.

Cover and bake filling in oven at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, roll pastry into a 9″ pie crust, then return to fridge.

Remove Dutch oven and add slurry if the filling needs thickening. Return filling to oven for another 15-30 minutes until finished.

Up the oven to 400 degrees

Add filling to pie pan and add fresh parsley/chives on top, then cover filling with pastry.
Egg wash the pastry. Using a biscuit cutter or a knife make a hole in the middle for ventilation. Dust crust with caraway seed. Push the sides down all around. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes> Allow pie to cool 20-30 minutes before serving.

Serve with fresh salad.

BoyEatsWorld Jambalaya

img_0434Creates about 8 servings 

Tip 1: Don’t do it on a weeknight.
Tip 2: Half the recipe if you are just cooking for yourself.
Tip 3: Only speak in a Cajun accent while you cook this classic NOLA fav.

The Substance
1 quart chicken stock
2 cups washed basmati rice
1 lb andouille, chorizo or kielbasa sausage
1 lb shrimp, deveined

Spices
4-6 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tbsp chopped fresh)
1 teaspoon of turmeric or pinch of saffron (both optional)

Holy Trinity Base
1 onion, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1 poblano or green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4-5 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Finishing Touches
1 lemon, juiced
3 scallions, sliced
1 handful parsley, chopped

Seasoning
1.5 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper

—-

Prep the sausage and shrimp. Give sausage an hour or so in freezer to harden (if it’s loose). slice 1 cm thin. De-vain shrimp. Reserve shrimp.

Brown sausage in a dutch oven or med-large pot. Remove browned sausage and reserve for later.

Prep Holy Trinity. I like to use my food processor to first mince the garlic and jalapeño, then remove. Add onion and celery together, pulse until evenly diced. I use a knife to chop peppers into small cubes for better presentation, but you can pulse them in the processor if you like.

Add 2 tablespoons of butter to pan, and add the onion, celery, bell peppers, garlic and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat vegetables: lower heat to low, partially covered, stir every few minutes. 10 minutes total.

Add spices and flavorings: Add tomato paste and spices, herbs and cook for another 5 minutes or so on low to medium low heat stirring.

Add chicken stock, rice and reserved sausage, bring to boil, reduce to simmer.
Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes on low heat.

While the rice cooks:
De-vain/peel shrimp to your liking (I prefer to have fully de-vained shrimp, with the outer shell still on. I buy them this way)
Juice one lemon
Chop the parsley and thinly slice the scallions

Once the rice is cooked, remove from heat then add shrimp, lemon and parsley, mix loosely, and cover for another 10 minutes. Allow the Jambalaya to steam and settle, just enough for the shrimp to cook through.

Top with scallions and serve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mexican-spiced pork chops

Mexican-spiced pork chops

I served these earthy chops with quick pickled veggies for freshness and crunch and spicy roasted potatoes.

These pan fried pork chops are fast and simple yet earthy and rich. A great weeknight recipe to have in your back pocket. Pork chops are inexpensive and if you follow a few steps, very tender. But it’s easy to dry them out! Feel free to experiment with how you season your chops, however, follow these six tips for consistently delicious pork chops, every time:

  1. Always buy bone-in chops
  2. Buy 1/2″ to 2/3″ thick cuts, any thicker and you’ll have to pan-roast
  3. Sear on high for about 30 seconds then lower heat to medium
  4. Using tongs, pick up chops and sear up the fat on the sides
  5. Use a heavy bottomed pan such as cast iron or stainless steel
  6. Cook about 3 minutes per side

For 4 Mexican-spiced pork chops (pictured above), 

A night or two before cooking, rub chops with:

1 tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Refrigerate in ziplock or tupperware overnight
Bring to room temperature
Turn heat up to med-high on heavy bottomed pan.
Once hot, add canola oil

Add chops to pan, listen for a gratifying sizzle.
Resist the urge to move the chop for a minute or two.
Turn heat down to medium after about 30 seconds in pan.
Cook for 2 more minutes.
Flip chops, turn up heat for about 30 seconds, then down again.

Add:
2 sprigs of oregano
1 head of smashed garlic
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter to pan

Tilt pan and baste chop in butter, herbs and garlic with a spoon
Sear the sides of the chops using tongs.
Repeat process with remaining two chops.
Allow chops to rest about 10 minutes prior to serving.

Enjoy with a fresh salad or quick pickled veggies and a starch of your choice!

Savory Breakfast Pudding

Savory breakfast pudding

Simple and impressive: Savory breakfast pudding

Breakfast pudding is a weekend staple. It’s quick, easy and very adaptable. I got inspiration for this English style dish from the master: Martha Stewart. While her recipe is very similar, I find adding an extra egg and a little more salt really helps with the pudding’s consistency and flavor.

1 ½ cup flour
1 ½ cup whole milk or half and half
3 tablespoons melted butter
2 tspn salt
4 large eggs
About 1 pound of sausage (I prefer fresh, circular sausage )
4-6 scallions
8-12 grape tomatoes or small ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoons canola oil or butter

Preheat oven to 425-450
Heat a seasoned 10” cast iron pan to medium high
Add the canola or butter to pan
Brown sausage in the fat, about 4 minutes a side. remove and reserve
Brown scallions in fat, about 5 minutes
Off heat
add sausage back to pan
Blend flour, milk, melted butter, eggs and salt with beaters
Pour mixture into pan over the other ingredients
Add tomatoes around in mixture

Add pan to oven, cook for about 25-30 minutes, until the pudding cooks through and crips up on the edges.

Allow about 5 minutes to cool and set before serving.

Variations: Tomatoes out of season? Mix it up! Crisp up leftover potatoes, some Swiss chard, and goat cheese for a delicious Fall/Winter savory pudding.