Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Best Banana Nut Muffins

I love banana bread but also muffins. America's Test Kitchen only has a recipe for banana BREAD (two actually), so I modified it with a Tyler Florence recipe which is actually quite similar to the ATK recipe.... just sayin.

In a bowl combine 2 c flour, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 3/4 tsp of baking SODA, 1/2 tsp TABLE salt, and a cup of walnuts that have been chopped up and toasted (smitten has tips) on how to do that.

In another bowl, three very ripe bananas mashed up with a potato masher, 1/4 cup of plain wholefat yogurt, 6 tablespoons of melted and cooled butter, two lightly beaten eggs, and a tsp of vanilla extract.

Add the combined banana mix to the dry ingredients and fold in.

Spray a muffin tin (I usually need two, this makes 18 total).

375 on the lower middle rack, for 18-20 minutes. It's muffin time!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sheet Pan Dinner, NYTIMES

If you are sometimes cooking for one, say, if the rest of your family has abandoned you and one member of your family only eats mush, then it behooves you to have a simple, one (dishwasher safe) pan recipe that cooks in ten minutes with a two minute prep. And that recipe is anything that you can roast on a sheet pan.  If you are indeed parenting solo, then it would also behoove you to treat yourself to something delicious and sumptuous, a little treat to say, good job, woman!

And for me, that is halibut. Because that shit is expensive.

 But a little goes a long way. I got less than half a pound and it was good for dinner and lunch!

The recipe is not even a recipe, it's a state of mind. Set oven to 400 degrees. Get out sheet pan. Put fish on sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper it (be generous).

Cut up a head of broccoli. Put the florets on the sheet pan. Olive oil, salt, pepper. You could do other stuff, but I don't.

Here is the key. SPREAD OUT the broccoli so that the florets don't really touch.  This lets them get crispy and truly breathtaking, even if it's only broccoli. As I was eating it, I thought, I prefer this to candy. TO CANDY?!

10 minutes, check it, 10 more minutes (the halibut is pretty thick, the rule is ten minutes per inch.) 20 minutes was perfect for the broccoli. I ate it standing up, over the oven, in the pan. Gourmet, indeed.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Panda Express Style Mushroom Chicken

I have a dear dear relationship with this chicken, which I remember sharing with my mom when I was at Montgomery Mall in middle school and from hence all it has always been my go to mall dish. I always crave it but it's not so easy to get. I'd have to go all the way to the mall.

This is a version

And this is the version that inspired that version

And this is my version:
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin bite sized slices - pretty small is better
3 tablespoons cornstarch 
1 tablespoon canola oil 
1 tablespoon sesame oil 
1 8 oz package of mushrooms (sliced)
2 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then in ½ inch slices 
2 tbl soy sauce + 1tbl balsamic vinegar (I didn't even use all of the sauce!) 
Lots of minced garlic (at least two cloves)
2 teaspoons minced ginger

This recipe is pretty fast if you prep everything first.
Season the chicken in salt and pepper, then coat the chicken with the cornstarch. I put the chicken in the bag, then add 1 tbl of cornstarch at a time, because it wants to clump up.
Heat the oil to pretty hot (on high) and put the chicken in using tongs, so that it doesn't clump up. Flip during cooking to get a little crispness (this seems to go away when you add the sauce, but oh well).

Take the chicken out of the pan once it's cooked through. Keeping the pan at high, add the zucchini and mushrooms. In a few minutes they will wilt down, add liquid and get ready to soak up yummy juices. Add in LOTS of garlic and ginger, and cook it down for half a minute. Then add the chicken back in and pour the sauce in a tblspn or so at a time. Watch it thicken like magic. Thanks, cornstarch!

I don't add all the sauce just in case it gets too wet. I like that nice gloopy food court consistency.

It's not the same but it is a fast (and healthy) dinner! Too lazy to make the panda fried rice. Will just have to make do with white rice.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

BACK from the dead

Update: Living in Richmond, VA
Married: To one uprooted mid-westerner
Raising- One full fledged eater- now seven and a half.
Expecting: One little scooter. Who counts as a half. Due in September.

While this news is very exciting, less so is the fact that my cooking has dropped by a LOT. There have been cooking adventures: a bo ssam, experiments with a fryer, and even some baking.

This spring break has been relaxing enough to make me say, I will cook again! I will!

I will commit to chicken, and pasta and something else that's easy to cook this week.

Since it was Easter we got a ham, even though it was only three of us. So we've been eating a lot of ham. Also, delicious creamy mashed potatoes from America's Test Kitchen. The secret? Use a food mill. Use Yukon Golds. And melt the butter into heavy cream.  We add a lot of salt, no pepper!!

A pre-cooked ham is not really a feat of cooking in and of itself. It's the effort, people.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June 20

Soup. Chicken, rice, carrot, celery , salt: bittman.



- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pancakes- the best?

One of the problems of having too many cookbooks is you have multiple variations of recipes. How do you know what will work?  It's Sunday morning, I've got the flour, the sugar, and the butter all out and I've got multiple tabs open.  Usually I trust Bittman. But I've been burned by Bittman's pancakes before (only figuratively). He recommends two cups of flour to one tablespoon of sugar. And even that's optional!  So I turned to Martha. And she has a more reasonable one cup of flour to two tablespoons of sugar recipe. Also, that's a good amount of pancakes for one and a half peoples.  But what if I want to add fruit? Bittman says it's ok. It's a variation.  So I pour the batter, top with fruit, wait for bubbles and flip. I also like that Martha says to douse some oil on a paper towel and use that to rub the pan down with. It is effective.
Here's Martha's recipe
And Bitman's *the picture is so not fair. of course his pancakes are better if you put bananas and pecans on top of them.
Is there something I don't know?

It looks like any ordinary pancake:

And then....

Friday, August 06, 2010

Menu for this week

This is just random things I like to eat page now.

I am moving to a new place in my cooking, where I throw caution to the wind and NOT USE recipes.

Yesterday I just threw some butter and garlic into a pan, sauteed some shrimp, guaging their doneness BY EYE, and sprinkling lemon juice on it because that seemed to make sense! For those of you creative types, this is probably no big thing. But for me it was revelatory.

I feel like eating:

Paula Deen's Curry Chicken salad. This is the best chicken salad ever. This is better than cosi's chicken salad, and better than Au Bon Pain's. It is the best chicken salad ever.

Now, Martha Stewart gets me. She and I share a birthday. That's how I know we're kindred spirits.

She read my mind and made this web page for me: 50 No Recipe Meals

I'm going to make #4: Dip tilapia fillets in mayo and lemon juice, then in a combo of breadcrumbs and Parmesan; bake. Serve with a green salad.

and #5: Simmer homemade or jarred spicy tomato sauce; add eggs, cover, and poach. Serve with tortilla chips and diced avocado

and I'm pretty intrigued by #8: Top pizza dough with sliced eggplant, and brush with oil. Top with goat cheese and olives; bake.