I LOVE cilantro! Perhaps it stems from my childhood in Colombia, where it was sprinkled on top of pretty much everything, perhaps I just like it, who knows. It’s probably from my childhood though, because I like it when it starts to bloom. The ferny bits of cilantro are much better in my opinion. That’s how we always had it in Colombia, the flat, parsley like leaves weren’t seen very often.
My mom had a plant in the garden that was blooming, so I’ve been enjoying ferny cilantro sprinkled on everything. The other morning I made soup for breakfast with duck stock and freshly cut yucca.
If only I had some ripe hot peppers, I’d make the Colombian version of hot sauce that’s green from all the cilantro.
What’s your favorite fresh herb?Filed under Cooking, Edible | Comments (18)
I have to admit, I used to be among the folks that didn’t like cooked greens. Fresh salads have always been welcome on my plate, but cooked greens were too slimy for me. That is, until I cooked them myself, in the proper way.
There really is nothing better than garden fresh greens, cooked the right way with butter and garlic. Earlier this week we enjoyed cooked mustard greens. They were so good I could have eaten a whole plate full. Since I grow mustard as a cover crop in the garden, there’s always a nice crop of it somewhere. It’s quite easy to mow off the top of the patch with a knife for a meal.
How did I make them? I harvested a couple pounds worth, boiled it in salted water for 5 minutes, dunked it in cold water to stop the cooking, then into a colander it went. After a bit of squeezing to remove most of the moisture, into a cast iron skillet it went which already contained minced garlic that had been fried to a golden grown in a few Tablespoons of butter. A quick stir to warm the greens and they’re done. Easy Peasy and so delicious.
Do you like cooked greens?Filed under Cooking, Edible, Friday Favorites | Comments (15)
After mentioning in my post about the big dinner we had planned, many of you asked for photos. Of course I took photos all throughout the day. The beauty of a meal like this one, is that it doesn’t take a lot of work, it’s a lot of waiting around. I was lucky enough to score a beautiful 10.5lb standing rib roast from a local farm last week.
This isn’t my first time cooking a standing rib roast, we’ve enjoyed them New Year’s a few times in the past. This year I decided to give Alton Brown’s dry aging a try. Basically you wrap the roast in a towel and put it in the fridge for a few days to dry a little. I’ll give it two thumbs up, so did everyone else. The dry aging is supposed to help the meat cook more evenly, providing a medium rare roast throughout instead of one that is cooked on the ends and rare in the middle.
The beauty of a standing rib toast, is that it bakes in the oven for a few hours while you prepare the rest of the meal. The Christmas dinner menu from The Williams-Sonoma Entertaining was my guide for the meal because all of the sides are made on the stovetop. There were mashed potatoes with celery root, caramelized carrots, oyster stew, sautéed mushrooms, marsala au jus, fresh horseradish sauce and a very impressive Yorkshire Pudding!
Dinner’s like this are great because they’re a good excuse to get out the nice glasses and silverware. It reminds me of the joy of setting up tea for the dolls as a kid.
The meal was perfectly rounded out by a maple bourbon pecan pie, which was AMAZING. I used my Grandma Graham’s Pie Crust Recipe. The bourbon in this recipe really helps cut the sweetness of the pie. I’ve always found pecan pies to be way too sweet, but this one was just right!
Mr Chiot’s even roasted decaf coffee beans and fired up the coffee maker to make cappuccinos for us to enjoy with the pie. Along with the maple bourbon whipped cream and the pie, it was the perfect ending for a wonderful meal.
We were happy that my parents and our neighbor (who brought some wine) came up to enjoy it with us. Oh yeah, the recommendation that you need one pound of standing rib roast for every person is a bit overkill, looks like we’ll be eating on this for the next week (not that I’m complaining).
What did you enjoy for Christmas dinner?Filed under Cooking, Holidays | Comments (13)
I’m a huge fan of herbs and spice and try to incorporate as many of them as possible into our diets on a daily basis. The herbs I don’t grow in the garden, I buy from Mt Rose Herbs. I started buying from them years ago because they had great quality and have a great collection of organic products (did I mention they have great prices too) If you look in my spice cabinet you’ll see their labels dominate my jars.
When Mountain Rose Herbs contacted me about trying their new line of Epicurean products, I said “Sure” and asked about doing a giveaway. They sent me a few of their new products: Black Salt, White Peppercorns, Garam Masala, and Curry Powder. Typically, I mix up my own garam masala, and my recipe is great, but I thought I’d give theirs a try. I think these spice mixes might end up in my camping pantry. The pepper grinder container will be going in my purse so I can have freshly ground pepper anywhere.
You’ll notice that I have a link to Mt Rose Herbs in my sidebar and have for a long time. If you do purchase from Mt Rose Herbs, come to this blog and click through first. They give me a referral fee % of your order and it helps pay the expenses associated with this blog.
People ask me all the time about where I get my organic herbs and spices, Mt Rose Herbs I always respond.
Mt Rose Herbs is going to be giving one of these spice collections to one lucky reader. All you have to do is comment below. Winner chosen, Congrats Troy who said this:
What’s your favorite herb or spice?Cooking | Comments (119)
With all the activity going on around here, there’s not much time for cooking. That doesn’t mean we’re not eating healthfully. Besides our health, one of the main reasons we eat healthfully is because it gives us more energy and helps us accomplish more during the day. I know that when we’re as busy as we are now I can’t afford to slack on the food front.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few ways to eat healthfully without spending tons of time, see this post about maximizing time in the kitchen. The best way I have found to save time is to make double or triple batches of everything to freeze for quick meals. This week we’ve had an abundance of zucchini, so I made a few batches of zucchini noodle lasagne. Luckily I had some canned Roasted Tomato Passatta in the pantry, so it only took minutes to make a few pans for the freezer. (passatta recipe from The River Cottage Preserves Handbook)
The best thing about lasagne is that it only takes a few minutes to prepare and it spends the majority of the time in the oven while you can be doing something else. It’s also fantastic as a leftover, I always think it tastes even better the next day.
A few people have asked about the containers I use. I like the Pyrex Glass Rectangular Storage Containers because I can use them for baking, storage and freezing. I use the 6 cup one to make our lasagne so we don’t end up with a huge tray since there are just 2 of us.
Vegetable fajitas are one of our other quick meals. Generally I make up a big bath of of tortillas and keep them in the freezer. Then we sauté whatever vegetables we’re harvesting from the garden and sprinkle them with cheese and spices. Sometimes there’s meat, sometimes not. If we’re lucky, there will be guacamole for the top!
I’m also planning on making lasagne up to eat during the move. The day we’re moving everything into the house in Maine, it will be handy to have a hearty healthy meal fresh from the oven. This weekend I’ll be making up a few trays to put in the freezer to keep everyone well fed during the move.
What’s your favorite quick healthy meal when you’re busy?Filed under Cooking | Comments (16)