Food Freaks Unite's Blog

It's all about food!

Food Pic Friday ~ Carbonara December 13, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

Carbonara

Carbonara

My boyfriend absolutely loves this dish (the cream version of course) but the authentic version does not contain cream (so I’ve read) so I decided to try out Tyler Florence’s recipe below. I did use pork jowl (guanciale) as well as pancetta just to be extra authentic and it was delicious!  I found guanciale at Tails and Trotters located at 525 NE 24th ave Portland Oregon.  This dish is rich and decadent yet simple if you have all your ingredients ready to go. I don’t think parsley is necessary but it does make it look pretty.

1 pound dry spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Directions
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian “al dente.”) Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.

Advertisements
 

Food Pic Friday ~ Winner Winner Chicken Dinner November 8, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

photo (7)

 

I love crispy chicken skin and I’ve been known to make my own sauces, dry rubs and breadcrumb mixtures for it but I took the easy way out and used Progresso Italian breadcrumbs for this dinner.  No egg mixture needed, just moistened with water and coated skin side down for 20 min at 375 degrees then I flipped it over for another 20-25 minutes.

Potatoes were pan fried with onions, diced sweet peppers and seasoned with salt and pepper,  then tossed with fresh rosemary, spicy oregano and fresh garlic for the last few minutes.  Zucchini was tossed in olive oil and fresh basil then salted with Murray river finishing salt at the end.

 

Food Pic Friday ~ Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Asado Recipe May 31, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

Here is an easy recipe for pollo asado from the Pioneer Woman’s website. The only thing you really need to remember is to marinate a day ahead of time.  Very flavorful and delicious.  I would definitely make it again.

http://http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/06/pollo-asado/

Ingredients

  • ½ cups Olive Oil
  • ½ cups Orange Juice (freshly Squeezed If Possible; Save Juiced Orange Halves)
  • 2 whole Lemons, Juiced
  • 2 whole Limes, Juiced
  • 4 whole Garlic, Cloves Peeled And Smashed
  • 2 whole Onions, Peeled And Quartered
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 16 whole Chicken Legs
  • Flour Tortillas, Warmed
  • Corn Tortillas, Warmed
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Guacamole
  • Cooked Beans (pinto, Black, Refried)

Preparation Instructions

In a bowl, combine olive oil, orange juice, lemons, limes, salt, pepper, and garlic cloves, saving juiced fruit. Whisk together. Place chicken legs, juiced pieces of fruit, and quartered onions in large plastic bags or bowl. Pour marinade over the top, tossing to combine. Cover with plastic wrap (if using bowl) and marinate for at least two hours–several hours is better. Toss a few times during the marinating process.

Preheat broiler to high. Arrange oven rack toward bottom of oven.

Lay chicken legs on a broiler pan, or other baking dish with a drip tray. Broil for 25 minutes, turning once and marinating other side halfway through. Remove pan from oven when done.

Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in separate oven while chicken is broiling, or after chicken is removed from oven (reduce oven temp to 300.)

Serve chicken legs with warm tortillas, pico de gallo, beans, guacamole, sour cream, and/or salsa verde.

asado

 

Food Pic Friday ~ Nectarine And Blueberry Galette May 17, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

nectarine and blueberry galette

I love frozen puff pastry!  The desserts are always beautiful and it looks like you’ve spent longer than you really did to put it all together.

Defrost the pastry according to directions (45 min on your counter) and get everything else in place while you wait: put parchment on your baking sheet, get your floured surface ready, get some butter ready for brushing over the pastry, get your tools out such as a rolling-pin, pizza cutter, pastry brush and prep your toppings.   This won’t take 45 min but I like to have things in place so I don’t have to open cabinets or drawers once I’m ready to assemble everything.

Heat oven to 400 degrees and start slicing up 2 nectarines and grab a handful of  blueberries and throw them in a bowl and stir in some turbinado sugar, cinnamon and 1/2 of a freshly squeezed lemon.  I don’t measure, just enough to coat.

I roll out the defrosted dough on a floured surface (rolling away from me twice before rotating it 1/4 turn so the one section isn’t over worked).  I repeat the 1/4 rotation and roll until my desired thickness is reached. I cut the edges and place them on the borders creating a “frame.”  Prick the bottom with a fork (don’t puncture the whole way through) and brush some melted butter on top and sprinkle some turbinado sugar.  I forego the egg wash because the butter does brown it nicely and gives it more flavor.  I layer the nectarines and once it’s assembled, I throw it back in the fridge to firm up for about 15 min.  Puff pastry doesn’t puff well when it gets too warm.  You can add sprinkles of butter over the nectarines but I usually skip that.

Bake it for about 20-25 min and once it’s out of the oven, brush it with some apricot jam that’s been mixed with a splash of water and microwaved for 15-20 seconds.  This will create a nice sheen on the top.

 

 

 

Food Pic Friday ~ Healthy! Murgh Makhani aka Butter Chicken April 19, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken

I love love love Indian food! Here is a healthier version of murgh makhani (butter chicken) that I found online and let me tell you it is fiery and delicious! Bal’s no butter chicken recipe is found here: http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/bal-arneson/bals-no-butter-chicken.html

I did make a couple changes to the recipe after reading a few reviews. I didn’t use grape seed oil and used canola instead. I also added an extra tbsp of tomato paste and adding more “sauce” (water or broth mixed with yogurt). I whisked the hot water and yogurt (I used Greek) mixture along with a few pinches of garam masala for flavor but I don’t think I needed to do that because the flavors are intense. I blended the two ingredients before adding to the pan to prevent any curdling.

I did not change any of the spice amounts and I don’t think I would in the future when I make it again. It is spicy and I can take a lot of heat in my food but I was sweating a bit (which I like) so if you think a green pepper is spicy you should probably stay away from this recipe!

 

Food Pic Friday ~ Pork Roast, Kale & Gruyere Gratin and Rosemary Garlic Potatoes March 8, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

2 day dry rub marinade

2 day dry rub marinade

First off, I don’t cook like this every day. This was a New Year’s Eve meal and I decided to try a couple new recipes.  The dry rub is kosher salt, chili powder, smoked paprika, sugar and dry mustard.  I also inserted slivers of garlic all over the pork shoulder.  Recipe is here: http://abirdinthekitchen.com/home/2012/8/26/dry-brined-slow-roasted-pork-shoulder

The kale and gruyere gratin was heavenly and topped with panko breadcrumbs (my latest favorite cooking ingredient).  Recipe adapted from this one but it’s meant to have leftovers so it can easily serve 3 or 4 http://lizthechef.com/2012/12/07/tuscan-kale-gratin-for-two/

No meal is complete for me without potatoes.  Delicious!

We ended up using the leftovers for pulled pork sandwiches the next day!

Roast with kale and gruyere grating and rosemary garlic potatoes

Roast with kale and gruyere gratin and rosemary garlic potatoes

 

Food Pic Friday ~ Chicken Pot Pie January 11, 2013

Food pic Friday: Random photos of food or drinks I make or put together at home because for some reason I can’t eat out all the time

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie using left overs from a whole roasted chicken, homemade broth, random veggies and store-bought puff pastry.