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Prosciutto Asparagus Hash with a fried egg

25 Feb

Lately, making a pan full of rich goodness and then frying an egg on top of it is kind of my thing. I love fried eggs – the runny yolk, the temperament, the way it oozes into everything – it’s perfection. This hash also contains only items I love. It takes about an hour, but the hour is really easy and cleanup is minor.

This meal does NOT serve more than 4. It is, in fact, ideal for 3.

Prosciutto Asparagus Hash

4 ounces prosciutto

1.5lbs potatoes (I used yukon gold, but red would be fine here, too)

1 onion

1 bundle of asparagus (no idea how big these are, but they always come in a rubber band)

4 eggs

3-4 ounces goat cheese

3 green onions

S&P, olive oil

  1. Slice the prosciutto into small pieces and fry them in a large skillet over medium/high heat for a few minutes until crispy. Pull them out with a slotted spoon, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Hide the prosciutto somewhere so you don’t eat it all while cooking. Dice your potatoes into 1-inch pieces. I chose not to peel mine, because I like things rustic and lazy.
  2. In that same pan, add a little olive oil if needed, and toss in the potatoes.  Season them with salt and pepper and let them start to brown. Chop the onion while you’re waiting. After about 10 minutes, add the onion in and continue to brown until they’re not quite done, but close, about 15 minutes more. Keep turning them every few minutes so they don’t burn or stick.
  3. While you’re waiting on potatoes to brown, because it takes forever, cut off the woody ends of the asparagus and chop them up into 1-inch pieces. Crumble up the goat cheese and finely chop up the green onion.
  4. Toss the asparagus in and let it cook in for another 5 minutes with the lid on, then add the prosciutto back on and let it all get nice and hot.
  5. Crack the eggs on top and let them cook on top of the hash. It takes about 5 minutes, but I gauge doneness by when the egg whites are opaque.
  6. Serve with crumbled goat cheese and green onion. Make sure everyone gets an egg.

 

Going for a “run”

25 Oct

I mentioned in my last post that I spent a few days last month traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska to celebrate the life of my great grandma Madge.  Those circumstances, obviously, do not make for a great trip, but somehow I feel like Madge would have appreciated the fact that my mom, grandma, two aunts and I made the best of this trip.  Although I did put my waterproof mascara to the ultimate test, went through an entire box of Kleenex, and spent the whole weekend with a head full of snot, I can say that there were memories made on that trip that I will not soon forget: getting lost in the middle of Kansas because our whole car was focused on Words With Friends, discussing the deliciousness of corn nuts and rum (?!) with a gas station attendant in Northern Oklahoma, and many long conversations about who did and did not go to lake Wabaunzee to name a few.  One memory that Mom and I just couldn’t shake was arriving in Lincoln at 9:30 – when the Runza Restaurant closes at 9.

Obviously this was an extreme disappointment and we couldn’t conceivably remove the thought from our heads.  Luckily, this weekend offered plenty of time for some prime Runza making (I mean, we practically HAD to spend a long weekend with my parents, Ross was interviewing in Dallas anyway!).

If you lack Nebraskan relatives, you may be wondering what a Runza is – the answer is this: it’s a roll baked with meat inside.  As in, instant sandwich.  Here’s the recipe we used. They were absolutely delicious – so much so that I ate them for lunch on Sunday and wasn’t hungry until lunch today!

Of course, Runza wasn’t the only thing that came out of the trip – I also had plenty of car time to knit up this scarf:

I had some beautiful hand-painted Misti sock yarn, which was so soft and had such pretty colors!  I did a drop-stitch pattern (it’s in Vogue Stitchionary  vol. 1).

Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume One: Knit & Purl: The Ultimate Stitch Dictionary from the Editors of Vogue Knitting Magazine (Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Series)

(By the way, I love this resource – if you’re a beginnerish knitter and want to learn everything you can do with knit and purl, you definitely need it.)

I’ve done it before – it’s one of my favorite scarf patterns as you can go as wide or thin as you want, it’s reversible, and it knits up fairly quick.  I can’t wait to bind off and wear it!

 

Also, can’t forget to mention that when I came home, my magnificent students left these little gems on my desk:

In case you were wondering?  I have the BEST students in the world this year.  Even if today they pretended that they’d never heard of this “Declaration of Independence” they were supposed to read while I was gone….

 

The Runza Recipe!

Dough:

2 pkg. Active dry Yeast
2 cups warm milk
1/2-cup sugar
1/2 t. salt
2 eggs – beaten
1/2 cup shortening, margarine or butter
7 to 8 cups all-purpose flour

Put yeast and milk in a bowl.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add sugar, salt, eggs and softened butter.
Mix. Gradually add flour while mixing.  Add flour until dough pulls together into a ball.  Knead for 4
or 5 minutes or until dough is smooth.  (This really works best with a free-standing mixer with a
dough hook)

Put in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise until double.

Punch down and let it rise again.

Remove dough from bowl and divide into thirds.  On a floured surface, roll one portion of the
dough to 1/4” thickness.  Cut into 5″or 6” squares.  (Reserve dough you cut off to reroll.)

Give each square an extra roll with the rolling pin before filling.

Filling:

2 lbs ground beef
1 head of cabbage – finely shredded
Lots of salt and pepper

Brown ground beef.  Add shredded cabbage and cook over medium heat until cabbage is
softened.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  It takes a lot!

Start this about halfway through the second rise of the dough.  Set aside until dough is ready.

Making Runzas:

Put a large mound of filling on the center of each dough square.  Pull opposite corners of the
dough together and pinch to hold.  Pull the opposite two corners together and use your fingers
to pinch all edges together to seal in filling.  Turn Runza over and put on a cookie sheet lined with
parchment paper (helps to keep any leakage from staining your cookie sheet)

Space Runzas about 1 inch apart. When cookie sheet is full put a towel over it and let it rise for
about 15 minutes.

Bake Runzas in a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes – until they are a deep brown.

Remove from oven and rub butter on the top of each Runza.

 

 

 

This old porch is just a steamin’ greasy plate of Enchiladas…

7 Sep

I love enchiladas.  Sometimes people say they love something, but their love is conditional.  They may say they love pasta, or cookies, or lasagna, or meatloaf, but only their mom’s, or from a specific restaurant, or a specific type, and certainly not every day.  My love for enchiladas is boundless – I could literally eat enchiladas every day of my life and I’ve never encountered a filled tortilla with cheese on top that I didn’t like.

With that in mind, I wanted to share a duo of ‘chilada excellence.  See, my whole life I’ve been eating my mom’s enchiladas, which are the ultimate in comfort food.  They are cheesy, delicious, and even better eaten as leftovers.  It was only when I moved away from home (at age 22…) that I realized they are also easy to make and hard to screw up.  Here’s how!

Mom’s Enchiladas

1 Can Golden mushroom soup

1 Can Cheddar cheese soup

1 can chicken broth

1 can Rotel

Dump the contents of the four cans into a saucepan over med-low heat (you just want everything to melt together), stir until smooth and hot.

1 bag corn tortillas

1 large brick of cheddar cheese (I like the Tillamook baby loaf), grated

1 box fresh mushrooms

1 can black olives

Chop the olives and mushrooms and microwave together until soft.  Heat the tortillas in the oven (I put them in stacks of 4 with a little olive oil between each for 5 minutes on like 250°.

Set up shop – it works easier with 2-3 people.  One person needs to dip each tortilla in the sauce and the other needs to stuff them with a bit of the olive/mushroom mixture and cheese, roll it up and put it seam-side down in a 9×13 pan.  This process gets quite messy – and sometimes your tortillas will split.  This totally doesn’t matter.  It can literally look like total crap and still be good.  When you finish, pour the rest of the sauce on top and top with a generous amount of cheese.  Bake at 350° for 25 minutes.

Delicious!  I like them with Spanish rice and my secret bean recipe (1 can black beans, 1 can rotel).

Bliss!

Now, I thought I had reached enchilada nirvana, so when Ross suggested we try a meatier version, I was way skeptical.  It’s not that I’m opposed to eating meat, I just tend to not really care for it.  Its was tough though, because that Pioneer Woman has never lead me astray…

So we tried them.  While I can’t say with any integrity that they are BETTER than the classics, I can say that they are equally delicious.  So much so that if you were to have a party, you ought to serve both.

As always, PW takes much better photos of her step-by-step than I do, so I’ll just hook you up with a link.  Note that this is one of the recipes in her cookbook, which I do love.

DELICIOUS ENCHILADAS!!

My only change was using grass-fed beef instead of store bought.  This is pretty easy to do when your parents purchase a cow and share a few of the 400 + pounds of delicious beef with you.  His name was Rusty, and I like to think he would have approved of these enchiladas.

I tried to take a picture, but by the time I remembered, and didn’t have cheese all over my fingers, this happened:

I think it kind of speaks for itself.

Drinking salty margaritas with Fernando

5 Sep

I don’t really understand the concept of working during the summer.  I went from high school, to college, back to high school as a teacher, so I’ve never been expected to work for more than about ten months at a time.  I feel like I do enough work in those ten months to count for twelve (I say that – did you know that teachers only work HALF the days of the year?!).  Because I’m taking on some additional responsibilities at school this year (read: selling my soul to debate), we decided to end my summer vacation in style a few weeks ago.

When I returned to work, I became immediately ill (I think I’m literally allergic to my workplace – and not due to mesothelioma as I suspected), so I didn’t work the second day of school and headed back home to see my honey and parents for an end-of-summer party.  With my stomach finally able to hold down solid food, we decided a Mexican fiesta was the way to go.  Since it was way, way too hot to go to Joe T. Garcia’s – we brought the Joe T experience home complete with nachos, margaritas, and the enchilada dinner.

Joel was in town as he had his wisdom teeth extracted that week, and he delighted us with his famous margaritas!  They are the most innocuous tasting things – a perfect sweet-sour blend with just a hint of tequila, but make no mistake – they pack a serious punch!

He agreed to share the recipe with ShitIKnit!

Joel-garitas!

4 parts sour mix

2 parts tequila (it will be well-mixed, no Patron necessary! (though I love Patron!))

2 parts lime juice (fresh or RealLime)

1 part agave nectar

1 part cointreau

He also mentions that if the sewage color these puppies can turn bothers you, a splash of blue curacao will perk them right up.    They are heavenly and I advise standing up before you start your second one, as they pack quite the punch!

Jack also made some kick-ass nachos because at our house cooking is a family affair – as it should be!

Jack’s Killer Nachos

Crispy tortilla rounds

1 poblano pepper

MJ cheese

special seasoning blend (sorry folks, he hasn’t agreed to share it, but it’s pretty kicky and I think it may have some smoked paprika in it)

If you were just thinking that my brothers are both insanely talented AND good looking, you’d be correct!  They are also smart, funny, and pretty much awesome as far as brothers go.

I won’t add any information about the Enchiladas yet, as I have a post coming this week about an enchilada duo!  Also, I’ve baked about a million treats since school came back and have much to share (hopefully including the cake balls I’m working on tonight).  Here’s a teaser though:

Huevos Rancheros and Maya Angelou

1 Sep

When I set out to start a blog, I knew this would happen.  I had so much free time during the summer to photograph, to cook, to knit and now?  Gone!  I’ve decided that a short setback ought not stop me and will resolve to bring Shit I Knit back into my life.

Tonight is a good night to start, too.  I made curry vindaloo to end my streak of non-cooking (and resisted it too – we were thisclose to trying out the new 5 Guys that just opened down the street!).  See, I spent two weeks as a bachelorette while Ross was on rotation in Dallas, making my diet consist of hummus, pita bread, diet coke, and grapefruit.  Thankfully he returned home on Saturday and our lives are back to being as normal as possible for a high school teacher and a med student.

Admittedly, there were a few perks to living the “single” life including, but not limited to: not being judged for wearing sweatpants, not getting the side eye for going to bed before nine, not having to pick up dog poop, and being able to slather mentholatum on my nose before bed without hearing Ross wretch with disgust.  However, last week was pretty awful!  The AC is out in the Volkswagen, so I’ve been commuting more than an hour each day in Houston sauna weather during the hottest part of the year.  Add in excessive meetings, a flat tire, plagues of cockroaches followed by ants, and one night of serious nausea and I was pretty much ready for Ross to go ahead and come home.

Thankfully, he brought with him some major turnaround as the last five days have been wonderful!  In honor of that, here are 5 things that I couldn’t be happier about!

1. My new MACBOOK!  Ross purchased our new computer on Monday after both of ours bit the dust simultaneously.  While we both have iphones and I use a Mac at school, this is our first Mac computer purchase and we LOVE it!  The first night we were able to videochat with my parents in Dallas.  We realize this makes us total nerds.

2. Driving a car with air conditioning.  I guess you don’t appreciate what you have until it’s gone – how quickly I forgot the days of high school when I drove the AC-less misty beige Honda… my commute is utter bliss now that I am back behind the wheel of my Scion.  I don’t even care that the windshield is cracked!

3. HBO.  I seriously don’t know how anyone could get through medical school or teaching high school without having a major TV and a billion channels.  We vacillate between paying for HBO/Showtime and paying for Netflix constantly.  I knew that living with my parents (who have HBO) for five weeks would convince Ross to make the change!

4. Curry Vindaloo.  Vindaloo is my most favorite curry.  It’s spicy, flavorful, and pretty easy to make.  Plus it sounds super exotic!  Because Jamie Oliver is all about “spreading the recipes” I don’t think he will mind my sharing 🙂

Curry Vindaloo (from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution)

2 onions, halved and sliced.

4 cloves of garlic, I squished mine through the press.

2 red chiles (which aren’t available in the greater Houston area, so I used serranos), finely chopped

chunk of garlic, finely chopped.

handful of cilantro stalks (you can use the leaves to top the dish later)

Do all of the chopping and then heat a dutch oven (or whatever you’re using) to medium with some peanut oil about a T of butter.  Add all of the veg and simmer for about 10 minutes to soften the onions and brown everything.

Then add 2lbs of meat – we used beef, but I like lamb, too.  Cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Add 1 T of honey

1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup of hot curry paste

4 quartered tomatoes

and about a cup of water to cover everything.  Let it simmer for about an hour and serve over white rice.  I also like greek yogurt with mine to counter the heat.

5. Ross made AΩA!  I was pretty sure he would, but getting the real news was pretty awesome!  It makes me pretty happy to know I married a genius.

Later this week I will be posting the best margarita recipe ever.

Throwdown

10 Aug

As far as the Food Network is concerned, most of the “talent” is pretty annoying.   Giada’s head is way to big for her tiny body,  Ina Garten moves at the speed of paint drying, Paula Deen uses far too much mayonnaise, Rachael Ray needs psychiatric help, and Tyler Florence has an odontoid x-ray on his set (he seriously does – look for it!).  Even though I find Bobby Flay’s “Throwdown” a little ridiculous, and sometimes insulting to the home chef, I can’t deny that his food does appeal to me more than most of the personalities on TV.

With that in mind, when we went to Las Vegas a few weeks ago and faced the decision of which Celebri-Chef restaurant to dine at, Mesa Grill at Caesar’s Palace seemed like a good choice.  Admittedly, we had to eliminate a lot of restaurants purely based on the menu – if it only covered different cuts of steak, it was a no.  I know that steak is supposed to be great, and expensive steak is supposed to be even better, and as someone who loves food, I, more than most, should love steak.  The truth is I hate steak.  It’s not that I’m opposed to red meat (well, I was for a while in high school because I had an irrational fear of mad cow disease, but the two year sabbatical ended in the drive thru line of In-N-Out Burger in San Francisco), I just prefer meat as more of a side dish or an ingredient in a dish.  When I saw that an option on Mesa’s menu was a Chile Relleno we made a reservation immediately.

(Ross did not find it amusing that the margaritas, albeit delicious, were magenta.)

Thankfully, Bobby Flay DID live up to the hype and Mesa Grill served up some seriously fabulous food.  Everything was delicious from the corn muffins to the, well, side of corn.  I mean, when have you ever eaten at a restaurant and said, “Oh my, this corn is quite outstanding”??  Well, it was.  Here are a few pictures of the food:

Queso Fundido

Mom ordered Grouper topped with a fried squash blossom

Ross had a tuna steak with a caper sauce

And I had the best chile relleno I’ve ever eaten.  Period.  It was utter food bliss and made me want to plan trips to other fancy Food Network Chef’s restaurants to repeat the experience.  (Luckily, we went to San Diego next and I had La Playa fish tacos and was sated for the time being)

Upon our return, we knew that simply talking about this awesome meal to everyone didn’t do it justice, and it wasn’t very nice.  A few google searches later and we found some of the recipes from Mesa Grill – the corn muffins AND the relleno!  A few nights ago we did our best to recreate Bobby’s meal:

The corn muffins were delicious!  Though we could not locate blue corn, we found that it made the muffins look less like mold, so it actually worked out.

Here’s the RECIPE FOR MESA GRILL MUFFINS!

Though the chile rellenos required a little more work, they were totally and completely worth it – though, admittedly, I could eat Manchego cheese as a meal and consider it a success.

Here’s the peppers after they’d been blistered and peeled:

Then stuffed and closed up with toothpicks:

Then fried in a cornmeal batter:

You can find THE RECIPE FOR CULINARY BLISS HERE!

We served the muffins and rellenos up with a side of black beans and vodka tonics.  Though I missed the background noise of slot machines and the tobacco infused scent that is Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas – this meal was pretty darn good, too.

Youth – it tastes like chicken.

6 Aug

As a kid, your lunch can truly make or break your day and in no case is this more apparent than Wednesdays at FHS, where I teach.  Each and every hump-day, the high schoolers walk with a little extra spring in their step.  By fourth period, they will answer any question, take any test, run any errand, and, quite frankly, do anything I ask of them in exchange for getting out one minute early so that they can  be first in line for Chicken Fried Steak day.  In a way, I completely understand their enthusiasm.  A long-time “bringer” of my lunch (as opposed to my brother, a “buyer”), I couldn’t resist trading in my peanut butter and honey sandwich, a capri sun, cheez-its, orange, and a perfect dessert of swiss cake rolls on days when “South of the Border Taco Rolls” were on the menu.  While it sounds gross, any product of the Arlington ISD will agree that fried taco meat and nacho cheese deep fried in a tortilla and topped with more cheese is enough to bring purpose to your day.  The same goes for CFS day – there’s something about a crispy, fried meat, mashed potatoes and TWO rammekins of gravy that will undo any injustices that the public school system has burdened them with.  The thing is, you truly have to be a legal minor to appreciate this food (sort of like the way my parents never particularly understood the allure of the taco roll…), and try as I might, I really can’t get on board with the cafeteria chicken fried steak.  The problem is that every Wednesday I’m reminded of the most outstanding CFS of my life, the one at Mary’s.

Many of my childhood summer days were spent at our lake house on Possum Kingdom, which meant many summer nights were spent making the trek to Strawn to dine at Mary’s Cafe.  Mary’s is an unassuming shack in the middle of nowhere.  The line is always long, the gravy is always plentiful, and the chicken fried steaks are second to none.  In the many years it has been since I’ve dined at Mary’s, I’ve never found a restaurant capable of duplicating their steak, though not for lack of trying.  When my parents received their share of a 400lbs steer, named Rusty, we thought we may have stumbled on a meat with enough quality to attempt our own.  We are staying with my parents this month, so it seemed the perfect time to try.

We started by marinating the (very thin) steaks in buttermilk for several hours.  While I usually like a process picture, bloodly buttermilk may not have the appetizing affect that a food photo should.

Then the steaks were dredged in flour, re-dipped in buttermilk, and given a second coat of flour before frying outside in a peanut oil/crisco blend.

(Yum, crisco.)

Golden brown perfection!

We served these babies up with some mashed potatoes, biscuits, black-eyed peas, and plenty of delicious gravy.  I daresay we have stumbled on a little known secret of North Texas.  So, if you find yourself with a plentiful amount of grass-fed beef, give it a try.  If not, pay homage to Mary’s ASAP; you won’t be disappointed.