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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.

 

Elotes – Mexican Street Corn

3 Oct

I find myself so fascinated by shows like “Extreme Couponing” – coming up to the checkout with $500 worth of mayonnaise and antacids and slowly watching the total dwindle down to $6.75 must be a huge adrenaline rush and I applaud the thriftiness of these coupon mavens.  Unfortunately, I find three problems with extreme couponing:

1. It takes time, which I don’t have.

2. I have neither the space nor the desire to store $500 worth of mayonnaise and antacids.

3. I take my food seriously and coupons for real foods (produce, protein, and dairy) don’t really exist.

So what’s a girl to do?  I am pretty much bound to seasonal produce and often improvise a dish based on what’s on sale.  I do prefer eating seasonal produce, but sometimes eating the same stuff for weeks on end becomes pretty lame.  Thus was the case with corn.  I just can’t pass up a good corn deal, and for the last 6-8 weeks it’s been 6-8 ears for $1.  Insane – I can’t pass that up.  Unfortunately, my family started getting really sick of corn (other than my daughter) – boiled, buttered corn is delicious, but it’s not a weekly staple.  We had to revamp the corn.  In came elotes – street corn!  Grilled and sauced, it brings new life to lowly corn.  You’ll start to think it SHOULD be a weekly dish – in fact, I might be sad when it becomes expensive again.

I’ve had elotes from restaurants that was boiled corn with the elotes sauce – it’s fine, and in a pinch is still good, but if at all possible, grill the corn.  We’ve served it on and off of the cob, and while it’s good both ways, it’s less of a mess to eat if you cut it from the cob.

Elotes

8 ears fresh corn

1/2 cup mayonnaise (1 step closer to clearing the coupon stash!)

1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

1/2 cup shredded cotija or queso fresco cheese

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp garlic salt (regular salt is fine, too)

1 garlic clove

1 lime

handful of fresh cilantro

1. Shuck the corn, heat the grill.  Stir together the mayonnaise and sour cream until well combined.  Add in the chili powder, paprika, and garlic salt.  Mince or press the garlic and add the garlic and cheese to the sauce.  Chop the cilantro and cut the lime into small wedges.

2. Place the corn directly on the grill, turning frequently (8-10 minutes) until all sides are nicely charred.  Cut the corn from the cob and serve with the sauce, a squeeze of lime, and a little cilantro.

A fair day

31 Oct

Attending the Texas State Fair has been a tradition in my family for years.  Back when we were in elementary school our parents would pull us out just a little early, we’d stock up on non-perishable food, dr. pepper cans, or whatever the discount du jour was, and make our way to Dallas for an evening at the fair.  Now that our family is spread across the state, we go to the fair on Sunday, usually the Sunday after the Red River Shootout (which could be a whole notha post in itself…).  This year that plan worked out, so a few weeks ago we loaded up the van and made our way to the Fair.

While I’m sure the idea of a “fair” conjures up images of carnival rides, midway games, and cheap stuffed animals, our fair experience  includes nonesuch things.  We go to the fair for much more than outsmarting weight guessers and popping balloons with darts – it’s an experience.  We always begin at the same location and eat our way through the fair.  Our only really “must dos” are foods, the auto shows, wandering through the craft building, and looking through building after building of people peddling junk.

In years past, we’ve been to quick to sample new foods, wasting coupons and valuable stomach space, so this year we opted to stick to the basics.  As a fair tip, you’re better off getting one of everything than everyone getting one of a few things.  Case in point?  We started with a Fletcher’s Corny Dog:

Then, we moved to my dad and I’s favorite: the Barbecued Bologna:

There’s something about the way that the white bread vaccums to the roof of your mouth that makes this sandwich particularly delicious.

We picked up a few orders of Tornado Taters (one is clearly not enough :):

Stopped by Hans Mueller (Joel’s favorite).  As a side note, Tiffany from the latest season of Top Chef mentions this place as her inspiration for one of the challenges!

My personal favorite, the Belgian Waffle!  You have to get it with whipped cream and strawberries and powdered sugar.  Just accept that you will coat your entire front side with the stuff, it’s cool.

And we finished the day off with Ross’ favorite: Funnel Cake!

So, if you live in the Dallas area and haven’t been to the State Fair – it’s an obvious must do!  Make a trip!

A proverbial “doctor’s note”.

24 Oct

It’s fairly legit as I will be married to an official M.D. in 8 months.  When I started blogging, I knew this would happen.  I was so bored this summer and all I could think about was my unwavering desire to procreate, so blogging seemed like a good way to spend time.  Unfortunately (or fortunately for the sake of our sanity), things picked back up.  For a few weeks this was fun, back to school, exciting times, but this evening while driving home from Dallas we had to stop and ask ourselves, “wait, is it really almost NOVEMBER?!?”.

September and October have been yet another Act in the drama that is our lives, and while it may have been irritating at the time, it’s pretty funny looking back on it.  To make up for lost time, here are four little vignettes that sum up early Fall.

 

1. The Sharpie Incident.  Basically, I haven’t been caught up on laundry ever.  Between weekend debate tournaments, residency interviews, and teaching and working full time laundry hasn’t really been a priority.  We do it when we can, but often we can’t.  A few weeks ago it was a rare Sunday off and we started a load only to forget to clean out pockets.  Ladies and gentlemen, should you leave a sharpie in your pocket and then do laundry, your dryer will look like this:

Somebody thought it would be a good idea just to put a t-shirt soaked in rubbing alcohol in the dryer so it could clean the dryer, but then somebody else, who happens to be a chemistry major, thought that flammability was an issue so we just left it as is.  It didn’t ruin any MORE clothes (oh no, just the brand new Michael Kors blouse I got on final sale…), so problem solved.

 

2. The Planner.  When I was a kid, mom used to come up with these crazy ideas of places we could live and we would talk about our lives in these places (Boise, Marble Falls to name a few…).  Since Ross has began the residency match program, I’ve started planning our lives for every city that sends an invitation.  I now know where we will work/live/hang out in Shreveport, Birmingham, and Lubbock, should we be so unlucky.  I also take organization very seriously and Ross does see the value in it, so I created a google calendar of potential interview dates, a google document ranking the programs with organization for interviews, rejections, etc., and have linked both of these to both of our e-mails and Iphones.  Now instead of making any sort of scheduling mistake, we simply spend upwards of 3 hours a day each neurotically checking all databases.  I actually have studentdoctor.net bookmarked on my school computer ahead of sephora.com.  Madness.

3. The first car… I may or may not have complained to you about the lack of air conditioning in our beloved acceptable Jetta.  After I finally passed the puppy on to Ross it died a few times, and the check engine light came on so we decided that because summer in Houston lasts until about November 20th, the lack of AC wasn’t going to improve and we should have it repaired.  After a $900 bill, a $3K estimate and STILL no air?  We cut our losses and bought a new car.  A 2010 Honda Accord.  It’s fabulous, air conditioned, and doesn’t randomly die or cost zillions to repair (partially cause it doesn’t break down :).  What can I say, I like my cars to be Japanese.

4. The “good” car… Approximately one week before the Jetta fiasco, Ross was picking me up from the airport (I’d had a long, 11-hours each way drive to Lincoln, Nebraska) in the Scion on a Tuesday night when suddenly a large can of something flew into the car.  Though we couldn’t tell exactly what it was at first, the windshield wipers could not budge the substance and we soon discovered that a can of blue paint had indeed exploded onto our vehicle covering the windshield and pretty much the entire front of our car.  We were able to remove enough from the windshield to create a small hole for vision until the windshield was replaced.  By the way, as someone who has cracked a windshield more times than I care to admit, I did not know that GEICO would replace it for $50!  Thankfully we didn’t know this until I filed the claim for the paint, so since our windshield was still cracked, it was replaced.  The rest of the car wasn’t exactly “covered” as fault couldn’t necessarily be assigned.  We have found that acetone-free nail polish remover will remove it without removing the finish on the car, but seeing as we can’t even find the time to update a blog, it’s unlikely this will get done before January 15 (match day).  In the meantime, we will be driving the smurf-mobile with pride.  Tomorrow, when it isn’t dark, I will take some photographic evidence as I feel this story is not really as remarkable without it.

That essentially sums up the past two months of our lives – humorous disasters all around.  Thankfully, Ross’s first interview with incredibly well and this whole residency thing may just shape out to be pretty good.  Keep your fingers crossed and Go Rangers!

 

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:

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.