Friday, July 12, 2024

Bean Sprout Salad

 A quick and refreshing salad ready in minutes. From the Korean cuisine. Modified from

8 oz bean sprouts, rinsed

1 green onion, finely chopped
2 t minced garlic
2 t sesame oil
1 t toasted sesame seeds
1 t soy sauce
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt

Blanch sprouts for 20 seconds in boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Dry thoroughly. Place in a bowl and toss with the other ingredients. Chill before serving.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Roasted Potatoes and Garlic

Side dish for roast meats and other main courses.
2 medium russet or yellow potatoes, skin on
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 t rosemary, finely chopped
2 T olive oil
1/4 t salt

Cut the potatoes into 3/4 inch pieces. Place in an 8x8 metal pan, along with the other ingredients. Mix well to coat with oil and seasonings. Roast 30 minutes in a toaster oven preheated to 450 F, turning with a spatula after 15 minutes. Serves 2 to 4.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Faux Pho

Authentic beef pho requires long cooking of beef marrow bones and many spices and aromatics. This short-cut method yields a dish similar in flavor and aroma to the real thing but takes less than 20 minutes to prepare.
2 qt water
4 T beef stock concentrate (Better Than Bouillon™)
2 t five-spice powder
4 T fish sauce
2 t soy sauce
2 t sugar
1/2 t granulated garlic
8 oz rice vermicelli
12 oz thin slices of tender beef
Thai basil leaves and bean sprouts (optional garnish)
Soak the noodles in hot tap water. Bring fresh water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in all the ingredients except the noodles and meat. Simmer 15 minutes. Add the noodles and the raw beef. Simmer 5 minutes and serve, topped with basil and sprouts, if desired. Serves four.

Monday, December 18, 2023

Italian Meatloaf

Savory and satisfying, this recipe makes a lot. Modified from a recipe broadcast on Cook's Country (PBS TV).
1 T olive oil
1/4 c thin garlic slices
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 sleeve saltines
3/4 c whole milk
2 large eggs
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing
2 oz (1 c) grated Parmesan cheese
1 t granulated garlic
1 t dry oregano
1/2 t table salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
3 T chopped fresh basil

Heat the oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium to 350 F. Add the garlic slices and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients, bring to a fast simmer, and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside covered, to keep warm. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 F. Treat a 9 X 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place saltines in large zip-lock bag, seal bag, and crush saltines to fine crumbs with rolling pin or a heavy pan. Whisk milk and eggs in large bowl and stir in the crumbs. Let the mixture stand for about 5 minutes and then whisk it to form a smooth paste. Add beef, sausage, Parmesan, and the seasonings and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Transfer beef mixture to the prepared baking dish. Wet your hands, then shape into 9 X 5-inch rectangle. The top should be flat and meatloaf should be about 1-1/2 inches tall. Pour sauce over the meatloaf. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills. Bake until meatloaf registers 160 F in the middle, about 65 to 75 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and rest it for 15 minutes. With 2 spatulas, lift the meatloaf onto a cutting board. With a flat spoon, remove excess grease from the sauce. Cut the meatloaf into 1-inch slices, return them to the sauce, and garnish with the basil. Yields about 8 servings.

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Baked Apples

A simple, satisfying dessert using four natural ingredients. 
4 firm medium apples (for example, Rome, Gala, Honey Crisp)
4 T brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 t butter
3/4 c boiling water
Preheat the toaster oven to 375 F. Trim the bottoms flat so the apples will stand upright in the baking pan. With a paring knife cut a cone-shaped opening around the stem and hollow out the core. Sprinkle an 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon into the hole, pour a tablespoon of brown sugar into each apple, and top each with a 1/2 teaspoon of butter. Pour water into the pan and bake 50 minutes or until the tip of knife penetrates easily. Let cool until warm, before serving. A scoop of vanilla ice cream turns this into a special dessert.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Broiled Lamb Chops

Lamb chops grilled under the broiler provide a luxurious meal in a hurry. The spice mixture enhances the savory flavor of the meat.
4 1.5 inch-thick loin chops

2 t olive oil

Dry Rub for Lamb

1 T kosher salt

1 t dry rosemary

1 t coriander seeds

1 t porcini powder

1 t dry thyme
1/2 t sumac

1/2 t granulated garlic

1/2 t black peppercorns

Process the dry ingredients to a powder in a spice/coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. Blot the chops dry, drizzle oil on both sides, and then sprinkle the rub on both sides. Use a teaspoon per pound. Store the unused rub in a tight container. Marinate the chops an hour at room temperature. Preheat the broiler to the low setting (if available). Place the rack 8 inches below the elements. Position the seasoned chops on a grill pan. Broil 6 minutes on the first side, turn, and grill another 4 minutes. Check the internal temperature for 125 F.  Rest the chops for a few minutes under a cover. Serves two to four. Suggested sides: kasha and green beans.

Monday, December 11, 2023

Chinese Brown Sauce

Many vegetable or noodle stir fry dishes served in Cantonese-style Chinese-American restaurants are finished with this universal sauce.

1 c chicken stock

1 T soy sauce
1/2 t roasted sesame oil

1/2 t sugar
1/2 t fish sauce

1 T shao shing rice wine
1 T oyster sauce

2 t corn starch

Stir the ingredients together in a cup or bowl until they are well mixed. Pour around the edge of the finished food in the wok or skillet. Stir fry to combine and heat until it thickens. Plate at once.

Friday, December 8, 2023

Quick Waffle Cinnamon Toast

A Belgian waffle maker can turn a slice of white bread into a crispy, sweet treat for breakfast or snack in 60 seconds.

slice of hearty white bread
soft margarine
cinnamon-sugar mixture

Preheat the waffle iron to about 400 F (200 C). Spread the bottom side of the bread lightly with margarine and center on the hot iron. Spread margarine on the top side and sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly. Close the iron, press gently, and bake about 60 seconds. Careful, it will be hot. Variation: Just sprinkle with sugar, no spice.

Friday, November 3, 2023

Review: Looking for a Legit Seafood Supper near the Wright Memorial on the Outer Banks?

 We recently spent a few days in late Autumn at a favorite spot on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. On our last night, we sought a restaurant, not too expensive, that served locally sourced seafood. We got lucky! 

I found a great spot with a touristy name (I Got Your Crabs) but a legit local "dive". For starters, my son Jon and I shared a dozen freshly-shucked fried oysters (the owner fishes for oysters). Hot, crispy, and juicy from the deep fryer, within moments of placing our order. They met the Platonic ideal! 

Then, Yes, they did have soft shell crab! My order came as 6 large, perfectly cooked crabs, an ear of sugar-sweet corn, and to drink, a can of the local Pilsner. Jon chose a flounder sandwich and waffle fries. A sizeable meal. Fresh fish, but frozen fries. He really liked it. Washed down with a bottomless fountain Coke. The tab: $72, including a 20% tip and the tourist tax. I came home with 3 crab and an ear of corn.

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Almonds

Easy recipe elevates an autumn vegetable. Great on the Thanksgiving table. H/T Cindy Engel for contributing her recipe.

1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1⁄4 t salt
1⁄4 t ground black pepper

2 T sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove the few wilted bottom leaves and cut each sprout in half lengthwise. In a one-quart bowl, toss the sprouts with the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast, stirring once, until nicely browned, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown and fragrant (about 4 minutes). Top the sprouts with the almonds and serve hot.

Friday, October 20, 2023

How to Refresh Canned Seafood

Canned crabmeat and shrimp are shelf stable and widely available. They can be used to add a briny flavor to soups and sauces. Often it has an unwelcome 'tinny' taste but that can be largely overcome with a simple rinse in salty water. This method is adopted from an earlier recipe.
1 qt tap water
1 T kosher salt

Stir the salt into the water to form a brine about equivalent to normal saline for crustaceans. In a sieve, thoroughly drain the packing liquid from a can of crabmeat or shrimp. Gently stir the meat into the brine and let stand about 5 minutes. Thoroughly drain the rinsed seafood and proceed to the recipe.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Quick Mushroom Barley Soup

A hearty, flavorsome meal ready in less than 30 minutes from mushrooms plus pantry ingredients.

8 oz large white mushrooms

3 c water


1-1/2 t salt

1 t sugar

1 t lemon juice

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t ground coriander

1/4 t granulated garlic

2 T tomato paste

pinch red pepper flakes

2 t olive oil

1/3 c quick-cooking pearl barley

1-1/2 T tapioca or corn starch suspended in water

Wash the mushrooms in lightly-salted tap water. Quarter them, put in two-quart saucepan, add the water and salt, and bring to a gentle boil for five minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl using a slotted spoon or spider. Bring mushroom stock to a boil, add the seasonings, oil, and the barley. Simmer until the barley is tender, about 15 minutes, add back the mushrooms, the starch and simmer five minutes more. Adjust seasoning as needed. Serves four.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Pasta in Lemon Sauce

Lemon Pasta with Sous Vide Pork Chop
Developed by Ben, Summer, 2023. A quick tasty side dish for meats or fish.

1 lb spaghetti or similar pasta shape
zest of 1 lemon

juice of 1 lemon

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1/3 c grated parmesan cheese

4 T (1/2 stick) butter 

Cook pasta in salted water. In a sauté pan over low heat, melt the butter with the garlic and lemon zest. When pasta is almost done, reserve a 1/4 cup of the pasta water and transfer the noodles to the sauté pan. Add the cheese and half of the lemon juice. Increase heat to medium high stirring to combine, adding pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce. Adjust seasoning with salt and remaining lemon juice.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Lemon Bars

Transcribed from the beautifully hand-printed recipe that a colleague generously prepared for me after I inquired about this luscious treat she brought to work and shared with us. December, 1992. H/T “Linda Barr”.

2-1/2 c all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 c powdered sugar, sifted

3/4 c (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into large dice

1/2 t baking powder

4 eggs, beaten

2 c granulated sugar

1/2 t lemon zest, grated

1/3 c lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Whisk together 2 cups of flour and the powdered sugar. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles meal. Spread the mixture in a 9x13x2 inch baking pan, and firm and flatten to form a crust. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly browned. Whisk the eggs, sugar, zest, and juice together in a bowl and then incorporate the 1/2 cup of flour and baking powder. Pour over the crust and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes, until lightly browned and set. Let cool on a metal rack. Dust with powdered sugar and cut into bars. Yields about 2 dozen bars.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Italian Sausage, Onions, and Red Peppers on a Sub Roll

Quick, easy, and tasty! Emulates the state fair staple but substitutes sweet red pepper for the unripe green pepper.

2 4-oz sweet Italian sausages

1 c yellow onion, sliced thinly through the poles

1 c red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, julienne sliced

2 T vegetable oil

1 t kosher salt, divided

1 t yellow mustard, divided

2 sub rolls, split from the top

Heat the oil in a 10-inch non-stick skillet to 350 F. Add the peppers and a pinch of salt. Fry quickly for 2 minutes. Add the onions, season, and continue frying until the onions begin to soften. Add the sausages to the middle of the skillet and continue frying. Turn the sausages after they have browned on the first side. Continue until browned on the second. Warm the rolls in the microwave. Place a sausage in the middle of each, mound up the vegetables, and lightly decorate with mustard. Serves 2.

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Cornmeal Muffins

his recipe, revised from an online example, yields 12 moist, flavorsome muffins in 30 minutes. Developed Spring,

1 c all-purpose flour
1 c cornmeal

1/4 c sugar

2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

1 egg

1/4 c vegetable oil

1 c milk

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin tin with vegetable oil spray. In a large bowl, whisk together corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a measuring cup, beat egg, whisk in oil and then stir in the milk. Combine egg mixture with dry ingredients with a spatula until smooth. Spoon batter into a prepared muffin tin. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Yields 12.


Sunday, April 2, 2023

Mexican Style Rice - Stovetop Method

This recipe produces a product similar to what is served in many Mexican restaurants in the US. Similar to our microwave version.
1 c long-grain rice

1 T vegetable oil

3/4 t tsp salt

1 t ground achiote

1 t ground cumin

2 T dry onion

1/4 t granulated garlic

1/4 c prepared tomato salsa

1-3/4 c chicken stock

Heat the oil in a saucepan, stir in the rice and salt, and cook over medium for a few minutes until the rice becomes opaque. Stir in the achiote, cumin, onion flakes, and garlic. Heat for 30 seconds and stir in the salsa and stock. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Quick Onion-Mushroom Gravy

Developed March, 2023. Good companion to grilled or roast meats, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, steamed rice, noodles, spaetzle, or open-face sandwiches. 

1 T vegetable oil
2 oz button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 T all-purpose flour
1 t beef dry rub
1 T dry onion
8 oz hot water, divided
1 T beef or onion stock base (Better Than Bouillon™ is good)
1 T porcini powder
1 T tapioca or corn starch dispersed in 1 T cold water

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium and add mushrooms. Fry for a few minutes until they are browned. Stir in the flour, heat for a minute, then add the dry onion, the dry rub, and heat for another minute. Off heat, whisk in a 1/4 cup hot water to form a smooth slurry. Stir in stock base and porcini powder. When incorporated, stir in the remaining hot water, and simmer 5 minutes. Whisk in the starch slurry and heat until it thickens. The recipe is easily doubled.

Variations: Dilute the finished gravy with 1 cup beef stock to make a jus for French dip sandwiches or as a base for hearty soups or stews.

Friday, March 24, 2023

Vegetable Lo Mein

Developed Summer, 2022 from an earlier dry-noodle dish. This version utilizes fresh lo mein noodles purchased at a local pan-Asian grocery.

1 medium yellow onion, thinly cut through poles
1 T minced garlic
2 c baby bok choy, cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
2 c napa cabbage, cut into shreds
1 7-oz can bamboo shoot strips, rinsed well, and drained
3 T vegetable oil, divided

16 oz fresh lo mein noodles


1 c chicken stock

2 T soy sauce
2 t roasted sesame oil

1/2 t sugar
2 t fish sauce

1 T shao shin rice wine
2 T oyster sauce

2 t tapioca or corn starch

2 green onions, cut on bias

Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a gentle boil. Add the noodles, separating them as they boil. Boil gently for 3 minutes. Drain well, toss with 1 tablespoon of oil, cover and keep warm. Meanwhile combine the sauce ingredients in a cup. To make the topping, heat 1 T of oil sizzling hot in a large wok. Stir fry the onions until they begin to soften. Then stir fry, in turn, the bok choy, napa, onions, bamboo shoots, and garlic, adding oil as needed. When the vegetables are almost done, stir in the sauce and bring to a boil. Then, fold in the noodles, and heat through. Serve in a large bowl, garnished with the green onions. Serves 6. Variation: shreds of meat cooked separately can be added with the noodles.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Roasted Tiny Potatoes

This recipe yields a product that's crusty on the outside and creamy on the inside. Quartering the potatoes doubles the crisp surface area. This easy recipe with limited knife work is well suited for the beginning cook.
12 oz small white or red potatoes (about 1.5 inch across)
2 T olive oil
1 t kosher salt
2 t dry rosemary powder
1/2 t granulated garlic
1/2 t ground black pepper
Quarter the potatoes, place in a bowl, mist with water, cover, and steam in the microwave oven for 3 minutes on high power (1250 W). Preheat the toaster oven to 425 F. Drizzle on the oil, mix in the seasonings, transfer to an 8x8-inch metal pan, and roast for 10 minutes. Turn over the potatoes and roast another 10 to 15 minutes. Serves two to three.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Toaster-Oven Garlic Bread

Winter 2023. This approach streamlines an earlier recipe by combining the topping ingredients into a compound spread. Pairs nicely with soup, chowder, or steamed seafood or offer as an appetizer with drinks at a gathering.

8 oz loaf supermarket French bread

1/3 c soft tub margarine
1 t granulated garlic, divided
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese, divided

In a small bowl, mash the margarine with a fork until softened. In two steps, mash in the granulated garlic, and finally, in two steps, the cheese. Preheat the oven on the broil setting with the rack placed 6 to 8 inches from the coils. Cut the loaf into 3/4 inch thick slices. Cover each with a generous layer of spread and arrange on a 12X9 baking sheet. Grill the bread until the top is browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Serves 2 to 4 depending on the menu. 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Dry Rub for Beef

Developed over many years for steaks and roasts.
2 T kosher salt
1 t black peppercorns
2 t brown sugar
1 t dry rosemary
1 t granulated garlic
1 t mushroom powder
1 t dry thyme
Combine the ingredients in a spice grinder. Pulse a few times to form a fine powder. Store in a tight container. To use, dry the meat, sprinkle the rub on all sides, rub it in, cover in plastic, and marinate up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Use one teaspoon per pound. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Quick Tomato-Lentil Noodle Soup

Turns a BLT or tuna sandwich into a nice supper entirely from pantry ingredients.
4 c water
2 T tomato paste
1 pkg Madras stewed lentils
1 pkg tomato noodle soup mix (Knoll™ is good)
2 T dry onion flakes
1/2 t fennel seeds
1 t dry tarragon
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t sugar
1 t fish sauce.
Bring the water to boil in a three-quart saucepan. Stir in the tomato paste and lentils. Return to a boil and add the soup mix and the seasonings. Simmer, with occasional stirring, for 8 minutes. Serves 4.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Hearty Beef Soup with Mushrooms, Barley, and Black Beans

Developed December, 2022, mostly from pantry ingredients.
1 c (20 g) dry porcini mushrooms
3 T olive oil, divided
6 oz button mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/2 c carrots, coarsely chopped
1 c onion, coarsely chopped
2 T tomato paste
2 t garlic, minced
1 14.5-oz can Cuban-style black beans (Bush™ is good)
reserved mushroom stock
3 c water
1 T beef stock concentrate (Better than Bouillon™ is good)
1/2 c barley
2 c cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 t salt
1 t sugar
1/2 t ground black pepper
10 oz (300 g) cooked beef steak, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Rinse the mushrooms briefly and cover with 12 oz of very hot water. Stir and set aside for 30 minutes to hydrate and release their flavor into the soak water. Drain, reserving the liquid and chop them with a few pulses in a small food processor. Do the same for the fresh mushrooms. Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan and add the mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes and then add the chopped carrots. Add more oil as needed to maintain a good sauté. After a few minutes, add the onions and garlic. Fry until onions start to soften. Mix in the beans including the pack water. Add the water, mushroom liquid, and the stock concentrate. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in the barley and cabbage. Cook covered, gently boiling until the cabbage is tender and the barley has swollen, about 20 to 30 minutes. Off heat, stir in the seasonings and beef. Warm through and serve. Rye bread and butter make good sides. Serves 4.

Friday, December 2, 2022

Mignonette Sauce for Shellfish

This simple sauce is the perfect accent for raw, steamed, or broiled seafood.

1/4 c finely-minced shallot
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1/4 t cracked peppercorns
1/2 t salt
1 t sugar

Add ingredients to a small bowl or container. Mix well and let stand at least 30 minutes. Spoon small amounts over oysters, clams, mussels, or fish. Keeps well in the refrigerator for a good while.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Dry Marinade for Pork

Developed over the course of many years. Chops, roasts, ribs, braises all benefit.
2 T kosher salt
2 t fennel seeds
2 t sage
1 t dry thyme
1 t peppercorns
1 t granulated garlic
1 t paprika
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 t corn starch
Add the components to a spice grinder and process until finely powdered. Store in a shaker jar tightly covered, in the dark. Use about 1 teaspoon for each pound of raw pork rubbed on all surfaces. After seasoning, bag the meat and hold for up to 24 hours below 40 F.

Dorothy's Quick and Easy Corn Chowder

This simple soup has been brought forward from DrDaddy's childhood. His sainted mother was not only a skillful traditonal cook but was also an innovative, resourceful one as well. She fed three hungry kids lunch every day and created quick, easy, healthful dishes on a modest budget. This is a simpler version of a corn and clam chowder presented earlier.

1 15-oz can creamed corn (Del Monte™ is good)
1 can of milk
2 t butter
salt and pepper to taste
Stir the corn and the milk together in a small saucepan. Heat to steaming but do not boil. Stir in the butter and adjust the seasoning. Yields two to three servings. Saltine crackers on the side make a nice addition.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Catfish Stew

First prepared January, 2008, Catfish nuggets are sold at a lower price than fillets.
2 rashers bacon, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 ribs of celery, sliced crosswise
1/2 c sweet red pepper, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 t fennel seed
1 t dry tarragon, rubbed
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
4 c chicken stock
1/4 c minced parsley
2 lbs catfish nuggets, cut into bite-size pieces
1 c milk or light cream
tapioca or corn starch suspended in a little cold water
2 t salt
1 t freshly ground pepper
sliced green onions to garnish
In a large heavy pot, over medium heat saute the bacon until crisp. Add onions, celery, and carrots, and stir. Cook with occasional stirring until they begin to color. Add the peppers and herbs. When soft, add potatoes and broth. Return to a low boil and simmer 20 minutes, adding the parsley after 10 minutes. Add the fish and return to simmer for 5 minutes. Do not boil. Add the milk, raise the heat to low boil and add the starch suspension gradually with stirring until the stew is somewhat thickened. Adjust seasoning. Ladle into bowls and garnish with green onions. With hot crusty bread and butter, serves 6 to 8.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Poultry Rub

Use on whole chickens, turkeys, or parts before roasting or grilling.

2 T kosher salt
1 t peppercorns
1 t coriander seeds
1 t dry rosemary leaves
1 t dry sage leaves
1 t dry oregano leaves
1 t dry thyme leaves
1 t dry tarragon leaves
1 t granulated garlic
Combine the ingredients in a spice grinder and process until fine. Rinse the poultry in cold water, dry thoroughly, oil the skin, and season all sides with a 1 teaspoon per pound. Store tightly covered. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Mexican-Style Pickled Carrots

ften found on the condiment bar at taquerias, this piquant treat comes together quickly from mostly pantry ingredients. H/T Ben.
1 lb (450 g) carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch (5 cm) lengths
2 large jalapeños, sliced diagonally
3 garlic cloves crushed
6 oz (175 ml) white vinegar
6 oz (175 ml) water
2 t (10 ml) vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
6 black peppercorns
1 t (5 ml) dry oregano
1 t (5 ml) salt
To a three-quart saucepan, add the garlic, vinegar, water, oil, bay leaves, peppercorns, oregano, and salt. Bring to a boil and add the carrots, onion and jalapeños. Lower the heat to a fast simmer and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered. Transfer to a quart mason jar or divide between 2 pints. If more liquid is needed to cover the vegetables, add equal parts water and white vinegar. Tighten lid and allow to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Ready to eat after 3 hours but better if pickled for a day or two. Note: If using baby carrots, boil for 3 minutes before lowering heat to a simmer.

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Quick Rice and Lentil Soup with Poached Egg

A warm bowl of soup makes a satisfying breakfast or lunch dish. This one comes together quickly from pantry ingedients.
1/3 c long grain rice
1 T olive oil
2 T tomato paste
2-1/2 c water
2 T beef or vegetable stock concentrate
1 foil pack Madras lentils
1 t fish sauce (optional)
1/2 t sugar
1/4 t salt
2 oz frozen leaf spinach
1 large egg
Heat the oil in a two-quart saucepan, add the rice, stir and fry a few minutes until lightly colored. Stir in the water, tomato paste, stock concentrate, sugar, salt and fish sauce. Bring to a gentle boil for 10 minutes with occasional stirring. Mix in the lentils, cook for 5 minutes more, and then stir in the frozen spinach. When it's bubbling hot again, move off heat, crack in the egg, cover and wait 4 minutes while it poaches. Then, stir the egg into the soup and serve, 2 or 3 as a light breakfast or lunch.