On a typical Friday night, Caitlin and I will head to Mi Rancho, one of our favorite local spots, where we’ll greet Albino and take our seat in the covered, outdoor patio. If that’s our typical spot, then our order is equally typical – the mixed fajitas.
We love our tex-mex.
For us, tex-mex is just one of those hearty meals, the kind of meal that makes you smile at the end of dinner, satisfied and happy. Continue reading
Every so often, I like to treat myself to a steak. During the week, I often settle for a cold sandwich of almond-butter and jelly, chicken salad, or sliced turkey. Lunch is unabashedly dull. If I have the energy, I try to make something more exciting for dinner: fish, perhaps, or even arepas, the Venezuelan corn cakes that I recently discovered.
Fish and arepas are appealing because they are quick and easy to cook. But so is steak and so is couscous (provided I don’t make it more complicated than necessary). And unlike a broiling fish, there’s a certain pleasure in hearing the sizzle of the steak, as the hot iron meets the cool, raw side of the meat. After a quick flip and a few minutes in the oven, the steak is cooked, leaving you five minutes of eager anticipation, as the steak cools and cooks under its foil tent.
If you remember to marinate the Continue reading
When I think of apple sauce, I can’t help but thinking back to those plastic cups, sold in packs of six, filled with what looks to be nothing more than puréed apples. Apple mush. Bland, flavorless, apple mush.
This recipe is not a Continue reading
It’s no secret that I love sweet potatoes. I’ve featured them mashed, baked, and grilled. I’ve also folded them into phyllo dough, and into a bundt cake.
Out of all these variations, one of my favorite ways to prepare sweet potatoes happens to be one of the simplest: sliced and roasted.
As the days start to darker and the weather cooler, these sweet potato fries are a quick remedy. Simple and quick to make, these warm and healthy fries are the quintessential comfort food, a sizzling side, and an awesome appetizer.
Last week, I Continue reading
After making the healthy carrot cake, I had several carrots left over. It didn’t take me long to put them to a suitable use. After a few turns in olive oil and a quick spell in the oven, I had a delicious and colorful side dish. And it was that easy. This dish takes five minutes to prepare, and twenty-five minutes in the oven.
I have a tendency to cover my baking sheets with foil or parchment paper – to help avoid sticking, and for ease of clean-up. But if you really want that nice roasted color for the carrots, it pays to do without.
Finally, my loyal readers may Continue reading
The Palouse region along the Idaho-Washington border is lentil country. In field after field, the tiny, green-coated legume covers the land.
The Palouse region counts roughly 200 miles of land, and is home to over 3,000 family farms. Between them, these farms account for nearly 90 percent of the lentils grown in this country. But sadly, few of these lentils ever find their way onto American plates or palates. Nearly the entire lentil crop is exported – to countries like Spain, Italy, Greece, and India - countries that appreciate the culinary qualities of the lentil.
And the lentil is worthy of appreciation. Unlike beans, lentils cook quickly and do not require soaking. They pair with almost any dish, and Continue reading
I am such a mess sometimes.
Yesterday I treated myself to a steak. This was the first steak I’d ever made for myself, so I spent the morning looking online and through several of my cookbooks, hoping to get my steak just right. I wanted to learn the perfect marinade, the precise cooking time, and how to get the steak done at the ideal temperature.
The best steak, I learned, should be cooked until medium-rare. According to the finger-method,this happens when the feel of the steak approximates the feel of your index finger pressed into your slightly clenched palm. According to the meat thermometer, this happens anywhere from 145 degrees to 125 degrees — depending on whom you ask. Cooking Light’s Grilling, and Steven Raichlen’s How to Grill call medium-rare at 145 degrees. But in James Patterson’s Cooking, it’s 125 degrees, while an online source says it is between 130 and 135 degrees. For what it’s worth, the U.S.D.A. recommends that steaks be cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. The lower temperatures may reflect the willingness to sacrifice absolute food safety in the name of greater flavor and tenderness. Fortunately, Peterson and Raichlen both ascribe to the finger-poke method, so I may try to become comfortable with that method.
But for my first grilled steak, I decided that I should play it by the numbers, and settled on 145.
I grabbed the steak, a little oil Continue reading
Hello, all – it’s Caitlin here!
Charles has graciously ceded the wheel to me for today’s posting, thus giving me the opportunity to discuss one of my favorite dietary topics: fiber. I’ll preface this discussion by saying that Charles eats a very healthful diet, with oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and bananas ranking among his favorites.
Yet, when I suggested that he swap his white bread for a whole grain alternative (more fiber!), he balked at the suggestion and characterized my beloved wheat bread as “cardboard” (blasphemy!). Despite these accusations, Continue reading
Making the perfect pot of rice is no easy task. In my first few attempts, it boiled over, came out gummy, and stuck to the bottom: the trifecta of bad rice. But with some practice, and a few google searches, I came to perfect my rice.
Rice is finicky, like a set of rabbit ears on an old television. The more you handle the rice, the worse it turns out. With rice, delicacy is the watchword. Like those thin metal rods, you need to place the pot of rice in the right place, and then leave it alone, trusting it to work as it should.
In practice, this means Continue reading
Posted in Sides
Tagged Rice, Steaming
If you know me, you know I love sweet potatoes. So, when it came time to create a Thanksgiving menu, the question wasn’t whether I was going to serve sweet potatoes, the question was simply what recipe to choose.
I wanted something fairly simple to make, but that would nonetheless impress. I also wanted it to be something unique and fun. This recipe met Continue reading