Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fried Rice for Two

Pork Fried Rice

My family wanted fried pork chop and I didn't so I whipped this up for myself. Here's a recipe. Essentially most of my fried rices are made by throwing meat, veggies, rice, an egg, and soy sauce in a skillet. Follow that basic pattern and you're bound to come up with something tasty.

In my version I fried a center cut pork chop separately and then pulled the meat off the bone. The version below is easier (and made in one pot).

I'm also doing the low-carb thing; you can add in more rice and pork to make it family sized. Just adjust the seasonings (soy sauce, hoisin sauce, etc) to taste.

Fried Rice for Two

6oz pork chop, boneless and cut into bite sized pieces

1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/2 shelled edamame
1 clove of garlic, minced

1 cup cold rice (white or brown)
1 egg, beaten

2 tbsp soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Salt and pepper to taste.

1 tbsp oil

In large skillet or wok, heat oil. Add in the pork and cook until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Add in celery, carrots, onions, garlic and edamame. Saute until onions become translucent.

Add in rice and stir to mix thoroughly. While stirring, pour in egg. The constant mixing ensures it coats the rice and pork; you want it to hold everything together, not become scrambled eggs with rice.

Add in soy sauce, hoisin, ginger, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve hot.

PS: This tastes really good with Sriracha too (is there anything that doesn't??)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chorizo, Pepperjack, and Spinach Omelet

1/2 cup ground chorizo
1 cup baby spinach
1oz pepper jack cheese
2 eggs, beaten

In large skillet brown chorizo. Add in cup of spinach and saute until wilted. Put spinach/chorizo aside.

In small frying/omelet pan, pour in beaten eggs. Turn over when bottom side is fully cooked (about one minute). Place pepper jack cheese and chorizo/spinach mixture onto half of egg. Fold over and serve while hot.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Beef Stew

Beef Stew
Kidney beans, beef, celery, carrots, garlic, spinach, and a few egg noodles in one delicious stew

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008

Low Carb? Aw Geez...

Yes, it's true. I'm doing the low carb thing. Not as extreme as most people, I might add. I recognize that carbohydrates are a very important part of any diet. I've just been eating the wrong kind and for someone who is insulin resistant, the wrong kind could make me sick. So, today was my first real foray into the low carb world.

It was tougher than I thought. On Sunday (yesterday) I decided to have a last meal of sorts. I baked my usual lasagna recipe and it was fantastic (see picture above). Too bad it had enough calories to sustain three small children.

Dinner tonight was a bit better, calorie and carbohydrate wise. I made chicken according to my empanada recipe except I added in two (2) cups of chicken broth, four (4) cut carrots, and two (2) cups of egg noodles. The green beans I steamed separately. The meal wasn't soupy at all, it was just a good, tender meal. I call it "Sticky Chicken and Pasta".

It was the best new meal I've made in a while. I can't wait to make it again.

Until next time,
<3 Jess

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Empanadas de Pollo (Con Huevo)

Empanadas (link to recipe)

Quite some time ago a friend told me about these empanadas she had been craving. They were made by a Chilean woman and were filled with chicken, hard-boiled eggs, raisins, and olives. The combination sounded intriguing and I went about finding and altering empanadas to come close to what my friend used to have. I am not sure if these are The Ones, but they sure are tasty!

These take quite a bit of work so I recommend that you break the job into two days. Make the filling on the first, then make the dough, assemble, and cook the empanadas on the second day. The secret in this empanada is to stew chicken thighs and drumsticks whole and then strip the meat off the bone. The filling is made in one pot (convenience!). I also took pictures of many steps: Click on the links throughout the recipe to see what the steps looked like.

Chicken Empanadas
Makes 12-18


3 chicken quarters, thighs and drumsticks
1 tablespoon of oil
2 large onions, cut in half lengthwise then cut in strips
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup olives, chopped
1/2 cup water
4 hardboiled eggs
1/4 cup of raisins

4 cups of All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 cup of butter, or two sticks, chopped. (You may substitute margarine, just divide into two portions to ease mixing)
3/4 cup of ice water

Eggwash: Not to be made until empanadas are sealed.
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp water

To make the filling:

Heat tablespoon of oil in large pot. Pat chicken dry, season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then brown in oil about 3 minutes on each side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.

Add onions and garlic to pot and saute until translucent. Add salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, bay leaves, chopped olives, and water. Stir then bring to a boil. Add chicken back into pot and cover. Let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn chicken over. Simmer another 15 minutes or until tender.

Once tender, transfer chicken onto plate and let cool. Using hands or fork, discard skin and bones. Chop or shred the meat. Add back into pot. Add in chopped egg and raisins. Carefully stir. Discard bay leaves and season filling with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let filling cool for about 30 minutes (or overnight if you are doing this in parts). The filling is done.


In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, begin to mix the butter in. You should have a coarse, crumbly mix with little pea-sized bumps of butter. Add in the water and begin to knead in bowl until it comes together. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about three minutes. The dough should resemble pie crust dough.

Form dough into log and chill in plastic wrap
, in the fridge, for about an hour. This give the dough time to cool and you time to clean up a little bit.

Assembling the empanadas:

Preheat oven to 400F. Make sure you have a rack set in the middle of the oven.

Lightly grease a baking sheet or cover with parchment.

Bring dough out from refrigerator and unwrap. Cut log into 18 equal pieces (12 if you want them to be a bit larger) and form into balls. After lightly flour your rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle about 1/8 of an inch thick. (It's okay if they're not perfect circles).

Place about two tablespoons of filling into center and fold dough over. Lightly flour a fork and press it down along the edge to seal the empanada.

Repeat above steps until you have finished your all filling and dough. You should have about 18 medium empanadas or 12 large ones. Place finished empanadas in baking pan.

Make an eggwash (one large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water) and lightly brush onto empanadas.

Place empanadas into oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until empanadas are golden. Let cool for five minutes.

Serve alone or with rice and beans.

Variation Station:

If you don't want to use such a complicated cooking method for the chicken, here's a tip: Any cut of chicken will work fine. Use boneless chicken breast instead of thighs and drumsticks; it'll be easier to shred.

If you want even more ease, buy already cooked chicken from your market's deli. Shred it, add it to the filling ingredients (minus the eggs and raisins), and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the eggs and raisins at the last minute. Continue with recipe as written.

You can easily omit the raisins, hard-boiled eggs, or olives.

If you have any filling leftover, add it to a dish of rice and beans. The filling is fully cooked before being added into the empanada!

If you have any dough left over, freeze it for your next empanada adventure. You can also bake or fry rounds of dough without any filling. It makes a tasty bread!

Until next time,
<3 Jess

Monday, April 07, 2008

Friday, April 04, 2008

Frito Pie

Also known as "Walking Taco" and "Pepper Bellies", Frito Pie is basically a bunch of Fritos with chili poured on the top and garnished with cheese, jalepeños, and anything else you want. Beware: this meal screams "unhealthy". It's not something I plan on cooking often but, man, is it tasty! I tried to take a better picture but everyone was hungry and the food went before I could set up a shot.

Black Bean Chili (serves 8-10)

1 1/2lbs ground beef
24oz cans of tomato sauce
14.5oz can of diced tomatoes, chili style
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
2 cans black beans

In a large stock pot, brown ground beef until browned. Drain fat.

Add all ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low-medium and simmer for an hour. Stir occasionally so that chili doesn't stick to pot.

I love this chili and we have been known to eat it sprinkled with cheddar cheese. To assemble this into a Frito Pie:

1 15oz bag of Fritos
4 cups of chili
1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
2 jalapeños, finely sliced (or diced)

Place Frito corn chips on the bottom of a large casserole pan. Pour hot chili over. Sprinkle cheddar cheese and jalapeños on top. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Until next time,
<3 Jess

Grocery Shopping - 04/03/2008

Meats and Fish – $44.77

Chicken Leg Quarters (20lbs) - $9.56

Ground Beef, Lean (3lb) – $5.24

Salted Cod (1lb) - $2.76

Boneless Pork Chops – $6.25

Wild Salmon, 2.5lbs – $6.98

Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (6lbs) – $13.98

Deli and Bakery – $26.59

Provolone (1lb) - $3.44

Swiss (1lb) - $2.28

Oven Roasted Turkey (1/2 lb) - $2.98

Smoked Turkey (1lb) - $2.98

Beef Salami (1lb) – $3.63

American Cheese (1lb) - $2.34

Shredded Cheddar (1lb) - $3.98

Sourdough Loaf - $2.78

Cuban Loaf - $1.00

Bagels (6) - $1.18

Dairy and Eggs – $7.64

Milk, 2% (1 gallon) - $3.68

Cream Cheese (1lb) - $1.18

Eggs (18) - $2.78

Produce - $18.41

Tomatoes (3) - $1.00

Garlic (4 heads) - $1.19

Oranges (8lbs) - $6.78

Lemons (3) – $1.74

Express Bake Potatoes (4) – $3.12

Cucumber (1) $0.50

Bananas (3 ½ lbs) - $2.17

Hass Avocado - $0.78

Cilantro – $0.76

Jalapenos (1/4 lb) $0.37

Rice, Grains, Dry Goods – $26.42

Rice, long grain (20lbs) - $8.56

Rice, short grain (3lbs) - $2.24

Spaghetti (3lb) - $1.74

Cereal - $2.82

Sugar (5lbs) - $2.06

Coffee (10 oz) - $3.12

Pancake mix – $2.04

Lipton Noodle Soup (3 boxes) - $3.84

Canned Goods – $11.34

Tomato sauce (4 cans) - $1.00

Black beans (4 cans) - $1.96

Pinto beans (2 cans) - $0.98

Dark kidney beans (4 cans) - $2.00

Canned Salmon (2) - $4.28

Tuna, in water (2 cans) - $1.12

Frozen – $33.68

Sancocho Vegetables (3lbs) - $2.28

Tostones (3lbs) - $4.48

Sofrito (1lb) $3.15

Yucca (10 lbs) - $5.91

Edy’s Coconut Bars (6) - $2.98

Minute Maid Orange Juice Concentrate (6) – $14.88

Oils and Condiments – $7.90

Chicken bouillon - $0.68

Garlic Powder - $1.18

Salt - $0.33

Pesto - $2.14

Mayonnaise - $3.57

Soda, Chips Etc - $18

Aquafina 24 bottles – $4.98

Capri Sun (24 pouches) - $3.14

Tostitos – $2.50

Fritos - $2.50

SoBe Green Tea (4) - $4.00

Kool Aid (5 packets) - $0.88

Household -$16.73

Flowers (3 bouquets) - $13.76

Fabuloso All Purpose Cleaner - $2.97

Total – $211.28

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I'm Engaged!!

It's true! My darling friend of a few months decided we're spending our lives together. She proposed, I accepted, and our pets are going to be part of the ceremony. Everyone should be getting their invitation via owl. Please RSVP by next week. Sorry for the short notice but we're hoping to file "Married Filing Jointly" for our taxes and get back a sweet economic rebate.

I'm so excited!

<3 Jess

PS: Happy April Fool's Day.