Monday, June 30, 2014

InterCourses: Strawberry Pasta

So Strawberry Pasta happened.

First of all, though, I don't know why I have this week's book.

OK, no.  That's  not entirely true.  I have this book because I saw it at the book sale last year and thought for some reason it was hysterically funny.  I mean...come on.  It's called INTERCOURSES!

But then I realized I'd actually have to blog this book, since I'm doing all the cookbooks in my collection, and I didn't want to skip it, and I promise I will do my best to make this as least awkward as possible.  (Is that bad grammar?  I just don't know.

So this cookbook is all food, I guess.  I saw this strawberry pasta and thought, huh, that's interesting.

And interesting it was.  It wasn't bad, don't get me wrong.  But it was weird.

Poor Dennis.  He ate it, but I'm pretty sure he still, over a week later, doesn't really know how to feel about it.

"Is it sexy pasta?" I asked him while we were eating.

He had to think.

"It' a trip to Disneyland with people you don't like," he said.  "It's like 'this is awesome, but I have to ride this ride with you.'"

The more he ate, and the more he thought about it, the more things he had to say about it.  (And I literally wrote them down as he said them, so these are verbatim.)

-- "It makes me want to go eat a buffalo."

-- "I should have gotten high first."

-- "I kind of feel like I want a shower.  It was that weird of a visit."

-- "It's like walking away from an encounter, feeling glad you didn't leave your phone number with them."

-- "It's damn twisted."

So there you have it.  Do with that what you will.  As for me, it wasn't bad, but most likely, I won't make it again.

Sexiness on a scale of 1 to 10:  -50

Strawberry Pasta
Serves 2
From InterCourses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook


1 pint strawberries
1/2 lb. spaghetti
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
Mint sprigs for garnish

Puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor, and strain the liquid to remove seeds.

Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.

Once cooked, drain the spaghetti and toss with the cheese.

Heat the butter and cream in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted.  Mix well.

Move the pasta to a serving bowl, add the strawberries, then the butter sauce.  Toss well.

Serve with additional cheese and garnish with mint, if you want.  (Weirdly, the mint improves on this stuff)

Eat, and be vaguely weirded out.

It looks like brains.  Braaaaains!


One Year Ago:  No Post

Friday, June 27, 2014

The French Market Cookbook: Green Bean, Red Rice, and Almond Salad

This is the newest thing I've made that Dennis has said is the Best Thing I've Ever Made.  He love, love, LOVED this salad.  (I did, too, but he was super adamant about it.)

While I was typing this up, I asked him if he could remember what he'd initially said about it.  He couldn't remember specifically, but said, "I wouldn't know where to begin.  It was wicked good.  Heaven on Earth.  The food of the gods."

I don't know how much he's exaggerating, but it is really, really good.  Also, if you're looking for a light, vegetarian lunch, a big container of this is awesome for midday!

Green Bean, Red Rice, and Almond Salad
Makes 6 servings
From The French Market Cookbook:  Vegetarian Recipes From My Parisian Kitchen


2 lbs. green beans, trimmed
3 Tbsp. unsweetened almond butter
6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
3 cups cooked red (or brown) rice (Follow the directions on the bag.)
2/3 cup toasted almonds
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Pepper to taste

Put 3 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Once the oil is hot, saute the beans until crisp-tender, 3-5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, remaining olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt.

Add the cooked beans to the dressing and turn them gently to coat.  Stir in the rice.

Just before serving, add the chopped almonds and parsley, sprinkle with black pepper to taste, and toss to combine.


One Year Ago:  No Post

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The French Market Cookbook: Baked Apples with Prunes and Almonds

I'm pretty sure both this recipe the next one will make up for the failings of the pink pasta.

This recipe was amazing.  So good.  I know that baked apples are more of a fall/wintertime, it's cold outside/let's stay in front of the fire and eat sweet,warm things...but I live in Southern California, so the chances of that kind of day happening...ever are slim.  Carpe diem, right?  Eat baked apples whenever you feel like it!

(These, incidentally, saved the day for me after I ended up eating Ramen noodles for dinner after I hated the pink pasta so much.  These made up for the Ramen.)

Baked Apples with Prunes and Almonds
Makes 4 servings
From The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes From My Parisian Kitchen


2 1/2 oz. pitted prunes, very finely chopped
1/2 cup whole almonds, very finely chopped
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. unsweetened almond butter
Pinch of salt
4 medium baking apples
1/4 apple cider or apple juice

Preheat oven to 325ยบF.

In a small bowl, stir together the prunes, almonds, honey, almond butter, and salt to form a paste.

Slice the tops off the apples.  Core the apples with an apple corer or a sharp paring knife.  Arrange the apples in a baking dish.

Fill the core of each apple with the paste, packing it as tightly as you can.  Place the tops back on the apples.  Pour the apple cider or juice into the bottom of the dish and cover loosely with foil.

Bake the apples, basting them with juice every 15 to 20 minutes, until the apples are cooked through, 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size and type of apple.

Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.


One Year Ago:  No Post

Monday, June 23, 2014

The French Market Cookbook: Shocking Pink Pasta

This cookbook is such a gorgeous one.  It's kind of one of those that, if you're into attractive food, you could just sit and page through the pictures and be perfectly happy.  (It's by the blogger over at Chocolate and Zucchini.)

However, I think this is the first time this has happened since the inception of Sarah Cooks the Books.

I did not like this dish to the point where I just refused to eat it.  I thought after making the Russian Borscht that beets and I were cool, but as it turns out, we're not.  We're not cool at all.

Because of my extreme prejudice, I would have skipped putting this recipe up altogether, except Dennis really enjoyed it.  So it's not a bad recipe -- I just didn't personally like it.  Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Shocking Pink Pasta
Serves 4
From The French Market Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes From My Parisian Kitchen


12 oz. beets, peeled and diced
1 cup whipping cream
1 garlic clove
1 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 lb. pasta (preferably a long pasta, but I had a ton of macaroni, so I used that)
Black pepper to taste
1 cup flat-leaf parsley
2/3 cup toasted almonds

In a blender or food processor, combine the beets, cream, garlic, salt, and cumin.  Process until smooth.

Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot to cook your pasta.  Add the pasta and cook until one minute shy of being done.  Drain the pasta, return it to the pot, and fold in the sauce.  Bring the dish to medium heat and cook until pasta is done and the dish is heated through, 1 minute or so.

Divide amongst bowls, sprinkle with pepper, and top the parsley and almonds.  

Serve immediately.
Please pardon my poor little Struggle was the end of the bag!


One Year Ago:  No Post

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cooking with the Bad Guys: Noodles Romanov

The second offering from Cooking with the Bad Guys is inspired by Rasputin.  So there's that.

This dinner was pretty good -- the best part about it, though, is that it makes really good leftovers, and that was lunch for me for three days afterward!

There's not too much else I can really say about it, so without further ado...

Noodles Romanov
Serves 6


1 medium onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. butter 
3 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 tsp. lemon juice
Pepper to taste
1 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 cup water
1 lb. dry egg noodles
1/4 cup parsley

Cook noodles according to package directions. (Or, if you're me and bought them from the bulk section of the grocery store, just boil them until they're done.)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Saute chopped onions in butter until tender.  Stir in flour, salt, and pepper until smooth.  Combine powdered milk with water, then add to the sauce.  Add the mustard.

Cook, stirring, until thickened.  Stir in lemon juice and cheeses.  Stir in the cooked noodles.

Pour into greased casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley before serving. 


One Year Ago:  Herb Chicken

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sponsored Post: Cocozia coconut water (and a recipe for a SoCal Coconut Colada)

Disclosure:  Cocozia provided me with a 12-pack of their coconut water in exchange for an Amazon review and a blog review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  If I didn't like it, I wouldn't say I did.  I'm not a liar, you guys!

Literally three days before I got an email from Cocozia about reviewing their product, Dennis and I were discussing coconut water.  (I realize that sounds like one of those things bloggers make up to make their review seem more relate-able, but I swear it happened.)

He had tried coconut water before and was a big fan of it, and I'd never tried it, mostly because it's just so doggone expensive.  So what I'm saying is, I was pleased to be able to try it, and even more pleased to have a reason to create a recipe of my own.  (As opposed to my usual method of "take someone else's recipe and change it around.)

For me, and I'm not going to lie, the water is a little on the pricey side.  But then again, I'm super cheap.

Also, (and man, Cocozia's going to be hating me at this point.  I promise the review gets better!) when I first tried it, I really didn't like it.

But then I read the packaging (as you do), and discovered that you're not supposed to drink it warm -- it's supposed to be chilled.

So I stuck them in the fridge and tried one with my breakfast the next day, and it was good!  It was super refreshing, and I actually felt...quenched?  I can say it's 300% better than California tap water, but on its own, it really is quite good.

If you're looking for the super-sweet drinks a lot of people reach for a lot of the time, this won't be your jam.  However, if you're really thirsty (and it's summertime.  Of COURSE you're really thirsty) or, better yet, just went to the gym and are trying to refresh, this stuff is a great choice.

The only true downfall (and it's not even a real downfall!  It's only because I'm a Type 1 diabetic) is that it's got carbs in it, so I had to take insulin whenever I drank it.  But it's natural sugars, so I can't really be too mad about that.

For those of you concerned with such things, Cocozia's coconut water is USDA certified organic, kosher, vegan, and gluten free.

All in all, I give it an A, and I liked it enough to make a cocktail with it!  See below for the recipe.

SoCal Coconut Colada
Makes 2
A Sarah Cooks the Books Original

4 shots coconut water
4 shots pineapple juice
4 shots triple sec
Brown sugar, with which to rim the glasses
Orange slices, for garnish (optional)

Rim your glasses with the brown sugar.  I found the best way to accomplish this is to pour a little triple sec into a small bowl and pour the brown sugar onto a plate.  Dip the tops of the glasses into the liquor, then dip them in the sugar.

As for the drink itself, you can do this one of two ways.

1)  If you're super prepared and awesome, add ice to a cocktail shaker, then add all your liquid ingredients.  Shake well, and pour into your rimmed glasses.

2)  If you're like me, and you just finished unpacking your house after moving cross-country, and you're sure you own a cocktail shaker, but just can't seem to put your hands on it, pour your ingredients into a cup, stir with a (clean!) chopstick, divide between the two glasses, and add a Super Classy Ice Cube™ to each glass.

Garnish each glass with an orange slice.


One Year Ago:  Arnold Palmer Casserole

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cooking with the Bad Guys: Asparagus with Hollandaise

I picked this book up mainly because of how weird it was.  Recipes based on criminals and other ne'er-do-wells across history?  Sure, why not?

What I actually discovered, though, is that the book itself, while giving a few pages of info on the 'bad guys' themselves, wasn't awesome at instructions.  That's why I ended up having to look up a video on YouTube about how to actually make hollandaise sauce.

It's much easier than I anticipated, though, and this was a really good side dish!

If you wondered, the 'bad guy' this one was inspired by was Marie Antoinette.  Let them eat cake. . .and asparagus, I guess.

Asparagus with Hollandaise
Makes 4 servings
From Cooking with the Bad Guys: Recipes from the World's Most Notorious Kitchens


Bundle of asparagus
Olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tsp. water
2 egg yolks
8 Tbsp. butter
Cayenne pepper

Trim and clean asparagus.  Swirl some olive oil in a large pan, and pan fry the asparagus until crisp tender.  Set aside.

To make the hollandaise, pour some water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.  (This is going to be used as kind of a double-broiler kind of situation, so if you have a double broiler, you can use that instead.)  Mix the lemon juice and water in a bowl, preferably not a plastic one.  Metal is best.

Either place or hold the bowl over the simmering water, without letting the water touch the bowl, and add the egg yolks and 1 Tbsp. butter.  Whisk thoroughly until very stiff.  This will take a few minutes.

Once stiff, remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining butter in small chunks, whisking as you go.

Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper and pour over asparagus.


One Year Ago:  No Post

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors: German Onion Pie (Zweibelkuchen)

Sometimes, the recipes I make really surprise me.

I chose this one because it seemed easy enough, and I really like cooked onions and quiche-like things both.

When I actually took my first bite of this thing, my actual thought was, "Wow.  This is stunning."


It's so good, and so easy, and I don't really know what else to say about it except make it immediately.  (And if you can tell me how to make the crust not so weird-looking, that would be good, too.)

Dennis and I polished off this entire thing, save one piece I took to work for lunch the next day.  I was very pleased to be able to relive the magic that next day.

You may notice that this pie doesn't set up as high as a normal quiche would -- but this isn't a quiche, so it's OK!  There are only 2 eggs in it, so don't be surprised by how flat it looks.

I'm not even exaggerating.  This is one of those recipes that should not be as good as it is.  But it is.  So make it for dinner tonight.  Just do it.  (It's Friday the 13th.  Everyone can use a little good luck today!)

German Onion Pie (Zweibelkuchen)
Serves whatever number of slices you cut it into (If that's just 1, I'm not here to judge)
From The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors


4 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 9-inch pie shell

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Saute the bacon until just clear.  Add the onions and saute until they are soft.  (Do not brown the onions.)  Set aside to cool.

Beat the eggs and sour cream together in a medium-sized bowl.  Sprinkle the flour over the top and beat it in.  Stir in the salt and pepper.

Prick the bottom of the pie shell several times with a fork.  Spread the onions and bacon over the dough in a pie pan, and pour the sour cream mixture over the top.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350°F and bake for another 15 minutes, or until pie is nicely browned.

Serve hot.



One Year Ago (plus one day):  Front Porch ice cream review

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors: Russian Borscht

OK, you guys.

You've been with me through a lot.  Through recipes that stupid lemons ruined, through terrible fried hot dogs, to beautiful cupcakes that no one ate.  You've been there with me, and I like to think that you trust me to tell you valuable food things, both good and bad.

You're going to think I've gone completely off the rails with this one, but I promise you I have not.  I promise.

Going into this recipe, I didn't think I liked beets or cabbage, and I'd never tried lamb.  You're probably wondering, then, why I bothered with this recipe at all, seeing as to how those are three big parts of it.

It's because I'm attempting to expand my horizons.  Dennis uses beets all the time in his juices, and he loves cabbage, so I thought, OK, maybe it's not so bad.

And you know what?  It wasn't.  This soup was really, really tasty.  It's ugly as sin, and it looks vaguely like a bloody massacre, but it's super good.

Just trust me on this one, OK?

(Side Note:  To keep you from having to do the painful math I had to do [I'm so bad at math!] when figuring out exactly how much beef broth was needed, 3 1/2 quarts = 14 cups.)

(Side Note 2:  Dennis looked over my shoulder while I was reading this in the cookbook, and he said, "You're making something called Russian Bulls**t?"  That struck me as so funny, that's what I've taken to calling it now.  I'm sorry.  Please try it anyway.)

Russian Borscht
Makes about 12 servings (it also freezes well!)
From The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors


3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 lb. lamb meat, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 lbs. green cabbage, cored and chopped
1 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, diced
2 lbs. red beets, peeled and diced
3 1/2 quarts beef broth or stock
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Sour cream for garnish (optional)

Heat a 12-quart stockpot over medium-high heat.  Add the oil, garlic, and lamb.  Brown the lamb, then add the onion.  

Saute until the onion is tender, and then add cabbage, tomatoes, beets, beef broth, vinegar, bay leaves, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Bring to a boil (this will take a while), then turn down to a simmer.  Cook covered for 1 hr., 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Add salt and pepper to taste, and dish into individual bowls.  Add sour cream on top if you'd like.

Trust me.


One Year Ago:  No Post

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors: Cuban Ropa Vieja

I got this cookbook from my grandmother.  I'm not sure how many recipes she ever made out of it, but there's one page that has pen marks on it and bits of dough smushed between the pages that I know got a lot of use -- Hungarian Dumplings.  I'm Czech-Hungarian on Dad's side, so that makes sense.

Did I make the dumplings?  No, I did not.  I would have, but they require the use of a Spaetzle maker, one of which I had but got rid of not knowing what it was.  Go figure.

Every recipe I made out of this cookbook was really, really good.  If you remember my last foray into the land of The Frugal Gourmet, you'll remember that some of the recipes were more successful than others.  These all knocked it out of the park, though.

When I told Dennis, who speaks Spanish, what we were having for dinner, he looked confused and said, "We're having old clothes for dinner?"  That's what the name of this dish translates into, I guess because the meat is shredded?

I cooked the meat in the Crock Pot, because I made it during the week and didn't have two hours to let it cook, but I'll include directions for either way.  It's a little labor intensive, but so worth it.

Also, since I made this, Dennis has been making burritos with this meat and the red rice from a couple weeks ago, and apparently, they're really good.  You'll also recognize the rice in the pictures.  These two things were part of the same meal.

I kind of get the impression that if this were the only thing I made for the rest of our lives, Dennis would be OK with that, just as a point of reference.

Cuban Ropa Vieja
Serves 8
From The Frugal Gourmet: On Our Immigrant Ancestors


1 3 1/2 pound beef chuck or pot roast
Salt and pepper to put on roast
1/3 cup olive oil 
1-2 cups water (depending on your cooking method)
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup dry wine (I don't know if pinot grigio is dry, but that's what I used.)

Crock Pot Method
Rub salt and pepper into the meat.  Put meat in Crock Pot with 2 cups water.  Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours.

Stove-Top Method
Rub salt and pepper into the meat.  Heat a large covered frying pan or stove-top casserole and add a bit of oil.  Brown the meat well on both sides, and then add about 1 cup water.  Cover and simmer until very tender, about 2 hours.  If the pan dries out during cooking, add more water.  Allow the meat to cool, covered, in the pan juices.

Remove the meat from pan or Crock Pot; debone and shred the meat.  Set aside in the bowl, along with the pan juices (or about half the liquid from the Crock Pot).

Heat (or re-heat) the pan and add the remaining oil.  Saute the onion and garlic, until just clear.  Add the remaining ingredients, including the meat and its liquid.  

Cover and simmer on low for 15-20 minutes more.

Dennis added cheese to his.

Don't forget to try the Red Rice!


One Year Ago:  No Post

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Craft Beer Cookbook: Paprika Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

 For the last of the recipes from the cookbook of The Beeroness, I ran into a small challenge.

"What's that for?" Dennis asked when I unpacked a jar of roasted red peppers from the grocery bag.

"A chicken dinner," I told him.

"Those make me sick," he said.  "I can't eat them."

Since the main crux of this recipe is the Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce, I was a little concerned that I would either A) have to be a jerk wife and make a dinner Dennis couldn't eat for the sake of blog continuity or B) scrap the recipe altogether.

As it turns out, it's really, really easy to make the sauce sans red pepper and, when that portion is taken out, just blend the red pepper with the other half.  Easy peasy.  Dennis actually called this meal "exquisite," and he's not a huge fan of chicken breasts.  (I was really mean with this meal, apparently!)

For the record, it's really good either way, so if you're not a fan of peppers, it's no problem!  I gave Dennis a couple shakes of cayenne pepper in his sauce, and it was really good (if I do say so myself).

Paprika Chicken with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Serves 4
From The Craft Beer Cookbook


Step 1

Step 2


For the chicken:
1 cup IPA beer
1 cup chicken broth 
1 Tbsp. kosher salt, plus 1/4 tsp., divided
3 lbs. chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Rice for serving

For the sauce:
4 oz. cream cheese
4 Tbsp. sour cream
4 Tbsp. IPA
1 roasted red pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Add the beer, broth, and salt to a large bowl; stir to combine.  Add the chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least 3-6 hours.  (I did another overnight, then all the next day marination.)  

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Remove chicken from marinade, pat dry, and discard marinade.

In a large bowl, mix together paprika, onion powder, nutmeg, and cayenne.  Add the chicken and toss until coated.  Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Prepare the rice according to package directions.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the chicken and brown 4 minutes.  Flip chicken and brown another 4 minutes.

Transfer to a 9" x 13" baking dish lined with aluminum foil and place in the oven.  Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking, add all sauce ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.

When the chicken is finished cooking, place it on top of the rice and cover with sauce prior to serving.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Craft Beer Cookbook: Barrel-Aged Beer-Glazed Salmon

This recipe was a production.  A freaking production.

First of all, it called for something called ponzu sauce, which I had never heard of, but that the book indicated could probably be found in stores near the soy sauce.

It was not found in any stores near me.  Finally, I figured I could probably just make it myself, and I went to Pinterest to find a recipe.  I'll include both the recipe for ponzu sauce and the amount you should use if you find a bottle of it in the recipe below.  (Spoiler alert:  It's super easy to make yourself.  Like, 3 ingredients mixed together easy.)

Then there was the question of the beer.  Again, I figured that Trader Joe's would have any kind of beer I could possibly want, since they pretty much carry anything else in life I want, but they didn't.  There were no bourbon barrel-aged beers in sight.

I'd resigned myself to just using a regular beer, but then I decided to check out BevMo! which basically has every kind of alcohol you could ever want in Southern California.  I found the beer. . .but it cost $10 for a bottle. $10!

Granted, it was a big bottle, but that was not something I was expecting.  This is what I got:

Actually, it should be more festive, considering the cost.

There we go.  What I will say, though, is it was truly one of the most delicious beers I've ever had in my life ever.  You can make this recipe with something else (something cheaper!), but as a once-off, I'd definitely recommend following the directions.

Barrel-Aged Beer-Glazed Salmon
Serves 4
From The Craft Beer Cookbook


1/4 cup ponzu sauce (recipe below if you can't find it)
3/4 cup bourbon barrel-aged beer
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. lime juice
4 salmon fillets
Rice or pasta for serving

Ponzu Sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup lemon or lime juice (I used lime)
1/2 cup soy sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients except salmon and rice (or pasta) until well combined.  Pour into a large zip-top freezer bag.

Add the salmon and remove as much air as possible from the bag before sealing.  Place in the refrigerator and marinate 1-2 hours, rotating at least once.  (Again, mine marinated for 10+ hours, so whatever.  Make it at least an hour.)

Preheat broiler on high.

Prepare rice or pasta according to package directions.

Remove the salmon from the bag and place on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil or other cooking spray.  Save the marinade -- don't throw it out!

Place the marinade in a pot over medium-high heat and boil until reduced and thickened, stirring frequently, 10-12 minutes.

Brush the salmon with the glaze.

Place salmon under broiler and cook until salmon flakes easily, 8-10 minutes for thicker fillets, 6-8 minutes for thinner fillets.  Brush fish with glaze during cooking, every 2 minutes or so.

Serve over rice or pasta.


Monday, June 2, 2014

The Craft Beer Cookbook: IPA-Marinated Pork Chops with Stout Cherry Sauce

Happy June to everybody!

I can't even believe we're on the 6th month of the year already -- the 6th month I've lived in California!

This week's cookbook is actually from a blogger I love.  Jackie Dodd -- aka The Beeroness -- has a blog I'm always genuinely excited to see show up in my Bloglovin' feed.  I randomly discovered she had written a cookbook, and since I had an Amazon gift card, burning a hole in my pocket, I bought it immediately.

(Note:  I wasn't paid or anything to say how awesome Jackie is or how much I love her blog, although once, she favorited a tweet I posted about one of these recipes.)

I had no idea how extensive the world of beer is, and I'm still not convinced I used the right kind of beer (except in the case of Wednesday's recipe, but I'll get to that).  I thought that Trader Joe's would have any kind of beer I'd ever need for any of these recipes.  Spoiler alert:  There is more to life and beer than Trader Joe's.

If you're not a huge fan of beer, I promise, the taste isn't overpowering.  I imagine, though, that instead of beer, if you're really opposed to it, you could use beef broth or chicken broth or something.  But just trust me on the beer.

IPA-Marinated Pork Chops with Stout Cherry Sauce
Serves 4
From The Craft Beer Cookbook


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

1 cup IPA beer
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. salt, divided
4 boneless pork chops

1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cayenne (just use a pinch if you don't like spicy things)

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 large shallot, sliced
2 cups pitted dark, sweet cherries (I bought a bag of them frozen because I couldn't find fresh ones)
1/3 cup stout beer (I forgot to use the stout and just used the same IPA.  It was fine, but stout would have been better)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil

Combine the cup of IPA, buttermilk, onion powder, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Add the pork chops, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 6-8 hours.  Mine marinated for many more hours, since it sat overnight, and then throughout the next day -- just make sure it's 6-8 minimum.

In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, flour, remaining salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Toss the chops in this mixture until well-coated.  Place the pork chops in a glass dish (or on parchment or wax paper) and allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook until softened, 5 minutes or so.  Add the cherries, stout (Or IPA if you're like me and forgot), and black pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened.

(The recipe says this will only take about 15 minutes, but I cooked the sauce while frying the pork chops after the 15 minutes was up.  Just keep an eye on it until it's at the consistency you like.)

To cook the pork chops, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Fry each pork chop until it's golden brown on each side and the internal temperature has reached at least 145°F.

Serve the pork chops topped with the cherry sauce.


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