Monday, November 30, 2009

Dinner: Pasta & Kale

When the cupboards seem bare, there always seems to be pasta.

Generally we don't eat a lot of pasta. But being that we are trying to be even more conscious of our dining out and our food choices, I thought I'd give the good ol' carb a whirl.

I wanted something quick, easy, and without all that heavy tomato sauce. Of course, I reached for my tried and true Jamie Oliver cookbook Jamie's Dinners.

While the fettuccine was boiling I fried up prosciutto, set it aside, and then whipped up one of Jamie's quick sauces of minced garlic, parm, a squeeze of lemon, and olive oil. After I reserved a little of the pasta's water to stick the noodles and thicken the sauce, I drained the noodles, put them back in the warm stock pot, and incorporated the sauce and prosciutto. Easy enough.

The side dish was easy too. Lately, we've been addicted to kale. I can't get this Molly Wizenberg article our of my head, especially this passage, "She pulled out my largest skillet, put it on the stove, and slipped in some olive oil and a sliver of butter. While the pan warmed, she washed the kale, spun it dry, and gave it a coarse chop. Then she piled it into the hot pan, where it sputtered and crackled like popcorn." I wanted to hear that crackle, so I gave this technique a try. It's been my favorite way of cooking kale thus far.

A simple rustic dinner. Cheap yet tasty. Light yet filling. Quick yet thoughtful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thursday, November 19, 2009

For Cooks Who Love Twilight

There is only one thing that rivals food in my life: Twilight.
These aprons perfectly combo the two into one.
Happy opening night of New Moon, Twi-hards!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cabbage Roll Crockpot

I've never really fan of cabbage. Until recently.

And I've never really been a fan of cabbage rolls. Until recently.

This dish is how I became a fan of both. My sister-in-law Tracie shared it with me last fall, and since then we're addicts for it, especially when the time comes that we can see our breath while walking Bleu Dog.

What I love most about this dish is we all the bitter and sweet from the cabbage and the tang of vinegar of a cabbage roll without all the messy rolling and the time to takes to roll.

Tra's Cabbage Roll Crockpot

The Ingredients:
1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
4 cups of chopped cabbage
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup uncooked brown Minute rice
1 cup of water
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can undrained diced tomatoes
1/2 c ketchup
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T sugar
1 T Worcester sauce
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t garlic powder

(optional: a dash of cinnamon, fresh oregano or parsley, and/or grated nutmeg)

The How-To:
1.) Brown beef and onion in skillet and drain. Put in crockpot.
2.) Add cabbage, green pepper, and rice to crockpot.
3.) In bowl combine water and tomato paste. Pour into crockpot.
4.) Add remaining ingredients to crockpot.
5.) Stir until mixed.
6.) Cover and cook on Low for 3 hours.

To serve: Dish up into soup bowls. Or put onto mashed potatoes with a side of corn.
With the leftovers: Consider making a pot pie. I think I'm going to try this soon.
If there are even more leftovers: Freeze it.

Winter Wheat, Here We Come

This morning Sarah, Karen, and I are presenting a panel on food writing for the Winter Wheat Festival! Come on out and join us! We're talking about the literary elements of nonfiction, the sensory experience of food, and ways to consider publishing food writing.

If you do join us, please feel free to share your writing exercise in the comment box on my blog, Sarah's blog, or Babine's Facebook Notes.

Hope to see you there!

ps Thank you to all of our panel attendees for a fantastic morning discussion about food writing. And to my lovely fellow panelists: Sarah and Babs!