Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lazy Girl Chile Verde Pork Stew


This is variation of one of my all time favorite ways to cook pork, Chile Verde.  However, the recipe I have always used calls for tomatoes, which are RED, and not VERDE (green) at all, so it has always bugged me a bit that the end result was a reddish dish.  
In this recipe, I have substituted the tomatoes with canned tomatillos instead.

As I was making this, my hubby walked in and said "aren't you going to brown that pork?". To which I answered,"No, I am not" feeling a bit grumpy at being challenged about being a accomplished lazy girl. Now, honestly people, I do realize that browning adds carmalization and therefore, more flavor.  BUT, in this case, there is SO much more flavor ingredients in this dish, you honestly should save yourself some time (and a greasy stove top) by skipping the browning and throwing it altogether in your crock pot.  Set it, forget it, do something awesome with your day and come back to a great dinner.

Serves 5-6 
Ingredients

3lb pork, large, cut into large chunks
1 large can (14 oz) whole tomatillos, with juice
1/2 onion, diced small
1 small yellow bell pepper, diced small
2 jalapenos, diced small
1 small can (4 oz) diced ortega green chilies
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped small (about 1/2 bunch)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp oregano

Topping:

  • green onions
  • cojita cheese or feta cheese (optional)


Add all the ingredients to the crock pot, and cook for 8 hours on low.  Serve with green onions and cheese, as desired.

Below is a picture of the crock before I cooked it. I didn't brown the pork, as I guess, I am a lazy girl. LOL.  You can definitely brown it before starting your crockpot, and it just might be even better.  Me?  I can't decide if this stew is actually better for having browned the pork first.



Saturday, March 3, 2018

BaccalĂ  Mantecato- Venetian Appetizer Spread




I'm still dreaming of a trip we took a couple of years ago to Venice.  I was prepared for a stinky, crowded tourist trap city, but was wonderfully surprised and delight with what we saw and experienced there.  I wrote about our food walking tour of Venice here, and this was one of the surprises that we tried at one stop. 

This is a Venetian specialty of whipped salted cod served on slices of bread or polenta.
I'm embarassed to say that I've had this recipe in "draft" mode for over a year, but decided to finally finish it up and post it.  I know that most people won't go to the trouble to find the dried cod (you can order it on Amazon though!) and make this, but it was so delicious and not fishy!

We had a couple's party after the trip and we all brought small plates of tapas to share.  This is what I made. We had a great time and shared our memories of a great trip.


Serves 6 - 8
Prep Time: 3 days
Cook Time: 30 mins


Ingredients:

1/2 Pound of Dried Cod
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Bay Leaf
Salt & Pepper
Good Olive Oil
To Serve:
Cracked Black Pepper


Cut the cod into pieces and place them into a pan full of water.
Leave it in water for 2 to 3 days, changing the water twice daily.


After soaking, change the water again and place the cod and water, along with a bay leaf and cook for 30 minutes on low heat, removing any foam that comes to the surface.


After 30 minutes, remove the cod from the pan and place in a container with high sides.
Remove the skin and the bones from the cod and add 2 gloves of garlic.
I used my food processor to mix this, slowly adding the olive oil to get the desired consistency.  It should be soft and fluffy when it's ready. The quantity of the oil will depend on the cod itself.Continue mixing until the cod turns light and has a whipped, mousse-like texture. Taste and add salt if required.

Serve on fresh cut bread slices or grilled slices of polenta.
Sprinkle top with some cracked black pepper.

Below is a picture of a plaque in the fish market, that shows the standard sizes that the fish must be.  I believe our guide told us that the sign was hundreds of years old. 



Just outside the fish market, you can catch a gondola ride across the grand canal. Sigh, what a great trip.


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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Caesar Dressing


I will admit, I turned up my nose on this recipe when I first found it on the internet, knowing that "real" caesar dressing does not include mayo.
Except, this is SO delicious, and easy... and won't freak anyone out with a raw egg in it like the traditional classic caesar.  It tastes so much like the Girard's bottled caesar you buy at Costco, or grocery store.

I'd say try it, what have you got to lose?
In full disclosure, I used the entire 2 oz can of anchovies in my second try of this recipe, but we are major anchovy fans, so I would suggest you try it with less first. My hubby is so in love with this dressing, he's been asking me to make it again and again! We even slathered it on salmon fillets one night and baked it, and it was yum!

Yes, I did use bottled lemon juice, don't judge... it was all I had, which is exactly why I have it in the fridge, for just such an emergency.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Ingredients

2 garlic cloves minced
4-6 white anchovy fillets, or 2 tsp anchovy paste (or more to taste)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of mayo
1/2 cup parmiggiano-reggiano
Fresh ground pepper

I threw all ingredients into a blender and blended until smooth.  It is that easy.
If the dressing is too thick, you can add a bit of water, as needed.  I'd do that as you used it, and not do it all at once though. I normally put the dressing in the bottom of an empty bowl, add a bit of water, throw in the lettuce and toss.  Add croutons if desired.



I didn't add anything to the salad except a mixture of romaine and spinach, and then tossed it in the caesar dressing.  Delicious!




I rarely buy salad dressing, it is so much easier, cheaper and more delicious to make yourself.
Homemade Ranch Mix
Versatile Salad Dressing Recipe
Peppercorn Ranch
Creamy Raspberry Walnut Salad Dressing


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