November 20, 2015

Garlicky Roasted Butternut Squash

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This is sooo simple. And seriously delicious. The hardest part is cutting through the dang butternut squash! It's always my favorite holiday dish. Enjoy!

Garlicky Roasted Butternut Squash

Yield: 8-12 servings
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.
  2. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until squash is just tender and browned on the bottom.

September 25, 2015

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

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Delicious carnitas made so quickly and easily in a pressure cooker. It takes almost as long to cut up the pork into cubes as it does to cook it in the pressure cooker. I don't think I'll ever go back to slow cooking again. Just amazing. Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Carnitas

Yield: 12-16 servings
  • 1 4-5 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat (outside only), cut into 1-1.5 inch "cubes"
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups water
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine dry ingredients.
  2. Heat stove top pressure cooker over medium high heat. Brown meat on most sides, if possible.
  3. Add spices and mix.
  4. Add onions and mix.
  5. Add water and mix. Add the bone (from the pork shoulder) and push to the bottom.
  6. Cook at medium to medium high pressure for 45 minutes.
  7. Release pressure via the quick release method.
  8. If you want it crispy, continue below. Otherwise, serve immediately.
  9. Remove pork. Uncover and cook one hour to reduce cooking liquid.
  10. Set oven to broil.
  11. Transfer pork and cooking liquid to large baking sheet.
  12. Pull apart larger pieces with two forks, and then press pork into roughly uniform thickness.
  13. Place under broiler for 2-5 minutes until browned. Use a large, flat spatula to flip the pork and brown again for 2-5 minutes more.

May 22, 2015

Banana Blossom Stir Fry

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A meal my wife made up on the fly (winged it, as she likes to say). Once you've gone through the long, long, long processing of the banana blossom, it's pretty easy. That info you can find here.

The banana blossom gives an almost coconut-like taste to the dish. It's texture is reminiscent of green onions, perhaps. Not hard, slightly crunchy. Plus, it's just fun to try a new ingredient! Enjoy!

Banana Blossom Stir Fry

Yield: 4 servings
  • 1 banana blossom, prepared
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rice, dry
Cooking Directions
  1. Boil the prepped banana blossom for a minute. Drain.
  2. Heat the canola oil, stir fry the onion and carrot, then the banana blossom a few minutes later. Add turmeric.
  3. Add the cooked rice until heated through. Add whatever sauces and seasonings you like. Set entire mixture aside.
  4. Scramble the eggs, add the garlic, then add the rice mixture back to the pan. Stir well and enjoy.

May 01, 2015

Sourdough Pizza

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Here is our sourdough take on our classic Thin Crust Pizza on a pizza steel. If you like a little bit of that sourdough favor (but not a full-blown San Francisco punch), you're going to be into this. It's a little different and good in its own way. Let us know how it turned out for you. Enjoy!

Thin Crust Pizza on Steel

Yield: 3 pizzas
  • 205 g lukewarm water
  • 1 cup (183 g) sourdough starter
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 345 g all-purpose flour
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix the starter, salt, and olive oil with the water in a non-airtight lidded container.
  2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a spoon.
  3. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and flattens. This could take longer because of the sourdough.
  4. At this point, you can store it in the fridge for up to a week or dust the top with flour and cut into three pieces. The other pieces may be wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the freezer for several months.
  5. Preheat oven to its highest temperature and place baking steel or stone on the middle or lowest rack. Let preheat for 20-40 minutes.
  6. Shape dough into a ball by stretching the surface around to the bottom on all four sides. Do this minimally.
  7. Flatten with your hands on a well-floured surface. Get the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Use a floured rolling pin if needed. The dough will spring back some, so you may need to stretch it further than you think of stretch it again. Once stretched and relaxed, place onto a cornmeal-covered pizza peel.
  8. Place your toppings on the dough. Be minimalistic.
  9. Slide the pizza directly onto the steel or stone. Pizza may be done in as little as 4 minutes, so check to make sure it's not overcooking.
  10. Allow to cool for a minute on a rack to allow the cheese to set.

April 24, 2015

Vietnamese Ham (Cha Lua)

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Vietnamese ham, also know as Vietnamese pork roll or cha lua, is one of the simpler sausages to make. All you need is some ground pork, some seasoning, and baking powder. The baking powder and tapioca flour add the desired bounciness you're looking for. In fact, some chefs bounce the meat on the counter to make sure it's cooked. If it bounces, it's done. To get it just like you would find in a grocery store or restaurant, use the ingredients below. Otherwise, go crazy and mix it up!

This goes particularly well with some stir-fried veggies and rice, in soup, or in spring rolls. The leftovers freeze quite well too. Enjoy!

Vietnamese Ham (Cha Lua)

Yield: 8 servings
  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, add the pork and fish sauce and mix.
  2. In a separate bowl, add the water, tapioca flour, and baking powder and mix.
  3. Fold this into the pork. It will be quite moist.
  4. Cover and allow to rest at least 6 hrs in the fridge - preferably overnight.
  5. When ready to cook, grind the mixture in small batches in a food processor. It’s very important to keep the mixture cold, so only work in small batches and keep remainder in the fridge. The texture should be very smooth.
  6. You can either wrap it up in banana leaf or in plastic wrap. Wrapping it in plastic wrap is much faster and easier. The meat will rise and expand a bit when cooked too.
  7. Steam for about 20-25 minutes.