Cilantro Lime Pinto Beans

We recently had Jake’s dad over for dinner and we were having some of Jake’s smoked ham. I’m usually in charge or appetizers and sides and decided on this bean dish. Unlike most of my other recipes, I actually found this in my Bon Apetit magazine. I really liked this side and it had a unique flavor. However, I should have realized that it very much has a latin foods flavor, especially with the cilantro and lime. I would definitely make this again and probably double the recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One 28 oz can of pinto beans, drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 small buch of cilantro, steps finely chopped and separated from leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lime – you will need zest and the juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

First, cook the shallots, garlic, and cilantro stems in a saucepan on medium heat with a bit of oil. (You’ll notice in my photo that I have some cilantro leaves at this step. That was my mistake for not separating the stems and leaves to start with. It all turned out A-OK, though!)

Once contents of the saucepan are softened a bit, add the beans, butter, and 3/4 cup water. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Finally, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves, lime zest, and lime juice.

Give it a taste and add salt and pepper, as desired.

In the end, you’ll end up with sort of a thicker paste-like bean. I imagine you could thin it out a bit by adding more water or lime juice.

I hope that you enjoy this twist on a bean side dish!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

2 Ingredient Berry Angel Food Cake

This dessert could NOT be any easier. What I particularly like about it is that it actually isn’t too sweet. For a savory food lover like me, it was perfect. The actual cake part is just two ingredients. I additionally made my own whipped cream, but this could be simplified even further by using store-bought canned whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Since this is so easy to prepare, it’s a good option if you’re entertaining. If you’re using your oven for the main meal, mix this and pop it in the oven before you sit down to eat. Then, this will be done and can sit out to cool for a little bit before serving. The timing works out well.

If you’re interested in making your own whipped cream like I did, here is the link to the recipe I used. You just need whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.


Here’s what you’ll need for the cake:

  • One box of angel food cake mix (the kind where you only need to add water)
  • One 21-oz can of pie filling (I used blueberry, but any kind of berry will work)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farnenheit.

Mix the angel food cake mix (just the dry ingredients in the package, no need to prepare per the box instructions) and the pie filling.

Pour the mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. (I chose to rub some butter on the bottom and around the edges of the dish to help prevent sticking.)

Bake for about 30 minutes.

I truly hope you enjoy the simplicity, lightness, and deliciousness of this dessert!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Vegetarian Chili – A Crossover for Dinner and Breakfast

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but the holidays were a whirlwind…a very fattening whirlwind. Jake and I have decided to be your stereotypical New Years resolutioners and are trying to start eating healthy again. I promptly went to trusty Pinterest and began pinning all sorts of new healthy recipes. One of them was a vegtarian chili. We happened to pretty much have all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to try it last night. It was good and even better the next day as an open-faced omlet topping. Just add a dollop of sour cream and mmmmm….

Here’s the link to the recipe.

I ended up using black beans and canellini beans becaue it’s what I had available. Otherwise, I would’ve chosen a more typical chili bean, like kidney. I also ended up using one can of whole peeled tomatoes (the Cento San Marzano can) and a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes. This worked out just fine. I also had some butternut squash that was likely only to last a little longer, so I decided to add it to the recipe. This helped, too, because I didn’t have any corn as suggested by the recipe.

I figured the cubed butternut squash might take a little longer to cook through than the other diced vegetables, I decided to throw these in the pot first and cook them for about five minutes. Once they started to cook through a little bit, I took them out and set them aside while I continued on with the recipe.

I sauteed the onions until soft and then added in pressed garlic and the seasonings. I ended up with a somewhat thick mixture.

I then added the remainder of the vegetables to cook down until a little soft. Then, I added in the tomatoes, allowing that to simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, I added in the rinsed beans and added salt to taste. I ended up adding a bit more of the other seasonings, as well, to taste.

Finally, I served in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some grated smoked gouda. Feel free to add whatever toppings you like or serve with tortilla chips on the side!

Overall, this dish was easy to make and probably could’ve been easily adapted for the crock pot or the pressure cooker. This made a very healthy portion. We packaged up some of the leftovers and also used some for breakfast the next day. We cooked up a couple of eggs and used the chili as a topping. Of course, we added another dollop of sour cream on top 🙂

Also, I have to say that the chili was even better the next day, after the flavors had a chance to really meld together. If you have the chance to make this ahead of time, I’d say go for it!

Enjoy.

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Turkey and Mushroom Stroganoff

You may have seen in my recent post that Jake and I had a belated mini Thanksgiving meal this year. So, that means I’m a little behind the eight ball on using leftovers for other dishes. Nevertheless, here it is. I found a turkey and mushroom stroganoff. It calls for ground turkey, but I figured it must still be delicious with the fresh citrus roasted turkey we made. (Spoiler alert – I was right!) I had also make some homemade turkey stock using the turkey bones; I used the stock in the recipe, too.

(Here’s the link to the recipe.) I made a couple of modifications based on what I had on hand and what I felt like (not) doing. Haha – I was feeling a bit lazy.

Here’s what I used:

  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
    • Original recipe called for 2 cloves. I just happened to pull out 3 from the fridge and used them all.
  • Chopped up leftover turkey from Thanksgiving
    • I used approximately 3/4 cup
    • Original recipe called for 1 lb of ground turkey
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups broth
    • I used 2.5 cups of homemade turkey stock (with leftover bones from Thanksgiving)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne (optional spice)
  • dash of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/3 brick of cream cheese
    • The original recipe called for 1/2 cups sour cream (or greek yogurt)
  • 3/4 package of pasta shells
    • The original recipe called for 1 package egg noodles, which I would have used if I had it on hand.

I used a large sauce pot to first cook the onion, mushrooms, and already-cooked turkey pieces in a drizzle of olive oil. I cooked until the onions were translucent and mushrooms were soft.
I then added in the garlic, butter, spices, and Worcestershire sauce. Note that the original  recipe calls for making a rue with the butter and flour separately, but I didn’t want to dirty another dish. So, I put the butter in early with the other ingredients just listed.

Once everything was incorporated and the butter was melted, I mixed in the flour and made sure it was incorporated/coating everything. This should make everything a bit pasty/sticky.
Then, I added in the broth and cream cheese. I broke up the cream cheese and stirred until most of it was melted down.
I let everything simmer and let the flavors incorporate for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, in a separate pot, I cooked the shells in some salted and oiled water until al dente.
Finally, it was time to serve! We ate this with a side of the leftover green bean casserole and stuffing from Thanksgiving. I had also left a couple of larger pieces of turkey to slice and lay on top. Lastly, I garnished with a sprig of parsley.

This was so good! I would definitely try this recipe again. Next time, I would still keep the cut up turkey breast instead of ground turkey, but perhaps I’d use more and shred it. Also, I would love to try this with sour cream or greek yogurt instead of the cream cheese.

Hope you enjoy!
Sincerely,
Fu’d

No-Fail Ginger Cookies (Tip: Try them with matcha frosting or ice cream!)

I had made these ginger cookies a few years ago for the very first time. And even as a beginner cooker/baker (which I still very much am) I was incredibly pleased at how easy these were and how well they came out. These cookies will always be special because I made these for Jake’s grandfather. I only knew his grandfather for a little bit before he passed, but he was suffering from Alzheimer’s and had a hard time remembering people and events. However, I brought him these cookies and he always remembered that I did that and how soft and chewy they were. I will ALWAYS remember that.

I really didn’t make any substitutions or modifications at all with the actual recipe. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

As a side note, I have also used this recipe to make ginger cookie sandwiches with matcha frosting inside. What?!?! YES!!! If you’re interested in the frosting recipe, here it is! It is very sweet, but if you’re looking to impress or have that sweet tooth, try it!

I do, however, follow my own process for baking by using parchment paper on top of a baking rack because, otherwise, there is no doubt I would end up with burnt bottoms. I’ll talk a little more further down about what I did.

First, use a fine colander to sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and set it aside.

This recipe also calls for butter. I only had cold butter, but I used this handy dandy trip I learned a while ago to soften it without melting it. Boil some water, fill a glas that’s big enough to fit over the stick of butter (a beer glass works great). Let the hot water sit in the glass for 5 minutes. Carefully (I recommend with oven mits) dump the water out and out the warmed empty glass over the cold stick of butter. I also typically put everything in a bowl for the condensation to fall in. Let that sit for 5 – 10 minutes. Voila! Butter is soft!

I used a hand mixer to mix the butter and sugar until creamy.

I then incorporated the dry ingredients into the butter/sugar in batches. I added about 1 cup of dry ingredients at a time and incorporated, then did the next batch, and so on until all the ingredients are combined together.

Add some sugar (about a half cup) into a separate small bowl. Make 1″ balls with the dough and roll in the sugar. Do this until all the dough is used.

I prepared the baking sheet by putting a baking rack in/on a baking sheet. Then, I put parchment paper on top of the baking rack.

Bake for about at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. I judge doneness by the slightly darker color it becomes and the fact that the tops gets those cracks in them. Once done, I let it sit for a few minutes as is out of the oven. I carefully transferred the parchment paper with cookies on top off the rack and onto the baking sheet that should still be hot. This helps to give a little more cooking time to the bottoms without burning them.

I haven’t done this yet, but I can imagine how good these would be served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Wow!

Enjoy!

Sincerely,
Fu’d

A Visit From My Parents: Cabbage Casserole and Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken

My parents and I don’t get to visit with each other very often. They’re retired out in Nevada and I’m here on east coast. And although they came out to Hawaii for my wedding this summer, we didn’t have a lot of time spent together between preparing for the wedding and entertaining others that had come to celebrate with us. Before that, the last time we visited was during the holidays a couple years ago. Fast forward to last week – They happened to be setting off on a cruise from NY, so they took some time beforehand to stop by and see me and Jake.

I decided I wanted to prepare a couple of dishes for them so they could eat at their leisure. I made a cabbage casserole with ground turkey and a simple slow cooker chicken/black beans/corn/salsa dish to go along some Jasmine rice.

I had made this cabbage casserole once before for my friend Lindsay, but I forgot some of the things I didn’t particularly like about the dish. I ended up making and baking the whole thing as specified in the recipe. But believe it or not, I ended up taking everything out of the casserole dish, rinsed it off, added new seasonings, and re-baked it. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

First, the recipe calls for cooking the chopped cabbage a bit in water to soften it up. I think this was unnecessary. I think it could have just been cooked down a bit when added to the ground turkey mix.

Separately, I cooked the ground turkey and then added in the onion, diced tomato, and first part of the tomato paste.

Once the onions were translucent, I added the semi-cooked cabbage, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice, packet of minute Basmati rice, and chopped parsley. I let that cook for about 15 minutes. (I didn’t use dried mint as specified in the recipe because I didn’t have any.)

The recipe then calls for the rest of the tomato paste stirred in and everything transferred to a baking dish to bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for 40 minutes.

The image below is what it looked like the first time I baked it.

I taste tested it and wasn’t thrilled with it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for. I thought there was way too much tomato paste and there was a little too much spice for this particular dish.

I put it in the fridge overnight and re-evaluated the next day. I still wasn’t happy, so I ended up dumping everything back into a pot and rinsing it with water to try and get rid of some of the excess tomato paste and cayenne pepper. I tried to drain most of the water out and put it back on the stove to evaporate some of the water. I added in garlic powder and onion powder. I put everything back into a clean baking dish, sprinkled some cheese on top, and put it back in the oven to bake. The result the second time around was much better in terms of flavor. I should have let the water cook out a little more, though. It fell apart a little bit when serving. Also, I froze the leftovers and had some a couple of days later. It was a bit mushy because of the little bit of extra water.

Overall, I learned my lesson for the next time I make this and will make it right the first time!


The second dish I made was the slow cooker chicken. This is a recipe I’ve made several times in the past, both in the crock pot and in the pressure cooker. Since I was making this ahead of time, I went with the crock pot since I had some time. This is one of the easiest recipes that takes almost no effort at all. I used one large chicken  breast torn into a few smaller pieces, one can of black beans (not drained), one jar of medium heat Tostidos salsa, and about 3/4 cup of frozen corn. That’s it. Set it on low for about four – six hours. You can choose to use chicken tenders and leave them whole or do what I did and take the chicken out, shred it with a fork, and put it back into the mix.

We ate this over some Jasmine rice. Very simple, but very good. I imagine you could eat this as an appetizer with chips, too!

I had also ended up making a quiche with some frozen store-bought pie crust and they really loved that, as well. I think they liked having the variety and ability to choose what and how much they wanted to eat.

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It was nice to see them and I’m glad the food turned out well 🙂 I hope this inspires you the next time you need to prepare foods ahead of time or feed a small crowd!

Sincerely,
Fu’d

Leftover Pasta with Quick Bolognese Sauce and Herb Garlic Bread

I know I’ve written about pasta and garlic bread in the past, but I really wanted to share this because of two things: the quick bolognese sauce using leftover meatballs and herb garlic bread.

First, Jake’s mom had given us four large meatballs that we kept in our freezer for a few weeks. So, instead of needing to buy and cook ground meat, I crumbled two of the meatballs and cooked as part of the sauce. I left two meatballs so Jake and I could each have one with our dish. I didn’t follow a bolognese recipe exactly this time, but I did remember most of the steps involved with the one I used last time and used that as my basis. (Here’s the link to the recipe I used previously.)

The garlic bread I made was based on an herb garlic bread recipe that I absolutely LOVE. I made a modified version of it because I didn’t have all the ingredients. This time, it was only OK, but I highly recommend that you try the actual recipe. (Here’s a link to the original recipe.)

And, of course, to start off, we had smoked gouda cheese, pecorino  romano cheese, prosciutto, and crackers. Yum!

For the sauce, I sauteed chopped onion, celery, and carrot.

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After that, I crushed the meatballs in before adding the various liquids. I then added in about 1 cup of whole milk and let that cook down. Then, I added in about 1 cup of cooking wine and let that cook down.

Finally, I added 28 oz chopped Italian tomatoes, some basil, rosemary, oregano, and a bay leaf. I let that simmer for about 20 minutes. This is the quick version because the original asks you to cook each of those elements down at barely a simmer, which took forever and then the final simmer with everything was supposed to be 3 hours. I found that increasing the heat a bit to speed up the reduction processes and shortening the final simmer didn’t make a huge difference.

Toward the end, I added the last two meatballs into the sauce to simmer together. I grated a little pecorino romano on top.

I forgot that we also bought shrimp to add, so I ended up stirring everything and the shrimp together. The shrimp were already cooked, so they just needed to warm through.

The herb garlic bread is much better made in the blender, but I didn’t feel like taking out and cleaning another appliance. So, I fine chopped the basil and green onion together. My basil was on its last legs, so I think perhaps wasn’t as potent as fresh basil would be. I sliced up some garlic, and grated a little more pecorino romano. Together with about 1 Tbsp of butter, I used my fingers to mix everything together to make a spread.

I then spread each half of fresh french bread. To cook, I put the two halves back together and wrapped in tin foil. I baked for about 10 minutes at 350 degrees Farenheit. Then, I took the tin foil off and split the halves apart again and sprinkled more grated cheese on top.  I broiled to get some brown color. This didn’t work as well this time because the edges of the bread browned faster than the cheese. Next time, I’ll try a low broil.

I sliced into wedges before serving.

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The last step was to cook the pasta. I took out three 3-oz nests from the freezer and boiled then in salty water. Then, it was time to plate each dish and ENJOY!

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I hope you enjoy, too 🙂

Sincerely,
Fu’d