Here's to good food!

I am finally putting my tried and true family recipes here. Check out my old-time favorites as well as newly discovered ones.

I hope you'll find some recipes here that you enjoy cooking, and those you cook for will find them tasty and satisfying.
Are you looking for something special? Something quick and easy? You'll find it here somewhere.
Check in often to see what's cooking in Monterey!

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. ~Luciano Pavarotti

If you are posting from this site, please give appropriate credit and notify me. Thank you.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Dried Cherries

Boo hoo, I've been without an oven for almost two months now.  (Long story, but I will have a new range when I return from visiting my mother.)   Every recipe I want to make seems to need the oven.  So I've had to improvise.  This recipe popped up here, and I wanted to make it.  I figured I could make it on the stovetop, and still have a similar dish.  I made a few changes, and it came out delicious!  Thank you, Lisa, for sharing your London adventure and this dish.

•  1 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced in half
   2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
   4 slices thick-sliced bacon, sliced ¼-inch crosswise      
   1/2 cup of dried sour cherries
   2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
   Sea salt or kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

   Heat a large skillet, and add 1 tablespoon of oil.  Lay the brussels sprouts in the pan, and toss to coat with the oil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Spread them out into a single layer in the pan, cut side down. Cook on medium to medium low for 20 minutes. Sprouts should be browned in areas.  Turn the sprouts over and cook for about 15-20 minutes more.  Remove the sprouts to a bowl.  
   In the same pan, cook the bacon over medium heat, until tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes. (watch the heat so the bacon doesn't get too crisp - you want it to cook slowly so it will be tender). Spoon out most of the fat from the skillet. Turn the heat to low. Add the cherries and cook, tossing, for 30 seconds or so, until the cherries soften. Add the roasted sprouts back to the skillet along with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Cook, tossing, for 2-3 minutes to heat everything up and to mingle the flavors. Season with pepper, to taste. Serve hot.

If you want to roast in the oven, see the original recipe.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Korean Beef Bowl

I first discovered this recipe on Damn Delicious. But there wasn't enough sauce and the flavors were "almost" there for me, but not quite. I have played with the proportions but the addition of the water and sake seem to be more to our liking. My main attempt was to create more sauce, which the original recipe did not have.   Koreans also may put a fried egg on top, then quickly mix it into the hot rice and meat mixture so that it cooks the egg.

1/4 C brown sugar, packed 

1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C water
1/4 C sake, sherry, or more water
2 t sesame oil
1 t Sriracha, or more to taste
1 T grated ginger
2 t vegetable oil
2 t garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 T cornstarch diluted in 2 T water
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Cooked rice, for serving
kim chee
pickles--marinated for 30 minutes or more (see recipe below)
Optional: 4 fried eggs
2 t toasted sesame seeds (garnish)

If making pickles, make them now so they have time to marinate.

In a small bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, water, sake, sesame oil, Sriracha, and ginger. Set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; drain excess fat. Stir in the soy sauce mixture and green onions until well combined, allowing to simmer until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Serve immediately over a bowl of rice. Lay fried egg on top and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve kim chee and pickled vegetables along side. These help to balance the flavors of the meat.

Pickles: 1/3 C each: sugar, vinegar, water, and a pinch of salt. Add sliced radishes, julienned carrots, or sliced onion. (Large quantities not needed.)


The original recipe came from here.

Brown Butter Berry/Peach Tart



This crust is not the typical one that you roll out.  Instead you press it in with your fingers.  And it is so buttery and very yummy!  You can use other fresh fruit, berries or  peaches are good choices. 

           Crust:
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted until brown bits form, using a saucepan wth a light-colored    bottom, (save pan for  melting butter for filling)
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
            Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
12-ounces fresh berries or 2 large peaches, sliced

          For crust:
          Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.
Using a rubber spatula or fork, mix melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl. Add flour and salt and stir until incorporated. Put dough into a 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Using fingertips, press dough evenly onto bottom and up the sides of pan about 3/4-1".  (I place a cookie sheet lined with a piece of foil with the edges folded up about 1/2" all around, just in case there is a leak through the bottom, for both baking the crust and once the crust is filled.)
              Bake crust until golden, about 18-20 minutes (crust will puff slightly while baking). Transfer crust to rack and cool in pan. Maintain oven temperature.
          For filling:
          Whisk sugar, eggs, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add flour and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Cook butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until deep nutty brown (do not burn), stirring often, about 6-8 minutes. Immediately pour browned butter into glass measuring cup. Gradually whisk browned butter into sugar-egg mixture; whisk until well blended.
          Arrange fruit in bottom of cooled crust. (Be careful of hot pan when filling with fruit.) Carefully pour browned butter mixture evenly over fruit. Place tart on rimmed baking sheet. Bake tart until filling is puffed and golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool tart completely in pan on rack.
          Remove tart pan sides. Place tart on platter. Cut into wedges and serve.  Good with ice cream or a little whipped cream.

Test-kitchen tip:

When browning butter, use a saucepan with a light-colored bottom so that you can gauge the color of the butter.
Recipe from this site.

Artichoke Squares

These have been served as appetizers forever, it seems.  Always a hit, and pretty easy to keep the ingredients on hand when you need something at the last minute.

2 jars (6 oz. each) artichoke hearts marinated in oil*
½ C finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 C fine dried bread crumbs
1/2 t each pepper and dried oregano
1/4 t Tabasco (optional)
2 T chopped capers
2 C (8 oz.) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
 4 large eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray 10” glass pie plate or 9" square pan with oil.
2. Drain marinade from artichokes into a cup.  Chop all artichokes, cutting off tough leaves.
3. Heat about 2 T oil from reserved marinade into a frying pan over medium heat.  (Okay to get some of the marinade into the pan.  Discard rest of marinade.)  Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat, then add artichokes, bread crumbs, pepper, oregano, Tabasco, capers, and cheese. 
4. Whisk eggs in a bowl to blend. Stir into the onion mixture.
5. Pour mixture into the prepared pie plate and bake, uncovered, until it feels set when lightly touched, about 30 minutes. Let sit at least 10 minutes before cutting into small squares or pie sized pieces, if serving for dinner.

Make ahead: Up to 1 day, chilled. Reheat, uncovered, 12 minutes at 325°.


*Trader Joe's has a 12 oz. jar.