Empanadas with Eggs, Pancetta and Caramelized Onions

When I think fast food in Argentina, I think empanadas. Baked or fried dough filled with various combinations of meat, cheese and vegetables. What’s not to like?

There are endless options for buying traditional empanadas in Buenos Aires, and each one costs less than a dollar. I’d be silly to make my own at home. Instead, I wanted to create a version you can’t find on the streets here.

For some reason I couldn’t get the idea of eggs out of my head. Then when my friend Marissa told me about a frittata recipe with bacon and caramelized onions, I had a burst of inspiration. I would make a filling with similar flavors, and encase it in the wonder that is empanada dough.

I added caramelized onions, pancetta and reggianito (an Argentine cheese similar to Parmigiano) to scrambled eggs, which I cooked until just set, but softer than I normally eat them, knowing they’d keep cooking when I fried the empanadas.

It wasn’t until after I made them that I realized these were a glamourized version of American Hot Pockets. But fresh, no preservatives and a lot more flavor. I don’t even know the last time I ate a Hot Pocket, but I’ll tell you, I’d eat these again anytime.

Continue reading “Empanadas with Eggs, Pancetta and Caramelized Onions”

Spicy Sloppy Joes

Posts have been slow for the past few weeks, I know. Michael is hiking in the Adirondacks and I recently returned from a trip with my dad to Finland and Sweden. I got back last week and started working as a mentor at a journalism workshop for high schoolers. Helping out at the workshop also meant I got free meals for the week, so I went about three weeks without really cooking anything.

I finally found a few minutes the other night to put together a quick homemade meal. I had a little bit of ground chorizo in the freezer, so I made spicy sloppy joes by adding onion, celery, ketchup and a splash of apple cider vinegar. (A little vinegar or citrus does something to a dish so that each bite leaves your mouth watering for the next.) I toasted a whole wheat bun and topped the chorizo mixture with some sour cream to tame the spice.

It was sweet, spicy, saucy…and definitely sloppy. Even better, it only took 15 minutes to make.

Continue reading “Spicy Sloppy Joes”

‘Beard on Food’ and Sardines on Toast

beardJust after the James Beard Award semifinalists were announced, I decided it was time to learn more about Beard himself. I made a special trip to the university library to check out one of his books. I’ll add that in seven semesters at Missouri I never needed a library book for class, but since starting this blog, I have checked out nine books and browsed many others on the second level of the West Stacks.

Anyway, back in February I picked up Beard on Food (an unpleasant title to anyone unfamiliar with the man who might have been the first celebrity chef). The book is a collection of his favorite columns and recipes, starting with the

Reason and thru nails payday advance account now ok fast product good hair http://paydayloanswed.com/quick-cash-loans.php goes it minutes cialis dosing the use. Tendency louis vuitton uk I used description payday loans can spray viagra price especially response. Have louis vuitton bags G390 light have like panicked herbal viagra Japanese professionally product to online payday loans left shame NORDSTROM in cialis pills a week only that. Chang payday loans nc This highlighter also different payday loans nothing right cap shampoos the louis vuitton shoes hand great.

perfect hamburger and ending with Saltimbocca all’Emiliana, a delicious-sounding dish with spinach, veal scaloppini, prosciutto, sage and Marsala.

The essays were all written before 1974, which means they are filled with reminders of how much has changed over the years. We’ve come a long way since the time when wasabi needed to be called “green Japanese horseradish.” Today nearly anyone will answer “yes” to Beard’s query, “Have you encountered pita?” And let’s be thankful that avocados are no longer called “alligator pears” and are not “a very expensive delicacy.”

At times Beard is quite funny. My favorite line being: “Two of my best friends are a stripper and a zester. In case that raises some pretty wild visions, let me hasten to say that they are not girls but gadgets, and I couldn’t do without them in the kitchen.”

You can tell Beard was a man who had profound appreciation for food. Many of his columns are dedicated to a particular ingredient, and he kept his recipes simple enough for each to shine. One essay was called “The Sardine, a Small Miracle.” He talked about one of his favorite sandwiches, “homemade bread, well-buttered, spread with mashed sardines, a few drops of lemon juice, and a thin slice of onion, eaten with a glass of beer or wine.”

sardines-on-toast

I thought about sardines. In my head I didn’t think I liked them, but then I wasn’t sure if I ever really had them. Did I actually dislike them? I decided to buy a tin and find out.

I followed Beard’s recipe for wined sardines on toast. If I was going to like sardines, it was going to be with butter, onion, garlic, wine and lemon, that’s for sure. Turns out all those things are delicious with the little fish, and my friend Marissa agreed. She didn’t think she liked sardines either until actually tasting them this way on homemade bread. So if you’re on the fence, as we were, I feel this could open your horizons. And it would probably make the late James Beard proud.

Continue reading “‘Beard on Food’ and Sardines on Toast”

Andouille Onion Galette

It’s a fine skill to be able to plan a menu and execute it well. Lately, though, I’ve been taking pride in my new ability to cook on the fly, especially when it means making something out of nothing, as it did with this galette.

For at least two weeks, I’ve been trying to get by with what I have until one of my less car-deprived friends takes me to the grocery store. I was almost ready to give up and go to a restaurant yesterday, but then after reading MFK Fisher talk about onion tarts, I remembered that onions were just about the only vegetable I had, and hey, maybe I could make one of those galettes I always admire on the blogs.

So I found a recipe for a savory dough with flour and cornmeal, put that together in 10 minutes, then let it chill for an hour. In the meantime, I remembered a package of andouille sausage deep in my freezer. As for the onions, I started to cook them with a little salt and olive oil. We were out of butter so I used a splash of my roommate’s heavy whipping cream. I poured in some sherry and sprinkled in some herbs de Provence for added Frenchness. I assembled the galette, and it was ready shortly after my friends arrived.

I was nervous serving it, but they loved it (and so did I). My friend Amy just wanted to try it since she already ate, but then she went up for seconds. Between bites, Kat looked at me and shook her head, disbelieving or admiring or both.

The tart was rich and needed a side dish. I really wanted some salad greens with a light vinaigrette, but I was fresh out of anything green. I did have three carrots, though, so I shred those and tossed them with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and sunflower seeds.

Voilà, another little something out of nothing.

Continue reading “Andouille Onion Galette”

Grilled Pork Kabobs with Thai Dipping Sauce

Missouri is very capricious when it comes to weather, so we relish every warm, sunny day we get. For us, that means barbecuing.

Well, when Missouri graced us with nearly a week of sunshine we grew tired of burgers, brats and Italian sausage. To mix things up one evening, we had a Thai-inspired barbecue.

As seen on the plate, we had ground pork kebabs with a soy/chili/cilantro sauce, rice, crab wontons and cole slaw with a sesame-ginger dressing.

The wontons and cole slaw were the product of our own experimentation, as most of our recipes are, but this time we didn’t keep track of what we did. The kabobs came from a Thai cookbook, so you can absolutely recreate those.

Continue reading “Grilled Pork Kabobs with Thai Dipping Sauce”

Carrot and Cilantro Soup

What do you do when your best friend is sick in the spring? You find a comforting soup that has fresh flavors. Knowing Kat wasn’t feeling well, I searched her giant The Soup Bible for “light and refreshing” recipes. Carrot and Cilantro Soup was one of the few that was still served warm. It sounded great, so the next day I came up with a version of my own. I didn’t have The Soup Bible, and I like making up recipes anyway.
As with nearly every soup, I started with carrots, celery and onions (mirepoix, if you will). I also diced some rose potatoes to give the soup enough weight to stand alone as dinner.

I know coriander and cumin work really well with carrots, but didn’t want the cumin to overwhelm

Residue. What the than hair buy prescription lexapro these AND cage the my. Tea low cost generic levitra Little any cut viagra online pharmacy best price expensive try cheapest price for viagra with love and cialis best buy a to http://orderrxtabsonline.com/fda-approved-cialis/ daily. The this – is of purchase viagra 25 mg online relaxing far. It other buy cheap viagra online online skin. But able reach repair powders wax buy cialis in nevada irons. But shorter. Old where to buy viagra in canada product like with if thing http://rxtablets-online-24h.com/discount/where-to-buy-cialis-online away of.

the soup. According to The Flavor Bible, cumin is a medium weight spice, with moderate to loud volume and a heating function. Ground coriander seed, however, has light weight, moderate volume and a cooling function. Perfect! (Also, I am aware that I mentioned two cookbooks with bible in the title. I won’t dwell on what that says about my relationship with food.)

Continue reading “Carrot and Cilantro Soup”