Food and drink

Shakshuka

Tomato Poached Eggs Feta Cilantro

We finished off the last 3/4 cup of oatmeal that was in the kitchen cupboard for breakfast this morning, so it was okay to have eggs for lunch.

One of our grocery stores has a magazine with coupons and recipe ideas. The January 2018 issue had several realistic recipes that I tore out to try later. Last week I made simple pork chops with a orange marmalade (which is still burnt onto my non-stick baking sheet). Today, I decided to try my hand at poaching eggs in a crushed tomato sauce.

Giant is trying to get us to purchase extra ingredients, or at least to buy them from their store. However, I stopped at three other stores to get the more unusual ingredients.  Aldi for feta: Since I had planned to purchase feta for a salad, it wasn’t an extra expense. Plus, Aldi’s has good cheeses at affordable prices.  Wegman’s for cilantro: Last weekend Giant was out of cilantro by the time I went shopping. Rather than taking the risk again, I ran to Wegman’s produce department while we were in the neighborhood. Although the bunch cost $1.99, it is as big as a bush and will fit into various menu items this week. ACME for roasted red peppers: They were having their buck-a-bag sale on salad spinach, green onions, iceberg lettuce, potatoes, etc. So it was worth going there to purchase the rest of the items on my grocery list.

Savory magazine noted that their recipe was inspired by a dish called shakshuka. If you look it up, the internet will tell you that it is popular in the Middle East and North Africa.

It could easily become popular in our apartment, too. Except that if you are used to bacon or sausage and hashbrowns with your eggs, the shakshuka and ciabatta might not be quite as filling.

Tomato-Poached Eggs with Feta

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 oz jar roasted red peppers
  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ loaf ciabatta bread
  • fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta

Directions

  1. Peel, finely slice, then chop the shallot. Mince the garlic. Drain the roasted red peppers and chop them into small pieces. Puree the diced tomatoes in a food processor until just crushed. You want the texture to be somewhat chunky rather than a uniformly liquid sauce or paste.
  2.  In a large frying pan, sautee the shallot and garlic in the olive oil for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt. Continue cooking the mixture, adjusting the heat to allow the vegetables to simmer.
  4. Using a spoon, make 4 wells in the sauce. Crack one egg into each well. Season eggs with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook 6 min., until egg whites have set.  “Watch them like a hawk or they’ll turn into hard rubberies”. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Meanwhile, slice the bread and chop the cilantro. Garnish eggs with cilantro and feta. Serve with bread.

 

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Categories: Breakfast, Cheese, Food and drink, sauces & condiments | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pandebono

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Cold weather welcomes hot ovens. Not only can one create tasty foods but also a cozy place to shelter from the winter storms and single-digit temperatures.

This month, we’ve changed from our bacon or sausage, eggs, and hash brown potatoes over to fresh bread & butter with cheese and fruit.   Although I have been baking using a no-knead, wet dough made from scratch, this morning I made things even easier and baked some cheese buns that I had purchased from the frozen section of one of our grocery stores.

When we lived in Bogota pandebono was standard fare at the Colombian bakeries you could find on any corner . Since the rolls are made from tapioca starch instead of wheat flour, you can please your friends that are trying to avoid gluten. The buttery cheese flavor should please your friends that love gluten as well!

The novelty of freshly baked bread may soon wear off, but that’s okay since the weather man is predicting warmer days.

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Categories: Bread, Breakfast, Colombian, Food and drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fee Fie Faux Phở

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Fee! Fie! Faux Phở!
Next, prepare a Beef Wellington!

At the turn of the new year, I’m trying not to waste so much time. Hopefully, I’ll be disciplined enough to log into Facebook at most twice a day. Another place I hope to cut back is in time spent grocery shopping. There isn’t a lot of extra storage space in a one-bedroom apartment, but we’ll see if I can purchase most of the non-perishable items for the month in one trip to one store. I’ll still need to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables on a weekly basis, but hopefully those trips will be quick ones.

The past few days I’ve been planning and plotting meals on a calendar. Breakfasts and Lunches will consist of the same ingredients, in general: fresh bread & fruit for breakfast, eggs & hashbrowns (Joel) or leftovers (Katrina) for lunch. The scheduling of the evening meal is a bit more flexible. I’ve planned to purchase enough of each kind of meat to have it once a week each week. Canned, frozen, and fresh vegetables and sauces will supplement as the mood and weather dictates.

Giant is one of our local grocery stores. It doesn’t always have the cheapest prices, but the quality of their items is reliable. It doesn’t have a hip atmosphere or calming background music, but the aisles are clean and organized, and you’ll find their stores in safe neighborhoods. There are a few items that not every Giant location doesn’t keep in stock (Abuelita hot chocolate disks), but if you want one-stop shopping that won’t cost you a fortune, Giant will serve you well.

Giant’s website allows you to make a list. When you are ready to print your list, the items are divided into categories. This helps me push my grocery cart around the store in a more methodical manner (although I sometimes still end up criss-crossing the store for something that wasn’t to be found where I expected). They also give you a total dollar amount. Having an estimate can avoid shock at the cash register. I like to have the printed list with me so that if I’m tempted to substitute a different brand of an item or if I see it on the clearance rack, I can compare the price of the sale item with the one I have on my list.

Although the temperatures were just reaching double-digits this morning, we decided to brave the winter winds and load up on groceries.  Everyone else had the same idea. The parking lot was full and so were the in-store grocery aisles. List in hand, it was easier to be patient and focused. Toward the end of my list, I was tired of shopping and decided to wait until another day to look for the chicken, meats, and sausages.

By the time we got home and climbed the stairs several times with our bags of groceries we were ready to eat. Thankfully, I had written down a specific plan for lunch that wouldn’t take too much time to throw together: “Quickie Faux Phở”. Broth, seasonings, fresh garnish-type vegetables, bits of leftover meat, and rice noodles add up to an aromatic soup to warm you on a chilly day.  My version isn’t really even close to phở you would order at a restaurant. I didn’t have fresh basil or bean sprouts. But if you want your faux phở to be a friend rather than a foe, don’t be too fussy.

Now that I’ve taken an hour to rest, typing up this post while my husband washed the dishes, I can put away the remaining groceries. Then, I’ll take some of them out again, turn on the oven, and bake some more. First: crushed candy cane cookies for the youth retreat, then my first attempt at “Poor Man’s Beef Wellington”.

Ingredients for today’s faux phở

3 cups water
3 cubes chicken boullion
cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, star anise
fresh ginger root, peeled & thinly sliced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
soy sauce
HP sauce (I don’t keep Hoisin sauce on hand and this has some fruitiness to it.)

1 c cubed pork
2 green onions, thinly sliced

rice noodles

fresh jalapeno, thinly sliced
fresh cilantro, chopped
lime wedges

Categories: Food and drink, Shopping, Soup | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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