Posts Tagged With: garlic

Cooking from Memories

pork tomatillo stew

Memoir is an interesting genre. The work is autobiographical, but the author chooses to emphasize a specific theme and/or focus on a shorter period of their life rather than telling their whole story. I enjoy reading memoirs and biographies, because I can learn about worlds that are completely different than mine without leaving earth. Sometimes I am tempted to covet their wealth and opportunity.  At other times the character’s struggle and despair are such that I am reminded to be thankful for the eternal hope that I have.

One of my favorite popular authors is Ruth Reichl. When she shares stories from her past you can feel along with her. When she describes the aromas, flavors, and textures of an amazing meal you are as satisfied as if you had been sitting at the table with her.

Recipes are sprinkled through Reichl’s books. This morning I took inventory of the ones that are included in Tender at the Bone.  A stew made from pork and tomatillos was especially interesting to me, because the bag of tomatillos from Produce Junction was larger than I had needed for a large batch of green sauce.

Ruth instructs the cook to prepare the stew on the stovetop. However, my Saturday plans wouldn’t allow me to babysit a simmering stew for two hours. Instead, after browning the pork and sauteeing the garlic and onions, I tossed everything into a crockpot.

Four hours later, we were home and ready for supper. My husband said the “juice” was good, but he isn’t so sure about the beans being included. I can’t say that the stew was amazing, but I can’t say that it is the recipe’s fault, either. When I cut the recipe in half some of the ratios didn’t quite match.   Also, I don’t keep “dark beer” on hand, so my blackstrap molasses substitute certainly affected the flavor.

 

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Categories: Books, Food and drink, Pork, stew | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cream Cheese Spinach Alfredo

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Savory.

That’s the name of one of the local grocery store’s monthly magazine. It really is mostly advertising: coupons and recipes using ingredients that you can find on their shelves. Since it is free, I flip through the pages just in case one or two photos might inspire me.

Of course, the January issue contains recipes that promise to help you with your New Year’s resolutions. Since all of the ingredients in the Lightened-Up Pasta Alfredo happened to already be in my kichen, I decided to tear that page out. It stuck to my refrigerator door as a reminder for me to prepare it sometime this week.

The catch is that I didn’t have the “light” cream cheese or the “low-sodium” chicken broth, so I can’t tell you if their diet-version actually tastes good or has a good texture.

The other substitution I made was lime zest for the lemon, and I don’t recommend it. Otherwise, the no-heavy-cream alfredo was quite tasty.

Ingredients (for about 4 servings):

9 oz spaghetti/fettuccine/linguine (your choice), prepared according to package directions

Zest of one lemon

6 oz fresh spinach leaves, cut into shreds then chopped

1 T butter

2 tsp minced garlic

5 T cream cheese

1 c chicken broth

1/8 t nutmeg

½ c grated Parmesan cheese

 

Instructions:

Cook the spinach in about 1/2 cup of water until the leaves just begin to wilt. Drain the water off and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Fluff the spinach apart with a fork, and set it aside.

Saute the garlic in the butter for about one minute. Add the cream cheese and chicken broth, whisking to smooth out the liquid. Season with nutmeg, salt & pepper (You can add the lemon zest if you are interested.). Let this mixture simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan.

Combine the spinach and cooked pasta. Pour the alfredo sauce over the pasta, and stir the combination so that everything is coated evenly.

Enjoy! We had some leftover cold ham on the side.

 

 

 

 

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

All is safely gathered in

One of my coworkers decided to harvest the last of the herbs growing in her backyard, since, at least by night, the temperatures have started to drop towards the freezing mark. She offered me some basil and rosemary, as well as several small red peppers.

Thanks, Kathy!

For lunch, Joel decided to make use of the fresh herbs by including them in seasoning for oven-roasted potatoes.

What a good jolly day off. All bright and windy. In this weather we need to be out walking when we can.

I had two potatoes, ovened with oil and garlic and basil and thyme and rosemary and parsly and paprika, and two hot dogs to balance it and ketchup.
We need pickles.
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He prepared them again, tonight. This time adding chili powder and red pepper flakes.

Speaking of pickles…

While we were enjoying our supper, I noticed this nose-less face pressed up against the glass of the pickle jar.

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Categories: Food and drink, Herbs and Spices, Potato | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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