Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pork Eggrolls

As I was strolling along the produce aisle at the store yesterday I saw some egg roll wrappers. I thought it a grand idea to get some and try my hand at making some egg rolls. I have never made these before, and generally I am not that fond of a bunch of greasy, fried food.
Here's what I did
Diced two carrots...half of a green and purple cabbage, a crapload of scallions, a few Anaheim peppers, one green pepper and 2 stalks of celery. I used my handy pampered chef cutting/dicing contraption..makes things so much easier and in half the time.
Then I cooked up about a half pound or so of ground pork sausage then drained.. Then I added the vegetables and cooked until soft. I added a bunch of freshly ground pepper and about a teaspoon of soy sauce. After tasting it, I felt it needed something else...Chinese five spice? Nah...fish oil..nope...besides I didn't have any of that o n hand. So I went digging through the pantry. We had a pack or 'oriental' flavor top ramen noodles. I don't remember why we had this..we don't normally eat this. I think it was from awhile back when I made a Chinese cabbage salad...?? Anyway..I thought I would use the spice packet in there. Then decide to smash up the noodles really small and add those as well. Mix pork and veggie/noodle concoction together.

Using canola oil, fill a skillet..maybe 1/3 of the way up the side..I don't know I didn't measure..just dumped it in there...and turn the heat up.
Next I took one wrapper and set it out. Put about 2 tablespoons on top.
Then fold the edges first..and sealed it with an egg wash. Folded the rest and did another coating of egg wash.
Carefully place in hot oil..these cook super quickly...were talking like 20 seconds each side.
Lay them on a paper towel to drain and cool..maybe 5 minutes.
Being a first time egg roll maker..these were the bomb! Everyone scarfed them up..It was weird to see the kids using ranch and ketchup to dip them though instead of the sweet and sour sauce..but whatever....they're kids...they would stick a straw in the ranch and gulp it down if I'd let them...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with tomato fresca...sorta

Usually when I make spaghetti squash I use butter and fresh grated Parmesan. But a few weeks ago I decided to make a chunky red sauce to go with it. However I forgot to snap some pics, so today I did it again..since we got a squash in our CSA box.
First you just cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds and such..as you would any pumpkin and toss..
I put fresh ground pepper and organic oregano on top and threw it in the over at maybe 350 degrees for like an hour or so.
Next up..I cut up a heirloom tomato, bell pepper..some garlic and some red onion and chive and threw it in the food processor..also I added half a can or organic diced tomatoes....
Did this for a few seconds until coarsely chopped.After the squash is done..let it cool for maybe 5 minutes or so and scrape it outta the shell.
Load it up with the sauce and top with some more parmie if ever so inclined.

This is so good and fresh tasting. I had made squash before and Justin was never a fan..so I was left with piles of spaghetti squash 'noodles' to eat solo. However when I made it this way a few weeks over when our friend Stella was over..he loved it and since has eaten it every time. He also dumps extra chunks of tomato and onion over the top and mixes it in. =)

Visit to our CSA Farm....

We have joined a CSA awhile back..(for those of you who aren't familiar with CSA it is a community supported agriculture..which basically means we support our local farmers and buy directly from them.) Usually we have it delivered twice a month, but today we had the opportunity to go and see the farm firsthand.
Our CSA is Callaloo Farm in Ramona...just a 20 minute or so drive away.
Jack was the only one who accompanied us on this sojourn..Lily was away at a friends house. It was great to have him see where food really comes from(not the grocery store).
It was a nice plot of land. CJ..(the farmer) does this mostly by himself...occasionally having help from family. There was a green house that he had built..he also had pigs...and chickens....Rhode Island Red..is what I think he said they were. Jack was excited to see them and he also got to feed them and they ate directly out of his hand.
We decided to do some harvesting and that was really exciting. There is something so wholesome and good about the growing and harvesting process...Unfortunately I think our society has forgotten the most basic connection with the land..and the farm to table concept has been long since put along the wayside....
CJ had Jack help and had him get involved with the choosing and the picking. Tomatoes, peppers, onions, squash and watermelons were collected...oh and carrots too I am so fascinated with gardening and only wish I had a green thumb. We are however going to try again in the spring, but this time Justin is going to build me planter boxes....
Eventually I would like 3 hens....but one thing at a time! Off to make some salsa with our fresh, organic goods from Callaloo Farms!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Triple P

I was scanning through my Vegetarian Times magazine from February and came across Rigatoni Puttanesca with Veggie Meatballs. I never had this before and frankly had no clue what it was. The first time I ever heard of this was from the movie Series of Unfortunate Events...
I used organic penne pasta..(hence the title of the post..Penne Pasta Puttanesca)
Here's the low down....

First up..get all this stuff

*Bread crumbs
*pasta of your choice
*Parmesan cheese
*black pepper
*tomato sauce
*soy sausage, such as Gimme Lean..

Cook pasta according to package instructions...

Then squeeze the tube of soysage into a bowl and dump in bread crumbs
Next up, grate some fresh Parmesean
and a bunch of garlic
chop up a handful of parsley
then get your basil leaves and lay them on top of each other like this
next roll the leaves up like a cigar..and slice into thin pieces..I believe this is called chiffonade....
Add some to the mix...save some for garnish later
Mix well with hands...
Roll into little balls like this
Throw them into a hot skillet with some olive oil and fry for like 6 or so minutes

Dump in a jar of whatever kind of sauce tickles your fancy. I used tomato basil
Add olives...you could use kalamata olives..but the mere thought of those, let alone the smell makes me wanna hurl. I used black sliced olives.Next up, top the pasta...then add some more of that basil and grate some more of the parmie.

Verdict* This was surprisingly tasty. I normally don't like olives..like AT ALL..but it went very well with the sauce. The balls were firm and delicious..( that didn't come out right..whatever, get your mind out of the gutter..we're talking food here yo!) They had a really good taste. The kids scarfed it up..The mister on the other hand was not fond of this at all. He was wondering why I didn't use real meat. Sometimes, it just feels like a vegetarian day!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Stuffin'

I am so happy to be at the blog thing again..its a great outlet for me...but more importantly..I am rockin' the kitchen again. I was in a slump for a really long time. But honestly ever since we signed up with our CSA, it has inspired me to get busy doing my thang! :-)
Thursday in our box we received alot of Anaheim Peppers...
I wasn't sure what to do with them, so I decided to stuff em'.
Here's what I did:
Ground 1lb ground turkey
I used a crapload of Cumin and some all purpose seasoning. Then after washing the peppers, slice down the center..but not all the way..and remove the seeds, top and all that other junk. Then put them in a steamer basket in a large pan and steam for about 6ish minutes..or until they start to sweat.
While they are steaming, put in a bunch of tomato paste and mix thoroughly. Next I decided to add some brown rice..about a cup
I used Minute Rice (Brown Rice) and nuked it..I was too impatient to do it on the stove top..and also too lazy.
Mix well..
After this I decided it needed something else...??? Ah ha! Beans baby! I got a can or organic tri bean medley, rinsed them Dump them in the turkey mixture stuff....

Next get a long baking dish and put the peppers in...like this..make sure they don't touch each other. I don't know why, I just don't like that. Whatever.. Moving on.
Start spooning in the filling like so....

Be generous..stuff them bad boys!Add a bunch of cheese..I used Monetary Jack...ultimately I wanted to use Manchego..or something..but didn't see it at Trader Joe's last night...Oh well.

Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees...then get 2 small cans of tomato sauce and dump in a sauce pan and add all kinds of spices and herbs.. I used oregano, cumin, garlic, salt, basil..whatever you have on hand and sounds good will do just fine me thinks...
Top the peppers with the sauce and add a little more cheese..Hey the more the merrier right? Its the weekend..we're not counting calories!

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for maybe 25 minutes or so...and viola!

The verdict: These were the bomb! They are so hearty too. The filling is really good, and the peppers still have a bit of crispness to them..
The two textures were creating a taste explosion in my mouth. The only thing, however..is next time I would add something to give them a kick..such as some chipotle and adobo or something. Other than that...two thumbs up!

Stay tuned, tomorrow is Pasta Puttanesca!

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Green Pepper on Foodista