Cajun Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower

When we got home from a party recently my gorgeous boyfriend watered the garden while I frantically had to unleash some inspiration in the kitchen, and this is what came of it.

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I started by preheating my oven to 400 degrees, and rummaged around the cabinets to find I had purple potatoes, parmesan, cauliflower, grits, sriracha, smoked paprika, white pepper, and basil on hand. I also found some green onions to use after I took this picture.

I chopped up the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, and sliced the potaoes to be about 1/4 inch thick.

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Spread the cauliflower and potatoes onto a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then season with sriracha, white pepper, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Toss until everything is evenly coated, and stick into the oven for about 20 minutes. Don’t forget to wash your hands after you handle sriracha! I’ve made the mistake of rubbing my eye after using sriracha… set my life on fire.

While your veggies are in the oven prepare enough grits for two servings according to directions on the package. Dump the parmesan into the grits when they are cooked, followed by a little milk if you like, then stir stir stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

When your vegetables are done roasting remove them from the oven and taste to see if they need more salt, they probably won’t need more pepper.

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Spoon grits onto a plate, and top with your delicious spicy veggies! Garnish with basil and green onions for a well rounded flavor.

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We will definitely be making this again.

Bon Appetit!


 

 

Cajun Spiced Potatoes and Cauliflower

 

1 cup Cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
1 cup Potatoes, sliced to be 1/4 inch thick
Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
Dash of White Pepper
1 tablespoon Sriracha
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Basil
Green Onions
2 servings of Grits
1/4 cup Parmesan

 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a cookie sheet lined with foil drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, then toss with smoked paprika, white pepper, sriracha, and a conservative amount of salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes. While the vegetables bake prepare 2 servings of grits according to package directions, then add the parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, and add a little milk if you like. Serve grits topped with the cajun vegetables, and garnished with chopped fresh basil and green onions.

Enjoy!

 

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Ty’s Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

Over the holiday weekend we were tearing up our old carpet to reveal the century old hardwood floors, so the kitchen became a storage unit for a short time. But it was well worth it, take a look!

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Here’s a close-up of the kitty’s look of trepidation:

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Speechless

I became very inspired to try some new things in the kitchen after going to parties for the fourth, so this is my first experiment of several to come–gluten free chicken fingers.

When I was growing up I would pretty much only order chicken fingers when the family went out to eat. Thank the gods my tastes have expanded, but there’s nothing like revisiting a classic.

Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees.

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So I’m using millet flour, egg, crushed raw almonds, fresh parsley, and three chicken breasts cut into tenders. To make sure the “breading” doesn’t taste flat like many gluten free recipes I’ve had I add a dash of salt to both the millet flour and the almonds. I also hand tear the parsley into the almonds, which will also help give it more flavor. Crack the egg into the bowl and whisk. I added a bit of water to make better use of this one egg I had on hand, but you can use two eggs if you like.

Next, rinse and pat dry the meat before you season your chicken fingers with salt and pepper. Now it’s time to get to the good stuff.

Toss your fingers in the millet flour.

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Then toss your fingers in egg wash.

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Finally, toss your fingers in the almond and parsley mixture, and lay them out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Bake the chicken for about 20 – 24 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cook time.

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They come out looking golden and delicious! The texture is definitely different from regular breading, but they are just as tasty. I served mine with a spicy ketchup that was awesome.

Bon Appetit!

 


 

 

Ty’s Gluten Free Chicken Fingers

 

1/2 cup Millet Flour
1 Egg
3/4 cup Crushed Almonds
Fresh Parlsey
3 Chicken Breasts, cut into tenders

 

Preheat your oven to 425 degress. In three separate bowls have the millet flour, egg, and almonds. Add a dash of salt to the millet and almonds, and a few tablespoons of water to the egg. Tear the parsley leaves into the almonds and stir. Wash and pat dry the chicken, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken in millet flour. Toss the chicken in the egg wash. Toss the chicken in the almond and parsley mixture, and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20-24 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.

Enjoy!

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Ty’s Perfect Potatoes

Do you have a meat and potatoes kind of guy in your household? I know I do, so perfecting the art of quick and tasty ‘taters is important! In just a few steps you can have home made potatoes on the table for your hard working man in less than twenty minutes.

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I found these awesome purple potatoes at our local grocer down the street, and couldn’t wait to take them for a spin. You can use any kind of potato you like, just make sure they’re cut into one inch cubes. There’s also green onions, three pieces of bacon, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt.

Put your cubed potatoes into a microwave safe bowl and cook for about 5 minutes and 30 seconds, stirring them halfway through. The idea here is that you’re cooking the potatoes until they’re soft so there is not so much guess work later on. I’ve seen people boil the potatoes, or bake them, but this is so much faster and predictable. Pierce a few with a fork to make sure they are all done.

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While the potatoes are in the microwave cut up your three bacon strips into one inch pieces, and cook them over medium heat until they are crisp, and the fat is rendered into the skillet. For a vegetarian option you can omit the bacon and simply heat up a few tablespoons of any oil of your choice.

When bacon is crisp remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon.

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Dump the potatoes right into the hot fat and stir so that each piece is coated in this liquid goodness! Add the oregano, and a small pinch of red pepper flakes, and continue to cook over medium heat for three more minutes, stirring frequently.

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Your potatoes will become crispy on the outside from frying in the skillet,  yet fluffy on the inside- thanks to microwaving. Spoon the potatoes into their original bowl, add some sliced green onion, and finally unite them with the bacon. HEAVEN!

Season further with salt and pepper until it tastes just right, then serve topped with more green onions. I’ve also added sour cream to the side. Greek yogurt also pairs surprisingly well, for a lighter option. Also, I wouldn’t judge you if you added cheese.

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The colors are amazing, and the simple flavors marry so well.

Bon Appetit!

 


 

 

Perfect Potatoes

1 1/2 pounds Potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 pieces Bacon
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 small pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
Green Onions
Salt and Pepper
Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt (optional)

Microwave the potatoes for 5 minutes and 30 seconds, stirring midway through cooking time. Meanwhile, cut the bacon strips into one inch pieces, and cook over medium heat until crispy, and the fat is rendered into the skillet. Remove the bacon bits from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Add the potatoes directly into the hot skillet and cook for about 3 minutes- or until crispy on the outside, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and mix together the potatoes, bacon, and a few sliced green onions in a bowl. Serve topped with more green onions and a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt on the side.

Enjoy!

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Weeknight Tacos

We had a wonderful Father’s Day weekend full of great food, friends, family, and left overs! I was fortunate enough to abscond with some steaks from my parents house, and left with the riddle of what to do with them on this beautiful Monday evening. I figured that something simple and fresh would suffice, and pulled together ingredients I had laying around to whip up some savory tacos.

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Starting from the left is fresh cilantro, a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, the delicious steaks, a sliced onion, and a sliced red bell pepper.

Warm up some oil of your choice in a skillet that also has a lid, then add the tomatoes, paprika, chili powder, cumin, onion, bell pepper, as well as 3/4 cup of water.

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The water gives the mixture some juices to cook off while the spices mature with the onion and bell pepper, so let this simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.

The liquid should be cooked down significantly, and the veggies should be nice and soft. Since the meat is already cooked to medium/medium rare (my preference) I decide it doesn’t need to be cooked through any more. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the steak!

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There is no salt yet, and it is begging for it! I added little pinches at a time until it tasted just right, followed by a few cranks of my pepper grinder.

Now add in the cilantro and stir stir stir.

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As far as fixings for your tacos- you can use what ever you like.

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Avocado is a necessity in our house (they are amazing on just about everything). Cheese is a close second, followed by whole grain flax seed flatbreads for wrapping, brown rice, and sour cream.

Spoon good portions of your favorite taco additives onto a tortilla or flatbread and roll!

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Sriracha is making a cameo here, I’d highly recommend it for some additional heat :)

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Ain’t that easy??

Bon Appetit!


 

Weeknight Tacos

 

2 tablespoons oil of your choice
3/4 cup Water
1 14 ounce can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Small Onion, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon Cumin
2 1/2 cups of cooked Steak, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
Salt and Pepper

Heat oil in a skillet with a lid over medium. Add the water, tomatoes, onion, red bell pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder, and cumin when the oil is hot. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the steak and cilantro. Add salt and pepper until it tastes just right. Add the mixture to tortillas, flatbreads, or lettuce leaves with any of your favorite taco toppings.

Enjoy!

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Ty’s Sweet Potato Burgers

While we were at game night this past week I had a friend request I blog a few more vegetarian recipes. Naturally, the sweet potato came to mind. Everyone knows I’m a sweet potato fanatic, I’m proud of it in fact! So proud that I literally try to turn sweet tater haters into sweet tater cravers.

Here I am, in my kitchen, and I’m taking role call of all the vegetarian items  I have. I know it’s gotta be sweet potato, and I know it’s gotta be simple–and realize that a sweet potato burger would be something fun to try.

Fresh Cinnamon Basil, Cooked Quinoa, Black Beans, Smoke Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder

Fresh Basil, Cooked Quinoa, Black Beans, Smoked Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Cumin, Chili Powder

It’s important to point out that while only two sweet potatoes are pictured my madness drove me to add a third. The ingredients are: fresh basil, cooked quinoa, a 12 ounce can of black beans that have been drained and rinsed, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, and three medium sweet potatoes. Simplicity.

Start off by cooking your sweet potatoes. I choose to cut down on time by microwaving them. I prefer to puncture the skin of the sweeties all over with a fork, then put on a microwave safe plate. These first two I microwaved about six minutes, flipped to the opposite side, and microwaved six minutes more. The third potato I microwaved 4 minutes per side.

While your taters are cooking add the black beans to a bowl.

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Take a masher and mash away until the beans are similar to this texture.

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When your potatoes are done cooking let them cool… Or be impatient like me and cut them lengthwise immediately and scoop out the scalding hot insides into the bowl.

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Toss in the rest of the ingredients and mix until it is well incorporated.

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Since everything in this mixture is safe to eat I go ahead and try some, and decide to add a little salt and pepper. Try yours and make what ever alterations you see fit. Set the mixture aside for a moment.

Drizzle the bottom of a skillet with an oil of choice. I’m using olive oil in our new cast iron skillet! In my pictures please note that it is just a thin layer of oil in the pan. While the oil is warming turn back to your mixture and fashion this mess into patties. I made four that were about a half inch thick.

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These are ready to go into the skillet.

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The patties turned to a nice brown in three minutes per side, the slight char does so much for flavor. Beautiful!

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I had onion buns left over from the pulled chicken sandwiches, so I put the patty on the bun with sriracha mayo, avocado, and arugula. Here’s a delicious vegetarian dish for you to enjoy with any of your favorite burger toppings. Hell… I might even add bacon…

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Bon Appetit!


 

Ty’s Sweet Potato Burgers

 

3 medium Sweet Potatoes

1 12 ounce can of Black Beans (drained and rinsed)

1 cup cooked Quinoa

1 teaspoon Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Cumin

1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Basil

3-4 tablespoons oil of choice

 

Cook the sweet potatoes with your method of choice. While they are cooking mash the black beans in a large mixing bowl. When the potatoes are done, let them cool, and cut them lengthwise to scrape out the insides into the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Heat up your oil in a skillet over medium heat. While the oil is warming fashion your mixture into patties about a half inch thick, and place into the skillet when hot. Cook 3 minutes per side, or until there is a slight char. Serve on hamburger buns with your favorite burger toppings.

Enjoy!

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Ty’s Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Nothing says summer like BBQ. I’m admittedly jealous of family and friends who have a smoker at their disposal, because the BBQ meat that comes out of those things is just amazing. So here is a recipe which makes pulled BBQ sandwiches a breeze–no smoker required.

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I have to brag a bit and say that several of the items from this meal have come from our prospering garden. From left to right there are two chicken breasts, onion buns, fresh arugula, fresh thyme, four medium sized carrots, fresh mint, apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, and brown sugar.

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Here’s the arugula being harvested. Lemme tell you it tastes perfect.

Heat up a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet, meanwhile seasoning your chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. You can use whatever you like, but I chose to use smoked paprika to emulate the smoker. Pop those bad boys in the oil and brown on both side until they look a like this:

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To get these breasts to the juicy tender doneness that is required to pull them a part I add about a cup and a half of water to the hot skillet and cover. Covering the skillet is imperative! One of my breasts is smaller than the other (insert audience laughter) so it cooks a bit faster- about 15 minutes. The larger breast was done in about 20 minutes. Don’t be afraid to cut into the meat to check for a white center with clear juices!

While the chicken is cooking I get to work on the slaw which will also be on the sandwich. I’m not a huge fan of cabbage in my coleslaw, so I opt for another green I have readily available- arugula! I used about two cups of arugula and cut it up into bite sized pieces. I also want to use these carrots I have laying around, and figure I can just use a peeler to get nice thin slices.

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Put the arugula, carrots, mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and sugar into a bowl and mix until incorporated. This slaw isn’t like regular coleslaw, it’s much lighter and very refreshing! Feel free to use whatever leafy vegetation you have on hand for this, I’ve used romaine before with great success.

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Now that it’s cooked through transfer the chicken to a bowl and let cool a little before goin at ’em with two forks. I insert both forks into the meat and literally just tear!

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Once both breasts are effectively pulled add about a cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. Add slowly to make sure your chicken isn’t swimming in sauce, though. I was halfway into documenting this blog post when I found out I was out of my Sweet Baby Ray’s that I usually have on hand, so I decided to whip up some of my own. Whatever you use, I highly recommend adding sriracha, the heat makes a nice contrast to the coolness of the mayonnaise in our slaw. At this point add the fresh thyme and chop your mint to add to the meat as well. Stir to combine.

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Toast your onion buns, and load them up with a healthy portion of pulled chicken topped with the awesome slaw. I gotta say that the onion buns really make a huge a difference in taste with these sandwiches, but try whatever your preference is.

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Voila!

Bon Appetit!


 

 

Ty’s Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

 

2 Chicken Breasts

Salt, Pepper, and Paprika (optional)

1 1/2 cup of Water

2 cups Arugula

3-4 medium sized Carrots

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

2 1/2 tablespoons Mayonnaise

1/2 tablespoon Brown Sugar

1 cup BBQ Sauce (optional: add sriracha for some extra heat)

A few sprigs of Fresh Thyme

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Mint

Onion Buns

 

Season chicken breasts while a few tablespoons of oil heat up in a skillet. Add chicken and brown on both sides ( 3-4 minutes per side). Once browned add water to skillet and steam chicken for 10 to 20 minutes, cutting into the meat to check for doneness. While the chicken cooks cut up arugula, peel carrots down to slivers, and add both ingredients to a bowl with mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix until incorporated. When the chicken is done transfer to a bowl and pull into shreds with two forks. Add your favorite BBQ sauce and fresh herbs. Toast onion buns. Add chicken and coleslaw between the buns and serve.

Enjoy!

 

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Drunken Noodles

Hey all! I’m back after a hiatus to finish up the semester, and I’m glad to be focusing on the kitchen again.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty I wanna show off and take you through some of the work we have done on our back yard. I have to preface this by saying that the design and execution has all been orchestrated by my amazing partner, and almost everything you see is made possible by him. Yes, I’m incredibly lucky. Take a look!

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Our ladies!

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The raised beds where most of our produce is growing.

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A country inspired fence to keep the hound at bay.

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We are going to have fresh herbs FOR DAYS

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Us with the garden in the background. D’aww, he’s just so handsome.

Alright alright, enough-let’s get to business.

 

Today’s recipe is one that I have always had in my back pocket for a no-fuss dinner that tastes like carry-out Thai. What few ingredients there are I tend to keep on hand.

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In the big bowl is cooked rice vermicelli, which can be found at the Asian grocery or at your local super market. I used a 14 0z bag and cooked it in pot of water according to the manufacturers directions. This package of pasta was in my cupboard for about 6 months, and I always make sure to keep some stashed away in case I need them. From the top left there is also bok choy, basil, apple cider vinegar, low sodium soy sauce, sriracha, and fish sauce, and diced fresh chicken.

Drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Start by seasoning your chicken with salt a pepper. I also take this opportunity to cut up my cute little bok choys. I cut them to about this size:

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Scoop your chicken into the heated oil. I sauted mine for maybe 2 mins so they started to get slightly browned, then I added my liquids for the delicious sauce. Sriracha is great- but it’s very spicy- so add a little now, and you can always add more later.

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I let the chicken cook through with the sauce in the skillet , about 5-7 minutes. I take the biggest pieces out and cut them in half to make sure they are done, and nab a taste. Mmm!

Side note about fish sauce: It’s amazing! Disclaimer: it doesn’t smell that great. In the odd instances I don’t have garlic on hand I will use fish sauce instead, it’s the bees knees. We LOVE fish sauce at our house, so I ended up squirting quite a bit more into our dish, but start off with a little and add more until it tastes right for you. This is the right time to also add more sriracha if you want a little more spice in your life.

Now I add the bok choy.

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I love bok choy when it’s al dente, so I only cook it with the chicken for about 1 to 2 minutes, taking glorious little bites of them to check for doneness. Remove from heat and stir in the noodles!

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I use tongs to toss the noodles until they’re incorporated with the other ingredients, and so that the sauce is evenly dispersed. Add more fish sauce if it needs to be more savory, add more sriracha if it needs more heat, and add more soy sauce if it needs salt.

Serve up your drunken noodles in bowls with your choice of a fork or chop sticks. Top with a large helping of basil, and enjoy.

That’s an order, matey.

Bon Appetit!

 

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Drunken Noodles

 

14 oz package of Rice Vermicelli cooked according to manufacturers directions

3/4 lbs Chicken, diced

Salt and Pepper

Olive oil

3 heads Baby Bok Choy

1/8 cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1/8 cup Soy Sauce

1/8 cup Fish Sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1/4 cup Fresh Basil

Season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper, and cut baby bok choy into bite size pieces while drizzled olive oil warms up in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in the chicken and cook until it starts to brown slightly, 1 – 2 minutes. Add apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce to skillet. Cook for 5 – 7 minutes, or until the chicken is done. Add bok choy, cook for another minute or two. Add rice vermicelli and toss with tongs until incorporated. Add more fish sauce if it needs more depth, and more sriracha if it needs more spice. Serve topped with lot of fresh basil and enjoy!

 

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