Monday, October 22, 2012

We have moved!

Now that Maddie can feed herself, we have moved! You can find both Maris and Maddie contributing to the cooking world over at See you there!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Creamy Goat Cheese Polenta

I always love polenta, but this is so delicious to serve with the short ribs. Another future recipe will suggest making a ragu/bolognese sauce and serving it over the polenta.

Because this polenta takes so little time, you can prepare it right before you are ready to serve your meal. With the short ribs, I prepared this while the ribs were sitting out of the oven for 20 minutes.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
2 tbs butter
4 oz goat cheese

1. Bring 4 1/2 c of water to a boil. Add cornmeal to the water in a thin stream, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, adding salt and any extra tbs of water as needed.

3. When polenta is done, stir in goat cheese and butter. Add salt to taste. Serve immediately!

Braised Short Ribs

These ribs are a little bit complicated, and have to cook for a few hours, so they are perfect for a Sunday dinner. They are delicious when served with polenta (see the next recipe) or with mashed potatoes, and with a vegetable like fresh green beans or broccoli. This recipe, along with the next two, were part of a dinner I served that only (ha! only) took me about 4 hours to make.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

8 whole beef short ribs
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c All-Purpose flour
6 pieces Pancetta, diced (or you can do what I did- go to Trader Joes and pick up a package of already diced pancetta)
2 tbs Olive Oil
1 whole medium onion, diced
3 whole carrots, diced
2 whole shallots, diced
2 cups red or white wine (I went with red)
2 cups beef or chicken broth (I went with beef)
2 sprigs thyme
2 springs rosemary

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Salt and pepper the ribs on all sides, then dredge in flour. Set aside.

2. In a large dutch oven, cook the pancetta over medium heat until completely crispy and all of the fat is rendered. Remove pancetta and set aside; do NOT discard grease.

3. Add olive oil to pan with pancetta grease, raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides (this should only take about 45 seconds per side, if your oil has been heated). Remove ribs and set aside, turn heat down to medium.

4. Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to deglaze. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add broth, 1 tsp kosher salt, and plenty of fresh ground pepper. Add ribs to the liquid- we want them almost completely submerged, so if needed, add more broth/wine. Add the rosemary and thyme sprigs to the liquid.

6. Put on the lid, and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Then reduce heat to 325 degrees, and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. Skim the fat off of the top (or, let refrigerate if you have time and remove solid fat from the top).

7. Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes!

Auntie Flo's Porkchops

I recieved this recipe from Pat (our neighbor from Hyde Park), who told me that she used to make this when she got home late and had 3 hungry kids. Since Alex eats about the same amount as 3 hungry kids, I figured this would be perfect! Since this takes very little time (and very little mess) to make, I kind of love it.

From Pat Nau

6 thick butterfly pork chops (no bones)
2 cans apple pie filling
2 boxes stove top stuffing
Cinnamon (to taste)
2 tbs olive oil
Salt, pepper, paprika

1. Season the chops on both sides with salt, pepper, and paprika. Make the stuffing according to the directions on the box. Let the stuffing sit to the side while you prepare everything else. Spoon the pie filling into a casserole dish, add cinnamon to taste. Spread pie filling so that the entire bottom of the pan is covered.

2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot and starting to bubble, add chops. Cook until they are browned on both sides (if your oil is hot enough, this should only take a minute or two, so keep an eye on it).

3. Place chops on pie filling. Spoon the stuffing over the chops, spread to cover. Dot the top of the stuffing with pats of butter, season with paprika to taste.

4. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes; remove foil and bake for 10 minutes longer, then serve.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Although I feel like I've been doing nothing with my life besides studying for the past month and a half, I have taken some time to cook so that I don't completely lose my mind. The bar is less than a week away, and hopefully by the end of it I will be a licensed attorney. In the meantime, I've managed to a) accumulate blisters all over my hands, b) fail to answer my phone/call people back in weeks, c) cry more times in the past month than in years, and d) accumulate a pretty impressive amount of notecards (see Exhibit A for evidence).

While that isn't fun, what is fun is food. In my mouth. And my stomach. And all over my face.

Dried-Porcini-Mushroom Risotto with Goat Cheese
Adapted from Quick from Scratch Italian Cookbook

1 c dried porcini mushrooms (approx. 1 oz) (or others if you prefer other flavors)
3 c hot water, more if needed
3 1/2 c canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock, more if needed
3 tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs butter
1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
2 oz mild goat cheese, crumbled
Grated Parmesan for serving

1. Put the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and pour the hot water over them. Soak until softened, about 20 minutes.

2. Pour the mushrooms/liquid through a strainer into a saucepan. Add the broth to the mushroom liquid in the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Chop the reserved mushrooms.

2. In a medium pan, heat oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms, the rice, and the salt and stir until the rice begins to turn opaque.

Note: the recipe claims that it only takes about 2 minutes for the rice to turn opaque. I say- LIARS. It takes me about 20 minutes, which could be due to poor quality pan or something, but you really want to make sure you cook it long enough that you see a change in color. Otherwise it takes forevvvver for the rice to soak up the liquid enough to soften. You can't really overcook the rice, so if in doubt, leave it on the heat.

3. This is important- add about 1/2 cup of the simmering broth and cook, stirring frequently, until the broth has been completely absorbed. DO NOT just keep pouring broth in there- it won't absorb properly, and your rice will have a nice crunchy texture. Keep adding about 1/2 cup at a time, until it is all absorbed.

4. This should take about 25-30 minutes, perhaps longer depending on your heat. If the simmering liquid isn't enough, bring some more broth and/or hot water to a simmer and keep adding it. By the end, the broth that hasn't been absorbed should be thickened by the starch from the rice.

5. Stir in the butter, the pepper, and the goat cheese. Serve with grated parmesan.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


This isn't so much Mom's bruschetta (which always makes people spill the food all over themselves in a rush to get it into their mouths), but something using some stuff left over in my fridge. I have to double check, but I think the main difference is just the cheese. Anyway, I think this is pretty good for you, and it's really easy and tasty (and if you eat enough, it transforms from an appetizer into an entree). And I may or may not have spilled some on myself in my rush to get it to my mouth...


2-3 tomatoes (I used roma, but whatever you like) OR 1-2 bell peppers (for the non-tomato eaters, aka my boyfriend)
Goat cheese
A baguette!

1. Cut baguette into 1 inch slices, lay them down on a cookie sheet. Drizzle both sides of pieces with olive oil (brush it evenly across the surface).

2. Dice tomatoes (I cleaned out the inside of the tomatoes a little bit, cause I'm not a big fan of all of the seeds).

3. If you are making the peppers (instead of or in addition to the tomatoes) cut into long slices (fajita style!), heat 1 tbs of oil in a skillet, and sautee peppers until they have begun to soften. I like to sprinkle the peppers with some seasoning salt to give it more flavor, but up to you.

4. Clean and chop basil- mix the tomatoes, basil, and however much goat cheese you want together in a bowl. If you are making the peppers, just mix the softened peppers and the cheese together.

5. Turn oven on to broil- on top rack, broil baguette slices for a few minutes until it starts to brown, then turn slices over and toast that side. Take baguette slices out, pile your mixture on top of it, and then put it back in the oven for a few minutes until cheese starts to melt.

Munch on the food.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I have a new kitchen!

While I will be downgrading appliances (*sob*), I'm upgrading on counter space! That means more room to roll out dough, more room to prep everything (I may or may not have to invest in another cutting board), and more room to make a mess!

More pictures to come when I get all of my pots and pans in there, but here's a few teasers for you.