May 10, 2012
German, Kosher, Low Carb, Recipes, Side Dish, Tips, Vegetable, Vegetarian
cooking, dinner, food, German, Gourmet, Kosher, low carb, recipe, recipes, side dish, vegetable, vegetarian
Several years ago my wife and I had the opportunity to travel to southern Germany. After we flew into Frankfurt, we spent the next several days driving down to Bavaria, seeing castles (and sleeping in one) and all the other sights. It was mid May and at virtually every farmhouse and in every restaurant window there was a homemade sign with one word on it: SPARGEL.
It took us a few days, but finally as we sat down for dinner one night in a tiny family restaurant in the walled town of Nordlingen, and we asked what Spargel was. To our surprise, we found it to be white asparagus. I had not only never had it before, but never even heard of it. The crop had been bursting through the ground and the country was celebrating this unique fresh vegetable. It was served simply, boiled and then served with a little butter.
It looks like asparagus, but does not taste much like it. It seems almost silly to say, but it seemed lighter than the green kind. For a number of years after, I looked for it in my local store but to no avail. This year, I was in luck.
Beautiful and tasty.
White asparagus is really pretty fragile.
Unlike the more common green asparagus, you need to peel the white ones. As they are so fragile, you have to be very careful. Gently pinching the tip between your thumb and forefinger and laying down your palm and forearm provides enough support that you should be able to peel it without breaking many.
Another way is to support with your index finger.
I normally abhor boiling your vegetables, but it works for these. 8 to 10 minutes in water that is just short of boiling.
Ok. Maybe I went a little overboard on the butter.
If you haven’t tried them, do yourself a favor and pick some up.
If you have an interest in being a guest blogger here on the Rantings of an Amateur Chef, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 10, 2012
The Ranting Chef has recently been trying out some products and would like to make sure his loyal reader base has an opportunity to join in the fun. With some posts coming up I will give away some products. Winners will be randomly chosen from those who have subscribed to the blog.
By subscribing, you receive an email each time a post goes up. If you already get one, you’ve already subscribed. I hope to have the opportunity to provide more products to you in the future. Remember, in order for a chance to win, you must be a subscriber.
April 8, 2012
Recipes, Side Dish, Tips, Vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian, Wine
cooking, dinner, food, Kosher, low carb, recipe, recipes, side dish, Vegan, vegetable, wine
One of the first items I learned to cook was rice. I think it stemmed from when I was a kid and had an upset stomach, my goto dish was a bowl of white rice and a can of ginger ale. While I rarely drank ginger ale other than when I was sick, rice was a staple for me. An easy side dish. It can absorb the flavor of sauces of what you put on top of it and easily scale for 1-12 servings. A ratio of 2x water to 1x rice, a dash or two of salt is all you need. Boil the water, pour in rice, dash with salt and simmer for 18 minutes. Not 19. Not 17. 18.
Years ago when I first tried the low carb diet, I missed quite a few foods. Bread….potatoes (in every form) and rice. Very quickly I found cauliflower as a viable substitute and as I showed with Mashed Blue Cauliflower, the versatile vegetable can substitute for potatoes. It also can make a good substitute for rice, so the other day when I made Diablo Shrimp, I decided to make some almond “rice”.
Slivered almonds and “riced” cauliflower.
The recipe calls for a number of different spices. I had some Montreal Chicken seasoning, so used that instead.
While it probably can be done without a food processor, it would take some time. Use the shredding disc (or you can use a shredder if doing it manually).
Looks just like rice, doesn’t it? When making cauliflower mashed “potatoes” you want to steam it before mashing. For cauliflower “rice” you want to change the shape while still raw, then cook it.
While not quite rice, it is pretty close and tastes good in its own right.
- 1/2 head cauliflower shredded
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp chicken stock powder
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1 tsp seasoning (see recipe below)
- Seasoning mix (Makes plenty for later)
- 3 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp black pepper.
Steam the cauliflower in the microwave, covered on high for 7 minutes. Saute the onion in the butter, adding the cauliflower when its done. Add the stock and the wine, reduce to simmer. When ready to serve add the almonds. So tasty!
April 4, 2012
Beer, Recipes, Tips, Turkey
beer, cooking, dinner, food, Kosher, low carb, recipe, recipes, turkey
“How do you keep your meat from drying out?”
It is a common enough question. In fact, I’ve been asked it here on the blog. All of us have had bone dry poultry put on our plate and the leaner the bird (as in turkey) and the leaner the cut (as in turkey breast), the greater the risk of it drying out. So what do you do?
- My first tip actually comes at the end. Don’t cut into it too early. A good 10-15 minutes rest after it comes out of the oven (with a loosely tented piece of foil over it) will allow the juices evenly distribute back into the meat.
- Sear. If you have the chance to heat up a nice pan to the point where oil is just about to smoke and allow the meat to cook for three minutes on each side, you create a barrier that makes it difficult for the natural juices in the meat to escape.
- Brine. Letting the meat spend time before you cook it in a salt bath increases the liquid retention in the meat, so you start with a juicier piece to begin with.
Haven’t brined yet? It is simple. The ingredients are not difficult. The key is time. You need quite a bit of it. Overnight is best, so plan ahead. I planned ahead and made a Beer Brined Turkey Breast.
I served these with Roasted Brussels Sprouts.
You can’t tell, but the turkey is in the bowl. I used two Guinness and one Michelob Light. Don’t ask me why, they were the first three beers that I grabbed.
Post brining. The recipe calls for one on the bone, but my local store more often has the boneless kind, so just check it a little earlier as it won’t take as long to cook.
Spiced before cooking.
Still spiced after cooking.
I also roasted some potatoes. I quartered them, drizzeled olive oil over them and stripped a piece of fresh rosemary to sprinkle over.
Bake them at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Prep Time: 25 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hr 15 mins | Servings: 6 | Difficulty: easy
- 1 1-3/4- to 2-pound turkey breast portion with bone
- 3 12-ounce cans beer
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 6 bay leaves
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Place turkey in a very large bowl. Pour beer over turkey. Add salt, bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, and sliced garlic. If necessary, add just enough water to cover turkey. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
2. Drain turkey, discarding beer mixture. Place turkey, bone side down, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. In a small bowl stir together the melted butter and minced garlic; brush over turkey. In another small bowl stir together the paprika, thyme, onion powder, sage, and pepper. Sprinkle evenly over entire surface of turkey; rub in with your fingers.
3. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into thickest part of the breast, making sure it doesn’t touch bone. Roast in a 325 degree F oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until juices run clear and turkey is no longer pink (170 degree F). Remove turkey from oven. Cover with foil and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Makes 6 servings.
April 3, 2012
Greek, Low Carb, Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, Tips, Vegetable, Vegetarian
cooking, dinner, food, Greek, Kosher, low carb, lunch, recipe, recipes, side dish, tomato, vegetable, vegetarian
The early spring in Cleveland lasted long enough for me to bring out a summer staple in my house, a simple Greek salad. I’m sure the readers actually from Greece will wonder about where the olives are, but as I am not a fan of the bitter little devils, they are not in my salad. Olive oil? Yes. Olives? No. I’ll even avoid them on pizza.
We always have red, yellow and orange peppers on hand. Every week I will buy a six-pack (two of each color) at my local warehouse club, so they end up in quite a bit of my cooking or we eat them simply sliced up as a side dish. This recipe uses the sweetness of the peppers and the tartness of the lemon juice and feta to provide great flavor.
This is a quick and easy side dish that is colorful and tasty.
Lots of veggies and a few other ingredients. The recipe didn’t call for tomato, but I had one on hand. When using a full-sized tomato, you generally want to remove the seeds. I quartered it and then cut away all but the fleshy outside. Then I diced it.
Slice and dice and mix it up!
Prep Time: 10 Min | Servings: 8 servings | Difficulty: easy
- 1 green pepper, sliced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow pepper, sliced
- 1 cucumber, not peeled, sliced
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 ounces fat-free feta cheese
Mix peppers and cucumber in a large bowl. Add vinegar, lemon juice, and oregano. Mix well. Cover and marinate for 15 minutes to several hours.
Toss well before serving and top with crumbled feta cheese.