This time of year is always busy. So many weddings, BBQs, birthday parties, and of course, work (work, work, work, work). Come the weekend, all I want to do is sleep in, wake up to birds chirping and a strong cup of coffee, and shop locally at our farmer’s market. In Wisconsin, we currently have a plethora of carrots, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, potatoes, and of course, green beans.
Green beans and wax beans as far as the eye can see. $3 for how many beans? Um, done. Goodness, I love summer.
Combine minced shallot, oil, vinegar and salt in a mason jar and set aside.
Bring several inches of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add beans. Boil until the beans are bright green and crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the beans from the saucepan and submerge in an ice bath. Shake dry and place on a platter.
Spread the corn on top of the beans. Shake the dressing to blend and drizzle it over the vegetables. Top with fresh basil and pepper. Serve at room temperature or cold.
Recipe adapted from http://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/
I hope your Thanksgiving was filled with a lot of love and warm memories. I am thankful for my friends and family who make every single day so joyous. I don’t know what I would do without you all.
Speaking of family, I leave to go home in less than a week! I am so excited to spend time with my loved ones again. It’s like an early Christmas present to me. I wish I could stay longer, but I am out of vacation time at work. Next year I will do better. Adding that to the list of resolutions…
My best friend is also pregnant and due in March. I want to plan a trip out to see her and her brand new baby too. How exciting is that? This person I grew up with, laughed over many glasses of wine, cooked many a meals with, is bringing a new life into the world. Wild! I love it.
Anywho, here’s a recipe to help you ease into your day. Lots of great protein, few carbs, and as a previous commenter mentioned, add some tomatoes or salsa for a great detox breakfast!
Scramble the eggs with the milk in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat a small, lightly greased pan to medium heat and add the eggs.
Add the turkey, veggies and stuffing and cook until the eggs puff up a bit and begin to cook on the underside (the outer edge of your eggs will be white). Sprinkle with cheese if you are using, then as carefully as possible, flip the frittata in half to create a half circle. Cover with a lid to finish cooking and ensure the inside of your eggs are cooked completely.
You’ve seen tofu at restaurants. You may have already eaten tofu yourself. Tofu is just about everywhere these days. Tofu is a soy product that is one of the easiest and healthiest food to cook. It’s packed with protein and has such a mild flavor that you can influence it’s flavor profile however you want. If you want to make restaurant-quality (a.k.a. really tasty) crispy tofu at home, there are a few steps you need to take.
Slice open the package and cut the tofu into thick rectangles or cubes. Lay each piece on a dish towel or layers of paper towels, then place another dish towel or paper towels on top of the tofu. Set a cookie sheet on top to squeeze some of the moisture out. You shouldn’t have to go to extremes here, because you purchased extra-firm tofu.
2. Make the surface of your tofu as dry as possible
Like anything you cook in hot oil, you want to make sure you’re not adding any unwanted moisture to the pan. Dry, dry, dry your tofu. Wipe it dry, or better yet toss your tofu in corn starch. I’ve cooked tofu both ways and to me the only difference between the two are that adding corn starch to your tofu prevents dangerous and unpleasant sputtering.
3. Use a cast-iron skillet to pan fry your tofu
If you want crispy tofu, you really need a pan that has an evenly heated surface area. For me, that is my seasoned cast-iron skillet. Add a layer of oil, heat it up, and gently drop your tofu in. Fry all sides of the tofu until golden brown and crispy.
Boom! Extra crispy tofu. Just remember, if you plan to use your tofu in a stir-fry or with something saucy, set the tofu aside first. Then cook all of the remaining ingredients and add the tofu back in at the last minute so it remains crispy as long as possible.
Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick rectangles and pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Toss the tofu in cornstarch until coated. Heat oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat, until the oil is just shimmering. Carefully place the tofu pieces into the oil. Lightly fry the tofu until golden brown on one side, then flip with a slotted spatula. Once golden brown on both sides, drain the tofu on a paper towel and set aside. Lower the heat of the pan to low and wait a few minutes.
In the same oil, add the onions. Fry lightly until the onions turn soft and transparent. Take care not to burn them by maintaining the heat at low to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring to prevent burning.
Add the turmeric, coriander, chilli, salt, and tamarind paste and fry for about a minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sri racha (if using), beans and edamame and cook until the tomatoes break down and the oil separates from the sauce, about 5 minutes. Taste the beans, the beans should be more than half cooked at this stage. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.
Finally add the fried tofu and mix well. Simmer for a minute to reheat the tofu, remove from the heat, garnish wtih green onions and serve warm with rice or rice noodles.
For my birthday (which was many moons ago now) my Mister bought me a gift card to this amazing European market in Boulder. I finally went shopping and purchased some orecchiette imported from Italy. Now if you’ve never had orecchiette, think of them as tiny pasta bowls.
In Italian‘orecchio‘ means ‘ear,’ and the suffix ‘etto’ means ‘small’ because these resemble the shape of small ears. Which, I admit, sounds a bit weird at first, but after you take a bite of orecchiette brimming with delicious sauce, you’ll understand why this pasta is so good.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).
What better way to start the work week with a recipe that calls for bacon. Yes you are absolutely right, this is not a breakfast recipe. As far as I see it, bacon should be enjoyed during all times of the day.
Over the last couple of years a few people at my workplace have given birth to a new nickname, The Doctor. Now I won’t go into the details on how I achieved this nickname (for fear that you will just fall asleep in your chair) but I will go into how a doctor’s advice should be taken seriously. This doctor (i.e. me) specializes in working hard, playing hard and eating hard. My best advice? Eat as much bacon as you can before this “bacon shortage” takes it’s toll.
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed and snapped into bite-sized pieces
4 small potatoes, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Place the chopped bacon in a skillet, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until evenly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the bacon pieces on a paper towel-lined plate.
Melt the butter in the same skillet and add the potatoes. Cook the potatoes until they are almost fork tender and have a nice crust on them, about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes. Once the potatoes are mostly cooked, add the onion, green beans, garlic and chicken broth. Cover and simmer over low heat until the green beans are tender, about 8 minutes. Finish with a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
I love a good ol’ fashioned green bean. Whether steam them or bake them into a casserole, green beans have always been a favorite around my household.
I remember my mom would come home from work with boxes of canned corn and you guessed it, green beans. The rural folk she worked with would sell their produce at her warehouse and she bought cases from them every year. They were convenient when we needed an easy side dish.
Although my mom doesn’t do a lot of culinary exploring – I finally introduced her to orzo this last Christmas – I believe she would enjoy this salad.
Sometimes it’s hard to come up with new ways to serve vegetables. This recipe from Family Fresh Cooking is a new favorite for green beans. The toasty walnuts and cheesy crumbles really compliment the green beans while the quinoa fills the tummy. Plus as an added bonus, this salad tastes great cold or warm.
1 cup dry Quinoa (any type), prepared to package directions
1 pound fresh Green Beans, washed with trimmed ends
a few pinches of fine Sea Salt
1/4 cup toasted unsalted Walnuts, plus extra for topping
drizzle of Walnut Oil or Extra Virgin Olive Oil
a few ounces of crumbled Blue Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with the rack in the middle. You can use a toaster oven for this small of an amount. Toast the dry nuts for about 10 minutes until slightly browned and fragrant.
Fill a large pot 3/4 full with cold water. Add a few pinches of salt and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice bath full of water to dunk beans in when they have finished cooking. This will set the color and keep them crisp.
Add the beans to the water and make sure they are fully submerged, add some more warm water if needed. Boil beans over medium high heat for about 2 minutes. They should be bright green and tender enough to be speared with a fork. Taste test to be sure 🙂
Drain beans in a colander and immediately put them into the ice bath. Swish them around in the bath until cool. Remove and dry on a paper towl.
Chop beans into little bite sized pieces. Toss with oil and nuts and some blue cheese. Add the quinoa and toss to combine. Top each serving with extra nuts and cheese. Serve at any temperature.
This week Mister, friend and I attended our first trivia night at T.G.I.Friday’s. Hopes of winning any prize were low. The “Triple Trouble” team could barely keep up with the regulars. We were doomed – or so we thought. We distracted ourselves with food and drink while we guessed majority of the questions. Little did we know that things were about to change.
To our surprise, the final trivia topic was just what every nerd hopes for – a video game round. We answered the bonus question (What is the street address of the Simpsons?) and the video game speed round (name these consoles) correctly and the rest was history. We won one for all the nerds in the world that night.
During our quizzical roller-coaster ride, we gorged ourselves silly on half priced appetizers. These green beans were one of our favorites. I was inspired to make them at home.
Making these were more challenging than I had originally thought but like the trivia game, I was in it to win it!
Trial 1: Coat with corn starch, fry, eat.
Result: The green beans did not have any batter on them.
Trial 2: Coat with wet batter, fry, eat.
Result: The green beans were raw, but the batter was pretty dern tasty.
Trial 3: Flash fry the green beans, coat with wet batter, fry again and eat.
Flash frying the green beans first worked the best. The beans were fully cooked and the batter stuck to the beans. Then the second fry created the perfect batter. We have a winner!
I didn’t have any fun sauces laying around so I made a Dijon honey mustard by mixing them together in equal parts. Muy yum.
Crispy Fried Green Beans with Dijon Honey Mustard Sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yields: Serves 4-6
1 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed off
1/4 cup corn starch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil for frying
Rinse, trim and dry the green beans on a paper towel. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat (should be around 375 degrees F).
In the mean time, combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add water until the consistency is batter-like (not too thick and not too runny). You will probably have to use your fingers for this.
Once the oil is hot enough, add your green beans and stir them in the hot oil for a spell. Remove them once they are wrinkly, about 30 seconds. Allow the beans to cool, then batter them and let the excess drip off the bean. Fry the beans by placing them in the oil one at a time. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Do these in batches. Allow the fried beans to dry for a minute on a paper towel, then serve with your favorite sauce (I mixed dijon mustard and honey 50:50 for my sauce).
Wet corn starch is an extremely freaky substance, we used to call this "Oobleck" in elementary school.