Here’s another post in my nearly world famous Electronic Sticky Note series.
Posting the link here as summer is starting soon and I need better salads than the prepacked kits I tend to buy and eat.
Click for the recipe https://thefirstmess.com/2023/05/24/hummus-crunch-salad/
- 1 small sweet onion, small dice
- 1 stalk celery, small dice
- 1 large carrot, small dice
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- dried basil, parsley
- Salt and black pepper
- white or brown sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
This is a poor man’s meat sauce: the vegetables are cut smallish to simulate the texture of ground beef. The inspiration for my version comes from a cookbook I’ve had since 1986. I wasn’t happy with a number of my sugo sauces until I started using stewed tomatoes instead of 100% plain crushed tomatoes. Then finally, Chinese-Italian success!
Saute the vegetables in olive oil until soft and fragrant.
Add dried basil and parsley (if using dried) now.
Add the stewed tomatoes and simmer over low heat uncovered until the tomato chunks start to break up. Smash the rest of the tomato chunks with a wooden spoon. You want somewhat chunky but not super chunky.
Add the can of crushed tomatoes, mix well, and simmer over low heat for at least one hour.
Add salt, pepper, a little sugar, butter and parsley (if using fresh). Adjust seasonings until you get that perfect balance between salt and sweet.
You’re ready for pasta.
This sauce freezes well. Half of the sauce was enough for Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta and Parmesan (no recipe for this, yet).
This pasta sauce will be invaluable when your kid turns into a teenager, comes home and announces she has stopped eating meat to save the planet.
Trust me on this.
I just found this. The file is dated 12.26.2017.
No wonder why the cumin, paprika, parsley, salt and pepper are missing.
The Truth Machine read 169.8 up from 167.4 in just 24 hours. It still amazes me how sensitive I am to what I eat. Yesterday we tried a new breakfast place and I probably ate 3x what I normally eat at the midday break. The uptick in weight was expected given the quantity and salty/fattiness of my bowl which consisted of three eggs, fried potatoes, cheese, and veggies. There was a giant biscuit with butter on the side. I also finished The Boss’ giant biscuit, potatoes and one slice of her bacon. There you go. Do I know how to gain weight or what?
Welcome to Chicken Thigh Week. The local store advertised boneless chicken thighs for $2.99/lb which translated (for me) into time to stock up. But when I got to the store there were no boneless thighs. They sold out. Bone-in chicken thighs were $1.49/lb so I picked up a package with the full intent to de-bone them at home. When I got home I discovered a package of bone-in thighs in the freezer. Now I have over five pounds of chicken thighs. Now we have Chicken Thigh Week!
Tonight a simple roast chicken.
I defrosted what I found in the freezer to use the older package first. Smple oven roasted honey soy chicken. My second surprise was discovering my Honey Soy and/or Maple Marinade recipe is ancient and needs updating. So here’s my latest greatest version of Honey Soy Marinade using pantry and and spice rack items.
Marinate the chicken thighs for two hours minimum. Roast on a rack at 400 degrees F for 35-45 minutes. Don’t worry about overcooking, especially the large pieces. They are chicken thighs.
Nutrition info here https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172388/nutrients
One of the pleasures of writing this blog is documenting how recipes change over time. I’ve already gotten a Cracker Correction for Squash Casserole – The Final Update 2022. Here are links to ALL of the family’s Thanksgiving Dressing recipes claimed as “we’ve always made it this way”. Comments and corrections as always are welcome.
Your Grandmother’s Dressing (this is the real deal)
Aunt Charlene’s Cornbread Dressing
(Not) Your Grandmother’s Thanksgiving Dressing
(Not) Your Grandmother’s Dressing – the day after at 10pm
Note the recipe that everyone has eaten when I make dressing is made with Texas Corn Bread.
2 garlic cloves
1 15 oz can organic chickpeas, drained, rinsed
Salt to taste
1/2 cup organic tahini (sesame paste)
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, drop the garlic cloves and process until minced.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the hummus is smoothly pureed.
- Serve with fresh whole wheat pita bread wedges or pita chips.
Two cloves of garlic and the juice from 1.5 lemons.
The original post for my Hummus
was in 2013. Five years after that I updated the recipe. Well, time for another five year update. The changes? More tahini and more lemon juice.
I’ve checked the original cookbook version.
I’m gradually moving into the three lemon version.
Yes, I’m messing with the spice mix. So far I like the changes. Changes from the first version Chickpea and Sweet Potato Stew are in bold. In this revision I used dried chickpeas instead of canned. The night before rinse one cup of dried chickpeas with 2-3 changes of water. Then add enough fresh water to cover the beans and soak overnight. (These little guys will approximately double in size so make sure you add enough soaking water). Before cooking, drain well, rinse and toss into a pot. Add enough water to cover, bring to a boil then reduce the heat to simmer. Add some garlic and onion powders and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp minced fresh ginger (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
- 1/2 sweet onion, diced
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- crushed red or cayenne pepper to taste
- 3 cups cooked chickpea
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 15oz. can no salt diced tomatoes
- 4 cups MOL vegetable broth (MOL= more or less)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add the onion, garlic, and ginger (fresh if you have some, powder if not) to a soup pot with the olive oil and sauté over medium heat Add the green pepper and saute for another few minutes.
- After a few minutes toss in the chili powder, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, and red pepper flakes or cayenne. Keep sautéing for another few minutes.
- Add the potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and chickpeas to the pot. Pour enough vegetable broth into the pot to cover the ingredients by an inch.
- Turn the heat up and bring to a boil.
After boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for about an hour, lid on partially covered. Stir occasionally. Add more broth/cooking liquid as the stew thickens.
- After an hour taste and adjust your seasonings. The amounts of seasonings I used results in a very mild stew.
- Serve over rice (or not).
This revision has been sitting in my unpublished drafts for a long time. It was time to revisit, cook and taste again to see if it was worth keeping around. I had a half bag of frozen carrots and a third bag of frozen corn. They got tossed into the pool. The corn is a nice addition, bringing in a little sweetness.
The dried cup of chickpeas makes approximately 3 cups cooked. I used the cooking liquid and less vegetable broth.
I’m flying solo this week. At least I have breakfasts and lunches ready to go.
I took the time to write this down because I know someone will ask for the recipe.
- 6 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 cups 2% milk
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir frequently, breaking up any tiny lumps.
- Add the milk and half and half one cup at a time. Keep whisking or stirring until smooth.
- Add the cheese and cook, stirring constantly until you start to see bubbles on the sides of the pan. When you see bubbles, turn the heat to low.
- Simmer stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens. Turn the heat off and allow to sit until needed.
What You’ll Use This Sauce For
- It’s what will make your Baked Penne with Two Sauces pink, half Bechamel and half red sauce.
- Instead of a layer of ragu or cheese, use as a layer in your lasagna. Don’t tell anyone you did this. Keep your guests guessing on why YOUR lasagna tastes so good.
- A great start for mac and cheese. Add a lot more cheese please.
- A pizza or bread-stick dipping sauce.
I guess I should update my Baked Penne recipe.