Recent Posts

September 25, 2009

Braised Short Ribs from Bon Appetit

I went to the Silver Spring Farmer's market looking for duck last Saturday. I have never cooked duck and really was anxious to give it a try. Unfortunately, the stand that was suppose to have it did not. The sign said "we were too tired". Ok, I'll let them have that. I don't imagine their job is easy. I had to think quickly and decided on some short ribs. I got a small package of only about 3 or 4.

Not having planned on short ribs, I had no idea what I wanted to do with them. I went home and figured it would come to me while cleaning. While going through my giant stack of magazines, there it was- Bon Appetit with a gorgeous cover shot of braised short ribs. Perfecto!

September 15, 2009

My Birthday Wish...

I love pizza. I probably eat it once a week. I'm not talking about the standard, greasy delivery varieties (although they have their place at times), I'm talking about wood-fired pizzas with crispy crusts and fresh ingredients.

It's not always easy to venture out to the gourmet pizza places such as 2 Amy's and Pizzeria Paradiso so we've spent a lot of time making our own pizzas at home with a pizza stone. It's certainly not the same as what a wood fired oven can produce, but it's a step in the right direction.

It is my personal home improvement dream to build an outdoor pizza oven in the backyard. It seems reasonable to me. It's more attractive than a garden gnome (sorry Travelocity) AND it produces crispy, smoky, perfect pizza crusts. It seems like a no-brainer really. In my quest for a personal hearth to the pizza gods, I came across this article on Lifehacker. Please note that my birthday is coming up in October should anyone feel like building this for me.


September 10, 2009

Stuffed Peppers with Turkey, Bacon & Thyme

I was feeling inventive the other night and decided to try my hand at creating a recipe for stuffed peppers. I rummaged through the fridge and the cupboards for ingredients. I used lean ground turkey, smoked bacon, fresh thyme from my mini-garden, wine, pepper jack cheese, onion, tomato paste and brown rice.  It ended up being delicious! The combination of the turkey, smoky bacon and thyme was killer. It totally made the dish. As an added bonus, they are relatively healthy, too! Hope you enjoy as much as I did!  

(Should make about 4 stuffed peppers)
cooking time: about an hour
1 lb. ground turkey
3 slices smoked, thick-sliced bacon
1 bag of boil-in-bag brown rice
4 red peppers
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup shredded low-fat pepper jack cheese
1/8 cup red wine
4 oz tomato paste
Small Yellow onion- diced
2 cloves of garlic- minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop bacon into small bits and pan fry until they are cooked through, but not totally crispy. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Add diced onion, thyme leaves and garlic and cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Add ground turkey and cook through most of the way. You don't need to cook all the way through as it will finish in the oven. In the meantime, cook the brown rice as directed on the box. Chop the top off of the peppers and discard the tops. Remove the insides and clean out. Add the tomato paste and red wine to the turkey, onion, garlic and bacon mixture. Mix together. Strain the rice and add it along with 1/2 the cheese to the meat mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a shallow casserole dish, pour the cup of chicken stock. Stuff the peppers with the meat mixture, place in casserole dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake approximately 35 minutes or until peppers are tender. Remember to check them as cooking times may vary. I didn't cook mine long enough and the peppers were too crunchy. My next plan for this is to try stuffing heirloom tomatoes instead!