Monday, October 26, 2015


D and I have long said restaurants are a certain kind of special if they can mess up hummus.  And we have had bad restaurant hummus.  Also we have noticed that hummus is getting more and more expensive in restaurants (seriously, $10+?), so it isn't something we eat out a lot.

However, we have it at home.  It is easy to make; it takes a long time for tahini to go bad, and you can vary up the flavors.

I was craving it this past week, so we made some on Saturday.  I remembered a picture on Sunday when we were attacking the leftovers, so it isn't a great or pretty picture.

But the hummus was good.  Most of this recipe is just by taste.


Photo by ALB

2 15 oz cans Chickpeas (or whatever that normal size can is in the grocery store)
6-8 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/4 C Tahini
Lemon Juice from 2 lemons
2-3 tsp Kosher Salt
3-4 TBSP Olive Oil

Drain the chickpeas, reserving 1/4 cup of liquid.

Rinse the chickpeas.

Put the chickpeas, garlic and tahini into a food processor, and pulsate for a few minutes.

Add the reserved liquid, along with the lemon juice and the Kosher salt.

Process until smooth, while adding the olive oil.

Taste and adjust seasonings, to your satisfaction.

Serve in a bowl, with pita chips.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Pork Chile Verde with Red Chile Salsa

So D and I went to a Hatch Chile Festival earlier in the month. We ended up buying some bags of chiles.  And we found a beef chile and a pork chile.  So this is the pork chile.

The verde part of the chile was really good.  The Red Chile Salsa...well that part was just odd.  It was made with honey.  On the front of your mouth you got a sweet, but when swallowed it was a bland flavor of nothing.  The salsa was kind of gross on its own.  However, if you stirred it into the green chile chili, then it was good.

I'm not really sure if we would have again.  We have a Homesick Texan Green Chili that we both enjoyed better.  Still this was different, and I'm glad we tried it.

Pork Chile Verde with Red Chile Salsa

Photo by ALB

YIELD:  13 1 Cup servings

TOTAL TIME: 3 hours 30 minutes

3 cups (or more) chicken broth, divided
1 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed, cut into 1/2-inch wedges, divided
1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups (packed) fresh cilantro with tender stems
Olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 4- to 4 1/2-pound pork shoulder (Boston butt), trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3/4 cup diced roasted peeled seeded mild green chiles (such as Hatch or Anaheim)
2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 pound yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch cubes chopped
Fresh cilantro
Red chile salsa (below)

Puree 2 cups chicken broth, 1/4 of tomatillos, green onions, cilantro with stems, and garlic in blender. Set salsa verde aside.

Brush heavy large pot with oil; heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add pork to pot; cook until browned, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer pork to bowl. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (add oil if needed).

Add onion to pot; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle cumin seeds over; cook until onion is golden and cumin is toasted, about 2 minutes. Add remaining tomatillos; cook until tender and browned in spots, stirring occasionally and reducing heat to medium if browning too quickly, about 8 minutes. Return pork and any juices to pot. Add 2 cups reserved salsa verde, 1 cup broth, chiles, and oregano.

Cover; simmer over medium-low heat until pork is tender, about 2 hours.

Add potatoes to pork. Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in remaining salsa verde; bring to simmer. Thin with additional broth, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide chile verde among bowls. Top with cilantro and dollop of red chile salsa.

Red Chile Salsa

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 2-ounce package dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, coarsely torn
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add chiles; fry until fragrant and chiles turn light orange, stirring often, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to plate; cool. Heat same skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté until golden, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup water; remove from heat.

Puree chiles, garlic-water mixture, honey, and cinnamon in blender, adding more water by tablespoonfuls if too thick. Transfer to bowl. Season with salt.

Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak

So now that D and I know where to find polenta, we decided to try it again.

We both liked this meal.  However, it was small.  We have been trying to eat the correct portion sizes lately, except for salad.  Salad sucks, but it fills you up (it is horrible as a left over though, and I won't do it).

So anyway, this was really good.  But  the portion is too small for the next day.  So I have to figure that out.  When we have again, we have to have a side that isn't salad, that I can take to work the next day.  Such issues...

Grilled Polenta with Spicy Steak

Photo by ALB

Yield: 4 servings

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed
1 (18-ounce) tube of polenta, cut into 8 slices
1 ripe peeled avocado, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
1/2 cup refrigerated fresh salsa
Lime wedges (optional)

1. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Combine 1 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, chile powder, and pepper; rub evenly over steak. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.

2. While steak rests, brush remaining 1 tablespoon oil over both sides of polenta slices; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add polenta to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Arrange 2 polenta slices on each of 4 plates; divide avocado evenly among servings. Top each serving with about 3 ounces steak, 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, 2 tablespoons queso fresco, and 2 tablespoons salsa. Serve with lime wedges, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 397; Fat: 19.2 g; Sat fat: 4.6 g; Mono fat: 10.1 g; Poly fat: 2.6 g; Protein: 28.9 g; Carbohydrate: 24 g; Fiber: 5.1 g; Cholesterol: 41 mg; Iron: 3.1 mg; Sodium: 739 mg; Calcium: 70 mg

Cooking Light, JUNE 2010

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

D and I have long given up getting 4 meals from any Asian dish made by Cooking Light.  It never seems to happen, despite us weighing out and measuring every ingredient, before and after cooking.

So we were surprised that this one did.  And big servings at that (although we did use a 9 oz package of rice noodles, because it was all we could find, and what the heck are you going to do with 2.25 oz of dry noodles besides take up room in the pantry).

We both really liked the dish but both felt it needed to be spicier, which is just our preference.

We would have again.  We had with broccoli.

Spicy Asian Noodles with Chicken

Photo by ALB

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 3/4 cups)

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
1 (6.75-ounce) package thin rice sticks (rice-flour noodles)
2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Place in a large bowl. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon oil, chicken, and next 6 ingredients (through sambal).

2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Cut noodles into smaller pieces. Add noodles to bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 381; Fat: 8.1 g; Sat fat: 1.5 g; Mono fat: 3.2 g; Poly fat: 2.7 g; Protein: 27.5 g; Carbohydrate: 47.1 g; Fiber: 2.3 g; Cholesterol: 60 mg; Iron: 3.1 mg; Sodium: 614 mg; Calcium: 55 mg

Cooking Light, MARCH 2009