Tag Archives: Vegetable

Instant Pot Shiner Bohemian Black Lager Beer Beef Chili

beef & beer chili

Chili.  It’s a crowd pleaser for a reason and it just got even better.  With the addition of dark beer and an Instant Pot,  it’s magical.  Chili that tastes like it lazily simmered away half of the afternoon in 30 minutes.

My original intention with this chili was bison instead of ground beef, however I didn’t embrace the idea of a $12 serving of chili.  When did that happen?  I’m used to paying a little more for food, but the price of bison has gone up quite a bit since the last time I purchased it. Once I regained my composure and the mothers of young children took their hands away from the delicate little ears, I set off toward the ground beef.   

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Winter Market Buddha Bowl - Pook's Pantry

Winter Market Buddha Bowls with Potato, Quinoa and Beets

Winter Market Bowl Idaho Potato - Pook's Pantry
This post is sponsored by Idaho®Potatoes. All opinions are my own.

Potatoes.  Everyone loves them and they are available year round.  However, I’m sure you get stuck in the same potato rut like I do.  You need new ideas!  Well, this one is our new “Go-To”.  It has tons of veggies, it’s healthy, it’s gluten-free and if you leave the egg off, it’s vegan.
We all have a piece of that or a hunk of this in the fridge just waiting to get used up in something , right?  Here is the perfect way to use up a few of those ingredients that are hanging out patiently awaiting their destiny.

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Curried Cauliflower with Golden Raisins

Curried Cauliflower with Golden Raisins and GingerCurried cauliflower with golden raisins and ginger is a great side for chicken or steak, but it can stand on its own as  a meatless meal.

We are eating more vegetables these days.   Also, we are eating healthier.  At least, we are trying to eat healthier (when I’m not eating cookies).  I love vegetables, I honestly prefer them over meat most of the time.  However, they can be boring  if you never jazz them up.  Otherwise, we’d eat them without complaint.  A little spice can go a long way.  For example – curry powder.

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Curry Coconut Corvina with Idaho® Potatoes

Corvina and Idaho Potatoes with Coconut Curry

This is my first in a series of sponsored posts by Idaho® Potato!   I’m thrilled to be working with them, they are the BEST!  All opinions are my own. 

Curry seems to be one of those flavors that people feel very strongly about.  They either love it or they hate it,  there’s not much middle ground.  I’m in the “love it” camp.  Just the smell of curry makes my heart flutter.   A long, long time ago in a city far, far away when I was in culinary school, we would wander the streets of NYC and more often than not we ended up in an area of Manhattan that had lots of spice shops and Indian restaurants.   I think that’s where my love of curry was born.

I suggest making this with a meaty fish like corvina or halibut.   A delicate fish like sole would get lost in the aggressive flavor of the curry.  That being said,  the potatoes are really the star of the show.   They absolutely make the dish.  The crunchy outside and fluffy inside of the potatoes make it a perfect vessel to soak up that luscious sauce. The bright tang of the tomato combined with the heady, warm spiciness of the curry against the creamy flesh of the potato makes for a perfect bite. 
It’s so good that I’ve considered making it vegan by omitting the fish, doubling the potatoes and adding in more peas, onions, chickpeas, etc.

A word on trial and error:  
Cooking well takes practice.  The more you cook, the better you get.  You will begin to develop a feel for flavors that pair well (sometimes without even needing to taste it, you’ll just “know”) and even after you’ve been doing it professionally for 14 years, it’s not always perfect.  See Below…  

Recipe Testing:
This was the first version. Do you see how yellow the sauce is?  The curry was just a “pinch” too much. It overpowered the coconut flavor.  I backed off just a half teaspoon the next time around and it was perfect.   
Take risks, learn from mistakes…  That’s the only way to develop your palate and learn.  That statement also applies to so much more in life.  It’s a pretty good mantra. 

First round

 
Chef’s Tip: How to get those potatoes SUPER crispy

  • Soak the potatoes in cold water.   This helps to remove some of the starch, which helps them to crisp on the outside and remain tender and fluffy inside.  The water will become cloudy.  I usually let them soak for 15 minutes and change the water once, then let them sit for another five minutes or so. 
  • Drain and pat dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.
  • Why does this matter?  The excess starch can sometimes prevent the potatoes from cooking through before they begin to brown too much,  leaving you with dark potatoes that aren’t cooked properly.  Every restaurant I have ever worked in, potatoes always get a soak before frying so it stands to reason that if we are “oven-frying”, the same rules apply. 

Corvina and Potatoes with Coconut Curry

 
Chef’s Tip: Always put the “good side” face down first in the pan.  
How do you know?  Here’s a photo to help!
 Chef Tip

Assemble like a Pro:
Corvina Potato Collage

 

 

Let’s Cook!

Corvina and Idaho®Potatoes with Coconut Curry
Serves 4
A delicious, healthy meal with a simple coconut curry sauce that will make this easy dinner feel like a special occasion.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lb. piece of corvina, cut into 4 equal pieces
  2. 2 large Idaho® Russet Potatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds
  3. 1 - 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  4. 1 - 13.5oz can coconut milk
  5. 1/2 cup frozen peas
  6. 1 tablespoon Madras curry powder (yellow curry powder)
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  9. kosher salt
  10. black pepper
  11. white pepper
  12. canola oil for frying and baking
  13. nonstick cooking spray
Special Equipment
  1. parchment paper
  2. sheet pan
Make the crispy potatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)
  2. Line sheet pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the parchment with cooking spray. This will help to ensure we don't have to pry the potatoes off, leaving our crunchy outside stuck to the paper.
  3. Soak potatoes (as described above), pat dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Toss to evenly coat potatoes and lay them on the parchment-lined sheet pan, put in the oven on the middle rack.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip potatoes over. Rotate the pan and slide back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until potatoes are crispy and cooked through. Sprinkle with a fat pinch of kosher salt while they are still warm.
  5. *Your oven may run hot or cold, so times may vary! Keep an eye on the potatoes after you've flipped them.
While the potatoes are baking, cook the fish
  1. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and drizzle in 2 TB canola oil.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the corvina with kosher salt and white pepper, place fish in the pan, good side down, and cook for 8-10 minutes. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the fish over and cook for another 5 minutes. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish.
  3. Remove the fish and set aside. DO NOT CLEAN OUT THE PAN.
  4. Add in garlic and let it saute for a minute, then add in coconut milk, curry powder and tomatoes. Let the sauce cook down for 10 minutes over medium-low heat, then add fish back into the pan along with the peas. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. Simmer on low heat for another 5 minutes, until fish is warmed through.
  5. Place potatoes on the plate and ladle sauce over them. Place fish on top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
Notes
  1. Corvina varies in thickness, try to choose a piece that is fairly even from one end to the other. This will make it easier to portion into equal sized pieces and it will guarantee that the cooking rate for all the pieces will be the same.
  2. If you have one piece that is very thin and one piece that is very thick, the thin piece will be cooked through well before the thicker piece. In that case, put the thicker piece of fish in the pan first and let it get a head start on the thinner piece(s).
Pook's Pantry http://www.pookspantry.com/
Used in this recipe:
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Veggie Cakes

Veg Cake
Cooking for people who don’t particularly care for vegetables can present a challenge.  Do you know anyone like this?   I have a number of clients are who aren’t huge fans of vegetables, so I have to think of ways to make them appealing.  You could pull a tomato off of the vine and hand it to me with dirt on it and I’d eat it without protesting,  but I love vegetables…     Continue reading

Arugula, Butternut & White Bean Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

butternut arugula salad

A few months ago, we were in Vancouver for our honeymoon. Whenever we tell people that we spent our honeymoon in Vancouver, it goes one of two ways: If they’ve never been, they automatically ask “Why Vancouver?” and for those that have been, it’s usually a smile and a sigh. They get it. There’s a reason I had to tell you a bit of backstory… I planned for MONTHS for this trip. Every single detail, including activities and eating. Ok, it was mostly eating… One of the “must do” activities was biking the perimeter of Stanley Park.  The weather did not cooperate with us and it rained almost every single day of our trip.  

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Soba Noodles and Stir-Fried Vegetables

Soba Noodles with Stir Fried Vegetables - Pook's Pantry

Soba noodles with stir-fried vegetables is a quick, easy and delicious healthy option for meatless Monday, or any day of the week.  Soba noodles cook in a only a few minutes, the veggies get a quick sauté and dinner is done.  From fridge to fork in less than 20 minutes – faster if you prep vegetable the night before.

It’s another New Year and once again, after the gluttony that was Thanksgiving and Christmas overindulgence, it’s time to rein it back in.  One way that we have decided to do that around here is sticking to a “meatless Monday”. 

While we were whooping it up in Vancouver a few months ago, we had a warm soba noodle appetizer at our favorite sushi restaurant.  It was loaded with seafood and unbelievably delicious.  I wanted to have something reminiscent of that salad, but suitable for a vegetarian dinner.   The only restriction I gave myself (aside from the seafood) was that I had to use what I had in the kitchen.    It wasn’t like there was a “rule” in play…  I just didn’t feel like going to store.  Out of sheer laziness, deliciousness was born!

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Get Your Freekeh On

 

 

Freekeh Salad.jpg

No, this is not a new MIssy Elliott song, but it is all about that grain. 

Freekeh is one of those grains that gets overshadowed by the “in” crowd…  You know the cool kid of the grain world at the moment: quinoa.  I love quinoa, I’m not bashing it AT ALL, but there is a whole world of grains that people have never heard of, including myself until about 15 years ago.  Freekeh has a wonderfully nutty flavor and a chewy texture, similar to barley or other hearty grains.   

I absolutely adore grain salads.  During the heat of summertime, they are chock full of bright red tomatoes and crisp cucumbers, but as we move into fall they transition to root vegetables, dried fruits and nuts.

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Kung Pao Green Beans

Kung Pao Beans.jpg

As a proclaimed lover of vegetables, I can’t quite understand anyone over the age of 8 wrinkling their nose at the sight of them.   That being said, I have a few clients who fall into that category and it is my job to come up with recipes that will entice them into eating something green.

I’m not a parent, so I can’t imagine what it is like on a daily basis but I can tell you that once a week I find myself trying to figure out what I can cook for vegetable-hating clients that will actually end up on their plates.   This one came to fruition solely based on the fact that one of my clients loves anything spicy.  I figured if I disguised the flavor of the vegetable with chilies and garlic, maybe I’d have a hit on my hands.

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Shrimp & Slaw

shrimpRecently I posed a question on the Facebook page asking what people wanted to see and one of the requests was “a meal that can be made in about 30 minutes, when I get home from work”.   I get it,  life is crazy busy and the last thing most people (most sane people) want to do after coming home from work is stand in front of a stove for any length of time.

This is a meal I made for a client of mine and it took well under 30 minutes to make, she loved it and requested I make it again.  I probably need to get in the habit of sharing what I cook for clients…

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