Saturday, March 20, 2010

Veggies Galore!

While on vacation in Charleston, we decided to cook in one night (we had a beach house out on Folly with a decent kitchen.) We made quite a feast which I will eventually post about, as Lindsey has all the pictures. Anyway, last night I decided to remake one of the dishes we made that night, but made some changes. This is a roasted chick peas, cauliflower, and potato dish that was really delicious. The picture is from the leftovers I just finished eating at lunch. Here is the recipe:

1 can chick peas
1 head of cauliflower, broken up or chopped
3 russet potatoes, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tablespoons minced garlic
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper to taste (I just sprinkled the whole pan with each spice)
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
1 package crumbled feta.

1. Preheat oven to 425. In a large baking dish, combine all three vegetables. Toss with oil, garlic, parmesean, and spices. Bake for 1 HOUR*

2. After the dish is cooked, add the crumbled feta, and serve!

*The potatoes take the longest to cook. While baking, stir the vegetables every 15 minutes to make sure the cauliflower doesnt get too brown.


Our favorite eats in Charleston!

So, as I mentioned before, I spent 4 days in Charleston over my spring break, and we spent a majority of the time eating at our favorite restaurants. I thought I would write a post about my favorite places to eat and drink in Charleston (where I lived from August 2008-August 2009). So here goes.

1. Fuel

Fuel is hands down one of our favorite places in Charleston. Its in downtown but not in a touristy area, so it feels more like a local hangout. It is Caribbean-influence food and they have a really diverse menu. My favorites are the Braised Pork Tacos, the Sweet Corn Bisque, and the Chicken Nachos. I've never had a meal at Fuel I didn't love, but those are definiely my favorite menu items. Also, they have the best sweet potato fries in town, making them a must-order side.

2. Moe's Downtown Tavern

Moe's was just as popular a hang out spot for me in Charleston as Fuel was. Moe's Tavern has 2 locations in Charleston, but the downtown location is my favorite. They have a great happy hour with half priced wings, but their burgers are the best thing on the menu (in my opinion). Their BLT Burger is my personal favorite. It's got bacon, mixed greens, pesto mayo, and a fried tomato on top of an delicious burger. We went to Moe's so often that while I was in Charleston this past week, a waitress recognized me a Moe's local while we were at a bar in Folly Beach.

3. Juanita Greenbergs Nacho Royale

Now, I really wasn't expecting to visit Juanita Greenbergs this time in Charleston. I havent been too much of a fan of this place, especially after one particularly frustrating night of waiting an hour for a table only to be told to "come back another night." But we decided to have lunch there anyways. Their nachos are their signature dish, but they arent traditional nachos. They are more like a pizza. I got a chicken Nacho Royale, which chicken, black beans, cheese, pico, and lettuce, and it was so good! We also enjoyed some margaritas there too, which were equally delicious. I recommend this place for a nice lunch outside (they have a fantastic outdoor patio in the back.)

4. Tattoed Moose

The Tattoed Moose is a brand new hang out in Charleston that just opened last week. While looking to get some late night food at the Recovery Room, we were told their kitchen was closing and they suggested that we try the Tattoed Moose. The place is small but the waiters/bar tenders were incredibly friendly. Our waiter introduced himself to us and even asked our names. Their signature menu item is their duck club sandwhich, which Amy L. and I split. The sandwich was delicious and one of the best things I ate in Charleston all week. They also fry their fries in duck fat, so it was sort of a duck overload, but totally worth it. This place is a must-visit as far as my Charleston recommendations go.

I'd also like to thank the following bars and restaurants for being equally amazing as I remember them: Johnson's Pub, Big John's Tavern, Wet Willies, ACs Bar and Grill, O Malley's, East Bay Deli, King Street Grille, Vikcerys at Shem Creek, Kudu Coffee (not a bar, but still awesome), and the newcomer Midtown.

Well, hello again!

Hello again readers! It's been a long time since I've last posted, but it's been business as usual in Clemson and school has been pretty busy. Today is my second to last day of Spring Break, so I am catching up on posts while avoiding doing studio work. I have sort of lost track of the meals we have been cooking at home, so for this post I am featuring a new dish that I have made 3 times in the last couple weeks because it has been such a hit. This is a recipe for Chicken Artichoke Casserole by Paula Deen that is delicious! I'll give you the recipe as I made it the first time then tell you about the changes I've made since. I think the first time I made it was definitely the best, so here it goes...

1/2 cup of butter (2 sticks)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 chopped white onion
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons water
5 oz. grated parmesean cheese
1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and patted dry
1 14 oz. can of quartered artichokes, drained
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and chopped into cubes
2 cups cubed french bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Add onion and garlic and let simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add heavy whipping cream and water and let simmer 3-4 minutes.

2. Add cream cheese and parmesean cheese and stir until combined into a thicker sauce. Then add spinach, artichokes, and cooked chicken and stir to combine.

3. Pour mixture into a casserole or other baking dish. In a separate bowl, toss the cubed french bread with the melted butter. Arrange the cubed bread on top of the casserole. Bake for 25 minutes or until bread on top is golden brown.

1. The second time I made this, I used a rotisserie chicken that I shredded up to make the dish more like a dip. I served it with sliced french bread. I also tried making some crostinis with it. I sliced the french bread, put a dollup of the cooked dip on top, sprinked some parmesean on top, then popped them back in the over for about 7 minutes. They were equally delicious.

3. The third time I made this was on vacation in Charleston, and to save some money I used 2 cans of canned chicken. It wasn't as good, but still really tasty!

Here is Paula Deen's recipe. She uses a few different ingredients...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

An Ode to Beer Bread

My mom sent me this beer bread mix in my care package because she knows how much I love it. This is a mix from Tastefully Simple. All you do is add 1 can or bottle of beer (I of course used a can of PBR) to the packaged mix and then bake for an hour. It makes the best bread ever! I forgot to take a picture of the final product, which is sitting at home already half eaten. I'll upload a picture of the bread later!

Night 12 2/24/10 Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Burgers and Potato Pancakes

Hello again! I will start this post off by saying that this was probably my favorite meal so far, and definitely the one I am most proud of. Yesterday when discussing what we would have for dinner, Lindsey said she didn't want any chicken dishes. As someone who doesn't eat much red meat, and definitely doesn't eat steak, this proved challenging. So, this eliminated a lot of dinner ideas, and we agreed on burgers. But not just any burgers...a roasted red pepper and goat cheese burger! One of our favorite restaurants in Charleston, SC is Moe's Downtown Tavern (in no way affiliated with Moe's Southwestern Grill) and they do this burger, and its delicious. So I sought out to recreate it at home. I also stumbled across a Martha Stewart recipe for potato pancakes that seemed to be pretty easy (it was not.) Here is a picture of the final meal...

First we will start with my burger recipe:

1 lb ground beef (the leaner, the better)
1/4 cup chopped red or white onion (I prefer red)
3 tablespoons worstershire sauce
salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste (I always due 2 parts garlic powder, 1 part salt, 1 part pepper)

(This makes 5 burgers)

I bought a little package of goat cheese and a jar of marinated red peppers. I was skeptical about the jar of red peppers but they turned out to be delicious and something I will absolutely buy again. I also bought onion buns. So, spread the goat cheese on the bun and top with burger and red peppers. I personally dont think you need any other condiments (other than ketchup of course). We used our community grill at HC, which is obviously the best way to cook burgers, but cooking them on the stove top isn't bad either.

So now on to the potato pancakes. That Martha Stewart! This recipe sounded so easy when I read it online, it was probably the most difficult recipe I have had to follow since. I will try my best to walk you through it, but I will also include a link at the bottom. Here we go:

4 peeled Russet potatoes
1/4 chopped white onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup beer (I used PBR, cause it's classy)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
freshly ground pepper
vegetable oil, for frying

(This recipe makes 10 pancakes)

1. Using a grater, shred potatoes into a large bowl of cold water. Then drain potatoes, keeping the liquid that you drain out. Make sure the potatoes are drained really well. Let the retained liquid sit for about 10 minutes (the potato starch, which is a milky white substance, will sink to the bottom.) Carefully pour the liquid from the bowl, making sure the starch stays at the bottom. Add the shredded potatoes back into the bowl, tossing them so the starch gets added back in.

2. Add onion, flour, eggs, salt, and pepper to the potatoes.

3. In a deep frying pan, heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil. Next, form the mixture into a pancake about 3-4 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. Each pancake will be about 1/2 cup of the mixture. The mixture does not stay together easily, so form the pancake several times to get it to stay as best as you can.

4. Now for the frying. Carefully add the pancakes into the hot oil, and cook for about 5-6 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Only put about 3 pancakes in the oil at a time, because you don't want to overcrowd the pan when frying. Remove the pancake from the oil, and place it on a paper-towel covered cooking sheet.

Here are some of the frying process pictures:

The bottom picture is what they will look like when done. I served them with sour cream (Martha suggests serving them with caviar as well, no thanks), but we also ended up eating them with ketchup.

I was extremely proud of how these pancakes turns out. My brother went to preschool at the Jewish Community Center, so instead of the Christmas pageants like we had at my Catholic school, they had Hanukkah celebrations where they would serve potato pancakes (aka latkes). Although they looked different, these tasted exactly like them! And although it was difficult dish, it's something I will definitely make again. Here is Martha's recipe:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Night 11 2/22/10 Cornbread Casserole

I want to start this post by declaring my love for Paula Deen and her amazing cornbread casserole recipe. As my roommate Lindsey said today, "Thank you Paula for making it okay to add a stick of butter to everything." I have had a couple boxes of Jiffy cornbread mix on hand for a while, so today I googled cornbread recipes and found this one. It is an original Paula Deen recipe, and believe me when I say it is incredible! I followed the recipe almost exactly. Here is the link to the original recipe:

Here is my slightly adjusted recipe:

2 boxes of Jiffy corn bread mix
1 stick of melted butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup of sour cream
1 can of whole kernel corn
1 can of creamed corn
1/2 cup shredded cheese.

Note, the only thing I changed was adding a second box of cornbread mix.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl mix together, corn bread mix, 2 cans of corn, sour cream, and melted butter. Spread the mixture is a 13x9 greased baking dish.

2. Bake for 45 minutes. Add the shredded cheese on top, then bake for an additional 10 minutes.

1. I served the casserole with a can of beef stew I had on hand. I bet it would be really good with some homemade soup or chili.

2. To serve it, I put the casserole in the bottom of a bowl, then poured the soup on top. It was amazing. Hands down one of my favorite recipes so far.

Thanks for reading and catching up on our recipes! More to come very soon!

Night 10 2/18/10 Tortellini Pasta Salad

So about a week ago my mother sent me a care package from back home in Ohio. She knows about this little cooking experiment, so she themed her care package in accordance with the HCSC! She sent me a little recipe box, which some of her signature recipes included, and then the canned or bottled ingredients necessary to make them. Thanks again Mom! This recipe was one of the ones she included. It's super easy and really delicious!

I should also note that I am way-behind in my blogging, and this dish was made about 5 days ago, so I dont remember the accurate sizes of the ingredients I am mentioning. But hopefully, you'll understand what I mean.

Here we go:

1 bag of uncooked cheese tortellini
1/2 bottle of italian dressing
1 can of sliced black olives
1 bag of romaine lettuce
1 container of feta cheese
1/2 bottle of ceasar dressing

1. Prepare the tortellini in advance the night before. Cook the tortellini as specified on bag (just like any pasta, cook in boiling water.) Toss the tortellini in the italian dressing, and let marinate overnight.

2. The next day, simply add the olives, feta, and romaine, and toss with the ceasar dressing. And ta-da, it's ready to eat!

This takes just minutes to assemble when you are ready to eat it, so consider this meal when you need a quick dinner. We had a busy day in studio and came home and had dinner ready in minutes!

A big thanks to my mom! Keep sending the yummy recipes!