Beans and Greens with Sardines

It’s really hard to get a decent photo of an egg salad sandwich, so there isn’t one for you. If you have any interest in the salad of eggs like I am, you should make this one. It was so good. I promise you can’t really taste the anchovies other than a hint of saltiness. I toasted sourdough and topped it with some mixed greens.

The thought of sardines may make some your nose crinkle, too. In that case, you have my blessing to add whatever else sounds good here. Anything would be good here. Nothing would be good here. I’d gladly eat collards and white beans most days [which is pretty much all I bought at the store tonight]. It’s a comforting kind of wonderful. Sardines added a nice little saltiness and protein that you wouldn’t have otherwise. You probably see all of those red flecks of crushed red pepper. You’re not surprised anymore, are you? Add more or less. I added even more after I took the photo.

I’ve been toying with making beans from scratch, but I’m afraid. Afraid I’ll never want to eat them out of the can anymore, and I never plan ahead to soak beans overnight.

beans-greens-sardines

Inspiration: Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 large bunch of collard greens, thick stems removed, and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 4.2oz tin of sardines in olive oil [I used Matiz Gallego]

Preparation

Heat four tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and crushed pepper. Stir often until the garlic starts to turn colors. Add greens by the handful so it’ll all fit into the pan. Toss to cover in the oil. Add the broth, cover, and simmer until the greens are tender. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Add the beans and simmer uncovered until the beans are warmed and the liquid is mostly gone. Stir in the vinegar. Add salt and pepper.

Chop the sardines into small pieces and sprinkle over the top of the greens.

Weekly Reads 09

I love this time of year because of all of the events–New Deal Distillery tastings, PDX Urban Wineries Winter Wine Soiree, Give Good Gift pop-up shops–among other things. I’m trying to savor every last little bit of 2016 since January will be here so fast [cue: where-did-time-go-feelings].

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Tracy’s lists always inspire my lists. She’s always finding good stuff.

Another seasonal cheese board. Swoon.

German cities are solving the public toilet problem. What an idea.

Women and their lack of confidence. I can relate 100%. Self sabotage is running rampant.

Behind the scenes of Oaxacan cuisine. The cart in our neighborhood, Tehuana Oaxacan Cuisine, is proof positive of this unbelievably delicious cuisine.

I’ve been eating all the chickpeas lately. I’d like to add these curried chickpeas to the list.

Gingerbread. Walnut. Butter. Want.

Thailand with a 1.5-year-old. Inspiring. What a lucky kid.

Also: Thailand in mourning. Can you tell I’m missing Thailand yet?

I’m pretty sure the amount of time I’ve read productivity tips, I could just BE more productive.

Savory french toast is a weakness. Hello, cornbread.

Bloody mary popcorn sounds like my kind of flavor combo.

Not that I’m going to Australia anytime soon, but this hotel is awesome.

You had me at espresso cream custard. I want nothing more.

Thai Sausage with Bok Choy

I’ve toyed with the idea of getting a steamer basket, but it’s just one more thing to add to the already cramped kitchen cabinets. I have been known to cheat the system and use the microwave, a bowl, a little bit of water, and a plate over the top. That seems to work ok. This time, I used a metal strainer in the pot of water. It meant the lid couldn’t be on that great, but it seemed to work. It definitely requires batches because the strainer isn’t that big, but it worked. It was far superior to the microwave. I’ve used it a couple of times now. I’m still toying with a steamer basket just so I can do more in one batch.

This whole thing was a vehicle to try the new Thai sausage, Sai Ua, from Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker and Olympia Provisions. It was just as good as I imagined it would be. Ricker doesn’t half-ass anything, and there hasn’t been an Olympia Provisions meat that I didn’t like. I sliced it into coins and sauteed it in a wok. The fragrance alone is enough to transport you back to Thailand.

[An Asian food aside: I just finished up Rice, Noodle Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan’s Food Culture. Officially craving Japanese food full force.]

This NY Times recipe was the base for these greens. I’ve used it a couple of times now. The first time in the wok and the second time in a large saute pan. The wok was superior, but it can be done either way. I don’t seem to have rice wine, only vinegar, so I went the dry sherry route instead. Take the time to get some broth together instead of water. I tried the water method the second time, but realized it lacks so much more flavor that way.

thai-sausage-and-bok-choy

Inspriation: NY Times

Ingredients

  • Two sausage, any variety will do, sliced into coins
  • 1lb of sturdy greens, any variety [bok choy for me]
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minuced ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • salt to taste
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Preparation

Trim the bottoms off the bok choy. Cut the stalks in half, if they’re large, and cut into 2″ pieces. Bring an inch of water to boil in the bottom of a pot, place a large strainer inside just above the water, add the greens and cover with a ltd. Steam for a minute before removing and squeezing out the excess water. Feel free to use any steaming method of choice if you have one you’re more comfortable with.

In a small bowl, mix together the broth, sherry, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Keep it it near the wok, or large saute pan, along with the rest of the ingredients.

Heat the wok on high heat. Add the oil. Add the sausage and sear on all sides. It’ll release a bit of oil to the existing oil. When they’re browned, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Add the garlic and ginger. Stir for about 10-15 seconds. Add the bok choy. Sprinkle iwth salt and sugar. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir for another minute. Fold the sausage into the greens. Remove from heat and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bourbon and Rye Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baking is still not my forte. It drives me crazy. Every time I break out the mixer and grab a cookie sheet, I think “this is the time.” But it isn’t. There is such an exact science to this whole baking thing that I miss. I think I enjoy the process a whole lot more than the final product. I’m a lover of dough, of batter. The final product? I could take it or leave it. Look at this picture compared to the one at Bon Appétit and you’ll get what I’m talking about. They still tasted great, but aesthetics be damned. Style points matter when it comes to baked goods.

The combination of flavors here is pretty incredible. The second you start throwing rye into something, I’m intrigued. Bourbon is also my drink of choice. Mix them together with some dark chocolate? I’m ok with that kind of dessert. The key here, among other things, is do. not. over. bake. I cannot stress this enough. Even if they aren’t quite brown on the edges, I wouldn’t go much longer than 15 minutes if I like a soft chewy cookie, and I do. They are still delicious. I am such a self-sabotager, though. I follow the rules. The rules said you’ll start seeing browned edges, and I didn’t. So I kept going, and I never ended up with browned edges. I did, however, end up with some dry parts of the cookie. Devastating. Not so much for Andrew if you’re a dipper of cookies in milk. I’m not so much.

whiskey-rye-chocolate-chip-cookies

Inspiration: Bon Appétit

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rye flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks + 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon
  • Sea salt flakes

Preparation

Whisk both flours, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy. This takes a good 3-4 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and bourbon. Beat until incorporated. With the mixer speed on low, slowly add the dry ingredients. Once incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips.

Roll the dough into 16 evenly sized balls. Transfer them to a rimmed cookie sheet. Wrap them in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least three hours.

Prior to baking, preheat the oven to 350°. Divide the dough balls on two parchment lined sheets about 3″ apart. Flatten each ball to about 3/4″ thickness and sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Bake the cookies until golden brown around the edges. This should take 14-18 minutes, but I still didn’t have it at 18. Let them cool before moving them to a wire rack.

Weekly Reads 08

When you have a bunch of leftover arugula, fry some potatoes, toss everything in olive oil and parmesan cheese and top it with a couple fried eggs. Hello, breakfast.

fried-potato-arugula-salad

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

I’ve started following a few of these Food52 Spotify Thanksgiving playlists. The Thanksgiving Meal playlist is my current fav.

It has felt like November for reals lately. Give me a big bowl of this chickpea curry.

Salvador Dali had a cookbook. I’d totally frame a few of these.

There is a new bagel shop in town. Pretzel-style bagels? Yes, please.

I want so many things in this bedroom.

A really, really long but fascinating read about how your brain decides without you. 

Apparently, women are asking for raises, they just aren’t getting them. Fascinating? Depressing? Both?

More proof that I want white (or white-ish) counter tops.

More coziness—hot blender chocolate.

Baller enamel magnet? Yes please.

I can take or leave chocolate cake most of the time, but if it has cranberry buttercream in it? I’m in.

My new desktop background.

If you’re in Portland, holiday shopping starts with Little Boxes.

I’m fortunate enough to have a standing desk these days, but these stretches for desk dwellers are always good to have in the arsenal.

A book of photos on rescued pets! Cue the feels and/or tears.

A phone call with a health insurance broker was super depressing this week. This story speaks one of the big problems.