Chicken Chorizo Frittata

Let’s talk breakfast. I definitely don’t make it that much. Well, on the weekends. I eat it every day of the work week, but it’s nothing usually blog-worthy these days. I’ve been slathering this new [to mepumpkin seed butter on toast with hemp hearts and sliced banana sprinkled with cinnamon. I had no idea this nut butter existed. It’s made locally, just north of here, but it hides in the refrigerated section of the store near the cookie dough. I don’t even know how I found it, but I’m glad I did.

Weekends are usually a time for breakfast burritos or bagels at Grindhouse down the street. I don’t even think about making anything. Half of the time I don’t have anything in the house to make. I’ve already had the same thing for the last five mornings, I really don’t need it for another day or two. The other half of the time I’m already hungry and don’t want to go to the store like that. It’s dangerous!

I did have some foresight one evening when I was shopping for dinner ingredients on a Thursday or Friday night to pick up what I needed for a frittata. I rekindled my love for them while in Spain. Between frittatas and tortilla española, my egg consumption increased 10x in that three week period. Totally okay with that. Since I never seem to make it to the farmers market [or if I do on Wednesdays during work, it's to eat a salad or a wood fired slice of pizza from Tastebud], I’m thankful New Seasons stocks some Portland eggs. They just taste better. I tried to deny it for a long time, but seriously, worth the extra couple of dollars.

Frittatas are almost too easy. I’m always scared I’m going to burn it or overcook it, but I don’t. Either I’m awesome, or it’s just fool-proof. Probably both. They’re forgiving. They accept just about anything into their eggy interiors. The combinations are virtually endless. I’ve been on a chorizo kick lately [again, thanks Spain] so that’s what I gravitated towards — a subtly spicy chorizo that’s more flavor than heat, a whole sautéed onion, and wilted spinach for color. Green onions were tossed on last minute and there may have been some parmesan grated over the top. It was really delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb chicken chorizo
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • Green onions, optional
  • Shredded cheese and/or hot sauce for serving

Preparation

Heat an oven proof skillet on medium heat. Brown the chicken chorizo, breaking it up into little pieces. While it cooks, whisk together the eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.  When the chorizo finishes cooking, remove from the pan and set aside. Leave the grease in the pan and add the onion and garlic. Stir often so the garlic doesn’t burn. After the onion softens, it’ll be about five minutes or so, add the spinach and chorizo to the pan. Stir to incorporate everything before pouring the egg mixture. Tip and tilt the pan as necessary to get egg to cover the whole pan. Don’t touch anything and let the bottom cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the broiler on. Place the whole pan into the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes. The top should be completely set and starting to brown a bit. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before slicing. Sprinkle with green onions and cheese before serving.

Garlic Shrimp and White Beans

Welcome to the second installment of “That time I bought two pounds of frozen shrimp to only use eight of them with those chorizo burgers.”

Apparently I only like to eat shrimp with garlic since that seems to be the recurring theme. I found this recipe in the Bon Appétit [surprise, surprise] and knew it would be the perfect excuse to use some more of those shrimp. Right after I made them, I found this recipe of shrimp and grits and I wish I’d made it instead. I mean, c’mon, it has an egg! That would have been heavenly oozing all over those grits. Next time.

The beans were really good. Pretty sure they’re way healthier than a bunch of cream and corn anyway, so there’s that. I wanted the beans to be spicier, and I couldn’t find chiles de arbol to save my life. I went with something else entirely which escapes me at the moment. The smoked paprika really brings everything together into something that doesn’t taste inherently Italian, which tends to happen to me when I’m playing with a tomato based sauce like this. You can get a can of diced tomatoes to save yourself some time, but since it is tomato season after all, I went with some fresh ones. Slow cooking them until they breakdown is so, so heavenly.

Broiling does wonders at cooking the shrimp in a way that doesn’t turn them into rubber. That’s my absolute fear when cooking shrimp, so don’t get distracted. It only takes about 3-4 minutes to get them done. Grill some bread when you’re done since you already have the broiler on.

Inspiration: Bon Appétit

Ingredients

  • 1lb shrimp, peeled and deveined [let them thaw if you use frozen]
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 chiles de arbol
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt, pepper
  • grilled bread for serving

Preparation

In a small bowl, add the shrimp, two tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves worth of minced garlic, and the paprika. Use your hands [or a spoon] to mix together, coating all of the shrimp. Let sit while you prepare the bean mixture.

Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil on medium heat in a skillet that’s safe to throw into the oven. Add the remaining garlic, chiles, and bay leaf. Stir often for about two minutes so the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the chopped tomatoes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally, smashing the tomatoes with the back of your spoon as they cook. Keep cooking until they breakdown. It should take about five minutes.

Add the tomato paste. Stir until incorporated. Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes so it can darken in color. Add the beans and simmer until the mixture thickens. Turn the broiler on high. Spread the shrimp mixture on top of the beans in an even layer. Place in the oven for about three minutes until the shrimp are cooked through. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

 

Salmon Snap Pea Risotto

Burger Week is going strong. I haven’t binged been as dedicated as some. One burger a day is enough for me. There’s only been the one photo because it’s usually too dark. So far I’ve been to North Light, Double Barrel, Club 21, and Tilt. Tilt ran out of the $5 burger before we got there, and I didn’t want to hold out on my hunger any longer, so we ate there. Even though it wasn’t one of the burgers it’s still a burger. North Light’s burger stuffed with cheese curds and Double Barrel’s pimento cheese and fresh jalapeños were so, so good. Club 21 had a solid, traditional burger [gouda and onion ring!] and their grill master had medium rare on lock. Tilt was awesome as usual. So many burgers left and so little time!

This risotto was something I drummed up while on a salmon kick. I really really really really want to love salmon in a can, but I really have to dress it up to make it not taste like canned salmon. It just isn’t the same as the fresh stuff. I don’t know if that’s because I grew up on the fresh stuff or what, but I love canned tuna and fresh tuna equally. They’re different, but I like them. Canned salmon is just okay for me. I think part of it is always having to pick out the bones. It drives me crazy and makes me paranoid. I know they’re cooked down and you can eat them, but I freak out a little bit if I get an unexpected little crunch while eating.

I dumped the cans of salmon into a bowl and went fishing for bones for a few minutes before going any further. It helped. A lot. The bright, crisp snap peas also helped give the dish a crunch so in the event I might have missed one, it would blend right in. Baking it is the lazy man’s risotto, and I’m all about it [never mind it's been nearly three years since I've last made some]. You can add just about whatever you want into it. If you want to use some other meat, I’d probably cook it first. Top it all off with parsley and a bunch of shredded cheese, and it’s dinner without a whole lot of work.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1lb snap peas, ends trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cans of salmon
  • parsley, chopped
  • parmesan cheese, shredded

 Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°.  If you have a large oven proof pan with high walls that you can sauté in, use that. Otherwise start with a skillet of some kind, and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add onion and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the onion is translucent. Stir often to keep the garlic from burning. Add the Arborio rice, salmon, and snap peas and sauté until the grains appeared to be slightly translucent.

Transfer the rice mixture to an oven proof dish if it isn’t already in one. Stir in stock. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the rice is tender, and the stock is evaporated. Set aside, covered, for five minutes. To serve, top with parmesan, chopped parsley. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Philly Cheesesteak Stromboli

Apparently when I decide I want to make pizza, everyone else decides they want to make pizza. While I can definitely make my own, it’s just easier to go across the street. I’ve come to the realization that I have to go check the pizza dough stock first before I start grabbing all of the toppings. I’d say 50% of the time they’re out, and I have to either resort to ordering a pizza or switching gears entirely to pasta or something since it’s the easiest way to utilize the same pizza toppings. Realistically I could start the dough before I even go to the store, and it would be ready by the time I got back, but that never seems to cross my mind until I’m back [or sitting here writing a blog post]. Funny.

I’m all for a little food sacrilege sometimes. I’m sure the pho-rench dip [a french dip served vietnamese style with pho broth for dipping] I ate at Lardo the other night counts. I’m sure eating half of my burrito before using the rest of the tortilla as a bowl and forking out the contents counts, too. I really don’t care so long as it tastes good. It keeps things interesting.

Case in point — this stromboli. Bring on the Philly cheesesteak contents. It’s beefy. It’s cheesy. It has all you could love about a cheesesteak with marginally less bread than you’d get from a sandwich. It’s less messy, too. It’s practically a fool-proof process [especially after last time's meltdown]. I made sure to roll it out a little thicker, and do it on the Silpat/pan so I didn’t have to worry about trying to move it too far. It’s still not pretty, but it does taste good.

Inspiration: Taste of Home

Ingredients

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • 1/2 pound of deli sliced roast beef, cut into bite sized pieces.
  • 1/4 pound provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 pound American cheese, shredded
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 8oz sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

Preparation

If your dough has been refrigerated, bring it out to rest while you cook up the vegetables.

In a large skillet, heat the butter on medium heat. Add the onions and mushrooms. Add a healthy pinch of salt and stir to combine. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms darken and start to release their moisture. Add the bell pepper. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the pizza dough into a large rectangle on top of a Silpat or a piece of parchment. Spread the cheese evenly over the dough. Top with the roast beef. Add the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Taking the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up like a cinnamon roll. Pinch the seam to gather and close the ends. Slice the top with a knife so steam can escape.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush on top of the stromboli. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let it set for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Pesto Chicken and Grape Tomato Skewers

I have to say I’ve never made pesto. I’ve always wanted to. I bookmark recipes for it all the time, especially when they’re non-traditional with things like arugula and pistachios. Yet, I never make it. They sit on the list, then I eventually delete them because I know deep down that I’m probably not going to make it. The fridge New Seasons makes fresh stuff for me, so why would I bother?

It’s almost just as surprising that I made my own skewers when New Seasons has those, too. I buy them more often than not when we’re on a “grill something served with salad” dinner spree. I make skewers so often that I forgot I already bought a package of bamboo skewers. They were buried in the back of the pantry. I guess one can never have too many skewers.

Have you ever had a grilled tomato? Specifically a grilled grape tomato. They get soft and sweet and are ready to burst [assuming they didn't already] on the grill. Then, when sandwiched between chunks of juicy chicken covered in pesto, they are elevated to some god-like level. It’s unexplainable, so don’t try. Just eat.

For the side, I sautéed some zucchini ribbons in a little olive oil and salt and pepper. Finished it with drizzle of truffle oil. YUM. 

PS – I soak my bamboo skewers while I’m making up the other ingredients. Supposedly this helps them from catching on fire. I thought about buying metal ones, but that seems like a recipe for me burning the hell out of myself.

Ingredients

  • 1lb chicken breasts
  • 1 jar of pesto
  • 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes
  • 8-10 bamboo skewers

Preparation

Soak your bamboo skewers in water. Cut up your chicken breasts into uniform, bite-sized pieces. This will help them cook better. Place the cut pieces into a bowl and pour the pesto all over them. Use your hands to make sure every piece is coated. Let them sit for approx. 10-15 minutes [or more if you have the time]. I sliced my zucchini ribbons in the meantime.

Set up a station that to put all of this together. Thread a piece of chicken onto the skewer followed by a grape tomato. Repeat until the skewer is full. I was getting four pieces of chicken and three tomatoes. Highly dependent on the size of your chicken pieces. Repeat until you use up everything. Try not to lick your fingers. Y’know, raw chicken.

Preheat your grill to a medium high heat. Lay them on. Don’t touch for about four minutes before rotating. Cook for an additional four minutes. Remove from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes. Serve.

Lentil Salad with Arugula and Currants

If last year was the summer of burgers [or pizza, let's be honest], this seems to be the summer of salads with homemade dressings. I’m up to five or six so far this year. I’m sure it’s not over yet. I think it has to do with how hot it’s been lately. Hot meals pale in comparison to a fresh, bright salad and some grilled meats.

This was originally marketed as The Best Lentil Salad, Ever by Sarah at My New Roots. She’s probably not wrong. Lentils are pretty much awesome — super filling and taste like whatever you want them to be. The dressing is spicy, tangy, and sweet all in one. I’m usually sold whenever dijon mustard is involved. It’s my favorite condiment. I was seen squeezing an upright bottle of yellow mustard at Killer Burger a few weeks ago just so I could smell the mustardy air as it came out. It’s like that.

It’s really one of those flexible salads that you can swap out just about anything. I’d like nuts and a little goat cheese next time, just for something different. It would completely change the flavor, but still be equally awesome.

Inspiration: My New Roots

Ingredients

  • 1lb of lentils [brown, green, or Du Puy]
  • 1 medium red onion, small dice
  • 1 cup currants
  • 1/3 cup capers, rinsed
  • 5-6 cups arugula
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon

Preparation

Rinse the lentils before bringing them to a boil in a pot of water, covering them by 3-4 inches. Reduce the water to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes until they’re tender but hold their shape well. Rinse them under cold water when they’re done.

In a jar, mix together the olive oil through the nutmeg. Top with a lid and shake well. You can whisk it in a bowl instead of you don’t have a jar with a lid.

Put the lentils in a large bowl when they’re done. Pour in the dressing and mix well. Add the onion, currants, caper, and arugula. Toss to combine until everything is evenly distributed.

Chorizo and Garlic Shrimp Burgers

We spent the weekend in San Francisco — partly for Andrew’s birthday and partly because Inter Milan was playing Real Madrid in Berkley. It was perfect timing really. I hadn’t been to SF in at least four years, I’m guessing. It’s been a long time. We rented a sweet little apartment in The Mission near where our friends live. It was close to BART and a million things to eat, and it had a great view of the city from the rooftop deck.

The weather was practically perfect, if not a little hot. After spending nearly all of Saturday outside, I was sporting a lovely sunburn on my forehead and my nose. It’s already peeling, so yay. It was a super short trip thanks to a cancelled flight on Friday. We arrived at nearly 11pm on Friday and were flying out 7pm on Sunday. Short. Friday night we had super quesadilla suizas from El Farolito Taqueria. On Saturday I had the Franciscan scramble at Kitchen Story,  a pastrami sandwich and the best pickleback of all time from Giordano Bros., and the most thoughtful Campari and soda at Double Dutch. The bartender took the time to rub the lemon peel over the rim of the glass. It makes such a difference! The original plan was to have dinner at Beretta, but a two hour wait was not something anyone wanted to deal with. Inter Milan won by the way for anyone who is interested. It made the day that much sweeter. Sunday was spent getting an Americano and ginger scone from Ritual Coffee , a watermelon salad with rocolla, white balsamic vinaigrette, pumpkin seeds & ricotta salata cheese and a homemade biscuit from The Vestry, and brown sugar and fennel ice cream from Humphrey Slocombe. It was like Salt and Straw without the wait. I had forgotten what that was like. We finished up the trip with a sandwich to go from Ike’s Place eaten on the roof deck. I love that city. Next time needs to be at least another night. There is so much to see, do, and eat in that city.

Remember how last year seemed to be the summer of burgers? It also seemed to coincide with Portland’s inaugural Burger Week, which starts soon by the way. SO EXCITED.  Anyway, I made this burger recently, and it was the first burger of the summer. It’s surprising it took this long, but when the mood strikes, you can’t ignore it. I can’t even remember the last time I bought shrimp. Buying a two-pound bag for eight shrimp makes sense, right? You’re going to see a little bit more shrimp around here. Anyway, these burgers? AWESOME. Mexican chorizo is so good. The recipe gave you instructions to make your own, but we have a little market by the house that sells it by the pound size link. It’s hard to say no to that. If you actually make the real deal, let me know! I’d love to hear about how it tastes.

Paprika mayo and manchego cheese make this whole thing. I’ve been on a manchego  kick since we got back from Spain. It’s such a versatile and creamy cheese. Have you had Sir Kensington’s Mayo? It’s my latest find at New Seasons. I don’t eat enough mayo to justify buying a huge jar, so this little jar is perfect. Make the burgers if you have even the slightest bit of love of chorizo. You don’t even have to make the shrimp if you don’t want to, but it makes them that much better. I promise.

Inspiration: Lady and Pups

Ingredients

  • 1lb of chorizo, remove from casings so you can make patties
  • 8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • juice of one lime
  • 4 buns
  • 1/2 cup of shredded manchego
  • 1-2 thin slices of tomato per burger
  • flour for dusting the burgers
  • olive oil and butter for the pan

Preparation

Divide the chorizo into four equal portions to make patties. I brought out my trusty scale to make sure they were approximately the same size. I can’t eyeball things that good. Place them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

In a small bowl, mix the shrimp with the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper. Place in the fridge until ready to use as well.

Whisk together the mayo, tomato paste, paprika, mustard, and lime. Set aside. Try not to eat it by the spoonful.

Preheat a skillet on medium high heat. Dust the patties with a bit of flour so they can get a nice crust. Add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once it’s shimmering, it’s hot enough. Add a little bit of butter before placing the burger in the pan. If yours is large enough, you could do two at the time, but I didn’t want to risk it. One at a time for me. Don’t touch them for a good 3-5 minutes until you notice a crust forming on the bottom of the patty. Flip and add 1/4th of the shredded cheese to the top before covering for a minute or two. Once the cheese melts, remove the patty from the pan and set aside. Continue this with the rest of the patties.

In the pan with all the drippings, add the shrimp for about 1 minute on each side until they’re cooked through. Remove and slice in half when they’re cool enough to touch.

Toast the buns if you’re into that sort of thing. Add some mayo to the bun, top with a burger, four slices of shrimp, and a slice or two of tomato. Enjoy.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Green Smoothie

My friends at NuNaturals have been hard at work making even more sweetening options for your sugar-free arsenal. They were more than generous to send up some new goodies for me to try out. I am particularly in love with the NuStevia Cocoa Syrup. The go-to is always going to be smoothies with their stuff. I just don’t eat too many things that require sugar or a substitute of some kind. There is a new baking blend that you’ll see at some point. I’m just debating what needs baking.

The chocolate syrup is just that — chocolatey and sweet. Perfect for drizzling on ice cream, in small doses because it does have that powerful stevia sweet, or making a mug of hot chocolate [in summer...that's normal right?]. The texture is silky, the cocoa very even handed, and it blends really well. The bottle it comes in makes for easy use too. I have yet to see it start to get clogged, which is more than I can say for a bottle of Hershey’s.

This smoothie not only utilizes the new chocolate syrup [so good!], but hemp hearts. I thought I’d try something new in my quest for added protein and omega 3’s. They smell earthy right out of the bag, but blend right into the green smoothie. I haven’t been able to get many ripe bananas, and I’m impatient, so I switched to sweet potato to give the smoothie some heft and some sweetness. The frozen little cubes in the freezer section are easily blended in the Vitamix. You could steam up some fresh ones too if you’re so inclined.

This is chocolatey and only a little sweet. The oats and vegetables bring down the sweetness, which is just fine with me. I’ve been downing one of these every morning for a few weeks now. It’s just that easy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 heaping tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon NuStevia Cocoa Syrup or more if you want it sweeter
  • 1/3 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/4 cup frozen sweet potato cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Water, as needed for consistency

Preparation

Layer in the smoothie ingredients in the order above before blending until smooth.

Coconut Milk Rice Pudding with Mango Puree

I’ve been enjoying an abundance of fruit and vegetable. I wander over to New Seasons and see what’s new. A beautiful new batch of honeydew melon from Hermiston, Oregon. It was a bigger, more oval shape. Intrigued was an understatement. I don’t think I’d ever had one before, only watermelon. It was extra juicy, a more vivid orange, and just as deliciously sweet as you’d expect from a melon. The radishes are extra spicy and nearly the size of golf balls right now. I don’t think I’ve had one that spicy before. I’ve been eating them like apples, so I don’t see them ending up in any salad or side dish anytime soon. The radish greens are cleaned and waiting to hopefully get used up here soon. I was tempted to blend them into my morning smoothie, but that just seems…unappetizing. My last experience with them was bitter and spicy, so I don’t know how well that will go with the latest concoction I’ve been blending up.

It all started with craving a mango. I don’t eat that many mangos after a really random and unfortunate reaction to a mango that left me with obscenely dry lips and eyelids. It’s related to poison ivy, I guess. I still gave into the craving and picked up some pre-made puree in hopes of alleviating another reaction. I did pick up a couple champagne mangos a few weeks later and survived. Maybe it was just freak thing. Either way I’m still cautious.

Rice pudding is like the risotto of the breakfast dessert world. It’s such a comforting bowl of awesome. I love it best the first day and less so each following day. Don’t think it stops me from eating it cold for breakfast. There are no rules. It’s really easy to make. The hardest part is remembering to stir it often enough so it doesn’t stick and burn to the bottom of the pan. No one likes crunchy burnt bits, do they? Maybe for color.

Each bite of the pudding was every bit of wonderful. Stirring in the puree was nice, but I really think I’d want cubed mangos next time. It would be a nice texture change and you’d get a bigger contrast between spicy coconut and the sweet mango.

Inspiration: A Thought for Food

Ingredients

  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1.25 cups of water
  • 2/3 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoons grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup mango puree [the original recipe has a details on how to make your own] or cubed mango

Instructions

In a large saucepan that will hold all of your liquid and rice, add the rice, coconut milk, water, orange juice, salt, and vanilla extract. Bring it to a boil and reduce it to a simmer and partially cover the pot with a lid. Stir the mixture occasionally over the next 20-30 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed by the rice. Stir in the brown sugar, maple syrup, and your spices. Remove from heat. Spoon into serving dishes and top with mango.

Mushroom and Ground Pork Ragout

I don’t know what it is about eating things on toasted bread, or crostini if you will [and I will], but it just feels fancy.

I’m not talking that breakfast-esque affair, but little pieces of grilled bread.

We’ll just ignore the fact that crostini, like bruschetta, was Italian peasant food. Those Italians always had style.

Anyway, this dish belongs on toasted pieces of bread, big or small. I won’t judge if you need some pasta with it because that would be really good too, but toasted bread is meant for the splashes of broth. Just don’t let it make your toast soggy. Ugh. My worst nightmare.

My only regret to this really deliciously filling pile of mushrooms and pork was not having fresh herbs. Dried work. They do. It’s just not the same.

If you’re really not feeling porky, just add in more mushrooms. The original recipe had all mushrooms, but I just wasn’t feeling it for some reason.

Inspiration: Eat Good 4 Life

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground pork
  • 1lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • Parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crusty bread for serving

Preparation

Preheat a large skillet on medium high heat and cook the pork until mostly done. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Keeping the skillet on the heat, and only draining the fat if you’re not into all of that flavor, add the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and dried thyme and stir to coat in the olive oil. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms are dark and juicy. Add the pork, shallots, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes so the shallot cooks through.

Pour in the wine and stock. Let it simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Turn off the heat and add the butter. Stir until it melts. Taste the broth for salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.