Tomatoes! I miss tomatoes. It’s been too long. Sometimes I wonder if they miss me, too. Maybe they check my Facebook and accidentally like an old status, then frantically unlike it before I find out.
I’ll just have to wait patiently for summer, for crates upon crates of ripe, juicy, flavorful tomatoes. We will be reunited, and it will be glorious.
In the meantime, say we’re craving the classic combination of tomatoes+basil+mozzarella. Say it’s spring, and we’re eager to start grilling again. Say we’re really excited about gorgeous strawberries this time of year. Say we’re open to making substitutions for tomatoes. Lo and behold… Look.
It’s red, and green, and white. It’s slightly sweet, fresh, with a slight balsamic touch. It’s not really a caprese salad, but it’s inspired by one, and it wants to be your dinner! Right now. Seriously.
Posted in Healthy (?), Main courses, Meat, Spring, strawberry, Summer
Tagged balsamic, basil, caprese, mozzarella, strawberry, turkey burgers
So, as it turns out, I’m pretty good at being totally behind and somehow also ahead at the same time?
I don’t have an Easter recipe for you, although I think that pork chops with rhubarb sauce are perfect casual Easter dinner material, that this orzo salad would make a great side, that you should take cheese puffs everywhere, and that Easter is the perfect time to kick off ice cream season. I also–and this is what I mean by being kind of ahead of things–have an idea for your leftovers. Ham, specifically… Alongside lots of fresh, crunchy vegetables.
With all due respect to bagged greens, there is so much more fun to be had with salad. I’m pretty sure almost any vegetable can be turned into a base for salad, whether raw, roasted, steamed, shredded, sliced, shaved… The possibilities are, well, not endless (endful?), but close. So let’s play with vegetables. (And PORK.)
Posted in Healthy (?), Main courses, Meat, Salad, Sides, Spring
Tagged asparagus, dijon, dill, ham, herbs, main course salad, pork, salad, shallot, shaved vegetables, vinaigrette
As I’m writing this, I’m also watching football. On my own volition. This hasn’t happened since … Ever.
Why this year? KAEPERNICK.
He went to (and played at, obviously) my alma mater, and man oh man, is Nevada proud. I mean, seriously. We are fond of this person.
(Photo from the City of Reno)
And what am I eating? Leftover chicken. It’s a chill Sunday around here, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I might add that it’s really, really good chicken. It’s braised with soft, sweet onion, a touch of warm turmeric, some briny green olives, and the salty, citrusy heaven that is preserved lemons. Let’s make those first.
Posted in Healthy (?), Main courses, Meat
Tagged braising, chicken, cilantro, green olives, meyer lemons, moroccan, north african, olives, onion, preserved lemons, turmeric
I wonder how many times I can call something My Favorite Thing Ever before you guys (rightly) become suspicious and start ignoring me. Like the boy who cried wolf. Except I’m the spastic girl who cried pastrami and cookies and salads and cocktails and… Etc.
But let me tell you–smoking turkey breast at home is definitely my favorite thing ever. I am a sandwich lover first and a human second (it says so on my birth certificate). Piles of quality deli meats and cheeses on crusty, hearty bread, a healthy smear of good, spicy mustard, crunchy cool lettuce, tangy pickles and pepperoncinis? Get. Out. I think my heart skipped a beat just typing that.
Needless to say, I’ve done a lot of deli turkey shopping. It’s a frustrating exercise in #firstworldproblems. If it’s delicious, it’s not hormone-free. If it’s hormone-free, it has shady preservatives. If it’s nitrate/nitrite free, it’s not all that delicious. If it’s all those things, it costs an arm and a leg.
But this? This is the turkey that is anything you want it to be. Thick, smoky slices of lean turkey breast, covered in a generous, luxurious coat of sharp, fragrant black pepper. Or anything you’d like. It’s the turkey of your dreams, girl (or boy).
Posted in Healthy (?), Main courses, Meat, Smoking
Tagged black pepper, cameron's stovetop smoker, deli meat, hickory, pepper, peppercorns, sandwich meat, smoking, stovetop smoker, turkey, turkey breast
So, every year, I throw a Festivus party. (Here is a quick primer if you’re not a Seinfeld fan and I’m sounding mega loco.)
I always do it in January! I know–it’s a holiday that was meant to replace Christmas, etc. etc. But the thing is, December can get overwhelming and frankly, January is practically begging to be cheered up. If I can make my friends’ post-holiday malaise just a tiny bit easier with a ton of great food and a silly made-up holiday, sign me up. Sign me up now.
Airing of the grievances is necessary.
Feats of strength? Festivus isn’t over until the head of household is pinned, after all. Rules are rules. And black belts are black belts. And my friend definitely has one. And now I know that it’s well-deserved.
Most years, the food is a haphazard mix of whatever we feel like eating. This year, I actually put some thought into this and attempted a Seinfeld/deli theme. Hello, pastrami bar! You’re going to require some planning.
Homemade pastrami is a capital-p Project. I’ve been dying to tell you about it for weeks! There’s curing, rinsing, rubbing, smoking, steaming. But the end result is a beauty–tender, flavorful deli meat, free of shady preservatives and coated in a generous mix of spices.
Posted in Entertaining, Holidays, Main courses, Meat, Smoking, Winter
Tagged beef, brine, brisket, cameron's stovetop smoker, curing, deli meat, pastrami, pastrami rub, smoking, spice rub, stovetop smoker