One of my favorite restaurants in the whole wide world used to be California Pizza Kitchen. I just loved it- I always, always got the spinach and artichoke dip appetizer and the thai chicken pizza (on honey whole wheat crust!). When I find something I like at a restaurant, I am notorious for ordering it every single time I go back and this was no exception. As I have matured and my foodie-ness has grown in epic proportions, CPK just doesn’t have the same appeal it once did. That’s ok, it happens. However, every now and then I still get a taste for this uniquely delicious pizza and being the self-proclaimed foodies that we are, I suggested we try to make it ourselves. It turned out great and I encourage you to shake things up sometime and give this recipe a try.
Tag Archives: carrots
For St. Patty’s day I made an Irish beer beef stew. Originally I wanted to make stout braised short-ribs, but it turns out short-ribs were a little more pricey than I originally thought. We ended up purchasing a single bottle of Smithwick’s (an Irish red ale) and some beef shanks and enjoyed every bite.
I was going to call this a white lasagna but as you will see there are plenty of ingredients that are not white. Alfredo sauce was involved and I called on a previous recipe (which we featured twice) of ours for that. I won’t say that this was that difficult, but it did take a while which was well worth it because it was “one of the best things I made in a while.” That was an actual quote from Eileen about this great dish and I think she was right!
I’ve professed my love for homemade salad dressings on numerous occasions and I have made a few recently that were particularly delicious. The picture you see above is of a seared tuna salad with ginger-miso dressing, like one you would get a good Japanese restaurant. The work involved in this dressing mostly comes in the shopping for the ingredients! Otherwise, it’s pretty much a process of prepping the ingredients and throwing them in a food processor (or blender). It can’t get much easier and you will love the way it tastes.
A good thing about St. Patty’s Day, and especially March 18th and on is the surplus of corned beef and the reduced prices after the 17th. I always get one each year and this was no different. In recent years I have been rotissering (and making up words) the corned beef which turns out more like a lunch meat texture than a pot roast if boiled. Served with some roasted cabbage and made a few lunches also.
You see that gravy on the plate there? I have been calling it liquid gold because it was so, so good. You will be licking your plate clean, I can almost guarantee it. We recently received a Staub and this is another recipe from Molly Steven’s All About Braising using the cocotte. This was definitely a dish of a lot of firsts for me. This was the first time I ever cooked a whole chicken before, made stuffing from scratch (cooked inside the bird), and made such a delicious pan sauce. This may have been the best thing I ever made and it really was not too difficult at all. Like the pot roast it entailed many steps and a good few hours, but nothing was too technical or intimidating to take on. Again, this was a time consuming Sunday cooking event. I tried to time it so we ate before the AFC Championship game, but it took a little longer than expected and we ate at half time. Luckily since the Steelers had taken such a big lead my nerves were calm enough that I was able to eat!
Sorry that new posts on the kitten have been a little sparse lately! It’s summer and work is busy (and my dropbox had been blocked for several weeks, but now it’s suddenly working again!) but here is a dish that I made recently that I hope you all will like! I started off by making a version of Smitten Kitchen’s cabbage and lime salad with roasted peanuts. Lucky for me, SK and I share an affinity for slaw and she has several recipes on her site which all look amazing. I did not have any peanuts at home (gasp! for those who know me, you know my squirrel-like nut obsession) nor did I have green cabbage or spinach. I did have carrots and bok choy (thanks to Kensington’s farmer’s market!) however, and so this is what I came up with. As you can see, I topped it with some seared (grilled) tuna and topped it with some remaining dressing from the slaw. This dish totally rocked and is pretty much summer on a plate.
First, the slaw. Per SK’s recipe, I shredded my cabbage and placed it in a colander with at least one healthy tablespoon of kosher salt. The purpose of this step is to wilt the cabbage.
While that was happening, I shredded the carrots and sliced up the bok choy. I also added some green onion.
I also created the dressing for the slaw (process not pictured). The ingredients of the dressing are certainly unconventional for a slaw (at least in my humble opinion) so check them out! Obviously you know one ingredient- limes!
Once the slaw was completed, I prepped my tuna. All I did was drizzle a little hot chili oil onto each side, and coat them with sesame seeds. Greg fired up the grill and seared each one for just a couple of minutes per side. I sliced them up and dinner was served!
You know how when you cook something all day and then when it’s finally ready you don’t take the time to get a good picture? Yeah. That’s what happened here. This also happens to be the smallest of the four lamb shanks we had. Bad picture taking, bad.
In any event, I still wanted to share the recipe, despite the less than desirable way that this photo depicts this meal, because the taste was great and that’s what really counts.
I bought the lamb shanks from the farmer’s market and promptly contacted my dad for a proper recipe. He sent me one from Emeril and it did not disappoint. Greg also made carrots braised in beer and carrot juice, a recipe he tweaked from this one. He added some of his own touches and threw in some broccoli at the end for added veggie power.
To the shanks!
Here they are. There are actually four of them pictured here and they have been sprinkled with cajun seasoning. Emeril calls for “creole seasoning” but I don’t have that in my spice drawer. What I did have though was “cajun” and so we went with that.
I got the dutch oven nice and hot and added some olive oil. When the olive oil was sufficiently hot, I added the shanks to get a nice brown sear on all sides.
Next, I added chopped carrots, onions, and celery to the mix.
Hmmm… what’s missing from this picture? Yeah, the shanks! Guess I didn’t read the recipe well (I looked at a few recipes that day and must have gotten them mixed up) as it says to leave the shanks in when you add the carrots, onions, and celery. Woops.
Next, I added a diced tomato, garlic, wine, stock, thyme and some bay leaves.
Gave it a good stir and look who’s back…. the shanks!
After a frenzied few minutes, it was then time to put the lid on and turn the burner down to low for a long slow simmer.
The shanks braised for nearly two hours.
This is pretty much what they looked like after that time.
The broth or braising liquid was so flavorful. it never did reach a “syrup” like consistency, but it was so good that I considered saving it for something, though I don’t know what. It was amazing though….
To continue with the braising theme, Greg prepped the veggies.
It just would not be a Greg-made dish if onions, garlic and jalapenos were not part of the mix!
The carrots braised in beer and carrot juice and he added a little butter near the end of cooking to make the sauce thicker. The broccoli was a last minute addition.
Despite the fact that the shank looks like a lamb lollipop it was super good! I served it with a small side cup of the braising liquid to dip so each bite had the full effect. The meat was fall off the bone tender and it tasted so fresh and not gamey at all. I am dying to make that mint orzo that Emeril suggests to accompany this with one day. Not only would the flavor and texture be a great match, but it could soak up some of that broth, mmm.
Overall, this recipe was pretty easy to make and once you get it going you can walk away and do other things… so not too labor intensive.