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asleep at mal 9/09
random food stuffs 
10/9/08 1:36
asleep at mal 9/09
so... i've been doing well in some areas and depressed in others; things with t continue to be excellent overall and if things with z would just wrap up in some semblance of reason i think i might be able to have a life again

in lieu of the promised post brc wrap-up (still have to find camera, upload pics, and be in the right frame of mind to write that) i'm posting some of the recent meals i've made (when i'm not happy food is not terribly desirable; i've been trying to cook good healthy stuff so what little i do manage to make myself eat is pleasurable, plus the act of cooking makes me more likely to eat more and i love to cook for an appreciate audience)

this is a modification of one of the recipes from food network's website as i'm cooking for 2, and i didn't need potatoes and carrots which i can't eat to cook with it...

i started with a huge 5+ lb brisket which i then cut in half, freezing the other half for another day...

take an oven proof deep skillet w/ lid or dutch oven and brown the brisket on both sides in the following:

3-4 tbsp of olive oil and/or butter
2 tbsp of pesto
1 clove of crushed garlic
2 tsp of dried minced onion
ground sea salt and pepper to taste - at least a little salt is highly recommended to help the meat juice properly

while the brisket is browning, pre-heat your oven to 325*

after browning, leave the brisket in the pan and add fairly dry red wine (i used merlot - not a bad quality, but kept for cooking) to about 1/2 way up the level of the meat in the pan and cover

put in the oven for ~ 4 hours or until meat pulls apart with a fork, basting and turning about every hour

voila - a delicious dinner with about 10 mins prep time and minimal attention during cooking (i served a big salad on the side) - you should be able to do the long part in a crock-pot as well, although the meat may not brown up as nicely

ok - this is a much healthier version of a childhood staple i learned how to make from my grandmother and great-grandmother, both of whom migrated to the US from mitalini (a small island that's part of greece) in the mid 1940's

their version was a whole, large chicken, basted with tons of butter, and baked on a rack over a large amount of well seasoned white rice and served with green beans cooked in tomato paste/water/spices til they were almost mush...

for us, i started out with 3 large chicken breasts cut in half, a brown/wild rice mix that's low in carbs (21g/serving with 4g of that being fiber) and high in protein (8g/serving) from gelsons, but any regular rice will work, and fresh haricortverts and tomatoes from our garden...

1st - brown the breasts slowly on all sides in the following (do this in a pan w/ a lid that seals properly; you'll re-use it to cook the rice in)

2-4 tbsp of olive oil and/or butter
2 tbsp pesto
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
generous sprinkling of poultry seasoning (yes, from the spice aisle at your local grocery store)
salt & pepper to taste (i use fresh ground sea salt & black pepper)

once the breasts are cooked (~ 5 mins per side if they're thick) remove from the pot or pan and set aside until the rice is almost done cooking

into the pan which should now have a nice layer of brown spices, oil, and chicken leavings add

1 cup of rice
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups of water (amount of liquid should follow directions on the package; adjust accordingly ~ 1/4 broth & 3/4 h2o)
another generous sprinkling of poultry seasoning
additional salt & pepper to taste

while rice is coming to a boil scrape down the sides/bottom of the pan
to get all the browned bits loose and incorporated into the rice, then cook according to mfg directions (in my case ~ 50 mins) at a simmer

when rice is almost done, throw the breasts back in the pan on top of the rice and leave on low heat for 5-10 mins to rewarm the chicken and finish cooking the rice

about 15 mins before serving the meal start chopping up your fresh tomatoes for the green bean/tomato side - they should be in about 1/4" pieces

about 10 mins before serving cook as follows:

in a fairly deep lidded saute pan saute the vegetables in the following:
2-4 tbsp of olive oil and/or butter
2 tbsp of pesto
1-2 cloves fresh garlic
handful of fresh chives chopped finely

get the spices started first on medium heat until they start to brown lightly, turn down heat slightly and add the tomatoes tossing thoroughly in the spices; after about 1-2 mins add the haricortverts and toss thoroughly with tomato/spice mixture and cover tightly - cook for about 1-2 more minutes (until beans are cooked thru but still crisp, and tomatoes have turned into a chunky sauce), then serve

yes, a lot of my cooking is mediterranean influenced (my family is greek and i lived w/ a friend's italian family for years in college), i use a lot of olive oil and a small amount of butter (oil + butter = higher scorch point plus better for you, but still well flavored), i do cook with salt, and i'm not by any stretch a veg or vegan these days; i do eat small portions of meat in comparison to veggies and generally spend a bit more for local, organic products - both meat and vegetable

anyway, feel free to modify these to fit your own tastes (for instance the chicken and rice could easily be changed to a curry, oriental, or cajun style just by changing the spices) and enjoy
10/9/08 14:20 (UTC)
Sorry things still aren't wrapping up from your east cost life. WTH? Is it the just not responding thing again? Feel free to drop an email if you don't want to post about it here..

Wow, that might be the easiest-looking beef brisket recipe I have ever seen. Gonna have to try it. My own brisket recipe was cooking it in Guinness, which is tasty but kind of over-rich for me when the beer reduces down.

BUT, the real winner is that chicken! Wow, that looks wonderful & way different than how I susualy make chicken breast. Umm..aside from green, verte, what the heck is a haricortvert? I could only Goggle iti n its plural form, & not too many of the links pop up in English! Are they a pepper? The images look like they are a type of pepper. I covet your garden.

I am definitely going to make that one either tonight or tomorrow. I've needed something different to do w/ poultry. Goood timing! The garlicy pesto-y Mediterranean style always makes you feel good & Warm. It's pretty freakin' chilly here, so yay. & I never thought to combine olive oil & a smidge of butter.

Wanna see BM pix but hey, I haven't posted Dragon*Con either..

Edited at 2008-10-09 02:23 pm (UTC)
10/9/08 23:53 (UTC) - haricortverts
they're basically french string beans - usually younger and narrower than american ones, and slightly less sweet

i like them raw or lightly sauteed (i can also find them at albertsons - think gucci giant, usually w/ the organic produce, sprouts and fancy salad ingredients; there they come pre-packaged in a steam-in-bag ready to use)
10/9/08 14:44 (UTC)
Ooh your recipes sound awesome! I'd love to try them out!! Too bad Japan sucks and I only have a toaster oven (do they not believe in real ovens?!) Add in the fact that I can't get "local grocery" spices, brown rice, and other stuff easily here means no real cooking for me. ;_;

Cooking aside, I hope you're doing ok....
10/9/08 18:22 (UTC)
You are the bomb, never forget it. I've started making my own crackers using almond flour. They are uber delicious, higher in protein & lower in carbs than other kinds, plus being gluten & dairy free. Would you like the recipe?
10/9/08 23:54 (UTC)
definitely - new recipies are always good, and i want to try almond flour anyway