Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spinach and Rice

Lately PBS has started showing a Greek cooking show called A Cooking Odyssey around lunch time. I happened to catch it the other day when the chef was making a dish of spinach and rice that he said his mother used to make for a quick dinner when he was a child. It sounded like the perfect dish for this time of year went the baby spinach is starting to show up in the farmers market. I hadn't written down the recipe when I saw it, so this is really my best remembrance of it.
Spinach and Rice
Ok, it might not be a looker, but this dish it full of flavor. It's a little bit like a risotto, but not as creamy and less work to make. On the show it was only seasoned with salt and pepper, but I thought it needed a little something more so I added some oregano and garlic. The thing that really adds the flavor to this though is the crumbled feta. It's a great comforting, quick, healthy dinner for those days when you don't want to fuss to much with cooking.

Spinach and Rice

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz baby spinach
1/2 c long grain white rice
1 14oz can diced or crushed tomatoes, do not drain
1/2 c water
1 t dried oregano
salt
pepper
crumbed feta

In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion starts to get tender. Add the spinach a little at a time until it is all wilted. Add the rice and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, water and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. You may want to check on the dish from time to time and add more water if needed (every can of tomatoes will vary on the amount of liquid in it).

Season to taste with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Serve topped with crumbled feta.

Makes 2 servings.


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Asian Smoked Spare Ribs

Earlier this month, Matt and I spent a long weekend eating our way around New York City. For dinner one night we went to the fabulous Fatty Cue. We ate a lot of great protein that night, but my hands down favorite had to be the ribs flavored with long pepper, fish sauce and palm sugar. We were surprised at how much we liked the fish sauce with the pork. Those ribs were are starting point for the ones Matt made this weekend. Originally, we had planned on doing an exact copy, but you know, Matt can't resist heading off in his own direction.
Asian Smoked Spare Ribs
Our ribs were a perfect combination of four "S"s, sticky, sweet, salty and smokey. The Szechuan pepper adds a slight citrus note. They are not fishy tasting at all. No one at dinner could stop raving about them.
Asian Smoked Spare Ribs
There were about four ribs left after dinner. Matt cut the meat from the bones and made a wonderful pork fried rice.

Asian Smoked Spare Ribs

Rub
2 T finely ground Szechuan pepper
2 T brown sugar
1 T kosher salt

5 lbs spare ribs, silver skin removed (5 lbs seems like a lot but much of that weight is bone.)

Glaze
4oz dark brown sugar
1/2 c water
1 T tomato paste
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1/4 c fish sauce

Mix the rub together. Rub the ribs with it on both sides. Place on a smoker at about 225 F. Let cook for about 5 - 8 hours. Ok, I know that is a big difference. They will be cooked through earlier than this, but you want the fat to melt and the meat to get super tender. So, you are cooking them until they are as tender as you want.

While the ribs are smoking, make the glaze. Put the sugar, water, tomato paste and cayenne in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar melts. Add the fish sauce. Let simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, you are not trying to reduce or thicken it much.

When you gave about 1/2 hour of cooking left brush the glaze on one side of the ribs. Let cook for 15 minutes. Turn over and glaze the other side. Cook for 15 more minutes. (We had thunderstorms roll in so we actually did this last bit in a warm oven.)
Asian Smoked Spare Ribs
4 servings

Can you do this without a smoker? Yes, you can especially on a charcoal grill. Keep the temperature low and the ribs over indirect heat. On a gas grill it is a little harder to keep the low heat and get the tenderest ribs. Add a Smoker Box to the grill to get the smokey flavor.


If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Olive and Feta Chicken

Well, unfortunately my wrist surgery didn't go quite as planned. Instead of an easy arthroscopic surgery with very little recovery, I ended up having full-blown surgery with a metal hook implanted in my bone. Now I am in a cast that goes up past my elbow. Needless to say, my cooking endeavors are even more restricted (as are my typing since I only have one hand). So, Matt continues to be in-charge of meals for at least the next six weeks.
Surgical Dressing/Cast
Luckily, he enjoys being creative especially when it involves grilling. Last night's dinner was no exception. He'd picked up some chicken thighs and originally just planned to season them a little, but walking by the olive bar at the grocery store, he had another idea. Why not use olives to season the chicken?
Olive and Feta Chicken
This was such a simple dish to make with very few ingredients. The result tasted like something with a lot more effort behind it. The olives and feta cook under the chicken skin adding both flavor and garnish to the finished dish.

Olive and Feta Chicken
A note on the olives: We used large green martini olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes. You can use any flavor or style of olive you like.

1/2 c chopped green olives
2 T crumbled feta
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
olive oil

Heat grill to medium.

Mix the olives and feta together (chop the feta smaller if it's too big).
Olive and Feta Chicken
Gently pull the skin away from the thighs to create a pocket. Divide the olive feta mixture into four and stuff it under the chicken skin. Brush the skin with a little olive oil.
Olive and Feta Chicken Olive and Feta Chicken
Place the thighs on the grill skin side down and cook for 2 minutes. Flip over and continue cooking until done, 6 - 8 minutes more should do.

Makes 4 thighs

Matt served the chicken with two very easy grilled sides, sweet potatoes and asparagus. The sweet potato was so good done on the grill. Matt just peeled, sliced and microwaved them until tender. Brushed with olive oil, they were finished on the grill and topped with a little crumbled feta. Salty, sweet and really perfect with the feta in the chicken.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Smokey Pork Tacos

Matt wanted just one thing for his birthday this year, to upgrade from our El Cheapo smoker to something a little bigger and hopefully a little better. Don't get me wrong the El Cheapo served us well for two years, but it took a lot of attention to keep a good even heat. So, I present our latest toy, the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker.
Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker
One of the main reasons Matt wanted this smoker is because you can get a temperature sensor fan unit for it. Now, he isn't planning on buying the unit that is for sale but making his own. Once it is done this smoker will keep should keep a good even smoking temp. Though we don't have the piece yet, he couldn't resist breaking in his new toy with these Smokey Pork Taco.
Smokey Pork Tacos
The new smoker worked so well, it was able to hold a nice low temperature and used much less fuel than our old one. As for the tacos, they were smokey with a tang of lime and just a hint of peppers. The creamy avocado was the perfect paring for them. This is the kind of meal that really makes me feel like summer grilling and smoking season is here.

Smokey Pork Tacos

For the Pork:

1 clove garlic, minced
1 t ancho chile powder
1/2 t chipotle powder
1/2 t smoked paprika
1/2 t sweet paprika
1/4 t cumin
1/4 c lime juice
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 T tomato paste
2 T olive oil
1 lb pork tenderloin

For the Taco:

Use any or all of the below

tortillas
ripe avocado
sour cream or plain yogurt
chopped onion
grated cheddar
salsa

Mix the garlic, ancho, chipotle, smoked and sweet paprika, cumin, lime juice and worchestershire sauce together. Microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir. Add in the tomato paste and olive oil.

Butterfly the tenderloin and lay it flat. Remove any silver skin. Use a sharp blade to cut shallow slices down the length of the tenderloin.

Put the tenderloin in a small ziplock bag. Add the marinade. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag. Seal. Massage the meat to work the marinade in. Let sit in the fridge for 3 1/2 - 4 hours.

Remove the meat from the marinade, throwing remaining marinade away. Smoke the pork for 75 - 90 minutes at about 225 F. You want to cook it to 145 F - 150 F. (If you don't have a smoker go ahead and throw this on your grill and cook it over indirect heat. You can get small smoker boxes to go on the grill for about $10 if you want to add a smokey flavor.)
Smoked Pork Tenderloin Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Slice the pork into strips. Serve on warmed tortillas with your choice of toppings.

Makes 5 - 6 tacos

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted. © 2007-2012 Kathy Lewinski
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Get Email Updates!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Measurement Abbreviations

T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup
lb = pound
oz - ounce

Labels

Blog Archive

Contributors