As a direct follow-up to last week’s Balsamic Pasta and Peas, here’s another one of Mer’s creations. With no pictures, for now, because even though we eat this once a week on average, I never remember to break out the camera.
Black Beans and Rice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 shallots, diced
2 cloved garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained and rinsed (if canned) or soaked and cooked (if dried)
Medium-grain rice, prepared as per package directions
Cheese or sour cream (optional)
Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until golden. Add garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add beans and stir fry for 5 minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with cheese or sour cream.
This was Mer’s delightful creation one night, so I’ve left it in her words rather than the format I typically use for recipes. It’s simple and flavorful and yummy.
Take take two strips of bacon, fry them crispy, and remove them from the pan. Saute half a teaspoon of garlic paste, several shakes of oregano, several shakes of basil, several shakes of dried onion, and saute until brown. Add two cups of cooked pasta (I used mafalda, but just about anything would work in a pinch), toss, and saute until it’s sufficiently brown. Add in a cup of peas and the bacon (now crumbled), toss and keep cooking until everything is hot and yummy. Plate, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, nom.
I’m not going to spoil this one with a lot of preamble. Try it – it’s really, really good.
Tomato Chicken and Rice
3-4 lbs chicken parts (bone-in, skin-on)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup dried minced onions
1/4 cup garlic paste
1/4 cup dried basil
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons ground rosemary
5 1/2 cups tomato sauce
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups rice
Brown the chicken pieces in the oil in a cast iron dutch oven. (If you’re using skinless chicken, you may need to add additional oil or butter.) Remove from pan and set aside to cool. When meat has cooled, remove meat from bones and return meat to pan. (Now would be a good time to package up those bones for some future chicken stock.) Place over medium heat and stir in onion, garlic, and herbs. Cook until chicken begins to brown. Add stock, tomato sauce, and rice; stir to combine. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, for 45-50 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.
The end result yields an insane amount of chicken-rice…stuff that freezes well and tastes damn good.
I have a brownie recipe tacked up on my fridge. I’m not entirely sure where it came from, although I think it may be my mom’s recipe. No matter – it’s the brwonie recipe I’ve been using for years. The problem? Mer hates it. Well, OK. “Hates” may be too strong of a word. She says they’re not brownies. Anyway, I went on a quest for a new brownie concoction to please my hunny, and this recipe is the end result – she loves them. (Me? I’ll take the refrigerator-door recipe over these any day, but I’m a creature of habit.)
1 1/4 pounds plus two tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces cocoa powder
3 tablespoons instant coffee powder
3 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup plus three tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 F; grease and flour two 13×9″ pans. Toss 1/2 pound chocolate chips with 3 tablespoons flour and set aside.
Melt the butter and one pound of the chocolate chips together (use your preferred method: microwave or double boiler are fine). Set aside to cool. In a very large bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee, vanilla, and sugar. Mix in the cooled chocolate and set aside to cool completely.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa. Add to the cooled chocolate and mix well. Stir in the floured chips and pour into the prepared pans.
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until tester is almost clean. Cool, cut, and enjoy.
There was a storm rolling in yesterday, so it was a bit warm and sticky. We were craving something sweet, but didn’t want to fire up the oven, so I started digging through my no-bake recipies for somethign quick and easy. This recipe started life as a no-bake peanut butter oatmeal cookie recipe, but once set, Mer immediately declared it “oatmeal fudge”. Chocoholics can add 1/4 cup cocoa to the mix to make chocolate peanut butter oatmeal fudge.
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Fudge
3 2/3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
In a large bowl, combine oats, peanut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, and powdered milk; mix until few lumps remain and peanut butter is well-distributed. Set aside.
Melt butter and sugar in a sauté pan or shallow sauce pan over medium heat; stir in water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture boils. Hold at a rolling boil for 90 seconds. Carefully pour hot syrup over oat mixture and stir to combine. (This takes a bit of elbow grease.) Once mixed, gather the dough into balls (portion control is up to you) and place on sheet pans lined with silicone baking mats, parchment, or waxed paper. Flatten with a spatula and set aside to cool.
At room temperature, fudge will set in about 30 minutes; refrigeration speeds up the process.