Fish n' Taters

Ok. This is gonna be mostly pictures.

Again, i'm not going to go through the whole recipe for either of these items, because I didn't really do anything special with them, and they're someone else's creations... All I did was pair them together and feed my roommates.

Two awesome recipes that I encountered this week:

First off, Stephanie Im over at lickmyspoon.com posted this delicious looking salmon recipe: Salmon with creamy mustard sauce.

Second, my dad notified me of an awesome potato recipe he'd seen on a site called The Pioneer Woman and I simply had to try it: Crash Hot Potatoes

The only changes I made to these two recipes:

For the salmon, i didn't have any capers, so I improvised and minced a few small pepperoncinis instead.

For the potatoes, I used chives instead of rosemary.

And now for the pictures (get your salivary glands ready):

I don't usually buy salmon or order it in restaurants, but this stuff just looked really good.


Atlantic Salmon on FoodistaAtlantic Salmon


Thai Shenanigans and Tom Yummery

I love going to the grocery store with no plan and a bit of hunger.  My best ideas definitely come out under those circumstances.  I actually just needed some feta and dill and olives for a greek salad.

However, as I walked past the normal produce in Farmer Joe's and into the organic and asian produce section (I still don't really know what to call that section, so i'm sticking with asian produce), some lemongrass was looking at me.

Instantly the right side of my brain went into full gear and i started gathering all sorts of things like ginger, basil, lime, garlic, scallions, hot chilis, coconut milk, shrimp, and squid. Clearly I wanted some Thai food.

Upon arriving home I did some research and found that I'd purchased exactly everything I needed for Tom Yum, which made me very happy, because Southeast Asian soups are one of my absolute favorite things. (Raindrops on roses are pretty overrated... but whiskers on kittens are still awesome.)

I don't really have a recipe for any of this because i was just winging it and didn't end up taking a lot of pictures either, but I figured I'd share a bit.    I also ended up making a second round of Tom Yum at our BBQ the other night (the first round was ok, but had some problems... the second round was simply amazing).

The main problem with the first one involves a whole different story:
For a few months I've been on a very casual search for a certain vegetable that I have only ever seen sliced.  So I had an idea that it was greenish and somewhat knobby, and dense, almost more like a turnip or something than a cucumber.  It was clear as soon as I cut into it that bitter melon was not what i was looking for. It looked like the perfect shape, but when cut into there's all the red gloop and seeds, and upon tasting... well let's just say bitter melon is very aptly named.  I threw some of it in the soup anyway.  I liked it, Mike hated it.

I also chopped up some more lemongrass, ginger, garlic, scallions and sauteed them with a bit of wild squid.  Little bit of oil and some dried chilis to start it off, of course.

One of these little guys had some serious long tentacles; I'm not sure what the two longer tentacles are called, if anything special at all, but compared to the rest of the squid I bought that day, this guy was huge. Kraken or no, I still chopped him up and threw him in with the rest.

All in all, it was pretty tasty.... sauteed the aromatics a bunch, then threw the squid in and gave it another 30 seconds or a minute.  I've decided I love buying squid.  It's cheap, it's tasty, and takes literally no time to cook.

So here's tom yum round 1:

Served with the sauteed squid on rice noodles:

Round one was pretty good apart from the bitter melon being a bit overpowering (though i thought it gave the broth a good flavor). The sauteed squid and rice noodles saved the meal though.

My readings in thai soup cooking make me believe what i did is more like something halfway between Tom Yum and Tom Khaa, but there's just so much more wordplay to be had if I call it Tom Yum, so i'm sticking to that.

Shared ingredients in both:

red chilis
coconut milk
lime juice

fish sauce

The differences were pretty vast:

Round 1 used chicken stock from the store; round 2 used homemade veggie stock. (Same stuff I use for my veggie pho.)

Round 1 had bitter melon and carrot; round 2 had baby bok choy, bamboo, and chayote. (Found the mystery vegetable that I had been looking for!)

Round 1 had coriander seeds because I didn't have cilantro; round 2 had fresh cilantro.

Round 1 had huge prawns; round 2 had wild squid and quartered jumbo sea scallops.

Round 1 had oyster mushrooms, round 2 had shiitake.

Round 1 served 2 people; round 2 served 10.

Here is tom yum round 2:

I'm very happy to add this to my soup repertoire.


Sometimes he screws it up. Chipotle Hollandaise



Eureka!    Chipotle Hollandaise

Sadly, about 5 minutes after that picture was taken, I got distracted by something else and totally broke the hollandaise when I was just trying to keep it warm. Oh how I wish I would have just let it get a bit cool.  At least i got a few tastes of it before it broke.   Hands down the best hollandaise I have ever made... I fit 2 sticks of butter into 3 egg yolks!  Plus lemon and a Tbsp of adobo from the chipotle can!

I ended up mostly just eating these with no sauce...


Spinach, Mushroom, Artichoke, and Dill Stuffed Pork Chops with Endive

Sometimes I have good ideas when I'm in the grocery store without knowing it.

The other day I was just restocking produce in our fridge. I bought some endives because they looked real nice; grabbed some spinach, a few mushrooms, and a package of artichoke hearts (also some whole artichokes... but I'm going to cook those tonight);   I didn't really have a plan, but when i got home and began putting the groceries away I realized that stuff all sounded pretty good together.

Later Dave and I went back to the grocery store and picked up some pre-made side dishes (I wasn't feeling overly ambitious) and some nice boneless pork chops. So that's how this recipe happened.  (bear with me on the amounts of each thing... i really didn't measure anything)



3 boneless skinless pork chops
6 endives
a handful of dill
10-12 crimini mushrooms
1 can of artichoke hearts
a large handful of spinach
1 Tbsp. + 1tsp. olive oil
salt & pepper

preheat oven to 400º
use a tsp of olive oil and grease a large casserole or baking pan
butterfly the porkchops, add salt + pepper

clean and chop the mushrooms, spinach, dill, and artichoke hearts.

Add the remaining olive oil to this mix, and salt and pepper to taste.

Use half of this mixture to stuff the chops, then arrange them close to each other in the pan.

Use the second half of the mixture to cover the pork chops.

Arrange the endives around the edge of the pan. (salt and pepper again over everything)

Bake at 400º for 40-45 minutes.

(served with potato salad and edamame salad)

(gratuitous hardcore shot)

Pork Chop on FoodistaPork Chop


Greek Salad Revisited

I feel like I haven't posted anything for a while... probably because I haven't.

Guess I've been busy. I certainly have a lot of new things going on. Also, no fridge for a few days there. Anyway, figured I'd throw another of my favorite salads on here.  I thought I already posted this, but it must just be one of the ones that I did on facebook or something before I moved over to this blog.

I don't like to actually call it a greek salad, because I do some things that are a bit outside the stereotypical greek salad... but it's pretty close.  I also totally left out the peperoncini peppers this time and added cayenne... mostly because i forgot to buy peperoncinis.

Anyway, here we go:

1 cucumber
1/2 cup olives (I usually use kalamata)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 red bell pepper
more dill than you would expect... a BIG handful
1 medium red onion
1 medium cucumber
1 bunch of romaine
1 large tomato
3 limes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper


If you don't know how to take that stuff and turn it into a salad, well...
Chop it up dummy.

Ok, a few tips:  peel strips of the skin off of the cucumber, not all of the skin, chop into discs.
cut tomato into 1/2 inch slices
halve the onion, then slice into crescents
otherwise, just chop everything up and throw it in a bowl.

Then squeeze the lime juice over it; add the olive oil, cayenne, salt, and pepper; Toss and serve.

easily serves 2 as a full meal.  4 or more if served as a side.