Sunday, November 29, 2009

Guacamole

This is hardly a news flash, but I did like this recipe. I'm storing it here so I'm reminded to make it from time to time.

3 ripe avocados
1/2 onion, minced
Juice of one fresh lime (or lemon juice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped

Serve with tortilla chips.
  • Cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avocado from the peel, put in a mixing bowl.
  • Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the chopped onion, lime or lemon, salt and pepper and mash some more.
  • Keep the tomatoes separate until ready to serve.
Cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent oxidation from the air reaching it. Refrigerate until ready.

Just before serving, add the chopped tomato to the guacamole and mix.

NOTES:
  • The original recipe called for chilis and cilantro.
  • I used a pastry blender to mash it all up.
  • A little garlic would be good.
  • Yum

Friday, November 27, 2009

Johnny's Thanksgiving Minestrone

2 cups coarsely chopped onions
1 cup sliced celery (or more)
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c vegetable oil
5 (15 oz.) cans vegetable broth
1 (15 oz) can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 (8 0z) can tomato sauce or tomato paste
2 cups coarsely chopped cabbage
1 c chopped carrots (or more)
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 1/2 c. sliced zucchini
1 c fresh green beans (sliced)
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup uncooked pasta (I used Creamette's large rings)

Saute the onions, celery, parsley and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, cabbage, carrots, and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour. Add zucchini and beans.

I cooked the pasta in a separate pan according to directions, but you could just cook it in the soup if you have enough liquid.

Optional: Top each serving with grated Parmesan cheese.

NOTES: It's possible he was trying to suck up or was just being polite, but since Johnny ate 5-6 bowls of this soup this weekend I think he was sincere. Glad you liked it, Gerardi! ;-)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crispy Baked Pork Chops

Mix 4 cups of water and 1/4 c salt. Soak the pork chops in this brine for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, make 3-4 cups of fresh bread crumbs in a food processor. Mix them with 3 tbls. parsley and 4-5 minced garlic cloves. Blend all in the processor and spread on a baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until browned. After you take them out of the oven, mix in 3 tbls. of grated or shredded Parmesan.

Mix 3 egg whites, 3 tbls. mustard* and 6 tbls. flour in a shallow dish, and put about a cup of all-purpose flour in a 3rd dish.

Rinse the chops and dip each in the flour, the egg/mustard mixture, and then the crumbs. Carefully place each on a baking rack over a baking sheet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes until internal temperature is 150 degrees.

NOTES:
  • These were excellent and were very moist.
  • The original recipe came from a TV show (America's Test Kitchen?), but there was a charge for getting recipes from their site so I had to fill in a couple details.
  • *I think they used Dijon mustard, but I only had plain yellow. It was fine, but something more interesting might be better.
  • As the source said, "These won't look any better after they're baked, so make sure the coating is perfect and they go in looking great."
  • I think I would try baking them on parchment next time. The rationale for the baking rack was so they'd be crisp on the bottom too, but mostly the bottom coating just stuck to the rack (yes, I sprayed it), and whatever dropped down to the pan just burned there.
  • Really though, between the brine and the coating these were super moist. It would be a nice dish to serve guests.
  • I increased the amount of the egg mixture to make my 7 chops.