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Quick and Spicy Vegetarian Rice and Beans

From the Vault: I know, I teased with falafel and am giving rice and beans. But I have things going on and for some reason I always write posts right before I post them. So that means a vault recipe today, sorry. On the plus side it’s awesome, so there is that. And I really, legit promise to post the falafel before the week is through.

———-1 cup rice
2 cups cooked beans
2 cup water or broth
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp blackening seasoning
salt, if desired

Saute the onion in some olive oil until translucent, add the garlic and stir for ~30 seconds. Add the rice and stir to coat in the oil. Add the liquid, seasoning and beans, cover and cook until the liquid is absorbed. That’s it.

Note: You can start with dried beans. Take a cup of rinsed/sorted dry beans, put them in a pot and add water until they’re covered by a couple inches. Add ~tsp of the blackening spice and let simmer until tender, ~2 hours. You can them use some of the liquid you cooked the beans in for the rice, I did half that and half broth.

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Here’s a quickie, guess what makes for a killer rice and beans seasoning? The blackening seasoning from the shrimp last week! I know, shocking. I wanted something easy, so I looked over my pantry. I had pasta, rice and beans. I’ve been eating a lot of pasta so I went for rice and beans. I started with dry beans, but you can just use a can and it would maim the cooking time. Although you wouldn’t be able to use any of the cooking liquid from the beans, which does add a nice flavor and texture. I guess it all depends on the time frame you have. With canned beans you could have this on the table in less than a half hour, I’m guessing.

And who doesn’t love that? Not that I ever eat at my table these days, unless you count the dinette set table my computer is on. Heh. The one thing about the seasoning is that I found it didn’t have quite enough salt for this kind of thing. It was plenty for the shrimp, but rice and beans want a little more. Although it’s not really required, you could easily do a low salt thing and it still tastes wicked good.

If you wanted to un-veg it you could add some bacon or sausage. Or put it in a tortilla with some taco or carnita stuff. That would also be wicked good.

Filed under: beans, rice, side dish, vegetarian

Sunday Critters #8

Kisses.057

Filed under: cats, children

Green Chili Sloppy Joes

From the Vault: I’m biting the bullet today and doing some serious organizing in my kitchen, so here is a little something from my old site. I know it’s not much of a post but the recipe is awesome, I highly recommend it.

  • ~1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced orange peppers
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbl red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry ground mustard
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce (plain)
  • 8 oz diced green chilies (2 of those little cans)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown the onions then add the garlic and saute till fragrant, about 30 seconds. You can saute the peppers here too, if you like them very soft. Add the beef and brown it well. Add the chilies, tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar and spices. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes or until as thick as you like. Add the peppers at the end to keep a fresher flavor and crispier texture.

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Just a quickie today kids. Hands up, who likes sloppy joes? Yeah, I thought so, they’re a good time. I originally made this with ground turkey, to lighten it up a bit, but it’s even better with beef. The green chilies add a mellow spiciness to it and change it up just enough so it’s not the same old sloppy joe. I also like to add the orange peppers at the very end so they stay a little crispy and give a brighter, more fresh taste. No step by steps I’m afraid, but the process is as simple as you can ask for. So if you’re looking to change up your joes, try adding some green chilies! It’s some wicked good stuff.

Filed under: beef, sandwich

Sunday Critters #7

Just put up with it buddy, she loves you.066Kisses or secrets? Only they know.069You can’t hide, Bob. She’s craftier than she looks.075

Filed under: cats, children

Grilled Lamb Kofta

0603 cloves garlic, minced/pasted
1 tsp kosher salt
1 pound ground beef chuck or lamb
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tbl ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch ground cinnamon
pinch ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together well. Form into sausage-like shapes around soaked bamboo skewers and refrigerate for at least a half hour or up to 12 hours. Then grill 3-4 minutes a side or until done how you like. Serve with flatbread, tzatziki or whatever.

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Mmm, kofta. Or is it kofte? Kefta? Koobideh? Depends on where you are or what part of the Near/Middle East you want to claim it’s from. No matter what you call it it’s seasoned ground lamb on a stick, usually grilled and it’s wicked good. You can also make it with beef or probably anything else, it’s your party, but me I like lamb.

I first came across these a while ago when I was reading about kebabs, which is the category they fall under. Apparently kebab basically means food on a stick and there are approximately a billion different kinds. Now that I have a grill I will be endeavoring to make them all. Kofta is my current favorite, probably because it’s the one I’ve had most recently. Heh.

It’s simplicity itself to make them, just take the seasonings. 009Mix in the meat.014Form around skewers and let chill.021Grill. 037Or broil, sear, pan fry, deep fat fry, however you get down. I didn’t get any pics of the sandwiches I made with these, which is too bad because I made an awesome sour cream, red wine vinegar, sriracha sauce for them. Would have used Greek yogurt, but I didn’t have any and one works with what one has. But tzatziki would be good, clearly, or pretty much any bright sauce to cut the richness of the lamb. And they are rich as the smoke from that picture on the grill testifies to. It was hard to get an action shot that wasn’t obscured by smoke. Ah well, next time. Because I will make these again, they were amazing.  045

Filed under: grill, lamb, middle eastern,

Sunday Critters #6

Still have a cold, no energy to be amusing. So here is Thing 4 trying to get the Real Bob to play with her then just giving up and molesting him. He’s a good sport.

073070 074

Filed under: cats, children

Double Garlic, Egg and Blue Potato White Pizza

From the Vault: There are no imminent weddings that I know of coming up, but still, here is something old, borrowed and blue. Does it count if I borrowed it from myself? Plus I’ve been told that the potatoes aren’t really blue, although I’m colorblind so I don’t really care. I’m not ever going to be a bride either. Does any of this make sense? I would like to submit that it does not. I blame it on cold medicine. Whatever, time to drink tea and watch cartoons.

-herbed pizza dough
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-baby blue potato, sliced thin
-red onion, sliced thin
-shredded mozzarella and Dubliner (or whatever you like)
-eggs

Heat the oil and garlic on low in a small sauce pan for 10-15 minutes. You don’t want the garlic to brown. Roll out the dough and dock it. Brush it with just the infused oil, then top it with the cheese, potatoes, onions and bits of garlic from the oil. Bake in a very hot, preheated oven for 10 minutes then pull it out, crack the eggs onto it and get it back in the oven. Let it cook until the eggs are as done as you want, 5-10 minutes.

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You heard right, double garlic. There’s some onion on there too, so I don’t suggest making this for a date. Unless of course you’re both into garlic breath, then hey, have at it. Heh.

This was quite possibly the strangest looking pizza I’ve ever made, but I guess that’s not too surprising considering there are blue potatoes on it. The potatoes in question came in a “baby potato medley” and I didn’t feel right mashing them up like I was doing with all the others. So I decided, completely out of character, to make a pizza with them. I had some herbed dough and figured I’d make a white one, since the crust would have so much flavor already.

I don’t have a mandolin or particularly awesome knife skills, so I figured I’d slice the potato on the large slice side of my box grater.

Worked alright, even if the slices aren’t particularly pretty. Then I rolled out my dough and docked it.

For those who don’t know, docking is when you stab the dough with a fork or something of the sort to help keep air bubbles from forming. I find I get many less mutant pizzas when I do this. While the oven was preheating I had left a metal measuring cup with a quarter cup of olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic on the stove top.

See, my oven is wicked inefficient, lots of heat escapes while it’s going. Over the course of the half hour or so that I preheated the oven the oil got nicely infused. You could also just do this over the stove on a low heat, if you have a quality oven. Anyway, then I brushed on some of the garlic oil (not the chunks, just the oil).

That’s garlic number one. Then just a whisper of cheese.

Heh. I know, I know, it looks like an awful lot. And it is. That’s just how I get down sometimes. It’s a mix of mozzarella and Dubliner, the latter of which I’ve been enjoying a lot lately. Goes great with tuna salad.

Then I put on the potatoes, which had soaked for a while in salted water.

I’m told that removes starch and a little moisture, letting them brown better. I wanted some onion on there so I sliced some red onion into thin slices.

Thin enough to see though slices, even. And that was by hand, kids. Although they weren’t all that thin. Heh. Then I took some of the oily garlic chunks

and dolloped them around.

That would be double garlic.

Then I stuck it in the oven for ten minutes or so, pulled it out and cracked a couple eggs on top. None of that got photographed though, I wanted to do it as quickly as possible.

But these are the eggs,

they’re really small and really fresh. I got them from the same source as last time I got fresh eggs and they were just as awesome. I left it in for another five or ten minutes, I don’t remember exactly I’m afraid, I pulled it out when the whites were set.

And this shows you how bad my oven is. See the egg on the right?

The yolk is cooked solid. See the egg on the left?

Yeah.

Slightly less so.

This is why I don’t bake a lot of cakes in this apartment.

But solid or runny, it was awesome. The garlic crisped up and mellowed out really well, the potatoes didn’t brown much, but they softened nicely and added a good earthy flavor. I did prefer the runny egg, I love runny yolks, but both added an excellent richness. That I suppose it didn’t really need, what with all the cheese. But hey, it was most of what I was eating that day. Heh.

So who else has had eggs on pizza? What do you think of them?

Filed under: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, eggs, garlic, pizza, potato

Skillet Flatbread

Just a quickie today kids but an essential one in my kitchen.026  I make this flatbread constantly and use it for any sandwich I feel like. Sometimes I call it naan, but it’s not really naan since it’s made in a skillet.

039 (2)Whatever, it’s awesome. All you do is preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, take a fistish sized chunk of bread dough (I use the Artisan Bread in 5 stuff), stretch it out like pizza dough and toss it in the skillet with a little butter, oil, bacon grease, whatever. Cover the pan and let it sit for ~3-4 minutes, then flip and re-cover. After a couple more minutes pull it out and that’s it. Flatbread.

007Eat it with stuff you enjoy. I love it with falafel which I’ll be posting about later this week since I have a recipe for it that freezes really well and is low fat but crunchy and awesome.

Filed under: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, bread

Sunday Critters #5

A few weeks ago Thing 2 came over and we made honey chicken and doughnuts. Because really, once you’ve gotten set up for deep frying you might as well do it up. Here she is separating an egg, which she enjoys doing. I enjoy her enjoying it since I hate it.

002 (2) - CopyAnd here she is trying to convince the Real Bob that she isn’t as intimidating as Thing 5 (toddler) or Thing 4 (5 year old). 056 He is not yet convinced.

Filed under: cats, children

BBQ Pulled Chicken Open Face Sandwich

Here’s a quickie but a goodie and my new favorite thing to do with pulled chicken (or beef, pork or whatever).039 - CopyI didn’t used to like open face sandwiches and I still have a problem with the name, I mean if you can’t pick it up how is it a sandwich? But this totally won me over. The secret, other than using good pulled chicken, is garlic bread. I like to use Texas toast (which you can buy loaves of here) because thin bread just can’t hang. I use this pulled chicken although I have to admit to being a little embarrassed posting that link. Not just because it’s almost five years old and the pictures are terrible, but the method has certain flaws.

044

For example you really don’t need to braise boneless skinless chicken breasts for an hour or more. But what did I know, I was just starting at this blogging thing and still refining my cooking skills. Of course I’m still refining my skills, but that’s an endless journey. Heh. And anyway, the concept is sound, chicken, bacon and BBQ sauce are awesome together. They’re even better slathered on thick garlic bread with sauteed onions, covered in cheese, tossed in the oven for melting goodness and then topped with some scallion. Seriously.055 - Copy How can you not want to eat that wicked bad? Unless you’re a vegetarian, although I doubt I have too many of those following me. Heh.

Filed under: bacon, barbecue, bread, chicken, sandwich

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