Friday, June 3, 2011

June 3rd- Quinoa Stuffed Potatoes


     potatoes are awesome, awesome things, right?
     They'll always be a hearty part of most dinners and its hard to get sick of something you can cook in so many ways.
     I wanted to stuff them..well, because usually all my potatoes are sliced in some way or another, but I'd never, ever actually taken the time to stuff them before. However today I had nothing but time. I wanted to break away from my potato slicing ways, but in a house without butter, a baked potato is just no good.
     I needed a way to get moist juicy flavor into each and every bite.
     I decided to use Quinoa.
     And if you've never heard of it, really really should.

     quinoa is like a miracle grain. Its a seed, actually. And its so diverse you can cook almost anything with it. It will eventually be included in a lot of my recipes. As healthy as it is, it would be criminal to exclude it from my diet.
     It can go along with sweet, savory, and most things in between.

     For this recipe I used steak and vegetable fried quinoa. It's a bit of an effort but its great and can be cooked to stand alone, as well as used for this stuffing.

Here's What You'll Need!!

3 Medium to large golden potatoes
Dashes of Rosemary
1/2 Cup Quinoa
1 1/3rd cup water

1/2 Lb Organic Sirloin Steak
1/3rd Cup Sliced Onions

1/4th Cup Snap Pea
1/4th Cup Brocoli
1/4th Cup Baby Bok Choy
1/4th Cup Scallions
1 Large Egg
Sunflower Oil

     It's kind of a long ingredient list, but worth seeking out for this very tasty combination.
     If you sub any ingredients, you're going to want to do it carefully. The flavors in this dish will change quickly with any new, or missed ingredient.
     But all in all, it isn't that hard.

Let's Get Cooking!

First- Soaking the Quinoa
     Simply rinse your Quinoa (even if it comes pre-rinsed.) and soak it covered in water for 20 minutes

Second- The Potatoes!
     Peel the potatoes.
     Save the  peels! Put them in some water.
    Then hollow out the potatoes, leaving about a centimeter or a bit more of actual potato intact.
     Sprinkle lightly with rosemary, oil, and salt on both sides, Set them hole side up in the toaster oven and bake them for 40 minutes at 350. Turn over the last 10 minutes and add a bit more oil and a sprinkle of salt.

     Third- More Quinoa preparation
     Drain the quinoa, bring 1 and 1/3rd cups water to a boil, and add them both together. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
     In the mean time, have your steak slices as thin as you can get it. salt lightly. If you really want to, you can use pre-cut chip-steak but I really don't recommend it. it will take a lot away from the meal.
     Slice your onions very thin as well. I like to cut mine into thin half-rings, and if I got my measurments just right, you should have about as much onions as steak in volume once they're spread out.
     If not, that's what you should be going for.
     Oil your pan, set it to high and once the stove is nice and hot, toss in your steak. Seer it well.
     Add your onion in and cook until caramelized. Mix often so the already seared steak does not burn.

     Once the steak is done, give the vegetables (Chopped) a quick and hot saute. You want them to be cooked but just until the broccoli is radiant green.
     By this time, your Quinoa should be nearly done. Treat it like rice. It's finished once it's absorbed all the water and is no longer difficult to eat.
     Now bring your vegetables, meat, and quinoa  out on the side, and get a hot pan ready once again.

     A little oil, and add your quinoa. It will pop and jump. Stir constantly for about 40 seconds. Do the next few steps in fairly quick succession.
     Add your egg, mix just until it appears the egg is almost completely cooked in.
     Add in your steak, add in your veggies, 40 more seconds of mixing, and take it off the burner.

     Finishing up-
     the 40 minutes should be up, and your potatoes tender. Stuff them full, but don't serve just yet. Get out those potato skins.
    Dry them off, Fry them up in oil, salt them up and burn em a little. Top the filling with those crunchy delicious potato bits and serve hot!

      My neighbor had the luck of being out on the porch when I finished this.
     I have a new fan :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 1st- Maple Hashbrown Omelete

  I have been away for a while. I had thought I'd lost the passion for cooking. As it turns out I just needed a break!
     Lately I have been cooking tons and tons! And couldn't be happier. The rust is off and I can once again create recipes from simple thought!  And so I bring you my new invention which I had for breakfast not 10 minutes ago.
     Its 2 PM...ok so I had a late day. :)

     Lately breakfast has felt lack-luster for me. The same thing day in and day out.
   And so the last few days I have been making some substantially gigantic omelets. All of which I'm sure I'll end up posting here eventually.
     I was half way through making my hashbrowns today when I once again got a craving for an omelet. This presented a problem, as my appetite can not hold both an order of hashbrowns and a stuffed to the max 3 egg omelet.
     What ever was I to do?
     The title says it all!

Here's what you'll need!!
1 Large Golden Potato
1/4th Cup Diced White Onions
1 Clove Garlic
3 large eggs, beaten
1 to 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
Sunflower Oil (can be substituted by your oil of choice)

I'm using simple, easy ingredients today.
They can be fun to, ya know.

Feel free to add more or less potatoes dependng on exactly how big you want this heaping man-omelet to be.

Let's get cooking!!

     My hashbrowns are quick and easy to make, so long as you've got some decent knife skills.
     First cut the potatoes in half, then lay them flat on your cutting board. slice them 6 to 10 times long ways, and then 8 or so times the other way to make little sticks of potato.
     Dice up your onion and garlic, add that to the potato.
     Heat up your pan on high, coat the bottom with oil (enough to lightly coat the hashbrowns)
     When the oil starts to pop, or just before, add in all the ingredients you just prepared. add salt to taste.
     After that, just remember to stir every minute or so until they're a nice crispy golden brown. Or maybe even a little burnt if you like them like that.

     When the hashbrowns are finished, set the stove to medium-high and set the potatoes on top of a few paper towels to drain off any excess oil.
     While the stove top is still hot, toss on another pan and give it a very small amount of oil (or butter. but I'm cooking in a dairy free house, as usual. )
     Pour in your beaten eggs with a very small amount of salt. your potatoes probably have enough of it to go around.
     give them a quick mix and let the bottom and most of the middle cook and set. It wont take long.
     Once the top isn't so goopy but isn't yet cooked either, add in your hashbrowns on top. along with one or two table spoons of maple syrup.
     fold your omelet over and let cook on both sides until done. about 30 to 50 seconds on each side.

     There you have it. When some of that syrup leaks out and begins to burn, your kitchen will be filled with the scent of a pancake-house.
     Plate and serve!
     Its the dynamic duo of breakfast, all rolled into one.
     Now who could resist that? I just wish I'd had some bacon to go with.