Recently, Natalia over at Traveling Hummingbirds wrote a post about a plate of delicious ribs she had while in Amsterdam. Being from the south, and married to a rib connoisseur, AND having mastered the art of making fall off the bone, fork tender, melt in your mouth ribs myself (I shared the recipe here way back in 2013), I had to know more, and she told me they were corned and smoked. Corned? Ribs?
I’d heard of corned beef, but this was new, and when I tried to find a recipe online, there was very little info about it. Naturally, I was intrigued. And I couldn’t help but feel challenged. So, even though I was positive I was going to ruin a perfectly good rack of ribs winging a corned rib recipe, I gave it a try anyways – and was delighted to discover I was wrong!
I’m not going to lie – there were MANY moments during this process that I thought we’d be ordering takeout at the eleventh hour. I didn’t even take pictures to document the preparation. The ribs weren’t very pretty. And unlike when I usually cook ribs, the smell didn’t make my mouth water. But the meat was succulent and delicious, which is all that matters!
Because most of the information I could find about brining to make corned meat was for briskets, and ribs are much thinner, I only brined the ribs for 48 hours.
1 rack of pork ribs
salt for brining (I used Morton’s coarse grain salt)
plastic Ziploc bags
Cut the slab of ribs into 2-4 pieces (I made 3). Place each piece in a separate plastic bag. (Tip: Flip the ends of the bag over to the outside to prevent spreading raw meat germs.)
Mix your brining solution. I used about 1/8 cup salt for every 2 cups of water.
Place enough brining solution in each bag to submerge the meat and seal tightly.
Put your Ziploc bags inside another plastic bag (like a grocery bag) to guard against disaster and refrigerate.
Allow the meat to soak for 48 hours.
Rinse ribs under cold water, then place in a large pot, bring to a boil, then simmer for 2 hours.
And that’s it! We ate the entire rack that night, which we’ve never done before! If you try it, please let me know if you like it!
I’ve always wanted to try Beef Wellington. Fillet wrapped in pastry? Yes, please! So when a package of puff pastry caught my eye right around my birthday, I thought, why not? And when I was researching the process, cooking times, etc., and I came across a recipe that added gorgonzola into the mix, I remembered the blue cheese crumbles I had in the fridge, and again thought, why not? So I did.
I must say that since I wasn’t willing to let this meal be an all day thing, I skimped on a couple of steps. After you pan sear the steaks, most recipes suggest refrigerating them for an hour – I only did this for 40 minutes. Also, after you wrap everything in the puff pastry, it’s suggested that you put the wellington in plastic wrap and refrigerate for another hour. I found an explanation that this is done to help the puff pastry keep its shape during cooking – I didn’t care if it was pretty, just tasty, so I skipped this step entirely and put them right in the oven. To my surprise, it held its shape perfectly, and the taste? Well, I’ll definitely be making this again!
2 fillet mignon steaks, 1″ thick, brought to room temperature
1 package of puff pastry
mushrooms (I used 4 good sized baby portabellos)
1 large shallot
garlic, 2-3 cloves
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. high smoking point oil
Salt and pepper the meat. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet on high. Sear both sides and all ends of the steak, then turn the heat down to medium, removing the pan from the heat while it cools if the outside starts to crisp. Depending on the size of the steak, cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. When steaks are done, refrigerate for 40-60 minutes.
While the meat is cooling, finely chop mushrooms and shallots. You could also use a food processor if desired. Melt 1 tbsp. of butter in a pan and sauté mushrooms and onions until the shallots become translucent and the moisture is cooked out of the mushrooms. (Tip: dry clean your mushrooms so you don’t add extra liquid to them.) Add crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Stir until garlic is fragrant, then remove from heat and allow to cool.
If you don’t plan to refrigerate the assembled steaks for an hour, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Beat 1 egg to use as an egg wash.
Lay out your puff pastry dough. I rolled the dough I was working with a little thinner because it looked rather thick. Spoon blue cheese crumbles onto the dough in roughly the size and shape of your steaks. Add the cooled mushroom mixture over the blue cheese. Top with a steak. Fold opposite ends of the pastry over, sealing with a sparing amount of egg wash if it won’t stick on it’s own. Fold the other two ends, making sure all seams are well and tightly sealed. Remove any excess dough.
At this point, you can put the pastry wrapped steaks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour, or you can go ahead with the cooking process. When you’re ready to cook them, place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush with the egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees.
And that’s it! It was a touch more labor intensive than the average meal preparation, mainly because of the refrigerating time, but it was soooo worth it. The flavors melded together into savory steak perfection, and the puff pastry took it to a whole new level of delectableness!
Two words. Potato Wedges. For some reason they remind me of childhood. Chasing lightening bugs, sticky popsicle dripping down my chin, running through the sprinkler . . . or maybe that’s summer. But aren’t childhood and summertime kind of the same thing? Do summers ever last as long or mean as much as when we’re children . . . I digress. My point is, I’m no longer young enough to eat fried food and no longer adventurous enough to eat anything from a good ole southern gas station display case. So when I get a (in keeping with the southern theme) hankering for some potato wedges, I’ve got to make them myself. Thankfully, with the help of my trusty air fryer, I can easily make the crispy outside, tender inside yummy goodness that I crave!
2 thin baking potatoes
Wash and slice your potatoes. I choose thin potatoes and cut each one into 8 wedges by slicing the potato in half, and each half into quarters.
Place the potato wedges in a bowl of ice water for 10 minutes (removing the starch helps the wedges from becoming crumbly and helps the outside crisp).
Remove from ice water, set on paper towel, dry well. Allow to sit 5 minutes.
Rinse and dry bowl.
Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees. Preheating keeps your wedges from sticking. If your fryer doesn’t have a preheat setting, simply run it empty at 400 degrees for 2-3 minutes.
Return dried wedges to the bowl and, using the least amount of oil possible, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Add spice, toss to coat, and repeat.
Place wedges in the air fryer, and cook at 400 degrees for 8 minutes. Flip, sprinkle with more seasoning if desired, then cook for an additional 8 minutes. That’s it! Flavorful, crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and you can take a bite without the remainder crumbling into little potato bombs that burn your chin – these are the things dreams are made of (maybe not yours, but mine!).
When most people think of air fryers, they think they’re frying the food they put in them. But if you look at the broad range of food you can cook – even bake – in them, you’ll see that they can also be used as a substitute oven. Not a huge deal considering that most people use them in their homes, but in Florida, where the heat an oven puts out can make the indoor temperature quite unpleasant, or even in an RV or travel trailer when camping, using your air fryer as an oven can be a great option.
When we have lamb chops, we often grill them, but when it’s pouring down rain, an air fryer comes in a close second. This recipe is quick and easy – who can argue with that?!?!
lamb chops, 1″ thick
Make a paste by mixing olive oil, freshly crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Placing your lamb chops on a piece of wax paper, coat both sides thoroughly with your mixture and allow to rest while you bring them to room temperature, about an hour.
Spray the inside of your air fryer with oil. Preheat air fryer to 390 degrees for a few minutes. Place lamb chops inside the air fryer bed, spacing so they don’t overlap. Cook for 3 minutes. Flip. Cook for another 3 minutes. Let sit in air fryer for 5 minutes, then serve. This recipe will cook your lamb chops to the medium side of medium rare. For an overcrowded basket, thicker or thinner chops, or to cook to a different temperature, adjust time accordingly.
And that’s it! If you try it, please let me know if you like it!
I love Greek food! The spices, the garlic, the flavors . . . there’s nothing I don’t like about it! And since the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest, there’s no guilt about it – just pleasure!
This recipe is super easy and big on flavor! I simply marinate the chicken overnight, and in return I’m rewarded with the most tender, tasty kabobs a girl could want!
Score major flavor points by serving this with large quantities of garlic sauce! For that, I don’t have my own recipe, I use the one found here.
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 red onion
1/4 lemon juice (1 large lemon)
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. clove
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
Cut chicken into 1-2″ cubes. Mix all ingredients together. Add chicken, coating well, and place in refrigerator overnight. A large, gallon sized plastic bag works great.
The next day, remove from the refrigerator and place on skewers alternating with pieces of red onion. (I skewer them over the sink to help contain the mess!)
Grill until cooked thoroughly. That’s it!
I eat mine with copious amounts of garlic sauce because Garlic sauce is one of my favorite things, but these kabobs pack plenty of their own flavor. Goes great with zucchini sautéed with similar spices and couscous.
I’m always looking for ways to add healthy ingredients and delicious flavors into my diet, and I love trying new things! I also love Indian food, but I’m a spice wimp, so I often have to make it myself.
This curry spinach recipe is super healthy and is made with ingredients that pack a nutritional punch, from the fresh ginger to the cilantro to everything in between.
To make it VEGAN, simply replace the butter with more olive oil and substitute vegetable broth in lieu of the bone broth.
Tip 1: You don’t have to use fresh grated turmeric, it doesn’t add to the flavor, but it has some awesome health benefits. If you do use it, though, wear gloves to keep your hands from being stained, and don’t let it touch any surface you don’t want turned yellow!
Tip 2: When peeling roots such as ginger or turmeric, you can use the back of a spoon – no knife or peeler needed – the outside will easily flake off like a husk or tree bark.
Tip 3: SPICE: The amount of garam marsala you use will determine how spicy this dish is. I use 1 tsp, which creates a dish as spicy as I can handle, but again, when it comes to spicy, I’m a wimp!
Tip 4: This recipe works best with tomato paste, but if you don’t want to open a can just for this, tomato/spaghetti/marinara sauce can work in a pinch, just adjust the amount of broth you use based on the consistency of your tomato product so the dish doesn’t become runny.
1/2 cup bone broth OR vegetable broth for vegetarian and vegan (See Tip 3 above)
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste or sauce (See Tip 4 above)
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (See Tip 2 above)
2 tsp fresh grated turmeric (optional) (See Tip 1 & 2 above)
1 tbsp butter (replace with equal amount olive oil for vegan)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp yellow curry
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
garam marsala: to taste (See Tip 3 above)
Melt 1 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Add onions and cook until almost translucent. Add crushed garlic, mix until fragrant, then add fresh ginger and turmeric. Mix well.
*REMEMBER If you choose to use fresh turmeric, wear gloves to avoid staining your hands and don’t let it touch other stainable surfaces!
Turn heat down to medium. Add tomato paste or sauce. Add spices and bone broth, mixing well.
Add cilantro and spinach, stirring and mixing well until spinach is cooked.
And that’s it! If you try it, please let me know if you like it!
This week I want to share a new product that I just discovered that I’m really excited about. This isn’t an affiliate post, I’m not making anything off this, but if you’re like me and you can’t have normal bread, you know what a struggle lunches can be. And even though I was never big on sandwiches, there’s no denying their convenience factor.
So imagine my excitement when I discovered a store bought bread that doesn’t contain yeast or sugar!
The brand is Base Culture. Their ‘Original Keto’ bread is gluten, grain, dairy, yeast, sugar and preservative free! It’s not low calorie, and it isn’t as yummy as those big fat yeast rolls I remember from my youth, but toast it and slather it with fresh avocado and I’m one happy Foodie!!!
Base Culture’s ‘Soft Sandwich’ bread is higher in calorie (160 a slice versus 110) and does have some sugar – not added, but from the natural ingredients they use like honey. But variety is the spice of life and it’s nice to have choices! Taste wise, it’s also the better option if you don’t want to toast the bread.
I’ve found this bread at multiple stores now in the freezer section, but their website is www.baseculture.com if you want to check them out – they have other healthy products you might be interested in!
If this makes one dietary restricted foodie a little bit happier today, then this post was worth it!
Check back next Friday when I’ll have another Foodie Flavor recipe for you!
I’m not going to lie. The first time I tried making Fried Green Tomatoes years ago was because I love the movie (even more than the book, which is rare for me!).
But the reason I’ve kept making them is because I like the flavor. And while there are MANY different ways to make these, some more labor intensive than others, this recipe cuts down on the work without cutting down on the flavor!
2-3 green tomatoes
2 cups bread crumbs
1.5 cups flour
oil for frying (I use peanut)
Wash and slice tomatoes. Salt both sides and allow to sit for at least ten minutes.
While tomatoes are resting, lay out your flour and breadcrumbs. (For yeast free breadcrumbs, add a couple Pillsbury Crescent Rolls or Biscuits to a food processor. I’ve used rice ‘bread’ crumbs before, and they don’t have the best flavor.) Season both flour and breadcrumbs with the old bay, garlic powder, garlic salt, and pepper. In a small bowl, beat your eggs.
Heat your oil over medium high heat.
You’ll find your tomatoes are now sitting in a puddle of liquid. Wipe both sides of your tomatoes, removing the salt. Dredge in the flour, then the egg wash, then the breadcrumbs. I do them all at once and set them on a piece of wax paper, but you can dredge, dip and dredge as you go if you want.
Add your tomatoes to the oil, working in batches. You may have to turn the oil down in temperature as you go.
Remove from oil using a metal spatula or spoon and allow to dry on a paper towel lined plate. And that’s it!
For dipping sauces, I like ranch dressing mixed with chili powder or tzatziki. They taste best freshly fried, and while still tasty, will be a bit soggy the next day.
I don’t think it’s any secret that I LOVE pasta, but I’m not a huge fan of red sauce, and I don’t eat chicken in my pasta. Never. Not Ever. Until now.
Let me explain.
I hate wasting food. Quite often I’ll clear the refrigerator out on the weekends and make what I call a ‘garbage pail’ lunch. (Recipes that call for ‘a tablespoon of tomato paste’ drive me crazy, because tomato paste doesn’t come by the tablespoon. Which means I have to save the rest and find something to do with it.) But every once in a while the odds and ends from the meals I cooked over the week align into a shining ray of recipe gold. (In this case, the leftovers were bowtie pasta, chicken from a whole bird I roasted in the air fryer, tomato paste, and some large capers that had to be used within a week of opening.)
This one was so good I’m looking forward to making it again! AND – I finally have a go to for my chicken leftovers!
Note: Garlic, shallots, cooking wine, and pine nuts (gotta love Amazon for the great prices on those) are staples in my kitchen. I grow my own basil so I always have plenty of that on hand. And I tend to cook an entire box of pasta at a time and freeze portions because I live in Florida and nothing makes the house quite as hot and humid as a big pot of boiling water.
leftover chicken, chopped or shredded
tomato paste or sauce
3 cloves garlic
cream sherry or other red cooking wine
pasta (I usually cook the whole box at once and freeze extra portions.)
optional: shredded mozzarella cheese
In a medium to large frying pan sauté the shallots, capers, pine nuts and garlic together until shallots are opaque. Add a dollop (about 2 tablespoons) tomato paste or spaghetti sauce, whatever you have leftover on hand, into the pan, and a splash or two of red cooking wine (I use Cream Sherry) and stir until well mixed. Add your spices (I use Nature’s Seasoning because it’s a nice blend). Add your chicken and cook until hot. Add your pasta (if using leftover pasta, stir until the pasta is hot). Add fresh basil and stir. And that’s it!
Super easy and surprisingly delicious! I sprinkled a little shredded mozzarella on mine and couldn’t have been happier with this gourmet ‘garbage pail’ lunch!
If you try it, please let me know if you liked it!
I feel like it’s safe to say that most of us are on the same page about being ready to welcome in a new year. Symbolically, it’s become a time of change, fresh starts and new beginnings, and while I personally don’t use it as a catalyst to make resolutions (they can and should be made at any time of the year), I thought I’d share some of my favorite health conscious foodie things.
1) These are absolutely awesome. One of the hardest things for me about having a food sensitivity is how much it can complicate mealtimes – especially lunch. I can’t just throw a quick sandwich together. But these Crepini egg thins – again, awesome. They also make them plain, without cauliflower, but I prefer the taste of these. And only 8 calories a thin? Take that, bread! I sprinkle a little shredded cheese on one, add some lunch meat, a little more cheese, and a second thin, thenpop it in the microwave for 12 seconds (because I like that number) and you have yourself a sandwich-like meal. Or, add some avocado and roll it up like a burrito. So many possibilities!
And did you see? No net carbs, keto friendly, paleo friendly, gluten free and dairy free? They really are awesome!
I find these by the ‘premium’ lunchmeats in the refrigerated section near the deli at Publix.
2) Most of us know that olive oil is good for us, but did you know that some is better for us than others? Things to look for in a high quality olive oil are:
Is it First Cold-Pressed? Because that’s what you want.
It’s Country of Origin. Olive oils with multiple countries of origin listed are making their oil with whatever olives they can get. Not ideal. So first, find an olive oil with one country of origin.
The type of olive used. A quality olive oil should tell you what type of olive they’re making the oil from, and only one type should be listed.
The highest quality olive oils source their olives from a specific farm or location, and will tell you this information on the label.
Ideally, you also want your oil to be organic.
The good news is that you don’t have to pay ridiculous prices to check most of these boxes. Flora brand olive oil is first cold pressed, lists the country (Italy for organic, Greece for not, tells you the type of olive used, and the area it comes from. I buy the organic shown for less than $10. It has a strong, fruity taste and is great when I want to drizzle some oil on an avocado for a snack. The larger bottle, while not organic and with a someone milder flavor, is less than $12 and works great for sautéing, roasting, etc.
3) There are SO many good pasta alternatives these days! I’m only showing one brand, which also makes pasta (spaghetti and other styles) using black beans and edamame, but there are also pastas made from cauliflower, lentils, chickpeas, and many more healthy, tasty alternatives!
As an added bonus, these pastas are often high in plant based protein. They do tend to be around the same count calorie wise as traditional wheat and flour based pastas, but they metabolize much better!
Do some experimenting to find ones that suit your texture, shape, and flavor needs. The pasta shown tastes and feel just like traditional pasta. And if you have an Aldi’s in your area, you can’t beat the price!
4) Birch Benders makes THE BEST mix for Paleo friendly pancakes and waffles! They also have a Keto friendly variety. Just add some water for pancakes, some water and a dash of oil for waffles, and you have a guilty pleasure that’s not so guilty!
The recipe uses cassava starch, almonds and coconut instead of flour, and they’re also dairy free. I find the batter tends to thicken between batches, so I keep some extra water on hand and mix more to consistency than the proportions listed on the package, but the taste and texture is very close to the real thing.
I’ve seen this at multiple stores, but found the best price at Walmart. It’s in the baking aisle.
5) I’ve tried a lot of cheese crisps over the last few years, and all pale in comparison to these. I’m not going to lie – I’ve eaten an entire bag of these Whisps brand Parmesan Cheese Crisps in a sitting more than once. (My dog helps.)
They do make other flavors, but, unfortunately, the other flavors tend to throw more into the mix than just good old cheese. Some even add my arch nemesis, yeast, which I don’t understand, but whatever. I have these. These are enough.
I’ve found these at many stores with varying prices, but both Publix and Winn Dixie occasionally run them Buy One, Get One – stock up then for the best deal!
6) I feel like Bone Broth was one of the trendier health fads to hit in recent years, but it seemed to have quickly died off – perhaps because of the prices. I’ve seen this stuff sold for up to $15 for the 2 pound carton. If I had to pay those prices, I wouldn’t be buying it either.
But the health benefits! Bone broth is good for so many things, including gut health, which is so important because your health in general starts in your gut. So make it happy!
I use in place of chicken broth or stock. Sometimes I’ll cook my veggie pasta in it, like when I do my One Pan Pasta (recipe here). The noodles absorb the broth. If you’re able, add some milk and/or wine to make a thick, delicious sauce!
I buy mine at Aldi’s for about $3 a piece.
There are so many more favorites I want to share with you, but I’ll save those for another post! Hopefully this is enough to get you off to a healthy start, whether you’re making a New Year’s Resolution for better health, or simply maintaining – either way I wish you all the best! Happy New Year!
Check back next Friday for another Foodie Flavors recipe!