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Hot Pockets

Posted in Recipes with tags , , on March 22, 2010 by Aaron

These ain’t your grocers frozen food isle hot pockets. These are your grandmas hot pockets. They can be quick to make to eat right then, or freeze so you can have them anytime.

There are two main parts to the hot pocket. Pastry dough and filling. You can make your own pastry dough, which takes some time and effort (not to mention letting you know exactly how much butter goes in), or you can buy it in the frozen food section of the store.

If you want a pastry dough recipe let me know and I will post it. Otherwise I know it is much easier to buy it.

Filling (obviously you can put whatever you want in) This should make enough for 2 large Pockets. Each pocket can be eaten by two people or one very hungry person.

  • A lot of Kale
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 6 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Portabello Mushroom
  • 1 t. Ground Coriander
  • 1 T. Basil
  • 1 T. Thyme
  • Black Pepper To Taste
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Rice
  • 1 Cup Feta Cheese

Cook the rice and set it aside.

The kale will cook down (not as much as spinach) so use about 4 times as much as you think will fit inside your hot pockets. Put some olive oil in a large pan and cook the onions and garlic for a minute. Throw in the mushrooms for another 5 minutes. Put the Kale in and cover the pan stirring once in a while until it cooks down 5-10 minutes. Once the Kale is cooked to your liking, remove the pan from the heat and mix in the rice, cheese, herbs and spices.

Lay out a square of pastry dough and fill the middle with your filling. Fold it over and cut off extra so that you are left with about 1 inch of dough beyond the filling. Fold it over and then seal with a fork by pressing in through the layers. You can freeze it here or bake it right away. You can roll the extra pieces of dough up and bake them alongside the Hot Pockets for delicious baked doughy treats.

Have your oven preheated to about 350 degrees. Bake the Hot Pockets for 45 minutes to an hour. They should grow as the dough rises and will turn a light brown color. MMM……

Breakfast Taco’s

Posted in Recipes with tags , , on January 11, 2010 by Aaron

I feel like it has been a long time since I have written about good things to eat. And recently watching the (not so good [in my opinion]) movie “Julie and Julia” doesn’t make me want to blog about food really, but I made these breakfast taco’s this weekend and they were mostly awesome. Before this weekend I hadn’t made them in a long time either so it is an apt parallel to bring them here. By the way, they were only “mostly” awesome because I used not the best salsa on them. More on that later.

I used to make these a lot when I lived in New York City. I would wake up and start making them for my roommate and myself. They can be pretty labor intensive so I would eat and serve them as I was making them, one at a time. They are kinda like waffles in that way. If you want to eat them fresh and hot, you can’t eat them with anyone. Eat em’ as they come off the stove. That is the tastiest way.

Ingredients:

  • Corn Tortilla’s
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Tomato (or your favorite salsa)
  • Spinach (or Kale)
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Peppers (sweet or hot)
  • Mushrooms
  • Greek Yogurt (more like sour cream but tastier)
  • Your Favorite Cheese (shredded)

Obviously not all the ingredients are necessary and just like tacos that you might eat for dinner, toppings are up to you. First thing I usually do is cook my eggs. Scrambling the eggs with a little milk, some Rosemary (crushed up) and the sage. Once those are cooked you can set them aside in a bowl. It won’t matter if they cool down. Next cook all the vegetables (not the tomato) together and add a little pepper to taste. It works the best if you dice them all into small pieces as the corn tortillas are usually really small. Once that cooks you can set it aside with the eggs. Then take a pan and put a little oil in it and throw a tortilla in. Cook one side for a minute and then turn it over. Once you turn it over put some of the cheese down followed by some eggs, the vegetable mixture, tomato and yogurt. Once everything is inside you should fold over half the shell so that it looks like a taco and continue to fry it until you have good brown spots on there. Then flip it so both sides are awesome. Eat almost immediately (this is important).

It is important to wipe the pan after each taco with a rag or a paper towel so that you don’t start burning the tortillas after a few tacos. Another important suggestion is not to use crappy salsa. Use either fresh tomato instead or fresh pico de gallo. Crappy salsa can ruin the whole thing.

Enjoy!

Mugabe Midnight

Posted in Beer and Wine, Recipes with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2009 by Aaron

This dry stout is really good. It has a thinner body than most stouts but the flavor is really awesome. Here is how we made it:

Mugabe Midnight

  • ~ 1/3 lb. Belgian Black Malt
  • ~1/3 Lb. US Roasted Non Malted Barley
  • ~1/4 lb. Briess American Wheat Malt
  • 2 Cans 3.31 lbs. Coopers Dark Malt Extract
  • 2 oz. Williamette Leaf Hops 5.4%
  • 1 oz. Yakima Magnum Hop Pellets 12.1%
  • 11 g. Dried Windsor Ale Yeast

Put two gallons of cold water along with all grain in a big pot and bring to a boil. Remove the grain just before it begins to boil. Add the Malt Extract and bring back to a boil. Slow boil it for an hour. For the whole boil add all the hops. Sparge when pouring it into the carboy. Aerate the Carboy for about three minutes once cool before adding the yeast.

Try it. Let me know what you think! We just drank the last bottle recently and it was good. I am almost out of homebrew, that means it is time to make more. Luckily my brand new stock pot is on the way and I have enough ingredients to make 2 more batches.

Upcoming beers: Scotch Ale and an IPA. One for the kegerator and one for the bottles… which one should go where? The question is important. The kegerated beer can only be shared by people at my house. The bottles can be shared elsewhere. This will take some thinking. Or I could call for a vote and do what you say. What do you think?

I am a Hot Sauce Addict

Posted in Random Musings, Recipes with tags , , , , on June 23, 2009 by Aaron

Step 1: Admit that I have a problem.

Fixed HotI am addicted to spicy condiments. The more pain, the better. If I am eating Japanese food I will know that I have put the perfect amount of wasabi on if I make a face, grab my forehead and lose control of my body. That is the way I like it. Right now in my refrigerator there are 6 different types of hot sauce that are open. In my cupboard there are at least 10 more.

Step 2: Rationalize it so it isn’t a problem anymore and I can go on living just like I have been. Also, compare it to something socially acceptable.

Is it about the pain? I don’t think so. I get a rush when I eat it. It is almost the same as drinking a lot of coffee or something. I am more awake and focused. More energetic and also more focused on other senses than my sight. My sense of touch is on fire (literally and figuratively) and it is also something that I like to do that most other people can’t. If you replace any specific references to that spicy feeling from this last paragraph with drugs you can see where I am beginning to recognize my problem.

My only condolence so far is that I only have about 16 bottles of hot sauce in my house. I still have a house. I still have room in my refrigerator for things that you can actually consider food. This habit does not affect the quality of my work or the relationships I have the people around me. So maybe I don’t have a problem, just an obsession.

Step 3: Change the subject.

Either way, here is something that I made recently:

Most of the Habanero Pepper Recipes out there almost all have fruity flavors to help out. I am not a big fan of that when I eat hot sauce. They go well together but sometimes fruit doesn’t go with what you are putting it on. I set out to create something that is really hot and not fruity. The other problem is that most homemade hot sauces aren’t really that hot. It turned out really tasty and hot and here is how I made it.

I think this is what I did … I think … it wasn’t that recently …

  • ~20 Habanero Peppers Minced
  • 1 Large Onion Diced
  • 5 Cloves of Garlic Minced
  • 1/2 of a Sweet Red Pepper diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Sea Salt
  • 1.5 Cups Apple Cider Vinegar

In a pot fry onion, garlic and red pepper until soft. Add habanero’s, salt and pepper and fry for another 3 minutes. Add cider vinegar and cook down to desired thickness.

I made it pretty thick, more like the consistency of ketchup. Good Luck.

Angela’s Tortillas and fresh Falafel

Posted in Recipes with tags , , on June 11, 2009 by Aaron
If you like buying it to eat … fresh, homemade Falafel could change your life. As far as toppings for it go, it can be like tacos. There are a million things you could set it up with: some greens, tomato, raw onion, goat or feta cheese, yogurt, hot sauce, red cabbage, mushrooms, red bell peppers and almost anything else you can think of that sounds delicious. A good sauce to make with it is a yogurt, fresh dill and cucumber sauce. Throw those 3 in the food processor until smooth. The fresh herbs in this makes a big difference.
Angela’s Tortilla’s
  • 3 Cups Self Rising Flour
  • 1 and an 1/8 Cup Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Shortening

Mix and let sit for 20 minutes. Roll flat and cook.

It takes about 40 minutes to have a ton of fresh hot flour tortillas. For the shortening I usually use Crisco or Butter. Angela’s grandma uses crisco. If you don’t have self rising flour you can add a little Baking Soda in to make it rise.

 

Falafel

  • 1 Cup Garbanzo Beans (soaked but not cooked, can’t used the canned kind)
  • 1 Medium Sized Onion Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Crushed Red Pepper
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ~6 Teaspoons Flour

Blend the beans and onion in a food processor. Blend in the parsley, cilantro, salt, red pepper, garlic and cumin into the food processor too. In a bowl, stir the baking powder and flour into your bean mixture. Mold into golf ball sized balls and deep fry.

If they fall apart you need to use a little more flour and the mix shouldn’t be too sticky. You need to use dried beans and soak them overnight for this recipe. If you use canned beans the balls will fall apart in the oil.

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Avocado sandwiches are good for your belly

Posted in Recipes with tags , , on May 27, 2009 by Aaron

Mmmm. Try making this really easy sandwich that is really awesome. Get or make some really good bread to toast and put on some avocado, tomato, some goat cheese and a little bit of spicy mustard. The scientists have figured out that this sandwich actually improves the spacial reasoning functions of your brain.

avocado

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tomato

Make Dandelion or Rhubarb Wine This Year!

Posted in Beer and Wine, Recipes with tags , , , on May 20, 2009 by Aaron

I feel that wines like this are meant to be made without all the extra specialty ingredients. They are simple country wines that are meant to be homemade and good, but not too good. In the past I have made Dandelion wine which is just 2 gallons of dandelion flowers and 10 lbs. of sugar to make 5 gallons. You can use raisins, orange zest and lemon zest to make it a little more tasty. Simple, cheap and good enough to drink.

2 Gallons Dandelion Flowers
10 lbs white granulated sugar
Zest from 2 Lemons
Zest from 2 Oranges
2 Cups White Raisins
2 Servings Bread Yeast

Pick off all the stems from the dandelion flowers and discard. In a large pot with 2 gallons of water dissolve all the sugar while you bring it to a boil. Boil for one hour and then turn off the heat. Pour into a 5 Gallon Carboy or Bucket. Add Raisins and Zest from Lemons and Oranges and water to bring it up to 5 Gallons. Once it has cooled to about 85 degrees F add the prepared yeast and seal the container with an air lock.

It will take about 1-2 months to ferment and then you can age it in a bottle for at least a year. It is much better if you wait at least a year to drink it.

 

If I can get my hands on enough rhubarb this year this is something that I would love to try. There are a lot of specialty ingredients in this recipe but you can simplify it and not use them all. Most important is the Rhubarb, the sugar, the yeast and yeast nutrient. You can even use bread yeast if you don’t have access to wine yeast. The following recipe is from the book “Mary’s Recipes” by Jerry Uthemann

For 1 gallon of Rhubarb Wine:

2 1/2 lb to 4 lb Rhubarb
2 1/2 lb white granulated sugar
1 tsp Acid Blend
1 tsp. Yeast Nutrient
1 Campden Tablet
1/2 tsp Pectic Enzyme
1/4 tsp Grape Tannin
1/4 tsp Yeast Energizer
Water to make 1 gallon
Wine Yeast

Hints: Because of the oxalic acid present in rhubarb, it is best to ferment just the juice, not the pulp. Never use hot water with rhubarb. Cut up rhubarb and freeze for at least a few days, it will yield more flavor.

Method:
Thaw out rhubarb. Pour sugar and pectic enzyme powder with the crushed campden tablet over the rhubarb in the primary fermenter to extract the juice. Cover with a plastic sheet. Let stand for 24 hours, then strain out the fruit and press very dry. Mix all other ingredients except wine yeast in primary fermenter. Gently add the yeast to the must. Cover with plastic sheet. Ferment for 5-6 days, or until specific gravity is 1.030. Rack into secondary fermenter and attach airlock. When wine
is clear and stable, it’s ready bottle. Use 1/2 tsp of potassium sorbate and 1 additional Campden Tablet to stabilize. Sweeten with simple sugar syrup if desired. It’s recommended that 1/2 tsp of ascorbic acid anti-oxidant be added at bottling time to preserve color.