Saturday, February 27, 2016

Chimichitos and Eggs from Sam the Cooking Guy/11 Recipes Down

Tonight's entry is another two-parter and they're both from Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts.

The first one is for Chimichitos: a cross between a burrito and a chimichanga. As always, my husband doesn't mind being my culinary guinea pig, even more so now when I tell him it's going to be a "Sam the Cooking Guy" recipe. I mean hell, this is a cooking show I can turn on and if my husband's home, he ends up watching it with me! :)

The good thing is a few weeks ago, I saw an episode where Sam talks about the best way to shred a rotisserie chicken, and I used that skill tonight. Granted, I did feed the skin to Cujo here, but he was supervising me and he had a hell of a morning at the groomer, so he deserved it. Unfortunately, I can't find that episode online, otherwise I'd post it here.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I learned that this is easier than making regular enchiladas. There's a lot less work and it seems to bake faster than the last time I made actual enchiladas.

I learned that a couple spoonfuls of black beans (left over from the salmon from a few nights ago) is a good addition.

I also learned it's okay to be a little heavier handed with the oil when you're brushing the top of something with it, before it goes into the oven. You're probably being told to use it to create a little color on whatever you're baking, so really slather it on there.

The other recipe is for...a hardboiled egg.

Stay with me for a second here. It will make sense, I swear it.

I do know how to boil an egg, however, Sam's got a different technique for it. And technically, this is a recipe so I've got to make it.

What did I learn from this recipe?
 I've been letting my eggs boil for like 10 minutes straight. I learned I don't need to do that. Boil them for 2 minutes, cover the pan and turn off the heat so they sit in hot water for 10 minutes. Boom...something new learned today.

Plus, I did boil them for a recipe for tomorrow, so I'm basically getting a jump start on tomorrow's lunch.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pancetta-Grilled Asparagus/9 Recipes Down

In case anyone actually reads this blog and is wondering...yes, I am doing other things beside cooking. Right now, I've got some pieces to a Gonk droid sitting on my front sidewalk. I just painted them and I'm letting them dry. I'm also going to make a new pair of Jedi pants and tabbards this weekend, because I'm now up to attending three con's before the end of May, so it's going to be a busy spring! :) And I've also been cleaning a lot here at the house, seeing what I can steal from our daily lives and squirrel away for the camper, when the time comes that we get it.

But onto the topic at hand: tonight's "Sam the Cooking Guy" recipe is pancetta-grilled asparagus, and it comes from Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts. My husband had  couple steaks going on the grill for us.

There are actually two ways listed to make this: one is obviously on the grill and the other is under a broiler. We've had some winds here lately, so I pussed out and make this under the broiler. Notice he didn't puss out on the grilling with the steaks though. :)

What did I learn from this recipe?
I learned I like pancetta, as I've never had it before. I also learned it has a wonderful, slight saltiness to it.

And I learned my husband thinks this is the best thing he's ever eaten, and the best thing I've ever made. He couldn't believe it was only two ingredients. 

This will be made again!!! 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Got a Sam the Cooking Guy Two-fer You Tonight/8 Recipes Down

Today was a two Sam recipe day, and because I'm trying harder to keep some of his staples on hand here, it happened quite naturally!

But so far, I am left with one small conundrum...I don't drink and there are a few drink recipes. I might have 1-2 drinks per year, and I don't want to skip any recipes in the books. I guess I'll figure that out as I get a little further into this project.

For lunch today, I made the Tomato and Potato Chip Sandwich, from Just a Bunch of Recipes.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I should have gone with thinner tomato slices. I got a Roma tomato and it was good, but also...February is not the time for the best tomatoes.

It was an okay sandwich, but a little on the messy side. 

For supper tonight, again, without really trying, I made the Fish (Stick) Taco from Awesome Recipes & Kitchen Shortcuts. My husband didn't want to try this one. While he is a fan of Mexican food (he told me once he thinks he may have been Mexican in a previous life), he thinks a fish taco is not a "real taco." Real tacos have ground beef or steak in them, with lettuce and cheese. Maybe a little hot sauce. That's it. Nothin' else.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I liked the cabbage in it, and the hot sauce I used came from Lucky's Cafe in Cleveland. It's a very nice hot sauce, quite mild actually, and it has a good hot sauce smell to it. If you get the chance to go there, I recommend both the cafe and picking up a bottle of the sauce on your way out.

However, I realized after the fact that I forgot to throw some sour cream on there. I think that would have been really good.

I also didn't like the lime juice. I figured that was going to happen, and I probably used too much, but I just don't like lime.

If making this again, I should either use better (bigger) fish sticks or put them in a tortilla. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Pesto BBQ Shrimp/6 Recipes Down

Tonight's entry in my "Cooking With Sam" theme is Pesto BBQ Shrimp, from Just a Bunch of Recipes. 

Here is tonight's alternative version of the recipe. And as always, full disclosure here: this is a recipe for the grill. However, we're having bad storms here tonight and I didn't get outside to use the grill, so I made this in the house.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I learned that this recipe really needs to be made on the grill. While my husband liked it, I wasn't so fond of it and it was because I made it in a pan on the stove. This needs to be made again, outside, on the grill. It needs to have some grill marks and maybe a little char on it.

I also learned I need to use less pesto for the re-do, than I used for the first go-round. I think the pesto over-powered the shrimp.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Black Bean Salmon/5 Recipes Down

Tonight's installment of "Cooking With Sam" is the Black Bean Salmon from Just A Bunch Of Recipes. I also made some (microwave) steamed cauliflower and a little bit of left over kernel corn.

Here is a version (longer and more drawn out) of the recipe.

You'll have to excuse the briefness of tonight's entry. I just worked a week straight at our local trade show and I'm still wiped out, even with Monday being a short day.

My husband really liked this recipe. He was dinking around on his computer when I was finishing up, so I just went ahead and got our plates ready. He's usually up for being my culinary guinea pig, so when he walked into the kitchen and saw the plates, he asked if this was another Sam night.

What did I learn from this recipe?
I learned that my local Kroger doesn't carry black bean and garlic sauce, so I had to improvise a little. I took about 1/3 of a can of black beans (mostly drained) and some powdered garlic, pulsed them briefly in my Magic Bullet mixer, and that seemed to do the trick. When I mixed in the apricot preserves, I just hand mixed that into the black beans with a spoon, because I didn't want to blend away the apricot chunks.

It got me a little out of my taste comfort zone, because it includes scallions, which I'm not really a fan of. However, it worked really well with this recipe.

Plus, I think I learned that the sesame seeds added at the end are more for texture (garnish) than for taste. And despite there not being a lot of taste in them, I liked the addition of them.