Saturday night – 06/27/2015

Ted mentioned that we hadn’t had rice with pigeon peas in a while; I looked back and the last time I noted it for Saturday night was in 2010. Sadly my go-to recipe, from Daisy Martinez, fell off the interwebs. I found a couple of sites that look like they used her recipe and gave it a go. The result was pretty tasty. I’ll add my take on it in a future recipe post.

The rest of the menu was built around the rice.

Chicken thighs with mushrooms
Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas)
Roasted Carrots with Turmeric and Cumin
rustic boule (store-bought)

Pound Cake w/fresh strawberries and whipped cream

Notes under the cut

Rhubarb-Cherry Compote

As shocking as it may be to see me write this there are other ice cream toppings beside hot fudge and chocolate syrup. Heresy, I know, I know. Yet some fruit combinations provide a tart counter to ice creams creamy sweetness. Here’s one I came up with after rummaging through the freezer and finding a quart of fresh cherries I pitted last summer.

Rhubarb-Cherry Compote
Servings: 6-8
Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes


  • 1 lb. rhubarb, ends trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 3 cups previously frozen cherries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup tart cherry juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • pinch of kosher salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook for 8-10 minutes until rhubarb has lost it’s shape.
  3. Taste and adjust salt and/or sugar to your taste.
  4. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. This will allow the compote to set into a loose jam-like consistency

Saturday night – 06/20/2015

Earlier in the week I made a pork dish in the pressure cooker with a jar of tomatillo salsa as the liquid. It came out so good I tried to strike gold twice by making something similar for Saturday night dinner. The reviews were pretty good though I ended up using a “green chili” sauce instead of the tomatillo salsa.

Braised Country-Style Pork Ribs with Green Chili
Macaroni and Cheese
Sauteed Baby Kale with Bacon
Ted’s Focaccia

Rhubarb-Cherry Compote with vanilla ice cream

Notes under the cut


Chimichurri is a bright green sauce with a heavy punch of garlic. It originates from Argentina and is great along side grilled meats of all varieties. The garlic, and small amount of red pepper flakes, give it a bit of heat on the tongue as well.

This is best if you make it about 30 minutes ahead so that the flavors can meld. Don’t bother refrigerating if you plan to use it within an hour.

Servings: a generous cup of sauce
Prep time: less than 5 minutes
Total time: ~10 minutes


  • 2 lg. cloves garlic, peeled and quartered (about 1/8 cup of garlic)
  • 2 bunches fresh parsley, washed and dried, rough cut (stems and leaves)
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 20 grinds coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • juice from 1/4 lime


  1. Add garlic and parsley to the bowl of a food processor. Process in 10 1-second pulses and scrape down the bowl.
  2. Add oil, vinegar and water to the bowl, process for an additional 5 1-second pulses. Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Add salt, peppers, and lime juice. Process for 5 seconds. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

The bunches of parsley at my grocery store are kind of puny so I used 2. If you find (or grow) generous bunches of parsley then you’ll need less. Given that this is made in the food processor I used the stems as well as leaves. After cutting into about 3 sections each the 2 bunches totaled maybe 4 loose cups.

You could substitute a bunch of cilantro for one of the bunches of parsley.

We had leftover grilled chicken breast, chimichurri and sour dough left over. I think a chimichurri chicken salad might be in our future.

Based on this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated (May ’01). I’ve modified it for what I had on hand, and general laziness.

Recipe Index updated


I just wanted to let folks know that I’ve updated the recipe index to include stuff added in the last six month. I added 28 recipes during that period for soups, sweets and the courses in between. The total recipe count is over 200 at this point.

Explain to me again why I can’t figure out what to cook for dinner?

Saturday night – 06/13/2015

It was a bright, sunny day and I knew the house would grow rather warm so this week’s menu was intended to avoid cooking inside. We have a decent gas grill and other than boiling a kettle of water everything that was cooked was cooked on the grill.

Grilled Chicken with Chimichurri
Foil-pack Potatoes and Onions
Roasted Beets
Sourdough Bread

Cheesecake (provided by our friend G)

Notes under the cut

Baked “Spanish” Rice

The word Spanish is in quotes in the title because I suspect this dish bears little resemblance to the rice dishes served in Spain. We often serve this when we make some sort of American-Mexican food, such with enchiladas. It also goes well with grilled meat.

Baked “Spanish” Rice
Servings: 8-10
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes


  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups white rice (long or medium grain)
  • 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can (15 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper


  1. Position your oven racks so that a covered dutch oven will fit. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions & peppers along with a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the rice to the pot and stir until coated in oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes until just starting to change from white to opaque.
  4. Add broth, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake until all of the broth has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
  6. Uncover and let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy.

Saturday night – 06/06/2015

It’s June and some genetic predisposition means I must cook with fire. The gas stove isn’t good enough when the weather is nice and the day is long. I must venture outside, to the gas grill!

Grilled Hamburgers
– cheese, bacon, homemade pickles and condiments as desired
Baked Beans
Pasta Salad with zucchini, yellow pepper and lemon-thyme vinaigrette

Strawberry Shortcake

Notes under the cut

Tangerine Spice Cupcakes

Ted’s birthday came around once again and we settled on this tangerine scented spice goodie for dessert.

Tangerine Spice Cupcakes
Servings: 24 cupcakes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon (I used Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon)
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. tangerine oil


  1. Arrange oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line 2 12-cup muffin trays with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl whisk together the flour, soda, powder, salt and spices. Set aside.
  3. Combine the butter, shortening and sugar in the bowl of stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Beat for ~2 minutes until combined and fluffy.
  4. Add the water, eggs, vanilla and tangerine oil to the mixer bowl. Beat on low until combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrap sides. Give the batter a final mix by hand to make sure any stray flour is incorporated.
  6. Use a disher to fill the cupcake liners.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes on the same oven rack, rotating the pans and swapping sides half way through backing. Test with a toothpick at the end of baking; it should come out clean if inserted in the center of a cupcake.

Tangerine oil can be found online or as part of a set in specialty cooking gear stores such as Sur La Table. A little bit goes a long way.

This recipe is based on a sour cream spice cake from an old Betty Crocker cookbook I received when I first moved out on my own. I’ve tweaked the ingredient list, reordered it to match how I prepare the batter and rewritten the “dump everything and mix” instructions.

After cooling completely I covered these with my simple buttercream frosting.  I added 1/4 tsp. orange oil to the frosting.  I topped about half of them with Ted’s candied tangelo peel.