Fatty Bear’s Delights

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Savory Sunday! February 14, 2010

Filed under: Main Course — fattybear @ 9:15 pm
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So since DC has been buried in snow I have not have the means to go grocery shopping meaning no new exciting recipes to post about soooo I took a vacation, but I am back!

I know that I typically reserve Sunday for something sweet, but this since I haven’t been to the grocery store I had no items to make this week’s sweet until this afternoon and it’s a breakfast treat again this week.ย  So check back later this week for the sweet ๐Ÿ™‚

Now if I had to pick a favorite ethnic cuisine I would have to say Indian food, especially the vegetarian recipes, especially anything with potatoes. Indian food has the best spices and it just fills the air with a nice warm aroma. It’s 31 degrees F outside it felt like a balmy 80 in my apartment, which is perfect to keep me warm since my Valentine is not around to keep me warm tonight.

So I’ll stop blabbing now and give the recipe. It’s a modification of Emeril Lagasse’s recipe, I didn’t really like how he make it all mush so I kept my potatoes in chunks and crisped them up. I’ll give you another variation I’ve done on this as well in case you don’t like the thick texture of the spinach portion.

SAAG ALOO or ALOO PALAK ( I just call it Yummy)

Escape to India

1 large potato

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 tsp ginger, grated

1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed, chopped

1/2 lb spinach, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 turmeric

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 cup heavy cream

vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS:

1) Parboil potatoes for 10 minutes in water with salt and turmeric added. Drain potatoes and dice into 1/2 inch cubes

2) In 1 1/2 tablespoons oil cook onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno pepper; cook until onions are soft. Add spinach in batches and wilt down. Once all spinach is wilted. Put in a food processor and puree* OR add potato chunks to spinach now. Add garam masala, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Cook until crisp. Stir in heavy cream and serve.

*3) Saute potatoes in skillet where spinach mixture was cooked. Add all the seasonings (garam masala, cumin, and cayenne pepper) now. Add a bit of oil to help the potatoes crisp up. When potatoes are crisp add puree spinach mixture and heavy cream. Give it a good stir.

If you go to the link to the Emeril recipe there is a tasty spicy chickpea recipe. I didn’t make any changes to it so just eat it as is! Also, get some naan to get with this. It tastes great wrapped up in a warm piece of garlic naan. You can find pre-made naan at the grocery store I always get mine from Whole Foods.

 

Not Your Ordinary Burger January 30, 2010

Filed under: Main Course,sandwiches — fattybear @ 6:59 pm
Tags: ,

So I think it is fairly obvious I’m not the best of bloggers. I have issues with keeping a schedule, but never fear I am still here and still cooking.

So having ground chicken left over from the stuffed peppers I had to do some quick thinking of how to use it up so it didn’t go to waste. Cooking for a small crowd, meaning 1 or 2, is difficult when it seems like everything you buy comes in bulk portions. So you find yourself a) using it all at once and ending up with bazillion of leftovers or b) you end up finding that meat,produce, fruit item you meant to put to good use in another recipe transforming into a UFO in your fridge.

To help resolve my issue of eating leftovers for eternity and UFOs I have come up with a means to spread it out over time by making foods that can be frozen. Frozen meals are genius. (Tips for freezing food: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/FactSheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp, http://busycooks.about.com/od/freezingfood/Freezing_and_Refrigerating_Food.htm). It allows you to have the homecook yumminess without the hardwork, which is really nice after a long day at work. Back to the food now…

I had leftover ground chicken. I also had a taco flavor craving, but I didn’t actually want tacos, if that makes any sense…. So to satisfy this craving I decided to make an inside-out taco chicken burger. And to make it extra special I decided to make my own taco seasoning. So brace yourself for taco chicken burger awesomeness and bask in the happiness of knowing you can make bazillions of these burgers, freeze them, and enjoy them in less than 10 minutes whenever another craving strikes. Enjoy!

Inside-Out Taco Chicken Burger

I'm a taco...sorta

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb Ground chicken, depending on burger size should make about 3-4

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1-2 tablespoons DIY taco seasoning, recipe follows.

wrap or bun

fixings of your choice:

lettuce

salsa

avacado

sour cream

tomatoes

DIRECTIONS:

TACO SEASONING: I kind of just chucked all these ingredients in in proportions I thought was right based on how spicy, garlicky, oniony I wanted it, but for people who need a bit more structure here is a good guide from All Recipes Site. This is another great thing to make in bulk and save for whenever you want that taco flavor…

Chili pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, black pepper, white pepper, cilantro, cayenne pepper, and pepper flakes. ( I like pepper in lots of forms ๐Ÿ™‚ )

Put ground chicken meat in a bowl. Mix with taco seasoning. Divide the ground meat into portions of 3 or 4 depending on desired burger size. Measure out your cheese now so you don’t contaminate it with chicken hands by reaching into the bag.

To make burger divide each of your portions in half. Pat one half into a flat disk, it doesn’t have to be too thick because remember this is only half of the burger. Pat the other half into a round disk about the same size as the first. Sprinkle one half with about 1/8 cup cheese. Cover with other disk half and seal. Another method I have seen is taking your whole portion patting it flat, fill with fillings, roll into ball, and pat into disk shape again. Do whatever makes your cooking heart happy. *You might be able to put your salsa in there as well. I haven’t tried this yet. I imagine it will freeze alright…

Burgers are ready to be cooked or frozen! If you freeze them I recommend plastic wrap first and then foil. When you go to cook them later no need to defrost just cook straight from frozen. Just make sure not matter when you eat them the temperature gets to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit internally.

 

Fill Me Up Good January 23, 2010

Filed under: Main Course,Sauces — fattybear @ 1:15 pm
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Ordinarily, I’m cooking for one, but since my brother started working local to me I now have a guaranteed dinner companion/food guinea pig once a week to share all these new recipes I plan on trying this coming year. Huzzah! Also, he provides me with a good excuse to go to my favorite ice cream shop once a week, Max’s Ice Cream, Glover Park, Washington DC, a must visit if you are in DC. Message to Max: Come back from vacation!!!! I don’t care if it is 20 degrees outside! I want ice cream!!

So originally I picked this recipe out of the February Woman’s Day Magazine because it was a slow cooker recipe. I love my slow cooker and I will spare you for now my lengthy rambling about why I love it and save that for a time when I actually use my slow cooker, because I didn’t use it this time. Say what?! I know, I know who picks a slower cooker recipe for that purpose and then coverts it back? Well, me. A slow cooker recipe requires that you actually have the ingredients the morning/afternoon before the evening you want to eat the meal and the place where grocery shopping fit in that day’s agenda did not allow for it. So I went ahead and did what I usually do and made tweaks, such as DIY Tomato Sauce. If you want the original recipe click the link above.

PS: I’m all about having pictures of the food I make and sadly I somehow missed taking a picture of my peppers. So that is the picture from Woman’s Day Magazine, if only my photography was half what theirs was maybe people would be even more tempted to try my food ๐Ÿ˜‰

Fill Me Up Good Peppers

Clearly the beauty of this shot indicates I did not take it ๐Ÿ˜‰

INGREDIENTS:

3 large bell peppers

2/3 lbs ground chicken

1 small zucchini, diced

1/3 cup quinoa, cooked according to package

1/3 cup onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup raisins

2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese

about 2ย  1/2 cups basic tomato sauce (recipe below ๐Ÿ™‚ ), or 1 jar marinara sauce

1 tbsp basalmic vinegar

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking pan with foil (this just makes for easy clean up you don’t really need to do this). I recommend you start the quinoa now as well. Slice off the top 1/2 inch of peppers; seed them and reserve tops.

2) In a bowl mix tomato sauce, balsalmic vinegar, cumin and cinnamon.

3) In a skillet add ground chicken, zucchini, and onion. Season with a bit of pepper and salt. Cook chicken through. Add raisins. Mix with prepared tomato sauce, reserve some of the sauce to put on top of the stuffing.

4) Scoop into pepper shells. Cover with the reserved sauce. Cover pan with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15 minutes more or until cheese is melted.

And that is it! So instead of 5-6 hours it only takes 1 1/2 hours, granted a little bit more effort needs to be made by you the cook. I served this with a salad and egg noodles and it was delicious! Enjoy!

Okay, so this basic tomato sauce makes more than you really need for the recipe, but you can always freeze what you don’t use or save it for a bit for when you are making spaghetti or pizza later in the week ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the taste of homemade sauce because it changes every time you make it and everything just tastes richer and fresh. So if you have the time and inspiration make your own sauce, it’s totally worth it. Enjoy!

BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, shredded

3 cloves garlic

1 can whole tomatoes, undrained

1 6oz can tomato paste

dried basil

dried oregano

dried parsley

dried thyme

dried rosemary

crushed red pepper

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper
Over medium heat cook onion and carrots in oil until soft. I put a lid on and let it sit for like 15 minutes. Add garlic cook for about 30 seconds.ย  Add can of tomatoes, do not drain.ย  Stir in whole can of tomato paste. Shake on seasonings to your desired taste, just toss in the bay leaf (This is where the uniqueness of your sauce comes in so have a blast trying different herbs and seasonings.) Give it a good stir.

Let it simmer for about 20 minutes. break up the whole tomatoes into chunks with fork, potato masher, pastry blender, crushing object of choice. If you want a smoother sauce put in a blender or food processor and give it a few pulses until desired texture. If the sauce is too thick you can add a bit of milk or water to thin it out, but make sure not to add too much or it will take away from the delicious flavors you seasoned with. Another options is putting less tomato paste in. I like a thick, chunky, hearty sauce ๐Ÿ™‚

 

It’s a protein! January 16, 2010

Filed under: Main Course,side dish — fattybear @ 10:16 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

So as promised I have the complimentary salad to the yummy guacamole sandwich. Now I know some people think that quinoa is a carbohydrate because it is so often used to substitute rice or couscous or pasta, you get the picture. Anywho…the amazing thing about quinoa is it’s a complete protein!!! So instead of having rice with your Mexican every time why not try out this great variation.

FIESTA QUINOA!!

It's a party in your mouth!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package

1 red pepper, finely chopped

1 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeรฑo pepper, finely chopped

1 cup frozen corn, cooked

1 tomato, chopped

1 can black beans, drained

Dressing

3 limes, juice and zest

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Mix lime juice, lime zest, olive oil, and salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Add the chopped vegetables, corn, black beans, and quinoa to the bowl with the dressing. Stir together. Eat immediately or let the flavors settle into the quinoa.

It’s that simple! I find this salad works great as a meal with tortilla chips to scoop or you can wrap it up in a burrito with some lettuce and cheese, remember it’s a protein so you are getting a very filling meal! Enjoy!

 

My Dear Friend Basil July 19, 2009

Filed under: Main Course — fattybear @ 3:44 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

So as promised here is the all exclusive post about basil. It truly is a wonderful herb. Fact of the matter is I use a lot of basil. For awhile I was foolishly buying the “fresh” basil in the little plastic cartridges on a needed basis, but those tiny little packs of not-so-fresh basil cost a good $3.00 and don’t last nearly long enough for all my basil cravings. Luckily, grocery stores have a solution for people like me and they now sell live plants!! I will confess my first shot at the live plant did not go over so well and I had to throw basil #1 away, but basil #2 is flourishing! Don’t believe me? Look at this!

My friend basil

My friend basil

So as you can see I had a lot of basil on my hands. SO much basil in fact I made my dishes for the week center around the fact that I had basil. In the following you will find just a few of the ways I used some of my bountiful basil plant up. Enjoy!

To start, one way to use a lot of basil at once is to make pesto refer back to my entry Pesto! Pesto! for that particular recipe. You’ll also find another fantastic use for pesto there ๐Ÿ™‚ See, my love for basil is not new found.

NOTE: You can freeze your pesto! Just omit the cheese when you make it and freeze it up in an ice cube tray. Pop out the frozen cubes and store in a freezer bag. Add the cheese in after you defrost it for use ๐Ÿ™‚

B.M.T

Mr. B.M.T.

Mr. B.M.T.

A classic recipe that you can never go wrong with.

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole wheat pita

4 slices of tomato

1 Tablespoon pesto

A few slices of mozzarella

a few basil leaves

1) Open pita and spread the pesto over one side (or both if you are a pesto fiend). Layerย  mozzarella, basil and tomato into pita

2) Cook on a griddle until cheese is good and melted. Make sure you flip it so both sides of the pita get toasted.

It’s really that easy. Tastiest, best, quick dinner ever. One note, spend the extra few bucks to get the freshest mozzarella you can, you won’t regret it.

Gnocchi Caprese

Potato pillows of yumminess

Potato pillows of yumminess

So the following recipe can be super simple or you can challenge yourself and make your own gnocchi. Inspiration for this recipe came from the fact that 1) I had a lot of basil and therefore a lot of pesto to use 2) I really wanted to try to make gnocchi and 3) I love the combination of B.M.T. and will use it as often as possible…

Now if you want to be simple about this recipe and are impatient to get to the yummy goodness of it you can buy gnocchi at your local grocery store. But if you are like me and like experimenting in the kitchen and want to test out your culinary skills check out this recipe for gnocchi. I found it fairly easy to follow and if you are feeling really inspired you can look at her pesto recipe that is straight from an Italian grandmother (I cheat and use a food processor, she does all the chopping by hand… you’ve got to have some nice sharp knives to do that without getting frustrated.)

Little fact, did you know that gnocchi can be made with potato or ricotta?? I’d like to try making it with ricotta sometime, I’ll let you know how it turns out if I ever get around to it.

A plate full of gnocchi

A plate full of gnocchi

So if you are anything like me you always make more food than you need. Especially if you are always cooking for one person. Well the wonderful thing about gnocchi is that it easily freezes! Just lay out the gnocchi in a single layer on a cookie sheet on a sheet of wax paper and then freeze them. Once they are frozen just put them in a freezer bag and pull out as needed. No need to defrost either. Complicated homemade gnocchi becomes simple homemadeย  gnocchi.

Brrr it's cold in here!

Brrr it's cold in here!

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for…How exactly do you make that oh so beautiful dish that I have tantalized your tastes buds with since beginning this topic of gnocchi…

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 tablespoons pesto, or enough to coat your gnocchi

1 small tomato diced

1/4 cup mozzarella, large shreds

enough gnocchi to satisfy your belly

1) Toss gnocchi with pesto.

2) Toss gnocchi with tomato.

3) Sprinkle with mozzarella shreds.

An elegant simple recipe to impress a date with ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t forget the garlic bread!

Fatty Bear’s White Veggie Pizza

Nothing says "yum!" like a white veggie pizza

Nothing says "yum!" like a white veggie pizza

I’m a HUGE fan of white pizza, and unfortunately DC isn’t really known for having white pizza, or at least not how I like it. Yes, I am being a bit of a princess… Anyways I have a feeling you won’t be offended by my princess attitude of having pizza a particular way once you try this pizza.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pilsbury pizza crust, it’s in the refrigerator section.

pesto sauce

fresh spinach leaves

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1/2 red pepper, cut into strips

1 cup broccoli, cut into bite size pieces

1 small tomato, sliced or diced

1/2 cup feta cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil, mix in a dash of crushed red pepper, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder

1) Roll out the pizza crust onto pizza sheet or baking sheet. Preheat oven according to package instructions

2) Coat crust with pesto sauce. Use as much as your little fatty bear heart desires ๐Ÿ™‚

3) Layer with spinach leaves. Sprinkle on mozzarella cheese. Add on other toppings of red pepper, broccoli, and tomato. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

4) With a pastry brush, brush the olive oil mixture on the outer crust. Bake for about 18-20 minutes.

I like to imagine I’m eating healthy when I have this pizza. I mean look at all the veggies on there!

I have one last recipe to share…

Watermelon-Basil Slush

At this moment I don’t have a picture of this refreshing creation, but I promise to post one as soon as it is made again.

This recipe is a creation of guest writer Scruffy Bear. It’s a sweet way to take advantage of the bountiful produce of summer.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups watermelon, cubed (I wish I had a video of how Scruffy cuts his watermelon, it’s super cool! It makes a girl want to get down on one knee and propose, which apparently is not a good reason to get married, go figure ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

4ย  large leaves basil, chopped

1) Heat water and sugar in a sauce pan to make a simple sugar syrup.

2) Place chunks of watermelon and basil in a food processor or blender. You may have to do this in batches. Pour in your simple sugar syrup, let your kitchen appliance do it’s work.

3) Pour blended watermelon mixture into a large bowl. Place in freezer for about 1 hour to chill. You don’t want it to freeze completely.

4) Pour into cups and serve! mmmm refreshingly good!

ALTERNATE USE: If you feel in the mood for a granita instead, pour the blended watermelon mixture into ice cube trays and let it freeze. Once frozen give the cubes a quick blend in a food processor or blender to give it a more water ice texture.

Well friends, that concludes our many adventures with basil! Tune in later for Bubba Burley’s Curry. Enjoy!

 

What’s up Doc!? May 19, 2009

Filed under: Breakfast,Main Course — fattybear @ 6:36 am
Tags: , ,

My sister the other day was sorely disappointed that I had breakfast items missing from my food recipes, and I agree with her. The things is, my favorite breakfast items are not cooked by me so I forget to pester who make them for the recipes so I can post them. Well folks, the wait is over. Breakfast is making its appearance on Fatty Bear’s Delights and we are starting with….

PANCAKES!!!

Ordinarily, I am not a huge fan of pancakes…I’m more of a waffle girl., but I have a friend who makes the most wonderful pancakes and always finds the most unique recipes to work with or he comes up with them off the top if his head. I like to think he’s a pancake genius. His pancakes reduce me to becoming something like this duck…

Either A…pestering for pancakes at every moment….

pancakes

Or B….

I think you get the picture. Anyways, You will not be sad with the pancakes below so what are you waiting for?? Get in the kitchen and whip up a batch now. Woo that fatty bear in your life.

Carrot Cake Pancakes

Your favorite cake in breakfast form!

Your favorite cake in breakfast form!

adapted from the food network

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dash nutmeg
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup packed brown or granulated sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Spread
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 dash ground cinnamon

In a bowl, combine flour, pecans, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, combine egg, brown sugar, milk, carrots, and vanilla; mix well.

Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupful onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on the top of pancake; flip and cook until golden brown.

For topping, blend cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve with pancakes.

 

That’s A Wrap! May 10, 2009

Filed under: Main Course — fattybear @ 9:21 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Helloooo! I know, it has been super long since I have posted, but I have lots of pictures on my camera just waiting to be uploaded and written about (hopefully I remember how I made the dishes!).

I recently went through a phase were I was eating everything wrapped up. I found these great spinach wraps and well couldn’t resist using them at every opportunity made available. I love how wraps are pretty much a convienent holder for all the yummy food combinations you can think of. Also, there’s something that spices up the ordinary salad fixings when they are wrapped up burrito like.ย  This post is a double-whammy because wraps are just that awesome. Feel free to share your favorite wraps ๐Ÿ™‚

WalChicCran Wrap

WalChicCran

INGREDIENTS:

1 wrap of choice (they have so many varieties out there…sun-dried tomato, spinach, whole wheat, cheddar jalepeno)

1 cup mixed greens

1/4 chickpeas ( I used canned ones and saved what I didn’t use in a tupperware container for use later that week)

2 tablespoon dried cranberries

2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped

sprinkle of shredded cheese

drizzle of ranch dressing (or any dressing really!)

Toss all the ingredients, obviously not the wrap, together. Layer in center of wrap. Roll up wrap and enjoy! Don’t you love the simplicity??

Tired of the Burger Bun Wrap

No bun here!

No bun here!

INGREDIENTS:

1 wrap of choice

1 Boca Bruschetta Burger (These are delicous and make an excellent parmesan burger too!)

1/4 of red bell pepper

1/4 of green bell pepper

1 cup mixed greens

1/4 cup chickpeas

drizzle Balsamic Vinagrette dressing

Cook bruschetta burger according to package.

Toss other ingredients together. Layer on wrap, with burger on top. Wrap up, enjoy!!

There you have it! Two unique wrap reciepes that can easily be prepared in less than 10 minutes! I hope you enjoy the quick wraps. I’ll try to be less of a stranger.