Monday, June 30, 2014

Rosie Makes Her Pig Pie.

With M & Y Hawthornelets home this summer,
I'm finding the need to come up with heartier meals.
What can I say?
They like their protein.
And they like a lot of it.

Mr. Hawthorne's and my diet proclivities
lean toward the lighter meats.
(Heh.  "Lean.")
I could live off of seafood and be quite happy,
although every once and a while,
I know my body would scream out for a bloody rare steak.

For my boys, I scrounged around in the freezer
and came up with four nice pork loins.
I'm making one of our favorites - Pig Pie.

It's a heady combination of pig, onion, green and red peppers,
tomatoes, corn, beef broth, spices,
 and the item that takes this over the top -  green olives.
Everything is encased with a cornmeal crust.

Comfort food at its finest.

Also, if you would prefer to make Cow Pie,
go right ahead and substitute a nice cut of beef.
You could use sirloin, flank steak, skirt steak, or flat iron - not chuck.

This is one of those recipes you should bookmark.
I would prefer it on a cold day in winter,
but nobody here complained about it in our 90°+ temperatures.

Rosie's Pig Pie
4 large pork loin slices, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
I've also made this with Boston Butt.  
Use 1 pound + of meat, whether porcine or bovine.
enough flour to coat the meat
4 TB unsalted butter
4 TB peanut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small box beef broth (13 + oz.)
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 TB chili powder
2 TB yellow cornmeal
1 can corn, drained
1 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives

Toss pork with flour to coat.
Working in two batches,
brown half the pork in 2 TB unsalted butter and 2 TB peanut oil.
Transfer to a bowl and brown the other half
in the remaining 2 TB butter and oil.
Transfer to bowl.
Add in onions and sauté, stirring, about 1 minute.
Add garlic, tomatoes, beef broth and scrape up the goody bits.
Return pork to pan and add seasonings.
Stir well to combine.
Cover and cook, lowlowlow, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 hours.

 While everything is cooking, prepare the cornmeal crust, recipe below.

After 1 1/2 hours, uncover.
Add in corn, peppers, olives, and cornmeal.
Cook medium low, stirring occasionally,
 until mixture thickens a bit - about 20 minutes.

Heat oven to 400°.
Spoon the pork mixture into shallow buttered baking dish/es.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface.
Roll up over rolling pin
and unroll over baking dish/es.
Crimp edges.
Brush with egg white wash.
(One egg white whisked with one TB water.)
Bake until golden.
15 - 20 minutes.

Cornmeal Crust 
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/ tsp salt
1/2 cup cold Crisco
about 6 TB ice water
Combine flour, cornmeal, and salt.
Cut in shortening until coarse crumbs form.
Add just enough water to form a fairly soft dough.
Flatten into a 6-inch disk.
Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Chopped red and green peppers, chopped tomatoes,
 chopped onion, and minced garlic prepared.

Toss cubes in flour to lightly coat.

Sauté half batch at a time.
You don't want to crowd the pan
which lowers the temperature,
allowing the meat to steam, not sear.

Sauté the onions for about a minute.

Add in the tomatoes.

Add in the beef broth, scraping the browned bits.
That's where all the flavor is.

Add in the seared pork.

Add in the oregano, chili powder, and cumin.
Stir to combine, cover, 
and low simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

While the stew is stewing,
start on the cornmeal crust.

I work everything in with a pastry blender,
then work it by hand until you have different sized crumbs.

Form into a ball.

Pat into a disk, cover with plastic, and refrigerate.

Back to the pig.
Have chopped red and green peppers,
drained corn, and olives ready.

Add in the corn.

Add in 2 TB cornmeal.

Add in the peppers.

Slice about a cup of green olives.

Ladle the pork stew into buttered baking dishes.

Roll out cornmeal crust, cut out, and top the pig pie with the crust.
Brush with egg wash.

Bake at 400° until crust is nicely browned.

I lurves me some pig pie!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rosie Makes Her Favorite Green Bean Dish.

This is my favorite green bean dish of late.
And that says a lot.

Rosie's Green Beans 
2 cups trimmed and snapped beans
1 TB olive oil 
1 TB unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Heaping tablespoon of bacon marmalade  (Recipe below.)
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 tsp sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
1/2 cup diced feta cheese
2 TB chopped fresh dill
2 TB chopped fresh parsley
1 TB toasted sesame seeds

Trim your beans, then blanch them  in salted, boiling water for about 2 minutes.
Drain and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking and set the color.
Pat dry.
Heat 1 TB olive oil and 1 TB unsalted butter in skillet over high heat.
Add in beans, handful of sliced almonds, a tablespoon or so of bacon marmalade, and chopped red onion.
Add a teaspoon of sugar and Kosher salt to taste.
Toss the pan.

Cook until beans are al dente, about 2-3 minutes. 
Cool a bit, then add in diced feta cheese, chopped dill and parsley, and some toasted sesame seeds.

And if you've never had bacon marmalade, you're in for a treat!

Bacon Marmalade
8 ounces bacon, diced
1 medium onion, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 TB maple syrup (Use the real deal.)
1 tsp coarse grained mustard
freshly ground pepper
Cut the bacon into small dices and fry over low heat until crisp.
Take your time so the bacon cooks evenly and slowly - about 20 minutes, pushing the bits around every now and then.
Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.
Reserve about 1 TB bacon grease in the pan.
Add in onions and cook until onions are tender and translucent.
Add in brown sugar and cook about a minute.
Add in vinegar and mustard and cook until vinegar evaporates.
Add in maple syrup and pepper.
Return bacon to pan and stir to coat.
Store in refrigerator.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Rosie Cooks Brussels Sprouts.

Rosie loves her cruciferous vegetables.
Tonight, it's Brussels Sprouts - miniature cabbages.

How many of you out there like Brussels Sprouts?
Show of hands, please.
That's all?
Rosie must change this.

Rosie's Brussels Sprouts
6 Brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise
4 slices bacon, scissored to a dice
1 TB sugar
1 TB Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
fresh basil leaves
Add diced bacon to skillet over low heat.
When bacon is almost done,  add in Brussels sprouts.
Sprinkle sugar over Brussels sprouts.
Continue cooking until sprouts are caramelized
and bacon is done.
Stir in vinegar and walnuts.
Heat through until vinegar has dissolved.
Add fresh basil leaves and please enjoy!

And if you don't like brussels sprouts
- le sigh -
try it with regular sliced cabbage.

Small steps, people.
Small steps.

Monday, June 23, 2014

What A Beautiful Day!

Today was a great day!
We had a nice, slow rain most of the day.
Excellent for the garden.
I love a gray day.
It's a day for me to stay inside and create.

I'm having a good time making lunch for my boys.

First up - some form of green beans.
I love green beans and I do them lots of ways.
Today, I blanched the trimmed beans in salted, boiling water.
Three minutes in the briny,
then plunge into ice water to stop cooking and set color.

Add a little oil and butter to hot skillet.
Toss the drained and patted dry beans in the pan.
Add in some chopped red onion, almonds,
a little bit of sugar to enhance the natural sugars in the beans,
Kosher salt, fresh-cracked pepper.
Cook until the beans are al dente, 2-3 minutes.
Let cool a bit, then add in some crumbled feta.

Second up - some form of potatoes.
I love little red potatoes.
I simmered these taters until they were fork-tender.
Then, I forked them open,
added unsalted butter,
some Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper,
and chopped fresh dill from the garden.

I have lots of scallops in the freezer.
BIG scallops.

Here's my scallop prep:
Rinse in cold water.
Pat dry with paper towels.
Sprinkle with Lawry's Seasoning Pepper.
I heated up my special scallop pan.
Added in some Bertolli Extra Light Olive Oil and unsalted butter.
Sizzled the butter.
Then placed the scallops in.
Cooked about 90 seconds each side.
Don't overcook your scallops.
Remove scallops from pan ...

...  and deglaze pan with white wine.

Good night!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Rosie Makes Fried Strawberry Pies.

   Not too long ago,
I made a Peach Galette or Crostada
and I had extra pastry dough left over.
 Then I found out the strawberries were ready for pickin'
at the Malco Strawberry Farm in Currituck.

The planets have aligned!
Mr. Hawthorne and I came home with 10 pounds of strawberries.

And I'm making fried strawberry pies!

I had enough pastry dough for 12 little rounds.

For the filling:
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup cornstarch 
Mix all together in a pan.
Bring to a simmer, stirring.
Let thicken.
Mash the strawberries.
Let cool before filling the rounds.

 Add a tablespoon or so of the cooled strawberry mixture
on the pie rounds.
Don't add too much -
you don't want it spilling out of the seal.

 Dip a finger in water
and run it around the edges.
 Seal and crimp.

 The first one I made, front left,
I overstuffed.
Freeze for at least an hour.

Jar any leftover strawberry filling,
refrigerate it, and spread it on your breakfast toast.

When you're ready to fry the pies,
heat at least an inch of vegetable oil to 350°.
I fried two at a time until golden brown,
about 2 minutes or so.
 Drain on paper towels
and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

 Serve hot pies with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

 This was a most excellent fried strawberry pie.
Youngest Hawthorne said these were the best Pop Tarts he's ever had.

I made these after our lunch on Tuesday, for dessert.
Fried up four.
Mr. H. and I shared one.
Youngest Hawthorne ate the other three.

Fast forward 6 hours.
The Hawthornelets are home from fishing.
They want fried strawberry pies..

So, I fried up four more pies.
Drained 'em.
Sprinkled 'em with powdered sugar.
And left the room for a minute.
Came back.