Eggs Poached in Vegetables

May 5, 2017

Here’s a delicious meal idea for breakfast… or lunch… or brunch… or dinner… or for whenever you’re hungry! And it’s incredibly healthy, because you’re using vegetables to cook eggs!

Just looking at that picture makes me hungry for this dish! You may recall I Read the rest of this entry »

Putting Those Tomatoes To Use

July 26, 2011

If you stopped by yesterday, then you probably read all about the free tomatoes that I recently acquired from my friends Matthew and Maggie, who were looking to unload some of the tomatoes that were growing in their yard.

I’m happy to report that I found a great use for some of them (but not all), and that’s what today’s post is about.  What do you do with an influx of tomatoes?  My mind went straight to salsa.  I love salsa, and I haven’t made it in a long time.  What I love about making salsa is that there are tons of varieties, and it’s really hard to fuck up, so, basically, you can’t go wrong.  So I picked up a couple things at the Whole Foods in Porter Ranch, and got busy in my kitchen, making up a salsa recipe as I went along.  The salsa ended up having two new elements I’ve never used before in a salsa, so read on!

One of the things I picked up was a pepper.  I’m not a chile pepper expert, and usually I’d just grab a jalapeno or two, but I was feeling adventurous today, so I picked up a pepper I’d never bought before (my habit of purchasing unknown produce is well-documented here – you’ll have to scroll down).  I came home with these guys:

There’s called pasilla peppers… or so I thought.  I did a little research when I got home, and found this nugget on Wikipedia:

In the United States producers and grocers often incorrectly use ‘pasilla’ to describe the poblano, a different, wider variety of pepper.

So I don’t know what the hell I bought.  But I decided to give them a quick roast over an open flame, which is the first of the aforementioned new elements.  It’s something I’ve seen someone do on the Food Network years ago.  The peppers went directly onto my gas stove, which I turned to medium-low:

Within seconds I could hear them crackling, and every few minutes I turned them to a different side, and soon all sides were beautifully charred:

You take them off the heat, put them on some paper towels to cool, and after 10 minutes, you can wrap them in the paper towel and give them a vigorous rub, which removes the char and leaves behind a lovely roasted pepper:

While the peppers were cooling, but before the vigorous rub, I got the other ingredients ready to go.  First step: pulling out my Tupperware Quick Chef.

The Tupperware Quick Chef is a hand-operated chopper/food processor that I got 7 or 8 years ago when my aunt sold Tupperware, and it’s really handy for salsa making.  I don’t use it often (this marks its first appearance in this blog), and, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve used it for anything but salsa!

Anyway.  I washed a bunch of Matthew and Maggie’s tomatoes, cut them in half, and scooped out the seeds and extra liquid (so it wouldn’t end up in the salsa), leaving the flesh:

I peeled an entire red onion and chopped it in a few big pieces, and tossed it into the Quick Chef along with some of the tomatoes:

I added a glove of garlic, which I ran through my garlic press.  It might seem silly to press the garlic before putting it into a chopping device, but I didn’t want to risk the blades missing it, and getting a bite with a big chunk of raw garlic.  I also added lime juice.

Then came the other new element that I’ve never used in a salsa before… drum roll please… PLUMS!

I’ve had peach salsa, mango salsa, and pineapple salsa – fruit in salsa is not uncommon.  And since summer is the season for stone fruits, and I had some plums lying around, I thought why not?  I used 4 red plums total.

Then came the pasilla/poblano/whatever peppers I roasted – the only thing left to do to them was remove the stem and seeds and cut them up in a few big pieces:

The top went on the Quick Chef, and I started turning the handle, and about 30 seconds later, I had some fantastic looking salsa.  The Quick Chef wasn’t big enough to handle all the ingredients at once, so I ended up doing two batches (each batch included 2-3 tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, 1 garlic clove, 2 plums, juice of 1/2 a lime, and 1 of the peppers).

Here’s the end result:

Now – what to do with it?  I’ll be honest and admit I wanted nothing more than to go get a bag of tortilla chips.  But tortilla chips are the sort thing that are hard for me to control – an open bag could very well end up being an empty bag in one sitting – so I used some of the salsa as a topping for a salmon burger, and that was my lunch:

I cooked the salmon burger (which was store-bought) in a pan on the stove, in a little Pam.  It’s exactly the sort of thing that would cook up perfectly in my RediSetGo, but I’m not loving my RediSetGo right now.

And yep, that’s celery on the side.  I ended up eating way more celery than what’s pictured – it turns out I like salsa and celery!  The celery has a nice crunch, and the shape of it is perfect for holding onto salsa.

The salsa itself was terrific.  So fresh and flavorful.  The plums made it sweet, and the pepper gave it a little heat (although not too much), and that they were roasted added a nice texture, too!

I still have some tomatoes left… and I might have another idea or two about what to do with them…

Keep it up, David!

Some Thursday Food Notes

January 27, 2011

What’s been on my mind, lately, food-wise.

1) Tupperware. I love me some Tupperware.  My aunt gave me some new Tupperware as a Christmas present, and I’m using it all the time.  It’s from their FridgeSmart collection – containers specially designed to keep produce fresher, longer.  It works because the containers have vents that you can open or close, depending on the type of fruit, so the gases that speed up the rotting process can escape.  This picture is from a couple weeks ago, but I never posted it, as my spur-of-the-moment trip to Michigan made me change a lot of plans:

From left to right, that’s celery, radishes, scallions, carrots, and broccoli.  I ate lots of it before the Michigan trip, but came home a week and a half later to find the radishes, scallions, and carrots still good!  The broccoli, not so much.  Want some Tupperware of your own?  Why not buy it from a former child star?  That’s right – Danny Pintauro from Who’s the Boss is a Tupperware representative – check out his website here!

2) Carrots. I love baby carrots.  I can eat an entire 1-pound bag over the course of a day – I did that yesterday, actually.  And here’s a fun fact for ya – did you know that a vast majority of baby carrots aren’t actually babies at all?  Take another look at the packaging next time you’re at the store.  Chances are, the bag will read “baby-cut” carrots, which means they’re actually full-size carrots that are cut down into 2-inch chunks, peeled in industrial peelers, and tumbled so all the edges get smooth.  I had heard that years ago, and was reminded of it a few days ago in Michigan when I found the largest baby carrot ever in my baby carrot bag:

Click here to read a USA Today article about the history of baby-cut carrots.  It’s actually pretty interesting.

And has anyone seen, at their grocery store, the new baby carrot bags?  I remember reading in September about how baby carrot companies were launching a baby carrot marketing campaign encouraging people to “eat ’em like junk food”.  Part of the campaign was redesigning the packaging so they looked more like snack food bags:

I haven’t seen these bags at any stores by me yet, what about you?  I think the whole thing is kinda silly, but I don’t have kids, which seems like the target demographic.  And here’s the website that goes with the campaign.  Kinda annoying, but for all you iPad and iPhone users, it has “the world’s first carrot-crunch-powered video game,” so drop everything right now and head over to the App store!

3. 7-Eleven. Remember a few weeks ago, when I posted the pic of the 7-Eleven that’s opening next door to my gym?  Well, I went to the gym last night for the first time since returning from Michigan, and it’s open for business.

I’m going to try to stay out of that 7-Eleven altogether.  I don’t need the temptation so close to my gym, period.  I’ll keep you posted.

I had a nice workout last night, too.  I spent about 45 minutes doing toning/strength training (emphasis on arms, shoulders, chest, back, abs), and then wanted to do a little bit of cardio, but the ellipticals were all in use, so I headed outside and ran around the block for about 12 minutes.  I walked a little to cool down, and headed home.

4. Juice. I’ve been a juicing fool.  I have a bowl of citrus, courtesy of Tavi’s fruit trees, so yesterday and today I’ve been starting off my day with a tall glass of juice.  It’s a mixture – the juice of one grapefruit, two tangerines, and one orange (that I had in my fridge from before):

Tasty!  Yesterday, it was just part of my breakfast – I also had a packet of instant oatmeal, and a yogurt.  I didn’t really eat a proper lunch, but grazed all day:  the aforementioned 1-pound bag of baby carrots, 2/3 cup butter beans, another tangerine, 1 box of raisins, 2 rice cakes.  Dinner was two open-faced tuna sandwiches:  2 pieces wheat toast, each topped with tomato slices and tuna salad, which I made from one 5-ounce can of tuna (packed in water), mixed with mustard, radishes and scallions, and a couple tablespoons of Greek Yogurt.

Keep it up, David!