Broccoli Rice Bowl

The other night I was at home alone and decided to make something for-one for dinner – specifically, this Broccoli Rice Bowl from Simply Life, which… may not be an active blog anymore? That would be a shame.

Anyway, I halved her recipe, and also added a lashing of Sriracha, because why wouldn’t I? Also, I have recently become proud of my poached egg skills. I’ve made 3 in a row that were just right, and I’m no longer nervous about them, nor do I screw them up. It’s just a little different in this recipe – the vinegar is rice wine vinegar, for instance – than how I regularly make it, but the egg turned out velvety and perfect anyway.

Broccoli Rice Bowl

Ingredients
1/2 cup brown rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
ginger to taste, minced – I used about an inch, which may have been a bit aggressive
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
sesame seeds
1 egg
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 green onions, chopped
sriracha to taste

Method
Put your rice on to cook as normal.
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.
Pour half of that mixture into a pan and heat over medium heat.
Saute the broccoli in it for 5-7 minutes or until tender.
Pour the other half of the sauce, and the sesame seeds, over the broccoli.
Keep warm while you poach the egg.
For the egg, heat about an inch of water and the vinegar in a wide pot – we are going for broad but shallow water here – to just shy of boiling.
Crack your egg into a small ramekin and keep it cold until the water’s ready.
With the handle of a spoon, stir the water so you have a whirlpool in the middle.
Drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool and immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot.
Let stand for 5 minutes.
While it does its thing, put the rice in a bowl and top with the broccoli.
When the egg is ready, scoop it out with a slotted spoon and pop it on top of the broccoli.
Scatter green onions and sriracha overtop.

What is better than smooth, velvety runny yolk coating everything? And how about some umami and fire to kick back against the mellowness of the egg? This is filling and warming and delightful. Eat it now.

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Hamburger Pie

What even is a hamburger pie? Is this a thing that people eat all the time in some part of the country where I’ve never been? For those of you like me, it is a bunch of ground beef in a pie dish with a batter poured over, which mostly stays on top as a lid but also serves to adhere the beef together a little. Canadians may be thinking of tourtière. It’s not tourtière! That has a crust that goes all the way around, like an actual pie, plus it’s got a whole cinnamonny-clovey-nutmeggy thing going on that I thought was super weird when I first tried it in elementary school. This is not that. This is basically something that would be good over spaghetti (please note, Cincinnati people, as I am defining “things that taste good over spaghetti” as not cinnamony), under a fluffy, almost quichey crust.

The recipe comes from Food Fanatic, and although I didn’t change anything other than using mozzarella to sprinkle on top rather than parmesan since I was out, I do wonder what would happen if I used only one egg, rather than two. Would it be less quichey? I don’t have anything against quiche – in fact I think people ought to give it a chance – but one of the best things about pie is the crust, and this is definitely not a pie crust. So I wonder if a pie crust situation could be engendered by tweaking this recipe a little bit.

Hamburger Pie

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup + 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp canola oil
1 cup milk
2 eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 400.
Coat a pie pan with cooking spray.
Brown the ground beef with the onion and garlic in a pan over medium heat.
Stir in the Italian seasoning, marinara sauce, and the 1 cup of mozzarella, and remove from heat.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, canola oil, milk, and eggs.
Pour the meat mixture into the pie pan.
Pour the batter mixture over the meat.
Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of mozzarella over the top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test – do the test, because the crust might be set and not look it.

It won’t make a very solid slice when you cut it, be warned – it will definitely fall apart on your plate. But that’s fine! It tastes just as good.

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Curried Pumpkin Hummus

I’ve made this twice in the past 3 days. Our neighbourhood traditionally has a block party on Halloween, so I made it to bring, and I liked it so much I made it again a couple days later since I had left the first batch on the table at the party, as you do. It didn’t hurt that I had pumpkin left, as one always does, of course.

The recipe comes from Set the Table, whose looks much nicer because she had cashews and cilantro to garnish it with. I dusted it with some coriander but that’s really not going to make much of a difference, I suppose. Still tastes fantastic. My curry powder isn’t the spiciest, and of course everyone’s curry powder is going to be a little different, so if yours leaves something to be desired, kick-wise, I would think adding a couple shakes of cayenne or something else spicy would go over well.

Curried Pumpkin Hummus

Ingredients
1 14-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic, or more if you’re down to the teeny-tiny cloves like I was
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 cup canola oil
salt to taste

Method
Put the chickpeas, pumpkin, garlic, lemon juice, and curry powder in a food processor and process until smooth.
With the processor running, drizzle in the canola oil until the desired consistency is reached.
Taste and add salt as needed.
If you have some cilantro and/or cashews, sprinkle them on top! If not, just eat it as it stands.

This is amazing in a sandwich, too. Pair it with some sharp cheese to contrast the sweetness of the pumpkin, oh delights. And hey – if you’re looking for savory pumpkin recipes to use up the stock you no doubt have, without making thousands of pies, consider curry! It goes great with pumpkin!

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Pork Pizza with Peppers and Onions

Let’s be clear: this is a pizza with a pork chop on it. The pork chop is sliced up, but it is still, fundamentally, a pizza with a pork chop on it. Just let that sink in. This is such a good idea that it even made me overlook something that would normally be a problem, about which more later.

The recipe came from Culinary Cory, and while he looked on it as a fridge clean-out recipe, I think it’s worthy of making in its own right, and so I even bought pizza dough in an explody can for it, which I’ve never used before. Oh, explody cans. So fun, so terrifying.

Pork Pizza with Peppers and Onions

Ingredients
1 14-oz can pre-made pizza dough, in the explody can (if you don’t know what an explody can is, I’m sorry that you’ve lived a diminished life)
1 4-5oz pork chop, on the bone
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 cup (I may have had less…) shredded mozzarella
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
Preheat oven to 400.
Line a baking sheet and spray it with cooking spray.
Unroll the pizza dough to form a rectangle on the baking sheet.
In a skillet (or a grill pan, if you have one – I don’t), heat enough olive oil to coat the pan over medium-high heat.
Salt and pepper the pork chop on both sides.
Cook the pork chop through – the original recipe said 2-3 minutes per side, but that was definitely not enough time on my pan and my stove, so your mileage may vary.
When it’s cooked, remove to a plate and cover with foil to rest.
Add 1 tbsp oil to the pan.
Saute the onions and peppers with the soy sauce, about 5 minutes.
Pop the pizza dough in the oven for 5 minutes.
Slice the pork chop thinly.
At this point, the pizza dough should be ready to come out of the oven, and the peppers and onions should be done as well. Time to assemble the pizza.
Brush the pizza dough with olive oil, except for the edges (I mean, you know how a pizza works. You have to leave some crust around the outside).
Sprinkle the minced garlic over the pizza.
Spread the onions, peppers, and pork evenly over the pizza.
Cover with cheese.
Bake for another 7-8 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is starting to brown.
Let rest for 1-2 minutes before serving.

Now. You may be wondering what the problem was. Well, there’s a lot on this pizza – and the crust is pretty thin when you stretch it to fit a big pan. That’s right… this is knife-and-fork pizza. That goes against everything I believe in. Pizza is a food you pick up with your hands and bite into! But this just won’t work that way; you’ll get toppings sliding off every which way. You have to just bite the bullet and cut the thing up. I know. But it’s worth it.

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Brownies with Chocolate Marshmallow Icing

You know when someone has a baby, people bring them food, and they have casseroles for days in the freezer? That’s nice and everything – no, seriously, I legitimately love casseroles – but sometimes you just want to eat a huge pile of chocolate because your body just built a new human person and you’re exhausted. Operating on this assumption, I brought these brownies over to our new-parent friends’ place when we visited last night.

The original recipe came from Dine and Dish, and literally just now upon visiting the original recipe did I realize that I completely forgot the nuts on top. I even opened the bag and snacked on a few… but just never got around to sprinkling them over the frosted brownies. Whoops.

I also halved the recipe – I think of brownies in 9×9 or 8×8 pan amounts, not 9×13 pan amounts, and I guess that’s just the way my mind works – and tried to adjust the cooking time right. I think I overdid it just a little. I’m writing the recipe with a better recommendation than what I actually did. I suspect that in the process of halving the recipe, I may have mistakenly shorted the sugar. But it’s ok; the brownie not being especially sweet is balanced by the sweet icing. Possibly I didn’t mess up – I think if the brownie was sweeter, it would have been too much altogether, and I would assume that the original recipe had the balance right in the first place.

Brownies with Chocolate Marshmallow Icing

Ingredients

for the brownies
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/6 cup (figure it out) cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

for the icing
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)
1/4 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp vanilla

Method

for the brownies
Preheat oven to 350.
Stir together the sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, and vanilla in a large bowl.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix until fully combined.
Pour into a greased 9×9 pan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

for the icing
While the brownies cool, make the icing.
In a small pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
Stir in the sugar and milk.
Bring up to a boil, stirring the whole time.
Remove from the heat when it boils.
Stir in the chocolate chips and marshmallows until completely melted.
Mix in the vanilla as well.
Spread the icing over the brownies.
Wait for the icing to harden before cutting the brownies.

It’s a pretty good idea to use Greek yogurt in baking! You can control the flavour, of course, and it adds moisture (and protein!) without using an egg. Smart!

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“Jalapeno” Popper Chili

Fair warning: I have never actually eaten a jalapeno popper. I know what they are, but really my only association with them is this scene from Sealab 2021:

HESH WANTS POPPERS.

Also, I used chipotles, not the jalapenos (very reasonably) recommended in the original recipe at Savory Moments. I know, I know, it’s jalapeno popper chili, but first of all, chipotles are just better, and second of all, there is also bacon in this dish, so it helps to up the smokiness factor! Normally, I would have halved it, as well, but my parents were visiting so making a big pot of something was exactly what I needed!

“Jalapeno” Popper Chili

Ingredients
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, diced
5 chipotles, minced (I scraped out most of the seeds and it still had some heat to it! If you want it more fiery, leave some or all of them in)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 8-oz package cream cheese, cubed
1/3 cup cilantro leaves, or parsley, if, like me, you’re not going to inflict cilantro on yourself

Method
Put the chicken in a pot and cover with water.
Cover and simmer until cooked through. I’m sorry, I didn’t check how long that took, but when it’s done, take it out and chop it into bite-sized pieces. Reserve the water.
In a big soup pot, cook the bacon.
When it’s done, take it out to drain on paper towels, and drain all but (about) 2 tsp of the grease from the pot.
Over medium heat, saute the onion, chipotles, and garlic in the bacon grease for about 5 minutes or until the onion begins to soften.
Add in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt and pepper, and saute another minute.
Stir in the tomatoes and 1 cup of the chicken water (or more if it seems dry; I added a splash more).
Add the corn, beans, and chicken and bring up to a boil.
Turn down (for what) and simmer for 15 minutes.
Stir in the cream cheese until it’s completely melted.
Add the bacon and the cilantro/parsley and stir to combine.
You can serve it topped with cheese if you want, but I found it perfectly cheesy without anything else added.

My other problem, other than thinking “HESH WANTS POPPERS” the entire time I cooked it, was that I’ve been deliberately mispronouncing “jalapeno” for so many years now (thanks to this Trailer Park Boys scene) that it was nearly impossible to remember not to say “ja-LAP-a-no.”

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Ginger and Soy Sauce Pasta

This one is unique. It really does combine these different culinary traditions into one tasty whole. Sure, you could change it to be all one culture – use rice noodles instead of pasta, stir-fry the stuff in a wok instead of a frying pan (although you’d have to change from olive oil to something else, you can’t stir-fry with olive oil due to its smoke point)… or you could cook the garlic less so it doesn’t have that toasty flavour, I don’t know, there are lots of changes you could make. But I recommend that you don’t – make it in all its weird hybrid glory. You’ll enjoy it.

The recipe comes from Pickled Plum. I halved it, which still left us with leftovers, and substituted rice wine vinegar for the sake, which gives it kind of a nice tang. If you have sake around the house, cool – I didn’t, so I had to make a decision!

Ginger and Soy Sauce Pasta

Ingredients
1/2 lb short pasta – I used farfalle, but whatever you like
1/2 lb ground beef
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 inch ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp sriracha
1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves

Method
Cook the pasta according to package directions.
While it cooks, heat the olive oil in a pan over high heat.
Throw in the garlic, ginger, celery, and onion, and saute for 5 minutes or until the onion is starting to brown.
Add in the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks, until it’s browned through.
The pasta should be about ready now. Drain it and put it back in its same pot.
Drop the butter in the hot pasta; it will probably melt right away. You can give it a stir to coat all the pasta if you’d like.
Pour in the beef mixture.
Stir in the soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar, and parsley.
If everything’s still hot, great, serve – if not, turn the heat on low under that pot and heat everything through first.

So good! And a cheap meal, probably – plenty of pantry staples in here – and the original recipe made a point of saying it was a grownup update of a college meal. But one thing – that sriracha can collect in the nooks and crannies of the pasta, if you choose a kind that has either nooks or crannies, so you might get the odd Spicy Surprise piece. Woo!

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Carrot-Ginger Soup with Avocado

I guess it’s repeat time in my kitchen. Just like my last post, I’ve made carrot-ginger soup before. This one has a different recipe, though, and – importantly – it has an avocado garnish.

The recipe comes from My Little Gourmet, whose Comic Sans I will forgive on the grounds of avocado. I halved it; this was just for me. That was perfect for two reasons. First, it made just about the right amount. Second, I found myself with half an avocado, half an onion, half a lime, and, from another meal, half a tomato hanging around. What could be more perfect – I made a little guacamole, just for noshing on, as well!

Carrot-Ginger Soup with Avocado

Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1/2 an onion, chopped
thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced
juice and zest of 1/2 a lime
3 carrots, sliced
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (if you’re using canned stock, 2 cups is one can; you should be fine with just the one can)
1/2 avocado, cubed
2 tbsp sour cream, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper

Method
Melt the butter in a pot over medium heat.
Add the onion, ginger, and lime zest, and saute for 1 minute.
Stir in the carrots and saute another minute.
Add the sugar and salt and pepper and saute another 2 minutes.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.
Turn down to a simmer and cover.
Let simmer for 20 minutes.
While that simmers, combine the avocado, about half the lime juice, and some salt and pepper in a small bowl, and set aside.
When the soup is done simmering, puree it with an immersion blender.
Stir in the sour cream, the other half of the lime juice, and salt and pepper.
Serve garnished with avocado.

Of course my avocados sank. It looked really pretty for about 5 seconds. It still tasted fine, though!

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Pulled Pork with Spicy Tomato Sauce

I’ve talked about pulled pork before, but this is a little different in that it cooks in the oven, rather than the slow cooker, and you throw a bunch of vegetables in with it, which is kind of nice.

It isn’t the set of ingredients you’d maybe expect for pulled pork – I mean there’s red wine in it – but it doesn’t make it taste strange or like some kind of cultural mashup dish. It’s just good, and SO tender.

Pulled Pork with Spicy Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

for the pork
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, smashed
leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 lbs boneless pork shoulder
1/2 cup red wine
3 cups chicken stock

for the spicy tomato sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 14-oz can crushed tomatoes
salt and pepper

Method

for the pork
Preheat oven to 350.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Saute the onion, carrot, and celery for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
Stir in the garlic, thyme, oregano, and bay leaf, and saute for another minute.
Add the pork and pour in the wine and stock.
Bring to a boil.
Cover with foil and put the skillet in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, turning the pork an hour into it.

for the spicy tomato sauce
While the pork is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pot over medium-low heat.
Saute the onion in it for 4-6 minutes or until softened.
Add the garlic and paprika and saute another 30 seconds.
Add the tomato and simmer for 30 minutes.
Let cool for a bit, then puree in a food processor.
Leave aside until the pork is ready.

When the pork is ready, take it out and shred it with two forks.
Strain the pan juices into the tomato sauce.
Return the sauce to its pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
Stir in the pork and heat through.

Also good as a burrito filling!

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

I don’t know if I’ve had real stuffed peppers more than once in my life, but this soup purports to bring all the flavours (and contents) of a stuffed pepper to your soup bowl. However, for those of you to whom I might be married and who don’t care for bell peppers, it only actually includes one actual pepper!

The recipe comes from Frugal Bites, and the only “change” I made was one that the original recipe suggested: bumping the amount of stock up to 2 cups, rather than 1 1/3 cups – not because I need the soup to be thinner or anything, but because I don’t have homemade beef stock kicking around, and a can is 2 cups. And as to thickness or thinness of soup, this is variable by the day. Initially, when you first make it, yes, it will be more soup than stew. But the leftover situation is different because there is rice, and it’s going to absorb some more liquid, and so you’ll have a thicker soup or stew the next day.

Stuffed Pepper Soup

Ingredients
1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
2 cups beef stock
2 cups cooked brown rice (that’s about 1/2 cup uncooked)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
grated cheese, for serving

Method
In a large soup pot over medium heat, brown the meat with the onion and green pepper.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and stock.
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Stir in the rice, worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until everything is heated through.
Serve, garnished with cheese if you like.

It also seems like something that, minus the rice, would be a pretty decent pasta sauce – you’d probably want to adjust quantities there, so it wouldn’t be too soupy, but in general theme and flavour, it could definitely work as a sauce!

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