Thursday, December 20, 2012

Warm Spell

Spicy Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Shredded Pork Soup
Inching towards Christmas and it's cold outside!  We're in the midst of a long stretch of long, rainy days and cold, frosty nights up here in the Northwest. The best remedy is a big pot of hot soup, of course! I was looking to cook up something with a bit of a soul-warming kick that made good use of the ample supply of Kahlua Pig in the freezer. (Also a great way to use up leftover rice.) This was just what we were looking for after a long day of holiday shopping!

- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 6 c. chicken broth
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
- juice from one lime
- 1 jar red salsa
- 4 chili peppers in adobo sauce, minced
- salt and pepper
- 2 tsp. ground cumin, divided
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. cardamom
- 2 tsp. garlic powder, divided
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 c. shredded Kahlua Pig 
- 1 c. cooked white rice
- 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
- avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream for serving

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium. Add onions and garlic and cook for 5-6 minutes until fragrant and translucent, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth, salsa, sweet potatoes, black beans, chili peppers in adobo sauce, lime juice, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp. garlic powder, chili powder, and 1 tsp. ground cumin. Bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender.

While the soup is simmering, toss the shredded pork with remaining cumin and garlic powder and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside.

When the soup is finished simmering add the cooked rice, shredded pork, and minced cilantro. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until the meat and rice are heated through. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with avocado slices, a pinch of shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with hot bread or tortilla chips! Yum!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On a Roll

Turkey Artichoke Lasagne Rolls
What should be on the dinner menu for a cold December night? Stews, soups, and hearty meat dishes are frequent stars of my winter meal rotation. I also have a soft spot for lasagne. It's a fabulous one-dish meal full of veggies and lots of melted cheese - the kind of cold-weather meal that warms you from the inside out. The problem with lasagne when cooking for two, however, is the leftovers. I have no problem with some leftovers, but eating increasingly old pasta for days on end is not an appetizing prospect. Lasagne rolls are the perfect solution to an over-production of this delicious Italian staple . . . make a couple dozen or make just a few! This is a great and flexible recipe to make for a large family or a cozy winter couple.

- 1/2 lb. ground turkey
- 3 c. simple marinara sauce 
- 1 lb. ricotta cheese
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 lb. grated mozzarella cheese
- 2 Tbsp. Italian parsley, minced
- 6 green onions, trimmed and diced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 7 oz. canned artichoke hearts (drained and diced)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 10 dried lasagne noodles

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and heat oven to 400˚F. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare ground turkey and ricotta cheese filling for lasagne.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add turkey, sprinkle with poultry seasoning, garlic powder, dried thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Cook the turkey until it turns brown, breaking meat apart with a wooden spoon. When the turkey was cooked through, remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, half the grated mozzarella, half the grated Parmesan, diced onions, egg, nutmeg, minced parsley, artichoke hearts, and dried basil. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

When the water is brought to a rolling boil, cook the lasagne noodles for 10-12 minutes until they are soft, but slightly al dente in the middle. Drain completely. Line baking sheets with wax paper and carefully arrange the lasagne noodles in a single layer on the wax paper. (Carefully as they will be hot - it might help to handle them with small silicon tongs.)

Prepare a 13" oval baking dish with a spritz of cooking spray and then spread the bottom with 1/4 c. of marinara sauce. 

To prepare the lasagne rolls, spread 1 Tbsp. of marinara sauce across each lasagne noodle. On one end, spread a dollop of the cheese mixture over half the length of the noodle, sprinkle over with cooked ground turkey. (Divide the fillings up equally between each lasagne roll.)

Carefully roll each lasagne noodle up starting with the filled side. Gently transfer to the prepared baking dish with the open side down. Lay the lasagne rolls snugly side by side into the baking dish.

When the lasagne rolls are all placed in the dish, cover with the remaining marinara sauce and then sprinkle and cover thoroughly with the remaining grated cheeses. 

Place the baking dish on top of a foil-lined cookie sheet before placing in the oven. Bake in the heated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly on top.

Allow lasagne rolls to rest 5-10 minutes before serving. I suggest serving alongside a good quality bread and a big ol' glass of wine! Yum.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wet and Wild!

Wet Burritos with Pulled Pork
Remember that delicious ton of Kahlua Pig I whipped up a couple of days ago? Well, let's call this Pork Part II. Slow cooked pork shoulder is a fantastic building block recipe - use some for now, freeze the rest for later. What could be better for busy cooks with mouths to feed? My sweetie and I picked out our Christmas tree last night, but before we had time to decorate, I had to run off back to work to administer an evening final exam. The only thing that made the wait for dinner and holiday fun was knowing that the smoky meat was ready and the burritos were a snap to put together! Truth be told . . . decorating was delayed for another night as we dove into dinner and a rousing round of Borderlands 2! The tree can wait . . . we have plenty of leftovers to sustain us!

- 3 c. cooked shredded Kahlua Pig   
- 10 burrito-sized flour tortillas
- 2 c. cooked white rice
- 1 14 oz. can pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 jar salsa verde
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1/2 c. chopped pickled jalapenos
- 2. c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 Tbsp. cumin, divided
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cardamom
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
- salt and pepper
- 3 c. shredded pepper jack cheese
- guacamole and salsa for serving

Spritz a 13x9" baking dish with cooking spray, set aside and heat oven to 350˚F. Toss together rice with jalapeno peppers, 1 Tbsp. cumin, chili powder, chopped cilantro, and cardamom. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make sure rice is well coated.

In a separate bowl, toss together shredded pork with remaining cumin so that is evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

One at a time, assemble burritos. Sprinkle each with an equal portion of rice, beans, shredded pork, cheddar cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. Tuck in edges and roll tightly into a small burrito. Arrange burritos tightly side-by-side in the prepared baking dish.

Pour salsa verde evenly over the burritos then sprinkle with the shredded pepper jack cheese. Place in oven and bake 30-35 minutes until the burritos are cooked through and the cheese is gooey and melted on top.

Allow burritos to rest five minutes before serving. Top with extra sour cream, guacamole, and salsa to serve! So delicious!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Island Flair

Pulled Pork Variations (Kahlua Pig Pizza)
One of the reasons I love my job is because I meet so many amazing students from all over the world. Troy, the most laid back guy I've ever met, comes to us from Hawaii. Along with his charmingly chill personality, he has also brought a recipe he calls "Kahlua pig" into my world. This salty, juicy treat is a fantastic building block for a number of recipes. Pork shoulder is a very inexpensive meat and this is one of the easiest recipes I've every made. Added bonus . . . I came home after work greeted by the delicious smells of smoked pork! Yum!

- 5-6 lb. pork shoulder
- 1 c. chicken broth or water
- sea salt
- 2 Tbsp. liquid smoke
- 1/4 c. barbecue sauce
- 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 lb. refrigerated pizza dough
- 1 c. diced pineapple chunks
- ground pepper
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Pour water or chicken broth into slow cooker. Rub the pork shoulder mean down with sea salt. Be generous - get salt into all the nooks and crannies of the meat. Lay the pork shoulder into the slow cooker with the fatty side down. Pour liquid smoke over the meat.

Turn the slow cooker onto medium heat, cover, and cook for 6-8 hours until the meat is cooked through and extremely tender. Turn heat down and shred meat with forks.

This recipe makes a HUGE amount of meat. Enough for this recipe and several others. Stay tuned for Kahlua pig recipes to come this week.

Set pizza dough out to rest for 20-30 minutes before making pizza.

Heat oven to 425˚ F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Meanwhile, combine cheeses, cilantro, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Toss together until well blended.

Shape pizza dough into a 14-16" round and place on the baking sheet. Top with barbecue sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Toss together 1 c. shredded prepared Kahlua pig with 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Sprinkle pork evenly over the cheese layer on the pizza then top with pineapple chunks.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the crust begins to turn golden brown around the edges. Allow pizza to rest 5 minutes before slicing! Yum!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pull Out a Plum!

Brown Sugar and Spice Plum Cake
I firmly believe a few things should happen on everyone's birthday. First: Cocktails. Second: New outfit. Third: Any kind of birthday cake you want. I really enjoy making special birthday cakes for friends and figuring out exactly how to concoct the requested dessert. It's one of those little touches that can make a special day even sweeter. For Arin's birthday, the plan included a nice dinner with cocktails and the wearing of cute dresses (so the first and second requirements were easily fulfilled). For her cake, she requested a Plum Raisin Spice Cake and specifically: "With pink frosting and white writing." I didn't want to disappoint the birthday girl, but found in researching what exactly would go into a traditional (and frosted) a plum and raisin cake probably wasn't what she had in mind. Most recipes for plum cakes used baby food plums (weird) and raisin cakes meant re-hydrating raisins to make a sweet syrup topping. With so many fresh plums in season right now, it seemed a cardinal baking sin not to use them . . . so I ventured out on my own and came up with this moist upside down cake instead. The birthday girl was, in the end, pleased. After all, who needs frosting when there are such juicy plums to be had? Happy birthday, Arin!

- 1 lb. fresh plums, pitted and sliced thin into 1/2 moons
- 2 1/3 c. cake flour, sifted and then measured
- 1/4 plus 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 2/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) room temperature butter (plus extra for buttering the pan)
- 1 c. brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 3 large eggs
- juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 c. Greek yogurt (go with full fat on this one)
- powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9" springform pan. Cut a circle of parchment paper that fits into the bottom of the pan, line it, and butter over the parchment paper. Arrange the plum slices in a concentric circle working from the outside of the pan inward. Sprinkle plums with half the lemon juice and then evenly sprinkle 1/4 c. granulated sugar over. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Set aside and prepare batter.

In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter, remaining granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Allow the mixture to become light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and zest and mix again to combine. Alternate adding eggs (one at a time) and flour mixture in three portions at medium speed. Scrape down sides of bowl between additions. Add yogurt to mixture and fold in gently until ingredients are incorporated.

Pour batter into the springform pan over the plums, smoothing mixture over with a spatula. Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, until the cake is cooked through and springy. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack in pan for 15-20 minutes before turning out.

Carefully run a knife around the sides of the springform pan to loosen cake. Unlatch the side and release, remove ring, and turn cake out onto a serving plate. Peel off parchment paper and allow cake to cool completely before serving.

Right before serving, dust plums with powdered sugar . . . if it's for a birthday add candles! Have fun!


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Put a Bird In It?

Bird's Nest Fritters with Soy Sesame Mayo (Inspired By Chee)
What in the world to do with so much zucchini? Let's be honest, even if you LOVE zucchini, it grows like a weed and by the end of the season, you're scrabbling to think of something new to do with it. Another side dish? Pasta? More zucchini bread? My answer? Honestly, anything fried in oil and topped with some sort of mayonnaise-based sauce is worth a try. This recipe comes from two inspirations. First, the two remaining zucchini that have been sitting on my counter for the past week were in desperate need of consumption (one way or another). Second, I remembered Chee. A student spending a year abroad at our university from Japan, Chee endeared herself to pretty much everyone she met. She spent Thanksgiving weekend at my place and won a place in my heart as a willing and appreciative eater of the many recipes I concocted (everything from steak breakfast burritos to pumpkin cheesecake). Over the weekend, we took in lunch at a conveyer-belt sushi place when we saw a plate whirl by with these little straw-like potato and veggie cakes. "Oooo," Chee exclaimed. "Bird's Nests! They are so good." She was right. Served with a little drizzle of gyoza sauce, they sure hit the spot! I put a spin on the potato recipe, by  making use of the zucchini, carrots, and some green onions from my garden. I made them up as a side to teriyaki salmon. It was a perfect (and quick) little dinner. The soy sesame mayo also made a great topping for the fish. Coincidentally enough, after deciding to make this for dinner, I came home and found a letter from Chee in my mail box. Life can be funny  . . . and food brings us all together.

- 2 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise with the seeds scraped out and discarded, then grated on the large side of a box grater
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and grated
- l large green onion, finely chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 c. flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable or grape seed oil
-  2 tsp. hot sesame oil, divided
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 large clove garlic, grated
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/4 c. mayonnaise

Preheat oven to 350˚ F. In a medium bowl, combine grated carrots, zucchini, flour, baking powder, beaten egg, 1 tsp. sesame oil, and green onions. Sprinkle mixture with a little salt and pepper and stir to combine. Stir or use hands to thoroughly combine mixture.

Using hands, form balls, a little larger than the size of golf balls. Flatten slightly with palms and arrange in a single layer on a dish to be fried.

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high. Add zucchini fritters to oil and arrange in a single layer in pan. Fry in oil until each side has begun to turn a nice, crisp golden brown shade. It will take about 2-3 minutes per side. Watch to make sure they don't burn. Once they are nicely brown, remove from oil with a spatula and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer to an oven-proof dish and bake in oven for an additional 10 minutes.

While the bird's nests are baking, combine mayo, garlic, remaining sesame oil, ginger, and soy sauce in a small dish. Whisk together with a fork to thoroughly incorporate ingredients.

Serve cooked bird's nests topped with soy ginger mayo. They make a delicious side dish for dinner or a lovely accompaniment with eggs for breakfast. Yum! Thanks Chee for the culinary inspiration!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Can't Thai Me Down

Thai-Style Red Curry Chicken Noodle Soup
This year September has been much more summery than July and August were. The warm weather, however, was not enough to stop my sweetie from catching a nasty little cold bug.  A big pot of brothy chicken noodle soup is one of my favorite sick-day meals, but I was in the mood for something a little more weather-appropriate. (I'm still wearing sandals for crying out loud, I'm not quite ready to make the transition to sweaters and comfort food.) This spicy take on traditional chicken noodle soup uses lots of fresh garden and framers market ingredients. I really like taking the time to slow cook the chicken breast meat so it's really tender. It's good for a warm summer evening and (fingers crossed) just might have enough punch to drive away a case of the sniffles.

- 1 qt. chicken broth
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, seasoned with salt and pepper
- juice from 3 limes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 14.5 oz. can coconut milk
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced crosswise into disks
- 2 Japanese eggplants, trimmed and sliced crosswise into disks
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 yellow onion, peeled, sliced in half, and then sliced into half-moons
- 2 fresh green onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp. red curry paste
- 1 package rice noodles (fresh rice noodles work great if you can find them)

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a small sauce pan over medium. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute until it begins to turn fragrant. Add about 2 cups of the chicken broth and the seasoned chicken breasts. You'll want enough liquid to just cover the meat. Add 1 Tbsp. of the lime juice and 1 Tbsp. of the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until the chicken begins to turn very tender. This will probably take about an hour or so.

After the chicken has been cooking on the back burner for 45 minutes or so, start preparing the rest of the soup. Heat the remaining oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add sliced onions and carrots and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant and red pepper slices, season with salt and pepper, and cook an additional 5 minutes. Add red curry paste and fish sauce and stir to combine over medium heat. Add remaining broth, lime juice, ground coriander, red pepper flakes, and coconut milk to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer.

Carefully pour the chicken breast pieces and liquid into the pot with the vegetables. Using tongs you should be able to easy shred the meat into the hot broth. Cover, and simmer soup for an additional 30 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft and the flavors have melded nicely, remove lid and add rice noodles and fresh green onions. The rice noodles will cook quickly. Stir soup to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Once the noodles are cooked (2-3 minutes), remove from heat and sprinkle with remaining fresh cilantro. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with hot red pepper sauce such as Sriracha for an extra kick.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Happiest Birthday Cake to You!

Brown Butter Sour Cream Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
For all my sweetie's sweetness, he does not have the biggest sweet-tooth. For his birthday, however, exceptions are made in the name of celebrations and cake. His birthday cake of choice? Yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I came up with this very rich, moist cake recipe playing off that classic "box cake" combo. As it so happened, our generally unlucky softball team had a game that night, so I made these "birthday cupcakes" to share. Perhaps cake and birthdays are great morale boosters . . . we won the game and got to celebrate two great things in one day with beer, pizza, and more cupcakes!

- 3 sticks butter
- 2 1/4 c. flour
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 2/3 c. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla paste
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 c. sour cream
- 1/4 c. whole milk

- 1 c. sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 2 sticks plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into tablespoons
- 4 oz. extra-bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Lightly spritz 24 cupcake liners with cooking spray and line a standard-sized muffin tin. Set aside.

In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, melt 3 sticks of butter over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally for about five minutes. The butter will get foamy. Continue to cook and stir about four minutes longer until little brown bits begin to appear and it smells fragrantly nutty. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before using. While the butter cools, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine brown butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand sized mixer using the paddle attachment. Beat butter and sugar together on high speed until it is creamy and well incorporated. Add vanilla and stir to combine. Turn mixer to slow speed and add egg yolks and eggs, one at a time, alternating with portions of flour mixture until everything is well combined and smooth. Scrape down the sides of the mixer occasionally. Add sour cream and milk and beat until just combined.

Using a tablespoon, fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full with batter. Bake cupcakes in batches for about 12 minutes until cooked through and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn cupcakes out on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before frosting

Whisk together eggs whites and sugar in a medium-sized double-boiler. Place the double-boiler over medium-high heat and whisk together over heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the warmed egg and sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Add vanilla and whisk together at medium-high heat until the mixture is glossy and stiff, about 8 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn mixer back on to medium heat. Add butter, a couple pieces at a time making sure the mixture becomes fully incorporated before adding more. Once all the butter is incorporated and mixture is light and fluffy, add melted chocolate and mix until fully blended. 

Frost cooled cupcakes with an offset spatula. Buttercreams can be delicate, store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator if making ahead of time. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes before serving.

 Happy birthday to you!


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where have all the flowers gone?

Garden Fresh Risotto with Crispy Prosciutto, Chard, and Zucchini Blossoms
Summer gardens are just starting to yield amazing produce in these parts, and ingredients I wouldn't usually get my hands on are becoming available. Take zucchini blossoms, for example. They aren't the type of thing I can usually just pick up at the grocery store as easily as onions or apples. Lucky for me, my gardening-obsessed colleague had an abundance of these lovely and rather delicate orange blossoms. In addition to the zucchini blossoms, he sent me home with a bag brimming with crisp green chard, a juicy green bell pepper, and fragrant basil leaves. I originally intended to throw all this lovely produce into a pasta dish, but when I found my gluten-sensitive friend, Arin, would be joining me for dinner, I decided on a creamy, flavorful risotto dish instead. This is an elegant, but pretty simple meal that makes the most of this season's best produce. Enjoy!

- 1 lb. Arborio rice
- 7 oz. prosciutto, torn into small pieces
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 large bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large handful fresh chard, stems removed and leaves torn into small pieces
- 8-10 fresh zucchini blossoms, stamens removed, and roughly chopped
- 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- i small handful Italian parsley, chopped
- 6 c. warmed chicken broth
- 2 c. dry white wine
- 2 Tbsp. cooking sherry
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
- 1 c. shredded Manchego cheese
- salt and pepper

Melt butter in a large, heavy stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add torn pieces of prosciutto and cook until it begins to crisp and turn brown. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Turn heat down and add zucchini blossoms and chard leaves. Cook for 1-2 minutes until they turn soft and fragrant.

Remove from heat and reserve with cooked prosciutto. Add shallot and bell pepper to pan (if it is dry all a tablespoon of olive oil). Stir over medium heat until the shallot and pepper begins to soften and turn very fragrant. De-glaze pan with cooking sherry and scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add rice to the pan with 1 c. of warmed chicken broth and white wine. Stir over medium until the liquid soaks into the rice and begins to evaporate. Slowly add the remaining broth about a half cup at a time, stirring frequently to help the liquid absorb. (If the rice is still tough after adding all the broth, add a little water to keep moist.) Turn heat to low, add cream and shredded cheese and stir to combine. Turn off heat and add chopped herbs, prosciutto, zucchini blossoms, and chopped chard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Eat up! Yum.

Lil' Devils

Kickin' Deviled Eggs with Curry
Deviled eggs are one of the best go-to appetizers out there. What can I say? People just love them. Vegetarian and gluten-issue-friendly, they get gobbled up in a snap. Angie offered to host our most recent dinner extravaganza and texted me: "Just bring an appetizer." Hmmm. Low on funds and in need of a grocery trip, I whipped up  a batch of these tasty little beauties with on-hand ingredients. I hope you enjoy this spicy twist on a beloved classic. They were gone in the blink of an eye. I used a half dozen eggs for this batch, but the recipe is easily doubled to feed a bigger crowd.

- 6 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp. curry powder
- 2 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tsp. white Balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. minced shallot
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
- 3 Tbsp. minced fresh Italian parsley, divided
- 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 2-4 Tbsp. mayonnaise

Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Add eggs, cover, and boil for 10-12 minutes until eggs are cooked through. Drain hot water and rise with cold water to bring temperature down so that you may work with eggs. Allow the cooked eggs to rest in cool water for 10-15 minutes before handling.

Gentle peel eggs by rolling on the counter top to break shells. Remove and discard shells, reserving cooking eggs. When eggs are peeled, slice in half lengthwise. Pop out the yolks into a medium bowl and reserve cooked whites on a serving tray.

Carefully mash up egg yolks in medium bowl with the tines of a fork. When they are broken up add vinegar, Sriracha, cilantro, 2 Tbsp. of minced Italian parsley, curry powder, pepper flakes, and 2 Tbsp. of mayonnaise. Mix thoroughly with a fork and then season with salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is dry, add more mayonnaise by the tablespoonful until it is at the right consistency, moist, but not runny.

Using a teaspoon, carefully fill each sliced egg half with a small dollop of filling. The filling should be evenly distributed amongst the 12 egg halves. Carefully garnish each with a small pinch of the remaining Italian parsley. Refrigerate until you serve. Yum! People go crazy for these things!