Kitchen Stuff

I love walking around in kitchen stores and checking out the gadgets.  Sure I don't need them, but looking at them and figuring out what they do, you WANT them all.  I'm going to try and post "What I want this week" every now and again, so we can add to our culinary knowledge, but not necessarily our kitchen gadget drawer.

This week's feature comes from a trip to William Sonoma.  I had to run into the mall because my iPhone stopped working and had to go and oogle the kitchen stuff.

Because I love garlic, I absolutely need this tiny chopper.

Stay hungry my friend!

**These are just things I think would be cool to have.  I am in no way affiliated with the companies I feature.**

Oxtail-Barley Soup Recipe

Oxtail! Oxtail? yup, oxtail.  I still find it hard to understand, but Piggy2 came home with 4 pounds of oxtail.  I didn't want to make the usual soup, which are the only recipes I could find, but the recipe turned out to be soup anyway.  I did begin by braising the oxtails first, but as I progressed, the meat ended up in a soup after all.  Well, I don't know if I should call it a soup, it turned out very thick, thanks to the barley that I used, which was a nice addition.

2 pounds oxtails, rinsed and patted dry
3 quarts cold water

braising the oxtails
1 cup barley (not quick-cooking), rinsed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 ribs celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon beef base
4 carrots, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, brown oxtails on all sides.  Add oil as necessary as not to burn the oxtail (about 1 tablespoon).  Remove oxtails and discard any rendered fat in pan.

Add water and oxtails to pan.  Add barley,  garlic, celery, onion and beef base. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
Add carrots and tomatoes, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until carrots, barley and meat are tender. Remove meat from bones and return to soup.

Stay hungry my friend!

Sour Cream Pork Chops

This recipe is called Sour Cream pork chops, but if you follow my recipes you know that whenever it's called for, I substitute it with kefir.  It makes me feel better when I slather the stuff on, I know my gut will thank me.   I also had a huge brick of Parmesan that I had to use.  I may used too much kefir (because I love the stuff), so you may want to use a light hand when you coat each pork chop. 

1 cup Kefir (Sour cream can be substituted)
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Dried oregano
1 tsp Dried basil
1 ½ cup Panko crumbs
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
4 Pork Chops

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray or oil.
Combine kefir (or sour cream), garlic powder, dried oregano and basil in a shallow bowl.
Combine bread crumbs with grated Parmesan cheese in a separate shallow dish.
Dip each pork chop into the kefir mixture, making sure to thoroughly coat each side.   Use a knife or spoon to spread kefir to make sure each pork chop has a solid coat.
Place each pork chop into crumb mixture.  Coat evenly, so both sides are fully breaded and place in prepared baking dish.
Bake the pork chops for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the bread crumbs are toasted and golden brown. Remove it from the oven and serve hot.

Stay hungry my friend!

Building your Audience

Look around and identify 3 blogs where your audience hangs out.  Do a search and find other blogs in your area.

Next, join in on the conversation and be sure to leave comments (and don't forget to leave a link to your website so others can find out about you)

SEO Tips:

1. Figure out what you blog post will be about. (who is your audience, what your writing about and why your writing about it, what is the key benefit.

2. Do a little bit of keyword research.  Hint: Use Google Keyword Tool

3. Pick your keyword and relevent keywords. Hint: Only 1 keyword per post.

4. Use your keyword in: the title, in the body of the post

Happy Feet or Eggs en Cocotte

When I found this recipe I was exstatic, finally something I can use my ramekins for.  Little did I realize what I was making, I should've read more.  Oeufs en Cocotte, or Eggs en Cocotte, are simply baked eggs.  There are many ways to prepare this recipe.  Variations include placing the cheese in the bottom of the ramekin, before cracking the eggs, adding bits of bacon or ham, or add 2 tablespoons of cream on top before you place them in the over.
I baked mine, by simply placing them in the over, but many of the recipes mention placing the ramekins in a boiling water bath while they cook in the over.

I'm calling this recipe Happy Feet, because of the cheese used.  Because if you've never had gruyere, you're in for a bit of a chalky, smelly surprise.   To me, a smell akin to smelly socks, but once cooked the cheese is a bit smoother, hence the name Happy Feet.

Gruyere is a Swiss cheeses and is made from cow's milk and has a nutty, slightly sweet taste with complex musty and mushroomy notes.  Gruyere is delicious when used in a fondue. Pair this cheese with a Champagne, Syrah, or even Zinfandel.

Little Butter for ramekin
2 Eggs
2 oz Gruyere Cheese - grated
Salt & Pepper
1 tsp chives for garnish

Preheat oven for 375 F Butter a small oven proof ramekin.
Crack the 2 eggs into the ramekin, be careful not to break the yolks.
Top it with the Gruyere cheese
Add salt & pepper to taste and place in the oven
Bake approx. for 15 minutes, longer if you don't want them as runny.
Remove from oven and serve with crusty toast points.

Alternative baking instructions:
Place all of the ramekins in an ovenproof casserole, carefully pour boiling water so that it reaches a half to two-thirds up the sides of the ramekins.  Take the casserole and place it carefully, uncovered in teh preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the white is set but the yolk is still hot and runny.
Stay hungry my friend!

Nutella stuffed Pastry

What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday.  Sure, it's Superbowl, but what makes it even better?  When you're preparing your appetizer food extravaganza and you can celebrate World Nutella Day.  Today's day started off with these flakey treats. 

Be sure to visit  Ms Adventures in Italy, Bleeding Espresso, and World Nutella Day  for more recipes.

1 package puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup nutella
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Kosher salt

Roll out the puff pastry on a floured work surface to 1/4 inch thick.
Use a knife to cut the pastry into rectangles.
Place a generous dollop of Nutella at one edge, then roll pastry up tightly.
After one roll add another dollop of Nutella and finish rolling.
Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with salt.

Bake at 400ºF for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

NOTE: Be careful when you pull the pastries out of the over, as the Nutella is NUCLEAR HOT!!!

Stay Hungry my friend!