Friday, August 22, 2014

EASY Red Curry Chicken

This is a dish I've been making variations of for YEARS. I never realized that I'd never shared the recipe, and only recently realized that this was a fairly low-carb/keto-friendly recipe. I love Thai food, but our options here are limited pretty much to the Surin restaurants. Luckily, Thai food is relatively easy and quick to prepare at home - even ingredients such as coconut milk and red curry paste are easily found at most grocery stores! 


This curry can be served over rice or noodles - to keep it low-carb, feel free to use shirataki noodles or cauliflower 'rice'!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Baked Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

C gets excited anytime I cook Brussels Sprouts. He HATED them growing up, since they were always boiled, mushy and fart-y, but I've converted him after making my Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. He also likes my Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and now I can add these Baked Parmesan Brussels Sprouts to the rotation.

It all started with an innocent Facebook post from a local farmer's market:

I decided that I wanted Brussels Sprouts, but wanted to try something a little bit different this time. Something more rich and cheesy.

So, I decided on Baked Parmesan Brussels Sprouts. They're SUPER rich and creamy, and the salty Parmesan cheese compliments the slightly bitter sprouts perfectly. The flavor is REALLY reminiscent of good spinach-artichoke dip!


Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

Sorry for the lack of posts lately; about 2 weeks ago, my trusty laptop died on me. I shut it down one night, and it never powered back on. I decided to wait until this past weekend to replace it, since it's our annual tax-free weekend, and our tax is a whopping 10%. This weekend was kind of a whirlwind in itself, so I stayed offline. So, I'm back online with a new computer, and ready to be all Posty McPosterson again.

Last Saturday, C and I decided to hit Pepper Place (our local farmer's market) to see what they had. We ended up with a ton of vegetables and a gigantic gallon bucket of blueberries, as the farmer informed us it was the very last week that he would have them. Plus, Chris loves blueberries and they freeze really well. 

I decided to make a small cake with some of the fresh berries - sort of like these muffins, but more like a pound cake. A bit of lemon zest in the batter gives a nice tang, while the cake is finished with a simple lemon glaze. 


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

I honestly thought that I had posted this before, considering how often I make this dish. But, apparently I hadn't! As we all know, I LOVE mashed potatoes, and I've posted multiple recipes for them on this blog before. However, I can't eat them often thanks to all of the starch, so I usually enjoy this lower-carb cauliflower alternative instead! Bonus: I get more dietary fiber in my diet!


You don't even need a stove for these - though you can steam the cauliflower in a pot on the stovetop, or even boil them, I prefer to use the microwave. If you boil them instead, just make sure you drain off as much of the water as possible - cauliflower is already watery, and you don't want a runny mash!

These aren't an EXACT duplicate of mashed potatoes, but they're really close!

Cauliflower Mashed "Potatoes"

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6-8 cups)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter (I like to use Kerrygold)
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/2 - 1 tsp salt

Place the cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. This is just like my method for steaming broccoli, but I don't add any water. Microwave on high for 12-15 minutes (depending on the wattage of your microwave) or until the cauliflower is very tender.


CAREFULLY remove the plastic wrap - steam is hot, burns are painful, and skin grafts are expensive.



Mash the cauliflower. I like to use a potato masher to get the big chunks, then an immersion blender to whip the cauliflower into a smooth consistency. You can also use a blender or food processor.



Add the butter, sour cream, heavy cream and salt. Mix until blended. Serve hot.










Sunday, August 3, 2014

Alpha Grillers Garlic Press & Peeler Review

Recently, I was contacted by Sarah from Alpha Grillers, a company manufacturing and selling kitchen tools on Amazon.com (Click to visit their store) . She asked me if I would be interested in providing an honest review of their new Garlic Press and Peeler Set, offering to send me a set free of charge. Though I am admittedly NOT a fan of specialized “Unitasker” tools (thanks, Alton Brown), I don’t currently own a garlic press, and have looked at them longingly at Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table recently.

So, I agreed to do a review, and here is my legalese, CYA, disclaimer: My opinions on the Alpha Grillers Garlic Press and Peeler Set are solely my own; I was provided the item in exchange for a review, and have not been asked to give either a specifically positive or specifically negative review. I wasn’t paid for my review, either.

Phew.

When the box arrived, I first noticed how heavy the box was. Not HEAVY heavy, but definitely not cheap. I opened the box and was struck by how nicely the set was packaged. The box is nice and sturdy, and the set is packaged in a way that makes this set great for gift-giving.



Per the box, the garlic press is made from 18/10 stainless steel, which explains the weight. Bonus: Stainless steel removes garlic/onion odors from the skin!

The set also comes with a garlic peeler. It’s basically a silicone tube – you insert a clove of garlic, apply a little bit of pressure, and just roll the tube around, which quickly separates the paper-like skin from the clove. I actually used to have one of these, but it disappeared a few months ago – which means it’s probably under the fridge or in that void between the stove and the cabinets. This one is a thicker silicone, and looks like a little cannoli!


With the garlic press, you can use peeled or unpeeled cloves, which is pretty handy. Alpha Grillers provides detailed instructions via email to the purchaser with each order. HERE is a copy of the instructions.



I didn’t realize until reading the instructions that the press could also be used with ginger. GINGER! This makes me immeasurably happy since I always end up buying the overpricing tubes of ginger paste since I loathe mincing or grating ginger on my own since it’s so fibrous and stringy.

First the Peeler. Make sure it’s dry, then place a single clove of garlic inside the tube. Roll the tube back and forth on your countertop a few times. Pretend you’re hand rolling fine cigars in Key West. The peel will rustle and separate from the garlic. Upend the peeler to get the clove out, then either thump out the peely bits or just rinse with water.





This was easy, and I didn’t have any issues at all, even with my slightly old garlic, which had thicker, harder to remove skin. So far, so good!

Now, onto the Press. I decided to press both peeled and unpeeled cloves of garlic, followed by some fresh ginger to REALLY test this thing out.

First, the peeled garlic. The press easily crushed and pressed the garlic out! The movement was smooth and fluid, and it took very little effort to squeeze the handles - the handles were just the right size for me, and I have SMALL hands.








Next, the unpeeled garlic. It took a LITTLE bit more effort, but no straining was needed. The garlic pressed out perfectly, leaving the garlic peel/husk inside the peeler to be picked.






Finally, the ginger (peeled). I really wanted this to work. Ginger is so fibrous, and I usually buy ginger paste instead of dealing with fresh ginger. I truly loathe grating ginger and dealing with all of the weird strands. So, I was optimistic of the press after how easily it defeated the garlic cloves.


SAD FACE.



No dice. I sqoze (I don't think that's a word) as hard as I could, and got only the tiniest bit of ginger mince. The ginger compressed into a rock-hard ginger chunk that I had to pick out of the peeler. I tried again with a smaller bit of ginger - same problem. This press, though EXCELLLENT for garlic, is no bueno for ginger.

To clean the press, simply run water over the press surface. Stuck on bits of garlic can be easily freed by poking through the holes with a bamboo skewer. The press is completely dishwasher-safe, and, being made from stainless, won’t rust. There are loops on the ends of each handle in case you want to hang the press for easy and quick access.


So, is this a good product? YES. I had been looking at garlic presses and considered buying one, but so many were cheaply made or chromed instead of stainless steel. Now that I have this one, I’m very pleased and see myself using it for a long time - just not on ginger. The price is right, and I have no hesitation in saying that I would buy one for myself.

If you want one of your own, go HERE. If you have a Prime account, it will ship for free!

As a special gift to I Believe I Can Fry readers, Alpha Grillers has graciously provided a coupon code for 10% off, good until October 1st, 2014. So, be sure to use the code “E6JA2DJH” at checkout! Right now, the price is under $10, and the coupon will get you another 10% off!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Taco Pie

I used to make a version of this dish YEARS ago when I was a broke-ass college student. I had actually forgotten all about taco pie until I randomly decided to eat both leftover taco salad and scrambled eggs for lunch (no, I am not pregnant). I remembered taco pie, and decided that I needed to make some ASAP!

Taco Pie is basically a taco, without the shell. Baked in a pie pan with a egg/cheese mixture, the seasoned beef stays at the bottom, while a sort of quiche/custard thing bakes on the top. It holds together extremely well, and is super-hearty and filling, without a bunch of starches. Plus, it's easy and pretty cheap to prepare!