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Patatas Bravas

22 Apr

I am once again entering the end of the semester, where you’re working all the time and basically end up eating very random things, whether because you just eat what’s in front of you (arepas for breakfast?) or make what you have (patatas bravas stew?). But you know what? Patatas bravas stew is delicious. It’s based off a Spanish dish I used to love when I worked at a tapas bar I worked in after college. Funny story about that: At my graduation party I was telling my (somewhat deaf) grandpa what I was doing (working at a tapas bar) and he misheard me and told everyone I was a stripper. So lesson of the day is use crockpots and enunciate!

Patatas Bravas Stew

  • Put one large chopped yellow onion, 6-10 small red potatoes (in fourths), 6-8 cloves of garlic, one chili ancho, one chili passilla, a handful of cilantro and 5 chicken thighs in a crock pot
  • Cook for 6 hours on high
  • Enjoy!
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Honey Ham Soup

19 Jan

Alayna’s Soup: Aaaaah the crockpot. Mary has recently talked about how much we love it, and it’s true. You put things in it and then you get deliciousness! I made this warm soup on a cold night last week (we had snow! very exciting) and Bagel came over to help me enjoy. I think you can tell by the looks on both of our faces that we are into ham, and more importantly, into ham in soup!

P.S. Mary write, “The votes are in, we’re making a slow cooker category. Dreams are coming true, soups are cooking slow.”

Honey Ham Soup

Put the following in a crockpot for 6-8 hours:

one small bag of large lima beans
one cup chick peas
6-7 cloves of garlic (chopped)
half large yellow onion (chopped)
several handfuls of kale strips
2-3 tomatoes (chopped)
2 bay leaves
rosemary, thyme, basil
a generous portion of honey-baked ham, including the bone if you have it
enough water to cover

Moroccan Chicken Barley

11 Jan

Did you know Alayna and I once backpacked through Morocco without one inkling of an idea what we were doing? No plans laid out but we did have a guitar. We only bathed in bath houses and we had to be rescued by a nomad on a camel when we got trapped in the desert by the ocean in exchange for cigarettes. I know that last sentence sounds completely improbable but it happened. I lost my Slouching Towards Bethlehem paperback in a hostel in Fes, too.

I used to be so cool.

But now I make soup.

Anyways. I am having a little love affair with the spice Ground Cumin these days. Make that any spice. I remember reading a Martha Shulman (New York Times health food writer) article about being mindful to liberally incorporate spices into healthy, vegetarian dishes to enhance flavor. I’ve always put in spices, but recently I’ve been putting in a few more shakes of each spice and the results are delicious.

Additionally, my love of the crock pot continues. My Man of Honor, Zach, just got a crock pot for the holidays and boy is it all we talk about. This meal incorporated parts of my CSA crock pot chicken and the broth I made from those bones in the crock pot, this all made for a very delicious meal.

I always take more pride in dishes where I create as many of the elements of the dish as possible (preparing the meat, broth, etc.). This is one of those meals.

Lastly, I have been debating making a “crock pot” category because I feel like we’re doing more and more with them. Thoughts ladles? Let me know & enjoy!

Moroccan Chicken Barely

  • Saute 1 yellow onion in olive oil with generous shakes of salt, chili pepper and ground cumin
  • After five minutes add chopped carrots, shiitake mushrooms (healthier than other mushrooms!), garlic, red chard stems
  • Saute for about 10 minutes then add 1 cup of pearl barley with 2+ cups of chicken broth
  • Let simmer for 20 minutes, 10 minutes into that time add chard leaves and chicken
  • Spice to taste and a squeeze of lemon ain’t never hurt no one

Slow cooked lentils

21 Dec

That’s Jesse Bull. Man of open ranges and scuffed boots. Not much slows Jesse Bull down, except for my slow cook soup. My slow cook soup was so good Jesse awkwardly made a “yum” sound with every spoonful he downed. I was so proud.

People! Slow cookers are AMAZING! I had a meeting in the morning, and while I was talking I chopped some vegetables, shook some spices, found some lentils and dropped it all in the slow cooker. And then, 6 hours later, it was like this amazing, delicious soup.

Alayna has been making slow cooker soups more than I have, but not anymore. So easy and delicious! Buy a slow cooker one and all!

Slow Cooked Lentils!

  • Really, put in whatever vegetables you want. I put in a ton of chopped carrots, 1 chopped yellow onion, a head of broccoli, shiitake mushrooms and a lot of collard greens
  • I put in about 2 cups of green lentils
  • For spices I was very generous: Salt, 2 bay leaves, thyme, a little red pepper, a lot of fresh parsley
  • Cover it in water with 2 veggie bullion cubes
  • Set on low for 6 hours. Done!

Pre-Vacation Fridge Stew

30 Nov


I always feel like before vacation there’s this secret challenge to eat all of the food that could go bad, but also have at least one fresh meal (aka, not spaghetti, although it will do in a pinch) available for when you get home so you don’t have to go out to the store or eat take-out when you first get back. (Mary’s head: I don’t know if other people are like this, because I’m never this organized to think about these details BUT I can testify that Alayna gets herself into a tizzy if she doesn’t have a meal prepared to come home, too. Anyway, read on…) Shockingly it’s times like these that I turn to stew. With this one I managed to use all of my half peppers/bags of carrots/onions, come out with something delicious for when I got home, and ‘lazy cook’ (meaning, chop up a bunch of things then do nothing for a long time then eat! Crockpots are brilliant!).

Even MORE importantly, over Thanksgiving I was up in New York and got to see Mary! A long dinner and a palm reading (what? yes, we did that) made me miss New York, but at least I’ll be back in less than a month! (What, hi!, I’m back. Dude that palm reader FREAKED ME OUT. Freaked me so bad that I might start to reconsider my drunk habit of popping into palm readers’ shops. Have you noticed there are as many palm reader shops as bodegas in NYC? And how there is always a fat man in an undershirt watching loud TV in the back? No one ever talks about these things.)

Uhm, is it just me or do I actually sort of look like a palm reader? Alayna just looks like a graduate student though.

Vacation Stew!

  • Add about 2 cups of dried lentils, one chopped sweet potato, one chopped red onion, one chopped red pepper, 6 cloves of chopped garlic, half a bag of baby (or grown-up) carrots, two inches of chopped fresh ginger, one peeled and chopped acorn squash and five chicken thighs (in bitesized pieces) to your crockpot with a few generous shakes of tumeric, a pinch of saffron and enough water to almost cover
  • add some salt and pepper
  • set on high for 6 hours