This was easy and delicious. I have been experimenting with masa harina to figure out ways to cook with it since I got a huge bag from Harvest Share. I’m not fond of cornbread so I wanted to go in a different direction. I made the salad first and made more than I needed for the masa cakes.
For the salad, this makes enough for 8 masa cakes, but is also good on grilled cheese and with sandwiches. So I don’t mind.
- 1/2 bunch of kale, cleaned, stripped off the stem, and finely chopped. This is about 3 cups of kale.
- 1/2 TBSP olive oil
- Juice from 1 fresh lemon
- 1 tsp kosher salt.
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced.
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled, cut into small pieces, and parboiled in salted water.
Mix these first four ingredients together and rub the oil, salt, and lemon into the kale to soften it. Add the sliced onions. Drain the sweet potatoes and add to the kale. Let rest for an hour or more in the fridge.
For the Masa Cakes, this makes four masa cakes.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1½ tablespoons butter, sliced
- 1 cup masa harina corn flour
- Dash of Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup grated cheese (I used pepper jack)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Mix together the masa, salt, sugar, use a pastry cutter to cut in the butter, add milk and stir together until smooth, add the cheese and mix it in. Divide into 4 balls.
Using a piece of wax paper, but one ball of dough between two layers of wax paper. Press flat to about 1/4 inc. I used a small bowl and pressed down to make the edges smooth, tossing remaining dough back in the bowl to use. This will make 4 masa cakes.
Heat a griddle on medium and put about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on it. When it’s heated, put two on the griddle to cook, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
When you’re ready to serve, fry an egg over-easy. You could poach them instead.
Assemble by putting a torta cake on your plate. Then put a handful of kale salad on top of the cake. Add the over-easy egg so when you eat it, the egg dresses the salad.
Makes four servings.
The other day I made a delicious salad with turnips and cabbage, but it did not look as delicious as it tasted because it lacked color. I decided to use red onions instead and add some carrot and parsley. Now it’s even more delicious, the carrots and parsley adding flavor as well as visual appeal.
Chop and mix the following in a bowl.
- 4 cups of shredded cabbage. Salt lightly and let sit in a colander for an hour, squeeze out the liquid and mix in the rest of the vegetables.
- 1 medium turnip, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 1/3 red onion, diced
- 1 cup chopped parsley
Mix up the dressing and add, coating all the vegetables and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow the dressing to marry with the salad.
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tsp oregano
- Salt and pepper
When serving, sprinkle a small handful of sunflower seeds on top.
There is a lovely mix of earthy and bright flavors. The slightly creamy dressing is not too rich, using yogurt makes it slightly lighter than just mayonnaise and adds that tang of yogurt. The earthy flavors of oregano and parsley make the salad extra satisfying.
It is also tasty without the sunflower seeds.
This was a delicious sandwich that took just minutes to make. Of course, I already had some pork roast in the fridge from supper the other night. I made Earl Grey roasted pork, but this would work with any good roast pork.
For Earl Grey Roast Pork, preheat oven to 450° degrees. Pour 4 or 5 packets of Earl Grey tea ground for steeping and roll the pork roast in the tea, coating all sides lightly. Roast until 140° (about 30 minutes for a 1.5 pound roast) and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. The roast for this sandwich, though, was cold, but it need not be.
Turn the oven to broil
I took one hot dog bun. You could use a ciabatta or sourdough, too, but I used what came from Harvest Share. Spread some butter and sprinkle with garlic salt (or crush one clove of garlic and mix with the butter), slice parmesan cheese thinly and lay down on layer of parmesan, Put four stalks of fresh, young asparagus on each side and broil. Keep a close eye, you do not want it to burn. It took about 4 minutes to broil with the rack at the middle.
While the sandwich was broiling, I cut two slices of roast pork and mixed up a quick spread with chopped parsley, chopped red onion, and mayo in equal portions (about 1.5 TBSP of each) and seasoned with a bit of garlic salt and pepper. I spread it on one side, laid the pork on the other, put them together and had a delicious, fresh tasting sandwich.
The mayo helped bind all the flavors together. I like the aromatic flavor of the Earl Grey pork, the bite of the onions, the fresh and tender asparagus and the earth grace notes from the parmesan and parsley.
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium with 1 TBSP of olive oil. Chop 2 TSBP of red onion and 2 of those baby yellow bell peppers. Add salt and pepper. Sauté until tender.
On a cast iron griddle or pan on another burner, toast a sandwich bun. I toasted it dry without butter or oil.
Meanwhile, cut one boneless chicken breast tenderloin into small pieces of about 1/2 inch square, salt and pepper. Add to the skillet and cook until done, (3 – 4 minutes), Add 1/2 cup chopped spinach or baby spinach, add a TBSP of mustard vinaigrette and put a lid on for two minutes to cook.
While the veggies and chicken are finishing, cut two slices of tomato and grate a bit of parmesan cheese, just enough to sprinkle over the sandwich.
To assemble, spread some mayo on the top side of the bun and place two thin slices of tomato. On the bottom side of the bun, spread your cooked veggies and chicken and sprinkle grated parmesan over it.
Add salt and pepper.
This was delicious, the blend of textures, the crispy coated bread, the gooey parm, the slight crunch of the peppers, with the tender spinach and the freshness of the tomatoes. The flavors are full of freshness and umami. I used only a small bit of parm, but it was just enough to be creamy. The mustard vinaigrette finished it off perfectly with a bit of tang and bite.
I was passing the radishes at WinCo and saw how big and beautiful they were, unblemished and at their peak. I could not resist grabbing a bunch. I also got two big heads of cabbage and about a pound of cilantro at the Oregon Food Bank’s Harvest Share so I really needed to figure out something to use them. I remembered how La Sirenita would add slices of radish as a garnish and got this crazy idea of making a Mexican cole slaw. I looked at a few recites for ensalada de repollo, but didn’t find anything that appealed to me.
- 1/2 head of cabbage sliced thin, salted and rested in a colander for 20 minutes. Squeeze out liquid.
- 1/2 red onion sliced thin and chopped
- 4 large radishes sliced horizontal, as thinly as possible
- 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
- Zest from 1 lime (get all the zest you can)
Mix well using blender or Magic Bullet.
- 1 fresh lime, juiced
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP rice vinegar
- 1 tsp chile powder
- Salt and pepper
So, the traditional ratio for a vinaigrette is 3:1 oil and acid (vinegar) and this is closer to 1:1 with the lime juice. But that’s how I like it, I am happy with just vinegar, but it really needs the oil to make the vinegar adhere to the veggies and suspend all the spices, so I never do 3:1 even if that is the proper ratio. Cooking is about personal preferences and I will use a Magic Bullet to help these emulsify even though the ratio is out of balance. It is what I like. For a more traditional dressing, 3 TBSP of olive oil to 1 TBSP of vinegar.
This is not a single serving because this salad tastes better the second, third and fourth days. It makes 8 to 10 servings. I love this on a tostada with some broiled carne asada.
It was a hot day today. I went to the World’s Largest Louie Louie Sing-A-Long downtown so I was not interested in cooking or making anything difficult, but I wanted some rich and complex flavors. I kind of just started with some couscous and added what appealed until I ended up with something scrumptious.
- 1/3 cup of couscous
- 2/3rd cup of boiling water
- Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 1/3rd cup chopped red onion
- 10 toasted almonds
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 granny smith apple, chopped.
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and pepper
I took 1/3 cup of couscous and poured 2/3rds cup of boiling water on top of it in a small bowl and put a lid on it. While it absorbed the boiling water, I prepped a pomegranate. I used all the seeds from half of a pomegranate.
There is a fast and easy way to prep pomegranates. Carefully cut through the skin without cutting deep, leaving the pomegranate seeds whole. Once you have cut through, give a little twist and it will separate into two halves. Take a half and pull and twist the edge a bit to loosen it, then turn it upside down in the palm of your hand and whack it hard over and over and all the seeds will fall out. I only needed half a pomegranate, but I cleaned both halves and stored half the seeds in a plastic container for another day.
I toasted some almonds in a clean dry skillet and chopped them in half after they cooled.
I cleaned and chopped a bunch of fresh spinach, chopped up some red onion and tossed them in with the pomegranates and couscous. I added some salt and pepper, the feta and toasted almonds.
I then chopped up 1/2 of a granny smith apple and tossed in some balsamic vinegar.
I put a lid on the bowl I was mixing this all up in, shook it up a bit and refrigerated for about an hour.
This was delicious and so rich in texture from the crispy apple, crunchy almonds, tender couscous and the juicy bursts of pomegranate. The flavor is grounded in the couscous, the spinach adds a nice fresh taste, the red onions a bit of heat, the apples some sweetness, the almonds some umame and the pomegranate a lovely sweet-sour tang. The feta gives a bit of richness, making it all come together in this big explosion of flavor and texture and color.
Makes two servings.