Chicken Adobo

Pure comfort in a bowl. Paired with Mom’s pancit and it’s the holidays in February! I made this on a Sunday and it fed us a couple more times for lunch and dinner. And, I’m already craving it again!

Chicken Adobo

  • 6 full chicken legs, skin removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water (if needed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 2TBSP canola oil

Heat oil in pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 mins or just until fragrant and slightly tender.

Add chicken legs, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns. Legs should be at least halfway submerged under the sauce. You can add a little water if needed or more of the soy sauce and vinegar if you need more than a little bit of sauce.

Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is falling off the bone (being sure to flip the legs every 20 mins).

Pull legs out of sauce once tender and shred with a fork. Put chicken back in sauce and serve with rice. (Legs don’t have to be shredded but it allows the sauce to get all up in the chicken.)

Enjoy!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Have you watched The Chef Show with Jon Favreau and Roy Choi? They’re adorable- kinda like an old married couple talking about experiences and eating amazing comforting food.

Well, I finally made the spaghetti and meatballs from the “Roy’s Italian Cuisine” episode and it’s soooooooo good. This will be a go to for a very long time.

This is one of those recipes you need to prep for. So, go roast a head of garlic and pick up the ingredients (including ordering some fennel pollen – really, you need this in your spice collection)

Roy Choi’s (Adapted) Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground meat (70/30 if you can get it)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 1/2 garlic head, roasted
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped then blended in the blender with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp fennel pollen
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Sauce

  • 1 large can san marzano whole tomatoes
  • Shiitake mushrooms (two handfuls)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • A head of garlic, cloves deskinned
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Put 1/4 cup of sauce oil into a small sauce pan. Set on medium low heat and add the garlic cloves from the sauce ingredients. Let that simmer on low until the garlic cloves get soft and golden brown. Takes about 15-20 mins.

Put the water and shiitake mushrooms in a small pot. Let simmer on low for 20 mins.

Mix everything from the meatball ingredient list together except 1 T of the olive oil in a bowl.

Pan fry a bit of the meatball mixture until cooked so you can taste for salt. Adjust seasoning if needed in the meatballs.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or douse the sheet with some oil.

Roll the meatballs into 2”-2.5” diameter balls. And place on sheet.

Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake for 20-22 mins. They should be medium rare.

While meatballs are cooking, add the garlic that’s been simmering in the oil (not the oil) to a medium pot. Add 1 cup of the mushroom broth and the tomatoes. Simmer on low for 40 mins or until slightly reduced.

Blend the sauce in the pot and taste for salt.

Take meatballs out and add some to the sauce for added deliciousness.

Cook a pot of spaghetti. Serve with sauce and meatballs. Top with Parmesan and enjoy!

New Years Hoppin John

Yes. It’s been more than a month since I made this. Don’t judge – says me to myself. Grandma Mary was very superstitious. Among other musts, having hoppin’ John on New Years day is a must for a healthy and happy year. We are it last year but well we know how that ended. Trying it again this year resulted in much better outcomes thus far.

Hoppin’ John

  • 1 lb dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight (or precooked black eyed peas)
  • 2 lbs ham hocks, smoked
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beef broth (don’t need if using precooked peas)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Rinse beans, cover with fresh water and cover with lid and soak overnight in a nonreactive pot. Drain and rinse again and pull any beans that are discolored.

Rinse ham hocks and set aside.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook veggies for 5 mins until tender. Add spices and cook for 1 min. Add stock and bring to boil.

Transfer to crock pot. Add beans and ham hocks and stir. Cook on high for 5 hours or 8 hours on low. For last hour, smash some of the beans to thicken sauce. Also cook last hour without the lid on. (You can also add fire roasted diced tomatoes for a little more depth.)

Pull out the ham hocks at the end of the cooking process and shred with meat off the bone (slice bigger pieces). Add meat back to pot.

Enjoy with cooked rice and comfort in knowing your year is going to be great.

Tomatillo Chili

I inadvertently signed up for 2 CSAs this season (probs because I knew getting to the farmers market was going to be difficult this year). I love these farms (Fifth Crow Farm and Sweet Farm) and man, do I miss the farmers market. But the CSAs are bring bunches of creativity out of me including this recipe. Seeing tomatillos and strange squash required some exploration. This tomatillo chili is the delicious outcome.

That’s one of the squash quartered. No idea what variety but it tastes and cooks like a zucchini.

Tomatillo Chili

  • 7 tomatillos, shell off and cleaned
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained (or 2 cobs of cooked corn)
  • 2 jalepenos
  • 1 cup squash of choice (can be zucchini or yellow squash), chopped in 2” chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP oregano
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 6 stems of kale, chopped
  • 3 sliced cooked bacon, sliced
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Lime

Broil tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, garlic and squash until just starting to blacken and blister (approx 7 mins). Watch that the garlic doesn’t go too long.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add spices, beans and corn. Once fragrant, add the broth, kale and broiled squash. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 mins.

Blend, tomatillos, onion, jalapeños and garlic. Add to chili.

Cook until kale is softened (approx 20 mins).

Season with generous amount of salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with wedges of lime, crispy bacon toppings and a cook drink of choice.

Enjoy!

Buttermilk Scones

Have friends stopping by around breakfast? Have kids complaining they’re starving right when they wake up? Or do you just want to enjoy your morning with a delicious smelling kitchen and a flakey, buttery scone with your favorite filling? Make these and freeze some for when unexpected needs for comfort arise.

Buttermilk Scones (Peach)

Recipe supplied by one of my BFFs

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into pea sized chunks
  • 3/4 fresh fruit, dried fruit or combo of fruit and nuts
  • 1 tsp almond extract (if it compliments your fruit and nut combo)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 TBSP half and half
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon mixed with 2 TBSP sugar for topping
  • Shaved nuts of choice for topping, if desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in upper third.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter and using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mixed the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like corn meal. Try not to let the butter melt.

Add in your fruit and nuts if using. I used chopped peaches. Make a well and add the buttermilk and almond extract. Mix using a fork until the dough comes away from the bowl.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and mold into a dough ball. Then flatten to about 3/4” tall circle. Cut into 12 pie slices. Move to a parchment lined cookie sheet for those you’re baking playing the “pie slices” about 2” apart. You can also freeze them now.

For the ones you’re baking now, If you’re using soft fresh fruit, you can stuff the scones. To do this, simply cut off the top and reassemble the bottom shape, place thinly sliced fruit on top of the bottom. Reassemble the top and smoosh it on top of the fruit. You can skip this step. Brush with half and half. Add shaved nuts (I used almonds) if you’re using. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 425 for 12-18 mins.

Enjoy warm.

The stuffing step was an experiment that paid off. I highly recommend it.

Lentils = Protein

It’s hard to get my mostly-fresh-fruit-and-veggie-eating littles to consume protein too. They love eggs and red meat and salmon – sometimes chicken, if it’s fried. But that will cover like 6 of the 4000 meals that need to be made … in a day. (Doesn’t it feel like the meal prep and dishes are just one continuous stream throughout the day right now? Pepper in some laundry and then it’s already time to go to bed.)

Anyway, they love this lentil (kinda) soup recipe. I say kinda because there isn’t a bunch of broth. If you like yours more broth, just add a 1/2 more around 20 min mark in the cooking process. And the kids don’t know about the anchovies!

Lentil (kinda) Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup black lentils (or any other that you have), rinsed
  • 1/2 large onion, diced super small so kids don’t notice
  • 2 carrots, diced super small because of picky children
  • 4 anchovies in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I’ve started buying the kind in the jar because holy crap this is a lot of cooking we’re doing these days)
  • Cumin to your liking (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • Good amount of salt to your liking
  • Olive oil
  • Pickled jalapeños for the grown ups as a topper

Kid approved.

Start a medium pot with a good amount of olive oil (2-3 TBSP? Sure). Heat on medium/low. Add onions, carrots, garlic and anchovies. Melt down the anchovies so you don’t see them as whole pieces anymore. They should just add color to the veggies. After they cook for a few mins, add a dash of salt and cumin. cook for another 5 mins being sure to not burn.

Add the rinsed lentils and broth. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer with the cover on until the lentils are tender. Salt to taste.

Lots of toppings go great with this from fried eggs to pickled jalapeños to avocados and sour cream to all of the above.

Enjoy!

Meatball Soup

The LO loved this and so did my hubby. My elder daughter was not a fan but it’s not abnormal for her to dislike new foods these days. It was so easy and makes the best leftovers for lunch or dinner.

That garlic chili oil from the other day continues to make everything better.

Meatball Soup

(inspired by Bonappetit recipe)

Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef

Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 4 stalks kale and/or chard, removed from veins and sliced
  • Handful sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/2 cup shelled fresh (or frozen) English peas
  • Lemon wedges

Make meatballs:

  • Mix yogurt, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper in a large bowl just to combine. Add beef and mix with your hands (or a wooden spoon) until well blended but take care not to overmix, or meatballs could be dense.
  • Using your hands, lightly pack meatball mixture into tangerine-size balls (about 1½” in diameter) and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Working in batches and adding more oil if needed, add meatballs to pot, making sure to leave enough space between them so you can move them freely, and cook, turning occasionally to help them keep their shape, until evenly browned on all sides, 5–8 minutes. The trick is to make sure the meatballs don’t fall apart. Let them get sufficiently browned on each side before trying to move them. Once cooked, set aside in a bowl.

Make Soup:

  • Add shallots, garlic, and cabbage and greens to pot (no need to wipe out). Season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes
  • Add broth and vinegar to pot and bring liquid to a simmer. Cook until cabbage is just tender. Return meatballs to pot along with any juices that have accumulated and simmer long enough to let flavors meld, 6–8 minutes.
  • Just before serving, add sugar snap peas and English peas to broth and cook until no longer raw, just a minute or two (you want them to retain a little bit of bite).
  • Serve with garlic chili oil and lemon wedges.
  • Enjoy!!

Hug Porridge

We desperately need hugs. Our beloved dog passed away. I made this to help comfort our hearts and it was effective.

Hug Porridge

6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

1/4 cup veggie oil

2 tsp dried red chili flakes

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2/3 cup uncooked rice

8 cups water

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 bunch of Dino kale, deveined and cut into ribbons

2-4 tsp of salt

1/2 lemon

Fried eggs

In a large pot, add the veggie oil and garlic. Cook on med/low heat until the garlic is golden brown. Remove all but a TBSP of the mixture to a separate bowl.

In the separate bowl with garlic and oil, add the chili flakes. Stir. This is now the coveted chili garlic oil you’ll douse on every including this porridge.

On the pot with garlic oil, add the onion and cook until soft and slightly caramelized. Add water and chicken breasts. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a quick simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 mins. Take out chicken and continue cooking until the porridge becomes slightly thickened, stirring often.

While the porridge continues cooking, shred the chicken.

Once porridge is almost as thick as you’d like it, add in the kale and chicken. Season with salt. Cook for 4 mins.

Squeeze 1/2 lemon and stir.

Top with a fried egg and chili garlic oil (be careful, it’s spicy and a little goes a long way).

Enjoy your hug.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Remember those miso turnips that I made the other day? Leftovers found their way into this kimchi fried rice and it was perfect. Also, if you’ve got a pork chop or steak or chicken, grill it right quick and add that on the plate too. This can be a main meal or just a side to your protein. It’s tangy and spicy and the perfect amount of probiotics. I ate mine with a fried egg on top because – chickens in my backyard are laying, laying, laying.

Kimchi Fried Rice

  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1- 2 carrots, cut Julianne
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • Precooked veggies of choice, I used miso turnips
  • 2″ knob of ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup kimchi (I love either makin my own or buying from Wise Goat Organics)
  • Canola oil
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP gochujan (we use it on everything. Make this a staple)
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP kimchi juice
  • Toppings of choice (fried egg, nori, black sesame seeds, green onion, steak…all of the above)

In a bowl, mix gochujan, soy sauce, sesame oil and kimchi juice. Set aside

Heat a bit of canola oil in a large skillet. Cook onion, carrots, garlic and ginger. Until tender. Add rice and kimchi and pour over gochujan mixture. Fry for 2 mins.

Note: The key is sauce to rice to veggie ratio and everyone has different preferences. I like a slightly sticky rice with lots of veggies. But, you’re the chef. You decide what’s best for you.

Serve as a side or main. Top with whatever you fancy.

Lola Momma’s Picadillo

My MIL was supposed to come back to the states this month from the Philippines for her annual 3 month stay. But it’s too risky to get on a plane. She’s going to stay home. We miss her so much. So, I made one of my favorite dishes that she makes when she comes. It’s so comforting and sweet. Serve it up over rice and maybe top it with a fried egg. It can be eaten any time of day. Enjoy!

Lola Momma’s Picadillo

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4-5 baby Yukon potatoes or 1 large Russet, diced into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1/2 orange or red bell pepper, diced slightly smaller than potatoes
  • 2 carrots, diced into littler cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup raisins (I know, trust me)
  • 1,5 – 2 cups water
  • 1 TBSP fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

In a medium pot, begin to brown the ground pork. Add the garlic midway through and cook until pork is no longer pink. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 min. Add potatoes, raisins, carrots and enough water to cover the veggies. Simmer until cooked through adding more water as needed. Add fish sauce and sugar to taste.

Enjoy comfort in a bowl.