Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tortilla de Patatas

To go with the delicious tri-tip that my husband grilled up, we wanted some potatoes. Having just come back from Argentina and having eaten some great Spanish Potato Tortillas there, I wanted to try making it at home.

This is a great alternative to boring old mashed, baked or fried potatoes. It looks so fancy but is really not difficult to make at all. Well, actually, I don't know that for a fact because I didn't make it. The hubz made it while I watched. But he didn't seem to have any trouble with it, so I'm going to say that it's not that difficult to make, though he might have a different opinion :)

The hubz probably did a better job of making this dish than I could have. It turned out crispy, flavorful and delicious, not to mention pretty! If it were up to me, I'm sure I would've broken it or dropped it during the flipping process and it would've come out a dreadful mess. Thanks goodness for my hubby!
Look how perfect that is!

- Potatoes
- Onions (optional)
- Eggs
- Oil
- Salt
- Pepper

- Slice the potatoes as thin as possible. A mandoline or the slicer blade on your food processor would work nicely. My husband decided to do it by hand and it turned out fine.
- To speed up the whole thing, a nice little shortcut is to pop the sliced potatoes in the microwave until they are slightly soft, but not so soft that they fall apart. You can also fry the potatoes in oil to be more traditional and less healthy :)
- Dice the onions and saute them in a bit of oil until softened. If you want to skip the onions altogether, that's totally fine.
- Beat some eggs in a bowl, mixing in the onions, salt and pepper.
- Carefully stir the potatoes into the egg mixture, being careful not to break too many of the potatoes.
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet and coat the bottom with oil.
- Pour the egg, potato, onion mixture into the pan and let it cook on medium until the sides have solidified and you can easily slide the tortilla around without it falling apart. The edges and bottom should also be a nice crispy brown.
- Using a large plate, flip the tortilla upside down onto the plate.
- Carefully slide the tortilla back into the pan (adding oil if necessary) to finish cooking and crisping up the other side.
- When the other side is brown and crispy and the tortilla is cooked all the way through, remove it from the pan and slice into wedges to serve.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Grilled Tri-tip

Even though it's technically fall, the weather here has been hot and that means more grilling! My husband loves to grill up tri-tip. Every time it's on sale, he buys it, slaps on a tasty homemade rub and grills it up to perfection.

I've never posted his tri-tip before because he's never shared with me the secrets of how to make this beautifully cooked hunk o' meat, so I have nothing to share with you today. The only thing I can say is that there's a suspicious amount of brown sugar, paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper missing from my spice rack, and that the meat thermometer is dirty. But other than that, I'm at a loss ;)

I'm hoping that if I butter him up a bit by posting this tasty picture and singing his praises, he might just cave and teach me, or make more. I'll be happy with either outcome. But on second thought, since he does it so well, there's really no need for me to learn. I should really just sit back, kick up my feet, and enjoy it while I can!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pear Butter

Our pear tree was extremely productive this year. After giving away bags of pears to everyone who would take them, we were still buried in pears.

I've heard a lot about apple butter and was always wanted to try it. With pears and apples being so similar (in my mind at least), I figured I could make some pear butter instead! It turned out really nicely.

I used it instead of mayo on a ham sandwich and it was a nice salty/sweet combo. It was also a nice change of pace from boring old ham sandwiches. Do you have any other suggestions on how to use it?

This is my submission to the Grow Your Own blogging event which shows off things people grow and the things they make with it. Check out Mowgli Chic's blog on Sept 30th to see what everyone else made!


- Wash, cut and core the pears.
- In a pot or pressure cooker with just a tiny bit of water (the pears will release a lot of their own liquid, so you don't need much), cook the pears until they are soft.
- Use a stick blender or an actual blender and blend until smooth. It'll probably have a consistency similar to watery applesauce.
- Put the mixture in a heavy pot or slow cooker and reduce it until it reaches the desired consistency (similar to peanut butter). This will take a looooong time, so be patient. I reduced mine by more than 2/3 before I was happy with the consistency.
- Stir it every once in a while to keep it from burning, turning the heat way down when the mixture becomes thick. I propped the lid using two chopsticks so that it wouldn't splatter all over the place but would still allow steam to escape.
- Add sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg (and any other spices you like) to taste. Add this at the end just because if you add it in the beginning, then cook it down, you'll probably end up with something way too sweet.
- If you want to can your pear butter, fill up sanitized, heated jars with the pear butter. Cover and process in a boiling water bath for at least 10 minutes. Let them sit overnight and then check them to make sure that the seal is tight. If not, you can reprocess it or put it in the fridge and eat it right away.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Soba Noodles

A few months ago, my office moved less than 6 miles away from home! It still takes me about 15 minutes because it's all local, but it's still nice to be so close.

One of the benefits of being so close is that I can go home for lunch! I don't do it often, but it's nice to know it's an option.

On this particular day, I didn't bring a lunch like I usually do and didn't have lunch plans with anyone, so I decided to go home. There were no leftovers in the fridge (otherwise I would've brought those for lunch), so I needed to make something quick. We're going through a heat wave right now in California, so I decided on cold soba noodles. Quick, refreshing, healthy, and delicious!

This is my submission for Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted by Sara of I'm a Food Blog. Check out the rest of the submissions on Sept 25th!

- 1 serving of soba noodles
- Edamame (I used frozen)
- 1-2 slices of ham
- Soy sauce
- Rice vinegar (or any vinegar will do if you don'to have rice vinegar)
- Mirin (honey or sugar is fine if you don't have mirin)
- Miso paste (if you don't have this, just leave it out and put more soy)
- Wasabi paste (optional, if you want a bit of kick)

- Boil a pot of water and cook the soba according to package directions. Put the edamame in also, just to heat them through. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water when done and set aside.
- Mix a bit of soy, vinegar, mirin, miso paste, and wasabi in a bowl to taste. If you're missing some of the ingredients, no big deal. Just substitute the soy and miso with something salty, the vinegar with something sour and/or citrusy, and the mirin with something sweet.
- Toss the noodles in the sauce and top it with the edamame and julienned ham and you've got yourself a quick and easy summer meal.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


We went to Argentina for a week and a half and I thought I'd share a few pictures. But first, an apology. I scheduled a bunch of posts while we were away so that it wouldn't look like this blog was being neglected, but then I came back and never got around to posting anything until now. Oops. At least I had good intentions :)

Ok, onto the pictures. The main reason we went to Argentina was to visit Iguazu Falls. Even though it we didn't go during the rainy season where the falls are even more impressive, the falls were still gorgeous.

Purty, huh?

We had some good food while in Argentina too. One of our favorite meals while there was at La Cabrera. The line was long, but they offered beer and appetizers while we waited. They also have a sister restaurant across the street, and the line there was just as long. When we finally sat down, we ordered the ribeye and it was HUGE! It also came with about a million little side dishes, all of which were super tasty.

Argentina is famous for their beef and parillas or bbq/grill restaurants are all over the place, with the grill usually in plain sight.

And a typical dish at a parilla is to get the mixed plate, with various meats like beef, sausage, blood sausage, kidneys, intestines, etc.

Anyway, we're back now and will be returning to normal posting!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Black Box Wines

Being a member of Foodbuzz is awesome. Look at the latest goodie I got from them - wine! Black Box Wine to be exact.

I know, I know, wine in a box? Ick! But this wasn't ick at all. In fact, it was pretty darn good.

I'm by no means a wine expert, so I'm not going to go into the hints of this and that that I detect or its floral notes, etc, but I am going to say that this makes a good table wine. It's not great, it's not bad, in fact it's a bit boring, but that's what I expect from table wines.

Plus it's super convenient because it's resealable, so if you don't want to finish a whole bottle, no problem, it keeps for at least a month! Keep it in the fridge and you can have a glass here and there any time you want. The opposite is also true though. You really have no idea how much you've had because you can't see in the black box, and before you know it, you've finished the box, which is the equivalent of 4 bottles! oops! I'll let you guess which scenario happened in this house :)

So if you're looking for a pretty good, affordable, convenient table wine, consider giving this a try.