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Posts Tagged ‘Easy’

Deviled Eggs

Growing up, deviled eggs were served with Sunday dinner and most holidays. They were a simple side-item and always delicious. My mom knew how to make THE best deviled eggs. No surprise there, right? The first time my husband had her eggs, we learned to always make extra! He will devour them.

These days, you see all kinds of fancified deviled eggs on restaurant menus, especially down south. Yes, they’re good served most ways, but for me, I like them simple, maybe with a little added topping.

The first thing to keep in mind when boiling eggs is to use eggs that aren’t super fresh. I know that sounds weird. Wouldn’t you normally want the freshest of ingredients? Well, with eggs, if they’re a little older, they peel easier.

The second thing to keep in mind is to not overcook them or cook them too fast. When you do, you’ll get a gray ring around the yolk.

The best appliance I’ve found for cooking eggs is this handy dandy egg cooker from Chef’s Choice. If you boil or poach a lot of eggs, it’s worth every penny. Plus, it will cook the eggs to your choice of doneness.

 

For deviled eggs, I put the setting just beyond medium, and after the beeper goes off, I leave them under the lid for an extra 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of eggs, and for deviled eggs, I suggest jumbo size. Then, I put the them in ice water to stop the cooking. This will also cool them down faster, so you can begin peeling them sooner.

If you don’t have an egg cooker, boil the eggs for 5-8 minutes, turn off the heat, cover, and let them sit for 10 minutes.

A tip for peeling eggs: Tap each end of the egg on the side of your sink, and peel from there. Tapping the body of the egg may tear the white part. You don’t want that, especially with deviled eggs. You want them to stay in tact and pretty.

Now, let’s get to the good part– deviling the eggs.

Peel all your eggs, cut them in half, and put the yolks in a bowl, and the halves in a deviled egg holder or a platter.

Mash the yolks with a potato masher and get them to a crumb-like consistency. Like this:

Now, add the mayonnaise and whisk.

Add sour cream and whisk. It should now look like this:

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Add just a touch of yellow mustard. Seriously, just a touch…

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Add salt and pepper and whisk.

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Now, put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes. This helps the mixture firm up just a bit, which will make filling the eggs easier.

After 10 minutes, you can fill your eggs by spooning the mixture into your eggs or you can use a pastry bag or a zippy bag with one corner cut. I use my pastry bag.

For added decoration, and flavor, I always sprinkle a little smoked paprika on top. I find it’s easier to put the paprika in my hand, then use my fingers to sprinkle. This allows more control over how much gets on each egg.

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I normally like to dice a green onion and put one piece on each egg, but silly me forgot the onions at the store today, so my eggs will have to go without this time.

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These are a good addition to almost any meal. Sometimes, I just have them in the fridge for a mid-day snack. They’re also good to have at a party for hors d’oeuvres or appetizers.

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What you’ll need:

9 jumbo or large eggs– boiled, peeled, halved, and yolk removed.

1/3 cup mayo

1/3 cup sour cream

1/2 teaspoon of mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Paprika (as much or as little as you like)

Directions:

Peel all your eggs, cut them in half, and put the yolks in a bowl, and the halves in a deviled egg holder or a platter.

Mash the yolks with a potato masher and get them to a crumb-like consistency. Add the mayonnaise and whisk. Add sour cream and whisk. Add yellow mustard, salt, and pepper and whisk. Put the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes and then fill your eggs. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Additions: 

If you’d like, you can add all kinds of toppings to your deviled eggs. Here are some suggestions:

Crumbled bacon

Sun-dried tomato

Roasted red pepper

Green onion

Chives

Pickled red onion

Smoked salmon or Nova Lox

Jalapeños (pickled or raw)

Slice of green or black olive

If you’d like a little crunch or texture inside your deviled eggs, finely dice some onion and put it into the mixture.

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Here’s a quick, easy, and healthy snack recipe. Add whatever spices you’d like. This time, I did olive oil, salt, and grated parmesan.

Rinse a can of chickpeas. Dry them off and put in a bowl with a good drizzle of olive oil, salt, and grated cheese– eyeball the amounts to your liking. Stir and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

 

I could eat these everyday!

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Try spicing them up with a mix of olive oil and Old Bay seasoning. For the holidays, they’re good with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. Another good combination is olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Have fun with it!

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Garden Pasta

This is the first year I’ve tried my hands at gardening. I’ve always considered myself a plant murderer. House plants always die under my supervision, so starting a garden felt WAY out of reach.

Well, I do believe I was wrong; I have two green thumbs after all. Obviously, the reason I was killing my plants is because I didn’t treat them right. I didn’t give them the love they need. If you provide your garden with the right mixture of soil, lots of sun, and the water it needs, it will grow like crazy.

Our garden is full of: tomatoes (all sorts), zucchini, pepperoncinis, jalapeños, bell peppers, cucumbers, kale, collards, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, onions, tomatillos, horseradish, and lots of different herbs. This isn’t everything, but here are a few pictures to give you an idea:

Watching my garden grow, picking my own veggies and fruit, and cooking with them, is the most gratifying feeling I’ve experienced. The flavor is far superior over what I buy in the grocery store, and man, it’s so much fun. If you’ve never tried growing a garden, give it a shot. Start small, do your research, and go for it.

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As you can see, I have an abundance of tomatoes. I pressed (using my Weston Tomato Press) the Heirlooms, Beef Steaks, and San Marzanos, and then froze the purée. I don’t want to press the grape tomatoes, so I put them in a lot of salads, or eat them as a snack throughout the day. However, last night, they went into my garden pasta, which included my pepperoncinis, kale, and basil. I also added onion, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. Some people may wonder why I add garden tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes together. It’s just a personal preference. I love them both, so I add both. If you don’t like them together, that’s cool. Add whichever you like.

A pasta dish is a great way to use up veggies. Throw whatever you want into a sauté pan, toss in cooked pasta, olive oil, and seasonings. It so easy and super tasty!

Here’s how I did mine:

Slice grape tomatoes in half and chop onions, garlic, and pepperoncinis. I used fresh pepperoncinis from the garden, but if you don’t have those, use pickled pepperoncinis.

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Take out the main stem of the kale and then stack the leaves on top of each other and chiffonade them by rolling the leaves and cutting them into long strips. Do the same with the basil. Like this:

Now, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat.  Add the onions and let them cook for three minutes. Toss in the pepperoncinis and kale. Let them sauté for five minutes.

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Then, add garlic, grape tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes (with some of the oil from the jar). Add salt and pepper. I also like red pepper flakes. If you don’t want it spicy, leave it out. Cook for another five minutes.

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While the veggies are cooking on medium heat, put the pasta in the boiling water, and cook until it’s al dente, and then drain.

Stir the veggies. They should look like this:

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Toss the pasta into the veggies. If you feel it needs it, add a little more olive oil or oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Taste it. Is the pasta cooked to your liking? How’s the seasoning? Let it cook a little more if you think it needs it and add extra seasoning to your taste.

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Put in a bowl and top with the fresh basil. I also like grated Romano cheese.

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Enjoy!!

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What you’ll need:

1 box of pasta (whatever kind you want)

1 package of grape tomatoes (or from your garden), slice in half

6-8 pepperoncinis (from the garden or pickled), chopped

10 kale leaves– main stem removed and then chiffonade

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (and a tablespoon of oil from the jar)

10 basil leaves, chiffonade

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (optional)

Directions:

Slice grape tomatoes in half and chop onions, garlic, and pepperoncinis. I used fresh pepperoncinis from the garden, but if you don’t have those, use pickled pepperoncinis.

Take out the main stem of the kale and then stack the leaves on top of each other and chiffonade them by rolling the leaves and cutting them into long strips. Do the same with the basil.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Add the onions and let them cook for three minutes. Toss in the pepperoncinis and kale. Let them sauté for five minutes. Then, add garlic, grape tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes (with some of the oil from the jar). Add salt and pepper. I also like red pepper flakes. If you don’t want it spicy, leave it out. Cook for another five minutes.

While the veggies are cooking on medium heat, put the pasta in the boiling water, and cook until it’s al dente, and then drain.

Toss the pasta into the veggies. If you feel it needs it, add a little more olive oil or oil from the sun-dried tomatoes.

Taste and add extra seasoning, if needed.

Put in a bowl and top with the fresh basil. I also like grated Romano cheese.

Alternatives:

If you want to add protein, go for it! This dish would work great with shrimp, bay scallops, clams, mussels, or chicken.

Any combination of veggies will work, too.

If you don’t like kale, try spinach.

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Happy Friday!!

Last night I threw together a rice bowl, and it turned out so tasty, I wanted to share.

One of our favorite rices is Goya’s Yellow Spanish Style Rice. It’s not overly salty and the other seasonings are just right. I could make my own, but when I want something quick and easy, it’s my go-to. If you don’t care for this type of rice. That’s cool… use the rice of your choice.

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I didn’t take pictures while I cooked last night, because I didn’t think it’d be a recipe I’d post, so I apologize for not having step-by-step pictures. It’s super easy, so I doubt you’ll miss the visuals.

I chose asparagus and onions for my veggies and bay scallops for my protein. You can use whatever you like. However, I suggest not overloading it with too many veggies. Choose two or three, that way the flavors don’t get lost. As far as protein, anything goes… bay scallops, chicken, shrimp, pork. Or leave out the protein all together and add one more veggie.

Directions:

Cook the rice according to the package.

While your rice is cooking, chop the veggies into bite-size pieces. Since they’re going to be mixed together with rice, and a protein, you don’t want them too large. Then, sauté them in a large pan until just tender. Don’t over cook them. You don’t want mushy veggies in your rice bowl. I sprinkled them with a little salt and pepper while they cooked. 

In a separate pan, cook your protein. If you’re using bay scallops, like I did, here’s a tip: Be sure to put them on a paper towel, and pat them dry, thoroughly. Otherwise, they’ll release too much water when you sauté them. I spread mine out on a paper towel and put another paper towel on top and let them rest while I cooked my veggies.

As far seasoning your protein, don’t over salt, because the seasoning in the rice blend has salt in it. I just sprinkled with a little salt and pepper. If you’re using a different rice that’s not seasoned, use a little more.

Once the rice is done, and your protein is cook, put them in the pan with veggies (go ahead and turn off the heat) and mix together.

That’s it! Put in a bowl and enjoy. Simple, easy, and tasty. Each time you make it, mix and match the vegetable and proteins to switch it up a little.

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I hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Next Monday, I’ll be posting a recipe everyone always asks for when they come to Bubs’ Kitchen.

Stay tuned!

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