Cinco de Mayo menu

Being a born and bred Texan, I love Mexican food. I think I love Mexican food more than any other type of ethnic food. I am literally salivating in anticipation of tomorrow's menu. About a year ago I read and researched and tested and figured out a recipe for authentic and delicious carnitas. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about carnitas. I have found that 4 lbs of meat will feed my hungry family twice, plus pork butt is a fairly inexpensive cut of meat (I pay anywhere from $1-1.39/lb) so it also makes for a fairly inexpensive dinner. What makes carnitas so delicious is you braise them until all the fat renders out of the meat, and then you let the meat fry in its own fat.  read more »

The one where there aren't any pictures

I started this entry on May 7th but got distracted by a phone call, saved the draft, and forgot about it. Tonight as Frugaldad kept me company in the kitchen as I finished up the dishes, he suggested that I blog about the merits of cast iron pans since I was scrubbing one. So since I often cook ground beef in my cast iron pan, I'll finish up my previous thoughts and move on to cast iron.  read more »

in the meantime, a recipe

I know I promised more on the pantry principle. But life gets in the way! How about a recipe that I invented this weekend in the meantime? Yummy and healthy.

Italian Wheatberry and Orzo Salad
1 cup cooked wheat berries
1/2 cup dry orzo pasta, cooked al dente and drained
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
2 oz dry Italian salami, (diced in 1/4 inch dice if a chunk or cut slices in quarters)
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced in 1/2 inch dice
2 tbsp finely minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped marinated artichoke hearts
salt and pepper

Whisk together vinegar and oil in a medium bowl. Add other ingredients and toss together. Season to taste. Chill.

The pantry principle, aka Meal planning without a menu

I used to make menus. And I saved them for reference, even. I have pages and pages of old menus in the back of one of my recipe binders. But as the years have gone by, I have moved away from making menus and more towards cooking with the pantry principle.  read more »

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