Sunday, April 25, 2021

Hard-Boiled Eggs, Two Ways


Stirring the Pot is undergoing a major lifestyle change in the food department. Years ago, I would call it a diet, but I've decided that I'm not going to let that word be a part of my vocabulary any longer. This is a much needed lifestyle change. Gone are the days of dieting, losing the weight, and then returning to unhealthy habits and slowly gaining the weight back. 

There is no end to the diet here. It is going to have to be full circle, a complete overhaul. Sure, there might be occasional treats and indulgences, but then it's gonna have to be right back to it. I am just done with the struggle. Beyond done.

So, I picked up Giada's newest cookbook: Eat Better, Feel Better and I'll definitely be cooking from it for the next little while. I'll also be working on a cookbook review soon.

There are certainly more interesting recipes in the cookbook than the one I'm starting with, but Hard-Boiled Eggs, Two Ways was what I felt like starting with, so here it is. 

I love a good hard-boiled egg. I use the method that became popular years ago where you add the eggs to a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover with a lid and leave on the hot burner for 10 minutes. It works like a charm.

I love to eat hard-boiled eggs plain with salt. I also like them with a dash of hot sauce and/or dipped in regular salsa. Giada's version stands out to me because she has them plated up with two different toppings and they look like a very tasty and appealing appetizer! I mean, to my knowledge everyone loves hard-boiled eggs, but who knew they could be so fancy?

The avocado mash is simple. A little avocado, a squeeze of lemon juice, a dash of curry powder and a sprinkle of salt. Delicious! The avocado version is somewhat fatty and unctuous and feels really indulgent. The olive spread is equally delicious but has the opposite feel of the avocado version. Instead the olive version feels really fresh, thanks to the salty brine of the olives and herby flavor from the basil. 

I found both options equally appealing and somewhat addictive! I also love the constrast in colorson the plate. This dish has forced me to rethink serving hard-boiled eggs as appetizers with different toppings. I can already see myself making the avocado version with cumin in place of curry powder. I have so many different ideas for various spices and herbs!

I love how Giada found a way to make the good ol' hard-boiled egg somewhat fancy. I feel like you could put out a platter like this and it would be something everyone would gravitate to.


Hard-Boiled Eggs, Two Ways

Adapted from Eat Better, Feel Better

by Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 4-6

8 large eggs

For The Avocado Mash

1 rip avocado

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/3 teaspoon salt

For The Olive Spread

1/2 cup mixed pitted olives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon grated orange

2 teaspoons olive oil 

Place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and drop them in a bowl of ice water.

While the eggs cool, make a topping. For the avocado mash, combine the avocado, curry powder, lemon juice, and salt in a medium bowl. Mash with the back of a fork until smooth.

To make the olive spread, combine the olives, basil, orange zest, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse just until finely chopped; you don't want to make a puree.

Carefully peel and halve the eggs. Serve the eggs with one or both of the condiments.


Rainy Day Eats @ IHCC

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter {Putting It On Repeat}

It was a little over five years ago when I first made this  Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter. I first selected the recipe because a) I had all the ingredients on hand, b) it calls for 5 ingredients, c) it is the epitome of easy and quick. I am drawn to recipes like that. 

When I tasted it, it became an instant favorite! I have made it on repeat ever since because it is delicious, easy, quick, and economical. It makes a fabulous weeknight meal. Leftovers, if there are any, reheat very well the next day.

All you need is 5 simple ingredients: ravioli (I like to use cheese ravioli); butter; balsamic vinegar, toasted walnuts, and Parmesan cheese. The recipe comes together in no time and it's so easy a grade school kid could make it.

Today, since I'm watching my waistline, I wanted to take a turn at lightening up the recipe. Instead of using 6 tablespoons of butter, I reduced it down to 4 tablespoons and it worked perfectly. I also cooked 25 ounces of ravioli instead of 18-20 ounces so I feel confident that if 4 tablespoons was enough butter for extra ravioli, it would certainly be enough for the 18-20 ounces called for in the recipe.

When it comes to this recipe, you simply CANNOT go wrong! I love it!

Ravioli with Balsamic Brown Butter

Adapted from Food Network

by Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 4

18-20 ounces store-bought ravioli (I use cheese)

6 tablespoons butter (I used 4 tbsp. today)

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup toasted, chopped walnuts

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Note: Be sure to use toasted walnuts. I toast mine at 350F for about 4 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the ravioli and cook to package directions (mine only needed a few short minutes). Drain ravioli onto a large serving platter.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown, about 3 minutes, turn off the heat. Let cool for about 1 minute. Stir in the balsamic vinegar,salt and pepper.

Transfer the ravioli to the pan with the balsamic brown butter. Sprinkle walnuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Ina Garten's Baked Cod with Garlic & Herb Ritz Crumbs


When you're landlocked in central Kentucky, it's a next to impossible to get quality fish and seafood. I have looked high and low for center cut fillets of cod that look worthy of Ina's Baked Cod with Garlic and Herb Ritz Crumbs.

Then one day I was ordering produce from Imperfect Foods (of which I'm a big fan) and I noticed that they carried wild-caught Alaskan cod fillets, so I ordered them. I had my hopes up, but they arrived quite thin and small. What's a girl to do?

I went ahead and made the fish anyway. I will tell you that this dish has the opportunity to be outstanding as far as fish dishes go, but you really need the center cut fillets with some thickness to stand up to all the Ritz crumb topping. My fillets were thin and while it was good, they didn't really stand up to topping. So, if you can get your hands on some quality fresh fish, then go for this recipe and do yourself a favor and roast the asparagus right in the pan with it. Asparagus love crumb topping and they pair most excellently with this fish!

Baked Cod with Garlic & Herb Ritz Crumbs

Adapted from Modern Comfort Food

by Ina Garten

Serves 4

good olive oil

4 center-cut bonesless, skinless cod fillets (6 to 8 ounces each)

salt and pepper

1/2 cup Ritz cracker crumbs (15 crackers)

1/3 cup panko

2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley

2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400F. Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 9x9 dish (or a cast iron skillet) and tilt the dish to coat the bottom with oil. Place the fish fillets in the dish and turn to coat both sides with the oil. Sprinkle the fish with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the cracker crumbs, panko, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add the melted butter and stir until evenly moistened. Set aside.

Remove the fish from the oven and pour the wine and lemon juice directly on the fillets. Pat the crumb mixture evenly onto the fillets, pressing gently to help them adhere. 

Return the pan to the oven for 12 minutes, until the fillets are just cooked through in the center, depending on the thickness of the fish. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot with the pan juices and lemon wedges. 


Sunday, April 4, 2021

Ina's Easy Peasy Pea and Parmesan Risotto {The Perfect Spring Side or Main}

I'm coming at you with another recipe for peas, because when it's cook with peas. This recipe is an easy one! In fact, it's so easy a grade school kid could do it.

Simply put chicken stock and Arborio rice into a dutch oven and bake it for around 45 minutes, then stir in Parmesan, more stock, some wine if you have it, peas, butter, then season to taste with salt and pepper and you're all done. Who knew risotto could be so easy? Leave it to Ina.

The rice doesn't have the al dente texture of risotto made on the stove, but it does pretty much melt in your mouth and it is oh so creamy and dreamy against the pop of the peas. Might I say that this would be a tasty main dish, but also pairs well with just about any meat and/or possibly fish to make for an easy peasy weeknight meal. I would definitely make this again! In fact, I can guarantee that I will be making it again, and soon!


 Easy Peasy Pea and Parmesan Risotto

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

recipe by Ina Garten

Serves 4-6

1-1/2 cups Arborio rice

5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade, divided

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 tablespoons butter, diced

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup frozen peas

Place the rice and 4 cups of the chicken stock in a Dutch oven, cover, and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Remove from the oven, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, the Parmesan, wine, butter, salt, and pepper, and stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and stir until heated through. Serve hot!