Everyday Tortilla Soup

Posted by johngl

We had some black beans, quinoa, remnants of rotisserie chicken, avocado, fresh tomatoes, chicken stock, and a tasty taco seasoning blend, the latter of which we’d picked up at a local Amish market.


It was time for a quick and easy tortilla soup and a great way to make room in the fridge for this week’s groceries.

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Simple Foods: Shrimp & Quinoa

Posted by johngl

Contrary to what I said in a recent post, most glorious spousal unit actually answered the “What would you like for dinner?” type question specifically and succinctly yesterday morning. I even got the idea that she really does read my posts, though, perhaps, it was simply coincidence.

The whole thing began as I was heading out the door for a luncheon appointment (with my two favorite lawyers in all the world). “Hey sweetie,” I says. “Would you like some fish or something for dinner?  I can pick it up on the way back from lunch.”

“Shrimp!” she says.

“Shrimp and scallops perhaps?” asks I.

“Just shrimp.” she answers.

She commandeth … and it was done.

Shrimp and Quinoa

Since my Florida days, when I bought live shrimp right off the boat (dockside in Cedar Key)  for three bucks a gallon, I’ve been nuts about shrimp. I miss those days, but I still love shrimp.

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Pan-Fried Sous Vide Pork Chops

Posted by johngl

For those of you that read last week’s post on pink pork it should come as no surprise that we had a large chunk of that bone-in rack ready for some quick meals during the week. And, coming from humble beginnings in the great state of Iowa, pan-fried pork chops were, quite simply, a part of life. Bringing sous-vide and pan-frying together was a natural.

pan-fried pork chops

The crispy-brown pork chop with chicken-stock hydrated quinoa might seem a little uninteresting, but the flavors really shine.

In the old-world Iowa version, a pork chop would generally have a thick coating of lard-fried flour and be smothered in gravy and served alongside mashed potatoes covered in the same gravy.  In short, it’s inherent porkiness was lost in a sea of flavored starches.

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Grilled Bone-In Pork Roast with Wild, Brown, and Quinoa Pilaf

Posted by johngl

Only in the past couple of years have I become a fan of quinoa, the ancient Peruvian seed that natives have been munching upon for over six thousand years. It has a pleasantly nutty taste that I thought would pair well with a blend of wild and brown rice.

Bone-in chops with quinoa, wild, and brown rice

It’s not bad with bone-in pork chops either.

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Sous-Vide Chicken Breasts with Quinoa

Posted by johngl

A couple of posts ago, in Petite Tenderloin, I mentioned that I have a new kitchen toy: a temperature controller.  This piece of equipment has exceeded my expectations and even the most glorious spousal unit has approved of it by saying “That’s a $150 well spent!”

Sous-vide is the French term for “under vacuum” and is a cooking method that helps maintain the integrity of ingredients by heating them at about the same temperature you would normally serve the food.  For instance, if you wanted to serve a chicken breast that wasn’t overcooked, you would want the meat in the 150-160 degree range.  In sous-vide cooking, you would simply cook it at that temp until it was ready.  For chicken breasts, this takes about 45 minutes.

chicken and quinoa

This chicken breast is seasoned with salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, a little cognac and brushed with olive oil.  The quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), is hydrated with chicken stock and seasoned with salt and pepper.  It is amazingly easy to prepare.

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