Corn and Rice Stuffed Peppers

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Let this be known as the summer that I went corn crazy.

I have always loved fresh corn off the cob, but the corn here in the midwest tastes so much fresher and sweeter than my corn from Texas that I can’t help but make dinner after dinner with corn. Originally, these stuffed peppers came out of necessity when I was cleaning out the fridge and pantry before we moved here, and they turned out to be better than I even expected and have been repeated multiple times.

These area  great vegetarian main dish for dinner, and serve as great leftovers for lunch the next day. And they keep my cravings for corn temporarily at bay. So this dish is a winner all around.

CORN AND RICE STUFFED PEPPERS

INGREDIENTS

4-5 poblano peppers
Salt and pepper
1 cup dried brown rice
1 tablespoon butter
4 green onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 ears of corn
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup and 3 tablespoons grated parmesan

DIRECTIONS

Heat grill to medium-high heat. Place poblano peppers on grill and cook until blackened and charred, about 4-5 minutes per side. Place poblanos immediately into a ziploc bag and seal. Let sit for 20-30 minutes. Remove peppers and peel skin off. Make a cut into on side of the pepper length wise. Remove seeds and membranes. Set aside.

Preheat broiler.

Cook rice according to instructions. Heat butter in a large skillet. Sauté green onions and garlic over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in rice and corn. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into peppers. Place in baking pan.

Stir bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and brush with olive oil. Put into oven for 5 minutes (watch carefully so it does not burn).

Recipe from Cinnamon Freud.

Corn and Jalapeno Pizza

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Pizza, both in regular form and quesadilla form, have become a staple around here for dinner. N (the bf) is pizza-obsessed, and would be content eating cheese or pepperoni pizza two to three times a week.

Now I thought I was an avowed pizza-lover, but I am not coming close to him. Although he has insulted my pizza sauce (the sauce my mother makes mind you!), I try to work in pizza every-so-often for dinner to keep his pizza cravings met. Where we get in to trouble is his traditionalist vs. my funky toppings view. This pizza recipe is where N and I meet in the middle. It is not your typical pizza with tomato sauce and cheese, but it’s nothing crazy like blue cheese or pineapple.

This pizza is perfect to make during the summer with fresh sweet corn, but frozen corn can work as well. It’s a good mix of cool and sweet from the corn and cheese and spicy from the jalapeños and pepper flakes. Grill it up or bake it in the oven, just make sure you make it!

CORN AND JALAPENO PIZZA
From Cinnamon Freud (dough recipe from my mom)

INGREDIENTS

For the dough:
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1 package)
1 cup warm water
Pinch of sugar
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of salt

For the pizza:
Cornmeal
2 cobs of corn, corn sliced off the cob
4 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeño, minced
4 to 6 ounces mozzarella, sliced or shredded
Red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

For the Dough:

In a bowl combine warm water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes, until yeast begins to foam. Combine yeast mixture, flour, olive oil, and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes until dough is elastic.

Coat bowl with oil. Place dough in bowl. Covers and keep in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.

For the Pizza:

Preheat one as high as it will go (around 450-500 degrees). Warm pizza stone, if using. Roll out dough to size of pan. Sprinkle pan with cornmeal and transfer dough to pan.

Spread olive oil on crust with brush. Top pizza with corn, green onions, jalapeño, and mozzarella. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until pizza crust is browned and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes (Depending on temperature of oven). Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top. Slice and serve.

 

July Top 5

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  1. Although I feared for the maintenance of our sanity at times, we made the move from Lubbock to the St. Louis area. And Quincy didn’t get car sick once!
  2. I have had the month off (+ next month) with the lull in between grad school commitments wrapping up and internship starting, so I have been able to have some fun exploring our new area and cooking more.
  3. CORN CORN CORN CORN.
  4. We got free HBO trial with our new cable package, so I actually got to catch up on Game of Thrones within a reasonable time of not getting many spoilers.
  5. This is no top moment necessarily, but I feel the need to be honest. I attempted to roast a chicken for the first time. Disaster. Under-cooked chicken, baked it upside down, and had no idea how to carve it. Was able to save the caracas for chicken stock though.

Feta Dip

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Dips are just the best. A dinner of dip(s) a great, easy (and usually oven-less) summer dinner, and that is exactly what I did with this feta dip. I had eaten some feta dip at a get together a few weeks ago, and ever since I have been hell-bent on re-creating it at home.

This dip was particularly great outside on a hot day with a margarita. A highly recommended combination. Or any dip with a margarita.

If you will now excuse me, I have a whole bowl of it in the fridge just calling my name for dinner. And it’s all for me since I am the only feta-lover in this household.

FETA DIP

INGREDIENTS

4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces feta cheese, room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2-3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup chopped chives
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cayenne pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat olive oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

In a bowl, break up feta cheese into small pieces (you can also use a food processor as well). Mix in cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise until combined. Stir in garlic olive oil, chives, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let sit in fridge at least 1 hour, preferably overnight to let the flavors develop. Serve chilled or at room temperature with Pita chips or vegetables.

Recipe from Cinnamon Freud.

Pizza Quesadilla

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There have been multiple reasons for my radio silence for the past few months (!?). I was eating out more often, was busier with work, got a puppy that demands 99.9% of my attention at all times, and while I was still cooking, it was nothing that I considered “blog worthy.”

So, my cooking has changed. I still like to cook from scratch as much as I can (cheaper and healthier!), but I am definitely into faster meals now, and I am really into cheese in my meals even more so than before. So that’s where this pizza quesadilla comes in. The picture ain’t a beauty, and that’s because I snapped it with my iPhone in my horribly lit kitchen on my ugly countertop (before I burnt the countertop though at least), but this is a genius idea.

Pizza quesadillas are more quesadilla than pizza, but it is great. I find it more filing than the typical quesadilla fare, but still super simple to make!

Pizza Quesadilla
Barely adapted from Buzzfeed

Ingredients

2 tortillas
Tomato sauce
Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Additional toppings as desired (onion, pepperoni, peppers, sausage, olives, etc.)
Oil

Directions

Preheat broiler.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Spread on tortilla one lightly with tomato sauce and sprinkle mozzarella on top. Add any other desired ingredients. Coat pan lightly with oil and place tortilla in pan. Place another tortilla on top and press.

Cook until tortilla is lightly brown, about 5 minutes, and carefully flip the tortilla. Cook for 5 additional minutes, or until other side is golden brown. Transfer quesadilla to a baking sheet. Lightly spread tomato sauce on top of quesadilla and add any desired toppings, including cheese. Broil for 2-4 minutes, until crispy.

Where to eat in Lubbock

“I took three 25s in the side and ended up at Northshore Psychiatric Hospital in Lubbock, Texas, which is kind of funny in its own rite. Psych ward in Lubbock, Texas.”

– True Detective

Oh, Lubbock. You have (stole?) four years of my life. I won’t lie I was resistant to move there. The view flying in of empty, desolate, dusty fields is scary and may lead to an existential crisis if you are moving here, but you’ve grown on me Lubbock (enough that I proposed moving back here later in life to which the bf said wth?).

Leaving has made me nostalgic, so if you ever end up in Lubbock, here are some places to eat. And if you ever end up in a psych ward in Lubbock, they are not as bad as stated in True Detective- I’ve worked there.

Thai Pepper…surprisingly good thai food for a west Texas town

Pie bar…deconstructed pie. An ingenious invention.

And plenty of TexMex…enough said.

And In-And-Out is coming. Right as I am leaving. Sigh.

Cinnamon Freud is leaving Texas…

It’s been a great 26 years Texas (well, it’s been okay at least. You have saved me from having to drive in the snow and provided great Tex-Mex food, but the heat has been a bit much), but I am off to Missouri!

As the last year of my PhD program, we are required to do an internship, and with how our internship system is set up, we can end up anywhere in the country essentially (it’s like residency for med school).  So this is part of the reason for radio silence around here: the business of normal grad school + the application process. I travelled all over the U.S., going all the way to Minnesota and experiencing below 0 temps for the first time to all the way to Seattle for some overcast days. I ate a lot of really good food and learned how to eat alone (an interesting experience). And I took a lot of selfies.

So at the end of the whole process, I ended up in Missouri in the St. Louis area! So we (+ a new puppy now too) are out to Missouri. I am excited to be close to a big city again and to experience a real autumn! Close to lots of good grocery stores (hello Trader Joe’s) and lots of new restaurants to try.

So this foodie/grad student is ready to conquer more food and work to being a student no more!

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Cake Batter Dip

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There is a magical place in the panhandle of Texas.  It’s a small place, just right off a typical street, but it is where the sun is always shining  and happiness is abound.  Angels descend and brush their wings against the magical whisks and spoons of a dessert place.

One of my favorite places in town (besides my bed) is a pie bar where you basically get to eat a delicious reconstructed pie in a glass with crumbly crusts, whipped mouse fillings, and lots of toppings.  It’s magical.  It’s delicious.  I try to limit myself from walking through those doors as much as possible because once I am in, I cannot physically stop myself from chowing down.  Nor do I want to.

I have often pondered how they work their magic on that pie filling.  Now I have found a way, if purely by accident.  This cake dip is full of cake batter flavor, light, and decadent all at once.  You will fall in love with your first bite.

This dip is really as easy as it looks.  And as dangerous as it looks too- once you start, you will have a hard time stopping. Luckily, it is a little bit lighter with Greek yogurt. Plus, protein- so it’s basically a pretty good meal.

I am off to go make more of this now, please do the same.

CAKE BATTER DIP

Barely Adapted from Ari’s Menu

INGREDIENTS
16 ounces Greek yogurt
12 ounces whipped cream (Cool Whip perfectly acceptable)
2 cups yellow cake mix
Sprinkles, for topping

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl combine Greek yogurt, whipped cream, and cake mix.  Fold together until just combined.  Stir in sprinkles if desired.  Serve with pretzels, vanilla wafers, fruit, or Ritz crackers (my personal favorite).