Tag Archives | joy manning

Quick Homemade Chimichurri

Looking for a kitchen project that is quick, versatile, and absolutely wonderful? Look no further than this easy recipe for homemade chimichurri!

I haven’t been doing a whole lot of exciting cooking lately. Ever since finishing my cookbook draft, I’ve been drifting through meal prep. I’ve made big pots of soup that last most of the week. There’s been at least one batch of bean-centric chili. More sheet pans of roasted vegetables than I can count. I’ve also relied heavily on a some Costco favorites (their pre-cooked chicken skewers and bags of kale and Brussels sprouts salad spring immediately to mind).

The long and short of it is that while we’ve been eating relatively healthy, vegetable-focused food, it hasn’t yielded much that I can write about.

However, there is one thing I’m excited to talk about. A couple weeks back, I was at Joy’s house recording an episode of Local Mouthful. When we finished, we were both ravenous. Joy heated up some meatballs from her freezer, cooked up some quinoa and pulled a tub of homemade chimichurri out of the fridge. The meatballs and quinoa were good, but the chimichurri, well, it was amazing.

It’s a condiment made from parsley, oregano, garlic, vinegar, olive oil, red chili flakes, and salt that was originally devised in Argentina to serve on top of grilled meat. It’s something I’ve had over the years at various restaurants, but it never clicked for me until I had Joy’s version. So bright, green, and fresh (I think the fresh element is a big part of the appeal, particularly since we’re living through another major snow storm right now).

I’ve made two big batches since them and have been spooning it over everything that seems even marginally appropriate. Roasted vegetables! Hummus! Scrambled eggs! Turkey sandwich! Mealtime is chimichurri time right now.

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Resolution Recipes – An eBook from Local Mouthful

Hello friends! I’m so sorry that it’s been so quiet around these parts. I’m deep in the creation stage for my next book and it’s been really challenging to shift my focus from the book and back to creating content for this site. I’m going to try to do a bit better, but inevitably things are going to be a little quieter around here until I get this manuscript turned in.

However, I do have something fun to share. As some of you may know, I co-host a podcast called Local Mouthful with my longtime friend and fellow food writer, Joy Manning. We’ve been making the show for a little over two years now and have had it in the backs of our heads for awhile to make a downloadable ebook.

Back in the fall, we decided to tackle that goal and so, with the help of a very talented designer, created a twelve recipe book that we’ve called Resolution Recipes. The name is inspired by turn of the year and the fact that many of us are moved to set food-related goals in January. We wanted to create a collection of recipes that could help you meal plan, meal prep, cook more, and increase your intake of plant based foods (we figured these were some common food resolutions).

The ebook includes Joy’s Instant Pot hummus, my favorite red lentil soup (pack it up in mason jars for a week’s worth of easy lunches!), a tasty tofu ricotta, and a blender vinaigrette made mostly from Sungold tomatoes (having some in the fridge will make you crave salad). We’re selling the book for $5 and if you’re interested, you can buy it here.

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Hear Me Each Week on Local Mouthful

tomato_summer

Did you know that I make a podcast called Local Mouthful? Each week, my friend and co-host Joy Manning and I sit down at my dining room table or hers, and spend half an hour talking about a wildly broad range of food topics (including things like cookbooks, favorite seasonal ingredients, how to reclaim your kitchen routine, homemade pizza, and much more).

Part of what makes Local Mouthful unique is the fact that Joy and I have known one another for a very long time. We met back in 2003, when we worked together at a non-profit in the Philadelphia. We were both lowly assistants and ended up bonding over our shared misery. I left the job, we lost touch for awhile, and when we reconnected, we’d both stumbled into food writing jobs. We’ve been friends ever since.

Each episode of Local Mouthful is about half an hour long. You can listen directly on the website, or you can subscribe via iTunes or whichever other podcast app you most enjoy. It’s great company for walks, commutes, or any time you want some cheerful voices with you while you make dinner. Hopefully you’ll check it out!

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Local Mouthful’s 25th Episode

January 17 chalkboard menu

Hello friends! As you may have gathered from previous mentions on this site and on social media, I co-host a podcast called Local Mouthful with fellow food writer (and long-time friend) Joy Manning. This week, we posted our 25th episode and it felt like an occasion that merited mention on this site.

In this episode, we checked in about our food resolutions and talked about eating for health and well-being. It was an interesting conversation, particularly in this world where there’s a hyper-focus on cleaning eating and superfoods.

I’ve also been meaning to mention that we’ve launched a cookbook club as part of the podcast. This month, we’re cooking out of Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes. We’ll be talking about it on next week’s show, so if it’s on your shelf and you’ve been cooking from it, make sure to listen in!

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Pressure Canned Ham Stock

ham hocks

This year, for my 30th birthday, my fiancé gave me a pressure canner. Some might look at this gift as decidedly unromantic, but it was actually exactly what I wanted. In fact, I started telling him it was what I wanted sometime back in February, more than three months ahead of time, just in case he got it into his head to get me jewelry or some other impractical bauble.

However, since my birthday back in May, the only thing the canner (a 16-quart aluminum Presto) has been doing is look pretty while sitting quietly under one of my dining room chairs. You see, while I understood the basics of pressure canning intellectually, the reality of it still scared me a bit. So I let the canner sit, satisfying my canning needs by making batch after batch of preserves and pickles, that needed nothing more than a good, hot water bath to set to shelf stable rights.

beginning of stock

But then, a couple of weeks ago, Joy Manning and Tara Matazara Desmond, co-authors of the cookbook Almost Meatless invited me to participate in their blog potluck (Joy is blogging about all the potluck dishes over at her blog What I Weigh Today if you want to check out some of the other recipes). As we talked back and forth about which recipe of theirs I’d tackle, it became clear that this blog and I were best suited to try out a stock recipe, as stock is cannable. In a pressure canner. It was finally time to conquer my pressure canner nerves once and for all.

I decided to make the recipe for Ham Stock that’s found on page 136 of the book. While it’s not a main event on its own, it’s an incredibly useful cooking cast member to have on hand, as it gives you the ability to boost the flavor of many a meal while still keeping them light on meat. Not having the remnants of a ham laying around, I got my hands on a couple of nice, meaty ham hocks with which to make the stock.

one jar in pressure canner

As soon as I fired up the stock pot, a wonderfully smoky/porky scent began to fill the apartment. Scott and I sat around, enjoying the aroma and becoming increasing hungry as the broth bubbled away. After it had cooked for two hours, I fished the hocks out of the pot with a pair of tongs, removed the meat to a plate and returned the bones to the pot for another hour+ of simmer for “maximum gelatin extraction” (a tip offered by Tara that isn’t included in the book).

By the time the stock was done, it was late Sunday evening (and I’d had a stomach ache all day, I’m a trouper I tells ya!). Had I had a spare bit of room in my fridge, I would have put the stock away for the night and returned to pressure can another day (this is actually the recommended technique, as it allows you to completely defat the stock prior to canning). However, being me, my fridge was full to bursting and so I needed to push on. I strained the stock through several layers of cheesecloth to get out the finest of particulate matter and returned it to the pot in order to bring to a boil.

filling jars

While all this stock processing was going on, my quart jars were in the pressure canner heating up. Once the stock had return to a boil, I began the process of removing a jar, filling it, wiping the rim, applying the lid/ring and returning it to the pot. Instead of creating an assembly line, I processed each jar one at a time, in order to keep the jars and stock as hot as possible (part of pressure canning best practices). I’d been told by Doris of Doris and Jilly Cook that it’s important to really get those rings on there tight when pressure canning stock, as otherwise your stock will “siphon” (the official canning word for when the liquid in your jars bubbles out from underneath the lid), so before I returned each filled jar to the pot, I used a dish towel to hold it in place as I muscled the ring into place.

Once all the jars were full, I locked the pressure canner lid into place and began the process of venting the air out of the canner. After ten minutes of venting, I popped the weight onto the vent stem and watched as the pressure began to rise. Quarts of stock need to process for 25 minutes at 11 pounds of pressure (that is, if you have a gauged canner like mine. If you have a weighted canner, you process at 10 pounds of pressure).

I only have six heat options on my stove (and that includes ‘off’) so I was never able to get the canner at exactly 11 pounds, it hovered around 13 pounds for most of the canning session. However, I knew from what I’ve read that it’s okay for the pressure to be a bit over (it can lead to overcooking, which isn’t a concern with stock, but could be a problem if you were working with fruits or veggies), as long as the pressure doesn’t drop below 11 pounds during the 25 minute processing time.

filled jars

I’ve never been so delighted as I was when the timer beeped to announce that the 25 minutes were up. I danced to the kitchen to turn off the stove and wait until the pressure had dropped enough for me to remove the lid. Nearly every jar pinged  the moment I lifted it out of the water, and I’ve never had lids that have so vigorously sealed. Those things are seriously concave.

canner at pressure

So now I have seven quarts of homemade, shelf stable stock (in my insanity, I also made a batch of chicken stock – from chicken feet! – the same day I made the ham stock. In for a penny…) in my pantry. I’m particularly in love with the ham stock though, and am already dreaming of making a big pot of rice with it that I will then turn into a vege-ful fried rice. Such flavor!

The Ham Stock recipe from Almost Meatless can be found after the jump and is reprinted with permission from Ten Speed Press and the authors. Make it!

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