Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Crockpot Love!

Just a quick post to share my love for my crockpot. It is one of the most useful tools in the kitchen. If you don't have one, you should.

It took me 10 minutes to prepare dinner at 9am. I cut my onions into rings, made a simple dry rub for my pork bottom roast, and pressed COOK for 6 hours!!! It was that easy.

My dry rub consisted of salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Just enough to lightly coat all sides of the meat.

I sprayed the the inside of the crockpot with olive oil so that nothing sticks to the bottom.

I then added the onions and the pork bottom roast and set the cook time for 6 hours. While I'm at work, dinner is already underway. I love multi-tasking!!

Here are the before and after pics.


The Accidental Chef

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Build Your Own Burger Night!!

On Saturday, we had a Build-Your-Own-Burger Night... (BYOB)... It was great!!  Everyone got to make their own version of their ideal burger... From the traditional cheeseburger to a salad burger.

Franco had the Traditional Cheeseburger.

 Romy made a Burger Salad with Sauteed Onions, Mushrooms and Blue Cheese with Mixed Greens.

 Sammy made the Ultimate Tripple Decker... Beef, a Fried Egg, and Crumbled Goat Cheese.

I opted for a Greek Burger.  Sauteed Spinach and Crumbled Feta Cheese.  It was delicious!!!

No Burger night is complete without some fries... I pulled a Sweet Potato Wedges recipe out of my new cook book Make it Paleo ... This was definitely a side dish that everyone can enjoy regardless of their eating preferences. 

Our dinner table set-up...

 I highly recommend BYOB Night as an alternative to ordering out... Everyone was in the kitchen and we made a rainy night into a burger night!

Post pictures of your favorite "gourmet" burgers on my FB page!!!

The Accidental Chef,

Monday, October 10, 2011

Ground Lamb & Cauli Mash!

Dinner made easy this evening... I went for some Ground Lamb & CauliMash!  It literally took me 30 minutes.

I bought some organic ground lamb BOGO (buy one get one free) at Publix on Sunday and was excited to taste it!  Now what to make with it? I was flipping through the pages of my amazing new cookbook, Paleo Comfort Foods and found a Mashed Cauliflower recipe. 

Check out this PCF video:

Wasn't that EASY!!! 

For the ground lamb, combine olive oil, onions, and garlic in a non-stick pan over medium high heat.  Let it sautee for about 5 minutes then add the ground lamb.  Add salt and pepper to taste. I then added the olives to have another dimension of flavor and to get some good fats in as well...
So it's that simple... Protein, Carbs, & Fat!

Thanks for stopping by.... I'd love to here your comments!

The Accidental Chef,

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Steak, Spinach, & Soups, Oh My!

Just a quick post to keep my blog current....

Whenever we decide to grill on the BBQ, we make sure that we make multiple meals.  On this ccoking adventure I made Grilled Steak, Sauteed Spinach & Onions, Home made Mashed Potatoes, and a Roasted Corn Soup.

On a recent trip to LA, I went to have lunch at the Capital Grille in the Beverly Center and was inspired! I told myself as soon as I got home I need to attempt this soup...

What I used...
  • Kernels from 5 ears fresh corn, or 3 cups frozen corn, defrosted

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • Thyme sprigs, to garnish

  • How I made it...

    Prepare the Corn for the Soup
    Combine the oil and the garlic in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and corn. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the blender and puree until smooth. (You may need to pulse or stir the corn mixture in order to achieve a smooth consistency, but do not add any more liquid.)

    Simmer the Soup
    Pour the corn puree into the soup pot and place over medium heat. Stir constantly for a few minutes, until the soup begins to thicken. Slowly whisk or stir in the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes.

    The Mashed Potatoes were easy!!  I cut the potatoes in medium cubes with the skin on and boiled them in a pot with some salt for 20 minutes.  I then drained the water out and mashed...

    Sauteed Spinach & Onions were made in a non-stick pan with some olive oil... Cooked for about 10 minutes in medium high heat.

    Let me know what you think!!!

    ...The Accidental Chef M...

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Prosciutto Bowls!

    I had been meaning to make this for breakfast for quite some time now.  It is such a delicious and quick breakfast option, I decided to make it this morning.

    6 thin slices prosciutto
    Olive Oil
    6 eggs
    Ground Basil
    Freshly ground pepper


    Start with the good stuff... Nest Fresh Eggs and Applegate Prosciutto (both found at my favorite place... Whole Foods)

    Preheat the oven at 400°...

    Coat 6 cups of muffin tin with olive oil (I use a pump spray rather than using PAM or any of that other cooking oil that isn't really good for you)
    Then fit one slice of prosciutto in each cup (they were quite easy to set up)

    Crack one egg inside each slice of prociutto and add a little ground pepper and basil on top for taste. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes at 400°.  

    After the 12 minutes in the oven, take them out and let them set for 5 minutes.  Sounds silly but this is the most important part of this entire process.  If you attempt to take them out of the cups too soon, it can be a disaterous mess!

    They were so delicious and protein packed!

    This is the under side of the Prosciotto Bowl...
    Try this Recipe and let me know how you like it!!

    Enjoy your weekend...

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Cauliflower Fried Rice!

    I am so excited to share this with all of you... I had found this recipe last week on my favorite blog to stalk, Nom Nom Paleo

    I started with the following ingredients:

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, florets separated and pulsed in a food processor until “rice-like”

  • 1 large carrot, cut into small dice

  • 1 small onion, minced

  • 4 ounces of sliced mushrooms (I used wild mushrooms)

  • 1-inch knob of ginger, grated with a microplane

  • 1 diced red pepper

  • 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro leaves

  • Thinly sliced egg omelet made from 2 eggs, salt, and pepper

  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut aminos (amazing replacement for soy sauce)

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 1-2 olive oil

  • I then chopped all of my ingredients and put them in different sized dishes.  Having OCD helps in this process... I need to have everything in order and ready before I start actually cooking.

    Let's get cooking!... Combine chopped onions, red peppers, carrots, a dash of salt and pepper in a non-stick pan.  (A wok is definitely on my wishlist after this asian inspired dish!)  Once the onions were softened, I tossed in the wild mushrooms and stir fried everything until the mushrooms were browned.

    In a seperate pan, I start cooking the shrimp seasoned with salt and pepper over medium-high heat.  I added a tsp of coconut aminos once the shrimp were almost completely cooked through.

    I then added the remaining ingedients: cauliflower, sweet onion, eggs, bacon, cilantro and shrimp to the pan.  I made sure that all of the ingredients we mixed together and tasted it to make sure it was not in need of more S&P.

    I plated in a clear bowl so I can see all of the colors in the dish.  You can replace the shrimp with the protein of your choice.

    This recipe was so delicious and you don't even miss the rice... Another fun fact is that this recipe is only 192 calories per serving and 100% paleo.  It is a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables and they won't even know they are doing it!

    Let me know what you think!!   I love reading your comments... =)
    Posted by Picasa

    Friday, September 16, 2011

    Paleo Porn!

    So last night I made this amazing dish with inspiration from a blog I follow Modern Paleo Warfare. I decided to add a some additional protein because as my boyfriend would say, "I have protein requirements!"...

     With my iPad at the ready, I followed the Recipe and began to chop sweet potatoes, parsnips, onions and sweet onions.  I like to get all of the chopping done first, that is if I haven't already followed my own advice and pre-chopped. 

    When we aren't able to make it to Whole Foods during the week, we usually have the back up grass fed protein option from Publix. 

    To cook the grass fed beef I first add 2 tbs. of coconut oil, 1/2 cup of diced onions, and 3 cloves of garlic to a non-stick pan over med-high heat and let the onions sweat (like my culinary term?) for about 5-7 minutes... While that is happening I open the grass fed packaging and cut the beef so it breaks up easier when cooking.  I season with a little salt and pepper and let that cook until it is nice and brown.

    While that's cooking... I drain the mixture, add the sweet onion, some salt, pepper and one egg.  Then M*A*S*H... (bad joke, I know).  Once that is all mixed and mashed, let it sit for a bit because there is no time for a hospital visit for burns.  Once cooled, mold the cakes and add some gluten-free flour on both sides.  I cooked these in avocado oil for about 4-5 minutes on each side...

    Then my favorite part.... To The Plate & Photo department! I first put the ground beef as the base, topped with the sweet potato pancake, and finished off with the fried egg.   

    Here is the 360° view of the finished product.... 
    I was so pleased with how it came out!!... It tasted delicious and photographed like a dream...

    I think he liked it...

    Since I only made 2 pancakes, I had left over sweet potato and parsnip mixture.  I combined that with some organic chicken broth in the blender and made a soup to store.  Waste Not, Want Not!

    Thanks for stopping by....
    The Accidental Chef,
    Posted by Picasa

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Wild Caught Hogfish Recipe

    When deciding on what to make for dinner tonight I only knew of 1 main ingredient... The Fish!  In typical fashion I turned to my friend google for guidance.  I found this recipe for yellowtail on epicurious and decided to give it a try.  Chopping the fruits and veggies for the salsa was a breeze and then came the fun part... the egg wash.  I made an assembly line with the gluten-free flour, the eggs, and the macadamia nuts.  I then placed the fish in avocado oil in a non stick pan over high heat and browned each side for 2 minutes.  I then put them in the oven for 7 minutes.  After the timer went off, I let them rest outside of the oven for a few minutes before plating.

     The beautiful colors were not to be out done by the amazing flavors... I know it seems silly or like too much to plate your food on a Tuesday but I think it should always look as good or better than it tastes.  I am often guilty of being overly obsessed in how the photo will come out. 

    Macadamia Nut Crusted Hogfish with a Mango-Papaya Salsa

     I have included the recipe below if you want to give it a try yourself. On a scale of difficulty from 1 to 5 I'd say it was about a 2... 


    • 2 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1 mango, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1/2 papaya, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 1 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

    • 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3 cups macadamia nuts
    • 6 6-ounce yellowtail or red snapper fillets (in my case, hogfish)
    • 4 tablespoons avocado oil


    Combine first 10 ingredients in large bowl and stir to blend. Season salsa to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Place flour in shallow bowl. Whisk eggs in small bowl to blend. Finely grind nuts in processor. (I chopped them by hand because the food processor made them into a paste) Transfer nuts to another bowl. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Coat fish with flour. Dip fish into eggs, then macadamia nuts, coating completely. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in each of 2 heavy large skillets over medium heat. Place 3 fillets in each skillet; cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer fillets to large baking sheet.

    Bake fish until just opaque in center, about 7 minutes. Divide salsa among 6 plates. Top with salsa and serve.
    If you like what you're seeing, please leave a comment so that I know you were here.... 


    The Accidental Chef,

    Friday, September 9, 2011

    My First Chutney!

    I am so excited to share my latest creation with you! This is literally hot off the press…
    Earlier this week I had been researching what produce is currently in season on my Locavore App (Yes, there's an app for that). I saw that peaches were in season. Coincidently last week I had seen a recipe in the Fall 2011 edition of the Fine Cooking Magazine so of course I had to try to make it myself.
    This is my version of
    Pork Chops with Peach-Ginger Chutney & a Shot of Tomatillo Gazpacho

    Click Here for the Recipe for the Pork Chops and Chutney

    I had also learned that tomatilos are in season as well.  Luckily for me there was another recipe in that same magazine for Tomatillo Gazpacho.  I am not a big fan of cold soups but this one was delicious, light, and refreshing.

    I made a lot of improvisations with both of these recipes.  For example, in place of fresh ginger and thyme for the chutney I use ground ginger and thyme because it is what I had on the spice rack.  I am sure that the fresh spice is always better but I made due.  I cooked the pork chops in avocado oil instead of olive oil because it is much better for you and has a high smoke point.  (Great for frying and sautéing) Coconut oil is also another great alternative.  As for the gazpacho, in place of the red peppers I used organic grape tomatoes.  I left out the avocado because it was not ripe and I replaced the red onion with a sweet onion (which is delicious raw).   I don't get too worried if I do not have every single ingredient in the recipe, I try and find a comparable substitute or simply leave it out.  Keep it fun!!

    I hope you have enjoyed this food porn as much as I enjoyed making it!

    Let me know what you think via comments.... !

    The Accidental Chef,

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    A Healthier Alternative

    On our weekly visit to Whole Foods, Sammy found a better alternative to regular bread crumbs.  It is gluten free and tastes delicious!

    We made an egg wash and coated all of the wild caught mackerel (caught by Sammy) and some chicken we had in this new Panko Style breadding.

    We fried the fish outside in coconut oil and baked the chicken in the oven for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

    The fish looked and tasted AMAZING!

    Of course we needed to make something to accompany all that great protein... I made pico de gallo and guacamole to make it a Mexican affair!

    On another note... I have been blog surfing up a storm and have found a couple amazing blogs you can check out as well... Nom Nom Paleo & Balanced Bites for starters.  I am learning so much from them and can't wait to share more of my findings with you soon.

    Please leave a comment!

    The Accidental Chef,

    Posted by Picasa

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Small Tip, Big Help!

    Small Tip, Big Help!

    One of the most time consuming steps when cooking is the food prep. Chopping onions, carrots, celery etc can really deter you from cooking on any given night. What I do to alleviate this is that I pick one day of the week that I have the least going on and prep for the whole week. Even if I don't know what I will be cooking that week, I try and get all of the basics chopped up to shorten the time on a daily basis.
    Another helpful tip is to research online and in cooking magazines for quick recipes and plan for the week. I know what you're thinking, "I don't have time for this" but I promise once you make it a habit, it's quick and easy.

    At the end of the week I take whatever is left over in the fridge and make a soup.

    Just a quick post... More to come later!!!

    Posted by Picasa