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Tomatillo Salsa...Revisited

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Hey there.

Yeah, I know. I’ve been away for a while. BUT I can explain. For real this time though. Remember I told you I was going to Paris in May? Welllll, we got ENGAGED while we were there! So everything has been crazy since then. We’ve been working on wedding planning (the hotel is a nightmare to say the least, but everything else is going fine…) and my job has picked up speed too, so between both of these obligations, things have been pretty busy. So this is why I’ve been away. Don’t get me wrong - I’ve been cooking. I’ve been doing a LOT of cooking, actually. I’ve been making recipes that are new to me, as well as recipes that are familiar to me.

All of this got me thinking, actually. I’ve always meant to go back to my old recipes and refresh the pictures, and update the actual ingredients/instructions as necessary. My blog has been around since 2008 (WHAT?!?!?) so you can imagine that many of my old posts could use a little refreshing, if you want to put it mildly. Thus, I am super excited to re-post this revisited recipe - Tomatillo Salsa!

I actually got this recipe from one of my friends down in the Texas area. He made it for me when I was visiting Austin years ago and I basically required him to ‘fess up this entire recipe stat. This salsa is a tasty dip for tortilla chips, or can be drizzled over pretty much anything in sight to amp up the flavor. Do not underestimate this condiment. I am so glad that I made it again, as I hadn’t given it much thought until recently. If you’re interested in the original THK recipe that I posted back in 2011 (omg, I was basically a child then), here you go!

One more thing - As I ease my way back into this quiet blog and begin posting again, please be patient with me. I’ll probably be a bit sporadic for a while, until things begin to settle down in my life. Thank you!!!

Tomatillo Salsa
from The Hobo Kitchen

Print Recipe

  • 12 tomatillos, chopped~8-10 jalapenos, chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • dash salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro

  • 1/3 cup vinegar


1) Add all items into a blender until creamy.

2) Pour the salsa into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.

3) Let the salsa cool, then use as desired!

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Easy Artichokes

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My newest obsession is artichokes.  I had a shishito peppers obsession during the summer (which I was supposed to post about, buuuuuuut life happened).  However, more recently, I've been all about the artichokes.  Interestingly enough, I never had an artichoke until about a year ago.  I mean, I've had artichoke hearts in salads and in dips and all that jazz.  But I hadn't had a whole artichoke before - and now I'm hooked.

One of my favorite places in Hoboken, Grand Vin, serves this with a mayonnaise and balsamic dip and I love it.  I decided I wanted to try making the artichokes at home, but with a butter dip.  This is primarily because I do not love mayonnaise and I refuse to keep any in my apartment.  As my mother feels exactly the opposite of this, she is horrified and proceeds to buy mayonnaise whenever she visits.

This makes a great snack or appetizer.  I'll also keep it real and just admit that I have eaten an entire artichoke in place of dinner.  True Life: I am a Food Blogger with a Questionable Diet.

I could have taken more pics of the artichoke prep process, but seriously, it was so so easy.  I know there are quite a few steps listed below but the hardest part was trying to keep the weight on top of the artichokes as they boiled so that they remained submerged. 

So can we just make artichokes 24/7 from now on?  Yes? K. Thanks bye!

 

Easy Artichokes
makes 2 artichokes

Print Recipe

  • 2 artichokes (artichokes with more closed petals tend to be tastier)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1) In a large pot, bring water to a boil.  Make sure the amount of water used will cover 2 artichokes.

2) Use a pair of kitchen scissors to cut off the tips of each of the artichoke leaves.  This can help when handling the artichokes.

3) Use a serrated knife to slice 3/4 - 1 inch off the top of the artichoke.

4) Pull off any small stray petals at the base of the artichoke.  You can choose to cut the stem of the artichoke off, or you can keep it.  Your preference!  However, the stem tends to be a more bitter part of the artichoke.

5) Rinse the artichoke under running water, pulling apart the leaves gently so that the water can get rid of any stray debris.

6) To the boiling water, add salt to taste.  Cut the lemon into quarters.  Add two of the lemon quarters to the pot of boiling water.  Also add in the bay leaves.

7) Place the artichokes into the boiling water.  Use a lid for a smaller pot or a smaller plate to keep the artichokes weighed down in the water.

8) Boil for 25-45 minutes, or until the lower leaves can pull off the artichoke easily.

9) Remove the artichokes and allow them to drain upside down on a plate or cutting board for a few minutes.

10) In the meantime, melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave.  Stir in the garlic.  Using the remaining two lemon quarters, squeeze in as little or as much lemon juice as desired.  Stir to combine everything.

11) Serve the artichokes hot or warm, with the melted butter mix on the side.

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Salami Mozzarella Quiche

It's MDW weekend! (That's Memorial Day Weekend for the non-Americans.)  Why do we say MDW weekend when that's redundant?  Deep questions late on a Friday night while maybe listening to the Britney Spears playlist on Spotify.

I'm not gonna lie.  This quiche is (still!) totally inspired by that pizza I had at Harry's Italian in NYC.  What can I say?  I'm just craving this combo!  Again, I used salami because it's easier for me to find that sopresatta and, to be honest, I'm all about doing what's easy, yet tasty.

Soooo can this quiche possibly maybe help usher in summer?  I'm not sure how it's supposed to do that but I'm counting on it nevertheless.  Because it's cold outside and has been raining on and off for days.  Summer made an appearance for a few days two weeks ago (in which I sweltered nonstop), only to sneak away for some time on THE SAME DAY that I finally had my air conditioning unit installed.  I'm not bitter.  Not at all...
 

Salami Mozzarella Quiche

Print Recipe

  • 1 package store-bought pie crust
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 lb salami, diced
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh mozzarella, pulled apart
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne pepper


Blind bake the pie crust:

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2) Use a fork to prick the bottom and sides of the pie crust.

3) Bake for 10 minutes.

4) Remove from the oven and cool for a few minutes.  If the pie crust bubbled up slightly, just press it down gently.

 

Assemble the quiche:

1) Decrease the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

2) In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and then add the onion.  Saute until they are slightly translucent.  Set aside to cool slightly.

3) Spread the salami on the bottom of the pie crust.  Sprinkle the onions on top.  Layer the mozzarella evenly over everything.

4) In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper until just combined.  Pour the mixture into the prepared crust.

5) Bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes, or until the quiche is set in the middle.

6) Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing and serving.

--recipe slightly adapted from A Family Feast

Zucchini Salami Pizza

I cannot claim credit for this pizza, as much as I would really love to.  This creation comes to you by way of Harry's Italian Pizza Bar (I did a review of Harry's a few years ago here).  I didn't order this pizza on that trip, but on another recent visit to Harry's, this pizza became known to me.  It was love at first bite.  I immediately knew I was going to recreate this at home because I wasn't waiting for another trip to the restaurant.  Plus, what else are food blogs for, if not to experiment at home!

Now, zucchini and salami are not at the forefront of my mind when I think of a perfect pizza topping combo, but I will say that they are amazing together.  The zucchini is crisp and fresh while the salami is salty and chewy.  These two textures and flavors combine to make a sensational pizza experience that I will be recreating every chance I get!
 

Zucchini Salami Pizza

Print Recipe

  • 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1/2 cup diced salami
  • 2-4 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced into rounds
  • 1 batch pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)

Prep the zucchini:

1) Cut the zucchini into rounds.  Stack the rounds, and then slice into matchsticks.  Spread the matchsticks out on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle the salt over the zucchini.  Set aside for 15-20 minutes.

2) After the time is up, use paper towels to blot the excess water that has extruded from the zucchini.


Assemble the pizza:

3) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

4) Spread the pizza dough over the prepared baking sheet until it is the desired size.

5) Spread the basil pesto over the dough, leaving about 1" border around the edges.

6) Place the mozzarella on top of the pesto.

7) Cover the mozzarella with the zucchini matchsticks and the salami.

8) Bake the pizza for 15 - 17 minutes, or until it reaches the desired level of done-ness.

9) Remove from oven and let cool slightly.  If desired, top with oregano, black pepper, and or basil before slicing and serving.

Pesto Goat Cheese Flatbread

Folks, I'd like to present to you...a GREEN PIE.

Yes, that's right.  We're covering both Pi Day and St. Patrick's Day in one blog post.  This was a happy accident.  I'm (once again!) cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer.  I found pizza dough, pesto, and goat cheese.  I love all of those things, so of course I'd love them together, right?

Being a self-proclaimed nerd, I knew that Pi Day - March 14th - was coming up, so I wanted to showcase a pie.  Pizza = pie!  Just so you know.  Also.  St. Patty's Day is March 17th.  If there is any holiday that we take seriously in Hoboken, it's St. Patty's Day.  In fact, we already celebrated last weekend, on March 4th. But don't you worry...we'll celebrate again on the 17th.  No missed opportunities over here!

I love how this flatbread turned out.  It's a quick and tasty snack.  It would pair well with a creamy soup, or it can be eaten on its own if desired.  I made mine ever-so-slightly more healthy with the addition of sprouts, but these are not necessary.  Any way you want you want to slice it (pun intended), this is a delicious choice.

 

Pesto Goat Cheese Flatbread

Print Recipe

  • 1 batch garlic herb or regular pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 2 - 4 ounces goat cheese
  • freshly cracked black pepper (optional)
  • sprouts (optional)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

1) Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) Use floured hands to spread the pizza dough over the baking sheet until it is the desired size.

3) Spread the pesto evenly over the dough.

4) Slice or crumble the goat cheese.  Place the cheese evenly on top of the pesto.

5) Bake until the pizza dough is as crispy as desired, about 10 - 15 minutes.

6) Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 5 minutes before slicing as desired.

7) Optional - Sprinkle the pizza with the black pepper, sprouts, and red pepper flakes before serving.

8) Serve warm!

Baked Brie with Apples & Pecans

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If you know me, you know that I'm a snacker.  Popcorn and wine for dinner.  All day every day!

I just don't really like meals.  They make me feel full and then all I want to do is sleep.  Let me tell you that that's a real awkward move at work.  Real.  Awkward.

So basically I'm living for snacks and appetizers that I can cobble together to prove that I'm a real adult and can eat "a meal".  You know.  I'm adulting so hard, like one does.

I recently saw a recipe post on Facebook for baked brie with apples.  Omg.  Need!  I don't have any baked brie recipes on this site, which is absolutely crazy given the amount of cheese I eat.  I love baked brie but the challenge is that baked brie tastes best the first time that it's made.  While I do enjoy a good challenge, I'm not sure that eating an entire wheel of cheese is the best one for me. 

Soooo the other day, had my friend Courtney over for a fall-inspired dinner and I decided I'm throw this onto the menu to test it out.

Wow!  So much yes!  I foresee more baked brie in my immediate future, for sure!

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Laughing Cow Cheese Plate

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Wait wait wait!  2016 is creeping up on us with a quickness!  While I am super excited for the new year and all the fun things that it's bringing with it, I want to take a moment to discuss cheese with you.  Yes, cheese.  As you know, I am an avid fan of such things.

This year, I have just the thing to bring to any NYE event: a cheese plate.  And not just any cheese plate, but a cheese plates to end all other plates.  It doesn't matter if you're into salty, sweet, or spicy flavors.  I've got you covered.  Are you intrigued yet?

I take my cheese seriously, so I jumped at the chance to try out the newest member to the Laughing Cow cheese family: Creamy Asiago!  My heart skipped a beat and my brain said "Spread cheese on all the things!"  And so that's what I did.  I put together 3 different (and super quick!) cheese combinations, all inspired by this Asiago flavor.  Whip up as many or as few as you will need to make everyone happy.

Or, you can be like me and make as many as you need to keep yourself happy.  Yup, I did that.

Here's to 2016!

*Laughing Cow Creamy Asiago will be available in stores March 2016*

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Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Quiche

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Thanksgiving is almost here!  I'm pretty sure I can taste the turkey and the leftovers already.  Bring on the stretchy pants.  Totally kidding.  Totally not kidding.

Speaking of eating way too much, I made a quiche!  I haven't made one of these in a while and I was recently reminded by my coworker how good quiches are.  Since I'm still living for butternut squash and zucchini, I figured they should be the star of this new recipe.  Let me tell you that this quiche did not disappoint!  I would definitely recommend making this for Thanksgiving.  Do you really need an excuse to make something quickly and easily for the Big Day?  With everything else going on, I would definitely add this to my menu in a hurry.

Other random thoughts I'm having at the moment:

- I know it's not as cold in NY/NJ as other places in the US, but it's getting colder and I don't like it!  I'm going to sit on the couch and drink coffee in protest.

- There was a water main break in Hoboken on Sunday.  We were without water for about 8 hours.  Do you know what all you use water for at your place?  There are a ton of things you take for granted, such as brushing your teeth, cooking, washing the dishes, etc...I don't consciously think about using water for these things...until I have no water.  Thankfully the break has been maintained and the water has been restored!

- Did you know The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores are selling a Cookie Butter latte for the holidays?  It's a real thing! *gasp*  I haven't had it yet but I'm thinking that it will be mine before the end of 2015!

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Charred Zucchini with Feta Spread

charred zucchini

 

The summer is coming with a quickness! Are you ready?

Hurry up and snatch this zucchini and cheese goodness so your appetizer game can be on point.  There's also cheese involved in this so you know things are starting to looking pretty good.  I can't lie, I'm not wild about mayonnaise.  In the condiment world, it's pretty much one of the worst things out there in my opinion.  There's truly nothing quite like swiping the last bit of cheese at the bottom of the bowl only to realize that it was really a glob of mayo.  That was not a fine moment.

What I adore about this dish is that it literally required 10 minutes of work in total.  Annnnd then I was done.  I really appreciate a nice and easy appetizer.  I'd rather spend time hanging out at a BBQ with my friends, perhaps drinking too much tequila and lime-a-rita mixes, instead of toiling away in the kitchen.  Speaking of which, I really need to retire the use of my oven for the summer.  There's no reason to start hotbox-ing my apartment just yet.  More on that in future blog posts.

For now, I want to spice up all the zucchini and cheese.  I want to be fancy and squeeze a lime section on top of one of these things without (I repeat: without!) squirting myself in the eye.  Another proud moment.  I will chow down with conviction because I'm eating green things and if it's green it's got to be healthy, which means I'm making some good decisions in life.  Definitely.

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Baked Tostones

I'm back on track with the baked items!

I've spent a little more than a week back in the states and I've forgotten precisely how hot the Bahamas was and how averse I was to making anything baked for a while.  (On a side note, I did get the recipes for a few requested Bahamian dishes while I was down there, so I will have those up on this site as soon as I get my life together!)

I love tostones.  I can't get enough of them.  There's a Cuban restaurant, Havana, across the street from me and if I wasn't so lazy about leaving my house and walking in the completely opposite direction of the route that I usually take, I would definitely purchase tostones from there all the time!

The other day, in a moment of tostones-withdrawal weakness, I spent an hour searching for a recipe for them.  But wait!  Let's not forget that I don't like to fry anything in my apartment.  That's basically asking for a trip to the ER.  So the "baked" version it is.  I finally found a recipe, gathered all the ingredients, and then realized that what I initially thought was cilantro in the grocery store was actually parsley....Don't forget to smell your herbs people!  I ran with it anyway and I, a self-proclaimed parsley hater, actually really liked it.  Parsley people, I think I get you now.

Finally, I realize how ridiculous this is.  I spent more time, energy, and money on making these tostones than I would have if I had just purchased them from the restaurant.  I know.  I'm not delusional.  But there's something to be said for making tasty and mostly-healthy food in your own kitchen.  I'm going with that explanation.  Leave me alone and let me stuff my face with my baked tostones.

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