Shortcuts to Homemade Pot Pie – Recipe

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The calendar says it’s fall, which makes my stomach prep for hibernation food. Chicken Pot Pie is a comfort staple that has several variation possibilities. A few ideas: broccoli and cheese, mushrooms, swap turkey for chicken. It’s also a dish that was available in the microwave variety. Bachelor Basics ideas usually come from the frozen food aisle of the grocery. Here’s my Chicken Pot Pie recipe. It’ll take more than 10 minutes until you hear the ding for supper time, but it’s worth the time investment. Plus, it’s a great dish to cook for friends (or a date).

Homemade Pot Pie Recipe Continue reading Shortcuts to Homemade Pot Pie – Recipe

Braised Pork with Cider and Tomatillos – Recipe

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Fun Fact: I can guzzle a lightly chilled bottle of apple juice in one sitting.

Despite my love for apple juice, I never explored the world of ciders. It wasn’t until dating Leann that I started sipping the alcohol version of apple juice. With my limited exposure to the boozy fruit juice, I didn’t know about distinctions between styles of distillation or variations in the amount of sugar.

Leann and I escaped to Michigan for a quick trip before I started my new job. The area surrounding Holland, Michigan, offers the perfect amount of activities for a weekend. After a few Google searches for “Things to do in Holland” we compiled our own list. I’ll post our guide as soon as I can decide which pictures to share.


High on our list was visiting Virtue Cider in Fennville. They have a treasure trove of info on their site showing how cider is made. But I’ve never been one for reading. I’m more of a visual and experiential learner. Plus, it’s a real farm with pigs! So, Leann and I reached out to setup a tour (I highly suggest you do the same). It was a roaster of a day when we visited the farm. Thankfully, Virtue had plenty of beverages to curb the heat.
I’ll write more about the tour experience later, but while there, we chatted with the staff to learn about different ways to cook with cider. Did I mention they have pigs? And apples. Nearly a month later, Leann and I opened the mini growler of Percheron cider to braise pork loin. Continue reading Braised Pork with Cider and Tomatillos – Recipe

Sicilian Style Tuna – #GreatAmericanCookIn

This Sicilian Style Tuna will seem fancy to your dinner guests with its robust flavors from the olives, capers and wine, BUT it is straightforward and quick to make.

Sicilian Style Tuna | TheBachelorBasics.com

Sicilian Style Tuna - #GreatAmericanCookIn
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Sicilian Style Tuna - #GreatAmericanCookIn
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Instructions
  1. Generously season both sides of tuna steaks with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add tuna to the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Lower heat to medium and add shallots to pan. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine. Add tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes until liquid begins to reduce. Add olives and capers, cook for a few more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Return tuna to pan for another minute to finish cooking and then transfer to serving dish. Spoon tomato sauce over the top and garnish with toasted pine nuts and parsley. Serve immediately.
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Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce – #GreatAmericanCookIn

Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce |TheBachelorBasics.com
Food Stylist: Johanna Lowe

Here’s a simple and quick dish that doesn’t feature a lot of ingredients. If you love Italian food and want to start gaining experience with what I’d argue is one of the best cuisines, this Zucchini noodles with tomato sauce recipe is a great entry point.

Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce |TheBachelorBasics.com
Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce - #GreatAmericanCookIn
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Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce |TheBachelorBasics.com
Zucchini Noodles with Tomato Sauce - #GreatAmericanCookIn
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Instructions
  1. Lay zucchini noodles in a single layer on paper towels. Lightly salt and let sit for 15 minutes to draw out moisture. Pat dry with additional paper towels.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in fresh oregano and simmer five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. In a medium sauté pan, heat one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant and golden, approximately 3-5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir in fresh oregano and simmer five minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Transfer zucchini to serving bowls and pour sauce over the top. Sprinkle feta cheese and fresh oregano over each dish. Add freshly ground black pepper, if desired. *If you don’t own a spiralizer machine, cut zucchini into 1/2 inch rounds
Recipe Notes

Tips

  • Craving carbs: This sauce tastes great over pasta
  • Stay seasonal: In the winter months, serve this sauce with spaghetti squash
  • Extra flavor: Simple grilled shrimp makes for a yummy add-on to this recipe
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Beer-Braised Brats

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I almost always have beer in my fridge, but not for the reason you might think. Since moving in and hosting a few parties, friends have brought beer. I don’t drink much beer, so the cases have stacked up.

What is a guy to do with all that beer?

Host more parties? Play myself in beer pong? Drink myself into a constant state of stupor?

I defrosted a pack of brats for dinner and decided to use up some of that beer. Typically, I have either grilled sausage or pan fried it. With both of those methods, I never really know if the sausage is done cooking. A few times I have had to return the encased meat to the flame or pan to cook just a bit longer. But there’s a better solution than rolling the “you may get food poisoning” dice.

Start the brats or sausages in half a bottle of beer in a sauce pan. The fluids should cover the links. It’s your choice what you do with the rest of the bottle. Set the heat to medium-low and start the braising process. Starting them in fluid ensures they cook from the inside out. Grilling or frying on the stove cooks the exterior first and eventually the inside.

I simmered mine for about 20 minutes before transferring to my hot cast iron skillet to get some crusty exterior. My girlfriend sliced onion and mushrooms and we cooked those to top the brat.

99 bottles of beer on the wall. 99 bottles of beer. Take one down, pour it in a sauce pan, 98 bottles of beer…

Not Quite Right Fried Rice

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With the exception of a few cooking magazines, most recipe sites present gorgeous pictures that trigger some mild drooling. Then there’s a recipe somewhere near the bottom. So often you never know if a recipe is good until you try it. In this case I’m divulging that this dish is missing something. Fried rice that rivals my favorite take-out spot has been difficult to master.

I have tried a few different recipes and I suspect I am missing a sauce or adding enough oil. So, I figured I would share this latest attempt, which looks good, but fell a bit flat when it came to delivering a powerful punch in the taste buds.

5-Step Fried Rice Process:

  1. Make rice. 
  2. Heat cast iron skillet to super hot. Add vegetable oil. Cook two beaten eggs and remove to a bowl. 
  3. Add a bit more oil. Sauté bag of stir fry veggies. Add to eggs in bowl.
  4. Add titch more oil, diced garlic and red pepper flakes. Add rice. Add 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce. Stir. 
  5. Add veggies and egg. Incorporate. Serve. 

That’s my process. I suspect I’m using the wrong type of oil and/or not enough of it. Anyone use a different combination of sauces other than soy sauce? I figure great fried rice must use more than just soy.

The result isn’t bad, it just lacks the addictive flavor that take-out has. Adding pot stickers from Trader Joe’s added some flavorful pop to the meal, but now I need to figure out how to make my rice as flavorful as those frozen dumplings. 

Best Turkey Burgers – Friday Foodstuffs

Secrets to the best turkey burgers | TheBachelorBasics.com

My fridge was barren, like Revenant barren. Remnant tomato paste, whole coffee beans, yogurt and a few slices of deli ham would make a horrible challenge basket for a cooking battle. But my freezer was a treasure trove of meal-worthy food. When you’re unemployed your freezer drawers replace the aisles of a grocery. Like Old Man Parker discovering a Red Ryder model air rifle behind a couch, I found ground turkey buried in my freezer. But I needed one crucial ingredient to make the best turkey burgers.

Scrounging around I found a link of chorizo and with that the gears started turning on what to make for dinner.

Continue reading Best Turkey Burgers – Friday Foodstuffs