Tag Archives: salt

Debby’s Kale Chips

Seriously, make these tonight. This method really takes the bitterness out of the kale so even if you hate kale you will really really love these kale chips.

One of my closest friends, and fellow dietitian, made these for us in October and last night I got inspired to make them for a couple other friends who were coming over for dinner. Prepping the kale might seem a little daunting but I believe it is well worth it.  Continue reading

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Tastes like (a whole) Chicken

While we’ve been away we’ve been cooking up some really yummy things for ourselves while learning some thrifty ways to shop and eat. To to get the most nutrition for our dollar we are buying more raw, unprocessed ingredients and learning what to do with them. It helps that we aren’t afraid to buy something when we have no idea what to do with it, especially when the deal is so good.

So we bought this chicken.  Continue reading

When Sodium and Chloride Get Together: Salt

If you grew up like me, salt was akin to a fine, white sand and it came out of a shaker that rested in the middle of the dining room table and once you became “of a certain age” you needed to keep a close eye on your intake.

Salt is known scientifically as sodium chloride, or NaCl. (Na is from the latin natrium.) Salt forms when sodium, a highly-reactive metal that ignites in water, and chloride, one part of the corrosive hydrochloric acid, get together.

Sodium and chloride are both essential in very small amounts to the life of all animals. Historically, salt has been used in a wide variety of ways, such as in the preservation of foods, the production of paper good, as an additive in cosmetics and, of course, to make food taste more delicious.

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Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe & Sausage

So we made orecchiette yesterday. It was an exciting day. We made the dough, shaped the pasta and then put it in the fridge for about 6 hours, because Rocco’s book told us to: “It is best to make the dough and shape it the night before, letting it dry in the fridge overnight.” Then it came time to cook the pasta and eat it in a meal…

Have you ever picked out a recipe to make and you had no idea what one of the main ingredients was?

Well, if you haven’t then shame on you. No, I’m kidding. I do understand the hesitance most people have when encountering new foods; I used to be this way, myself. There once was a day when I wouldn’t touch feta cheese, onions, olives and even, are you ready for this one?, tomatoes. As I’ve gotten older, however, I have found that the foods I hate usually end up becoming my favorites. This is why I am hesitant to say I hate any food. (Who wants to end up loving brains? I don’t.)  When someone says to me, “Oh, I don’t like _____” it is hard for me to not respond by saying, “I used to hate ______ too, then one day I actually tried it.” Turns out, people don’t like being force-fed.

Like I said, the recipe for the orecchiette we made yesterday came from Rocco’s Italian American and, subsequently, so did the recipe we used the orecchiette in. The exciting part was that this recipe had a mystery ingredient in it: broccoli rabe.

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The One Where We Make Orecchiette!

We eat a lot of pasta. Almost everyday. There are a few reasons for this: pasta is cheap, the sauce can be as simple or elaborate as we like and it takes hardly any time, preparation or brain power to make.

Just like most people, we use dry pasta in our dishes. We got to thinking one day: can we make pasta from scratch? With our hands? But we don’t have a fancy pants mixer (we want one), let alone the pasta attachment needed to make the pasta. We made sad faces.

Then while we were reading Rocco’s Italian American we discovered that you don’t need a fancy pants anything to make pasta. Well, that isn’t entirely true. You need a special type of flour called semolina flour because it has a high gluten content. This high gluten content is what makes some doughs, like pizza and bagels, chewy. In the case of making pasta, gluten is what helps keep it from falling apart when in comes into contact with the boiling water.

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