Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Movement and Renovations

Hello readers,

So, in the coming months, I will be completely remodeling the Lone Foodster. I want to thank all of you who've followed me so far, and I promise to keep you all updated as these changes are made.

For the future, TLF will feature:

- A new layout
- More focus on restaurants, less on recipes
- The recipes featured will be more elaborate
- A new host site

The reason for these changes is that I've grown since being in LA. My tastes and abilities toward food have matured. I'm ready to reflect that.

So, stay tuned.

Thank you for reading,
The Lone Foodster

Monday, October 28, 2013

Recipe #22: Turkey Pot Pie with a Rosemary Biscuit Crust

Hello Foodster Followers,

Autumn is here! And I consider myself an "Autumn-phile." Along with the season, there comes the comfort food. As the weather chills, the food warms.

One of my favorite fall foods is pot pie. Chicken is the most common filling, but since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I thought I'd tackle a turkey recipe.

Before I begin, this is quite a thorough recipe. Not quick, or time-saving. It takes a few hours and some love, but you'll get a delicious, single-served product out of it!

So here we go. Into autumn!

You'll need these things:

- About 1/4 lb. ground turkey meat, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper.
- 1/2 sweet Mayan onion, roughly diced.
- 1 large carrot, diced.
- 1/2 small gold potato, cut in 1/4 inch cubes.
- 1 cup condensed mushroom soup.
- About 1/2 cup cream or half and half.
- Butter for cooking, about 1/2 stick, perhaps more.
- 1 clove garlic, diced.
- 2 tablespoons thyme.
- 1 tablespoon rosemary.
- All-purpose baking mix, suitable for biscuits (you'll need butter for this, too).
- Salt, pepper, and olive oil to be used throughout.
- 1 single-sized baking dish.
- 1 baking sheet or pizza stone, to set dish on. It drips as it cooks.
- 1 working oven :)

1. Start by heating a large skillet (like my beloved Calphalon) over a medium flame with equal parts olive oil and butter.

2. This is where I got fancy. It is perfectly fine to add a regular clove of garlic to the mix. BUT, Trader Joe's just got these fermented black garlic cloves! Soft, slightly sweet, and milder in flavor. I thought they would compliment the savory/sweet hints of the thyme and rosemary in this pie. Add you the skillet.

3. Cut your onion and add to the skillet first.

4. When your onion is about halfway cooked, add your chopped potato and carrot to the skillet.

5. Cook the veggies until slightly soft, about 10-15 mins, then add your thyme. Feel free to add more than the suggested 2 tablespoons. This recipe is flexible.

6. Now, add your seasoned turkey meat to the veggies, breaking it up into small pieces with your spoon.

7. While the turkey cooks, combine your condensed soup with the cream or half and half. Feel free to add a little water if you don't want it quite so heavy. This IS a rich holiday delicacy after all.

Mix til you get this texture.

8. Add your soup to the skillet mixture and incorporate. At this point, turn off the flame. Let the heat of the skillet warm the soup just slightly.

9. Let your mixture rest for just a moment. At this time, make your biscuit topping. On the box, there should be instructions on how to make biscuits, especially if you're using my favorite Trader Joe's mix :)

Along with the biscuit mix, add the chopped rosemary and blend in. Set aside.

10. Take your little baking dish, lightly coat it with oil, and spoon your mixture in. Just under the rim.

11. Now, add your topping. Don't be afraid to use your hands. Cover all sight of the filling, and make sure the topping touches all edges of the dish.

12. Now, heat your oven to about 375 degrees. Place the uncooked pie on your baking sheet or stone, and let bake for about fifteen minutes, or until the topping is golden brown along the edges.

When it's done, be sure to let it cool for a good length of time. The dish retains heat for a while.

Then enjoy! This is a great, comfy meal for a chilly autumn evening.


And there you have it. Hope you all enjoyed. See you next time!

Happy Eatings,
The Lone Foodster

Friday, September 13, 2013

Pilgrimage #25: Ice Cream Lab

This week's eatery here: http://icecreamlab.com/

Hello Foodster followers!

Mom dropped in last weekend for a nice LA visit. In addition to stopping by some of our favorite memory-making eateries I've shared here before, we took a little trip to Beverly Hills to stroll along Rodeo, Wilshire, and Santa Monica Blvd. Something neither of us had done before!

It was a particularly hot day, so soon we were looking out for a quick, cold treat. And along Santa Monica, we stumbled upon Ice Cream Lab, a unique little ice creamery that makes fresh, made-to-order ice cream. Their method? Combining cream and add-ins with a blast of liquid nitrogen for instant ice cream! With fancy, shiny machinery.


There were several yummy looking options:

And Mom and I decided to go for Salt Lick Crunch. Vanilla ice cream with caramel, sea salt, and pretzel pieces. It was delicious! I've never tasted such freshly-made ice cream. It was seriously good. Not too sweet, very creamy, and perfectly complimented by the salty pretzels.

And there's tons of cool merchandise.

Murals and beaker-shaped cards:

I am dying to go back and try their other flavors. And I have some friends who want to join me next time :)

See you soon!

Happy Eatings,
The Lone Foodster

Ice Cream Lab on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Recipe #21: Buffalo Bolognese and Rigatoni

Too long since the last time, as usual, friends.

Trader Joe's recently received a limited time item, "Buffalo Burgers!"

 That is, premium, ground, uncooked bison meat. Three frozen portions for $9.99 a box. A bit of a splurge, spending wise. BUT those three portioned patties are a good size. So you can easily get three good meals from them. It makes a tasty burger, like so:

OR, it makes a great twist on a traditional bolognese sauce (that is meat and tomato). Bolognese is traditionally made with beef, sometimes pork, and sometimes turkey. And fire roasting fresh tomatoes instead of using canned ones gives it another special twist. So here's what you'll need to make a buffalo bolognese!

- 1 uncooked ground Trader Joe's buffalo burger OR about 1/4 pound fresh buffalo meat.
- 2 cups mirepoix (chopped celery, onion, and carrot)
- About 1 pound fresh San Marzano tomatoes (Roma works equally well)
- One generous handful of fresh basil leaves
- Trader Joe's garlic simmer sauce (chicken stock, garlic, and white wine to substitute)
- Salt, pepper, and olive oil throughout
- 1 cup Rigatoni pasta
- A sharp, grated, white cheese (Parmesan, Romano, etc.)

*PREP* Season your buffalo meat for hours in advance with simply salt, pepper, and oil.

1. Set your oven to about 375 degrees. Toss your tomatoes liberally with oil, salt, and pepper and place in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Put in oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the skin begins to split and the tomatoes begin to render juice. Save that tasty juice!!

Before cooking:

And after:

2. Saute your mirepoix in a large skillet with some oil and salt, and about 1/2 cup of the TJ's garlic sauce OR your broth/wine/garlic substitute.

3. Once the mirepoix is translucent and browned, add your buffalo meat and cook completely.

Totally cooked:

4. Take your cooked tomatoes and put into a blender with your handful of fresh basil, and a bit of extra oil/salt/pepper if you like. It's best to pulse the blades until the tomatoes are chopped. Almost liquefied, but still. a bit chunky. And remember to pour ALL that yummy tomato juice from the oven in too!

5. Add your blended tomatoes to your meat/mirepoix mixture in the pan. Stir for a minute, then reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes. Periodically, add a bit of your cheese to the sauce to thicken. If the sauce gets too thick before 30 mins. is up, add a little water (or wine) and continue to cook.

Add some cheese TJ's Shaved Cheese Blend = Parmesan, Toscano, and Unexpected Cheddar:

After-cheese thick-ness :)

6. Boil your rigatoni while your sauce is simmering. When done, drain and coat with a little oil. Toss.

7. Plating time! For a nice picture, plate the pasta first and spoon the sauce on top. Garnish with more cheese, and...CHEEESE!! *snap pic*

Done! A basic, tasty, and slightly altered Italian classic. AND, I still have one buffalo patty left to work with! I'm off to brainstorm. Hope you enjoyed, readers.

Happy Eatings,
The Lone Foodster

P.S. Like true stories? Ever worked retail? Want to hear some true stories from retail? Feel free to check out my new blog: Food in a Cup! At http://foodinacup.wordpress.com

Enjoy :)