Is the Food Processor really a Time Saving Device?

faster-but-not-betterGood morning Tiny House people, thanks for joining me today.  I want to share with you my epic battle with the Food Processor.  I was curious – is a Food Processor really a time saving device?  The process of finding that answer was pretty interesting, and I drew some conclusions from the experience (that are at the end of this video).  Let me know what you think.  I was surprised to find that many of my friends were already on team #knifeandcuttingboard.  Maybe fewer folks use these space-hogging machines than I realized.  Are you going tiny?  Will you take your food processor with you to your tiny home?  Why or why not?  Let me know in the comments.

IMG_2487What did I do with all those chopped carrots, celery, and onion?  I bought a great big organic chicken and made chicken soup with all of it.  Yum!

Adapting Shrimp & Grits for a Tiny House

equilibrium-of-simplicityHow do you adapt a complex recipe that requires lots of space and dishes to one that can be made simply in a tiny house?  This video shows how I take a complex dish and make it a very simple one.  To adapt a recipe for use in a tiny house, plan out how you can use less dishes, use less power, and avoid putting a lot of moisture into the air that could create a mold problem in your home.  You can create great food in a tiny house kitchen, and these strategies will help!29c45-1a2bcarmen

The Hungry Healthy Hippie Scramble

This is how we cook on any given night, we simply make it up as we go along.  You’ll see me try something, then change my mind and change direction.  That’s part of the fun, you really can cook in the same way jazz musicians make music – an improvisation on a theme.  In this case, the theme was farm fresh local eggs, and they were delicious!  This meal works very nicely for dinner or a hearty breakfast.

I’m enjoying the idea of this Copper Chef Induction Cooktop because it means you can have a burner anywhere you have power.  Even in the smallest of the small kitchens.  Pair this with a toaster oven and you’ve got a world of possibilities at your fingertips.  In addition, it can all be stowed away out of sight when you wish.

The table where I cooked this meal was 6 square feet, proving the point that you can comfortably cook a delicious meal in a very small space!  In fact, the smaller a kitchen, the more efficiency is built in.  No need to walk miles in an expansive kitchen when you can stay put and cook something lovely in a small space.

Is there something specific you’ve like to cook in your tiny kitchen but can’t figure out how?  Do leave a comment with your comments and questions.  LOTS more delicious food coming your way!

Stay Tuned,

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Shrimp Rohini

Shrimp

I recently read Cooking for Ghosts by Patricia V. Davis and came across this fictional dish “Shrimp Rohini” and I knew right away I had to make my own version.

Cynthia, Rohini, Jane, and Angela meet on a food blogging site and bond over recipes.  On impulse, they decide to open The Secret Spice, and elegant cafe on the magnificent ocean liner, the RMS Queen Mary, currently a floating hotel in Long Beach, California.  Chef Christiano creates this shrimp dish in honor of the beautiful and exotic Rohini, an herbalist from India.  This magic of this dish is sprinkled through the story and I don’t want to give away one more detail… you’ll just have to get your own copy to see what I mean.  Suffice it to say I really wanted to create my own real-life version of this fictional (maybe even magical) dish.

The characters in the book don’t give us many clues to their secret spices, but nutmeg is mentioned a number of times among Rohini’s stash of herbs and spices.  Nutmeg has long been one of my favorite spices, especially in savory foods.  I’ve been making chicken sprinkled with freshly grated nutmeg for years, and nutmeg is sometimes the secret spice in Italian cooking.

cooking for ghostsAnother of my favorite secret spices is smoked paprika.  Sorry, regular paprika just won’t do.  Smoked paprika is no longer difficult to find, thankfully, and it is a marvel!  If you haven’t already tried it, cut up your favorite kind of potatoes and toss them with olive oil, sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and smoked paprika, spread them out on a pan covered with parchment paper and roast them in the oven.  It’s so simple, but it’s wonderful! Cardamom is one of India’s secret spices, it’s rich, complex, and exotic.  I had a dish at my favorite Indian restaurant that sent me home trying to recreate it, and of course cardamom was the secret spice ingredient.  Yum!  I’ve paired these three marvelous spices with the sweetness of sauteed onions, a hint of garlic, and the bite of freshly cracked black pepper.  If you’d like to add heat to this dish, add a dash of your favorite cayenne pepper.

This is how I imagine Chef Christiano’s Shrimp Rohini.
Yield: Serves 2

From start to finish this recipe goes very quickly, so it’s best to be prepared and focused and use your mise en place skills.

Start the pasta water and cook the angel hair pasta al dente, which happens quickly.  Drain the pasta and add the bell pepper rings, and cover to allow the thinly sliced pepper rings to steam.

cropped-img_7524.jpgIn the bottom of an enamel dutch oven, bloom the smoked paprika, nutmeg, and cardamom by gently stirring them in the dry pan over high heat until you begin to smell their fragrance.  Then add the olive oil and butter and stir until the butter melts.  This deepens the flavor of the spices.  Then add the sliced red onions and finally minced garlic and cook until the onions are soft.  Deglaze the pan with a splash of your favorite dry white wine.  Add the shrimp and saute quickly, watching them carefully.  Just when they begin to lose their translucent quality add the pasta and peppers and toss it all together, tossing to coat the pasta in the flavorful spices.  Plate immediately.  Use tongs to grab the pasta and plate it by twirling it into the shape of a nest, then top it with the shrimp.  Garnish the dish with the sliced spring onions and fresh parsley.  And finally, finish with a sprinkling of freshly cracked black pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

You may notice that I didn’t put additional salt in the recipe.  As much as I love sea salt (and Manfriend will tell you that I like it a little bit too much) using salted butter may be just the right amount of salt for this recipe.  But as always, salt and pepper to taste.

I’ve made the recipe a number of times now, once with quite large shrimp, and then again with smaller ones and I was surprised to find that I preferred the small ones as the flavor seemed to permeate into the shrimp better.

 Try my Shrimp Rohini recipe and let me know what you think.
And stay tuned, I’ve already got my eye on a number of the desserts mentioned in this book.  Don’t you think Shrimp Rohini would be amazing with Angela’s Black Magic Lemon Tarts for dessert?  I do.

And last, but certainly not least… I’ve entered this Shrimp Rohini recipe in Novel Food, a project of Simona Carini, a food storyteller.  Patricia V. Davis mentioned that I should check this out and I have fallen head over heals for this concept and look forward to adding more recipes as I have time.  As a matter of fact, I really love the concept of a collection of recipes inspired by my favorite books, don’t you?  To enter your own recipe, go here:  http://www.pulcetta.com/2016/09/announcing-novel-food-28.html. All the delicious details are there, along with links to previous editions.  I looked through a few and everything looks delicious.

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