two skinny jenkins


100526 – Spinach Fetucchini
100527, 8:26 pm
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green pasta

Joe is such an amazing cook!!!  As soon as his exams were over last week, he started cooking for me every night.  So far everything has been terrific.  Last night was the first night that i finally got the camera out.   We have been making plain semolina pasta with our beautiful new pasta machine quite a bit, but this was the first time we tried a new flavor.  The recipe originally comes from The Silver Spoon – one of the greatest books of all time.

  • 1 C all purpose flour
  • 3/4 C 00 flour
  • extra flour for dusting (plenty!)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • generous 1 C spinach, cooked, well drained, and chopped
  • salt
  1. sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on a counter.
  2. make a well in the center and add the eggs and spinach.  using your fingers, gradually incorporate the flour, then knead for a few minutes (about 5).  This is my favorite part.
  3. If the spinach is very damp, add more flour, a little at a time.  Shape the dough into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. roll out on a lightly floured surface or use a pasta machine to make a fairly thick sheet.
  5. The pasta may be used for lasagna, tagliatelle, tortellini and ravioli, but with enough flour works for fettuccine.
  6. After boiling for 3-4 minutes in a large pot of salted boiling water, Joe finished the pasta in a saucepan of heated, red pepper-infused olive oil and grape tomatoes.  A little Parmesan on top – perfect. ENJOY!


090603 – Thai chicken
090603, 9:19 pm
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Thai Chicken

Guest cook in the kitchen tonight – Joe Jenkins!  (Just kidding, Joe)

1 lb chicken breasts
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon oyster sauce (we use the vegetarian oyster sauce)
1 can  coconut milk
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons peanut butter or Harris Teeter thai peanut sauce
bag of baby spinach
1/2 a red bell pepper, diced
handful peanuts


Cut the chicken into bite sized cubes. Mix 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce with the corn starch and a little bit of water. Pour the mixture on the chicken and let sit for a few minutes.

Meanwhile pour about half the can of coconut milk into a skillet and mix together with the curry powder. Heat over med-low heat until it starts to simmer. Add the chicken into the sauce and let it cook for 3 or 4 minutes.

In a bowl, mix the coconut milk the rest of the oyster sauce, the sugar, and peanut butter. I had some extra Harris Teeter brand Thai peanut sauce from a previous meal so I added that in too.  Pour the concoction into the pan. Cook together with the chicken for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Add in the spinach until it wilts. Serve with rice and garnish with red pepper and peanuts.



090520 – pasta fresca
090520, 8:39 pm
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Joe's Pasta

So now that Carolyn is working I’ve got to carry my own weight on the dinner front. Tonight I tried to copy my favorite thing from Noodles & Co., pasta fresca. Mine didn’t turn out quite as good as theirs, but it definitely has a lot less oil.

I found a few similar recipes on-line and mashed them together.

  • 2 cups pasta (farfalle works best, but I ran out so I mixed in some angel hair)
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 3 or 4 roma tomatoes
  • spinach
  • feta or parmesan cheese
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  1. To start, cook the pasta and set it aside.
  2. Mince garlic and red onion.
  3. Cube roma tomatoes.
  4. Once the pasta is done, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Mix in the pasta, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Cook together for about 2 minutes. Then add 4 or 5 handfuls of spinach, 2 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook together until the spinach just begins to wilt. Serve with parmesan or feta cheese.

It turned out reasonably well, it certainly didn’t taste just like pasta fresca, but it was pretty good. The balsamic was a bit too subtle, I think I’d probably use a couple extra tablespoons next time and a bit more olive oil as the pasta stuck to the pan a bit.



095019 – Quinoa + Tofu
090519, 9:10 pm
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Carolyn's Quinoa

This is the first recipe i have made with tofu.  This is the second time i have made it.  Tonight was better than the first time, but i would still make a couple changes.  The quinoa, though a nice texture, is a little bland and should be cooked in veggie broth instead of water.  Secondly, i would add maybe 1/3 C feta to add a little more salt.  

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach or other hearty green, finely chopped
  • 2 cups extra-firm tofu, browned in a skillet a bit
  • 1/3 cup spinach pesto (click for recipe)
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • S + P to taste
  1. In a big skillet or pot heat the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat. Stir in the onion and cook for a minute or two.
  2. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook until hot and sizzling. Stir in the kale and then the tofu, cooking until tofu is heated through.
  3. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the pesto and pumpkin seeds. Mix well so the pesto is spread throughout. Turn everything out onto a platter and top with the cherry tomatoes.


090513 – lasagna
090513, 10:08 pm
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lasagnaAt long last… my ‘famous’ lasagna recipe!  A few people have been, ahem, pestering me to post this one.  It tastes better than it looks – promise!

this was originally my uncle’s recipe and i had to improvise the quantities.  He is one of those cooks who magically throws ingredients together and makes it come out just right.  I think this tastes a like his, but was a tad watery, probably from the frozen spinach i used.

  • 1 lb ground beef (we use Laura’s 92% lean)
  • 1 T evoo
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 32 oz. cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 t fennel seed
  • 1 t mustard powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 2 t basil
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 t sugar
  • 4 C spinach (i used frozen- it was all i had on hand)
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 bag mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (no boil) lasagna noodles
  1. brown ground beef in a large saucepan, rinse and drain.  heat oil in the saucepan and saute garlic and onion.  before adding the tomatoes, slice them into chunks using a sharp knife in the can.
  2. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  3. add the tomatoes, fennel, mustard powder, onion powder, basil, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil.  stir in meat and continue simmer.
  4. mix ricotta cheese, thyme and 1/3 C of mozzarella cheese.
  5. layer, starting with sauce, then noodles, ricotta mixture, and spinach.  Repeat, finishing with noodles, then sauce, and remaining mozzarella cheese.  I like to sprinkle a little exra basil on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.


090507 – chickpea pasta + parmesan pull-aparts
090507, 8:57 pm
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090507 - dinner

THE PASTA – is a Shape Magazine dish, which i adapted in a few ways.

  • 8 oz. farfalle pasta
  • 2 T evoo
  • 4 C baby spinach
  • 1/3 C packed golden raisins (not just for color – the flavor is better)
  • 1 3/4 C chickpeas (approx. one can)
  • 4 oz. feta cheese (about 1/2 C)
  • 1/2 C thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • S + P to taste
  • chopped walnuts if desired.
  1. cook the pasta to al dente.  drain, drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
  2. while the pasta is still hot, add spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, and raisins.  put the cover back on to help the spinach wilt a little.
  3. when the pasta has cooled, add the feta and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with walnuts if you like.

THE PULL APARTS – recipe was found on gourmet.com – and they were just as good as i had hoped.  Joe observed that they taste a lot like cheeze-its, but have the texture of a bialy.

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey
  • 2/3 cup warm milk (105–115°F), divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbsp for sprinkling
  • 1 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 T unsalted butter, cut into T pieces and softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/3 cup warm milk in mixer bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.Whisk together flour (2 1/2 cups), cheese, and salt, then mix into yeast mixture along with remaining 1/3 cup warm milk at low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until a very soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, until dough is elastic, about 2 minutes.
  2. Scrape dough into center of bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch down dough (do not knead) and turn out onto a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball by cupping your hand and pushing dough against work surface as you roll in a circular motion. Arrange rolls 1 inch apart in a buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  5. Whisk together remaining egg with water and brush on tops of rolls. (You will have leftover egg wash.) Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Loosen edges of rolls from pan with a sharp knife and invert rolls onto a rack, then reinvert and cool at least 20 minutes.


090429 – fish, fish, fish!!!
090429, 11:04 pm
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img_3392there is one thing that joe does not eat.  well, one food category, really, and that is SEAFOOD.  not even the smell of it.  i happen to LOVE fish, so whenever he goes away for work, or i have the opportunity, i make FISH.  i grew up eating a lot of salmon, so that is usually the first thing that comes to mind. this marinade was great and the meal went well with a side of parmesan couscous.

the veggie side dish is a specialty of my uncle Tom (also a lasagna expert).  the only addition i made was baby portabello mushrooms (i snuck in another thing joe isn’t terribly fond of).

VEGGIES:

  • 1 large red onion, julienne cut
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4-6 C spinach (tons of spinach – i just kept adding it as it cooked down)
  • 1 C sliced baby portabello mushrooms
  • 2 T capers
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into halves and quadrants
  • 1/2 C feta cheese
  1. heat oil in a large saucepan and add onion and garlic. saute till soft.
  2. add spinach and mushrooms and cook down till the spinach is wilted.
  3. add tomato and capers.  cook another couple minutes, then add feta, turn off heat, and cover to soften the cheese.

SALMON MARINADE:

  • 1 T ketchup
  • ground ginger
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 T soy sauce
  1. marinade salmon for an hour or two in the fridge then grill till browning on each side.



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