Archive of ‘Cooking Tools’ category

Pulled Pork Arepas

Arepas 2

I LOVE arepas, a flatbread made of corn flour dough commonly eaten in Colombia and Venezuela. They are so satisfying especially when you want a warm sandwich but know you cannot have regular bread. They have so much more flavor than bread. The first time I had them was at Empanada Mama in New York. And there are a couple of places in LA and Orange County that are fantastic. Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica and Mil Jugos in Santa Ana. But I have yet to find any Arepas near Long Beach so I decided I needed to learn how to make them.

I received so many amazing gifts for Christmas this year and am so inspired to cook some great new recipes. For this post I used my new Secura 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker and my new Arepa Maker. I love them both.

I have always been afraid of the pressure cooker for some reason. It seemed complicated and also scary when the pressure releases. Honestly it is so easy to use and not scary at all. I love the 6 functions of the electric one I bought because we do not have a lot of storage space so it is really nice to have something that is multi-function. The other advantage of the electric pressure cooker is you can set it and forget it. You can leave the house to run errands and program it to have something ready when you get home from work just like a slow cooker. You don’t have to babysit it or worry about leaving your stove on. I’ve already used it to keep soup warm for a party, make pinto beans, cook the pork for this post, and it is currently making some bone broth. It made the pork for this post in 1.5 hours and the beans in only 30 minutes. I also cooked a butternut squash in 17 minutes and sweet potatoes in 7 minutes. I can’t wait to use it to cook spaghetti squash, pumpkin, etc.

The arepa maker cooks the arepa perfectly and is great for quick arepas but not so great for large quantities. 15 minutes seems like a long time but is really fast when you compare it to manually making arepa on the stove and in the oven. If you have more than 2 people I recommend looking at the larger capacity arepa machines.

Pulled Pork
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Ground Ancho Chile
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Salt and Ground Pepper
2 Tbsp Crushed Garlic
5 Scallions
1 Diced Onion
Approx 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
1 cup of Gluten Free Beer
2 cups Water or enough to cover pork

1. Add the onions, garlic, scallions, and beer to the slow cooker or pressure cooker and stir to combine.
2. Combine the paprika, ancho chile, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture over the pork.
3. Add the pork to pressure cooker or slow cooker and pour in the 2 cups of water to cover
4. For the slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours. For the pressure cooker, cook for 1.5 hours once you have reached full pressure and allow pressure to naturally release
5. Pull the pork using two forks and mix in a bowl.

Serve on or with arepas and Guasacaca Sauce.

Pulled Pork Arepas 2

Pulled pork arepas

Arepas:
1 Cup P.A.N Harina Blanca (Pre Cooked White Cornmeal)
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Water – add more if needed for the right consistency
Olive oil

Instructions
1. Turn on Arepa maker to preheat
2. Pour Water into a bowl and add the salt
3. Slowly stir in the Pan Harina Blanco until completely combined
4. Roll the dough into 4 balls and press each of them down until approximately 1/2″ thick
5. Spray or use a paper towel to coat arepa maker with olive oil
6. Close arepa maker and cook for 15 minutes
7. Cut open arepa and add pulled pork

Arepas 3

Arepas 5

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The Chemex {how to make gourmet coffee at home every day}

How to make coffee with a Chemex

What’s the point of having bad coffee? Just like what’s the point of having a bad meal? I’d definitely rather skip the meals than have a bad one. While I have been traveling in Japan and a short stop in Shanghai this week I miss three very important things in my life. 1. My boyfriend and best friend. He makes me laugh all day long. 2. Our dogs. Seriously, so cute. Check them out.

www.bulldogbistro.com

3. Our daily Chemex coffee making routine. Not that coffee is bad in Japan. It’s actually quite good. But the Chemex has become a daily ritual that I miss a lot.

Before I discovered the Chemex, I used to drink super sweet and creamy brand not to be mentioned flavoring in my coffee. I used to love the holidays and would totally buy the seasonal flavors. Not any more. When we went on a strict Paleo diet for a month I thought giving up my favorite creamer was going to be the hardest part. We started using the french press every day because the coffee tasted so much better. Then it broke so I went on Amazon, started looking at replacements and Amazon told me I may also like the Chemex. Thank you Amazon for always stalking my behavior. You are a little creepy but do have good recommendations. My first impression of the Chemex was what is that odd shaped beaker looking thing and how could it possibly make coffee? So it’s a pour over process and you also need to buy special paper filters. These filters are what make the coffee so amazing. After figuring out how simple it was and reading the Amazon reviews. I quickly became obsessed with the Chemex and decided we had to have it.

Why is the Chemex so good?
Taste – it makes the smoothest, finest cup of coffee you will ever have.
Never a bitter cup of coffee again
No risk of burning your coffee with heating elements
It’s simple – no moving parts
It’s fast – it takes about 10 minutes and time well spent
It’s fun! – read more about the history of Chemex here
Easy clean-up – throw the paper filter away, rinse the pot and let it dry. No small parts to cleanup.

Here are the steps to making coffee with a Chemex:

You will need:
1. 7.25 grams of fresh ground coffee per 6 oz. of water. We broke down and bought a Burr Grinder – totally worth it.

2. Hot water – approx. 200 degrees fahrenheit

We buy our coffee from:
Intelligentsia
Stumptown
Lord Windsor Roasters

Place the paper filter in the top of the Chemex, and pour some water through it to clean out any paper flavor. Dump water out and put paper filter back in.

How to make coffee with a Chemex

Put coffee into filter and pour enough water into the center of the coffee until it starts blooming.

How to make coffee with a Chemex

Slowly and consistently pour remaining hot water. It may continue to bloom.

How to make coffee with a Chemex

When water completey dissolves through filter, throw coffee and filter away.

How to make coffee with a Chemex

Pour

How to make coffee with a Chemex

Enjoy!

How to make coffee with a Chemex

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Gefu Spiral Slicer Product Review – Making Inspiralized’s Sweet Potato Noodle Buns

I finally got to try out a new toy I bought last week, the GEFU Spirelli Spiral Cutter. Tonight I made the sweet potato noodle bun from PALEOMG. Paleomg had a guest post from Ali of Inspiralized. She has some amazing recipes I can’t wait to try.

Gefu Spiral Slicer Review

Although I was able to have a positive outcome in the end, there was a lot of broken and wasted sweet potatoes left. The sweet potato got caught in the bottom of the cone and depending on which side I used, the sweet potatoes came out in small pieces instead of long curly spirals I expected. Also, once the sweet potatoes reached a certain point, I could no longer turn them around in the Gefu spiral slicer. I didn’t see any instructions in the box so will look for some videos before completely giving up.

I separated the good from the bad and here is what they looked like after I sautéed them. Not too shabby for my first time, but it looks like the one InspiralizedPaleomg sweet potato noodle bun recommends would work better. And, they are almost the same price.

Paleomg Sweet Potato Noodles

Here is what our dinner looked like. I served the sweet potato noodle buns as a side dish and they were definitely a hit! So exciting to have a new awesome recipe to add to the regular rotation and many more to try.

Paleomg sweet potato noodle bun

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Zoku Quick Pop Maker – Perfect for Gluten Free and Paleo Desserts

I love popsicles and think July should become national popsicle month. I had more re-pins of my popsicle recipes on Pinterest in July than any other time of year. I only wish I had started this blog sooner but there are also a ton of great popsicle recipes to enjoy year-round like pumpkin pie and apple pie popsicles in the fall and my personal fave, mint chocolate chip, in December. It’s no secret the Zoku Quick Pop Maker is by far one of my favorite products of all time and probably the reason I love popsicles so much. Zoku re-invented the home popsicle making industry with their awesome invention. I’m a little embarrassed by how many times i’ve talked to friends, family, co-workers, and yes random strangers about this product. How could I resist? It makes healthy and delicious popsicles in about 7 minutes. And, it can even make kids eat frozen prune juice believing it’s a treat. No lie. That’s a true story from one of my co-workers I convinced to buy one. What other product does that? So here are a number of the many reasons why I love the Zoku.

1. It’s instant. Make popsicles at home in as little as 7 minutes.

2. It’s healthy at least as long as you control your ingredients. I’ve made delicious sugar free popsicles with ingredients like banana, yogurt, spinach, almond milk, coconut milk. I use either honey or agave nectar, both low glycemic, for sweeteners. Or, you can just use fresh juices without anything added. Don’t worry. I’ll be posting a lot of great recipes on my blog.

3. Those sugar filled grocery store popsicles are really bad for you, have no nutritional value, and are really bad for your kids.

4. It’s super easy. You just pour, wait, and remove. I always put mine back in the freezer while waiting to keep it as cold as possible.

5. Making popsicles with kids is a great activity to entertain them.

6. It enables lots of instant gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, and paleo dessert options.

7. It’s a great way to get kids to eat fruits and veggies they normally wouldn’t eat. I have witnessed kids devour spinach popsicles and ask for more.

8. It’s great for dogs. Yes, for my non-dog loving friends, this is for real. Dogs like cold treats on a hot day too and this is a super easy one. There are a lot of fruits and veggies that are good for dogs that would make great popsicles but I just put plain water in the zoku and the bulldogs love them. I’m going to mix a few pieces of cantaloupe or watermelon with water next time and they will be more excited than a kid on Christmas morning.

There are 3 options. The single, double, and triple. I bought the double but wish I had bought the triple for when I have large groups. Instead, I make some in advance and make some after dinner with kids.

I have even bought a lot of the accessories. The storage case is great for keeping extra popsicles on hand. The character and tool kits are great for making designs. I don’t use them for myself but kids love them.

You can buy the Zoku at Amazon , Williams Sonoma, the Zoku store, and Sur La Table plus many other stores.

Happy popsicle making!

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