Welcome to my Food Blog!

Welcome! My name is Anne, aka ThePharmGirl. In 2010, I successfully made 100 recipes as a New Year's Resolution to expand my culinary repertoire and cooking skills beyond the frozen microwave dinner. This blog is a continuation of my culinary journey and serves as my personal virtual recipe box. Sometimes I like to have fun-- Check out my Muppet Mania Menu, The 12 Days of Christmas, and my Musical-themed recipes.

My current mission(s) for 2020:
* Make at least 20 recipes for the Instant Pot
* Use the Spiralizer more often

Friday, February 21, 2020

Singapore Noodles with Shrimp

We had some shrimp we needed to use and when I looked through my cookbooks for a recipe, this one caught my eye.  The original recipe didn't call for asparagus, but I wanted to include more veggies so I added them in.  I didn't have mirin in my cupboard and I didn't feel like buying a bottle for a single recipe, so I substituted rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar.  Jeremy and I both enjoyed this dish.  It was something different from our normal rotation.  The recipe made 2 huge servings.  

Singapore Noodles with Shrimp
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen: Dinner for Two
Makes 2 large servings

4 oz rice vermicelli (rice sticks)
8 oz extra-large uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
1&1/2 teaspoons curry powder, divided
1/8 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons oil, divided
2 shallots, sliced thin
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin strips
1 cup chopped asparagus tips & stems (~1/2 bunch)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons mirin (or white white or rice wine vinegar with pinch sugar)
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (or to taste)
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup (2 oz) bean sprouts
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro

Add noodles to a large bowl and cover with very hot tap water.  Stir to separate.  Let noodles soak until softened but not fully tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain.

While noodles soak, cook shrimp.  Pat shrimp dry and toss with 1/4 teaspoon curry powder and sugar.  Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook shrimp for 1 minute, stir, and continue to cook for 30 seconds.  Transfer to a bowl.  

Add 2 teaspoons oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering.  Add shallots, bell pepper, and asparagus, and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and remaining 1&1/4 teaspoons curry powder and cook for 30 seconds.

Stir in broth, soy sauce, mirin, Sriracha, red pepper flakes, softened noodles, and cooked shrimp.  Cook, tossing gently, until everything is well-coated with sauce, about 2-3 minutes.  Stir in bean sprouts and cilantro.  Serve.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Slow Cooker Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

These were good.  The beef was fall-apart tender.  It's always nice to let something cook and not have to worry about tending to it. 

Slow Cooker Beef Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce
Makes 6-8 servings

2 lbs beef stew meat or chuck roast, cut into bite-sized pieces or strips
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano leaves

Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

For serving:
Soft pitas
diced cucumbers
cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

For tzatziki sauce, whisk together all the ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Place beef in the slow cooker and season with salt and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and oregano, and pour mixture over beef.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours until beef is tender.  Add extra salt and pepper to taste. 

Serve beef in pitas with tzatziki sauce and toppings of choice.

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Tenderloin - Instant Pot

10 minutes to cook a Pork Tenderloin in the Instant Pot?!  Awesome!  I think it took about 35 minutes from start to finish including prep.  It was easy to make plus delicious. 

Instant Pot Balsamic-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

1 pork tenderloin (~2 lb)  [I cut into two pieces to fit in pot]
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water

In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.  Rub olive oil over pork and then rub in seasoning.

Set Instant Pot to "Saute" mode and add garlic and pork.  Brown the meat for a minute on all sides.  Remove pork from pot.  Add 1 cup water to deglaze and scrape up brown bits with a wooden spoon.  Cancel Saute mode and whisk in soy sauce, sugar, and balsamic vinegar.  Return pork to the pot.

Seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 10 minutes.  Let the pot naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest of the way.

Place pork on a cutting board.  While it rests, turn the Instant Pot to "Saute" mode.  In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water.  Add to the pot and cook for 2 minutes, whisking until thick and bubbly.

Slice the pork and pour balsamic glaze over the top.