Chickpea Burgers with Pineapple Salsa

Its settled down now, but a few weeks ago it was raining nonstop here in Florida. We badly needed the rain, but it left outdoor dining options pretty limited (and gave me a good excuse to sit inside and enjoy the cloudy night!) Not having a grill anyway, I decided to go for a baked chickpea burger. The pineapple salsa was a last minute addition and made dinner feel tropical on a stormy night!

Ingredients

Chickpea Burger

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg (or equivalent egg substitute)
  • Hamburger buns (I used Hawaiian sweet rolls!)

Pineapple Salsa

  • Pineapple chunks, drained
  • Salt
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Cilantro

Instructions

Chickpea Burger

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Add garlic, onion, chickpeas, and salt and pepper to taste to food processor and drizzle oil into bowl. Blend until it forms a rough paste.
  3. Empty food processor into medium bowl. Add egg and bread crumbs and combine.
  4. Mold chickpea blend into palm-sized patties, about 3 inches across and half an inch thing. If they cannot hold their shape, add a little more olive oil.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.

Pineapple salsa

  1. Drain pineapple through colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Move pineapple to bowl and toss with red wine vinegar and cilantro to taste.
  3. Serve on top of chickpea patty.

Rosé Strawberry Punch

Mix ingredients in a pitcher and serve!

  • 1 bottle rosé
  • Juice from can of pineapple, drained
  • 1 liter Sprite
  • Frozen whole strawberries (to chill your punch)

Enjoy!

Baby Back Ribs-Three Methods

Amanda and I have been friends for quite a while so it’s not too surprising when we’re in sync. This post was a happy accident since we had been discussing how we were culinarily going to enjoy the big game (as we often do–other people must think I’m so nosy when I ask what they plan to cook that long weekend/holiday/etc but I just want to go on a food journey with everyone!) and we had both independently decided on ribs!

I had recently received an electric pressure cooker over the holidays, which I am quite enjoying and I had heard that ribs were the real masterpiece to come out of one of those appliances. Naturally, this seemed like the perfect excuse to try these out.

Sadly, I also had to say goodbye to my trusty Immersion Circulator after it malfunctioned beyond repair, but I happily replaced it with a different brand and was anxious to try it out! I have so far stayed away from sharing any Sous Vide recipes on this blog, though it is the small appliance I use probably the most in my kitchen (yes, more than my rice cooker). Immersion Circulators are gaining popularity but they’re still very niche and aren’t quite making an appearance in everyone’s homes as say, a slow cooker. Thankfully, since Amanda was also feeling making some ribs in a more accessible way, we decided to utilize and share all three methods! Sadly, there are no pictures of the oven method at the moment because Amanda’s results were so delicious they disappeared before photographing but spoiler alert: you pretty much can’t go wrong here.

Ingredients:

  • One Rack of Baby Back Pork Ribs,
  • Salt & Pepper, and optionally any dry rub blend of your choice.
  • 1 8oz bottle of your favorite Barbeque sauce (having lived in Texas I’m partial to Stubbs, Franklin’s and Salt Lick brands).
  • 3/4 cup of beef broth or water (for the Pressure cooker method only)

Amanda’s Oven Method Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Season the ribs with salt/pepper/dry rub of choice and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake the ribs for one hour or until internal temperature reaches at least 190°F. Brush with sauce and serve.

Electric Pressure Cooker Method Instructions: 

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  1. Season the ribs with salt/pepper and any additional seasonings of your choice if desired. Portion the ribs in to 2-3 rib sections so they will fit in the cooker.
  2. Add about 1/4 cup of your bottle of barbecue sauce along with 3/4 cup of liquid (water or broth) to the bottom of the pressure cooker. Add your rib portions to the pot by stacking them or lining the sides. Don’t worry if everything is not submerged.
  3. Close the lid of your pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 40 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
  4. Once the pressure is released, open your pressure cooker and spoon some of the sauce in the bottom over all of the ribs (carefully!).
  5. Preheat your broiler to high. Remove the ribs from the cooker and place them onto a sheet pan.
  6. Brush the ribs with your bottled barbecue sauce and broil for 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Brush with additional sauce if desired and enjoy!

Instructions (Sous Vide Method)–This one takes a while so plan accordingly

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  1. Preheat a water bath with your immersion cooker to 145 degrees (62 C).
  2. Slice the ribs into manageable sections–about 2-3 rib portions.
  3. Season the ribs with salt, pepper.
  4. Place the ribs into sealable, airtight plastic bags (see step 4 on options for bags) that the ribs are not stacked on top of one another, but they can be next to each other. If you need multiple bags for this, go for it. Add about 1-2 tbsp of your favorite barbecue sauce to each bag with ribs inside.
  5. Seal the meat in the bags using one of two methods:
    1. You can use traditional zip top bags (I’d recommend a heavy duty, freezer type bag) and using water displacement. To do this, place the bag into the water bath with a small portion of the top unsealed and sink as the air escapes through the top. Try to get out as much air as you can and seal fully. Secure in the water bath with a clip to prevent floating.
    2. Use a vacuum food sealer system if you happen to have one. If you are fortunate to have a Sous Vide Cooker in your home, I cannot recommend a food sealer enough.Make sure you use the “wet” sealing option if you have it since there is sauce in the bag.
  6. Secure the ribs in the water bath and cook for 18-24 hours.
  7. Once timing is finished, remove from the bags, place on a sheet pan. Brush with additional sauce if desired and broil in the oven for about 2 minutes on each side. This is not completely necessary from a cooking standpoint, but does make for a yummy looking finished product.
  8. Enjoy!

Wine Pairing: Since the perfect complement can really depend on your sauce or rub preferences, you could  go as bold as a Zinfandel, but I think a nice, chilled Rosé would go great with any of your customizations. The lightness and tartness would pair well with those notes in the sauce, and it adds a summery, grill-out type of feel to your evening. Happy sipping!

Gigglewater Cocktail (Inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

HA! Jacob in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was an inspiration to the rest of us No-Majs. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander and his creatures are delightful, even if you aren’t familiar with the original movies.

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Since I probably won’t get my hands on a friendly Bowtruckle or trouble-making Niffler any time soon, I thought I’d try and get some of the movie magic with some of the wizarding world’s 1920s cocktail, Gigglewater!

This recipe was fun for me not only because I love JK Rowling’s wizarding world (Go Ravenclaw!), but because the only information I had to go on was that it 1) had “Chuckle Extract” and 2) was popular in the 1920s. Not having Chuckle Extract on had, I set out to research common Prohibition-era drinks of the No-Maj world and figure out a way to make them a little more magical.

This recipe is based off the French 75, a popular drink in the 1920s with a champagne/gin base. Very Gatsby, right? In order to make it a little more like a potion, I swapped out the traditional lemon juice with rose-infused simple syrup. This also gave it a lovely pink color, reminiscent of one of Fantastic Beast‘s heriones, Queenie!

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Ingredients 

Yields two beverages, served in a coupe glass (or approximately 1 in a champagne flute)

2 oz simple syrup

1 tbs food-grade rose petals (alternatively, 2-3 tsp rose water, though it will not yield the same pink hue)

1 1/2 oz (shots) gin

Champagne or Prosecco

Ice

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Rose-Infused Simple Syrup 

  1. Add 1tbs rose petals per 2 oz simple syrup in microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Heat syrup mixture in microwave 45seconds-1minute, or until rose fragrance can be detected.
  3. Allow syrup to sit for 1 hour. Strain roses from simple syrup into mixing glass; syrup should be pink.
  4. If using rosewater, mix 1 tsp rosewater to 2-3 oz of simple syrup (depending on strength of rosewater).

Gigglewater

  1. Add 1 1/2 shots gin to cocktail shaker with ice. Add 1 oz of rose-infused simple syrup.
  2. Shake gin and syrup until blended. Pour into coupe glass.
  3. Top gin mixture with champagne or prosecco.

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