Thursday, April 25, 2013
For the chard pie I layered a round shallow baking dish (greased) with artichoke hearts. I steamed the chard until tender, then drained and chopped it when cool. I mixed the chard with 3 eggs, salt, pepper, and a touch of nutmeg and poured it over the artichokes. I beat 4 ounces of softened goat cheese with some cream to make it thin enough to spread and seasoned it with dill weed. This I poured over the chard and spread it around. I baked the pie for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Wild Rice Salad (loosely based on an idea from Joy of Cooking)
Cook 1/2 cup wild rice according to package directions. (I used almost 3 cups of water in the rice cooker. I started with 2 cups of water had to add more and cook again twice, because I like my wild rice mostly exploded. It took almost an hour).
When cool, add:
2 tablespoons currants
A few chopped dried apricots
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Dress with a lime vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil (or less)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
I served the carrots in our favorite way, with olive oil, mustard, and lemon juice.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
1 head broccoli, cut in florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon dried red chile flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper
Steam or boil broccoli until barely tender. Drain well.
Preheat broiler. Put broccoli in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with cheese, chile flakes, and oregano. Broil for 2 or 3 minutes, or until cheese is golden.
Squeeze lemon juice over, salt and pepper to taste, and serve at once.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
I've been avoiding sugar, white flour, and the like (also, red meat) for the last month. That's pretty easy: Just make different foods. We make curries and salads instead of sandwiches and pasta dishes. I'm not the kind to seek out special products (low-carb bread?!) or recipes to mimic the things I'm not eating. But I stumbled upon a paleo diet blog while looking up the nutritional content of something or other, and it had a recipe for cauliflower pizza.
The internet, it turns out, is teeming with recipes for cauliflower pizza.
The idea stuck in my head, and finally I just decided to try it.
Basically, the cauliflower gives structure to the ... well, it's not a dough at all — more of a malleable paste. Cheese provides most of the flavor and browning. And egg holds it together. I didn't expect each slice would stay in one piece, but it does.
Reading these two posts helped me: The Lucky Penny and Closet Cooking. I didn't squeeze the water out of the cooked cauliflower, though I'll try that next time. I won't recreate the entire recipe here — read their blogs — but here are the proportions I used:
1/2 small head of cauliflower, grated on a box grater, about 2 1/2 cups before nuking
4 oz cheese (I used cheddar because we have a lot of it, with a little Parmesan)
1 pinch salt
1 t Italian herbs
I put goat cheese, roasted red pepper strips and marinated artichokes on it, and baked it on my Silpat, which was perfect, for about 35 minutes (it was very thin) at 400 degrees.
I couldn't bring myself to call it pizza, because, well, no, but I think flatbread is a reasonable term. It's very cheesy and really fun to make.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Combine in a greased baking dish:
--1 pound zucchini, cut in 3/4-inch cubes and boiled until barely tender
--1 or 2 cups cubed Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
--Green chiles, roasted and peeled, cut in pieces (or canned diced green chiles)
The idea is to use roughly equal amounts of zucchini, cheese, and chiles.
Top the casserole with a layer of bread crumbs mixed with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. You could use butter instead of olive oil, but it browns quickly, so be careful. Bake about 1/2 hour at 350 degrees or until the cheese is melted and the top is brown.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
I've used various kinds of kale, and all worked well. I really like the flavor of lacinato kale an awful lot, though.
Many raw kale salad recipes use the massage method, and it really seems to work -- it loosens up the intense fibrousness of the leaves and helps them absorb dressing without cooking.
With uncooked greens, I find a little serving goes a long way. One bunch of kale can serve many people over several meals.
1 bunch kale
Remove ribs and cut into thin (half- or quarter-inch) strips across the grain. Place in bowl or colander, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, and massage with both hands for a minute or two, squeezing and kneading to make the kale wilt and relax.
In another bowl, mix:
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons tahini
juice of 1 lemon
Add as needed to make a thin dressing:
honey, if the lemon juice is bitter
Toss with kale.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
I wanted a very buttery crust, and a nice gloppy top, very lemony. But I think other people like them a bit less lemony. I've had some pretty bad versions where people used lemon extract. The family recipe is wonderful but fairly firm, if I remember correctly, and I wanted a more lemon-curdy experience. I also prefer granulated sugar to powdered sugar in crusts.
I pretty much followed the thinner version of the Smitten Kitchen recipe, doubled, with a lot more lemon zest and a bit less flour to make it goopier. I think in the future I would use the recommended amount of lemon zest unless I was making an entire pan just for myself. The extra zest really ups the lemon intensity but was maybe a bit much. Also, I used regular 2-inch deep glass and ceramic baking dishes, not a cookie sheet.
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
I contemplated the mince pie recipe and something inside me (probably the place where my gall bladder used to be) told me that it just wasn't right to use the entire cup of fat required to make a two-crust pie. I opted for a fruit cobbler made with mince filling, with my usual additions of a chopped apple, more raisins, and some whiskey. That bourbon bottle looks bad on the kitchen counter at 10 a.m.
For the Hoppin' John Salad I used my Succotash Salad recipe, substituting a can of black-eyed peas for the lima beans. Some cubed ham would be nice in this, but we've already got meatloaf.
The menu, for the record:
Hoppin' John Salad
Mincemeat Cobbler with Ice Cream
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Saturday, September 22, 2012
This is very close to a recipe by Peter Kuruvita, just simpler.
25 or so small jalapeno chiles
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
Zest of 1 lime, grated
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt (some people might like less)
2 tablespoons sugar, or less
Chop chiles, ginger, and garlic (I used the whole chile, just cutting off the stem) and then puree coarsely in food processor with half the lime zest, salt, and vinegar. Cook in a small saucepan over medium heat for ten minutes, adding sugar halfway through, and remaining lime zest for last minute or so.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Sunday, it was my turn.
There were some surprises at the Dollar Tree. I didn't know dollar stores had that much food. They had fish: 4-ounce filets of frozen pollock for $1 each. How could I not at least try that? I also bought a packet of pre-cooked salad shrimp.
The rest of my haul:
- a can of refried beans
- a can of pickled jalapenos
- a can of red chili/tomato sauce
- a jar of roasted red peppers
- a can of diced tomatoes
- a tiny tub of cream cheese
- pepper jack cheese
- mozzarella cheese
- a pack of tortillas
- a bag of frozen peas
I ended up making creamy seafood burritos based on your old recipe for krab burritos. And they were pretty good, honestly. The fish sauteed up nicely once I'd blotted the hell out of it with paper towels. I mixed it with the shrimp, tomatoes, red peppers and cheeses. I stuffed the burritos with that, then put the chile-tomato sauce on top and baked them. I heated up the beans and boiled the peas, and we had a reasonably healthy, square meal.
It wasn't cheap, exactly. I spent $15. But it was instructive and fun. And I think we'll be going by there occasionally for pantry staples. That big can of El Pato sauce has been very useful -- we've been putting it on everything.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups fresh basil leaves
Heat sugar with 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to blender.
Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil. Submerge basil in it and boil for 3 minutes. Drain basil in a colander and run cold water over it to stop the cooking. Place basil in blender with syrup and process for 2 minutes. Strain in a sieve. Sprinkle with salt.
(I probably wouldn't add salt if I wanted to use this for cocktails.)
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
This cauliflower soup came from Rocco Dispirito's Flavor, which I received for Christmas several years ago. This is the second time I've made it, and both times I ended up a little disgruntled by how labor-intensive it is. First, you make a basil simple syrup, which involves two saucepans and a blender; then, browning the pine nuts in oil--a small skillet; and finally cooking a whole head of cauliflower with a sweated onion--one saucepan and the blender, and finally another clean pot to reheat the soup. And this is only a first-course soup, as it's very light. I made focaccia with sage and walnuts to go with it, which made a balanced supper.
We ate it cold for lunch the next day, equally tasty.
Why am I whining about this? Because I prefer to make simple things. I've vowed to live without recipes for a while. I already know how to cook!
On the positive side, there was leftover basil syrup, and I made this drink at Eva's suggestion: gin, soda, a squeeze of lemon, and a teaspoon of the syrup. Delicious!
Friday, June 22, 2012
My first salad was at Ike's, and was named The Clooney. It was so perfect: greens topped with a lightly dressed mixture of garbanzo beans, walnuts, diced beets, and feta cheese!
Next I ate at the relocated famous Poca Cosa Cafe and ordered the salad pictured here. This was a chicken and artichoke salad dressed with cilantro pesto dressing containing a hint of sesame oil and peanut, with bell peppers, peanuts, cherry tomatoes, and grated carrots. It was a masterpiece of color and flavor. The Poca Cosa has a blackboard menu which changes daily and always features an inventive mole (how do I put an accent on the last e?). I was afraid I would fall asleep during testimony if I ate the chef's choice plate, which is a trio selected from the day's offerings.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
The original recipe would have made a very tall cheesecake; I split it more or less in half to make it more reasonable. It served about 12.
- 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 350. Mix together butter and crumbs. Press into pan. (I used a regular nonstick deep cake pan, which worked fine. Springform would be good too.) Bake for 10 minutes an set aside to cool.
Put a dry deep pan in the oven and turn it down to 325.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/8 cup or more lemon zest (I used the zest from 3 lemons.)
Mix together, or pulse in food processor. Set aside.
- 11 ounces goat cheese
- 1 package cream cheese
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 eggs
Beat the cheese together until fluffy. Add the sugar mixture, vanilla and lemon juice and beat until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Scrape into pan. Pour boiling water into pan to come halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. Bake for an hour and a half.
My regular New York cheesecake recipe doesn’t use a water bath, and I may try this without one next time, reducing the heat accordingly.