A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pretty Salad

Look how pretty this lunch was! The salad is from City Roots, and contained nasturtium flowers and leaves, pea shoots and arugula shoots, I think.

I made blue cheese dressing, which I have been making lately because Lawson announced he is sick of vinaigrettes with greens. I'm using no particular recipe, just an ad hoc, sample-as-you-go mixture of a minced garlic clove, some blue cheese, black pepper, salt, mayo, yogurt and milk.

Old/New Thanksgiving Food

We had many of the usual dishes on Thanksgiving: Portuguese-style turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, applesauce, pumpkin pie, etc. I did manage to insert two new twists on cranberries and sweet potatoes, which we all enjoyed.

Sprouts sells these sweet potato chips, which are delicious. I often serve them with raw tomatillo salsa, but this time found a cranberry salsa recipe in the local paper. It was a satisfying and colorful appetizer.

Spicy Cranberry Salsa

1/2 small red onion
1 tablespoon canned jalapeno slices
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
8 ounces fresh cranberries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons honey, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon or more salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In food processor, pulse onion, jalapeno, and cilantro to chop finely. Add cranberries and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and mix lightly. Serve with chips.

Instead of the usual sweet potatoes, I made baked wedges with a yogurt dipping sauce, which we had at Zinburger recently. I got the recipe from the Bon Appetit website.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I'm in love again--this time with my new cookbook Tagine: Spicy Stews from Morocco, by Ghillie Basan. Dad noticed it in a cooking store in Tubac, and I've become very involved with it.

First I made a chicken and dried apricot tagine, quite delicious. Next I made one with lamb, prunes, apricots, and honey (top picture). With that meal I made sides from the cookbook, including an orange olive salad and a sort of Moroccan pico de gallo. And Moroccan bread.

Now I am turning to the vegetable tagines, and we loved this one made with carrots and chickpeas. It was very quick and flavorful.

Spicy Carrot and Chickpea Tagine with Turmeric and Cilantro

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped

Heat the oil in a tagine or heavy casserole and saute onion and garlic until soft.

2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 medium carrots, sliced on the diagonal

Add spices and carrots. Add water to barely cover. Cover and cook 10 or 15 minutes, until carrots are just tender.

1 one-pound can chickpeas, drained

Add chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes until flavors are blended and liquid is somewhat reduced.

Cilantro, chopped
Lemon wedges

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with lemon wedges.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Greek Chicken with Sage

We have two varieties of sage in the herb garden at present. I don't know their names but I certainly admire the way they hung in there over our record-hot summer. I don't use sage very much except at Thanksgiving, so I was happy to find this vinegary, flavorful recipe in Susanna Hoffman's The Olive and the Caper. A bonus: it's very easy.

Chicken with Onions, Tomatoes, Capers and Sage

2-4 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 large boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
1 sliced onion
1/3 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon or more fresh chopped sage leaves
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil and brown the chicken and onion for about 10 minutes. Add all the remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Simmer, partially covered, until chicken is tender, perhaps about 45 minutes. Reduce the sauce at the end if it's too liquid.