Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Steak Rub

So we went to this amazing butcher today. They have a spectacular selection. We just got a thick t-bone. In our house, one steak feeds two. Not only is it cheaper, but I have a hard time justifying eating that much of any kind of meat at one time.

For the steak, I made a paste to rub onto the meat. The meat sat with the paste on while the potatoes were cooking and then I grilled the pasted meat. I'll post the recipe for the rub below. In addition to the steak, we had baked potatoes, a very sharp Bulgarian feta and roasted garlic. It was all delicious.

2 cloves of garlic (you can pre-chop them or not; up to you)
1 allspice berry
5 juniper berries
.25 teaspoon pink peppercorns
.25 teaspoon salt
pinch of celery seed
pinch of cumin seeds
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
.5 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

Put the dry ingredients and the garlic in a mortar and grind. Add wet ingredients and continue to grind until it makes a nice paste. Spread on both sides of meat.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Chicken Couscous

Today is couscous day. After I'd decided to make it for dinner tonight, I wound up also discussing couscous. So it must've been meant to be. Tonight, I wanted to have meat w/ the couscous, though I normally eat it without.

1 chicken leg (thigh and drumstick)
pinch salt
1 tablespoon lime juice

chicken bones
3 cups water
2 sprigs thyme (I used lemon thyme, because that's what I grow - you use what you like)
1 sprig mint
ends and peels of 2 carrots
ends of a stalk of celery
1 large strip of orange (or bergamot orange, if you've got it) peel
salt and pepper

1.5 cups chicken broth
.5 cup water
2 peeled and diced carrots
1 diced stalk of celery
6 sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lime juice
salt and pepper to taste

1.34 cups moroccan couscous (the little ones)
shredded chicken

.25 cup chopped basil
.25 cup sliced scallions
2-4 tablespoons shredded mozzarella
2 hard-boiled eggs

Sprinkle lime and salt over chicken leg, then cook in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Remove from pan and let cool until it an easily be handled. Shred chicken meat (I just eat the skin, but you can toss it if you don't like it) and set aside.

Put chicken bones, 3 cups water, thyme, mint, celery and carrot scraps, orange peel, plus salt and pepper in the pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Strain.

Pour broth, half cup of water, carrots, celery, tomatoes, lime, salt and pepper, plus olive oil in a pot. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and couscous, then stir. Cover and remove from heat, let stand 10 minutes. Fluff and top with cheese, scallion and basil. Serve with quartered boiled eggs. Serves 2.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ceviche

I really love ceviche. And when I say really, I mean REALLY!!!! This stuff is good. Sometimes I also like to eat it with lettuce.

½ pound bay scallops, raw
½ pound pink shrimp, raw
½ pound tilapia, or other white fish, raw
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 8 or 9 limes
1½ cup pico de gallo

If you are not able to get shrimp that are naturally pink, boil the shrimp until they turn pink (about 30 seconds to a minute). Combine lime, salt, pepper, scallops, shrimp and tilapia. Stirring every 5-10 minutes, allow to sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Mix in pico de gallo and serve with tortilla chips. Serves 10.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Tomato Salad

This is one of my favourite salads in the world. I like to make it for myself and eat it, and it always goes over well when I serve it as an appetiser to guests. Plus it's super easy to make.

3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
¼ red onion, sliced paper thin
½ bottle oil-packed feta cheese (this is my favourite cheese for this recipe, but you can use any feta)
1½ tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons oil from feta
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 – 6 basil leaves, chiffonaded

Arrange tomato slices on plate then season with salt and pepper. Top with onion slices, feta and capers. Drizzle oil and vinegar and sprinkle basil all over. Serves 6-8

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cream of Celery Soup

1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 small white onion, minced
1 pound celery, chopped
1½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch saffron (optional, but I really prefer it this way)
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/16 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (really, just grate a little in; I don't worry too much about how much it is)

1 quart heavy cream

Heat a medium saucepan. Fry garlic lightly in olive oil. Add onion, celery, salt, pepper, saffron, celery seed, cayenne, vinegar and nutmeg. Sweat over low heat for 20 minutes, or until at least a cup of broth has been formed in the pot. Stir in the cream and simmer over medium heat until the soup thickens, skimming off the fat periodically. Serves 4-6.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Beet Salad and Shallot-Mushroom Risotto

I found some beautiful, tiny beets at Phoenicia, as well as some kumquats, forelle pears and shallots. So I got to thinking about what kind of simple-but-full-flavoured dinner I could make. Beet salad and shallot-mushroom risotto is what I decided on. They both came out beautifully.

Shallot-Mushroom Risotto

1 minced shallot
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tablespoon chicken fat, lard or butter (I used chicken fat)
1 tablespoon olive oil

2 dried chanterelle mushrooms
2 dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup hot water

1.25 cup medium-grain rice*
2.75 cups chicken broth**
.75 cup water from hydrating the mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt

Put your dried mushrooms in a bowl and pour the hot water over them. Set off to the side to let them hang out on their own. Put broth in a small pot and simmer. Heat an 8-10" pan on medium heat, then add chicken fat and olive oil to it. Add shallot and cook until almost transparent. Add garlic and cook until shallots are done. Drain mushroom liquid into the pot of chicken broth and chop the mushrooms up. Add garlic and shallots to them and set aside (leave the fat in the pan).

Put rice in the pan and stir constantly, frying it for around 5 minutes. Start adding broth to the pan one ladle-full at a time, stirring the rice constantly. Continue to add broth at this rate as each ladle-full is absorbed by the rice. Periodically, taste a piece of rice to check for doneness. When the rice is al dente, add back in the garlic, shallot and mushroom pieces. Continue to cook until all the broth has been incorporated. Remember to be stirring the whole time you're cooking (this takes about 20 minutes or so)! Remove from heat and cover. Set aside for 5 minutes. Serves 2 (this will serve more people if you're not eating it as the main meal like we did).

*Theoretically you would be using arborio rice, but I just used generic medium-grain
**If you use store-bought chicken broth, probably reduce the salt in this recipe

Beet Salad

1 pound small beets, peeled and sliced in half, then sliced .25" thick
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon orange water
pinch salt
.25 teaspoon vanilla paste

5 kumquats, rough chopped
1 forelle pear, cut in half lengthwise, cored and sliced thinly lengthwise (I got 20 slices total)

reserved liquid from beets
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
3 rough chopped basil leaves

Preheat oven to 450F. Mix together beets, oil, orange blossom water, salt and vanilla paste. Roast for 45 minutes. Upon removal from the oven, immediately put the beets in another bowl and chill. Chill the liquid remnants from roasting the beets. When both are completely chilled, add the kumquats to the bowl of beets and toss together. Whisk together the reserved roasting liquid, lemon juice, vanilla sugar and basil. Put 10 slices of pear on the plate, top with half the beet mixture, then drizzle dressing on top. Serves 2.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Baked Chicken Legs

I kind of forgot to post this yesterday. So here it is today.

1.5 pounds chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks)
2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 parsnip, cut into chunks
.5 large onion, cut into chunks
10-12 sun dried tomatoes
6 ounces button mushrooms, cut in half
8 large brussels sprouts, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon dill
.5 teaspoon each: paprika, ground coriander seed
.25 teaspoon each: ground sumac, dried marjoram, dried thyme and garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat pan to 400F. Line an 8x8 pan with all the veggies except mushrooms. Salt and pepper the vegetables. Place chicken on top of vegetables and surround by mushrooms. Top chicken and mushrooms with lime and spices. Cover loosely with foil and bake for one one. Remove foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is browned. Serves 2.

Here's the chicken in the pan, pre-baking:
And here's the chicken, ready to eat:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Potato Leek Chowder

3 large leeks, sliced and washed, then patted dry
juice of ¼ lime
1 T salt
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
1 t cane syrup
1 T fresh dill, chopped
1 T fresh basil, chopped
1 T malt vinegar

Sweat in medium saucepan until 1-2 cups of broth are in the pot.

Add:
1 qt heavy cream
2 lb white potatoes, diced and rinsed

Simmer over medium heat until potatoes are cooked through, and chowder has thickened. Serves 4-6.

Variation: Blend after cooking to make a soup, instead of chowder.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dill Dip

This is a simple and yummy dip. I like to let it sit for a while before serving, so the flavours can meld, but it can be eaten immediately as well.

1 – 16 ounce bottle mayonnaise
1 – 16 ounce container sour cream
½ teaspoon seasoned salt
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh dill, minced
Dash cayenne

Mix together. Chill before serving. Serve with vegetables, chips or pita bread.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I Love You, Martha

No matter what anyone says about you, I still love you. Especially your new cookie book. I've only made the molasses cookies so far, but they are delicious.

Beef Necks Soup

2 lb cooked beef (can be brisket, steak or any beef leftovers)
1 lb beef necks
1 c beef stock
4 c water
1 large tomato, cut up
1 large yellow onion, cut up
2 - 15 oz cans whole potatoes, drained
1 T salt
1 c celery pieces

Let stew in a crockpot or stockpot on low heat for 8 or so hours. Remove bones and discard.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Roasted Potato Salad

2 pounds assorted “C” potatoes (baby, or new, potatoes)
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
2 chives, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 cup malt vinegar
¼ teaspoon celery seed
1½ teaspoons chili powder
Dash worchestershire sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash potatoes and cut them in half. Arrange potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle herbs on top. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, celery seed, chili powder and worchestershire sauce. Stir until there are no lumps left. Pour over potatoes and toss. Serves 4.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

For P - Knox Blox

Since you're insisting that I post this here instead of email it to you, here you go, P. Knox Blox (or rather, my even-more-gelatin-than-is-really-needed version of Knox's recipe):

Knox Blox

4 packets unflavoured gelatin
4 small (3-3.5 ounce) packages Jell-O (or off brand, which is what I usually buy)*
4 cups water

Bring water to a boil. Add Jell-O and Knox packets. Whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved. Pour into a pan (the original recipe calls for a 13"x9" pan, but I put it in whatever is handy, usually an 8"x8" or a round pan). Put in the fridge and chill until it is completely set (congealed). Cut with knife (if you put it in the non-stick cake pan, please don't cut it with anything but one of those silicone camping knives), eat.

*If you decide to buy the big boxes of Jell-O, just use two of them. And if you want it lower-cal, use sugar-free packets in place of normal and it will still work fine.

Tabouleh

I love tabouleh. A lot. There're a lot of variations to this dish, but mine is based on the combination of the recipe I got from my "nephew," Y, in Haifa, and the tabouleh I eat at a Persian restaurant in Austin. To me, tabouleh should be tailored to fit your tastes, so the quantities I'm giving are approximate. In reality, when I make this, it's a dash of this and a handful of that, but it works out to roughly what I'm typing below.

1/4 cup bulghur wheat
2 cups water
1/8 cup dried barberries or dried currants
1/2 cup sliced scallions
1/4 cup roma tomato, deseeded and diced
1/2 cup diced cucumber (up to you if you peel it)
1-2 bunches parsley, chopped (I generally use the curly, but I always use whichever is cheapest while I'm waiting for my parsley to grow)
1/2 cup mint, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup each: lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil (this is where you'll want to bust out the good oil)

Put the wheat and barberries in a bowl, then add water. Let soak in the fridge until the wheat is very swollen and the berries are fully rehydrated. Strain, then squeeze the wheat and berries to get all the water out. Nothing is grosser than too-wet tabouleh. Add scallions, tomato, cucumber, parsley and mint, then mix together. Depending on how lazy you are, either whisk together the lemon, oil, salt and pepper, or just dump them in the bowl and mix together. Chill. Eat. I eat it straight from the bowl, but a lot of people like to scoop it up with romaine lettuce leaves.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A Tale of Two Seasons (Simmered Beef, Roasted Sprouts, Apples and Squash and Sauteed Asparagus)

I realise it's spring, but I have some squash I hadn't cooked yet, so I am mixing my winter and spring in the same way the Texas weather likes to keep us all on our toes. Sometimes I crave stuff that really has little connectedness, and today is one of those days.

So today, you actually get a full meal from me. I wanted a little meat, but I couldn't see a reason why P and I needed a half pound each, so I just used half of the meat I bought and froze the rest. If you guys get tired of seeing Brussels sprouts from me (I can't remember how many variations of the same roasted cabbage I've posted and I am too lazy to check), say so. They're one of my favourite veggies, so I make them as often as possible. I had two adult-fist-sized acorn squashes (there's still a butternut lurking I need to address), so I used these but they weighed around a pound or so, and P and I can never resist fat sticks of asparagus. It's a mish-mash meal, but everything's got orange in it. Oh, except the cucumber I wanted to use up so I did them the same as yesterday.

Simmered Beef

1/2 pound beef stew meat (or other cheap cut), sliced into 1/4" strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dill weed
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/8 teaspoon fenugreek
1 teaspoon orange juice

Marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Simmer over low heat until meat is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Serves 2.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

8 large Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon orange peel
1/8 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine all in an oven proof pan and roast 40 minutes. Serves 2.




Roasted Squash and Apple

1 pound acorn squash, deseeded, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1" chunks
1 tablespoon orange juice
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
dash freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine the above, then roast for 40-45 minutes, or until squash is soft. Serves 2-4.

Sautéed Asparagus

1 bunch large asparagus
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon orange juice

Heat pan, then add oils, seasoned salt and orange juice. Let heat, then add asparagus. Sauté until tender. Serves 2.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Roasted Vegetable Primavera

This is a sort of "sick food" for me. Mainly because it's light and it requires almost no work to prepare.

1 leek (I just used the white, since I'd used the green elsewhere), cut in half then sliced into 1" chunks
2 parsnips, peeled, cut in half and sliced into 1" chunks
2 carrots, peeled, cut in half and sliced into 1" chunks
2 cups sliced red cabbage
2 celery stalks, cut into 1" chunks
Splash orange blossom water
Splash red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste (I used around 1 teaspoon salt, and .5 teaspoon pepper)

1 6.5-ounce package spinach linguine (or pasta of your choice)

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
.25 cup chopped fresh mint
Dash freshly grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut up and wash veggies. Pour them all onto a sheet pan, then add salt, pepper, orange blossom water, vinegar and vegetable oil. Roast for 40 minutes. 25 minutes into the roasting, prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain, then add butter, olive oil, lemon juice, broth, mint and nutmeg to the pot you cooked the pasta in (I realise some people may want to do this in steps, and if you're on of them, please do so. I, on the other hand, feel like crap and so I just tossed it all in the pot at one time) and bring to a boil, then let reduce by about a quarter of its original volume. Add in pasta and roasted vegetables, then mix well. Serves 2.

I served this with sliced cucumbers that had a light vinaigrette drizzled on them, and orange wedges. Let's all be proud I remembered to take a picture, for a change!

Venison and Artichoke Sauce

But, even though I'm sick, here's some food!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced

1 lb ground venison (or ground beef, or ground bison)

1 – 15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1 – 15 oz can artichoke hearts
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
8 ounces chicken broth
1 large red bell pepper, diced

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When heated, add oil and vinegar (keep head away from the skillet when adding the vinegar. Fumes make it difficult, at best, to breathe). Add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is translucent. Add venison and brown. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes (or longer, if you prefer).

Monday, April 07, 2008

Salsas, Round Two!

Here's a few more for you:

Warm Cinnamon Salsa

1/16 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/16 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon dried dill
1 tablespoon comino
½ teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon habanero sauce (recommend: Holy Shit!, though I imagine any hot sauce would be fine)
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large shallot
1 can chipotle peppers with adobo sauce (include sauce)
1 – 10 ounce can Ro-Tel tomatoes
2 large tomatoes, grated, with skin added

Blend. Pour salsa into a small saucepan and heat on low heat until warm.

This sauce is kind of fun. It has a lot of stuff in it, but it's really different tasting. I always get great responses whenever I serve it. It also tastes fine when it's cooled.

Tarragon Salsa

3 roma tomatoes, chopped
¼ red onion, chopped
1 thai chile, cut in half
1 serrano chile, cut in half
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
½ cup cilantro
Juice of 5 key limes
3 tablespoons hempseed or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon comino
1 habenero chile, deseeded

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

This salsa is one of my favourites, because I love the anise flavour of tarragon. It's a mild addition to this salsa.

Chipotle Salsa

1 package grape tomatoes
.5 green bell pepper
.5 large yellow onion
1 large shallot
5 sprigs fresh oregano
1 small sprig fresh mint
5 large roma tomatoes
1 bulb fresh garlic
1 can chipotle in adobo sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 3.5 persian limes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bunch cilantro

Blend.

This salsa is a more contemporary, standard-style salsa. The flavour of chipotle is becoming more and more familiar to people, and since this one doesn't really contain "weird" stuff or things that might not normally be found in salsa, I consider this a standard.

Brazilian Pico de Gallo

2 large roma tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1/8 cup minced red onion
½ jalepeno, minced
juice from ½ persian lime
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Combine.

And lastly, one more pico.

Sometimes when I'm entertaining and feeling lazy, I put out chips and an assortment of salsas. People really seem to enjoy trying out a variety of salsas at one time.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Spicy Millet

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ large minced yellow onion
1 teaspoon kosher salt
.5 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon tomato bouillon

1 tablespoon dried chives
1 whole dry chipotle
.67 cup millet
1.5 cups water

Saute onion in salt, pepper, cumin, tomato bouillon and oil until onions are translucent. Add chives, millet and water; stir well and bring to a boil. Add chipotle pepper and cover pot, reducing heat to low and let cook 30 minutes. Remove pepper. Serves 4.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Tuna Salad

2 of the smaller cans tuna (sometimes I like albacore for this)
1 teaspoon capers
1 tablespoon dill pickle relish
1 tablespoon whole ground mustard
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
.5 teaspoon (roughly) each: lemon pepper, seasoned salt, celery seed, paprika, ground dry mustard, garlic powder and onion powder)
3 tablespoons sliced scallions (or diced onion)
1 stalk diced celery
3 tablespoons diced bell pepper
1 chopped hard-boiled egg (sometimes I don't add this, sometimes I do).

I love this on marbled rye w/ a little extra mustard and pickle added to the bread. Yum!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Roasted Marinara

I can't believe I forgot to post this earlier today. I had a lot of homework, and had kind of a rough day today. The up-side of my day is that I had a professor ask me today if I was graduating this May (I wish!), because he needs one of his students who is also an honours student to have dinner with him and the president (and whomever else I didn't hear about) of the school and he was going to ask me to go if I was graduating (for whatever reason, said honours student has to be graduating next month). But uh... yeah. Rough day.

Anyway, this is my favourite of all the marinaras I make. It is simple, it has a wider nutritional profile because you're getting lots of coloured veggies and such, it takes almost no work to make, and it is really, really delicious. Roasting the veggies brings out a nice sweetness to contrast the unroasted garlic and such. You should make it. I don't normally chatter on about a recipe, but it's bed-time, so that's what you get. I love this sauce as much as I love that wheat salad.

1 yellow onion, sliced
1 large yellow squash, cut into sticks
1 medium tomato, sliced
.25 pound carrot, cut into sticks
4 stalks celery, cut into sticks
1 teaspoon each: salt and pepper
1 T balsamic vinegar
2-3 T olive oil
1 large red bell pepper (when these are out of season, I buy the cheaper green ones instead)
5 cloves garlic
15 oz can tomato sauce

Take vegetables of first group and lay on a foil lined sheet pan. Sprinkle S&P, then drizzle w/ oil and vinegar. Roast for 15 minutes on 350 degrees.

On stovetop, roast bell pepper*, then chop. Add roasted veggies and garlic to a food processor or blender. Pulse until grainy. Add tomato sauce and blend. Transfer sauce to medium saucepan, heat on low heat until sauce boils and thickens slightly.

*To do this, if you're not sure what I'm talking about, turn on burner, allow to heat up (or if you're blessed with a gas stove, I'm jealous of you, but just turn on the flame). Lay bell pepper on the burner, and turn it periodically [whenever that part of the skin is charred]. When it's blackened, turn off burner and put the pepper in a bowl. Cover the bowl w/ lid, towel, t-shirt, whatever is handy and clean. Let the pepper sit 5-10 minutes, then take out of the bowl. Wash off the charred skin, and pull out insides of pepper. Yay, roasted pepper that is so much faster than doing it in the oven I can't even express it.

Ok, good night!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Eggplant Pasta Sauce

1 medium eggplant, whole
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
3 shallots, sliced
1 whole yellow bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 whole cloves garlic
1 teaspoon each: salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/8 cup fresh mint leaves
juice of 1 lemon
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons honey

Olive oil

Preheat oven to 350F. Arrange all the veggies on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix up the veggies (excluding eggplant and bell) with hands to evenly coat with oil and seasonings. Be sure to turn the pepper and eggplant periodically. Remove skin and seeds from bell pepper and skin from the eggplant. Chop roughly. Allow all of the roasted veggies to cool.

In a food processor or blender, combine basil, garlic, tomato, salt and pepper, thyme, mint, lemon juice and honey. Pulse until chopped up. Add cooled veggies (they don't need to be room temperature, but there shouldn't be steam anymore) to food processor or blender. Pulse to chop the stuff up and combine a bit, then turn on and allow to fully blend, while streaming a bit (probably not more than 1/8 - 1/4 cup) of olive oil in. Finish blending until nearly smooth (think salsa texture), then put in a medium saucepan and bring to a slow boil (on low heat). Makes a quart or so.