Showing posts from March, 2008

Couscous with Eggplant and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

1.5 cup eggplant, diced Salt and pepper to taste 2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable) .25 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced 2 cups Moroccan couscous 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper .25 cup diced avocado 3 tablespoons hemp seeds (or sesame seeds) 3 tablespoons hemp seed oil (or olive oil) .25 cup arugula microgreens (or some other garnish, if you’re inclined to use one at all) Dry sauté eggplant, salt and pepper in a non-stick pan. Set aside. Bring broth, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper to a boil. Add couscous and eggplant, remove from heat and stir. Cover and let stand 7 minutes then fluff with a fork. Top with avocado, hempseeds, oil and greens. Serves 4.

Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes

3 large potatoes, cut up 12 cloves garlic, crushed 3 shallots, chopped 2 tablespoons half and half 1 cup finely shredded gouda (shred this really finely, as gouda doesn’t melt well otherwise)/clock 2 tablespoons butter Boil potatoes with garlic and shallots until potatoes are fork tender. Drain. Mash with half and half, butter and gouda. Serves 4.

Southwestern Corn

¼ cup chicken broth (use vegetable broth to make this vegan) 1 cup corn 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 serrano, whole ½ cup red bell pepper, diced ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped 1 teaspoon dill, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, whole Heat a small skillet. Add oil, garlic and serrano, then allow to heat. When heated, add corn, bell pepper and dill. Sauté for 1 minute, then add cilantro and broth and simmer until broth is cooked off. Serves 2.

Sautéed Aspargus

I spaced posting this yesterday. Oops. Sautéed Asparagus ¼ pound asparagus tips 1 teaspoon olive oil ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon tomato bouillon juice of ¼ lemon Heat small skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil, salt, bouillon and lemon juice. Heat, then add asparagus. Sauté 5 minutes. Serves 2.


Additionally, I made homemade Oreo cookies today. They are utterly delicious. The recipe comes from Smitten Kitchen. Thank you, Smitten Kitchen!

Baked Ziti and Stuffed Mushrooms

So today, we decided to eat dinner for lunch, so we could have dinner twice today. These recipes are super-easy to make, and although the mushrooms have a lot of ingredients, they're still simple to toss together. I believe I spent 30 minutes on preparing the mushrooms, and that includes going outside to forage greens. Stuffed mushrooms are really one of my favourite appetizers/sides in the world. I like to make them different ways (and for you low-carbers, I didn't put in the bread crumbs today). Yum! Baked Ziti 3 cups meat sauce 1 16-ounce package ziti (I actually used penne, but whatever) 8 ounces mozzarella 2 ounces parmesan Preheat oven to 350F. Boil pasta in salted water for 6 minutes, then drain. Place pasta, meat sauce and a little bit of the mozzarella in a casserole dish. Top with remainder of mozzarella and cover with foil. Bake for 35 minutes, then uncover and top with parmesan. Bake 25 more minutes. Let stand 10-15 minutes, serve, eat. Serves up to 4.

Cauliflower and Artichoke Heart Sauté

1 cup blanched cauliflower (can use frozen and thawed) 1 cup frozen, quartered artichoke hearts ¼ cup matchstick carrots 3 radishes, sliced 1 cup sliced mushrooms ½ cup celery, cut on a bias 2/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped ¼ cup yellow bell pepper, chopped 1 teaspoon each: fresh thyme, fresh tarragon and fresh dill, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped 1/8 cup each: fresh cilantro and fresh chives, chopped Juice of 4 key limes 2 tablespoons vegetable oil Salt and pepper to taste In a large skillet, heat oil. When heated, add remaining ingredients. Sauté 5-7 minutes. Serves 6.

Cheesy Pasta

This is basically macaroni and cheese, except.. not. The stilton has a strong flavour, which is a little different from the normal mac 'n cheese. I also like this with cubed chicken breast in it. The first time I made it, I made it with a friend's kid (who was 6 or 7 at the time). I didn't think she'd eat it, but since I'd had her grind the pistachio's with a mortar and pestle, she was emotionally invested enough to consume the food. And really, that was all I looked for, since I never really know what to do w/ children (other than giving them back to their parents). 2 tablespoons ground pistachio nuts .5 cups finely grated stilton 2 cups small pasta shells Salt and pepper to taste 1 clove garlic, pureed Cook pasta shells for 6 minutes in boiling water. Add remaining ingredients and stir until cheese is melted. Serves 1-2.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

This is one of my favourites. 1 cup white rice 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1¾ cup water 1 lb broccoli, cut into small pieces 1 tablespoon olive oil 3 cups assorted shredded cheeses 2 tablespoons cream 1 tablespoon butter 1 cup shredded mozzarella Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine rice, olive oil, salt, pepper and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Allow rice to sit, covered, for an additional 5 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl. Add broccoli, olive oil and cheese. Stir to combine. Bake for 30 minutes. Add cream, butter and mozzarella. Stir to combine, then bake, uncovered, until golden brown*. Serves 6. *If you want to combine these steps to just bake once, go for it.

Pasta Salad

Today is the day where I make a slew of salads and such for P to eat while I'm out of town for the weekend. This is among the things I made*: 1 package salad macaroni 2 teaspoons salt 1 large tomato, diced 6 pickles, diced (sometimes I just use prepared dill relish) 2 cups diced bell pepper 1 cup diced celery .5 cup sliced scallion (or diced onion) 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (more if you like it wet) ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ teaspoon each: celery salt, cumin, dry mustard, cayenne, paprika, coriander seed, garlic powder, onion powder (when I'm feeling sassy, I add some fenugreek, too) 1 teaspoon each: seasoned salt, lemon pepper Cook macaroni with salt. Drain and cool. Combine with other ingredients, stir well. Chill, eat. Makes 2 quarts. *Ok... in all honesty, I only make half batches of this. He usually eats the whole bowl in one sitting, so I am scared for him if I make the whole t


I thought I'd post some salad dressings I really like today. Some of these have some odd ingredients, so please make substitutions as needed. Enjoy! Black Currant and Hempseed Vinaigrette This dressing tastes quite good tossed on an exotic fruits salad (it’s very nice with pineapple, star fruit and the like). 1 tablespoon shelled hempseeds (or sesame seeds) 1/8 cup black currant juice ½ teaspoon lemon juice 1/8 cup coconut (or white wine) vinegar 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon tamarind concentrate ½ teaspoon rosehip jam (any mild flavoured jam will do) 1/8 teaspoon chili powder ¼ cup hempseed oil Whisk together. Sage Dressing 1/8 cup fresh sage, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 teaspoons Swedish-style (or regular) yellow mustard 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar ¼ cup champagne vinegar ¼ cup vegetable oil Blend all but oil. Slowly stream in the oil while blending. Caesar Dressing ½ tin anchovies 5 cloves garlic Juice 1 lemon 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar 1½

Poached Trout

1¾ pound steelhead trout loin (or trout of your choice) juice of 1 lemon 4 tablespoons butter ½ large onion, sliced 1 sprig mint 4 sprigs thyme 2 cloves whole garlic 3 sprigs tarragon 12 chives 10 ounces chicken broth ¾ cup white wine Heat a large, deep skillet. Combine lemon juice, butter, onion, mint, thyme, garlic, tarragon, chives, broth and wine in pan. Bring to a strong simmer, then add trout and cover. Cook for 35 minutes. Serves 4. This is an easy, low-effort quick fish recipe. The beautiful thing about poaching fish is that while many people are afraid to cook fish, it is nearly impossible to mess up when you're poaching it.

Wilted Romaine and Button Mushrooms

1 small red onion, sliced into half moons 2 cloves minced garlic 1 tablespoon each: butter, olive oil 1 tablespoon tomato paste salt and pepper to taste 3-4 ounces sliced button mushrooms 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons vegetable or chicken broth 2 heads romaine lettuce, cut up Heat butter and olive oil together in a large pan. Add tomato paste, garlic, salt, pepper and onion. Cook down over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring to coat onion with tomato paste. Add mushrooms, broth and lemon and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add lettuce, stir well as the lettuce cooks for another 5-10 minutes (depending on how cooked you like it). Serves 2.

Jewish Penicillin

This recipe should truly be used as a guide, not a be-all-end-all. My mother makes it with wheat berries (which is delicious also), and I don't recall my father ever putting grains into his soup. Every time it gets made, however, it's a little different. Today I wanted a more stew-like consistency than a real soup, next time, who knows? This is also really good with potatoes in it, and just about any variation will be delicious. Oh, if you have kids, or just really like onions, you can do this: both of my parents used to put a whole onion in the soup in addition to the cut up onions. I used to (mostly successfully) petition for the whole onion in my bowl. It is just wonderful. I wish I'd remembered that before I made the soup. Also, most people make this with a whole chicken, or at least a mix of parts. I was being cheap when I bought the meat, and additionally I wanted to render the fat to make chicken pot pies on another date, so I just got thighs. You get what you want

Chicken Pasta Sauce

8 ounces chicken breast 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 shallot, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 small onion, chopped 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 tablespoon oil ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon lemon pepper ½ teaspoon each: paprika, dried basil, dried thyme, dried oregano ½ bay leaf 1 - 15 oz can tomato sauce 1 - 15 oz can diced tomatoes, drained 1 small can mushroom pieces ½ can chopped olives 1 sprig each: basil, thyme and oregano, chopped Cut chicken into thumbnail sized pieces and sauté in oil. Heat a medium saucepan, then add oil and allow to heat. Add shallot, garlic, onion, mushrooms and salt and pepper and sauté until onions are translucent. Add chicken to saucepan as well as tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, canned mushroom , olives and dried spices. Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 3 hours. Add fresh herbs and allow to cook, uncovered, for 1-2 hours.

Salt Roasted Shrimp

4 lbs rock salt ½ pound shrimp (with heads and shells attached)* 3 sprigs sage 3 sprigs dill Divide salt into two baking dishes. Place in the oven. Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Once oven reaches desired temperature, allow salt to cook another 15 minutes. Remove salt from oven. Layer dill and sage sprigs on top of the salt in one of the baking dishes. Lay shrimp on top of herbs, then cover with salt from the other baking dish. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Serves 2. *If you like salt more than even I do, feel free to take the heads and shells off. However, if you like salt as much as I do or less, leave the heads and shells on until they're cooked. Oh, and if you do decide you like salt enough to eat these after they've been cooked beheaded, please drop me a line and let me know.


Ok, so I had this great bottled green salsa last night that P wanted to try (it's the Pace tequila lime one, of their new line) and it reminded me that at least here in Texas, salsa can be a pretty important thing. So I thought I'd give a few samples of the types of salsas I like to make. They range from not spicy at all, to pretty spicy. Enjoy. Basil Salsa Verde 1 small shallot 1 small sweet yellow onion 24” sprig basil .5 cup cilantro 2 garlic cloves .125 teaspoon vanilla sugar 1 tablespoon cucumber or white vinegar .25 teaspoon cumin .25 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper .25 teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups tomatillo 1 tablespoon vegetable oil Blend. This salsa is sweet and not at all spicy. It's also super-easy to make, because you just toss everything in your blender and turn it on. I serve this mainly to people who have no tolerance for spicy foods, but it has a nice flavour as well. Roasted Habenero Salsa 1 small white onion, sliced 6 roma tomat

Dear Bon Appetit,

Thank you for your lemon raspberry cupcake recipe. Seriously.

Grilled Chicken, plus Strawberry Dessert

This is kind of a low-calorie thing, so I thought I'd include an equally low-cal dessert. Grill Chicken 16 ounces chicken breast ½ teaspoon each: orange and lemon peel 1 teaspoon each: seasoned salt and cumin ¼ teaspoon each: dried dill weed, garlic powder and poppy seeds 2 teaspoons each: lemon juice and soy sauce Combine dried spices. Massage spice mixture onto both sides of chicken. Sprinkle half the lemon and soy on one side of the chicken breast. Grill for 5 minutes. Before turning the chicken, sprinkle remainder of lemon and soy on the breast. Turn and grill an additional 5 minutes. Serves 2. Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar 1 c strawberries, sliced 1-2 T 6 year old balsamic vinegar 1-2 t sugar Arrange strawberry slices on a plate. Sprinkle with sugar, then drizzle with vinegar.

Beef Tips and Rice

.25 pound beef tips (or stew meat, etc) 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon flour 1 tablespoon red wine 1/2 c beef broth 1/8 t ground white pepper 1 pinch dried dill weed 1/8 t garlic powder 3 cups water ½ cup white rice 1 cup water In a deep skillet (w/ a fitted lid), combine butter and flour. Make a dark roux (should take 15 or so minutes). Add water, wine, beef broth and spices, and mix thoroughly. Add meat slices, cover, and set on VERY low (lowest setting you have) temperature. Let simmer 3 hours (replenishing water as needed). If "sauce" is still thin, remove meat and bring sauce to a boil (keep meat in warmer). Allow to reduce, pour over meat. Combine rice and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 1 minute, then reduce heat and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, then allow to rest for another 5 minutes. Place rice on a plate, then pour beef tips and sauce over rice. Serves 1-2.

Breakfast Taco Frittata

This recipe works really well in instances when you want a breakfast taco but um... ate all the tortillas and didn't get more. 8 pieces of bacon, diced 1 cup onion cut into quarter slices .5 cup diced potatoes or frozen hash brown cubes .5 cup chopped cilantro .5-1 cup Mexican mix shredded cheese 4 eggs .25 cup whole milk salt and pepper to taste Preheat oven to 400F. Fry bacon in a 5" pan*. Remove bacon and pour off half the rendered fat (here, you can add a pat of butter if you like but it's not required). Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes to onion and cook another 5 minutes or so. Whisk eggs and milk with a fork, then add cilantro, salt, pepper and cheese and mix well. Put bacon back in the pan with the onions and potatoes. Top with egg mixture and make sure it's all mixed in together. Put it in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top is browned and the eggs are set. Remove from oven (carefully!) and let stand 5

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Filling: 6 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast salt and pepper to taste 1/8 teaspoon each: cumin, paprika, garlic powder, tomato bouillon*, chili powder and oregano 1 small yellow onion, minced 6 ounces Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, shredded Season chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, bouillon, chili powder and oregano. Bake for 10 minutes (5 per side). Allow to cool slightly, and then shred chicken. Combine chicken with onion and cheese. Sauce: 1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce 1 teaspoon chili powder ½ teaspoon cumin ½ teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon cognac vinegar 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped 1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped 1 teaspoon cayenne ¼ cup chicken broth Combine. 2 large poblano peppers, deseeded, with top reserved Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff mixture tightly into poblano pepper then seal with top of pepper and a toothpick. Place side by side in a small baking dish that just fits the peppers. Pour sauce over the top of t

Indian-Inspired Broiled Cod

This recipe looks really, really long, but it's a trick. It's actually very easy to make. Curry: ¼ teaspoon grains of paradise or black peppercorns 3 cardamom pods ¼ teaspoon celery seed 1 allspice berry 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon dried bergamot or orange peel ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds ½ teaspoon dried marjoram ½ nutmeg pod, freshly grated Heat a nonstick pan to medium-low heat. When heated, add grains of paradise, cardamom, celery seed, allspice, paprika, bergamot, fenugreek, marjoram and nutmeg. Toast in the pan, stirring periodically, until fragrant and fenugreek turns a darker, brownish-yellow (about 10 minutes). Transfer to spice grinder or mortar and pestle and finely grind. Fish: 2 tablespoons vegetable oil* ½ pound black cod Preheat oven to broil setting. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season cod with spice mixture (use all of it) and transfer to baking sheet. Drizzle remaining oil on cod and bro

Poached Peaches with Caviar

This recipe is a lot fluffier than I normally like my food, but I've found it works well for parties given for special occasions. 4 large white peaches 2 cups sake 2 cups plum wine 3 cups water 1 teaspoon fig vinegar or other sweet vinegar 8” sprig fresh rosemary 1 ounce perignord truffle chevre (or other soft goat cheese) .5 ounce Osetra caviar Blanch peaches. Remove skins and pits, cut into quarters. In a large sauce pan, combine wine, sake, water, vinegar and rosemary. Bring to a simmer. Add peaches and poach until soft, about 20 minutes. Strain and lay in a single layer on a sheet pan. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Spread a thin layer of chevre on the “pit portion” (the part of the peach that was touching the pit) then top with a generous dollop of caviar. Serves 16.