Monday, October 11, 2010
My name is Brittany and I am one of the several food loving people who will be contributing to this blog.
First you should know that my food obsession is Quinoa. It's a fantastic grain full of protein. I need this protein as I'm a pescatarian (vegetarian that eats fish-sometimes people hear Presbyterian). I have made several different quinoa dishes but I got stuck on one for a while. Mediterranean Quinoa which consists of red onion, feta, kalamata olives, avocado, red pepper and quinoa. It comes with a dressing, optional of course, consisting of: olive oil, chopped garlic, a little mustard, white balsamic vinegar (also regular balsamic can be used) white wine, salt and pepper. I have tried to make it for most of my friends just because I love it so much.
This time I tried a recipe out of How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which by the way is an amazing bible type cook book for vegetarians. Everything I have made out of this book has been divine. It doesn't have pictures which freaked me out a bit but I totally got used to it and LOVE it. It also offers an alternate recipe within a recipe. I'll explain.
The recipe I chose was Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad. As I read it, I realized I was missing some ingredients. But at the end there was an alternate version! Southwestern Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad, which I had all the ingredients for. Convenient.
To speed up your cook time, cook sweet potatoes at the same time as quinoa. Peel the sweet potato and dice it into 1/2 inch or smaller pieces. Cook it in boiling salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes; drain.
Just in case you haven't made quinoa yet, it is a two to one deal: 2 cups broth or water to 1 cup quinoa. Boil broth or water, add quinoa, cover and turn down to medium heat for 15 minutes. Now salad sometimes implies cold but whenever I make quinoa anything it's always warm. But it would be fantastic cold.
Add these ingredients to quinoa and stir:
1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes (I used 1 small and that sufficed)
1/4 cup minced shallot
1/4 tsp cayenne, chili powder or hot red pepper flakes
1 bell pepper (we used a purple pepper from the Ballard Farmer's Market)
freshly squeezed lime juice (I used the lime I had which about 1/4 of it was missing)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced cilantro
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Let's get real a minute - tamales are okay. They're high maintenance and you could take them or leave them. That's why I still haven't tried to make real tamales - I expect I would screw them up in some fundamental way.
Tamale PIE, on the other hand, sounded much easier to me. That's the recipe I've made four times now and I like it a lot. I actually don't put Tapatio on it most of the time, because it's got a different flavor to me. More...earthy? Authentic? (I'll let you decide)
This recipe is from a cookbook called The Accidental Vegan. I was browsing the vegetarian section of a used bookstore when a lady turned to me and recommended this book. "Everything in it that I've tried has turned out delicious!" Or something like that. I thanked her and started carrying the book around. I felt obligated - she was watching me! So the purchase was actually more forced than voluntary, but I could do it for just $6.
You start off with 1/2 a batch of Red Chile "Salsa" (I put it in quotes because I don't really consider it a salsa - more of a sauce). I always make a full batch so I can make a second Tamale Pie after I finish the first, but you may as well test it out first - half batch.
6 ancho chiles (I've always found there to be just 6 ancho chiles in the bag. They are dried poblano chiles)
3 medium tomatoes
1/2 bunch cilantro
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt (Remember, it's a vegan cookbook. Regular salt does just fine)
Soak the chiles in boiling water for 10 minutes. When finished, remove the seeds if you can't take the heat! Puree ingredients in a food processor/blender. I use my immersion blender and it does just fine. Set this mixture aside for now.
Next, for the actual Tamale Pie, you will need:
2 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups masa harina or masa mixta (flour made from corn, basically? I found it in a huge bag, hidden in the "ethnic food" section of QFC)
10-12 dried tomatoes (I think that's how many came in the bags I typically found hidden in the produce section - 24 sundried tomato halves)
3 canned chipotles and their sauce (You will never just find 3 - another reason I always make two pies and just split the can between them)
2 cups cooked black or pinto beans
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 batch Red Chile Salsa
Cheese, to taste (It's for the pie's topping, so you'd want at least 1/2 cup - it actually called for faux cheese, to make it vegan, but come on.)
You'll also need a 9x13'' casserole dish.
Yes, it sounds like a lot - it is! But it's good.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bring the 2 cups water to a boil and add the olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt. I recommend using a medium saucepan for this, because when I use my 4 cup saucepan, the masa harina always comes out.
Remove this from heat and immediately add the masa harina (I don't think you have to freak out about how long you're taking to mix in the harina - just don't wait for the water to cool). You're told to stir until it's smooth. I have yet to find that the masa harina is "smooth" after adding it to this amount of water. It's more clumpy, but it still works. If you want it to be smooth, add small amounts of water until then. But who knows what that will do to the end product.
Spoon half of the masa harina into your casserole dish so that you cover the bottom and sides. I've never really tried to hard to get it to go up the sides and it still tastes good to me. The beans just tumble out a bit.
Cook the dried tomatoes in about a cup of water for about a minute. Drain and chop them finely (easier said than done - I use a food processor). Add them to a bowl containing your black/pinto beans, vinegar, and sea salt.
Chop the chipotles and add them to your bean bowl mix.
Fill the "masa shell" you just made with this bean mixture. It may look something like THIS:
Cover this up with the rest of the masa harina mix by flattening handfuls of it and laying it across the top (like a puzzle). It's going to look stupid (see below), so don't try to make it perfect.
Top the pie with your freshly made salsa (see below - that's about half of a batch of salsa) and then with as much cheese as you want.
I've been looking at foodgawker.com all morning and then I went to write this post, so now I'm really hungry! It's time for me to scrounge for some food. Enjoy the recipe!
Until next time...
Monday, April 19, 2010
- 1 "young chicken"
- 1 lg onion, peeled and quartered
- 3-4 lg carrots- 1-2 for the stock, 2-3 for the soup
- 1 bunch celery- 2/3 bunch for the stock, 1/3 chopped up for the soup, reserve the leaves for later
- water- enough to fill pot
- 3 bay leaves
- salt and pepper- freshly grind it, enough for your tastes
- poultry seasoning- to taste
- 1- 8 oz package dry egg noodles (Ronzoni Healthy Harvest was on sale... thus I am using it)
- 1/4 c chicken bouillon powder (I'm not using this, but you might want to)
- 8 oz sliced mushrooms
1.) Attack the chicken. I'm sure that there's a French, methodical way to do this but here's what I did: Slice down the chicken's chest, remove all the skin and fat that you can, and remove chicken breasts and freeze for later. Loosen up all the joints by freeing up skin and tendons then dislocate them all! Then cut the limb off and take the skin off, throw it in the pot. When the giblets fall out of your massacred chicken, throw them out. Rinse out the "cavity" just in case some digestive juices are left over. Put the cavity in the pot.
2.) Making stock: put chicken parts, onion, celery, carrots (I chopped the celery and carrots into big pieces) in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover everything and nearly fill up the pot. Bring to a boil, skim off the fat, add the bay leaves, then lower to a simmer for 4 hours. Strain the stock, throw out the dilapidated veggies and dig through all the meat- throwing out the cartilage, bones, skin and fat (unless you're into that)
3.) Now you have the stock and chicken bits. Add the poultry seasoning, fresh chopped carrots, mushrooms and celery, bring to a boil, add the egg noodles then lower to a simmer for 10-20 minutes (depending on how soft you want the noodles to be). Salt and pepper to taste. Mine didn't turn out as savory as I had hoped, so definitely try the bouillon. Otherwise, pretty delicious! Serve with multigrain crackers.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Hello there! I will also introduce myself: my name is Lindsey. I love chocolate (like, love love), and just food in general (duh). I love to cook and bake although recently I have been too tired from work to do much of it (lame excuse, I know). But when I'm really compelled by a recipe or idea I do it. I make it. And I love to!
- 2 cups rotini (or similar pasta)
- 4 Tbsp butter (Salted Butter)
- 1-2 whole medium onions (depending on how onion-y you like it), cut in half and sliced thin
- 5-7 slices prosciutto or pancetta
- 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup non-fat milk
- 1/4 cup half-and-half
- 1 whole egg yolk, beaten
- salt n pepa, to taste
- 1 cup-ish of Quattro Formaggio cheese blend from Trader Joe's (parmesan, asiago, fontina, provolone) -OR- 1 cup-ish of similar cheese(s)
- Bread crumbs (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook macaroni for half the time of the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Fry prosciutto/pancetta until slightly, but not overly, crispy. Set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and then saute onions over medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown and soft. Set aside.
In a pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle in flour and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Pour in milk and half & half, then cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick. Reduce heat to low. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Beat egg yolk and drizzle 1/4 cup hot mixture into the yolks, stirring constantly. Stir to combine. Pour egg mixture into sauce and cook for another minute.
Add cheeses and stir until melted. Add onions and prosciutto/pancetta and stir. Taste for seasonings and add more salt if needed. Add cooked rotini pasta and stir to coat.
Pour into an 8x8 baking dish, sprinkle bread crumbs on top if you want (I didn't do this, although it would probably be delicious!). Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until sizzling and hot. Serve with vegetables so you don't feel too guilty. I threw some raw spinach in my bowl and mixed it in with the mac 'n cheese.
So good. So. Good.