Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Tueday: Fennel-Scented Macaroni and Cheese

Aside: I'm just going to quietly ignore the multi-month silence and try to get back into keeping this up-to-date again.

Over the weekend I adapted a recipe from food52 where fennel is braised in light cream and then tossed in the oven to take on some color (nice stuff, by the way). This left me with a couple cups of light cream with distinct, but not overwhelming, fennel taste, an ingredient that had to be used for something. What I came up is a macaroni-and-cheese variation:

Make a bechamel with 2Tbs butter, 3Tbs flour, and 2 cups of the light cream. Season with salt, white pepper, nutmeg, and a bit of cayenne. Stir in a mixture of grated gruyere and vacherin fribourgeois. Cook some pasta (I used shells) that is still a minute of cooking away from being al dente and put it in a baking dish. Pour over the cheese sauce and then toss the whole thing under the broiler for 5 minutes or so, until the top has taken on some color.

This is extremely rich, but really, really good.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Saturday: potato salad

A lunch designed to use up some of the large quantity of potatoes we have left:

Steam some sliced potatoes. While they're cooking combine finely chopped onion with vegetable bouillon, cider vinegar, peanut oil, and sliced wienerli. When the potatoes are done, stir them in with black pepper and piment d'espelette. Steam some green beans. When they are done, stir them in to the salad. Add salt if needed and serve.

Getting ready for backpacking

We're leaving today for a backpacking trip, so yesterday I did some prep work:

  1. A batch of energy bars.
  2. A batch of dumplings.
  3. Dried porcinis, chopped into small bits/powder in the minichop
  4. Dried chipotles and ancho chilis chopped into small bits in the minichop

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Friday: Fennel Risotto

After getting back from a work trip there was a bunch of fennel that needed to be used up; this was the response.

Cook finely diced onion, carrot, and fennel together with some minced garlic in olive oil until the vegetables soften. Add rice and cook a few minutes. Add lemon zest and dried dill along with the first bit of chicken bouillon and start the mixing. Keep adding the bouillon in batches until the rice is ready to go. Just before serving, stir in some grated gruyere and freshly ground white pepper.

To accompany: sear some thinly sliced pork loin pieces on one side in the grill pan, then top with grated gruyere and put under the broiler for a few minutes. Grill halved tomatoes in the grill pan.

Of course we also had a big green salad.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday: tomato soup, pasta with broccoli

More simple stuff for the hot weather:

  • A cold soup from peeled tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, bread, tabasco, olive oil, Maggi (the tomatoes were lacking umami), salt, and pepper
  • Orrecchiette tossed with steamed broccoli, olive oil, parmesan, basil, chopped pistachios, and black pepper

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mondays salads

It's too hot for warm food, so I did salads.

  • Shredded carrots, olive oil, white balsamico, freshly ground cumin, piment d'espelette, salt, white pepper
  • Siedfleisch, thinly sliced red onion, horseradish, cider vinegar (let the onions marinate a bit in the horseradish and vinegar first)
  • Cottage cheese with chopped dill, parsley, and chives
  • Fresh corn cut off the cob and steamed, then combined with diced red pepper, minced onion, pasted garlic, lime juice, sour cream, and chipotle salsa.
  • A green salad

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunday: summer tomato vegetable soup

I won't call this one gazpacho...

Puree peeled tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, parsley, olive oil. Add salt and black pepper, dry sherry, tabasco, and minced smoked ham.

Together with a green salad this was a good quick meal for a hot day.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wednesday: another gazpacho, tuna salad

I don't think I can get tired of gazpacho. This one had fresh tomatoes (peeled, of course), cucumber, onion, garlic, olive oil, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, water, and sherry vinegar.

To go with it we did a big salad: shredded iceberg lettuce, carrots, cheese, tuna, flageolets, cherry tomatoes, and a dill-chive-caper-anchovy vinaigrette.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tuesday: penne with potatoes, green beans, and basil

A variation on a Ligurian dish driven by the contents of the cupboards.

Cut some peeled potatoes into 1cm dice. Steam them until cooked. Cut some green beans until they are about the same length as the penne. Steam until crisp-tender. Combine basil, pasted garlic, parmesan, olive oil and olive oil in the mini-chop and grind to a pesto-like texture. Toss this with the potatoes and green beans. Add chopped pistachios (no pine nuts in the house!), black pepper, and a bit of the cooking water from the pasta. Serve over whole-wheat penne.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Monday: sauteed vegetables

A no-brainer meal for using up vegetables: onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, smoked ham, olive oil, salt, pepper, and fennel seeds.

We also had some chard (thinner stems that normal) that I steamed in the microwave, coarsely chopped, and then combined with butter and sour cream.

Nothing complicated, everything good. :-)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday: frikadellen

To go with the leftover Ensalada Rusa I made some frikadellen:

Combine ground beef and pork with minced onion, minced garlic, minced pickles, salt, pepper, and an egg. Mix well and form small patties. Cook over medium-high heat and then set aside and make a pan sauce with tomato paste, ketchup, mustard, tabasco, and water. Before serving, put the frikadellen in the sauce and flip a couple of times to coat them.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wednesday: Ensalada Rusa, stuffed squash

I needed to come back to the Ensalada Rusa recipe from Wiener since we had a lot of potatoes and it was so good last time.

The stuffed squash idea used some small round hard-skinned squash from the biokiste (no idea what they are): Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds. Add a bit of water, cover, and microwave until about cooked inside (4 minutes for us). Make the filling by combining garlic paste, minced onion, shredded dried smoked ham, diced tomatoes, diced dried tomatoes, olive oil, salt, white pepper, and a bit of white balsamico. Fill the squash, top with grated parmesan, and bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and the insides are bubbling.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Saturday: nachos

Not sure where the idea came from, but once it appeared it definitely grabbed hold and wouldn't let go. :-)

For the chicken:
Brown some chicken leg quarters well. Add chopped onions and garlic and cook 4-5 minutes. Add coarsely ground coriander and some cumin seeds and let cook another couple minutes. Add sweet paprika, oregano, minced chipotles with adobo, a pinch each of ground cloves and cinnamon, a couple bay leaves, a good splash of soy sauce, and some chicken bouillon. Add sufficient water so that the chicken is just about covered. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let cook for a couple of hours. Turn the chicken pieces after an hour. Remove the chicken from the cooking liquid and let the pieces cool briefly. Meanwhile reduce the cooking liquid by half. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle: remove the skin and bones and shred the flesh. Stir some of the reduced cooking liquid into the shredded chicken and set aside.

To assemble the nachos:
Make a layer of chips. Top with kidney beans, shredded chicken, and some diced tomatoes. Put in a 200C oven (top heat) for ~5 minutes until the tomatoes wilt a bit. Add another layer of chips and top with grated cheddar cheese and more tomatoes. Toss back in the oven until ready to eat.

Serve with salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce, and sour cream.

*Very* happy making food.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Friday: Succotash

It was impossible to resist doing a succotash given the contents of the fridge.

Cut some bacon into 1/2cm dice and brown it nicely with a bit of neutral oil. Add onions and garlic and sweat a bit. Add chunks of zucchini and pepper (we had long peppers in the box) and a good pinch of salt, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini are about soft. Add sweet corn (freshly cut off the cob), some diced tomatoes, and some broad beans, cover again, and cook another 5 minutes or so until the corn is read to eat.

Serve with some good bread.

There's not much point with making this unless you have fresh corn, but with the corn it is soooooo good.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Thursday: spaghetti with pesto, tomato salad

We had plenty of basil and some almost-overripe tomatoes in the biokiste this week... this was one of the obvious things to do with that.

The pesto was standard : basil, garlic paste, toasted pine nuts, parmesan, olive oil.

For the tomato salad I made a vinaigrette with garlic paste, microplane-grated ginger, white balsamico, mustard, and peanut oil. I used more vinegar than normal. We tossed this with some cut-up tomatoes and chives.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Wednesday: extending indian leftovers

We had some leftovers from Tuesday's lovely Indian food, but not enough for a full meal, so I came up with something.

For the leftover lamb paratha filling: saute some minced garlic, ginger, chile, and onion in clarified butter. Add ajwain and fennel seed and cook 30 seconds or so. Add steamed potato chunks and salt, mix well, and let cook 3-5 minutes. Stir in the leftover lamb and some chopped cilantro, cover, and let cook another couple minutes.

The second improv was to make another batch of saag paneer with tofu, but using swiss chard instead of spinach. I cut the chard into bite-sized pieces and boiled them until just about tender before using it.

Both of these turned out quite well. Using chard in this way is definitely something to remember next time the quantities of it start to get oppressive.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Tuesday: Indian

I was wondering out loud what to do with the mint in last week's biokiste when Andrea piped up with two suggestions: lamb, and some kind of raita. That got the ideas flowing, and here's what I ended up doing:

  1. Lamb paratha (from BittmanWorld)
  2. Saag paneer with tofu in place of the cheese (from BittmanWorld)
  3. Mint raita : yogurt, salt, chopped peppermint
The paratha were a bit fiddly (I think the instructions calls for the initial rolling-out to go too thin), but everything tasted really good and made us quite happy.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Yet another catchup post

Some things we've eaten lately that I haven't gotten around to recording;

  • Mezze night with hummus, baba ghanouj, and tabbouleh
  • Chicken salad with skordalia made with a roasted chicken from the Coop. Recipe from Bittman, and it's a good one.
  • Pasta with a raw tomato/anchovy sauce. Idea from the JP "More Fast Food My Way" videos.
  • Roasted peppers diced and tossed with finely diced alp cheese, fresh herbs, lemon juice, and olive oil
  • Steamed corn on the cob; we don't get enough corn on the cob...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday: Chard-gorgonzola tart

I'm going through a difficult phase with the the chard from the biokiste, so I dug around a bit to find something new to do with it. The recipe I found, in the Le Menu archive, was for a tart with chard, gorgonzola (the recipe called for "couronzola", which I guess is just a Swiss variant of this), and creme fraiche. Sounds pretty good!

In this case following the recipe was a mistake. Normally the Le Menu recipes are reliable, but here the crust really should have been pre-baked before adding the filling. I ended up baking the tart for 40 minutes instead of 20, but the crust was still pretty soft. Ah well, the chard-gorgonzola combination was a good one... definitely something to remember for the future.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday: Bratkartoffeln with lamb

We still had some lamb that needed to be finished and this seemed like a good way.

Slice some potatoes and layer them in a hot pan with some clarfied butter. Cover and let cook over medium-high heat until the bottom starts to crisp. Toss to rearrange the potatoes and cook a while longer. Repeat this a few times until the potatoes are nicely colored. Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces and add to the potatoes, along with some of the rosemary coating and a bit of additional rosemary. Cook until the lamb is heated through, then serve.

On the side we had summer squash sauteed in olive oil and a big green salad.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday: stir-fried beans, southeast asian chicken

Andrea wanted Asian, so that's what we did.

For the green beans: cut some smoked bacon into thick lardons and stirfry in a bit of peanut oil until they take on some color. Add chili-bean paste and some chopped ginger and cook a couple more minutes. Add green beans and some black vinegar, toss well, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are ready to eat.

The chicken is from an old Minimalist recipe that is in Hesser. (I know I've done this recipe before, but I can't find it with blogger's search...): Marinate chicken leg quarters in soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for an hour or so. Brown the chicken well in peanut oil, then reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the chicken is done. Set the chicken aside. Add additional ginger and garlic to the cooking pan along with some sugar and cook until the sugar caramelizes. Add water and fish sauce to dissolve the caramel and then add back the chicken. Cook for another five or so minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is heated through and nicely glazed. At the last minute stir in some chopped cilantro. Serve the chicken topped with the sauce.

Together with some rice this made for a great meal.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday: Pappardelle with sauce bolognese

I did the usual (Jamie Oliver) recipe for the sauce. Oranges are crap at this time of year, so to serve it I used a mixture of grated lemon zest, rosemary, parsley, and a bit of crushed garlic.

There was no sadness in the house about having to eat this. :-)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday lunch: filled tomatoes

I'm not 100% sure where the idea came from, but there it was: tomatoes filled with lentils.

Peel some good sized tomatoes. Carefully core them and remove their seeds and juice. Fill with room temperature lentils and a sauce made from the lentil cooking liquid, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper, and good olive oil. Heat in the microwave for 30s or so. Drizzle with a bit more of the sauce and serve with good bread.

Sunday: slow-cooked lamb

This was a random thing inspired by the frozen leg of lamb in the freezer.

Fill the cavity in a boneless leg of lamb with some fresh rosemary and thyme, then tie the roast so it's a regular shape. Brown well on all sides, then cover with a paste made from minced onion and garlic, chopped rosemary, thyme, and parsley, mustard, salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Insert a meat thermometer in the thickest part and bake at 85C until the core temperature reaches 60C. Slice and serve

As sides:
  • Basmati rice cooked with tomato and saffron
  • leftover lentils
  • An arugula, cherry tomato, avocado salad.
This was some good food.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday: salad and lentils

We were pretty tired from the day's hiking, and had grabbed a panini while waiting for our transfer in Luzern, so it was a simple dinner: salad and lentils.

I cooked the lentils with onion, carrot, garlic, olive oil, bay leaf, a clove, and vegetable bouillon. We ate them topped with a bit of lemon juice and fresh olive oil.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thursday: chicken under a brick

Inspired by from Food52, I did chicken under a brick. I left out the pickled peppers and just used rosemary.

To go with the chicken I sauteed diced zucchini in butter with fresh herbs (thyme, parsley, chives) and roasted some potato wedges tossed with salt, pepper, and more fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram).

Excellent food.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Wednesday's salads

Plenty of salad eating again this week:

  1. Shrimp salad: broiled shrimp cut into small pieces then dressed with a mayo, sriracha, lime mixture
  2. more guacamole (as long as they keep having decent avocados at the store...)
  3. potato salad: potatoes, minced onion, mustard, olive oil, white balsamico

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday: polenta pizza

A random idea to use up the polenta that didn't get made into dumplings.

Form cooked polenta into disks on a well-oiled baking sheet. Top with sliced tomatoes, strips of dried ham, and gruyere. Bake until crispy on the bottom and browned up top.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday: Baked polenta dumplings and cauliflower

The polenta dumpling recipe came from this month's Le Menu. The original recipe called for it to be served on a bed of zucchini, but we had cauliflower instead, so I used that. :-) I did a bit of monkeying around with the seasonings of the dumplings but otherwise stuck more or less to the recipe.

Bring a mixture of 4dl milk and 4dl water slowly to a boil with a couple of bay leaves. Remove the bay leaves and whisk in 200g fine polenta along with a couple good pinches of salt, some cayenne, and plenty of black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until it's a thick paste. Add freshly grated nutmeg and 50g of grated gruyere, mix well, adjust seasonings, then remove from the heat and let cool.

Put some light cream in the bottom of a baking dish and add a layer of sliced (1cm) cauliflower. Season well and add more light cream as necessary. Form dumplings from the polenta (I used my wet hands, but theoretically you can do it with two spoons) and put them on top of the cauliflower. Dot with butter, sprinkle over strips of thinly sliced dried ham, then bake at 190C for about 35 minutes.

Together with a big green salad this made for a very nice meal.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Another catchup post

[Still shockingly behind]

Last week's cooking:
  1. Fish steamed on lettuce: inspired by the old Bittman recipe. I used cod and steamed it on lettuce together with some frozen peas
  2. Ensalada rusa: recipe from Wiener. This is great stuff and I'll have to make it again and again.
  3. Beans and greans: white beans and bacon done in the pressure cooker with yellow carrots, garlic, onion, chicken bouillon, bay leaf, cloves, and piri piris. Some nice bitter lettuce cooked in for the last few minutes. Served with parsley, chives, and olive oil
  4. A big hash : dice some potatoes and pan-fry them until they start to get crispy. Toss in a 170C oven. Cook some ground beef with salt until about done and set aside. Sweat diced carrot, long red pepper, onion, and garlic. Add the beef and potatoes. Serve topped with chives, together with sour cream and ketchup.
  5. Guacamole: avacodo, mashed garlic, salt, lime, 'tro, chipotle
  6. Sauteed chard with killed onions. From Hesser. A repeat.
  7. Cooked lettuce: boiled in well-salted water, then drained, chopped, and tossed with butter and a bit of yogurt.
  8. "Catalan vegetable paella": from Hesser.
  9. Vegetables with pasta: fresh tomatoes (peeled and chopped), minced onion, minced garlic, green beans (steamed to crisp-tender), diced zucchini (salted for a bit), whole-grain penne. Tossed with olive oil and black pepper and topped with shaved Sbrinz.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Last week's salads

[Shockingly behind again...]

It was hot, we had lots of vegetables to use up, so I made salads, salads, and more salads. And a soup or two.
  1. Green beans steamed until crisp-tender then tossed with minced onion, white balsamico, olive oil, and sliced wienerli
  2. Mange tous steamed until crisp-tender then tossed with soy, sesame oil, shiso, and that japanese hot pepper shake stuff
  3. Beef sirloin seared, thinly sliced, and tossed with lime, soy, fish sauce, and sesame oil.
  4. Cold rice noodles with carrots, cucumber, cilantro, peanut butter, soy, fish sauce, and lime
  5. Shaved fennel with oranges, cress, and walnuts (from Hesser)
  6. Shaved fennel with lemon, salt, and olive oil. (all about what you leave out)
  7. Eggplant and pine nut puree (from Hesser)
  8. Finely diced eggplant, herbs (thyme, lemon tyme, lemon balm, parsley, chives), garlic, lemon, olive oil, salt
  9. Cucumber soup with yogurt (from Hesser)
  10. Malaga gazpacho (from Hesser)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday: sauteed vegetables

The priority was to come up with a use of zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes to help clear the fridge for Thursday's new biokiste. That wasn't hard to do at all... :-)

Sweat a couple crushed garlic cloves together with a diced onion and some piri piri chilis in olive oil. Add zucchini and eggplant, each diced small, and salt and saute another few minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, cover, and let simmer 15-20 minutes. Serve topped with chives.

We ate this with thinly sliced pork loin chops that I seasoned well and then seared in the pan and a big green salad.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday leftovers

To go along with the leftover dirty rice, I tried the recipe for wilted chard with pickled onions from Hesser. Any new chard recipe is welcome, and this one is definitely good enough to become a regular part of the repertoire... an added bonus: the vinegar used to kill the onions is great for salad dressings.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday: Falafel and co

Whenever I see a falafel recipe I think: "mmmm, falafel... I should give that a try." but somehow never have. I'm not sure why, but this recipe from food52 pushed me over the activation barrier.

I stuck pretty closely to the recipe (though I only made a half recipe), the only real variation was that I used parsley instead of cilantro (somehow it didn't seem right to use 'tro) and fried them in a mixture of olive and peanut oils. Really nice stuff... we'll make these, along with the tzatziki, again.

I made pita bread to accompany the falafel following the recipe in the Bread Bible. Without a stand mixer, these were a fair amount of work, but they were quite good.

Other accompaniments:
  • Something like baba ganouj: eggplant roasted under the broiler, then peeled, chopped, and food-processed with garlic paste (allowed to cure with the salt for 10-15 minutes), tahini, and olive oil. I left the lemon juice and cumin out this time because the flavor and richness of the eggplant was great as is.
  • Roasted bell peppers (yellow and red) tossed with salt and some of the olive oil used to cook the onions and potatoes for the tortilla last week (that's a remarkable ingredient to have around).
  • A big pile of lettuce.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Saturday dessert: strawberries in a pink cloud

We're really enjoying the strawberries... This was another experiment using a recipe from food52.

I pretty much followed the recipe except for using jacutinga sugar and increasing the amount of balsamico to a good tsp or two (the 1/2 tsp called for in the recipe struck me as silly).

The results were quite nice. One tweak: I think the sugar was excessively strong; next time either standard sugar or plain raw sugar.

[Update: We tried this again the next night using white sugar and were happier with the results]

Saturday: dirty rice

I'm not quite sure where the idea for dirty rice came from, but once it arrived there was no alternative...

Rinse some blackeyed peas and soak them a few hours. Dump the soaking water and add sufficient new water just cover by 1cm, add a couple bay leaves, a clove, chopped onion, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer and let cook until the beans are about soft. Add a chicken bouillon cube and let the beans finish. Drain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid.

Coat a cup of basmati rice with peanut oil and toast for a couple minutes. Add two cups of the bean cooking liquid, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and cook for about 15 minutes. Let stand another 5-10 minutes.

Cut a couple coarse bratwurst into chunks and brown nicely. Drain the fat and add rice and beans. Serve topped with parsley.

With this we had grated zucchini sauteed in olive oil and then finished with vermouth (recipe from Hesser) and a big green salad.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Friday: Gazpacho

An improv gazpacho to celebrate (and start using) the tomatoes in the double box.

Mince an onion and some garlic, combine with salt and sherry vinegar in a bowl and let stand.
Peel some tomatoes, cut into chunks, and add to the bowl. Add roasted green pepper, chopped parsley, chopped cucumber, and olive oil. Add enough water to allow the stick blender to work and then blend well. Add more water to get it soup-like, then run through a strainer. Blend in some piment d'espelette and adjust salt. Let stand 5-10 minutes and then serve.

A really nice meal together with bread and the requisite big green salad

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thursday: roast potatoes and lamb

Keep it simple: season some lamb chops with salt and pepper and sear them well.

Make a batch of oven potatoes seasoned with cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper.

Serve the lamb and potatoes with salsa brava.

As a vegetable side I sauteed some mangetout with thinly sliced garlic and olive oil.

Add a green salad and be happy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday: vegetable curry

South-Indian inspired...

In a bit of neutral oil, toast a spice mixture made from fenugreek, cumin, green cardamom (all freshly ground), and some coconut. Add diced eggplant, zucchini, and fennel along with some turmeric and let cook until the vegetables are about ready to go. Add a small amount of crushed tomatoes, a squeeze of lemon juice, and adjust seasonings.

Meanwhile make the popu: toast black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, and asafoetida in clarified butter until the mustard seeds pop, set aside.

Stir in the popu and serve over basmati rice.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sunday: Tapas

We can't get enough tapas, so we did some more yesterday: tortilla de Espana, fried chicken wings with salsa brava, a tomato salad (tomatoes, flageolets, minced onion, garlic paste, salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, olive oil, parsley), and a big green salad.

The tortilla and chicken wings are recipes from Casas' Tapas book. I made these pretty much according to the recipes (substituting chipotle powder for the hot smoked paprika in the salsa brava recipe) on Saturday so that the flavors could meld and the chicken could marinate.

We also did a big green salad.

Very happy making food.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Saturday: baked vegetables

Driven by the massive quantity of vegetables in this week's double box.

Start by making the sauce: emulsify crushed tomatoes with olive oil, garlic paste, salt and pepper.
Layer the sauce with thinly sliced zucchini, eggplant, and fennel and very thinly sliced carrots and onions. Cover with foil and bake at 160. We didn't have either bread or breadcrumbs, so I improv'ed a topping: cook some millet in salted water for 10 minutes, let stand another 10 minutes, then drain and mix in some olive oil. After the vegetables have been baking for around an hour and a quarter, remove the foil, spread the millet over the top, and bake for another 40 minutes.

Really good stuff.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Friday: spaghetti with raw tomato sauce

We're getting tomatoes in the biokiste now... this week we got a double box, so there are a lot of tomatoes to use up.

Coarsely dice tomatoes, combine with finely diced fennel, minced shallot, finely chopped basil and parsley, olive oil, and black pepper. Just before serving add some cooking water from the pasta and adjust salt.

Serve with spaghetti and a bit more olive oil.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tuesday: brown rice and sausage

Kind of a random idea... those happen sometimes:

Cook some brown rice in a copious amount of chicken stock, then drain it.
Meanwhile cut some merguez into chunks and brown it nicely. Add diced carrot, onion, and chopped garlic and let cook until the onion softens. Add crushed tomatoes, sweet paprika, rosemary, lemon balm, and thyme and let simmer 10-15 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Friday: Strawberry rhubarb compote

Andrea and I independently ran across nice-smelling strawberries at the Coop and bought a box, so we had "too many". Fortunately for us (who knows what we would have done otherwise!) there was rhubarb in the fridge and I had just seen a really nice sounding recipe for strawberry rhubarb compote on Food52.

I was going to say that I stuck more or less with the recipe, but I guess I didn't: I substituted lemon zest for orange zest and used riesling (a couple good splashes) instead of rose. Instead of simmering for a long time, I did it in the microwave: one minute at a time, stirring after each minute, until the rhubarb was soft, 6-8 minutes total. I could see the orange zest being better than lemon, but the riesling was a great complement to the really aromatic strawberries, plus its acidity was a nice balancer.

Very nice stuff.

Friday: Steak and potatoes

It's not all that often that we do steak and potatoes, but that's what needed to be eaten, so we forced ourselves to eat it. ;-)

For the potatoes: peel and slice (1/2cm) some potatoes. Cook with a bit of salt in clarified butter over medium-high heat until nicely browned.

For the tomato sauce: cook finely chopped shallot in neutral oil until it softens. Add crushed tomatoes, minced chipotles, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

For the steak: season it well and then sear in butter.

Serve the steak on top of the sauce with the potatoes beside. Top everything with chives and serve with a lemon slice.

We ate this together with a big salad.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday: beef and broccoli

There was plenty of broccoli in the biokiste, pairing it with beef seemed almost too obvious.

Cut some thin steaks into bite-sized pieces. Sear them in neutral oil and then set aside.
Stir fry onion, broccoli, and diced kohrabi (it was in the fridge). Set aside.
Stir fry garlic, ginger, garlic-bean paste, and black beans (soaked in sherry and then drained) until aromatic. Add the vegetables and sherry from the black beans along with a bit of black vinegar and enough water to make a sauce. Add corn starch slurry to get the sauce to the texture you want. Just before serving add the beef and let it heat through.

Serve with short-grain rice.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Monday:southeast asian noodle salad

We grabbed a pre-made asian noodle salad for our hiking trip on Saturday and that gave me a powerful craving for a self-made one. :-)

Soak rice vermicelli in warm water until soft.
Combine chopped scallions, garlic, minced ginger, minced lemongrass, minced chili, chopped cilantro, lime juice, sesame oil, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, a bit of black vinegar, and black pepper.
Cut a kohlrabi and a couple of carrots into threads. Microwave just long enough to remove the raw taste of the kohlrabi, combine with the scallion mixture.
Add chicken thigh and leg meat (cooked, of course), chopped into matchsticks.
Add the noodles and mix everything well. Let stand for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the levels of lime, fish sauce, soy, and sugar to get it where it should be.

Serve on a bed of lettuce, topped with peanuts and more cilantro.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sunday: broiled chicken, chard with olives and capers

To use up the chard in the fridge, I used a recipe from food52 that sounded pretty good. To go with it I broiled some chicken leg quarters (seasoned with salt, pepper, and piment d'espelette).

The chard was ok, but it somehow didn't really come together. I guess I prefer the version that's stewed with crushed tomatoes and lemon zest.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday: quick lamb stew

Idea and recipe outline from the JPFF2 episode (don't have the book, but I watched the episode).

Slice fennel and onion with the ceramic slicer. Cook over medium-high heat with some water for a few minutes. Add sliced mushrooms, crushed tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Cook another 5 minutes or so.
Cut boneless lamb into 2cm pieces. Season well and cook in a mixture of olive oil and butter over high heat until well browned, but still rare. Combine the lamb with the rest of the stew, and adjust seasonings.

Serve over basmati rice, topped with crushed almonds, parsley, and a bit of chive.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday: scallops and roasted potatoes

I found some nice-looking scallops on sale and did them really simply:

fry some bacon in a heavy pan and then set aside. Add a bit of butter and the seasoned scallops. Brown well on both sides and serve topped with crumbled bacon and some coarsely chopped pistachios.

We ate these together with oven-roasted new potatoes and a big green salad and were not unhappy about it at all.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday: Celery-ham tower

What to do with the celery roots in the fridge? What to do? Ah! got it!

Peel a celery root and slice it into 1/2 cm slices. Steam those until almost tender. Layer the seasoned slices with some good smoked ham. Top the towers with Gruyere and piment d'espelette. Bake at 175C until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

Very simple, but a really good combination of flavors.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sunday: Krapfen/Empanadas/Pasties/whatever

We got the first eggplant of the year in the biokiste and I ran across a recipe in Le Menu that looked like a good way to use it: Krapfen with a quark-heavy dough filled with eggplant, tomatoes, cheese, and fresh herbs. I added leeks to the filling and used a hard cheese instead of goat cheese, but otherwise I didn't monkey too much with the recipe.

Since the eggplant was small, I did a second filling: ground beef browned and then cooked with garlic, onion, paprika (sweet and hot), coriander, a bit of ketchup, and tomato paste.

Both types ended up being really good and making a series of nice meals.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Saturday: Kohlrabi and lentils

An idea from Le Menu to use up kohlrabi: Cook some small lentils in boiling water until they're ready to eat (~30 minutes), halfway through add some vegetable bouillon. Combine finely chopped lemon balm and chervil, chopped garlic, light cream, and salt and let simmer gently for a while. Peel some kohlrabi and slice 5-7mm thick. Saute these in butter until cooked through and lightly colored on both sides. Serve by layering the kohlrabi and lentils on a layer of the sauce; top with more herbs for color.

Friday salad

A quick one at the end of a warm day: a bed of dressed lettuce surrounded by diced cheese, olives, broad beans, strips of siedfleisch, thinly sliced speck pieces, grated carrots dressed with lemon vinaigrette, and steamed kohlrabi sticks. Served with good bread.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sunday breakfast: savory french toast

Another breakfast idea from Food52 that had to be tried: salt and pepper french toast.

In addition to the sriracha ketchup, we also tried these with raclette spices and Old Bay. Both worked well.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Sunday salads

A variety of salads to go along with the hot weather and use up leftovers from grilling.

  1. Grilled peppers and green onions, macaroni, lemon vinaigrette.
  2. Potatoes from the hobo pack served at room temp tossed with the remaining baerlauch pesto and some additional olive oil
  3. Salt cod, broad beans, tomatoes, olives, red onion, parsley, red wine vinegar, olive oil (recipe from La Cucina de Mama)
  4. A standard green salad.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Saturday at the Grill

Last night's grilling:

  1. Grilled peppers tossed with grilled spring onions. Served with a lemon vinaigrette
  2. Grill-roasted asparagus also served with the lemon vinaigrette
  3. Hobo pack with potatoes, onions, garlic, piment d'espelette, salt, and pepper
  4. A ribeye on the bone, seasoned with salt, pepper, and coriander. Served with a "pesto" made from baerlauch, toasted almonds, and olive oil.

Saturday breakfast: a pancake experiment

I found this intriguing pancake recipe a week or so ago (just the picture is enough to make me want to make it!). Yesterday I got around to trying it.

My mods to the recipe were to use less butter and add a pinch of salt to the batter. Since lumps in pancakes drive me nuts, I ran the batter through a strainer.

This definitely won't be the last time we have this for breakfast. mmmmmmm

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Wednesday: rice and peas, spicy sauteed spinach

Another simple one:

Sautee chopped leek in olive oil. When it softens, add young spinach and a good pinch of salt. When the spinach shrinks a bit, add a couple good pinches of ras al hanout. A couple of minutes before serving, add some coarsely chopped lemon balm.

Meanwhile cook some basmati rice and, when it's almost done, top with some frozen peas.

Serve the spinach with the rice.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Sunday: Garbage rice

[trying to get back into the rhythm of posting regularly]

This is another one of those recipes driven to use up whatever is in the fridge.

Dice some bacon and get it browning in olive oil. Add whole cumin seeds and toast a couple minutes. Add 1.5 cups of short-grain rice, stir to coat, and cook a few minutes. Add grated yellow carrot, grated parsnip, chopped garlic, chopped spring onions that have been under the broiler until they take on some color, plenty of minced thyme, and chopped orgegano. Cook another couple minutes. Stir in a mixture of hot and sweet paprika, black pepper, salt, and freshly ground coriander. Add 1 cup each tomato puree, sherry, and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and put in a 175C oven for 15 minutes. Let rest 5-10 minutes. Serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a mixture of minced parsley, rosemary, garlic, and lemon zest with a lemon wedge on the side.

Together with a big green salad this made for a good meal (and it really helped reduce the quantities of fresh herbs in the fridge!).

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Another Grillfest

For this one I did a collection of recipes from Let the Flames Begin. I haven't used that so much in the past, so it was a lot of fun to go through and pick out new recipes and ideas.

The doings:
  1. Chicken wings southeast asian style: coated with coriander, salt, and pepper; grilled; tossed with chile-bean paste, sriracha, lime, cilantro, mint, basil, sesame oil; served with a peanut-ginger-soy dipping sauce
  2. Grilled buffalo wings, twice re-imagined: coated with curry powder, salt, and pepper; grilled; tossed with oregano, garlic, white balsamico, olive oil; served with a gorgonzola, sour-cream, olive oil dipping sauce.
  3. Grilled potato steaks with sour cream, bacon, and chives
  4. Siedfleisch marinated with parsley, garlic, and olive oil; grilled; served with red onions killed and then tossed with corandier, white vinegar, and olive oil.
  5. Black bean, pineapple, chipotle salad.
  6. Dessert: slightly sweet drop biscuits topped with a compote made from rhubarb, grated fresh ginger, and candied ginger.
Definitely some good stuff.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Saturday at the Grill

A couple friends came over to celebrate the summer-like weather. Here's what I did:

  1. Shrimp : shell-on shrimp marinated with lime, coriander, cumin, and Old Bay, grilled on skewers, then tossed in a bowl with some more lime juice and another shake of Old Bay.
  2. Pork: a faux filet marinated with lemon, minced garlic, and olive oil, grilled whole, and then sliced and tossed with a bit more olive oil and lemon juice
  3. Chicken: chicken breasts grilled whole then sliced and tossed with pesto (no parmesan) and a bit of balsamico
  4. Grilled salad: peppers and zucchini
  5. Beets: diced, steamed, tossed with oil, balsamico, rosemary, salt, and white pepper
  6. A big green salad.
  7. Dessert: vanilla pudding topped with stewed rhubarb
The pudding didn't set up at all (I guess I didn't get it hot enough after adding the corn starch), so we had it as a dessert soup instead, but otherwise everything was quite nice.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Monday: pesto

There's still basil in olive oil in the freezer from last summer; that's an easy one to use: pesto!

To go with it I did a beet salad by tossing steamed diced beets with olive oil, feta cheese, white pepper, and piment d'espelette.

We also had thick slices of smoked ham that I quickly pan fried.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Friday: Veggie gratin

The usual "let's use up tons of root vegetables" gratin:
thinly sliced celery root, potato, leek, bodenkohlrabi (at least that's what we think it is) and smoked ham with a sauce made from cream, milk, garlic, bay leaf, clove, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and a bit of cayenne. Topped with gruyere and then baked 40 minutes covered and 20 minutes open.

good stuff.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday: tacos

On Saturday we picked some corn tortillas up in Zurich, so tacos were a high priority.

The filling: brown some seasoned beef stew meat then set it aside and pour out most of the fat. Add diced onion and mashed garlic, freshly ground cumin and coriander, and some ripped up dried guajillo chiles; cook a few minutes until the onion softens. Add about a Tbs each of ketchup and tomato paste and cook another couple minutes. Return the beef to the pan and add just enough water to about cover it. Cover the pot and simmer for a few hours, until the beef is falling apart. Add a small amount of ground cloves and cinnamon, more cumin, and some freshly ground black pepper and serve.

The baked rice: cook diced onion and garlic with whole cumin until the onion is soft. Add a cup of rice and cook a couple more minutes. Add 2cups water and chopped canned tomatoes along with a tsp of sweet paprika and some chicken bouillon. Bring to a boil, cover, and bake at 175 for 15 minutes then let stand for another 10-15 minutes before serving.

The sides:

  • Corn salad: corn, diced red pepper, minced onion, minced garlic, cider vinegar, salt, rape-seed oil, chipotle tabasco, salt
  • Cole slaw: napa cabbage and shredded carrot with a dressing from mayo, mustard, rape-seed oil, white balsamico, tabasco, salt, ground coriander
Goooood eating

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Saturday: pork and beans

Toss some dried white beans, onion, garlic, bay leaf, clove, chicken bouillon, sweet and hot paprikas, black pepper, diced smoked ham, and water in the pressure cooker. Bring to pressure and cook 15 minutes. Serve topped with good olive oil, chives, and parsley.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wednesday: split pea soup

It's great to have the pressure cooker and be able to do pea soup on a weeknight.

This was the usual: combine peas, onion, diced carrot, bay leaf, chicken bouillon, diced bacon, and herbes de provence in the pressure cooker, bring up to pressure, and cook for 12 minutes. Open the pot, add some wienerli, and cook another couple minutes until the sausage is heated through.

Serve with good bread and a green salad.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday: curried vegetable soup

Definitely a garbage soup.

Cook diced onion, leek, celery root, carrot (yellow and orange), potato, and steckrueben in some neutral oil with salt for 10-12 minutes, until the vegetable soften. Add cooked rice, ras al hanout, and sufficient water, bring to a simmer, cover, and let simmer until everything is cooked through. Puree and adjust seasonings.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saturday: baked sauerkraut with pork

Not the first time we've done this one:
Combine sauerkraut with small-diced bacon, medium diced smoked pork shoulder, and white wine and bake until it's ready.

Serve with steamed potatoes, grainy mustard, cornichons, and a big green salad.

Friday: burgers with baked rice

The burgers were totally basic: beef, salt, minced onion, black pepper.

The rice was derived from the baked rice recipe in La Cocina de Mama; my variation this time was to use ras al hanout.

To go with this we had a salad made from steamed diced beets tossed with sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, and white pepper.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thursday: pork steaks with cheese and apple sauce

A bit of a random one driven by the boskoop apples in the house along with leftover fondue.

Make the apple sauce: core the apples and slice them (could also peel them, but it's pretty easy to pick the peels out later if you don't mind a "rustic" dish) then toss them in a pot with a bit of butter, cover, and cook over low heat until it turns to apple sauce.

For the pork: season some pork steaks well, sear on both sides in the cast iron, then let rest a few minutes. Serve topped with the reheated fondue cheese.

Together with a big salad, this made for a nice meal.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday: fondue

It's been a while since we did a fondue...

Once again I did a standard recipe (no need to vary when we do this so rarely): cheese mixture from the place around the corner, garlic, corn starch, white wine, kirsch, black pepper, and nutmeg.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

never going to catch up

Been bad about posting lately and I'm never going to catch up, so just some highlights from the past month so I can get started posting again

  • Had dinner at the East Coast Grill in Cambridge... mmm, East Coast Grill
  • Savory bread pudding with bacon and loads of paprika
  • A salad of sliced belgian endive with a creamy, lightly spicy, dressing topped with mandarin segments and peanuts
  • curried vegetable soup with ras al hanout
  • steak au poivre

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sunday: pork and parsnip stew, biscuits

I had a craving for biscuits and a stew seemed like a good accompaniment.

For the biscuits I used the usual recipe from Bittman.

For the stew I used pork shoulder, smoked bacon, some turkey (remainders from the pot pie makings), leek, yellow carrots, parsnips, fennel, white wine, tomato paste, fennel seed, yellow mustard seed, and some beef bouillon.

To go with the rest of the goodness I did a chopped salad with spitzkohl and granny smith apples.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Saturday: Fusion curry + lemon rice

A recipe from Alles Klar that needed to be made: beef filet in red curry with lemon-basmati rice. I pretty much followed the recipe aside from the cooking in jars part... I cooked everything normally. :-)

To accompany I made a salad of chopped napa cabbage, fresh mint, lime juice, fish sauce, and sesame oil.

Really nice food; moving the sour elements from the curry to the rice is an interesting shift.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Friday: turkey pot pie

A simple pot pie:

Brown some diced turkey breast in neutral oil, set aside. Saute sliced leek, chopped onion, diced carrot, celery, potato, and parsnip, and minced garlic in the same pan. After a few minutes add white wine, some chicken bouillon, pepper, rosemary, sage, a bit of oregano, mustard, carrot juice (leftover from last week), and some water. Bring to a simmer and then add corn starch to thicken. Add back the turkey and adjust seasonings. Transfer to serving-size oven-safe containers (I used our french onion soup bowls), top with puff pastry, and bake at 175C until the puff pastry is ready, about 30 minutes.

Together with a big green salad, this made for a really nice winter meal.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Thursday: potatoes cooked with sherry, pork chops

There were a bunch of small potatoes from the biokiste that needed to be used...

Cut some new potatoes in half lengthwise and put them in a single layer in a hot pan with some olive oil. Cook ~5 minutes. Add a good quantity of sherry, salt, cumin, chopped garlic, chopped red onion, cover, and let simmer until the potatoes are done. Serve topped with parsley and chives.

For the pork: season pork loin chops well and pan-fry them. Drizzle with sherry vinegar and olive oil and top with parsley and chives before serving.

Serve with a big green salad.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tuesday: Beets layered with beef and goat cheese

I'm not really sure where this idea to use up the beef that didn't end up in the hotpot came from, but I'm definitely glad it came.

Make a vinaigrette from sherry vinegar, olive oil, salt, ras al hanout, black pepper, a bit of mashed garlic, and a pinch of of brown sugar.

For the beef: cut some steak into 2-4mm slices, sear the slices in a very hot pan, toss them with some vinaigrette and set aside.

For the beets: peel and slice them (1cm thick) and steam until tender.

Layer the sliced beets with, strips of beef, sliced goat cheese (we used a soft cheese with a rind for this), and vinaigrette.

As an accompaniment I made some basmati rice and served it topped with ras al hanout and chopped pistachios. That was a magical combination.

Great food.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Saturday: black-eyed pea soup

When I was growing up we always used to do black-eyed peas on New Years day. I don't always succeed, but I do try to keep doing this.

This year's version was really simple: into the pressure cooker went black-eyed peas, diced onion, diced bacon, chicken bouillon, bay leaf, clove, thyme. After 15 minutes at pressure I served the soup with thinly sliced red onions that I killed with red-wine vinegar, salt, and a bit of brown sugar.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Friday: Szechuan Hot Pot

This seemed like a good one for New Years Eve. As with last time, I stuck reasonably close to the stock recipe in Land of Plenty. This time I strained the stock before putting it on the table - definitely a nice refinement.

Things we had on the table to toss in the hot pot: thinly sliced beef, smoked bacon, strips of chicken breast, spring onions, sliced mushroom, broccoli, carrots.

For dipping sauce(s): soy sauce, sesame oil, black vinegar, garlic.

I also did a salad of very thinly sliced red cabbage, lime juice, sesame oil, fish sauce, salt, and a bit of sugar.

Really good eating.