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.