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.