Monday, January 30, 2012

Sunday: Borscht

At some point the beets in the fridge prompted the idea of borscht. We had all the ingredients (aside from the beef, dill, and sour cream) to do the recipe in Hesser, and that recipe sounded awfully good. So... that's what I did.

I followed the recipe pretty much verbatim and we ended up with something very, very good.

It takes a long time to make, but wow is this great stuff.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Saturday: winter vegetables and pasta

I got back from a long trip craving vegetables, this is where that led.

Sweat a coarsely chopped leek in olive oil with some minced garlic. Add grated parsnip, carrot, and celery root, along with a good pinch of salt, and let cook 5-7 minutes. Add chopped spitzkohl (a fine white cabbage) and cook another 5 minutes or so. Stir in a splash of white balsamico, a grind of black pepper, and a spoonful or two of pasta cooking water. Stir in drained, cooked pasta (I used orecchietta) and serve topped with grated grana padano.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sunday: enchiladas and refried beans

We both had a craving for Mexican, so that's what I did.

For the sauce: roast, peel, and chop some red peppers. Sweat chopped leek together with garlic and a pinch of salt until it starts to take on some color. Add sliced chiles and cook another few minutes. Add the chopped red peppers, some crushed tomatoes, and enough water to loosen it up a bit. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Puree with a stick blender. Add sweet paprika, oregano, and black pepper and let simmer another few minutes.

For the beans: cook soaked pintos in the pressure cooker with onion, garlic, bay leaf, salt, and water (not too much!) for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are soft and the overall water level looks good. In a separate pan, cook chopped onion and garlic until the onion is nicely translucent and taking on some brown. Add the beans and mash with a potato masher. Adjust seasoning and simmer a couple more minutes.

For the enchiladas: season some turkey-breast cutlets well and then search on both sides. Slice into strips. Combine the turkey with diced feta cheese in a tortillas. Roll them and arrange them on a bed of sauce in a baking dish. Top with more sauce and grated cheese. Bake at 180C until the top is brown and bubbly. Serve the beans on the side

goooooood food.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Saturday: roast chicken and sauteed vegetables

One of my rare roasted chickens (last one was in 2010).

I used the method from Ruhlman20 to roast the bird and made a pan sauce after it finished.

To accompany I did a batch of sauteed vegetables: carrot, leek, celery root, potato, garlic, herbs de provence, salt, black pepper, and olive oil.

I elaborated the sauce more than was necessary, but the end result was still quite good.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Thursday: beans and greens

When a nice head of escarole shows up in the biokiste, it's really hard not to just make beans and greens with it...

This time it was a pretty minimal variant: sweat the onions in olive oil with garlic, piri piri chiles, and some diced bacon until nicely transparent. Add the coarsely-chopped escarole, a splash of white wine, and some salt and cook until the escarole is about ready to go. Add canned cannellini beans with their liquid and another splash of wine. Let the beans heat through, adjust seasoning, and then serve drizzled with good olive oil and sprinkled with parsley.

Almost rule_of_five, almost vegetarian, fully good. :-)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Wednesday: potatoes with quinoa and cheese

Another iBittmanVeg recipe followed incompletely. I should add a "substantial_deviation_from_published_recipe" tag or something. ;-)

Cut some potatoes into wedges and toss them into a pot of water with a thickly sliced onion. Salt and bring to a boil. Add quinoa. Cook for another five minutes, then drain. Add to a baking dish with some olive oil. Salt and pepper and mix well. Bake at 210C for 15 minutes. Stir. Bake another 10 minutes. Stir in some piment d'espelette and more black pepper. Top with grated cheese and bake until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

The potatoes unfortunately didn't get crispy, but the grain had a nice crunch and the whole thing tasted great.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tuesday: stuck-pot rice and lentils

Derived from a recipe in iBittmanVeg

Cook a cup and half of brown rice together with a half cup of small green lentils in boiling salted water for 15 minutes. Drain. Meanwhile cook a sliced leek in butter with a good pinch of salt over medium-high heat until it starts to take on some color. Add some pine nuts and a pinch of saffron and let cook until the leeks are nicely caramelized. Toss the rice and lentils with salt, a lemon's worth of zest, and some coarsely ground cardamom (about 1/2 tsp). Melt more butter together with some olive oil at the bottom of a heavy pan and stir in a handful of saffron. Layer on half the rice/lentils, the leeks, and then the other half rice/lentils. Add a splash of water, cover with a tight-fitting lid covered with a towel, and cook over medium-high heat until it starts to sizzle. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes and then serve.

I was a bit nervous about this being heavy or in the "sawdust and cardboard" school of vegetarian, but I didn't need to worry: the dish ended up being quite good.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Monday: split-pea soup

Some simple comfort food to help recover from the holidays:

Sweat diced onion together with diced carrot and bacon in a bit of neutral oil in the pressure cooker until the onion is glassy (5-10 minutes). Add washed yellow split peas, a good pinch of salt, black pepper, herbs de provence, white wine, and water, put on the lid, and bring up to pressure over high heat. Drop the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, stir well to break up the remaining peas, add a splash of wine, adjust seasonings, and serve with good bread and butter.

To accompany this I did a salad of grated carrots tossed with OJ, olive oil, salt, black pepper, cumin, and ras al hanout.

Monday, January 02, 2012

New technology/cookbooks

Things from the holidays:
  • I picked up a copy of the "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" iPad app. What a nice piece of software. I'm dubbing it "iBittmanVeg".
  • I got a copy of Ruhlman's Twenty as a gift. Unsurprisingly, it's a nice cookbook.

Getting active again

Going to make a conscious effort to start posting again.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

New Years Eve: Szechuan Hot Pot

We did this last year too.

This year's contents: beef filet, pork belly, pork loin, chicken breast, yellow peppers, scallions, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini.

Dipping sauces: ketjap manis and garlic; ketjap manis and ginger; soy sauce, chile oil, and ginger; chile oil.

It's great food and makes for great pictures.

The spread
In progress