Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
As most of you know, I am not a baker. But I am a huge fan of Mark Bittman. I woke up this morning to his Cornbread recipe of the day and just had to try it-- it helped that I had all the ingredients on hand, and even some bacon fat in the fridge for just this kind of culinary whim. (Note to the veggers: can be made with butter or olive oil instead.)
Thursday, September 25, 2008
One of the wonderful bonuses of roasting a whole chicken (besides having chicken for a week-- for tacos, sandwiches, pasta, etc) is making your own stock! I admit to using canned stock for cooking, but if you're making something where stock will be one of the prominent flavors (like soup or a simple braise/stew), making your own is totally worth it. Also, it's incredibly easy-- throw everything in a pot, cover with water, and simmer away for a few hours. This recipe starts with some raw chicken parts, since I had the neck, backbone, and innards left over too. If you're just using cooked bones, skip the first step.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I don't normally post quick things I throw together for lunch like sandwiches and salads (with a few exceptions), but this sandwich was so amazing I had to tell someone about it (this blog started because I think my friends got sick of my thrice-daily reports on what I was eating).
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
This makes a great vegetarian main dish or shellfish side (it'd be delicious with prawns, cooked separately, of course). Be sure to get the vegetables well caramelized; this makes the entire risotto deep brown and very flavorful.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
-- or, what to do when you find ripe Roma tomatoes at 39 cents a pound. (If you live anywhere near Berkeley and still haven't been to Monterey Market, go. Not only do they have incredible deals, but much of their produce is organic and from local farmers. In addition to the 39 cent tomatoes, I bought some small dry-farmed $3/lb tomatoes that were most definitely the best tasting tomatoes I have ever had in my entire life. I do not exaggerate.)
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I made this incredibly simple pasta dish with just two main ingredients-- brussels sprouts and pine nuts-- to highlight the nuttiness of the sprouts, but you can add corn and even tomatoes if you want. I wanted to keep it simple so I could top it with my leftover braised beef with tomatoes. You can serve the pasta on its own and keep the dish vegetarian.
Monday, September 15, 2008
This is a really easy dish to throw together for a light lunch, and you can add whatever veggies you like. You can also fry the eggplant; I baked it to make it a little lighter. I cheated a bit by buying pre-mixed, pre-julienned carrot and radish at a Vietnamese market in Chinatown that I am now in love with. That's also where I got the culantro, which is like cilantro only a lot more awesome. You can definitely substitute the western stuff if it's easier to find.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This dish was my celebration of summer fog: after days on end of interminable sunshine and 90 degree weather, we finally got some cooler, fog-filled days and I jumped at the opportunity to embrace my winter lover, braising. But I still had some delicious summer tomatoes sitting on the counter (never, ever refrigerate tomatoes) so I incorporated those as well. This is the perfect fall dish, and its simplicity really highlights the few ingredients involved.
Serve over a grain. You can serve as is, or sprinkled with parsley, or-- like I did-- with a dollop of yogurt to cool it off.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
This is a light, delicious meal that uses only one baking dish and is ready in about 15 minutes. You can skip the cilantro mint topping and drizzle soy sauce instead, but I like the freshness of the herbs and the heat of the chilies.
You'll need (serves 1):
1 filet salmon, pinbones removed with tweezer
1T white miso paste
4 leaves kale, stems removed
a handful of shiitake mushrooms
1 inch ginger, chopped
2T chopped mint
2T chopped cilantro
1 thai chili, minced
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Tear the kale into bite-sized pieces and place in baking dish. Top with mushrooms, quartered if large. Drizzle with some chicken stock or water and a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Roast about 5 minutes, until kale is crispy on top and mushrooms are soft.
In the meantime, combine cilantro, mint, and chili and set aside.
Stir ginger into kale and make a well in the middle; place salmon, skin side down, into well. Turn oven down to 275 degrees and return dish to oven. Cook until salmon is opaque on the outside, about 7 minutes.
Serve topped with herb-chili mixture.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
This is an intensely flavorful dish that involves minimal work-- just chop the veggies, stick them in the oven, cook the pasta, and toss it all together. It helps to use really good tomatoes because, roasted, they lend a slightly smokey sweetness to the finished dish that goes really well with the sharp arugula. I used Early Girl tomatoes, which were only 59 cents/lb at Monterey Market last week. Also, use bunch arugula if you can find it-- it's cheaper and much more strongly flavored than baby arugula, and won't wilt as quickly when it comes into contact with the hot pasta.
5 medium tomatoes
5 cloves garlic
fettucine or whatever pasta you want
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 400.
Halve and core tomatoes, squeezing them gently to remove some liquid. Then roughly chop them and place on baking sheet.
Quarter mushrooms and add to baking sheet.
Quarter onion, separate pieces, and add to baking sheet. Add peeled garlic cloves too.
Drizzle everything with olive oil (I use a great olive oil spray from Trader Joe's). Sprinkle with kosher salt.
Place veggies in oven and heat water for pasta.
In the meantime, chiffonade basil and separate the arugula leaves from their tough stems.
When veggies are almost done (soft and golden), cook pasta; toss it all together, stir in basil, arugula, and a glug of good olive oil. Top with shaved pecorino and ground black pepper.