Archive | May, 2012

Spinach Avocado Grapefruit Salad

31 May

I almost forgot how much I love this refreshing salad- so perfect for summer. Comes together in about 5 minutes. I used to make it before my Snacko Backo days– in the w. village apartment. Seriously, so easy. Make it now. And share it with your friends. As I did once w. ms. beezy burgess— to whom I send a special congrats– for grad school graduation!!
This recipe comes from Moosewood Low-Fat Vegetarian Cookbook
5 oz fresh spinach
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 grapefruit
1 avocado
salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse the spinach and spin or gently pat dry [ever tell you how much i love my salad spinner? totally worth the $$- small one]. Tear spinach into desired size. In large bowl, mix together spinach, oil, garlic– toss well and set aside.
Peel, seed and section the grapefruit- putting grapefruit and its juice into a small bowl [i have this super handy serrated grapefruit spoon- so you can just cut the grapefruit crosswise and dig out the good stuff].Chop up the avocado and add into the bowl- gently mixing together. Add them to spinach salad bowl. Sprinkle w. salt & pepper to taste.

Roasted Red Pepper Gazpacho

22 May

Also made this week: Turkey Burger. Yum! Check out its hot new pic.

There was a phase where my mom made “fat burning soup.” I think the idea was similar to the (myth?) of celery– that it takes more calories to eat than you actually consume? Well, this tastes nothing like that soup– but gazpacho makes me think of it- as it always feels like the most healthy and fresh soup. This recipe is packed with flavor and comes from The Voluptuous Vegan. Obviously, I would never have found a recipe from this on my own. But last summer, this gazpacho was brought to the vegeatrian potluck thrown by the tech dept at the museum. It was so tasty, i asked for the recipe. Normally, I get lazy and skimp on garnishes. But these really add something- so I encourage you to use. I also had thought about adding a serrano pepper to add some heat to the soup or garnish— in the end, i didn’t- but the idea is out there, if you want to. I do also have a more traditional gazpacho- an Ina Garten recipe– elsewhere on the blog.

Also- check out my new rooster timer! I’m in love. Thanks to Alexis- for encouraging the purchase at Fish & Eddy’s.

4 thick slices of bread (preferably sourdough) [two slices go in the soup, two used as croutons]
2 cups cold water
2 pounds red tomatoes
1 large roasted red pepper
1 scallion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons paprika [i used 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon sweet parika. this produced a strong smokey flavor, so adjust accordingly to your tastes]
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
finely chopped red onion, for garnish
finely chopped green bell pepper, for garnish
finely chopped tomatoes, for garnish

To roast red pepper (directions as cribbed from swordfish recipe): Preheat to 400. Line baking sheet with foil. Lightly coat whole red peppers with olive oil. Cook for 30-40 mins. Flip over once during. The peppers will get charred and black on outside- that’s what you want. When done, take the peppers out. I put in a tupperware, and cover with lid for 15 mins. This steams and makes them worlds easier to get skin peel. When cool, using hand or knife, to slide off skin, seeds and top.

Remove crusts from bread. Place 2 slices of bread in a small bowl, cover with water and soak for 5 minutes. Remove the bread and squeeze it like a sponge to rid of excess water. Discard the water.
Remove the stems from the tomatoes. Transfer tomatoes, soaked bread, and water to a blend/food processor to break up the tomatoes. Will probably need to do in 2 batches. [i regrettfully didn’t listen, and it caused a mess, so batch it]
Remove the charred skin from the pepper. Scrape of stems and seeds. and chop into 1-inch pieces.
To the blender, add the pepper, scallion, paprika, garlic, vinegar,1/4 cup of the oil, chopped basil and salt and blend until smooth.
Tranfer to a container and chill thoroguhly. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

[admittedly, I skipped this step- and just ate with bread] To make croutons: preheat oven to 350. Cut the remaining slices into 1/2-inch cubes. Put remaining tablespoon of oil in small bowl. Place the bread cubes in bowl and light toss around so bread touches oil. Spread cubes on baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes until crispy and golden.

Serve the soup garnished with a spoonful of red onion, green pepper, tomato and croutons. Gazpacho is one of those things that tastes even better the next day- when flavors have all spent the night together.

Green Tea Ice Cream & Orange Sherbet

17 May

I am obsessed with making ice cream these days. Ice cream is a nice balance between baking and cooking–because it acts as a great canvas to play with- and you can be less precise than baking. That being said, my experiments, thus far, never turn out as well as the recipes. For all recipes- basic and inventive- I turn to David Lebovitz. I am super into his book The Perfect Scoop. David posts several of the recipes on his blog– so check there. Also- if you have anything else in mind- email me. But here are two non-David Lebovitz recipes that I want to make again and again. David, fyi, also has a method for non ice cream maker ice cream- never tried- but just a bit more labor intensive.

Also, a fundamental question often asked. Ice Cream generally has Milk and heavy cream. Sherbet only has milk. Sorbet has water. I have been playing around a lot with yogurt too– which tends to retain the tang (for better or worse) not always in commercial fro yo. For me, Sherbet is a favorite– because it tastes creamy,  but I feel a little less bad about it than when I know I have consumed cups of heavy cream. ech. David Lebovitz- has a Chocolate Sherbet recipe- that is dynamite! Oh and while you are on his blog- check out the recipe for Whole Lemon Bars. I didn’t even know I liked lemon bars before those.

Fresh Orange Sherbet- America’s Test Kitchen Recipe. This recipe- nothing like the old-school gross Sherbet you might associate with fruit punch. This tastes like creamsicles.
1 tablespoon grated zest from 1 or 2 oranges
1 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 cups orange juice, preferably unpasteurized fresh-squeezed (can buy or do yourself)
3 tablespoons juice from 1 or 2 lemons
2 teaspoons triple sec or vodka
2/3 cup heavy cream

1. Process the zest, sugar and salt in the food processor until damp, 10 to 15 one-second pulses. With machine running, add the orange and lemon juice in slow stream, continue to process until sugar is dissolved, about a minute. Strain through fine-mesh strainer- into a medium bowl. Stir in triple sec, cover w. plastic wrap and chill in the freezer until very cold, 30 to 60 minutes. Don’t let it freeze.
2. When it is cold, whisk heavy cream until soft peaks. whisking constantly, and juice slowly in, pouring against the edge of the bowl. Immediately start ice cream maching and add to canister. freeze to machine’s instructions.

Green Tea Ice Cream- Harumi Kurihara recipe
2 tablespoons green tea powder (macha)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream

1. In a small bowl, mix the green tea powder with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg yolks and remaining sugar.
3. Pour milk into a small pan and gently heat taking care not to let it boil (ideally the temp of the milk should be 176F). Remove from heat and mix a few spoonfuls of the warm milk with the green tea powder and sugar in a small bowl. When you have a smooth paste, add it to the remaining milk in the pan, then gradually combine with the egg yolk mixture. Leave to cool (in fridge).
4. light whip the cream and then add to the cold green tea mixture.
5. Add to ice cream maker and freeze per instructions.

BBQ sauce

11 May

Believe me when I tell you that homemade bbq sauce is worth the effort.  I take that back, it is not so much effort as a list of ingredients you might have to buy. I remember buying them all the first time I made it– and it seeming absurd to spend so much more on ingredients than just buying a bottle of sauce.But it turned out so damn good- and they all super useful things to have around- and I have made this recipe again and again. Makes a nice summer time bbq gift. The sauce is an America’s Test Kitchen Recipe. It is both sweet and spicy. Pare down on cayenne if you don’t like heat.

1 cup ketchup
1 medium onion- w. 1/4 water juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons molasses [can use 5 tablespoons of molasses and no maple syrup- as per written in original recipe]
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 garlic- pressed through
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional) [i used 3/4 tsp last time- this stuff is strong]

Process onion with the water in a food processor, until it looks like slush. Put in a fine mesh strainer and push down with a rubber spatula, reserving 1/2 cup of onion liquid. Discard solids.
Whisk onion juice, ketchup, molasses, syrup, mustard, hot sauce, black pepper and liquid smoke (if using) in a medium bowl.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering but not smoking. Add garlic, chili powder and cayenne; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in ketchup mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low and simmer gently, uncovered until flavors meld and sauce is thickened, about 25 mins. Cool bbq sauce to room temperature before using- (you will notice it thickens quite a bit more as it cools). Sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container up to 1 week.

To cook the easy way in the oven:
I took 2 chicken breasts (bone in, skin on) and smothered in about 1/3 of the sauce. Left in a covered tupperware overnight (I am sure a couple hours would have worked fine). The next day, set the oven to 350. Line baking sheet with foil. Put chicken on the sheet and top with sauce collected on bottom of tupperware. Baked for 35 mins or until juices run clear… and temperature (if using a thermometer reads 150 or above). Can brush with extra bbq sauce the last 2 minutes before chicken is done cooking. Also can serve with extra sauce.

Stewed Rhubarb & Overnight Steel-Cut Oats

2 May

Sam and I love stewed rhubarb. True story: I first made rhubarb with my mother for the Medieval Feast in 6th Grade. I don’t remember how we found the recipe (pre-internet, maybe a library book?), but apparently stewed rhubarb folded into whipped cream- may we call it Rhubarb Fool- is medieval. (I went to wonky school where feasts like this were of regular occurrence.) Fun Fact: Rhubarb is a vegetable. If you aren’t familiar with it- it looks like big pink stalks. Not Fun Fact: the leaves are actually poisonous, so cut them off and don’t eat. Rhubarb is great on its own and I usually eat it that way. But it is also good on yogurt, oatmeal or ice cream, in a pie or crumble (often combined w. strawberries), with whipped cream or custard as a fool.

Stewed Rhubarb
This is for about 10 big stalks, but easily scaled. Wash stalks. Cut off ends and leaves. Chop into inch or 1/2 inch pieces. Put in a medium saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of water. 1/2 cup sugar (can scale back to 1/3 if you like… I always do that then end up adding more in the end. Rhubarb on its own is very bitter). Simmer, uncovered over med heat for 15 mins. It will break down and turn into stew.

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
This recipe comes from theKitchn. They have all sorts of recipes for no cook, over night cook oatmeal etc etc. I don’t really understand what this blog is– but useful nonetheless. This recipe is perfect if you like steel cut oats– but aren’t about to start fussing around in the morning.

1 cup oats
3 cups water
big pinch salt
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup milk (optional)

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add oats and cook for 3 minutes, stirring, until smells nice and toasty. Add water and bring to a rolling boil. Cover pan. Turn off heat and let sit over night. In the morning- Presto! steel cut oats! (I don’t quite get how it works- but it does). Reheat, adding 1 cup milk, if you like (i do).
How do I normally take my oatmeal? With milk (char char first clued me into that), bananas and maple syrup. Any combo of fruit/dried fruit/brown sugar works for me too.

%d bloggers like this: