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Brussel Sprouts w. Maple and Cayenne

2 Apr

This is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe of all things. I roast brussel sprouts every now and again– and as much as I love plain old olive oil, salt and pepper– i wanted something extra. Looking for a maple dressing of sorts- something I could just pour over at the end- I came across this. Sweet and spicy. Perf.

2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed [cut off very bottom of stump end] and halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil [or just a generous glug]
Coarse salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Preheat to 375. In a bowl mix brussel sprouts w. generous glug of olive oil and generous douse of salt. On a rimmed baking sheet [or 9×13 pan]. Roast until brown and tender.Stirring every 15 minutes. I like mine super toasty- w. the leaves falling off and crisy- but feel free to do less.  Takes about 30-40 mins. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine syrup and cayenne. Take b-sprouts out of oven– drizzle w. the syrup/cayenne. Roast for 1 more minute. [original recipe uses 400 oven and 15-20 minute cook time- but I prefer this way- and had read an Anne Burrell recipe for sunchokes and sprouts so wanted to keep it the same]

In the background– I made Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes). Tossed w. olive oil, salt and smoked paprika. Cooked for same amount of time 30-40 mins. They are good- almost potato like. I could have done something though- to make them pop just a little bit more. I’ll try again and get back to you…unless someone has suggestions?


Andorra/ Barcelona

12 Mar

I fly into barcelona– take a 3 1/2 hour bus ride to Andoora– a tiny country you probably never heard of (unless you went to camp evergreen- then cue to burst into song). i arrive totally bleary eyed- and justin takes me to this tapas place- orders a bunch of things in spanish- and i have no idea what’s going on. but out arrives these amazing little green peppers- fire roasted and covered w. this epic sea salt. A few days later in Barcelona, i went to this restaurant–Paco Merlago thanks to Judy’s friend– and became obsessed with it for the 4 days I was in town. Mark my words- if anyone wants to join me next December– birthday dinner, 30yr old- will be there. i ate some blow-your-tastebuds dishes and still thinking about it a month later- decided to try to recreate some of them. I didn’t exactly have the recipes to guide me so I invited Reed and Rach over for dinner and got to experimenting. Surprisingly, it was a really easy and quick meal to throw together. By the way- if anyone is on their way to Barcelona I have a little googlemap of places I tried. If anyone has these for other cities too– would love to see!

Tomato Bread
When you get tapas in Barcelona- you most often get an accompaniment tomato bread- Pan con Tomate- to lap up all your tapas with. It is generally on a bread- a bit wider and a bit less crusty than a baguette.  To make, toast bread (i used ciabatta pannini loaf.) Drizzle olive oil on bread and toast in oven or face down in pan. Take a clove of fresh garlic in hand, rub on toasty bread. Cut the top off a fresh tomato and rub that on bread. Sprinkle w. sea salt.

Chorizo and Egg
I ordered this sausage and egg dish at Paco and it arrives at the table bubbling hot sausage in a little clay pot– then they crack an egg in it table-side and mix up for egg to cook. The sausage in this dish was more of an italian style- but I thought i’d make what we think of as chorizo flavored. I was surprised that i didn’t come across chorizo as we think of it in spain–  there, it is just the word for pork sausage- and I believe generally refers to a cured, hard more salami like. Also, in my research- I learned that mexican chorizo has a wholely different ingredient list.

This is adapted from Emeril recipe. Original calls for 3 pounds pork, cut into 1-in cubes and 1/2 pound pork fat, cubed and involves a meat grinder and cases. But as I didn’t have such- I decided just to make it uncased and start w. 1 pound of ground pork– and the adjusting the spices accordingly. I didn’t have a little ovenproof clay dish for serving- so used a frying pan.

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup red wine
2 tablespoons paprika [used 1.5 tablespoon smoked paprika, half table sweet paprika- bought some new paprika- the spanish kind in those little yellow tins- so into it]
1 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Put all spices in bottom of a bowl. Take a fork and mix in pork and wine. Let sit for a day or two for flavors to meld. I ate at 12 hours and again 36. Probably a difference- but still super delicious at 12- so don’t sweat it either way. I’m sure if you had to use some immediately would be good too. I just cooked a portion– then left the rest raw to continue to blend- instead of having cooked leftovers.
To serve- cook chorizo on stovetop in oven proof pan. Throw in very hot over for a few minutes (450 or 500 should be fine). Using an oven mitt! bring to table to show your friends. Crack a raw egg or two in- depending on how much you are serving- I used 2 eggs for half the meat. Mix up immediately and egg will cook. Eat w. tomato bread.

Roasted Peppers w. salt
There is actually a recipe for this in an Alice Waters cookbook. And it calls those small green peppers I had in Andorra Padron pimentos- also says Nardello or Lipstick peppers would work. I bought what I could find- which worked very well- labeled red and yellow sweet peppers. I used this amazing salt i bought in barcelona- at this awesome store- called Gispert.

To make. Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet with a thin layer of olive oil- medium-high heat. Lay peppers on. They will scorch and sizzle. Using tons, flip over periodically. Cook until start to blacken and blister- 5-10 minutes. Put on serving dish sprinkle w. the biggest coarse salt you have. Maldon sea salt flakes would work. Or fleur de sel.

Calamari w. white beans

This was an experiment. I more or less used the chorizo spice list. It was not quite the same flavor I had in Barcelona. But still super tasty. Serve w. tomato bread. The technique for making it was loosely inspired by a warm seafood salad recipe in the Union Sq Cafe cookbook.

1/2 pound cleaned calamari, cut into 1/2 in rings and tentacles
1 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp red chili flakes
1/8 tsp ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 15 oz great northern beans or 1 1/2 cups beans– reconstituted and cooked dried beans. cannellini could also work
1 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced [optional]

In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium. Add garlic, spices and tomato paste and let cook to release flavor- about a minute (do not let garlic burn.) Turn up heat to high and add calamari. Cook for 2 minutes- mixing around. Lower heat back to medium. add beans, white wine, cook a little further for wine to cook off and beans to heat. Take off heat. Finish w. salt, pepper and the juice of one lemon and parsley.


Summer Salads

11 Aug

Featuring fresh summer ingredients with minimal cooking. Love this zucchini ribbon salad- very light and refreshing. Paired w. goat cheese- delicious. There is an abundance of zucchini in the summer and i’ll tell you that the flavor in your dish- is largely dependent on quality of your zucchini- so pick out a good one, medium size and firm is your best. And the joy of summer corn. I love fresh corn, off the cob, quickly sauteed.

Raw Zucchini Ribbon Salad
2 medium zucchini
1 Lemon
Fresh basil, a handful
Parmesan & goat cheese
Olive oil

Shave zucchini into ribbons w. vegetable peeler. Drizzle w. olive oil and juice of lemon. Chop a handful of basil. Sprinkle w. sea salt & pepper. Mix up. Top w. cheese.

Corn Basil Salad– from Bon Appetit
6 husks of corn
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup (packed) basil
5 plum tomatoes (seeded- taking out middle oozy part- this makes the salad less watery)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Husk the corn. Take a serrated knife and cut raw kernels off over a big bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic, saute 1 minute. Add corn and cook another 5 minutes. Take off heat, add half the basil.Transfer back to big bowl, cooling slightly. Add rest of tomatoes, basil, vinegar and rest of basil. Season w. salt & pepper.

Cabbage Braised w. Bacon, Apple and Balsamic

1 Apr

This picture is not gorgeous- but believe me, the dish is.  I mean, bacon, apple and balsamic- what a delightful combination.  I used to have a crush on Jamie Oliver, back when he was just the Naked Chef.  Before he named his kids– no joke– Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisey Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice Oliver.  Seriously, not joking.   He also has like a million tv shows– which have gotten a bit ridiculous.  He is like– oh here i am, in my backyard with my $20,000 wood oven- la-di-da. Or like, I saw him literally prepare a whole dinner w. his pocket knife– like why? what are you trying to prove?  just use an actual knife.  But the best take on Jamie Oliver is the South Park episode in which they spoof all the food network stars- thanks Jenna for sharing that one.  Youtube/hulu/whatever it.  I feel like Jamie’s recipes don’t always work out the way they are supposed- because he can be pretty willy nilly about measurements- so for the recipe I have translated Jamie speak.

olive oil
250g smoked streaky bacon, finely sliced [this would be about half a pound of bacon. I was on a healthy kick so only used like 4 slices]
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, bashed [put in a ziplock bag and hit w. a frying pan]
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 good eating apples, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
1 red cabbage, outer leaves and core removed, chopped into irregular chunks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
150ml balsamic vinegar [5 fluid ounces or about 2/3 cup]
a knob of butter [pat of butter]
a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Pour a good lug [couple tablespoons] of olive oil into a saucepan, get it hot and add the bacon and fennel seeds. Cook until golden then add the onion and continue to cook, with the lid on, for a few more minutes until golden and sticky. Add the apple, followed by the cabbage chunks, salt and pepper and the vinegar, and stir everything together well. Put the lid back on and continue to cook on a low heat for an hour, checking and stirring every so often.  You will get- as Jamie says- a gorgeous sticky-sweet cabbage dish. Put in serving dish, top with butter and a sprinkle of parsley.

Root Vegetable Jumble

31 Jan

So I admit it, I watched a couple episodes of The Next Food Network Star.  The delightful Aarti won- of the new show Aarti’s Party.  I’ve only watched a couple eps of her show, but this is one of the recipes I saw. When you’re trying to eat a lot of vegetables– sometimes salad gets a little boring.  Roasting vegs  is a great way to jazz them up and mix up the flavor.   I went a little root vegetable happy in the co-op and added parsnips, rutabagas and turnips to this recipe.  I’d definitely add the parsnips- what a delicious yet underrated food.  The roasted lemons add a huge burst of flavor. Since I added so many extra vegs- I should have  added a bit more oil- there is more than enough spice.  As to Aarti’s suggestion, I served mine over soft polenta.  I never used to be so into polenta- but i am really into grits which, as it turns out, are the same thing in a slightly different form.  The polenta I made for this took about 5 minutes– is tasty and filling.  A great alternative to putting everything over couscous.

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large fennel bulb, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 large lemon, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Minced fresh cilantro or parsley, to garnish [i always skip this]

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cumin, ground coriander, and olive oil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a generous grinding of black pepper.
Put all the all veg and lemons in a baking dish.  Pour the spiced oil over the vegetables and toss to coat. Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top and bake until the vegetables are caramelized and soft, another 15 minutes.

Squash, Kale & Lentil Salad

15 Nov

Healthy, delicious and full of flavor.  Black kale [aka Lacinato, Tuscan or dinosaur kale] is so hot right now- according to nymag, that is.  Amount you use totally depends on your mood- if you want a more kale or squash base. But I’m really loving raw kale– will continue as a salad base- in fact, I saw a raw kale caesar on a menu at a restaurant the other day- doesn’t that sound good?  Anyway, if you read other food blogs, then you probably read Smitten Kitchen.  This recipe is originally from Bon Apetit– adapted by Smitten Kitchen– and then again, by me.

3/4 cup black or green lentils [if you can find them, the french Lentils de puy are the best]
2 pound squash- peeled, seeded and cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika [i used regular]
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 cups arugula [I used a couple cups of kale- probably half of the bunch]
1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese [I didn’t have so grated some Pecorino]
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste [I didn’t have- so used a splash of white wine vinegar and a splash of balsamic vinegar]
Roasted seeds (about 1/2 cup) from your butternut squash [I wish I had done this but was too lazy]

Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet w. foil.  Toss squash in 2 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt.  Spread on sheet in single layer. Roast for 20 mins, flipping after 10.  [I kept roasting it an extra 15/20 mins- to get it a little sweeter- next time I think I’d set my oven to 425- like in the butternut squash soup recipe]

Meanwhile, soak the lentils in water for 10 mins.  Then, in a small saucepan, cook lentils in [1 cup] of boiling salted water until tender but firm [interesting note, the salt actually helps it keep its bite].  Smitten Kitchen says this takes 30 minutes- but I took another route.  Boil on med/high heat for 3-5 minutes.  Lower and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Start tasting at after the 10- mine only took that long- you want them pretty firm.

Combine lentils, squash and kale.  Add the last 1 tablespoon of oil and vinegar.  If using goat cheese, add half now- and serve w. the other half on the side.  Season w. salt, pepper and extra vinegar to taste.

Japanese Turnips w. Miso Butter

9 Nov

Not the most flattering picturing- but these are shockingly delicious.  Last weekend I picked up Jess P.’s CSA share.   I saw these- and without a clue what to do w. them- looked up a recipe on Epicurious.  It said that “Japanese turnips are at their most delicious when simply cooked with their greens”- so I took their word for it.  This miso butter is so crazy good- I encourage you to put it on any vegetable on hand- or I think it would work on tofu or fish too.

Gourmet.  Sept 2009

3 tablespoons white miso
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided
3 pounds small (1 1/2-to 2-inch) Japanese turnips with greens
1 1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine) [I used white wine and a pinch of sugar.  I also read somewhere else online you could substitute apple juice]

Stir together miso and 2 tablespoon butter.

Throw out turnip stems.  Chop turnips and leaves.  Put in heavy 12-inch skillet w. water, wine, remaining tablespoon butter, and 1/8 tsp. salt.  Bring to boil over med-high heat, then cover for 10 mins.

Add greens gradually, turning and coating as volume reduces.  Cover and cook another minute.  Uncover and continue to boil, stir occasionally, until turnips tender and liquid reduced to a glaze- about 5 mins [mine took only a minute or two].  Stir in miso butter and cook one more minute.

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