Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The best fish I ever ate...

Although actually, the fish itself wasn't that great, because I could tell from the flavor that it was a farmed fish...but the seasoning, the prep, YUM!  I wanted to lick my plate, it was that good.  It would have been superb if the fish had been a wild-caught fish.  (and, with the exception of the fish and the scallions, it was all local from my wonderful CSA)

Anyway, I'm sorry I don't have pictures, for two reasons.   The battery in my camera is kaput.   And once I started eating, I couldn't stop, and I didn't think you wanted a pic of just an empty plate with a fish head and tail.

So anyway, here is what I did:

Took one 1/2 pound trout.  Whole trout, cleaned.   put fresh dill, chiffonaded sorrel, and chopped scallions inside.  Put it in an oven-safe skillet, on top of a bed of fennel fronds.   Added about 2 cups of white wine, and put it in a preheated 350 degree oven.  

When the fish was cooked, I removed it from the pan, put it on a plate.   Removed the fennel.  Then cooked the juice down with a little more scallion and dried dill, then finished with a pat of butter.

Oh man, so good.....

Friday, September 9, 2011

End-of-summer salad....

So, I had a CSA box to use up, and I had an ear of corn left over from dinner the other night.   So I made a lively, fresh little salad....

I cut the corn off the cob, chopped up some cuke and peppers, and a smidge of onion.   Dollop of yogurt, a smidge of mayo, and some buttermilk ranch mix from Penzeys....   and voila, dinner.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick saag paneer salad.

So, I have spinach from my CSA.   And its a little too tough for just plain salad, but I didn't want completely soggy spinach.   I was also in the mood for something vaguely Indian (been reading Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook for ideas).

I'd been to Trader Joe's and picked up some of their Frying Cheese earlier... (among other things)

So I washed the spinach.  And washed it again.  

Then I sauteed a little of the cheese in some oil, with some Maharajah Curry Powder from Trader Joes.

Turned off the heat, added the spinach and tossed it enough so that it wilted and picked up some of the spices, and had for dinner....

nice, healthy, simple.   Not real saag paneer, but good enough...

Spring Rolls with CSA produce...

So:  I wrote the previous blog post, then started my morning surfing of the 'net, and found a wonderful post on Spring Rolls.

And I have lettuce, and spinach, and chard, and peppers, and the base mix for turnip salad....  hmmmmm

And you could use smoked salmon or langoustines instead of the crispy shrimp.  

So I made them.  (and again, sorry, no pics, I was starving, but it was amazing how quickly they came together).

I had the rice paper wrappers, a bowl of water to soften them in, a plate to assemble them on.

I pulled out some miso from the fridge to use too.   You could also toss the turnip salad with a little bit of fish sauce, if you wanted, I didn't want to get another bowl dirty.

I used smoked salmon, lettuce and the turnip salad.  

Dip the wrapper, you don't want to soak it, but just make sure it is completely wet and just starts getting flexible...

Put it on a plate.  smear a little miso on.   stack lettuce, salmon and turnip salad on top (trial and error, and whatever you want to show through, on the bottom....)  and then start rolling it up, kind of like a package...

Make as many as you want.


Monday, June 20, 2011

CSA, hooray, hooray, AKA Turnips in Spring.

So.  My CSA just started, and I am DETERMINED to actually eat all the produce, have lots of lovely salads, etc.   I think item one on my list has to be a new food processor, unless anyone has tips on why the bowl of mine sticks so badly that I have to lay it on the floor and use my foot to get it off?   (and get your minds out of the gutter right now!)

But We got some lovely lovely little white turnips in our share, so I've grated them in the previously mentioned cuisinart.  Along with a sweet onion and a couple of carrots.  And then doused it all in white balsamic vinegar so it wouldn't turn brown.

 I'm making up a salad recipe because the only, only, ONLY recipes I've found in my go-to cookbooks all involve roasting or braising or some other preparation more suited to fall than late spring/early summer.   I don't want to turn the oven on more than I have to.  Nor the stove.

So anyway, back to the 'recipe', I'm actually going to use this as a base for a couple of variations.

Variation 1:

Morroccan/Middle Eastern:

Add some red pepper, some ginger, a little bit of cumin, and top with golden raisins or chopped dates...  You could also throw some parsley in there, if you so desired.... or replace the raisins/dates with some good feta cheese....

Variant 2:
Bacon and pecans:
Toast a few pecans, cook a strip of bacon per person.   Crumble the bacon, toss with a mustard vinaigrette....   put pecans on top....

Variant 3:
Light sour cream dressing, maybe with some cukes or radish added in.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snack Balls of Goodness....

So I needed some kind of snack for work yesterday, but didn't feel like chocolate.   Otherwise I would have made THESE.

So I riffed off of the recipe.  Left out the cocoa powder, the chocolate chips...  and this is going to be more of an "Elizabeth David" type of recipe, because it has to do with humidity, ingredient moistness, etc.

Dollop of almond butter
Dollop of sunflower seed butter
gluten-free oatmeal
maple syrup
dried cherries
coconut "flour"
flaxseed meal (golden)

mix mix mix mix, add a little maple syrup to moisten. mix mix mix.    Taste.  You could add sugar if you wanted, they were sweet enough for me with just the maple syrup.

Roll into balls and toss in a little bit more of the coconut.

The one thing I would have added is something with a little bit of sourness...  It needed a little bit of acidity to counteract the texture, so if I had had it in the fridge, I would have used some lemon zest or orange zest to give it that brightness... (which would also work in a chocolate variation too).

It gave me that nice little pop of energy to get through the rest of the day...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Simple supper...

So I had a light, simple supper last night.   I have been reading Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Around My French Table, and it inspired me.   I went to the "herb garden" and got some chives, sage flowers (less pungent than the sage itself) and thyme.   (herb garden is in air quotes because it isn't really an herb garden)

I defrosted some langoustine (from Trader Joes), and tossed it with the herbs and a dash of mayo, and threw it on top of some cold, precooked green beans.   (I'd gone to Costco, and gotten some beans which I steamed, and have been eating from because the CSA hasn't started yet.  The minute the CSA starts, you will be seeing beautiful produce from there).

Can you say "yum"?   I knew you could.   For me, I'm really trying to make this about being healthy, cooking for one, and also, right now, NOT heating up the house.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

C is for Coffeeeeeeeeee!

(and for celiac)...  I love coffee.  love it, love it, love it.  I love flavored coffees too, but I usually don't buy them for fear of contamination.  Its an extra ingredient layer to unearth...  plus they aren't fair-trade coffees.

So, what I usually do is, make my own!  So easy, so much better, less sugar, less artificial crap (because you know if it doesn't have sugar, its got the artificial sweetener, which is worse).

There are a couple varieties I make...  (I use a press pot).

Sometimes, in the winter, I'll grind up mulling spices with the coffee (I grind my own beans in the morning too...boy, I'm a coffee snob).   Or I'll grind up some cardamom with the coffee if my sinuses are clogged.

You can add either cinnamon or cocoa powder (or, *gasp* BOTH) to the coffee before adding the water.

You can add a smidge of vanilla or almond (or any other flavor, I suppose) extract to the coffeepot after adding the water, but before putting the lid on and pressing the plunger....

I had vanilla coffee this morning! yummy, yum, yum.

(and yes, I will put a real gluten-free cooking blog post up soon, I promise)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Yes, yes, I know....

I'm a bad-bad-bad food blogger.   I really am.   Tsk tsk on me.

I have been eating, and I have been cooking, but not things that are really "blog-worthy" somehow.

I got some lovely asparagus from the farmer's market, and had that with some veal...

Got eggs, had those with a little polenta for a late-night dinner....

cooked up some chicken livers in red wine, had that over rice... (although it would have been divine over mashed potatoes)

just quick, simple, fast meals...  sandwiches with Udi's bread and roast beef with mustard and pea shoots...

fresh arugula (from the farmer's market) with sliced beets and a dollop of chevre...

I'm doing better with the healthy eating, with the weight loss, since discovering Udi's whole grain bread. Because I, somehow, do better with a large lunch.  I'm not a huge breakfast person, little bit of protein and maybe some fruit... but a sandwich at lunch with some meat and veg...   and then a light dinner, late, seem to contribute to weight loss....

Now if I could just find an on-the-go food to take as a snack....

Monday, February 28, 2011

Lamb with Mustard Greens...

So, on this rainy morning, I thought I'd make lamb with mustard greens for dinner... and with this post, you get pictures!

I started with a teaspoon (approximately) of cumin seed, and half a teaspoon of ground mustard.  (I would have used mustard seeds, but alas, was out).  

I then added a more-or-less diced onion, and three smushed, chopped garlic cloves. (And a glug of olive oil)

Added a pound of 'lamb stew meat' from Beaver Brook Farms, and some shallot salt left over from roasting a chicken...browned that up a bit...

Added a ton of chopped mustard greens...which wilted down to nothing...

And a jar of homemade canned tomatoes....

And let it cook....

I'm going to serve it over either quinoa or brown rice, not sure which, yet....   any thoughts?  Anything you'd add?

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Chorus of Cs

So, two of the ingredients in my CSA were Celeriac and Celery.   Now, I'm not a huge fan of celery on its own, or stuff that tastes too 'celerilicious', so I was a little concerned... then a friend suggested I create a caponata.  (Love caponata).

So here is what I did:

Chopped an onion, smushed two cloves of garlic, diced them and added.   Three ribs of celery! [chopped]
One diced eggplant, two ripe peppers [used red and yellow], and a dollop of capers, followed by a bunch of olives.  All cooked together with a jar of tomatoes.  


Now, the celeriac was an adventure.   I started to peel it, which always looks easy from pictures.  But it is a slippery knob, basically.   Hack, gouge, fountains of blood (kidding!), it was peeled.   Then came time to cut it up.   Got halfway through and...it flew!  Soared off and actually impaled itself on the rim of a pot on the floor.   Washed it off, started again.  Hack, curse, hack, swear, and actually got it cut into chunks.

Chopped up a leek and an onion, and a couple garlic cloves... (what?  I like my garlic!) tossed into a pot with a little olive oil, browned up, softened down.  Threw in the celeriac, with a ton of water, and cooked.

And cooked.

And cooked.

Finally got tender.   Added a sliced potato to cook, to add a little body.  And salt.  

Mushed it up with a potato masher, and added a little milk and a smidge of half and half.  (seriously, it was a smidge, less than lots of people use in coffee).

I finished it off with a couple chunks of pear...  for a sweet note to counteract some of the vegetal feel...

My only problem was that the celeriac got a little brown while cooking...and maybe a little lemon would have helped with that.

Very yummy.   Not great in the looks department, but you could always run it through a blender or food mill...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Last Night's Dinner

So, I used some of the CSA produce to make a lovely dinner...

I chopped up half a leek, some garlic, sauteed in a little olive oil.... added chopped up lettuce and some 'soup greens' which looked like dandelion and collards, sliced thinly...    added a little bit of diced ham, and some frozen peas.  I cooked some gluten-free pasta (little shells) and tossed it with the veggies.....

You could add more leek, if you wanted.

And this afternoon, I shall make soup.   Celeriac and carrot, I think.  

Friday, February 18, 2011

CSA share for this week....

Urban Oaks' Organic grown ARUGULA
Urban Oaks' Organic grown Soup Mix (Kales, Collards, Chard, Mustards)
Orgainc Celery
Orgainc Celeriac (this tastes great in mashed potatoes or grated raw in
Orgainc Leeks
Orgainc Green Leaf Lettuce
Orgainc Lacinata Kale
Orgainc Green D'anjou Pears  
Orgainc Nugget Tangerines
Orgainc Acorn Squash

hmmm.....    Arugula is easy, salads, sandwiches...    The soup mix I usually separate out and use the different components in stuff.....   The celery and celeriac?   Maybe a braised celery....  and there was a recipe for a polenta with celeriac that sounded tasty...   

Leeks can be in anything.    I wish they'd quit with the lettuce.   Salads are not a winter thing.   

Kale!  Pears! Tangerines!   Squash!  (I do wish they'd give us the more interesting squashes, though...   the Kabocha)


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Ginger-carrot soup

I made a wonderful soup yesterday, for dinner...  low-fat, healthy, hit the spot...

I sliced onions, and sauteed them in olive oil, with a little garlic...  then chunked up some carrots, added them, along with some microplaned ginger and tumeric.   Added a ton of water, cooked until the carrots were soft.  Added a splash of orange juice, a dash of milk, some salt, and a little freshly microplaned ginger.

Ladled into a bowl and topped with some cubed avocado....


Friday, February 4, 2011

Cee Ess Aayyy.

So, here's what I'm going to do over the next couple of weeks, to make the blog more interesting.  I've signed up for a winter CSA, and I will blog some gluten-free ideas for tasty CSA food.  (I'm a little bit grumpy, because I thought it was going to be more greens, and less lettuce, but that's a story for another time:

The bag I pick up today is supposed to have:

The second share will include
Urban Oaks' Asian stir-fry mix, Thai hot peppers and Lemongrass, as well as
organic Avocados, Tangerines, Daikon Radishes, Garlic, Ginger, Scallions,
Cilantro, Yams, and Green Leaf Lettuce. 

I'm giving the cilantro and most of the peppers to a friend who likes hot and spicy.    I'll probably make some kind of soup with the lemongrass and some of the 'soup greens' we got in the first batch..

(the first batch was carrots, celery, carrots, beets, carrots, potatoes [which had unfortunately sprouted] onions, parsley, sage, soup greens, and lettuce)  Also oranges (one of which had gone bad) and pears.   
And I don't know why the font decided to change mid-post.

I'm a little grumpy today.   

Anyway, I roasted a chicken with some of the onion, potatoes and carrots.   And made a carrot soup with some ginger and tumeric...   I'll probably roast some beets tomorrow..  maybe with the daikon and a couple of yams...

I have no idea what to do with the lettuce.   I don't want salad in winter...salad is a summer thing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Gluten-free, porrigeley...

So, winter being here, and trying to lose some weight...with gluten-free commercial breakfast stuff not being high on the healthy scale...  (white, white, fat, sugar) I've gone to oats.    Thank God for gluten-free oats.   What I've noticed, though, is that g-f oats don't get as creamy as the traditional kind...  but I also want a little more protein in my diet as well as fiber, so I've started adding a small amount of TVP to my breakfast.   I have mixed feelings about TVP as a healthy food, because we get so much soy in our diets, but, at the same time, I don't eat a lot of soy otherwise.   It ends up being maybe a teaspoon or so a day...

I also add flaxseed, nuts, and a little bit of dried fruit...  

I start out doing it almost like Alton Brown, but without the butter...  I toast the nuts and the oats, then add hot water to that.  In a separate container, I have the TVP, which I add hot water to.  I add whatever dried fruit I want to the oats, let 'em cook for a bit.  I add the TVP and the flaxseed, let it cook for a little bit longer, and then voila!  

(you can also add ginger, cinnamon too when you add the flaxseed.  And sometimes I'll top it off with fresh fruit!)