Monday, January 27, 2014
Flavorful vegetable broth (for 4 people);
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
6 sticks celery, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 inch ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 lemongrass stalks, very roughly chopped
1 red chili, roughly chopped
2 star anise
2 tbsp soy sauce
In a large pan, char the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and ginger in a tiny amount of oil. Cook for five minutes, or until the edges begin to colour. Add 2 quarts of water, the lemongrass, prunes, chillies, star anise, soy, lime leaves and coriander root. Cook on a low simmer for at least 45 minutes, to infuse. Strain the stock, and discard vegetable. Fill in a container and chill.
For a Thai soup (1 serving)
2 enoki mushrooms
5 shitake mushroom
handful rice noodles
1/4 red bell pepper, cut in thin stripes
a few edamame
Toasted sesame oil, to finish
Bring 2-3 laddles of the stock to a low simmer. Add the enoki and sbitake mushrooms and the rice noodles and cook for 3 minute. Add the remaining ingredients apart from the sesame oil, and heat through for a minute. Taste, adjust the seasoning as needed, and ladle into warm bowls. Finish with sesame oil, not more than a few drops in each bowl, and coriander leaves.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
It was bubbling away while I shoveled snow. In the evening, I made meatballs, a combination of lean beef and lean turkey, and an eggwhite slushy mixed up in the Vitamix with a garlic clove, a bit of sweet onion, cilantro, some salt and pepper, pan fried and then cooked in the sauce for another hour. Quite right for a Sunday evening meal --- spaghetti and meatballs. Now, what to watch on TV? The Grammys? Downton Abbey? The Kardashians? The Housewives of Atlanta? or some Bachelor who actually for once made it to his wedding? Decisions, decisions….
Best simple tomato sauce ever (with meatballs)
Makes 4-5 servings:
- 1 large can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 regular can tomato sauce
- 2 TB tomato paste
- 1/2 sweet onion, small diced
- 2 garlic cloves, microplaned
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ts butter
- 1/4 cup red wine or beef broth and 1 TB balsamic vinegar
- 1/2-1 TB turbinado sugar (raw cane sugar)
Microplane 2 garlic cloves and add to the pot.
Add a teaspoon of butter at this point, and melt in.
Gently fry the garlic (make sure it does not burn) and add the red wine (or beef broth) to the onion mix. Use a wood laddle and scrap the brown, caramelized bits off from the bottom of the pot.
Cook off the liquid until the onions are almost dry again.
In a blender, puree the tomatoes (or break up by hand or with a potato masher if you like a chunky sauce).
Add 1 can of tomato sauce (not pictured) and 2 TB of tomato paste.
Stir the tomato sauce in the pan to mix all the ingredients well. Crush fresh ground pepper over the sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover with a heavy lid, and simmer on medium low heat (barely bubbling) for 1h.
Meanwhile, make meatballs (if you like). Otherwise, finish off the sauce with some fresh basil and a half tablespoon turbinado sugar. --- Done.
- 5oz lean beef
- 5 oz lean turkey
- 1 egg white
- 1 garlic glove, peeled
- 1/2 peeled sweet onion
- 1/2 ts salt
- fresh ground pepper
- frew branches of cilantro
- 3 TB of grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Mix together the meats, slushy and bread crumbs.
From small balls in your hands, and fry in a pan from all sides (my seem to always come out at triangles).
Once browned at to the sauce, and cook for another 45h min. (Just imagine how the meat infused tomato sauce will taste).
Now, make pasta of your choice, and dinner is ready.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Beef broth in the slow cooker
- 1 pound of beef and bones (or specific soup beef, typically an inexpensive cut, but the bones are crucial for a deep flavor)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 stalks of celery, cut in 5 inch pieces
- 2 carrots, cut in 2 inch pieced
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- ca. 10 juniper berries
- 1 TB pepper corns
- 1 TB dried thyme
- 1/2 teas spoon of salt
- Optional: dried porcini mushroom
Discard the vegetables and bones. Decide if you want to feed the beef to a dog or discard. Chill the stock and remove the fat, which will harden on the surface after 12h. Pour the stock into glass containers and chill in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 month in ziplock bags.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Hot and Sour Mushroom Soup (ca. 2 servings)
2 ts roasted sesame oil
2 minced garlic cloves
1 inch minced ginger
4 cup vegetable broth
3 TB soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (sweet rice vinegar)
2 TB sugar
1 TB srirachi hot sauce
1 TB cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
8 oz sliced cabbage
4 oz sliced shitake mushroom and/or mini portabellas
1 oz rice noodles or udon noodles Heat toasted sesame oil and sautee the garlic and ginger for 1-2 min. Immediately add the vegetable broth to prevent it from burning. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Add all the other ingredients besides the cornstach. Simmer the soup for about 10-15 minutes until the noodles are cooked. Now, add the cornstarch mixed in the water, and simmer for another 5min until the soup has slightly thickened. Serve!
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
In the summer, the Meyer Lemon tree enjoyed a warm, fertilized, sunny life outside on the deck and the tiny blossomes developed into tiny green lemons, which grew and grew over the summer.
By October the remaining lemons had grown all the way to industrial strength lemons and could be take for super limes.
They moved back inside the house for the winter, and since have been spending again at a place in the light and close to the woodstove. Over the months, they turned from green to yellow. I’ve heard you know when you walk into the house and you can smell them then they are ripe. So, far I am waiting and enjoying the splendid sight of my Meyer Lemon land of lemon in the middle of winter in Maine,
(Don’t mind me kissing the lemons.)
Sunday, January 19, 2014
Pesto Gnocchi Soup (my version)
Makes 3 servings
- 1 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 0.5 regular sized head cauliflower, leaves removed, cut into florettes
- 4 cups vegetable broth, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Fresh black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 cubes frozen basil or a cup fresh basil
- ca 10 frozen gnocchi, partially thawed (to separate them)
- 0.5 cups chickpeas, cooked
- 0.5 cup frozen edamame
- 2 large swiss chard, stems discarded, leaves thinly sliced
- optional: fresh grated parmesan, sliced almonds
Sunday, January 12, 2014
It was a long day at work (yes, that happens to Sundays and a deadline), and dinner became a simplified yet upscale concept, the butternut ravioli are store-bought and the kale with fresh mushroom and some garlic and sauteed butternut squash cubes directly from the produce section.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
The alternative program for this Saturday involves baking, a fireplace and eating coconut tapioca. I must say I have never cooked tapioca before and I had to google what it actually is. Not rice, nor a grain but some exotic South American starch (root). I had found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and made a few changes: using regular coconut milk (the one in the carton instead of the canned version) to cook it, add some rum, and eat it with strawberry compote. Very good!
Monday, January 6, 2014
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Saturday, January 4, 2014
Cooking is a little bit like fashion: it serves a basic need (you need to eat, you need to dress) but it is more enjoyable and fun if you change it up ever so often or try out a new style, so that it feels like it is a new experience -- you have to stay interested. --- After recently questioning if I still have new ideas for vegan cooking, I looked through some cookbooks, and came across this lovely book called “Winter harvest”, with new recipes for vegetables that are available during the winter season, such as sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, leeks. The best way to prepare them? In the oven, roasted.
What I also found is a new series on Netflix streaming: Bletchley Circle. A PBS series about 4 women who worked as code breakers during WW II, and get together to solve a murder in postwar London.
Garlic Balsamic Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into wedges
- 3 TB olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, sliced in sliver
- 4 TB balsamic vinegar
- 1 TB soy sauce
- 1 TB brown sugar
- salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375F.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a pan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic slivers. Flavor the olive oil with the garlic for a few minutes. Remove the garlic and toss the sweet potato wedges in the garlic oil. Arrange on the baking sheet, and bake for 35 min.
Mix the balsamic vinegar, the soy sauce and sugar and heat in the microwave for 1 min. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Baste the sweet potatoes in the balsamic vinegar mixture and bake for another 15 min. Add salt to taste.
(separately, I did the same to frozen asparagus and brussels sprouts).