pantryslut: (hot dog)
Friday night, I made a sweet potato curry with coconut milk and the addition of tofu browned in mushroom soy sauce, steamed bok choy, and crispy shallots. This was extremely good despite the number of pots it used. Totally worthwhile and I will make it again.

Sunday night, I made a very simple carrot soup for dinner, which we had with grilled cheese sandwiches and sauteed spinach. Carrot soup: cook two onions or leeks, plus a sprig of thyme, in butter until soft. Add a lot of carrots (about two pounds, maybe more), peeled and sliced, and cook everything together for another five minutes or so. Add about six cups of stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for about a half hour, until the carrots are soft. Puree and eat. It was so good! The carrots that the box brings me, I am told, are sweeter and more delicate than the usual commercial U.S. carrot, and maybe this made a difference. I am pleased at how easy this was. I fried a few cumin seeds in oil for a fancyish garnish; one could also swirl in some cream or yogurt (or creme fraiche) and garnish with snipped chives or tarragon or parsley.

P.S. While we're on the subject, a random note from two weeks ago (the goat feast): not peeling the carrots made the carrots have a more interesting, "concentrated" flavor. See above about the variety, however.

Also, G. cooks a mean cheese steak, which is why there is no Saturday entry here.

by request

Mar. 5th, 2007 08:20 pm
pantryslut: (Default)
1. Sweet Potato Peanut Soup, more or less from Sundays at Moosewood

2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon peanut oil (or canola, or maybe even corn)
1/2 tsp cayenne or to taste
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups tomato juice
1 cup smooth peanut butter, natural style
1 taplespoon sugar or to taste, very optional
1 cup chopped scallions or chives, NOT optional

Saute the onion in the oil until translucent. Stir in the cayenne and ginger. Add the carrots and saute a few minutes more. Add the sweet potatoes and the stock/water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes, until everything is tender.

Puree it all in a blender with the tomato juice, in batches if needed. Return to the pot and stir in the peanut butter. Taste and add sugar if needed. Reheat gently (do not boil), thin with water or stock if needed, and serve topped with the scallions.

2. Curry, general, vegetarian, "not authentic"

Headnote: Please don't use *all* the spices and aromatics listed -- pick and choose according to your taste. I haven't measured in so long I can't really describe proportions of the spices, except that turmeric especially tastes nasty in large quantities, so go easy. Think teaspoons or less if you're cooking for two to six.

a. toast your dry whole spices in a heavy saucepan for a few minutes over medium heat. Dry spices may include: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, caraway. Stop when they start "popping."

b. add your wet aromatics and your ground dry spices, along with a little oil. Cook until soft and maybe a little golden. Wet aromatics: onion, garlic, ginger. Dry spices: pepper, ground coriander, ground cumin, curry powder, turmeric, probably lots of other possibilities that I've forgotten.

c. add vegetables as you see fit, longer cooking ones first, shorter cooking ones after. Cook 'em until they're tender.

d. add yogurt here, or maybe coconut milk. (Coconut milk can actually be added earlier, with the first vegetables.) Heat through.

e. eat, usually over or with rice.
pantryslut: (Default)
For lunch today: grilled (OK, broiled) bread, white bean puree, and cooked greens. Simple, delicious.

Take a can of beans and rinse them. Or cook the beans from scratch.

Mince a small onion, or 1/4 of a large onion. Go for about 1/3 cup or less. Mince two cloves of garlic.

Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a skillet, then add the onions and garlic. Cook on low heat until translucent. Add the cooked beans and some salt; cook on low heat for about 15 minutes, or until the beans are infused with the aromatics. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Wash a big bunch of greens or two small bunches (I used a mixture of chard and beet greens), then cut into thin strips. Mince another garlic clove. Heat about two tablespoons of oil in a skillet (same one as before or not, depending on if you're doing this concurrently or in sequence). Add the greens, cover, and cook on medium heat until the greens are wilted. Set aside.

Puree the beans in a food processor or blender.

Grill some thick slices of good, coarse-textured bread. (Or broil it, as I did.) Rub one side with garlic and drizzle olive oil on top. Spread with a good helping of bean puree, then top with a big dollop of wilted greens.

Eat. Provide plenty of napkins.
pantryslut: (Default)
I made minestrone last night, wonderful, delicious winter minestrone.

Minestrone is one of those dishes that, the way I make it at least, does not have a recipe; it has a process. The process is really simple, too, and open to endless variations. I haven't made a minestrone I could reliably reproduce again for years now. Minestrone is always a great way to clean out the fridge.

Here's the process, along with notes on what I did last night.

Step One: simmer a lot of vegetables until soft.

I always put beans and something from the onion family into the pot here, and usually a tomato product too. I always add celery when I have it; ditto parsley. This is also the place to throw in a rind of parmesan, if you have it; I didn't.

Last night, it was: a can of "trout beans" (an heirloom bean of some sort that I picked up on a whim), a large can of whole tomatoes, three leeks, a stalk of green garlic, several stalks of celery, a very small head of cabbage, about a pound of potatoes, and most of a bunch of parsley.

I could have added some winter squash, but I didn't feel like chopping it up. I saved the sweet potato for something else. In the summer, I could have added zucchini (but I would be more likely to add it to the saute -- see below) or green beans. If I'd had any leafy greens -- kale, collards, chard -- they would have gone in, too.

Cover the veggies with about an inch of water (this time I used the water I saved from Monday night's dinner, in which I'd cooked a load of potatoes and greens, but usually I don't use stock -- this soup doesn't need it, so save it for something else). Bring to a boil, then simmer for at least 45 minutes. After that, start tasting, and stop simmering when the flavors seem fully developed. Add salt and pepper at this point and taste again.

Step Two: The saute.

I also add a batch of sauteed vegetables late in the soupmaking process, to perk up the flavors. This is the complicated version, but I like the results; you could also just saute the onions and some vegetables directly in the pot until browned, then add the beans and other veggies and water as above.

You can also add a meat product -- salami or pancetta or something similar -- to the late saute, but I didn't have any handy last night, so I ended up with a vegetarian soup.

Last night all I sauteed was a bunch of carrots and some shallots. Usually I would've used garlic, but the green garlic was already in the pot so I decided to try something different this time. I also added generous handfuls of dried herbs -- basil, sage, rosemary, and a bay leaf too. I cooked them in olive oil until the carrots were soft and starting to stick to the pan. Then, when the soup only had about ten minutes left to cook, I dumped them into the pot and let the whole lot simmer together. I also sprinkled on some hot pepper flakes here.

If I'd been adding pasta, this would have been the place to do it, but I thought that might blandify the soup too much. I never put rice in my minestrone, but I know some people like it; it needs to go in about a half hour before the soup is likely to be done. (How do you figure out when it will be done? This is one of the great mysteries of cooking, my friends.)

Other vegetables I might have used: broccoli (I don't like broccoli in my soup), cauliflower, zucchini in the summer, peas or pea pods, even corn. Fresh herbs would have been nice, but I didn't have any.

After that, a little salt and pepper adjustment was all that was needed.

Yum! I know what I'm having for lunch this afternoon...

So, to sum up, minestrone is an easy two-step process. Simmer a variety of flavorful vegetables in water until soft, and near the end, add a batch of vegetables browned in olive oil to the pot. Simmer a little longer, taste, adjust, eat! Then make it again later, with a different set of ingredients. Taste and compare. Keep tinkering, because every batch will be different anyway.

Add some pesto when serving and basil is in season.

Add a toasted piece of bread (preferably rubbed with garlic) to the soup bowl, then ladle on the soup.

Or just grab a hunk of bread, maybe dress a handful of salad greens, and eat.
pantryslut: (Default)
last night for dinner: egg and lemon chicken soup (for medicinal purposes), plus, following the suggestion of [ profile] fattest, grilled cheese sandwiches stuffed with a mixture of sauteed red cabbage, mushrooms, and onions.

Steven says that the mixture reminds him of a meatless ruben -- this is enhanced by the fact that our sandwiches are made with swiss on rye bread.

So we've dubbed them "Rubys." Also so-called because they were made with red cabbage. If we add white cheddar, they will be "Rubrics."

They are fantastic.

I also made rough applesauce (I don't peel the apples and just mash them with a potato masher at the end). The soup was pretty rockin', too.

Thanks, [ profile] fattest!

(P.S.: ugh, tense changes. I ain't fixin' em. Deal.)
pantryslut: (Default)
Dinner last night can be called a success: a salad of corn, avocado, a little bit of diced red bell pepper and red onion, some cumin, some cayenne. Spears of cucumber and jicama sprinkled with lime juice, chili powder, and salt, served in pint glasses. And tortilla chips.

This would be a nice dinner for a hot night, too, for it involves about five minutes cooking for the corn. You could probably use defrosted pre-cooked corn, too.

One of the avocados was a little past firm, so I decided to eat it plain instead of cutting it up for the salad. When I cut the skin off, it came away in one big piece, leaving the green meat behind. So I ended up eating the avocado out of hand, pulling the flesh away from the pit with my teeth. This is so utterly decadent that I don't even know how to describe it.

I went backwards in the Pantry Reduction Project, freezing a big bag of corn yesterday. But I intend to use it up this week by making corn pakoras.

Yes, it's corn and tomato season for sure -- I always have trouble keeping up with this particular pair of bounteous summer vegetables. Especially corn -- growing up, corn was eaten on the cob, but how many days in a row can you eat corn on the cob? I get six to eight ears in the box a week. Corn soup, stir-fried corn, corn salad...wash, rinse, repeat.

Cultural observation moment: the women shopping yesterday at the Chinese grocery store like to purchase their corn shucked. They don't just inspect the ear for blemishes, they strip all the greens off, right there on the street corner, then bag it and take it to the register. The sidewalk was covered in green husks and corn silk. (The store had provided a big trash bucket for the purpose, but it was full. Not for the first time that day, I suspect.)


pantryslut: (Default)

June 2017

11 121314151617


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 12:03 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios