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Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Cranberry Salsa

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

CranberrySalsa_4130This salsa was brought to my attention by my friend Michelle Latiolais who, having been to my house for dinner a few times, is well aware of my attitude towards complex recipes. Read More

 

Creamy Dreamy Vegetale Soup

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

CreamyDreamyFinal1I know there is a school of cooking these days that’s all about hiding vegetables in things so you can sneak up on your kids, nutritionally speaking. But I feel the way my mother does: children should get to know and befriend their vegetables. Read More

 

New Year’s Resolution Minestrone

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

soup3So far I have stuck to my New Year’s resolutions except for the part abut the peppermint bark. I resolved to eat nothing but healthy foods and have done so religiously since December 31st–except for the peppermint bark. I just gave the peppermint bark (what was left of it) to Aunt Christina so now I am totally on track.

I made this soup which is full of high-fiber vegetables and makes you feel virtuous even before you finish chopping the leeks. Tom and I have been eating it all weekend and we both feel as fit as say, that guy in “Creed.” (Michael B. Jordan, not Sylvester Stallone.)

I gotta be honest, it’s a pain in the ass to make but worth the trouble because you end up with enough to last for ages so it’s three meals for the aggravation of one. Plus you get all that upper-body exercise from the veggie choppage. Okay, it’s unlikely M.B.J. got those biceps by this method but still.

So give your peppermint bark to an unsuspecting relative and make this soup. You will be glad you did.

 

New Year’s Resolution Minestrone

(Makes about 12 lunch servings.)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 leeks (white part only), well rinsed and finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

½ teaspoon dried thyme

salt and freshly ground pepper

½ head Savoy cabbage, shredded

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 ribs of celery, diced

1 medium potato (any kind) peeled and cut into ¾ inch dice

1 parsnip, peeled and diced

2 quarts’ low sodium chicken broth (see note)

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with their juices

½ cup frozen petite peas

½ cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh if it’s summer and you’re not too crabby to scrape a cob)

1 can (15 ounces) small white bens or pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

  1. Melt the butter in the oil in a large soup pot over low heat. Add the onion and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetable s are soft and translucent, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, herbs, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 1 minute.
  3. Raise the heat to medium-low and add the cabbage. Cook, stirring once or twice, for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots and cook, stirring once or twice, for about 2 minutes. Repeat this with the celery potato, and parsnip, in that order, adding one vegetable at a time and cooking each for 2 minutes or so.
  5. Add the chicken broth and tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium and bring the soup to a simmer. Then return the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer it for about 1 hour.
  6. Add the peas corn and beans and cook for 15 minutes (Are you crabby, yet?)
  7. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot, passing the cheese separately.

 

Variations

If you’re not too crabby already, you can add or substitute any vegetables for those listed, like green beans, broccoli, a turnip, rutabaga – anything your family will tolerate (or not notice). Also, at the end of cooking you can throw in a handful of diced cooked chicken or meat. You can also put a scoop of cooked rice or pasta at the bottom of each diner’s bowl and pour the soup over it.

Note

If I’m too lazy to make homemade, I like to use Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth, which is available at most Whole Foods storesl.

 

 

Delicata Who?

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

DelicataSquashThere’s this pile on my desk which is composed of stuff I have to either a) deliver to its proper storage place or b) send out for treatment of some kind, as in dry cleaning or c) ponder its usefulness until I am certain it has none and then throw it away.

My general policy is to ignore this pile altogether until it threatens to swap my work station. This happened yesterday—I had to address the pile. Right on top was an oblong object that I had placed there a few days ago and proceeded to ignore.

The object, according to its label, is a Delicata squash. I bought it because every so often I resolve to cook something I have never cooked (or seen) before. Often this means some random vegetable, which sometimes actually ends up cooked and sometimes ends up rotting on the kitchen window sill.

Last night, since my husband (who is violently anti-squash) was out of town, I resolved to reduce my desk pile by one item and cook the damn thing.

I roasted it, just adding oil, salt and pepper, my theory being I’d get to know this Delicata in its purest form, rather than gussy it up. (Plus I was too lazy to gussy.) Result: Loved it.  I will buy it again. My husband will never eat it, or any other food that looks like it, but, hey, all the more for me.

My pile is diminished some. I think that entitles me to ignore it again.

 

Roasted Delcata Squash

Yield: two servings

1 Delicata squash

1 teaspoon olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

1. Preheat the oven to 425º F. 

2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and clean out the seeds with a spoon. Cut the squash crosswise into pieces about 1/2″ thick.  Rub the squash pieces with oil to coat all over. Sprinkle the squash with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Place the squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet, put it in the oven and roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Eat. 

 

 

 

Hip Jam In Silver Lake

Monday, August 10th, 2015

Ricotta toast_2If you should find yourself visiting a much-more-hip-than-you relative in the much-more-hip-than-where-you-live section of L.A. called Silver Lake, stop in at a wee restaurant called Sqirl. It’s worth the humiliation of being the least hip person in the neighborhood on a Friday afternoon.

Sqirl is famous for their jams (like Santa Rosa Plum and Flowering Thyme, or Shady Lady Tomato) but the menu rocks with lots of other treats, some vegan, some decidedly not, like the Famed Ricotta Toast, which was my pick. (I loaded it with Snow Queen Nectarine jam.)

I told my daughter I could eat it every day for breakfast. She pointed out that if I did so I would end up the size of a house.

So, no, I won’t be having this every day for breakfast. But I will have it again next time I cross the hipness border into Silver Lake.

P.S. You can also by Sqirl jams at The Cheese Store in Beverly Hills.

P.S.S. If you are more ambitious than I you can make this at home. After you have made your own brioche and made your own ricotta, toast a massive slice of the brioche, schemer it with your lovely homemade cheese and then with jam. Invite me over to share it with you or you will end up the size of a you-know-what.

 

 

 

 

EVO And Yogurt Cake (Comfort Food)

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

 

EVOCake2After the Great Flood of ’15—well, it was considered Great in my house, when a veritable toilet tsunami decimated a sizeable area of my once gracious living quarters—I felt the need for comfort food. After some dreary exchanges with insurance types and remediation contactors, my thoughts turned to Dorie Greenspan’s EVO And Yogurt Cake. It seemed like a must.

Not only is it comforting in a way that only something densely vanilla can be, but it happens to be stunningly easy to make, which gives it singular appeal right at this moment when I feel I can only address small tasks, having addressed too many big ones already today.

Whether or not you ever have a Great Flood in your house—you can read more about mine here—keep this recipe on hand for other current or future comfort needs. It works.

You can find it here, but roughly, it goes like this:

 

DORIE GREENSPAN’S EVO AND YOGURT CAKE

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a loaf pan.

Combine 1 ½ cup flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt.

In another bowl, place 1 cup sugar and the zest of one lime (although I used orange.) Rub the sugar and zest together with your fingers until the sugar is fragrant. Then mix in ½ cup plain whole ilk yogurt, 3 eggs and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla until smooth. Then fold in ½ cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil).

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes, until golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Eat your troubles away.

 

Sunday Hash

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

I am currently in a cooking rut.

This happens occasionally. I cook something new that accommodates the tastes of my diners, decide I like it very much, and then, too lazy to come up with a fresh idea that caters to everybody’s extreme pickiness, I repeat the recipe until I feel like I am in the movie, Groundhog day and change is essential. I just completed such a cycle with Sunday Hash. Read More

 

PTSD (Peas Trigger Scott’s Distemper)

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Birdseye2A few weeks ago I got an email from my bother-in-law Scott who was in a highly agitated state. He told me he had been the victim of fraud perpetrated by the Bird’s Eye Company. Read More

 

Mom’s Short Ribs (aka Stringy Meat)

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

MOM at 95 3_4 When my siblings and I were growing up, my mother was a miraculous cook—every night she procured dinner for eight people. Among our favorite meals was what we called “stringy meat,” which was any kind of meat that was cooked long and slow until it was a fork-tender, pull-apart, deliciously stringy thing. Read More

 

Spicy Chicken Tacos

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

photoThe good thing about this recipe is you can make most of the components in advance and then just throw your tacos together in fifteen minutes, which allows you time to relax and watch the PBS News Hour while you dine. Read More

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