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Archive for the ‘Beside Myself’ 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

 

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. 

 

 

 

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

 

Kabocha

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

KabochaCooked_3Kabocha squashI am all about kabocha squash.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I do have other obsessions, but today it’s squash. Read More

 

Football Lover’s Bean Dip

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

BeanDipphotoIt’s time to celebrate the football season!

Well, actually, if you are like me, you pretend to celebrate the football season, when what really drives your excitement is the excuse to eat the food associated with the sport. (Think bean dip.) Read More

 

Beer Bread (Erin Go Drunk)

Monday, March 17th, 2014

BeerCooking

This is a great bread for St. Patrick’s Day if you are not too drunk to cook due to  all the beer you imbibed at the parade this morning. Read More

 

Kale And Virtue

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

KaleImage 1I love Food52’s Quinoa Pilaf, but I make it with a few adjustments. I use baby kale because I find the adult variety can be as tough to chew as, say, a pine tree. Read More

 

Roasted Asparagus With Egg

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

After eating more Easter cookies than any human I know of–my dog Oliver outdid me at 6 but only barely–this is my new favorite LIGHT springtime lunch. Read More

 

Super Bowl Bean Dip

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Although I spend almost no time watching sports on television, I’m always gung ho for the Super Bowl.

I’m probably the most irritating person at a Super Bowl gathering; I merrily show up and ask,”Okay, so who’s playing?” I am completely clueless. As I’m writing this, I, a Chicago native, can’t even remember the name of my birth city’s football team. (Are they the Chargers? The Jazz? The Zebras? It’ll come to me…) I know they used to have a player whose nickname was The Refrigerator, which caught my attention.

But if I’m short on info, I’m long on enthusiasm. I’m even willing to cook for  the Super Bowl, especially if we go to my brother’s house and all I have to make is an appetizer. It gives me an excuse to revisit my recipe for Bean Dip.

Bean Dip is the perfect choice for the occasion. Chips are involved, which are a mainstay of the S.B. cuisine, and the dip is served warm, which works well on a cold February day (which in L.A. means it’s below 70º).

I have sometimes served this on other random occasions, like when I was too lazy to make a real dinner for the kids. I’d give them Bean Dip with a bowl of soup and they were perfectly happy.

Click here for the recipe.

 

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