Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Red Onion Salad Dressing

1 medium red onion, rough chop
1 glove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 / 2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 / 3 cup vinegar
3/4 cup oil (vegetable or olive oil)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until desired texture is achieved. Alternative: If you don't have a blender or food processor: Finely mince the red onion. Whisk all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Smothered Summer Squash with Basil

Serves 4
Smothering is a Cajun cooking term that refers to browning anything from meat to vegetables in oil, then braising it in a small amount of liquid, tightly covered, until tender.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lb medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick slices
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then add half of squash and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer browned squash to a bowl, then heat remaining tablespoon oil and sauté remaining squash in same manner. Return squash in bowl to skillet. Add garlic and sauté, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add water, salt, and pepper and simmer briskly, covered, until squash is tender and most of liquid is evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in basil.

Braised Turnips and Radishes

Serves 3 or 4
1 pound (total) turnips and radishes
2 tablespoons butter or flavorful oil, like olive or peanut
Peel vegetables, or not; quarter turnips if necessary to make them about same size as radishes. Put in saucepan with pinch of salt, butter or oil, and water to come up about halfway to their height. Cover and turn heat to medium-high. Simmer until vegetables are just about tender, 10 to 20 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until vegetables are shiny and glazed with their juices. Add more salt if necessary and serve hot.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thai Red Curry Eggplant and Mustard Greens

Serves 4
30 minutes or fewer
Curry pastes vary widely in pungency and spice, so you may have to add more or less to this recipe according to the type you use. Both Asian mustard greens (which are pale and have a strong, spicy flavor) and leafy mustard greens will work in the recipe, or you can substitute Swiss chard or watercress.
2 Tbs. Thai red curry paste
1 Tbs. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
1 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 small eggplant (8 oz.) cut into 1-inch-thick chunks, or 2 cups round Thai
eggplants, halved
1 small onion, quartered and sliced (1 cup)
1 lb. mustard greens, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
¼ cup light coconut milk
lime wedges, for garnish
1. Whisk together curry paste, sugar, garlic, and 2 Tbs. water in small bowl. Set aside. Heat oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and onion, and cook 5 minutes, or until eggplant is browned. Stir in curry mixture, and cook 30 seconds, or until vegetables are coated. Add mustard greens, and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until leaves are wilted. Stir in coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water, and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until eggplant is tender. Serve with lime wedges.

Potato Arugula Pizza

Pizza dough, either store-bought or homemade
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups arugula leaves
3 ounces shredded Fontina cheese (about ¾ cup)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the potato into thin slices. Toss in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the minced garlic. Set aside. Wash, dry and coarsely chop the arugula. Toss the arugula with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and stretch the dough to fill it. (You can also use a pizza stone and roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle on a pizza peel) Line the dough in rings of potatoes, starting from the outside and working inward, leaving a ½ inch border around the edges. Brush the potatoes with the garlic oil. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the crust starts to brown and the potatoes are golden brown.
Sprinkle the arugula evenly over the pizza. Sprinkle the cheese over the arugula and bake for another 3 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
Really Simple Pizza Dough
Makes enough for one small, thin crust pizza. Double it if you like your pizza thick and bready.
1 1/2 cups flour (can replace up to half of this with whole wheat flour)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water (may need up to 1 or 2 tablespoons more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Stir dry ingredients, including yeast, in a large bowl. Add water and olive oil, stirring mixture into as close to a ball as you can. Dump all clumps and floury bits onto a lightly floured surface and knead everything into a homogeneous ball.
If you are finding this step difficult, one of the best tricks I picked up from my bread-making class is to simply pause. Leave the dough in a lightly-floured spot, put the empty bowl upside-down on top of it and come back in 2 to 5 minutes, at which point you will find the dough a lot more lovable. Knead it for just a minute or two. Lightly oil the bowl (a spritz of cooking spray perfectly does the trick) where you had mixed it — one-bowl recipe! — dump the dough in, turn it over so all sides are coated, cover it in plastic wrap and leave it undisturbed for an hour or two, until it has doubled in size. Dump it back on the floured counter (yup, I leave mine messy), and gently press the air out of the dough with the palm of your hands. Fold the piece into an approximate ball shape, and let it sit under that plastic wrap for 20 more minutes. Sprinkle a pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal and preheat your oven to its top temperature. Roll out the pizza, toss on whatever topping and seasonings you like. (I always err on the side of skimpy with toppings so to not weight down the dough too much, or if I have multiple toppings, to keep them very thinly sliced.) Bake it for about 10 minutes until it’s lightly blistered and impossible to resist.

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin Pickles

1 minipumpkin, about 1 pound
1 cup water
3/4 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 stick cinnamon
8 whole cloves
3-4 slices lemon
Peel pumpkin, remove seeds, dice into 1/2-inch pieces.
Combine water, vinegar, sugar and spices in large pot; bring to boil. Stir until sugar dissolves, then add lemon and pumpkin. Simmer 5-10 minutes, stirring so pumpkin pieces are evenly coated. Don’t overcook; pumpkin should be crisp-tender, not soft. Taste liquid; adjust flavor with more sugar or vinegar if necessary.
Place pumpkin in sterile glass jars. Strain liquid and fill glass jars to about 1/4 inch below rim. Cover and turn jars upside down 5 minutes to ensure tight seals. May be eaten immediately but will keep several months without refrigeration while sealed. Refrigerate after opening. Keeps about a month after opening. (Or put the pickles in any clean container and keep refrigerated for about a month.) Makes about 2 pints.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sweet Potato Basil Soup

Serves 3-4
2 sweet potatoes or yams, diced
½ yellow onion, sliced
1 (14oz) can of coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients in the crockpot. Mix around. Cook for 3 hours on high. Use a hand blender, blender, or food processor and puree mixture until smooth. My 9 cup food processor fit it all just perfectly.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

6-8 servings
4 cups rolled oats
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
½ cup brown sugar
1 ½ cups pumpkin puree (homemade, if you have it!)
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 ½ cups milk (regular or almond)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup chopped walnuts
Pinch each of allspice and cloves
Grease a 9x9 baking dish and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix until completely combined. Pour oatmeal into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the center reaches 160 degrees. Serve warm, with thickened cream or milk, and your favorite oatmeal add-ons!

Mustard Greens

Serves 4
1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
2 to 3 Tbsp chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant. Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.