Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rice Bowls

My latest discovery has been rice bowls - rice, tossed with a protein, tons of raw veggies, tons of herbs, maybe some cheese and a simple sauce. These are especially good for getting rid of leftover veggies & herbs - you know, that 1/2 head of cilantro leftover from your favorite mexican recipe. Just use whatever amounts you have & like. I personally go pretty heavy on the herbs, almost treating them like a lettuce green. Here are my two favorite combinations so far, but you should really experiment to find your own!

white fish, cooked w/ salt & pepper in a frying pan w/ some olive oil

fresh basil (lots)
cilantro (lots)
green onions
sliced cucumbers (I like the persian ones at trader joes)
fresh pineapple chunks

Optional ideas: Napa Cabbage, lettuce, snap peas, red bell peppers, thin sliced onion

Sauce: Nuoc Cham (click for recipe)


Canned tuna in oil, preferably an imported super delicious one (like Flott or Ortiz)
Canned garbanzo beans

Veggies - as many as you happen to have from this list:
Red Bell
shaved (thinly sliced) fennel
arugula, cabbage or lettuce
snap peas
cherry tomatoes

Feta cheese - I've been loving french feta lately, it seems softer, more like chevre

Sauce: olive oil, lemon juice, coarse salt & fresh ground pepper

I have to add that nuts are also amazing in rice bowls. So is a vinaigrette of oil & balsamic. Avocados are always excellent. Seriously, if it sounds good to you, or you have it sitting in your fridge, just throw it in.

Also, i have been buying this amazing organic brown basmati rice from costco. It comes in a colorful burlap bag. I have never been very fond of brown rice, but you barely even notice with this kind somehow. So look for it at costco. Super cute bag, organic, basamati. Have fun!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

What we've been eating

So many new recipes this winter, I thought I'd get them down in one spot.

First, I've been doing a ton of new stuff from Orangette, my Christmas gift Zuni Cafe cookbook and most recently the Rebar Cookbook (all vegetarian and so far delicious!) I bought myself.

I've found myself rotating a few recipes through very freqently - we've had some form of chicken soup almost every week, usually one bean or lentil dish, one meat dish, something new, something old, seafood, homemade pizza....The kids have learned to love Tom Kah & Pho as a result of the repitition and its been fun watching them go from suspicious to realizing they like it.

Without further ado, here's what we've been eating regularly this winter, I've included recipes when available. Amazingly, our kids now eat most of these with minimal complaint. (except for the balthazar salad) For a long time I made them the "Young Mango Chicken" without the spicy sauce, but recently just gave them some of our spicy version and they actually ate it better! Go figure....

Winter 2101 frequent menu items:
Cuban Beans & Rice - from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook , amazing with avocado & hot sauce
Pho Ga - need to add recipe (each batch is worth 3 meals, so its worth making from scratch)
Tom Kah - need to add recipe
Coconut Lentil Soup
Balthazar Salad - delicious, made it twice, will make it again
Shaved Mushroom & Fennel Salad - delicious with butternut squash bisque
Butternut Squash Bisque - from America's Test Kitchen Cookbook*
Broiled Pork chops w/ rosemary & garlic, acorn squash & quinoa
Boiled Kale (as a side dish, or with egg & toast for lunch)
Young Mango Chicken
Crab, shrimp & mango salad - special occaision only, but sooooo good.

I also loved Zuni cafe roast lamb leg & roast chicken....but just tried them once each. Yum.

I am sure I will think of more later...

*I tried both of orangette's butternut squash soup recipes and they were too sweet for me. Also gave her celery root soup recipe a go and I'm not sure if I'm a fan of the celery root yet....its good, but I don't find myself wanting more.

Young Mango Chicken

Young Mango Chicken
adapted from "Simply Thai Cooking" by Wandee Young & Byron Ayanoglu

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I use two from a costco pack - they should be 1lb or less total)
1 large not-quite-ripe, Mango (rock hard = sour, just a little give in it is perfect - sour & sweet)
4 Tbsp Vegetable oil
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp Soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp Chili Paste (this part is key to the flavor. I use "Ground Chili & garlic in oil" from an asian market. Not sure if this is what the author intended, but it is delicious, and quite spicy. A thai chili paste from the grocery store will be milder usually.)
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 medium red pepper cut into 1/4" strips
1/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews
fresh cilantro

Prepare bowls that will be ready to dump into wok as you cook.
Bowl #1 (small): Lime juice & chili paste
Bowl #2 (small): Sugar & Soy Sauce
Bowl #3 (medium): Peel & slice mango into 1/4" strips. Add bell pepper slices to bowl
Bowl #4 (medium): Slice chicken into 1/4" strips, add water to bowl with chicken

Lastly, chop up the garlic & cilantro and leave them on the cutting board.

Heat oil in a wok or lg frying pan on high heat until it is about to smoke. Add garlic & stir-fry for 15 seconds or until it just barely starts to brown. Immediately dump in the chicken bowl (Bowl #4). Stirfry 1-2 minutes until the exterior is white, but still pink on the inside.

Dump in bowl #2, (make sure you get the sugar out of the bottom) and stir-fry for 1 minute. Dump in bowl #1 and stir-fry for 1 minute. Dump in Bowl #3 and stir-fry for one minute. Finally, add cashews & stirfry for one more minute.

Remove from heat, top with cilantro leaves and serve immediately, accompanied by steamed rice.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Penne with Uncooked Tomato Sauce

Penne with Uncooked Tomato Sauce
from "Modern Italian Cooking" by Biba Caggiano

1 1/2 pounds juicy ripe tomatoes
12-15 basil leaves, shredded into small pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbs rinsed and dried capers
2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
1/4 cup freshy grated pecorino, or 2-3 ounces mozzarella diced (I like the mozzarella)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper

1 lb penne

Peel, seed & dice tomatoes.** Put the tomatoes in a colander to drain off the excess juices. Put the drained tomatoes in a large bowl that can later fit the pasta. Add all the other ingredients and season lightly with salt & pepper. Cover bowl & leave at room temperature for 2 hours.

Cook the penne until pasta is tender. Drain the pasta well and add it to the sauce in the bowl. Mix well and serve at once.

**I puree whole ones in a food mill which sort of removes the seeds & skins. I've also pureed whole high-quality canned ones, but I also think you could just skip the peeling & seeding of fresh ones. Both ways I've done it have been delicious.

To peel tomatoes, stick them in boiling water until skin splits, no more than 2 minutes, transfer to cold water to cool & then peel them.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kari's Asian Salmon Tacos

1 lb salmon filet
corn tortillas

3 cups Cabbage, shredded fine (just shave it off with a knife)
1/3 bell pepper, sliced thin or diced small
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
Shredded carrots (optional)
diced hot chili (Optional - serrano, jalepeno, your choice)

2 Tbs rice wine (or white wine) vinegar
1/8 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar

1/3 cup mayo
1 tsp grated ginger (or finely chopped)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs Lime Juice

1. Combine slaw vegetables. Whisk vinegar, sesame oil & sugar together, drizzle over slaw, toss to combine. Set aside.

2. Whisk together sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. Grill or pan fry the salmon filet until cooked to your liking. Warm corn tortillas one at a time in a small pan over med-high heat. (Don't buy mission, guerro is the best grocery brand tortilla I've found)

4. Put chunks of fish in tortilla, top with slaw & sauce. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lemon Tart

"The Perfect Lemon Tart"
from Lucious Lemon Desserts by Lori Longbotham (an excellent cookbook)
needs aproximately 4 large lemons, 5 if they are on the small side

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 T finely grated lemon zest
1 3/4 c all purpose flour
1 1/4 c sugar
2 pinches of salt
6 large eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 c whipping cream

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350. Have ready an 11-inch tart pan, preferably with a removable bottom.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1 Tbs. of the zest and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Pour in the butter mixture in a fine stream, stirring with a fork, and continue stirring until the dough begins to come together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to the tart pan and press it with your fingertips evenly up the side and into the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack while making the filling.

3. Process the remaining 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbs zest in a food prcessor until the zest is finely ground. (I always skip this part)

4. Whisk together the eggs, the sugar and zest mixtures, the lemon juice, and another pinch of salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

5. Beat the cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed in a medium bowl just until it forms soft peaks. (Do not over-whip! Keep the peaks soft!) Whisk the cream into the egg mixture just until blended.

6. Place a baking sheet in the oven, place the crust on the baking sheet, and pour the filling into the still warm crust. (be very careful not to spill the filling.) Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the filling is just set in the center. Let the pie cool on a wire rack.

7. Just before serving, generously sift confectioners' sugar over the tart. Cut into wedges and serve.

Comments in Italics are mine, not the authors. : )

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Molten Chocolate Cakes
Courtesy of "Everday Food" by Martha Stewart, December 2003

4 T unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 c granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 c flour
1/4 tsp Salt
8 oz bittersweet choclate, melted

1) Preheat oven to 400. Generously butter 4 cups of a standard muffin tin. dust with granulated sugar and tap out excess. Set aside.

2) In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed, beat in flour and salt until just combined. Beat in chocolate (do not overmix). Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups.

3) Place muffin tin on a baking sheet; bake just until tops of cake no longer jiggle when pan is lightly shaken, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

4) To serve, turn out cakes and place on serving plates, top sides up. Dust with confectioners' suger and serve with whipped cream if desired.