Archive for ‘Vegetarian’

May 13, 2011

Potato and Leek Soup with Buttermilk and Lemon Oil

Potato Soup

I know it’s been a while, but it’s hard to cook without a kitchen….and when you’re living out of three homes. Last weekend, we finally made the move into our house! Prior to this, we were living partly out of my parents home, partly out of the home we just bought, and partly out of our townhome (an hour and a half away). Since I haven’t really been able to cook in the new kitchen yet due to appliance issues that have made my kitchen nonfunctional (will be  resolved asap), this recipe is one I made while living part-time at my parents house.

My dad gets the Wall Street Journal every morning. While I’m not very business savvy, I always enjoy the Personal Journal section. Part of the reason is that they always have intriguing health and cooking articles (my two passions). This recipe came from the Personal Journal section of the Wall Street Journal and was a request by my dad. It was  a bit of a shame that I could not find green garlic in the grocery store, but I think the recipe worked out just as well with leeks (and I love the smell of leeks cooking). It was definitely a great comfort food recipe, one that doesn’t take very much time at all and one that I will be returning to many times when the weather gets cold again.

Potato and Leek (originally Green Garlic)  Soup with Buttermilk and Lemon Oil

Ingredients
4 Tbsp butter
2 cups thinly sliced green garlic (one pound) or 3 cups thinlly sliced leeks
1 cup diced yellow onion
1 tsp salt
4 large waxy potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
4 cups water
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 Tbsp creme fraiche
T Tbsp lemon olive oil or extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add butter, green garlic or leeks and onions and season with salt. Cover and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes to warm.
Add water and buttermilk. Bring to a boil and simmir until potatoes are completely soft, about 25-30 minutes.
Mash soup with potato masher or a strong wire whisk until chunky.
Thin soup with additional awter or buttermilk if needed. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and garlic salt.
Stir in parsley.
Serve soup with dollop of creme fraiche if available and drizzle of oil.

Source: Chef Naomi Pomeroy of Beast in Portland restaurant via the Wall Street Journal

April 20, 2011

Panzanella

Panzanella

It’s cold. It’s rainy. It doesn’t feel like spring at all. Welcome to the Midwest. On weeks like these, I turn up the thermostat to 80, put on shorts, turn up the reggae  and dance around my house while cooking up something summery and pretending it’s sunny and beautiful outside. During one particular occasion, I decided to be ‘Italian’ and make a beautiful Panzanella. This light summery salad is a perfect way to forget a cold rainy day. The thing I love most about it is that it’s different. It’s not your typical ‘lettuce and tomato’ salad (though there’s nothing wrong with typical salads when you’re craving them), and the  fact that it has the toasted bread makes it able to be a meal all in itself. This salad is definitely a keeper in my salad repertoire.

Panzanella

Ingredients

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (I like to use a combination of purple or yellow or orange, to nicely colorize the dish)
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette


1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/3 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the ingredients.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Source: Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

March 8, 2011

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Last weekend, my sister-in-law welcomed her first baby, my fifth niece, Clara. I haven’t gotten to meet her yet, but from the pictures, she looks precious. Knowing that as new parents, my sister-in-law and her husband are likely not getting much sleep and definitely not having much time to cook, I decided to make them a couple easy dishes (homemade hummus and chicken enchiladas that will be posted soon) that they can enjoy. Since I spent the weekend working in the emergency department, I wanted to make them something that wouldn’t take a whole lot of time to put together. Taking only a few minutes to make, but tasting gourmet, this hummus was the perfect solution. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can really alter it to please your palate by changing the amount of lemon and garlic you add. My only regret was that I didn’t triple the recipe to have enough for myself for the week.

Homemade Hummus

Ingredients

2 cups canned chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup or more water

Directions

In a food processor, add 2 cups of chickpeas, 1/4 cup tahini, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of 2 lemons, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, several pinches of salt, and some fresh ground. Pulse until roughly chopped.
Turn the food processor to on and pour about 1/2 cup of water in a steady stream until the hummus is blended nicely. You may need to add a little more water and olive oil to get the desired consistency
Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
Serve with pita or fresh vegetables.

Source: A Couple Cooks

February 26, 2011

Sauteed Spinach

 

Sauteed Spinach

In my house, it is a battle to get my husband to eat vegetables, which is unfortunate since I love veggies. I am constantly trying to find new ways of cooking them to make them ‘edible’ for him.  Over the years, I have found that adding garlic and butter to vegetables will make him at least give the vegetable dish a shot, so when I stumbled upon this recipe for sauteed spinach, I knew I had to give it a shot. It’s so quick and easy to make and although the picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s really flavorful. My proof that it was a good recipe? Husband finished his whole portion.

 

Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients

1 lb spinach (2 bunches)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more if needed
1 Tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Directions

Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining. Put the spinach in a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is just beginning to brown.
Add the spinach to the pan, packing it down a bit if you need to with your hand. Use a couple spatulas to lift the spinach and turn it over in the pan so that you coat more of it with the olive oil and garlic. Do this a couple of times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and turn the spinach over again. Cover the pan and cook for an additional minute.
After 2 minutes of covered cooking the spinach should be completely wilted. Remove from heat. Drain any excess moisture from the pan. Add a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from: Simply Recipes

February 16, 2011

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

So, do you have cavities yet from all of the sweet posts?

Now that Valentine’s Day is past, I thought I would start posting “real” food posts again…not that dessert isn’t ‘real’ food but I think I’m in the minority when I claim that dessert should be the bottom of the food pyramid.

I’m not a red meat eater, so whenever I make my husband steak, I usually scavenge around the kitchen trying to find something for myself to eat…and that ‘something’ usually ends up being a Boca burger. Well, one night, I got tired of doing  that so I decided to actually make a gourmet meal and make grilled portobello mushrooms for myself. I had only had portobellos in sandwiches before but let me tell you, these were incredible! They were juicy and flavorful, and I didn’t feel at all like I was missing out by not eating steak that night.

This recipe would probably work well with the whole portobello caps too, but I used what was on sale (pre-sliced stems) and it was so delicious. I highly recommend this recipe for any vegetarian or non-vegetarian willing to be adventurous.

 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients

4 large portobello mushrooms, washed, stems cut off and caps cut into slices
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
black pepper, to taste

Directions

Melt the butter, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic & pepper together in a small saucepan.
Brush the mushrooms generously with the melted butter and olive oil mixture.
On a grill pan, grill the portobello mushrooms for about 8 minutes. Turn and grill the tops of the portobello mushrooms for 6 to 8 minutes longer. The grilled portobello mushrooms should be tender and nicely browned.

Source: Adapted from: Southern Food About dot com

February 2, 2011

Red Pepper and Leek Mini-Quiches

 

Leek and Red Pepper Mini Quiches

This is one of the last recipes  that I plan on posting from my sister-in-law’s baby shower…but I just had to post it. These were so delicious that my husband even ate a few and he absolutely refuses to eat quiche usually. Truth be told, I have never cooked with leeks but that has now changed since making these. Smelling the leeks while cooking the quiches, I knew that this was going to be good.

These would be perfect as a fancy brunch dish or just a good start to a weekend. I’m looking forward to trying out different combination of vegetables in them.

Leek and Red Pepper Mini Quiches

Ingredients

For the cheddar pastry

1/4 lb. white cheddar cheese, cut into chunks
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/4 tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 to 3 Tbs. cold water

For the filling:
1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 leek, white portion only, or 2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 lb. dry-aged white cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3/4 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions:

To make the cheddar pastry, in a food processor, pulse the cheese until crumbly. Add the flour and salt and pulse until the cheese is finely crumbled. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fluffy bread crumbs. Drizzle the egg over the mixture and pulse twice. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Sprinkle 2 Tbs. water over the mixture and pulse until a rough mass forms. If the mixture doesn’t come together, add another 1 Tbs. water.

Place the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and shape into a smooth ball. Divide in half. Roll out half the pastry into a large round 1/8 inch thick, pushing the dough outward from the center and rotating it about a quarter turn each time you roll, sprinkling more flour underneath as needed.

Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut out as many pastry rounds as possible and ease them very gently into the cups of a mini-muffin pan. The bottoms should remain rounded and the dough edges flush with the rims. Gather up the scraps, reroll, cut out additional rounds and line additional cups. Repeat with the remaining dough half, working in batches if necessary. You should have a total of 48 lined cups.

Preheat an oven to 400°F.

To make the filling, in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and sauté gently, stirring occasionally, until tender but not browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the bell pepper and cheese. In another bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the eggs until blended, then whisk in the cream, mustard, salt and cayenne. Add the egg mixture to the leek mixture and whisk to combine. Pour 1 Tbs. of the filling into each of the pastry shells, evenly distributing the solids and liquid.

Bake the quiches until they are puffy and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the muffin pan to a wire rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes (the quiches will sink a little as they cool). To loosen them from the muffin cups, run a thin-bladed knife around the sides, then carefully lift the quiches out of the cups. Arrange on a platter and serve.
Makes 48 warm bites.

Source: Williams Sonoma

January 31, 2011

Three-Cheese Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

 

Mac and Cheese Bites

It is my true belief that mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food.  Who wouldn’t be comforted by creamy, cheesy warm noodles?  When I was looking for a comforting warm appetizer that I could make for Superbowl Sunday, these little bites of comfort popped into my head (because whether you’re cheering for the Steelers or the Packers, who doesn’t want to be comforted when the opposing team runs for a touchdown?).

This recipe is simple but makes A LOT of mac and cheese  bites…about sixty…which is great for a big party, but for those of you who aren’t having a huge party, you might want to consider halving the recipe.

Mac and Cheese Bites

Ingredients

1/2 lb elbow macaroni
1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unbleached all-pupose flour
1 cup whole milk
4 oz aged white cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz Gruyère, grated
2 extra large egg yolks
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
1/4 cup Panko crumbs
pinch of Kosher salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 425º F.
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook according to the manufacturer’s directions. Drain the macaroni completely and set aside.
Spray mini muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small bowl combine the Parmigiano-Reggiano and Panko. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook the mixture for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Add the milk and continue whisking until the mixture is thick, about 5 minutes. Add the cheddar and Gruyère and whisk until the cheeses are completely melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks. Fold in the macaroni and season with salt.
Evenly fill the prepared muffin tins with the macaroni and cheese, about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the Panko and cheese mixture evenly over the tops.
Bake the mini macs until they are sizzling and golden on top, about 10-12 minutes rotating the pans halfway through baking.
Remove from the oven and let the mini macs cool for 5 minutes.
Using a the edge of a small offset spatula, carefully remove the mini macs abd transfer to a platter and serve.
Enjoy!

Source: The Galley Gourmet

January 17, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

 

Mushroom Risotto

My husband’s absolute favorite side dish is risotto. Given the option of risotto and anything else, he will 100 percent of  the time choose risotto. We’ve both been traveling a lot recently (separately unfortunately), so whenever we’re home together, I find myself making risotto…a lot.

One of the best things about risotto is that depending on what you add to it, the flavor can change so dramatically. With the addition of porcini and baby bella mushrooms, you have this amazing earthy, woodsy flavor.

Thankfully, this risotto is very easy to make, and I love that it’s a way to get Francis to eat vegetables. It’s perfect for my after-work quick-cooking as well as for our fancy-dinner occasions.

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

2 Tbsp butter
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup mushroom mix (I used baby bella and porcini mushrooms)
2 Tbsp garlic
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a medium skillet, heat 2 Tbsp butter with garlic on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes longer.
Add Arborio Rice and cook for one minute longer, mixing with other ingredients.
Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable stock, one cup at a time, allowing it to absorb into the rice before adding another cup.
When the last cup of vegetable broth is absorbed and the rice has been cooking approximately 20 minutes (and is soft), add Parmesan cheese and allow it to melt.
Enjoy!

January 11, 2011

Channa Masala (Chickpea Curry)

 

Channa Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Francis and I have a ‘thing’ for Indian food. About once a month we’ll get these cravings where we absolutely must have Indian. Unfortunately for us, there are about two Indian restaurants in our town and they’re both (while very tasty), fairly expensive. Over the past several years, we’ve both figured out how to imitate Indian cooking. Francis’s ‘signature dish’ is Butter Chicken (and he makes Butter Shrimp for me) while mine is Chickpea Curry.

When we first began cooking Indian food, it was all very intimidating. Garam Masala? Curry powder? Somehow though, the realization that Garam Masala is sold right between Fennel and Ginger at our local grocery store made it less scary.

This dish is extremely easy and quick…perfect for those nights where I’m working late and want a quick and delicious dinner. Its degree of spiciness depends on how much cumin and red pepper flakes you add to it, so if you’re feeling adventurous, pour it in.

We usually serve this over white rice or alongside “Naan”, traditional Indian bread that is also (surprisingly) found in the bread section of our local grocery store…that adventure in cooking is to come hopefully soon (one of my cooking resolutions for the year is to make Naan…). Enjoy!

Channa Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, cubed
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2  can diced tomatoes
1/2 can (10.5oz) condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions

Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat; simmer until the potatoes are tender. Drain, and set aside.
Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
Stir in curry powder, garam masala, ginger, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring. Pour in diced tomatoes, red pepper, tomato soup, cream, and chickpeas. Stir in potatoes. Simmer 10 minutes.

Source: AllRecipes.com