Anotheryarn Eats

September 24, 2009

Summer Stew

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:16 pm

A friend pointed me in the direction of this Summer Vegetable Stew, stating that it fit her CSA share very well.  For us, not so much (probably a matter of geography), but on Sunday while I was at the Farmer’s Market getting more peaches (crazy), I realized that we had tomatoes, summer squash and onion at home, and hey look there is a vendor with corn!   While this dish has a decent amount of chopping involved (as so many vegetarian dishes do), I was thrilled with  how much produce it used up.  It also used the last of our basil plant (poor guy is now on the back patio with 2 leaves on the single stem).  It turned out quite yummy and my only regret was I didn’t think to buy a nice loaf of bread to go along side the dish (and maybe chop up a cucumber salad too).  I also forgot to get a “vegetables after” picture with everything fitting in my 4 qt pot, and all my bowl pictures turned out blurry.  Since we ate this by itself we only got 4 servings, not 6.

vegetables before

Summer Vegetable Stew from Gourmet August 1993 via Epicurious

As you might notice comparing the ingredient list to my picture, I used more yellow squash and less zucchini since that was what I had on hand.  The final dish wasn’t quite as colorful but still tasty.  That zucchini gave me about 1/2 cups diced, while the squash gave me about 2 1/2 cups diced.

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nicoise salad?

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:01 pm

A while ago I saw this beautiful salad nicoise on Mixed Greens (or is it Eating Locally in the Pacific Northwest, I’m a bit confused on the title of the blog).  I’ve been meaning to make it for a while but kept being out of one or another ingredient.  Friday night it came together minus any sort of leafy greens.  But I made way too much, it turned out very tasty and turned into a decent lunch despite the chilled tomatoes.

nicoiseNicoise Salad of Sorts

  • 8 potatoes
  • two handfuls of green beans
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 6 oz can oil-packed tuna
  • handful nicoise olives
  • lemon vinaigrette (1/4 of a recipe made enough)

First I hard boiled the eggs.  I recently read about a method where you cover the eggs in cold water, bring it to a boil, and once it is boiling turn the heat off and let the pan sit on the burner for 10 minutes, then you pour off the hot water and rinse in cold water to cool them off for peeling.  I’ve made great, perfectly cooked eggs since learning about this method. While the eggs were cooking I started on the rest of the prep.  I quartered the potatoes (and just happened to only have purple potatoes in the house) and steamed them until fork tender (10+ minutes), then I removed them from the steamer basket and added my green beans (de-stemmed of course, and cut in half) and steamed those for 5 minutes.  I sliced the tomato into nice, large, bite-sized chunks, I made the dressing, and drained the tuna.  Then I assembled everything on two plates, composed salad style (I think this is composed salad style) and drizzled the dressing over it.  We ended up sharing one plate and dumping the other plate into a bowl, turning it into a tossed salad that we ate for lunch the next day.

September 23, 2009

a little bit of cooking

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , — anotheryarn @ 10:24 am

Somewhere in the middle of the canning craze I hit a food funk.  It happens.  Nothing sounds good (except jam), or when something does sound good it is too involved, too time consuming for the small slot of time available, or what sounds good is exactly what is not in your stuffed to the gills produce-filled fridge.  I made a couple variations on saimin using kale, frozen dumplings, hard boiled eggs and broth.  I made a variety of veg+starch+dinner meals (pasta with tomatoes, pasta with kale, rice & stir-fry).  But the one dish that I made amongst the crazy that I’ve been itching to tell you about is this eggplant bruschetta.  I had a couple eggplants sitting in the fridge, I had forgotten that I meant to make the eggplant enchiladas the next time (now) I had eggplant.  At the bookstore, I opened up How to Pick a Peach and discovered it had recipes.  Why didn’t I notice this before, in those three weeks I had it checked out from the library?  It had two that won my heart and screamed “make me right now” (I only made one and have temporarily forgotten about the other) and bonus, it was on sale.  But then I didn’t get around to making this dish for another few days, thank goodness I could toast the bread since baguettes are stale 3 days after buying them.  I think a batch of salsa, a 15 mile bike ride and a couple dinner invitations got in the way.

Sure, it isn’t the prettiest dish, but oh yum.  Now that I think about it, eggplant might be winning my heart because it is yet another vehicle to ingest copious amounts of garlic, and this eggplant is even more garlic-icious than the last recipe I made (partially due to not scaling down for the size of my eggplant).  Also, much easier to make.  I think it is supposed to be an appetizer, but we just had a dinner of “small plates” that night, bruschetta and sliced tomatoes with a sprinkle of salt and pepper (one of the best summer dinners ever, amazing that what was probably a desperation dinner for my mom turned into a eagerly awaited meal for me).

bruschetta

Smoky Eggplan Bruschetta from How to Pick a Peach by Russ Parsons

  • 2 -1 lb. eggplants
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 t minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 t red wine vinegar
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 baguette
  • 2 oz pecorino romano cheese

A couple notes: the author states to resist the urge to use a food processor to puree the eggplant because that would give it “the texture of baby food”, also the olive oil should be fruity.

Preheat your oven to 400 F.  Poke the eggplant a couple times, but otherwise leave it whole (I did cut off the stem, I don’t know if this is standard protocol with eggplant), stick it in a pan of some sort (I chose my 9 x 13 pyrex) and put it in the oven for about 1 hour, until it is soft and “collapsed” (mine didn’t collapse but were soft so I called it good).  Let the eggplant cool so you can handle it.

IMO, you should deal with the bread while you are letting the ggplant cool, to take advantage of the already hot oven.  The author recommends the broiler or the grill, I just used the oven at 400.  Slice the baguette into 1/2″ thick pieces (eyeball it and make it whatever feels appropriate to bite into – personally I hate bruschetta where the bread barely fits in your mouth).  I placed my slices on a cookie sheet (it took 2 for my largish loaf of bread), lightly brushed one side with olive oil and placed it in the oven.  After, um, 2 or 4 minutes  I took the sheets out, flipped all the slices and put it in for an additional 2 minutes or so.  Just beginning to look golden but not so toasty that they break into a thousand pieces when you bite into them, but not so soft that they don’t store nicely either.  I know, so precise.

Okay.  The topping.  When the eggplant is cool, slice each eggplant in half and scoop out the flesh, roughly chop it and put it in a medium sized bowl.  Add the garlic, rosemary and olive oil then stir until the eggplant sort of falls apart (more so than it was).  Season with salt and add the vinegar and lemon juice.  Finally stir in the tomato.

To serve place a spoonful of eggplant puree on top a piece of the toasted bread.  Top with a thin slice of cheese.  Or not, personally I felt the cheese added nothing to the dish (I even, by stroke of luck, had the correct cheese instead of my usual subbing of “ah, close-enough”), but TheHusband disagreed and felt it did add something to it.  You could of course serve this dip-style too.

We put the leftovers in a mason jar, the leftover bread in another container and ate the remaining bruschetta as a picnic on an impromptu date night two days later.  It was still fabulous.

September 21, 2009

Year 2 Week 12

Filed under: Weekly Share — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 5:28 pm

This was taken rather late at night on 9/15, a day that I managed to both can a batch of jam and make dinner (a rather boring dinner but dinner nonetheless) and clean the kitchen up all in a span of 3 1/2 hours.  The contrast between last week’s bounty and this week’s share is interesting, but at the time I was just thankful since I had only used a mere fraction of last week’s produce.

Year 2 Week 12

  • green beans
  • banana peppers?
  • yellow tomato
  • eggplant
  • summer squash
  • beets with greens

Year 2 Week 11

Filed under: Weekly Share — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 5:15 pm

This was taken back on the morning of 9/9, in the midst of my canning craze.

Year 2 Week 11

  • Red onion
  • broccoli in three sizes
  • swiss chard
  • 4 small cucumbers
  • regular sized bunch of the largest radishes ever
  • carrots
  • green beans (a nice generous 3/4 lb!)

pickle crazy

Filed under: food preservation — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 5:02 pm

I’ve been going pickle crazy. After making 3 quarts of refrigerator dills, I had the urge to make dilly beans (aka pickled, dilled green beans) but instead I talked my parents into turning their last row of green beans into jars of pickles instead of plain pressure-cooker canned green beans. Our neighbors gave us a couple pounds of small plums from their tree and I had the urge to try making pickled plums, but TheHusband ate too many before I got the gumption to try it. Then I went and made a batch of quick pickled radishes (so good, and now I’ve lost the recipe), and followed that with pickled kohlrabi (meh, might have been the woody kohlrabi or the wrong brine). Next up, carrots. But instead of making pickled carrots I had a saner moment (thank you Marissa, yet again) when I found Food In Jars (if I’m remembering names correctly, by the same person who brought me our favorite beet salad combo) and just cut up the carrots and dumped them in the first empty jar of pickle brine.  Then I got the bright idea to turn my two bunches of beets into spiced pickled beets. Hey I have the canning jars and a recipe, why not? It saved me from being completely overwhelmed with the csa shares (cooking only 7 meals over the course of 20 days has a way of making that produce pile up).

carrot pickles

Quick carrot pickles (refrigerator) – in leftover pickle brine, let them sit for a week in the fridge before eating.  They turned out quite delicious, and kept a wonderful crunch.  Now they are nearly gone with another bunch of carrots destined for a new jar (but I need to make some new brine, I think I’ll try Smitten Kitchen’s version).  You also see the radish and beet pickle things that I didn’t get around to until the next day.

radish pickles

Radish pickles made with rice vinegar, sugar and ginger root.  Straight to the fridge with this batch too, but they were better eaten within a couple hours.  It took two jars to hold my regular size bunch of ginormous radishes (plus a few regular sized radishes from an earlier bunch).  These turned bleh after a weekend in the fridge, but another week has turned them into something somewhat edible.  No more long-term storage radish pickles for me.

spiced beets

Spiced Beet Pickles.  This is a sweet pickle brine with cloves and cinnamon for spice.  I had the required 2 pounds of beets, but had to make a 2nd half-batch of the brine when I was filling my jars and ran out after jar #3.  Doh – I’m not sure if it wasn’t enough brine (the recipe called for 4 pint jars) or if my 2 pounds didn’t quite fill the jars the way the recipe assumed they would.  This was also my third canning attempt and I got a little brave, I added some dried, cracked ginger to two of the jars (and then used gold bands to distinguish between them).  I actually sealed the jars via water-bath to make them shelf-stable until we open them.  I haven’t tried any of these yet, but have high hopes.

the other peaches

Filed under: food preservation, thoughts — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:35 pm

Our 20 pound box of peaches came with two layers.  I forgot to count when we started grabbing peaches for baking, eating and cooking, but did remember to count once the first batch of salsa had been made.  The bottom layer had 24 peaches on it, so I figure we started out with 40-50 peaches (if each peach actually averaged 7 oz, based unscientifically on one weighed peach, we had about 45 peaches).

The peach preservation stats:
12- frozen
8- salsa
6- peach lavender jam
6 – cranberry-peach conserve

In addition to salsa, jam and frozen peaches we used some up right away.  I made peach muffins the morning after we got the box.  1 peach gave me 1 1/4 cups of roughly diced peach (though this did not hold true for the rest of my measuring).  And 4 peaches, cooked into 2 cups of very thick peach nectar.  I think I actually screwed the recipe up somehow since it measured peaches in quarts and I suspect was referring to the picking basket quart and not a volume quart.  With the peach nectar I made the Peach Iced Tea from Super Natural Foods.

4 – peach nectar for iced tea
1 – buttermilk peach muffins

That adds up to 37 peaches.  One had a bad spot that grew too much before I got around to using it (38 peaches) and the rest must have been eaten in hand, probably at least one peach per day during the duration of my canning craziness (that definitely gets us in the 45-50 count range).

And the results:
canned

3 pints of salsa (the 4th was a hair shy of water-bath ready so we just enjoyed most of it that night with chips and then stuck the jar in the fridge)
9 half pints of peach lavender jam (the recipe was supposed to make 6 cups, I’m not sure what happened)
8 half pints + a couple leftover tablespoons of cranberry-peach conserve (again was supposed to yield 6 cups)

The lesson learned – always prep at least one extra jar, you might not use it but it is much better than scrambling to prep more jars when you still have hot jam in the pot and have filled all the jars. I prepped 5 pint jars for salsa and only used 4; I prepped 8 jars for the jam-round 1 and scrambled for a 9th, which didn’t even fit in my water-bath and so went straight to the fridge; I prepped 5 pint jars for salsa and only used 4; luckily I instinctively prepped 8 jars for jam-round 2. The extra jam also meant I had to go back to the store for a second box of half-pint jars, and I ended up with the regular mouth half-pints instead of the wide-mouth half-pints since the former was on sale while the latter was not. What are those four red filled jars on the left? That will be explained in the pickle post.

Canning Crazy but first a side of freezing

Filed under: almost a recipe, food preservation — Tags: , — anotheryarn @ 11:43 am

Last Friday Two weeks ago (9/4) I had the opportunity to get a 20 lb box of local enough organic peaches for a good price.  And so I jumped on it.  I couldn’t quite envision what 20 lbs of peaches would be, but armed with three canning/preservation books, 1 dozen pint jars, 1 dozen half-pint jars and 10 quart jars if needed I started doing a bit of recipe reading.  I’ve spent most of the past week thinking about, prepping for, cleaning up after and canning.  Not that I’ve done mass quantities like some people, but I’m slowly getting over my nervousness about this whole process.

20 lbs

I decided to freeze some peaches, since I don’t think I’m a big canned peach fan (I never buy them for what that’s worth), make two, maybe three types of jam, make salsa and bake.  Then in the middle of it all pickles started calling to me again (but really that is another post).  We started by freezing them, I made room in the freezer for one cookie sheet, read up on blanching peaches (for peeling) and got started.  We had a few hiccups on the first batch when the first blanching instructions didn’t call for an x scored in the peach to aid peeling and the timing was off due to our peaches being slightly under ripe.  A lot of the freezing directions talked about packing them in water, juice or syrup but I wanted easy access to frozen peaches for smoothy making so I froze them individually; I also found one book claiming you can freeze whole peaches and just peel and pit them once they defrost.  I guess this is good to know if you are really short on time but it seemed very limiting on what you can do with the finished product.  I had no problems with browning, but haven’t done anything with them yet other than sneak a bite of a single frozen peach slice.

freezing peaches

Freezing Peaches

  • 4 peaches
  • 1 vat of boiling water
  • 1 vat ice water
  • 1 slotted spoon that will hold a peach
  • 1 kitchen timer
  • 1 cutting board
  • paring knife
  • 1 bowl for pits and skins
  • 1 cookie sheet
  • wax paper or parchment paper*
  • 2 quart size freezer bags

*It is a lot easier to remove frozen peaches from wax paper than the bottom of the cookie sheet.  Ask me how I know.

Bring your pot of water to a boil.  You want it full enough to submerge the peaches but not so full that water overflows once they are in the pot (have a cup handy in case you need to remove excess boiling water).  While you wait for the water to boil, wash your peaches, score the bottom with an X shape (each cut is maybe 2″, but just eyeball it), get your bowl of ice water ready and set up very near the boiling water, get the cutting board and peach pit bowl ready, cut a sheet of wax/parchment paper to fit the cookie sheet and put it in place.

When the water is boiling gently place each peach in it and set the timer for 30-60 seconds (the riper peaches take less time).  I like to use the slotted spoon to help me lower the peaches into the water without splashing myself.  Once the time is up, use the slotted spoon to transfer each peach from boiling water to ice water.  Let the peaches cool for about 1 minute and then remove to the cutting board.  Proceed to peel them.  I like to cut the peach in half  and remove the pit before peeling.  Generally speaking you should be able to grab at one of the corners of your scored X with your paring knife (or clean fingernail) and peel away the peel.  It might not come in one big piece so just repeat until it is removed.  At absolute worst you use the paring knife to cut away stubborn peel.

Once the peach is peeled you can set it aside and peel the rest or you can peel, slice, peel, slice, peel, slice and so on.  I like to slice each half in half (so quarters) and each quarter into even slices, giving me 12 slices per peach.  Place slices on the cookie sheet (well on the paper on the cookie sheet), bonus points if you can arrange them so it is easy to divide evenly between your freezer bags.  Place on an even surface in your freezer and freeze at least a few hours or overnight.  Remove cookie sheet, label 2 quart sized freezer bags and place 2 peaches, or 24 slices in each bag.  Our bags averaged at 12 oz each, I’m sure 1 pound would have fit just fine, but not all 4 peaches.

September 11, 2009

Broccoli Quesadilla, Corn Salsa

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 12:57 pm

What? Yup, broccoli in a quesadilla. This idea is from Jeanne Lemlin’s great Simple Vegetarian Pleasures, a cookbook that I borrowed half a dozen times from the library before buying my own copy.  This was also the only good meal I made all of last week.

I’d always looked askance at corn salsa until someone brought this smokey corn salsa recipe to my attention and I had to make it. I modified the recipe by using the broiler and chipotle powder. Both things were delicious and paired nicely, and as a bonus made good leftovers the next day (leftover quinoa tossed with leftover steamed broccoli and leftover corn salsa, to be frank the broccoli and quinoa was just filler for the lovely heat of the salsa).

I’ve also been playing with my camera’s lately and messed up the field of depth (now that I know what that is) on this photo, but it turned out to be the best of the bunch. At least I think this is one of the photos in which I was trying to get a particular effect.
IMG_7173

Broccoli Quesadilla from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin as modified by me

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • handful grated pepperjack cheese (I think the pepperjack is key to success; she says 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium stalk broccoli, cut into small pieces, steamed until bright green (she says 3 1/2 cups)

Warm a tortilla in a skillet until soft and pliable but not browned. Sprinkle cheese on half the tortilla, cover with steamed broccoli pieces and fold the other half over this. Flip after a minute or so, once the cheese is melty, letting it brown on both sides. Repeat with the second tortilla.  Cut into wedges.

Smoky Corn Salsa from Bon Appetit August 2009 found on Epicurious as modified by me

  • 2 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and quartered (instead of red, use what you got)
  • some green onions
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t cumin
  • 2 T lime juice
  • few shakes hot sauce
  • few shakes chipotle powder (instead of chipotle hot sauce)
  • big handful cilantro, chopped

Brush oil on the corn, and slices of bell pepper.  Place them under the broiler and check every 2 minutes, turning when needed.  Remove when they look golden and cooked; place the bell pepper in a paper bag and fold shut to steam it for easier skin removal.  Oil half of the green onions and broil, check after 1 minute.  When the corn is cool enough to handle cut the kernels off the cob.  Peel the bell pepper and dice it.  Thinly slice the green onions (removing any overly charred pieces).  Place all the veggies in a bowl, add in the garlic, cumin, lime juice, hot sauce, and chipotle powder.  Stir to combine.  Add the cilantro and stir again.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

September 8, 2009

Year 2 Week 10

Filed under: Weekly Share — Tags: — anotheryarn @ 12:11 am

Year 2 Week 2

  • cabbage
  • green bell pepper
  • purple bell pepper
  • eggplant
  • beets
  • zucchini
  • kale
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