Anotheryarn Eats

October 5, 2009

a new way to curry

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 9:06 pm

Ever since I discovered jars of red curry paste, coconut curry has been an often repeated dinner.  Sometimes it is quick ‘n easy route of frozen veggies simmered in the curry sauce, other times it is a way to use up a varieties of veggies.  Earlier this week, I was excited to see find this Roasted Veggies, Thai Style recipe on The Bitten Blog.  And conveniently I had almost everything called for in the recipe (I subbed a green pepper for the red and added carrots for more color).  Of course the one hour cook time meant this dish got put off a few nights, first it was planned for Thursday – but evening commitments turned that into leftover-night, then it was planned for Saturday but I when I hit the kitchen at 7:20 pm to start dinner and discovered the pan I needed to use was dirty (and the bowl I needed to use a different pan was also dirty) I pushed it back to Sunday night.

It was pretty easy, though it does take 2 pans instead of my usual one pan for either curry OR roasted veggies.  But the peanut-enhanced curry sauce was quite yummy and we are totally looking forward to eating the leftovers as lunch.  I think it could do with less roasting time, and possibly a time delay for adding certain veggies to the oven (shallots sooner than everything else, but maybe that is just my grocery stores gargantuan shallots).  It just depends how “melty” you like your veggies I think.  And yes, this is a pretty spectacularly bad photo, above-head compact florescent bulb plus high fat food equals “what is that greasy blob looking thing?”.

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Thai-Style Roasted Veggies with rice from NYTimes Bitten Blog by Mark Bittman with my addition of carrots

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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.
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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.

November 5, 2008

October 31: vegetable lo mein

Filed under: Recipes, Recipes by me — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 1:55 pm

I was totally craving chinese food on Friday night, and since I was already planning on making egg rolls to freeze I decided to make vegetable lo mein.  I found two recipes and went with the easier, I have all the ingredients on hand, recipe.  Next time I’ll try the other version since I thought this was a little sweet (considering the source and ingredients I shouldn’t be too surprised).  It also didn’t exactly fit the bill for what I remember vegetable lo mein to taste like (of course I don’t think I’ve eaten that in several years so my taste buds might be off too).  The sauce was just a little too sweet but overall it was darn tasty – I like all of my additions since both recipes were skimpy on the vegetables.

I used the sauce from Rachel Ray’s Everything Lo Mein recipe in Express Lane Meals, grabbed all the veggies that looked good from my fridge and used whole wheat spaghetti noodles.

lomein

Sauce

  • 3 T hoisin sauce
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 2 T hot sauce (I used sriracha)

Veggies

  • 4-6 oz fresh shitakes, stems removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into small florets, and stems peeled and chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped into short fat matchsticks
  • several carrot coarsely grated (I think I had about 1 cup)
  • 1-2 c mung bean sprouts
  • 4-5 green onions, chopped into 2″ lengths and then quartered vertically

Other

  • 4 cloves garlic, smooshed
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • oil
  • 4-5 oz whole wheat spaghetti, broken in half and boiled until 1-2 minutes from done

While I boiled the noodles I did all of my prep: mixing the sauce, chopping or grating the veggies, ginger and garlic.  Then I heated oil (a tablespoon or so) in my big 12″ skillet and starting stir-frying the veggies.  Start cooking the shitakes then when they are softening add the broccoli and finally adding the bell pepper, carrot and bean sprouts and green onion.  When it was all cooked till crunchy-tender I pushed it to the perimeter of the pan and added a teaspoon of oil to the center and added the garlic and ginger and stirred it until fragrant.  Then I stirred everything together, added the noodles and poured about half the sauce over everything.  More stirring, tasting and adding enough sauce so everything is coated and serve.

November 2, 2008

October 24: Green Coconut Curry

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 3:24 pm

Coconut Curry is one of our favorite quick, nearly brainless meals.  I’ve even made it with a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies in a pinch.  Since I still didn’t have everything for the lasagna (Monday I swear), I decided coconut curry would do a good job of using up lots of veggies and it did — I actually had to open a second can of coconut milk to make more curry sauce.  But the fridge is still quite a disaster, we had to leave an empty carrot of milk in it just to have a place to prop the plate with the leek tart/quiche (it is glass so hard to see but it is sitting on top the milk carton).  The three large plastic boxes are filled with apples – so is the left produce drawer.  Our fridge is sort of comical, but I am happy to say that we are slowly using up everything and not tossing too much (hooray for the freezer; I froze a few remaining servings of this curry).

I chose to use green curry for no other reason than I figured it would pair slightly better with the copious amounts of broccoli, I keep both green and red curry paste in my fridge (and at least one can of coconut milk in the pantry).  I simply use the basic recipe on the back of the bottle, substituting water for broth and using half the amount of fish sauce, since I suspect our asian grocery store brand is a bit stronger than the Thai Kitchen brand they think I’m going to use (or maybe we are fish sauce wusses, we are curry wusses and only use about half the recommended amount of paste too).  I like to press the tofu so it absorbs a bit more curry flavor.

Coconut Green Curry – from the recipe on the bottle of curry)

  • green curry paste
  • coconut milk
  • fish sauce
  • brown sugar
  • water
  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • red bell pepper
  • orange bell pepper
  • tofu, pressed and cubed

You start by putting a pot of rice on to cook, when we make one batch of curry 1 to 1 1/2 cups of rice works nicely (and we get 3-4 servings from one batch of curry).  Then in a nice size sauce pan you whisk together the coconut milk, the curry paste and let it simmer for a few minutes, then add the brown sugar, fish sauce and some water (instead of broth – use broth if you have it handy).  Finally you add the various veggies and tofu (or meat) to the sauce and let it simmer until everything is cooked.  I like to add the tofu first, then the veggies that take longer to cook (like carrot) then the quicker cooking veggies last (like bell pepper and broccoli since it is better undercooked than overcooked).

I didn’t put amounts in this at all – like I said the recipe is on the bottle of curry paste and it is really a to-taste sort of thing.  The amount of veggies I add varies based on what is in the fridge.  If you have cilantro or basil that is also a great addition.

October 24, 2008

October 23: leek tart

Filed under: Recipes by me — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:18 pm

Actually, it is really quiche, but I made it in a tart pan.  Plus check it out – I made something from my meal planning list!

Whenever I get leeks I think of making a leek tart, and then that leek tart is never quite what I think it should be (I mean if it is bound by a egg-milk custard isn’t it a quiche?).  Next time I want to try out this Donna Hay recipe, which calls for puff pastry and ricotta.  This time I started with leeks and a little bit of remaining goat cheese, as well as a few cherry tomatoes, at the last minute I decided using up some red bell pepper would help easy the burden on my fridge (Wednesday I discovered a frozen leek and while I was making this I discovered a chunk of ice in the half-n-half).  Also, putting pie crust in a tart pan is much harder than I thought (I had to do several patch jobs around the edges) and it will take some practice.

Tarty Leek Quiche sort jumbled together from a variety of sources

  • 1 leek
  • handful cherry tomatoes, broiled for maybe 5 minutes
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • remaining chevre (2 oz?)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • salt & pepper
  • piecrust*
Set the oven to broil.  So you start by slicing the leek (or 2, my leek had a longer than usual white to green ratio) into thin rings and put all of those rings into a bowl of water and swoosh them around to get the grit out from between the leek rings.  I let them sit in the water until I needed them again.  It might take a couple batches of water.  Then you make the pie crust dough and toss it in the fridge while you finish your prep.  Now you slice your cherry tomatoes, sprinkle with a bit of salt and broil them until wrinkly, but not blackened (I checked first at 2 minutes then every minute, I had to remove one blackened skin from the lot).  Change the oven setting from broil to 375 F.
Now you grab that pie dough and roll it out into a nice big circle that will fit your pie pan (or tart pan) and place it in the pan, make the edges pretty, prick it with a fork all over the bottom, cover with foil and pour in pie weights (or pennies) and start to par-bake it.  Set the timer for… 10 minutes (and then another 5 or 10 minutes)*.  Now go ahead and finish prepping the veggies and the custard.  For the custard I simply beat 3 eggs together, added the milk, a pinch of salt, a few grinds of pepper and whisked it together.  Then I crumbled the goat cheese into the custard and stirred until there were no big lumps of goat cheese.  Finally I grabbed the leeks from the water, shook them dry in a non-linty kitchen towel.  I tossed the red bell pepper and tomatoes into the custard.
With the pie crust out of the oven filled the crust with the leeks, poured the custard into the crust and popped it back into the oven for about 30-35 minutes longer (basically until it looks done, just a wee bit wobbly in the center, and golden on the outside).  Finally we set the timer for 5 minutes after we’ve taken anything out of the oven so we don’t cut into it too soon or burn our mouths on super hot food.
*The idea of par-baking the crust came from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (I haven’t decided if I like this or not), but I forgot to see how long to par-bake the crust, so I started at 10 minutes and then checked it every 5 until it looked mostly done at the surface but hadn’t started to color yet.

October 22, 2008

October 19: Pasta with almost peanut sauce

Filed under: almost a recipe, Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 3:30 pm

I’m noticing a trend:  Pasta + veggies and yet another I don’t really feel like cooking but we have all this glorious beautiful produce that is going to be gone gone gone before you know it meal.  I grabbed the orange bell pepper, and the red bell pepper (from the Farmer’s Market, I couldn’t resist), some carrots and the red onion from the fridge.  Then I thought peanut-sauce, oh wait, I didn’t make it last time I thought of it due to not having enough peanut butter, oh well I’ll use some tahini too.  And then I couldn’t remember where I saw that recipe for the tahini-rich sesame noodles, so I decided to try out Orangette’s citrus-peanut sauce instead with a little tweak (I ended up using 1/4 cup of tahini and not quite 1/4 cup of peanut butter).  I’m sure the recipe is good, I plan to try it again (though I really should round up all my peanut-sauce recipes and determine the winner) but DO NOT make it with tahini.  I don’t think the tahini was able to stand up to the assertive 1/2 cup of lime juice, while I do think peanut butter would stand up to it very nicely.  At the last minute I also grabbed some never-ending napa cabbage from the fridge too (actually, I’m happy to say that we haven’t received a head of napa cabbage in two weeks, and I have a plan to use up the rest of it this week).

Almost Peanut Noodles

  • 6 oz whole wheat speghetti, boiled until done of course
  • 3 leaves napa cabbage, cut in ribbons
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut in slices
  • 1/2 orange bell pepper, cut in slices
  • 4 small carrots, cut in matchsticks
  • 2 thinly sliced rounds of red onion, cut into quarters
  • Orangette’s Citrus-Peanut Sauce, err Peanut-Citrus Sauce
In a big bowl whisk together the sauce, then add the veggies and the pasta, toss to coat everything.  This made three generous servings.

October 21, 2008

October 17: Leftovers don’t feel leftover

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:47 pm

Leftovers don’t always feel leftover.  When I made the chard-cheese triangles I had so many that most of them went straight to the freezer.  Since then I’ve been pulling them out of the freezer two or four at a time and baking them in the toaster oven and it is great.  We break up how often we eat them so it isn’t one food overwhelming us and it makes a quick and tasty dinner or lunch without much hands-on work.  I grab a sheet of foil (it helps contain leaks), put it over the toaster oven rack, place up to 4 triangles on the foil and set the oven to bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Then I make salad while the triangles bake.

October 15, 2008

October 14 dinner: Stir fry

Filed under: Recipes, Recipes by me — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 11:23 pm

Just a simple stir-fry, we didn’t have any tofu so we just left it out and I made brown rice for the whole grain bulk.  Tofu (or chicken if you eat meat) would be a good addition of course.  Instead of our usual sauce ( a mix of soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, etc) I used the sauce from a broccoli stir-fry recipe in The New Best Recipe.

Stir fry Veggies

  • 1-2 T canola oil
  • 6 leaves napa cabbage
  • 3 small carrots
  • small head broccoli (or 1/2 large head)
  • 1/3 red bell pepper
  • 1 bunch green onions

Hot and Sour Sauce from The New Best Recipe

  • 3 T cider vinegar
  • 1 T water (instead of chicken broth)
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 2 t sugar
  • 2 t minced ginger
  • 1 T minced jalapeno
Try to cut your veggies into similar, bite sized pieces, shred the leafy parts of the cabbage into short ribbons.  Keep the thicker stem part of the cabbage separate from the thinner leafy parts.  Heat a big skillet and add the oil.  When it is nice and hot add the cabbage stems and carrots and broccoli.  After a few minutes (the veggies should be about halfway done) add the bell pepper and green onions.  Finally add the leafy parts of the cabbage and let it get wilty. Meanwhile mix the vinegar, water, soy sauce and sugar in a cup or bowl until the sugar is dissolved.  When the veggies are done (crispy-tender and bright) push them to the outer edges of the pan so that you have a small open spot on the skillet and add a teaspoon of oil, the ginger and jalapeno.  Stir these together until fragrant and then stir everything together.  Pour the sauce over everything and let it get hot.

October 3, 2008

September 20: Use up those veggies

Filed under: almost a recipe, Recipes by me — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 1:22 pm

One of the things I learned from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is that kohlrabi can be similar to turnips (when it doesn’t get tough and fibrous anyway).  It is why I went ahead and used some of the kohlrabi in the minestrone; and it lead me to the idea of using in conjunction with potatoes for a kohlrabi-potato mash.  But what to serve it with?  Luckily I remembered my tactic of ordering from the side dish menu at restaurants lacking vegetarian entrees.  When I go to some place like Outback I’m likely to order a potato (mashed or baked) and sauteed veggies.  And so I grabbed a bunch of vegetables from the fridge and did a quick saute to go on top the mashed veggies.  My apologies for not including amounts in the instructions below, it is partially a matter of taste and partially a matter of “how much do I want to make”.

Mashed potato and kohlrabi with sauteed veggies

mashed potatoes & kohlrabi

Dice an equal amount of potatoes and kohlrabi, boil together in salted water until tender.  Drain and return to the pan with a chunk of butter (say 1 to 3 teaspoons per serving of mash) and using a potato masher start mashing.  Add a splash of milk and mash some more, if everything seems too thick add a little more milk – remember it is easier to add more milk than remove it.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  Mash until it is a consistency you like – I left our a little chunky. ( I also suspect that if I wanted a nice smooth puree that I should have boiled the kohlrabi separately and put it in the food processor.)  Set aside until the veggies are done

sauteed veggies

You want to start the prep while the potatoes and kohlrabi is boiling.  Grab a mix of veggies, really whatever you think sounds good together and however much you want to eat/serve.  I grabbed broccoli, red onion, summer squash, carrots and red bell pepper.  Wash and cut into evenly sized pieces (large bite-size is nice).  Keep each in their own pile (I separate the broccoli stems from the florets) because you will add them to the pan based on cook times.  Mince a clove of garlic (or two if there are lots of veggies).  Heat a skillet up and add a splash of oil, then add the onion and carrot and broccoli stems (the stuff that you want to cook longest) and sprinkle with salt and some dried herbs (I picked marjoram).  When it is just beginning to show signs of softening add the summer squash and bell pepper.  After a minute add the broccoli florets (I feel that of all the veggies I had, and the choice between slightly under and slightly over cooked the florets were best undercooked).  Then when they start turning bright green add the garlic.  When that is fragrant remove from the heat and adjust the seasonings if needed.  Serve on top the mashed potato and kohlrabi.

September 12: pizza

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 10:32 am

Homemade pizza is delicious, though sometimes it take a few tries to get it just the way you like it.  Also, when you make individual pizzas it is so easy to accommodate different food preferences.  I made the dough (as long as I have a little notice it isn’t any trouble) but you can buy balls of dough at several grocery stores (my tip: stay away from the dough in tubes).

Sadly, the pizza didn’t use up quite as much of the veggies as I’d hope (just a portion of one green pepper since we skipped the summer squash as a topping).  We also had black olives, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, sliced shallots (instead of cutting into an onion for a few slices) and pepperoni available for toppings along with tomato sauce and grated mozzarella cheese of course.  Of course by the time all the pizzas were done (and um 3 of them mostly eaten – the one downside to individual pizzas is oven space) the lighting was atrocious for pictures.  Trust me, the pizza is much yummier than it looks.  Actually, inserting the picture is giving me fits and after a few days I decided a post without a photo (and catching up) was better than no posts at all.

 

Pizza Dough from Vegetable Heaven by Mollie Katzen
I use the food processor to make this dough.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 c warm water
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • cornmeal (for the baking part)

Measure out 1 cup of warm water (a pyrex measuring cup is awesome for this) and add the pinch of sugar and sprinkle the yeast in to dissolve.  Set a timer for 5 minutes for the yeast to dissolve/wake up.  In the large bowl of a food processor pulse the flour and salt together.  Once the timer sounds and the yeast is all bubbly pour the water-yeast mixture over the flour mixture and add the olive oil.  Pulse to combine and then pulse a little bit more until it comes together in a nice ball.  

(Side note, re-reading the recipe to write this makes me think I’ve been skipping the hand kneading for “several minutes” part, I swear my food processor guide said I could pulse several times to replace the kneading but now I can’t find those instructions either.  I may have been doing it wrong, but it stills turns out for me so…).  

Place dough ball in a large oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and/or a towel and let it rise in a warm place for one hour.  Punch down the dough and knead so it comes back together in a ball.  

At this point you want to preheat your oven to 500 F.

Divide the ball into 6 equal pieces (I recommend in half and then in thirds), knead each (on a floured surface of course) for about one minute so it becomes a nice ball shape and let them sit for 10 minutes. Roll out each ball into a 6+ inch circle.  Place them on a rimmed cookie sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.  I like to par-back the dough for about 3 to 5 minutes.  Then top as desired and place back in the oven for another 3 to 8 minutes.  The edges should be crispy and golden.

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