Anotheryarn Eats

October 4, 2009

Provencal Vegetable Stew

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 10:14 pm

I know that Rachel Ray is quite the controversial figure in the cooking world.  To that I say,whatever.  I’ve been given three of her cookbooks and sometimes I find yummy sounding things (personally I have no problem ignoring the goofball names, plus I have my own goofball side, so who am I to judge?).  I was lamenting the lack of eggplant recipes in my cookbooks as I was flipping through cookbooks trying to figure out what to do with my two, yes two, new eggplants from this week’s share.  I grabbed Express Lane cooking, cursed the index (no eggplant listed) and then noticed a post-it note marking a recipe I wanted to try sometime.  That recipe was Provencal Vegetable Stew – which calls for 1 eggplant (I repeat cursed index)!  It also called for mushrooms and celery so I had TheHusband grab some from the grocery store on his way home (he had just called and I still hadn’t figured out any other ideas for dinner).  Of course it didn’t take 30 minutes.  Maybe it would have if I had started timing things after  I chopped all the veggies – I’m not the fastest chopper around, but I’m not painstakingly slow either.  It took 45 minutes.  And it was good, I’d make it again.

IMG_7292

Provencal Vegetable Stew from Express Lane Meals by Rachel Ray
serves 4

  • big glug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (or say 1/2 of a large one)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, quartered if large
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped in 1″ cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 1 t dried thyme)
  • 1 T fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 c dry white wine (or dry vermouth)
  • 1 14-oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • a baguette or other crusty bread

Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot.  Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, celery, and bay leaf.  Saute for a couple minutes (while you chop the eggplant and herbs).  Add the eggplant, salt, pepper and herbs.  Saute for about 15 minutes until the eggplant is soft, stirring occasionally.  Add the white wine or vermouth and deglaze the pan (stirring to get any stuck bits loose).  When that has cooked off add the tomatoes and heat through.  Serve with a nice thick slice of crusty bread.

July 11, 2009

Zucchini Mushroom Bulgar Salad

Filed under: Recipes by me — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:45 pm

Last weekend during our “heat wave” (it got to like 92 folks!, actually I jest, when you live in the land of no central AC, 92 is just barely tolerable) I made bulgar wheat for that chard-feta-beet salad.  This is what I did with that leftover bulgar and the two extra zucchinis and a few spare mushrooms.  Sometimes I get in the habit of always cooking by recipes and then I break from the mold and feel super proud of myself when it turns out really good.  This was one of those times.  I’m sure it is a highly flexible recipe since I basically made it up as I went along.  It kept nicely in the fridge all week too – great for packed lunches.

IMG_0942

Zucchini Mushroom Bulgar Salad

  • olive oil (probably about 1-2 T)
  • 2 zucchini, diced
  • 10 mushrooms, diced
  • 4-5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, smooshed
  • 1/4-1/2 t dried oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 c slivered almonds, chopped
  • big handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked bulgar

Heat the olive oil in a nice big pan (I actually used a 12″ skillet) and saute the zucchini and mushrooms until just barely tender.  Add the garlic and green onions and stir until fragrant, then add the oregano, salt and pepper.  Add the chopped almonds and give everything a good stir.  Remember to taste as you go along.  Turn off the heat, add the bulgar and toss everything together.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add in the chopped parsley.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.  Serve or stash in the fridge to use for lunches throughout the week.

April 10, 2009

Perhaps for Easter Brunch

Filed under: Breakfast, Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:40 pm

Not that I will be having easter brunch, since moving away from extended family I feel a bit aimless on Easter day. This year I think we have plans to go skiing if the snow will be decent. But this is exactly the sort of dish I think would be good for a fancy breakfast or brunch. I hope to make it next year on christmas day.

I made this strata a month or so ago, for dinner. I modified the recipe a little bit, but it turns out I didn’t write down precise modifications. I know I halved the recipe, added 4 oz of chopped chanterelles (actually frozen and thawed), probably didn’t use as much heavy cream if I used it at all, and probably was a bit loosey goosey with the cheeses (I think we had another swiss instead of gruyere and some unidentified cheese that I mistook for parmesan). The picture you see below is a piece I reheated in the toaster oven for lunch. I was a little heavy handed with the cheese.

strata

Leek and Gruyere Strata from cooking.com (found via a local grocery store sample day)

  • 1-3 t butter (guestimate)
  • 2 leeks
  • 4 oz chanterelles, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2-3 T white wine
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 2 c milk
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • pinch cayenne
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 c gruyere
  • 1/2 c parmesan
  • 1/2 loaf bread, cubed (day old preferred)

Slice your leeks into 1/2″ rounds (and clean of course), crush the garlic. Heat a 10″ saute pan and saute the leeks in some butter until soft, add the mushrooms and when they are soft add the garlic. Once it is fragrant add the white wine and cook until the liquid is reduced in half. Set aside. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream (if using, otherwise just replace with milk), nutmeg, cayenne, pepper and a pinch of salt. In a large bowl toss together the cubed bread and the leek mixture. Grease a 2 qt baking dish (I used more butter). Pour the bread-leek mixture in the pan and pour the egg mixture over it. Let it sit for 20 minutes or so (next time I’m going to try overnight) to let the bread absorb some of the egg mixture. Cover with foil and bake at 325 F for 20-30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes.

February 11, 2009

February 9: the last of the potatoes

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 6:39 pm

I really thought that I would be posting about breakfast by now.  But I really want to stick to one topic and so I slowly count down the remaining CSA items.  Last week the cabbage was used up, this week I finished off the potatoes, now it is just a matter of using up the remaining winter squashes I keep forgetting about in the garage.

I picked up a chunk of celeriac from the winter farmer’s market in January, then I kept getting stumped by what recipe to use.  I planned on making soup, but on Monday night I felt more like eating mashed potatoes and I found a recipe that managed to use up the remaining CSA potatoes, the celeriac and some hedgehog mushrooms we got at the farmer’s market the day before.  It was pretty good, but not amazing.  It also took way longer than I thought it would when I skimmed the recipe.  Some of that time was spent agonizing over whether or not I should send TheHusband out to buy some sherry, what kind and how long does it last anyways.  In the end my guess of white wine or dry vermouth being decent substitutes was backed up by a google search and we didn’t bother buying sherry.  In the end the mushrooms sauteed in butter with some rosemary and dry vermouth were the best part of the meal.  I was also amazed at how fragrant the celeriac was… it made me wonder if a celery scented candle would be nice.

mashers

Mashed Potatoes and Celeriac and Wild Mushrooms from MarthaStewart.com (originally published November 1995)

January 1, 2009

December 17: Cabbage Mushroom pie

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , — anotheryarn @ 1:14 pm

Just before we left town for christmas I managed to make this cabbage mushroom gallete from Smitten-Kitchen.  I was feeling so busy, trying to get shopping done, cookies baked and christmas packages sent that I really wanted to just order take-out.  However I already bought the shitake mushrooms called for and had sour cream waiting to be used up in the fridge.  I really should have made this dish on a weekend, with the chilling and such, it felt like more effort than a weeknight supper should.  But we just ate a little bit later than normal, which in reality isn’t that late for our normal and the pie was delicious (as so many Smitten Kitchen recipes are).  Of course, 1 1/2 sticks of butter and a 1/2 cup + of sour cream will do that.  I pretty much followed the recipe, except we only made half a recipe of the horseradish sauce and that was plenty of sauce for the pie, err galette.

cabbage-pie

Cabbage and Mushroom Galette from Smitten Kitchen

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.

October 9, 2008

October 8 lunch plus: potstickers

Filed under: Recipes by me — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 11:19 pm

One of my luckier food moments was to be invited into the home of a classmate from China for a day of making dumplings.  They were absolutely so good and she made it look easy, ground pork mixed with finely chopped cabbage (and green onions and ginger IIRC) and she so quickly and expertly folded and pleated the wrappers around the filling. Then when we ran out of store-bought wrappers she quickly made dough and rolled out many more wrappers.  Finally we ate bowls full of freshly boiled dumplings with some sort of dark (black?) vinegar.  So so good and my orange-cranberry bread that I brought just didn’t compare.

One of the things that I thought of making when I was racking my brain trying to come up with uses for all the napa cabbage in the fridge was potstickers (or um, dumplings – they sort of get lumped together in my white-girl brain).  Of course we don’t eat meat now so I stared looking around for a new recipe.  I grabbed my binder of recipes and looked for that vegetarian potsticker recipe I found online in like 10 years ago, I checked Vegetarian Times, Epicurious and Martha (each had a few recipes, I consulted this VT recipe a couple times during the process).  I dug up a saved online newspaper article (from my days of clunkily saving the entire html page).  And then I made up this recipe.

I cooked the first 20 potstickers right after wrapping them, because it was lunchtime and I was hungry (as was my guest).  Then I froze the remaining 40 for other days.  Of course my wrapping skills are pretty rudimentary (I forgot to check out that youtube video from the Mark Bittman recipe) so I went straight to the frying pan, fearing that if I boiled these as dumplings they would just fall apart on me.  I eat my potstickers with a mixture of soy sauce, water and rice vinegar, and some sort of heat (either cayenne or sriracha) freshly grated ginger is also great in the sauce but I had put the last of my ginger in the filling.

 

Potstickers

  • ~ 6 cups chopped napa cabbage, finely chopped in food processor (it was about 1/2 of my 12 oz cabbage)
  • ~ 14 oz tofu, pressed for several hours between towels and then finely diced
  • ~ 1/2 lb. shitake mushrooms, stemmed & finely chopped in food processor
  • ~ 2-3″ piece ginger, peeled, chunked and finely chopped in food processor
  • ~ 1 bunch green onions, cut into chunks and finely chopped in food processor
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T water*
  • 2 t toasted sesame oil
  • dumpling wrappers (my package had 60 round wrappers)
*I didn’t have sherry or rice wine so I just diluted the soy sauce with water – I’m sure the former would be preferable.

As I was prepping my individual ingredients I was aiming for almost half cabbage and half tofu and shitakes.  Mix everything together in a big bowl and set aside (for me it was overnight).  The mixture was a little watery so I transferred it to a fine-mesh strainer and pressed out a some liquid.  I filled each wrapper with 1-2 teaspoons of filling, the filling itself did not cling together and so I erred on the side of underfilling; if you overfill the wrapper you make pinching it closed very difficult.  I placed each filled, uncooked potsticker on a wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Once I was ready to freeze them I simply put the cookie sheet in the freezer for an hour, once they were frozen I transferred them to a plastic freezer bag.

To cook the unfrozen potstickers I heated up some oil in my large skillet, placed the potstickers flat side down (pleated seam up) in the pan and let them brown for a couple minutes, then I added a few tablespoons of water and quickly covered them.  After about 4 minutes I had to add more water (maybe I didn’t add enough initially) to help dislodge some stuck potstickers – I let them cook for probably 8 minutes total and then served them with my homemade dipping sauce.  I imagine I will try a similar approach straight from the freezer next time.

October 3, 2008

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.

September 28, 2008

September 10: Hippie Mac and Cheese

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 5:03 pm

As far as I know there isn’t a dish called hippie mac and cheese but that is just what this dish strikes me as (also it felt wrong to refer to the leftovers as “mac and cheese” so they were dubbed “hippie mac and cheese” – it immediately identified which dish I was referring to in the fridge).  I also thought it was quite yummy – but definitely not your ordinary mac and cheese.  In fact I would not suggest this if you are craving mac and cheese.  It is a wonderful casserole that uses up lots of vegetables including that fridge squatter cabbage.  Why this recipe appealed to me in the first place, I’ll never know but I’m glad I tried it.

As I started to assemble this dish (and there is quite a bit of veggie prep and chopping involved) I began to question my judgement.  Have you ever looked at a recipe and thought, “no way will that turn out”?  Well I began to think just that – I was questioning the mass quantities of veggies, the small amount of pasta, the cottage cheese (won’t that be all chunky? ewww), and the lack of seasonings (a little bit of garlic and some caraway seeds).  But I already had half the veggies chopped, the pasta boiled and the container of cottage cheese so I persevered.  I made two modifications to the recipe, first instead of spinach I used a bunch of swiss chard and second I blended the cottage cheese to make a smooth sauce (I also added a few carrots but that was according to the recipe preface).  It might not be the prettiest dish but it turned out to be delicious.  As far as that “lite” designation I really have no clue how it stacks up calorically against standard mac and cheese but certainly the veggies give it a nice nutritional boost.

Macaroni & Cheese Lite from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen

  • 8 oz short pasta (something that catches sauce nicely)
  • 2 T butter
  • 2 c chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • small handful chopped carrots*
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage (about 1/2 average head or all of a tiny head)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t caraway seeds
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed and coarsely chopped*
  • 2 c cottage cheese (1 lb container)
  • 1/2 c buttermilk
  • 2 t dried dill (or 2 T fresh)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 c packed grated cheddar cheese, divided
  • handful of (raw, shelled) sunflower seeds*

Preheat the oven to 350 F and oil a 9 by 13 baking pan.  (This only takes two pans if you chop your veggies while the pasta boils and set the pasta aside and use the same pan to saute all the veggies.  I used my wider-than-deep 4 1/2 quart soup pot.)

Boil your pasta and prep all your veggies.  Once the pasta is drained, place the pot back on the burner and add the butter and let it melt, then add the onion.  Let them soften for about 5 minutes (stir a couple times) then add the carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, salt and caraway seeds.  Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes.  Everything should be soft.  Dump the swiss chard in, cover the pan and remove from the heat.

While the veggies are sauteing, in a blender puree the cottage cheese and buttermilk together until smooth.

Add the pasta to the pan with all the veggies and stir to combine.  Pour the cottage cheese-buttermilk sauce over everything and add the dill and black pepper.  Stir to combine and then stir in half of the cheddar cheese.  Dump all of this in the prepped baking pan, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and the optional sunflower seeds.  Bake until heated through, about 20 or 30 minutes.

*Carrots are one of the optional veggies to include (chopped broccoli and cauliflower are also mentioned) in “modest” amounts; the recipe calls for 1 bunch spinach; I didn’t have sunflower seeds when I made this but think they’d make a good addition.

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