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.


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.


October 1, 2009

Corn and Tomato Pie

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 10:50 pm

Or um, Tomato and Corn Pie.  If you still have corn and tomatoes available – make this!  It was so good.  A bit messy and time consuming, but oh so yummy.  It did reheat nicely, so there is the option of prepping it the night before you plan on eating it for dinner, though I found it took closer to 40 minutes to reheat the entire pie in the oven (starting with a cold oven and a straight from the fridge pie) and the crust edges were quite crispy.  I also seeded my tomatoes but still found it to be a bit juicy once I cut into it, and it didn’t have enough structure for me to photograph a pretty slice.  Prettier pictures can be found on Smitten Kitchen’s site (of course) and Dinner with Julie and probably the issue of Gourmet it was published in and other blogs).  Oh yes, it was served with steamed green beans – sometimes I totally forget about the simple preparations.


Corn and Tomato Pie from Smitten Kitchen from Gourmet and so on…

eggplant enchiladas, finally

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 12:37 pm

Last night Tuesday I finally got to making this eggplant enchilada recipe I’ve been meaning to try for years.  As I mentioned, I’m quickly becoming quite enamored of eggplant and having fun trying new recipes.  Like many enchilada recipes this one seemed to take quite a bit of time, but didn’t feel difficult.  I started the evening around 5:30 or 6:0 and put together the recommended sauce recipe (not a true enchilada sauce as it is tomato-based, but tasty).  While it simmered I chopped and toasted and sauted and chopped and sauteed the filling.  I had one lapse in judgement when I chose my 10″ skillet to saute the eggplant filling – bad choice, it was nearly overflowing and I had to stir very carefully as well as use a domed lid to cover the pan.  In the end I found the recipe nice & tasty, but it produced a lot of dishes (silly me, using the food processor for some chopping and grating.


Mexican Red Sauce from The Moosewood Cookbook

  • a glug of olive oil
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 1/2 t. cumin
  • 2+ t chili powder (I used closer to 3 t.)
  • 3 c chopped tomatoes (I used 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 c water or tomato juice
  • black pepper
  • cayenne
  • 4-6 medium cloves of garlic (guess what I picked)
  • opt. fresh cilantro, minced (nah, why bother)

So you heat the olive oil in a 4 qt pot, saute the onion until soft, around 5 minutes.  Add the salt, cumin, chili powder and saute some more until distributed, add in the minced garlic, stir until fragrant, add the tomatoes and water (I just eyeballed the water in the tomato can and swirled it to get all the tomato from the can).  Season with black pepper and cayenne (I think I skipped the cayenne and did a dash of chipotle).  Simmer for about 30 minutes (or until you are filling the enchiladas, whichever is later), stirring occasionally.

Eggplant Enchiladas from The Moosewood Cookbook

  • 1 c almonds, toasted then minced
  • glug olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 6 c diced eggplant (recipe suggests 1 large or 2 medium)
  • 1 t salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, smooshed
  • 1 green bell pepper, minced
  • 1 c grated jack cheese (about 4 oz)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • mexican red sauce (recipe above)
  • another 4 oz of jack cheese, grated (or the rest of that 8 oz package)

I recommend toasting the almonds in the pan you will use for cooking the filling.  Then set them aside, chopped or not while you deal with the rest of the filling.  I used the food processor them minced, I didn’t figure a large almond chunk would be appreciated in the enchiladas.

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

You heat up the olive oil in a nice big pan with a lid.  Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until it is soft.  Add the eggplant, salt and pepper (I think I forgot the pepper, it was still good) and saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and cover the pan.  Add the garlic and bell pepper, cook for another 5 minutes or so, until everything is soft.  Then you stir in the almonds and the cheese.

IMG_7251Pour some sauce into your 9×13 pyrex pan and spread it thinly on the bottom.  Gently heat your corn tortilla is a dry, non-stick skillet and scoop about 1/4 cup of the filling onto it, roll and place seam side down in the pan.  Repeat 11 more times.  I recommend a clean, folded non-linty towel to protect your hands while rolling the tortillas.  Pour the remaining sauce  over the tortillas and top with the remaining cup of grated cheese.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Looking back, I think you could cut down the amount of cheese in the filling, but it is nice to have some cheese since it helps it stay together during the rolling process.

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.

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).


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.

August 26, 2009

Eggplant Torte a la Provencal

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:21 pm

As I was thumbing through my cookbooks, looking for a good eggplant recipe I found this, eggplant torte a la provencal, in a now lesser used cookbook, The Occasional Vegetarian.  This cookbook was an outlet bookstore find (wait, this might have been a gift and my Vegetable Heaven cookbook was the three-dollar find), and I’ve made a few winning, repeat worthy dishes from this book.  This dish, might be just that, but my preparation was doomed from the start.

Monday, 6 pm:  Okay, what do I need to make that eggplant dish?  Step 1) sprinkle with salt and let sit for an hour. Well crap, I guess it would be better for me to make green bean enchiladas anyway, those green beans aren’t going to last much longer.

Tuesday, 5-ish pm:  Must make list and grab that tomato and red onion, oh but I need to get dishes done too.  [An hour goes by while I’m on the phone, at least I get the dishes done; and TheHusband calls to say he will be home late, whew.]

Tuesday 6:30 pm.  I salt the eggplant and head to the store.

Tuesday 7:30 pm I rinse the eggplant, pat it dry and prep the remaining ingredients.  At that point I turn over the page* and discover  step 4 is sauteing the eggplant about 3 minutes on both sides.  I’m really regretting my use of this skinny (Japanese?) eggplant now.  20+ minutes and 4 frying pan batches later I’m done cooking the eggplant.  Mmm, this eggplant is tasty, it is too bad I already have those potatoes, tomatoes and onion sliced.  I wonder if I could treat this dish like a roasted veggie dish instead?  If it tastes good I’ll try that next time…I start layering the veggies and lament that I didn’t pick a bigger “baking pan” (what defines a baking pan anyway, is it a specific size?)…


Tuesday 8:45 pm:  I manage to put the torte in the oven.  Of course I have leftover eggplant (not much), potato, tomato and onion slices — and I’m starving.  I look at the potato and think breakfast burritos!  And so despite spending over an hour assembling this dish, I ate egg burritos (with potatoes, red onion, tomatoes and pepper jack cheese) for dinner.  They were darn tasty egg burritos and I just hope that this eggplant torte is good at room temperature like the recipe states.


* One of my biggest complaints about this book (other than her extreme fondness of leeks, which isn’t really a problem except on the budget) is the fact that recipes are jammed in, and too often the ingredient list will be on one page while the bulk of the directions are on the next page.

And now the recipe, remember, you have been warned.


Eggplant Torte a la Provencal from The Occasional Vegetarian by Karen Lee with Diane Porter

  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2″ thick rounds
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and set aside for 1 hour.  Rinse and pat dry between non-linty towels.

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 t dried thyme

Pour the olive oil into a small saucepan and turn the heat on medium.  Chop the garlic and add it to the pan.  Take the pan off the heat at this point.  Crush the thyme in your palm and stir it into the oil.

  • 2 medium potatoes (about 1/2 pound), peeled and sliced in 3/8″ thick rounds
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced in 3/8″ thick rounds
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced in 3/8″ thick rounds

Heat a cast-iron skillet (the recipe is specific) to high and brush the seasoned oil on the eggplant slices.  Saute them until brown (about 3 minutes), flip and cook until the other side is golden brown.  Beware crowding the eggplant in the pan; repeat the process for all long as necessary.  Keep the remaining seasoned oil.  Preheat your oven to 350 F.

  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1 t salt
  • 3/4 c fresh basil leaves, torn
  • few sprigs thyme, optional

Add the pepper and salt to the remaining seasoned oil.  Stir until combined.

Now prep a baking pan (my dish was too small – I had leftovers of all 4 main ingredients, I’d try a 9×13 pyrex pan next time, if there is a next time) by oiling the bottom.  Begin layering the eggplant, potato, tomato and onion, leaving 1/2″ showing from the previous layer.  Once you’ve used up the ingredients and/or filled your pan brush the remaining seasoned oil over the veggies, then stuff the basil leaves and thyme between the layers of veggies.  Bake, uncovered, for 1 hour.

update: I let a serving come to room temperature today for lunch, the eggplant was just as tasty as ever, but the potatoes seemed a little undercooked and overall I don’t think this was worth the effort.  But I am dreaming up ways to combine the flavors again in an easier, less fussy format.

August 24, 2009

Mostly Fresh Salsa

Filed under: Recipes by me — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 11:22 pm

Last Saturday at the Farmer’s Market (as we charged through, getting there about 15 minutes before it closed) I grabbed a few tomatoes (only 3, I had restraint).  I had one big, pinky heirloom looking tomato that I knew I’d use for fresh salsa.  And then for some reason it sat all week, first I had to deal with pickles, then we had busy nights and lo and behold a week went by.  Luckily that tomato still looked pretty good, the serrano chile however had seen betters days.  So we stuck the serrano under the broiler to roast it and went about making salsa.  We’d needed just a little bit more something, so we made a couple quesadillas too.


Fresh Salsa

I tried in the past to measure my ingredients, but for some dishes I just don’t work that way.  This is one of those dishes, you make it based on a vague sense of proportions, and when in doubt add half, stir, see how it looks/tastes and add more if needed.  I prefer to use a regular white or yellow onion in my salsa, but had way too many green onions hanging out in the fridge to ignore.

  • 1 very big tomato
  • handful of green onions OR 1/2 onion
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 serrano (maybe two, if you want it hotter, or perhaps the roasting dulled the heat)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Dice your tomato, if it is extra juicy you might consider eliminating some of the juice and seeds, if it is meaty don’t worry about it.  Dice your onion, dice your chile (WEAR GLOVES!), dice your cilantro, sprinkle salt over everything and add the lime juice.  I think I ended up with about 4 cups of salsa.

More salad

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 10:38 pm

IMG_1281I feel like I’ve been eating a crazy amount of salads lately.  Not salads in the loosely defined sense, but the kid-salad sense where salad = green leafy things topped with more veggies.  (I always loved salads, I adored salad bars when I was a kid and didn’t think or worry about the reason the sneeze guard exists or is named as such.)  I used to eat a basic green salad with most dinners, and then as I got more into eating seasonally and buying more produce at the Farmer’s Market and less at the grocery store I stopped this practice.  Except of course when I crave a big green salad and go grab a head of trucked in romaine or red-leaf lettuce…  Anyway.  Friday night.  It got late.  There were too many choices in the fridge and something needed to be done.  So we had salad for dinner.  At um.  10 pm.  At least it was good salad, topped with carrots, radishes, tomatoes (mmmm tomatoes), homemade ranch dressing and homemade croutons.

Have you made homemade croutons?  They are delicious, the recipe we originally started using called for melted butter, but we have transitioned to using olive oil (honestly more out of laziness than worries about saturated fat).  This time around we used two thick slices of whole wheat sandwich bread and Penzey’s Salad Sprinkle for the herbs and spices (side note: Salad Sprinkle makes a disappointing popcorn topping, but decent crouton seasoning).  The bread type and the seasonings can change to suit your mood and salad.


Croutons loosely based out of a red & white checked binder cookbook (I believe it is The BH&G New Cook Book)

Note: if you make them in a toaster oven watch closely because either the time or temp needs to be adjusted, we lost a few to burnt blackness

  • 2 slices bread, cut into 1/2″ – 1″ cubes
  • olive oil (handful, probably a tablespoon)
  • seasonings (garlic, salt, pepper, basil, etc for a few ideas)
  • opt. freshly grated parmesan

Preheat the oven 300 F.  Toss together the bread cubes and olive oil, until the bread cubes are coated nicely, sprinkle on your seasoning of choice (and parmesan if using) and toss to combine.  Spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake until golden and crispy, probably about 10 minutes, unless you use a toaster oven – then less.  Stir/turn/flip halfway through the cooking time.

July 19, 2009

Yummy Salad #2

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:14 pm

Tonight Thursday night it was hot.  And we were busy packing our vehicle for a speedy getaway tomorrow.  We skipped the grilled zucchini and just had salad.  I also finally took the time (and had the supplies) to make an awesome creamy dressing.  See, I can’t recall the last time we bought salad dressing, it might have been summer 2007 and that was because we had company in town.  But we rarely venture into creamy dressing land and were getting tired of vinaigrettes.  So tonight I made ranch dressing.  I sort of followed the basic idea behind everybody likes sandwiches zesty ranch, but not quite (I looked at 4 or 5 recipes before making mine).


The salad really looked a lot like Tuesday’s salad minus the almonds – oh and with an important addition – radishes from my very own mini garden!  We also had some yummy garlic-parmesan bread from our favorite farmer’s market bread vendor.  And that blender holds the ranch dressing.  In the end our dressing had chives, parsley, garlic, a bit of lemon zest, lemon juice, dried dill, sweet paprika, salt and pepper for the seasonings.  Oh and I did 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup buttermilk.  It made a very thin dressing but I like it that way.  If you wanted a dip I’d use more mayo and sour cream and less buttermilk.

Four ranch dressing recipes to choose from

Everybody Loves Sandwiches Zesty Ranch

Homesick Texan’s Buttermilk Dressing (she might call it buttermilk, but the ingredient list is very similar)

Simply Recipe’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Dressing

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