27 December 2009

Warm Applesauce....

OK guys, I think I am just slow, but did you know that if you just take like 3 Granny Smith apples, peel/core/roughly chop them, and put them in a pan on the stove on medium-low for like half an hour, with some brown sugar (hardly any, like 1/4 cup) and cinnamon, that it tastes like heaven?

And that you can use it as bribery to get your picky 20-month-old to eat crazy things that she would never usually eat?

Such as salad.

23 November 2009

Bacon Tomato Cheese Pasta

This is a bit of a rip-off from Rachael Ray, but it is so good I had to share. We've had this dish twice in the past month and it just doesn't get old!

Also... if you have a soft spot in your heart for the Pan-Geos line in the Great Hall, try this and tell me if it evokes fond memories. If you detested Pan-Geos... Marie, don't judge this recipe before you try it :)

1 lb. short-cut pasta (whole wheat pasta was good)
1 Tbsp. evoo
4 bacon slices, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
salt & pepper
1 c. chicken stock (or 1/2 c. stock, 1/2 c. white wine if you have some lying around)
1 pint grape tomatoes (I used sundried tomatoes once which was delicious)
1 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded or diced
Fresh herbs: some chopped chives or parsley or basil or all 3
1/2 c. grated parmesan

1. Chop everything up... onion, garlic, herbs, bacon.

2. Make the pasta, reserving 1/2 c. of the pasta water before you drain it

3. Heat the evoo in a large skillet over med-hi heat. Now pay attention to all these minutes:
  • Cook bacon until crispy - 2-3 minutes.
  • Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock and pasta liquid; bring to a boil and simmer 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the pasta to the skillet and stir it all up for 1 more minute.

4. Remove from heat. Stir in the mozzarella, fresh herbs and parmesan. Taste to see if it needs any extra S&P (probably not) :) Serve with a simple salad dressed with vinaigrette.

13 November 2009

Early Thanksgiving: Roasted Squash and Cornbread Stuffing

Last night we had an early Thanksgiving since my mom and dad are in town for Ken's ordination service (which is tonight!). Ken's dad flew in last night and ate up the leftovers. I should have taken a picture before that happened because it was so beautiful.

Or as I would say if I was a real blogger:


We had every color... brilliant red cranberry sauce, bright orange butternut squash, green salad... perfectly lovely.

I have two recipes to share with you... Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Cornbread Stuffing.

Maple Roasted Butternut Squash
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped (1" dice)
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. (more or less) maple syrup
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
pinch thyme
pinch rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 375.* Chop squash and onion; place in 8x8 baking dish.

2. In a small bowl, mix syrup, oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary. Pour over veggies; toss and stir to coat. Bake for 45 minutes or until squash is tender.*

*We just threw ours in with the turkey at 325 for a little over an hour.

Cornbread Stuffing
bay leaf
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 Tbsp. butter
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 med. onion, chopped
1 granny smith apple, chopped
some fresh parsley, chopped
GF cornbread, preferably stale, ripped up into smallish pieces
1 c. broth

1. Heat butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bay leaf, celery, onion and apple and saute for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the parsley and cornbread. Sprinkle S&P, sage and thyme over top and stir to combine. Pour enough broth in to moisten the bread.

Serve hot straight from the stove, or put it in a baking dish and place in the oven with the turkey, ideally for no more than 20-30 minutes.

09 November 2009

Granola Bars

Deana over at the Scratch and Sniff shared these granola bars while we were in Nashville a couple weeks ago, and they were AMAZING. I haven't tried to make them yet, but I will shortly...

05 November 2009

Marinated Zucchini

This is a brilliant Moosewood recipe to use up any zucchini you have hanging around! I remembered to take a picture before devouring the last two bites.

1 zucchini (or peeled eggplant), sliced about 1/3" thick
2-4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
olive oil
1 Tbsp. vinegar (I like balsamic - especially the white balsamic from Trader Joe's)
dash salt
chopped fresh herbs (mint, parsley, basil, oregano, or thyme)


In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add zucchini and fry until golden on both sides (work in batches if necessary). Transfer zucchini to a bowl. In a little more olive oil, saute the garlic until golden but not brown. Transfer garlic to bowl, and top with vinegar, salt and herbs. Stir to combine. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

If you want to make the zucchini or eggplant into a sandwich, toast the sandwich bread in the skillet in the leftover garlic-infused olive oil. You can melt some cheese on there while you're at it. YUM.

01 November 2009

Tea Peas

I just found out that someone actually reads my blog. So I am going to post a recipe. Or it's more of a suggestion really. Next time you make peas to go with your traditional English roast beef dinner, after they're finished cooking, stir in some crunched up dried mint leaves and some honey. It makes them taste kind of like tea, but really good. Tea peas.

Oh yeah - ALWAYS use petite peas. Never those nasty big ones.

19 October 2009

Pumpkin Pudding

In an attempt to create gluten- and dairy-free pumpkin pie, I came up with this pumpkin dessert which is really more like pudding, but still really good (even Ken said so). The only disappointment we had was that it is really nothing like a pie. So bear that in mind and don't try to carve this up - approach it with a spoon.

1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 15 oz. can coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 eggs
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ginger and a dash of cloves)
1/4 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into greased baking dish and bake 45-50 minutes at 375. Transfer to cooling rack and cool completely.

09 October 2009

Potato Soup

I tried the Potato soup from Claire's Corner Copia, and it was not that good. I felt like it had way too much butter in it for it to be so boring.

So, next time I am going to try this potato soup from Simply Recipes... the website where the eggplant parmesan and potato-spinach-sausage casserole (which I tampered with here) came from. It looks really good, and I like the fact that it could quite easily be dairy free.

I think I might do regular old onions instead of leeks though... and bacon instead of ham??

Butternut Squash Soup

from Better Homes & Gardens Vegetarian Cookbook


1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
3 c. vegetable broth
3 c. chopped peeled butternut squash
1 c. chopped peeled papaya, peach, nectarine, plum....??
Salt to taste

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add spices, saute about 1 minute more. Add broth, squash and fruit. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes or until squash is soft.

2. Transfer soup to blender or food processor, working in batches if necessary. Puree soup until smooth. Reheat gently and salt to taste.

06 September 2009


It's not quite apple season, so today I made peach-blueberry crisp. It was lovely.

I assume you know how to do crisp, and if you don't you could very easily ask Betty Crocker. But... since I'm here I'll just jot it down, in case someone out there isn't aware that a brilliant fruit dessert is well within the grasp of the most novice cook.

about 3 c. of fruit - sliced apples (4-5 Granny Smith), peaches, blueberries, rhubarb, to name a few
1/2 c. each of rolled oats, flour and brown sugar
1 T. (?) cinnamon
nutmeg (go easy)
1/3 c. butter (softened)

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Arrange fruit in 8x8 or pie dish (no need to grease, I should think)
3. In medium bowl, mix oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles crumbs. Pour/sprinkle mixture over fruit. Bake for 30 minutes.
4. Please try eating this for breakfast topped with yogurt. You will not be sorry.

Eggplant Parmesan

While I'm on the topic of eggplant... I made this eggplant parmesan and it turned out quite deliciously if I do say so.

It's kind of a pain to make and takes a while, but if you want to simultaneously feed and impress about 10 people, this is the ticket. It makes ahead very well (kind of like a lasagna) so you can do all the slaving away the day before if you want.

I had some people over for lunch after church today who deemed it quite yummy, and then the clincher... "and I don't even like eggplant."


Sicilian Eggplant Sauce

Thank you Claire's Corner Copia cookbook for this awesome sauce recipe. It's perfect for a summer garden that includes eggplant, tomatoes, parsley and basil!!

Corner Copia Claire's grandma from Sicily serves this over fresh fettucine.

1/2 c. + 2 T. olive oil
6 large cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
2 medium eggplants, peeled & chopped (about 1" dice?)
1/4 c. water
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2 28-oz. cans whole peeled tomatoes (TJs is good), or 6-8 fresh peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt to taste
1 tsp. black pepper
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil

1. Heat oil in heavy pot over low heat. Add garlic and eggplant. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The oil might get all soaked up by the eggplant; you can add a little bit more if it starts to get scorchy.
2. Add water, red pepper flakes and oregano. Cover, bring to a low boil and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Add tomatoes, parsley, salt, pepper and basil. Simmer uncovered about 40 minutes, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is tender and the sauce is thick. Taste for seasoning.

02 July 2009

Mama Hitchman's Pasta Salad

1/2 c. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. red wine vinegar (white wine vinegar or white balsamic are acceptable substitutes)
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper

Mix all ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well to combine.

In a large bowl, mix any or all of the following:
8 oz. pasta, cooked according to package directions (rainbow rotini or bow ties are good)
chopped red or green pepper
chopped salami
fresh mozzarella balls
olives... I like kalamata
sun dried tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
fresh basil

This tastes better after the flavors have melded for a while........

01 July 2009

Polenta Pie

Here is another hit from Cheryl Hufnagel... it is so versatile and so economical!!

1 c. cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 c. cold water
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c. chopped red onion
3 tomatillos, chopped
1/2 c. frozen corn kernals
12-15 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 c. salsa verde
chopped cilantro
chopped green onions

1. Mix cornmeal, sage, salt and pepper and cold water in a 2 qt. saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly (over medium heat) until very thick. Pour into greased 9x13 baking dish. You can let it hang out at this point for a while, to get a little dried out. I like the crust a little chewy and this is the way to do it. When you're ready, bake at 425 until firm - 20-25 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, mix cheese, red onion, tomatillos, corn, tomatoes, chipotle and salsa. Spread on crust and return to 425 oven for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

3. Let cool for a few minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.

* Italian: substitute oregano for sage in crust. Use marinara sauce instead of salsa, mozzarella instead of cheddar, and mix in some pizza toppings like black olives, green pepper, sausage, etc.
* Greek: same as above but use feta cheese and cherry tomatoes... and extra garlic!

20 June 2009

Corn Tomato Salad

This salad of Rachael Ray's is my new favorite thing. I am planning to keep some in my fridge at all times this summer. YUM!

(I followed the recipe, except I didn't have any peppers and I used some red onion instead of scallions)

She says you could use this as a salsa and I think that would be a great idea... it is super tasty.

Sweet Potato Quesadillas

It sounds weird, but you must try it. This is a recipe from Moosewood with a little tweaking (did you ever doubt it?) by me.

3 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 2 c. grated sweet potato)
1 tsp. cumin
dash cayenne
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. oregano
grated mozzarella cheese*

1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute onion in oil about 5 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and saute a little more. Add sweet potato and spices; cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until sweet potato is tender, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn't stick (you can add more olive oil if necessary).

2. In a clean skillet, heat up another tablespoon or so olive oil, and place tortilla in skillet. Spread spoonful of sweet potato filling over half the tortilla, and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Fold in half and flip after a few minutes so that it's golden brown on both sides.

* I think Moosewood recommended cheddar cheese, which I tried and it was good... but the first time I made these, I only had mozzarella cheese and I think it's better. It lets the sweet potato flavor come through more, which is SO GOOD.

03 June 2009

Lemon Slice

2 c. flour
1 c. butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
4 eggs, beaten
2 c. sugar
6 T. lemon juice
4 T. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
3 c. powdered sugar
4 T. butter
2 T. milk
2 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 pan.

2. Mix 2 c. flour, 1 c. butter and 1/2 c. powdered sugar. Spread in bottom of pan and bake for 20 minutes.

3. Beat together eggs, sugar, lemon juice, 4 T. flour and baking powder. Pour over the baked bottom layer and bake for 25 more minutes. Cool completely.

4. For frosting, combine 3 c. powdered sugar, 4 T. butter, milk and vanilla. Cut into 48 bars.

17 April 2009

Chickpea Potato Curry

rrreeeeaaalllyyy easy.

I thought this was going to be a gross dinner - just using up what was in my cupboard, so maybe my expectations were low and that helped... but I must say, it was delicious, if a tad too spicy. Here it is - another winner from Simply Recipes.

OK, now... here's what I did differently (you had to know this was coming):
  • halved it
  • used apple juice instead of broth
  • used regular canned diced tomatoes instead of fire-roasted, then added some red pepper flakes (too many, according to Ken, but I think it was awesome)
  • used small regular potatoes and cut them up smaller than a baby potato quartered would be, I think
  • used powdered ginger instead of fresh
  • used garam masala instead of the various spices (I think you could also sub curry powder, they're very similar)
  • served it with regular rice instead of jasmine
  • served it with toppings (because this was going to be a yucky/boring dinner so I was trying to make it interesting): fresh mango, avocado, dried figs, peanuts, green onions, coconut.
It was so good, it tasted like take-out. Let me know what you think if you try it!

11 April 2009

Tomato-Potato Soup

Here is a delicious soup recipe from Claire's Corner Copia cookbook. I know soup season is coming to an end, but we had a cold snap last week that warranted a warm cozy meal... this was perfect.

6 c. water
1 can whole tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 large onion, sliced
1 T. dried parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
1/4 c. olive oil
pinch dried basil
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced (1/2"?)
1/2 c. frozen peas
4 oz. tortellini or cut pasta such as shells, fusilli, whatever you have - cooked according to pkg directions
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Bring water to boil in large soup pot. Snip the tomatoes in the can with kitchen scissors. Dump tomatoes & sauce/juice, onion, parsley, garlic, olive oil and basil into the boiling water. Cook uncovered over medium heat for 1 hour, stirring often.

2. Add potatoes and cook uncovered for 45 more minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add peas and cook for 15 more minutes (this is the time to cook the pasta if you haven't already). Stir in pasta, salt & pepper, taste for seasoning.

Serves 3 - but probably 4 if you used tortellini :)

29 March 2009

Baked-Mashed Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

OK, I am totally stealing this idea from Elise at Simply Recipes, but I adapted it to be just potatoes, instead of with spinach and sausage. Spinach and sausage are great, but I didn't have any... I just had a lot of potatoes :) Here is the 4 person side-dish serving size version, but I tripled this to bring to a potluck today. It worked well for a make-ahead potato dish, which I can't say about too many other potato dishes...

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 c. milk
1 1/2 T. butter (+ additional butter for dish)
2 T. chicken broth
1 T. cider vinegar
dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper (just "eyeball it" as Rachael Ray says and grind some over the top)
1 c. shredded mozzarella, parmesan, swiss, cheddar, or ??? cheese

1. Butter a 4x6 or 8x8 baking dish. Preheat oven to 400. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan or soup pot. Cover with water 1" above the surface of the potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until golden, stirring often, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer or until fragrant. Remove from heat.

3. Drain potatoes. Wipe pot dry, return potatoes to pot and mash with milk, butter, broth, vinegar, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir in half the cheese. Spread potatoes in prepared baking dish. Top with caramelized onion-garlic mixture and remaining cheese. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes to melt cheese and heat through.

26 March 2009

Jody's Cucumber Sauce

This makes an amazing salad dressing, gyro sauce, or dip for pita bread/tortilla chips/veggies.

2 c. plain yogurt
1 medium cucumber, peeled & seeded
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. white vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Strain yogurt through cheesecloth for about 2 hours.*
2. Grate cucumber into colander. Sprinkle with salt and let sit and drain for 15 minutes.*
3. Combine olive oil, vinegar and garlic. Stir in cucumber and strained yogurt.

*These first 2 steps are really optional, but it makes the sauce a lot thicker.

19 March 2009

Gabe's Granola

Here you go, Joe Gay!

8 c. rolled oats
4 c. nuts or seeds (I like pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds, or a combination thereof)
3/4 c. honey
1/4 c. oil
cinnamon and vanilla

Mix above ingredients in a large bowl (warm the honey and oil in the microwave first). Spread evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes at 325, checking/stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven when golden brown. While still warm, stir in:

1 c. dried fruit (I do raisins, cranberries, or apricots)

13 March 2009

Inspiration: Salmon Artichoke Pizza

I bought some salmon in a can, and then I said, what the heck do I do with this? ...this is nasty! So I turned it into pizza, and it was delicious, at least according to Ken.

Next time I would make sure I had some red onion on hand instead of green onion. The green onion was tasty, but I wanted another color on there. The recipe that inspired me called for red pepper, so that would have been good too.

pizza dough
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. yogurt
1/2 tsp. dill weed
1 3-oz can salmon
1/2 c. chopped artichoke hearts
4 green onions, chopped
1-2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Prepare the pizza dough recipe as directed (up to spreading dough out on the pan; do not pre-bake).

2. In a bowl, mix together the cream cheese, yogurt and dill. Spread on pizza crust.

3. Top with salmon, artichoke and green onions. Sprinkle cheese on top. Bake at 450 for 10-15 minutes.

11 March 2009

Best Black Bean Soup

Here is another Moosewood recipe that I have tweaked a little due to poverty. I feel a little lame posting recipes from Moosewood, but you need to try this one. There is no salt in it, even though it seems like soup is always so salty. It is really good! ... like everything else Moosewood does.

2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/3 c. water
1 28 oz. can tomatoes in juice, undrained
2 15 oz cans black beans, undrained
1/4 c. chopped cilantro

1. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.

2. Add cumin and water. Add tomatoes, mashing the tomatoes up in the soup pot with your spoon (it doesn't have to be very good because you're going to put the whole thing in the blender in a minute). Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add the black beans, continue to simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking. Stir in the cilantro and remove from heat.

4. Pour half of the soup (carefully) into your blender and blend until smooth. Then pour the blended half into your 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Pour the remainder in the pot into the blender and repeat. Reheat the whole thing by simmering for a while, but gently. Serve with sour cream, additional cilantro leaves, avocado, tortilla chips, corn bread, grated cheddar cheese, or whatever you fancy. I do a bit of plain whole-milk yogurt, some avocado slices, and tortilla chips.

06 March 2009

World's Best Fudge Brownies

One bowl, one spoon, super easy.

I would like to thank King Arthur Flour for this awesome brownie recipe. I simplified the butter-sugar process a bit and I always halve it, so here's what I do:

1 stick salted butter
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. cocoa (it could be a heaping half-cup)
1/4 tsp. salt (use more if you use unsalted butter)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 T. vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 c. flour
6 oz. chocolate chips (1 cup or approximately 1/2 of a 12 oz. bag)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish.

2. In a medium-largeish microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (30 seconds on high, check; 30 seconds more). Stir in the sugar and return to the microwave for another 30 seconds on high. Stir again and do 30 more seconds on high. This sounds redonkulus but it's important for the nice shiny brownie crust.

3. Mix in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Stir in the eggs until well blended. Stir in flour and chips until the whole thing is well blended and you don't see any more flour specks.

4. Pour into prepared dish (it should level itself out; if not, give it a little shake or two until it's level and spread out). Bake for 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean-ish (some clinging crumbs are OK but you don't want it totally wet).

5. About 5 minutes after you take it out, go around the edges with a knife. Apparently this helps it not to fall in the middle. But don't be tempted to cut the brownies up yet... wait until they're totally cool to cut. I cut it into 16 which makes them sort of small... but they're awfully rich so it works.

20 February 2009

Pita Chips!

Have you ever noticed how cheap a bag of pita breads is? I get them at Trader Joe's and they are like a dollar. Ridiculous. Pita chips, on the other hand, can be expensive. You won't believe how easy it is to make your own pita chips from pita bread.

6 pita rounds, cut in half around the edges so they are a single thickness (i.e.: no longer a pocket)
about 1/4 c. olive oil
coarse salt
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Arrange pita rounds on a cookie sheet, smooth side up. Mix the olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl using a pastry brush. Brush oil mixture onto pitas, covering as much surface as you can but not leaving puddles of oil. Bake for 7-8 minutes, watching to make sure they don't burn. Let cool slightly, then break each round into pieces... 5-6 pieces is good, I think.

These are great with hummus! Try TJ's Roasted Red Pepper Hummus or Martha's mint-parsley hummus.

*Note - I've tried just drizzling each pita with olive oil, thinking I could save on dishes, but I think brushing the oil on allows for a more even coating and you don't have to use more oil than you need.

18 February 2009

Fish in a Packet

Here is a Ken-approved meal that is easy, tasty, healthy AND no dishes!!!! We have a winner.

It's from my favorite cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home. I feel like I'm cheating posting it, since I didn't change a single thing. Basically, just order this cookbook right now. There are some used ones on Amazon for like $4, although I can't imagine ever wanting to get rid of this one. It's vegetarian except they also eat fish. So, here is this amazing fish recipe.

French Fish in a Packet - serves 2
2 sheets aluminum foil, 12x24"
2 5- or 6- oz. fish fillets (I used frozen tilapia fillets, thawed)
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
2 T. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. dry white wine
dash of salt and black pepper
1 tsp. dried basil (I used a spice blend... Mural of Spices from Penzey's)
6 black olives, halved and pitted (I used kalamata)

1. Preheat oven to 450.

2. Fold each sheet of foil in half to make double-thick square. Brush a little oil in the center. Rinse fish. Prepare all ingredients.

3. Layer half of ingredients in the middle of each square in this order: zucchini, mushrooms, fish, onion slices. Sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, wine, S&P and basil. Top with olive halves. Fold foil into airtight packets and bake for 20 minutes. Avoiding steam that will be released, open a packet to check that fish is done (you can put a fork in the middle and twist - if it's flaky, it's done).

4. To serve, lift fish & veggies with spatula onto plates. Pour liquid left in foil over each serving.

I served ours with rice. I also made wilted spinach, but you really don't need extra veggies... all the veggies you need are in the packet with the fish! Brilliant.

Moosewood has several variations on this theme including Greek, Caribbean and Asian fish in a packet. I think next time I'll try Caribbean. Yum.

20 January 2009

Japanese Curry

This is Ken's mom's recipe for Japanese curry. We had it last night and it is soooo good that we can't wait to have the leftovers again tonight. Now that is saying something :)

2 medium onions, sliced
1-2 lbs. raw chicken or beef, cut into about 1" pieces
2 carrots, cut into 1" pieces
2 medium potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1 ripe banana, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 apple, grated
3 T. butter
3 T. flour
2 T. good quality curry powder
1 T. garam masala
soy sauce
tonkatsu sauce
salt & pepper
1 T. brown sugar
2 T. sour cream

1. In a large pot, saute onion slices in butter or olive oil over medium-low heat until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Add meat to pot and brown (add additional oil if needed). Add carrots and potatoes and sauteed onions. Add banana, garlic and apple. Cover with water and cook for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat and cook until brown. Add flour and mix constantly for 5 minutes. Add curry powder, remove from heat and continue to stir for another 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water slowly, mixing constantly until smooth. If there are too many lumps, put mixture in jar and shake well until mixed.

3. Add the curry sauce to the meat & veggies. Add more water if it is too thick (mine didn't need this). Continue to cook.

4. Add garam masala and a dash/squirt each of ketchup, soy sauce, tonkatsu sauce, salt and pepper. Stir in brown sugar; taste and adjust seasonings.

5. Right before serving, stir in sour cream. Serve over or alongside rice. Serves 4 starving people.

Iowa Butterhorn Rolls

I haven't tried making these rolls yet so I don't know how easy they are. They kind of sound like they might be a pain to make, but they taste amazing. I am pretty sure they will be in heaven.

1 pkg. yeast
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. warm water
1 c. milk
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1/4 t. salt
3 eggs. slightly beaten
4 1/2 c. flour
Additional melted butter

1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl.

2. Scald milk (heat on the stove until it bubbles). Stir in 1/2 cup sugar, butter and salt. Cool milk mixture completely.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast mixture, the cooled milk mixture and the eggs and flour. Mix well; put in greased bowl. Brush with melted butter. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

4. Put 1/4 of dough at a time on lightly floured board and roll into 8 inch circle. Brush with melted butter. Cut like a pie into 8 triangle pieces. Roll up wide end to point.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Makes 32 rolls.

13 January 2009

Japanese Carrot Dressing

for Tami.....

1/2 c. grated carrot
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. orange juice
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. grated ginger
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together and serve over crunchy greens.

This is from a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook but I substituted OJ for mirin (Japanese rice wine?) and added brown death.