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.