Sunday, August 25, 2019

Blackened Tofu with Remoulade

Blackened catfish is a classic Southern dish and one best eaten with fried green tomatoes or popcorn okra! If you have never had either of those, look to this space in the future, which will most certainly feature both once their season arrives! But in the meantime, give this recipe a chance. 

Blackening spice recipes vary on the cook’s preference - some leave out the ginger
or cumin - and what you find in stores will certainly be less potent that your own prepared mix. Either way, this is a quick and tasty dinner that will look gourmet but is so simple to prepare! I like to serve it with some pan fried veggies - that’s romanesco in the photo. But coleslaw or a green salad is great as well, a cooling accompaniment that balances out all of the heat!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Mushroom Rye Casserole

I won't lie. This is one of those be-inspired-by-a-recipe-but-substitute-what-I-had and those don't usually turn out so well. This is the exception that proves the point!

The basic ingredients of cottage cheese, sour cream and mushrooms were sitting in the frig, but no rice and no parmesan. But there were rye berries and emmentaler, so substitutions were made. And it was amazing!

Personally, the rye berries really made this dish: chewy and nutty, more flavorful than rice. Sold! Also, with tons of cheese sitting in the cheese drawer, some was going in no matter what was in the recipe. The nuttiness of the emmentaler paired nicely with the rye and the mushrooms. Definitely a winner that will be making an appearance again!

Although the photo is less than appetizing (hello winter light!), trust me that the dish must be worth it for me to publish a post on it with such a photo.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Spelt Everything Bagels

Ahh bagels, one of my true loves. But since eating wheat is soooo bad for me, spelt becomes my saving grace. These were easier and less time consuming than you would think, and you can customize the "everything" topping - no more poppy seeds in between my teeth!

I prefer my bagels chewy, so this recipe works perfectly; boil for 2 minutes per side and you get a great crumb and excellent chew factor! Of course I couldn't resist eating one nearly straight out of the oven, and it was amazing!

This time around I halved the recipe, fearful of having 8 bagels waiting for me to devour them in a single day, er week. But the full recipe would probably make 6 good size ones, a week's supply.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Garlic, Parmesan, Parsley Pasta

This is a super easy, super delicious, super fast pasta dinner. I know, most pasta dinners are all of the above, but this one is new to you!

Chop up a lot of garlic, a lot of parsley, grate a lot of parmesan or pecorino and toss it all together with your favorite string pasta and Presto Pronto! You have amazingness in no time flat!

By the way that is gluten free pasta and it was terrific!

Garlic, Parmesan, Parsley Pasta
(1 serving, multiply as needed)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced (most of it will be sauted gently in oil, and 1/4 is tossed raw with the cooked pasta, so you choose your garlic amount accordingly)
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup parmesan, shredded
olive oil

In a small saute pan heating on simmer, add oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add 3/4 of the garlic and saute slowly so it begins to turn golden, not brown. Remove from heat.

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water. Strain when al dente but keep at least 1/4 cup of cooking water and set aside.

Add pasta back to the pot and toss in the raw garlic and toss well. Add a good glug of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add parsley, cooked garlic and cheese and toss well; then add in 1 tablespoon of cooking water and stir well. It should begin to create a creamy sauce that coats the pasta. Add more oil and or cooking water to create a sauce consistency to your liking. Season with salt and pepper and eat immediately.


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Aioli

Fall weather usually means lots of carotene rich foods - pumpkin, winter squash, and of course sweet potatoes!

Yes, sweet potatoes are healthier for you than other potatoes but don't let that be the only reason you try these baked treats. Less mess, less fuss and great crispiness to dunk in your favorite condiment. How can you go wrong?

The natural sweetness of this tuber doesn't really need any gilding for my liking, which is why it is paired with a spicy aioli to balance out its caramelized goodness.

A few notes on preparation. 1) Do pay attention to cutting your fries as uniformly as possible to ensure even cooking. 2) Coat them well in olive oil, using your hands to massage them all and make sure your slices are separated into individual fries. 3) Ensure they are distributed in a single layer on your baking sheet and not too closely together. These important steps will lead to first time success and happy diners!

As the wine manager at the co-op, I've got several requests for wine pairings with recipes, so here are my suggestions: For a red choose a fruit forward wine such as Merlot or Grenache (Garnacha); any rose with strawberry notes would pair well too. The starchy sweetness of these carotene rich foods calls for fuller bodied whites such as Vouvray (Chenin Blanc) or an Auslese (semi-dry) Riesling.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Smashed Fried Potatoes

In the Midwest, potatoes are their own food group, meaning they are always a part of the meal, regardless.  No complaints here!

While mashed potatoes are my hands down favorite (yes, even over french fries). this is a new technique I discovered somewhat recently, smashed fried potatoes.

Boil new or red or yukon potatoes until tender, gently smash them to about 1/2 inch in thickness, then give them a quick brown crust in the frying pan. You get the soft squishiness of boiled with the crisp outer goodness of fried. I often boil them in advance and have them readily available in the refrigerator, waiting for brunch or dinner preparation.

And for those curious cats out there, that is pan seared fennel slices next to the smashed potatoes, and yes, that was my dinner a few nights ago, so satisfying!