Archive for August, 2008

29
Aug

thai spring squash

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in non-vegetarian, Recipe, vegetarian

thai-ish eggplants and summer squashes

So this is a hella modified recipe based on one in Nancie McDermott’s Real Thai: The Best of Thailand’s Regional Cooking

Original recipe:

Moo Paht Peht
Pork Sauteed in Red Curry Paste

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste (recipe also in book)
1/2 lb pork, thinnly sliced into strips about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp water
2 teaspoons sugar
12 green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup diced eggplant (1-inch dice)
a handful of graprao leaves of other fresh basil leaves or mint leaves
12 fresh wild lime leaves
9 long, thin sweet red pepper strips

In a wok or medium skillet, heat the oil over low heat until very warm but not hot. Add the curry paste, which should sizzle gently as soon as it meets the oil, and press and stir it into the oil. Cook the curry paste, mashing it into the oil, until it is well blended, fragrant, and shiny, about 3 minutes. Add the meat and stir-fry to brown it and coat it evenly with the curry paste, about 2 minutes.

Add the fish sauce, water sugar, green beans, and eggplant; mix well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in most of the basil leaves, lime leaves, and red pepper strips, reserving a little for garnish. Transfer to a plate, garnish, and serve warm.

note: omit the wild lime leaves and fresh basil if they are difficult to find

My recipe:

So I started with 1 tsp of olive oil. Into which, I added 2 teaspoons of red curry paste (because this was the third dish I had made from one little can) and an onion, quartered and sliced.

After the onions had started to melt, I added 7 cloves of garlic, coarsely minced, and around 3/4-inch of garlic, finely minced.

Then I added 1/2 cup of concentrated stock (because I thought stock was in the recipe, but I must have been thinking of a different one), 1/2 cup of water, and 2 chinese eggplant (sliced with rolling cut).

When the eggplant started softening, I added 1 yellow squash and 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, and then sliced into half rounds. I also added 2 teaspoons of white sugar I had with lime and grapefuit zest.

Since I was right out of fish sauce, I poured in some worcestershire sauce and some salt. And since I was out of hot basil, I used regular basil, some fennel, and a dash of five spice powder. At the very end, I squeezed half a lime over it all.

Served over rice, it still needed a bit more salt. Other than that, very tasty.

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I made an amazing breakfast.

The initial plan was to cook down some spinach and tomato and then scramble an egg in it – pretty standard.

And it started out simple enough with about as much fresh spinach by volume as the tomato (so there ended up being a lot more tomato once everything cooked down).

But this was a big, luscious tomato from my mother’s garden, so it released a lot of liquid. So I poured off some of the liquid (into a jar to keep since I could put it in rice or soup or something – and it’d be wasteful otherwise – and don’t judge me because just wait until the depression or the apocalypse hits because then you’ll all want me to be managing your foodstuffs so you won’t get scurvy), and then I poured off some more. And then I realized that it was just willing to cook down into sauce.

I added a bit of 5 spice powder for fun.

So instead of scrambling the egg, I just cracked it in and gave it a lot of channels into the goody and poached it right there, covering the pan occasionally so that the top would steam cook, too.

And I ground some pepper and sprinkled kosher salt on top.

And oh my, it was like pudding – tasty savoury egg, tomato, and spinach pudding. Only sexier.

I have enough spinach to try it again and see if the results are repeatable.

~*~

And there was a salad with za’tar

I went home last weekend, and I ended up cleaning out and organizing my mother’s space cabinet. A while back, she had purchased a tiny container of zatar from Penzey’s because it sounded unlike any of the other stuff in her cabinet (we’ve never cooked with sumac much). A few years later, it still hadn’t been used, and it wasn’t sounding like anything my father would enjoy, so it came home with me.

My initial plan was to soak it in lime juice and then taste it and build a salad dressing from there. Luckily, however, I looked it up online before I started, since apparently it has a sour taste that can replace lime/lemon/tamarind in recipes. So once I knew that was how it slotted in, it became easy and I’ll be able to use it regularly.

Cold bits
spring mix
spinach
sliced tomato
serrano pepper

Hot bits
roasted zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and bell pepper (rewarmed in the microwave)

Dressing
3/4 tsp za’tar
1/2 tsp crushed mustard
2 Tbsp white balsamic
2 tsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp red wine
3 small scallions, sliced

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11
Aug

food list

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Food, lists

food I have
Produce
buttload of peaches (not yet ripe)
many tomatoes
dozen hot peppers
1 salad’s worth of greens
roasted summer veggies – eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper
small purple/white eggplant
collard greens
broccoli
1 cucumber
zucchini
scallions
limes
carrots

Meat
chicken stock
fancy roast beef leftovers
roast pork leftovers
bacon

bread
whole wheat & white tortillas
whole grain brown bread
only 3 more bagels in freezer

meals
Monday, August 11
I’ve sorted and soaked half a package of cow beans
starting tonight or tomorrow, I’ll put that together with the pork to make chili.

dinner: salad with roast beef, tomatoes… (and?)

Tuesday, August 12
get more lettuce

11
Aug

my weekend

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in restaurant, Review

My weekend was a little busy…

Friday
I went to play D&D with friends. Some canceled.

Instead, we went out to dinner. We passed by the Jazz in the Park, which we could have listened to if we had sat outside, but opted for the immediate seating available inside, instead. Food was a bit dubious – I had shrimp that had the texture of steak. Later, I ate my back up salad because it was the blueberry salad I’d been planning for a few days.

And then we watched Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, which I had never seen. I caught a whole bunch of references that had been tossed around at nerd camp.

I did not go to Salsa dancing, but I think I shall try to get there on the 22nd, if anyone would like to join me.

Saturday
Got up and made the one reliable thing I have that’s good for a pot luck where I’ll have a few hours without refrigeration before serving: asian pickle (as taught to me by Meghan – thinly sliced onion, carrots, and cucumber, tossed together with some rice vinegar and sugar).

Went to exercise. I missed yoga but caught pilates.

Picked up [redacted], headed up to GeeksDoItBetter, and had an awesome papermaking workshop. I kept trying to make thinner paper, but it wasn’t as well behaved as the thicker ones. Others were disappointed, however, by how much thickness they lost as they drained the water from the pulp on the screen. Despite how new we were, our paper turned out as well as most amateur paper I have seen.

Sunday
Dragged my ass out of bed at 9am and went to my parents’. Had sticky rice, mango, melon, and blackberried for breakfast.

I sewed a couple pamphlets my mother wants to attach to the (now) framed maps they accompany.

Took home some peaches and some tomatoes & hot peppers from my parents’ garden.

Came home. Unloaded.

Met up with [redacted] for Indian buffet (I ordered off the menu).

There was amazing weather. We were getting torrential rain, but in bands with beautiful sunny skies in between. Oddly, it was dry everytime I needed to walk somewhere (but the drive home from my parents’ was a bit treacherous).

While we were at dinner, we got a call telling us to look outside at the double rainbow. By the time we left, however, it was gone. But the sky was just amazing – clear and sunny with late evening’s dying rays lighting up the threatening green half of the sky in iridescent shades of gold. [redacted] rightly said that the tall buildings in the skyline all looked like mica.

Then we went to World Cafe Live to see Bitter:Sweet with and because they had raved about this group. And rightly so. I bought a CD. Go have a look – they have good music *and* awesome stylish performances. They’ll be in Boston tonight (sorry – short notice!) and DC tomorrow, but other than that most of you will probably miss this tour. They were talking about trying for another tour in April. Their soups are always good, so I had that. [redacted] had the eggplant fries, now that the knows that anything (even eggplant) is good if it is sliced thinly and fried – but, really, these are lovely – the eggplant is all mellow, like butter, inside a thick, crispy batter.

And it was so lovely by the time we left (clear and cool – for once in August), that I decided to walk home. A third of the way there, I was distracted by and sucked into a random dance party in the street. So I went in and danced until a little after midnight.

Monday
This morning was pretty amazing, too. I had quit the dancing early because I was worried that my thighs would be sore in the morning and that my knee would get swollen – but no ill effects at all.

We worked extra hard in pilates this morning, and I managed to do an exercise I hadn’t been able to do before (on of the ones where you roll your self up from a completely flat starting position).

And then I sat out on my porch enjoying the unusual cool weather and eating fruit. The property was getting its lawn mowed, too, so I ended up drinking water and attempting to chat with the guy mowing it while he took a break. We were doing really well with the smiling and nodding pleasantries, but he ended up saying he wished I spoke Spanish instead. But I did get him to talk a little bit about Guatemala and could understand his pidgin pretty well – just not so much with producing my own.

And then I went to work, and the world reverted to Monday.

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9
Aug

3 salads in 36 hours!

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Recipe, salad

I’ve been thinking about BLTs ever since I ran across this BLT on a food blog.

And while I did stop by the supermarket and feel up the avocados, none of them were ripe enough to use tonight.

BLT inspired.

hot bit (part 1)
made bacon (I only had one slice thawed, so that’s all of the bacon. Just set it off to drain on paper towels for a bit)

cold bits
spring mix
2 scallions
1/4 – 1/2 yellow onion, sliced very thinly
2 small tomatoes (from my mother’s garden), quartered and sliced thinly
1.5 ounces of chevre

hot bit (part 2)
2 ounces leftover chicken breast, sliced (I ended up heating this under the broiler since I was also roasting veggies, but it could be cooked in residual bacon fat, if some were drained and wiped out)

Dressing
Grey Poupon
balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Manischewitz
1/4 tsp soy sauce

~*~

So there was bacon in that salad. And there are breakfast burritos. And so I was thinking, “Hey – there could be a breakfast salad.”

Breakfast Salad

hot bit (part 1)
boil 1 potato and 1 egg

hot bit (part 2)
make bacon (1.5 slices)

cold bit
spring mix
finely sliced onion
finely sliced tomato
finely sliced hot pepper

hot bit (unification)
slice potato & toss with 1 tsp olive oil and some salt
slice hard boiled egg
crumble bacon over top right before eating

dressing
leftover from the BLT salad

verdict – both the potato and the egg was a bit much. Either one could have been left off with no ill effect. But, hey, I’ve never made a breakfast salad before. 🙂

~*~

I’d been cobbling together odds and ends of my mismatched collection of condiments, and I spied my jar of blueberry jelly – as yet unmolested in my salad making adventures. So I started planning a blueberry salad. Now this one is weird, but trust me, it was tasty. I wasn’t even starving when I ate it, and it was still tasty.

Blueberry Salas

I started with the
dressing
3 Tablespoons of blueberry preserves
1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 tsp chinese mustard
3/4 tsp coriander chutney
1/2″ finely minced fresh ginger
a generous amount of ground cinnamon

and then I sliced
1 bosc pear into the dressing because I figured that blueberries wouldn’t provide enough body on their own, but I was worried about them softening/discoloring, so I let them sit in the vinegary dressing for a bit before adding them to the salad

cold bits
spring mix
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced in half lengthwise, and then into thin slices
1/4 onion, sliced thinly
1.5 ounces of chevre
about 1/2 a cup of blueberries

Add dressing

hot bit
dry toasted 1/3 cup of walnut pieces on the stove
Once they were all warm and toasty, I tossed them in a jar with some cinnamon
And then sprinkled most of them on the salad

All in all, it was every bit as awesome as I’d hoped.

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7
Aug

Devourer of worlds

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Food, invitation

Also, I’m pretty sure I won’t be losing weight this week. I’ve suddenly found myself in one of my moods where I can eat an infinite amount and never feel satisfied.

At least I have a fresh batch of lettuce – I’ll try myself on infinite amounts of salad when I get home.

Until then, though, I have the M&M’s my boss brought back from M&M World in Las Vegas.

And tea.

It’s all right, but just letting you know that if you wanted to go out to eat this week, I’m totally your girl.

6
Aug

I like salads

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in non-vegetarian, Recipe, salad, vegetarian

Okay, so I haven’t been giving you all recipes for salads, but let me tell you that I am loving them. I am a salad god. Or something like that. But I’ve been making a lot of salads lately, and they’ve all been pretty awesome… so now I’ll try to reconstruct them from (dubious) memory and my sketchy notes:

8/8/08
Cold Bit
spring mix
small bits of broccoli tops
1 Tbsp pickled ginger, patted dry
(would have also been good with some napa cabbage shreds here)

Hot Bit
thinly sliced baby carrots
thinly sliced purple onion
thinly slices garlic
thinly sliced broccoli stem
stir fried in 1/2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp sesame oil, and San-J Szechuan sauce

Dressing
1/2 tsp chinese mustard (mixed up according to the directions on the bottle)
1 tsp black pepper sauce
juice of half a lime
1 tsp buckwheat honey
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp black vinegar

~*~

8/1/08
Hot Bit (part 1)
cooked up one slice of bacon on the stove, set it in a paper towel, and drained the fat from the pan

Cold Bit
spring mix
1 diced jalepeno pepper
2 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles (oddly, this was a bit too much cheese – just 1 Tbsp for a more balanced flavor)
sun dried tomatoes
broccoli
grind of pepper

Hot Bit (part 2)
in same pan, cook:
sliced red onion
3 ounces of sliced leftover chicken breast

Dressing
juice of half a lime
2/3 tsp black pepper sauce
1/4 tsp buckwheat honey
5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Grey Poupon mustard
1 tsp Manischewitz concord grape

~*~

7/26/08
Cold Bit
spring mix
baby carrots, sliced thinly on an angle
1 tomato, quartered and then sliced thinly
3 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, sliced

Dressing
salvaged bits from very, very ripe apricots
1 diced jalepeno pepper
2 finely sliced shallots
3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
lime zest
(let the above sit a while, thinking they might become salsa… then realise the apricots have completely liquefied and should be salad dressing)
2 tsp Grey Poupon mustard
juice of 1 lime (already missing some zest)

~*~

7/7/08
Cold Bits
spring mix
salmon jerky (from Alaska)
thinly sliced red onion
1/2 avocado, sliced (and the rest eaten with a spoon and some more of the dressing – it was perfect)

Hot Bits
slight handful of slivered almonds, toasted

Dressing
juice of 1/2 lime
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp lime brown sugar (brown sugar with lime zest in it – lime bit optional)
1 tsp Grey Poupon mustard
1 Tbsp soy sauce
grate of nutmeg
pinch of chipotle

~*~

7/4/08
Cold Bits
spring mix!
a few baby carrots, sliced in half and then thinly lengthwise
2 scallions, sliced thinly into rounds
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, sliced roughly against the grain
1/4 cup sliced dried tomatoes

Hot Bits
2 Tbsp fried leeks
3 oz thinly sliced beef

Dressing
1 tsp tamarind-lime-honey sauce
1 tsp Grey Poupon mustard
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
dash of 5 spice powder

~*~

6/26/08
Cold Bits
spring mix
several baby carrots, sliced thinly on an angle
1 very ripe banana, cut in half lengthwise, and then sliced
sections cut out from 1 orange

Hot Bits
4 oz leftover pork (having been cubed braised in taco seasoning and orange juice)

Dressing
5 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp tamarind-lime-honey sauce
2 tsp wildflower honey
1 tsp Grey Poupon mustard

Topping
1/4 cup roasted salted cashews
2 scallions, cut in rounds, but on a slight angle

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4
Aug

food list

   Posted by: JS74nCLOr6    in Food, lists

I have way too much meat in the house

food I have
Produce
rapidly aging lettuce (one last meal there, if I pick through it tonight)
broccoli
2 grapefruit
carrots
1 red bell peppers
jalepeno peppers
tomatoes
plums (1 purple/black, 3 green)
pears
2 eggplants
1 yellow squash
1 zucchini
bunch of scallions
1 kiwi
potatoes
yellow onions, 1 purple onion, and shallots

Meat
chicken stock
most of 1 breast of chicken
rapidly aging roast beef leftovers
Harry’s roast beef leftovers
Harry’s beef sirloin leftovers
pork leftovers
leftover meatloaf

menu planning
Monday, August 4
dinner: salad – with pickled carrots, ginger, scallions, maybe some zucchini, and some purple onion – using some of the chinese mustard in the dressing
Also prep for lunches: hash using up potatoes, oldest beef roast, the last of the purple onions, and some garlic. Freeze meatloaf into portions, too.

Tuesday, August 5
try to get to Whole Foods to buy more salad greens before Weight Watchers
dinner: Do something with eggplant, yellow squash, and zucchini. Stir Fry? Ratatouille? Or just roast them and use them in salads for a couple weeks? Turn the eggplant into curry and save the squash for later?

Wednesday, August 6
Think about making a soup.
Also think about what to do with the sexy leftover beef that is not hash

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