Saturday, November 27, 2010

Two Thanksgiving Dinners

On the actual Thanksgiving day we were hosted by Kim and Gregg. Kim made lots of delicious food! Mark brought a loaf of bread and I made this turkey cake:

It's a flourless raspberry chocolate cake.

The next day, Mark and I thought we should also celebrate with our own traditional Thanksgiving dinner:

Stuffing, cranberry-orange sauce, gravy, turkey's insides, stuffed turkey, candied yams.

The turkey is made of seitan:

And it is stuffed:

The poor thing had to watch us first eat is insides, then cut him and eat his sides....

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Greek Zucchini Pie

We got some Bulgarian Feta cheese. It tastes somewhat rancid. Apparently, that's normal, but we still find it hard to ingest. So I looked for a recipe that would use it as a non-major ingredient, and also include the 2 zucchinis I had in the fridge. Luckily, such recipe indeed exists, and it is superb! Both easy to make, and yummy, and the Feta's rancidness is greatly diminished.

Since I only had 2 zucchinis, I scaled it down a bit, but other than that I followed the recipe quite faithfully.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chia seeds

What a nice little seed!
I like soaking a tablespoon of them in about 1/4 cup water and leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes, then add them to a melon shake and drink it right before going for an energetic jog.

If I had a smoothie joint, I would definitely offer this little, energy-filled, boba replacement...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Coconut Potatoes

A few weeks ago I wanted to make something with potatoes and coconut milk. A google image search produced this Indian casserole (after sifting through all the mashed sweet potatoes with coconut milk). I omitted the mushrooms, simply because I didn't have them, but otherwise, I made it as recommended. They turned out really good - spicy and creamy, and they go well with naan.

Here's how it was done:
You can get the chili-vinegar paste from an Indian grocery store, but it's a lot more fun to make it yourself. Just put the following ingredients in a food processor:
  • 1/4 c dried red chilies
  • 2 T wine vinegar
  • 1 t tamarind paste
  • 1/2 t cumin seeds
  • 1/2 t peppercorns
  • 1/2 turmeric
  • 1 t roasted garlic
  • a small chunk of ginger (~1 cm)
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
Puree everything, and your casserole is pretty much done!
Next you will need potatoes (I used about 6 medium to small potatoes), and some green onions (I used 4 big ones from our garden). Amounts may vary according to your needs and taste.
  • Mix 1-2 T of the paste with a can of coconut milk, add some salt to taste.
  • Layer potato slices in a casserole dish
  • Sprinkle chopped green onions
  • Pour 1/3 of chili-coconut mix
  • Repeat twice more
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for about 1 hour
A few days ago I made a summer version of this dish -- a lot less baking time -- by dicing the potatoes, and cooking them in the microwave for about 5 minutes in a covered bowl with a few drops of water. Then I cooked them on the stove with the coconut-chili mix and the green onions in a large pan for a few more minutes. It was much faster, especially since I already had prepared chili paste.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Candle Nuts

Mark's recent visit to Tempe -- and thus to our favorite Asian market -- resulted in a small bag of weird nuts - candle nuts. We tried them - they didn't taste very good. So I looked it up and found that they are mostly used as a thickening agent in Indonesian sauces. The most appealing - and least meaty - recipe I found was that of egg sambal. It seemed simple enough and didn't require too many weird ingredients. Still I had to modify it, and the result was very tasty.

Here's how I made it:

Put 4 eggs to boil.
In a medium pan I heated up 2 T peanut oil, and sauteed:
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 t roasted garlic (can substitute with some crushed garlic)
  • 1 t grated ginger (instead of the galanga root)
  • 1 T vegetarian red curry paste (figured it would be an excellent substitute for shrimp paste and red chilies)
  • 1 t tamarind paste (instead of sugar and lime juice)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 6 candle nuts, ground (I used mortar and pestle, and it worked wonderfully!)
That's it! It's ready in minutes. The only thing that took too much time was peeling the darn eggs!
To accompany the sambal, I made Mark prepare pizza dough, of which he rolled out 5 pita-sized rounds, rubbed them in oil, and I cooked them in a small non-stick pan. They came out so soft and delicious, and were perfect for the sambal.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Best Palak Paneer EVER!

As the title suggests, this is by far the best palak paneer I have ever had. I had a few store bought ones, I had some in restaurants, and it never really appealed to me all that much. There were plenty of Indian dishes far better than this. I even tried making one myself, and it wasn't anything more than blah. But this time - with a food processor on hand, not forgetting to add the cashews, and using our own grown spinach - it came out SO much better!
I followed this easy-to-follow recipe from Mahanandi, with some home-made paneer.
The only thing I was missing was the cilantro-ginger-garlic paste, so I made it from scratch by processing a few garlic cloves, some cilantro leaves, and a small piece of ginger - at rough ratios of 3-2-1, and I have no idea how it compares. But who cares? The overall result was delicious.

Don't put in too many salted cashews!!

Needless to say we had it with yummy fluffy naans that Mark baked.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wild Thing

We got some wild rice and weren't quite sure what to do with it. So I made something up:

It was very yummy and quite easy to make. Wild rice is good!

Basically, I just cooked the wild rice with some brown rice (added the brown rice about 15 min through). At the same time I cooked whatever veggies I had in the fridge: mushrooms, edamame, corn, green onions, parsley (I think I put a bit too much of the latter) with some spices (I used chicken spice [=oregano, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, black pepper]) and salt and pepper to taste. The nuttiness of the rice perfectly compliments the juiciness of the veggies.