Monday, August 30, 2010

Falafelentils Revisited

I wasn't exactly wowed by the Falafelentils when I first made them, but I found myself using them in sandwiches, salads, and just eating them cold out of the fridge. And when they were gone, I missed them...

So I made more today. I didn't have any leftover rice, so I cooked some brown rice using this method, which worked surprisingly well and required almost no effort. I made similar modifications as last time, except that I used 1 tsp of cayenne pepper in place of the chili powder, used 1 cup of rice instead of 1/2 cup, and I pureed the onions and spices together after I'd cooked them. (And I used up the last of the sesame seeds, yay!) The falafelentils STILL stuck to the pan despite my coating the pan in olive oil, so I'll either pan-fry them, or cover the baking pan in foil when I make them again.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dinner Party!

We had people over for dinner tonight -- it's been a while since we've cooked for anyone other than each other, and I was WAY off on the timing. (Oops.) But everything turned out well. I made black bean soup and cornbread and N made spicy rice and his secret-family-recipe chocolate cake with buttercream icing. I also made salad, inspired by Paula Deen's recipe. (Betcha never thought you'd hear me say that...)

My version:

2 ears of corn
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, chopped
3 green onions, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Boil the ears of corn until tender. Cool, then cut the kernels off and put into a bowl. (This would also be a great use of leftover corn on the cob.) Add the tomatoes, avocado and green onions. Blend together (in a blender -- alternatively, you can finely mince the cilantro and mix by hand, but you won't get as uniform a texture) the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt, then mix gently with the vegetables. Serve immediately -- the dressing will slow the discoloration of the avocado but won't prevent it entirely.

Monday, August 02, 2010

N Cooks Indian Food

Descriptive title, no? I had a not-so-great day at work, and was super-excited to be greeted by Saag Mushroom with rice and homemade naan.

For the naan:

2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 C warm water
1/4 C white sugar
3 Tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
4.5 C bread flour
1/4 C butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Preheat oven and pans to 450F.
Divide dough into 10 pieces and roll out on floured surface into circles. Place rolled out dough on cookie sheet and brush with melted butter.
Cook for 8 minutes or until lightly browned and puffed up.

And the saag mushroom:

6 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 C onions, raw
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp fresh ginger root, shredded
10 oz. spinach, fresh
18 mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (or substitute 2 portobello caps)
2 oz Philadelphia cream cheese
1/4 tsp kosher salt


Brown garlic in olive oil, add chopped onion and fry 'till brown.
Add coriander, cumin, chili powder, and ginger root. Stir.
Add cream cheese. Stir well and cook for two minutes
Add salt, sliced mushrooms, and spinach, cook for 10-15 minutes until spinach is tender and excess water has boiled away.

Definitely worth making, or even better, having someone make it for you!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Spicy Rice (and Onion Soup)

Spicy rice...mmm. That's really all there is to it. (And it's quick, and easy, and relatively healthy. But really, "mmm" is the important part.)
1 cup uncooked white rice
2 T oil
1 onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 small chili peppers, chopped (about 1 T)
1-2 large portobello mushroom(s), chopped (or about 10 button mushrooms, chopped)
1/2 package of frozen veggie "ground beef"
sour cream

Cook rice in 1.5-2 cups water. Meanwhile, saute onion, garlic, and chili pepper in oil; when translucent, add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, then add "ground beef". Cook another 10 minutes or so until heated through and water has evaporated. Mix into hot rice and serve with lime quarters (for squeezing) and sour cream. The sour cream and lime really bring things together, so please don't skip them!

The soup is from this recipe, with a few changes. I substituted 2 T oil for 2 T of the butter, and Gruyere for the mozzarella. I used 1 T Better Than Bouillon in 4 c water for the broth, and added about 1/2 tsp soy sauce. I also sauteed a few cloves of garlic with the onions. Highly recommended :)

Dessert First!

I have an extensive "Make this recipe someday" list, and just as long is my list of reasons why I don't try things from the list. "No time", "unfamiliar ingredients", "I already have a great recipe for this", etc. Well, I didn't have a good excuse not to make Veggie Platter's Cardamom Flavored, Eggless Chocolate Chip Muffins, but I did need a good occasion. Then I came across two at once: the last day of my first rotation as an intern (?!), and Nupur's Blog Bites 6: Potluck Edition. I followed the recipe almost-exactly, adding just a pinch of salt and about 1/2 tsp of vanilla, using half white and half wheat flour, and omitting the wheat germ. Next time, I may add just a little more sugar (or use a sweeter yogurt), decrease the cardamom a little, and add a small amount of ginger and cloves.