Saturday, April 28, 2007

Speaking of bread

I have recently overcome my fear of yeast breads. I am trying this No-Knead Bread recipe right now. Let's see what happens! I am letting it rise overnight. I will post pics tomorrow. Uh, if Picky figures out why the oven isn't heating.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Science project loaf

I spent my Earth Day making resolutions, potty training Z and doing a science project with S.

S's science project involved putting yeast in three different water samples. One was boiling, one was the recommended temperature of 110 degrees F, and one was cold from the refrigerator. We not only had a fun and educational time together, but we ended up with a yummy loaf of bread!

Gingered apricot oatmeal

Today I lounged outside with S, looking up the birds we could see and not only hear in his field guide. I relished the seasonably aberrant cool breeze licking my skin, and decided I could pull off oatmeal for breakfast at least one more time.

Gingered apricot oatmeal

2 cups organic whole milk
2 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
3 T chopped crystallized ginger
8 dried apricots, chopped
a few glugs of maple syrup
a few T of kefir
4 T of ground flaxseeds
Turbinado sugar at the table

Heat liquids to a boil. Add oatmeal, stirring with a whisk vigorously. Lower heat slightly and stir frequently. When oatmeal has thickened and softened, add ginger and apricots, turn down to low heat, and cover. A few minutes later, add the syrup, kefir, and flaxseeds, and serve. Mmmmmmm.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Salmon with mango salsa

I decided to shake it up a little bit with a diversion from my normal soy-honey-mustard-sesame sauce I normally make to accompany the fantastic wild salmon I can buy at my local Target, and also get rid of a mango that had been languishing in my fridge for almost a week.

I baked the salmon for about 30 minutes at 425 in a pyrex dish rubbed with butter, skin side down.

Mango salsa

2 T butter
1/2 a very large white onion (or 1 large onion)chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 cup peppers (I chose sweet mini peppers)
3 T red wine vinegar
1 mango, cubed
3 T diced garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Melt butter is skillet. Saute onion, celery and peppers until soft. Add vinegar and mango, cook for about five minutes longer, or mango is soft. Add garlic, cook for two more minutes, stirring, until fragrant. Add cilantro and scallions, stir and cook for one more minute. Put on top of salmon.

National Eggs Benedict Day (observed)

According to Slashfood, Monday was National Eggs Benedict Day. My friend, roommate and Z helped ring in the holiday today, two days late. Yummmmm.

Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, aka "Dirty Clothes"

This is one of my signature dishes.

In fact, I think this is one of the first meals I ever cooked for Picky. He says he never ate anything like it before, and this was the first in many scary but rewarding culinary adventures I have invited him on.

We call it "Dirty clothes" in my house due to a misunderstanding. Picky thought the recipe was called "Thirty Cloves" and was asking for it as such. I thought he was asking me to do the laundry, which I had already folded, and I got annoyed. The conversation went like this:

"Thirty cloves?"
"Dirty clothes?"
"Thirty cloves?"
"Dirty clothes?!"

Much hilarity ensued when we got on the same wavelength.

Chicken with 40 cloves

1 cup chopped onion (about 2 medium)
1 cup chopped celery (about 3 stalks)
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
2 lb dark meat chicken, bone in and skin on (or two pieces per person)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper, or Trocomare
40 cloves of garlic (or 10 per person), removed from head, single paper still left around clove

Preheat oven to 425

Arrange onions, celery and tarragon in casserole dish.

Arrange chicken pieces over the veggies, skin side up
Tuck garlic cloves, removed from head but still in peel, around chicken
Drizzle generously with olive oil and wine
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, or in my case, Trocamare

Bake for at least an hour, until chicken is done, skin is crispy, garlic is soft, and your kitchen smells so good you can't stand it. Serve with crusty bread to squeeze garlic on. Fight over the garlic and drippings with your bread. Stink like garlic for days and be happy about it.

This recipe will win you friends and lovers.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Roasted hot sauce

I keep talking about my roasted hot sauce, so I should really post the recipe up on here.

Here is a message board post from when I made it for the first time a month ago:

I am using tomatoes (halved and cored) from the garden, some itty bitty hot peppers, one left over mild pepper (too small but all I have), whole garlic cloves and green onion (cut up). Almost all from my garden.

I tossed all of the above in a roasting baste made of tomato paste, olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika (trying to make up for my lack of sweet peppers). I roasted all of the above under the broiler in my toaster oven. I took the green onions out first and the garlic is still in, but smells pretty insane. I will be blending it all up with some vinegar soon.

It is super tasty. I am nuking a frozen burrito so I have something to eat it with.

On a side note, S fed Z a hot pepper from the garden and made him cry while I was making this. Sigh. I let S be a taste tester for the hot sauce.


I made it again today for my brother-in-law. Today I had more sweet peppers. It turned out great.

Mexican party with Crème Brûlée!

I finally earned my foodie wings! No, not because I hosted a dinner party that went off without a major hitch. I have done that before, quite a few times. But last night, I served crème brûlée. My younger brother gave me a kitchen torch for Christmas. I guess he asked someone what every foodie (and closet pyro) wants but won't buy for herself. I decided it was about time to whip that sucker out and scorch some stuff!

I made the crème brûlée recipe found in my The New Best Recipe cookbook. (Thanks, Mama Jackie!) It involved twelve egg yolks, fresh vanilla, and a small argument between Picky and me as we tried to get the pan in the oven. Next time I will read the directions more closely and pour the boiling water for the water bath after the ramekins and baking sheet are on the oven rack. It still came out delicious, and I will be making it again.

The rest of the buffet:

Soft and hard taco shells
Refried beans (Also from the cookbook - Neither Picky nor S will eat beans, so I rarely cook them and need a recipe)
Ground beef
Chicken breast with mojo sauce
Roasted corn and roasted garlic salsa with fresh garden tomatoes and lime
Fresh guacamole with roasted garlic, fresh tomatoes and lime
Condiments: Shredded lettuce, sour cream, chopped plain garden tomatoes, homemade roasted hot sauce
Sweet mini peppers with roasted hot sauce, roasted garlic and melted colby jack

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Chicken soup for sick mommy

I used the leftovers from the roasted chicken in some therapeutic chicken soup. I vary the vegetables in this recipe depending on what I have on hand. Yesterday, this is what I made:

1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
a hefty handful of baby carrots, chopped
cabbage from my garden (about 1 cup chopped)
garlic, diced (lots. I used at least a T)
ginger, grated (lots, I used at least 1/2 T)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup miso broth (or 1 cup water with 1 T miso paste)
1 cup uncooked egg noodles

chopped cooked chicken from roasted chicken carcass (Ewww, not a nice word when cooking, but meat eaters, face the reality.)

1. Heat oil in dutch oven or large heavy pot
2. Add vegetables and salt and cook until barely tender (Or, in my case, cook until you smell them almost burning and realize you have cooked them too long and freak out.)
3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for one more minute
4. Add broth (If you are burning your veggies and they are too hot, watch out for steam burns with lots of cursing. The steam cooked through the aseptic container my chicken broth was in, and tried to cook through my fingers!!)
5. After simmering for a while, maybe 20 minutes, add pasta and meat and cook until pasta is cooked through, about another 10 minutes