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Posts Tagged ‘mixed green salad’

For Meatless Monday last night I made a Dahl, an Indian-style lentil stew. I had a handful of okra left from the farmer’s market this weekend, so I decided that this would be a good way to use them up.

My ingredient list included the okra (cut into 1/2 inch slices), 1/3 cup of red lentils, a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes, one medium onion diced, an inch of ginger, two garlic cloves, and one medium russet potato that I skinned and diced. I also used one cup of water and about a teaspoon of turmeric along with salt and pepper.

Over med-high heat I melted about a tablespoon of ghee and grated the ginger and garlic into it. Once they became fragrant, about 30 seconds or so, I added the onions. Those sautéed for about 5 minutes and then I added the potato. A few minutes later I stirred in the lentils just until they were fully coated with the ghee and then I poured in the water. I let the water come to a boil and then scraped up the garlic and ginger that stuck to the bottom of the pan. Then I added the turmeric, salt, and tomatoes and let that all come to a boil. Once boiling, I turned the heat down to med-low, stirred in the okra, covered the pan, and let it all simmer for about 30 minutes. After that, I added some black pepper and adjusted my salt. A garnish of halved cherry tomatoes and it’s ready to eat.

Besides the okra, I also had a few baby carrots from the farmer’s market that I needed to use up. Even though their skin was purple, the flesh was either orange or yellow. They were so tender and sweet, possibly the best carrots I’ve ever cooked with. I didn’t want to take away from their natural sweetness so I kept it really simple. After skinning them I quartered them length-wise. I drizzled some olive oil all over them, then sprinkled some cumin, salt, and pepper. I put them in the oven at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. To serve, I just layed them on top of a mixed green salad.

As happens more often than not in my kitchen, white rice was served on the side.

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I made a quiche for Meatless Monday this week. I’ve never made one before, and while I really wanted to use some bacon, it turned out surprisingly delicious. Probably the best quiche I’ve ever eaten. Yuki, who is a big fan of quiche, thought so too.

For my vegetables I slices up 5 button mushrooms and 5 cremini, I chopped half of a Vidalia onion, I cut one head of broccoli into small florets, and minced on clove of garlic.

I melted one tablespoon of butter in my saute pan and started with the garlic for about 30 seconds and then the onion for about 4 minutes. I threw the mushrooms in and let them cook down for about 4 minutes. Then I tossed in the broccoli and let that go for another 4 minutes. I let them cool on a plate.

While the vegetables were cooling I whipped up the egg batter. I used 4 eggs, 1/2 cup of soy milk, 1/2 cup of fresh grated Gruyère, some salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of nutmeg.

I rolled out a puff pastry so that it would fit nicely in my 9″er (a man can dream). I lightly buttered the pan then laid the pastry in and trimmed the edges. I laid the vegetables on the bottom so that they were evenly dispersed. Then I poured the egg batter on top. I rolled the sides of the crust dow till they were just slightly higher than the batter. I topped it all with some more grated Gruyère and threw it into a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned.

I let it sit for about 10 minutes after taking it out of the oven. The quiche needs to rest a little and it will lose some height as it settles.

I served it with some white rice and a mixed green salad. The salad had some tomatoes and a shiitake vinaigrette.

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Last night for Meatless Monday I made these stuffed bell peppers. I do want to apologize to my brother-in-law. You see, he was in town and stopped by for dinner. My sister is a vegetarian (well, she will eat some seafood) which basically makes him one when he eats at home. In the past I would treat him to a big honking piece of meat since he doesn’t eat that at home. He just happened to be in during Meatless Monday. Sure, I could have made this week Meatless Tuesday, but that just doesn’t sound quite right. Sorry Dave. I did dig on that wine you brought over though.

To start, I made the stuffing. I took a medium onion and sliced it. That got sautéed in olive oil with three minced garlic cloves. After a few minutes I added a zucchini that I diced as well as a handful of sliced cremini mushrooms. I let that all cook for a few minutes and then added a 14oz can of crushed tomatoes. I let that all simmer at a low boil for about 15 minutes to thicken up the sauce, then I added a drained can of Italian brown beans as well as a bunch of chopped basil. I set all of that aside.

Meanwhile, I took 4 large yellow bell peppers and halved them. I scooped out the seeds and the white pith and then dropped them in boiling water for just a few minutes. I didn’t want to cook them, just get them slightly pliable.

Then I laid the peppers on a large baking sheet and stuffed them with the tomato sauce mixture. I covered it all with foil and cooked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Then I took them out and sprinkled some freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano over the tops and put them back in, uncovered, for another 10 minutes just until the cheese and the edges of the peppers started to brown a little.

I served them with a mixed green salad with cherry tomatoes and shiitake vinaigrette as well as white rice. I sprinkled some fresh basil and more cheese on top. Dave brought over some kick ass white wines. It was a good Meatless Monday.

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A good buddy of mine, Jason Meyer, gave us a couple of tables he made a while back. He’s a very talented sculptor/furniture maker/badass dancer that I used to work with at Bin36 back in the day. In order to show gratitude Yuki and I invited he and his fiancée over for dinner the other night. We figured that he gave us something that he made so we should do the same.

We started off with some Lemongrass Corn Soup with Avocado garnish. The soup was actually purchased and I didn’t make it (shhh, don’t tell Jason). It did taste exactly like something I would make though. Had I made it I would have simmered some corn and onion in vegetable stock with some lemongrass until the kernels were nice and soft. Then I would have discarded the lemongrass and blended the rest of the ingredients until smooth and strained it back into the pot. A little salt and pepper and there you go. I did make the rest of the meal. Well, that’s not entirely true as Yuki did some of it.

Then I served a simple salad. Mixed greens with cherry tomatoes and a sesame vinaigrette. Vinaigrettes are easy to make. This one had soy sauce, sesame oil, a touch of rice wine vinegar, salt, and pepper.

Next was the main course. I went to Olympic Meats for some good strip steaks. The steaks were pan-fried in nothing but olive oil. No salt or pepper added. Once I got a nice seer on each side and they were cooked about medium rare or so I put them on plate to rest. While they were resting I doused them with a sauce I had made. The sauce consisted of grated ginger and garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and pepper. No salt since there was plenty of soy. I made the sauce way in advance to let the rawness of the ginger and garlic mellow out a little in the lime juice. By pouring it on the steaks while they rested it allowed the flavors infuse into the meat and keep them nice and juicy. I served the steaks on top of baby spinach with roasted yellow peppers and shiitake.

On the side was some hijiki rice that Yuki made. In the rice cooker she added to the rice some diced carrot, hijiki seaweed, cooking sake, soy, and konbu dashi. It’s one of my favorites as hijiki adds a wonderful flavor to almost anything. Plus, it’s extremely healthy as most seaweed is.

For dessert I made some Mexican Chocolate Pots de Cremes. What better to follow Asian flavors than Mexican chocolate? I made these the day before to let them set in the fridge overnight. I used egg yolks, heavy cream, whole milk, Mexican chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate. You first have to heat the cream and milk without boiling it, just a slow simmer for a few minutes. Then you incorporate the egg yolks, beaten, very slowly constantly mixing so that the eggs don’t scramble. Once it’s thick enough to coat the back of the spoon add the chocolates in pieces so that they melt completely. Once you have a nice smooth thick custard pour it into your serving dishes, cover, and chill for at least 4 hours and preferably overnight. To serve, I sliced some strawberries and added a little whipped cream.

Jason brought a bottle of Prosecco that we enjoyed with the soup and salad. After that we opened up a special bottle of Sake that we brought back from our last trip to Japan. Everything worked out extremely well. Portions were perfectly sized as none of us were hungry afterwords yet we weren’t stuffed either. I hope they enjoyed because it would be a disaster if I had to make them a table!

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Meatless Monday continues. I went back to my days in Egypt for last night’s dinner. In Dahab, as in many parts of Egypt, they eat a dish called Koshary as a quick lunch. It’s usually sold from street vendors as opposed to restaurants. In Dahab, my dive shop was on the far north end of the bay. The Koshary guy, much like Chicago’s ice cream bike guys, came from the north so I always got the freshest Koshary. Besides Koshary, he also sold rice pudding, but I’d usually wait and get that for dessert as it was sweeter.

Koshary is a bowl filled with crazy goodness. Rice on the bottom, spaghetti noodles on top of that, lentils on top of that, all covered with spicy tomato sauce, then topped with chickpeas, and finally garnished with fried onions. All for about 30 cents ( in Egypt, it cost about $2.00 per serving last night).

I didn’t make a pure Koshary though. First thing I did was dice up a medium eggplant and let it sit in a colander with some salt for about a half hour. Then I rinsed it and dried it. This takes away some of the fruit’s bitterness. After that I sauted a chopped onion in some olive oil for about 4 minutes with a few chopped garlic cloves. I ground up about a teaspoon of coriander seeds with my pestle and mortar and added that along with about a teaspoon each of cumin and cinnamon. Then I added the eggplant chunks and let them cook for about 5 more minutes. I dumped in a 28 0z can of chopped tomatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper, then let simmer over a medium heat for about 15 minutes. After that I added a can of chickpeas and let everything simmer for another 15 minutes so that the tomato juices would reduce down to a thicker stew.

While the juices were reducing I friend a thinly sliced onion in extremely hot oil with some sliced garlic. The garlic burns quickly, but as long as you don’t eat it the aroma infuses the onion. You don’t want to burn the onion, but you want a nice crisp texture. Once their cooked set them aside on a small plate.

To serve, instead of throwing everything in a bowl, I put the rice on the side and ladled the stew next to it. I garnished it with the fried onions and some cilantro and had a mixed green salad along side.

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