Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

_MG_1545

While I have a healthy obsession with spinach and cheese, palak paneer tends to be a dish that often looks better on the menu than it tastes on most restaurants’ plates. I found myself sloshing through the murky and over-pureed sauce to pick out the few cubes of paneer cheese oh so generously bestowed by the chef. I fixed these problems at home and found a way to make a palak paneer with a vibrant green sauce that still says “spinach.” The amped up flavor will excite your palate. And most of all, you won’t be searching for the cheese… well, at least not until you’ve finished it all.

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (Indian spice mix)
  • 1-2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 11 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese spread/ plain yogurt (optional)
  • 3 ounces of heavy cream
  • 5 ounces low-sodium paneer, cubed

Directions

In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in enough butter to coat the bottom of the pot and a drizzle of olive oil. Add a sizeable pinch of salt and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the garlic, the garam masala, a shake or two of cinnamon and the ginger paste. Continue to cook while you make the spinach.

Heat a large sauté pan on high and coat with some water. Add the spinach and salt to taste. Cook down until the spinach is soft yet still bright green. In a blender or food processor, purée half the spinach from your pot. Add the purée to the onions.

Incorporate the goat cheese spread/yogurt (optional) and the cream until you are happy with the consistency and richness. It should be thick but not too chunky. Cook with paneer and salt to taste.

Read Full Post »

Photo Credit: Scott Figatner 

Originally published in The GW Hatchet

A fall-themed potluck is always fulfilling. Perhaps, it’s the anticipation of brisk air, amber leaves, cups of tea and pajama pants. Most of all, it’s the beauty of preparing a meal with your friends, eating and drinking until you wonder why your jeans always shrink so erratically. I made pappardelle, thick pasta ribbons, with a rich sauce of butternut squash and sage, topped with dollops of ricotta cheese and candied pecans. Warm and hearty, it’s the perfect dish to fuel yourself during the fall… or at the very least until dessert.

 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 medium-size butternut squash
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons butter
  • Sage leaves, chopped
  • Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • Apple juice or water
  • Honey
  • Pappardelle pasta
  • Pecans
  • Sugar
  • Ricotta cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°

2. Peel the squash, cut it in half and remove the pulp and seeds with a spoon. Wash and dry the seeds and reserve. Chop the squash into 1-inch pieces. Coat lightly in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and spread evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 20-30 minutes, turning once, or until fork tender.

3. In a blender or food processor, purée the squash with a drizzle of olive oil until smooth. In a pan, sauté the garlic and shallots in butter and add the purée. Add the sage, the parmesan cheese and salt, thinning it out to the desired consistency with either apple juice or water. Add a drizzle of honey until it’s just a tad sweet.

4. Put a liberally-salted pot of water up to boil. Lightly coat the seeds with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt. Roast until browned and audibly crunchy (cooks excuse to taste one).

5. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook for 6-8 minutes or until al dente. Strain and add to the sauce, readjusting sauce consistency.

6. For the candied pecans, simply pan cook them with butter, salt and loads of sugar. They do burn easily. Cool and reserve outside the pan.

7. Top the pasta with the candied pecans, toasted squash seeds, clumps of ricotta cheese and more sage.

 

Read Full Post »

On a hot, summer day a mango salsa is the perfect refreshing snack. The tanginess of the tomatillos makes a good backdrop behind the sweet mangos while the char from the grill adds a welcomed complexity. Honey and lime round out the flavors, while tempering the heat of the jalapeño—which I tend not to go easy on.

Directions:

  • Peel two mangos, remove the pits, chop and mix with diced red onion. Add a generous amount of lime juice. Grill one ear of corn, half a jalapeño and the tomatillos (with the husks on), turning them until they are charred and soft. Remove the husks and stems and pulse in the blender with a drizzle of olive oil, one chopped garlic clove and jalapeño to taste (remove the seeds and membranes for a gentler heat).
  • When it has cooled, mix with the mangos and add salt, more lime and a healthy drizzle of honey. Remove the corn kernels and mix in. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips. My favorite brand is Xochitl totopos de maíz sold in a large paper bag. Chopped scallions make a pretty garnish.

Read Full Post »

A thai curry is a great way to make use of fresh vegetables and impress people with an exotic dish. Although curries may sound daunting, they are no more difficult than a standard stew. Coconut milk is a rich, dairy-free and forgiving backdrop to a spectrum of flavors. I cut its richness with lime juice, contrast the heat of the red curry paste with some light brown sugar and use turmeric and curry powder for a warm, yellow color. Since the vegetables are pre-steamed, you can spend more time eating than cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 handfuls of diced carrots
  • 3 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 2-3 large rotisserie/leftover chicken breasts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 large red or white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15.5 oz. can of garbanzos/chickpeas, washed well
  • 2 13.5 oz. cans of coconut milk
  • 2 limes, rolled and halved
        Spices:
  • 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon thai seasoning mix (includes things like dried lemongrass, garlic, ginger and mint)
Directions:
1. Steam broccoli and carrots until tender, keeping in mind that they will cook longer in the sauce. Steam potatoes or poke them with a fork and microwave until tender. With leftover rotisserie chicken, take off the skin and bones and chop into cubes.
2. Over medium heat, drizzle olive oil in a pan and sauté onion and garlic with salt until translucent. Add chickpeas, steamed broccoli, carrots potatoes and chicken.
 ♦
3. Stir in red curry paste until dissolved and add yellow curry powder, ground cumin, coriander, chili powder, turmeric, salt, light brown sugar and thai seasoning mix. Add the juice of two limes and the peas.
4. Simmer for a bit and turn the heat off. Allow to rest for about 1 hour in order to marry the flavors. Reheat and serve over your favorite rice.

Read Full Post »

Stop mashing, baking and frying your potatoes and experiment with a classic Spanish tapa, patatas alioli. Spaniards drool over these tender potatoes covered in a smooth and rich mayo-like sauce made by emulsifying garlic and olive oil. Eggs give it extra body and a richness which, when cut by a bit of acid, is delicious. Olive oil, garlic and potatoes just might be Spain’s culinary holy trinity. Make them once and you’ll be eating them religiously.

Ingredients:

  •  6-7 small Potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced (how much do you like garlic)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

1. Fill a large pot with cold water and bring it to a boil with the skin-on potatoes. Lower the heat enough to stop the boiling and cook until fork tender, approximately 20 minutes.

2. While they cook, prepare the sauce. In a bowl using a whisk, electric hand mixer or immersion blender, mix the eggs, garlic, salt and the vinegar or lemon. The acid serves to stabilize the emulsified sauce’s texture by preventing protein coagulation and, therefore, separation. It also cuts through the richness of the olive oil from a flavor standpoint.

3. Keep the mixer on and add a steady stream of olive oil, slowly at first, until you reach a consistency that is thinner than a store-bought mayonnaise, yet still has body.

4. Peel the potatoes with the back of a pairing knife and cut into bite-size pieces. Cool to room temperature. If you do not cool them, the potatoes will soak up too much sauce and become overly soft. If you cool them too much, they will not soak up any flavor. Mix with the alioli and garnish with the parsley.

Note: While Salmonella does not grow in acidic environments, the egg yolks in this recipe are raw, so use proper caution if it is of concern in your area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

         The Tortilla de Patatas is integral to Spain’s culinary culture. To this day, the tortilla makes for a quick, cheap, filling, and delicious meal. You can go all over Spain, to local dives or upscale restaurants and, although you will find a myriad of variations served hot, cold, on a toothpick, and between bread, you will not find the best. Ask any Spaniard where to find the best tortilla and he/she will say his mother’s or his grandmother’s house.

My host mother makes a perfect tortilla: tender and moist without being runny, sweet from the onions, and smooth from the olive oil, yet not overly greasy. Although it is not eaten for breakfast in Spain, I think it beats two eggs over-easy any day of the week.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 3 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 1 medium-size onion
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt

Directions:

1. Fill a large pan with sloped sides halfway with olive oil. Cut the onion into thin slices while preheating the oil on medium heat. Add the onions to the oil. They should bubble, but not furiously for about 3 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, with the large opening side of a cheese grater, slice potatoes into thin discs. Add them to the onions and allow to cook, uncovered, for approximately 30 minutes, or until tender.

3. Whisk the eggs and add a few generous pinches of salt. My host mother does it by eye, so I cannot give an exact measurement. Using a spider or some other tool, drain off excess oil from the potatoes and onions and reserve for future cooking. Incorporate them into the eggs.

4. When the pan is empty of all oil, add enough back to coat the pan. Over medium heat, return the mixture to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Using a large plate facedown over the pan, invert the whole thing so that the eggs end up on the plate. It may help to slightly wet the plate to prevent sticking. Transfer back to the pan, with a dash more oil to finish cooking for the same time. It does not have to be a flawless.

5. Adjust the shape while in the pan with a wooden spoon, tucking in the egg off the sides of the pan. Slide it off and eat it hot or at room temperature.

Read Full Post »

Tabbouleh

Parsley isn’t just a pretty garnish; it’s the basis for the Middle Eastern salad Tabbouleh. My Lebanese friend taught me this recipe, which is both simple and inexpensive. It’s also extremely nutritious and has been a staple of the Mediterranean diet for many centuries. I served the extremely addictive dish with lettuce leaves.

Ingredients:

Half cup of bulgur
4 bunches Italian flat-leaf parsley, de-stemmed
1 bunch mint, de-stemmed
5 large tomatoes
4 lemons, juiced
Olive oil
Salt
Romaine lettuce leaves

Directions:

Soak the bulgur until it is tender and thoroughly drain the excess water. Meanwhile, finely chop the parsley and mint leaves. It helps to grab a bunch of leaves with your fingers and cut them all at once. Slice the tomatoes into quarter-inch discs and make small cubes out of each slice.

Gently mix the parsley, mint, lemon juice and bulgur in a large bowl. Drizzle in olive oil and salt generously. Allow the flavors to marry in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour. Serve with romaine lettuce leaves or pita chips.

Read Full Post »

Shakshuka

When we think of breakfast, we usually don’t imagine a dish of tomatoes, peppers and onions slowly simmered with spices and gently poached fresh eggs. Yet, shakshuka is a breakfast staple in the Maghrebian regions of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Israel. In Tamazight, shakshouka means “a mixture.” When my roommate tried the dish in Israel, he was overcome by the intensity of the spices and said it was the best breakfast he had ever had. The good news is that shakshuka is much easier to make than it is to say.

Ingredients:

• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 yellow onion, diced
• 4 medium red bell peppers, diced
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes with juices
• 1 tablespoons smoked paprika or 4 teaspoons of regular paprika
• Salt, turmeric, cumin, fresh black pepper and Ancho Chili powder to taste
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
• 4 large eggs
• Pita bread or baguette, for serving

Directions:

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the red bell peppers, salt and pepper. Stir in tomato paste and garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and season with more salt, cumin, turmeric, paprika and ancho chili powder.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until thick and concentrated, stirring occasionally. For this recipe, you will have extra sauce that you can save for another meal.

Stir in half of the parsley and break the eggs over the tomatoes. Cover with a lid and continue to cook for about seven to eight minutes until the eggs are set. Sprinkle the remaining parsley and serve immediately with pita bread or baguette. Serve in the pan you cooked it in.

Read Full Post »

This is my version of a Navratan Korma, which is an Indian curry dish. Navratan means nine gems and this usually refers to the vegetables, fruits, or nuts in the curry. I cut down on the fat—which is why the color is a pale orange instead of a bright yellow—, but not the the flavor and depth of this vegetarian dish.

 

Ingredients:

  • very fresh tomatoes (enough to fill a whole sheet pan when cut)
  • olive oil or wegmans basting oil
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3/4 of a 16  oz. can 0f coconut milk
  • 4-5 tablespoons plain, greek yogurt
  • 1 zucchini, cut into cubes
  • 1 squash, cut into cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, pepper, turmeric
  • a handful carrots, chopped
  • broccoli (similar amount)
  • ground coriander (few pinches)
  • garam masala (few pinches)
  • red curry powder (few pinches) It’s spicy
  • a handful of whole, unsalted cashews
  • 3 small waxy potatoes
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk (whatever fat content you like)
  • 1 cup of peas
1. Cut the tomatoes (large-bite size) and scatter, filling an entire foiled sheet pan. Roast them on 400º for about 30 minutes with olive oil and seasonings (I used a Wegmans basting oil blend). In a blender or food processor, purée.
2. Roast the cauliflower in the same manner, but only for about 15 minutes.
3. Cook the tomato sauce in a pot with the coconut milk. Add the greek yogurt and stir until homogenous.
4. Sauté the zucchini and squash in olive oil with salt, pepper, minced garlic, and two pinches of turmeric and par-cook the broccoli  and carrots however you choose. I parboiled the carrots until just cooked through and used frozen broccoli. Add all these vegetables to the pot.
5. Add the spices to the curry: turmeric, ground coriander, garam masala, and red curry powder. Salt and continue to season to taste. Add the cashews. Microwave the potatoes until fork tender and cut into bite-size pieces, adding them to the curry.
6. Add the cream or milk . You can adjust richness by adding more coconut milk, cream, or yogurt. Although I didn’t, butter would be a good addition since most recipes call for ghee. When the consistency is perfect, cover the pot, If it reduces too much, add a bit of water.
7. Add half of the peas. Serve over basmati rice (add the remaining peas to this). Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Read Full Post »

This twist on the traditional quesadilla makes for a great snack. My sister was thinking of what to eat for about 30 minutes, so I just made her this so she’d stop complaining. She offered to make the quesadilla and took out the peanut butter. That’s when I told her firmly that I would be cooking it. I think she was glad I did.
  1. Spread a light coating of store-bought pesto on a flour tortilla.
  2. Scatter on ripped pieces of sliced jarlsberg cheese.
  3. Thinly slice tomatoes and cut into half-moons. Use any tomato you like. I used a really sweet golf-ball shaped variety with no label (from the farmer’s market). Distribute these on as well.
  4. Top with lots of hand-torn fresh basil, a rivulet of olive oil and a few drips of lemon juice.
  5. Top with the other tortilla
  6. Heat a pan over medium heat and coat with melted butter. Cook the quesadilla until buttery golden and crispy on the bottom. Press lightly. Slide off onto a plate.
  7. Add more butter to the pan and cook the other side of the quesadilla. If the pan seems to hot, turn it down a bit. Press lightly and remove when the tortilla is golden and crispy and the cheese is melted. You can use a spatula or place an upside-down plate over the pan and invert the whole thing.

Read Full Post »

Try something other than your usual pasta and meat sauce. Pesto takes little cooking to make and is very healthy and light. Add whatever vegetables you feel like. You can also experiment with different types of nuts; pine nuts are traditional, but walnuts are great and even pistachios could work. You won’t miss meat at all!

Ingredients:

Pesto Sauce

  • Basil (2 cups, almost filling a small food processor)
  • Walnut pieces (a palm full)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese (a palm full)
  • Artichoke hearts (A few pieces from a jar)
  • Olive Oil (until desired consistency is reached) I used thyme-infused oil that I made.
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper
♦ Make extra pesto and use as a condiment for sandwiches, a marinade for steak, or mix with mayo and slather on salmon.
Pasta and Veggies
  • 2 small yellow squashes cut into chunks
  • 1 ear of corn, boiled and de-kerneled
  • Cannellini beans (White Kidney)

Sauté the squash in olive oil with salt, pepper and dried oregano. When the squash has softened, add the corn, spinach, and Cannellini beans and re-season. Boil Pasta until al dente. A few minutes before it is done, start the pesto sauce. In a food processor, grind the pesto ingredients, adding olive oil gradually. The basil should not be chunky, but over-blending will affect the pesto color.

Strain the pasta and mix with the pesto and vegetables. Fold in freshly grated parmesan cheese while it’s warm. Garnish with parmesan ribbons, basil chiffonade, and toasted walnut pieces.

Read Full Post »

Ratatouille is a French dish of stewed vegetables in a rustic tomato sauce. It originally was a peasant’s dish, so it’s perfect for college students. Mine features the flavors of fresh garlic and oregano.

Ingredients:

  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 squashes
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 4 red potatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • garlic powder

1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Drizzle some olive oil and add half of the onion, diced, and the garlic, minced. You should hear a pleasing, sizzle sound. Season with salt and fresh black pepper. When the onions are translucent, add the can of tomatoes.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Thinly slice the potatoes and mix, in a bowl, with olve oil, salt, pepper, dried thyme, and some chopped oregano. Spread out on a baking sheet and place in oven. Flip once, so they don’t stick, and remove when tender.

3. Simultaneously, slice zucchini and squash in a similar fashion and follow the same preparation techniques. These will cook much faster in the oven. Remove when soft, but not mushy.

4. De-stem the oregano and smack it with the back of your chef’s knife (this is called bruising). If you don’t have one, release the aromatic oils by rubbing the oregano in your hands and roughly chop it. Add a few pinches to the sauce. Pour a splash or two of balsamic vinegar, a pinch of red pepper flakes, some onion powder, and some garlic powder. Salt and pepper to taste.

5. When the sauce becomes thick, mix in the potatoes and cover with zucchini and squash—this is where you can get fancy. You can do this in a baking dish or casserole. I just threw my pan in the oven (It’s microwave safe).  Reheat before service.

Easy. Tasty. Healthy. Ratatouille.

Read Full Post »

My friends and I had a great time preparing this meal for a birthday party. Quesadillas are cheap and satisfying, guacamole in the shell is always a crowd-pleaser, and Pico de Gallo is simple to make and much healthier than store-bought salsa. I’ll also show you how to liven up black beans and rice. But don’t fret; although there are many components to this feast, any gringo can make it.

This recipe easily feeds 6 people:

Ingredients: Make due with what you have. These are suggestions, not requirements

6 avocados, 2 large onions, 2 green peppers, 5 tomatoes, 4 limes, two packages of tortillas, 2 packages of Mexican cheese, olive oil, 4 cups of rice, 1 can of black beans. OPTIONAL: jalopeños, hot sauce, cilantro.

Pico de Gallo Piquante

Cop tomatoes, green peppers, and white onions. Mix with lots of lime juice and some zest if you can (definitely invest in a microplane). Add minced garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Let flavors merry in the fridge until service.

Rice Rico

Follow the directions on the bag or box. I had leftover onions and sautéed them with paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. This went into the rice, along with extra pico de gallo. Use any extra lime in the rice as well.

Guacamole

Slice each avocado, vertically, all the way around the pit. Pull apart and use a knife to dislodge the pit.  Slice cross-hatches in the avocado, without breaking the skin and spoon into a large bowl. Mix in chopped tomatoes, red or white onion, minced garlic, and lime juice. I also added lime zest and a tad of olive oil for smoothness. Season well with salt and pepper. Add diced jalopeño or hot sauce for heat or some cilantro for a fresh flavor. Serve in the empty avocado shells.

Quesadillas de Calidad

Sauté onions and peppers—seasoned with salt, pepper— for filling. Fill half a tortilla with shredded Mexican cheese, top with veggies, and fold in half. I used a cast-iron grill pan, but you can also cook in a nonstick, buttered skillet. If you are making many quesadillas, finish them in the oven, so they are all hot at the same time.

 

Black Beans Buenos

In olive oil, sauté diced white onions, seasoned with salt and pepper. Add minced garlic. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the beans and simmer.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a staple grain in South American cuisine; the ancient Incas even called it “the mother grain”. Its high protein content and delicate flavor make it nutritious and versatile. My roommate and I cooked this together and we thought it was good enough to eat as a meal by itself.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Quinoa
  • 1 package of dried cranberries, golden raisins, and blueberries. (Trader Joe’s)
  • Olive oil
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 orange
  • 1 head of garlic
  • chopped basil
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

Bring 2 cups of quinoa with 4 cups water to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the grains soak up all of the water. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and mix in the dried fruit. Also add chopped, sautéed garlic. Mix in the lemon juice, orange zest, salt, pepper, chopped basil, and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Also add the garbanzos. Immediately stop the cooking by transferring the quinoa to the fridge. Allow the quinoa to sit for a few hours. Add chopped avocados before serving.The time is necessary for the quinoa to absorb the flavors. Leftovers will be even sweeter.

For such a mild grain, this dish is super flavorful. The quinoa really absorbs the sweetness of the fruit and the orange zest adds a lot of fruity flavor. The avocado, lemon, basil, and garlic are great counterpoints to the sweetness. The chickpeas add an extra textural dimension too.

Read Full Post »



My roommate Jordan and I made something simple for dinner. We roasted asparagus, green peppers, onions, zucchini and corn with salt, pepper, and fruity olive oil. Try 375º until the onions just start to brown. Our grilled cheese was made with muenster and shredded mozzarella cheese. We heated a grill pan to medium-high and buttered the bread. We grilled one slice on both sides to make a grilled cheese that was impossible crunchy. The two cheeses melted together in texture and flavor and the vegetables were perfectly seasoned and deliciously simple. It beats the cafeteria!

Read Full Post »

Since you are what you eat, why not be the best. This pizza will make your neighbors flock to your door just to take a whiff of the tantalizing aroma. I don’t know what’s more pleasing, the audibly crunchy crust or the silky, melted cheese on top. I figured, why not take something usually left plain—the crust, and boost the flavor by adding fresh rosemary and roasted garlic. Basil adds a lemony aroma and the feta cheese adds a briny punch of flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Trader Joe’s pizza dough
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • feta cheese (optional)
  • fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • flour
  • salt, pepper

(All can be found at Trader Joe’s)

1. Allow the dough to come to room temperature. In the meantime, heat the oven to 425º. Cut off the top of the wider end of the garlic head, revealing all the garlic cloves. Tightly wrap in aluminum foil with some olive oil and salt. Roast for 15 minutes. When the garlic is cool, you can squeeze out the cloves.

2. Flour the working surface as well as the dough. Flatten the dough with your hands or a rolling pin—I used an olive oil bottle. Heck, if you want to have some fun, try throwing it in the air like the pros. Roughly chop the rosemary and garlic and press them into the pizza crust with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Bake the crust on a flowered pizza pan or baking sheet for 6-7 minutes.

3. Top the crust with a little tomato sauce, chopped basil, tomato slices, lots of shredded cheese, more tomato slices, and feta cheese crumbles, respectively. Bake until the cheese is melted and begins to brown. If you have a crappy GW oven, you may need to rotate the pie to promote even cooking. Scatter freshly ripped basil leaves and conclude with a drizzle of olive oil.

Good pizza is a simple proportion: less box, more flavor.

Read Full Post »

This was the first meal that Jordan and I made at school this semester. All the ingredients are from Trader Joes.

Ingredients:

  • lemons
  • grapeseed oil
  • feta cheese
  • fresh figs
  • balsamic vinegar
  • honey
  • rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • romaine
  • mache (lamb’s lettuce)
  • English (seedless) cucumbers
  • apples
  • almonds

1. Chop 1/2 the figs and, over medium heat, reduce with some water, lemon zest, lemon juice, and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Really try to macerate the fruit. Sweeten with a drizzle of honey. When it is starting to thicken, strain the figs while using a wooden spoon to push the liquid through.

2. Whisk in the grapeseed oil. Add 2 cloves of chopped garlic and a sprig of rosemary, chopped. Season with a little salt and pepper and taste. You can add more lemon, balsamic vinegar, or honey at this stage.

3. After an hour or two, strain out the rosemary and garlic. Roughly chop the Romaine and pull apart some of the mache leaves. Chop the cucumbers and apples and add them before serving. Chop almonds and toast, in a pan, until fragrant. Mix in the dressing and top with feta cheese.

Sorry, no picture. It was eaten way to fast—a combination of good food and starving students.

Read Full Post »

Please, do yourself a favor and never by a jar of store-bought pickles again. All of your favorite varieties can be made at home—and I’ll let you in on a little secret: they’re cheaper, healthier, and tastier. My pickles take 5 minutes to make and have almost no calories. Plus, cucumbers are in season and fresher than ever.

Ingredients:

  • 1 jar
  • water
  • pickling spice
  • English Cucumber (“seedless”)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • splash white vinegar

Put the ingredients into a clean jar. You only need a small amount of the pickling spice (1 to 2 shakes or a half teaspoon at the most). It is important that you fill the jar to the top with water, so there is no room for air. After 24 hours, you have a pickle. I’m partial to more of a half-sour taste. If you like ’em sharp and acidic, go for two days or more.

My mom said it was the best pickle she’s ever eaten and my cousin’s fiancé said it was great and I can’t go back to college. My dad mentioned Iron Chef. Yet I doubt anybody’s beaten Bobby Flay with a pickle. I know what you’re thinking: they’re your family, of course they’re gonna compliment your food. Give it a try. You decide. When all the pickles are consumed–which won’t be too long—you can reuse the pickling liquid. Next, I’ll try pickling peppers, carrots, and asparagus. Heck, I’ll even give mangos a try.

Read Full Post »

This is the kind of breakfast that you drink a Mimosa with; the kind of breakfast that Daniel Boulud makes at home in the morning. I want to tell you what’s in it now, but you’re going to have to read the recipe.

Ingredients (for 1):

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sour cream or creme fraiche
  • 1 brown tomatoes (I used Kumato)
  • feta cheese crumbles
  • black truffle butter—its street name is “pleasure”
  • mache (lamb’s lettuce)
  • Wegman’s basting oil with grapeseed oil, canola oil, thyme, parsley, and garlic
  • 1 slice of toast

1. Make a double boiler by boiling water in a saucepan and placing a glass bowl on top—make sure the bowl’s bottom does not touch the water. Whisk in the eggs with the sour cream or creme fraiche. Add sea salt and black pepper. Whisk often.

2. Toast some bread. Use anything on hand. Slather with black truffle butter. Continue whisking the eggs—it takes a while. I placed a lid on the bowl, a few times to speed up the process. The eggs are done when the curds form and they are moist, but not oozy. They should be a little more stable than cottage cheese, yet more custard-like than your usual eggs.

3. Spoon eggs onto the bread along with the thin slices of brown tomato (feel free to use any good quality tomato). Drizzle the oil around the plate and on the tomatoes and lettuce garnish. Top with feta cheese crumbles and some extra Crème Fraîche or what you will. Savor the pleasures of what breakfast was meant to be: unadulterated by Bisquick, Aunt Jemima, or hash browns.

Read Full Post »

I decided to make a strawberry dressing for a salad. If you want to make the salad, here are the ingredients:

Salad Ingredients: serve chopped or unrefined

  • chopped romaine
  • sliced strawberries
  • chopped walnuts, toasted (heat in pan until fragrant)
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • thin slices of red onion
  • sliced celery

Dressing Ingredients: Be sure to taste and adjust

  • strawberries (5/10)
  • honey (2/10)
  • olive oil (3/10)
  • lime juice (1/10)
  • splash of white vinegar optional
  • sprinkle of salt

This is a very—I won’t say pretty—colorful dressing. It’s nice to have something on the sweeter side instead of an overly pungent vinaigrette. I really enjoyed the alfalfa sprouts too. It’s good to have a salad dressing that’s not Thousand island or made of a thousand ingredients.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »