serinde: (food)
I am somewhat covered in bees this week. It's mostly not start-of-semester crap, strange to say, but other things that are all landing at the same time; and I am never at my mental/emotional best when I can't exercise, so this is of course going to end wonderfully for everyone. But Mom is coming to visit this weekend, and I need to clean house, and tonight was theoretically the only evening I can do it. At the same time, I am again overpressed with farm share bounty; but lo! there is a work barbecue/potluck tomorrow! My bees were making it difficult for me to even figure that out, and I lost some time to general lazy-ass nothing, but in the event it proved that the avoidance brain would rather cook than clean.

I am not posting the recipe process per usual, because I am using nearly straight-up recipes from Smitten Kitchen: Slaw Tartare, which cuts down on the strategic cabbage reserves as well as finishing up some cornichon and capers that have been sitting around forever[1], and Dimply Plum Cake (fnarr fnarr), because I have all of the plums in the world[2].

It is now 9:40 and I have not cleaned a blessed thing other than dishes. The whole place is covered in cat fur, I have pieces of a Bronzino sari dress and a half-done chemise all over the living room, the bathroom is a right mess, and the bed Mom is theoretically sleeping in may not in fact have sheets or pillows on it; I haven't checked. Oh, and I have no clean towels. Perhaps I shall buy new ones. ><

[1] Change from printed: I used half yogurt, half mayo.
[2] Change from printed: I used lemon olive oil in place of canola.
serinde: (food)
It's convenient to have your farm share land a couple days after you return from a two-week vacation and you have no food in the house. I had also possessed the wit to freeze some ground beef conveniently parceled into 3oz balls before I left; I put the Ziploc into the fridge when I left this morning, and lo! meat! Recipe so very loosely based on Smitten Kitchen's Lebanese stuffed eggplant that it might as well be something else.

1. Take two wee eggplants--one's 10-oz, one's 8-oz, well, how do we deal with this? The original desires you to take seriously tiny eggplants, hollow them whole, and stuff down. So let us do that to the smaller one, and cut & scoop out the larger one.

2. Chop some onion, start it sauteeing in a bit of oil. Should have used the lemon-infused oil. Hey ho. Also we are out of garlic. Poop. If you have some, add it here.

3. Chop up the scooped-out eggplant flesh, add to pan.

4. Liberally spice the mix with Auntie Arwen's Auspicious Omen curry blend, and also salt.

5. Add in the remaining portion of Sunday's rice, which is actually TJ's wild-rice-medley. It's probably about 1/2 c.

6. Add in about 6 oz. ground beef, which happens to be lean. Mix it all up and let the beef be a-browning.

7. When all is nicely integrated and cooked, lay the eggplants in the pan and fill them with glorp. There will be extra glorp. That's OK.

8. Add 1c. frozen chicken broth pucks. Realize that would have worked better without eggplant in pan. Take out the eggplant until the broth melts.

9. Re-add the eggplant.

10. Cover and let cook until the eggplant is fork-tender.

11. Remove one eggplant worth (reserving the 2nd for tomorrow), and blop 1/4 c. yogurt over top.


It needed more salt; rather a lot really. I think perhaps eggplant is one of those things that, like potatoes, soaks up salt? And I much regret my lack of garlic. But still, it is tasty and also very virtuous, leaving calorie allotments for plum cocktails.
serinde: (food)
In which the photo taken of our lobscouse for the Glorious First of June Aubrey-Maturin dinner is, I find, the first hit you get if you do a Google Image Search for lobscouse.
serinde: (food)
I remain overpressed with squash, and there's another box staring down the tunnel at me next week, so it behooved me to stir my stumps a bit. I'm kinda bored with roasting, though, so I was still looking for new and exciting options. I must tell you, I'm getting a lot of mileage out of Smitten Kitchen; the stuff there is generally good and -- bless her -- organized by vegetable. This recipe calls for being served over couscous, which I do have, but I don't feel like I need a starch whomp, so I ain't botherin'.

1. Start eviscerating a sugar pumpkin from its rind. OH RIGHT THIS IS WHY ROASTING THE SQUASH IS POPULAR. (The recipe calls for butternut, but let's be honest, most of the winter squashes are created equal.) After some cursing and wasteage, cut the flesh into chunks.
2. Chop a smallish onion and a few cloves of garlic.
3. Melt a tbsp. of butter and one of olive oil in the Dutch oven.
4. Get distracted by a naughty, naughty man on the phone.
5. Return to the kitchen. Oh dear. It is now a browned butter Moroccan stew. I am sure the Berbers had this problem sometimes. Sort of.
6. Skim the worst of the browned particulate matter off, then throw in the onions & garlic. Add some cumin, salt, pepper, and a cinnamon stick. Let that go for a bit.
7. Recipe calls for potato. There is no potato, but there is a sweet potato. We're all tubers here, amirite? Peel it and cut it into large dice.
8. Add the squash & potato to the pot, stir to coat with the spices, let it go a few minutes.
9. Add about 2c. chicken broth and a can of diced tomatoes.
10. Prepare to open the can of chickpeas. Watch in annoyance as the pull tab pulls without doing anything to the can itself.
11. Attack the chickpea can with a regular can opener. Well, that didn't work at all. Fortunately, we are equal to this task; call in the Swiss Army (or in this household, the Leatherman). THANK YOU.
12. Add drained chickpeas to pot, for fuck's sake.
13. Take the real saffron from the locked treasure vault, add three threads.
14. Bring the pot to a boil; turn down to simmer, cover, and let go until the hard things are soft (aheheh).

Results: Very fragrant and pleasant. One is meant to serve these with preserved lemons; and in the holiday season I had actually gotten an Imperial ass-ton of Meyer lemons, some of which were earmarked for experimenting thus, particularly after having read [ profile] caelfinn's article on same, but I never got the round tuit. Bah. Making do with plain yogurt.

There is one reason to serve over couscous, which is that it gives the broth something to soak into, but it's certainly not necessary.
serinde: (food)
Turnips are a rather fraught topic with me. I wouldn't eat them at all as a kid (except when Mom would sneak them into stew and say "no no, that's a potato"), and then, when I grew up and started having my own Thanksgiving dinners, [ profile] audiovile felt that it was not truly T-day unless there was mashed turnip on the table. And thus I was at much labor and headache to make this happen. And only he would ever eat it, and not much of it, at that. Grump.

But, turnips I have, and therefore I must do something with them. Another CSA-provided recipe, thus:

1. Chop 3/4 c. onion, start sauteing gently in 2 tsp. butter.
2. Recipe calls for leeks. I have no leeks. How about a clove of garlic?
3. Peel and chop a turnip of ~1.5 lbs. (Or around 4 cups.) Put it in the pot when the onions have come along nicely, and let them saute for a couple minutes too.
4. Recipe says 6 c. of broth AND 2 c. water. This seems utterly insane for something described as "creamy", particularly since there is still milk to be added at the end. Let us start with 2 c. chicken broth and 1 c. water.
5. Throw in some fresh thyme because, as Hillary said of Everest, "it was there".
6. Let simmer, covered, until turnips are tender.
7. Immersion blend the snot out of it. Yeah, 3 c. liquid was plenty.
8. Stir in 3/4 c. milk, grind in some pepper, and...seriously? There's no salt in the recipe? I don't think so.
9. Let all that simmer for a bit.

Taste test: Not bad. There is a slight sweetness to it that you do not get with potato. I'll leave that on the warm until lunch as well. It's very virtuous, too.

30 min. later: Oops. The fire wasn't completely off. Mmmm, curdled milk!
serinde: (food)
I am again overpressed with squash (not to mention other root vegetables), not having been home much in the last week or two to deal with the accumulation. So there will be some posts in the next few days.

Today's effort is loosely based on a recipe given out by the CSA, which is loosely based on something by Mark Bittman. I was a little dubious, but was in need of something I could take along as a side dish for lunches, so why the hell not.

1. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 c. cranberries, 3/4 c. orange juice, and 1 Tbsp of minced ginger. Simmer until the berries start a-burstin'.
2. Start peeling and eviscerating a squash. The original is for a butternut squash; I had a warty pumpkin, so used that. Be annoyed by the fact that it says "a squash", not "X lbs of squash" or "X cups of squash".
3. The berries have burst. Take the saucepan off the stove & stir in 3 Tbsp of oil and...
4. Realize you used up all the honey on the Xmas cake, so use 1 Tbsp of ginger syrup instead.
5. At this point you are supposed to be done with the squash. HA HA HA have these fucks never tried to peel a raw squash before? Go back to it. There is, by the bye, squash bits all over the kitchen at this juncture.
6. FINALLY. Whip out the food processor and enjoy that once a year when the shreddy wheel is the best thing you own.
7. Dump the shredded squash in a big bowl and add the dressing. Stir up real good.
8. Taste test. At this point it's a little disappointing; tastes like raw squash with some orange juice on it. Suspect that the annoyance in step 2 is to blame, and that we have too much squash to dressing--but even so, the other flavors in the dressing aren't really coming out, not even the ginger, which is pretty surprising. Need more sweet and less acrid.
9. Whomp in a quarter-cup of apricot preserves and maybe 1/3 c. of raisins. Yes, that helped a bit.
10. Hoping that a little sitting and blending will do the rest, bodge it into a glass bowl and put in the fridge for consumption at lunchtime.
11. Start making the creamy turnip soup (see next post).
serinde: (food)
I should be sewing, but instead I am cooking. BECAUSE STARVING IN THE STREETS etc. And also avoidance behavior.

Yesterday: Spiced Pumpkin Milkshake )

Bacon Bourbon Brownies )
Next I must find somewhat to do with a) the remaining roasted pumpkin, and b) the 3 lbs of praties. Don't say soup. I always make soup.
serinde: (food)
Dinner tonight is driven by three factors: 1) I am accumulating small winter squash at a rate of one per week, and I do not want to drown in them; 2) having just returned from a weekend away, there isn't much in stock beyond pantry items; 3) I'm tired and hungry and do not wish to faff around.

I found a recipe on teh intarwubs for simple squash + dessert: lop in half, rub one side with spicy and one side with sweet, and roast together. I couldn't quite leave it at that, of course.

1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) Lop squash in half, also flattening out the stupid spiky end bits that make them difficult to keep upright in the baking dish.
3) Pour a glass of the remaining sparkling GrĂ¼ner Veltliner, which admittedly has lost most of its sparkle. Oh hey, how many ounces are the champagne flutes? Measure it out. NO STOP IT FOCUS. (they're 3oz, by the way)
4) Brush each half with olive oil. Realize you meant to do the dessert half with butter. Oh well.
5) Mince about 1/4 of an apple fine, put in a small bowl.
6) What do we want in the dinner half? There's some goat brie. But no, that goes with fig butter. Put both in? No, that makes it too dessert-y. We also have regular goat cheese that has olives in it, that we haven't eaten because we hates the oliveses, yes, my precious. Maybe if we disguise it sufficiently it can be used up.
7) Peel & halve two cloves of garlic; add to dinner half.
8) Mince some onion, add to dinner half.
9) Take an herb rub that's made for lamb, rub liberally over dinner half, and toss the pile of allium with it. Sprinkle with salt.
10) Add some dried cranberries to the bowl of apple.
11) Look for brown sugar. How are we out of brown sugar? Grab maple sugar instead, toss fruit with that and some cinnamon.
12) Put all that in the dessert half, and dot with a little butter.
13) Bake for about 50 minutes. Add goat cheese to the dinner half as soon as the pan comes out, and let it glorp on in.

The success of this dinner is predicated, I think, on the fact that I made it while clad in nothing but diamond jewelry and a pearl tiara.
serinde: (Delirium)
I have been drifting and useless all afternoon (grieving is important, I know this, but I'm not sure that pacing around howling I WANT MY KITTY to the heavens is the best coping method), and anything I go for to do has a Ranger-shaped hole in it. Still, in the words of Watership Down, there is grass that must be eaten, pellets that must be chewed, and holes that must be dug, and more immediately, a chicken in the fridge that must be made. While it roasts, I mind me of a Whole Foods creation that Erin mentioned to me on sewing night; a salad of black beans, corn, and sweet potatoes. I have the latter two which also must be eaten, so let's go ahead and do that as long as we are forcing ourselves to motion.

1. Husk and start boiling two ears of corn.
2. Peel & dice two sweet potatoes.
3. Chop half a small red onion (maybe about 2oz).
4. Extract the corn from the pot. Put the sweet potatoes in the still-boiling water.
5. Open a can of black beans. Wonder why no cat has appeared demanding theoretical tuna.
6. Empty black beans into a bowl and add the onions thereto.
7. Cut the corn off the cob, add to bowl.
8. Pull chicken out of the oven. Wonder why no cat has appeared to do the chicken dance.
9. When the potatoes are fork-tender, drain & let cool.
10. Mix the juice of one lime, 2 T. olive oil, some cumin, and a little salt.
11. Add potatoes to bowl; mix everything up.
12. Add the dressing to the bowl; mix everything up.
13. Let sit for a bit while the chicken cools down.
14. Fix a small plate and make yourself eat it, because low blood sugar will not help anyone.

It is pretty good, but I think it'd be better chilled than room temperature.
serinde: (food)
I was overpressed with summer veg, and looked to see what you can make with eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, and thyme. And, Y HELO THAR! It's ratatouille! Which I have never actually had, in spite of loving the movie. (And that's not truly ratatouille either; it's a deconstructed idea of it; but never mind.) I spent some time looking up recipes from the usual authorities and said "...urk", but then found a few that were less fussy; also less good, I am sure, but I think it will be okay. I like glop. I will do the real thing sometime when a) I have people to impress and b) it's not a work night.

Stuff marked with a * are from my farm share.

0. Pour a glass of favorite chenin blanc/viognier blend.
1. Get a good glug of olive oil heating in the cast iron dutch oven.
2. Start to chop up a largeish onion*, and field a call from the beloved boy in the middle of it. Mournfully regret the unworkingness of Etymotic headphones as the stupid crappy Apple earbuds keep falling out onto the cutting board.
3. Add onion to pot. Smash up two (rather big) cloves of garlic*, and add thereto.
4. Take a pepper* of some kind--it is not a bell pepper, but it isn't a hot pepper either, though shaped like one; about 4 oz--and chop it and add thereto.
5. Start de-stalking thyme*. I love fresh thyme. I REALLY HATE destalking it. Get about 1 Tbsp on the onions, stir in, grump, leave the rest for later.
6. Chop 3 tomatoes* (about a pound and a half?) and add thereto.
7. Chop 1 eggplant* (about a pound) and add thereto.
8. Chop 1 zucchini* (about 12 oz.) and add thereto.
9. Gosh, this pot is getting awfully full...
10. But there is this freakishly large yellow squash gifted by a henchperson that's been staring at you for awhile. FINE. Chop up half of it (about 11oz) and add thereto.
11. There has been stirring during all of this. Now more. Add a lot of TJ's Flower Pepper, and the rest of the thyme, and some salt, and some basil.
12. It's now been cooking about 45 minutes from the start of onion. Cover and let simmer for a time; 1-2 hours, they say? We'll see how impatient I get.
13. Boil an ear of corn quick and eat it because HUNGRY NOW.
14. Watch "Ratatouille".

Edit, later: In future I would peel the yellow squash; the rind is still kinda hard (the zucchini and eggplant skins are nice). A little more salt, too. Though, they say that this is better after sitting a day, too, so let's see what it's like tomorrow.

Edit, again: Also, watching "Ratatouille" really makes me want to go to Paris.
serinde: (food)
Although I like a nice bit of roast chicken as much as the next carnivore, it's almost the least part of roasting a bird for me. It's about the golden-brown, warm-smelling grease I'm siphoning off to make gravy. It's about that crispy salty herbed bit of skin right at the top of the breastbone that I nip off and nibble on before I carve. It's about the scent of the carcass rendering slowly down to broth overnight. It's about looking at the juicy breast meat and seeing ginger chicken salad and cold chicken sammiches and who-knows-what-else.

And it's about taking all of those bits and making CHICKEN PIE later in the week.
serinde: (food)
I've gotten a fair amount of summer squash in the last couple of weeks. Some of it I chopped up and tossed with pasta and the previously-recorded garlic scape pesto (q.v.), but that didn't really put a dent. A few summers ago, I made a Nigella recipe of zucchini fritters, and they were fine, but awfully heavy for a spring dish if you ask me. So I turned to teh googles, and via Chowhound found a stuffed peppers recipe that might do; the moreso since one of the Chowhound commenters recommended throwing in some sausage, and lo! I also have turkey sausage from the green market that must be et!

0. Go to local store, which is an odd mixture of good yuppie chow (organic eggs, Q Tonic) and really shitty bodega (we will not speak of their produce). Be annoyed that they don't have the marinated feta. Get regular feta and a nice big pepper. Spend too much on the really good, pearl-sized Israeli couscous.
1. Start cooking about 1/2 c. of couscous.
2. Start frying about 1/2 lb. of sweet Italian turkey sausage.
3. Chop up about 1/4 c. of onion, and fry it in the pan with the sausage. Which is leaner than it seemed, so add a little olive oil.
4. Chop squash. Half a zucchini, and half a yellow squash? Maybe about a half pound all told? I did thin quarter-slices. Throw into pan when done.
5. Chop a nice-looking tomato (fnarr fnarr) from two weeks ago. Throw that in the pan too.
6. Yes, we have no fennel. Nor no oregano. How'd that happen? FINE. Put in cumin, coriander, flower pepper, salt. The sausage will carry the rest anyways.
7. It's looking kinda done. Turn the heat off.
8. Couscous is done. Put it in and mix it up.
9. It's too goddamn hot to roast a pepper. Put about a cup of the mixture into a ramekin and add maybe a Tbsp of crumbled feta.
10. Put ramekin in a not-very-hot oven just until the cheese is a little oogy.

It's really quite good. There is still lots of filling left, so I could stuff the pepper another evening if I'm so inclined. The bad news is, I still have a shit-ton of zucchini and yellow squash left.
serinde: (food)
Farm share started up this week (along with a disclaimer letter about how the weather this winter & spring was terrible for crops, so we are likely to be low on fruit, particularly stone fruits. FEH). Amongst the haul were "garlic scapes", which I wotted not of; they're the long stems and seed pods that grow out of your garlic clove. These being an esoteric item, they kindly included some suggested recipes, including two different ones for pesto. Said recipe requires leafy greens, and oh hey! here's a small head of lettuce.

I didn't manage to take the stuff home til Wednesday, and it was all looking rather sad, so last night I figured I had better get on the stick. I rinsed the lettuce and left it to dry...and then started sewing and forgot all about it until I got up to make coffee this morning and saw greenery staring at me accusingly. Whoops.

1. Roughly chop most of a wee head of lettuce, throw in food processor.
2. Trim the ends off 6 garlic scapes, throw them in.
3. Process the shit out of, yo.
4. The recipes have wildly varying amounts of olive oil. Hmm. Pour a cup's worth into the measuring cup, and dribble into the (running) processor in a fine stream.
5. Stop when it looks about right. (This was about 1/2 or maybe 2/3 of a cup.)
6. Actually, it's a little too oily. Throw in a couple more lettuce leaves and one more garlic scape.
7. Add salt and the TJ's "flower pepper" you've scarcely used. Process more.
8. Oh hey! There's still the tail end of a bag of pignoli in the cupboard! Dump it in! (Maybe 1/3 cup?)
9. It's good and processed and thick (oatmeal consistency, I'd say) (it maybe should be a little more liquid but I hate getting pesto everywhere; this will work better as a spread and that's fine). Debate adding grated Parmesan, which one recipe calls for and the other doesn't. Leave it out for now--if we put this on pasta we can add cheese then.
10. Put in container, put in fridge, hurriedly wash dishes.

I did the finger test and it's pretty good and pungent. I'll be interested to try it in a day or two and see if the sitting made a difference.
serinde: (food)
I was originally going to make a sweet potato bread pudding, but lack of bread. (Then again, I was also going to do my hand-wash, rearrange closet space, and take out the recycling.) The answer is clearly to make sweet potato bread.

I found many and many recipes on the intarwubs, but at the end chucked them all in and started working off Grandma's banana bread, which saw me through my college years (as well as generating all kinds of visits from people on my floor when they saw me walking back from the Hartley package room).

1. Set oven to 350. Butter and flour your loaf pan.
2. Cream half a stick of butter with 1/2 cup of sugar (I cut it down because I had put some sweet in the potatoes already).
3. Add in 2 eggs (upped it) and the cup of mashed sweet potatoes (which had been already cinnamoned and maple-syruped).
4. Combine 2 c. flour (I'm trying half white, half whole-wheat), 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, and salt ynogh.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl alternately with half a cup of milk (original uses 3 T. buttermilk, which I haven't).
6. If I had pecans, I would have added them here, but I don't, so I didn't.
7. Put in loaf pan, bake for an hour.

45 min to go yet. So maybe I'll get something useful accomplished tonight.
serinde: (food)
Tomato Soup
Tomato (1), Garlic (1), Leek (1), Salt Pile (1)

1. Wash and chop bundle o' greenmarket leeks. Leeks are hard to chop, and also hard to get clean, and also I really really need to take my knives to be professionally sharpened again.
2. Melt some butter in dutch oven. OH HEY I REMEMBERED TO USE THE POT THIS TIME
3. Still chopping leeks. Oops, the butter is browning. Turn that shit right down.
4. Chop a disturbingly large clove of garlic. Put that and leeks in pot and start to saute.
5. Crap. Forgot that we need to blanch tomatoes to peel them. Put a saucepan of water on to boil.
6. Put six Holland tomatoes in to blanch.
7. Haven't had afternoon snack. Eat handful of almonds. Start choking on dry almonds. The answer to this is clearly a cocktail!
8. Start noodling through PDT cocktail guide. Realize that this will end perilously. Quickly decide to try a May Daisy (brandy, chartreuse, lemon juice, simple syrup).
9. But why is all the brandy (almost) gone?
10. Hey idiot, there's stuff on the stove. Rush in to extract tomatoes, since blanching is supposed to be, y'know, about a minute. Have a Three Stooges moment trying to find colanders or slotted spoons or any goddamn thing.
11. In the middle of this, have the Time Warner robot call to confirm or deny tomorrow's technician appointment. Frantically punch keypad on iPhone while trying not to get tomato blerk everywhere.
12. Peel and chop tomatoes; add them to the rather over-browned leeks.
13. Add about 1.5 c. water, some bay leaves, your Salt Pile, pepper, and thyme.
14. Cover and let simmer for awhile.
15. Immersion blend a bit, but not to a complete homogenous pulp.
16. Stir in a bit of cream, because why not?
17. If you are ambitious, make a grilled cheese sandwich with herbed goat cheese. The rest of us will have a slice of toast spread with said cheese.

It's good; a little thin perhaps (unsurprisingly, as there's not much there there in the soup; no protein or starch to speak of), but flavorful. Goes poorly with the cocktail but well with a vinho verde that was opened last week when it was NINETY FUCKING DEGREES.
serinde: (food)
I didn't stop for groceries last night, which turned into a ride on the drama llama; for I got up this morning, and it is a long day ahead, and there are NO EGGS. Oh, the humanity! (Yes, I do eat other things for breakfast--I am particularly fond of Irish oatmeal--but I wasn't in the mood for that, and I don't have a toaster oven at present so cheese-on-toast is out, and yogurt & granola doesn't keep me going for long enough.)

In my head place, it is simpler to spend effort finding some random recipe on the intarwubs and tear the kitchen apart to make it than it is to a) just go up the block to get eggs or b) just go up the block to buy breakfast. We are not at home to Mister Logic, here. So! To the internetmobile!

I searched around mashed sweet potatoes, since I already have a surfeit, and believe it or not I found a fair amount of recipes. Most of which require eggs. -_- However, I did come across a vegan's sweet potato breakfast casserole! Vegan! No eggs! Huzzah! Sold! Now, the recipe has you cooking the oats in soy milk, then adding the cooked but not-yet-mashed potatoes in, so we're already off the rails...

1. Start 1/2 cup of steel-cut oats. Hope that this is roughly equivalent to 1/2 cup rolled oats.
2. Dig around for a 4-cup casserole or ramekin. Realize you only have 2x 8-cup entities. Sigh. Pick the narrower of the two.
3. When the oatmeal is done, glorp it into the casserole, and add 1.5 c. of last night's mashed sweet potatoes. Stir 'em up real good.
4. Recipe calls for banana and seeds you've never heard of and other weird vegan shit. Suff on that. Add a double-handful of dried cranberries and a handful of chopped-up crystallized ginger. Stir 'em up real good.
5. Prepare the pecan topping, only you have no pecans. Walnuts or brazil nuts? The walnuts are older, so use those. Chop up a handful and a half.
6. Recipe says to mix nuts with butter substitute and brown sugar and cinnamon. Use instead real butter, cinnamon, cardamom, and MAPLE sugar because we are some STUDLY KITCHEN BITCHES RIGHT HERE.
7. Sprinkle topping over casserole.
8. Put casserole in 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Make a note that it might be wise to pick up an oven thermometer, because who knows what temperature this is really at?
9. When done, go to put casserole under broiler for 2 minutes. Realize that the broiler is under the oven and full of stuff. Fuck that, and dish it up.

It is pretty good, though I expected it to become more solid, not less so; I can't imagine what it'd have been if I used all the soy milk they called for. To be honest, even with the oatmeal it isn't very breakfast-y to me--I would happily eat it for dessert--but it fills the corners.
serinde: (food)
I am starting to surface from the mental wharrgarbl of moving + work + work trips + life drama, and also the kitchen is in a reasonable state to be used, and I had a bunch of sweet potatoes looking increasingly questionable; so.

The four oldest ones I peeled, cut out all the ucky bits, boiled, and mashed with a little butter, a bit more maple syrup, and some salt and cinnamon. That's easy. You don't need me for that.

The two from the most recent batch were in better shape, and gave me more options; and since I have been feeling yearnings for salty crunchy things, I thought I might try making chips out of them. Thus:

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet(s) with foil.
2. Peel the sweet potatoes. (You probably don't have to ordinarily, but I didn't have anything that would do to scrub them--and they needed a lot of scrubbing.)
3. Slice the sweet potatoes, 1/8" or less.
4. Toss the lot with about 1 Tbsp of olive oil.
5. Lay them out on your baking sheets. Each potato took up one sheet, so it was convenient that I have two of them.
6. Sprinkle with STUF. I did one sheet with garam masala + salt, and the other one with a randomly-discovered jar of Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish Magic[tm] + a wee bit of extra cayenne.
7. Bake for about 10 minutes.
8. Flip all the chips (they now take up only about 2/3 of the sheet. SCIENCE!!) and sprinkle on the other side too.
9. Bake for another 5-10 minutes.
10. Take out, let cool, store.

I am unsurprisingly crap at making slices of a uniform thickness (and likewise at judging size in the first place), so it is equally unsurprising that some of the chips are crisp and chip-like while others are a little squidgy in the middle. They taste good, though. The garam masala is maybe a little too subtle. The other is...not. I intend to take them in to work, along with almonds and fruit, which when added to the cheese and oatcakes I usually stock should keep me from being gustatorily bored.

Now is to make headway against the terrifying list of Things What Have To Be Done. Which, I must confess, "dealing with questionable vegetables" was very not near the top of.
serinde: (food)
Cabbage Potato Soup
Potato (1), Leek (1), Cabbage (1), Salt Pile (1)
Redaction totally made up.

1. Start some bacon fat rendering in the pan. (This may not be defensible. I note that there are no visible pork products in Skyrim. But, they undoubtedly smoke and brine fatty meats, so.)
2. Chop a smallish onion, throw it in.
3. Core and shred your Cabbage (or half of one, leftover from the last adventure). Add in to wilt.
4. Take the white and pale-green parts of your Leek, slice them, add to pot.
5. Extract the bacon parts that are wholly rendered, and break them up for cat yums. Spinach Cat is much appreciative.
7. Grumble, move everything out of skillet to pot, clean skillet.
8. Chop your Potato, about 1 lb worth. Add to pot.
9. Add 2 c. of water because it's starting to get a bit scorchy in there.
10. Add the Salt Pile.
11. Cover, let simmer while you fix a cocktail.
12. Spend an inordinate amount of time to find the cocktail that required fresh rosemary. Give up and make a Newark instead (apple brandy, sweet vermouth, Fernet Branca, Maraschino), because you can.
13. Realize it's smelling awfully...cabbagey. Sniff, ponder, add more Salt Pile and some caraway seeds.
14. Continue to let simmer while on the phone with a boy. ^_^
15. Figure it shouldn't be immersion-blended, so serve it forth.

Wow, this is pretty good. The caraway was absolutely the right note to tone down the cabbageosity.
serinde: (food)
I stopped at the store on my way home last night in quest of a leek, so that I could continue the Cooking With Skyrim series (because for some reason they put leeks in damn near everything). And lo, there were no leeks to be had, which greatly discomposed me and sent me wandering through the aisles in a woeful and confused fugue state. There was nothing else smallish that I wanted for dinner, so I ended up with a 3lb chicken. Well okay then; it's not the most diet-friendly thing on earth but it's been awhile since I roasted a chicken and why the hell not (and also I can eat off it all week).

When beginning preparations, it occurred to me that I also had some parsnips from the farm share that could use eatin'; and while at [ profile] sweh's parents' for Xmas, one of his mum's staple veg offerings is honey-roasted parsnips, which I found that I absolutely adored. So...

1. Pull parsnips from fridge. Notice two farm-share carrots that are getting withered and should be et. Pull them too.
2. Peel and quarter your veg.
3. Take note that the parsnips only probably need about a half-hour in the oven. Realize that the chicken will take longer, but how much longer? because you are chiefly accustomed to roasting the big commercial chickens in former life, which are twice the size.
4. Google for spatchcocked chicken recipes to get an idea. Find mostly instructions on how to spatchcock. -_-
5. Come across a Nigella recipe for chicken roasted with lemon and garlic and thyme. It's for a whole chicken not a spatchcocked one, but that don't signify.
6. Realize you still don't have a cooking time. Figure on it being about 50-60 minutes and stop caring.
7. Spatchcock the chicken, put in roasting pan.
8. Make a rub of thyme, lemon peel, salt, and Auntie Arwen's Garlic Insanity blend. Get it up under the skin of the bird.
9. Drizzle lemon-infused olive oil over the bird.
10. Pull some farm share garlic. Separate the cloves, but don't peel, and put them around the bird.
11. Cut a lemon into eighths, put around bird too.
12. Put pan into 400-425 degree oven. Somewhere in there.
13. Sample the interesting new liqueurs obtained from Astor. What idiot would drink Fernet Branca by itself? Blecch. But see how it could work in a cocktail.
14. At the half-hour point, get some of the chicken fat from the pan, toss the veg in it, drizzle with honey (or maple syrup, if you feel moved) and add to pan.
15. Page through the PDT cocktail book to see what you can do with the new stuff.
16. Make a "Hanky Panky" (gin, sweet vermouth, Fernet Branca). *koff koff* Soften it with four drops of Cherry Heering and two homemade maraschino cherries.
17. Realize you won't finish the cocktail before dinner's ready. Hey ho.
18. Check chicken at 1 hour. Looks done. Parsnips are a little tough but that's okay.
serinde: (food)
My farm share last week included, among other things, a cabbage and four apples. As I unpacked it, my thoughts immediately shot to "Apple Cabbage Stew. Restore 10 points Health. Restore 15 points Stamina". Because I am just that dorky as to see Skyrim everywhere. (Though to be honest, I don't see how this is really that different from [ profile] audiovile's urges to run through the CVS punching people in the back of the head after playing too much GTA:Vice City.)

Ground rules:
* All ingredients listed must be used, but proportions can be played with a bit. (One tomato, one head of garlic, and one leek would make a damn peculiar soup.)
* Ingredients can be added, but only if they don't exist in-game. (Broadly. Don't add Cheddar to your Grilled Chicken Breast and claim it's okay because it's not goat or Eidar cheese.)
* ...And they should be appropriate for a northern, semi-medievalish land. (Yes yes they have tomatoes and potatoes. They also have dragons. STFU.)
* When we get to it, suitable replacements for non-existent ingredients will be selected and defended.

And so, without further ado:
Apple Cabbage Stew
Cabbage (1), Red Apple (1), Salt Pile (1)
Redaction based on an Epicurious recipe

1. Take half a Cabbage, core it, and shred (4 c.)
2. Take a smallish onion, dice, start frying in 1.5 tsp butter.
3. Throw in the cabbage, let it wilt.
4. Add thyme, Salt, pepper; toss.
5. Add 3 c. water or, if you're rich enough to have bought a house, broth (I used mushroom bouillon).
5. Let simmer for a little while.
6. Core and chop your Red Apple (I used one and a half). In another pan, fry it up in a bit more butter.
7. Before the apple gets mushy, put into the soup.
8. Let it cook down however much you like.

My result looked less contiguous than the picture, so I immersion-blended it a bit. (Because that's the labor-saving equivalent of "pushing the food through a sieve over and over until it's pureed", which is period appropriate.)

Tastes pretty good, actually--and I tend to loathe cabbage. The apples make it a little too sweet, though. In my curried pumpkin-apple soup the curry comes over top and evens that out; I'm not sure what the defensible choice would be here.


serinde: (Default)

September 2013

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