Some recipes I like that I was telling J. about at coffee yesterday:
Zucchini Crab Cakes. These are super delicious and EASY and healthy except for being fried, but that just makes them that much more tasty. Serve with Creole-style remoulade [there are a million ways to make this; I mix catsup, mayo, seedy mustard, cayenne, and whatever else to taste].
Beer pizza dough. Chad makes this once a week, he rolls out two doughs and we put our own toppings on. Mine usually has some or all of the following: pesto, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fresh mozz, parmesan, prosciutto, garlic, olives, oregano and basil, red pepper flakes, whatever else is around. Here are some photos from Tuesday’s batch. Do not view on an empty stomach.
This was SOOOOOO good and ridiculously easy, it literally took me about 10 minutes.
Gnocchi with Creamy Arugula Pesto
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s 30-Minute Suppers Spring 2009
2 c. lightly packed baby arugula
5 T olive oil
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
[I was out and used cashews instead, still delicious!]
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
2 lb. vacuum-packed gnocchi
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T lemon juice
Process arugula, oil, 2 T nuts and garlic in food processor until smooth. Heat pan, add a bit of oil, and sauté gnocchi until bottoms are slightly brown [or you can boil it. I like the crispy bottom way]. Add cream and bring to simmer over medium-high heat until cream is slightly thickened. Off heat, stir in pesto, parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken and dumplings
1 lb. chicken breasts
1/2 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. sliced carrots
1/2 lb. mushrooms
6 c. chicken stock
Thyme, rosemary, basil, other herbs of choice, chopped
Salt and pepper
Dumplings: 1/2 c. milk and 1-1 1/2 c. pancake mix
Sauté chicken til cooked. Cube.
Sauté onions in dutch oven. When translucent, add celery and carrots. Cook 5 minutes. Add stock, mushrooms, herbs, chicken. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mix milk & pancake mix, should be doughy. Form balls and put on top of stew once boiling. Lower to simmer, cover, and cook til toothpick stuck in dumplings comes out clean, 15-20 minutes. Eat.
Chard with garlic and raisins
Rinse and strip two bunches chard off stalks. Spin off excess water and chop up. Sauté 6 cloves diced garlic in 2 T olive oil in large pot about 30 seconds. Add half the chard, toss, when it gets a bit wilty, add in other half and toss. Throw in a handful of raisins and toss some more. Cover and lower heat, steam 5 minutes til chard is soft.
Cook in this order:
Roasted potatoes and mushrooms
Wash and cube a pound or so of potatoes. Place in casserole with 1/2 lb. button crimini mushrooms. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs and spices, then toss. Cover with foil and cook at 450° til tender, about one hour.
Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin
Butterfly 1 lb. pork tenderloin [how to], sprinkle with salt, pepper, and spices/herbs you like. Roll up, and place in lightly-oiled casserole. Slice some bacon in halves, wrap these over the tenderloin and secure with toothpicks. Cook at 450° until center of meat reaches 160° [mine took about 45 minutes].
Heat a couple T. butter in a dutch oven. Slice 1 lb. carrots into sticks about 2″ long [I quarter on the fat end], add to pot, then coat with honey. Toss, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes til tender.
After about six months of cooking, starting with absolutely no knowledge at all of anything domestic, Chad has officially surpassed my culinary skills.
I had to wait til midnight to eat but it was totally worth it.
If you’re a veggie, don’t look.
I don’t find carrots to be really exciting especially cooked and these were pretty tasty. Chad was just INSANE for them. The recipe is from Alice Waters’ Simple Food [which I LOVE, esp. for the veg recipes because I am a big ignoramus and it *is* all pretty simple]:
Peel the carrots and cut them into slices or sticks.
Put them in a heavy pot or pan and add water to come about halway up the carrots (don’t pile them higher than an inch or so) [next time, I would use less water than what I thought was half].
Add a good pinch of salt and a couple of teaspoons of butter per serving [I used about 4 pats for a pound of carrots. I also added a handful of brown sugar. Someone suggested honey instead and we will try that next.].
Bring the water to a boil, turn down the heat so the water is simmering, and cover the pan.
Cook until the carrots are tender.
Take off the lid and let the liquid boil down until it has made a buttery sauce that coats the carrots.
Remove the carrots from the pan immediately as the sauce will continue to reduce in the hot pan.
If it reduces too much, it will separate; add a bit of water to bring it back together.
Oil can be used instead of butter, but it won’t make as thick a glaze.
Right at the end of the cooking, stir in a spoonful of chopped cilantro, parsley, or basil [I did not do this due to inclusion of brown sugar].
I am either pregnant or having a growth spurt or it’s really, truly fall, either way I have been cooking a lot lately. It might also be because Chad’s been doing it so long and lord knows I love his mu shu and mongolian and black bean and plum sauce but I am a little sick of stir fry. Mama needs some solid, textured, comfort food once in awhile, especially when on days we have the most rain we’ve ever had.
It would probably be better if my cooking wasn’t in direct proportion to the amount of time we’re missing PE class. My ass is spreading by the minute.
This was dinner tonight and super tasty. Recipe at Simply Recipes. I used the TJ’s tri-color egg noodles-shaped pasta which was good but not egg noodles. I will use egg noodles next time.
Coconut Rice, in Chad’s Grandma’s green glass bowl
This is my first time making any kind of rice pudding, I keep meaning to learn how to make the kheer they have at India Palace, because I could eat that stuff all day. This was also delicious, both warm [last night’s dessert] and cold [this afternoon’s snack].
From Cooking With All Things Trader Joe’s by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati
1/2 c. jasmine rice [I only had basmati. It is still delicious.]
1/2 c. water
1 c. + 1/4 c. light coconut milk
3 T. sugar
Combine water, rice, and 1 c. coconut milk in saucepan [I also threw in a cinnamon stick], bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low 30 minutes or until rice is cooked [it was under 20 for me]. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes.
The authors also suggest serving atop a drizzle of mango sauce and festooning with some mango chunks but I am not a huge mango fan so I garnished with more cinnamon. I like cinnamon.
And my chicken soup gets better every day.
From Cooking With All Things Trader Joe’s by Deana Gunn and Wona Miniati
Polenta with Truffled Mushrooms
Cook sliced-up pre-cooked roll of polenta in oiled pan for 4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
In separate pan, cook 2 c. mushrooms in a bit of oil. Add a bit of salt. I also added red pepper flakes.
Serve over polenta, drizzle with truffle oil and garnish with grated parmesan.
Abby Tries Again is doing breakfast week but I haven’t been able to get up early enough, then when I do eat, I forget to photograph it. I did have the beauteous tartina [layer foccacia, pesto, mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes — today’s were red and green — pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil] at Julie’s Café with J. shortly before noon, which might count as breakfast, but I forgot to photograph that, too.
But it did get me thinking about making a real dinner [I haven’t in awhile, Chad’s been doing all the cooking, which is awesome though I have about had it with stir fry]. Someone posted a Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme recipe earlier this week and I was determined to make it — I had a chicken! and lemons! — but got derailed today by roasting a chicken with Gwynneth.
I deboned a chicken for the first time. I used all fresh herbs [Parsley, sage, rosemary AND thyme.] and a Meyer lemon from my garden. And I added a bunch of carrots to the potato steps [I tossed them in a bit of oil after draining instead of pouring it over after adding them to the chicken].
I made dressing, too, which I was missing several ingredients for but has turned out magnificently nonetheless.
Gwen’s Magnificent Dressing
Serve with Gwynneth’s Chicken
Chop uncooked chicken liver [saved from chicken], sauté in olive oil.
Add one diced shallot, sauté til translucent.
Seach high and low for chicken stock, resort to that one last kosher onion boullion cube from last Passover and one novelty bacon boullion cube.
Add two cups water and boullion cubes to onions.
Throw in handful of cubed mushrooms.
Low simmer while you toast a scoop of sliced almonds in a bit of butter.
Tear up leftover 2/3 of yesterday’s La Farine baguette.
Toss everything in baking pan, put on top rack in oven with chicken [which is at 450°F, per Gwynneth] for last 20 minutes til tops of bread are crispy.
Remove from oven then pick at it while you wait for the chicken to cook.
Then serve with chicken, potato, and carrots that you are already too full to eat.
Unless you are Chad, who has the metabolism of a bird and the capacity of a human waste disposal.