Food Archive

Eatwell to Eat Well

Another Wednesday, another cornucopia of fresh fruits and veggies, another piece of evidence that summer is over and fall is here to stay. It’s time to put up or shut-up because we’re about to be overcome by peppers. Death by leafy greens. Drowning in flavors. You get the idea.

Besides this week’s new kid on the block, the Tat Soi, there was one more friendly surprise… MINI PUMPKINS! I’m so excited y’all, I’ve just got to post this photo out of the flickr slideshow. SHARE WITH ME THE JOYS OF AUTUMN!

tat soi, summer squash, flat leaf parsley, mini munchkin pumpkins, Granny Smith apples, grapes, eggplants, cherry tomatoes, Poblano peppers and gypsy peppers

Eatwell blessed us with a bag of lettuce, the cold-weather version of cucumbers, my summer tormentor. I said to that bag of lettuce “HELL NO WE WON’T GO” and promptly swapped that bad boy out with another eggplant. Yeah man, the eggplants and I are capital H Homies. TRUE STORY: I used the remainding curry paste to simmer up some potatoes and eggplant in coconut milk earlier this week. A job well done.

Let’s circle the wagons on necessary consumption, shall we? I’ve now got about a half ton of last week’s gypsy and poblano peppers, a boatload of zucchini (like 6 of them), a wad of parsley, 2 MORE eggplants, a boatload of grapes, a manageable bunch of apples, MORE asian-like greens to accompany last week’s bok choy, TWO huge winter squashes and a gaggle of sweet potatoes. Sounds like someone needs to get a’roasting!

Looking for suggestions to knock out some of these extra bad boys. Bonus points if the recipe includes more than one!

Weekend Slice

It was an unusually travel-heavy Weekend. Read: The Hipster Home was mostly empty except for sleepytime!

Saturday started with a tour of San Francisco neighborhoods for the newly located, a surprise stop by a rooftop party celebrating Fleet Week and wrapped up with a Suppenkuche gut bomb featuring the $20 gigantic pretzel.

Peow! Pretzle Bonanza Antlers

I love Suppenkuche’s ever-changing ceiling. There’s not much information out there (except the bartenders I’m sure) about why they change it every so often. Perhaps with the season and for special celebrations like Oktoberfest? Yes, those are garden gnomes hanging by their heels.

Berkeley’s Thai Temple brunch was dialed up Sunday (no pictures), followed by another trip later in the day to Alameda and the exotic Forbidden Island Tiki Bar. If you like tiki bars, this one was AUTHENTIC. How does one tiki-uneducated lass figure that out? The massive menu of fruity drinks, the flaming bowls of booze and the band that played us out when they started, wearing aqua marine 100% sequenced collared shirts.

Forbidden Island is Vain Scorpion Bowl Mike the Poodle

Where’s Mike? (Hint: people watching)

To finish the whole thing off? Drinks and karaoke with good friends at Argus, featuring a Last Supper theme corner, complete with kaleidoscopic Jesus digital calendar.

Whirly Jesus

How was your weekend?

This Week’s Bounty

With this week’s box, I didn’t mince words. The goods came home, had some pictures taken of them and then VEGGIE DEATH. For a select few, mainly some bok choy, the lemon grass, and a few of the chilies, usage was imminent.

Bok Choy, tomatoes, summer squash, winter squash, basil, lemon grass, eggplant, onions, poblano peppers, bell peppers

What’d I make? A Frankenstein creation. It mixed what I was craving and a modified 101 Cookbooks recipe called A Luxurious and Deeply Aromatic Noodle Dish. Turned into a curry of sorts. With rice. It was very tasty but no, not perfect. This is a recipe that needs further tweaking. Good thing you use only half the paste you start with! I’ll update later with the results of a next attempt.

A Luxurious and Deeply Aromatic Noodle Rice Dish

From Nigel Slater, modified vegetarian version by Heidi of 101 Cookbooks, further adapted into a curry by Moi

For the spice paste:
Chilies – 4 or 5 small, hot red ones
Garlic – 2 or 3 small cloves
Ginger – a small lump, about the size of a walnut in its shell
Lemon grass – 2 or 3 plump stalks
Coriander seeds – a few
Coriander leaves – a few (hs note: cilantro for all you non-brits)
Ground tumeric – a teaspoon
vegetable oil – a little

For the broth:
Stock – vegetable, 500 ml
Coconut milk – 400ml (lite is ok)
1 medium bok choy, roughly chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 small potatoes, diced
1 carrot, sliced
1/2 bell pepper, thickly chopped
A lime – just the juice
Soy sauce
Mint – a small handful of leaves

To finish:

Halve and seed the chilies. Peel the garlic. Peel and shred the ginger. Finely slice the tender, innermost leaves of the lemon grass. Grind the coriander seeds or crush them in a mortar. Blitz it all to a thick paste in a food processor with the coriander leaves and any well scrubbed roots, plus the turmeric. You may need a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to help it go round but add as little as you can.

Picture 8

Place a wok over moderate heat, add half the spice paste (keep the other half in the fridge for tomorrow) and fry it, moving it round the pan, for a minute or so, then pour in the stock, coconut milk, and a splash of soy sauce — let it come to the boil. Turn the heat down, add the vegetables from longest cooking time (potatoes) to shortest (bok choy leaves) allowing each to soften before adding the next. Add salt to taste.

Serve each portion with a ladle over 1 cup prepared rice in a bowl. Sprinkle with mint leaves to garnish.

Future modifications:

As you can see above, the finished product was REALLY soupy. I’d recommend omitting the stock and using only coconut milk OR halving this stock/coconut milk mixture. It may also require you dissolving a bit of corn starch in cold water and slowly adding to the broth, as thickening agent. I also found that with the addition of the vegetables and rice, it required QUITE a bit more salt.

Final verdict:

DELICIOUS! The curry base was absolutely incredible. Also note, I’m calling it a curry but I don’t really know if it was. It’s a spicy broth with cooked veggies over rice. Overall A+.

The Great Quinoa Caper

Sometimes a recipe doesn’t look like much. But if I need SOMETHING to go off of, some vague inspiration, anything will do. Recipes off the back of a Trader Joe’s box included. Last night I’m not proud to say it, but that’s exactly what I did. Realistically, I knew from the get-go that this was some crazy-ass cracked out version of reality where stir frys are related to quinoa and 2 cups of chicken broth disappear magically into a dish without consequence. But damn it, I wasn’t sure what else to cook. So I gave the Trader Joe’s recipe a whirl.

So how’d it turn out? PERFECTO! 2 thumbs up! Good enough for me to tell ya about here! But no, oh no. I won’t just reprint the bizzaro-world recipe they gave me. I’ll both share it for amusement and give you what worked for me below that. In the end, the saving grace of the whole meal (besides my fantastical ability to freestyle) was the shining beacon of heavenly fresh produce that made it work.

Garlic Chicken Stir Fry with Quinoa, Peppers and Basil (NO NO NO)

1 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa, prepared with chicken stock according to package directions
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken breast tenders
4 Tablespoons garlic flavored oil oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
20 cleaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
Grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken into one-inch pieces. Heat large nonstick skillet over high heat and add the oil. Add chicken and saute for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add onions, bell peppers; saute for one or two more minutes; add garlic and saute until peppers become slightly limp, but still bright, about one to two minutes; season with sale and pper. Remove the pan from heat; add basil and quinoa. Toss until basil wilts; garnish with parmesan cheese. Serves four

Um, what???

Now you might ask yourself, “Wait a second, I made the quinoa using chicken stock like the directions on the side of the box but wait, I just used 2 cups chicken broth so is that the same thing, why would they list it again? And basil… julienned?? Don’t they mean chiffonade? Why does Parmesan cheese not sound like an appetizing topping?? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON?? THIS RECIPE IS THINLY SLICED.

But don’t get yer panties in a bundle, I fixed it. But first you should know that we roasted a chicken Zuni-style the night before, so instead of cooking the raw chicken, I modified the recipe to re-heat slices of my cold, pre-cooked roast chicken. Here, this is the good recipe. I call this one…

Quinoa with Chicken, Peppers and Basil (YES YES YES)

1 cup Trader Joe’s Organic Quinoa
2 cups + 2 tablespoons chicken broth
1  pound skinless and boneless roast chicken, in chunks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, diced
20 cleaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
salt and pepper to taste

Place quinoa and 2 cups chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed (10-15 minutes). The grain will be soft and translucent when done. Heat a cast-iron skillet and add the oil. Add onions, bell peppers; saute for one minute; add garlic, sliced chicken and saute another minute. Lower the heat; add the cooked quinoa, 2 tablespoons chicken broth; stir and cover with a lid. Cook a few more minutes until the peppers become slightly limp, but still bright. Remove the pan from heat; add basil; season with sale and pepper. Serves four… or two hungry bitches… just kidding, two will have leftovers

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