Posts tagged ‘recipe’

The Internet Project Roundup

There’s an amazing process I’ve observed here on the internet. We have the ability to make stuff and share it with other people, or admire things other people have made. We post about it on our blogs, put it on twitter, bookmark it via Delicious, with the intention of making it ourselves or giving a hat tip to someone’s effort. There are people around the world, who you and I will never talk to, will probably never meet and may otherwise not exist at all except that they shared one thing with the web that they made and then allowed it to take on a life of its own. It’s those recipes, ideas, tutorials and inspirational blog posts that help me decide to do with my extra 10 pounds of tomatoes or make me search for project-specific materials in the area. This post is for you, oh contributors to the internet. And to the readers and makers of said projects, for actually taking the initiative to start and finish the projects in imitation and collboration.

Here’s what I’ve made recently:

Spicy Roasted Tomato & Black Bean Soup from Poppytalk and Jeannette Ordas of Everybody likes Sandwiches

This soup was simple, delicious and easy to make. Head over to Poppytalk for the full recipe but it was essentially roasting tomatoes, garlic and peppers set to simmer in sauteed onions, celery and chicken stock with an after addition of black beans. After tasting post-roast, I only used 1 Poblano pepper and substituted the dollop of sour cream with some queso fresco. It was so hearty, the end result was deceptively like was veggie chili. Best part of this recipe? Leftover soup and getting to use a CSA Poblano, tomatoes and basil in it.

Leather chain necklace tutorial by Cucumbersome

For this next project, I sadly don’t have a photo of the finished necklace. My sister had an important birthday last week and in my rush to overnight her a birthday package (featuring almond and orange biscotti dipped in chocolate and this necklace), the camera was left behind in the rush. It turned out fantastically! Sister loved it and I loved it. Perhaps I’ll snag a pic of it in the next few months when I see her. I’d strongly recommend heading out to your local scrap shop (like I did) and picking up some leather pieces to make it.

My only tweak would be to look for thinner leather as it seems my grey was significantly thicker than what Cucumbersome features in her tutorial. The template you print up also was no where near scale that she had mentioned so this necklace so you end up sizing it yourself. That means there are quite a few size variations you could try. I’d like to try making the necklace with both smaller and larger chains. I closed by necklace loop by cutting the bottom looped chain in half at the center and re-gluing it together with the lead chain inside of it.

Both these projects were fun and I’d recommend not only the recipe and tutorial but the fantastic Poppytalk and Cucumbersome as blogs to follow. Enough about me, what’d you make last week? What’s up to bat in your craft room or kitchen for this week?

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

The Accidental Crawfish Boil

You can sum up the entire post below with a statement uttered between bites of sausage, crawfish and corn. “THIS is adventuring eating.”

Exiting a weekend in Lake Tahoe without getting in the water is criminal.  Late last Sunday afternoon, Cameron, Paige and I motivated ourselves to get outta the hammock and head to the beach for some quality lake time.

“I can show you where the hot spring is on the map but you’ll  never find it” said our talkative boat rental man, a dead ringer for Weird Al.

We took out two kayaks and the idea that we were absolutely going to prove this dude wrong. Following his directions, we looked for the old wall, and then the covering over the hot spring. We parked the kayaks on some rocks and monkeyed our way up the old wall to try and spot where the hot spring was meeting with the lake. We spotted it and again monkeyed over the rocks towards it. Carefully steadying ourselves over the mossy rocks, we dipped our toes in. HOT! We found it. Take that rental man! Victory.

After getting over the initial thrill of WARM WATER, we noticed some bright red little bodies upstream. Turns out some crawfish had themselves in hot water (baDUM chh!) and boiled themselves alive in the hot spring. Mmmm crawfish.

When we got back, Weird Al rental guy was talkative yet again. “Are there any good places to get crawfish around here?” Paige asked. “No, not really but you can catch ’em yourself.” BINGO!

A dozen questions later, we set off with the idea that we might wrangle up some crawfish. But we’re supposed to be heading back to San Francisco! A few calls later, we made a new plan and would stay the night but get up at the crack of dawn to head home.

Official!  We’re catching our dinner tonight! Please allow me to share with you the wisdom of Lake Tahoe’s Weird Al on crawfish fishing.

How to catch a crawfish in Lake Tahoe:

  • Go to Speedboat beach around sundown
  • Cut thyself up some bacon bait
  • Use a fishing pole or make yourself a fishing line, bobbin and hook concoction
  • Find a bucket or cooler for the catch, put a little bit of lake water in the bottom
  • Scramble over the first set of boulders connected to the beach by the sandbar on the far right
  • Spot yourself some crawfish in the bottom
  • Drop a baconhook into the water, setting it in front of a crawfish
  • Watch for them to attach it with their pincers and…
  • Drop your catch in the bucket, you can boink them off the line
  • Repeat til its too dark to see the little guys in the water

Technically we should’ve had a fishing license, but since we were next to the Nevada border, we could have jumped the state line where apparently the law is different about such things.

Marching back to the car victorious, we suddenly realized none of us knew how to do crawfish prep or cooking. Once home, google saved us and we figured out how to clean and boil the crawfish.

How to Prepare Crawfish:

  • In a bucket or deep bowl, barely cover the crawfish with water
  • Toss in 1/3 cup salt

(in retrospect, we’d seen other directions that said to let them soak for 15-30 minutes but Cameron found directions that had said stir around for three minutes, which is what we had decided since we we quite nervous about killing any crawfish. They ended up being pretty poopy, and since this is the part where the crawfish are supposed to become less so, we probably didn’t do it long enough. NOTED)

  • Stir gently around for 3 minutes and drain, rinse
  • Crawfish need air to survive, so put them in a colander until you’re ready for cookin’
  • Right before boiling time, put them in a bowl and fill it again with water. If any died, they’d float, RIP Crawfish! Take it out.  Lucky for us, no dice, all alive and kicking. But apparently you DO NOT want any pre-dead crawfish in your boil.

Crawfish Boil Recipe

preps for 3ish dozen crawfish, feed two ladies and a man

I believe that the What’s Cooking America dude was our inspiration, adapted to fit our needs

  • Fill a 12 quart  pot of water with strainer (looks below for the type of pot I’m talking about)
  • Add a buttload (or two-three good plamfuls) cajun seasoning, the juice of a lemon and the remaining rind
  • Bring to a boil
  • Add 5-6 cloves of garlic to the pot
  • Add 6 small whole new potatoes
  • Add a quartered onion
  • Cook until the veggies soften up
  • Add three ears of corn (snapped in half) to the pot
  • Add 4 mild sausages and 4 spicy sausages, quartered
  • Add the crawfish, making sure all are submerged
  • Simmer for 5 minutes
  • Put a lid on the top, turn the heat off and let sit undisturbed for 20 minutes.
  • Lift the strainer and drain the pot contents
  • Normally you’d lay that shit out on a big table covered in newspaper but since we didn’t have any newspaper we used a big tray with a few layers of paper towels and pour out the feast. Looks purtier anyways.

dig in.

I learned all sorts of things about crawfish with this one experience, like how to eat the little guys. You pinch the head away from the tail and twist.  Remove a few scales from the tail and pull the meat out. If yours are poopy like ours were, you’ll want to pull back a piece of the meat and remove the poo track.

The grey stuff? that’s tomalley. It’s the liver and tastes a lot like pate. Which means I wasn’t a fan. If you get one filled with little orange balls in the abdomen, it’s a female! And she was pregnant! If you’re like me, scrape the roe out and give them to someone who enjoys it.

Now for the best part: tilt the head up (gravity is your friend on this one) and suck on that little head. You aren’t supposed to get any meat but the juices you get from the head are DEEElicious. Obviously eat the tail meat too. And if you’ve got a bigguns, there is meat in the claw you can eat and some juice you can suck from the knuckles.

From the seat of our pants, we did it! All thanks to the spirit of advenutre that compelled us and the ever informative Lake Tahoe Weird Al, our crawfish boil was tasty and exciting and a great experience. It’s been over 8 hours, so I dare say, this experience was safe for my digestive track. It was the first time in my life that I’d said “Man, I”m glad I”m not allergic to shelfish.”

Not for the faint of heart, I’d recommend doing this with at least one person who doesn’t mind picking the crawfish up off the rocks if they don’t make it into the cooler. And at least one person with the culinary vision. And definitely three people with healty appetities. Like appetites from kayacking.

This Confession is No Yolk

Ya’ll, I’ve got a confession to make. I’m honestly about to blush. I’ve had the same thing for lunch three days running. THREE.

It wasn’t leftovers. It wasn’t something already made. I prepared myself the same lunch three days in a row. This was a choice. A decision. And I must live with knowing that now you all know my dirty little secret of the under employed. Cooking like this for yourself, whenever you want.

World, meet soba noodles with a fried egg on top.

It started unassumingly enough. While attempting to find something simple for lunch using soba noodles, which I adore, this glorious recipe popped up on The Kitchn. Soba rarely gets used in our house but not because it isn’t loved. Just because we don’t seem to have much stuff to go with ’em laying around. No more!

This super easy recipe serves one and can be made easily within 15 minutes. Cleanup isn’t bad and the payoff is big. You can find the original recipe from The Kitchn, called Sesame-Garlic Soba Noodles with Fried Egg. I’m presenting it below from memory with my own adaptations.

  1. Boil some water
  2. Take out an egg
  3. Take out 1.5 ounces of buckwheat soba noodles, which approximately looks like the pic below.
  4. Mince a clove of garlic, thinly slice a small, itty bitty onion (like the tiny ones from this week’s CSA box!)
  5. By now the water should be boiling, so add your noodles and set the timer for 4 minutes, drain and set aside the noodles when cooked
  6. Meanwhile take out a frying pan and add to it, two light glugs of sesame oil.
  7. Add to it the garlic, a dash of red chili flakes and dash of ground ginger.
  8. Fry it up briefly so that the garlic cooks and the chili flakes  release their spicy flavor
  9. Turn off the heat and pour in a couple tablespoons worth of soy sauce
  10. Promptly after (or even better, actually before the soy sauce so you’ll get more heat that way) add the onion slices.
  11. Pour the mixture in with the noodles and give your frying pan a good wipe down, readying for cooking the egg.
  12. Use a bit of butter or oil and reheat your pan, and fry the shit out of that egg. Well, at least over easy.
  13. Serve on top of your soba noodles in some pretty, dish, and go plop your butt in front of the tv.
  14. Break the yoke over the noodles, and enjoy the saucey goodness of mother nature. You’re drooling I can tell. Wait, it’s about to get worse.
  15. Enjoy the perfect bite, times 34. Try not to lick the plate, that’s tacky. 

Mama mia, that’s delicious. The original recipe is linked to HERE, which I adapted based on my available ingredients. It is from Apartment Therapy’s The Kitchn.

Sesame-Garlic Soba Noodles with Fried Egg

Serves one

1 cup soba noodles – about 1.5 ounces dry
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 green onion, sliced into thin rounds
1 egg
Extra green onion for garnish
Extra salt

Bring a pot of water to boil and add the soba noodles and a tablespoon of salt. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and transfer to serving dish.

Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium heat and add the sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes, and sauté until fragrant, about thirty seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the soy sauce. Pour this sauce over the noodles, add the green onion, and toss until the noodles are evenly coated.

Set the same small pan you just used back over medium-high heat. Crack an egg into the pan, being careful not to break the yolk. When the whites have set, use a spatula to gently but swiftly flip the egg over. Cook for a minute or two until the whites are completely cooked but the yolk is still liquid.

Slide the egg on top of the noodles, garnish with green onion if you’re feeling fancy, and eat immediately!

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