Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
Well, I didn't win that Corner Bakery contest, so I guess I can post the cabbage-apple slaw recipe I referred to in the TLT post.
This bright, refreshing salad is a great side for sandwiches. You can use a milder crisp apple, like a Fuji, instead of the Granny Smith if you want to tone down the tartness. The amount of dressing may not sound like enough, but the goal is just to kiss the cabbage and apples with dressing so their flavor and crunch get to shine.
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 Granny Smith apple, sliced into matchsticks
2 tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
1/2-inch slice fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
Combine cabbage, apple, and almonds in a large bowl and stir or toss to mix. Combine ginger, lime juice, sesame oil, and soy sauce in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over cabbage, apple, and almonds. Toss to combine.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Tempeh has always disappointed me. It is a fermented soy and grain product, and I always think it should taste way more interesting by itself than it actually does. The texture is interesting, but like tofu and soy milk, the taste by itself is rather bland. I rarely buy or eat it, but the other day I saw a good price and decided to try it again in the form of the veg deli standby, the TLT. I marinated the tempeh in soy sauce and liquid smoke to give it a little flavor. I thought the sandwiches were pretty good, and Jon really enjoyed them, so they might go into the rotation.
I served these sandwiches with the cabbage-apple slaw shown above. I entered that recipe into the Corner Bakery recipe contest, which does not allow recipes that have been published or posted online, so I'll hold off on sharing it. (I'm entering the contest both because it's fun to enter contests and because my mom told me about it. The grand prize is a trip to the company headquarters in Dallas. She wants me to win so I'll go visit her.)
This picture isn't quite as well-lit as the first one, but I forgot the lettuce in the first one.
For two sandwiches:
About 1/3 pack of tempeh, cut into 1/4-inch slices (five slices per sandwich was what we used)
Vegetable oil for sautéing
1/3 cup mayo
1/2 tsp Penzey's Arizona Dreaming seasoning or other chili powder, optional
4 slices of bread
1 tomato, sliced
2 leaves of lettuce
Marinate the tempeh in a little soy sauce and liquid smoke for a few minutes. Then saute in vegetable oil until browned. Set aside.
Mix Arizona Dreaming with mayo if you want to spice up your mayo a little. Spread on all pieces of bread. Place five tempeh strips and two or three tomato slices on two pieces of bread and then put the other pieces of bread on top. Melt a little butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and place the sandwiches on the skillet. Butter the tops. After a few minutes, flip the sandwiches, trying not to let the tempeh and tomato slices escape. Fry for a few more minutes and remove from heat. Add lettuce.
Monday, August 8, 2011
I've never disliked avocados, but the past few months I've been especially fond of them. Mostly, we add them to salads and sandwiches, but I decided to get a little crazy with them last week. The night before, I had made us a really simple banana split. Banana is unusual in that it is a creamy fruit. The next day as I was cutting into the salad avocado, I remembered that avocado was also a creamy fruit, and a delightfully wacky idea took form: avocado sundae! So we tried it that night: half an avocado, roughly chopped up, covered in cookies and cream ice cream, chocolate sauce, and chopped brazil nuts and cashews. Filled with trepidation, we dug into it, only to barely be able to taste the avocado. It tasted as good as any bowl of ice cream with chocolate sauce and nuts, which is to say, good.
Emboldened by the fact that it didn't suck, we decided to decrease the ice cream to get more of the avocado flavor. I scooped half an avocado into a bowl, put two small scoops of ice cream on it, and drizzled, instead of drenched, it with chocolate sauce and brazil nuts. I wasn't hungry that night, but Jon wolfed it down and enjoyed it.
The next time, we decided to combine the creamy fruits and made what we have dubbed the Jungle Sundae:
1/2 banana, 1/2 avocado, 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, chopped brazil nuts and cashews, chocolate sauce.
It's a little big for one person, but so is a banana split. I don't actually know if avocados grow in the jungle. I think of them as coming from California and Mexico. But the other ingredients (bananas, vanilla, nuts, cacao) could come from the jungle, right?
Friday, August 5, 2011
While Jon was waiting in line at the deli counter a few days ago, I spotted this intriguing Greek cheese called manouri. (you might remember it from the composed salad I posted yesterday.) The sticker near it said it was made with the whey from feta and sheep's milk cream. It wasn't very expensive, so I bought a little to try. We really enjoyed it. It's not as salty as feta, and it has a nice creamy texture that is kind of hard when it's still cold and gets very soft when it sits out a while. It's like a cross between feta and mozzarella.
These crackers were an after-dinner snack for me when dinner hadn't been quite enough, but I think they would also make nice summer party food. I think crostini would work in place of the crackers, too. I think beet instead of tomato on the cracker is tasty and a little different from what you might expect.
For two crackers:
2 Wasa or other sturdy crackers
4 slices manouri or other semi-soft cheese
4 leaves basil
1 medium beet, cooked, peeled, and sliced into rounds
Salt and pepper
Top each cracker with 2 slices of cheese, 2 basil leaves, and half the beet rounds. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a tiny drizzle of olive oil.
Thursday, August 4, 2011
This was the grand finale of salad week. I think the presentation of this salad was beautiful but highly impractical. Jon put the portions for both of us on one plate, and then we scooped it into our own bowls to eat. This made the lettuce end up at the top of the bowls, which was not ideal. I think in the future, we'll assemble it on two plates and either tear the lettuce or use knives to cut it up while we're eating.
I guess since this is the first time meat has appeared on this blog, now is a good time to come out as non-veg. To make a long story short, I started eating vegetarian about nine years ago for a variety of reasons, and I don't feel as strongly about them anymore, so I've reintroduced a little meat to the diet. But you probably won't see much meat here; I find a lot of it pretty boring.
Here's what was on our salad:
Sliced hardboiled eggs
Cubed manouri cheese
Jon made a lemon-basil vinaigrette that was just divine as the dressing.
It was a fittingly decadent end to salad week.
Monday, August 1, 2011
We took this salad to a lovely concert in Millennium Park. There is not much dressing but we found it to be plenty with the basil, feta and olives.
1/2 lb mini penne (I think shells or rotini would work well too)
2 big kale leaves
1/2 lb broccoli crown chopped small
20 grape tomatoes halved
10 olives (I used Kalamata and Alphonso) diced
fresh basil sliced fine
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
Cook the pasta in salted water. Add the broccoli 2 minutes before it is done. Drain in a colander lined with the kale. Let cool. Combine the ingredients. Dress with the dressing.
Dressing. Combine all ingredients except the oil. Let sit. Add the oil and stir well.
This is a take on a potato salad from the New Basics cookbook. I like to not use much mayonnaise and to really taste the potato. I may use less than the recipe below.
Zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup mayo
6 medium new potatoes
1/4 lb green beans
Lettuce, baby spinach or mixed greens
Combine mayo and lemon zest. Let sit for at least a couple hours. Or better yet refrigerate over night.
Remove the ends of the green beans. Chop into 1 in. pieces.
Quarter or eighth the potatoes (after cleaning them). Boil them in salted water until just a bit before desired doneness. Add green beans for 1 minute. Strain in a colander. Let cool.
Combine potatoes and beans with dressing and toss. Serve over the mixed greens.
Ev and I were in Utah for 25 days or so. We cooked a lot while we were there but we did not have many of our supplies, so we were kind of limited. We also did eat out more than we are used to. So when we got back on Tuesday we were craving a return to our usual food. So began our week of salads. This is a rice noodle salad, which is mostly uncooked. I resisted the urge to put eggplant in because lately I have been feeling that I add it to everything. As always with my recipes, the measurements are very approximate guesses. As you can see from the pictures, I arranged Evelyn's very artfully on a plate and threw mine in a bowl.
Rice noodle salad:
3 big leaves of kale torn into pieces
6 oz. rice noodles
r. pepper sliced thin
16 slices cucumber
extra firm tofu, pressed
sliced white mushrooms (my salad only; Ev doesn't like mushrooms that much)
2 in fresh ginger minced
1 1/2 Tbs soy
1 1/2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 pinch sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
Boil water and cook rice noodles.
Fry the tofu in a dry (un-oiled) non-stick pan over medium high heat. It will take a while for it to release its water, during which time it does not really brown. Continue until the tofu is brown all over (flip it occasionally of course). When done remove and turn off heat. Put the kale on the still hot pan. This should be enough to cook the kale if you make sure all parts spend some time touching the hot pan.
Combine the non-dressing ingredients. Then pour the dressing over.
Combine the first 4 ingredients and let sit. Add the sesame oil and stir well.
This was quite a good salad.
This next salad was based on the fact that corn was on sale and I love fresh corn. One can make all sorts of great corn salads that are more or less bean-y and more or less salsa-ish. I wanted to do something different. It ended up tasting good because all of the components were good but it is not all the way there yet.
3 ears corn (these were smallish)
1/2 lb eggplant
14 grape or cherry tomatoes quartered
15 mint leaves finely chopped.
Cook the corn. Cut it off the cob and let cool.
Slice eggplant and salt. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Rinse and then dice. Fry in oil. Put between paper towels to remove oil and let cool.
When cool combine the ingredients and squeeze the lime over the top.
Ev suggested removing the eggplant. She did not think that its texture worked. She also suggested adding black beans and avocado and maybe some basil. This would end up as a take on the classic bean-y corn salad with mint and basil in place of cilantro and grape tomatoes instead of usual tomatoes. It would probably be pretty good (classics get that way for a reason).
I, however, want to go big. Ditch the tomatoes (too acidic). Roast (or grill) the diced eggplant. Juice the lime separately and add honey to it. Add some diced chicken. I still feel like it needs something else. Can you help me?
We have not tried either of these variations.