Saturday, January 28, 2012

Peanut stir fry

This is not a buttermilk recipe, it's a dinner we made several weeks ago. This has a nice stir-fry sauce. The ingredients of the stir-fry are entirely flexible. We have made it with noodles or rice, and with all manner of veggies. I have made this with varying success a few times. This time I measured (and did not lose where I wrote it down). It is at worst the second best of the incarnations.

The sauce:

2 Tbsp peanut butter

1 Tbsp soy

juice of 1/2 lime

1/2 in ginger finely minced

1 clove garlic finely diced

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

bit of sriracha

1/2 tsp corn syrup


The base:


The add ins:




(extra)-firm tofu



Cook the add ins a little under your preference. I did not cook the carrots or tomato at all at this stage

Now, combine the rice and add-ins in a hot skillet. Pour some sauce over it. Stir-fry. Serve. (Wait a few minutes before eating to avoid burning your mouth.)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Buttermilk bonanaza and a cranberry cake recipe

A couple weeks ago, the grocery store had buttermilk on a "manager's special" price of just $.99 for a half gallon. It was expiring the next day, but I figured buttermilk is basically bad milk, so just like yogurt, it lasts way after the expiration date. I have never used much buttermilk, but I decided that this was a personal challenge.

I knew my first recipe: my mom's cranberry upside-down cake. She has made this a few times when Jon and I have been visiting, and typically she makes them two days in a row because after we all have a small piece as dessert, my dad and Jon manage to eat the rest of the cake over the course of the evening. The cranberry cake only used 1/2 cup of the buttermilk, so I had a long way to go to make the half gallon disappear. It was really fun to browse recipes, get suggestions from my facebook friends, and try new things, and yesterday I successfully finished off the buttermilk with this delightful maple buttermilk pie. It turns out there aren't a lot of healthy buttermilk recipes. Most of them are pancakes, biscuits, scones, and cakes. The buttermilk mission was a nice excuse to indulge, which is very welcome in a snowy winter.

Today I'm including the cranberry cake recipe, which I foolishly didn't photograph. What was I thinking? It's beautiful. The cranberries collapse during cooking and make a beautiful topping on the cake. In the next few days, I'll be posting some of the other recipes I used to get through the buttermilk.

Cranberry upside-down cake
This is great topped with whipped cream.

3/4 cup butter, divided (1/4 cup and 1/2 cup) and softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 bag (12-16 oz) cranberries
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9x9 baking dish. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter and brown sugar. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and pour cranberries on top.

Mix together the flour and baking powder. In a large bowl, cream remaining 1/2 cup butter with granulated sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla extract. Add the milk or buttermilk and dry ingredients, just mixing.

In a small bowl, beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Fold egg whites into batter. I was worried that the batter wasn't combining well enough with the egg whites, but it tasted fine in the end, so don't worry if it seems too doughy and stubborn.

Spread batter evenly over cranberries in the baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Remove cake from oven. Run a knife around the sides of the pan. Let sit 15 minutes, then invert onto a plate. Let it sit a few minutes before removing pan.

Buttermilk count: 1/2 cup
Buttermilk bonanza total: 1/2 cup

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Acorn squash with wild rice stuffing

Blogger is formatting all weird right now. If I get a chance, I'll try to go back and fix the weird font changes and the fact that I can't seem to center the pictures.
A lot has happened to us since our last post. The big news is that Evelyn finally defended her thesis and will be graduating in May! We traveled a lot in December, and Jon has been traveling a lot this month too. We are getting back in the swing of this food blog. We've been making lots of food, trying new things, and even getting some good pictures (and some mediocre ones), but it's just been hard to get them on the blog. Here's a recipe from the beginning of the year, developed by Jon.

Evelyn and I were away from the 13th to the 31st of December, and as usual, travel meant not eating as well as normal. When we got back we were craving our usual food. I figured a stuffed squash would be a nice combination of not too rich and winter appropriate. Evelyn impulse-bought a bunch of wild rice when it was on sale, and we haven't been using it nearly quickly enough. We prefer to eat it with brown rice in a 1:1 ratio, so we always buy the two separately. A lot of blends you get skimp on the wild rice.

These were good, but we do have some ideas for next time. We think celery and nuts, particularly pecans, would be really good additions. We also tried topping one with a bit of cheddar, and that would be nice to try next time. We might also pour some apple juice or cider into each squash along with the stuffing to add some liquid and sweetness.

Acorn squash with wild rice stuffing

Makes two squashes with some leftover filling. Each squash is a nice dinner, but it's extra nice with a salad on the side, of course.

Two acorn squashes

1/2 cup wild rice

1/2 cup brown rice

2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp butter

1/4 onion

6 white mushrooms

1/4 cup dried cherries (preferably unsweetend)

Make the rice.Preheat oven to 400. Chop off the tops of the squashes and remove the innards.

Pour the rice and vegetable stock into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender, adding more water or stock if necessary.

While the rice is cooking saute the the onions and mushrooms in butter until soft and onions are translucent.
Chop the dried cherries.

When the rice is done, combine cherries, onions and mushrooms and place mixture in squash. Re-top squashes and place stuffed squash in a pan with a 1/4 inch of water. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or longer if necessary to cook squash through.