22 February, 2011

Eats - Kimchi Stew with Daikon Root and Shitake Mushrooms

I was recently given the opportunity to test a recipe for a cookbook that is in the works. It was a vegetarian Korean stew with daikon  root and shitake and tofu and kimchi. Quite delightful. While I can't share the recipe, I can share the pictures.
I did not make the sushi this time, and it wasn't Korean sushi. Just some tuna from Fresh Market, but it made for a nice pairing.
And now I have a whole lot of daikon root left. Anyone have any suggestions for it's use?
Many thanks to Michael Natkin at herbivoracious.com for allowing me to review this delicious recipe. Perhaps he will post the recipe soon on his blog, and I can provide the link.

20 February, 2011

Eats - Portobello stir-fry with bean thread noodles - or it's time to go to the grocery

I bought entirely too many portobellos the other day when I was on the way to grill out at a friend's, and so I was trying to come up with a way to include as many of them as possible in one meal with minimal effort. Other than my quick stop at the store for the mushrooms (and wine...), I haven't been grocery shopping in a minute. I didn't even have garlic! That almost never happens, and it was sadly missed in this meal.
Stir-fry served with rice
So, I made do with the few things I had - onions, spinach, bean thread noodles, tamari, sherry, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, and vegetable broth. I cooked a medium onion in olive oil, added cayenne pepper, some broth, and the bean thread noodles. When the noodles had softened, I added the mushrooms, cooked them down a bit, added the spinach and some tamari, sherry, and garlic salt. When the spinach had wilted, I served it all with rice.

One of the stranger meals I've ever made, but other than being a tad salty (I'm sure some of you could guess), totally tasty.

14 February, 2011

Thrifts - Table Runner or Kitchen Towel?

Apparently I might have been right the first time around. Another aunt has informed me that my table runner from a couple posts ago may actually be kitchen towel stock - buy it by the yard and cut it down to size. I like that idea.

13 February, 2011

Responses! - Real potato pancakes and a great use for ice cube trays OR my aunts know their s#*t

My family is full of wonderful cooks, so it's nice to receive suggestions and recipes from my aunts. One of my aunts sent me the following recipe for potato latkes after my "I made up potato pancakes" post. I'll make them soon, and let y'all know how they turn out.

Care of Corbis

Take two or three russet potatoes and grate them coarsely, place in a bowl.  The best tool for this is a mandoline, peel or not as you choose.  I don't think it makes any difference.
Salt & pepper well, add a small finely chopped onion and 3 - 4 tablespoons flour.   DO NOT ADD EGG, MAKES THEM TOUGH!  Toss all together lightly  but  well, preferably with a large open-tined fork, you do not want to STIR, heat your griddle until hot, add a small amount of oil and spread around with your spatula.  Put a blob of potato mixture about the size of a golf ball on the griddle and spread/mash it out until about 1/4 - 1/2" thick.  Leave on one side until browned, turn and brown the other side.
Serve with applesauce, sour cream, or gravy.  I prefer gravy.  Great with any kind of roast or pot roast.

(And in my search for a photo to "borrow" from the internet, I saw one with sweet potato latkes. I probably need to try those, too.)

From another aunt - Good things to freeze in ice cube trays:

Care of Ready Made
Chicken stock

Tomato paste
Pureed chipotle peppers

Or anything you just need a little of and end up throwing the rest out.  Put them in a baggie once they’re frozen and pull out as needed!

My addition - I usually end up making way too much of a stir fry or dipping sauce. This would be a good way to keep them around, too.

**A few more additions (from the latke aunt):
Nutmeg in the latkes
And for the freezing - some especially tasty gravy or egg whites (that's a great suggestion, I frequently have those left over). If you don't use ice cube trays, try freezing in a ziploc bag flat, breaking off as needed.

05 February, 2011

Some eats, some thrifts: Brother's Birthday Dinner and Cake - "Fried" Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Apple Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce; Vintage bundt pan, tablecloth, table runner

We had two snow days in a row. The second day, I got pretty stir crazy. It happened to be the day before my brother's 25th birthday, so I put together a pretty decent meal with stuff we had in the house, cake included.

This post is part eats and part thrifts. My vintage bundt pan was a gift from a friend's mom. I'd said how I wanted to make a bundt cake, she gave me this pan, and then three years later, I'm finally using it. Sigh. 
Vintage bundt pan
The pan worked wonderfully. The cake was delicious, but I made a bad decision. I'll discuss it below.

Also, in the following pictures you can see my vintage fruit tablecloth and table runner. My grandmother gave me the tablecloth from her personal stash (it had belonged to my great-grandmother), and the runner came from the Southport Antique Mall last spring. Funny story...I bought it thinking it was two kitchen towels. I didn't realize until the day before the following pictures were taken that it was, in fact, a table runner. I had put it away, thinking we have enough dish towels, and I would save it for when that wasn't the case. Sigh.
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas
I learned this way of making fried chicken from my mom. Start with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, wash them, dry them, then cover them with a flour mixture that includes salt, pepper, and paprika. I put this mixture in a pie pan and dip the chicken in it. Heat some oil in a pan on medium high - Just coat the pan a little heavily, there's a reason I put "fried" in quotes. Cook the chicken until golden brown, turning as necessary. Have your oven preheated to about 250 deg. F, and once the chicken is browned, place it in a baking dish in the oven to finish cooking through.
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas; Vintage tablecloth, vintage table runner

02 February, 2011

Eats - Iced-in Brunch

French toast with apples cooked in sorghum and maple syrup,
scrambled eggs with cheddar and spinach, orange slices, coffee
So apparently we are enjoying a record-breaking, or at least quite impressive, ice storm. We had a snow day at work. Snow days are one of my favorite things about winter. An unexpected day off. And not only a day off, but a day when I couldn't go anywhere if I wanted to. Glorious. So after I did some Pilates, cleaned a bit, and de-iced my back stairs and car (just in time for them to ice back over), I made a hefty brunch for my sister-blogger (who braved the ice so our puppies could play) and me. I do get a kick out of calling him my "sister"-blogger, but he's done it to himself.

The brunch included French toast made from the leftover bread from my previous post - the multigrain sandwich bread - dipped in eggs, heavy cream, a splash of milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla and then cooked in oil until crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and topped with apples cooked in butter, sorghum, and maple syrup. Mm. The eggs were scrambled with cheddar and cream cheeses, a bit of milk, spinach, black and cayenne peppers, and salt.

Eats - White Bean and Chard Stew with Poached Eggs and Multigrain Bread

And this is the first of two posts from the "teaser" picture I posted yesterday - the one with all the produce.
White bean and chard stew with poached eggs and multigrain bread.
I started with the same broth as in this post. I used much less of it, keeping the rest back for for reheating the stew a dthe potato leek soup I made the same evening and .
Making the stock
I admit parts of this recipe will sound pretty similar to that other post with the white bean and cabbage stew, but the end result was not. The presentation was considerably different, and where the cabbage stew was brothy, this one was dry. Don't be too quick to judge my repetition. I have a thing for soups and stews and beans and cooked greens in the winter.

Ok, so. For the stew. Brown three shallots in oil. Add four cloves of garlic, two carrots, and two celery stalks (finely chopped). Brown in oil for a few minutes, then add two 12 oz. cans of white northern beans. Add 1/4 cup white wine, cook down, then add two cups of the vegetable stock, a few teaspoons each of thyme and rosemary, two bay leaves and salt, black, and white pepper to taste. Cook for five minutes or until the beans are cooked. Add two bunches of chard, stems removed and coarsely chopped. Put a lid on and allow the chard to wilt, stirring occasionally.
White bean and chard stew

01 February, 2011


Thrift: Camera bag

So, I got a really nice camera for Christmas (Thanks, Mom and Dad!). Soon after, I began the great search for the perfect bag to put it in (for under a bizillion dollars, of course). The internets failed me, so I turned to my old stand-by. It took multiple trips, but as usual, Value World came through with this super sweet leather camera bag, with pockets in all the right places, for a measly $3. Awesome.