Monday, January 31, 2011
Anyway, hence the vegetarian soup. You can omit the scallop if you choose, but I have to tell you, it's pretty amazing. Just season both sides with salt and pepper, place in a hot skillet with a little olive oil, pan sear on each side for about 3-4 minutes and you're done. You can do it as fast as you can say Twinkie.
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 baking potato (6 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
1 rounded cup red lentils (8 ounces)
1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock or broth
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a large saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add the potato, lentils and stock; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are very tender, 40 minutes.
Puree the soup in batches and return it to the saucepan. Add the cumin, cayenne and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 to 2 tbs chili-garlic sauce
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder (at Whole Foods or Central Market)
Kosher salt and pepper
2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup long grain white or Basmati rice
1 medium head of bok choy, thinly sliced, about 8 cups
2 scallions, sliced
1. In a 4 to 6 quart slow cooker, combine the soy sauce, sugar, chili-garlic sauce, ginger, five-spice powder, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Add the pork and toss to coat. Cook, covered, until the pork is tender, on high for about 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.
2. Twenty-five minutes before serving, cook rice according to package directions.
3. Meanwhile, trim off and discard any fat from the pork. Gently fold the bok choy into the pork and cook, covered, until heated through, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with the rice and sprinkle with scallions.
Friday, January 21, 2011
I shut the door and go and make pretzels. Unlike the twisted mess in my daughters room, they can certainly put a smile on my face and serve up as a nice snack to my red-caped husband.
3 3/4 cups bread flour (20 ounces), plus more for dusting
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
10 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup baking soda
2 cups boiling water
Coarse sea salt or Kosher salt, for sprinkling
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the 3 3/4 cups of bread flour with the warm water, yeast, kosher salt and butter and knead at medium speed until the flour is evenly moistened, 2 minutes. Increase the speed to high and knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms around the hook, 8 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Cover loosely with a dry kitchen towel and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and form each one into a ball. Cover the dough balls with the towel and let rest for another 5 minutes.
On an unfloured surface, roll each ball of dough into an 18-inch-long rope, tapering them slightly at both ends. To shape each pretzel, form the rope into a U shape. Cross the ends over each other twice to form the twist, then bring the ends to the bottom of the U and press the tips onto it. Arrange the pretzels on 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper and let stand uncovered in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until slightly risen. Refrigerate the pretzels uncovered for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Dissolve 1/2 cup baking soda in 2 quarts of boiling water. Boil the pretzels for 30 seconds, then drain on wire racks before salting and baking.
Sprinkle the pretzels with coarse salt and bake on the top and middle racks of the oven until shiny-brown and risen, about 17 minutes; shift the pans halfway through baking. Let the pretzels cool slightly on the baking sheets before serving.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 2/3 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers (about 2 medium)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 oz can chopped green chilies
Chopped fresh cilantro
Grated MontereyJack cheese
Chopped green onions
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté until onions soften, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Mix in beans, 1/2 cup reserved bean liquid, diced tomatoes and chilies. Bring chili to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and chili thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Ladle chili into bowls. Pass chopped cilantro, avocado, grated cheese, and green onions separately.
Friday, January 14, 2011
2 center-cut bacon slices (optional) (use 3 tbs olive oil if not using)
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth OR vegetable broth
2 cups water
2 (15 oz) cans organic chickpeas (garbanzo), rinsed and drained
4 cups organic chopped kale
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced fat Greek yogurt
4 lemon wedges
Cook bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp (or heat olive oil until shimmering). Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon, drain over paper towels and set aside. Add carrot and onion to drippings (or olive oil) and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add paprika, 1/4 tsp salt, cumin red pepper; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, 2 cups water, and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add kale to bean mixture. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender, stirring occasionally. Ladle into bowls and top with yogurt and a squeeze of lemon. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Winter inspires me to cook warm comfort foods that well, make you want to wrap up in a blanket, sit on the couch, requires one utensil, one bowl/plate, fireplace roaring and The Bachelor. Not that I ate this doing such a thing, but you know what I'm talking about. Moving my traditional Thursday night girls night to Tuesdays for the month, I chose to try this dish from my recent Christmas gift, La Cucina Italiana magazine. I love risotto of any kind and not to sound like a lush, it goes fabulously with the right kind of wine. It's a simple dish to make and it's perfect to prepare as you sip wine and chat with a girlfriend and/or significant other, or The Bachelor.
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water
7 tbs of very good extra virgin olive oil
1 leafy sprig fresh rosemary
2 navel oranges
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 Arborio or Carnaroli rice
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano cheese
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
Combine broth and water in a medium saucepan; heat to a very gentle simmer.
Meanwhile, combine 5 tablespoons oil and rosemary sprig in a small saucepan; heat over low heat until oil reaches a bare simmer, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes, then remove rosemary oil; reserve oil. Remove and reserve leaves from toasted rosemary, discarding stem.
Finely grate zest from 1 orange; put zest in a small bowl or ramekin and cover with plastic wrap.
From the remaining orange, using a sharp pairing knife, cut zest in long strips, avoiding the white pith. Thinly slice zest strips lengthwise. Wrap sliced zest in plastic wrap; set aside zest and strips.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring frequently with a long handled wooden spoon, until softened, about 3 minutes.
Add rice, increase the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring frequently, until rice is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add 1 cup broth mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is almost absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup broth and orange zest. Cook, stirring constantly, until broth is mostly absorbed. Continue adding broth in 1/2 cupfuls, stirring constantly, and allowing each addition to mostly absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender yet firm to the bite (you may have broth leftover).
Remove risotto from heat. Stir in cheese, 1 to tablespoons reserved oil and salt. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve risotto immediately, sprinkled with reserved zest strips and rosemary.