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In my very slow way I am planning to copy my LJ archive over to DW, and make DW my primary journal. I have a permanent account on both sites so I haven't been as affected by the creeping ads found over in LJ-land, but the constant DDOS issues, plus the ads to non-paying members, is making that site more and more unusable as time goes on. It's a shame as I've enjoyed it, and will continue to cross-post to LJ even when I've rehomed to DW, and answer comments at either place.

Anyhow, I want to finish some tag cleanup before I do that, because it's easier for me to retag things on LJ than here. (I have an offline app that handles it pretty well.)

But people who know me from DW and not from LJ might be surprised by non-recipe content (heck, any content at all; it's been a long time since I've been coherent enough to post a recipe here) coming online in... oh... probably a month or two... so I wanted to give a head's up. In the meantime any post-like things will continue to occur over there.
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I'm seeing if I can post to Dreamwidth using Semagic. That would make Dreamwidth a lot more useful for me!

Update: oh hey works just fine!


Aug. 19th, 2009 12:10 am
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I'm still playing catchup on some of the other recipes I wanted to post.

Today I was very crashy for much of the day, and it was too hot to cook what I wanted to cook anyhow. So I started cooking bizarrely late, but I really like how it all came out. Now I am exhausted but not sleepy so I thought I'd jot it down.

1) Roasted chioggia beets with fennel, onion, and fresh rosemary. (Just a little coconut oil spray in the pan, and seasoned with salt and pepper. Added the pepper after it came out.) The key here was the fresh rosemary; I actually pulled the stems out after roasting it, but then realized that the crumbly leaves were delicious little flavor bombs and the texture wasn't bad because they hadn't gotten tough or sharp, so put the leaves back in. Chioggia beets lose some of their drama from the white and bright pink bulls eyes when roasted, but they get delightfully sweet.

2) Three cloves of elephant garlic that I had leftover. Simply roasted; I spread this on crackers later and ate it with the roasted tomato sauce, like bruschetta. I haven't roasted elephant garlic before and I think the roasting helps with some of the slightly odd vegetal aftertaste of it. I like it that way and raw, but not as well cooked other ways.

3) Italian black paste tomatoes, halved, placed in a pan with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, then crushed garlic (I used the Korean hot garlic), then overtopped with several handfuls of shredded basil. After these were done roasting into a reduced and somewhat caramelized mess I ran them through a food processor. (Actually the mini one that goes with my stick blender, which is a lot easier to use and clean than the big one, which I may be getting rid of since I hate using it.)

4) Soup made from a bunch of dandelion greens, two Japanese sweet potatoes, an onion, and the leftover basil (a quarter to a third of the bunch). I wanted to add some thyme to complement the basil but we were totally out so I used herbes de provence instead; possibly a kind of weird choice but I'll know tomorrow after it's had time for the flavors to meld. This is likely too bitter for Brad but I like bitter greens a lot so I'll eat it up and freeze some for later. This might even make a decent cold soup. I ran the stick blender over it for a coarse puree.

We also still have some of the lamb and bean stew (which came out really well; I'm really grooving on the bean + meat + slow cooking thing), and a whole bunch of dal, which I snuck some Mayan squash into. So I've got a pretty good track record on cooking so far this week!
flit: (lunch)
Sablefish and Chard and Basil More in the fish series....

This one used a different cooking method, steaming, as outlined in this lovely little minimalist recipe by Mark Bittman: Steamed Fish on Kale. This is beautiful because you get a side dish and a main dish all out of one pan.

I used a variant of chard (Italian chard?) that was almost as tender as spinach, so adjusted cooking times accordingly. I also added some basil to the mix. The delicate flesh of the sablefish lends itself really well to steaming; it's less prone to come apart while cooking if this method is used. This was very sumptuous even though I greatly reduced the oil/butter, given the high fat content of the sablefish.

Upcoming: the fresh sardine recipe.
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Salmon with Blood Orange Sauce and Mesclun Salad At least I am pretty sure this was salmon and not a big trout.... This was a case of "fish that looked good in the store" combined with "what I have on hand that goes with it." It's another dead-simple preparation with browning the seasoned filet and then making a pan sauce to pour over the fish.

In this case I used the juice from a blood orange, thyme, and undoubtedly some kind of wine: vermouth, sherry, or white wine, whatever I had on hand. I likely used garlic as well.

The nice thing about pan reductions is they're infinitely variable and incredibly easy. You can have a composed meal ready in 10-15 minutes, a bit longer if you have anything fussy to chop first. They use the caramelized bits of whatever you were cooking in the pan, so you get layered flavors.
flit: (lunch)
Sablefish with Strawberries I've wanted to make this recipe for some time now but didn't quite get there. I did this on a night where taking the extra steps to make a separate sauce and the butter searing paste, both of which look delicious, just didn't seem doable.

Sablefish, AKA black cod, is one of the reasonably sustainable options available locally; the fishery isn't as good as the one in the Pacific Northwest yet, but they're improving. However I later found out that it is a *very* fatty fish; it's also called butterfish for a reason! For that reason it won't be showing up much on my menus until I'm no longer trying to lose weight. In flavor it's not as oily as you'd think, not even as oily as mackerel or salmon. It has a flavor that manages to be both light and rich. In texture it's more delicate than many fish, which may be why it's not as popular; it tends to flake into small flakes very easily, which can look messy on a plate. I think the flavor makes up for the messiness. You can see the flake pattern if you look closely; I was careful not to cook it to the point of collapse.

I didn't keep strict notes on my method, but I probably just seasoned the filet and then browned it in a mixture of butter and olive oil until done. Removed the fish and made a pan sauce with balsamic vinegar, strawberries, red onions, and ... ahem... whatever that greenery is. Basil? Green onions? Either would work. Garnish with a few more fresh strawberries, and devour. The acid sweetness of the strawberries and vinegar is a nice contrast with this fish; I think it would be too much on a drier white fish like on tilapia.

I still want to try the base recipe some day! I think the extra steps would make it extra delicious.
flit: (lunch)
Quail Eggs Poached Quail Eggs on Gluten-Free English Muffins I wanted to do something fairly special with the little quail eggs I got to try out, so I decided to poach them and put them on a gluten-free English muffin. (The one I used was from Kinnikinnick.)

My poaching technique isn't very well-developed, and likely I shouldn't practice it on quail eggs. I lost a fair amount of their delicate little whites to the poaching water. What was left was nice with soft whites and just-runny yolks, but clearly I'm going to have to try poaching more using chicken eggs.

I used a good butter on the English muffins and seasoned with fresh chives, fresh ground black pepper, and sea salt. This was delicious, but as poaching the eggs was quite fussy, I don't think I'd try it again unless I improve my poaching technique first. The only thing going for it was that it was less fussy than soft-boiling them and then peeling them.
flit: (lunch)
Kielbasa with Giant White Beans
This was an overnight baked recipe and very simple. It comes out fairly low-fat even using full-fat sausage.

* 2 1/4 cups dry giant white beans (or cannelini or any other white bean)
* 1tsp olive or other vegetable oil
* 1 12-oz kielbasa (I used a turkey kielbasa), sliced fairly thin
* 1 lg. onion, diced
* 2 ribs celery, diced
* 6 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1/2 tsp. smoked hot paprika
* 1/2 tsp. sweet hot paprika
* 4 cups good stock; I used homemade turkey stock
* 2 tsp dried thyme
* 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
* ground black pepper (and salt) to taste; may not need salt if you use packaged broth
* (opt) handful chopped parsley

Either soak the beans the night before in water that covers them by two inches, or use the fast-soak method: cover the beans by two inches with cold water, bring to a boil, boil for two minutes, cover the pan and let sit for one hour. Discard soaking liquid.

Pre-heat oven to 225.

In a dutch oven or other heavy oven-safe pan with an oven-safe lid, brown the sausage slices in the olive oil, then add the onions. When the onions go translucent add the garlic and celery and cook another minute or so. Add the stock and stir around the pan to dissolve the caramelization on the pan into the liquid. Add the beans and all herbs but fresh parsley.

Place into the oven at 225 for four hours, then reduce heat to 200 and let bake another six hours. (Or bake for 6 hours at 250.)

In the morning, stir in the parsley.

This would undoubtedly work just fine in a slow-cooker. You could also add tomato paste to it to get the sauce thicker. If you don't have smoked paprika, substitute in normal paprika; if you don't have hot paprika you can use half the amount as cayenne and half the amount as sweet. If you want to enhance the smoky flavor try Worcestershire sauce.

I based this very very loosely on cassoulet, but used paprika as a substitution for tomato paste, and omitted all of the meat and bread crumbs. I used various baked bean recipes to determine good cooking temperatures since I wanted to cook it overnight.

This had good flavor but the sauce was somewhat bland so I think next time I would add a little salt, possibly some tomato paste, wine, or gluten-free Worcestershire sauce, and double the paprika.
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Things I should write up foodwise before my seive of a memory loses 'em:

* Broccoli Soup That Turned Out Well
* Fresh Sardines, OMG They're Back
* My Very First Frittata (Why Did I Wait So Long?)
flit: (lunch)
I needed to use up some opened cans (black beans, diced tomatoes), so this happened. I didn't really measure ingredients, just added things randomly, so add stuff and taste to see if it's right. It came out strangely delicious which is why I'm recording it. I'll scale it up to full cans here because that's how people who are not living on my planet cook.

Vegetarian and easily adapted to be vegan (just leave out the cheese or use vegan cheese if you like it.)

Serves 2-3.

* 1 can black beans (I use Eden, which is very low sodium)
* 1 can Muir Glen Fire-Roasted No-Salt-Added Tomatoes, Diced (yes, very specific; if you can get these fire-roasted babies, I think they're the secret ingredient, because they have a delightful smoky flavor. Would be doable but not as good if you use others. I prefer to add salt in to recipes so I can control the amounts, but you can use normal canned tomatoes and not add as much extra salt.)
* 1 cup chopped onion
* enough water to almost cover or make this all loose; you'll lose some water in the simmering and it will become denser
* umm a bunch of cumin powder. I just knocked some in from the jar, probably at least a teaspoon and a half for this scaling.
* a teaspoon or so of hot paprika, which is the mild chile powder I have on hand; you can use chile powder but if you use a pre-made blend leave out some garlic powder (often in blends), cumin (often in blends), salt (often in blends). Check blend ingredients or just add to taste. If you can't get your hands on the fire-roasted tomatoes, try hot smoked Spanish paprika to impart the smokiness.
* half a teaspoon to a teaspoon of garlic powder, depending on taste. Or minced fresh garlic but I was lazy.
* something hot to punch it up; I used a little habanero hot sauce, but a chipotle or two, diced, or diced jalapeno would also be good. I was going for a mild buzz because I'm a wimp. Add as much as you like.
* scant 1/8th tsp. allspice because "it needed something from this neighborhood"
* 1/8th tsp. cinnamon, see allspice
* fresh ground black pepper, as much as you like
* salt to taste

Cook this at a fast simmer, stirring pretty often, for about 15 minutes, which should get the onions fully cooked. If they are still white it is not done yet. Since this is meatless it really doesn't need a hugely long cooking time. This is a quick easy meal. You can make it need less stirring by parking it on a low simmer for a longer time, probably total of 30 minutes.

To this I added small-dice fat-free cheddar cheese, which I had bought to see if it was good; it wasn't very. It claims that it melts and it lies. Lies! I simmered for another five minutes and it was still only half-melted. Scary! I think it acts this way because it is mostly whey, and untempered by fat or lactose I guess that means... rubber.

So it should be simmered for 20 minutes now. If you are adding real cheese in, don't put it in until serving unless you want it to be undifferentiated; I think part of the fun is biting into little chunks of cheese. You could top with chopped raw onions, green onions, lemon or lime juice, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever you like. Or just eat it as-is like I did.

Strangely, the fat-free cheese ended up tasting really good in this, for the first time ever. So now I know how to use up the rest of it!

The way I made it, it was almost fat-free. If you are trying *not* to eat lowfat, you can stir in some olive oil or top with sour cream or guacamole or just use cheese (or more cheese.)

I am having a crashy day so this recipe is certified fatigue-okay. Not as easy as popping packaged food into a microwave, but on the easy side for real food.


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