Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mark Bittman is my hero

I've been busy lately. Haven't had time to cull the best from the whole slew of blogs I try to keep up with. So you'll have to do with me culling from the NY Times, and more specifically, Mark Bittman's contributions from the previous few weeks.

When the food writer for the NY Times starts dropping the word "vegan" in, say, every 4th article he writes for the paper and every 12th time he posts on his blog, things are changing in the world. I fear for his job, actually. Are the benefits - health-wise and yummy-wise - of a vegan diet finally getting the attention they deserve? And in America's best newspaper, no less? Mark Bittman is helping to do just that. Plus, if anyone remembers the infamous photo taken of his "kitchen," he's an inspiration to tiny apartment dwellers everywhere. Of which I am not anymore, though. Hooray Somerville!

His recent post of 101 summer salads rocked my world. It's the summer. I'm lazy. Once I get to the farmer's market and procure my veggies, I have to cook them?!?! Rubbish! I can just dress them in any one of, well, 36-54 ways. (36 are all vegan, 54 are adaptable veggie). Note he chose to list the vegan salads first, and ended with those that included meat.

Recipes for 101 simple salads for the season [NY Times]
An almost-vegan savory breakfast [NY Times]
More vegetable less egg fritatta [NY Times]

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Attack of the Cherry Coffee Cake

Procrastineating: Watch Hill, RI edition. Last time it was banana bread. This time around: um....AAAHHH! What the f*ck is that? It's... coffee cake? Bubble bubble, toil and trouble likely had something to do with too much egg replacer. But who cares how it looks... it's tasty. After you let it cool, wrap it tightly in saran wrap and eat it cold the next day.

Cherry Coffee Cake
(adapted from Cafe Flora Cookbook)

1 cup soy or rice milk
1 T vinegar
1 1/2 cups pitted sliced cherries
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose four, plus 2 T for fruit
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 T (1/2 stick) cold margarine, plus 1/4 lb (1 stick)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Egg Replacer mixed with 2 T water

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 1/2" springform pan. In a small bowl, mix the milk with the vinegar and set aside.

2. Toss cherries in bowl with 2 T flour to coat, set aside.

3. Mix together 1/2 cup of flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut the 4 T margarine into small chunks and mix it in with your fingers until the mixture resembles coarsley chopped nuts. Freeze until ready to use.

4. Sift the remaining 2 cups flour with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

5. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the remaining stick of margarine with the remaining 1 cup sugar for 1 minute.

6. Starting with the dry ingredients, add 1/3 of the dry ing. to the margarine/sugar mixture alternately with the milk-vinegar mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Mix just until no floury streaks remain, ending with the dry ingredients. Do not overbeat. Fold in the egg replacer/water, until fully incorporated. Gently fold in the fruit.

7. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the batter. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with some crumbs still attached. Let cool for an hour or more (actually tastes better the next day).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

First night cooking in new apartment
















Hello dishwasher! Hello disposal! It's been 2 years since I have been able to avail myself of your services. It is a pleasure to meet you again.

Chocolate Coconut Cupcake with ganache topping, check. Agile cat, check. Eat in kitchen, check. Listened to some Bon Iver and danced. And cooked. Cupcake recipe was from "Vegan cupcakes take over the world" and I hate to be the one to break the news but... these particular cupcakes are unsuitable for world domination. And by this, I mean that they would not impress omnivores. They do, however, please this vegan's stomach. Nomnomnomnom

Friday, May 15, 2009

Rap Chop

God, sometimes you just don't come through


Because I'm moving so soon, I haven't been buying many groceries. I've been thinking of inventive ways to use things I already have in my pantry. Those of you who have cooked with me know that I am very much a by-the-[cook]book kind of person. Improvisation is for chefs. I follow recipes. Even so, because I'm a star and own a pressure cooker, tonight I used up the last of my dried black beans, chipotle peppers, and a can of crushed tomatoes. Rainbow chili? Fiesta chili? Festive indeed. I had the foresight to set the beans to soak this morning before I went for a run. Don't quite know how that happened.

Improvisational Pressure Cooker Fiesta Chili:
(players in order of appearance)

In the morning, soak the beans. Before you start cooking, set some water to boil in a kettle, about 4 cups.

1 T olive oil
1 T cumin
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups black beans, soaked for 6 hours, drained, and rinsed well
1 T ancho chile powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cinnamon
1 chipotle pepper, seeded and chopped

half of a 28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen soybeans, set out to thaw a bit
1 cup frozen mixed veggies, set out to thaw a bit (I used Trader Joe's mixed corn, carrots and green beans)

Heat up the olive oil. Throw in the cumin as it heats, then once it's hot add the onions, then after a minute add the garlic. Saute for 1 minute. Then add the beans, the spices, the chipotle and enough boiling water to juuuust cover the beans. Stir. Cover and bring to high pressure, then start timing 12 mins. After 12 bring down the pressure by quick-release, and if the beans aren't tender let them simmer with the top loosely on until they are. Stir in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer for a few minutes, then stir in the partially thawed soybeans and veggies and simmer a couple more minutes. Season with S&P.

Probably serves 3 hungry people or 4 less-hungry people.




The stuff in the Stella glass? That's my Kombucha that carbonated after I left it alone for 2 weeks. Victory! You know I secretly hoped it would ferment into a Dogfish 90 minute but it didn't.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Tofu Takedown

it's like Top Chef... but tofufied! Keep an eye on http://www.chili-takedown.com

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday night cooking party






Let's see, tonight I really got back into the swing of things with cooking. Life has gotten pretty tumultuous as of late as most of you know. Love, my apartment, my city of residence, school, everything is changing all at once. What isn't changing? I had a ton of Chemistry to do tonight and you know what I did instead? That's right.

I made a cake in my rice cooker. I threw it together without a recipe and it was edible but not spectacular. I'll keep experimenting. I ate half the thing because 1) it was freshly baked, and 2) i doused it in maple syrup. And everything tastes better smothered in maple syrup...

New 2 quart All-Clad saucier, check it. Because when you buy your very first piece of cookware you might as well start with the best. And it was ON SALE. Bitchin'.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Spring Veggie Stew for Potluck

video

Spring Vegetable Stew
recipe courtesy Deborah Madison from "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone"
Serves 4

salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 baby carrots, or 2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup snow peas*
6 radishes, including 1/2" of the stems, halved
18 3" asparagus tips
6 scallions, including the stems, cut into 3" lengths
2 broccoli stems, thickly peeled and sliced diagonally
4 small turnips, or 2 rutabegas and 2 turnips, peeled and cut into sixths
4 tbsp butter**
4 thyme sprigs, preferably lemon thyme
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
10 sorrel leaves, sliced into ribbons, optional
1 Tbsp snipped chives
2 tsp finely chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped tarragon

Bring 3 quarts water to a boil and add 1 tbsp salt. One type at a time, blanch the vegetables until barely tender, then remove to a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. When all are lbanched, reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the vegetables. (This can be done ahead of time).

In a wide skillet, melt the butter with the thyme sprigs and reserved liquid. Add the vegetables and simmer until they're warmed through. Add the lemon juice and sesaon with salt and pepper. Add the sorrel and herbs and cook for 1 minute more. Serve at once.

* I used green beans
** I used Earth Balance

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Go Veg for One Day

Go Veg for One Day [Huffington Post]
David Lynch: Fit but you know it... or something. [Huffington Post]

go listen to Metric's new album, Fantasies
go watch Family Gay [Hulu]

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dreams

I just got into nursing school! I haven't cooked in 2 weeks, because of what happened. But goddamnit, I'm cooking tomorrow! Dreams come true! aAAHHHH!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Boston


Ahh, Boston: a reprieve from the pain and gloom that pervades a certain block of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Feasted on a giant bowl of granola and fruit at Soundbites with A and J. A chuckled at my selection. "I guess if you like something, stick with it!" And I said, "I guess if I can only eat one thing on the menu, I have to stick with it!" *insert laughter here* J lost his father last month, and his brother is on the verge of passing away. I am thankful that my grief does not actually involve a person dying.

No-moo Peanut Butter in the Vault at Herrell's with M. The deja vu was overwhelming. I felt like we ought to a) be doing chemistry hw, b) be slugging from flasks previously stashed in a garter belt, or c) making out. Alas, we just ate ice cream, which is another activity that occurred frequently, once upon a time, among the sea anemones and other aquatic life immortalized on its walls.

I baked Cinnamon Buns for sunday potluck brunch at B's home in Salem. L cooked overnight omelette. V photographed the affair. A 16 pound cat was involved. Have you ever seen a 16 pound cat? Freaking huge, man.

Oh, and just because....

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Assignment

Assignment: Go listen to "Road to Nowhere" by Talking Heads, dance around to the accordion solos, and revel in your life's journey.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Craft

Last night, I ate at Craft in celebration of Jordan's 25th birthday. Having just finished my first season of Top Chef, I wanted to see whether Mr. Colliccio deserves to be head judge on said show. The Verdict? Its concept - simple preparation and presentation- is refreshing. It's also playing it a little safe. I'm not the best cook, but even I have a hard time screwing up roasted vegetables. And much of what was on the menu was just that... some damn fine roasted vegetables.

The stand-out for me was a salad with some sort of field greens, pear, pecans, and truffle oil. Now if someone slathered a baby animal in truffle oil, I probably wouldn't notice until I got a few good bites in. That said, the other components of the salad worked well to complement an otherwise overpowering flavor. Pecans + truffle oil = love.

The decor was warm and modern: Jordan particularly liked the fleet of low-wattage exposed-filament bulbs hanging, glowing slightly, from the ceiling. The elongated butcher-block tables kept the two of us far apart enough to notice the distance between us. We soon realized that since the meal is served family-style, the extra square-footage is necessary. Service was impeccable, but not "hovering" as Jordan put it.

The one warning I received was that things are "oversalted" at Craft. This is, unfortunately, true. The swiss chard was a sodium fiesta. It was like sucking on a green, garlic-studded boullion cube.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hail, Freshdirect

Seitan at the bus stop makes me want to say "Hail, Freshdirect!"

Procrastineat: (verb) to eat and/or cook in lieu of something else that is more important and that you probably should be doing.

DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT CLAIM TO BE A "FOOD BLOG" WHATEVER THAT MEANS. This is my blog. I'm not making any claims as to what it seeks to be. It simply is. It might involve a little food. That is all.