Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shirred Eggs

From Jenny Also Cooks

Ever since going to a restaurant in Newport that I wish I could remember the name of for breakfast my last day there, I get cravings for shirred eggs.

I used the recipe from Sass & Veracity, and it was delicious although next time I think I'd use my broiler on low instead of high.

We ate these with (on, really) toast and tea!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


From Jenny Also Cooks

I came across this amazing recipe on Steamy Kitchen for Indian Dal Nirvana. The fat content is sticker shock, but I always make a recipe as written the first time around (unless it has meat in it!).

It was delicious, although I may have oversalted, since it seemed to get saltier as it cooled. And spicier, phew. Next time I'm going to try using coconut milk and half the fat, replacing butter with olive oil. I think it might still have some of the creaminess. We'll see!

But it is always good to find an Indian recipe that actually tastes as good as what you'd get in a restaurant. The only other one I've been satisfied with was the Aloo Gobi recipe from the special features of Bend It Like Beckham.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Freezing pesto

From Jenny Also Cooks

Most gardens end up with a surplus of basil, and I was excited about various ways of preserving it for later. Even after pulling up all of our cinnamon basil (too spicy!), I had enough to make two batches of pesto, even just by pinching off the flowering parts down to where new leaves were forming.

Tips I kept reading online:
-Leave the parmesan out. Something about how it freezes better without it, and is easy to add back in later.
-Freeze in ice cube trays, then once frozen remove and place into freezer bag.

For this experiment I made an adaptation of the pesto recipe in The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters. Pine nuts are expensive, but when I leave nuts out entirely, I feel like the balance is off. Nathaniel is fairly allergic to most nuts but I'm not sure that hazelnuts give him as much trouble (I'll be double checking that later today!). My Mom had sent me a huge bag of them that I keep in my freezer, so the day before I planned to make pesto I peeled and roasted them since that can be a complicated process.

The day of, I just made it in batches in my food processor - whirred the garlic with the nuts, added the basil, then added the olive oil until it made a different pasty sucking sound. A little pinch of salt and then right into the ice cube trays!

From Jenny Also Cooks

Today I took 9 cubes of frozen pesto cubes out and let them defrost a little. Once the pasta cooked I added the cubes to the hot pan and let them finish warming, tossed it with the pasta and parmesan cheese. I will make several more batches this summer for enjoying over the no-garden-basil months, as it seems to work pretty well!

Friday, June 18, 2010

What to do with cabbage!

From Jenny Also Cooks

Sorry for posting two entries right after the other, but I've been doing a lot of new recipes lately because of all the garden produce. You see, I grew a few things that I wasn't sure I actually liked, cabbage topping that list. I just never really know what to DO with it. You can only eat coleslaw so many times, plus I'm not really sure I like it to begin with.

The last cookbook I purchased was Simply in Season, from the same group that did More With Less and Extending the Table. The cookbook is divided into four seasons, and the index is well done by recipe name as well as produce involved. The recipes are designed to address certain periods of abundance in the garden, and there was practically a cabbage section! I chose the cabbage au gratin since I had all the ingredients, including a few newly ripe carrots. It was a simple preparation but is a great comfort food, and I would probably make it again. I think it would be great sprinkled with bacon, which we don't eat, but I may try it with soy bacon bits.

Crowder Peas - a Southern Treat!

From Jenny Also Cooks

Crowder Peas are part of a category of southern field peas that I actually learned about from a cookbook, The Lee Bros' Simple Fresh Southern, which has had amazing recipes in it so far. I was curious, and randomly found them to be in season the next time we were at the state farmers market in my town. They were selling them already shelled or in the pod, and I thought it would be more of an experience to shell them first, so I bought them in their most unprocessed form.

For the recipe, all I had to do was boil them for 20 minutes or so. It was tempting to just slap some butter and salt on them and eat them as is, because they had so much flavor, and this indescribable richness for such a little pea. But I had this salad recipe that included beets, which I hadn't ever worked with in a fresh state, so I pushed forward.

From Jenny Also Cooks

The salad was lovely - Nathaniel, who thinks he hates beets, even enjoyed the flavors. I think if I made it again, I would play on the richness of the peas and add some fresh goat cheese. It was even better a few days later after the flavors had really marinated. Now that I know what crowder peas taste like, I'm going to see if they are something we can grow in the garden next year. And now that I know that beets are so easy, they will surely make another appearance in my kitchen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Radish Feast

From Jenny Also Cooks

Tonight I ran out into the garden between thunderstorms and picked some of our radishes. The green parts had grown almost waist high, but I wasn't going to just throw them away! I made radish butter from The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern with the actual radishes, then baked eggs into a bed of wilted radish greens that I'd put in a pan with onion and garlic, based on a recipe from Olives & Oranges.

So simple and so delicious.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stir-Fried Bok Choy, Pea Pods, and Tofu

From Jenny Also Cooks

Well, if nothing else, gardening gives us more greens we have to eat!

The bok choy and peas are from the garden, and the tofu is in an attempt to become more of a tofu master. The recipe is from This Can't Be Tofu and just wasn't great, but I'll keep trying. (Please pass any fail-safe tofu recipes my way!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Red Onion Jam

From Jenny Also Cooks

What Would Brian Boitano Make is my newest guilty pleasure cooking show. I've been making a few of his recipes, and this one is good. I hadn't had Tallegio before, so this was a great excuse. I'm undecided about including blue cheese, but it did help with the direct richness of the Tallegio. The red onion jam is full of flavor and might have done it on its own, and the recipe is on the Food Network site.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fugly Favas

From Jenny Also Cooks

I have wanted to cook with fresh fava beans for a few years, and finally came across them when they were in season. They are fugly little pod creatures that take a little preparation before you can actually eat them. You don't eat these furry fibrous pods, but open them up and remove the beans inside.

From Jenny Also Cooks

Still can't eat them. The husks are too hard here, but they look like lima beans. At this point I boiled them for 6 minutes.

From Jenny Also Cooks

6 minutes was 1-2 minutes too long. Several got mashed as I removed them from their skins, but I was also in the weeds, my garlic was burning, and my pasta was already cooked. Next time I'd completely prepared the fava beans before doing the other steps on my recipe.

From Jenny Also Cooks

I didn't really have a recipe for this. I had mustard greens growing in the garden that I wanted to use, as well as some basil I needed to thin down. I sauteed some garlic in olive oil and cooked the greens, added the favas, added some lemon juice and the pasta, and tossed with some parmesan and thin ribbons of basil.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Garlic Bok Choy

From Jenny Also Cooks

I know, I know, it has been a while. I have some posts I need to make! But this year, we have been gardening a bunch and tonight was the first time we've made a meal from something we grew!

I watched a few YouTube videos on how to harvest lettuce and cabbages, because I wanted the things I planted to have as long of a life as they were supposed to, and one of them linked to this recipe. I feel like it was too oily, but my pan may not have been quite high enough. Still, we'll have more bok choy to eat, and the flavor of the leaves was delicious!