elarbee: (Reznik)
I want to make a mushroom soup, where all of the ingredients except for the pearl barley are pureed. Yet, I want to boil the pearl barley along with all the other ingredients so that it absorbs the flavor. Is there any easy way to separate it and blend?
elarbee: (Reznik)
I made a delicious pot roast! I haven't even tasted it yet, but I know it's going to be awesome because I cut it with a spoon!

About 3 lbs of beef, salted and seared went into the slow cooker on low. I didn't want to go with my usual wine sauce, so I deglazed the pan with orange juice and poured a bunch more into the pot. Also added: cloves, 5 garlic cloves, juice of one lemon, rosemary, thyme, paprika, steak seasoning, about 2 tbsp of dijon mustard, a splash each of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce, a teaspoon or so of tomato paste plus some crushed tomatoes I had leftover, 2 bay leaves, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.

So almost 8 hours later, I'm going to eat that fucker with some broiled potatoes!
elarbee: (Reznik)
I've recently gotten over yet another stage of my fearing cooking meat, with the help of a probe thermometer. I'm still quite grossed out by the whole animal carcass aspect of it, but since my grand success with turkey, I've been roasting whole chickens with relative success, even stuffed ones, against my own advice. And I've gotten much better at making stocks, broths and bullions, now that I've figured out the timing and temperature aspect. My latest thing is roasting a chicken and using the leftover bits to make stock and subsequently soup - usually my beloved avgolemono. However, tomorrow, the giant container of stock I produced today will become mushroom soup. When I told Andy, he got all excited (about soup!) but then realized that not all soup resembles the cream of mushroom soup from a can. I'm sure I've made a version of this more Russian variant before and I'm sure he ignored it, so I'm sure I'll be eating this one mostly by myself. Well, more for me!

To the stock I'm adding rehydrated dried mushrooms, fresh ones, pearled barley and potatoes. Most likely will season with garlic and shallots, maybe throw in some spices as the mood strikes me. Until then, feel free to comment and let me know what other things you've liked in your mushroom soup!
elarbee: (Reznik)
So I made this totally awesome stuffing for whatever there is that needs to be stuffed - I can tell you that at least for chicken it's most excellent!

A couple of cups of this delicious brown and red rice that I found at the Asian supermarket, with mushrooms, a bit of breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, a little not-butter and dried cranberries. I can't fucking believe it, but after the entire time I've known him and earlier, Andy started eating cranberries whereas he didn't like them before! I also added rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano, onion salt and lemon pepper. De-li-cious!
elarbee: (Reznik)
So I made this totally awesome stuffing for whatever there is that needs to be stuffed - I can tell you that at least for chicken it's most excellent!

A couple of cups of this delicious brown and red rice that I found at the Asian supermarket, with mushrooms, a bit of breadcrumbs, onions, garlic, a little not-butter and dried cranberries. I can't fucking believe it, but after the entire time I've known him and earlier, Andy started eating cranberries whereas he didn't like them before! I also added rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano, onion salt and lemon pepper. De-li-cious!
elarbee: (Reznik)
Leek soup!

Peel and slice thinly 4 leeks, put into a heavy-bottom pot in some vegetable oil on medium heat. Add 2 shallots and a half a head of garlic - I have a press that slices these things, otherwise you can make them small some other way. Cook until soft, de-glaze with a splash of vermouth, add about a cup of white wine and heat through. Add cauliflower and some baby carrots - in a less healthy version this would be potatoes. I had frozen, so I added hot water to cover. Season with basil, salt, pepper (I like lemon pepper from TJ's), nutmeg and other greens you may like. Heat through, blend (I love my stick blender!) and add cream (or my faux-cream - milk with a bit of cornstarch).

I'll let you know once it finishes heating!

ETA: As always, better with a little bit of lemon juice and some mozzarella!

ETAA: How do I get it not to be too sweet?
elarbee: (Reznik)
I'm not a huge fan of peaches, but I'll watch and try to make just about anything Good Eats. I like Alton Brown so much I don't even care that he's a krazy kristian. I had a few apples and I improvised this upside down cake recipe. My changes (besides swapping he fruit) included making them in a muffin pan and replacing ginger with cinnamon. There will be no pictures since they're quite ugly and already half-eaten. In retrospect, I should have let them sit longer and let the batter seep in more.
elarbee: (Reznik)
Easy twist on chicken soup that makes it awesome: start by making whatever chicken soup you like best. At the end of its preparation add rice or orzo or some other kind of small pasta. Beat together an equal number of eggs and tablespoons of lemon juice - for a very large pot I used 6 (and a bit extra of lemon juice, I like it sour). Temper the eggs by ladling 1-2 cups of broth into them and then put the mixture in the soup, stirring. We're perverts, so we added some cheese into our bowls, too - feta and Parmesan work, so does mozzarella if you have enough lemon to cut the stringiness. Even Andy with his eternal dislike of soup in general had 2 servings.

Rhymes with

Feb. 5th, 2011 01:45 pm
elarbee: (Reznik)
I've been eating quite a few clementines lately - very convenient to carry around in a purse. However, it took me a while to get to where I know which kind is best for this particular purpose, and I'm now stuck with some minneolas. They're not as easy to peel and have quite a few seeds. I also have a turkey breast, so I'm thinking of making a variation of orange chicken, but I really don't want to deep fry something battered, I'm just not great at that even if I wanted to eat grease. So I'm thinking of lightly frying the turkey in some corn starch and making the sauce... I'll just look for some recipe, I've made pseudo-Chinese lemon sauce before, it turned out reasonably well. Serve over some basmati rice with turmeric and paprika, should be decent. But I'll certainly take suggestions on a more detailed implementation of this scheme!
elarbee: (Reznik)
Our weekend mornings (if they can be called such, seeing as Andy usually refuses to wake up before noon) usually begin with a long discussion of what's for breakfast. We have some usual stand-bys - banana applesauce waffles (with chocolate chips for me), пельмени, crepes, драники if I have the energy, something eggy, some kind of leftovers, breakfast out, or if we just can't agree, individual noshing. It's a nice thing when breakfast is taking shape overnight and we don't have to have that conversation in the morning.

Tomorrow will be savory french toast day: Soak sourdough bread overnight in a mix of 3 eggs, a bit of egg whites, a dash of kefir and a splash of milk. I think some garlic powder, crushed garlic and salt were also in the mix. Next morning, fry. Serve with butter and Parmesan cheese.
elarbee: (Reznik)
I have tried to take advantage of my mother's visit and tried to teach her how to cook, while trying to use her as my assistant. I've been craving tabbouleh and baba ganoush and I can't believe Trader Joe's carries neither. Nor falafel, but at least Costco had that (with celery! fuckers!) So I figure, it can't be that hard. We used this recipe for tabbouleh and Alton Brown's for baba ganoush. The former turned out delicious, even though my mother couldn't be bothered to pay attention and got cilantro instead of parsley (and I couldn't be bothered to look for bulgur and used couscous instead). Baba ganoush, on the other hand, was fubared. I think I'll blame food network: this version of the recipe calls for roasting the eggplant in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes, while this video that I only bothered to look at later recommends 450 (albeit he doesn't say for how long and the subsequent caption in the same segment says 400). Needless to say, the whole thing was barely cooked and didn't have the characteristic smoky taste. I tried frying the flesh once it was eviscerated and it only helped a little. I also used plain yogurt instead of tahini, but I think that's not what did it in. Regardless, Andy and mom are willing to eat it, so it's not going to waste and I'll know better next time. (NB: also learned to buy male eggplant.)
elarbee: (Reznik)
I have tried to take advantage of my mother's visit and tried to teach her how to cook, while trying to use her as my assistant. I've been craving tabbouleh and baba ganoush and I can't believe Trader Joe's carries neither. Nor falafel, but at least Costco had that (with celery! fuckers!) So I figure, it can't be that hard. We used this recipe for tabbouleh and Alton Brown's for baba ganoush. The former turned out delicious, even though my mother couldn't be bothered to pay attention and got cilantro instead of parsley (and I couldn't be bothered to look for bulgur and used couscous instead). Baba ganoush, on the other hand, was fubared. I think I'll blame food network: this version of the recipe calls for roasting the eggplant in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes, while this video that I only bothered to look at later recommends 450 (albeit he doesn't say for how long and the subsequent caption in the same segment says 400). Needless to say, the whole thing was barely cooked and didn't have the characteristic smoky taste. I tried frying the flesh once it was eviscerated and it only helped a little. I also used plain yogurt instead of tahini, but I think that's not what did it in. Regardless, Andy and mom are willing to eat it, so it's not going to waste and I'll know better next time. (NB: also learned to buy male eggplant.)
elarbee: (Reznik)
I don't know what I did to the quiche today, but it was extra-delicious. It was very similar to this one, but not quite. The brown rice crust got a shake of curry powder, the spinach and mushroom filling was pre-wilted with some fresh shallots and tons of garlic along with nutmeg, and Andy sprinkled feta and cheddar liberally. The pouring components were eggs, egg whites and a bit of kefir, with a topping of Parmesan. But it was very subtle. I suspect the shallots - my latest ingredient of choice for almost everything.
elarbee: (Reznik)
I've been hearing a lot about Russians loving their multicookers, and most of them come to the U.S. and wonder why the hell they are not in better regard here. Well, it's because many Americans agree with me that a device designed to do everything doesn't do anything well. And we, Americans, tend to have the cupboard and counter space to have more specialized appliances. However, I am still a big stickler to Alton Brown's philosophy of multitasking and I refuse to buy bulky or expensive single-use items. Here I was going to write a post about my favorite appliances, but I discovered not much changed since this one.

However, this does give me the opportunity to brag about my delicious dinner, prepared with no appliances at all: rough-chopped tomatoes (not as smelly as I'd like, my local fruit-n-veg stand didn't quite come through for us today), basil from my windowsill (I just about killed it), little balls of mozzarella and a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Of course, I forgot to salt it. But the liquid was awesome for bread-dipping.
elarbee: (Reznik)
I had occasion to be in the East Bay recently, and serendipitously had a bit of time to visit Berkeley Bowl. I love that place, but it's usually quite an effort for me to get out there and this is the first time I attempted it alone - I usually wait until [livejournal.com profile] naka_sf, [livejournal.com profile] marusja or [livejournal.com profile] royal_penguin can accompany me. So one of the things I love about BB is the bargain bin. This time, I initially spotted broccoli but put it back - I recently had a bad experience where I didn't make it fast enough and it went weird, and besides, I have it frozen. Then I got a giant bag of really tiny thin green asparagus and thick white ones - these became delicious soup today, with shallots, garlic, bay leaf and a bit of turkey broth and milk. Then I saw a bag of tiny artichokes. Oh, how I love artichokes. But I've never had experience with anything other than canned and disassembled (at least when I've prepared them). I also recently watched a PBS show called Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie where they showed these Italians deep-frying them, to the point where the leaves are like chips and the soft parts are creamy. Immediately, I fantasized about how I'd take them home and make such deliciousness, but I put them back soon thereafter. For you see, I lack the courage to deep-fry such objects. They held them with their bare hands! Sure I could look up which parts I should take out (there are inedible parts, I hear) and how to fry them in which oil, but I would probably also cover my entire kitchen with splatter, burn myself all over and the results might not be as awesome as those Italians achieve after generations of experience. And so, fried artichokes return to the realm of television and fantasy.

Redemption

Aug. 13th, 2010 08:01 pm
elarbee: (Reznik)
Combined with a lot of crusty frozen sourdough, cracked eggs are a good thing. Savory french toast for breakfast tomorrow:

Carve up crusty bread and soak it in a combination of 4 eggs, about a cup of milk, about a half cup of buttermilk (ran out of regular milk here), garlic powder, lemon pepper, salt and if you like, a little curry powder.

We'll see tomorrow, but really, I'm not expecting anything but custardy goodness.
elarbee: (Reznik)
There is a specific name for a dish you make out of ingredients that are about to go bad but haven't quite yet?

I combined chicken broth, hulled millet, dried mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, canned spinach, fresh spinach, garlic, oregano and thyme. It was toward the end that it occurred to me that it would have been better had I blended the spinach before adding the millet and the mushrooms. So I had to choice but to puree the whole done thing. Still superior with sour cream!
elarbee: (Reznik)
I've made various savory pies before, and I've even helped make quiche while visiting my friend Ruth's aunt in a commune in Davis, but never have I actually made it on my own before.

A bit over one cup of leftover brown rice, mixed with 1 egg and some egg whites, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, pressed into an ovenproof frying pan - who needs cake pans when you have these awesome babies? Bake at 425 for about 5-7 minutes or until it looks dry.

Fill with a mixture of whatever veg you've got on hand. I used zucchini, spinach, broccoli and mushrooms with a bit of garlic and scallions. Mix in grated cheese, feta, a bit of yogurt cheese and season with salt, pepper and a bit of nutmeg. Carefully transfer into the crust and cover with a mixture of beaten eggs (I think I had 2) and a bit of milk. I also put some cheese on top of that, but that's just me. Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, then at 350 until the center is firm, about 30 minutes.

ETA: Not only does Andy like it, he likes it more than the average!
elarbee: (Reznik)
Born out of laziness:

1 cup of brown rice in a rice cooker, with 2 cups of water, curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 cloves of sliced garlic, a bit of cilantro, lemongrass paste, about a third of a brick of tofu - cubed, and a few frozen slabs of marinated and precooked zucchini/eggplant combo from TJ's - sliced. Now, to decide if I want to eat this with coconut milk or toasted onions on top...

Update: Eating with coconut milk, interrupted by the desire to photograph spilled spices.

Second Update: I loved it, Andy hated it.

Recycling

Jun. 4th, 2010 07:37 pm
elarbee: (Ana Ng)
Andy saw a loaf of Boudin Sourdough in his office that was getting stale and asked the owner for it. Why would we want stale bread? For the best casserole in the world, of course!

Cube stale bread to about 1", spray with butter or equitable substitute and toast. Layer in a loaf pan (or comparable) with tomato sauce* and shredded cheese. Before the last layer of cheese, pour a bit of milk (anywhere from a half-cup to 3/4) into the bread in a thin stream to make it all nice and custard-y. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes until GBD**.

There will not be pictures. It is gone, gone, gone.

* The latest iteration was achieved by pulse-blending a can of tomatoes, 3 large cloves of garlic, a little pre-packaged sauce and a bunch of basil from my windowsill. A big handful of spinach leaves was inserted for health/guilt considerations.
** Golden, brown and delicious, per Alton Brown.

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