If you're making this ahead, add no or little salt to the meat since it draws out the water. It's best to add the salt right before cooking. This is going to be delicious on the grill tomorrow!
-goat cheese and pear salad with black raspberry vinaigrette
-butternut squash soup
-apple stuffed sage chicken
-roasted vegetable stuffing
Here's my latest book discovery that I wanted to share with you, Brocolli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar. It is a collection of short stories that take their inspiration from food.
1/3 cup water
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
The generalized common version made in most Russian households retains only two of the original ingredients, hard-boiled eggs and gherkins. Generally there is a pretty consistent agreement that potatoes and mayonnaise (for dressing) are included, beyond that different schools of thought exist.
Pea and boiled carrot people.
Fresh cucumber users.
I am sure I missed a few... luckily, in the former 15 Republics, the schools of thought enjoyed the separation by geography. They still live in peace and harmony never arguing over the dinner table. Never in fear of designating this half-salad, half-entree as a potluck item to someone. They are unafraid of someone marring into the family and producing a foreign version, because they know there is power in numbers. When reaching for a spoonful, they know that the mayo-veiled components will not surprise them, but delight with comfort of old expectations.
Here, in the melting pot of refuges and immigrants, salad battles rage regularly. It's tough, but occasionally one makes a salad to enjoy behind closed doors, and it feels just like home.
4 potatoes, boiled skins on
2 kosher dill pickles
3 hard-boiled eggs
3 chicken breast fillets, steamed and cubed
1/2 granny smith apple, peeled
2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp olive oil
Before you start working make sure the ingredients are at room temperature. Peel potatoes and cut into 1/4 inch cubes. Toss the cubed potatoes in a large mixing bowl with a little salt, pepper and olive oil. Do so carefully to keep them intact. Add the other ingredients chopped (this is a small cubed dice, consistent for all ingredients, except potato which is slightly larger). Add mayo and mix carefully until fully incorporated. Taste and add mayo and/or salt to taste. This salad is great fresh, wonderful as leftovers and will generally keep in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- signed "apple eater"
~1.3 lbs of beef round, cut into large cubes
2 cups of low sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
1 cup of dry apricots, sliced lengthwise
1 head of garlic
1/4 cup of butter
In a heavy saucepan (lidded) melt butter on low heat, add peeled garlic cloves and chopped leeks. I used the white part only since it's more tender. When the leek is translucent, add half the apricots, some pepper, coriander, and meat. Mix all the components and cover with stock. Cover with lid and cook for 90 minutes, or until the beef is very tender (keep checking once in a while to make sure you have enough liquid in the pot). Season with salt and additional pepper to taste.
Add in the rest of the apricots, cilantro and orange slices. Enjoy!
serves 2 people
6 scoops of cous cous
1 1/2 cups of separated pan juices
1/2 cup of water (this really depends on the flavor of the juices, usually they run a little over seasoned, so adjust accordingly)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Roast cous cous in a saucepan on olive oil for about 5 minutes, mixing frequently. Add the water and pan juice, reduce heat to medium-low and let cool for about 15 minutes. Make sure to watch the water level during the last half of cooking time, you want all the water to evaporate, however you don't want it to do so until the cous cous kernels have fully cooked. There should be no need for seasoning, assuming your chicken was seasoned, but taste to check.
Serve with the warm chicken and peppadews for a spicy kick!
If these didn't disappear so quickly, I would have loved to add a roasted wild mushroom ragu on top....but that's all in retrospect.
You can find the recipe on the process in a previous entry, but here's the detail of the filling:
4 boiling potatoes
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, cut into half rings
Boil and mash the potatoes with butter. Add the roasted onion and season. The finished product should be able to keep its shape well, i.e. denser then a regular mashed potatoes dish.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
grated lemon peel from one lemon
1 large egg yolk
In a food processor or a bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, butter, and lemon peel. Whirl or rub with your fingers until mixture has texture of fine crumbs. Add egg yolk and whirl or stir with a fork until a dough forms. Pat dough into a ball, then press evenly over bottom and up sides of a 10-inch tart pan with removable rim.
Bake crust in a 300° oven until golden, about 30 minutes.
1 Chinese eggplant
1 green zucchini
2 large garden tomatoes, fully ripened
3 tbsp olive oil
Cut all vegetables into equal rounds, salt, and layer in a ceramic baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with foil. Bake covered at 375F for 1 hour, then uncover and bake at 300F for 30 more minutes.
Serve warm with roasted chicken. No need to do anything special for the husband, he loved this the way it is!
The initial premise to defrost came from needing to use a tub of leftover boiled potatoes with mushrooms and dill, so I figured I would rice the potatoes, mix with the mushrooms, and fried onions. Add a bit of salt and pepper. Presto, perfect filling for my phyllo roll!
E. has not yet tried eggplant, and I am not sure how I could have waited this long. It's one of my favorites. I picked up a great, firm one at the market with about 1.5 lbs of cod, which she's tried before. Certainly may not seem adventurous, but when you're 11 months, it's like fugo...almost.
Meal #1: Cod and Eggplant
- 1.5 lbs of cod filet, skinless
- 3 slivers of butter
- 1 peeled, cubed organic eggplant
- 1tsp vegetable oil
- 2tbsp water
- 4 tbsp whole milk organic yogurt
On a section of foil, place rinsed and dried cod. Salt lightly and place the butter slivers on top. Close off the foil on top and sides. Place on the grill ~300F for about 7 minutes (This can be done in the oven as well).
- Serve cod atop of eggplant (make sure both are cooled to eating temp)
- 1/4 tsp white miso paste
- 2 tbsp roughly chopped cilantro
- 1 clove of garlic
- a little salt
Add minced garlic and cilantro to the eggplant dish (add salt to taste if necessary). Mix the white miso paste with the butter sauce the fish was baked in - serve as finishing sauce for the cod.
No pictures today, but promise for next time.
My first drink (not pictured) was better, in my opinion. Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and a few sectioned pieces, chilled, mixed with Lychee Liqueur. I would say it was almost like a perfumed campari, slightly bitter but very fruity.
- 2 mini eggplants
- 4 spring onions
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1-2 springs of fresh mint
- white vinegar to taste
- salt to taste
Grill eggplants and onions until tender. Let cool slightly and chop into uniform pieces. Chiffonade mint leaves and smash garlic; add to the eggplant and onions. Add about 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1/2 tsp of salt, taste and adjust to get the right combination of seasoning and acidity.