Thursday, November 5, 2015

Cooked Forever Broccoli from Food 52 Genius Recipes

I am so completely in love with this new cook book, you guys. I got the most incredible wedding gift from my dear friend Christine of 6 of the best cook books I've ever seen and it has become my new favorite past time to flip through them and try whatever I have the ingredients for. The winner of this fine selection of knowledge has so far been the Food 52 Genius Recipes from the editor of Food It's an assortment of the most successful recipes from the internet from all different types of cooks and chefs. When I found myself with an abundance of broccoli to use this week, I headed straight for the book and found the Cooked Forever Broccoli Recipe from the great Mark Bittman. I was skeptical of the lengthy cook time, but it was so incredibly delicious and super easy to execute.

2 lbs Broccoli
3 cloves garlic
2 hot chili peppers
3 anchovy filets (I plan on experimenting with kalamata olives for a veg version of this)
1/4 cup olive oil

Begin by carefully chopping your broccoli into a combination of small florets and 1/2 - 1 inch stems. I was really precise this time and I'm glad I took the time because the lengthy time on the pan means everything really needs to be close to the same size. Slice the anchovies into small strips, mince the garlic, and slice the chili peppers in half before setting aside.

Blanche the broccoli for five minutes and set aside to cool. Add the olive oil to a skillet and begin to heat up the garlic and chili in the oil. Once they are simmering, add the anchovies and begin to stir until they are mostly disintegrated. Add the broccoli and begin stirring so that all pieces get a healthy coat of the olive oil mixture. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours (the recipe calls for 2, but I was really happy with it after an a hour and a half), stirring every 20 minutes or so. Can be served hot or room temperature.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Healthy 5 Layer Dip

This post is probably a little late in the game since outdoor bbq season is largely over, but this dip is really appropriate for any kind of gathering and I've never brought leftovers home with me. It has all of the texture and richness of a traditional 7 layer dip, but with a very light bean dip and greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Black Bean Dip
1 medium red pepper, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tsps Chalula sauce
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsps salt
1 can black beans
2 tsp olive oil

Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pan and sautee onions and red peppers with a pinch of salt. When the onions are translucent and soft, add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes, then add the can of beans with Chalula and cayenne pepper. Cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool slightly before adding it to blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Pico de Gallo
4 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, diced
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp jalapeno, diced (more if you like more heat)
Combine all ingredients.

2 ripe avocadoes, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1.5 tbsps salt
Combine all ingredients and continue to stir until consistency is as smooth as desired. 

Five Layer Dip
2 cups black bean dip
2 cups pico de gallo
1.5 cups guacamole
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup cheddar cheese
Set aside 1/4 cup of pico de gallo to save for the very top. Begin layering the bottom of the bowl with the black bean dip and don't be shy! Top that with a layer of greek yogurt, followed by cheddar cheese, guacamole, and lastly pico de gallo. Repeat until you run out (this will vary based on the size of the dish). Whatever winds up on top, finish with the reserve pico de gallo for an attractive top layer. Serve with tortilla chips or celery sticks, enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Panang Curry

Panang Curry is my culinary white whale. I've been working at it since getting back from Thailand and it never turns out quite right. This last version is not 100% perfect, but I got so close I'm excited enough about it to post. For those of you in the DC area, you should know that the goal Panang Curry can be found for sub-$15 at Ruan Thai in Wheaton, Maryland. Run, don't walk if you have not been there yet. 
This recipe is adapted from the Basil Cooking School of Chiang Mai, Thailand's cookbook provided at their cooking class. If you find yourself in Chiang Mai, I highly recommend it! 

The Paste
The paste is the core of the curry. I suggest making a bunch of it and freezing so that you can pull it out on a weeknight and whip up a quick curry dish. The paste is the labor of love and once that's done, it's all downhill. Plan on at least 45 minutes to make the paste.

5 large red chillies, chopped into the tiniest of pieces (dried or fresh, if using dry soak them first)
2 tbsp shallot, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp galangal, chopped (available at most asian markets and no, there is no substitute)
1 tbsp lemongrass, chopped
1/2 tbsp lime skin (kaffir if you can find it)
5 pepper corns
10 coriander seeds
1/2 tsp roasted cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp shrimp paste
In a large mortar, pound cumin, coriander seeds, and pepper corns. Once they are largely mashed, add chillies and salt. The more you've finely chopped the chillies, the easier this step will be. Once the chillies are resembling a paste, add all remaining ingredients except shrimp paste. Continue to pound until it forms a paste.

Panang Curry

2 tbsp panang curry paste
1/2 cup protein of your choice (chicken, tofu, etc)
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce (you can substitute a tbsp of salt if you don't have fish sauce)
1 tsp sugar (preferably palm sugar)
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 small eggplant, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup broccoli
1 tbsp coconut oil (use olive oil or vegetable oil if you prefer)
1 tsp salt

Sautee the vegetables in coconut oil with tsp of salt until cooked to desired texture, remove from pan.
Add 1/2 cup (that's only 1/2 of the coconut milk!) to a wok on high heat and bring to a boil. Add panang curry paste and stir until red oil droplets start to appear on the surface of the coconut milk (about 3 minutes) Add protein and cook about 6 minutes until meat or tofu is all the way cooked, add the remaining coconut milk and the cooked vegetables and keep stirring. After 5 minutes of cooking everything together, add the fish sauce (or salt) and sugar. Serve immediately over rice of your choice.

This is where I will confess that I ate it all before I could take a picture! I will update the post with a picture the next time I make it, but wanted to post the major milestone in my pursuit of the elusive panang curry ASAP. Enjoy!

Monday, February 23, 2015

(Mostly) Vegan Bolognese

I owe you a photo, I know. I promised myself I'd make this again and catch a photo this time, but I've failed you and am posting without one. This is such a wonderful comforting while still remaining decently healthy recipe, that I couldn't wait any longer to post. Make this the next time it is awful outside and you need something comforting to cheer you up!

(Mostly) Vegan Bolognese

8 oz package tempeh (I like Lightlife Organic)
4 white button mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup onions, diced
1/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon coconut or olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire (sub with vegan Worcestershire to make this truly vegan/vegetarian)
2.5 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
Feel free to use your favorite jarred tomato sauce
- OR -
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
4 leaves fresh basil, diced
1.5 tablespoon tomato paste

The key here is that you are flavoring the tempeh before you do anything to try to create a sauce. Start by sauteing the onions, celery, and carrot in your tablespoon of oil while crumbling the tempeh with your hands until it starts to resemble texture of ground turkey. Add the tempeh and mushrooms and sautee until the mushrooms release their liquid. Add Worcestershire and soy sauce and let simmer for 10 minutes. At this point you can simply add your favorite jarred tomato sauce or continue on if making your own.
Tomato Sauce
In a separate pan, start sauteing minced garlic in olive oil, be careful not to burn your garlic! After about 3 minutes, add the tomatoes, with salt, herbs, and tomato paste. Let everything simmer for at least 20 minutes prior to pouring it over the tempeh mixture. Serve immediately, although it all does heat up nicely the next day too.