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Archive for March 2005

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I made a good dinner the other night:
Grilled asparagus spears
Sauce maltaise (hollandaise made with blood orange juice instead of lemon juice)
Quinoa with garlic
Roasted Carnival squash
I also roasted beets, but I haven’t eaten them yet.

I was proud of myself: everything, including the broth I used to cook the quinoa, was made from scratch. The asparagus, blood oranges, and garlic were from the Box, as were the carrots and leek ends I used for the broth (though not the mushrooms or celery). The Box = Farm Fresh to You from Capay Farms.

The night before, I made some cheddar pie crust from scratch and used it to make two lattice-top Pink Lady apple pies, which I had a la mode with Robert, Sarah, Mike, Kenny, and Rahul, while watching Pee-Wee’s Playhouse episodes. The apples were also from The Box.

Recipes:
Asparagus:
Heat a grill pan to high, oil the asparagus, and throw it on there, turning it around after it gets some grill marks on it. Keep a window open–this gets smoky!

Sauce Maltaise:
I don’t remember all the exact quantities, but you need to whisk together three egg yolks in a simmering double boiler with 1 1/2 Tbsp. of cold water. Once the yolks are thick and foamy, whisk in some warm (not hot) melted butter–I think it was 1 stick. Also whisk in salt and pepper and some blood orange juice. (The blood orange juice should be a cooled reduction of about 1/4 cup blood orange juice–2 small oranges–with two big strips of zest and a little bit of sugar simmered for about 4 minutes.)

Quinoa: Wash the quinoa thoroughly to remove the bitter saponin coating. Saute a clove of minced garlic in oil, then toast the quinoa in the pan with the garlic until it’s golden. Add twice the volume of the quinoa in liquid, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover until all the liquid is absorbed. (Like making rice pilaf).

Squash: Stab a few times and bake on a foil-covered pan in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Beets: Scrub well, and bake in a covered baking pan with 1/2 cup water in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes.

This morning I made a corn and potato semi-souffle from the Whole Foods cookbook: beat three egg whites till foamy (I did it by hand!), slice 2 potatoes (from the Box) and roast at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, mix some flour, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and a can of corn into the egg whites, and make a casserole in a greased square pan by layering potatoes with the corn mixture. Bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees, until the potatoes are tender and the top is golden. It was a little too bland.

I also had an amazing (and very expensive) truffle and an outstanding square of mint chocolate from the Scharffen Berger factory. I think I would like to move in there forever.

Written by orata

March 21, 2005 at 1:41 am

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I made an excellent vegetarian ragu the other day:
Chop and saute a yellow onion and a few stalks of celery for a while in some olive oil. (I probably would have used carrots, too, if I’d had them). Add some chopped garlic, too, maybe 3 cloves.

Empty a package of soy “ground beef” into the pan.

Pour in a bunch of soy milk–maybe 1.5 or 2 cups and stir. Let it simmer over medium-low heat while you watch America’s Next Top Model. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper, a big squeeze of ketchup (to even out the acidity), a bay leaf, and a small can of chopped tomatoes (1 or 2 chopped tomatoes, or tomato paste, or sauce are all OK too). Stir during commercial breaks. Add some chopped fresh basil right at the end. I think some thyme or oregano wouldn’t be bad in there, either.

I served it with tagliatelle (pastasciutta from Trader Joe’s) and it was really good. People kept remarking on how good it smelled or looked when I heated it up in the office for lunch.

Good ANTM drinking games:
* Take a shot every time someone says “fierce.”
* Take a shot every time the girls squeal.
* Take a shot every time someone screams and covers her mouth with her hands because she’s just SOOOO excited.

Also, I got my first organic box delivery, from Farm Fresh To You. More on that later–I want to do a price comparison at Mollie Stone’s.

Also, Barbara at work brought in some Trader Joe’s chocolate chip meringues and I LOVE them.

Written by orata

March 11, 2005 at 3:12 pm

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I used to LOVE a kind of breakfast yogurt–Yoplait, I think–that was available back in the 80’s and early 90’s; it had chewy whole grains mixed in with the fruit and yogurt. Not mushy muesli flakes, but real whole grains with a chewy texture. They stopped making it. I was so excited when I found a similar yogurt in Italy–Danone (Dannon) con cereali–but that, too, was a seasonal yogurt, and after the winter I couldn’t find it anymore, either.

I got some soft pastry wheatberries at Whole Foods this weekend. I soaked 1 cup of berries in 3 1/2 cups of cold water overnight, then cooked them like rice the next day (heat to a boil, bring down to a simmer for about 50 minutes, until the water is absorbed). This morning I stirred them into a cup of strawberry Dannon Light ‘n’ Fit and it was perfect, absolutely perfect.

Written by orata

March 8, 2005 at 1:59 pm

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