Archive for August 2013

corn crepes, roasted broccoli, sauteed kale

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Made charred corn crepes roughly following the Smitten Kitchen recipe:

Take 4 ears of fresh shucked corn and blacken them on a dry cast-iron skillet over high heat (this produces a lot of smoke!) I just turned them so they had some blackened kernels on every side–didn’t worry about trying to get all the kernels evenly.

Melt 4 Tbsp butter in the microwave.

Cut the kernels off the corn and add them to the melted butter. Put the butter/corn mixture in a blender with about a cup of vanilla almond milk (or regular milk) and blend it up.

Beat 4 eggs, measure in 1 cup flour, and add in the corn/butter/milk mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the crepes–about 1 cup batter smoothed out into a round with the bottom of the measuring cup.

Serve with sour cream and green onions.

I made roasted broccoli, too (425 degrees, broccoli with oil, sugar, and salt, roast 20 mins/until brown), and sauteed kale with pine nuts and bacon:

Chiffonade a bunch of curly kale. Chop about 1-2 pieces of bacon and cook them in a skillet until they render their fat. Throw some pine nuts and chopped garlic in the pan, toast for a minute, then add the curly kale and cook till wilted.


Written by orata

August 19, 2013 at 12:16 am

cookies, pasta, green beans

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I made cookies for the neighbors following the Toll House recipe on the back of the bag.

Also made the Joy of Cooking almond tuiles. Oddly, the recipe says it makes 2 1/2 to 3 dozen, but I only got 9 cookies out of it (even following the “rounded tablespoonfuls” dropped on the sheet and spread out into 3″ rounds):

Whisk 2 large egg whites, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar, 1/4 tsp almond extract, and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract until foamy. Gradually whisk in 1/2 cup sifted cake flour (I subbed 1/2 cup all-purpose with 1 Tbsp replaced by cornstarch). Gradually beat in 5 Tbsp extremely softened butter (not quite melted). 

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, spacing about 3″ apart. Spread out into 3″ rounds and generously sprinkle with 1/2 to 2/3 cup sliced blanched or unblanched almonds, coarsely chopped (I didn’t chop or measure these).

Bake 1 sheet at a time at 350 degrees for 6-9 mins, until ringed with golden brown, and rotating the baking sheet halfway through so they brown evenly. Remove to a rack, let cool for a few seconds, then remove each cookie and drape over a rolling pin to shape it. 

This left me with 2 egg yolks to use up. I made fresh orecchiette with it: 

Measure out 1/2 cup all-purpose flour minus about 1/2 Tbsp. Add about 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch. Mix together with salt and form into a volcano-shaped mound on a cutting board. Pour the egg yolks into the well along with about 1/4 tsp olive oil. Mix together, adding splashes of water when the dough becomes too dry to work, until dough is smooth and yellow. Make the orecchiette by breaking off small pieces about the size of a large pea and smashing them with your thumb until they’re very thin. 

Boil the pasta in salted water for about 7 minutes (test one to see when it’s done), until al dente.

In the meantime, make the sauce:

Chop about 4 cloves fresh garlic and saute in grapeseed oil. Add 1 large zucchini, diced, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is starting to brown. Add about 4 large Crimini mushrooms, diced, and cook, stirring, for about 10 more minutes. Add 1 diced tomato, black pepper, a small dash of balsamic vinegar, a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and a handful of fresh herbs (oregano, basil, Italian parsley). Cook for a few more minutes, until the excess liquid has evaporated. Add the drained orecchiette and cook for a minute, stirring. Divide between two bowls, top with 1/2 large mozzarella ball per bowl (diced) and stir to slightly melt the cheese using the residual heat from the pasta. 

Also made roasted green beans: preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss green beans with grapeseed oil, a couple of cloves of chopped fresh garlic, pepper (I used a fresh habanero I got from the Brew ‘n’ Grow store), dried coriander, salt, and dried Szechuan peppercorns. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast for about 30 mins, until browned.


Written by orata

August 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm


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I made a sort of vaguely paella-like dish because I picked up 1/2 lb of squid from Whole Foods ($8.99 a pound; the cheapest seafood excluding mussels, whose shell adds a lot of weight)

Heat a kettle full of water.

Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a cast-iron skillet until shimmering. Add 4 large cloves garlic, roughly chopped, and heat over medium-low heat until fragrant but not brown. Add 1 carrot, diced, and 1 tumbler full of white basmati rice. Add a large pinch of saffron. Saute, stirring, for a few minutes, until the rice is coated with oil and starting to get toasty and golden.

Pour some of the hot water over the rice mixture.  Add more hot water whenever the pan seems to be running dry.

Cut up the squid into pieces (cut the tops into rings, cut the tentacles into manageable chunks) and add to the pan.

Dice about 1 cup crimini mushrooms and add to pan, stirring. 

Add dashes of turmeric, smoked paprika, a chicken bouillon cube, salt, and long pepper.

Make a chiffonade of a few leaves of dinosaur kale and stir in. Add a few sun-dried tomatoes and pan-fried tempeh crumbles.

Stir in fresh oregano, flat-leaf parsley, and green onions just before serving. 

I wasn’t super happy with this–it was fine, and fairly tasty, but I was picturing a fluffy, dryish, golden pile of saffron-scented rice with a crust of crunchy socarrat on the bottom, and it came out a bit mushy and a vague, fried-rice taupe color despite my cheater’s spoonful of turmeric. Rahul said it needed some acidity–haven’t tried doctoring it with lemon juice or anything. I looked up paella just now (should probably have done this before cooking dinner, but I was hungry) and this article suggests that short-grain rice and not stirring are essential. Oops.

Written by orata

August 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm

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