Ramen salad

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1 package ramen, crushed up

1/2 head green cabbage

1 carrot, shredded with the julienne shredder

1 rib celery, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

2 Tbsp roasted peanuts


1/3 cup oil (I used mostly avocado oil with a big drizzle of sesame oil)

1 Tbsp sugar

1/8 cup rice wine vinegar

1 ramen flavoring packet

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything together and then eat it.



Written by orata

December 20, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Cornbread, lemon pudding cake, stew

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Made a pretty standard beef stew (beef shank, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay, oregano, red wine) and ate it with some leftover cornbread (John Thorne’s skillet cornbread recipe with green chilis, green onions, cracklins, onion, grated cheddar cheese. -36 outside with windchill (-4 or so without).

plus this lemon pudding cake recipe, substituting bottled lemon juice for the zest/fresh juice, and half and half mixed with water for the milk:



  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter , softened
  • 2 tablespoons grated zest and ½ cup juice from 4 lemons
  • 5 large eggs , separated
  • 1¼ cups whole milk , room temperature
  • 2 quarts boiling water



Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk flour and cornstarch in bowl. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat 1/2 cup sugar, butter, and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in yolks, one at a time, until incorporated. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Slowly add milk and lemon juice, mixing until just combined.


Using clean bowl and whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. With mixer running, slowly add remaining sugar until whites are firm and glossy, about 1 minute. Whisk one-third of whites into batter, then gently fold in remaining whites, one scoop at a time, until well combined.


Place kitchen towel in bottom of roasting pan and arrange prepared baking dish on towel. Spoon batter into prepared dish. Carefully place pan on oven rack and pour boiling water into pan until water comes halfway up the sides of baking dish. Bake until surface is golden brown and edges are set (center should jiggle slightly when gently shaken), about 60 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool at least 1 hour. Serve.

Written by orata

December 18, 2016 at 11:45 pm

Posted in recipes

Chickpea cake

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Brought this thing I invented to Make Time:

1/2 pound besan (chickpea) flour

3 cups cold water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp hing (asafoetida) powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 cup cauliflower, chopped

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp urad dal

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced

1 tsp black mustard seeds

6 fresh curry leaves

3 fresh green chilis, minced

2 Tbsp coconut oil


Whisk together the gram flour, water, salt, pepper, hing, and turmeric and set it aside.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Heat 1 Tbsp of the coconut oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat and saute the onion till it starts to turn brown. Add the urad dal, ginger, garlic, chilis, mustard seeds, curry leaves, and cauliflower, and cook for another couple of minutes. Add to the gram flour mixture along with the fresh cilantro and stir to mix together. Melt the remaining 1 Tbsp coconut oil in the skillet and swirl to coat the bottom and sides with oil. Pour the batter into the pan. Put in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler on high and broil for a few more minutes, until slightly blistered on top.

Last night, we had Molly and Sam over and I made aloo tikki–I peeled and diced the potatoes before boiling them, then mashed them after draining, and added the toasted coarse upma semolina to bind it/on the outside for crunch. I used 4 Yukon Gold potatoes, not sure how much they weighed.

Aloo Tikki


500g medium floury potatoes such as desiree or maris piper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp neutral oil, plus extra to fry
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1-2 medium green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp garam masala
100g shelled peas (frozen is fine)
3 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
4 tbsp semolina or cornmeal (or plain flour)
Knob of ghee or butter (optional)

Put the potatoes, whole and unpeeled, into a pan just big enough to hold them, along with the turmeric and a generous pinch of salt and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until very tender and drain. Put back into the hot pan for a minute or so to steam dry.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and then fry the onion until soft and beginning to caramelise. Stir in the ginger, garlic, chillis, mustard seeds and garam masala and fry for another minute. Stir in the peas and cook for a minute or so to defrost if necessary.

If you must, peel the potatoes, then mash well, and add to the frying pan. Stir in the lemon juice and two tablespoons of semolina, mix well then season to taste.

Roll the mixture into golf-ball sized portions, then flatten into cakes. Press both sides in semolina.

Coat the bottom of a frying pan with oil, and add the ghee if using. Heat over a medium-high flame, then add the tikki (they should sizzle). Cook until golden brown, then carefully flip over and repeat. Serve warm with chutney.

Saag paneer, modified from this:


1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 ounces paneer, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (16-ounce package) frozen chopped spinach
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 (1-inch thumb) ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green serrano chile, finely chopped (seeds removed if you don’t like it spicy!)
1/2 teaspoon store-bought or homemade garam masala, recipe follows
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, and add the paneer as the pan warms. In a couple of minutes give the pan a toss; each piece of paneer should be browned on one side. Fry another minute or so, and then remove the paneer from the pan onto a plate.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic and chile. Now here’s the important part: saute the mixture until it’s evenly toffee-coloured, which should take about 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step – this is the foundation of the dish! If you feel like the mixture is drying out and burning, add a couple of tablespoons of water.
Add the garam masala, coriander and cumin. If you haven’t already, sprinkle a little water to keep the spices from burning. Cook, stirring often, until the raw scent of the spices cook out, and it all smells a bit more melodious, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and 1/2 cup of water, stir, and cook about 5 minutes with the lid off. Remove the spinach mixture to a food processor and puree. Add the cheese and season with lemon juice.

Persian rice (accidentally burned it and ruined the crust):

Made half of this and didn’t do the separate saffron bag thing–I stirred in saffron threads into the rice.

Steamed Persian Rice

6 to 8 servings

Adapted from M.R. Ghanoonparvar ’s recipe for chelo in his cookbook, “Persian Cuisine” (Mazda, 2006).


Pinch sugar

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

1 tablespoons hot water

4 tablespoons kosher salt

3 cups extra-long-grain rice (basmati rice will work), rinsed five times in warm water

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Use a mortar and pestle to crush the sugar and saffron threads into a fine mixture. Add the hot water and stir to combine.

Fill a large bowl with 8 cups of water and stir in 2 tablespoons of the salt until it dissolves. Add the rice and let it soak for an hour. Drain the rice.

Dissolve the remaining 2 tablespoons of salt in 8 cups of water in a large, nonstick pot and bring the water to a boil. Add the drained rice and boil for 6 to 10 minutes or until the grains are firm, but not crunchy. (The time will vary depending on the quality of the rice.) Stir the pot occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain the rice.

While the rice drains, clean the pot and add 1 tablespoon of melted butter to the bottom. Swirl the butter around to coat the bottom of the pot and about 2 inches up the sides. Spoon the drained rice into the center of the pot, making sure to keep it away from the sides. Use the handle of a wooden spoon to poke several holes in the rice, all the way to the bottom of the pot. Pour the remaining melted butter over the top of the rice.

Wrap a clean kitchen towel around the pot lid to cover it on all sides, securing the cloth with a clip or a rubber band to make sure it doesn’t fall onto the stove burner. Cover the pot with the towel-encased lid and cook the rice for 10 minutes over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and let the rice steam for another 30 minutes.

Add 8 drops of the saffron solution to the rice in the bag. Seal the bag and shake it vigorously until the rice is evenly tinted yellow. Garnish plated rice decoratively with the saffron rice as you please.

Tamarind chutney:

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the spices; cook and stir for about 2 minutes to release the flavors.
  2. Stir the water into the pan with the spices along with the sugar and tamarind paste. Bring to a boil, then simmer over low heat until the mixture turns a deep chocolaty brown and is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. This should take 20 to 30 minutes. The sauce will be thin, but it will thicken upon cooling. (I thickened it with cornstarch)

Roasted cauliflower:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut 1 head cauliflower into florets. Roll in vegetable oil and then besan flour mixed with hing and salt. Roast for 20 minutes.


Written by orata

December 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

lime and cilantro kasha salad

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  • 2+ cups chicken stock (I had this lying around from slow cooking a package of frozen chicken thighs)
  • 1 cup kasha
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 4 oz? cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 bunch flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 roasted sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4″ cubes
  • 2 large collard green leaves, stem removed and discarded, cut into ribbons
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • salt
  • pepper

Bring the stock to a boil, add the kasha and salt, and turn down to a simmer. Set the timer for 15 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the collard greens. When it’s done, drain and add to a bowl, add the other ingredients, toss and serve.

Written by orata

May 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Posted in recipes


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I made beef tongue for the first time last night/today and was astonished at how easy it was. My grandma always used to make beef tongue congee for me when I was little, and my favorite tacos are lengua tacos, but I had never done it from scratch before.

I took the whole frozen tongue and put it in the slow cooker with about 4 peeled garlic cloves, a bay leaf, and a peeled/trimmed/halved red onion, and covered it with boiling water. I set it to “low” and let it cook overnight. The next day, I took it out, peeled it (gave the skin to the cat), cut it into cubes, and pan-fried it with a little sliced garlic and salt and pepper over medium-high heat, with a bit of grapeseed oil. It developed an amazing brown crust and was ready in about 5 minutes.

Festival Foods was out of cilantro (!!) when we went shopping, so I had my lengua tacos with corn tortillas (microwaved for 45 seconds under a damp paper towel), sour cream, thinly sliced red onion, and lime juice. So damn good. I also had some of the tongue-stewing broth for breakfast with a dash of soy sauce and dry toast crumbled into it.


Written by orata

May 11, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Posted in recipes

yummy thank you meal

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Had Michael and Casey (who’s in town for a few days) over for dinner and made:

Pickled cauliflower salad

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1/4 cup green olives (I used the kind with pimentos inside), roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • roughly 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • roughly 1/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped

Blanch the cauliflower for 4 minutes. Drain and shock with cold water.

Heat the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. Pour over the other ingredients and mix together.

Kale and white bean stew

  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch curly kale, cut off stems and chopped
  • 1 can navy beans, rinsed
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 white sweet potato, peeled and diced

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the sweet potato with olive oil and salt and roast for 20 minutes.

Saute the onions and carrots in the olive oil over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook a few minutes longer.

Add the beans, kale, tomatoes, and herbs. Stir and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sauce is reduced. Add the roasted sweet potato and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Roasted mashed kabocha squash

  • 1 medium-large kabocha squash, halved
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/8 cup ricotta salata, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • Salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the squash cut sides down in a cast-iron skillet and add water to about 1/4 inch. Place in the oven and roast till soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and scoop squash into a bowl. Add the butter and allow the heat to melt it.

Puree the cottage cheese with about 1/4 cup water until smooth. Add to the squash mixture along with the salt and stir together.

Sprinkle the ricotta salata and parsley over the top of the dish.

Pumpkin pie

  • 1/2 recipe flaky pie crust
  • 1 can pumpkin
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Ground dried ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves

Roll out the pie crust, mix up everything else and pour into the unbaked shell, bake at 425 for 10 minutes and then turn down the heat to 350 and bake for 1-1.5 hours, till the pie is set. Eat with Chocolate Shoppe vanilla and butter pecan ice cream.

Written by orata

April 14, 2016 at 1:45 am

zucchini casserole thing, chicken cooked in milk, ham and cheese scones

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I made chicken cooked in milk in the slow cooker the other day:

Slow-Cooker Chicken in Milk

Serves 4 to 6

4- to 5-pound chicken
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or canola oil
1 cup hard cider or apple juice
10 cloves garlic, left unpeeled
1/4 cup lightly packed sage leaves [I did not have fresh sage so I used 1 Tbsp dried sage leaves. 1/4 cup seems like an alarming amount of sage]
1/2 whole cinnamon stick (about 3 inches long) [I used a whole cinnamon stick]
Zest from two medium lemons
2 1/4 cups whole milk

Remove the chicken from its packaging and pull the bundle of giblets from inside; discard or reserve the giblets for another use. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Mix together the salt and pepper, and rub this all over the chicken.

→ At this point, you can sear the chicken for deeper flavor, or you can transfer it directly to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker, breast-side down. If you skip the searing step, reduce the amount of cider to 1/2 cup and don’t use the olive oil.

To sear the chicken, warm the tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Sear the chicken on all sides until deep golden-brown; use tongs to help turn it as you sear. The heat in the pan should be hot enough that you hear a constant sizzle as you sear the chicken; reduce the heat slightly if the oil begins to smoke.

Transfer the seared chicken to the bowl of a 6-quart or larger slow cooker and lay it breast-side down.

Pour off any grease left in the pan and return the pan to heat. Add the cider and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the cider simmers. Continue simmering the cider until it has reduced by roughly half. Pour the cider over the chicken.

Rub any loose papery skins from the garlic cloves, but otherwise leave them in their peels. Scatter the garlic cloves, sage leaves, cinnamon stick, and lemon zest on top of and around the chicken, then pour the milk over top.

Cover the slow cooker and cook for 4 to 6 hours on low heat.

To serve, lift the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer it to a cutting board; the legs or wings may fall off. Carve the chicken into pieces; you can leave the skin on or remove it, as you like.

Scoop the garlic cloves from the cooking liquid and scatter them over the chicken pieces. Transfer the liquid to a serving dish, straining if you’d prefer to remove the solid curds (although they’re tasty!). Serve everything while still piping hot.

Tonight I made a zucchini and rice casserole thing to use up a bunch of old food in the fridge. Came out great, actually. Zucchini casserole is a misnomer as it doesn’t have a huge amount of zucchini, but it was what I thought of first.

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 large zucchini, diced

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets

1 bunch dinosaur kale, shredded

1 container cherry tomatoes, chopped

About 2 cups cooked white rice (we had this left over from a takeout Indonesian meal)

About 1 cup shredded cooked chicken (we had this leftover from the slow cooker chicken meal)

1 rib celery

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 large container cottage cheese

1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

3 large eggs



Paprika (sweet and smoked)



About 1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil and butter until translucent. Add the zucchini, broccoli, kale, and flour, and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and milk and cook, scraping and stirring to incorporate the flour and browned bits into the liquid. Add the chicken, rice, cheese, eggs, and seasonings, and mix everything together well. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top and dot with butter or drizzle with oil. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown.

And ham and cheese scones:

2 3/4 cups flour

1 Tbsp + 1 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed

1/4 cup ham, chopped

5 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup whole milk

1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and herbs. Rub in the butter as for pie crust, leaving pea-sized pieces unincorporated. Mix in the ham, garlic, and cheese. Mix in the milk and egg. Drop in scone-sized lumps onto a Silpat sprayed with baking spray (on a baking sheet, obv.) I guess a scone-sized lump is like the size of 2 walnuts or a medium egg? I wound up with around 20 scones total. Bake for around 30 mins, until they seem lightly browned.

Written by orata

October 4, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Posted in recipes

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