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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Shakshuka

In Food, Recipes on January 4, 2014 at 8:38 am

shakshuka

It’s a New Year, and we’re trying to eat clean during the week (tonight’s pork rib roast followed by steamed persimmon pudding and hard sauce will be another story). Last night I made a favorite Tunisian breakfast dish, shakshuka, for dinner. The flavors are so rich and indulgent with just a bit of heat, you’ll forget that this dish is totally guilt-free. The recipe comes from my current cookbook obsession, Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi. I modified only slightly (using canned tomatoes instead of fresh). This would serve four for breakfast, or two very hungry adults for dinner.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons harissa

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 large red peppers, diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, drained

4 eggs

A couple dollops of Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and  add the harissa, tomato paste, red peppers, garlic, cumin, and  1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 8 minutes, until the peppers soften. Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

Make four indentations in the sauce and then crack an egg into each. Use a fork to swirl around the whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks.

shakshuka

 

Simmer until the whites are gently set and the yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes (you can cover pan with a lid if you want to speed things up a little, but check frequently). Spoon eggs in the sauce onto plates, and serve with a dollop of yogurt on the side.

Comfort Me with Chard Gratin

In Food, Recipes on June 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

swiss chard gratin

The other night I was at a dinner party with some old friends from the Los Angeles Times. If you follow politics, you have undoubtedly read the force that is Robin Abcarian. You don’t mess with Robin, you just don’t, and so when she told me that I needed to get back to work on this blog immediately, I got into gear right quick. We’ve had a challenging month in our home, during which time I did very little cooking. Our family was fed by incredibly generous friends and neighbors, to whom we will be forever grateful. When I did venture back into the kitchen last week, it was with a simple recipe from Nigel Slater’s Tender for a humble Red Chard Gratin. Comfort food at its best. It all starts with fresh, wilted red chard.

red chard gratin

The real surprise in this recipe is that the colorful stems are included. I don’t know exactly why, but I’ve always discarded the stems. Slater suggests boiling them for a couple minutes. It’s truly a revelation—the stems taste sweet and nutty and totally delicious. Next comes the cream mixture. As you’ll see from the top photo, the cream is mixed with a dollop of whole grain mustard for a bit of a kick, and then poured over chard. Finish by sprinkling with a handful of grated parm and stick into a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or so.

chard gratin

For recipe, click HERE. I followed the recipe as written, however I recommend scaling back to 1 cup or 1 1/4 cups of cream or you will find yourself with a puddle of cream at the end. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing…

Orzo Salad with Lemon, Mint and Ricotta Salata

In Food, Recipes on April 22, 2013 at 9:21 am

lemon mint orzo

 

We’ve been up to our eyeballs in a bathroom remodel over here—more on that to come—but we’ve also found a little time to eat dinner, too. I’ve made this wonderfully light and refreshing orzo salad a couple times in the past few weeks. It’s great with grilled fish or roast chicken, and is an old favorite recipe from Dean and Deluca. I can just tell it’s going to be making the scene all summer.

Orzo Salad with Lemon, Mint and Ricotta Salata

From Dean and Deluca

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked orzo
1/2 cup very finely diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup very finely diced seedless cucumber
1/2 cup crumbled ricotta salata cheese (about 3 ounces)
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves

Stir together the olive oil, shallots, lemon juice, garlic, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cook the orzo in a large kettle of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain pasta completely in a colander, running under cold water. Transfer orzo to a bowl, stir in the olive oil mixture, and let cool. Stir in the bell pepper, cucumber, ricotta salata, and mint until combined well. You could serve the salad immediately, but we think it tastes best if you let it stand at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours.

 

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

In Food, Recipes on December 27, 2012 at 9:43 am

mashed potato pancake

 

It’s a toss up between Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for my favorite family meal of the year. For Christmas we start off with caviar and smoked trout and then move into a prime rib with Yorkshire pudding and mashed potatoes, followed by trifle. Go big, or go home. For the mashed potatoes I’m giddy when we’ve made enough to use for leftover mashed potato pancakes. My dad puts chives in his mashed potatoes, but if yours are without, do add some fresh chives to the pancake batter. Or, for a cheesy option, sprinkle some grated pecorino into the mix. These savory pancakes can be sweetened up for kiddie appetites with a spoonful of applesauce, though I prefer them with a dollop of crème fraîche.

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

2 eggs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter

crème fraîche or applesauce, optional, to garnish

batter

In a bowl, mix together mashed potatoes, eggs, flour and salt and pepper until smooth. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and using a 1/4 cup measure drop batter into 8 rounds into the pan and flatten slightly with spatula. (Depending on size of skillet, you may need to do this in two batches.)

batterskillet

 

Fry pancakes about 4 minutes until bottoms are golden and crispy, and then flip with spatula. Fry an additional 4-5 minutes until crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels and serve with either crème fraîche or applesauce.

potato pancakes

Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion and Marjoram

In Food on July 26, 2012 at 9:54 am

 

I swear that I’m not on the Food52.com payroll. I’m just a woman obsessed. Food52’s Lemony Green Bean Salad with Feta, Red Onion and Marjoram is the latest gospel I’m preaching. I love any dish that’s heavy on lemon zest since we have a prolific lemon tree in the back yard just begging to be zested into action.

 

I’ve been making this simple green bean salad once a week all summer, and it is fabulous with everything from grilled pork chops to burgers to roast chicken or on its own as the main event for lunch. It takes only a few minutes to prepare—four minutes to cook the green beans (though I like mine a little crunchier so I throw them in for two minutes), during which time you can slice some red onion and crumble a little feta. For the recipe, click HERE.

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

In Food, Recipes on June 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm

For Father’s Day, we got my husband a new DeLonghi panini press and for our maiden voyage decided to christen it with Green Goddess Grilled Cheese—a sandwich that includes three of my favorite things: cheese, tarragon, anchovy. I can’t tell you what a winning combo this is—the combination of oozy cheeses with the tangy Green Goddess goodness will have to speak for itself. I believe the original inspiration for this sandwich comes from the Panini Happy blog, but we threw ours together using what we had in the fridge. I grabbed some basil, tarragon, chives and Italian parsley from the back yard.

I threw that in the mini Cuisinart along with some chopped shallots, minced garlic and a generous squirt of anchovy paste. I prefer to use the paste because you can keep a tube on hand at all times and you don’t have to worry about those pesky little anchovy bones from the tinned variety.

I added a splash of white wine vinegar along with a few ounces of crème fraîche, although you could also use sour cream, and then gave it a whir.

Don’t worry about adding any salt—the anchovy paste will take care of that. The herb mixture then went into a bowl with grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses and then generously spread on slices of whole wheat. Fresh sourdough would have been far better.

We then brushed the sandwiches with a little olive oil and put them into the press for about six or seven minutes they reached melted perfection. We gobbled them up in seconds flat. And then my husband made himself another… Happy Father’s Day!

The Foodinista’s Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

Makes 4 sandwiches

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

1 tablespoon chopped basil

1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 teaspoon anchovy paste

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

3-4 ounces crème fraîche

1 cup grated cheddar

1 cup grated mozzarella

8 slices of sourdough bread (or favorite sliced bread)

Olive oil

Heat panini press to medium. Meanwhile, add first 9 ingredients to the bowl of a mini food processor and pulse to blend. In a separate bowl, add cheeses and herb mixture. Mix to combine. Lay out bread and top four slices with about 1/2 cup of mixture each. Cover with remaining four slices. Brush bread with olive oil. Grill in panini press for 6-7 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Soft Scrambled Eggs with Ricotta

In Food on June 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Last week we had a big magazine photo shoot at our house and my former Bon Appétit colleague Jeanne Kelley styled the food. She brought along some eggs from her chickens and after the shoot was over, she left a bowlful for me…

…including one of her chicken’s palest blue eggs, which are the subject of Jeanne’s award-winnning cookbook, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes.

Jonathan Gold has said “Jeanne Kelley is not like you and me … the eggs laid by her chickens could blind you if you looked directly into the yolk.” He’s not kidding.

With eggs this fresh, it’s best to do as little as possible. I heated up a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. I whisked the eggs with a little salt and some chives snipped from our garden, and then when the butter was bubbly poured the eggs into the pan, tilting the pan occasionally to let the runny parts slowly cook.

After a couple minutes, when the eggs were just barely cooked, I removed from heat and folded in some fresh ricotta and sprinkled with fleur de sel. There is nothing quite like a perfectly scrambled egg, particularly if it was laid by one of Jeanne’s chickens.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

In Food, Recipes on March 7, 2012 at 1:58 pm

This past month, I’ve only been able to handle cooking if it is super-duper easy. My current go-to side dish is this roasted curried cauliflower, a riff on a favorite from A.O.C. restaurant in Los Angeles. I serve this alongside brown rice and chicken cooked in an Indian Life Tikka Masala simmer sauce from Whole Foods. (I prefer the Indian Life brand to Seeds of Change.)

The simmer sauce is a far cry from the sublime (and involved) Chicken Tikka Masala I loved making pre-pregnancy, and someday I’ll hopefully have enough energy to return to cooking good Indian, but in the meantime, at 9 months pregnant, opening a jar is fine by me.

But back to the cauliflower. I promise you this dish will be a grand slam at the dinner table. There is so much flavor and comfort, which seems particularly surprising given how easy it is to make. Let me know what you think!

Roasted Curried Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower florets (preferably orange cauliflower if you can find it)

1 medium yellow onion, quartered

3 teaspoons curry powder

3 teaspoons smoked Spanish paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets and onion in large roasting pan. In a bowl, whisk together spices, salt, oil and vinegar. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer in pan.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Serve.

Penne alla Vodka

In Drink, Food on January 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

If there is one dish that is dreadfully out of fashion that I unapologetically adore, it’s penne all vodka. Yes, that’s vodka pink sauce my friends and no, it is not 1972. I love Lidia Bastianich’s version, which includes a hit of heat from crush red pepper. Go liberal on that. And, if you’re feeling like you need to class up the joint, serve with a smoky, smooth bottle of 2009 Uccelliera Rosso di Montalcino ($30) from Tuscany, available at Larchmont Village Wine & Spirits and BevMo.

 

Zucchini Soup

In Food, Recipes on October 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Los Angeles can’t decide if it’s autumn or summer—this past week has seen everything from torrential downpour to 90-degree weather. The farmers markets are clearly in the summer camp. We’re still getting tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries and corn. Even peaches! I had quite a bit of zucchini left over from my CSA farm bag this week and remembered a soup I used to make from a recipe I pulled from the San Francisco Chronicle over a decade ago. It is quite simply delicious—the perfect amount of tangy-savory with a little hit of cinnamon sweet. I hope you enjoy, too, whether it’s rain or shine.

Zucchini Soup

1 lb zucchini, chopped in large pieces

2 cups of low sodium chicken stock

2/3 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon olive oil

2/3 cup lowfat buttermilk

Salt, to taste

Garnish with chopped cilantro (optional)

In a pot, bring zucchini and chicken stock to boil. Allow to simmer, covered, for 6-8 minutes, or until zucchini is soft. Meanwhile, in a frying pan, sauté onion, cumin and cinnamon in  olive oil until onions are soft. In a blender, puree zucchini and stock with onions. Return to pot and stir in buttermilk. Garnish with cilantro

 

 

 

 

 

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