Monday, August 12, 2013

Shiitake and Spinach Risotto

  1. You need 2 pots for this one.  One to bring broth to boil and one in which to cook ristto.
  2. Bring desired broth to boil in pot.  You can use chicken broth or create a veggie broth with water and a bouillon cube.  Seems like you need about 4 cups of broth for 1 cup of arborio rice. 
  3. Thinly slice and sauté up too many shiitake mushrooms in some olive oil or other fat in the same pot in which you will be making risotto.  Remove and set aside.
  4. While mushrooms are cooking, mince up some shallots.  After removing mushrooms, add some more fat to pan and sauté shallots.
  5. Add arborio rice to shallots and stir to toast up the rice.
  6. Most recipes call for cold white wine to be added here.  I no longer drink or have this kind of thing around, so I added white balsamic vinegar and balanced it with a touch of maple syrup.  Worked great.
  7. Then start adding the broth about 1/2 cup (or ladle's worth) at a time.  Stirring until all the broth has been absorbed and then add more.
  8. Eventually the risotto will no longer be crunchy and the dish will start to have a creamy appearance.  I taste here cuz every brand of rice seems to need more or less broth and different amounts of time.  Usually about 20 minutes for 1 cup rice
  9. Add in the fresh spinach and mushrooms back in.  Remove from heat and stir in too much butter and grated parmesan cheese.  Fresh herbs like minced tarragon and rosemary are good.  Any will do.  Salt to taste. Serve.

For the leftover risotto the next day:
  1. Mix with enough egg and parmesan.
  2. Fry up into patties.  Super yum.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Asian Inspired Spinach Salad

1. Thinly slice a fennel bulb and pan roast. Place in salad bowl.

2. Thinly slice asian apple pear that Farmer and the Cook is carrying right now.  Place in bowl with fennel.  Toss both with White Balsamic Vinegar.

3. Thinly slice daikon radish.  Add to Fennel and Asian Pear.

4. Finely grate some ginger into mixture.

5.Toast up some pumpkin seeds.

6. When ready to eat, toss with baby spinach.  Add just a little toasted sesame oil.  And add the pumpkin seeds and some sesame seeds.  Super yum.

Cold Soba Noodles with Ginger Sauce

1. Start a pot of water to boil

2. In a large bowl where you will toss the soba noodles:

  • finely grate too much ginger 
  • add wasabi powder (to taste. a tbl. is usually what i like)
  • tamari soy sauce (proportions are up to you. usually about 1/4 cup or more)
  • maple syrup (to balance the heat and tang. usually about a shy tbl.)
  • handful of dashes of rice wine vinegar
  • taste and adjust
3. In another pan, saute up some thinly sliced fresh shitake mushrooms if available (optional)

4. Slice up some black kale if you want to add to noodles (optional).  If you are using, place kale in the bottom of the colander that you will use to drain the noodles.  The hot water will cook it perfectly.

5. Once water is boiling, put soba noodles in the pot.  You have to stay close to this and scoop off the starch as it foams up otherwise you will have an overflowing mess).

6. After about 3 minutes (depending on the brand and type of soba), pour the boiling water and noodle mixture into the colander to drain and cook the kale if using.

7. Run cold water over noodles if wanting cold noodles.  (They can also be left hot).

8. Toss with dressing you made in big bowl.  Add mushrooms if using.  Serve in small bowls.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onion if desired.

I almost forgot that I like to make food for friends

When I left my marriage and moved into a shack, I stopped hosting dinner parties.  Cooking for others was such a source of pleasure and fun.  Yet the transition required a lot of solo quiet time and my skills got reduced to whatever could be made in one pan or pot and/or the toaster oven.

Tonight two of my besties came over and I found myself so delighting in the slicing and dicing.  I had almost forgotten the joy that comes from the co creation of food with love.

Monday, April 1, 2013

eggs and kale and veggies

I can't really get enough kale.  And eggs are my good friend.  This is for 2 peoples.

  1. Slice up a leek, two carrots, a bulb of fennel.
  2. Add your favorite fat to a wide bottom skillet. Once melted, add the vegetables and stir and begin to saute.
  3. While they are cooking a little, slice up some kale (chard or any other green will do).  Rinse and add to veggies before they are super browned.
  4. Open 4 raw eggs on top.  (2 on one side of pan, 2 on the other.)
  5. Cover and steam cook eggs for about 5 minutes or so.  (This depends a lot on how you like your eggs.  Lately I like them firm.)
  6. When eggs are as you like them, scoop onto a plate.  
  7. Sometimes I make a mustard caper dill sauce.  Sometimes I just sprinkle a little white balsamic vinegar with salt and pepper.

Latest Ashram Breakfast

  1. Add ghee (latest fav is niter kibbeh which is ghee flavored with garlic, ginger, onion, turmeric, cardamom  cumin, fenugreek, cinnamon and cloves) or other fat to small pot that you might cook rice in.
  2. Once ghee is hot, add sliced leeks.
  3. Stir and saute after a little bit, add a cup or less of white basmati rice.
  4. Add 1/2 a vegetable bouillon cube and mix up.
  5. Add enough water to cook rice (usually less than you think) and bring to a boil.
  6. Add sliced kale on top and 2 raw eggs.  
  7. Cover and bring to a simmer, cooking about 10 - 13 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs.  (Lately I like them pretty stiff.  If you like runny eggs, give rice about 3 to 4 minutes before adding kale and eggs.
  8. Simply scoop into a bowl.  I like a little white balsamic vinegar sprinkled on.  And salt.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spiced Pear Relish

  • 6 Firm Barlett or Anjou or whatever pears you can find. Core, peal and finely chop.
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped. I like white.
  • 1/4 cup kosher or other big grain salt.
  • 2 large jalepeños.  Seeded and Minced.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 c golden raisins
  • 1 Tbl minced, peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seed

1. In a large bowl, toss the pears w the inion, salt and jalepeñeos. Cover and refridg over night.

2. Drain pears into a colander and rinse the.  In a large saucepan, combine the pears with the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Simmer over low heat for 25 minutes or until thickened.  Let the pear relish cool.  Serve cold or at room temp.

3. Sometimes I add a little mint or brightener...