Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Russian Borscht

This hearty soup is ruby colored and delicious, with a healthy variety of vegetables...from an early Moosewood Cookbook.

-One-and-a-half cup chopped onions
-One-and-a-half cup thinly-sliced potatoes
-1 cup thinly sliced beets (2 average sized beets)
-1 large, sliced carrot
-1 stalk chopped celery
-3 cups chopped cabbage
-a scant tsp. caraway seeds
-4 cups stock or water (I use water)
-2 tsp. salt
-black pepper
-1/4 tsp. dill weed
-1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. cider vinegar
-1 Tbs. + 1 tsp honey
-1 cup tomato puree

Place potatoes, beets and water in a saucepan and cook until tender (save the water).

Meanwhile, cook the onion in olive oil in a large soup pot. Add caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onion is translucent, then add celery, carrots and cabbage. Add water from beets/potatoes, and cook, covered, until all the vegetables are tender. Add the potatoes, beets and remaining ingredients.

Cover and simmer slowly for at least 30 minutes. Taste to correct seasonings

Serve topped with a dollop of plain yogurt sprinkled with dill weed.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sweet/Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

A few sweet potatoes (the orange ones)
Olive oil

Spiced Salt:
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp paprika

Roast the sweet potatoes however you like best. I like to cut them into 1/2" to 1" thick sticks, about 2-3 inches long, then toss them in olive oil and salt, and roast for 45-60 minutes at 350 until they're starting to get mushy.

This recipe is really about the spiced salt, which gave the sweet potatoes the best flavor I have ever tasted. Mix the spices together and sprinkle on the sweet potatoes right when they come out of the oven. For 2 sweet potatoes I used about 1/2 the salt mixture. Just keep adding more and tasting until it's right. They should not be strongly spicy like our Moroccan carrots, just a subtle sweet and spicy flavor.

The spiced salt is from the "Fast, Fresh and Green" cookbook by Susie Middleton

Spicy Cauliflower Soup

From "The Art of Simple Food" by Alice Waters...
Serves 4-6

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a heavy-bottomed soup pot

Add and cook, stirring often over medium heat:
-1 large onion, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced very small, almost minced
-1 tsp coriander
-1 tsp. cumin
-1 tsp. chile powder
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
-1/4 tsp dried chile flakes (I used red pepper flakes)
- 1 tsp. salt

When very soft, but not browned, add
-6 sprigs cilantro, coarsely chopped (I used more)
-1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed of leaves and coarsely chopped (5-6 cups)
-3 cups vegetable broth
-3 cups water

Raise the heat and bring to a boil, stir occasionally. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook about 30 minutes until the cauliflower is very tender. Stir vigorously with a spoon or whisk to coarsely puree the soup (I also put about half of it in a blender, whirled it around a bit, then returned it to the pot). Add more water or broth if the soup is too thick. Taste, adjust seasonings, add more salt if necessary. Serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro or mint and a squeeze of lime juice.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Baked White Bean Cakes

3 cups cooked white beans (or canned)
2 eggs
1/4 cup grate Parmesan
2 Tbs. cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 Tbs. minced garlic
2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary or 1 tsp. dried
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
salt and pepper
Tomato sauce (fresh or jarred spaghetti sauce) and pine nuts to go on top

Pre-heat oven to 375 and grease a baking sheet.
Put the beans in a large bowl and mash with a fork.
Add the eggs and whisk with a fork.
Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and golden. Stir in the rosemary and then set aside to cool a bit.
Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper into the beans. Add the onion/garlic mixture. Stir until combined. It should be the consistency of thick cookie dough.
Form the dough into 8 cakes on the prepared cookie sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and crisp.
Top cakes with tomato sauce and toasted pine nuts.

From Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Monday, October 18, 2010

Special Apple Pie

This makes a big, rich pie, be sure and use a 10" pan or it overflows in the oven.

Crust: Combine 1 and 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. salt. Cut in 1/2 cup plus 2 T. butter (one and 1/4 sticks), 1/4 cup water or apple cider. (can be made in stand mixer. It's worth using the apple cider, makes the crust delicious). Roll out the crust, ease into a 10" pie pan and flute.

Filling: 8 McIntosh apples (if they're big you'll only need 6-7), peeled & sliced.
Combine 1 and 2/3 cup sour cream, 1 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1 egg, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. salt, and mix well. Stir in the apples and spread in the crust.

Bake: Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake 'til slightly puffed and golden brown, 40 minutes.

Topping: Combine 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 T. cinnamon, pinch of salt, 1/2 c. butter. Mix until crumbly. Spoon over pie and bake 15 minutes longer.

The Best Lentil Soup

Cover 1 cup lentils with water. Boil 3 minutes and drain.

Add 6 cups of water (or 3 cups vegetable broth and 3 cups water), 1 large stalk celery finely sliced, 1 large carrot finely chopped, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 medium onion, chopped, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, 3/4 c. tomato sauce, 1 bay leaf.

(I usually enlarge the recipe a bit by using one and a half cup of lentils, 4 cups water, 4 cups broth, 2 stalks celery, 2 carrots, a large onion, and a cup of tomato sauce).

Bring to a boil, cover and simmer one to one-and-a-half hours. Add more water if needed.

Add 2 - 3 T. red wine vinegar (helps to use a really good brand of vinegar), stir, and cook 10 minutes longer.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Macrina's Lemon Salad Dressing


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Buckwheat Noodles with Brown Butter and Cabbages

Katie recommends this quick recipe from Deborah Madison's The Savory Way:

6 T. brown butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, the leaves separated
1/4 cup water
1 pound nappa cabbage, thinly sliced
10-12 oz. buckwheat noodles
3T. chopped parsley
1 bunch of scallions, including some of the green part, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup Gruyere or Fontina cheese
1 T. roasted black or white sesame seeds
freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and prepare the vegetables while it is heating.

Heat 2 T. of the butter in a wide skillet, add the garlic and Brussels sprouts leaves, and cook over medium heat, turning the leaves frequently until they begin to shine, after a minute or two. Add the water and a little salt and cook until the leaves are sweet and tender, about 3-4 minutes more. Add water, if needed, in small increments. Once the sprouts are cooked, add the cabbage and cook until it's wilted. Season with salt and set aside.

Salt the past water, then add the pasta. When done, drain and add it directly to the vegetables. Add the remaining butter, parlsey, scallions, cheese and sesame seeds, and combine gently. Season with pepper and serve.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ruth Reichl's Peach Cobbler

Peel 4 - 5 large peaches, and slice them directly into a glass or ceramic pie plate, being sure to capture the juice. Squeeze half a lemon over the fruit and toss in a quarter to a half cup of sugar and a tablespoon of cornstarch.

Mix a cup of flour with a teaspoon of baking powder, and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and salt. Cut in half a stick of butter and very gently mix in a third to a half cup of buttermilk. The dough should be like damp biscuit dough. Plop the dough onto the fruit, shake a little sugar over the top and bake in a 400 degree oven for about half an hour.

Tortellini with Kale and Garlic Bread Crumbs

The Crumbs
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs (about 2 slices of bread)
1 Tbs. fresh mixed herbs, chopped (I used basil and rosemary)

The Pasta
1 lb kale
3 Tbs. olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb. frozen cheese tortellini
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. grated parmesean cheese

To prepare the crumbs, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in bread crumbs and cook until toasted, tossing often, about 5 minutes. Stir in herbs. Scrape mixture into a bowl to cool. Don't wash out skillet

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the tortellini

Prepare the kale by ripping of the stems, then cutting the leaves into shreds. Put the kale in a large bowl of water to rinse.

In the skillet, heat 2 Tbs. of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 30 seconds. Add the strips of kale without fully drying it so that the water goes into the skillet too. Stir to coat the kale in the oil and garlic then cover the skillet tightly and cook the kale until it's wilted and soft, about 5-7 minutes. There should be s few tablespoons of liquid in the pan- if not, add some pasta water. Stir in the balsamic, salt and pepper.

Stir the tortellini, parmesean cheese, and 1 Tbs of oilve oil into the kale mixture. Serve with a generous topping of bread crumbs.

From Simple Vegetarian Pleasures cookbook.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Beth's Last-Minute Lasagna

Makes 8 servings

2 26-oz. jars of pasta sauce
2 30-oz. bags frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed
2 10 oz. boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
16 oz. shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated parmesan

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and spoon in a third of the sauce. Arrange half the ravioli on top and scatter the spinach over them. Top with half of each cheese. Cover with another layer of ravioli and the remaining sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5-10 minutes more or until bubbly.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

This pesto has so much flavor - toss with pasta or spread on bread...

Yield: About 1 Cup

  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole almonds
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 generous packed cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 cup grated parmigianno regianno
  • 1 cup olive oil
  1. Drain your sun dried tomatoes, lightly rinse them, and then pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Toast your almonds in a dry shallow pan. They will take about 10 minutes, and you will smell when they are done.
  3. In a large food processor, combine the basil, toasted almonds, garlic, lemon zest, and salt. Process until coarsely chopped.
  4. Add the sun dried tomatoes and parmigianno cheese and process until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.
  5. Now stream in the olive oil slowly and process until the pesto comes together.
  6. Serve immediately or store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Katie's 30th b-day carrot cake

3/4 pound carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1.5 tsp. baking soda
1.5 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 cups sugar
1.5 cups vegtable oil
4 large eggs
1 can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup raisins, optional (I don't use them)

(2) 9" round by 2" tall cake pans

2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2.5 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350. Butter and flour cake pans, knocking our excess flour.

Shred enough carrots on the smallest teardrop holes of a box grater to measure 2 cups.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, walnuts, eggs, carrots, pineapple, coconut, walnuts, and raisins (if using).

Divide batter between cake pans and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35-45 minutes. Cool layers of cake in pans for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife around the edge of each pan and invert layers onto rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting: beat together cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, add confectioners sugar, and beat until frosting is smooth.

Place 1 cake layer bottom side up on a cake plate and spread with some of the frosting. Place remaining cake layer right side up on top and spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.

I like to top it with some toasted coconut.

From The Gourmet Cookbook

Friday, April 30, 2010

Penne Arrabbiata with Herbs

From The Herbfarm Cookbook - spicy, hearty, and easy. The fresh herbs make all the difference.

-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

-2 lbs. very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 3 cups) or one 28 oz. can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juice. Unless you can get really good fresh tomatoes, it's best to use a good brand of canned tomatoes.

-1/2 to 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes

-1 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary

-1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

-3 T. coarsely chopped fresh Greek oregano

-12 oz. dried penne or spaghetti or rotini

-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it loses its raw fragrance but is not browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, red pepper, rosemary and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring the sauce to a boil and cook uncovered at a steady, gentle boil until most of the liquid evaporates and the sauce is quite thick, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally, mashing any large pieces of tomato. Stir in the parsley and oregano.

Cook the pasta in a big pot of boiling, salted water. Drain, add to the skillet of sauce, sprinkle with the cheese and toss to coat evenly. Serve in warmed shallow bowls.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Penne with Walnut Pesto and Eggplant

From "The Herbal Kitchen", serves 4
-2 small or 1 large eggplant
-2 T. olive oil
-1 tsp. salt

2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly rated Parmigiano-Reggiano

3/4 pound penne pasta
1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts to finish

Preheat oven to 425. Cut the unpeeled eggplant into 3/4 inch cubes. Spread tehm out on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Toss with your hands to distrubte the oil and salt and shake the cubes out into a single layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes until they are brown on the edges and are very soft.

While the eggplant is roasting, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the pesto by pulsing the basil, walnuts, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil. Scrape down teh bow and add the cheese, pulse again.

Boil the pasta , scoop out 1/2 cup of cooking water into a cup and drain the pasta. Return the pasta to the warm pot, top with pesto, pour in the water and stir until evenly sauced. Scrape the eggplant cubes into the pot and stir gently. Scoop the pasta into warm serving bowls, top with walnuts and serve right away.

Herbed Skillet Souffle

From "The Herbal Kitchen"
3 T. fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup whole or low fat milk
8 large eggs, separated
1/2 to 3/4 cu chopped mixture of soft-leaved herbs, such as basil, parsley, chives, dill, marjoram or tarragon
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere
2 T. butter

Preheat oven to 400. Stir the bread crumbs into the milk in a large mixing bowl and let them soak until they become pasty, 10 to 15 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolks, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.

Just before you're ready to cook the frittata, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form very soft (not stiff) peaks. When you scoop them up on the spatula they should flop over instead of standing straight up. Scoop the whites into the yolk mixture and quickly fold them in.

Heat a 12 inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the butter when the pan is hot enough for it to sizzle but not brown and swirl until it melts. Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Immediately put the skillet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15-17 minutes., or until the souffle is puffed and deeply browned. Serve it right away, spooned from the skillet, or at room temperature cut into wedges.

Parsley and Mint Soup

From "The Herbal Kitchen" - intensely green and flavorful.

3 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
2 T. butter
4 cups broth
1 T. white rice
4 cups gently packed flat leaf parsley sprigs, large stems removed
1/2 cup mint leaves
salt and pepper
1/c cup heavy cream (You can leave this out)
Walnut or hazelnut oil

Cook the leeks in butter in a saucpan over medium heat, stirring often until they begin to wild. Add the broth and rice. When the soup boils, cover and let it simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

Stir the parsley, mint and black pepper into the simmering soup and then remove from heat. Puree the soup until it's golf course green and very smooth. Stir in cream and reheat. Taste it and add salt if need be.

Before serving, whisk in 2 T. of walnut or hazelnut oil and top with chopped, toasted walnuts or hazelnuts.

Minted Lentil and Goat Cheese Strudel/Easter 2010

From "The Herbal Kitchen"
2 T. olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup French-style lentils, such as lentilles du Puy
1 and 3/4 cup water
1 and 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 and 1/2 T. chopped thyme
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces soft goat cheese
24 sheets phyllo dough 9 x 14 inches
melted butter

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan and cook the onion and garlic until soft. Stir in the lentils, water, and salt and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain off any liquid, transfer lentils to a mixing bowl, and stir in herbs, black pepper and goat cheese.

Butter 4 layers of phyllo dough on top of parchment paper. Divide the filling into 6 equal parts and form one part into a cylinder across the long side of the phyllo, about an inch from the edge. Roll the dough up around the phyllo, but not too tightly or the filling will burst through the dough when it cooks. Lift onto a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with more butter. Make remaining 5 strudels the same way.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cook, and cut each strudel into 8 pieces.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Creamy beet pasta

2 medium beets
1 tsp. caraway seeds
2 green onions
1 bunch chives
1 oz. walnuts
2 Tbs. creme fraiche or sour cream
black pepper
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 oz. feta cheese

Cook beets, covered, in enough water to cover generously, over medium heat until tender, about 40 to 50 minutes. (I usually wrap them in foil and bake in the oven for an hour).

Peel beets, chop into cubes and puree in food processor with caraway seeds.

Clean green onions and chop finely.

Cut chives into rings.

Break walnuts into small pieces (I usually toast them in the oven for a few minutes too).

Boil water and add pasta, cook until al dente. Reserve 3-4 Tbs. of cooking water.

Heat beet puree with green onion, walnuts, creme fraiche, reserved pasta water, salt, pepper, and lemon juice on stovetop.

Drain pasta and mix into beet mixture.

Mix chives and crumbled feta cheese together. Sprinkle on top of pasta to serve.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chedder Scallions Drop Biscuits

2-1/4 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
3/4 stick (6 Tbs.) COLD unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1-1/2 cups coarsely grated cheddar (about 6 oz.)
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Put a rack in the middle of oven and pre-heat to 450. Butter a large baking sheet.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt (or put them all in bowl of mixer and stir on low until mixed)

Blend in butter with with fingers or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal (I do this in the mixer too- with the paddle, on low for a couple of minutes)

Mix in chedder and scallions.

Add buttermilk and mix until just combined.

Drop dough in 12 equal mounds about 2" apart on cookie sheet.

Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes (the recipe says 18-20 minutes, but they're done in 12 in my oven).

These are SO DELICIOUS, and easy. From Gourmet Cookbook.