Monday, September 28, 2009

Potato Kale and Feta Mini-Knishes

I failed to get a shot of these, but they were delicious. The filling can be made for a side dish, as well. As a matter of fact, I might not go through the trouble of making these again unless I have guests. They were perfect for my theme of no utensils, only napkins.
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 tbsp Water
To make dough combine flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Make well and add 1 Tbsp of oil, eggs and 2 Tablespoons water. Gradually mix wet ingredients to flour. Knead dough until ball is formed. Knead dough, place in oiled bowl. Let stand covered for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups plain mashed potatoes with skin on
  • 2 cups finely chopped onions
  • Chopped kale
  • 8 oz of feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Put oil in skillet and cook onions until tender, add kale, salt and pepper, and cook down for about fifteen minutes. Add potatoes and feta and mix well. Divide dough into thirds on a floured surface. Roll dough out in a rectangle and fill with mixture. Seal seams with a pinch of water. Slice to form wheels and try to gather the dough around the bottom, place on baking tray. They will look like little cups. Mix up an egg yolk with a little water and rub the dough sides with the egg wash. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden brown. Of course, you can make any shapes you want, and really, any filling, too!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jelly Stands for J!

I'd like to introduce you to Lemon-Lime Jelly. Well, maybe Lemon-Lime Glaze. Not sure yet. Some jellies take two weeks to firm up, so we'll see, but I'm not optimistic. This was an experiment, which most reliable canning books tell you not to undertake, but I don't listen to anything. Not trying to be rogue here, I'm just lazy. I think its best to be wary of canning, but I also let a lot of stuff fly. (N.B.: I have been doing this haphazardly for fifteen years, so...) I was checking out some recipes on NPR and they were really loosey-goosey which brought out the crank in me, but whatever. I would have commented on it all, but you had to log in.

I thought that maybe since lemons and limes are so high in pectin--some store bought pectin is derived from citrus peel, mostly lime--I figured let's make a go of it, relying on a recipe for crab apple jelly, which are also high in pectin. I added some lime peel to the mix hoping for its pectin goodness. The jelling point came really quickly, which surprised me because last time it took forever. Apparently, this happens. Thank god for my new candy thermometer. I love it!

Whatever it is, it tastes delicious, just not sure of its jelly status.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Short Ribs Braised in Wine with Mashed Potatoes

Let me start off by saying that photographing food is extremely hard, and this photo illustrates that sentiment. Especially meat with some dark gravy. It just looks awful. Meat must be the hardest thing to photograph. Have you ever seen those new-ish meat print ads that say something like, "Welcome to the Land of Beef," and it's a landscape, a diorama, if you will, made of a large cut of beef with gravy as the sea around it. It's disgusting. That said, this meal was very far from disgusting. The first braised meat of the season the day before autumn was officially here. It's a welcome taste.

Braised meat is incredibly easy as long as you have the time to let it do its business in the oven. All I did was brown the meat in a sturdy dutch oven, then removed it to make room for sauteing red onions, then carrots. Then two cups of red wine to deglaze. Slowly added two cups chicken stock. Returned the ribs to the mix, arranging them just so, covered the whole shebang and stuck it in a 325 degree oven for 2-3 hours. Voila, you are done. I mashed potatoes with skin on, some butter and yogurt, salt and pepper.

Welcome, to the land of beef!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Red Peppers

At our local super farm market (Adam's Fairacre Farms) they have a section with produce marked with low prices for quick sale. Sometimes it's packed with great deals, like bags of red peppers for 99 cents. (Digression: my keyboard doesn't seem to have a cent symbol. Is that how the way of the world is going?) So, along with the bag of apples and pears, and ripe bananas, broccoli rabe, and zucchini (which I don't even care for), I took home two bags full of those peppers. Only problem is, I've got to prepare everything. I chopped all the zucchini and froze it for bread at a later date. The broccoli rabe was also frozen for throwing into a nice soup one day. The peppers I roasted on the grill and prepared two ways: one, on the right, is just with garlic and olive oil to keep in the fridge for bread and cheese, or sandwiches, the other, on the left, is a romesco sauce I, no exaggeration, threw together. As I have mentioned, I'm not too keen on recipes and feel my way through things. I liked it just fine. Froze half and kept the rest in the fridge for a quick meal. I was tired and on the tail end of a cold, so here is what I remember:

Romesco Sauce (Sorta)

Filled the food processor half way with roasted red peppers.
Sauteed up two ripe tomatoes with a handful of garlice in some olive oil, then in the processor with the peppers.
A handful of walnuts (almonds or hazelnuts are proper, but all I had was walnuts).
Some nice, cheesy bread crumbs I had in the fridge (made from a batch of croutons gone awry).
Whizzed it up, while pouring a goodly amount (3/4 cup?) of olive oil in;
then a 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (maybe less?) to finish it off. Salt and pepper, too.

Now I gotta slog through the banana bread I have on deck, and apple and pear sauce...I can't imagine what life must have been like, back in the day, when folks depended on their harvest for their livelihood. A man I was buying used canning jars from said that his mother often said that the worst thing to see in the kitchen was a large basket of vegetables that had to be preserved right away. My word.

Chicken Sitting has its Benefits

We've been chicken sitting for the neighbors which has paid off in nice little Rhode Island Red eggs. I've got to get chickens...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Enchiladas Verdes with Roasted Green Tomato Sauce

I was looking at a recipe for roasted tomatillo sauce and thought, I'm not going out to buy tomatillos, for crying out loud. But what can I use? Green tomatoes!! I am thrilled for a new and delicious green tomato recipe that does not require pickling.

Enchiladas: I poached a fryer chicken to make stock, as it's now soup season. Froze a few quarts of stock and left one out for cooking. This left me with a goodly amount of chicken meat, which I shredded, about 2 1/2 cups. Mix this with 1/2 cup of yogurt, and a 1/4 cup each of chopped cilantro and scallions. Next, fill six tortillas with the mixture, roll and place in lightly greased baking dish, seam side down.

The sauce: At 400 degrees, roast a pan full of green tomatoes (I used whole cherry), two quartered onions, a dozen garlic cloves, tossed with olive oil, a teaspoon of salt and flaked red pepper (you could go hotter and use real hot peppers of your choice). Let these roast for about 45 minutes, shaking the pan a few times in the interim. When done, let cool a bit and then whiz them in the processor with some stock--about a cup--until the consistency of your desire.

Shred some cheddar and swiss over the enchiladas. Pour the sauce over the whole enchilada and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until bubbly. My sauce was thick, so I added some stock for cooking.

Best new green tomato recipe!!

Cannellini, Cherry Tomato and Arugula Soup

I call this a hot bowl of summer. It's been getting cooler and cooler quicker and quicker, so I made soup the other day. Also, I didn't have much in the fridge. This was one of those soups that came out of nothing. Thank god for the garden! This utilized a bunch of split cherry tomatoes and the last of the arugula, which was getting a bit tough and stringy.

Saute chopped garlic and onions in olive oil. Put a bay leaf in. Add two cans of white beans (slowly, so they don't make the pot cool down too quickly) and then halved cherry tomatoes. Add a can or two of water. Simmer for a bit, until it tastes good or you're just plain hungry. Add washed arugula and a bunch of chopped parsley. Serve with a drizzle of good olive oil, cracked pepper and some grated cheese.

Et voila. Sorry I'm so lazy on the amounts. I just throw things in and see how they look.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Beet Quickles

Quickles are quick pickles. These are glorious. Anything with beets arrest me with their glorious, jewel-toned beauty. Haven't even tasted them yet. No matter. I know they will be heavenly. Here's the recipe:

2 red or golden beets
1 fresh Thai chile
1 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 fresh bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Scrub, trim, and peel 2 red or golden beets. Slice thinly, and transfer to a jar. Split 1 fresh Thai chile in half. Bring chile, 1 cup rice vinegar, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 fresh bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour hot mixture over beets. Seal jar, and refrigerate. Beets will keep for 1 month.

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Granola

It's my secret formula. Called: throw everything in that you want to get rid of. That would be: oats, wheat puffs, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, raisins, dried apples, coconut, agave nectar, maple syrup and yes, vegetable oil.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Pickling Time

The lemon cucumber plants that seemed so prolific are now getting covered in some kind of mold and seem to be dying quickly. I wonder: is this normal senescence, as the weather seems to be turning autumnal very quickly, or is this truly a disease of some sort? No matter. I have picked and pickled all I can and will move onto other endeavors. Last night I made six pints of quick dills. It is the easiest recipe ever. We shall see how they taste in six weeks!

Recipe: Joy of Cooking, Quick Dills

Pizza Night

One of the many amazing things my mother did when we were growing up was to make fresh pizza every week which was a big thing back there in the seventies, and here the tradition continues! Long live pizza!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just Eggs

You know, they really are incredible. No false marketing there. Especially when they are fresh little guys from your pals down the block, no bigger than a golf ball from some Rhode Island Reds that you personally know. Especially when you are feeling a little lost, and you need some comfort in the form of molten yolk, two fried eggs, over-medium, does the trick.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Baby's Zucchini Bread

Remember: I will not make it unless it's easy. I am incredibly lazy. So, this bread is my favorite savory quick bread recipe, taken from Mark Bittman's The Minimalist column in the NY Times. He does a lot of great bread articles/recipes that are for the everyday loaf-er. (Sorry!) 

Anyhoo, I take lots of liberties with the recipe, and it's very forgiving. For this particular bread, I just added finely chopped zucchini and golden raisins. The rest of the ingredients are as follows: wheat flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, yogurt. That is it, folks. And in 45 minutes this little number dances out of your oven.

Black Beans and Brown Rice

Tonight we had burritos with black beans and rice. It was delicious and lovely but I was too hungry and too busy feeding baby to take a picture. It would have been dull anyway. I soaked the beans last night and cooked them in the crock pot over the course of the day (two onions, two cloves of garlic, s&p, chili powder, bay leaf). Brown rice made during second nap, along with salsa fresca (tomatoes, lime juice, garlic, salt).  We like flour tortillas even though it's sacrilege. I know I should find some nice corn tortillas...Top it with sharp cheddar, organic whole milk yogurt, extra cilantro, and you are in business. Simple and satisfying. 

Weirdest Jelly Ever

I made this lime marmalade last night, and man, is it weird. Bitter and limey. Not sure what I'll do with it, quite honestly. It didn't make quite two pints, so there's not a ton. I should have used half pints, but didn't have any on hand. I think it might make a nice pork shoulder glaze, which then might make a nice shredded pork taco. Or a filling for a lime cake? Lime jelly roll? A little perplexed, but I should mention the jell it made was sublime. (Ha, ha! Thanks, Shane!)

Props out to Diana who bestowed this limey goodness upon me. She knew I would take the lime quest mission. Next up: lime curd? Can I can this? I don't think so, but perhaps you beg to differ.

Note: this picture isn't so hot, but the green of the limes really turns olive and isn't so pretty to begin with, so I didn't pursue a greener shot.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Put A Lime In It!

A friend dropped off a bag of limes fresh from her tree in Florida, so I began the quest for making all things limey. These jellies are delicious!

Recipe: Joy of Cooking
Note: Thanks for the limes, Diana!

Harvest Time

Harvest time is a little on the lean side this summer due to the infamous tomato blight and the poor weather conditions. This summer was very cool, very damp (causing said blight) and we didn't get very many warm nights at all. While this was somewhat pleasant weather to garden in, it was certainly very less than ideal for eating conditions. That said, I have managed to get some things canned, and we are not completely tomato-less. 

What we have here is some Rocket arugula, some volunteer tomatoes (Red Zebra and some assorted cherries and grapes), Lemon cucumbers and Pickle cucumbers (which sadly, were very stunted--shoulda made cornichons!).