Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Good - For - What - Ails - You Stew

(recipe from Christina Cooks)

1 inch piece kombu
2 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked until tender (I just used about 8 fresh, sliced shitakes)
1 cup diced fresh daikon
1 cup burdock
1 cup diced winter squash
1 cup diced carrot
Organic soy sauce
Juice of 1/4 fresh lemon
3-4 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Layer the veggies in a heavy pot in the order listed.  Add 1/3 cup spring or filtered water and a splash of soy sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and cook until carrot is soft, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste with soy sauce and simmer, uncovered until any remaining liquid cooks away.  Stir gently to incorporate lemon juice and parsley and serve hot.

(I altered this a lot!  I used the same veggies, layered as instructed, but then covered with vegetable broth completely for a soupier mix.  Also, added lots of curry-like spices, just to give more flavor.  I also peeled the squash and burdock.  These are all supposed to be cleansing veggies that help prevent sniffles, aches, and pains.)

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

(recipe from newyorktimes.com)

2 medium red onions, peeled
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 bird's eye pepper, Thai chili, or other very hot small pepper with its seeds
a 2 1/2-3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
3 Tbsp. oil
1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed (I used ground cardamom)
2 lbs. (about 3 medium) orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-1 inch cubes
1 3/4 cups coconut milk
1 Tbsp. tamarind paste
2 1/4 cups hot vegetable broth
4 to 5 cups (about four 15.5 oz cans, drained) cooked chickpeas (I only used one can)
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro leaves

In a food processor, combine onions, garlic, hot pepper and ginger.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Place oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat.  Add chopped onion mixture and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add hot pepper flakes, ground ginger, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom pods, and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir to mix.  Add sweet potatoes and stir until well covered in spices.  Stir in the coconut milk.

Dissolve tamarind paste in hot broth and add to the pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until sweet potatoes are just tender, about 25 minutes.  (Taste potatoes to be sure they are cooked all the way through, and allow additional cooking time, if necessary.)

Add chickpeas and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Adjust salt to taste.  Transfer to a warmed bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

(Thus begins the sweet potato/squash/coconut/stew/curry onslaught of recipes...  Tis the season.  All of the spices made this lovely.  I mix a ton of cilantro right in at the end.)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup

(Recipe from Food 52 blog)

3 Tbsp. olive oil 1 medium onion (6 oz.), sliced thin
1 head very fresh cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lbs.), broken into florets
salt, to taste
5 1/2 cups water, divided

Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sweat the onion in the oil over low heat, without letting it brown, for 15 minutes.

Add the cauliflower, salt to taste, and 1/2 cup water. Raise the heat slightly, cover the pot tightly, and stew the caulifower for 15 to 18 minutes, or until tender. Then add another 4 1/2 cups hot water, bring to a low simmer, and cook an additional 20 minutes uncovered.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender to a very smooth, creamy consistency. Let the soup stand for 20 minutes. In this time it will thicken slightly.

Thin the soup with 1/2 cup hot water, if needed. Reheat the soup. Serve hot, drizzled with a thin stream of olive oil and freshly ground pepper.

(Very simple and delicious. I used vegetable broth in place of water.)