Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Spicy Black Beans and Rice

(I don't know where this recipe is from...)

One 6oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes (I used an 8oz. jar)
1 large white onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
Two 15oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
One 15oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (I did not drain these)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs

4 servings basmati rice
1/2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup golden raisins

Pour 1 Tbsp. oil from the sun-dried tomatoes (I used several Tbsp.) into a large skillet.  Chop the sun-dried tomatoes and set aside.

Sautee onion and jalapeno in the skillet over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Stir in beans, canned tomatoes (I also added all of the juice from the can), salt and sun-dried tomatoes.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Garnish with cilantro.

Fold seeds and raisins into rice, and serve with beans.

(These are not really that spicy - especially if you de-seed the jalapenos.  The various tomatoes and the seeds and raisins in the rice make this dish seem really luxurious.)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate

(recipe from Paleo Perfected magazine)

1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and sliced crosswise1/2-inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
12 oz. Lacinato kale, stemmed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips (7 cups)
1/2 head radicchio (5 oz.), cored and sliced thin
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400F.  Toss potatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper.  Lay potatoes in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast until bottom edges are browned on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through roasting  Transfer potatoes to plate and let cool for 20 minutes.

Whisk shallot, honey, vinegar, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper together in a large bowl.  Whisking constantly, gradually drizzle in remaining oil until emulsified.

Place kale in a large bowl or on the counter.  Vigorously squeeze and massage the kale with your hands until the leaves are uniformly darkened and slightly wilted, about 1 minute.  Add kale, radicchio, and roasted sweet potatoes to the vinaigrette and gently toss to combine.  Transfer salad to serving platter and sprinkle with pecans and pomegranate seeds.  Serve.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Risi E Bisi

(recipe from Food & Wine magazine)

About 7 cups vegetable broth
4 cups fresh young peas (about 4 lbs. in the pod) or thawed frozen peas
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter (I used coconut oil)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I omitted this)
salt and freshly ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer.  Add 2 cups of the peas and blanch over low heat for 1 minute.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to a food processor and add 1/2 cup of the broth.  Pulse the peas to a coarse puree.  Keep the remaining broth warm, at a simmer.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter in the oil.  Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened and lightly colored, about 4 minutes.  Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 cups of uncooked peas and mint to the rice and stir-fry over moderate heat for 1 minute.  Add the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, and stir constantly until it is partially absorbed before adding more (as for risotto), 20 to 25 minutes.  The texture should be soupy; if necessary, add more stock.  Just before the rice is al dente, stir in the coarsely pureed peas.  Stir in the parsley and half of the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.  Serve at once, sprinkling with the remaining cheese at the table.

(More like a risotto than a soup.  Very fresh pea flavor, even with frozen peas.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Roasted Potato Salad with Shaved Fennel and Salsa Verde

(recipe from finecooking.com)

2 lb. small red-skinned or Yukon Gold potatoes, washed and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. thinly sliced chives
3 Tbsp. drained, rinsed, and chopped capers
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme (I used a smaller amount of dried thyme)
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 medium clove garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 medium-small fennel bulb

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450F.  Spread the potatoes on a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper, and roll them around to evenly coat them with the oil.  Spread the potatoes in a single layer, preferably with a cut side down.  Roast until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes.  The potatoes should be browned on the sides touching the pan.  Loosen the potatoes from the pan with a thin spatula and transfer them to a large serving bowl.

While the potatoes are roasting, in a medium bowl, stir the parsley, olive oil, chives, capers, orange juice, vinegar, orange zest, thyme, shallot, and garlic to make the salsa verde.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cut off the top and the bottom of the fennel.  Cut the fennel bulb in half from top to bottom, and again into quarters - remove the cores.  Lay each quarter on its cut surface and then slice crosswise as thinly as possible.

Add the salsa verde and shaved fennel to the bowl of roasted potatoes - they can be added while potatoes are still warm, or at room temperature.  Toss well, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cauliflower Slaw

(recipe from smittenkitchen.com)

1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp.), plus more to taste
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
3 Tbsp. dried currants
5 Tbsp. olive oil, plus more for frying
2 Tbsp. brined or salt-packed capers
1 small, compact-looking head of cauliflower (about 1 1/4 lbs.)
Freshly ground pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced (use green and white parts)
2 Tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional, mostly for color)

Heat oven to 350F.  Spread almonds on a tray and toast them until they're a deep golden color, tossing them once or twice to ensure even cooking.  This will take 10 to 14 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, place lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/4 tsp. salt in a small bowl.  Add currants; set aside and let them soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

If using brined capers, drain and spread them on paper towels until most of their moisture has wicked out, about 5 minutes.  If using salt-packed capers, soak them in water for 10 minutes to remove the saltiness, then drain, rinse, and pat dry on paper towels.  Pour 1/2-inch of olive oil, or another oil that you prefer to fry in, in a small skillet or saucepan.  Heat it over medium-high heat.  When hot enough that a droplet of water added to the oil hisses, carefully add the capers and step back - they're going to sputter a bit for the first 10 seconds.  Once it's safe to get closer, give them a stir.  Depending on how dry they were, it can take 1 to 2 minutes for them to get lightly golden at the edges and then crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Drain on paper towels.

Trim cauliflower leaves and cut the head into quarters.  Cut stems and florets into 1/4-inch slices.  Add to a large bowl.

Scoop currants from vinegar mixture with a slotted spoon and add to bowl with cauliflower, along with almonds, capers, scallions, and parsley.  Slowly whisk 5 Tbsp. olive oil into remaining vinegar mixture in a thin stream.  Add several turns of freshly ground black pepper.  Pour over cauliflower and other ingredients and turn gently to coat.  Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt, or pepper to taste.  Serve.

(Really different, crisp and tasty.  I didn't mess with all of the rinsing and draining of the capers - I just drained quickly and sautéed in a pan.)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Roasted Ratatouille Couscous

(recipe from The Washington Post)

Olive oil or non-stick cooking spray
1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb.), cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 lb. zucchini, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch squares
2 medium onions, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice
2 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch dice (I didn't seed my tomatoes)
1/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups uncooked couscous (I used brown rice)

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Lightly coat a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil or spray.

In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, onions and tomatoes.  Add 1/3 cup of the oil and salt and pepper to taste and toss the vegetables to coat.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, keeping the vegetables in one layer.

Roast until tender and just beginning to brown, 60 to 70 minutes (or less - keep an eye on them), stirring every 15 minutes and turning the pan midway through to ensure even cooking.  Transfer to a large serving bowl and set aside.

Prepare the couscous (or rice) according to package directions.  Add the cooked couscous and the remaining 2 Tbsp. oil to the roasted vegetables and stir to combine.  Adjust the seasonings to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.