Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fairy-tale salad and fresh chicken spring rolls

I loved the way some of my raddishes from the farmer's market turned out to be purple. The purple ones were milder than the hot-pink edged variety. The two together made for a very pretty salad with peas, garbanzos and butter lettuce.
I harvested some of my cilantro, purple basil and globe basil to make spring rolls. The filling also included mung bean threads, chopped cabbage, chopped butter lettuce and strips of baked chicken breast.

My peanut sauce, which is not pictured, is:
big gob peanut butter
splashes vinegar and soy sauce
1 fat clove garlic, minced
mini glob honey
little shake cayenne

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Chilly weather foods

Last week's rainy weather made me whip out my fleeces and fuzzy socks... and whip up an easy ramen bowl, some homemade calzones and a non-dairy tilapia corn chowder.My favorite instant noodles, as I've mentioned in a previous post, are the "Hoo Roo Rook" Korean brand of low-fat ramen. They come with a broth packet, a sauce packet and a seasoning packet filled with freeze-dried green onion, egg strips, sesame seeds and sea weed. I love eating the noodles without the soup, topped with crunchy veggies, an egg or tofu, some boiled leafy greens, several shakes toasted sesame and tossed in some teriyaki sauce and a little canola oil.
I haven't mastered calzone dough. But the fillings: salami, spinach, mushroom, mozzarella and tomato sauce were spot on. The Parrino boys wolfed down my batch of eight calzones in two days.
Finally, though I'll admit it looks rather unappetizing, I made a really tasty tilapia corn chowder with chicken stock, 5 or 6 yellow potatoes, sweet onion, a little garlic, dried and fresh dill, a small squeeze of lemon juice, canned sweet corn and three frozen tilapia fillets. Sorry, I didn't measure anything, as usual. But I started by sauteeing the onion and garlic in some oil (butter would've been better). Then I added the diced, peeled potatoes and covered it with the chicken stock, some of the corn "juice" and water to cover everything. Once everything was well cooked, I added half of the corn and my tilapia. Once the fish was flaky, I removed it and used an immersion blender to blend the rest of the soup. After that, I added the fish back in, the rest of the corn and just a little lemon juice and seasoned thoroughly with dill and salt.

Friday, May 07, 2010

BBQ Tuna burgers

This is something I make for myself when Joe isn't around to eat with me. He's not fond of tuna burgers. But mine are so good they don't even taste like tuna :-)

To make my yummiest ever BBQ tuna burgers:

Start with:
2 cans chunk light tuna in oil or water, drained
1/3 cup instant oats
1 egg
3 Tbs Sweet Baby Ray's or your favorite sauce
3 scallions, chopped finely
pepper, cayenne, salt to taste

Shape into flat patties and pan-fry in a little bit of vegetable oil until browned on both sides and a little crispy.

Pile patties onto some bread with tomato and lettuce. Enjoy!

Coconut chicken sweet potato curry

I mentioned in my previous post that I've been on a campaign to feed my husband lunch. I'm really embarrassed to say that ever since he started his permanant subbing position at Rossview Middle School in Clarksville, I couldn't quite get up early enough to pack him some leftovers.

When I was tallying up our receipts and saw things like atomic fireballs and giant packs of slimjims, I knew it was time to intervene. So, with the purchase of a new set of plastic food containers, I spent one very productive Friday making freezer meals.

I made the quiche muffins from the previous post, a hearty turkey vegetable soup (canned tomato, canned corn, ground turkey, head cabbage, garbanzos, potato, green beans), and this coconut chicken curry with sweet potatoes and peas. The photo is the curry spread over some instant rice noodles.

To make an easy curry:
Saute some chicken or extra firm tofu until browned.
Pour in a can of coconut milk.
Add some fish sauce (or soy)
Curry powder
Salt and sugar to taste
I like adding a little cayenne, but your favorite hot sauce will do.
Add cooked veggies and let the whole things simmer until everything's permeated with the sauce.
Squeeze a half or whole lime over it, if you like a little tang.
Serve over rice or noodles.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Another cyberfridge cleanout...

Baozi. I promised I'd write the recipe last time I posted about these, but I never did. I'm gonna have to make another empty promise...
EDIT 5/7/10: OK,I actually found my chicken-scratch recipe for the baozi dough:

3 cups flour
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp yeast (or one packet)
1 cup warm water, give or take a teaspoon
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 large egg

To make dough:
Combine flour, pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in oil and beaten egg. Proof yeast with sugar in water. Once it's foamy, pour into the well and stir, gradually incorporating flour into liquid in the well.

Knead into a soft, but not terribly sticky, dough. If it's stiff, add a few drops of water at a time until it's soft. If it's sticky, add a tsp flour at a time until it's not.

Let it rise in a bowl, covered with platic wrap and placed in a warm, dry, draft-free spot. (I put mine on top of the stove.)

After an hour, punch down the dough. Let it rise again until it's double the original size.

Divide the dough in half, then each half into half... etc. until you've got 16 balls of dough.

Starting with one dough ball, press or roll the ball into a flattened circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Scoop one tablespoon of filling into the center and then pinch the edges together to close, giving it a little twist to seal. Place bun seam-side down in a steamer basket and steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

As for the filling, I'm afraid I usually just wing it.
So, try using the following ingredients to taste:
1 lb ground turkey, crumbled and cooked with
chopped sauteed cabbage
shredded sauteed carrot
chopped sauteed onion
a few splashe soy sauce
a few drops vinegar
generous amount of garlic/garlic powder
pinch cinnamon or five spice
a couple spoonfuls sugar
a few shakes salt
a dusting of cayenne or chili powder

You'll probably have filling left over. So, you'll just have to make some more buns!

Veggie Quiche Muffins. It's pastry made from scratch, filled with veggies, cheese and eggs. I made these for Joe to take to work, as I've been on a campaign to actually feed him.
On the opening day of the downtown farmers market, I bought some beautiful barrel-shaped radishes... from which I made baked radish chips that got eaten so fast that I don't have any photos. :-(
Morroccan Carrot soup... so delicious I was calling it a carroty butter cookie in a bowl. I ate it for breakfast it was so good. From Bon Apetit, which is just barely growing on me. I'm going to post the recipe as soon as I post the baozi recipe, if you know what I mean.
Finally, something I didn't cook: Tried some new specials at Da Vinci's while my mom was visiting. The foreground has lobster ravioli with sage and butter sauce. I love sage with pasta.