Sunday, July 13, 2008

Curried Scrambled Eggs

So I cheated and started Baba on egg whites a month and a half early.  He loves this Indian-ish version.

Curried Scrambled Eggs

2 eggs
1/8 tsp (non spicy) curry powder*
1/2 sandwich-sliced cheddar cheese torn into small pieces
pinch salt
small grind of pepper
2 tsp olive oil

1. Lightly beat eggs, curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Add cheddar cheese.
2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan.  When hot, add egg/cheese mixture.  Let eggs set slightly before stirring gently and with restraint.  Let egg cook in sheets rather than a traditional scramble.  Sheets can then be cut up into small pieces so baby can feed self.  
3. Remove from heat when cooked through.

* I use a home made version - Fragrant Curry Powder in Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" 

Easy Grill Menu

Lac and I made this dinner menu for friends Barbara and Alvin this weekend and loved how it turned out.  Everything went together really well and with both of us pitching in the whole thing was effortless.  

* Wild Salmon marinated in Maizine's spicy Goan Masala and Grilled on a plank.  We used the same masala to marinate tofu slabs for me (also grilled).
* Corn grilled without husks.  After grilling, corn was brushed with lime juice, chili power mixture.
* Green salad with cherry tomatoes, shredded carrot and shaved aged Gouda (optional)
* Quinoa Salad with Grilled Zucchini (recipe below from Bon Apetit - August 08 with some very minor mods)

Quinoa with Grilled Zucchini, Garbanzo Beans and Cumin

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, rinsed
3 Tbs lemon juice
5 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric, divided
1 tsp smoked paprika, divided
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tsp coarse salt
4 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped

1. In a large bowl, marinate garbanzo beans in lemon juice, 3 Tbs olive oil, and garlic for at least 15 min and no more than 2 hours.  Toss occasionally.
2. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in medium pan over medium high heat.  Add cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp smoked paprika and cook 1 min stirring constantly.  Add water, quinoa and salt.  Bring to boil.  
3. Boil quinoa for 5 minutes, cover, turn off heat and let sit at least 10 minutes.  All water should be evaporated.  When finished, toss with garbanzo beans.
4.  Meanwhile, drizzle zucchini with 1 Tbs olive oil and toss with ground cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
5.  Put zucchini on grill until tender and browned on all sides (10-12 minutes).  Let cool slightly and cut into 1/2 inch pieces and toss with quinoa mixture.  Add green onions and parsley before serving.  Taste for salt/pepper.

An Easy Lentil Soup - Baby food for the Soul

I may have created a monster.  I swore early on that I would not make Aiden eat food that I wouldn't eat myself.  I've stayed true to this promise....for the most part.  I did break out the jarred baby food a couple of times when traveling but mostly he's been raised on the homemade stuff and real-deal adult food that is baby-friendly because he is always more interested in what's on our plate than what's on his plate.  With in a month, Aiden had a discerning palate and didn't want anything but real food.  So the challenge was to made food that my 30 something husband and my 9 month old baby would both eat.  Soup, beautiful soup, pleases them both.  

This lentil soup is based on Mark Bittman's Classic Lentil Soup in "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian".  It might just be the perfect bowl of soup.  It takes 30 minutes to make.  It is  nutritious.  Blended, it is the perfect vehicle for sneaking chard, broccoli, zucchini into Baba's diet.  

1 cup brown lentils
1 bay leaf
2 big pinches of dried thyme (or several sprigs of fresh)
1 carrot, cut in 1/2 inch dice
1 celery stalk, cut in 1/2 inch dice
6 cups vegetable stock
salt/pepper to taste
2 Tbls olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 clove garlic, minced
a couple of handfulls of spinach, chard (de-stemmed), roughly chopped (Optional)

1.  Bring lentils, bay leaf, thyme, carrot, celery, stock, salt and pepper (to taste) to boil in a large pot over high heat.  Set heat to low and cook, stirring occassionally, for 30 min or until lentils are tender. 
2.  Meanwhile, prep onion and garlic.  Then saute onion in a skillet over medium heat until soft (5 min).  Add garlic and cook another minute.  
3.  Once the onions are cooked, add mixture to the cooking lentils which should be finishing up the last 10 minutes or so.  Toss in the greens.  Make sure they have wilted before turning off the heat.

4.  Let the soup cool.  Puree soup (using either an immersion blender or a regular blender).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Best Ever Sugar Cookies

Elena writes: I made these for my husband and he just LOVED them.

BTW, Elena was lazy this year and only made about 12 different kinds of cookies for her holiday cookie extravaganza instead of the 20ish she usually makes. So if Elena the cookie-godess says they are the best ever, she probably knows what she's talking about!

Best Ever Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2- 1 tsp almond extract (really does it!)
2 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Mix in rest of wet ingredients, then add flour one cup at a time. do not chill the dough.
4. Cut 1/8 inch thick and cook for 6-7 min for chewy, 8-9 for a browned butter effect (quite yummy)!

makes about 9 doz small cookies

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Persimmon Butter

Lac and I visited Dad to tell him I was pregnant with Aiden in early December of 2006. The first thing he said when we walked through the door was "I just finished the persimmon butter. Too bad you missed it. It was very good." We hung out for for about 45 minutes before we told him the news. I was so nervous, I couldn't say anything so Lac finally asked him. "Do you like buns?" "I'm trying to keep away from carbs" Dad replied. "Well, we have a bun in the oven" Lac said. First Dad gave us huge bear hugs. Then he said, "I'll make you some persimmon butter".

Persimmon Butter

Several large Fuyu persimmons

1. Peel (a potato peeler works well) several large Fuyu (the roundish non-astringent ones) persimmons
2. Cut into eighths and put into a large stock pot
3. Add enough water to cover the persimmons
4. Cook over medium heat until the persimmons are easily penetrated by a fork then mash with a potato masher
5. Cool and enjoy

-use orange juice instead of water.
-season with cinnamon to taste

Dad notes: I have heard that the astringent ones loose their astringency when they are cooked, but I have no experience with them.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Indian Rice

Well actually this is "Simple Yellow Rice" from Yamuna Devi's The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking with just a little more spice. Lac loves this rice and asks for it all the time; I consider this is a major accomplishment. I've made it so many times that I've internalized the recipe and can wing it (aka no measuring and changing it up regularly - the other day it became Mexican rice). Mom and Helena have asked for the recipe and when they do, they do you make your rice?

My Indian Rice

1 cup basmati rice
1 3/4 cup water
2 tbs ghee or oil

whole spice mixture
1 tsp cumin seeds
8 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick (about 3 inches) broken into 1 inch pieces
1/4 tsp ajwain seeds (whole oregano seed)

ground spice mixture
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric

1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro- optional

1. Rinse rice and soak in bowl of water while prepping other ingredients. Drain.
2. Heat Ghee or oil in a heavy 1.5 quart pot over med heat. When hot, add whole spice mixture and saute until spices give off aroma and cumin seeds start to lightly brown (about 1 min).
3. Add rice. Turn heat to low and cook stirring continuously until rice starts to look transparent in spots. You will see individual rice kernels really stand out and rice start to clump.
4. Add water and ground spice mixture. Stir once. Increase heat to high. Bring water to a boil.
5. Cover pot with lid. Set heat to low. Cook until rice is cooked and water absorbed. About 15 min.
6. Lift lid, add fresh herb and quickly cover. Let rice sit for 5 to 10 min. Fluff and serve.

-Saute 1/4 c minced onion until soft prior to adding whole spice mixture.
-Add 1 tsp orange zest with or instead of the cilantro (last step).
-Super Easy Mexican rice - Saute 1/4 minced onion and 2 cloves of garlic before adding rice. Remove whole spice mixture and tumeric. Use 1 c tomato juice and 3/4 cups water in place of water.