Jun 172017
 

This is the 2nd apple I found on the street this week. I found the first one on East Houston street outside of Whole Foods – understandable, not that this one isn’t either. I found this second apple on my way back from the Union Square Farmers Market where I had picked up better than 2 pounds of all organic, just dug out of the ground russet potatoes, because they looked like they’d be so yummy. Right then & there I knew I’d be making a pan sized potato pancake with a 4-5 minute egg or two for my lunch that afternoon.

When I found the 2nd apple under a bench in one of the East Village’s community housing development it too was of the Delicious genius or species of apple, for me an inedible lot. Because I can’t eat a Delicious apple the first apple I found was still rolling around in the bowl at the end of my kitchen table. I’ll spare you the list of modifiers I have for a bad apple.  What I could certainly do is to make a fine apple & onion marmalade which would be a wonderful topping for my Sunday morning pan sized potato pancake for breakfast.

Recipe:

2 Apples – peeled, cored/Dseeded, and cut into chunks

1 Onion – medium dice

I cooked the chunks down with a jolt of pineapple juice, because I have it, Pinot Grigio & a splash of white balsamic. Most people will definitely add sugar. I don’t. That’s about that folks.

For the potato pancake, I simply grated 2 good sized russet potatoes & tossed in half an onion I diced I had in the fridge. I salted the grated potatoes & onion well, stirred it well & let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.  Friday afternoon I had one pan sized potato pancake w/two soft-medium boiled eggs. I’m going to make the apple onion marmalade now for my breakfast tomorrow.

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Mar 132017
 

In honor of finally finishing and uploading my Almost Blue, Cauliflower Crust Pizza ‘video’ to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szhBor0ckmc and completing an illustrated recipe included in my ‘Brown Baggin’ It’ series, I’m bringing this entry to the top of my -blog entries. I hope you enjoy and Make This – your own!

cflower4grid

How coming across 3 Kumato tomatoes  & the last bit of a Cubanella pepper in my -fridge, left over from a Gazpacho I made for friend’s that were in town working during fashion week inspired me to make a cauliflower crusted pizza with a bechamel sauce still brings up a disconnect especially when I initially thought I’d simply incorporate the beautifully prepped tomatoes into a killer mac & cheese but boy oh boy am I THRILLED to have made & shot this for the Recipe 4 Survival youtube ‘channel’ – UNTIL I noticed the wardrobe malfunction when I downloaded and began to view the 41 segments I taped over two & a half hours that the zipper on my jump suit was down to my belly button & my breast in a very nice bra, thank goodness, are much more seductive to watch than me making a cauliflower crust pizza, which I completely unaware of. SO a week later I set out to make & record another cauliflower crust pizza.

Knowing the frustration I was experiencing after working so hard to make the first cauliflower crust pizza ‘episode’ a friend told me, “I saw cauliflowers in Union Square Market as big as a human’s head.” This was about the only thing that would get me motivated   cauliflowrshot to record another episode. We didn’t weigh the fresh, organic, head I found and after not much negotiating I happily gave a smiling bearded farmer in the NW corner of the market $5 and I don’t doubt it weighed 5 pounds. I used about a quarter of this head to make the medium sized crust pictured here. The few other ingredients called for to make a cauliflower crust should be in your ‘staples’ arsenal.  The zucchini & garlic pictured here was the topping for the second video I made wearing a teal, V neck cashmere sweater. No mishaps here. SO make a cauliflower crust pizza already. The video will demonstrate a great new Dparture point and effects….

INGREDIENTS 

1/2 of a medium sized CAULIFLOWER

1/4 C – PARMESAN – finely grated

1/4 C – MOZZARELLA – grated – I used smoked mozzarella

1 EGG

Seasonings – OREGANO, BASIL, S&P

FOOD PROCESSOR or a GRATER

KITCHEN TOWEL

PARCHMENT PAPER

Olive oil

Sheet pan or pizza stone

WHAT TO DO/WHAT I DID TO MAKE THIS

Preheat the oven to 450º

Trim at least half the flowerettes off the central stem of the cauliflower. Put 4 or more into the bowl of a food processor & pulse chop until the cauliflower looks like couscous. If you’re using a grater your cauliflower will not look like couscous – no worries.

Bring a pot of enough well salted water to a boil which you’ll par cook the cauliflower off in. If you so wish, a number of recipes cook the cauliflower off for four minutes in a microwave – I don’t do anything with a microwave and can’t remember how it’s done. Boil water and cook the cauliflower. I definitely cooked my cauliflower off for more than 4 minutes. I cooked it until I found a few of the large bits I were tender but 4 minutes in boiling water will certainly do.

The big trick to insuring you get a crispy crust & not a soggy one is to lay the strained, par boiled cauliflower on to a kitchen towel to cool. Once all the chopped cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap or roll the cauliflower up, like a cigar & ring it out in the sink as best you can.img_6252

Toss the dried out cook cauliflower, (which looks like the corn filling for a tamale)  into a mixing bowl & add the cheeses, seasonings & one egg, Mix well, I did this quick, quick quick with a whisk. Your hands work wonders too and you’ll be using them to form the cauliflower crust into a circle on oiled parchment on the baking surface you’re working with. img_6253

Bake until golden brown about 8-10 minutes.

It comes out perfectly,

In the time the ‘crust’ cooked I whipped up a bechamel but certainly most people will use a good quality tomato sauce & top with your favorite toppings.

Bake again for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly & looks the way you’d like. img_6389 img_6259

With the left over fresh 1/4 head I made a killer cauliflower, parmesan soup in less than 30 minutes and  I still have about half of this huge head of of trimmed cauliflowerettes in the freezer. You know I’ll be eating lots of one of my all time favorite foods.

 

 

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Mar 062017
 
indian pudding

Indian Pudding is served

Last week after trying, trying being the operative word, to download a batch of pics from my camera’s chip into my computer, my computer wasn’t havin’ it. I’ll spare you the gory details lest I share that it took over a week, 3 calls w/techs before I got onto a ‘Senior apple adviser’ who I had 3 sessions with before my -puter was back & running. His analogy for my computer’s ailment was to that of a computer getting a flat tire. Additionally the don has me completely crazy with the go ahead for the DAPL & now the exclusion of his designated enemies of the people, media organizations from press briefings.

I was so paralyzed by all this I was rendered useless, unable to do a simple edit here to have my clam chowder piece be at the top of my blog page & share that info w/friends, something I do every National Clam Chowder Day, February, 25th

The scant pint of milk that needed to be used in my fridge compelled the cooking antics I got into, with nothing I made relating to each other. eI knew cooking would do me good and tho I did not have it in me to make clam chowder but my cooking what spurred all this cooking on was .

Instead, Saturday afternoon I, meticulously salad sliced a red onion & prepped up a wrinkly piece of ginger into beautiful fine slices and got them into a sweet pickle brine I’ve nursed and coddled for quite some time. I also whipped up a rich tomato sauce because I had the opened can of tomato paste from the papa al pomodoro, half a large onion and a jar of fresh garlic confit & infused oil but

First I thought I was going to make a vodka, creme tomato sauce but that seemed dumb once I remembered it was Nat’l clam chowder day and even tho I wasn’t going to delve into my ailing computer to bring my chowder entry to the top of the blog & make mention of it on facebk – again because I’m so torn about my benign work & the horrific actions of the POS spinster mouth and his henchmen

Right, wow so because I was in an Ocean State of mind, thinking about Nat’l chowder day I got the ingenious idea to make Indian pudding!  I love reading the history of it even though I’d made & read about Indian Pudding before but for some reason I never posted about that.

All the ingredients are basic staples so with out further ado, my version on the fly for a cold weather treat:

Making it my own, I halved the recipe I worked from

1.5 Cups milk

1/4 C corn meal

1/4 C Turbinado sugar, light brown sugar is called for

1/4 C molasses

a pinch of salt

1t  ground cinnamon
1/2 a grated nutmeg
1t – ginger – pealed & finely minced. Ground can certainly be used but I’d use less then the fresh
2 large eggs
2 T unsalted butter, cut into 2 pads

Bring the oven to 275 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 6- or 8-cup soufflé or baking dish with butter.

In a medium-sized sauce pot scald the milk over a medium-low heat. The trick I recently learned is to look for steam vs looking for bubbles along the edge of the pot. I find once I see bubbles, the milk is too hot.

The recipe I worked from calls for cream to be poured into a into a lg mixing bowl to which the cornmeal, sugar, molasses, salt, and the spices, cloves is commonly called for in an Indian pudding. What I did was warm/scald about a cup of milk and the rest is what I mixed the dry ingredients into. Then add this cream/corn meal/spice mixture to the scalded milk.  Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat until the pudding has thickened to the consistency of syrup (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.

In a bowl, beat eggs with a whisk.  Temper the eggs by adding 1/2 to 1/4 C of the hot cornmeal mixture to the eggs while whisking rapidly.  Vigorously whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cornmeal mixture.  Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring until melted.

Pour the ‘batter’ mixture into the prepared baking dish or ramekins and place dish into a vain-de-marie = water bath. Pour enough water into the shallow baking dish to come at least half way up the side of the of the baking dish.

This is a pretty low temperature and the full ingredient recipe says to bake over 2 hours. Because I halved the recipe I baked it for about and hour checked it, turned the heat off then let it go another 10 – 15 mins A tester inserted close to (but not in) the center should come out clean.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or heavy cream.

The yield is about 6 healthy servings.

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Oct 302016
 

cflower4grid

How coming across 3 Kumato tomatoes  & the last bit of a Cubanella pepper in my -fridge, left over from a Gazpacho I made for friend’s that were in town working during fashion week inspired me to make a cauliflower crusted pizza with a bechamel sauce still brings up a disconnect especially when I initially thought I’d simply incorporate the beautifully prepped tomatoes into a killer mac & cheese but boy oh boy am I THRILLED to have made & shot this for the Recipe 4 Survival youtube ‘channel’ – UNTIL I noticed the wardrobe malfunction when I downloaded and began to view the 41 segments I taped over two & a half hours that the zipper on my jump suit was down to my belly button & my breast in a very nice bra, thank goodness, are much more seductive to watch than me making a cauliflower crust pizza, which I completely unaware of. SO a week later I set out to make & record another cauliflower crust pizza.

Knowing the frustration I was experiencing after working so hard to make the first cauliflower crust pizza ‘episode’ a friend told me, “I saw cauliflowers in Union Square Market as big as a human’s head.” This was about the only thing that would get me motivated   cauliflowrshot to record another episode. We didn’t weigh the fresh, organic, head I found and after not much negotiating I happily gave a smiling bearded farmer in the NW corner of the market $5 and I don’t doubt it weighed 5 pounds. I used about a quarter of this head to make the medium sized crust pictured here. The few other ingredients called for to make a cauliflower crust should be in your ‘staples’ arsenal.  The zucchini & garlic pictured here was the topping for the second video I made wearing a teal, V neck cashmere sweater. No mishaps here. SO make a cauliflower crust pizza already. The video will demonstrate a great new Dparture point and effects….

INGREDIENTS 

1/2 of a medium sized CAULIFLOWER

1/4 C – PARMESAN – finely grated

1/4 C – MOZZARELLA – grated – I used smoked mozzarella

1 EGG

Seasonings – OREGANO, BASIL, S&P

FOOD PROCESSOR or a GRATER

KITCHEN TOWEL

PARCHMENT PAPER

Olive oil

Sheet pan or pizza stone

WHAT TO DO/WHAT I DID TO MAKE THIS

Preheat the oven to 450º

Trim at least half the flowerettes off the central stem of the cauliflower. Put 4 or more into the bowl of a food processor & pulse chop until the cauliflower looks like couscous. If you’re using a grater your cauliflower will not look like couscous – no worries.

Bring a pot of enough well salted water to a boil which you’ll par cook the cauliflower off in. If you so wish, a number of recipes cook the cauliflower off for four minutes in a microwave – I don’t do anything with a microwave and can’t remember how it’s done. Boil water and cook the cauliflower. I definitely cooked my cauliflower off for more than 4 minutes. I cooked it until I found a few of the large bits I were tender but 4 minutes in boiling water will certainly do.

The big trick to insuring you get a crispy crust & not a soggy one is to lay the strained, par boiled cauliflower on to a kitchen towel to cool. Once all the chopped cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap or roll the cauliflower up, like a cigar & ring it out in the sink as best you can.img_6252

Toss the dried out cook cauliflower, (which looks like the corn filling for a tamale)  into a mixing bowl & add the cheeses, seasonings & one egg, Mix well, I did this quick, quick quick with a whisk. Your hands work wonders too and you’ll be using them to form the cauliflower crust into a circle on oiled parchment on the baking surface you’re working with. img_6253

Bake until golden brown about 8-10 minutes.

It comes out perfectly,

In the time the ‘crust’ cooked I whipped up a bechamel but certainly most people will use a good quality tomato sauce & top with your favorite toppings.

Bake again for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly & looks the way you’d like. img_6389 img_6259

With the left over fresh 1/4 head I made a killer cauliflower, parmesan soup in less than 30 minutes and  I still have about half of this huge head of of trimmed cauliflowerettes in the freezer. You know I’ll be eating lots of one of my all time favorite foods.

 

 

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Sep 092016
 
Sweet potato and haricot vert/green bean salad

Sweet potato and haricot vert/green bean saladIMG_2552

The first time I made this sweet potato salad was for a college reunion, pot-luck dinner party, cook-out for a group of about 15 friends, former roommates, their spouses, significant others, all of whom short of 1 or 2 of the wives are mad ass foodies. The dish is so colorful, with varied textures, wonderfully bright & earthy flavors as well, it’s sweet & savory, smooth & crunchy, easy to prepare & it travels well so it’s my go to dish when the invite to go to pot luck party comes my way and I’m going the Storytellers Pot Luck Picnic this Sunday in Brooklyn Bridge Park. This is also a staple dish when I’m on charter.

The recipe I first stumbled upon dresses the warm sweet potato salad with a bit of thinned out whole milk Greek yogurt. Typically I served the salad both ways, one bowl with just the vinaigrette, the other dressed with the plain yogurt.

Ingredients:

3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1” chunks

½ pound haricot vert cut to 1″ pieces, then quickly blanched
Salt – for the boiling water
1 T raw or coconut sugar
1 shallot, minced
½ cup golden balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of spicy mustard
¼ cup olive oil
a handful of chiffonade basil leaves
Black pepper, to taste (I like a lot)
¾ cup of Greek yogurt

WHAT TO DO

While you bringing water to a boil to blanch the haricot vert prepare the shallot vinaigrette in to which the blanched haricot vert will marinate.  In a bowl, mix the finely minced shallots, vinegar, spicy mustard into which you’ll slowly drizzle in the olive oil & whisk until the dressing is well emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the basil leaves.

Blanch the haricot vert – very quickly which helps to enhance their color as well as bringing a bit of subtlety to their bite.  Add the haricot vert to the dressing and let it marinate in a bowl w/a tea towel on top.

Prepping hericot vert & shallots for the vinaigrette marinade

Prepping hericot vert & shallots for the vinaigrette marinade

Put the cubed sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold water.  Bring the water to a boil. As the water heats up add enough salt to make the water taste almost salty then the Tablespoon of sugar. Once the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook the potatoes cook until tender, about 8 minutes. This technique for cooking potatoes that keep there shape is fail proof.

drained boiled sweet potatoes

drained boiled sweet potatoes

When the potatoes are tender, drain them from the water and put in a large bowl. While still hot, fold in the green beans vinaigrette. The longer the potatoes marinate in the dressing – the better.

IMG_2550

warm potatoes with haricot vert vinaigrette

Before serving, fold in the yogurt and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper & paprika. IMG_2552

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