Oatmeal Crème Brûlée, not just for Sundaes | oatmeal creme brûlée

 Food Memoir, Leftovers, nutrient rich  Comments Off on Oatmeal Crème Brûlée, not just for Sundaes | oatmeal creme brûlée
May 282017
 
oatmeal sundae made w/oatmeal creme brûlée
oatmeal sundae and the NYSunday Times

oatmeal sundae

I guess I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for oatmeal’. Certainly not as a kid tho.

For my birthday many moons ago I hosted, an Oatmeal Sundae ™, party at The Pink Pony which unfortunately no longer exists but was truly a very special space. The famed owner Lucien, let me set up my own pots on hot plates and served well over 2 dozen friends in his bowls & silverware in the back, library, screening room area. I had steal cut oatmeal made with water & one batch with milk & many toppings – the usual suspects, yogurt, honey, toasted walnuts, bananas, & berries. I swear, a few of my friends still talk about this to this day and will most likely love seeing that I’ve written about it here.

I made oatmeal the first season of Recipe$ 4 $urvival when it was on MNN. To that porridge I added peanut butter & raisins to the mix. One of the calls I got in response to this episode went something like this, “We were going to have pizza but now we’re having oatmeal in our house instead.” Recipe$ 4 Survival was a huge hit on MNN for a good long while, maintaining an unprecedented prime-time slot. Here’s a link to the youtube compilation I put together of a few greatest hits episodes.

But then, just last weekend when I was pursuing the breakfast menu where my extended family were gathering for one last meal following  my nieces Bat Mitzvah celebration the Oatmeal Creme Brûlée jumped off the page/screen at me.  I texted to my bro that unfortunately I would not make it to breakfast but I’d be making Oatmeal Creme Brûlée in my house. So this is exactly what I did the other night.

I halved the recipe I picked to springboard from.

Ingredients:

Milk, 2 Eggs, Sugar, Cornstarch, Butter & soaked Steel Cut Oatmeal

What I did: 

While I warmed 1 C of milk I mixed the egg white of 1 egg & 1 full egg with 1/4 a C sugar, 1 T of corn starch

The milk is warmed just until you see steam then tempered this into the eggs, sugar & cornstarch mixture. Mix well. I did this with a whisk in about the time you can read this, never mind having to pull out some crazy equipment.

Pour the tempered milk & egg mixture back into a sauce-pot & warm over a minimum flame until thick & bubbling, stir in a pad of butter, I used 1 T.  Mix well until you have crème. Pour into another bowl & cover with plastic wrap directly on the crėme & set aside.

Make the oatmeal:

I brought 1/2C of milk & 1/2C of water to a boil, added cinnamon – because I have it, a dash of salt and 1 cup plus a bit more of steel cut oats I rehydrated the night before. You’ll have oatmeal in under or about 5 minutes.

The recipe I ‘made my own’ called for layering the oatmeal, then berries, then the creme into ramekins & baking them off. I was having none of that. I pour the entire batch of creme right into the warm perfectly cooked steel cut oatmeal. Mixed well and served topped with sliced banana & toasted walnuts.

 

 

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Super NUTritious Nut Loaf | nut loaf

 Food Memoir, health supportive, nutrient rich  Comments Off on Super NUTritious Nut Loaf | nut loaf
Apr 282017
 

image

Nut loaf

A friend who bought a half dozen bottles of Salt of D Earth as holiday gifts wrote to say, “how the RhODy blend really pulled her nut loaf together.”  I wrote back immediately saying, “NUT LOAF, what do you mean nut loaf? How have I never heard of a nut loaf? You’ve gotta talk me through this one.” Within minutes she texted back saying that she’s never used a recipe to make a nut loaf & she’s been making them for years but she did include a link for a recipe in her text none the less.

I checked the recipe in the link knowing full well I too would be ‘Making it my own”.

I hemmed & hawed about whether or not this nut loaf could really constitute being a true Recipe 4 Survival since a majority of the ingredients are not basic staples and some of them are quite expensive, for instance organic nuts.  I knew I’d love it, I wanted to make something I’ve never tried before and the play on words that a nut loaf is NUTritious made it all worthwhile.

Now that I’ve made it, nut loaf is a perfect recipe for survival. So here’s the rough math: the ingredients used to make a 9″ loaf cost about $18. At least 10 hearty slices can be had from the 9″ loaf which I know would suffice a family of 4 with left overs, so YES, nut loaf is a Recipe 4 Survival.  A slice, pan-seared makes a killer sandwich – especially since I used up my ancho chili infused maple syrup roasted butternut squash like a jam on the toast.  It freezes & reheats really well and it’s so NUTritious! IMG_8885

The ingredient’s & quantities called for seemed like overkill to me and I could tell what they were calling for and the final product would be very forgiving short of picking up mushrooms & cottage cheese I made my first nutloaf with basic staples I have at home.

If you happen to have left over or cooked rice, putting a nut loaf together takes almost no time at all. Let’s say 20-30 mins prep & 50-60 mins baking time.

Here’s what I did to make my nut loaf.

Preheat the oven to 350°

2 – 3 Cs cooked (short grain) brown rice – 1 cup of short grain brown rice yielded .

2 Portabello Mushroom tops & 1 stem – chopped.

2 dents of Garlic – minced or diced

1/2 large Onion – diced

sherry – splash/1/4 cup.

1 C Almonds – toasted & 1 C Walnuts – toasted

3 or 4 eggs – beaten

1 C – cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese

1 C Grated cheese – Cheddar or Smoke Gouda

(Pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews – whatever your fancy. I used nuts that are staple ingredients for me and I believe everyone should too)

I cooked 1 cup of short grain brown rice which I let toast lightly in the pan I sautéd the mushrooms in  then I added two cups of water, let that come to a boil for 5 mins. Turn the heat down, put a top on the pan and let the rice steam for a good 20 mins.

I pulsed to a fine chop 2 Portabello mushroom tops & 1 stem in my small food processor then cooked them off in a heavy bottomed pan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, 2 good sized dents of garlic roughly chopped  & 1/2 an onion diced.  I added various pinches of dry herbs, primarily thyme & sage which probably equal about a teaspoon each.  When the mushroom liquid evaporated I splashed in some sherry – a staple for me and let that cook off. Turn off the heat & let the mushroom mixture cool in a bowl.

Next I toasted the nuts, 1 C of  almonds & 1 C of walnuts I toasted each separately, a handful at a time in a small saute pan over a medium heat. This takes no time at all, just until you smell the aroma of the nuts by wafting the air over the pan. I tossed those into small food processor and pulsed.

In a large bowl combine the nuts & the cooked rice    IMG_8874

In another bowl beat 4 eggs, & 1 cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese. The recipe called for 5 eggs & 1 Cup of the pot/farmer’s cheese. Believe me, if I hadn’t been able to get the freshest most beautiful farmer’s cheese, I would have left it out. Season with Salt of D Earth or S & P.

Add the egg & cottage cheese and the sautéd mushrooms to the nut & rice mixture and stir to incorporate well.  This is when I added about a 1/4# of grated smoked Gouda & handful of dried cranberries.  I think apple chunks would work nicely in the mix. Maybe in place of a cup of nuts?  There’s sO much one can do to make this dish their own it’s NUTS.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ Pyrex loaf dish IMG_8877and decorated the top of the loaf. I used slices of apple. IMG_8881 Sliced mushrooms, a sprig of thyme, would look beautiful. I slid this into the preheated oven and let it cook for 50 minutes, turned the heat off & left the loaf in the oven another good 10 minutes.

Nut loaf is so great on so many levels. It travels well. It’s a great pot luck dish for a party, it’s filling and again, oh so NUTritious. The first time I made the nut loaf  it was so well received I scored big time as it took center field on the grazing table at a Superbowl party amongst a huge pot of vegetarian chili, cheesy nachos, traditional toppings, 2 different bowls of guacamole  & various dipping chips.

You too will score big time with this one. YUM.

 

 

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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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Cauliflower crust pizza

 Food Memoir  Comments Off on Cauliflower crust pizza
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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The best Pot Luck dish – Sweet potato salad – | The best pot luck dish

 Food Memoir, health supportive, nutrient rich, Recipe for survival  Comments Off on The best Pot Luck dish – Sweet potato salad – | The best pot luck dish
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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Rock’n Gazpacho – and the kids like it too

 Food Memoir  Comments Off on Rock’n Gazpacho – and the kids like it too
Aug 312016
 

gazpacho

I got an invite to join one of my best friend & his sons for dinner since his wife was overseas for one of the largest international art fairs. Fortunately we try and do this every now & then, keeping it fun for the boys & me.

Texts started rolling in suggesting we whip something up together but what was I thinking? My suggestion – right off the top of my head was Gazpacho. I have no idea where the urge or impulse came from, but it came just the same.  The suggestion returned exclamation points and then I started reading recipes.  After reading my obligatory, at least 6, I settled on the only one that did not use soaked bread & seemed the most authentic to me. It called for more olive oil than the others but I was all for that.  Then as luck would have it & the power of manifesting, I had to show the apartment right near Chelsea Market. I ran through the Manhattan Fruit Exchange scooping up various variety of tomatoes, a cubanella pepper, a lemon, an onion a head of garlic & a hot house cucumber.

While I prepped the vegetables for the blender which took not more than removing the of course washing everything well, seeding the tomatoes, the cucumber & pepper The Gazpacho chilled for a good half hour in a super duper Sub-Zero and Glenn had the most perfect sized, Spanish serving bowls, half a ripe avocado, beautiful olive oil & two aged balsamic vinegars, which I dressed each bowl with. Criminal I don’t have pics but here’s what to do.

We also served toasted & then steamed brown rice with sherry sauteed quartered button mushrooms and a fresh green salad with a light lemon, olive oil & a sprinkle of Salt of D Earth.

 

 

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