January 12th, 2007
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Tonight I made a Poblano Corn Relish from the October ’06 Food and Wine mag. It was pretty simple; in a non-stick skillet over high heat sear without stirring thin strips of one poblano pepper until slightly charred (use no oil) then add a small amount of oil and one minced shallot. Saute for 5 minutes, add two cloves minced garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add in one cup of frozen corn and cook through, about 3-5 minutes. Remove to a bowl, stir in the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon of fresh cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh cilantro when serving. The recipe also called for one avocado cut into chunks to be stirred in with the juice. I was guilty of using all the avocado in the guacamole earlier this week!
When I cook Tilapia, I dredge it in seasoned cornmeal and pan sear it over high heat in just a tiny amount of oil, cooking it nearly all the way through before flipping it over. This gives it a nice crunchy exterior. I served it with the simplest of veggie side dishes, Spicy Stir Fry Carrots with Peanuts from the Sara Moulton Cooks at Home cookbook.
For the carrots, you’ll need peanut oil, one 10-oz bag of shredded/matchstick carrots, 1/2 c. finely chopped peanuts and one teaspoon red pepper flakes. Heat oil over high heat in large saute pan (enough to coat the pan), add carrots and stir to coat with oil. Stir fry (toss constantly) for about 2 minutes, add the peanuts and the pepper flakes and stir fry about 2-3 minutes more (maybe slighty longer if you use matchsticks). Easy. Done. Delicious. And it sure makes a pretty plate, doesn’t it??
January 5th, 2007
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Mac and Cheese (Grant Achatz’s from Food and Wine magazine, Dec ’06)
6 thick slices of bacon, diced, 1 medium onion, minced, 2 bay leaves, 1 T. sweet paprika, ½ t. cayenne,1/3 c. AP flour, 6 c. milk, 1 # elbow macaroni, 1# extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded. Browned bread crumbs if desired.
Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 9×13 pan with non stick cooking spray
In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add onion and bay leaves to pan and cook until onion is softened, 5 minutes. Stir in paprika and cayenne until fragrant. Add in flour and stir to incorporate. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently, stirring frequently for 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Boil water and cook pasta until just soft. Drain. Stir all but approximately one cup of cheese into the sauce, stirring well. Add in bacon. Pour over macaroni and mix well. Spread mac and cheese in baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
January 3rd, 2007
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Dan Dan Noodles (from Food and Wine Magazine, Jan 2007)
¼ c. peanut oil
½ c. peanuts
Heat oil in sauté pan, sauté peanuts over moderate heat until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Allow to cool.
Place peanuts and oil in food processor with:
1 small jalapeno, seeded, diced and cut into small pieces; 1 clove garlic, cut in half; One ¼-inch chunk of fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
Process until finely chopped, scraping sides if necessary. Add in:
2 ½ T. soy sauce; 2 T. water; 1 ½ T. rice vinegar; 1 T. sriracha chile sauce; 1 T. sugar; 1 t. sesame oil
Process until smooth, scraping sides as needed. Salt to taste.
Mix sauce over cooked noodles, either soft chow mein, rice sticks, thin spaghetti or other noodle of choice. Toss to coat. Garnish with cucumber sticks, chopped green onions, sesame seeds and cilantro if desired.
January 1st, 2007
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Blueberry Bran Muffins
Mix in bowl until blended: 1 ½ c. buttermilk; 2 large eggs; 2 T. butter, melted; ¼ c. oil; ¼ c. real maple syrup
Add: 1 ½ c. All Bran cereal
Mix to combine and allow to sit at room temp. for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add in: 1/3 c. minced dried apricot, mango OR peaches (I used peaches this time)
In separate bowl, sift together 1 ½ c. AP flour; ½ whole oats, or packaged 7-Grain cereal (like Bob’s Red Mill), ¼ c. brown sugar, 1 t. EACH baking powder and baking soda, ¼ t. salt.
Add in wet ingredients, blend only until incorporated; stir in 1 c. frozen blueberries
Scoop into muffin tins sprayed with non-stick cooking spray or lined with paper cups. Bake at 425° for 20-25 minutes until tops are firm and slightly browned. Cool 5 min. in pan and remove to cooling rack.