This week’s good eating + beer February 5, 2006Posted by merp in Drink, Food.
You know, Aaron & I cook a lot. Minimum of 2 deliberately prepared meals per week, plus asst’d improvisations. It’s really hard to get us to just eat, well, boring things. We’ve always got to fancy it up. Even our “quick” veggie burger lunches can get elaborate sometimes.
So I thought I’d make a point of letting you know how recipes we try work out, and sharing anything we make up.
OMEGA-3s! WOOT!: Last night, cooked up some tilapia filets–finally dawned on me that if you buy fish frozen, it’s reasonably fresh. Being from the PNW, this hadn’t occurred to me. So I was going to do the Morroccan/cumin recipe in Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, but what I ended up doing had nothing in common with it except parsley–and fish.
1. In a dry pan, toast 1-2 tsp cumin powder (cumin seed would be better with at least 1 Tb of Ethiopian berbere (bought a jar in Boston) (other spice mixtures fine).
2. On a plate or something, mix the spices with some minced parsley, grated orange rind, squirts of lemon and orange juice, salt, black pepper, and crushed garlic.
3. Coat the fish on this stuff and leave it there (at appropriate temp.) for 1/2 hour.
4. Pan fry in olive oil.
Served it with collard greens+mustard seed and spiced brown/wild rice blend. It was a very easy meal.
SUCCESSFUL: Saturday morning, I made a new thing….evocative name, anyone? Had to use up a bunch of spinach and had a new package of Matthew’s Whole Wheat English Muffins. Also had a few of Eric’s pasture-fed eggs left (let no one tell you there is no difference–if all you’ve had is supermarket eggs, you’ve never really had an egg). So you mince up a small onion. Heat up some butter & olive oil. Add some caraway seeds to brown, then the onion. Then some handfuls of chopped spinach. Meanwhile, grate some swiss cheese, poach a couple of eggs (did it in the microwave with one of those microwave poachers–gets the job done, but tends to inelegantly explode in the process) and lightly toast the English muffins. Lightly butter the muffins, spread with the spinach mixture, top with an egg, and then cheese. Broil. Good with worcestershire sauce & hot sauce. I put this together while Aaron & Pisco were out on their walk.
YUM: Earlier this week, I made the Italian squash & bean soup from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, p. 79 (one of *the* best cookbooks out there). Taking into account that I had an exceptionally good butternut squash (it was actually fragrant) and added a lot of herbes de provence in addition to the oregano (the *only*!? herb it calls for), and put in 2-3 Tb of crushed pepper flakes instead of “a pinch,” this was a fantastically good soup. Not particularly quick, though. Chopping all that squash takes a while. I also added a Boca Italian veg. sausage (sliced & pan-fried), but not sure how much it really added. Has an unsatisfying texture.
YUM, but MODIFY: Aaron made sweet potato burgers from the same book (the Dixie burgers on p. 183)–a really yummy mishmash of black beans, greens (collard), sweet potatoes and other things. Of course he added stuff, too, like chili powder and I’m not sure what-all. But as with all vegan burgers, they don’t stick together. You must add eggs to have a burger. Well, or meat, I suppose. But to redo it as a stir-fry/hash-type thing would be really good. Serve with barbecue sauce.
SUPER YUM: Have also been making the Spicy Split Pea Soup (p. 20) fromA Taste of Heaven and Earth (another all-time favorite cookbooks). I’ve been modifying that too…. I think I add more curry powder (always more spices, always) and some honey near the end, and sometimes some potatoes. Probably I’ve been adding onions and garlic, too, cooked passed transparent into brown (why wouldn’t it call for them?). And if you cook it a really long time, it’s amazing.
AND, IN BEER: Yesterday, Aaron brewed up his first batch of beer since he broke his finger in mid-December. Honey porter this time, with a whole quart of honey from the co-op. Used some fun new equipment like a big glass carboy to aerate the wort, an ejaculatory bottle sanititizing tree, and a copper wort-cooling coil.