Tag Archives: Cook

Pancetta, Greens, Garbanzos

8 Mar

Hey, this was a more successful than usual “leftovers hash”, and only 20 minutes.

(cue typical low-light cell phone photo:)

Some good pancetta fried at low heat. A little water added to deglaze the pan and get the crusty bits off the bottom. A minced shallot sauteed in the fat. Then a few brussels sprouts I had (sliced thin), a coarsely chopped head of broccolini, and a few big pinches of white pepper, for variety. With the pan covered, fried/steamed on medium-low heat (stirring occasionally) for about 10 minutes.

I had the dregs of a can of tahini left, so I mixed that with a can of chick peas, olive oil, some raw garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar (I was out of citrus). For further acid, some powdered sumac I had left over from the Turkish(ish) dinner.

Quite good (and even better once I mixed them together and the pancetta greens could tame some of the raw garlic).

Lentil Soup, Radishes, Anise

21 Feb

Another (busy-at-work, forgot-to-invite-anyone-over) Tuesday CSA, another attempt to cheat time with the pressure cooker. I’d give this one a B+.

Similar to the last lentil soup: I sauteed some home-cured-by-a-friend and deliciously fatty/salty lambcetta, shallots, celery, carrots, and onions. Then I sweated a pound of lentils with it over medium heat for 5 minutes. Plus a few dried Nora peppers, chipotles, cayenne, a pinch of smoked paprika, 8 cups of water, and the lid came on, for 10 minutes at pressure. I opened it, added salt and black pepper to taste, and simmered it another 5 minutes. A whole Meyer lemon squeezed into the bowl for the last-minute acid. Pretty good. Could have used more meat or a meaty stock.

To go along with it, a salad with lettuce, fennel, pea sprouts, watermelon radish (refreshing & fun to look at), balsamic. And some lemon-anise hard candies from Miette.

 

Lentils, Kuri, Spigarello

31 Jan

Okay, too much eating out, back to cooking (mostly from the Tuesday CSA). I meant to invite a few friends over but didn’t plan ahead.

Red Kuri Squash, brushed with peanut oil, black pepper, and salt, baked about 30 minutes at 425F, until soft. No butter or sugar, and it was earthy and good with a dark belgian beer (St Bernardus Abt):

Spigarello greens, which taste uncannily like broccoli, but not bitter (shredded and sauteed with about 8 cloves of crushed garlic until just starting to wilt).

And continuing the attempt to make good quick legumes in a pressure cooker (after one failure, and one non-pressure-cooker, slower, more involved success):

Sauteed four thin-sliced shallots in the open pressure cooker, added half a pound of lentils (no liquid), and sweated them over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring. Then I added some dried peppers (nora, guajillo), two bay leaves, and four cups of water (I didn’t have any stock or pork to add). I closed the lid, brought it up to steam temperature, cooked for 10 minutes, then did a quick release of the pressure by running the pot under cold water. Hey, the lentils were perfectly done this time, with good texture and a little liquid still remaining… but blander than I wanted. Browsing the cupboards, I added a heavy pinch of cayenne powder, a bit more salt, a quarter of the dark beer, a little sauteed garlic from the spigarello, and a dash of cholula. After about 5 more minutes of simmering on low, I tasted it– spicy, and pretty good! I added juice from a meyer lemon and it was even better.

 

Bacon-Wrapped Egg

7 Jan

Hat tip to SD, who shared this link. So just for the heck of it, I cooked a strip of bacon (mostly, not until crispy), used some of the bacon fat to grease a ramekin, cracked a raw egg into the “bacon cylinder”, added a little dried thyme, black pepper, and parmesan, and baked it in a “400F” (probably cooler) oven for 16 minutes, before sliding it out of the ramekin.

Then: sunflower sprouts, a few cell phone photos, breakfast.

Excellent Lentil Soup (Toasted Spices, Spinach, Lemon)

6 Jan

I have mixed luck with soup, but this weekend I made the best lentil soup I’ve had. And no, that’s not intended to be damning-with-faint-lentil-praise — it was delicious.

I used The New Best Recipe for initial inspiration (their key insight being sweating the lentils first), but also made some changes:

I cut two strips of bacon into pieces and cooked them until done but not crispy.

I sauteed two minced shallots in the bacon fat (with the bacon still in) a few minutes until translucent, added 3 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 bay leaves, a crushed dried nora pepper from Tierra Farms, and about 1tsp of whole cardamom seed, turmeric, and cayenne powder, a little black pepper, and sauteed/toasted that for a few minutes.

I sorted and rinsed a cup of lentils, then added them to the spices (without any other liquid) and cooked them for about 8 minutes on medium, stirring. This was the “sweating”.

Then I added about 1/4 cup of cooking rice wine, 2 cups of chicken stock, 3 cups of water, brought them to a boil, then turned it down to a simmer and cooked for about 20 minutes– the lentils were tender but not mushy or falling apart. I fished out the bay leaves, then used an immersion blender to blend a small amount of the soup.

Finally, I tossed in a whole head of spinach (rinsed and de-stemmed), and gave it 2 minutes in the simmering soup to slightly wilt.

At this point, it was already good, but I squeezed a quarter lemon’s worth of juice into the bowl before eating and it was even better (addition of something acidic had worked well when I made black bean soup). I also chopped up some stale bread I had.

Great success!

Brussels Sprouts, Lentils, Pea Sprouts. Eh.

3 Jan

This quick meal was unremarkable, and involved three pots to clean.

The Brussles sprouts were pretty good: a strip of bacon fried, then drained, a minced shallot + thyme + a sliced apple sauteed in the bacon fat, brussels sprouts separately braised (in a covered pot w/ half a cup of water for 8 minutes), then added to the frying pan along with the drained bacon for a minute (perhaps it should have been longer — they were successfully not-overcooked-or-bitter, but also not as bacony as I’d hoped).

The lentils failed: 1/3 cup lentils + 1 cup water + a dried red pepper in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes from first steam– but most of the water ran out and they got a little burned, in addition to being bland. I made a  much better lentil soup over the weekend.

Image

Chick peas, spinach, broccoli, redemption

21 Dec

Chick peas, spinach, broccoli, redemption

Nothing fancy: Chick peas with onions, lots of garlic, cardamom, turmeric, a little tahini, lime. Roasted broccoli and spinach salad. And a Russian River Redemption (belgian-style blonde).