Tag Archives: Cook

Skillet Apple Crisp

14 Dec

Arkansas Black apples in the CSA were beautiful– so while I rarely make dessert, it seemed time to make a crisp.

A quick search for a Cooks Illustrated take on it turned up this recipe, which I followed the rough spirit of without measuring because I was running around making dinner at the last minute.

Basically, I sliced four apples and tossed them in lemon juice, brown sugar, and grated nutmeg, then melted butter and a cup of hard cider in a skillet, tossed in the apples, and cooked them over medium covered until mostly cooked through– 10-15 minutes. I mixed some oats, flour, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt and cinnamon, sprinkled that over the apples, sliced 4 Tbsp of butter into thin squares over that, and put the whole skillet in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes, while we ate the rest of dinner. Not bad, with vanilla ice cream, of course.

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Bean / Escarole / Sausage soup, Roasted Vegetables

12 Dec

Kidney Bean / Escarole / Sausage soup, Roasted Vegetables

Helping a friend work through his CSA on a cold and somewhat gloomy evening:

Soup of sauteed onions/garlic/carrots, kidney beans (white and black, half mashed), chicken broth, sage, parsley, and roasted garlic precooked sausage, simmered together for 10-15 minutes. Then a full head of shredded escarole was added for another 5 minutes (covered). And hey, the rest of the soup actually managed to keep the escarole in check and mask the bitterness.

Roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage (I’d never tried roasting cabbage– crispy/soft and delicious).

Wild rice.

Black Beans, Garlic, Oyster Mushrooms, Pomegranate

6 Dec

Everything except the beans and spices came from today’s CSA:

Improvising during a month of (mostly) working late: A minced onion and six(!) cloves of crushed garlic were sauteed with toasted cumin seeds and a little salt for about 10 minutes. Then black beans (one can), whole oyster mushrooms, the seeds of half a pomegranate, and a quarter of an Anchor Steam Christmas Ale were added, and cooked on medium-low for another 15 minutes or so. Hey, the result was surprisingly good– meaty, slightly spiced and sweet.

Also: steamed escarole and pea shoots. Bland and slightly bitter. I’d never cooked escarole and didn’t do any reading about it, so I’m sure there’s some better way. [edit: I’ve been informed that caramelization is key, or subsuming it into a stronger-flavored dish such as a meaty bean soup]

Shepherd’s Pie

30 Nov

The CSA box this week was potatoes, onions, celery root, beets, sprouts, and kiwis, so continuing my CSA-inspired-dinner-with-one-or-more-friends Tuesdays: Shepherd’s Pie!

  • Potatoes and celery root diced and boiled until soft, mashed with some butter, salt and white pepper and some cheese.
  • Diced onions, garlic, and golden beets (since I had no carrots or celery) sauteed until soft, then ground lamb and some spices added to them, and a little red wine.
  • The potatoes layered on top of the meat in the same cast iron skillet, topped with grated cheddar, and broiled in the oven a few minutes to brown the top.
  • Pea shoots and broccoli on the side (with a sesame oil & sriracha sauce– nothing to do with the rest of the meal)

I’ve always been a sucker for shepherd’s pie, and this was a very simple version, but it turned out especially well. The bits of diced beet were a nice touch.

Thanksgiving Food

24 Nov

Breakfast:

 Picking lettuce for a light lunch:
Dinner (I made squash with crispy sage butter, and brussels sprouts with bacon and sauteed onions):

Apple pie*, later:

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope your food and family or friends afternoons treat you well.

* Which included my first time making pie crust in quite a while, and perhaps my first-ever lattice top? Ahh, delicious geometry. I used a basic dough recipe modified to use 1/5th whole wheat flour, and 50/50 shortening and butter.

Steak and Greens, take three

20 Nov

Apparently I’ve been on a steak-cooking kick— three times in three weeks?

I shopped at Olivier’s Butchery for the first time today, and picked up a grass-fed filet mignon. Sure, not cheap per pound… but $9 for what ended up being one of the better steaks of my life isn’t bad compared to going out…

Prep counter: steak covered in black pepper and a little salt on both sides, green beans, baby broccoli, sunflower sprouts (all from the CSA box), and shallots.

After heating some olive oil and peanut oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet, I dropped in the (thick) steak:

After four and a half minutes on each side, I took the steak off and let it rest under a foil tent (does that actually make a difference?) for 5 minutes, while I lightly steamed the beans and baby broccoli and made a pan sauce:

  1. Over medium heat, I sauteed a minced shallot and 3 small crushed cloves of garlic in the remaining oil and fat for a few minutes.
  2. Then I deglazed the pan: I added maybe 1/4 cup of red wine (which quickly boiled away) and used it to free the crunchy bits of meat and fat and seasoning left in the pan, then added another 1/4ish cup of wine and reduced it over the course of a few minutes.
  3. Finally, I melted a Tbsp of butter into the meat-bits-and-reduced-wine mixture, and spooned it over the steak.

Here it is: pepper-crusted filet mignon (medium-rare) with a simple pan sauce and three kinds of green vegetables:

Very good!

Deviled Eggs, Pickled Fennel, Kale, Squash w/ Sage Butter

11 Nov

CSA Week Two, a recent trip to City Beer, and a friend visiting from Boston inspired another little dinner party:

Deviled eggs (perhaps the best variant I’ve made: hard boiled eggs, the yolks mashed with quite a bit of olive oil (and no mayo!) and a little mustard, salt, and pepper, sprinkled with smoked paprika, and topped with crispy-fried capers, a crowning touch inspired by this printer & piemaker post).

Salami (Olli Napoli, smoked pork with red wide– fine but not remarkable, I probably wouldn’t buy it again).

Lightly-pickled fennel (two days earlier I boiled a mix of 1 part white vinegar to 2 parts water, with a few tsp of mustard seed, 1 tsp salt, and maybe 1/2 tsp coriander seed, then poured the hot liquid over a jar of sliced fennel and refrigerated it). I wasn’t sure anyone else would like it but we ate the whole pint.

Kale (minced shallots cooked in sesame oil over medium heat for 10 minutes until crisping. In parallel, kale boiled/steamed in about an inch of water for 8 minutes, rinsed in cold water and drained, then added to the skillet with the shallots for a few minutes).

Carrots brushed with olive oil and roasted for about 20 minutes at 400F.

Squash: a butternut squash and an acorn squash, each cut in half and brushed with olive oil and baked at 400F face down for about 40 minutes, until soft. I actually did this two nights before, scooped out the squash, and put it in the fridge, reheating it the night of the dinner. With a little salt and pepper and sage brown butter drizzled over it right before serving (5 Tbsp of butter melted over medium heat with maybe 1/4 cup of chopped fresh sage for 5-10 minutes). Quite good, and easy.

And the meal only took about an hour to make (not counting the prep a few days before).

Beer included Upright Brewing’s Six (a slightly malty rye beer, which I continue to love), La Fin Du Monde (a belgian-style tripel / golden ale), Upright Flora Rustica (from a Portland trip, saison-style but slightly vegetative and strange, in a good way), and La Trappe Dubbel. And Corona, but we won’t talk about that.