It's me, the Silliest

This is my blog of recipes. I like "eating the rainbow" as well as globe-trotting through food. I totally dig heady local produce and local fresh meats.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Butternut Squash Hummus Sandwich

AUTUMNAUTUMNAUTUMN!!!! So pumped about autumn and food and life when I make something like this. Also, could this BE a healthier dinner!?

I also love using all parts of the food, so roasting seeds in squashes is totally perfect for this girl ^-^

1 acorn squash
1/3 C tahini
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp each paprika and ground cumin
Handful of fresh parsley


Flat bread recipe. Sub the bread flour for whole wheat flour.

1 zucchini, cut into large coins
1 onion, cut into large coins
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp olive oil

Begin by preheating your oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the flatbread and set aside to sit for 45 mins.

Cut the acorn squash into 8th, stab w fork and season with salt. Cook in oven, uncovered, until fork tender (45 mins).

Remove squash from skin and add 2 packed C to your food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, cumin and parsley and blend until smooth.

Marinate the zucchini and onion in the lemon zest and olive oil, season w salt/pep and grill.

Roll out the flatbread and grill until done.

Assemble sandwich by spreading hummus, adding veggies and sprinkling with pomegranate. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Healthy Bolognase

I personally feel that a huge bowl of spaghetti bolognase topped with tons of parmasen cheese is unbeatable on a colder night. However, the red meat, white pasta and parmasen is anything but figure friendly. I decided to try something else. I actually believe I have to get Sue Getz credit for this one as I am pretty sure she introduced me to this. Anyways, I served the bolognese over my favorite greens... arugula. If you pour the hot bolognase over the fresh greens, some of the greens will wilt and absorb all the flavor and some of the greens will remain crunchy and peppery. Also, I don't use beef; I replace it with ground chicken breast. You end up w a totally nutritious (ok, fine, I still go a little nuts with the cheese) and equally delicious meal!

1 lb ground chicken breast
Arugula (maybe 2 packed Cups per serving-ish)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
2 tsp each oregano and basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp hot red pepper flakes
Romano cheese

Brown the meat with the dried herbs over medium heat. Once browned, add the tomatoes (crushing them as you go) and bring that up to a boil. Serve over greens and top with cheese!

Fish Stew

This is a great alternative to the strategic Bouillabaisse. This is cheaper and easier than the real deal. It's super healthy, easy and cheap to make! I feel like they would charge you $30 on a LUNCH menu at a swanky ass place for this. Actually, wait, they do! I ate at Ammos recently with my dad and got basically this dish (without couscos ... it was a tomato broth with cheap seafood and it cost $33!!!)

1/2 lb white flaky fish (cod, sole, tilapia, etc)
1/4 lb shrimp
1/4 lb scallop
Handful each of mussels and clams

1 1/2 C whole wheat couscous

2 carrots
2 celery stalks
2 leeks
1 baking potato
2-4 cloves garlic
1 TBSP oregano
1/2 TBSP basil
1 tsp thyme
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 bay leaves
1/2 C Vermouth
Can of whole, peeled tomatoes

Wash the leeks then finely chop all the veggies. Add all the veggies to a hot pan coated with olive oil. Add the dried herbs. Cook veggies until tender (about 6-8 mins). Deglaze the pan with Vermouth and continue cooking until the Vermouth is almost gone (5 mins). Add the tomatoes (crushing them with your hand as you add them) and let it come to a boil. Add the seafood (I start by adding the fish, then the scallops, then the bivalves and finally the shrimp last), cover and let simmer just a few minutes until the shrimp are pink.

Serve over the couscous. I just made the couscous with regular water, but I would imagine cooking it in seafood stock would add another layer of tasty goodness!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fish n Chips with Tartar Sauce

I loves me some fish and chips.

1 lb cod (4 pieces... get your fish monger to hook it up. feel free to chose your own pieces)
4 baking potatoes
Veggie oil for deep frying
1 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C beer
1 tsp old bay
1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 C mayo
1 TBSP relish
1 tsp grated horseradish
Splash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Ok - so the batter ingredients are just an estimate. You can really create your own batter however you like. I guess the essentials are flour, liquid and baking powder (to make it puff). From there, throw whatever else you like in it and you reeeeally can't go wrong. I like to use a pale ale for this, or seltzer works surprisingly well too.

Basically you cut the potatoes into discs for your chips. Fry these FIRST! Fry them at 350 degrees for about 4 minutes, take them out, let them sit for 5 minutes then refry them at 365 degrees until they are browned. This is sorta fancy and if you just throw potatoes in hot oil, they will cook. Don't get hung up about this - you'll get it over time.

You fry the fish AFTER the fries cause otherwise the fries taste like fish, which is not a good look. Coat the fish in your thick batter and fry at 350 degrees until golden.

Drench in malt vinegar and dip in your tartar sauce (mix above ingredients together).

Apple Stuffed Pork Loin with Horseradish Crust

Can we all say Fall?! I'm LOVING Fall, as I always do! The apples used in this recipe came from the trusty farmer's market on Roosevelt Island, my home. I think the farmer's market gets a lot of negative feed back, but hey, it's decent prices and it's super fresh. You know how I can tell it's fresh? Cause everything stays so good for so long. The arugula can stay in your fridge for 2 weeks. Arugula from Whole Foods stays good for a couple of days.

So, you get a large pork loin for this recipe. You can either have the butcher cut it up for you, or you can do it yourself! I kinda had a lot of fun doing it myself. Also, the meat stays more fresh if you do it yourself.

1 pork loin, butterflied
1 cooking apple (whatever is green is my rule)
1 stalk celery (with leaves)
Chopped walnuts
Fresh grated horseradish
Olive oil

Butterfly the pork and stuff w thinly sliced apples, celery and walnuts. Roll up and either tie together with dental floss or "sew" with a skewer. Pat on the horseradish on the outside. Season with salt/pep. Place on baking sheet, cover with foil and cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil, drizzle w olive oil and crank heat to broil to crust the whole roast.

I served this with mashed parsnips and potatoes and Leek Cheese Sauce.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Pear and Roquefort Grilled Cheese with Sweet Potato Chips

Helloooo devoted readers (aka mom and Meegy - hahaha)! I've had a bit of coffee this a.m. if you're wondering... Last night we made a really great and simple dinner with tons of flavor. I think one of our favorite things to do is visit the cheese counters in markets! On Sunday we visited our old stomping grounds - Whole Foods Market in Chelsea. We lucked out and got a super wonderful cheese monger who gave us samples and even gave us free olive juice for our martinis! That alone equates to a good day for Sam and Mike.

Whole Foods have these loafs of bread you find in the freezers. It's basically a loaf that is 95% of the way cooked and then you finish it off in your oven for a totally just-baked sort of feel. (Note to self: must get a bread knife).

Ciabatta bread
1/2 lb Roquefort cheese (we had left overs that we crumbled into our arugula and pear salad)
1 pear (or apple)

1 large sweet potato
Kosher salt

2 C packed arugula
Left over pear from sandwich
Red onion
Blue cheese
Lemon juice
Olive Oil

Cut the bread and lay cheese and pear on it. Coat both sides with butter. If you have a griddle, do it on there, but basically cook your grilled cheese on very low heat for a very long time - this ensures that everything gets gooey on the inside and eventually it will crisp the outside.

Cut cross sectionals of sweet potatoes paper thin. Deep fry until browned in 350 degree veggie oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.

We also did an arugula salad to sort of tie in with the sandwiches. This gave us a bit more girth since our sandwiches were pretty small and we were pretty hungry. We just took whatever we had (veggie wise) and threw it together. We carried the flavors of the pear and the blue cheese over into the salad. The dressing was simple: lemon juice, oil (equal parts) and parsley, finely chopped.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Yorkshire Puddings

If my dad's signature recipe in my memory is Chicken Croquettes, my mom's is definitely Yorkshire Puddings!! I honestly have no clue why I waited so long to try cooking these - they are so sinche and delicious. You must try these. Although, be weary that my mom claims the oil can and will spontaneously combust at a certain temperature - yikes! :0)

I did a huge meal for Meegy with a large roast, brussel sprouts, carrots, apple and turnip mash, gravy and the Yorkshire puds!

1 C flour
1 1/4 C milk
3 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
(yeah, that's it - I swear!)

Whisk together ingredients and let sit for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Put 1 tsp of fat (veggie oil, lard, Crisco, etc) into each of 12 cup cake holders in a cup cake tin. Place cupcake tin with oil in oven until it smokes (shouldn't take too long... remember, spontaneous combustion people!)

Remove tin, whisk batter one last time and fill each holder 2/3 of the way fill. Place back in oven and cook 15-20 minutes or until golden.

Smother with gravy - yummyyyy

Steak and Cactus Burritos

I had my first cactus burrito the other week at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican spot in the East Vill. It is a tiny place right across from the lovely and acclaimed Cheap Shots. I had been wanting to try cactus for a while. I think my friend Lindsey had it once and she told me about it. Anyways, the texture is great - it is crunchy but still soft. Almost like a pepper meets a mushroom; the initial crunch is that of a pepper, but the mushy inside is that of a mushroom. The taste tho is very bland - it picks up the intense Mexican flavors well. I found canned cactus at Whole Foods yesterday and it is a def must-try!

So I had one cactus burrito and one steak burrito (I know, I know - a lot of food). Meegy made the BEST marinated skirt steak. We were coughing so much when we cooked it because of all the spices... it was really funny. Anyways, this is a great crowd pleaser and your vegetarian friends will love that you introduced them to cactus.

Refried pinto beans
Canned cactus
Ricota solata
Flour tortillas

1 lb skirt steak
3 cloves minced garlic
1 lime (zest + juice)
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayene
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp sugar (preferably brown sugar)

5 medium tomatillos
1 tomato
1 handful cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1/2 red onion
1 jalapeno
1/2 tsp cumin
1 lime (for juice)

1 ear corn
1 avocado
1/2 red onion
1 lime (for juice)

Get your meat marinating first. Mix A (minus steak) together and pat over the skirt steak... get sloppy here. Let this marinate at room temp.

Cook rice according to package directions.

Puree B in food processor for a spicy salsa verde.

Boil corn for 5 minutes and let rest and then take off of ear. Combine C and add 2 TBSP of B to this. This is a chunky corn and avocado salsa.

Cooking the skirt steak is crucial. We did ours in the cast iron. Make sure whatever you're cooking the skirt steak in is smoking hot! Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes WITHOUT touching it once it's down. Remove from heat, let cool for 15-25 minutes then slice thinly.

Fry the cactus until warm and slightly browned.

Heat up cactus.

To warm the tortillas, run them under water and microwave for 30 seconds. It helps if you wrap these in foil, Chipotle style, so they do not fall apart.

Assemble everything and enjoy!