Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pomegranate liqueur, part I

day one of this recipe

3 pomegranates
2 c vodka
peel from 1 lemon, with minimal white pith

several bowls, a strainer, and jars with lids (eg 3 pint-size canning jars)

Choose a work surface you don't mind getting splashed on, or cover your work surface with plastic cutting boards, and don an apron. Remove the fruity pod parts from the pomegranates, putting the pods in a bowl and discarding the rest. (If desired, set aside a handful or two for putting on/in a cheesecake.)

Put a wire mesh strainer over another bowl, and get out a little bowl or glass with a flattish or rounded bottom. Put one small handful of pods at a time in the strainer, crush them with the little bowl and/or your fingers to get the juice out, and transfer the leftover pulp and (ideally unbroken) seeds to yet another bowl.

Measure how much juice you've caught in the bowl below the strainer; it should be about two cups. Add that much vodka to the juice and stir. Divide the vodka-juice, pulp, and lemon peel evenly between your jars. Cover tightly and stick in the pantry for a couple weeks, swirling occasionally.

to be continued on day two and day three

Pomegranate cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 375F. Get out the 10" springform pan and wrap some foil around the outside to prevent leakage.

1/4 c pine nuts
5 TJ's cinnamon graham crackers
16 squares (8 large rectangles) other graham crackers
1 t allspice
1/2 stick butter, melted
little bit of honey

Grind up the cookies and nuts in the food processor. Add butter and allspice and process until combined. Press into the bottom and sides of the pan, and drizzle a bit of honey on top.

2 8oz packs cream cheese, softened
1/2 c ricotta
3 eggs
1/3 c turbinado sugar
3 T lemon juice

Blend until smooth, and pour onto the crust. Knock on the counter a couple times to minimize bubbles. Bake for 45 min until set and lightly browned on top. Cool to room temperature.

1 c sour cream
2 T plain greek yogurt
1 T white sugar
1 T honey
1-3 t pomegranate juice

Mix together, pour on top of cool cheesecake, and bake at 375F for 12 min. Decorate with additional pomegranate pods, for instance as a pie chart to accompany a Florence Nightingale costume. Cover tightly with foil (or plastic wrap, which seals better but usually sticks to the top of the cheesecake) and put in the fridge for most of the day.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rye marmalade sconebreads

1/4 c butter
1/4 c honey
1/3 c Charles&Esther's Christmas marmalade
2 c sourdough rye starter
~3 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t each allspice, cardamom, and cinnamon
small handful each chopped craisins and crushed slivered almonds
little bit of milk, little bit of turbinado

Preheat oven to 400F. Microwave butter and honey together in a little dish until butter is softened, then stir in marmalade until the mixture is smooth and not too hot. Put the starter in a bowl and stir the marmalade-butter. Add 2 c of flour+spices and gently stir/knead to make a soft biscuit-scone-type dough, gradually adding the other cup of flour (or as much more or less as you need). Knead in the craisins and almonds. Split into two balls. With each ball, turn onto a floured board, roll or press into a ~9" round, and slice into 8 wedges. Place the wedges on a greased cookie sheet, brush with milk, sprinkle with turbinado, and bake for half an hour.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vegan molasses moving cookies

1 c earth balance
1/2 c molasses
3/4 c white sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
1 4-oz applesauce cup
1 t vanilla
3.5 c whole wheat flour (possibly more or less, I may have lost count)
1.5 c oats
1 t each baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom
1.5 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream wet ingredients together, mix in dry ingredients. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 15 min. Full of tasty sustenance and things I now don't have to pack!

Roasted beets and greens

3 beets, removed from greens
greens from three beets, washed thoroughly and chopped
1 can garbanzos
2 medium firm tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 shallot, sliced
olive oil
salt, pepper, spicy Italian seasoning mix (largely chili flakes and rosemary)

Preheat oven to 375F. Wrap each beet in foil, place the beets on a baking sheet, and place the sheet in the oven. Combine the other ingredients in a 8-9" pan, stirring gently to coat everything with oil without mushing up the tomatoes. Cover the pan loosely with foil and stick it in the oven too. The beets will take about half an hour depending on size and desired level of roastedness; test one periodically by opening up the foil and poking it with a sharp knife. When they're ready, remove from the oven but leave the greens in (you can give them a stir though). Carefully unwrap the foil from the beets and put the beets in a colander in the sink. Running cold water over the beets and your fingers, rub each beet to peel off the skin and any stem bits, and put peeled beets on a cutting board. Slice the beets into circles or semicircles. Take the greens out of the oven and serve some onto plates. Take the plates, beets, and some chevre and a baguette out to the table, and enjoy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Stuffed summer squash

3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cubed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, minced
1/2 bunch chard, stems minced and leaves chopped
1 large portabella, finely chopped
2/3 c + 2 c rice, precooked
1/4 t each cumin, allspice, cinnamon, sage
3 oz chevre, forked out of the pack
salt and pepper to taste
3 round summer squash (but I could have filled another 1 or 2)
1/3 c red wine

Start simmering the tomatoes in a large pot. In a frying pan, saute the garlic, onion, and chard stems in a bit of oil. Add the leaves, cook until wilted, then turn off the heat. Add portabella, 2/3 c rice, cheese, and spices, and stir to combine. Slice the tops off the summer squash and scrape out the soft seedy part of the insides with a spoon. Fill with filling. Mince some of the less seedy inside bits and add to the tomatoes with the wine, and bring to a simmer. Place the squash (open side up) in the pot, loosely cover, and simmer until the squash are cooked through (about 20 min). Snack on any extra filling while you wait for the squash to cook. When the squash are ready, transfer them to plates. Stir the rest of the rice, and some salt and pepper, into the tomato sauce, and cook briefly. Divide the tomato-rice side dish between plates and serve.