Sunday, March 27, 2011

A few days of food in Seattle

  • elk meatball linguine and crazy awesome owner at Brad's Swingside with Marcus

  • mini orange blossom glazed donut at Mighty-O, followed by latte and work at Zoka

  • falafel burger and tasty sugary-breakfast smells at Portage Bay with the Amazon kids

  • PG tips, carabiner mugs, gloucestershire, Cowgirl Creamery, Fentiman's, and galangal found but not purchased at Pike Place; orris root found and purchased

  • tea, robots, and steel gratings at Inscape with David

  • still my favorite peanut sauce ever on swimming rama at Thai Tom

  • beer, karaoke, and birthday good times at Roosevelt Ale House with lots of folks

  • cinnamon-raisin bagel and latte at Bean & Bagel, eaten in the sun by the fountain with the mountain out

  • extraneous americano at Bauhaus

  • tofu banh mi at Saigon Deli with SarahS

  • kale, mushroom, and matzo ball soup with Michelle and the Ministers, and a mint chip ice cream taste test (Michelle wins, of course)

  • day o' Austen at Cupcake Manor: chocolate chip pancakes and bacon (Michelle), biscuits and Scotch eggs (me), assorted tea sandwiches and desserts (Brandi and Lindsay), samosas (me and Brandi), the whole P&P miniseries with lovely people in lovely outfits

  • failed attempt at cocktails at Tavern Law with SarahS and Brandon; next time!

  • dim sum at Jade Garden with SarahO and Mike
  • Scotch eggs

    6 eggs
    1 log veggie sausage
    bread crumbs
    oil or spraygrease

    Hard-boil and peel 5 of the eggs, and beat the other in a little bowl. Preheat the oven to 375F if you're baking, and get out a baking sheet and put some breadcrumbs on a plate either way. Wrap each hard-boiled egg in sausage (there should be just about enough to go around), dip each in egg, roll each in breadcrumbs, and put on the baking sheet. If you're baking, spray with spraygrease and bake for a while (I wasn't keeping track but at least half an hour), turning every 10 min or so to brown different spots. If you're frying, deep-fry. Cut into quarters or even eighths, and serve at Cupcake to a crowd of Austen fans.

    Sunday, March 20, 2011

    Peppery caulifower with fried gnocchi

    olive oil
    1 shallot, minced
    1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, minced
    1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
    1/2 t marjoram
    4 T yesterday's red wine
    1/2 pack gnocchi
    few T chopped watercress (arugula or parsley would work too)
    few T crumbled feta
    salt and pepper

    Saute the shallot in a bit of olive oil. Add the cauliflower and cook for a few minutes while you chop the bell pepper. Add the bell pepper, pepper flakes, marjoram, and a bit of ground black pepper, and cook for a bit. Add a T or two of the wine, cover, and let the cauliflower cook. Stir and add more wine occasionally until the cauliflower is tender.

    Meanwhile, put some water on for the gnocchi. When it boils, add the gnocchi. When it returns to a simmer and a couple of the gnocchi are floating, drain. Melt a little butter in a small cast-iron pan, just big enough for the gnocchi to cover the bottom with a single layer. Fry in the pan over medium heat until toasty on the outside and soft on the inside.

    Stir the gnocchi, greenery, and feta (and salt and pepper to taste) into the cauliflower. Serve to myself while Lester's on a plane to Week O' Science.


    a double batch of these, made just over 3 dozen

    2 sticks salted butter, softened (if unsalted add a little salt)
    6 oz cream cheese, softened
    1/3 c sugar
    1 t vanilla
    2 eggs
    zest of one Meyer lemon
    ~3 c flour, plus a bit more for dusting
    a few T each of fillings: eg orange marmalade, TJ's blackberry jam, Nutella

    Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Beat in the sugar, vanilla, eggs, and zest. Beat in enough flour to make a soft cookie dough. Split in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, squish into a disc, and stick in the fridge for a couple hours.

    Point of interest before you take the dough out of the fridge: there's a fine line between too little flour and the dough sticking to the surface, and too much flour and the corners not sticking together well when you pinch them. To further complicate matters, the location of that fine line depends on how warm the dough is, so what works for one round may not work for the next. I ended up in each of the three regimes at different points (too much flour, too little, and just right) and it was never catastrophic--I still made cookies, and while they may have looked different they tasted exactly the same.

    Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly flour a surface and take the first dough portion out of the fridge. Lightly dust each side of the disc in the flour, lightly flour the rolling pin, and roll out until it's 1/4" thick or maybe a bit thinner. Cut into 3"-diameter circles and put the scraps back on the piece of plastic wrap. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each circle, and pinch tightly in three places to make a triangle. Lift each cookie off the surface (which may involve a bit of scraping if you're in the too-little-flour regime) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the other portion of dough, mushing the scraps with the first round's scraps and putting the scrap ball (wrapped in plastic) back in the fridge while you fill and pinch the second round. Repeat with the scraps round. Stick in the oven and bake until just barely browning--I wasn't keeping track of the time but the 20 minute recommendation on the link sounds about right. Cool a little bit, and serve to a purim dinner party after challah and shakshuka (scaled up, of course).

    Non-sourdough challah

    1 c warm water
    2 t yeast
    1/2 c applesauce
    1/2 c olive oil
    1/2 c honey
    3 eggs + 1 yolk
    2 c semolina
    4+2 c bread flour
    1 T salt

    Mix yeast and wet ingredients in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, combine semolina, 4 c flour, and salt. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Stir well, adding 3 doses of 1/2 c flour when it looks like it needs it. Put the last 1/2 c flour on a surface, turn out the dough onto the flour, and knead until the flour is absorbed. The surface of the dough will be tacky and stick to anything it touches for more than a moment, but will develop a nice sheen if you keep it moving. Place the dough in a large spray-greased bowl and let rise until doubled.

    Braid, let rise, brush with egg, and bake as for other challahs. This time I actually baked them at 375F without adding extra humidity to the oven, and that works just fine too.

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    Almost-vegan cauliflower, mushroom, and kale alfredo

    Would be vegan with vegan pasta and vegan pesto, which mine weren't. I was also thinking of, instead of serving with pasta, mixing the veggies and sauce with garbanzos and farro and baking like so; maybe next time.

    1 c cashews
    1 cube broth in 1 c hot water
    3 slices baguette
    2 t pesto

    olive oil
    1 shallot, sliced
    several criminis, sliced
    1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
    1/2 bunch kale, chopped smallish
    pasta of choice (in this case, mushroom ravioli)

    Start the cashews soaking in the broth. Saute the shallot in the oil, add the veggies, and cook until the cauliflower is done. Meanwhile, cook the pasta and make the sauce by grinding the bread in the food processor, then grinding in the cashews, pesto, and pepper, then slowly adding the broth until your desired consistency is reached (it was nice and thick with 1 c broth). Stir the sauce into the veggies, then stir in the pasta.

    Tuesday, March 8, 2011

    Braided banana bread danish

    based on this, after Evan requested banana bread for passing his qual(!) and Sarah O recommended the original version

    EDIT: amounts in parentheses are what I used when I made it again two days later. This is the amount of chocolate and nuts with the higher amounts:

    3/4 c warm water
    1 T yeast
    1 t sugar
    1/2 c flour
    1 stick butter
    2 overripe bananas (3)
    2 eggs
    1/2 c greek yogurt (1/3 c, but only because that's all there was)
    1/4 c brown sugar
    2 t salt
    2 t vanilla
    zest of 2 tiny Meyer lemons (2 t lemon marmalade)
    1 t cinnamon (2 t, plus 1/2 t allspice)
    1 c wheat flour
    4.5 c white flour (5 c)

    Combine the first four ingredients in the kitchenaid bowl. Let sit while you mash the bananas with a potato masher and soften the butter. Mash the butter, eggs, and yogurt into the bananas until everything is as smooth as it's going to get. Add the banana-dairy mixture to the sponge, add everything else except the flours, and stir with the kitchenaid until combined. Add the flours a cup at a time, stirring with the dough hook for several minutes, until something elastic like a dough but extremely soft like a batter forms. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with plastic, and let rise until doubled. (If after an hour it's not even thinking about rising, stick it in the oven with a pan of boiling water.)

    2/3 c, i.e., 5 oz cream cheese
    1/4 c white sugar
    1/4 c greek yogurt
    1/4 c white flour
    2 t lemon juice from 1-2 Meyer lemons
    1 t amaretto
    1/3 c walnut halves (2/3 c)
    1/3 c chocolate chips (2/3 c or even more)

    Stir together everything except the chocolate and nuts until fairly smooth. Let sit on the counter to soften while the dough rises. Chop together the walnuts and chocolate chips.

    Put a bunch of flour on a surface. Pour the dough onto the flour and gently press and fold over a few times. Cut in half and set one half aside (on a little bed of flour). Press the first half into a rectangle and transfer to a piece of parchment paper. Roll out into a large rectangle, cut strips as described, spread with half the filling and sprinkle with half the chocolate and nuts, and fold over the strips as described. Gently transfer the loaf + parchment to a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half. I had some extra filling, so I dolloped a little bit onto each of the leftover corners and pinched them up into little pockets. Cover and let rise for an hour or a bit less until nice and plump.

    1 egg
    2 t water
    turbinado (or the largest-grain sugar you have)

    Preheat the oven to 375F while the dough is rising. Beat together the egg and water, and brush on the loaves. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 27 min, switching racks halfway through. Carefully transfer to cooling racks.

    Sunday, March 6, 2011

    Roasted veggies and polenta

    1 large shallot, thinly sliced
    ~10 heirloom cherry tomatoes
    3 small portabellos, thickly sliced
    handful chard, chopped
    1 red pepper, sliced
    2.5 T olive oil
    1 T balsamic vinegar
    drizzle Worchestershire sauce
    salt and pepper
    4 c water
    1 c polenta
    1/4 c grated manchego

    Preheat oven to 400F. Combine veggies, oil, vinegar, and seasonings in a baking dish and stir to coat. Roast for about half an hour. Meanwhile, cook the polenta in the water, stirring continuously so it doesn't stick, and stirring in the cheese near the end; the polenta and veggies should be done at the same time.