Friday, November 23, 2012

Chard and yam gratin

Make this. Just follow SmittenKitchen's recipe and do it. (3 lb chard = 5 good-sized bunches; 2 lb yams = 3 medium ones; 1 c cream + 1 c 1% milk worked just fine.)

See how little leftovers there are, compared to all those mujadarra leftovers? They're both way tastier than they look, but this gratin especially so. Totally worth chopping all those greens.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving mujadarra

What's a vegan gluten-free Thanksgiving main dish that's filling, savory, and made from scratch? This is my answer. It's mostly this, with a bit of this for good measure. The three components—wild rice, caramelized onions, and aromatic lentils—can be made ahead separately, tossed together in any order, and heated through at the end before serving. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

2 1/4 c wild rice

Cook the wild rice, ideally until just tender. Cooking it as recommended in the rice cooker, ie in 6 c water on the brown rice cycle, results in overdone rice. You might want to try what the bag and the Epicurious recipe say, ie cook on the stove for 45 minutes.

2 T earth balance
3 medium onions, thinly sliced
glug of red wine for deglazing

Melt the earth balance in a large cast-iron frying pan over low heat. Add the onions and cook slowly until translucent, stirring every 5-ish minutes. When they are uniformly translucent and starting to get some color (this takes 20-30 minutes) turn up the heat very slightly and begin to stir every 2-ish minutes. After another 15-20 minutes, turn up the heat slightly again and stir frequently. You can keep going like this as long as you like; at least an hour is really necessary to get a deep caramel color and flavor. When you're finally ready to be done, deglaze the pan with some red wine, scraping up all those delicious onion bits. (If you're cooking other savory things like mushroom gravy, do so in the onion pan without washing it. Mmm.)

glug olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 carrots, quartered and sliced thin
1 cinnamon stick
3 bay leaves
1.5 c French green lentils
5 c stock
dozen allspice berries
dozen whole cloves
3 cardamom pods

Heat the oil over medium low in a large pot. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute for a few minutes. Add the carrots, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves, and saute while you boil the water for stock. When the stock is ready, add it and the lentils to the pot. Put the rest of the whole spices in a tea ball and drop into the pot too. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the lentils are tender. Check on them occasionally and give them a stir.

When you're ready to serve, toss everything together in a pot on the stove and heat on low until warmed through. Eat a little bit, and eat a lot of what everyone else brought!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Persimmon bread

It's finally time for baking with ripe squishy persimmons! This is a variation on James Beard's persimmon bread, which appears to be the consensus persimmon bread of food bloggers (eg David Lebovitz). My only change was to swap the walnuts and raisins—which would have made it too close to last weekend's carrot cake—for chocolate chips and currants—which are probably better complements for the very generous dose of Bulleit anyway. The loaf is soft, dark, moist, and surprisingly spicy, with a good crumb and a delightfully chewy crust.

1 stick butter
1 c Hachiya pulp (2 Hachiyas)
2 eggs
1/3 c bourbon.
1.75 c flour
1.25 c sugar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t nutmeg
3/4 t salt
1 c chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
1 c currants

Preheat the oven to 350F, and butter and flour a 9" loaf pan. (Mine stuck to the pan a bit on the bottom, so you might want to try parchment.)

Microwave the butter in a 4-c pyrex until melted. Scoop the persimmon innards into the butter and stir to break up the chunks as much as possible. When the mixture is cool enough, stir in the eggs and bourbon.

In a medium bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). Stir in the wet ingredients until just combined, then stir in the chocolate and currants. Scoop the batter into the pan and bake for 60-70 min until a tester comes out clean.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maple creme fraiche ice cream

Based on the Jeni's formula, to go with carrot cake.

1/4 c milk
4 t cornstarch
1.5 c milk
1.5 c cream
3/4 c maple syrup
1/4 t salt
1/2 t vanilla
4 oz (1/2 pack) creme fraiche

Stir the cornstarch into the first 1/4 milk, and set aside. Combine the rest of the milk with the cream, maple syrup, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until foaming, then keep heating and whisking for another 3 minutes. Pour in the cornstarch and cook until thickened. Dollop in the creme fraiche and whisk until thickened and smooth. Chill, churn, and enjoy.

Carrot cake

Just a regular old carrot cake for Laura's birthday. First birthday cake I haven't screwed up in ages though! Maybe I did learn something about cakes this summer after all. This cake is very moist and tender, which means it also sticks to pans and cooling racks, so you'll be happier if you actually use parchment and/or cupcake liners. Also pictured: maple creme fraiche ice cream.

3 c grated carrots
1.5 c pecan halves
2 c granulated sugar
1 c canola oil
4 eggs
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t cloves
1 t nutmeg
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t cardamom
3/4 t salt
1/2 c raisins

Preheat the oven to 325F, and prepare 2 8" cake pans (parchment and butter) and a 12-cupcake pan (cupcake liners).

Grate a crapton of carrots in the food processor, and transfer to a 4-c pyrex. Put the pecans in the food processor and pulse a few times to chop, and dump them into the pyrex too.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and oil until smooth, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the dry ingredients and mix to just combine. Fold in the carrots, nuts, and raisins.

Fill the cupcakes 3/4 full, then divide the remaining batter between the two cake pans. Bake the cupcakes for 25 min and the cakes for 40-45 min until a toothpick comes out clean.

8 oz pack cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
2 t vanilla
2.5 c powdered sugar (or to taste)

Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth, then beat in the vanilla. Beat in the powdered sugar one cup at a time, tasting before each addition (it's ok to add at least another cup of powdered sugar if you want). This is enough to generously frost the layer cake.