Archive | November, 2010

Last year’s pie

27 Nov

I did not get a picture if this year’s pie, but since I always make the same thing I decided last year’s pie would be equally informative. My traditional Thanksgiving pie is an apple-cranberry-struesel pie. The main difference this year is I used a bit less sugar in the filling because there is so much sweeteners in the streusel. So this year was a bit different than last, but it looked like this:

Beans and Greens

24 Nov

I, unfortunately did not come up with the witty rhyme, Mark Bittman did. That is the name of the deceptively simple yet complex tasting recipe I just made. Cook chickpeas with an onion, a bay leaf and one clove. Add greens(he called for broccoli rabe but my CSA delivery gave me chard so I used that), and lastly add garlic. He also calls for adding olive oil at the last minute but I am not a big fan of much oil in my food, and for toasted breadcrumbs as a garnish but I am forgoing those tonight. Anywho, I actually think this looks sort of pretty what with the red from the chard:

Food for burning men…

22 Nov

…er, that is, people who went to Burning Man. My boyfriend was holding a BBQ for his campmates from last’s summer’s Burning Man, the giant art festival which I am bound to end up attending next year.
As someone who lives alone I get really happy when I have the chance to cook for other people. There are some foods I will either unhealthily overeat, or will not eat before the food goes bad if I cook just for myself.
Ted was handling the meat, so I made a nice source of protein for vegetarians: Devilled eggs:

Ok, so I was the only veg-head, but everyone liked those!
I also supplied cornbread, using a recipe I’d never used from an old(1965) Fannie Farmer:

It was ok, but I think I actually like the recipe from my Cook’s Illustrated Baking better. For dessert I made a recipe from my 2006 Joy of Cooking for Butterscotch Blondies. I’d never browned butter before, but I must say it makes for deeeeelightful cookies:

Suffice to say if I’d had those all to myself it could have been trouble. I actually could have eaten a bowl of the batter all by myself, I think. Same with the cornbread. I have a thing for raw doughs and batters.

A Typical Meal Chez Eleanor

20 Nov

I love Ethiopian food, and really anything spicy, so when I found this recipe for miser wat from Utopian Kitchen a few years ago, it quickly became a dinner staple.   The trick to making it is to either find or make the berbere spice blend.  I generally buy it, because there are so many spices involved, but sometimes I cheat and use an Americanized blend of cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, paprika, and cloves .  You can get berbere online at World Spice Merchants, or I am lucky that a local St. Louis company makes it (that’s the packaging you see in the picture), and I can purchase it at the excellent Local Harvest Grocery.

Anyway, once you have the berbere, the recipe comes together in a flash, and it is excellent left over for lunches.  It is foolproof, too – I never measure the ingredients, I’ve used many different types of onions and tomatoes, and it always tastes slightly different, but always delish.

Ladies call them bites, groovy cats like me call them bytes

19 Nov

I am a sucker for shaped foods. If I can bake it in a ring-pan, I’m there. If I was not a vegetarian which prohibits me from eating foods with gelatin, I would have a cabinet full of jello molds. Although since I discovered agar which is a great gelatin sub, I may need to get started on a jello mold collection…

I am getting off track. I was speaking about shaped foods because I had a recipe from the Hungry Girl blog for “So Good Spinach Bites”. Food I can roll into little balls? Color me happy!

Epic epicurean fail documented. Brilliant success gobbled too quickly.

11 Nov

So, I had latke recipes. I had one for beet latkes from an old Bon Appetit, and another for butternut squash latkes from yet another BonAp. Both had a lot of cumin so I had both on my “to make” list. Why yes, I do have lists upon lists of things to make! I am a compulsive list keeper.

Last night I made the beet latkes with the golden beets I got from my CSA delivery. SOOOOOOO amazing. So amazing I ate the whole thing. Well, I made a half recipe so it was six latkes. Not so extravagant. And I did not get pictures. If I’d made them with red beets they might have been even more amazing to behold but these were similar in color to what I surmised my butternut latkes would be.

So tonight I labor away to make those, and while they taste just dandy, I don’t have latkes, I have a plate of golden mush:

I could not get that batter to hold together for the life of me! Now, granted I fiddled a tiny bit with the recipe, using an olive oil spray rather than coating the things in oil(I can’t stand food that is remotely oil slick-y), but seriously I don’t know where I went wrong. Eleanor, I dare you to make this! Maybe you will succeed better than I!

It’s just too bad I documented these and not the latkes that turned out pretty!

Devastatingly delicious!

9 Nov

Also proof that ugly food, like GRUEL can be SCRUMPTIOUS! Kale chips: you will eat the whole batch, easy. Then again almost anything roasted with sea salt must be good.
Thank you CSA for bringing me kale! And look for upcoming delights made with today’s delivery, which consisted of not just kale but also fuji apples, romaine, celery, bell peppers, beets, butternut squash, pomegranates, spinach and cilantro.

more taters!

5 Nov

This time I had to go out and get potatoes, in order to use up a package of vegetarian “ground round”. I had a recipe in my Joy of Cooking from 2006 I wanted to make for Keema Alu, or Indian Beef and Potatoes with Spices. I thought it would be a tasty way to use my soy meat, and although it was, next time I make this-and it was tasty enough to make again!-I will substitute garbanzo beans for the meat, I think.

I started by sauteeing onions, then added garlic, grated fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander and ground red pepper. Next I mixed in the soy substitute and some canned diced tomatoes, and finally some red potatoes and water. Joy of Cooking said to peel the potatoes but I love the skin and hate to waste.

Simmer all this covered till the potatoes are cooked, then uncover and simmer until the excess water is gone. Yummmmm. Totally worth the trip to the store for the taters and ginger!

Tipsy Potatoes

3 Nov

So, since this is my first solo post on Scrumptious Gruel, I’d like to take a moment to explain that I am NOT the sort of person who goes out drinking, cooks potatoes tipsy, and then eats them in a stupor while watching Rocky Horror.  Not at all.  And, yet, that’s exactly what I did tonight.

Granted, I probably didn’t do the recipe justice, but tonight, inspired by Ellen’s potato dish from last night, I cooked Skillet Turnips with Potatoes and Bacon from Bon Appetit.

The recipe was easy enough, and all the fresh ingredients could be found at the farmers’ market this time of year – bacon, potatoes, turnips.  I didn’t measure the ingredients, but I hardly ever do, even when I am 100% sober.  And the result?   Although the food didn’t so much “crisp” as stick to the pan, and although it didn’t look appetizing at all (sorry…I can’t bear to post a photo), it was very tasty.  Pure comfort food.  I recommend that you try it for yourself!

Potato, potaaaaahhhhto

2 Nov

I had two lovely potatoes from my CSA delivery to use. Granted, Mark Bittman said I was supposed to use waxy taters, and these were russets, but c’est la vie.

 The original recipe was from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Celery Remoulade. I decided to make the variation: Potato Remoulade. 

First the remoulade: mayonnaise(no, I did not make it myself),  chopped parsley and scallions, Dijon mustard, a bit of ketchup, horseradish and cayenne. I am not big on any of these ingredients by themselves but together they equal yum. Mix one half cup of the remoulade with about a pound of steamed chopped up potatos. Season with fresh squeezed lemon, plus salt and pepper to taste. Then enjoy! I forwent the chopped parsley garnish due to being a bit to ravenous to garnish.

I promise to get better at food photography because the picture does not do justice to the deliciousness of this…