Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’
If it wasn’t obvious already, I sort of fell out of the habit of blogging. Work got busy, I got married…I could blame those things, but basically I just stopped doing it! I don’t feel guilty about it (though I do miss it!), nor will I make any specific promises as to my renewed commitment to blogging regularly or anything. All I really know at this point is that I still cook, I still like to preserve a record of recipes we’ve tried and enjoyed, and I felt like blogging about this recipe.
We’re always on the lookout for good lunch salads, particularly ones with a nice balance of greens and grains as well as some tasty mix-ins. When I came across the idea of this salad on Serious Eats, I couldn’t help but lust after the concept, though we made a couple little changes in the execution. We’ve been pleased enough with the result that it’s joined our repertoire!
Kale is one of those kitchen firsts where I’ve eaten the stuff a thousand times, but never actually cooked it for myself. You see, I kind of always thought that I didn’t like kale, or that it was ok but not worth my time or effort to actually cook at home. But in the name of getting back on the kitchen firsts wagon before the end of the year, it seemed high time to go and get a bunch of kale, and little did we know we’d be back to the market the next day to get some more.
You see, we got a bit distracted with our first bunch of kale, but were too excited about the prospect of this pasta to wait to make it. So another bunch came home with us, and I’m so glad that it did because this pasta was a kale revelation! I was a little skeptical about it, even up to the very moment that I tossed all the parts of the dish together, because tasting the parts separately (the spicy breadcrumbs, braised kale, pasta, and parmesan) it really didn’t seem like anything to write home about. But it is way more than the sum of its parts, and I feel confident saying that this dish would appeal to kale-lovers and kale-haters alike– the kale becomes mild and tender as it braises, the cheese gives a little rich nuttiness, the lemon gives a nice lift, and the spicy, garlicky breadcrumbs provide a nice aromatic crunch. All in all, a very satisfying pasta for a late autumn dinner, and one you can feel good about eating too!
This dish, an amazing marriage of roasted brussels sprouts, savory sauteed mushrooms, parmesan, and crispy shallots, was probably the most successful new dish we tried at our fake Thanksgiving party this year. And that’s saying something, considering how happy we were with the turkey and stuffing! It manages to be everything that a homey green bean casserole is (comforting, traditional, delicious), but elevated to a new level by fresh mushrooms, homemade shallot rings, and the roasted sprouts. I love green beans, but the sprouts have a more complex flavor and texture that works well here, and even sprout-haters tend to like them in this dish. It’s miles away from any gloop-laden thing you’ve had from a can, but still somehow very close to home.
I have a lot I could say about the origins of this recipe and the importance of stuffing, but I’m going to cut to the chase first. For me, this is The Best Stuffing Ever. The only recipe I’ll need from now on. The One.
This stuffing strata comes out so fragrant, moist, and flavorful, you would never know it hasn’t been cooked inside the turkey. But the fact that it hasn’t set up camp in a turkey means that you can shorten your turkey cooking time, and serve the stuffing to vegetarians without that out-of-place taste of vegetable broth that usually flavors vegetarian stuffing. Also, it’s a total snap to whip up; you can assemble it the day before and just pop it into your already-350-degree oven on the big day. It features all the traditional flavors of a really homey stuffing (sage, thyme, celery, and of course the bread) bound together by a magical mixture of egg, milk, wine, mustard, and gruyere cheese. The strata gets moistness and richness from the egg mixture, but doesn’t turn out soggy or taste of breakfast; essentially, it tastes like everything stuffing should be, but more…better!
Paneer (fresh Indian cheese) is an ingredient that I’ve been waiting to do as a kitchen first all year, and a chilly fall evening seemed like the perfect time to whip up some warming curry. I waded through recipe options just enough to notice that there are about a million things you can do with paneer (or rather, a million different recipes for two or three things to do with paneer), and we settled on a nice looking mattar paneer recipe (paneer and pea curry) that sounded perfect for a blustery day. We adapted things along the way just a bit and were delighted to find that this dish can be really easy! Perfect for a weeknight, and a great way to incorporate a satisfying vegetarian recipe into your repertoire.
Before anyone says anything, let me just say that I do indeed get that it is autumn now. It’s October no less, and posting a recipe that relies heavily on the sweetest, freshest, juiciest tomatoes you can find might seem a tad bizarre, or even, uh, rather embarrassingly late, especially when it is following a recipe using butternut squash. And perhaps it is almost too late, but I have also noticed that many parts of the country have been enjoying a bit of an extended summer, with warm temperatures and lots of sun, and at least around these parts there are still quite a few late-late-season tomatoes to be found at markets and in gardens. I meant to make a fresh tomato sauce for pasta all summer long, and unfortunately it took the last of the summer tomatoes hanging around in October to make me remember what I almost skipped. Pasta with a fresh tomato sauce is incredibly delicious, easy, and refreshing in a way that pasta almost never is, and I’m so glad we finally made this that I’m going to share even though it is admittedly almost too late! If there are any last tomatoes left in your neck in the woods that are worth eating, go get them, and make yourself this dish.
The kitchen first this time is not a new ingredient, but instead the conquering of a kitchen technique: the poached egg, no cheatsies! Up until now, whenever I was called on to create a poached egg I would simply reach for my handy dandy egg-poaching device, let the eggs cook in their little metal cups, and then slide them out, looking all freakishly disc-shaped. I am not a fan of runny yolks, so poached eggs are not a huge deal for me and I was happy enough with this arrangement as it allowed me to quickly and easily make poached eggs for Stephen. But, the more I cook and blog, the more I realize how obsessed food people are with poached eggs, so it kind of bothered me that I wasn’t able to create a normal-looking, old fashioned poached egg in a water bath. Enter my new favorite cookbook, America’s Test Kitchen’s Cooking For Two: 2010, and I finally found a poached egg sandwich recipe that I could master, and even enjoy. (more…)