Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Savory Cheesecake with Cornbread Crust aka Moping


So, it was a week of unpleasant surprises. Dr. Food had to go to Texas unexpectedly and it was the long weekend. It was hot. I was bored and grumpy. I had no motivation and no enthusiasm. I had promised myself that I was going to make something for Abby Dodge's #Baketogether. This months challenge was Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins~Sweet or Savory This is where you can see the recipe for the really good cornbread that I used in this recipe. What? Why aren't I being funny? Don't tell anyone but it is still hot and HUMID and I don't have air conditioning yet. I hate this weather. It makes me cranky. SHUT UP! I am not always cranky.


I started off with the original recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins. I felt really guilty (sorry Abby) and then I took the whole think and broke it up into small pieces. I baked it for a few more minutes to brown up and dry out.


I made crumbs.


I then mixed with melted butter and formed a crust in a springform pan.


I picked chives out of my garden and chopped some up.


Fried up some bacon.


Grated up some VERY sharp cheddar.


Mixed it all together.


Poured onto crust. It is then baked at 325 for about 20 minutes. It should be brown on top and jiggly.


Oooooh. Savory cheesecake. I wanted that "artistic" shot. Love that natural light.


I was still grumpy the next day (fingers in ears so I don't hear your comment). I made Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein's Worcestershire Sauce. Dr. Food and I were lucky enough to be invited to dinner at their house and they served this liquid gold. You have to try it.

I am still grumpy.

Savory Cheesecake with Cornbread Crust

1 Recipe for Abby Dodge's Cornmeal/buttermilk Muffins

1/2 C. butter

1. Bake recipe for cornbread. Let cool slightly and then break into small pieces. Put on baking tray and bake in oven for 10-15 minutes. Watch carefully. I let mine go too long.

2. Pulverize into breadcrumb texture.

3. Mix with butter.

4. Press into a lightly greased springform pan.


3 (8oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (next time I might try jack or goat or somethin else)
1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (I used the whole package)
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup chives, chopped
pinch of kosher salt

Cream the cream cheese in mixer. Add all the other stuff. Pour onto crust. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Should be slightly brown on top and set.

Let cool and then refrigerate for a couple of hours. Eat.

I am terrible at writing recipes. If you need more info email me and I will describe in a charades type fashion what to do. I really just throw stuff together.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tandoori Chicken Yay... Gulf Shrimp Nay


Nothin special goin on here. Last week was just going to work, coming home, and cooking.


Not going in order here but this is gulf shrimp that we had on Sunday. Dr. Food saw them at the grocery store and his Texan seeped out. He yelled "I HAVE TO HAVE THOSE" Ok, not really but I imagined him yelling. He said it in his talking voice. Come to think of it he is a loud guy and it could have been kinda yelling. I digress. I know it looks good enough in the picture but it wasn't. I didn't like it.


We had a halibut dish that really was gross. I know I know it looks pretty but it tasted like ew.


There was something with Bok Choy in it.


Oh, it was the Soba Noodles. I rather have eaten the tongs in that picture. This dish was a bore.


There was the usual suspects like artichoke.


There was a chicken with some kind of marinade and sweet potato and cauliflower. Ew.


and then there was THIS! Crappy picture of a great dish and the highlight of the week. Tandoori chicken with Mint Raita. It came from cooking light and I will make this one again. I loved it.


Not pretty but really good.


Served it with an Indian Cauliflower dish.


This week started with Bittman's skillet Tamale. Meh.


I take the meh back. Make that ew.

Indian Cauliflower

1 large head cauliflower
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 small onion, minced
2 tomatoes, pureed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons garam masala (optional)
salt to taste
1/2 head lettuce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cut off most of the cauliflower's stem and place the whole head in a baking dish.
Heat two tablespoons of oil and turmeric together in a small frying pan. Brush the cauliflower head with the oil and turmeric mixture.

Bake the cauliflower for 30 minutes.

While the cauliflower is cooking heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, mix in the minced onions and saute until the are a medium brown color. Add the pureed tomatoes, garlic powder, garam masala and salt. Let this mixture simmer for 10 minutes.
Arrange lettuce leaves on a serving plate. Place the cauliflower on top of the lettuce. Pour the tomato curry over the cauliflower. Serve hot.

Tandoori Grilled Chicken with Mint Raita
Ivy Manning, Cooking Light
JUNE 2012

Printable Version

Printable Version

3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt $
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice $
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 (12-ounce) bone-in chicken leg-thigh quarters, skinned $
3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt $
3/4 cup chopped seeded cucumber $
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
Cooking spray $

1. To prepare the marinade, combine first 10 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Pour into a large zip-top plastic bag. Add chicken; turn to coat. Marinate chicken in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
2. To prepare the raita, combine 3/4 cup yogurt and remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
3. Remove chicken from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes.
4. Prepare the grill for indirect grilling. If using a gas grill, heat one side to medium-high and leave one side with no heat. If using a charcoal grill, arrange hot coals on either side of charcoal grate, leaving an empty space in the middle.
5. Remove the chicken from marinade, and discard the remaining marinade. Place the chicken on unheated part of grill rack coated with cooking spray. Close lid, and grill for 90 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into meaty part of thigh registers 165°, turning chicken every 20 minutes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My new favorite dish. Really.


That is my Keffir lime tree. I take good care of it because I know that there is no way in hell that I am going to find the leaves around here to cook with. So, I grow my own.


This is said leaf in the window. I never get pictures with natural light since my kitchen has no windows. So, I had to pose this leaf in a self conscious type of way just so I could get the light. Want in on a secret? I don't remember why I took a picture of it in the first place.

(Intermission: Janis goes and takes a shower to ponder why she took picture of a Keffir lime leaf)

Ok, I am back. I remembered! I used the Keffir for this:


It was yet another chicken marinade. I know it had coconut milk in it. Oh wait! I remember. It was Roasted Lemongrass Chicken with Sweet Lime Sauce. I got it from About.com It was good but not so good that I was wowed. Obviously or I would have remembered what it was.


This one was good. It was Moroccan Meatballs on Cauliflower Couscous. Yum! I got it from The Clothes Make the Girl. Ha Ha Ha...Dr. Food ate Paleo diet food.


The Cauliflower Couscous was a great find since we are trying to cut carbs out of our diet.


Ok, maybe it isn't JUST like couscous but once the meatballs went on it with the sauce it became about texture anyhow.


I would make this again for sure.


Now for my favorite dish of the week and perhaps my favorite dish ever. Ok, I overstated again but I want you to know how much I loved this. I got this from Food 52


It started with Dashi which is a Seaweed and Bonito flake broth. It is the base for Miso soup.


I think that it is a magical elixer.


Mushrooms, leeks and green onions.




Soooo good. It also had an egg in there but I didn't get a picture of it. Oh yeah, it also had Soba Noodles.

Adapted from Tanner Hirschfeld

Printable Version

For the dashi::

1 ginger finger, 2 inches long and slivered into 4 pieces lengthwise

1 konbu, 4 x 6 inch piece wiped with a damp cloth

2 cups bonito flakes

5 cups cold water

Place the ginger, konbu and water in a large pot and put it over medium high heat. Once the water gets a few bubbles around the edges turn off the heat and set a timer for 10 minutes.
At the end of 10 minutes remove the Konbu from the water and discard it. Turn the heat back on and once again when bubbles start to appear at the edges turn off the heat and add the bonito flakes. Set a timer for 10 minutes.
When the timer goes off strain the stock into a bowl, discard the bonito flakes and clean out the pot.
For the Winter Soba:

10 ounces Japanese soba noodles, they should only have buckwheat and flour in them

3 1/2 cups dashi

1/2 cup soy sauce

4 tablespoons mirin

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup shiitakes, stems removed, jullienned

2 leek, 3 inch white only, cut into super thin, no wider than a soba noodle, strips

2 scallions, cut into thin rounds

4 eggs

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 1/4 pound Halibut, skin removed, and minced

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the soba noodles and cook them according to the instructions. Usually 3 to 5 minutes. Drain them and cool them under cold running water to stop the cooking. Clean the pot and add 6 inches of water. Add the vinegar to the water. Place it over medium heat.

In a sauce pan add the dashi, soy, mirin, sugar, shiitakes and leeks. Place the pot over high heat and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium.

Bring the pot with vinegar water to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Crack each egg into a separate saucer and gently slip them into the water.

Divide the noodles between four bowls. Place 4 oz of halibut into each bowl. Bring the broth to a boil and ladle some into each bowl. Add some leeks and shiitakes to each bowl. Add a poached egg and then top with green onions.

Roasted Lemongrass Chicken with sweet Lime Sauce
adapted from recipe from About.com

1/2 or 1 whole roasting chicken (the marinade is enough for 1 medium-size chicken)
1 stalk fresh lemongrass, OR subsitute juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated or thinly sliced
1/2 can thick coconut milk
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
3 tsp. dark soy sauce
optional: 1 kaffir lime leaf (use scissors to cut leaf into thin pieces, discard stem)
lime wedges and a handful of fresh coriander as a garnish

SAUCE INGREDIENTS (enough for 1/2 chicken; double the recipe if you're making a whole chicken):
1 cup water
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger, minced or grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
1/3 cup honey
1 heaping tsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch powder, dissolved in 3 Tbsp. water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Place lemongrass (or lemon juice), garlic, galangal or ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime leaf, and coconut milk in a food processor (or blender). Process well - this is your marinade.

Place chicken in your roasting pan, and pour marinade over top. Using your hands, smother the chicken in the marinade. Leave in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours (or at least 30 min).

Now add about 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the roasting pan (it can mix in with any marinade that has dripped down).

Cover and roast the chicken slowly at 325 degrees for a long period in order for it to be tender: 1 to 1.5 hours for half a chicken, or 2.5 to 3 hours for a whole chicken.

Check the roast pan every hour to make sure there is enough moisture in the bottom (add a little more water if it is becoming dry). While you have the chicken out, use a soup ladle to scoop up the juices from the bottom of the pan and pour over the chicken. Put back in the oven.

While chicken is roasting, make the side sauce. In a saucepan, add all sauce ingredients except arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer.

Taste test for sweetness and saltiness, adding more honey if not sweet enough, or more fish sauce (instead of salt) as desired. If you prefer a spicy sauce, add some fresh chili or chili sauce.
Add the arrowroot or cornstarch powder (dissolved in water). Stir until sauce thickens. (If it becomes too thick to your liking, add more lime juice and water.)

Serve the roasted chicken on a platter, either whole or chopped into pieces. Drizzle some of the sauce overtop, then pour the rest around the outside of chicken, or serve it on the side.

Moroccan Meatballs
Adapted from The Clothes Make the Girl

Printable Version

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds ground lamb (I made with goat)

1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 medium onions, diced (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

1/4 cup roasted pistachios, chopped

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the parsley, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper with a fork. With your hands, crumble the lamb into the bowl and knead until all of the ingredients are incorporated.
2. Moisten your hands with water and shake to remove excess. Measure a level tablespoon of lamb and roll into a ball between your palms. Line up the meatballs on a baking sheet until it’s time to put them in the sauce.

3. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet or pot. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan and stir about 1 minute. Add the water, tomato paste, and parsley, mixing to dissolve the tomato paste.

4. Bring the sauce to a boil, then gently place the meatballs in the skillet, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 40 minutes covered, then remove the lid and cook an additional 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Sprinkle each serving with a few teaspoons of chopped pistachios. Bonus points if you serve them on top of cauliflower “couscous.”

Cauliflower FousCous Pilaf
Makes two servings of pilaf, with enough cauliflower left over for another meal

1 large head of fresh cauliflower
1/4 cup chopped onion (about 1/2 a small onion or 1/4 large)
2 tablespoons Cashews
1 tablespoon olive oil, separated into two 1.5-teaspoon servings
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin

1. Wash the cauliflower and break it into florets. Cut off the stem part. The stems can be chewy and unpleasant, and they don’t cooperate with the food processor. The processing of the cauliflower has to be done in batches to get the right consistency.

Place a handful of florets in a food processor and PULSE until the cauliflower looks like couscous. (If you don’t know what I mean, look at this.) Dump that batch into a bowl and repeat until all of the florets have been reduced to cauliflower dust. Measure about 3 cups for now, and put the rest in the fridge for later.

2. Place the 3 cups of cauliflower in a microwave-safe dish and nuke for 5-7 minutes. It should be pretty tender. Set aside.

3. Heat 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. When it starts to shimmer, add the onions
Sautée the onions until the onions and nuts begin to brown.

4. Mix the spices together in a little cup. Push the onions to the side of the pan, and add the remaining 1.5 teaspoons of oil. Let it heat up a bit, then add the spices and stir everything together: onions, nuts, oil, spices, all co-mingling in happy harmony. When things get all fragrant, toss in the cauliflower and stir. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

An epic journey making shortribs...or I will take the chicken please


Yes! That is the tabouli that I made last week. One of my favorite things in the whole world. Ya know, some tomato, some cucumber, and some parsley and some mint. Add that to Bulgur and zip it up with some olive oil and lemon juice and as far as *I* am concerned I could call it dinner.


I have more mint than I will ever be able to use in my garden. This is a good thing.


I made a chicken to go with the tabouli because Dr. Food can NOT live on tabouli alone. This recipe is from my archives that date back about 30 years. No margarine these days. I use butter, but besides that the recipe is still awesome. All you do is put all the ingredients except the chicken (duh) into a sauce pan and heat up for a few minutes. You then pour it over chicken parts. Sprinkle with parmesan and paprika and bake in the oven until done. What is done? I dunno. You want me to make it for you too? Until it is the right chicken temperature. Oh yeah, it goes in a 350 oven.


I poured it over a whole chicken and skipped the parmesan and paprika. It came out good.


What is this you ask? It is chicken stock that I am making to go into a master sauce that is going into a dish for short ribs.


We had bought fantastic grassfed beef at Whippoorwill Farm when we went up to Connecticut (Waving to Robin and Allen!)


Robin had given me some leaf lard which this recipe just so happened called for.


It rendered down to really clean white white white lard.


The master stock also called for hocks and feet. Oh lookie Dr. Food! We just so happen to have some in our freezer.


We started this master stock the day before. This stock was more work than the dish itself. It was worth it. We only needed 2 cups for the dish itself but now we have this liquid gold in our freezer.


Here are the stars of the show.


These were browned the night before and left to soak in marinade overnight.


The marinade was not so simple either.


Bouquet Garni's pfffft. I say let em choke on a little coriander. Either that or spit it out on the ground like we do around here (we don't really spit on the floor, I am just jokin).


Finally into the refrig to bask in marinade overnight.


This is the master stock the next morning. Look at the color.


All this work for 2 cups of the gelatinous beauty.


The short ribs were served on a bread salad.


This part was easy at least.


There ya have it. I failed to mention that this dish is by Zak Pelaccio, the guy who I got the recipe for one of my favorite dishes of all time, which he calls Malaysian Chicken and Rice I make this chicken dish about once a week. So to sum it all up, I am not sure that spending one whole day making 2 stocks for this dish and then part of the next day putting it together was worth it. I mean it was good but I think the best thing to come out of it was the Master Stock. I think I would have liked the short ribs just braised in some good wine. The meat was so good. Good thing we have more in the freezer.


What is this? Last night I made Sukiyaki. It is a Weight Watchers recipe from long ago that I still make because I love it so much. It even has Tofu and spinach in it.


So here is the deal on the recipe for the short ribs... You want the recipe email me and ask for it. It is long and intense and I don't feel like typing it out unless you really want to make it. Fair enough?

Meantime here is the recipe for Sukiyaki that I use.

Beef and Spinach Sukiyaki

8 ounces capellini or angel hair pasta
4 tsp vegetable oil
2 Tbl sugar
1 lb beef tenderloin cut lengthwise in half then cut crosswise into very thin slices.
1/2 lb napa cabbage, cut into 1" pieces
6 oz fresh white mushrooms halved or quartered, if large
1 1/3 C Chicken broth
1/3 C sake, dry white wine, or dry vermouth
1/4 soy sauce
1/2 lb firm tofu, cut into 1/2" cubes
6 oz Fresh baby spinach

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold running water; drain again. Wipe pot dry.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in the same pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar evenly in the pot and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar turns caramel-colored, about 2 minutes. Add half of the beef and cook over medium-high heat until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef. Reduce the heat to medium to prevent the sugar from burning, if necessary.

3. Return beef to the pot along with the pasta cabbage, scallions, mushrooms, broth, sake, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil Reduce the heat and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tofu and spinach; cook until the spinach wilts, about 1 minute.