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.


  1. Lovely post, funny sister :-)

  2. I need to grow my own tree too. I just need to find a way to keep the cat from peeing in the pot. They always do that. 

    What a bummer that the lemongrass chicken wasn't as amazing as it sounds. I won't bother making it. Since I don't like the texture of regular couscous, I think I'll pass on your cauliflower variety. It looks good though. :)

  3. Mmm, konbu :) Sounds amazingly delicious!

  4.  What a fabulous recipe, this looks absolutely delicious! :)

  5. WOW, I can see why this is your favorite new dish.  It looks so flavorful and delicious!

  6. When you nuke the cauliflower do you add a little water?

  7. Nope. Don't need to.