Archive for December, 2010

December 16, 2010

hiatus

i haven’t been too happy with my cooking endeavors lately. /:

it might have to do with the fact that i’ve been baking a lot. and don’t get me started again on why i hate baking.

maybe i’ll give my oven a rest for awhile.

also, i think i’m phasing out of my indian food craze. my 6 month long love affair with curry and the like is flickering on its last embers.

anyway, i’ve been experiencing intense cravings for latin food lately. tostones, camarones enchillados, even black beans. i just want some black beans, damnit. i even found a grocery store that sells plantains. (come on, whole foods. i thought you carried everything..)

2.5 weeks in asia and i’ll return to re-don my apron with vigor.

hasta que nos encontramos otra vez,

peace.

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December 16, 2010

My new favorite snack:

plain greek yogurt + honey + fresh ground cardamom + cinnamon

it’s like kheer but healthier and so much faster to make.

I LOVE GREEK YOGURT.

December 8, 2010

Crustless Quiche Lorraine

crustless?!

i know, i’m a coward. i’ll tackle crusts one a less stressful day (ie: not during finals).

we actually use to make quiches all the time (store bought crust, of course) back in high school. ok. not all the time. maybe 3 times. annnd alright, maybe i didn’t make them. i watched my sister make them.

shutup.

anyway. it’s get-rid-of-crap-in-my-fridge day again as i will be spending xmas break in the boonies of china. woot. so when i say cream, i mean left over almond milk i use for my oatmeal. and when i say bacon, i mean prosciutto from my fig salad. and when i say chEESE, i mean 3 blocks of something something that have been in my fridge so long the labels have come off.

i’m gross. i know.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 small yellow onion (1.5 cups minced)
  • 1 cup bacon (prosciutto, ham, canadian bacon, whatever)
  • nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • cheese
  • 1 tbs butter

INSTRUCTIONS

  • saute onions in a tbs of butter until soft ~5 min
  • season with salt, pepper, a dash of nutmeg. mmm..nutmeg.
  • add prosciutto, mix just to heat it up a bit.
  • preheat oven to 400F
  • in a big assed bowl (i had to change bowls twice ’cause i kept running out of room), beat 5 eggs. add 2 cups of cream. i also added a tbs of flour, ’cause i’m using almond milk instead of cream. although this perhaps was not enough… more on that later. salt egg mixture.
  • in a 9” pie pan (i used a shallow round pyrex dish), layer in the onions and prosciutto. pour egg/milk mixture over that. grate any kind of cheese you please, generously, over the top.  i used herbed goat cheese, pecorino, and some other semi hard, grate-able cheese.
  • pop it in the oven for 30-40 min or until a nice golden brown crust forms.

tips: to avoid a watery quiche

  1. always saute your solid ingredients before hand. draws out moisture.
  2. don’t bake at too high a temperature or for too long. next time i’ll try 375F for 40 min instead of 400F for 30.
  3. more FAT. skim milk and the like = watery quiche.

uhem. number 3 also applies to almond milk. my quiche kind of had the texture of a chinese steamed egg custard. but at least it tasted good!

half fail. will try again when i have real ingredients to work with…

December 1, 2010

Moussaka!

i’m not sure what possessed me to make this for thanksgiving this year. maybe it’s ’cause my cousin wanted to make hummus and i figured “well we might as well complete it with a Mediterranean feast!”

i’m a masochist.

anyway, it’s really not as difficult as it looks. just time consuming. and messy.

really. i’m still cleaning up from last Thursday.

I kind of threw this all together with 5 different recipes I found online, so nothing is really exact. i’ll include tips throughout on what i learned what what i’ll do differently next time.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 lb lean ground beef (85%)
  • 3/4 lb ground lamb
  • 1 large yellow onion, minced
  • 2 eggplants
  • 2 medium white potatoes (not russet)
  • 1 can tomato sauce or a few tbs tomato paste.
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-2 tbs oregano
  • 1-2 tbs parsley
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp all spice (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt

Béchamel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup cheese, hard. grated.
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 tbs butter
  • 8 tbs flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • nutmeg
  • pepper

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. in a hot pan, heat oil and saute onions until translucent on med-high heat. ~10 min. season with cinnamon, oregano, bay leafs and enough salt that it tastes a bit over salted. remove from pan and set aside.
  2. wash and skin eggplants, leaving a few stripes for extra texture, support.
  3. slice eggplants into thin, 0.5 cm thick circles. salt generously and set aside to pull out moisture. 30 min.
  4. skin potatoes and slice 0.5 cm thick strips. (along the long meridian, not the short). i found that long strips were easier to arrange in the pan than circles. think tetris… when purchasing potatoes, get rectangular-ish tubers that stay pretty uniform in girth throughout. not egg shaped.
  5. heat 1/2 cup or so of vegetable oil on high in a pan until it shimmers. fry potatoes until golden brown, flipping when necessary.
  6. after each batch, set fried potatoes on a paper towel lined rack to drain off excess oil.
  7. while potatoes fry (it will take several batches), rinse off eggplant slices and pat dry with paper towels. broil in oven ~10 min. remove from oven and set aside.
  8. pour out excess oil and dispose of it properly. heat pan again and brown meat, breaking it up as you cook.
  9. when meat is still slightly pink, add onions and tomato sauce. mix in and remove bay leaf. i may substitute with tomato paste in the future. i used half a can of diced tomatoes and half a can of tomato sauce and found the resulting meat mixture to be a bit too liquid-y.
  10. pour in wine and reduce heat to simmer until liquid reduces. remove from heat.
  11. salt to taste.

bechamel sauce:

  1. heat milk slowly (to avoid curdling) in a small sauce pan: on low heat, simmer one cup until small bubbles form. then slowly pour in more and more milk each time you begin to see bubbles until all 4 cups are heated.
  2. melt butter in a medium sauce pan. introduce flour, one tbs at a time, until a thick roux is formed. stir constantly!
  3. add milk, a little at a time while stirring non-stop, into a thick creamy mixture.
  4. add nutmeg and pepper to taste.
  5. stir in 1-2 egg yolks. (i used 2 large egg yolks. texture was more custard-y and less sauce-y.)

putting it together!:

  1. preheat over to 350F
  2. in a deep baking dish (i used a large 9×13 pyrex dish), evenly line bottom with potatoes. then layer on overlapping eggplants slices.
  3. pour meat mixture evenly over eggplants.
  4. top with another layer of eggplants.
  5. pour in béchamel sauce
  6. grate a hard cheese of your preference over the top. (not sure why i bothered this this step. should’ve just melted it straight into the béchamel sauce before pouring.)
  7. bake for 45min – 1hr
  8. remove from oven to cool. reheat before serving for serve room temperature!