Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Paneer, Lentil, and Butternut Squash Bowl

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2015 by thekytchnwytch

When I cook during the week, I like to have some basics already prepared so dinner doesn’t take three hours to make. On my weekend, I like to precook things that are fairly versatile and in amounts that will last about five days or so. I tend to go on “cuisine kicks”, so these ingredients will vary. These “kicks” usually vary between Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Turkish, and Indian (northern and southern), though I have had spurts of Irish, Russian, and Italian sneak in there. Generally, these are cusped by fusions of these. I think of my kitchen as a “food rainbow” with a pot of deliciousness at the end of it. But I digress.

This week, I made large brown lentils and roasted a butternut squash and poblano chilies. With some of these and other ingredients, I made stuffed bell peppers for lunches this week. I had some leftovers, so I decided to improvise a breakfast combining ingredients in a new way. This was the result:

10947700_321883998015626_1330674534_nI sauteed finely chopped vidalia onion in processed (don’t judge me!) coconut oil in a cast iron skillet. I removed the onion and added more oil. Measuring by hunger, I added to the oil salt, fresh ground black pepper, ground cumin, and garlic powder. I added cubed paneer and browned the cubes on two sides. I added back the onion as well as poblano, butternut squash, brown lentils, and a handful of fresh spinach leaves. I turned off the heat, but I left the skillet on the hot burner as I folded everything together and wilted the spinach. When everything was combined well, I plated it and garnished it with raw hemp seed.

I somehow managed to save half of what I made for breakfast tomorrow. Being adventurous is worth it.

Kale Chips

Posted in Uncategorized on December 23, 2013 by thekytchnwytch

I often buy kale and don’t get much chance to eat the whole bag before it gets funky. I like to buy the precut and washed kale because, well, with some things I am okay being lazy. 

I decided to use today, a rainy day off from work, as a chance to catch up on a few things and take the opportunity to make some snacky stuff to have around. It’s the “holiday season” so, clearly, this means everyone must make everything as fatty and sugary as possible so I can gain all the weight back that I worked so hard to drop. Also, this means my food inhibitions go on the vacation I don’t get to have. Blarg.

Several years ago, I received a food dehydrator as a gift. It sat forever in storage until recently. Roomio and I have been experimenting with making beef jerky with some good results. That, however, is another entry entirely.

While I nibbled on leftover homemade-from-scratch pizza and drank copious amounts of rum and Coke, I decided that making kale chips was not only a good idea, it was my duty as a food nerd. 

I made three flavors: salt and fig infused vinegar, salt and pepper, and soy sauce. They are currently pirouetting in the dehydrator and making the house smell amazing. This, I promise, is only the first of several delicious dehydration experiments.

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Cooking with Grains

Posted in Uncategorized on June 7, 2012 by thekytchnwytch

Cooking with grains is really easier than people think it is.  Grains were the first kinds of food that humans domesticated.  It is really a good thing to learn how to cook fresh rather than to use pre-made or pre-processed products such as minute rice and frozen “healthy” dinners.  Many grains other than just rice can be made in a rice cooker.  They just take a little bit of tweaking.  I HIGHLY recommend that if you don’t own ANY OTHER SMALL APPLIANCE, do yourself an amazing favor and get yourself a rice cooker.  Once you start using it, you’ll wonder how the fabric of the universe maintained itself before them.

Some folks get hung up on exact measures. Well, in baking that’s crucial. In cooking, not quite so much. Cooking usually leaves a LOT of wiggle room and can be very forgiving. I much prefer the use of ratios. Rather than saying “one cup of grain to two cups of water”, I’d rather say “one measure of grain to two measures of water”. That’s easier to remember when converting a recipe up or down in servings. So, of the grains below, the measures are actually ratios.

Rice Depending on the type, rice takes a different ratio of grain to water.  White rice is 1:2.  That is, one cup of rice to two cups of water. Brown rice is about 1:2.5.

The rest are the ratios I use. Depending on whether I cook the grain with something else will alter the liquid needed, but it’s somewhat of a “just watch it and adjust accordingly” kind of thing.

Amaranth 1:3

Barley 1:3

Buckwheat 1:2

Bulgur 1:2

Millet 1: 2.5

Quinoa 1:2

Peasant Bread

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized with tags on May 8, 2012 by thekytchnwytch

“Low carb”? Not in THIS home! Bread is and always will be a staple in my home; fad diets be damned! That being said, I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of most store-bought bread. Don’t get me wrong, now, it has its moments. There’s nothing like using cheap sliced white bread to make grilled cheese like my mama used to make. It fits the slices of the processed American cheese food so perfectly!

I love baking my own bread. I wouldn’t consider myself to be much above “n00b” status as breadmaking is a serious art and craft. This recipe is so easy, though, that it takes just about an hour from start to finish.

One of the different aspects of this recipe is that you start with a cold oven. This allows time for the bread to rise.

I will post pictures after the next time that I make a loaf so that my descriptors aren’t as odd or potentially confusing. If you make this recipe, let me know how it turns out!

Ingredients

2.5 cups all-purpose flour

6 fl. oz. warm water (about 110°F is optimal if you have an instant read thermometer)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil (butter or vegetable oil will work just as well, but don’t use margarine as it’s more water than fat)

1 package of Dry Active Yeast (that’s about 1 1/2 teaspoons or 1/4 ounce)

Method

1. In your measuring cup of warm water, add the yeast, stir it gently with a fork to break up the clumps, and let it “proof”. That means, let it get frothy and foamy at the top. That should take about 5-7 minutes. If it doesn’t get frothy, your yeast is no longer active and you should try another packet. While your yeast is proofing, measure out your other ingredients.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt by gently stirring it with a whisk or fork.

3. Add the yeast, water, and oil. Stir until stirring seems silly. You’ll know when you get to that point.

4. When stirring seems silly, it is time to knead the dough. On a clean, smooth surface, dump the dough and scrape out all the bits that are still stuck to the bowl. Mash it all together with your hands and start kneading. When the consistency is that of chewed gum (eww, I know), then smooth it into a lump and put it into a baking dish lined with parchment or lightly oiled. (Parchment is the way to go. Just sayin’.)

5. Once it is in the baking dish, cut some slits in it in whatever design you want. I just usually cut three parallel slits. Cover the dish with foil and place into A COLD OVEN.

6. When your bread, covered with foil, is in the COLD OVEN, turn it on and up to 400°F. Once your oven has reached 400°F, set your timer for 40 minutes.

7. When your timer sounds, uncover the bread and put it back into the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes or until it’s the shade of brown you think looks best.

8. When you remove the bread, and this is the most difficult part of the whole process, let it sit for several minutes until it is cooled.

9. Eat. Enjoy!

10. Repeat steps 1-10.

To store it, make sure you keep air as far away from it as possible. It will stale quickly. If it does stale, though, you can just use it in other recipes that I’ve posted on this blog! WIN! I don’t think you’ll have a problem with it getting to that point, though. It’s that good.

Persimmon Cookies

Posted in Uncategorized on December 25, 2011 by thekytchnwytch

I had some persimmon pulp last year that I urgently needed to consume. I went strolling along the interwebs and came across one that looked delish. Below is my tweaked version of the recipe and below that is the link to the original site. It’s worth checking out. They have a lot of good-looking recipes.

Ingredients

1 cup really ripe persimmon pulp (I leave the skins in it)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1\2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup raisins, or combination of any small dried fruits you like (cranberries are tasty!)
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup butter or butter-flavored shortening, melted

 Directions:

Dissolve the baking soda with the persimmons. Using a good old-fashioned spoon, mix the ingredients in order given, adding the melted butter last. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375° for 10-12 min.

 

Original Recipe: http://www.epersimmons.com/recipes.htm#percooky

Meatloaf

Posted in Comfort Food, Entree, Southern Cooking, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2011 by thekytchnwytch

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (flavored is good too; you can even grind up your favorite croutons)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
Sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C.)

2. Sauté the onions in a Tablespoon of butter. Put sautéed onion in a large bowl.

2. To the same large bowl, add and combine the beef, egg, onion, milk, and bread (or bread product of your choice.) Season with salt and pepper to taste and place in a lightly greased 5×9 inch loaf pan, or you can form it into a loaf and place it in a lightly greased 9×13 inch baking dish. In lieu of greasing the pan, you can also line it with aluminum foil. That also makes removing it from the loaf pan much easier.

3. In a separate small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup. Mix well and pour over the meatloaf. If you’re a big sauce lover, you can make extra to pour over it after it’s out of the oven.

4. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for about 1 1/2 hours. As with anything else you cook, checking the internal temperature with an internal thermometer is always best. Ovens vary greatly.

Catalan Roasted Vegetable Platter (Escalivada)

Posted in Historical Cooking, Mediterranean, Side, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by thekytchnwytch
Toasted Vegetable Platter (Escalivada)

Catalan Roasted Vegetable Platter (Escalivada)

Serves 4

Today, red bell peppers are a favorite vegetable to include in this recipe.  I omitted it from our recipe because sweet peppers (capsicums) didn’t become very popular until the very early 20th century. If you choose to add sweet bell peppers, remove the seeds and stem at the same time as you peel them. Add a little more oil.  You really cannot use too much olive oil.  Whatever remains can easily be used for dipping bread.

Ingredients

2 large eggplants

8-10 Medium-sized tomatoes

1/3 cup (3 fl oz/90ml) a fruity, good quality extra virgin olive oil

Salt (to taste)

1/2 teaspoon Cayenne powder (or to taste)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped (optional)

Directions

1. Bake or grill the eggplants and tomatoes.  Set aside for 10-15 minutes in a covered dish (this makes them easier to peel).

2. Peel the vegetables.  Trim the stalks off the eggplant and discard the seeds and juice of the tomatoes. (You might want to reserve the skins and juices with which to make a vegetable stock.)

3. Cut the vegetables into strips, then arrange them on a serving dish with oil and salt.

4. Optional: sprinkle chopped garlic.

5. Serve.

For our workshop, I opted to exclude the garlic from this dish as the soup already featured it.