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Archive for January, 2010

From Dish Danielle:

I cannot explain the mass quantities of this granola that my household consumes on a monthly, or even weekly basis. I’ll put it to you this way: Either Jessie (roommate and guest dish!) or I make a double batch on constant rotation to meet the needs of our granola hungry fort. It’s awesome over yogurt, with the milk of your preference, or even crumbled over ice cream. What started from a website recipe has since evolved into our coveted snack due to our relentless tweaking. Behold, a delicious recipe I bestow upon you below, brought to you by Fort 109.

Ingredients:

3 c oats (not steel cut)
¾ c pecans, roughly chopped*
½ c almonds, roughly chopped*
½ c pepitas *
2 tbs sesame seeds (Jessie prefers the black ones)
liberal sprinkling of salt
3 tbs grapeseed oil
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

*All nuts can definitely be substituted with whatever’s your fav.

Preheat oven to 400.


Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl, minus the spices. Sprinkle salt atop, and mix thoroughly. Meanwhile, combine oils and syrups in a small pot, and place over low heat in order to mix well. Toss the spices into this mixture, and another pinch of salt (if you’re into salty granola. We ARE!) Stir with mini whisk or fork, and pour over dry ingredients. Stir the mixture thoroughly and make sure every inch is coated with the oil/syrup mixture. Feel free to try a taste of the un-baked granola and add a bit more of the sweeteners’ as you desire. Spread evenly on a large ungreased baking sheet and place in the oven.

Set a timer for 8-10 minutes, and keep an eye on it—you’ll want to re-stir it at least once so the whole batch bakes evenly, and the top layer doesn’t burn. It should take around 20 or so minutes to reach an even golden brown. If you’re like us, and you hanker for a more dark and caramelized granola, leave it in there for another 5-10 minutes, (25 min total),but be careful and don’t forget about it—it will quickly burn once it reaches a certain point! I have lost a few batches due to excessive multitasking.

Happy crunching!

Breakfast of Champions!

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From Dish Gwen:

There are about six taco factories within a half mile of my house, so when I scrounge around in the fridge for ingredients I often come across a bag of soft taco shells. There are all sorts of things you can put inside a taco, and it’s not hard to throw together some leftovers, stuff them in a taco shell and end up with a really good meal.

Last week I made myself dinner for one when my Saucy Little Boyfriend was out of town on business. It was so good that I made the same thing again for both of us when he got home the following night. If there was enough left over I would have eaten it again for lunch the next day, but no meal lasts forever, and two days of tacos is plenty.

When I say “taco,” I’m not talking about the crunchy shells full of ground beef that most gringos grew up with. This is a flat, soft taco shell made of half corn and half wheat flour that you serve topped with spiced meat and vegetables. But they’re not authentic Mexican tacos, either – I don’t think you’ll ever find a Mexican taco with rice in it. What’s great about this kind of food is that you can mix and match and change out ingredients to your liking – it’s like making a sandwich.

Ingredients:

4 soft taco shells
1 can black beans or red beans
3 cups cooked white or brown rice
1 cup pork belly, pork skin or bacon
1 cup grated firm cheese (cheddar or queso fresco)
1 small red onion, sliced thin into rings
3 cups fresh greens (lettuce, spinach, whatever – I used bok choy sum)
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne pepper
Olive oil

Directions:

Turn your oven up to 350. Sizzle down your pork in a sauce pan on the stovetop until it gets crispy and dark, then stir in all of the beans. Add salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste, and stew together until the beans are soft enough for your liking. Lay out the taco shells on a baking sheet and spoon a layer of rice and a layer of beans equally on the shells, then top with shredded cheese. Put the whole shebang into the oven and bake for about 15 mins (until the cheese is nice and melty).

Rinse and chop up your greens, and slice the onion into thin rings by cutting width-wise. Plate the tacos and top them with a small handful of greens and a few onion slices. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and fresh-ground pepper, and serve. Makes four smallish servings or two big servings.

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From Dish Jodi:

Attention all of our Los Angeles-area readers! My partners in the No Cookie Left Behind Bake-Sale and I are bringing out the mixers and spatulas this weekend in support of the relief efforts in Haiti.

There will be an array of sweets from both professional kitchens (including donations from Spork Foods and Whisk LA) and local homes, as well as a few jars of choice homemade jams, and all proceeds from the bake sale will go to Doctors Without Borders, a Nobel Prize winning international humanitarian organization working to meet the overwhelming medical needs of post-earthquake Haiti.

WHEN: Sunday, January 31, 2010. 2 – 5 pm

WHERE: Scoops Gelato. 712 N Heliotrope Dr. 90029. In East Hollywood, just north of Melrose,between Normandie and Vermont.

CANʼT MAKE IT?

If you canʼt make it to the bake sale, but still want to help out, you can mail a check directly to Doctors Without Borders. Please write “Cookies Without Borders Bake Sale” on your check so they know we sent you!

Doctors Without Borders USA
PO Box 5030
Hagerstown, MD 21741

QUESTIONS? Contact us at nocookieleftbehind@gmail.com or visit http://www.nocookieleftbehind.com if you are interested in donating baked goods, helping out on the day of, or if you have any questions.

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Arroz con Pollo

From Dish Erin:

I’m a very busy chica who often gets home after 8 pm and still loves to undertake a home-cooked dinner. I like a meal that takes less than a half hour to pull together and yields minimal dishes to deal with afterward. Thankfully there’s a three word answer: one pot dish. This classic Cuban recipe known the world over has loads of variations but here’s my Irish interpretation. It’s hearty and bone-warming on a cold winter day – and always provides leftovers which hold really well for lunch.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound chicken thighs
Salt & pepper
Paprika
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 cubanelle pepper, diced (with seeds removed)
1 red pepper, diced (with seeds removed)
2 celery stalks, diced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 package of Spanish rice *
1 2/3 cups water
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

*I like to use a pre-packaged “Spanish” rice for this recipe (Carolina, Old El Paso & Near East all make renditions of this yellow, zesty rice). It’s a big timer saver, and pretty darn tasty. If you can’t find it, or prefer to do it as the Cubans do, just use 1 cup white, long grain rice + 1 teaspoon cumin and paprika, 1/8 teaspoon chili powder, a dash of salt, and a dash of turmeric (or saffron) for color.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large saute pan. Season chicken thighs with salt, pepper and paprika. Place skin-side down in pan and cook for at least 5 minutes while the fat renders a bit. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes and remove from the pan (place on plate and cover to keep warm).

Put the onion, garlic, celery, and pepper in the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, stir to coat and cook for one minute more. (If using non-packaged rice, add paprika, cumin, cayenne and turmeric at this point as well). Add the tomato paste, then the water and stir. Nestle the chicken into the pan, cover with tight fitting lid and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes (or to package directions).

Add the peas, cook for another minute or two and serve with black beans. Optional: garnish with chopped cilantro.

Buen Provecho y olé!

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Vivre la Crepe!

Every so often, Saucy Little Dish will feature a guest blogger. We’re very excited to host a recipe from Jessica: founder of Soft – Clothing for All Children, Dish Paige!’s partner-in-Workoutfits, and whose kale salad we’ve already enjoyed!

In 1976, my grandmother published this amazing collection of “German-Jewish Specialties” with a bunch of her gal pals, “dedicated to our mothers and grandmothers, who left us their favorite recipes, and to our children who carry on, in the modern kitchens, these culinary traditions.” Oy, the pressure! I’ve had a copy in my possession for years now, and whenever I am in the mood for “Cubed Meat and Cheese Salad,” or “Liver Dumplings” (which is um, I dunno…never), I open it up. It’s true, many of the recipes are really too rich (and complex) to even consider on any old day or evening. They assume you know how to do things like “de-water the cucumbers” and “sew up the goose neck,” which I assure you, I don’t. On Sundays, however, there is a recipe I have been going back to regularly for years now because of it’s simplicity and the almost always perfect results I am able to attain: Les Crepes (or “phannenkuchen” as they are called by my grandmother in the book). Crepes are one of my absolute favorite foods – and this recipe is one of the easiest in this collection by far. I promise, you can not mess these up. I usually am inspired to serve them in ways informed Parisian street food, since whenever I am in Paris at least two meals a day consist of some sort of crepe. This Sunday, Dish Paige joined my husband Oliver and I for Les Crepes Complete – a savory egg, cheese and ham pocket of deliciousness – as well as some other classic sweet variations.

Ingredients:

First, for the crepes you will need:

1 cup sifted flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk
2 T. melted butter
1/4 t. salt (optional)

For the crepe complete you will also need:

thinly sliced swiss cheese
thinly sliced ham
eggs (one egg per crepe complete)
salt and pepper
spring mix greens with light vinaigrette


Place oven safe plate in oven. Turn oven on to 275 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn off. Combine eggs will milk until blended. Stir egg mixture into flour until smooth. Add sugar and melted butter. Melt small amount of butter in a large frying pan until hot (medium heat). Pour crepe mix into pan to make thin pancakes of desired size. Lift and swirl the pan so that the batter coats the pan in a thin round layer. Flip over as soon as you can get the spatula under the crepe without any sticking. Crack an egg on the center of the crepe and cover pan. Cook egg until whites are solid, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 1-2 thin slices of ham on egg. Top with 1-2 slices of swiss cheese. Fold ends of crepes over egg/cheese/ham center making a square shape with your crepe. Keep warm on plate in oven while you make the rest, or insist your guest(s) eat them immediately as they are best warm. Serve with salad greens.

I like to eat crepes with sweets as well, so I usually make the entire mixture’s worth, and I place the crepes on the heated plate in the oven to keep them warm while I am preparing. I serve the following toppings with the rest of the crepes:


sliced strawberries
sliced bananas
Nutella
butter and sugar
preserves

When Nutella is on the table, it might be hard to take any of these other toppings seriously (at least it is for me), but I am told they are really quite yummy – especially the classic butter and sugar, which allows you to really savor the simple tastiness of the crepe itself.

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From Dish Jodi:

It’s a new year, and my household treated ourselves to a new camera. Sign of food obsession – when camera store clerk asks what were looking for, our immediate response was, in unison – “Something that can take photos of food in low light”. So the Canon S-90 it is! I hope you all enjoy it! (I hope it makes a difference!)

This dish is freakin’ easy, freakin’ delicious and is a surefire way to turn me and the husband into slurping, gulping idiots.

Ingredients:

4 oz. chorizo, in quarter inch cubes
1 bloop (tbsp?) of canola (or lightly flavored) oil
1 medium yukon gold potato, in half-inch cubes
1 small red onion, in thin slices
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small jalapeno, sliced in thin rounds
2 medium tomatoes, in half-inch (or so) chunks
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 bottles (or one big-ass bottle like us) Mexican lager
1 lb large clams
1 lb mussels
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
juice of half a lime
small handful of chopped cilantro, divided


Start with a cold pan, and add diced chorizo and render the fat out of it. Add a bloop of oil to help it out partway through. Once crispy, remove chorizo and reserve. Toss in potatoes and cook in oil until starting to brown a bit. Add onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook until fragrant.


Toss in the tomatoes, cumin and red pepper, cook for a couple minutes, the add the beer and half of the cilantro. Simmer until potatoes are soft, then add mussels and clams and the reserved chorizo. Cover and simmer about 5-7 minutes, until shells pop open. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

We ate with a crusty baguette to sop up all the delicious broth from our bowls, table, faces…mmmm…slurp!

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From Dish Rachelle:

Now that the New York winter is officially here I, like Dish Paige!, want to eat everything. I crave pasta and baked goods and Chinese food – oh my – and imagine, when I’m cold, how a Starbucks hot chocolate might just be the key to happiness. That’s how this dish came about: a few winters ago, I wanted something warm and rustic without the corresponding affront to my health. A hybrid of eggplant parmesan and ratatouille, a baked eggplant casserole, I find, can even be the answer to that dizzying dinner party conundrum: how do you please a diehard carnivore and a vegetarian?

Ingredients:

Olive oil
1 Eggplant, peeled,*sliced thin, and patted dry
2 baking potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1 large or 2 small Parsnips, peeled and sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
Canned diced tomatoes to taste
Basil leaves, rinsed and removed from stems
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt and pepper

*I learned sometime back that eggplant, like belladonna, is a nightshade plant, which could explain why some eaters find it mildly disruptive to their systems. By removing the skin, you’re doing away with the part of the plant that’s most difficult to process.

Preheat oven to 350.


Drizzle some olive oil at the bottom of an 8×11 baking dish. Make a layer of sliced eggplant, seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Add a layer of sliced potatoes. Add another of sliced parsnip rounds. With a spoon, add as much diced tomato as you’d like. Sprinkle with slices of garlic and torn up bits of basil.

Halfway through, your casserole will look something like this:

Now repeat.


Cover casserole with slices of fresh mozzarella, and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese is browned and the sides of your dish are bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes, slice and serve with crusty bread.

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