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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian Cooking’

This month we are focusing on the spice turmeric!  Here is a new one from Dish Deanna:
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Turmeric is typically used in a lot of curries, can be used as a substitute for saffron and apparently has great health benefits. It is very vibrant, adding color to any bland-looking recipe and it even has anti-inflammatory properties, helps detoxify the liver, and is a natural pain killer. As I was doing research about this interesting spice, I was reading that many people put it into capsules and ingest it daily. This might be something worth looking into further! I do have to say though, when I heard that Turmeric was the theme of the month I panicked a little. I had no idea what kind of recipe to make. I knew that it is used in many curry recipes but I wanted to do something different. As I was browsing some vegetarian recipes, I came across one for hummus. It didn’t have turmeric in it but I improvised a little and came up with something that I think is pretty damn creative.

Ingredients for the hummus:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Ingredients for the pita chips:

  • 1 pkg of pita pockets
  • Garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

You will need:

  • A food processor or blender!
  • An oven or toaster oven

chickpeas

To start, strain the chickpeas and rinse them with water. This will take off any liquids that are still clinging to the chickpeas from the cans.

turmeric

Measure out all of your ingredients and toss everything into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. You may want to open the food processer intermittently and see how your hummus tastes. I found as I was making this that it was very experimental. In order to get the creamy texture I wanted I had to add just a little bit more olive oil. Feel free to be liberal with your measurements – you can’t really mess this up!

blender

After you’ve finished with your hummus, place it into a bowl. I prefer my hummus at room temperature but if you like it cooler, throw it in the fridge! To start on the pita chips, first preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Cut one pita pocket into 4 even triangles and peel apart each side. Lay them flat on tin foil on a baking sheet. You should then brush one side only with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder and salt over the pita. Toss them in the oven for approximately 5 minutes (maybe even less). I wouldn’t walk away from the oven because you want to take them out as soon as the edges turn golden brown. I burned the first batch!

chips

When they look about ready, take them out and let them cool. Then get ready to enjoy. You’ve just made homemade hummus and homemade pita chips! CONGRATS!!

*** serve with veggies or save for later to use as a spread for sandwiches!***

me

 

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Chicory month continues with another take on stuffed endive!

From Dish Nicole:

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Endive is a curious veggie.  One would think that is a lettuce when in fact it is part of the chicory family which includes bitter leafed vegetables such as radicchio or escarole.  Endive, not just for salads, takes on various forms of deliciousness and can be prepared in a multitude of ways.  I have had Belgian endive au gratin, in salads, soups and even stir-fry’s, all delicious.  Perhaps one of the best characteristics of endive is the way the leaves, when separated, create perfect cups for stuffing.  Stuffed endive seems to be a staple passed hors d’oeuvres at events.  Recently my pals were hosting a house warming party and I decided to stuff some endive and bring it over to share.  They were mess free and tasty if I do say so myself.

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Ingredients:

4 Belgian Endive Heads (there are about 8-10 leaves per head)

½ cup of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

½ cup of dried cranberries chopped

½ cup chopped chives

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

 

Wash and dry your endive and set aside.  Next you will want to dice up all of your other ingredients and mix in a large bowl adding the olive oil a little at a time while mixing.

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Taste and add the salt and pepper as needed.  You can prepare this mixture several hours before serving.  When you are ready to serve, separate the endive leaves and place on a platter, stuff and devour.

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While being an extremely easy recipe to make, the presentation is beautiful with all colors and textures and your friends will LOVE it!  At least mine did.

Endive!

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Saucy Little Dish is trying something new!  Each month we will be working with a different ingredient and each Dish will create a dish using that ingredient.  We are excited to start the Spring 2013 off with Endive/Chicory.

In addition to our new theme months, SLD would like to introduce our newest dish, Beth Harrell.  Beth is originally from Florida and we met this saucy thing in Williamburg, Brooklyn and she now lives in Chicago.  Not only has she lived in all sorts of culinary hubs, she studied the art of baking and pastry at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.  I don’t know about you, but I know we are excited to see what Beth whips up!

From Dish Beth:

(inspired by El Almacen’s Ensalada de Palmito) Yields 6 servings

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I’ve always thought of endive as the stuck up, snooty little finger food of fancy pants ladies luncheons. Other than an elegant vehicle for stuffing cheesy, mayonnaisey dips down my gullet, I didn’t really know what else it was good for. That is, until, I had this delightful truffled endive and heart of palm salad at El Almacen, an awesome Argentinian restaurant in my old neighborhood, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Since I live in Chicago now, I decided I’d try and make this thing at home.

Slightly bitter endive, its chicory sister radicchio, and tangy heart of palm, are tossed with large flakes of buttery, salty parmesan and a simple truffle vinaigrette. Since it’s spring, I’ve also added some white asparagus to the mix. Earthy and decadent, this would be a perfect start to a romantic dinner with your hunny bunny. But I wouldn’t know anything about that. Guh.

Here goes…

2 endives (the whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste)

White asparagus (about 6-8 stalks)

Small head of radicchio

8 oz jar of heart of palm, drained

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Big handful of salt

Truffle Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Parmesan cheese (not the powdery pizza kind. Get a wedge and shave flakes off with a vegetable peeler. This is a CLASSY salad, dammit!)

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Slice the endive, radicchio, asparagus and heart of palm into long, thin strips. Make sure to cut the top and base off of the endive and asparagus. Place all but the heart of palm into large bowl with the apple cider vinegar and salt. Toss to coat and let sit for 30 minutes or so (you want to slightly pickle them). Place in colander to drain. Rinse with cold water (don’t have to totally wash all vinegar away, just give it a quick rinse), return to bowl

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Add heart of palm. Toss with Truffle Vinaigrette and sprinkle with parmesan before serving.

Truffle Vinaigrette

Shallot (or small onion, shallots are just expensive onions anyway)

2-3 T white truffle oil (If you’re on a specialty oil budget, you can sometimes find this shit for cheap at TJ Maxx)

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1-2 T champagne vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Grate the onion/shallot right into the bowl and then pour/sprinkle in remaining ingredients. Whisk and taste and  whisk and taste, adding more as needed until it’s to your liking.

Oh yeah! And for the record, it’s pronounced on-DEEV, not N-dive. Enjoy lovers!

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From Dish Nicole:

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It sometimes works out in the land of Saucy Little Dish that we dishes have the same thing in mind.  Last week Deanna posted her quinoa recipe and simultaneously I had quinoa on the brain when I came across this recipe for a quinoa bake in the New york Times.  Quinoa is classified as a pseudo-cereal rather than a true cereal, or grain so I decided to make it pseudo-healthy and bake it into a gratin.  Who doesn’t love a delicious cheesy gratin anyway??  Plus I was just bringing the side dish; my good friend was making us the healthy main dish of fish and asparagus to accompany my quinoa creation.

1 6-ounce bag baby spinach

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 plump garlic cloves, minced

4 cups cooked quinoa, (1 cup uncooked)

2 large eggs

3 ounces Sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (3/4 cup)

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)

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Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and start out making your quinoa as instructed (1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water).  I added chicken broth instead of water for added flavor.  While the quinoa is cooking, prep your ingredients and wash the spinach.  Leave a little of the moisture on the spinach and heat in batches in a large skillet over medium heat.  Once the spinach is wilted let it cool or rinse with cold water, squeeze out the excess water, chop and set side.

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Next you will want to heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add in your onion and cook until soft.  Add in the garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute before adding in the chopped spinach.  Add salt and pepper and set aside.

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Next beat the eggs in a large bowl and add in the sage, spinach mixture and the cheddar cheese and mix well.  Pour into your gratin dish (aka baking dish) and smooth out.  Sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top, drizzle a little olive oil and bake until golden brown.  Approximately 30 minutes.  I prefer the top a little crunchy so I left it in a little longer.

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End result: crunchy, cheesy, yummy.

*The original recipe called for Gruyère, I chose to use sharp white cheddar instead.

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From Dish Deanna:

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I’ve never actually made quinoa before this recipe. I’ve always been a rice and couscous kind of girl but something about quinoa really intrigues me. Quinoa is appreciated for its nutritional value (14% protein!) and considered easy to digest. Those two things are very important to me in my diet so I decided to give it a try. If you don’t season it well it could be very bland, much like couscous. I find this grain so interesting because it can be made for so many different things. Plenty can be put into it and made as a whole meal, or it can be enjoyed as a side dish. For this recipe, I made a sweet quinoa side dish!

Ingredients:

1 cup quinoa

½ cup sliced or chopped almonds

1 cup chicken broth

1 and ½ hot water

½ tsp salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

½ cup dried cranberries

almonds

First, over medium heat, I toasted the almonds. Make sure that you stir continuously or they’re likely to burn. When the almonds turn golden brown add the quinoa into the pan. Stir for a few more minutes until the quinoa begins to darken.

almonds and quinoa

Transfer the toasted quinoa and almonds into a saucepan and add the water, chicken broth, salt, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cranberries. Bring to a boil, simmer, and then cover for the next 20-25 minutes. When the quinoa has consumed all the liquids, fluff it with a fork. Don’t forget to take out the cinnamon stick and bay leaf! No one wants to chew on those…

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Let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes before serving and then ENJOY!

me with quinoa

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From Dish Danielle:

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What’s a dish to do with the ugliest character in her winter CSA share!? Eat ‘em fresh! I personally had never been confronted by this mysterious German turnip before, and I will admit, that I left it abandoned in my fridge’s crisper for far longer than I should have… Once I finally worked up the nerve to peel, slice, and sample this crunchy orb, I found it surprisingly mild in flavor and still very fresh considering it’s relegated hibernation…ahem. A fresh winter salad recipe is below. This is loose so feel free to add/subtract & riff on it to create the perfect winter salad for you:

Kohlrabichiffonaide 2cut

Ingredients:
-1 medium Kohlrabi, peeled
-1 medium bunch Lacinto Kale, destemmed and chiffonaded.
-1 bunch of dill, rough chopped
-1 c dried sour cherries
-grated zest of 1 lemon
-4-6 tbsp, fresh squeezed lemon juice
-few splashes of olive oil
-a squeeze or two of honey
-2-3 garlic cloves, minced
-S&P to taste
-1c alfalfa sprouts (if you’d like)

matchsticks

Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick matchsticks that are 1/4″ wide & 2″ long.

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Place all ingredients, (minus the sprouts if you’re using them), into a medium sized salad bowl. Get in there with your hands and massage the mixture–this allows the lemon to soften both the kale & kohlrabi just a bit. Let the salad sit for about 10minutes.

*chef’s note: I only had 1/2 a bunch of kale, so I used a mixture of kale and added 2 large handfuls of my CSA mesclun salad mix, which was great!

yum

Add the sprouts and mix once more–making sure to separate the threadlike bundle and incorporating thoroughly. Now’s the time to taste and adjust the salt/honey levels if needed. If you find a puddle of dressing at the bottom of your salad bowl, using tongs, lift the salad and place into another bowl leaving the juices behind.

Happy crunching!

cute

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From Dish Nicole:
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It’s always nice to have a recipe that’s an old standby when you have little or no time to come up with something.  It’s also nice when said recipe is simple and delicious and does not need to be improved upon what so ever.  My new “old standby” is David Chang’s ginger scallion sauce.  Just to give a little background, David Chang is a Korean-American chef and is chef/founder of the Momofuku restaurant group, which includes Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Má Pêche, Milk Bar and Momofuku Ko in NYC just to name a few.  I have only been to the Noodle Bar and my taste buds did a happy dance when I took the first bite into my ginger scallion noodles.  I am slightly ramen obsessed and I would definitely say this was my favorite ramen dish to date.  I decided that I should make my old standby for my old standby (Dish Danielle) when she came over after work one night.  You can make the sauce ahead of time, in fact it’s recommended for flavor infusion, so you have plenty of time to catch up with your pal.  I also had some bok choy on hand so I decided to sauté that up and serve up with the noodles along with a lovely little cucumber salad.

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Cucumber salad:

2 medium cucumbers thinly sliced

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

I started out by making the cucumber salad and setting aside to garnish the noodles with later.  Simply slice and mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate until you are ready to use.

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For the sauce:

2 1/2 c. thinly sliced scallions (greens & whites from 1 to 2 large bunches)

1/2 c. finely minced peeled fresh ginger

1/2 c. grape seed or other neutral oil

1 1/2 tsp. light soy sauce

3/4 tsp. sherry wine vinegar

3/4 tsp. Kosher salt, or more to taste

2 packages dried ramen noodles (I use the Ka-me Chinese noodles)

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To make the sauce mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and add more salt or soy sauce if needed.  Make the sauce at least 15-20 minutes before you plan to serve it so the flavors infuse.

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Set aside the sauce and boil water for the noodles and prep your bok choy.  I like to leave the bok choy in thin long slices and I sautéed with minced garlic and a little sesame oil until soft (approx 5-8 minutes).

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Cook the noodles for 3 minutes, drain and serve with the ginger scallion sauce, cucumbers and the bok       choy.  For those of you that like a little kick in your food, add a little sriracha and enjoy.

Actually I’d say best served with a best friend and gossip.

**Another great thing about this sauce is that it keeps well for several days and its delicious served on fish, eggs, rice etc.

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