October 30, 2011 § 2 Comments
E: This post goes out to my cousin Susan (who just recently had a baby, congratulations again Susan!) because it was from her that I got this recipe. She served this at her wedding this summer (a really lovely backyard affair that a bunch of us got to help cook and decorate for) and I insisted that I had to have the recipe. It is totally vegetarian by the way, which is part of what struck me about it.
It has been quite a few months but we have finally made and posted this wonderful dish. It’s really easy to do if you plan ahead (dried beans take a while to soak and cook) but if you want to make things a bit more interesting you can take it that extra step. One of the recipe’s main ingredients is ketchup, so we figured we would make our own—especially because Joanna does not like bottled ketchup. What we thought would be just a hint of cinnamon came out a bit strong, but the truth of the matter is that it was a good first try. It’ll take some time to get the spicing of it right for me, because it definitely needed more kick. But the nice thing is you can just add more powdered onion and garlic at the time of service if need-be. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 25, 2011 § Leave a Comment
E: This is a “burger” in that it is a bunch of food stacked on bread. It is not a burger in the traditional sense of ground materials formed into a patty. I guess this should more properly be called a Hawaiian veggie stack, but I’ve called these burgers for a long time and so it will remain.
I got this recipe from my mother, who acquired it during a trip to Hawaii (specifically, it’s from a restaurant in Lahaina, Maui) many years ago. It has been a family favorite since then. I’ve changed the recipe a little due to my tastes, but I include as optional some of the original ingredients that I usually omit.
These burgers are really quick to make. Ours took some time because we made more of the brioche buns ourselves. But if you have buns already, or wish to use bread or English muffins (as the original recipe specifies) you can probably whip these together in 30 minutes or less. « Read the rest of this entry »
July 6, 2011 § Leave a Comment
E: We at Nombudsman felt like we were getting into a bit of a rut in terms of creativity. The food photo blog thing has a habit of reminding one of how easy it is to slip into the rut of making practically the same thing over and over and over again. Repeated bouts of gastronomic déja vu plus a solid helping of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto and a distinct lack of anything remotely Japanese on this blog led us to try something new, and invent our own version of butajiru (a.k.a. tonjiru i.e. miso soup with pork and lots of other stuff that miso soup doesn’t have). We aren’t really pork people, so we substituted chicken for the pork. We also found our local market to be not exactly overflowing with taro root, so we went the route of Japanese skiing soup and decided to substitute sweet potatoes. So if you are familiar with real butajiru, pardon us our liberties.
July 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
E: As promised, here’s a post about something to do with leftover risotto (and, I think, a good reason to make sure you always have leftover risotto). My introduction to risotto cakes came years ago, sadly before I even knew what risotto was. My family used to get them from the deli/to-go section of Whole Foods Market, and all I knew was they were fried balls of rice, cheese and zucchini. And they were awesome. Especially, oddly enough, with teriyaki sauce—really, try it.
Despite making risotto many times, I’ve never attempted risotto cakes before. It is really easy, but let me walk you through and give some tips along the way.
May 9, 2011 § Leave a Comment
E: Hello everyone. I’m stepping in again today to post this quick and easy recipe for roasted potatoes. I made these for an Easter party, along with this green chili mac and cheese, and both went down really well. The original recipe for these used fingerlings, but I went with small red potatoes because that’s what I could find at the time. Also, the original had chive pesto, but the grocery store had no chives when I was there so I substituted some scallions and some basil. If you want to see the original recipe from Macheesmo, it is located here. I apologize for the poor quality picture of the final product, and the lack of good pictures of the roasting potatoes. I was in a rush, and only photographed the final dish just as I was heading out.
May 3, 2011 § 3 Comments
E: And so it is that my undergraduate thesis is basically finished, and has been presented to all the necessary persons. That’s not to say I don’t have quite a bit left to do before this year is over, but it means that the bulk of that-which-must-be-done-immediately is in fact complete, and so I will be back to posting more regularly. It is a relief to have that project off my back, but it just makes this whole graduation thing all the more surreal. I started my thesis almost a year ago, and it has occupied much of my attention, if not always my actual time, since then. I learned a lot in the process, and there’s much more I would do if I had the time, but I just did not expect to be “done” so soon.
So back to food, as I’m sure that’s why you’ve come. This one has been sitting on my computer for several months now (the recipe and pictures, not, thank goodness, the actual food), waiting for a time when I felt I could actually write it up and do it justice. And that time is now. I came up with this recipe as a modification of the French blended soup recipe we made a while ago. I wanted to take those flavors to the next level of complexity, and give it some aesthetic touches so it doesn’t just look like a bowl of blended stuff. It had been a while since I’d made anything with yogurt sauce, so I decided to go in a Greek direction (I’m pretty sure this soup would be delicious with lamb instead of chicken, if you wanted to try something different). Instead of serving soup and a side, I decided to put the side in the soup: a dollop of cool Greek yogurt sauce right in the middle. The slightly-spicy savory warmth of the soup contrasts beautifully with the cool, crisp cucumber and creamy yogurt. With some toasted bread and herb butter, I think it makes a delicious and complex meal, and I’d make it for just about anyone who likes soup and yogurt separately.
April 16, 2011 § Leave a Comment
J: So, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to eat this week, and remembered that I had most of a box of couscous in my pantry left over from making these mac ‘n’ cheese burgers. I decided that, yes, couscous has an extraordinary shelf life, but it was about time that I used up the rest of that box. So, what to do? I settled on a riff on a salad that I used to make all the time in college: it used spinach as the base, and had feta, dried cranberries, avocado, and almonds, and a little bit of light balsamic dressing. I decided to throw in the same mix-ins, but leave out the spinach and add one or two other ingredients I thought might go with couscous. For instance, I knew I wanted a spice, and Erik suggested turmeric, so I threw in some of that and it worked really nicely.
This salad turned out just the way I wanted it. It’s so delicious and so, so easy, and it’s even pretty healthy for you! You can have it as a main course or as a side, and while I prefer it to be just a bit warm, you could serve it cold as well. It’s got nice fresh flavors, and it would be great to take on a picnic or some other outing to enjoy the lovely spring weather!
One last note: I made this with 3/4 box of couscous, so I’ve scaled up the recipe to be for a full box. Most of the amounts for the mix-ins can be adjusted to your own taste, so feel free to play around with them to get proportions that you like.
February 17, 2011 § Leave a Comment
E: Hi everyone! If you read through this post, you will discover the delicious results of another experiment in things-I-don’t-make-often. I hope you try it, because I thought it was fantastic and so did everyone else who tasted it.
Pineapple is one of those things I almost never use. For the longest time I’ve really disliked it, but Iron Chef inspired me to try something just a little bit daring with it. (Spoiler alert: there will be another recipe that uses pineapple going up on the blog in the coming week or two . . . so if you love this sweet, spiny fruit, stick around!) This whole thing was a bit accidental, because I was going to do something with mangoes. But there weren’t any that were ripe enough to eat when I needed them, so I went with a pineapple instead. So I did a grilled pineapple swordfish with pineapple-ginger purée, and a smoked paprika, mushroom, and onion sauté with brown rice for a side.