Saturday, November 9, 2013

Cauliflower Gratin

Here's the link for last night's Almond and Manchego Cauliflower Gratin. I personally thought the almond infusion in the bechamel wasn't strong enough but Chadams disagreed.

This is similar to a cauliflower gratin I sometimes make whose basic parameters may or may not have come from a Top Chef cookbook--the origins are hazy due to many years of overindulgence in calories and wine. For that one parmesan and truffle oil goes into the cheese sauce, and the topping is panko, bread crumbs, and more truffle oil. I recommend that one too.

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Chimichurri for empanadas, courtesy of Anna, which I am transcribing from a picture she took of the recipe with her cell phone and e-mailed to me. Now I can finally delete it from my inbox, yay!

I think it originally hails from from Francis Mallman's Seven Fires.

1 cup water
1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
1 cup packed fresh parsley
1 cup fresh oregano (or marjoram, even better!)
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

To make the salmuera, bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the salt and stir until it dissolves. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Mince the garlic very fine and put in a medium bowl. Mince the parsley and marjoram/oregano and add to the garlic, along with the red pepper flakes. Whisk in the red wine vinegar and then the olive oil. Whisk in the salmuera. Transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and keep in the refrigerator. Chimichurri is best prepared at least a day in advance, and can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Millennium Moroccan Marinade

Super versatile and bright marinade from the Millennium Restaurant cookbook:

1 1/2 cups tomato sauce or tomato purée (I just threw in two Roma tomatoes)
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari if you're doing gluten-free)
4-6 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup honey or other sweetener (I used agave syrup since it was for a vegan party)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Blend everything together, season with salt and pepper, and pour all over stuffs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Green Gazpacho

This gazpacho recipe will serve around 12 as a first course. I have tried to remember the proportions but this is a rough idea; it's good to have extras of the various ingredients to adjust to taste.

-9 cucumbers, peeled and chopped
-1 cup green grapes
-1/4 cup almonds
-1 onion, chopped
-6 cloves of garlic
-1/3 cup fresh parsley
-1 jalapeño pepper, sliced (including ribs and seeds)
-Juice of 2 lemons
-1 cup olive oil
-1/2 cup champagne vinegar (any white wine vinegar will also work)
-1 small loaf of crusty white bread
-Salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.

-Slice the bread and put in a bowl; drizzle with about half the olive oil and vinegar and set aside to soak.
-Puree the other ingredients. I use a food processor and need to do it in several batches. To each batch with the food processor running, add drizzles of olive oil and vinegar to incorporate.
-Strain the soup. This step is a pain but the texture was feeling really mealy with the grape skins, almond bits, and cucumber and japaneño seeds. After straining the soup will be watery but smooth, and the flavors will be amazing.
-Puree the soaked bread, incorporating some of the strained soup back into the food processor to help in liquifying everything.
-Mix the pureed bread and soup into the main batch (keep an eye on the texture, if it's looking thick enough you don't have to add all of the bread), adjust seasoning, and chill until ready to serve (the freezer works fine for this; just take it out a little before serving and mix it up to melt any bits that may have frozen around the edges).
-Serve with a garnish of sliced grapes or cucumbers or tomatoes, or herbs, or whatever you want!

Humita (Argentine Corn Pudding)

This recipe is adapted from Francis Mallmann's fantastic Seven Fires cookbook, an excellent source for a gourmet twist on Argentine cuisine. This recipe is much lighter and fresher than other versions of humita I have had in more traditional contexts.

-12 ears of corn: they are supposed to be grated to release the juices, but I don't have a box grater. I just sliced the kernels off of the corn and then ran them through a food processor in several batches. About half of the batches I just pulsed a few times, and the rest I ran until it was a very fine puree with all the released liquid content, to make the final texture a little more varied.
-4 Tablespoons butter
-2 Tablespoons olive oil
-1 large onion, chopped (2ish cups?)
-1 cup whole milk
-2 cups fresh basil leaves, sliced
-Salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes

-Sautee the onion in the butter and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, until deeply brown and caramelized (you're not supposed to caramelize the onions but I like it better that way).
-Add in the corn and all its juices and stir a few minutes until the mixture thickens.
-Add the milk in in about 1/4 cup batches, waiting until each batch is absorbed.
-Simmer until the corn is creamy and dense, and adjust the seasoning of salt and pepper if necessary.
-Reduce the heat and stir in the basil and red pepper flakes.

This amount I made served ~12 as a side dish. The corn can also be used as a main course, served with crusty bread and a salad; but the most traditional way I have encountered it is as a vegetarian filling for empanadas.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Various Housewarming Party Foods

Some people asked for recipes from this past weekend's housewarming party, so here are some of the dishes:

Israeli Couscous Caprese Salad:

-Make Israeli Couscous according to however you make it: I boil it in lots of water with a splash of olive oil and salt.

-Drain, rinse with cold water to cool temperature, toss in big bowl with a little olive oil so it doesn't get gloopy.
-Add in chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella (I like cherry tomatoes chopped in half for these kinds of salads, but Berkeley Bowl was inexplicably out of any that didn't cost one million dollars)  -Make a dressing consisting of grainy dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and lots of olive oil (this is all by eye, but you want more balsamic than mustard, maybe twice as much).  -toss all together and tweak seasoning!

Balsamic-Marsala Mushrooms
-Throw into a big sautee pan (or pot or dutch oven) an obscenely enormous amount of whole mushrooms (I used smallish brown crimini, regular button would also work).
-Sautee in olive oil, salt, pepper (even crushed red pepper also if you like it spicy), till seasoned.
-Add various measures of balsamic vinegar, marsala wine, and red wine; cover and let mushrooms simmer/boil for a long time.
-At some point in the cooking process add chopped flat-leaf parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice.
-Keep simmering/boiling covered, occasionally adding balsamic, marsala, or red wine when the liquids get low, according to taste.
-Once mushrooms are tender and cooked through (but not mooshy), turn off heat and let cool. Adjust seasoning.
-Toss one more time with fresh flat-leaf parsley and lemon juice. 
-Serve with the juices, with some baguette.

Enormous Roast I Totally Winged:
-Take a 10 lb bottom round roast, score the fat, place in enormous thing
-Add a couple of bottles of red wine, some balsamic vinegar, lots of salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper, several cloves worth of chopped garlic, and olive oil.
-Marinate overnight
-Preheat oven to like 425, put roast in, covered,* with the marinade and everything
-Cook for about an hour, then uncover
-Cook for an hour and a half more, then cut into roast to see if it's not too bloody
-Let rest for a couple of hours (3? ish?)
-Remove from marinade (now a thick meaty sauce) and slice thinly
-Return to marinade/sauce and coat, then serve on platter
-Strain rest of marinade/meaty sauce/jus and serve with the roast
*Disclaimer: I panicked because once I actually read the recipes some of them suggested I should have started cooking this thing 24 hs in advance, which I have never been organized enough to do. One of the recipes suggested 1-2 hs per pound at a low temp, at which rate it would have been ready the day after the party. Another option would be like 20-30 minutes per pound at 350? I decided to ignore everything and blast it at a high temperature to get the outside cooked and the inside pink, and it worked way better than I deserved it to.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Earl Grey Cookies

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons Earl Grey tea leaves (= the contents of about six tea bags)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

In food processor pulse together the flour, tea, and salt until the tea is spotted throughout. Add sugar, vanilla, and butter. Pulse together until a dough is formed. Roll into a log about 2.5 inches in diameter. Wrap log in plastic wrap like a sausage and tightly twist the ends. Refrigerate for 30 min.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Slice log into 1/3 inch discs. Place on parchment lined baking sheets and bake until the edges are just brown (about 12 minutes). Let cool.