Recipe fantasy to food reality.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Hummus amongus

zuzu at feministe is effusing about hummus (and her immersion blender - I need to get me one of those), which puts me in mind of my favorite hummus recipe that I have eaten so much of that I'll have to probably wait a few months before I make it again. There is only so much dark sesame oil that I can take in a certain period of time.

From the 15-minute gourmet Vegetarian, by Paulette Mitchell

1 tablespoon canola of safflower oil (I substitute dark sesame oil to great effect)
2 tablespoons finely-chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper, to taste
dash of ground cumin
1 15-oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons fresh lmeon juice, or as needed
2 tablespoons tasted sesame seeds

1. Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes or until the onion and garlic are softened. Remove from the heat; add the parsley, basil, coriander, oregano, pepper and cumin. Stir just long enough to soften the parsley.

2. Process the garbanzo beans and lemon juice in a food processor until smooth. Add extra lemon juice as needed so the mixture is spreadable. Add to the onion mixture. Stir in the sesame seeds. Admjust the seasoning to taste.

I'd also like to add a word about this cookbook, because it's a really usful one. They're not kidding with the 15-minute gourmet thing, and have lots of great tips about how to keep a kitchen that can put out dishes within a quarter of an hour. Any vegetarian who is a beginning cook will find it a great resource. Also recommended: Laurel's Kitchen.

Blood Orange Margarita with Ginger

My husband was out of town during Valentine's day, but we did manage to drink a lot of these gorgeous cocktails this weekend, in honor of V-Day. They're delicious, and too gorgeous for words.

1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh blood-orange juice
3 tablespoons tequila
1 tablespoon Cointreau
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Lime slice, for garnish

1. Put the grated ginger in a small sieve set over a small bowl and press to extract the juice. Combine the ginger juice with the orange juice, tequila, Cointreau and lime juice in a cocktail shaker filled with cracked ice and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with the lime slice and serve.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I love you, Internet.

Bad Feminist's post about home economics classes reminded me of the coolest book I have ever laid eyes on, Food Chemistry and Cookery by Evelyn Gertrude Halliday. It's an old, college-level home economics textbook that uses chemistry experiments to demonstrate the principles of chemistry that are used in the kitchen - and at a fairly technical level, too. I had a very hard time returning the book to the library and not "losing" it. I googled it, and lo and behold, the entire thing is available online. Check it out, and you'll have a new appreciation for the chemist-chefs that are making strides in the culinary world.

Cross-posted on F-Words.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Broccoli and White Cheddar Soup (and a vegan alternative)

1 tbsp. butter
1 onnion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
2 teaspoons salt
3 lbs broccoli, with stems
4 cups chicken broth, divided in half
1/4 cup half and half
6 oz aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and black pepper

Melt butter in soup pot, and add onions and salt. While the onions cook to translucency, remove the stems from the broccoli crowns, removing the stems and chopping them into 3 or 4-inch lengths. Chop the crowns into small, bite-sized pieces. Once the onions are tender and translucent, add the stem pieces and 2 cups of chicken broth to the soup pot. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, until broccoli stems are tender. Remove the onions and broccoli stems from the simmering pot to a food processor or blender. Add the broccoli florets and 2 remaining cups of chicken broth to the pot and simmer, covered. Puree the onions and broccoli stems until smooth and return to soup pot. Once broccoli florets are cooked and tender, reduce heat to just below a boil. Slowly stir in the half and half and cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with shredded cheese as a garnish.

For a vegan alternative to this soup, use vegetable broth and magarine (or oil) to cook the onions. Follow the directions until the onion and stem puree is added back to the pot, and you're done. The stem puree is a good way to use a part of the vegetable that often gets thrown away, and adds nice thickness and body to the soup. If I weren't such a cheese fan, I could have stopped at that my point.

But that's why I'm not a vegan!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Fennel and Cucumber Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing

2 large cucumbers, sliced
2 fennel bulbs, chopped into slivers

1/4 cup fennel fronds
zest and juice of 3 meyer lemons
zest and juice of two lemons
6 sprigs fresh dill
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In case it's not obvious, you combine the veggies in a bowl, mix together the ingredients to the dressing, and pour the dressing over the salad. Ta-da!

I'm stealing this recipe directly from my husband, who made this for a potluck we attended last night. It was very well-received, and tasted nicely fresh and summery for February.