Monday, August 31, 2009

new york, new york + pesto pasta

hello again! we're here, in the city that never sleeps, sleeping in a tiny dorm room. observe the "kitchen", which is not, in fact, a separate room, just a stove and a fridge about 3 feet from my desk:
we now have many food stuffs, courtesy of trader joe's and whole foods, for about $20 total. we are happy. we are ready for the year.

today's recipe is more pasta, made back in the day when we still had a real kitchen, by rita. enjoy!
Pesto Pasta
serves 2
I can't remember the exact amounts, but here's what I did, roughly:
1)Cook about 1/2 cup spaghetti, linguine, or similar pasta.
2) While pasta is cooking, chop up some red onions and mushrooms. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small non-stick skillet. When it's hot, add the veggies and saute about 3 minutes, until soft.
3)Meanwhile, heat about 1 teaspoon butter in a small non-stick skillet. Add a handful of pine nuts and saute until lightly browned.
4) When pasta is done cooking, mix in the veggies, about 1/2 cup pesto sauce, and about 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas.
5) Separate the pasta into 2 bowls, then top each bowl with pine nuts, 2 basil leafs, and some grated Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

moving out + homemade tortillas with corn, beans and cheese

first of all, thanks everyone for the great and helpful comments on the last post. you guys are amazing!
there's a recipe for that at the bottom of the post, i promise. so if you just come here for food, feel free to skip all this writing and just scroll down. if you just come for the writing, but think our food is terrible, feel free to ignore the pictures and recipes. and if you just like to pretty polka-dot background, that's ok too, as long as you visit us here, we're happy.

i have no idea how it got to be tuesday afternoon already. we're leaving for school in nyc very early on thursday morning, so wednesday will be for packing and today is our last real day here. i've been pretty busy this past week, making sure to see all my peeps one last time before i leave, so it still hasn't really sunk in that we're leaving so soon.
there will be some changes to what kind of food we make because we will be a stricter budget and we will have a tiny kitchen. i will post the (shocking) photos of the ridiculous tiny-ness soon after move in. of course, we will also have less cooking equiptment and will be cooking less and eating at random free food events at school more. we'll try to keep this blog up to par, but it will be different. we also have a handful of recipes made at home in the backlog, so we'll mix those in to the postings.

today's cooking adventure is homemade tortillas.
horribly mangled first attempt at tortillas.
all you need is some corn flour (called masa, and sold at big grocery stores and mexican markets). you mix it with water, stir a little bit, form tortillas, and fry in a dry pan for a few minutes. the proportions of ingredients to use will be listed on your flour bag. at first, ours were too wet and stuck to everything, resulting in the mess you see above. then we added a tad more flour and...
we made 2 tortillas for each person, and served them with sauteed onions, canned beans and corn heated up with some chili powder, chipotle powder, and a touch of lime juice. if you want it vegan, eat like this, if not, you can top it with grated cheddar or jack cheese. (pictured at the top of this post, in case you forgot).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

how (not) to make pasta

1.go to far away grocery store to buy some ingredients. realize when you get home you have no eggs. go to corner store to get eggs. realize when you get home you only have wheat flour. decide to use this in lieu of yet another trip to the store.2.turn some music on. assemble your eggs, olive oil, and salt in flour mound. think "this will stay in place long enough for me to take a photo". spend next five minutes frantically trying to prevent egg from running all over kitchen. knead dough until it is not smooth and does not come together, but is a crumbly mess.
3. add more oil, some water, and some of your mother's south beach diet approved pre-separated egg whites. knead.
4. feel satisfied with dough. let rest, covered, for one hour. split dough into 2 sections and roll out until as close to paper thin as you can get it without breaking the dough. hang on floured, suspended mop or broom handle and let dry 15 minutes.

5. roll and slice each section, perhaps making your sections too thick.

6. lay pasta out in pretty little curly-cues and let dry 1-2 hours.

7.cook pasta according to this recipe,except with less arugula. forget to chop arugula before adding to pasta. forget to add any olive oil to the dish.
the verdict? the pasta was an odd texture, probably a result of using wheat flour and attempting to boil it in too small a pot. the dish was a little bland, and the arugula should have been chopped and slightly wilted. however, the dish was not inedible and is definitely worth trying again, correctly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

scallops with salsa verde and caprese salad

this is a super simple meal, but still delicious and impressive. it's a perfect light meal for a hot day. the scallops are from alice waters' book the art of simple food, which is fantastic. (alice waters is totally my hero. even though i've never been to chez panisse, i did get my book signed by her when i bought it.) its basically just sauteed scallops in a salsa verde, which we made with basil and chives.

the salad is just our basic recipe for caprese. for four people we used 2 tomatoes, 4 or 5 ounces of mozzarella (sorry, i don't remember the exact amount. i also forgot how to spell mozzarella for a second and started typing it into amazon search to try and remember, and the first thing that came up was a book called "mozzarella most murderous", which for some reason i find very amusing. then i realized blogger has spell check so i felt silly), and a handful of basil (i think it was like 5 big leaves. obviously, i have to work on measuring my ingredients and remembering said measurements if i'm going to blog recipes. sorry!). drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar just before serving. we also served this with slices of italian bread, which had whole pieces of garlic in it and was very tasty.

Friday, August 14, 2009

indian spiced granola

i guess its a cliche that we californians are all crunchy granola types who like our health food and tie dye. for some reason, this seemed very prevalent in children's books. i remember reading baby sitter's club books where, in the second chapter, Ann M. Martin would always explain that Dawn liked health food because she was from california, and in many of my other favorite books, there was always a weird kid from california who surfed and wore tye die all the time.
its strange that granola is part of the image, because most granola on the shelves these days is not particularly healthy or natural. i'm not a hippy at all (ok, i used to wear tie dye. but that was one i was 5 and my mom dressed me, so it wasn't my fault), but i've also never been a fan of sugary cereals. so when i saw this recipe on orangette, i was intrigued by the idea of making my own granola.
best breakfast ever! a big bowl of grape-nuts (i gotta rep the grape-nuts! such an under-appreciated cereal), homemade granola, golden raisins, strawberries, and milk.
i think the first time rita and i made granola was about 2 years ago now. in those years, with the help of our dad, we've changed the original recipe enough to make it our own, and we've come up with some delicious variations. this one is our "indian granola". its a little bit savory, but the spices are not too strong, and its great with yogurt, fruit, milk, or just as a snack by itself.
indian spiced granola
dry mix
*5 cups old fashioned or quick cooking oats
*1 cup slivered almonds or pistachio meats
*1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
wet mix
*1 cup unsweetened applesauce
*1/4 cup brown rice syrup (available at health food or natural food stores)
*1/4 cup honey
*2 Tablespoons cinnamon
*1 Tablespoon sweet curry powder
*1 teaspoon ground ginger
*2 teaspoons cardamom powder
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. stir dry mix in a large bowl.
3. stir wet mix in a medium sized bowl (it will make about 2 cups all together. we like to mix it in a glass measuring cup, which makes it easy to pour into the dry bowl).
4. add wet mix to dry mix bowl. stir well, until all dry ingredients are coated with the wet mix.
5. pour granola onto one or two baking pans, making sure granola is in a single layer.
6. bake in oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown (time varies slightly depending on your oven. the granola is still good if the bottom is a little burnt, in fact sometimes we prefer it that way).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

edamame and corn salad

this is based on this recipe, which i found in self a while ago. i made my version using the ingredients we had on hand, which were mostly leftovers from other recipes. with some multigrain crackers, it makes a great light lunch on a hot day. because i am a bad food blogger and made this like 3 weeks ago without writing down what i did, this isn't really a recipe, just a list of ingredients.
corn and edamame salad serves 1 as a main dish, 2 or 3 as a side
*1 ear of corn
*a handful of shelled edamame (3/4 cup, maybe?)
*about 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise (i used cholesterol free because that's what we had. i don't like mayonnaise that much, but this salad needs a little to hold it together. if you like it, add more.)
*lemon juice (sorry, i have absolutely no idea how much i added. to taste, i guess)
*about 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
*salt and pepper
*sriracha, or other hot sauce
1. fill a large pot with water, heat over the stove, and add corn once water is boiling. cook for about 3-5 minutes, until corn is tender. remove from heat.
2. while corn is cooling, put the rest of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together.
3. shell corn, add kernels to your salad, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. top with sriracha, also to taste

Sunday, August 9, 2009

panda bread!

i need to make this! from perfect pandas.

(also, i'm back from my trip. hello everyone and thanks rita for posting while i was gone!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Syrian Fish with Tahini Sauce + 2 Middle Eastern Salads

Lola & I both love getting free stuff on the street. I have found and brought home a lot of great stuff, including an old-fashioned hat rack and a copy of Naked Lunch. While my finds tend to be somewhat random (although frequently awesome), Lola seems to have a particular knack for finding cookbooks. Most of the ones she finds have given us tons of delicious recipes, but unfortunately, there is a reason some of them are free. Although I haven't given up hope on it yet, I'm beginning to fear that The Middle Eastern and African Cookbook is one of those.

We've made one recipe from this book before, which none of us really liked, but we decided to try the book again. We made Syrian fish with tahini sauce, eggplant and harrisa salad, and zucchini and cauliflower salad. Lola and I both liked the salads, but our mom thought they were too lemony. However, we all agreed that the tahini sauce was too rich and overpowered the fish. It's too bad, because the fish itself was cooked perfectly. I think if we had just made the fish without the sauce, or watered the sauce down a bit, it would have been a perfectly good meal. So I'm willing to try this cookbook again, but I think our parents have given up hope on it.
Random, non-food related: if you live in San Francisco, or are visiting, be sure to check out the Jejune Institute at 580 California. I went there yesterday, it's really cool.

Monday, August 3, 2009

pasta with roasted veggies and goat cheese

Whether it's a package of Easy Mac or spaghetti with jarred tomato sauce and a sprinkle of "cheese topping" ("made with 50% real cheese!"), some form of pasta with cheese is a staple of the college diet. While Lola and I appreciate the thriftiness and convenience of these meals, we like something a little more gourmet, especially when we're at home and can afford goat cheese. (By "afford" I mean "can get our parents to pay for"). We used this recipe and the pasta was delicious and wonderfully cheesy.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

tomato-pepper stew with poached eggs and harissa

in case you couldn't tell by the two times we've posted huevos rancheros, my sister and i really like poached eggs with tomatoes. this is the israeli version of that dish, and its called shakshuka.

recipe from food and wine magazine

very tasty! i would definitely make this again. we used less canned tomatoes but added 1 chopped tomato and some water. served with hummus and warm pita.

this is what i do when i get bored waiting for things to cook.
in other news, i'll be out of town until next weekend. My lovely friend C. has invited me to tahoe and reno with her family. hopefully my dear sister (who does just as much cooking but significantly less blog upkeep than me) will post a few times while i'm gone.