Saturday, July 31, 2010

moroccan lamb stew

when we came home for the summer, we found out that our parents had purchased a lamb. or, more specifically, every cut of a lamb, wrapped in paper and taking up our entire freezer. the family slowly worked our way through each parcel, until all we had left was 4 packages of stew meat. so of course, we had to make lamb stew.
i'll be honest, this was not my favorite recipe. it was perfectly fine, but nothing i'd make again. i'm picky about stews, they have to be cooked forever and have the meat falling apart for me to like them, because i HATE (ooh, you know its serious when caps lock is involved) chewy meat, especially if its boiled. i also think this would have been way better if we'd used the called for blood oranges, but we couldn't find any. i don't think they're in season right now? and i'd up all the spices, because it really just tasted like orange juice to me.
and with that ringing endorsement, the recipe:
Moroccan Lamb Stew from bon appetit, via epicurious

yield: Serves 4

This fragrant stew is great over couscous.


  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3 1/2 pounds o-bone (round-bone) lamb shoulder chops, well trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces, or 2 pounds lamb stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 2 large blood oranges
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon honey


Mix salt, pepper, cinnamon and allspice in medium bowl. Add lamb and toss to coat with spice mixture. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add lamb to pot and sauté until brown on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. Return all lamb to pot. Add onion, garlic and ginger to pot and sauté 5 minutes. Add 1 1/3 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until lamb is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, grate peel from blood oranges and reserve. Cut all remaining peel and white pith from oranges and discard. Coarsely chop oranges. Add oranges and grated peel to lamb. Cover and simmer until lamb is very tender, about 20 minutes longer. Stir in parsley and honey. Season with salt and pepper.

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p.s. in the spirit of being positive, because i wasn't in love with the stew (and because i'm bored), i thought i'd share some things i do love...

my new boots! madden girl zoiie boots, photo (and my pair) courtesy of
2.jogging by the beach this morning. look at that fog! typical san fran beach weather.
3. the fact that i am currently importing a britney spears cd onto my itunes. don't judge me and my love for 90s pop =)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

mixed berry compote

pictured with plain greek yogurt. it was way prettier in person, trust me.

our family really loves chocolate. it is practically blasphemy to serve a dessert without any chocolate. however, when making dessert for a recent dinner party, we were craving some birite vanilla ice cream so we decided to risk it. we made a warm mixed berry compote to serve over. i think we were forgiven for the lack of chocolate.

mixed berry compote, from gourmet via epicurious
*3 cups mixed berries (we used blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries)
*3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
*1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
*2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Melt butter in a skillet over moderate heat. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice until sugar is dissolved. Add berries and cook, tossing gently (try to keep most of them from breaking up), until berries are warm and juices begin to be released, 2 to 3 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

black bean burgers

Even though me and Lola don't like burgers much, we both love veggie burgers. Actually, I prefer the ones that don't even try to taste like meat burgers and instead just taste like a delicious thing that just happens to be shaped like a burger. This black bean burger recipe falls into the second category, although the beans do give it a nice meatiness that also helps hold it together. Me and Lola both consistently fail with hamburgers, pancakes, crab cakes, and other things that need to be formed into circles, but even we managed to turn out fairly succesful patties with this recipe, although they did crumble a little bit at the edges.
Here's the recipe from The San Francisco Chronicle:

Black Bean Burgers
Serves 4

You can also make these as sliders. Decrease cooking time slightly, and use smaller buns or dinner rolls. These can also be baked at 350° for 15-20 minutes.

•3 tablespoons vegetable oil
•1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
•2 teaspoons minced garlic
•1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
•1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
•-- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
•1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
•-- Juice and grated zest of 1 lime
•1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
•1 teaspoon dried oregano
•1/3 cup chopped cilantro
•2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
•3 tablespoons mayonnaise + more for buns
•1 egg, lightly beaten
•3 to 4 hamburger buns
•-- Avocado, thinly sliced
•-- Salsa and creme fraiche, for serving
Instructions: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium-size skillet; add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat to cool.

In a large bowl, mix breadcrumbs, lime zest, cumin, oregano and cilantro. Pulse 3/4 of the beans in a food processor with lime juice, mayonnaise and egg until combined. Stir into breadcrumb mixture, and add onion mixture and remaining whole beans. Shape bean mixture into patties about the size of the rolls, and 1/2- to 3/4-inch thick.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat until hot. Cook burgers until outsides are crisp and lightly browned, turning once, about 5 to 8 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

Split buns, and thinly spread cut sides with mayonnaise. In a large saute pan over medium heat, cook buns, cut side down, until crisp and golden brown. Place one patty on each bun, top with avocado, salsa and creme fraiche. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 443 calories, 14 g protein, 47 g carbohydrate, 23 g fat (3 g saturated), 61 mg cholesterol, 810 mg sodium, 10 g fiber.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Chinese Barbequed Pork with Garlic Sauce

We had a ton of pork left over from the pulled pork we made earlier, so me and Lola looked for ways to use it without having to buy anything (and therefore avoiding generating more leftovers). We both love Chinese barbequed pork (the red kind that's in pork buns), but all the recipes for that required ginger, which we didn't have, so we ended up making a different variation on Chinese barbequed pork using this recipe from Gourmet. We managed to make the pork and the side (rice vermicelli with cabbage, edamame, and peanut sauce) without buying any ingredients. We did momentarily think we would have to buy hoisin sauce, but that was averted when we realized we could make our own using this recipe.
Although our pork wasn't red, it was still very good. We tried to make it pretty by lining it up, but as you can see from the second picture the prettiness was lost as soon as it got on the plate.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


with pulled pork sandwiches, sweet potatoes, and mom's arm in the background. hi mom!

of course we needed coleslaw to go with our pulled pork. so we made our own.

carrots and red cabbage. look, how pretty:

this recipe was delicious, but made a ton of coleslaw. i could probably open up my own kfc franchise to get rid of it all (of course, it is a million times better than the soupy coleslaw you get in styrofoam cups at kfc).

artsy photo of the cabbage.

coleslaw makes alot of servings. only half of it filled that big glass bowl you see above.
recipe from smitten kitchen, who adapted it from Ina Garten
the only changes we made were to use slightly less mayonnaise (if you've been reading for a while, you know we are not huge mayo fans. but of course you have to have some mayonnaise or it wouldn't be coleslaw) and less parsley (we only had a small handful left).
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 small head green cabbage
1/2 small head red cabbage
4 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled and shredded
1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves (or 1/4 cup if you're me and too lazy/cheap to go to the store and buy more parsley. it was good this way, but probably better with the full 1 cup)
1. half the cabbage halves and slice very thinly. toss cabbage and carrots together in a large bowl. add parsley and stir/toss until everything is combined.
2. combine dressing ingredients and stir until combined.
3. toss dressing with slaw to taste (i used about 4 tablespoons dressing for 1/2 my batch of slaw). stir until combined. store in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving.

Monday, July 12, 2010

pulled pork sandwiches

Last weekend, while me and Lola were off in Arizona visiting our cousin and getting sunburnt (before the trip we asked our cousin how hot it was there. "Well, it was 110 degrees today", she said, "but don't worry, it'll cool off and only be 106 by the time you get here." As native San Franciscans we are not prepared for anything over 80), our parents went to the Fillmore street jazz festival and had some pulled pork sandwiches that my mom raved about. Hearing her description of them, me and Lola knew we had to make some of our own. Our mom's verdict: "They're not as good as the ones from the street fair, but only because the buns aren't very good." I guess next time we will have to make our own buns too.
We served them with sweet potatoe fries and coleslaw, the recipe for which we will share with you next post.

Pulled pork adapted from "Cooking Light"
serves 4-6
*1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
*1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
*1/2 tablespoon chili powder
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 teaspoon ground cumin
*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
*1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
*about 3 lbs boneless pork shoulder or sirloin, trimmed
*3/8 cup apple cider vinegar
*1/4 cup ketchup
*1 1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
*1 teaspoon smoked paprika
* 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Cut the pork up into chunks. Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub evenly over pork
and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Put pork into a crockpot with 1/2 cup chicken broth or water and cook at low temperature for 8 hours.
To prepare sauce, combine remaining ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasinally with a whisk. Boil five minutes or until thick.
Add the sauce to the pork and cook in the crockpot for another hour. Pull the pork apart with a fork and serve on hamburger buns with coleslaw. If you like, you can also make some extra sauce to serve with the sandwiches.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

salmon burger sandwich

i had made it down the hill and was headed towards the subway station when my friend called me.
"so did you call susana?" she asked.
"no, i thought you did", i said.
this was bad news. susana was the friend whose birthday we were supposed to be meeting up for in half an hour. except no one told susana this. planning fail. anyway, after several back and fourth phone calls, we figured it out and arranged to meet an hour later.
in the meantime, i got hungry for lunch and, not wanting to walk back up the hill to my house, stopped at the local bagel place. i got the Mediterranean sandwich, which was hummus, sun-dried tomato paste, and a bunch of veggies on a bagel. it was insanely satisfying. you know when a meal manages to be exactly what you wanted at that moment? this was one of those moments.
which doesn't have much to do with my lunch today, except that it reminded me how good hummus is with sun-dried tomatoes. and my lunch today was also very satisfying.
le sandwich:
salmon burger (from costco), cooked in a nonstick pan with pam spray + 2 slices toasted wheat bread + trader joe's roasted red pepper hummus + sun-dried tomatoes + 1/4 of an avocado.
simple and delicious! if i had them, i would have served it with sweet potato fries.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

lunch time!

rita and i both had delicious lunches yesterday during half time of the spain vs. germany game (viva espana!). unfortunately, we did not photograph either of them. because the camera was all the way upstairs. you understand.
i do have this photo from a few weeks ago, of rita's super simple lunch of black and blue steak. i didn't taste it, but according to rita, it was quite yummy (i was eating apple cinnamon oatmeal. true story: i would eat breakfast foods for every meal if i could). all she did for the steak was take some leftover slices of cooked steak, heat them up, then added onion, sliced and cooked in a little olive oil for about 10 minutes, and topped with crumbled blue cheese.
our lunches yesterday were...
me: 2 egg omelette with sun-dried tomatoes and gorgonzola plus 1 slice toasted multigrain bread spread with 1/4 of an avocado and topped with sriracha (see what i mean about the breakfast foods?)
she: grilled cheese on multigrain bread with manchego cheese, prosciutto and avocado (we love being at home with a fridge filled with gourmet ingredients!) plus trader joe's tomato and roasted red pepper soup (so good! you should buy it).

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

african ground nut stew

yo! i hope you all had a fabulous fourth of july weekend. we spent ours in arizona, rafting down a river in 106 degree heat. then we got home to san francisco, where it is foggy and grey, just the way we like it. also, perfect stew weather!
from cooking light. the only change we made was to sub plain greek yogurt for the sour cream. because sour cream is gross.
African ground nut stew with sour cream [or greek yogurt] and chive topping (i accidentally left off the g when i first typed that. you can call it toppin' if you're hip like me)

Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 1/4 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 1/2 cups quartered small red potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 2 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained


Combine sour cream and chives in a small bowl; cover. Refrigerate 2 hours.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in peanuts, salt, and crushed red pepper; sauté 2 minutes. Add potatoes, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Place 1 2/3 cups stew into each of 6 bowls; top each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons sour cream mixture.

Mark Scarbrough, Cooking Light, MAY 2007

Thursday, July 1, 2010

spanish tortilla with artichokes and roasted peppers

with greens + nasturtiums (i had to google "edible flowers to find out how to spell that. my original spelling was so far off, i didn't even get any spell check suggestions) and sauteed shrimp. yum! also with rita's owl mug, which she wanted to show off.

this is another recipe from a wonderful cookbook, The New Spanish Table.

a spanish tortilla is basically an omelet made with thinly sliced potatoes, except instead of folding the omelet in half, you dramatically flip it over mid-cooking then finish cooking until you get a big cake like omelet that you can slice into pieces. the flip is top the tortilla pan with a plate, turn the whole apparatus upside down, then slide the plated tortilla back into the pan. the only plate we had that fit over the pan weighed approximately 10 pounds (not really, but i have no arm strength and that thing was heavy) so i ended up with egg running all over my stove. still, knowing me, the process could have gone way worse. i managed to conserve most of the egg and ended up with a successful tortilla.