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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian recipe’

NewGift_Beans

 

You will be hearing more about this but I just had to show you my newest toy.  My very special buddies, Stuart and Dean, took a cooking class in Italy this past summer where the instructor used a glass beaker to cook his beans.  Stuart knew that I would love to experience this so, once home, went on a hunt to find the glass.  And last week he surprised me with the gift.  I researched this cooking method and found that it has evolved from hearth cooking whereby a bean-filled crock was placed in the embers at the end of the evening so that the beans would slowly cook all night in the warmth of the ash and hearth.  As years passed and cooks abandoned the hearth for the stovetop, this glass beaker took the place of the crock.  I couldn’t wait to try my Tuscan bean cooker although I couldn’t believe that the glass would not break on the stovetop.  I soaked some dried red beans that I had on hand for the trial and then put them to cook with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and water.  It took a few hours over very low heat, but the glass didn’t break and the beans were soft and creamy.  I can’t wait to begin cooking white beans in the Tuscan manner this coming week.  I will keep you posted on how my recipes work.

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mejadrap8192846

 

Everywhere I go these days I see a copy of Jerusalem, A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi and so I finally bought a copy.  Steve, my dear husband, took to it like a duck to water and began asking me to make something from it.  I’m not much of a follower of recipes and, in fact, hate to cook from one, but loving him as I do I asked him to pick a recipe that he thought he would like.  He chose Mejadra, a beautifully-flavored mix of lentils and rice with fried onions that the authors say is a favorite peasant dish.  The lentils and rice part was easy, but frying the onions in the summer heat was not.  But, I did it and we had quite a nice dinner with plenty of left-overs.  Since I don’t think it fair to publish another cook’s recipe, I will leave it to you to buy this cookbook and try the recipe yourself.  However, the fried onions reminded me of those canned French’s Fried Onions that find their way to that Thanksgiving green bean casserole and I threatened to use them should he ask me to make the dish again.  Believe me it was an idle threat as I have lived almost 75 years without them and hope to continue making things “from scratch” for the remainder of my years.

 

mejadrap8192960

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Thai tofu Curry_9926

 

The good thing about making stew-like dishes is once you have the flavor-profile in your head, you can proceed without a recipe in hand.  Or at least I think you can.  The other day I was making lunch for my best buddies at Loupe Digital – Michael wanted tofu, but the rest of the crew was in no mood for it and wanted something a little meatier.  Everyone wanted spicy, though.  I decided to make a stew-like base that I could add the different proteins to so I could satisfy all of my friend’s appetites.
The base was vegetable stock, Thai yellow curry paste, tomato puree, lots of coconut milk, tamarind paste, onion, garlic, chiles, cilantro, shredded coconut…..I think that was it but I might have forgotten an ingredient or two as I was tasting and adding as I went.  Once the base was simmering I threw in some diced red bell pepper and eggplant.  When it had all cooked together to a nice stewy mix, I stir-fried some cubes of tofu for Michael and thin slices of pork tenderloin for the rest of the crew.  Divided the base and mixed some with the tofu and the rest with the pork.  Made a big batch of orange-flavored rice to soak up the gravy for everyone.  It seemed to do the trick as gratitude filled my email box.  It’s such fun to cook for friends!

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hashbrowns_7672

 

What I call hash browns, lots of people call home fries.  And this is simply because that is what my mom called cubed raw potatoes fried with chopped onions in (for her) bacon fat.  When she fried – and now when I fry – shredded potatoes mixed with shredded onions, she usually formed them into one big pancake in a cast iron skillet and called it a potato cake, not hash browns.  Although they are usually associated with a diner breakfast, I often make my hash browns for dinner, particularly with steaks or chops.  And, occasionally they do make it to the breakfast table but, when that happens they are usually leftover and added to a frittata.  If you have bacon fat on hand, it adds wonderful flavor to the potatoes as does duck fat.  But, taking care of health issues, I mostly use olive oil as my fat of choice.  The following very simple recipe should serve 6 people.

2 to 3 tablespoons fat of choice
    6 large russet or other all-purpose potatoes, well-washed, peeled, and cut into small cubes
    1 large onion, peeled and diced
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Sprinkle of paprika, optional

Heat the fat in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When very hot, but not smoking, add the potatoes and onions.  Season with salt, pepper, and paprika and fry, tossing and turning frequently, for about 25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown with a few charred edges.  You can, if you want to speed things along, cover the potatoes for about 10 minutes, but they do tend to sweat rather than crisp.  However, once uncovered, you can raise the heat and toss and turn until they crisp up.

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