Friday, May 20, 2016

Palak without the Paneer

Spinach is a great vegetable that is available in the winter (frozen) as well as in the summer (fresh), and it is really affordable. Typically, I’ll prepare fresh spinach sauted with other vegetables but I rarely make it creamed because it seems rather bland done in a conventional, Western way. There is one exception: the palak part of the Indian dish palak (spinach) paneer (soft cheese).   The other day,  I made my own version at home and it will definitely become a staple in my house.

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Palak witout the Paneer

  • 2 bags of frozen spinach, thawed, not squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 Thai chile diced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 5 to 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • 2 cloves 
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
  • pinch of cinnamon 
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, about 1-inch pieces 
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup (or sugar)
  • 3/4 to 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup ricotta (optional) 
  1. Put the thawed spinach, the ginger and the thai chili in a blender with 1 cup of water, and puree into a smooth puree. Set aside.
  2. Roughly crush peppercorns, cardamom and cloves in a mortar and pestle and throw out the cardamom skin. If using a spice grinder, remove the cardamom skin and use only the seeds (save the cardamom skin for chai). Add the turmeric, fenugreek leaves, and cinnamon and stir.
  3. Heat a thick-bottomed pan with the heat at medium. Add the spice powder and roast for 1/2 minute to make them fragrant. Add the ghee and wait until it is melted.  Add the chopped onion, and garlic and saute for 3 minutes until translucent. Add the tomatoes and agave, and sauteed for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Pour the spinach into the pan. Add salt and 1/2 cup water to adjust consistency. You can add a little bit more if you find the sauce is getting pasty.
  5. Once the spinach mixture boils, reduce the heat, and let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add garam masala. After 4 to 5 minutes, pour ricotta.
  7. Eat with naan or over rice with a curry, or just as palak.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Curried hummus

Whenever I go to the farmers market, I am enticed by these great non-traditional hummus variations: with cilantro, with artichoke, and with curry. I made my own version of the curried hummus and it is really nice --- Indian notes with the curry, spicy and a hint of sweet. Basically,  it is like hummus with curry, a dash of maple syrup and some red pepper flakes or cayenne.

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Curried hummus

  • 2 cups of chickpeas (ca. 1 cup of dried chickpeas cooked in the slow cooker with a bay leaf for 4-5h)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled (or less)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 TB maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 TB curry powder
  • salt to taste
  • Optional: 1/2 tea spoon garam massala, 1/2 ts roasted sesame oil

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water if mixture is too thick. Serve.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Stamping tea towels–the whole story

I am coming full circle: finally, I uploaded all the photos from my tea towel stamping adventure. It started out with store bought stamps and the perfect summer aqua.

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….and French provincial looking tea towels (I have a thing for the Provence).

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But what I really wanted was a tea towel with tropical leaves. After much deliberation of how to find leaves, I did the obvious – check out Home Depot.

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The tricky question was: how to transfer the design on the linoleum block? First, I pressed the leaves flat in a book. Then, I photographed them and thought I could transfer the photo outline to the block. In the end, I was too lazy to print out the photo. Instead, I glued the leaves to a piece of paper, and with a tracing pencil traced the leaves’ outline. Then, turned the paper around and traced the outline again, so that some of the original tracing would rub off on the linoleum block. Afterall, it has to be a negative-positive design. To be honest, there was only the faintest outline, and I made up the rest.

With an hour of evening sun on my desk and caring about nothing else in the world I carved the leaf design into the linoleum block. I was so in trance I got it done in one go.

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A few days later, it was time to stamp. First, a few test stamps.

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Then, the real thing.

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It was not perfect, but it is hand-made by me. 

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And then, just  as I imagined it….  Below is Tracy’s original inspiration that set it all off. I still love her rounder, softer shapes of the leaves more, and the white line in the middle. Time to go back to the stamp, and make some more changes. But for the first try, it was very good and rewarding.

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Hand-stamped tea towels

Besides bringing plenty of work, April was a month of creative adventures. I was inspired by the most beautiful dishtowel in had seen on a blog, with tropical leaves. I wanted this towel so much but, nothing similar was to be found, not on Etsy or anywhere. So, I googled the next best thing: how to make hand stamped dish towels?

Turns out it is fairly easy to do and I found the most beautiful hand-stamped towels ideas (this is a good tutorial, this one, too). I bought some inexpensive flour sack towels on Amazon for $8  and a liquid (Liquitex Professional Fabric Medium) that I mixed with my acrylic colors to create fabric dyes, and then scoured for some pretty rubber stamps at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby.

On a sunny afternoon, I mixed my paint, a nice Martha Stewart like aqua, and tried to figure out how to get a crisp stamp imprint. The first tea towel inadvertently  became the ‘test towel’. It worked best using an inexpensive foam roller that I soaked with paint and then rolled over the stamp.  So, I stamped away, amazed. The towels dried for 48h, and then I ironed them to make the color permanent.

A great mother’s day gift idea… and the ideas are endless. Potato stamps, even cutting rubbers into triangles for geometric stamps, or using lemons.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

A whiff of summer

Yesterday there was no denying it: it was time to leave town and head to the coast. It was sunny, not particularly warm, but sunny and dry nonetheless. And it was Saturday. My routes take me to Acadia National park or to Belfast and Camden. Yesterday, it was the later. I added another stop: Unity. The Amish charcuterie in Unity with its large selection of hand-crafted  meats and smoked cheeses make the detour necessary. I got ‘ramp sausage’, a type of chorizo with local ramps. I’ve been trying to find local ramps for years, but Mr. Amish ‘has someone’ who knows where they grown. Hmm. I continued on the rolling hills towards Belfast, listening to Oliver Sacks telling his life story, and arrive just in time for a wonderful beet soup (and french carrot salad) at Chase’s.

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After the obligatory round through the Belfast shops, and a first wine tasting at Cellardoor winery in Lincolnville it was time for the first hike of summer 2016, up Maiden Cliff.

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The winter was the mildest on record, but the trees took a beating, with high wind storms.

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Poor trees. Their roots are on top of the mountain boulders, and a whole cluster of 3 wiped out.

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Sun!

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I finally made it to Long Grain in Camden, one of the 10 bucket-list worthy restaurants on this list that I had not been to. Long Grain is a hole in the wall kind of restaurant, easily overlooked but once I heard that it is one of the favorite restaurants in Camden of my chef-friends I decided it is time to try it out. I never made it last year, because it was always full with tourists when I got there. Yesterday I was more lucky, and snagged a seat at the bar. The Thai beef salad completely wow-ed me. It was quite spicy but with vibrant flavors and the meat so buttery soft it must have been a really good steak. 

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The tourists are still mostly local, the ships still in their larva, but summer is coming. Definitely.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Banana muffins (GF)

This morning when I walked into the kitchen, I shivered. “brrh, it’s cold!” On the deck I saw hoarfrost covering the planks and the first patio furniture items placed outside. I thought about my baby kale plants, prematurely planted, but then assessed that kale is tough and even survives winter. While the coffee was brewing, I lit a fire in the oven.

The semester and school year comes to an end. Students cram for finals, defend their research work back to back before the ‘final date to defend’, and make plans for the first hikes “once it is all over”. I still try to keep my cool in the midst of too much going on at the same time.

Last weekend, I decided there needs to be time for some baking. I had collected a recipe by Tartine Gourmand, gluten-free banana muffins. This recipe had been brewing in my imagination for a while, and I even had hunted down the beautiful daisy shaped baking pan on the internet.

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I halved the recipe from the original one, and I still ended up with about 10 muffins. Time to share!

This is a quick and easy recipe, quite healthy, with olive oil instead of butter, ground flax, and maple syrup instead of sugar.  I used the Trader Joe’s gluten-free flour mix. I don’t bake often, and the many individual flours of GF baking always seem to go bad on me, and so I keep my stash small.

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Yumm.

Banana muffins (GF)

  • 1/6 (40ml) cup olive oil
  • 1/6 (40ml) maple syrup
  • 1/2 TB vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (30ml) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ripe banana, smashed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup GF all-purpose flour
  • 1 TB golden flax meal (I only had brown flax)
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare a baking sheet with silicon molds (they are typically too floppy if not placed on a baking sheet).
  2. Mix the wet ingredients with a hand mixer in a bowl: olive oil, maple syrup, egg, Greek yogurt, vanilla extract and banana.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: flours, flax seed, salt, baking soda and baking powder.
  4. Mix both wet and dry ingredients until smooth.
  5. Pour about 2 TB of dough into a small mold. The muffins will rise, and if you want ‘flat’ daisies, don’t overfill the pan.
  6. Bake for 20-25 min, depending on the size of the molds (longer if you use a single pan). Cool and unmold.
  7. Optional: dust with confectioner’s sugar.
  8. Eat fresh, they taste best in the first 1-2 days.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lemon Fennel Celery Salad a la Jamie Oliver

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to get through this thing called life.” – Prince

It was the first time I that I heard this quote after Prince’s untimely this week, but I have been thinking about it more than once since. What a weird thing life can be. We think we are in a ‘safe zone’, and then, a curveball out of nowhere come flying, and it rocks us out of our orbit. Or, we watch it happen to others. Then, we are shaken for a while, start to forget and go back to business as usual. 

These days are very busy at work, but instead of going nuts, I ask myself daily“so, what do I have to do today to stay on track, and what else do I do for fun?”, and each day is a mixed bundle of work (not too much) but also creative, ‘useless’ things, and I just live in the day, and don’t worry about the next. One of my latest creative adventures is linoleum stamping. Inspired by a hand-made tea towel by Tracy, I googled around on the internet, and realized it is not that complicated, and started stamping my own tea towels with store-bought stamps. So much fun! But since I could not find a stamp similar to hers, I ordered a block of linoleum and started carving the stamp I want myself. (I still yet have to stamp towels.)

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I remember linoleum stamping in high school, it was fun back then, too.

My creative juice also got flowing on another level: cooking. After I ditched my cable TY subscription last summer and now live on Hulu and Netflix, I found out that Jamie Oliver has a cooking show on Hulu, 15min meals. Jamie, with his usual enthusiastic, youthful style, inspired me to finally try out something new in the kitchen again.  I even bought a wide-mouthed food processor because he uses it for many of his recipes to finely slice veggies. In this particular recipe, he sliced a whole lemon. I had to try this one out!

The food processor arrived this week, the fennel and celery and mint were waiting in the fridge, and I had a few meyer lemons left over from the winter’s harvest.

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Meyer Lemon, Fennel, Celery and Mint salad

  • 1-2 fennel bulbs (greens cut off)
  • 1 celery heart
  • 1 Meyer lemon (organic)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 bunch of mint
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB red wine or white wine vinegar (optional)

Necessary: mandoline or wide-mouthed food processor with a slicing inset.

  1. Finely slice the fennel, celery, and Meyer lemon into a bowl.
  2. Chop the mint leaves (or add to the food processor)
  3. Remove the vegetables, and gently mix by hand. Add a pinch of salt, and the olive oil.
  4. Garnish with some mind and fennel prongs. Serve.

 

The salad has a great texture, the light scrunch of the fennel and celeries. The lemon is not bitter at all, and adds this fresh, summery note. The mint rounds it out. Nevertheless, the salad is missing something. Maybe, feta? Or parmesan? Or roasted garlic bread? Or an apple and toasted walnuts? Ideas?

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Run eat repeat

Finally, spring is here. The sky is blue, the lawns are more green than yellow and the temperatures are climbing. The trees are still barren, but some flowers like the crocuses my  mom planted around a shrub in my yard are blooming, reminding me of her as every year.  Over the last few weeks, work and life took over my schedule, and time for some of the good stuff like running and writing fell to the wayside.

With both, there is a phase of ‘get into it’ again, a phase and procrastination I can only overcome if  I take it easy and have low, really low expectations.  The longer the break, the easier I have to make it on myself.

I can’t say that I am a runner. For most of my life I hated it, until I found the Couch-2-5K program that eases me into slowly and painlessly building up stamina to really run 5k, and more I don’t really need as regular exercise. I have no ambitions for any races, and I am quite glad if I run 5k in the first place.

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The first time I did the program it took me a lot longer than a few months to build up stamina, it took me almost a year. It also meant I hike up hills like a gazelle as a by-product. Now if I take a break for more than 2-3 weeks from running, I need to start back at week 2. But at least, I maneuver myself on the treadmill again.

It is so easy to make excuses every day and say, “I start tomorrow.” If I tell myself, “just walk for 30min”, it feels easy, easily doable. And then,  two days later I might walk again. And four days later I might start running. And then I just hope that life does not get in the way again.

Sometimes, I also seduce myself with new running shorts.

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whatever it takes.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Long days, and long noodles.

This winter seems to never end. I woke up this morning and the sky looked gray but a gray that is foreboding. The tall trees are in constant movement, wiggling silently all their branches all at once. The neighborhood has a thin coat of snow, only on the lawns, the streets are clear. I see the tiny foot prints of my neighbors’ cat coming and going to my garage to check for his second breakfast that I leave out for him.

Yesterday was a bright and sunny day, and, with a warm coat, it felt warm. There was not a single cloud from one end of the horizon to the other. When I grabbed my mail from the mailbox, I heard birds chirping. It was probably the birds chirping that made me think “it is really here, finally, spring!”

My days are so full these days that they seem an exercise in survival rather than in living. Like Michael Phelps I seem to crawl through each day with mega strokes, getting things done, one after the other, only to feel bamboozled in the evening and wanting to tune out with some show on netflix or hulu. The next day I only remember glimpses of the last, and I am immersed again in the needs of the new day.

At the beginning of the year, when life was less hectic, I made different forms, shapes and sizes with the Phillips pasta maker. They came in handy over the last months when I just needed a quick meal, often some pasta and tomato sauce or a ramen vegetable soup with home-made ramen. Two weeks ago, the pasta was finally all consumed, and I resorted to regular Barilla pasta again. But, it is just not the same. I put ‘making pasta’ on the schedule-fun list. Yes, I learnt to put myself on the schedule, and fun, too.

Yesterday, after work with some hours of day light left I carried up the pasta machine from the basement. This time my plan was to make whole wheat pasta for the first time. Heaven knows I can use all the extra healthy food I can get these days, so instead of the typically “OO” white flour I mixed it with Wholefoods wholeweat pastry flour, which is also very finely ground. Half and half. I made a double batch, because who knows when I would have time again to make it.

I put the flour in the pasta machine, poured in 2 eggs mixed with water, and then the machine kept mixing and grinding, and grunting, ready to push out the noodles. Then, it beeped and stopped. That had never happened before. I opened up the machine to check that all the parts were aligned correctly. A whole mess of egg-flour crumbles fell out. But things seemed to be alright. So, I started again.  2 inches of noodles emerged, but the machine looked like it was pushing so hard it would burst apart at any moment. So, note to self (and everyone who is still reading): no wholewheat pastry flour. It must have a different texture, absorb the liquid differently and get too dense to be pushed out.

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So, I threw it all out, cleaned up the machine, and started again, with regular flour. This time it worked, and I grabbed the noodles, handful by handful, cut them with the pastry cutter, and slid them right into the freezer container.  The last bundle went into a pot of boiling, salted water, and I whipped up a quick tomato sauce with an onion, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes from Wholefoods, a can of tomato paste, a can of Hunts tomato sauce, a dash of anchovy paste, a bay leaf, a swirl of agave nectar, and some crushed hot peppers.

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Quick dinner, again. Netflix was waiting.

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sauteed radicchio salad

The sky is french gray, a cold, stark gray, the wind howls around the house, and the temperatures dipped into the 20s again. There is no sign of spring. Despite it being a relatively mild winter with only one month of snow, the pre-spring is over 2 months old now. The landscape is still barren and the trees bare. We are in a waiting pattern, cruising over the airport, waiting to land, in spring.

Winter is a tough time for me to eat salads. During one winter, the best option of lunch salads seems to be buying whole romaine salad heads and chop them up when I need them. Sometimes, I buy prepackaged spring mix salad in plastic containers. This winter with my lack of interest of making my own salad in the first place and detouring to the cafeteria, I bought radicchio salad. It not only has a great, slightly bitter taste and hearty texture, but it also last rather long in the fridge, 2-3 weeks. Just in case.

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My favorite way to prepare it is with balsamic vinaigrette, blue cheese, toasted walnuts and apples or pears. It is a typical restaurant combination. But what’s also great with radicchio is that it can be grilled and slightly wilted. This time I cut a Belgian endive in half, and sauted it with some olive oil in a ceramic pan.  This was  a convincing lunch for the wary, waiting for spring.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Easter calling

It’s Easter this weekend. Easter in March feels really early, especially since we got another 12 inches of snow on Monday. It thaws rapidly but the Easter egg hunt  might still be in the snow this year. Bummer.

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For me,  Easter feels like spring, first flowers, green lawn, spending times outdoors again, pumping air in the bike and getting sore thighs from peddling.  But this year even the Easter bunny is a stunned by Santa Claus conditions.

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I have to reign in my impatience with wanting warmer weather to come. The days are longer, it is sunnier but I am still kept inside because it is chilly.  Yesterday, I went running outdoors and it was glorious, much better than those sweaty hot summer runs where I have to outrun the mosquitos.

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I try to put the summer colors in my salad, with radicchio, first (non-local) strawberries, smoked swiss cheese from an Amish butcher, and pine nuts.  Spring in a bowl.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Triple Chocolate Cookies

It’s finally spring break, but the weather thinks it is winter again, sending thick snow flakes dancing in front of my window.  At least, we seem a month ahead, April weather in March.  What better to relax with a nice cup of coffee, a good book and a fresh giant home-based, crumbly chocolate cookie?

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Triple Chocolate Cookies

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) salted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark or light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an stand electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the room temperature soft butter and the 2 types of sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and mix together.
  4. Add the flour mixture and continue mixing until just combined.
  5. Now, add the chocolate chips, and mix until combined.
  6. Using a small ice cream scoop, drop the dough two inches apart on sheet pans lined with parchment (makes about 6 cookies per regular sized cookie sheet, and 3 cookie sheets overall plus 3 small cookies).
  7. Bake for 15 minutes.
  8. Cool the cookies on the cookie sheets (! don’t move them, they will fall apart!). The cookies should be very soft when they are removed from the oven. They will firm up as they cool (10 min).

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Monday, February 29, 2016

Overnight tomato sauce

It is February 29.  I wonder what I did 4 years ago on this day, but I cannot remember. Our snow is long gone here in Maine, and this week will be warm. I am willing to take this demonstration of spring for the real thing.  Spring break is around the corner, and I feel I am going just to collapse and veg out for 2 weeks straight.

Yesterday were the Oscars, and I must admit I have not seen any of the nominated films nor the Oscars this year, thanks to being a Netflix & Hulu aficionado and satellite cutter. At least they streamed the SuperBowl, but not so much luck with the Oscars. I did buy a digital antenna, so maybe, next year I am back on track. I miss all those gut wrenching acceptance speeches and tears! And, I guess I have to see Spotlight, Mad Max and Leonardo. Or at least Spotlight.

A few days ago I made my own props.

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On Sunday,  I had enough time to both make pasta and a tomato sauce from scratch. The tomato sauce cooked for a few hours, not overnight, but it could probably be made in the slow cooker overnight. I just like the name ‘overnight tomato sauce’.

I find it difficult to get a tomato sauce just right, sometimes it does not come out well at all. No flavor, or not really good, or too acidic. This one worked really well, and I think it was mostly due to the types of tomatoes I used and heavy helping of Trader Joe’s red pepper eggplant dip.

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For the pasta, I tried out the fettucini attachment. It came out really well, similar to all the other times I made pasta in the Philips pasta maker. Thick, fat, wide noodles.

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with some Mache salad and the home-made pasta sauce it was a perfect Sunday dinner.

Overnight tomato sauce

  1. In a large, heavy bottom pot, heat the olive oil and fry the onions first. Once translucent, add the carrots and garlic and fry for just a minute.
  2. Blend the 3 cans of tomatoes in a food processor and add to the pot.
  3. Stir, and add the red pepper spread, and rosemary.
  4. Bring to a bubble, and then reduce the heat and cook for 2h on low heat. A third of the liquid should evaporate for a thick sauce.
  5. Add the dark agave nectar at the end. Stir and serve.

Slow cooker version:

  1. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil and fry the onions first. Once translucent, add the carrots and garlic and fry for just a minute. Turn off the heat.
  2. Blend the 3 cans of tomatoes in a food processor and add to the slow cooker.
  3. Add in the red pepper spread, rosemary, and fried onions.
  4. Cook on low overnight.
  5. Add the dark agave nectar at the end. Stir and serve.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Angel hair and X Files

The cold and snow came on the weekend, and then the wind and rain came. Today I woke up and saw that most of the 15 inches of snow are now gone, and that the house is still standing. I was not quite sure about that last night when I went to bed, because the winds were howling around the house that even the cats looked up, their ears in alarm radar position.

Today, it looks like spring again, well, maybe spring in the northeastern corner of the Northeast, with temperatures around 40F. This is still better than a –30F windchill.

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I’ve been busy with a project at work and the days pass my by without much notice. I am in the zone. Hope, I don’t jinx myself. It took a while to get in the zone. There has been no time for recipes and I’ve been living off the large stash of home-made noodles in the freezer.  Thick spaghetti, penne, angelhair  pasta, thrown in a pot of salted boiling water, some tomato sauce and back to work.

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I also started to watch The X Files. I was not into it the first time around, but I’ve been a huge fan of Gillian Anderson since the UK series “The Fall”, with her as a non-nonsense, intelligent Superintendent Stella Gibson, the only one in the whole investigation who never looses her cool, similar to the killer.  It’s interesting to see that she played the same type, back in the days, much younger, in the X Files. Now, she’s just a lot hotter. Well, maybe it’s the clothes. Or is it age?  

My cats talk to me a lot. Mostly, it seems they complain and call me to order. “It’s dinner time, hurry up!” or “I am bored, you have not played with me today, how can you forget this. Now now now!” I started to respond with   “Alright, agent Scully…”

Just checking in. Be back.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

In the land of kimchi

I am a huge fan of kimchi. Back in the days, I bought it in large quantities, inexpensively in Koreatown in LA. These days it is vastly overpriced up here in Maine, where there are only a few Koreans who know how to make it and napa cabbage seems also to quite pricy in the winter. Nevertheless, home-made kimchi to the rescue.

A few years ago, I made a first batch based on a video vom Maangchi. She’s my kimchi queen, she is just super cute.  She has another video on youtube, ‘easy kimchi’.  So, it was a kimchi making Saturday afternoon, and a basmati rice and fresh kimchi kind of dinner. Yum!

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It’s best to watch the video for more instructions. I am just writing up the ingredients.

Easy Kimchi (according to Maangchi):

Cabbage:

  • 10 pounds of napa cabbage (adjust the recipe if you use less. I used 7 pounds).
  • 1 cup of kosher salt

Cut napa cabbage into bite-size pieces. Wash and soak the cabbage for a few minutes. Then salt the cabbage in a large bowl and let sit for 1.5 hours. Every 30 min gently mix and turn over the cabbage. After 1.5h, rinse the cabbage and drain.

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Meanwhile make…

Porridge:

  • 3 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of white sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup of white or coconut sugar

In a pot, hit the water with the rice flour and constantly stir. With in 3-5 min, the porridge will thicken up. Add the sugar, and stir some more for 1min. Take off heat. Let cool to room temperature.

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Ginger-garlic paste:

  • 1 cup of peeled garlic cloves
  • 2 TB of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup of fish sauce
  • 1 medium sized white onion, peeled

Place in food processor and process for 1 min.

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Porrigde-Chili paste:

  • Mix the cooled porridge with the ginger-garlic paste.
  • add 1-2 cups of chili flakes (just 1/2-1 cup if you don’t like it too hot)
  • mix it all up.
  • Add
    • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
    • 1 cup of daikon, thinly sliced
    • 1 bunch of scallions, sliced on an angle
  • Mix the vegetables in the paste.

 

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Make kimchi:

  • Prepare a large storage container with a tight fitting lid. You will store the kimchi in the fridge to ferment for a few weeks.
  • Put on some rubber gloves.
  • In a bowl, mix a portion of salted, drained cabbage with a laddle full of chili paste. Mix up, and place in storage container.
  • Mix until all is mixed up and placed in storage container.
  • Place in fridge and wait for fermentation. It will start after 2 days, and smell slightly sour.

I made a separate smaller portion in a glass jar, which will ferment in room temperature so it ferments faster.

Serve with rice, sesame seeds and beef, or just as a side.