Wednesday, February 16, 2011

'moo's wild rice

a couple of months ago, for hanukkah, my mamoo sent me a kris a bag of moose lake wild rice. we were super excited because, duh!, wild rice is good stuff!!! last night we decided to bust it open with this lovely little concoction. it's a simple assembly of (our star of the evening) wild rice, roasted vegetables and tempeh all drizzled with a tasty little sauce. it's one of those simply yummy things that you can take in many directions to use up whatever you have that needs using. i love those kinds of dinners.

back over christmas (yes, this is turning into a belated holiday post apparently) we took a trip to jungle jim's in cincinnati which is a gigantic supermarket with an overwhelmingly large international section. since we were flying home we tried to limit ourselves to purchases that were small, light, cheap and not of the liquid or gel variety. spices fit the bill nicely so this sauce took advantage of (annoying ingredient alert!) lemongrass powder. if you don't have any i'm sure using fresh would be even better.

mamoo's wild rice concoction

ingredients, what to do and such:
first cook your wild rice according to package instructions.

toss brussels sprouts, cauliflower and a handful of whole peeled garlic cloves with a little oil and salt and pepper. roast at 350 until nice and...roasty.

while the vegetables are roasting pan fry tempeh chunks in a bit of oil. when they start to brown add some balsamic vinaigrette (because that's what's almost done in the fridge) and cook a few minutes longer.

now for the sauce! whisk all of these things together:
juice of one orange (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemongrass powder
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
chili flakes to taste

to assemble, put the rice in a bowl and drizzle with sauce. top with tempeh and vegetables and drizzle with more sauce. you're done!


on another note, kris and i leaving for a long weekend in kauai tomorrow! i hope to return with lots of foodish things to share.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Chocolate Tart

A few weeks ago, I hosted a little impromptu dinner party with a friend. The inspiration was Julia Child – one of our shared idols – and so something French was in order. The plan was a quiet evening, making a very “French Chef” dinner, followed by a viewing of Julie/Julia. We settled on coq au vin – a true classic, and perfect for winter entertaining. I searched around for something decadent yet simple for dessert, and found the following recipe. It comes from Alice Waters, and was really a breeze to make. I was a bit suspicious of the Pâte Sucrée at first; it mixed up like a cookie dough – creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding wet and dry ingredients. And it was very sticky.

But I went with it, and in the end was rewarded with a short, buttery crust – the perfect foil for a rich, creamy ganache filling. (Make sure to splurge on a good chocolate here). The tart takes a bit of time to set up, so make it before your guests arrive, and they can oooh and ahhh over it while you’re making dinner. And it’s perfect for times when dinner for two turns into dinner for seven, because just a little slice is enough!

We ended up serving it with whipped cream (with a hint of rum mixed in) and it was the perfect end (or beginning) to a night of good times with good friends.

Sweet Tart Dough

from Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

1 ¼ cups all purpose unbleached flour

Beat together the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the salt, vanilla, and egg yolk, and mix until combined. Finally, add in the flour, mixing well, stirring and folding until there are no dry patches. Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight until firm. (Note: I chilled the dough for about 1 hour, and it rolled out nicely).

Chocolate Tart

from Alice Waters, The Art of Simple Food

1 disk of Sweet Tart Dough

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Roll the dough into a 12-inch circle. Lightly prick the dough with a fork. Line a 9-inch tart pan with the dough, lightly pressing the dough into the pan. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove any excess dough. Patch any cracks with excess dough. Let the tart rest for at least 10 minutes in the freezer. Prebake the tart shell for 15 minutes, until light golden brown. Check the pastry halfway through the cooking, and pat down any bubbles that may have formed. Let cool and unmold.

For the ganache, put the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream until just boiling, pour over the chocolate, and let sit for 30 seconds. Stir until the chocolate is melted, and the chocolate is smooth and glossy. Pour into the tart shell while the ganache is still quite warm and liquid, gently tapping and jiggling the shell to even out the filling. Let sit at room temperature for at least an hour to set.

(Note: use any leftover dough to make little jam thumbprint cookies. They bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes, and make a nice little snack!)


~ e

Monday, February 7, 2011

Curried Lentil Dip

While searching for something meat-free to take to a Super Bowl party, I came across this recipe. Food52 is one of my new go-to sites for interesting recipes, and this one was no exception. This dip is simple and yet complex, with the warmth and richness of cinnamon and curry mixed with the humble lentil. Because I happened to be out of veggie stock, I threw in some sliced carrots and slivered leeks with the onion and garlic for added flavor. The carrot also provided nice little pops of color in the finished dip. I also used parsley in place of cilantro, and the dip was still delicious!

This recipe makes quite a lot of dip – 5 people put a decent dent in it, but there are still plenty of leftovers. You could also serve as an entrée when served over rice.

Curried Lentil Dip

Adapted from

Serves 6 to 8

1 can of coconut milk

1 ½ cup dried red lentils (rinsed)

1 onion, large, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 small leeks, rinsed and sliced


1 tablespoon dried fresh ginger

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon each ground cumin, turmeric, cumin, and black pepper

2 teaspoons garam masala (or other – I used Muchi) curry powder

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2-3 Bay Leaves

3 tablespoons parsley (fresh), chopped

Place can of coconut milk in freezer 20 minutes before starting to cook. Open can and remove solidified coconut butter from the top to use in sautéing. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk.

In a sieve rinse lentils and drain.

In a 2-quart heavy saucepan cook onion, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt in 2 tablespoons coconut milk fat over moderate heat, stirring, until golden.

Add ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add lentils, coconut milk, 3 cups water and gently boil, uncovered, until lentils fall apart, about 20 minutes.

While lentils are cooking, take a small heavy skillet and heat the olive oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook cumin, stirring, until a shade darker, about 30 seconds.

Add curry powder and other remaining spices and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 15 to 30 seconds. Stir hot spice oil into lentils.

Let curry stand, covered, 5 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Stir in cilantro and add salt to taste.

Serve with either Sweet Potato Chips or over rice as a side dish.


~ e

Sunday, February 6, 2011

breakfast quinoa

kris and i have bagels for breakfast every weekend and it's a little routine that i love. but this weekend kris is in boston and since i know he'll be coming back with the good stuff i decided to take a saturday off from bagels to try out something that's been on my list...breakfast quinoa! just like oatmeal you can dress this up to your tastes but here's what i did.

breakfast quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup water
toasted almonds
maple syrup

first toast the quinoa in a dry pan for a few minutes, this gives it a nice toasty, nutty flavor. cook the quinoa in the water and milk covered at a low simmer* for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is tender and most of the milk is absorbed. remove from heat and add blueberries, syrup, cinnamon and almonds and a splash more milk if desired. eat it!

theoretically this should serve two but since i'm here all by my lonesome i ate it all. this made for a very filling breakfast and i did not really get hungry again until dinner time. that was no fun...i like lunch!

so the verdict? while this is yummy and a nice way to switch things up i went ahead and got bagel fixin's for sunday morning. what can i say? i'm a creature of habit i suppose.