Monthly Archives: July 2009
|July 31, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Fish and Seafood, Fruit, Lent, Light, Vegetarian or Vegan|
The ingredients for this months Royal Foodie Joust were banana, honey, and turmeric. Interesting combination! I knew that I wanted to make something savory, and I immediately thought of going Caribbean with my dish.
This came out really well – I liked the way the the flavors played off of each other and carried through the dish: honey glazed cornbread, a banana-curry sauce on the shrimp, and fried bananas glazed with honey and a sprinkle of turmeric. In order to keep the dish from being overly sweet, I served it with rice and slightly spiced black beans. The touch of heat in the beans was perfect.I cheated on the cornbread a little by using Jiffy mix, but the glaze on them was awesome and they totally stole the show. I’ll be making them again soon!
If you don’t do shellfish, this is just as good without it. Just serve the banana curry sauce with the rice and beans. Yum!
Banana Curry Shrimp, Sauteed Bananas and Honey Glazed Cornbread
- 1 banana, cut into pieces
- 2 Tbs plain, fat free yogurt
- 2 Tbs water
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- pinch ground cloves
- 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 banana, sliced
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix, baked into 8 muffins according to package directions
- 1 Tbs butter, melted
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp water
- black beans (cook with garlic, cumin, cayenne, and 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar) and white rice for serving
For the Banana Curry Shrimp:
Preheat oven to 350. Combine banana, yogurt, water, and spices in a bowl. Mash together until they form a thick paste. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Transfer everything to a glass baking dish, Bake for 15 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through.
For the sauteed banana:
Heat oil in a sautee pan. Drizzles honey over bananas and sprinkle with turmeric. Add bananas to hot oil and cook until bottom browns- about 1 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 1 minute.
For the honey glazed corn bread:
Combine butter, honey and water to form a thin glaze. Use a fork to poke holes all over the top of the muffins. Pour glaze over muffins. Allow to cool.
Serve with rice and beans. Season to taste with sea salt.
|July 31, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Italian, Lent, Special Occasions, Vegetarian or Vegan|
The most basic dishes can be completely transformed when you use all fresh ingredients – this eggplant parmigiana contained very few ingredients, but they were all good quality and it was delicious. I happily ate the leftovers for lunch all week.
This recipe in Fine Cooking magazine initially caught my eye because, unlike most eggplant parm recipes, it wasn’t breaded. The lack of breading keeps it on the lighter side and makes it more appropriate for the summer weather. It also lets the flavors of the other ingredients really shine through.
I had a stressful day today and I honestly don’t feel like typing up this recipe. Sorry. I based it off this one though, with just a few changes:
- I left the peel on the eggplant
- I used much less oil to fry the eggplant – only a thin layer in the bottom of my pan. I browned one side, then flipped it and browned the other.
- I had an 8oz ball of fresh mozzarella, so I used that and cut back on the Parmesan (actually I used Romano). I also put mozzarella on the top layer too.
- I didn’t peel my tomatoes – I just halved them and then picked the peels out as they fell off the tomatoes as the sauce cooked
- I also added about 1/2 cup red wine, oregano, and crushed red peppers to the sauce
I might be back later tonight with another post and my entry for this month’s Royal Foodie Joust!
|July 30, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Beef, Lamb, and Pork, Italian, Quick Weeknight Meals, Summer|
Last weekend I saw some elk sausage flavored with pears and port wine at Eats and I couldn’t resist it. I had no idea what it would taste like or what to pair it with, but I figured I could just wing it. I didn’t want anything too rich or heavy, so I decided to just toss it with some tricolor angel hair that I had in my cabinet and whatever looked good at the farmer’s market. It turned out fantastically! Very fresh and flavorful. I was a little hesitant about putting corn in the pasta at first, but it was a surprisingly good choice.
This could easily be adapted to use whatever is in season, but I do think some sort of leafy green should be included. You could also use sweet Italian sausage, shrimp, or grilled chicken… or just leave the meat out all together. Just throw stuff together and have fun!
- 1 package tri-color angel hair
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 4 links elk sausage with port wine and pear, sliced
- 1 ear sweet corn, kernels cut off cob
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 3 cups spinach, torn
- 5 basil leaves, torn
- cracked black pepper
Boil pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile bring about 1 cup of water to a boil in a small pot. Add corn and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain.
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two until it becomes fragrant. Add sausage and cook until browned and cooked through. Add tomatoes and cook until heated through. Add corn and remove from heat.
Darin pasta and add to skillet along with the spinach and basil. Toss to combine everything and allow spinach to wilt.Season to taste with cracked black pepper.
|July 29, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Beef, Lamb, and Pork, Mexican and Southwestern, Special Occasions|
Ever since I had the lamb tacos at The Gingerman, I’ve wanted to try to make something similar at home. I love the way that the flavors play off each other – the sweetness of the mango and the creaminess of the avocado balance out the intense saltiness of the shell. The lamb also pairs well with both flavors. For something that seems so complicated, the recipe actually very straightforward and doesn’t take require a lot of active cooking time. Since braising the lamb will tenderize it, you can get away with using a tough cut which also keeps this dish affordable.
The shells are the most difficult part of this dish but, once you get the hang of it, it’s not difficult. You know how sometimes when you make grilled cheese, some of the cheese melts out out crisps up in the pan? That’s the basic idea with these shells. Try to not worry about them burning in the pan – if you try to move them before they’re done they mush up and stick to themselves. They’re ready when the top darkens and crisps. If you want, you can take them off the heat a few seconds before this point for a thin cheesey layer on the top – just make sure the outside edges have fully crisped. They should look liek this when you take them out of the pan:
Braised Lamb Tostadas on Manchego Cheese Shells
- 1 lb lamb chops
- salt and pepper
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 1 cup light red wine, such as pino noir
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 4 oz manchego cheese, grated
- mango preserves*
- diced avocado
Season lamb with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the lamb and sear on both sides. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add wine and stock. Cover and reduce heat – let simmer for about an hour or until lamb is cooked and tender.
Heat a frying pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Sprinly about 1/4 cup cheese in a very thin layer in the heated pan – try to keep the cheese in a rounded shape. Cook 2-3 minutes until the cheese darkens and crisps up, leaving a thin layer of uncrisped cheese if desired. Carefully remove from the pan by picking it up with two forks. Let cool on paper towels. Repeat with remaining cheese.
Cut lamb into small cubes. Spoon on top of cheese shells. Top with mango preserves and avocado.
Makes about 6 tostdas.
*if you can’t find mango preserves, heat a diced mango in a saucepan until it softens, then mash like you would with applesauce.
|July 27, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Desserts, Indulge, Special Occasions, Weekend Meals|
Since I obviously didn’t need to be eating that many cookies, I decided to make just one of the recipes. It was a tough call: milanos are my favorite, but I’ve also been dying to try making homemade marshmallows. Since this was for Daring Bakers and I wanted to push myself to try something new, the marshmallows ultimately won out.
These may not be the most beautiful cookies in the world, but oh my goodness, they were incredible. I was planning to bring them in to work, but that didn’t happen. They were just too good to share. The marshmallow process was a LOT less intimidating than I thought it would be. I did have a little trouble with them falling at first, but that was remedied when I stuck them in the fridge for 5 minutes before putting them onto the cookie base.
Oh, I also need to talk about the cookie base. They were awesome, and I’ll be using the recipe again. They’re the perfect shortbread- not too sweet- with a nice crispy crunch and a soft center. Perfect alone (especially the chocolate version – notice how there’s only one of those left in the photo below?), but when you put the marshmallow on top they soak up the moisture and transform into a soft, cakey base. Amazing.
I made two versions of these cookies- vanilla marshmallow with chocolate cookie, an lime marshmallow with vanilla cookie. To make the chocolate cookies, I just added 1/4 cup of cocoa powder in with the dry ingredients. To make the lime marshmallows, I made a lime powder by dehydrating some lime peel and running it through a spice grinder. (See, look at that- I learned something from Daring Cooks!)
Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies
- 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
- 3 eggs, whisked together
- Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
- Chocolate glaze, recipe follows
Blend the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix until the dough looks sandy. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375.
Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Use a 1biscuit cutter to cut out small rounds of dough. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
Spoon marshmallow onto the top of each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
Yield approx 4 dozen cookies.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 2 egg whites , room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar. Heat to 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff. Refrigerate until ready to use- this will help the marshmallow firm up.
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 2 ounces clarified butter
Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over simmering water.
I’m going to do a little experiment: A lot of people have asked me if I eat “this way” all the time. Now you’ll be able to see for yourself – I’ve started a new blog where I plan to document everything that I eat. I can’t promise you that it will be pretty, and I’m not sure how long it will last, but you will get to see what else I eat – including some recipes that I don’t deem worthy of posting here for some reason or another. You’ll also get a sneak peek at some recipes before they make it to this blog. Why am I doing this? Honestly, I’ve put on about 5 pounds and I don’t like them! I want them gone before I go on a cruise in September, and I know that my main problem is snacking too much. I hope that posting everything I eat will help keep me accountable, and will really make me think about whether I really want more cookies. I hope to see you there!
|July 24, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Asian, Fish and Seafood, Fruit, Japanese, Lent, Light, Quick Weeknight Meals, Special Occasions|
Yesterday turned out to be a very tea-filled day (which is never a bad thing!). I met up with Rebecca from Rosey Rebecca in the afternoon for my first Teavana experience. I got the iced pear luna and it was amazing, not bitter at all like iced tea can be sometimes (although it could have used more ice)! I’ll definitely be going back there.
Then I came home and made this delicious grilled mahi mahi with sauteed cherries in oolong broth for dinner. Cherries are one of my all-time favorite fruits, but I’ve never used them in a savory dish before. When I saw a recipe that called for combining them with fish and a tea broth, I knew I would have to try it! Definitely a winner, and much less complicated to make than I thought it would be – it only took me about a half hour total, so this is easily a weeknight meal.
The broth was one of my favorite parts of this dish – it was very delicate but full of flavor. I made some rice because I wasn’t sure how filling the dish would be… totally unnecessary, but it was great for using some of the extra broth! Oolong tea was surprisingly difficult to find, but I did manage to score some locally at the co-op. If you can’t find it, i think Earl grey would work too. The cherries were awesome combined with basil and sesame oil and the asparagus were some of the smallest and most tender that I have ever had. I’ll definitely be making this one again.
Mahi Mahi with Sauteed Cherries in Oolong Broth
Adapted from a dish by Paul Parker of Chez Sophie
- 1 cup water
- 2 Oolong tea bags (or approx 2 tsp loose tea)
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup sake
- 1/4 cup sugar
- a few good sized sliced of ginger
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- 1/8 cup soy sauce
- 1/8 cup fish sauce
- 2 6-oz mahi mahi filets
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 3/4 pound sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and blanched
Bring water to a boil. remove from heat and add tea bags. Set aside and let steep for 5 minutes. Combine next 5 ingredients (through jalapeno) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and let reduce by about half. Stir in the tea and keep warm.
Season fish with salt and pepper, and grill to desired doneness (I recommend serving mahi mahi medium-well). Meanwhile, add cherries, basil, and sesame oil to a small sautee pan. Cook over medium-high heat until cherries release some of their juices and basil has wilted.
Add soy and fish sauces to the oolong broth.
To serve, arange half o the asparagus in each of two dishes. Set grilled fish on top and spoon the broth over it all. Top with the sauteed cherries.