tylik: (Default)

So since last time around I was just playing and having fun (the soup was awesome, and I enjoyed cups of it for the next few days, but it was composed, and not the most minimalist version of itself) I decided to focus on two things: getting a somewhat thicker consistency, and going for simple.

If you can chop vegetables, and have a soy milk maker, you can make this soup, and it is fabulous.

What I did:

Chop up two medium leeks1
Chop 6 smallish yellow finn potatoes2

Okay, really, I chopped up the leeks, and then I added potatoes until the chopped veggies filled the soy milk maker more or less to the water line.

Pour a generous amount of olive oil over the whole thing (1-2 T?)

Fill with water to the higher water line. Put on the cover/grinder piece, and start on the porridge setting.

When it beeps, add salt and lemon to taste, and garnish with fresh herbs if you're feeling fancy. (I add salt and lemon right before I eat it, not to the quantity, the rest of which is now in my refrigerator. Except I think I need a second bowl. Ah, bliss.)

1 Usually after I remove the rooty bits on the bottoms and the tough upper leaves, I'll cut them open lengthwise to see if any dirt has gotten inside, and then wash them further if needed.
2 I didn't remove the skins. Flavor and vitamins, I say! Also, laziness!

More Soup

Nov. 8th, 2015 08:37 pm
tylik: (Default)
I have a serious case of Autumn. By which I mostly mean nesting instinct. This is turning into all kinds of useful things like getting one of those portable radiator space heaters for the library (it's the room I work in the most, is kind of underheated anyway, and this is a good excuse to keep the rest of the house cooler, which I prefer for training) and proper curtains for my bedroom, and putting the air conditioners away for the year.

I decided to play more with soy milk maker as soup maker, this time seeing how far one could push a non porridge style soup. This was my first attempt at anything like this, but then I knew the device pretty well (well, and it's certainly not my first squash soup.)

Squash Fennel Soup

500 ml (2 and a bit c) uncooked butternut squash, cut in small cubes*
3 10 cm (4 in) fennel stalks, chopped
5 large cloves garlic.
2 walnut sized scoops almond butter (okay, I used peanut butter, but I would have used almond butter if I could)
1/4 t fenugreek seeds
1/8 t corriander seeds
pinch vietnamese cinnamon
some aleppo pepper

Water to water line, hit porridge button, go do useful things until it beeps at you.

Salt to taste, garnish with a decent olive oil and a bit of lemon (if I hadn't been in a hurry to eat, there are a number of green herbs that would have both tasted lovely and provided pleasant visual contrast.)

I was a little worried about the correct mix between water and vegetables. This was a little more like a very rich broth rather than my usual thick soup - like, it was elegant and such. The kind of thing that gets you ready for a meal. (I can build absolutely lovely broths. I just happen to have peasant tastes. I could have added a bit of rice... but I might see how much more veggies I can get in there, because the brightness of the flavor is intriguing.)

Potato leek would seem like the obvious place to go next... though there were these sweet potatoes...

* A sturdy potato peeler will take the rind off of a butternut squash, or many other squashes of sufficiently smooth surface.
tylik: (Default)

A couple of days ago a friend posted about making juk (or jook, or congee - savory rice porridge goes by many names.) And I was reminded that my soy milk maker makes any entirely decent juk within its limitations, and its limitations work very well for me. It will not support all varieties of juk - it's probably best to think of it as a cooking blender. But as I'm making vegetarian versions anyway, and I'm just cooking for me, it's wonderful. I just finished a bowl made with this recipe:

Into the soymilk maker went

1.5 cups uncooked rice (brown basmati, because it was on hand)
a few cloves garlic
a couple of slices ginger
a couple of walnut sized chunks of miso
several fresh shiitake mushrooms.

Water was added to the marked line (About 1.5 liters total?) and the porridge setting on the machine punched.

When it came out, I added a handful of chopped jiucai, a bit of salt, a bit of lemon, and some pepper oil.

The big limitation is that you can't simmer things that you don't want pulverized (or, as in the case of ham bones, that the machine can't pulverize). And the texture of the rice is much smoother - you don't get that halfway dissolved texture that I so lovingly recall. I can imagine that a crafty person who lived alone could make stock some yummy broths, and then use them in place of water to make a nice fresh bowl of juk as needed, though. ...that it's so little work when I'm not feeling so great, or am short on time is just wonderful.
tylik: (oven)
I'm not even sure what to call this one. I mean, it's lineage is from one of my favorite biryanis, which involved meat and dairy but which has spawned a lot of things I can eat. (And I make a bazillion variants.) But... it has gone a little adrift. Peanuts? Cumin? Suggestions?
(all measurements approximate)
Read more... )
tylik: (kitchen)
So, I actually made a dinner last night. Like, courses and everything. Just for fun - a friend was coming over to get caught up, I said I'd make soup, and the it occurred to me that other things from my farmer's market trip would fit in well. So.

The first course was butternut squash soup, and I will provide the recipe because it rocked pretty hard:

roast one largish butternut squash
saute one small red onion, chopped fine, in olive oil over medium heat
add one pinch fennel and two of fenugreek
when this mixture is well browned, deglaze pan with a bit of water
and scoop out the butternut squash.
mash with fork, while adding water to not quite cover, until smooth.
Add two heaping tablespoons crunch almond butter* and mixed into soup
Salt to taste

* Another option would be to use smooth almond butter, and perhaps puree the mixture. As it was, this was very creamy, and the little crunchy bits just made it better.

Then we had a fennel and tomato salad

Next, we had green beans in garlic and olive oil
and chickpeas and shiitake mushrooms in a garlic parlsey sauce, over soba noodles

Finally, we had roasted local chestnuts and rooibos soy milk chai

(other recipes available on request, but really, it's all pretty straightfoward.)

So, nothing particularly fancy, but compositionally I liked it quite a bit, I was most worried about how the soup and salad would work. But I think the shared taste of fennel pulled things together.

I did notice that staying organized and getting the timing right while talking with a friend (who arrived early, but who was more than willing to dive in and help) was a lot harder than I expected. Not surprising with the drugs, but still, it was a surprise.
tylik: (kitchen)
(aka vegan mexican chocolate cake, would, for me, make excellent cupcakes)

While unpacking the kitchen some weeks back, I came across a bag of "raw cacao". I'd picked it up at Whole Foods quite a while earlier, played with it a little in various beverages, hadn't messed with it since. It occurred to me that it could be an awesome baking ingredient. Well, yesterday, with my body in the grip of "OMG, we just had needles inserted through the side of our neck and into our spine!!!" I was kind of craving something rich. However, something rich for some kind of internally determined value of rich... (Eating sushi with a few pieces of avocado? Not the right kind of rich. Let me feeling full and stomach grumbly for hours. And I highly support avocado, damn it.)

So this raw cacao stuff is powdered. And... different. Though less raw after cooking, I'm sure. Now I'm mostly afraid that this recipe depends on this chocolate and that I won't be able to get it reasonably...

Two apples, grated with a microplane grated (probably will work without microplane grater)
4 t olive oil (or other tasty oil)
1 c raw cacao
1/4 c maple syrup (which is a lot for how I bake, but probably not particularly sweet for most people. I'm sure you can use sugar and a little extra moisture)
1 c walnuts, crushed (I might have used almonds had I been thinking ahead more)
1 c oat bran
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour (very whole wheat, with germ, etc)
1 t cinnamon
1 t cayenne (I'd have added less were it not for K and I, but he can cope)
3/4 t baking soda

Stick baking dish in oven, head oven to 350. (I think I use an 8" round. Something like, anyway.) Combine ingredients, adding the baking soda almost last, so it gets mixed in but it doesn't get used up. This should make a nice stiff dough. Add a little more flour or a little more moisture (I'd have probably added soy milk, but, whatever) to make it a stiff dough.

Lightly grease baking pan, smoosh in stiff dough, bake for an hour.

It... it is just what I wanted. Rich and spicey and very, very chocolatey. Food. Really yummy food. I'm not sure if, in absence of aforementioned raw cacao, the next best thing would be a good high fat cocoa powder, or grated chocolate.
tylik: (kitchen)
A fairly typical banana bread

Five bananas, smashed
1.5 c. rolled oats
1 c. oat bran
1.5 c. whole wheat flour (for this recipe buckwheat makes a nice gluten free substitute)
2 T. honey
3 T. lemon juice*
2 t. cinnamon
1 c. walnuts, lightly crushed
1 t. baking soda

Put baking pan in oven, heat oven to 350. Mix everything together (adding the baking soda only towards the end). Lightly oil hot pan. Put dough in pan, return to oven for an hour or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean and not gooey.

* which is a lot, but I find the banana bread to be less insipid with it. also, I kind of wanted apple bread, which has more tartness, but there were these bananas that needed using.
tylik: (oven)
This might be the most outrageously aromatic thing I've baked... well, okay, probably not. But it's filling the apartment, and the hall, and the stairs coming up to the apartment most impressively. So, feeling daring, I shall post the recipe before it is done baking, and then follow up with a report.
Cranberry Orange Honey Oat Bread )
Report: Definitely with the noms. As is often the case with things with a fair bit of oat bran, nice, light texture. Not as sweet as I was expecting - considering that I tend to sweeten things less than most folks, I'd say start with 1/2 c. honey and work up from there.
tylik: (kitchen)
What I did:

Put one large spoonful of creamy organic peanut butter (y'know, the kind that just has peanuts) in a small bowl with perhaps twice as much water. Heated it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Mixed. (It wasn't smooth after the first mixing.) Added a little maple syrup*, a little sambal oolek**, some french fried shallots, a little ground galangal***, and a little fish sauce. Heated another thirty seconds in the microwave, whisked with a fork until smooth.

I served it over steamed tofu and bok choy, tossed with some wheatberries**** and then garnished with a couple of leaves of thai basil cut into ribbons and a little bit of lime juice.

But generally speaking, my peanut sauces vary a lot according to my whim. At the core is x amount of peanut putter and 1-3x amount of liquid. A lot of people use coconut milk - it seems plenty rich enough to me without, so I generally don't. Flavor as desired - something spicey, something sweet, something salty, something sour... (Not necessarily all at once, there's a lot of virtue in simplicity.)

I'll also often use just a little peanut butter in other sauces to give them a creamier mouth-feel and that yummy fatty-proteinaceous peanut taste. (I was introduced to a couple of "country-style" Thai curries that seemed to use peanuts rather than coconut milk, and I kind of took the idea and ran with it.) I also have done a lot of working with cashew butter when I'm cooking for people with peanut sensitivities.

* Most commercial peanut sauces are very sweet. Mine usually aren't, particularly, but I wanted a little sweetness. I have tended to use a lot of palm sugar in Thai-ish cooking, but that's harder to get around here, and sometime last year I tried using maple syrup as a substitute, and liked the results enough I kept using it.

** Because everything is better with sambal oolek. One can probably substitute a similar chili preparation of you choice. Or skip it, I suppose.

*** Because Whole Foods stopped carrying fresh, drat them.

**** I'm eating wheatberries cooked in the pressure cooker instead of rice a lot, as I'd picked up soft white wheatberries by mistake (they were mislabeled) a bit ago, and this uses them up.
tylik: (kitchen)
Today was the first day of the outdoor farmer's market (it goes indoors over winter, but I didn't bother this time - not much in the way of fresh produce). So I dusted off my bike (where is my chain grease?! - I really would like to actually finish a bottle of chain grease some time before I lose it... though I'd had this one for something like four years...) and headed up.

Sometimes I think that the primary reason I go there is the biking. Gods but that felt good. And I *really* need to either decide I'm leet enough to rework my own shifters or find a local bike shop.

And there was produce. Great to see everyone too. And a gorgeous day for it.

So I came home and made this:

cook two cups of brown rice (in pressure cooker, if you have one)

Saute in good oil one large sunchoke, cut into sticks
a couple of big handfuls of kale, chopped
a handful of chopped oyster mushrooms
and 3-4 ramps until tender
swirl in one goose egg. When it's about half way cooked
add the rice.
Add a bit of tamari, some lime juice, and some fresh basil and mint (hey, it's seasonal if I grew it myself)


On squash

Dec. 12th, 2008 01:09 pm
tylik: (pumkpins)
This was a reply to a post of [livejournal.com profile] imalion's journal, but I figured it fit under the food project.

Getting the timing right with acorn (or other smallish) squash can take a little practice. A few things that have worked for me:

Cut them in half, take out the skins, and cook them on a tray cut side down ([livejournal.com profile] dianthus showed me this one). This means they don't dry out which makes them less stringy. Press on the outside of the squash to see when done - rind should be yielding, but not squishy-soft.

I used to always do stuffed squash for Thanksgiving. (I did it a couple of times, and then people came to expect it.) But I usually didn't have the oven space to cook the squash. (Yes, even with three ovens. Hey, Thanksgiving was kind of a circus.) For that I'd cut and de-seed them, and then steam the halves until just tender - then I'd put them on pans, stuff them (usually a rice or barley stuffing) and as soon as the turkey came out of the oven, they went in. Worked pretty well.

Huh. I also used to get really little pie pumpkins. Those I'd cut lids out of like jack'o'lanterns, stuff with a hot stuffing (mushroom leek barley was a favorite) and then put the lids on and bake whole - the hot stuffing and relatively small squash meant it would take maybe half and hour, and they were dreadfully cute.

(I should make an icon of the squash K grew in the apartment, speaking of cute.)
tylik: (kitchen)
There is probably a rule that say a soup should be either mushroom barley, or potato leek, but not both, but if so it is a rule made to be broken.
Read more... )
tylik: (kitchen)

Two Dishes Involving Girasol* and Zinzania**

Read more... )
tylik: (kitchen)
I've been craving... not chicken soup, but something with some of the properties of chicken soup. This is doing it, I think (which is not to say that it will be anything like chicken soup to anyone else). To me something about this says "I am kind and nourishing and will make you well." Fresh bread helps. (Though K is insane - "sour undertones"? Sour that jumps out and hits you in the face more like!)

Soak kidney beans (recently dried kidney beans which I bought at an exorbitant price from one of the Amish families at the market because of their great beauty - a cup or cup and a half of them, I think) for several hours. Simmer them until they are beginning to get tender. Add to leeks, chopped fine, a generous handful of dried porcinni, broken into pieces, celeriac, the root of which should be about the size of a baseball (also chop and add the stems), a few handfuls of wild rice (every time I add wild rice to soup I think of making soup with S.), a daikon radish, chopped, and several ugly but sweet carrots, scrubbed and chopped. Simmer until beans and rice thicken the soup and everything else is nicely cooked. Add a glass of red wine, and a little bit of salt.

I'm putting this under food project even though it's really not quick at all. Oh well.

P.S. Two of the larger daikons are chopped and sitting in rice vinegars with bits of this and that.
tylik: (oven)
This is first try for this particular recipe - kind of an idea I've been kicking around the last couple of days. Amounts below are a little approximate.
Read more... )
tylik: (kitchen)
I cook a lot of things like this, but the effect of this one was something like French peasant food, or perhaps far more risotto than stir-fry. Comforting.

A different take on rice and vegetables.

Put two cups of brown basmati rice in pressure cooker to cook (12 minutes high pressure)

Chop half a head of garlic
one medium carrot
two stalks of celery
sautee in olive oil in wok (or large skillet, or whatever) with a pinch of fennel and a few pinches of fenugreek

add half a pound of lion's head mushrooms (or whatever mushrooms you like, or no mushrooms at all) and some cooked chick peas (two cups?) sautee a bit more

Add a quart or so of green beans, washed and snapped into bite sized pieces, and then three chopped medium summer squash. Add a bit of white wine, cover, and steam.

When vegetables are just tender, uncover, fold in rice and add remainder of glass of white wine. Add a bit of marjoram, and salt to taste.
tylik: (kitchen)
Especially when I'm busy I'll sometimes go through these phases where I'll make a whole lot of something simple that I like. Like open face sandwiches with goat cheese (back when I was eating dairy, hummus now) and fresh tomatoes. Or shelled edamame with tamari, rice vinegar and a little sesame oil. Recently I've been eating a lot of brown basmati rice with furikake. (It's actually a vegan furikake that's my favorite of the moment, out of the four or five I keep on hand.) Anyhow, really good for something that doesn't contain fresh vegetables. However, it doesn't have the right distribution of amino acids, which means that if I eat a bit as a light dinner there is a high chance I will wake up earlier than I want and really hungry. The problem is that I pressure cook my rice, and lentils and rice cook for different times. And the whole point of something like this is that it requires very little effort. Opening and repressurizing the pressure cooker is a lot of effort on that scale.

Rice and Lentils

2/3 c french green lentils
1 1/3 c brown basmati rice

Soak the lentils in the pressure cooker for a while. At least an hour.
Drain, and add rice. Add 2 1/2 c water. Bring the pressure cooker up to pressure, cook for fourteen minutes. Remove from heat. Done when cooker depressurizes.

Back when I was really broke I did a lot of living off of brown rice and lentils. You can live off of something like this, some fruits and veggies and maybe some nuts or something pretty much indefinitely. (Actually, it's pretty darned healthy, though it gets dull.) You can also use it as a base for anything you happen to have on hand. Add some peanut sauce. Add some salsa. Cook with garlic and mushrooms, and then add a bunch of Parmesan cheese. It's kind of the granola equivalent of top ramen.
tylik: (kitchen)
This one is worth posting... not hugely innovative or anything, but tasty.

Peas and cashews and stuff *

1 head garlic, peeled and sliced**
2 t ginger (fresh) chopped fine
12-15 pods green cardamon
1/2 t fenugreek
1/2 t coriander, slightly crushed
pinch cumin
2-3 pinches fennel
2 t Aleppo peppers (or your favourite pepper preparation in an amount that pleases you - this strikes me as fairly non spicy, but, um, upbringing...)
3 largish zucchini
16 oz (?) chick peas ***
16 oz frozen green peas
16 oz strained tomatoes ****
1/2+ c cashew pieces
some chopped up oyster mushrooms (optional - but then, I expect people to improvise)
olive oil

Sauté garlic, ginger, cardamon, fenugreek, coriander, cumin, and fennel in a generous amount of olive oil over medium heat, until garlic is browned. Add mushrooms, cashews, chick peas. Sauté a bit more, then add tomatoes and allepo peppers, cover, reduce heat and simmer. Chop up zucchini. Add zucchini. Check and stir occaisionally until zucchini are just getting tender. Add peas. Mix in and heat until warm again. Salt to taste (if it's to your taste). Serve over brown basmati rice (or whatever).

* Okay, this deserves a better name...
** If I'd had shallots, I might have used about three times as much. No complaints, though.
*** I've been soaking them and cooking them in the pressure cooker, and then freezing them - better flavour, no BPA
**** I've been also trying to find BPA-less tomatoes. Bionaturae does strained tomatoes and tomato paste in glass. (No, I'm not convinced that BPA is killing me. But it's almost certainly not making me healthier... and I'd generally rather have it out of the food supply. Or at least increase the market for products without.)
tylik: (kitchen)
a good idea

* small bunch of ramps
* generous handful of dried boletes (really, this should have been fresh morels for the flavorful seasonal mushroom of the minute, but I didn't have any. darn but I wish that were otherwise.)
* two cups and a bit water or broth (I used the water the boletes had been soaked in for part of this)
* two cups brown basmati rice (the reason I used the pressure cooker - I don't have white rice, but I also don't have patience)
* 1-2 tbsp olive oil
* splash white wine
* salt

Sautee ramps and boletes in oil. Add rice, stirring until slightly browned and threatening to stick. Add water or broth. Cover, and bring up to high pressure. Cook at pressure for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, clean and trim a pound of asparagus, cutting into inch long pieces. When the rice has cooked, quick release the pressure (this means running the rim of the cooker under cooler water for mine). Pile asparagus on top of rice. Add splash of wine. Cover and bring up to pressure. Keep at pressure for about a minute. Quick release again.

Add salt. (Actually, I skipped the salt, but added a little nutritional yeast.)

If you're speedy you can make this in 20 minutes flat.
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