tylik: (Default)
PotatoLeekSoup

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)
Juk

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)
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)
Maple almond sprouted wheat cinnamon rolls are in the oven. I'm doing math (okay, little break for LJ). It's only -14 C out. Life is looking pretty fine. (Though if K doesn't get up soon I don't know if we'll get sparring in before I head in to the lab. Though I really don't think he's going to miss the cinnamon rolls...)

And it's snowing ;-)
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: (oven)
I've played with a lot of different degrees of sproutedness, and come back to grinding the grain when there are about three rootlets, and it looks a little like a bug. More than that, and you start to degrade the crumb - I'm suspecting you start losing gluten, but I haven't work out entirely if that's the case. Less than that and the flavor isn't as well developed.

For some time I wondered why the bread was so much more sour than my old daily bread. I'm increasingly convinced that it's because of bacteria that settle on the sprouting grain. Notably, if I rinse the grain well right before I wash it, I get very flavorful but less sour bread (if I go for a faster processing and rinse the grain it is less sour and less flavorful). I'm awfully pleased with this. I'm pretty sure K prefers the bread more sour, though he seems to like the latest. I'll have to decide if I want to switch off, compromise, or just let him deal.

The sprouting generally seems to increase the readily available carbohydrates (I think that some of the starches are broken down into sugars) making the yeast more active. This changes the timing of everything, and also means that I cook the bread on a lower temperature - I think the sugars caramelize otherwise.
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: (eggplant)
Four days in a row where I've been productive on research things. I guess I'm not dropping out of grad school this week. I'm also trying to make a point of stopping earlier if my back is bothering me, and doing fun things that don't involve computers - which mostly means martial arts or cooking.

So today I made four eggplants worth of caponata (about two and a half quarts), and three eggplants worth of baba ganoush (about a cup and a half). Okay, so the capanata has a lot of non-eggplant stuff in it. But it's still at least half eggplant by volume. K was commenting on my unusual style of eggplant preparation for the baba ganoush... I'm still not sure it really is unusual (I've been making baba ganoush for over twenty years now, and it seems usual to me.)
Baba Ganoush )
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.
tylik: (kitchen)
(Note, this is Pasta Primavera not because it fits the general tradition of such a recipe, but because it is a pasta dish that is a celebration of Spring. Particularly spring at the farmer's market this morning. The sauce is something of a mock alfredo, and owes something to [livejournal.com profile] phaedra_lari's)

Pasta Primavera


Vegan, gluten free


  • one bunch ramps, chopped (probably about two cups. yes, that's a lot of ramps. OMG, the tastey.)
  • 1/2 pound blue oyster mushrooms, chopped
  • a really big double handful of kale sprouts, including buds (kale sprouts here denoting early spring sprouts off of last winter's kale, not sprouted kale seeds), chopped
  • 1/4 pound pea sprouts (meaning very young pea vines - other tender pea vines should work just fine)
  • cashew cream - 1/2 c cashews blended with 3/4 c water until creamy
  • white wine
  • 1 T kuzu root starch in a few T water
  • 3-4 T nutritional yeast
  • pasta (I used one package Tinkyada brown rice pasta with rice bran - most awesome gluten free pasta ever, and a house staple even though neither of us particularly avoid gluten)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, or, not


Do all the chopping ahead of time. In fact, just get everything ready to go - cooking is quick, and you don't want to overcook those lovely fresh spring greens.

Start water boiling for pasta.

Sautee ramps and mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat for a few minutes. Add kale, sautee until kale is wilted. (Again, these are new sprouts, and fairly delicate). Add cashew cream, bring to simmer. Somewhere in here, the water will boil - add pasta. Add a couple of good glugs of white wine. Stir. (Though I think next time I'll add a little less white wine and a bit of lemon juice just at the end - brighter flavor.) Add kuzu root starch and the nutritional yeast, stir some more. Just as it's thickening, fold in the pea sprouts. Drain the pasta, and fold that in too. Add salt and pepper to taste.

As with most of my recipes, the ingredients are all about what I happened to have. Substitution is encouraged - pay attention to relative cooking times, though. For people without ramps (this was actually my first experience with ramps, having heard about them for years) I'd probably recommend garlic greens, or garlic chives. For people who eat dairy, a nice fresh organic cream would probably be great - and then one could use parmesean as well. (Though I'd still keep it a relatively light cream sauce.)
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