Thursday, October 28, 2010

Braised Cabbage with Tofu

Braised Cabbage with Tofu
Originally uploaded by kel h
I got this recipe from I added a block of tofu cut up with the garlic and ginger to add some protien, and added some rice I had leftover when I added the sauce.

Napa cabbage, also known as Chinese cabbage, has crunchy leaves that pair well with a light sauce. Similar to bok choy, but more delicate (use either in this recipe), Napa cabbage is more elegant than regular firm-headed green cabbage. Slice the head of Napa lengthwise in half and remove the core. Roughly chop into 2-inch pieces. Then cook the cabbage in a searing hot skillet - high heat is essential - to caramelize the leaves. Saute in two batches so overcrowding doesn’t steam the vegetables. It’s fast and good for you.

3teaspoons vegetable oil
1small head (about 1 pound) Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch pieces
3cloves garlic, sliced
1piece fresh ginger ( 1/2 inch), cut into matchsticks
1/4cup water
1 1/2teaspoons cornstarch
1/4cup soy sauce
4scallions, thinly sliced
1teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil . When it is very hot, add half the cabbage. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until leaves begin to brown. Remove them from pan. Use 1 teaspoon of the remaining vegetable oil to cook the remaining cabbage in the same way; remove from the pan.

2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to pan. Cook the garlic and ginger, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

3. In a small bowl, stir together the water and cornstarch. Stir the soy sauce into the pan. Add the cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil.

4. Return all the cabbage to pan, stirring well to coat it all over. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.

5.Remove from the heat. Stir in the scallions and vinegar.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Golabki (aka Stuffed Cabbage)

Golabki (aka Stuffed Cabbage)
Originally uploaded by kel h
I got a head of cabbage in our CSA farmshare, and decided to make some traditional Polish food. Golabki (pronounced go-WAMP-ki) means pigeon in polish, because they look like roast pigeons. The hardest part is getting the leaves off the head of cabbage in one piece. I hear if you freeze the head of cabbage they come off easier. You can also boil the whole head of cabbage first and THEN cut the leaves off. I decided to do it the hard way and peel the leaves off and boil them separately for about 5-10 minutes.

EITHER: 1 lb combined ground pork/beef OR 1 pkg tempeh crumbled
1 beaten egg
1 stalk celery diced
1/2 large carrot shredded
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp paprika
2 cans crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 head cabbage
2 tbsp butter
salt pepper

sautee celery, carrot, onion, and garlic with butter
combine with meat or crumbled tempeh, egg, rice, salt, pepper and paprika to taste

Put a couple of spoonfuls of the filling in a cabbage leaf and roll it up like a burrito. Put in a baking dish, seam side down.

Cover with crushed tomatoes and put in bay leaves

Cover with tin foil and bake at 400 for 20 min. Then uncover and bake for another 20 min.

Monday, October 25, 2010

I had a soup, but I ated it

I had a soup, but I ated it
Originally uploaded by kel h
The bulk of our trivia team bowed out this week, so I decided to make soup for dinner for me and my roommate instead. And THEN I invited another member of the trivia team. And that's how I wound up having a small dinner gathering tonight.

We have a surefit of onions from the CSA, and I've been wanting to make vegetarian french onion soup ever since watching Alton Brown make it on Good Eats a while back. And once we went from just me and G (the roommate) to a small dinner party, I thought I should make dessert. I have a bunch of apples from the farmshare too, so I thought a french apple tart would make a good dessert.

It was a local, seasonal, french supper

The soup recipe was taken from Food Network, which cribbed from Julia Child's recipe. I made a few adjustments, and I want to kiss the man who invented the food processor (so much easier to slice onions with the slicing plate). I used less broth (although I probably could have used the whole 8 cups), and I added a teaspoon of herbs de provance and a bay leaf (Alton made his with a bouqet de garni of bay leaf, thyme and parsley, but I didn't have the whole sprigs of herbs).

French Onion Soup

Taken from Food Network, which based their recipe on Julia Child's recipe for French Onion Soup

1/2 stick butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 cups thinly sliced onions (about 2-1/2 pounds)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon flour
8 cups homemade beef stock, or good quality store bought stock (I used better than boullion No Beef Base. I LOVE their stuff and ususally have two or three containers in the fridge at any given time)
1/4 cup Cognac, or other good brandy
1 cup dry white wine
1 tsp herbs de provance
8 (1/2-inch) thick slices of French bread, toasted
3/4 pound coarsely grated Gruyere

Heat a heavy saucepan over moderate heat with the butter and oil. When the butter has melted, stir in the onions, cover, and cook slowly until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Blend in the salt and sugar, increase the heat to medium high, and let the onions brown, stirring frequently until they are a dark walnut color, 25 to 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour and cook slowly, stirring, for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a moment, then whisk in 2 cups of hot stock. When well blended, bring to the simmer, adding the rest of the stock, Cognac, and wine. Cover loosely, and simmer very slowly 1 1/2 hours, adding a little water if the liquid reduces too much. Taste for seasoning

Divide the soup among 4 ovenproof bowls. Arrange toast on top of soup and sprinkle generously with grated cheese. Place bowls on a cookie sheet and place under a preheated broiler until cheese melts and forms a crust over the tops of the bowls. Serve immediately.

We had a side of salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

For dessert I made an apple tart based on a recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I am pretty sure I used three kinds of apples (Macintosh, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious). I altered the recipe a bit. Alton reccomends using applejack in apple pie dough instead of water, and I like bourbon in my apple pie so I used some of that in the syrup. Part of the decision was based on the fact that apple tart is traditionally french, part because I had a bunch of apples, and part based on my recent purchase of a new tart pan from Ikea

Based on Smitten Kitchens Simplest Apple Tart recipe

Alice Waters’s Apple Tart
Found buried deeply within my recipe bookmarks folder!

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons chilled water (I used applejack)

2 pounds apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup bourbon

MIX flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Blend in a mixer until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter; mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.

DRIBBLE in water (or applejack), stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with hands, letting it fall through fingers, until it’s ropy with some dry patches. If dry patches predominate, add another tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove; let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dust excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush.

PLACE dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan, or simply on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you wish to go free-form, or galette-style with it. Heat oven to 400#176;F. (If you have a pizza stone, place it in the center of the rack.)

OVERLAP apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself; crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.

BRUSH melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle sugar over the crust and apples. I have some vanilla sugar that I used for this (although instead of alton's recipe I just keep a tupperware with white sugar and used vanilla bean pods that I add as I use them)

BAKE in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes.

MAKE glaze: Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water and bourbon to cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth.

REMOVE tart from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.

BRUSH glaze over tart, slice, and serve.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kale Chips

kale chips
Originally uploaded by kel h
we get a lot of Kale in our CSA share, and I've really enjoyed learning to cook with it. I've made stews, pasta dishes, and now CHIPS! I got the idea from Smitten Kitchen

these are super easy, addictive, and crazy healthy. One serving is only 56 calories, with 250% vitamin A, 150% vitamin C, and and 2.5g protein.

preheat oven with 300
cut out the stems and ribs
cut kale into large pieces
rinse and thouroughly dry kale
toss with 1-2 tbsp olive oil
sprinkle with salt (I added aleppo pepper for some spice) and spread over a baking sheet or two


bake for 10-20 min until kale is crispy and brown around the edges (the curly kale I used took around 10-12 min. It took smitten kitchen 20 min with flat kale)

the biggest tip I can give is to make sure the kale is well dried before you bake it or comes out chewy instead of krispy

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pretty Things Babayaga Tasting

Pretty Things Pint Glass
Originally uploaded by kel h
Babayaga....the beer that drinks like a scotch. It's a smoky porter from Pretty Things, a local brewer that hosted a tasting at The Independent in Union Square with trippy eastern european cartoons of Babayaga and the 1980 olympics or something and deep fried pireogis

Daikon Radish and Mango Salad

Daikon Radish and Mango Salad
Originally uploaded by kel h
I got some Daikon Radish in my last CSA farmshare, and I was looking for something interesting to do with it. While I know pickling is a popular choice, I wanted to try something different. In the original recipe, papaya is used, but I subbed it out for mango, which I like. I think it worked well.

Adapted from Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka

1 Daikon Radish, peeled and cut into 1/4in cubes
1 mango cut into 1/4 inch cubes
2 jalapeño peppers seeds and membrane removed and chopped
3 oz lime juice (for me it was about 1.5 limes worth)
1 cup loosly packed fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves garlic peeled and smashed

place the garlic, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree until you have a green liquid.

Toss the mango and daikon in the sauce and let sit for half an hour. Season to taste.

Tastes even better the next day

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Seelbach at Highland Kitchen

Seelbach at Highland Kitchen
Originally uploaded by kel h
went to Highland Kitchen with my friend Michelle. Had a great fall veggie pot pie, and a Seelbach cocktail

1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce Cointreau
7 dashes Angostura bitters
7 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
5 ounces chilled dry Champagne

combine first four ingredients in champagne glass and stir. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine and an orange peel garnish

Buttercup Squash Soup

My roommate and I are splitting a large farmshare from Enterprise Farms now, so we get more veggies. This past week we got two tiny buttercup squash, and one big one. The two little ones seemed too small to do much with, so I thought I would make some soup.

Initially I thought about making this a curry soup, or using some herbs de provence or something, but one I tasted it I liked how simple it was

2 small buttercup squash
1 onion, minced
1 leek halved and sliced (light green and white parts only)
3 cloves of garlic grated (it's so much easier than mincing)
1 bay leaf
1 carrot shredded
1 tsp paprika
1 pinch aleppo pepper
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup soup
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil

Cut the squash in half and place cut side down in a baking dish with a quarter inch of water
bake at 4oo for about 25-30 min

in a soup pot melt butter and add olive oil
cook onion, leek and garlic in the pot
add carrot and bay leaf and continue to cook

once the squash is done and cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh into the pot

add the broth and then either use an immersion blender or put into a blender to make it smooth

pour back into pot, add milk and season to taste

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed Grape Leaves
Originally uploaded by kel h
Our October 2010 hostess, Lori of Lori’s Lipsmacking Goodness, has challenged The Daring Cooks to stuff grape leaves. Lori chose a recipe from Aromas of Aleppo and a recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.

I love me some stuffed grape leaves, but I always thought it would be too complicated. Pshaw! Can you make a burrito? Can you get too much rice with your indian takeout? Can you stir? Than YOU can make stuffed grape leaves

BTW, it it me, or does every culture have some sort of burrito/sandwich/roll type food?

Wara Einab or Dolma/Cold Stuffed Grape Leaves
Adapted from Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food a Borzoi Book, published by Alfred A. Knopf

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


24 – 30 preserved or fresh grape leaves.
1¼ cups (300 ml) (9 oz) (250 gm) long grain rice
1- 3 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped or 4 tablespoons (60 ml) (35 gm) finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (25 gm) finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (15 gm) crushed dried mint
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) ground allspice
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6½ gm) dill
Salt and pepper
2 tomatoes, sliced **optional**
3 or 4 cloves garlic
2/3 cup (160 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar
Juice of 1 lemon or more

(I didn't have mint so I used 1 tsp of dried basil, and I didn't have allspice so I used allepo pepper instead. I sped things up a bit and used some leftover rice from indian last friday, which was great because when they simmered the rice got soft. Getting the grape leaves was fun because it gave me an excuse to drive to Watertown and hit up the Armenian market. I also got pomegranate molasses I plan to use in cupcakes)

at the Armenian Market you can get all sorts of fun stuff at the armenian market


If using grape leaves preserved in brine, to remove salt put them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Make sure that the water penetrates well between the layers, and leave them soaking for about twenty minutes, then change the water a time or two using fresh cold water.

If using fresh leaves, plunge a few at a time in boiling water for a few seconds only, until they become limp, and lift them out.


1.Pour boiling water over the rice and stir well, then rinse with cold water and let drain.

2.Mix the rice with the chopped tomatoes, onion or scallion, parsley, mint, cinnamon, allspice, dill, salt and pepper to taste.

3.Place a grape leaf on a flat surface, vein side up.

Step one, get a leaf

4.Place about two teaspoons (10 ml) of the filling in the center of the leaf, near the stem edge.

step two, add your filling

5.Roll the leaf end to end, starting from the stem edge. As you roll, fold the sides of the leaf in toward the center. The leaf should resemble a small cigar, about 2 to 2 1/2 inches (50 mm to 65mm) long.

Step three, roll up

step four, fold in the sides

6.Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

a.(You can freeze the stuffed grape leaves at this point. Just line a baking sheet with wax paper. When firmly frozen, transfer to an airtight plastic bag place back in the freezer.)

7.Pack the stuffed leaves tightly in a large pan lined with tomato slices or imperfect grape leaves Place a whole garlic clove in between them for extra flavor. The tightness will help prevent the rolls from unraveling.

Grape Leaves simmered in oil, lemon, and sugar

8.Mix together olive oil, 2/3 cup (160 ml) water, sugar and lemon juice and pour over the stuffed leaves. Put a small heat proof plate on top of the leaves to prevent them from unwinding, cover the pan and simmer very gently for about 1 hour, until the rolls are thoroughly cooked, adding water occasionally, a cup at a time, as the liquid in the pan becomes absorbed. Cool in the pan before turning out. Serve cold.

Disected Stuffed Grape Leaves

I don't know why, but making these made me feel kinda badass :) Can't wait to see what's next

Monday, October 11, 2010

Port Wine Truffle

port wine truffle
Originally uploaded by kel h
So, it's my roommate's birthday this weekend, and he is a fan of port. I decided to make the port and salted caramel cupcakes I've made in the past, but with a liquid center. The best way I could figure was to make truffles and sink them in the batter. They didn't quite turn into lava cakes, but they were goey and tasty in the middle, and the truffle ganache also made for a tasty frosting.

Today I decided to make more truffles just for fun

Port Wine Truffle


12 oz semi sweet chocolate chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup port

melt butter and add cream
heat until simmering
add chocolate, reduce heat and stir until smooth
pour into a container and chill

once it gets clay like, scoop into balls
melt more chocolate
chill the balls of ganache and then roll around in melted chocolate and let cool
you may also want to roll it in powdered cocoa or chopped nuts once you coat in melted chocolate

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baked Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushroom Risotto

This weekend was Harvest Fest, which is a fundraiser for Somerville Local First (a non-profit organization that supports sustainable local economic growth). There was food and beer from a bunch of local restaurants and breweries. The Independent served a version of this, and since I had a TINY acorn squash to cook I decided to make it at home for my roommate and me

Ingredients (this made dinner for 2 with leftovers)
1 acorn squash
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp salt
1 cup Arborio rice
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup chopped portabella mushrooms
1/4 cup dried mushrooms reconstituted
4 cups mushroom broth
1 cup white wine
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used smoked swiss)
1 pinch thyme
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 400
cut squash in half and scoop out the fibers and seeds
score the inside and cut a bit off the bottom so they sit flat in the baking dish
put half a tsp of butter in each squash
put the squash cut side up in a baking dish with half inch of water and bake
Once the butter melts spread it up along the sides and on top. Continue to bake until browning on top and soft

while the squash is baking melt the butter and heat 2 tbsp oil in a sautee pan
cook onions and garlic with a pinch of salt
then sautee mushrooms
add rice and toast for a minute or two
add cup of wine and cook until rice absorbs liquid
then add a cup of broth at a time while on low to med-low heat
with last cup of broth, add pinch of thyme
once rice is soft, add cheese and 1 more tbsp butter

Chard, Tomato, Leek Quiche

Chard, Tomato, Leek Quiche
Originally uploaded by kel h
due to a mix up, my CSA share came a day late this week. To make up for it they gave me double greens, which is great, but means I need to use them.

Loosely based on Emeril's Quiche Lorraine Recipe

Flaky Butter Crust, recipe follows
1/2 bunch chard
3 cloves garlic
1 leek cut in half and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tomato diced
1 cup cheddar
1/3 cup goat cheese
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 11-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and trim the edges. (Alternatively, a 9-inch pie pan can be used.) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the crust is set, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the paper and weights and bake until golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

In a medium skillet, cook the garlic and leeks in butter and olive oil with a pinch of salt and some pepper. After a few minutes, add chard and cook until wilted. add tomato and cook til heated through

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, yolks, and half and half. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine. Pour into the prepared crust and bake until the custard is golden, puffed, and set yet still slightly wiggly in the center, 30 to 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Flaky Butter Crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 to 2 tablespoons ice water, or more as needed
To make the dough in a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and butter in the processor and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube and pulse quickly 5 or 6 times, or until the dough comes together and starts to pull away from the sides of the container. Gather the dough into a ball, flatten it into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To make the dough by hand, combine the flour, salt, and butter in a medium bowl, and mix with a pastry blender or your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the water 1 tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough comes together and is no longer dry, being careful not to overmix. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface according to the recipe, fit it into the pan, and allow to rest again in the refrigerator before baking.

Yield: one 9-inch tart or pie crust