Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dorm Food

I'm not even sure this constitutes cooking it was so simple

Trader Joe's Peanut Sauce
Rotini pasta - 1/2 box
3 large carrots, cut in small medallions
3 celery stalks, coarsley chopped
1/4 cup of peanuts
1 cup of chunk pineapple

1. Cook pasta as on box
2. While pasta cooks, gently saute carrots and celery. Then add pineapple chunks and saute for a few minutes. Then add 1/4 cup of peanuts
3. Move vegetables into a pot (the one you made the pasta in probs), and add 3/4 of the jar of peanut sauce plus all of the vegetables. Let peanut sauce boil a little to cook of some of the pineapple juice. Remove from heat and add pasta. Wait a minute or two before serving so the sauce can thicken.

This meal was delicious and cheap, cheap, cheap. Few possible substitutions/additions
- add some lime juice at the end
- fresh pineapple may keep it from becoming as juicy and so be a little peanutier
- add some fresh ginger when sauteing the vegetables.
- add some chunks of red pepper to the saute

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lemony pasta with peas and asparagus


1/2 box of pasta (bow ties were nice tonight)
1 bunch of green asparagus
1/2 of a bag of frozen peas (probably 4 ounces)
canned pasta - 2 spoonfuls
half a lemon
parmesan cheese

1. Put pasta to cook
2. Cut asparagus into 1/2 inch sizes. In a small pan, saute asparagus with EVOO
3. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water
4. In a pan, cook the frozen peas with the pasta water. After a minute, add the asparagus and juice from the lemon. With a a fine zester, zest the half of a lemon over the peas.
5. Return pasta to pot and mix. Add pesto sauce to taste
6. Serve with generous amount of parmesan cheese

Friend and I made this today in a tiny kitchen with limited supplies (for example, i finely chopped lemon peel instead of zesting). I think if I did this again I'd use a different shape pasta, probably shells to capture the peas. I also think zesting the lemon would help sharpen the taste. Although fresh peas would be an obvious way to improve this, ultimately I think our "sauce" needed a little work. I think the correct order should be: add 1/2 cup of pasta water to peas in a pot. Wait for water to boil off some, then add 1/4 cup of cheese, mucho pesto, lemon juice, and twice as much lemon zest. Once that sauce thickens, then mix with pasta. Last note, I think some fresh basil mixed in at the end would help play up the taste of the pesto deliciously.

Regardless, for a quick dorm-room style meal, this was tasty and cheap!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Honey pineapple chicken drumsticks

8 chicken drumsticks (no skin)
One large can of pineapple chunks ( reserve the juice!)
1/3cup of honey
One bunch of scallions, finely chopped
One garlic clove, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. In a long glass baking dish, put the drum sticks in a single layer. Pierce both sides several times with a fork. Lightly salt one side
3. Pour about half of the pineapple juice from the can, maybe 1/4 cup
4. Cook the drumsticks for 25 minutes
5. In a bowl, mix honey, rest of pineapple juice, scallions, garlic, and cayenne. Carefully spoon this mixture over the drumsticks and then put back in the oven for 15 minutes
6. Add pineapple chunks to dish, flip the drumsticks, and spoon sauce from dish over the chicken. Cook for another 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Braised Chicken with oranges and olives

8 chicken thigh pieces
Two large oranges
One small jar of green olives
Three stalks of scallions

In a skillet, pour a little oil and heat to medium-high heat. Brown both sides of the chicken, cooking for about five minutes. Preheat oven to 350F.
Then, in a small square glass dish, place the thre bunches of scallions, slicing the green leaves to spread them out. place the chicken thighs on top of the scallions. Then pour the juice from the two oranges (mine yielded about 3/4 cup of juice) and put some orange zest over the chicken. Top off the chicken dish with about a oxen green olives and some of the juice from the jar - about 1/8-1/4 cup.
Bake in the oven for 20 -30 minutes depending upon your desired level of doneness.

Itook this recipe from Martha Stewarts Food Magazine, but upped the juice and oliveness. I added a few pieces of orange zest and let me say, more is better!

Orange beet salad

One can of beets
Two large oranges - peeled and sliced
About 1/8th of a red onion - in thin slices

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Grey pompon mustard

In a bowl, I arranged a bunch of arugula as a bed of greens. Then I layered orange slices, bet slices, red onion slices - two layers of that. Then I sprinkled a little salt over the top. Finally, I poured the dressing over the top, although I personally didn't end up using al of the dressing i prepared.

I modified this recipe from Simply Recipes, mostly replacing the fresh beets with the canned beets. This salad was refreshing and quite delicious- even to someone who doesn't like vegetables usually (my cousin)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Tie-Dyed Eggs

I followed this method to create a ton of eggs. A few things
1. you really want to be careful about laying the silk as close to the egg as possible - otherwise there are white patches on the eggs.
2. the white outside cloth is really important. I almost didn't do it, but some of these very colorful ties bleed ink into the boiling water and I think the white fabric helped to prevent that some.
3. boil in batches if possible - the red tie, for example, turned the water super red. I think it ended up turning some o the ends a little pinker, so beware.

Now, just a lot of pictures!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cucumber Mint Berry Dessert

I made dessert with some sugar-free friends in mind. I'm listing what I would do if I could redo this dessert some because the original recipe was pretty bland

2 cups plain unsweetened yogurt
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup of fresh mint, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 large cucumbers, sliced in semi circles 1/8th inch thick
Raw agave nectar
lime zest

1. In a large bowl, put cucumber, yogurt, lime juice, mint, and garlic. Mix well and then refrigerate.
2. To serve, put about 1/3 cup of cucumber mixture in a small bowl. Put some fresh lime zest on top, then some combination of the berries. Finally, top with about 1 tbsp of agave nectar (or honey).

A couple of notes. I did this without the agave and it was bland. I also made it with less mint, and so I suggest upping the mint above. The garlic never really came across, so I'm not sure if I didn't get the full flavor of it or maybe need to up that. Play around with the garlic and let me know what you think. Also, I cheated and used pre-bottled lime juice and it was noticeable. Take the time to juice the lime (and then save the peel for zesting!)

Oh, and one last thing to consider - maybe soak the cucumbers in some sugar water first. I guess that means slicing the cucumbers and laying them on paper towels for about 15 minutes to soak up some of the liquid, then putting it in some sugar water for a while. Might be an interesting way to get some depth of flavor.