Thursday, August 25, 2011

Butter-Steamed Eggs

Butter-Steamed Egg on 
Cheese-Onion Grits with Fried Apples
Recorded August 25, 2011.
1 or 2 eggs
1 t butter
Heat a heavy 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter in the pan. When the foaming stops and the butter has colored a bit, crack in the eggs, careful not to break the yolks. Cover tightly immediately and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook covered 2-1/2 to 3 minutes. White should be soft set and the yolks cooked but still runny. Plate immediately and finish with freshly-ground pepper and sea salt. Serves 1. Variation: serve atop a mound of creamy, savory grits or cheese-onion grits. Fried apples complement the dish nicely for a satisfying vegetarian meal.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Vegetable Soup

Prepared August 17, 2011. A melange of fresh vegetables. Better the second day.
2 T canola oil
1 rib of celery, cut into large dice
1 medium carrot, cut into large dice
1 c mushrooms, sliced
1 c leeks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 T garlic, minced
kernels and cream from 1 large ear of sweet corn
1 6 oz tomato, cut into large dice
1-1/2 c red or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 c green beans, cut into 1/2 inch lengths
1 c frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 qt prepared chicken stock
about 2 c water
2 c white cabbage, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 c rotisserie chicken white meat, cut into large dice
1 bay leaf
1/2 t dry (or 1 t fresh) tarragon
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 c parsley, finely chopped
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
1 T lemon juice
1 T balsamic vinegar
Heat the oil in a 4-qt saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the celery, carrots, mushrooms, corn, and leeks. Cook with occasional stirring for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomato, mushroom powder, bay leaf, tarragon, thyme, salt, the stock and water. Bring to a slow boil, cook for 10 minutes, and add the green beans, potatoes and cabbage. Simmer until they are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken meat, pearl onions, parsley, lemon, vinegar, and pepper, and warm through. Adjust seasoning. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Pair with a hearty bread or rolls. Serves 6.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Chile Relleno

Prepared August 14, 2011
2 large Poblano or Anaheim peppers
2 pieces asiago cheese, cut into 1/2 inch by 1 inch by 6 inch strips
canola oil
Place the peppers in a broiler pan in a toaster oven about 6 inches from the heat. Broil about 5 minutes, until skin blisters and chars. Turn over them over, and broil 3 more minutes. Remove the pan and cover with paper. When cool, peel skin off, make a lengthwise slit, and remove some seeds. Insert a cheese strip into a pepper, and gently roll in the breader. Heat 1/8 inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Test the sizzle with a pinch of breader. Carefully lower each pepper into the hot oil and cook 3 to 4 minutes until browned. Turn gently and cook the other side about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels, and serve topped with a salsa (Pace’s™ Picante Sauce is good). Serves 1 or 2.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Greek Village Salad

Inspired by Taverna Nikos, a venerable Greek restaurant in Durham, NC. Recorded June 28, 2005.
1 head of tender lettuce (red leaf, bib, Boston, etc) torn in pieces
1 large ripe tomato, cut in wedges
1-1/2 lbs small new potatoes boiled, chilled, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into rectangles
1 green pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 lb feta, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
6 pepperoncini (brine-cured) seeded, halved
6 oz ripe Greek olives
1/2 c red onion, thinly sliced
1 15 oz can garbanzos (chick peas), rinsed, drained, and chilled
4 artichoke hearts, marinated in oil, quartered
Arrange attractively on a large platter and dress with best olive oil, wine vinegar, fresh or dry oregano, coarse salt & freshly-ground black pepper. Serves a large group on a buffet table.

Gazpacho

Recorded August 5, 2001. Updated August 26, 2013. A great way to deal with all those tomatoes and other summer veggies. Blending the soup twice improves the textural range of the dish.
3 lbs (6 c, 1350 g) ripe tomatoes (about 4 large), trimmed and cut into large pieces
1 red sweet pepper and 1 green pepper or other mild chilies, trimmed, seeded, and cut into large pieces
1/2 c red onion, coarsely chopped
1 large cucumber peeled, seeded and cut into large pieces
2 t (or more, if preferred) minced garlic
1/4 c loosely-packed cilantro leaves, finely minced
2 T lemon juice (1 lemon)
1/4 t Louisiana pepper sauce
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
1 T salt, plus more to taste
tomato or V8 juice, as needed
In a food processor, on low power with pulsing, process the tomatoes until finely (but not too finely) chopped. Transfer to a large covered bowl. Process the other vegetables (cucumbers, peppers, and onions with the garlic) separately, and stir each into the bowl. Drizzle olive oil in with constant stirring, and stir in the lemon juice, cilantro, and pepper sauce. Return half the soup to the food processor and process until very smooth and add back to the coarser half in the bowl. Season with salt and vinegar, tasting after each addition. Thin with tomato juice if too thick. Chill and serve. Garnish with croutons, cilantro leaves, or thin lemon slices if desired. Serves 8.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Mezze Platter

Recorded August 10, 2011. A very satisfying, Mediterranean summer meal can be put together with minimal effort from ready-to-eat items offered in a large supermarket's deli bar. The only dishes that DrDaddy personally prepares are tabouli, zsatziki, and pita points. The others are chosen from the dozens available.
On the table, for example:
marinated mushrooms
feta cheese chunks
feta cheese cubes and ripe olives marinated in olive oil
tabouli
pita points
zsatziki
oil-cured ripe olives
stuffed green olives
pequillo peppers
roasted pepper relish
marinated artichoke hearts
dolmas (stuffed grape leaves)
hummus
fava bean salad
garbanzo bean salad
marinated cippolini onions
To make service and cleanup easy, one can present the foods in the plastic containers you brought them home in. Proletariat luxury! For more formal presentation, arrange the foods directly on fresh lettuce leaves or in small bowls and dishes.