Thursday, February 27, 2020

Cauliflower Steamed in Butter Sauce

Cauliflower Ready to Steam
This recipe, developed along the same lines as an earlier one, yields two servings of tender cauliflower in a smooth, rich sauce in about 15 minutes.
8 oz (250 g) cauliflower, cut into large florets
1 T butter, cut into small dice
1 t chicken or vegetable stock concentrate (Better than Bouillon™ is good)
1 T water
1 t tapioca or corn starch
Prepare an improvised steamer. Put the cauliflower in a shallow bowl, dot with butter, add the stock concentrate, the water, and sprinkle on the starch. Put the bowl in the steamer for 5 minutes. Cautiously, lift the top, and with tongs, toss the ingredients. Steam another 5 minutes or until tender. Toss again and plate. Serves two.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Steamed Vegetable Combo

Developed February, 2020, the method quickly produces a side dish in a savory Asian-style sauce. Vegan or not.
8 oz assorted tender raw vegetables, cut into serving size pieces
1 t soy sauce
1 t roasted sesame oil
1/4 t fish sauce (omit for vegan)
1 t chicken or vegetable stock concentrate 
4 T water
1 t corn or tapioca starch
Pile the vegetables into a shallow bowl. For example, bok choy, spinach; bean sprouts, green onions, shallots, snow peas, sweet peppers, sweet onions, summer squash, enoki mushrooms, and the like work well. Drizzle on the seasonings and sprinkle on the starch. Place into an "improvised steamer". After four minutes of active steaming, cautiously lift the lid and, with tongs, toss the vegetables to coat with sauce. Cover and steam another four minutes. Remove from steamer, toss again, and serve. Serves two.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Ingredient: Dry Shiitake Mushrooms

Recorded February, 2020. Sometimes known as 'forest mushrooms', they can be used in Chinese stir fries and other Chinese dishes. Shelf stable, they are available anytime. Hydrated, they take on a fleshy, savory quality and can be used like the fresh product. The soak water can be used as stock.
40 g (1-1/2 oz) dried shiitake
3 cups (750 ml) very hot water
1 t salt
1 t sugar
Rinse the mushrooms briefly to remove loose dust and place in a heat proof bowl. Pour the hot water over, add seasonings, stir, and cover. Occasionally stir until cool. Use as if fresh. Yields about 240 gram, or 8 ounces. Reserve the liquid for stock.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Ripped and Torn Croutons

Meant as an accompaniment that brings crunch, flavor, and complex shape, these crusts are inspired by a garnish in a potato soup served at Fearrington House restaurant, in the countryside south of Chapel Hill, NC. They're good for salads too, or as a hot, crunchy snack.
1 cup French bread, torn into irregular pieces
2 t olive oil
1 t grated Parmesan
a pinch granulated garlic
pinch of salt
Heat oil over high heat in a small non-stick skillet. When smoking begins, lower the heat to medium high and add the bread pieces. Keep moving for about a minute. When browning of the edges begins, toss with the cheese and the other seasonings. Remove to a plate to cool.