Plants were added, mini dahlias and an assortment of hebes and cotoneasters found elsewhere in the garden. Hubs continues to work on the re-grading and installation of pathway boundaries. Summer is here!
Research is part of perfecting any good recipe - yesterday I par-baked two small deep dish pizzas - the idea is avoiding the dreaded soggy crust.
There were only enough pizza toppings on hand for one pie- so I had a really good lunch yesterday. The other shell is standing by in a sealed container in the fridge...and there is a ton more dough to make more.
Pizza Pizza Pizza! Even better- deep dish style. Cornmeal + Olive Oil in dough = best.
Raised bed on north side, the sphere is solar and turns colors @ night.... Further up the north side (note Solar Sphere for reference) plants and shrubs are looking promising...even the Echinecia has shown signs of its return! Further up the slope, the foamy purple ground cover is in full display as the Coral Bells Huechuera adds height and interest...this is my view from the kitchen sink...the garden whimsy as started to disappear into it all. Turing the corner, there's bulbs, shrubs and all sorts of possibilities. Happy Spring Dear Readers!!! EOS.
Simmering away this morning is my first attempt at Cornelia Guest's Seitan Chili.
That Google link shows you book text - hint hint - the recipe is revealed. :-D
My only variations were omitting the Jalapeño and Chipotle peppers, as neither agree with us. Of course, go ahead if they are to your liking! Open the window it's getting fragrant in here!
The onions are browning and additional aromatics standing by: garlic, spice blend of mild chili powder, cumin and oregano. Seitain, chopped in the food processor is that bowl of ??. The idea is: get onions nice and soft, add aromatics and then the seitan - to "brown" before adding everything else. Don't hurry this step as this is what creates the base flavors.
When the ingredients in the pot look more cooked than raw - add the beans (black and kidney) and tomatoes Going on ten a.m. - time to stir the pot!
Simmering in the tall Le Creuset stock pot is vegetarian marinara sauce - oh, it smells great.
Two onions, celery, mushrooms, red pepper, splash of red wine, 3 cans of San Marzano tomatoes - my seasoning mix - I lowered to a simmer around 1:30 this afternoon. The plan is to simmer-and-stir until 5, so there is time for it to cool, and set aside for later this week.
A tip of the hat to Ms. Mollie Katzen for this staple, from her Moosewood Cookbook classic.
Canned tomatoes are confusing! Look for these brands/labels:
I just made this - for baking later on. It took about an hour from start to finish to roast the red peppers, prepare the pasta and mock sausage. The Trader Joe (TJs) tri color radiatore worked great, and I used non fat milk instead of evaporated.
A great find from a google search. Thank you Food Dot Com - now I can listen to the Bean Pot final game instead of cooking. Go Huskies!
You can use her ideas even if you like dairy- substitutions are fine!
One of Ms. Guest's recipes I was always tempted to try, but was dubious about was the Tempeh Pot Pie. But alas, finding myself with all the ingredients on-hand, I gave it a shot. Keep in mind, this is not a "traditional" pot pie with a roux (white sauce) and peas...it's a veggie stew with biscuit like top only crust.
Chunks of eggplant and the oddly textured and colored tempeh are steamed. I had some cauliflower, and steamed that as well. This is added to browned onions splashed with balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce (canned low salt).
At this point, she simmers a bit, but I simmered at least an hour.
The great surprise is the fluffy and golden "pie" topping made without animal or fake fats. It's just flour, soda salt mixed with canola and non-fat milk (she uses hemp milk). Wow!
It made so much that I stowed 1/2 the filling for a second pie. Hubs gave it two thumbs up - yay! This is a keeper recipe- thank you Cornelia Guest!
It's time to re-stock the freezer with quick dinners, and there's no better place to start than lentil soup. Include the rice in the recipe and you have a full meal.
Tonight we added grated white cheddar and oyster crackers.
Once again, I made it without tomato- just for change. Red lentils and jasmine rice yield a golden and rich soup- even if you skip the fatty bacon at the start. I forgot to add the Parmesan rind so that goes into the freezer for the next soup or stew.
Another blog has the recipe for the Silver Palate Gingerbread with Lemon Glaze and the end result looks like this: The ingredients looks rather unappealing before baking - here the lemon glaze (fresh lemon juice and confectioner's sugar) gives it a nice finish. Before adding.... The last of the Truwhip topping! Ginger is so happy it's not him! Locally produced "Aunt Patty's" Sweet Barbados Unsulphured Molasses with dried ginger & cinnamon from the organic grocer enliven the taste of this cake.
The Thursday special for lunch today were Smoked Salmon pinwheels, with a little help from refrigerated "crescent rolls" by Immaculate Baking Company. The base recipe is from Pillsbury.
My additions were chopped red pepper vs. red onion and a sprinkle of lemon pepper (dried onion, garlic, black pepper, lemon peel, sea salt). The lovely, locally smoked salmon was just the right thing for Christmas lunch. Roll snug and be sure to seal up seams for the usual triangle shaped rolls so the stuffing does not spill out! The next step is to slice... Finished pinwheels (or buns) ready to eat!
Really deep lasagna pan. The interior is uncoated stoneware - which means you have to be careful with cleanup, but it was made in USA and quite a bit less expensive than the Emile Henry (glazed white interior) pan I drolled over for years. Haeger NaturalStone Baking Dish about $33.00.
Set of nexting glass bowls with lids. Yes, after 20 years it's time get a new set with lids. Yes, Pyrex is still made in USA! Great in a pinch to serve party snacks too. Nesting bowl set with lids. About $20 at Macy's or Amazon.
Simmering away is a big pot of red lentil and brown rice soup. With all day drizzle and the busy holiday week ahead, what could be better for dinner?
I was low on carrots, often the feature of my soup, since we are able to get the best you have ever tasted, from Nash's farm. But I did have a nice leek, from their farm to mix with onions and garlic.
Taking a change from the bulk organic bin, are lentils and rice from TJs. The quality seems very good and price worthy of notice. I made up the spice mix of thyme, celery seeds, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
This is based on the recipe from the Silver Palate cookbook, for this soup variety. I skip the pork and its related fat. The rice is my general addition along with a splash of Houge white from the fridge.
Try to make some, as the winter wears on you will love having a hearty healthy soup from your own kitchen. It's adaptable to anything you like - cheese, smoked salmon, chopped dark greens, oyster crackers....
After a holiday of vegetables it was time for some locally smoked wild salmon, in a pie form with peas and red onions. I used "fake" cream cheese and some grated Parmesean. The "mock crust" is our favorite- just flour, baking powder and salt mixed into the 3 egg batter.
Bah, you overly heavy "pie" dishes.
Base Recipe - so adaptable!!!
3 cups grated zucchini
1small onion, chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup grated provolone cheese
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, reserving 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan.
Spoon the zucchini mixture into a 10-inch round glass pie plate or metal pie pan that has been coated with vegetable cooking spray.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with the reserved Parmesan. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Lasagna, made with my own "fake meat" sauce, bionaturae noodles, roasted eggplant, mozzerella, ricotta / cottage cheese mix and Parmesean.
Non-dairy chocolate pudding pie. If you don't know what that means, I won't ruin the surprise and tell you. I made the crust and the filling. The topping is frozen, non-hydrogenated tub stuff. I ate this slice in 3 sittings last night, it's that rich.
A few tablespoons of sauce for the bottom of the pan...that's the "white" layer of ricotta and mozzarella with my secret spice blend, in the bowl behind it.
Over on the other work surface, water coming to a boil for the noodles. A simmering pan of TJ Mushroom Spaghetti sauce with some white wine and milk added over so time, with about 1/2 cup no salt added tomato sauce.
The Noodles are from Bionaturae and I like their thickness and ruffled edges. Following the package instructions, I boiled them 4 at a time. This is one layer, and it really worked out great. The green colander was just right - I would take one out, put in the next- assembling the lasagna as this all went along (and the Seahawks played the Cowboys).
This is eggplant, previously oven roasted, frozen and defrosted. It looks gross, yes. I just added a mix of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and thyme. Next to it is shredded Romano / Pecorino with some oregano. This is the first layer, I wish there was more eggplant or other vegetable to add - this was an experiment for Thanksgiving. Ready for baking!
This receipe was adapted from the Bionaturae noodle box. They don't seem to have any it on their site, otherwise I would have provided a link. For boxed pasta (vs. fresh) this is my preferred brand. I hope you can find them near you.
This reminds me of "Bisquick" pies - so easy, so good, but you know exactly what is going inside making your own.
I've made this with a variety of vegetable, cheese and even smoked salmon variations. Use the recipe for proportions. Take the time to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately before combining, to make sure it's well blended, but not over mixed.
Thank you Real Simple! A 2-1/2 quart glass baking dish with snap on plastic lid is perfect for this wonderful mid-week preparation.
The lower slope has been reorganized to let the plants thrive. The red flowers are the Martha Washington Geraniums from a container. They will do better in the ground, in this micro-climate area that is both protected and well drained.
The first pizza dough made with our new stand mixer was the King Arthur Flour "Pizza Bun" crust. It sure made fast work and all the ingredients were well mixed in the bowl, and not on my counter and floor.
Instead of making "buns" I stuck with a 14" pie; saving the leftover dough for another pie.
This crust deserves a complex topping, such as my previously roasted eggplant slices, defrosted from the freezer and chopped into little bits; combined with onion and some fresh basil. Sauce from the Muir Glen can with more fresh basil mixed in. Cheese, a small bit of parmesan/asagio on the top and bottom and shredded mozzerella on top.
During today's Big Sister visit, we strolled to historic Old Ballard, and discovered a newly opened Patxis Pizza.
Based in the Bay area, this location just opened and I have a feeling it's going to be a hit.
The space is airy, clean and bright, and menu includes both deep dish and thin pizza. The lunch special @ $9.99 includes an 8" pie with your choice of two toppings and a salad. Thank you Patxis! Shown here is my Arugula salad, and green pepper and mushroom pie. C. had the Cesar salad and pizza with mushroom and spinach toppings. This sets a new standard for what I want to make @ home.
Fill a large bowl with ice water; set aside. Cook peas in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain; transfer to bowl with ice water to cool. Drain peas; transfer to a kitchen towel-lined baking sheet to dry.
Whisk oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon sumac in a small bowl. Toss peas, radishes, and cheese in a large bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover dressing and salad separately and chill.
Add dressing to salad and toss to coat. Season salad with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice, if desired. If you like, Garnish with mint and sprinkle with sumac.
The Jane Brody inspired potato salad is chilling. Red spuds tossed in a combi of mostly plain yogurt, some canola mayo, sugar, sweet paprika, freshly ground black pepper, a wee bit of tarragon (can be overbearing) and some dill because it needed some green.
Most potato salads are heavy on egg based mayo, if not hard boiled eggs, bacon, pickeles (and or their juice), olives, capers and other what I find icky condiments to enhance the salad. Fine if you like it, but not my method. I meant to add red onion, that adds a nice flavor as do Walla Walla sweeties.
Hubs is prepping his fabulous cedar planked sockeye salmon.
It's Panama hat, lightweight short and shirt weather - hello Northwest July!!! Snaps later. Gotta sip some more from my mug of Imperial IPA from Reuben's Brews.
Find some wild salmon, hopefully from Alaska and give it a go!
Cedar-Plank Salmon as it appeared in Gourmet in August 2009
Adapted from Bill Jones, Deerholme Farm, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Makes 6 servings
Where this recipe calls for lemon zest and rosemary, the native Coast Salish Indians on Vancouver Island would use grand-fir needles. Either way, the salmon takes on a light, smoky woodiness from grilling on a cedar plank, for a lovely pairing of earth and ocean.
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons mild honey or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 (2-pounds) salmon fillet with skin (1 1/2 inches thick). This is about a pound:
Equipment: a cedar grilling plank (about 15 by 6 inches) Elisa's note: plank size varies! Cut the fish if your planks are smaller.
Soak cedar grilling plank in water to cover 2 hours, keeping it immersed.
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas)-- Open vents on bottom and lid of charcoal grill.
Stir together mustard, honey, rosemary, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread mixture on flesh side of salmon and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit). Grill, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.
Cooks' note: Salmon can be grilled without plank over indirect heat -- 8 to 15 minutes.