Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dragon Fruit

Andrew and I found a dragon fruit at winco last night while getting snacks for our long trip across country, if you ever wondered about these things I'll tell you they're quite strange.

Basically the flavor is like a floral cactus, juicy and lightly sweet. I didn't like it much but Andrew did! Which was good because these things were like 4 bucks a piece (we only bought one) 

First you cut it in half then you spoon out all the white flesh *don't eat the pink it's not good for us* then serve in the pink shell which in my opinion is aesthetically pleasing. 

The best part to me was the pretty colors! I loved the bright pink skin with the B/W polkadot inside. Pretty fruit!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I made another pie.

Since the Rhubarb pie was snarfed so quickly I felt the need to use up some of our apples we had lying around.
I used my own recipe for this pie.

The crust-

2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt- or so-
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg for wash

For the crust the colder the better so sometimes before adding the water and rolling it out I'll refrigerate it, in addition to almost freezing the water by sticking it in the icebox for 15 minutes.

The filling-

5 peeled and cored medium apples I used granny smith and fuji apples
3-4 tbs of lemon juice
almost a cup of sugar
a bunch of cinnamon and allspice
a few glugs of vanilla infused rum
1/4 cup flour or tapioca (I used flour)
mix it all up!

When layering the apples I usually stack them neatly until it's full almost over full because the apples settle leaving lots of negative space.

Bake at 425 for 25 minutes on a baking sheet then turn down the heat to 325 for another 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I made this pie special for Andrew last night because we kind of bickered over the rhubarb plant at his old house.

I didn't want it...he did. His logic was I had given him that plant 3 years ago (after saying something mean) and he had taken it with him wherever he lived.

*It was our love fern*

My logic was "rhubarb can always be our love fern it doesn't matter if it's THAT plant."

So we transplanted it in the backyard, again, and it was all wilty and didn't look so good. I snipped the few stalks that were somewhat turgid and preceded to find a recipe for it.

Strawberry Rhubarb pie via Smitten Kitchen

For crust

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

If you don't know how to make pie crust, find directions here

For filling

3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Whipped Cream-

Vanilla- we made ours using a bottle of rum and some vanilla beans 8 months ago... SO GOOD

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. (I like to roll mine gently into  to transfer it more easily, then unroll it in the pie plate.)
Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.
Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When full cool (several hours later) the juices gel.

*Disclaimer* I made this last night and there is only one piece left.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Baba Ganoush

Besides being really fun to say, baba ganoush is also really delicious, and remarkably simple Mediterranean dish to make. When you serve it at parties or dinners, it will disappear quickly, but I also keep some in the fridge to spread on veggie sandwiches.

This is not a traditional baba ganoush recipe, but one I've put together to meet how I like it, a little thicker and sturdier. For a traditional, smoother baba ganoush, omit the garbanzo beans and olive oil.

Baba Ganoush

1 large eggplant
1-2 cloves garlic
1/3 can garbanzo beans
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450.

Prick eggplant all over with a fork, then place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake the eggplant until it is soft all the way through for about 20 minutes. (Check on it at about 10 minutes and turn it to the other side.)

Let the eggplant cool.

Cut the eggplant lengthwise and let the juices drain. Be sure to let it drain thoroughly, since these juices are what give eggplant its bitter taste. Scoop out the seedy pulp in the center, and transfer the meaty innards to a food processor (don't use the skins.)

Process until smooth, then add the other ingredients until it makes a smooth paste. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, chopped tomatoes, etc.

Serve as a dip for pita bread or sliced vegetables, or a spread for sandwiches.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Study in Oranges

I love fresh oranges, especially because there are so many kinds.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Simple Vegetables

This is my new favorite way to cook vegetables:

Heat some olive oil and minced garlic in a pan.

Gently sauté whatever fresh vegetables you like: spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, whathaveyou.

And I mean gently: just enough to warm them through. You're going to be cooking them more, so don't over cook them now.

Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste, maybe add some fresh herbs (a sprig of rosemary is perfect).

Then, transfer them to an oven safe dish, sprinkle with fresh Parmesan or Mozzarella, or a combo of both.

Heat in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown a bit.

It's perfect, simple, flavorful,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Warm Blackberry Salsa: The Best Breakfast Ever

This was, to date, the best breakfast I have ever made:

Maple infused grilled salmon fillet
Fried egg on top
Sauteed Mushrooms
Warm Blackberry Salsa

Warm Blackberry Salsa
Dice tomatoes in large chunks
Mix with fresh blackberries
Add a Tbs or so of fresh, chopped basil
Add a splash of white vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar

Mix all together then sear very briefly on a hot pan, just enough to warm.

Lemon Pepper Pasta with Shrimp

This is a meal that Andrew and I make often-ish. It's quite easy and very delicious!

Depending on how many people you're feeding changes this recipe a bit.

But it's so easy, it's not a big deal.

We use 1/2 box of bow tie pasta *or spaghetti*

A few tbs of butter or olive oil

A lot of freshly ground pepper

1/8 cup or so of lemon juice

and however much shrimp or scallions you'd like.

Mix prepared pasta with above ingredients and enjoy!

Super easy spring/summer weeknight dish.