Monthly Archives: February 2009

Broccoli Calzone (+ pizza dough recipe)

This recipe if from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Foods. I used to borrow my sister’s copy (before I had a brief subscription… which reminds me that I should renew… its not a bad little magazine), anyway, I would write down whatever I liked on index cards. I remember on the page in the magazine, there were instructions on how to freeze the raw calzone and then cook it while it was frozen. Of course  that part of the page never made it to the index card. I can even see it… a small text bubble perhaps floating on the upper right hand corner of the page… just… can’t… see… what it says!

Having to improvise, I put the frozen calzones on a parchment paper covered baking stone in a 400 degree oven and planned on an hour for everything to get warm and toasty before LOST starts. It turned out reasonably well. There was good flavor in the filling and the crust. It could have used an egg wash (or maybe just a brush of olive oil), and there was a lot of liquid that oozed. But that’s fine… it’s a vampiric look. It was served with some salad and a lovely marinara sauce.013

Other variations: I only made 4; they didn’t seem nearly large enough when the dough was divided in 8 pieces. There was a little too much filling, so they’re all a bit bloated. Also, no parm cheese, obvs.

For the pizza dough, I used my Aunt Evelyn’s recipe which follows after the jump.

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Inge’s Famous Cous Cous Casserole

This recipe has spread through our family like wildfire. For some reason I don’t think I’ve ever made it for my household, or at least not for a very long time. What a mistake! So yummy that I can’t wait to have the leftovers for lunch. Question for Inge: how much olive oil do you use to saute the veggies? I used probably one swirl around the pan but then had to add some more after the spices.

Inge’s Cous Cous Casserole

1 cup cous cous

1 onion; diced

4 cloves garlic; minced

½ tsp turmeric

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp cumin powder

Pinch of cayenne

2 medium zucchinis; diced

1 can chickpeas; drained

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

½ cup (or more) cheese (pepper jack, jack, fontina, swiss, mozzarella, whatever you have on hand)

 

Pour 1 ½ cup of boiling water over cous cous and cover with a bowl.

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Stir in the spices for about another minute. Add the zucchinis and sauté until tender. Add chickpeas and tomatoes. Let come to a boil.

Stir in the fluffed cous cous. Spread ½ of the mixture into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese, and then cover with the remaining cous cous mixture. Cover with foil and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

Enjoy with a green salad!

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Poulet au gratin a la Savoyarde

… is the real name for this recipe. We had too much fun on Friday night, so we missed the market on Saturday morning. This recipe was too appealing to wait for next week, so we just bought a free range organic bird from Harris Teeter. Promise to get a local chicken for the next time.

The recipe leaves out a lot… like, how to roast the little guy. I just seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked breast down in a 425 oven for 15 minutes, then another 40 or so mintues with the breast up. The sauce made twice as much as needed, but it was really tasty (a pint of cream will do that). We ended up not having tarragon (which, if you’ve ever seen the size of our spice rack, is pretty crazy) so we used thyme instead.

Since we don’t have home roasted chicken very often, I missed the delicious crackled skin. This was all fancy sauce hiding perfectly cooked meat. Next time we’ll be keeping it simple.

S’s wine pairing, a rousette, was perfect. A very clean white that not only washed down but also stood up to the super rich creamy sauce.

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February 22, 2009

2.22.09

2.22.09

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Flexibility

Well, Thursday was supposed to be “potato Dauphinois” night… but happy hour intervened! I ate a pesto pasta at Vapiano and S had some lentils and naan at home. The Dauphinois will be making an appearance on the next menu, I’m sure.

I have two reasons for posting about this: 1. to show that we’re not slaves to the menu and frequently make last minute changes, and 2. to give an example of a quick last minute dinner. Just a little bit of preparation turns a can of prepared soup into a respectable dinner. It’s low fat, high fiber, but unfortunately also high in sodium.

S’s Quick Lentils (serves 1)

Chop a small amount of red onion (maybe a couple tablesoons) and fry in a saucepan with a sprinkle of cumin seeds (1/2 or 1/4 tsp) and a dash of ground cayenne (amount depends how strong it is).

Fry for a couple minutes, then add in a can of Progresso Lentil Soup and stir. Heat through.

Meanwhile, heat naan (pita bread, or other flatbread) in a toaster oven (or regular oven) until desired crustiness, and rub all over with some butter.

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Red Cabbage & Apple Casserole

Why? Red cabbage was another Reading Terminal Market purchase. Not being in the mood to do a snausage and cabbage, I found this recipe in a vegetarian cookbook. All the flavors were intriguing.

Ingredients? red cabbage, onion, fennel, tart (I used granny smith) apples all chopped and mixed together with caraway seeds (of rye bread fame) and tossed with plain yogurt and creamed horseradish. The recipe says to serve with lots of crusty rye bread.

How did it go? Not a weeknight meal! I rushed rushed rushed and it took me 40 minutes to chop & mix & get it in the oven. Now it’s cooking for and hour and a half! My rye bread isn’t feeling all too fresh, either. It does smell good, though…

Well, how did it taste? Blah, ick, and yucko! Def not doing this recipe again! All the ingredients were blended together and baked at a low temp (300) in a single casserole dish. I should’ve seen this coming! The apples were mush, all the color from the cabbage leached to everything else, leaving a pale purple tint to the whole dish. Yuck yuck yuck.

Final verdict? I stand my initial assessement of the flavors. I would do this again, but with a different prep. Perhaps saute the onion & carroway in olive oil (there’s NO oil in the original recette!), hard stir fry red cabbage, add apples at the end. Perhaps finish it with horseradish, or serve with a yogurt sauce. I just can’t even imagine this recipe was tested, it was so aweful! Seriously. But I won’t abandon the idea altogether…

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Ginormous Strimps*

One of our favorite Philadelphia activities is wandering the Reading Terminal Market. The Dutch Eating Place is one of my top two favorite breakfast places anywhere. Even though we were there on a Sunday (thus no Amish b-fast), it was still fun to walk around. S. likes to browse the fish stands to look at fish heads and all the huge shrimp. This time we actually bought some (shrimp, not fish heads) and transported them home packed in ice from the hotel. Even though there were others that were larger, only one stand’s variety was from North America, so at least our choice was easy.

They were awesome! S. did all the work; deveining (big shrimp = big veins… yuck!), de-footing (?), basting with BBQ sauce, and broiling. There’s no recipe- that’s pretty much it. He left the shells on, but made sure to rub the sauce underneath. They marinated a bit, and then were popped under the broiler for about 2 minutes on each side. A spritz of lime juice finished the dish. I made a red beans and rice recipe from Epicurious, which I would do again. This really came together deliciously. Really great weeknight dinner.

strimp

strimp

* Calling shrimp “strimps” comes from one of my college roommates. It’s stuck for all these years!

** Also, I realize that I called these “cajun shrimp” on the menu… we were considering a different prep, but ended up going with the BBQ sauce, instead. We also had the Arrosoir rose, which was slated (heh) for Wed night. Crazy!!

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