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June 12, 2014 / beatricebunny

Golden Beets

We get our CSA on Thursdays, and Wednesday nights are busy in the Barger-Kelly household. I have gyrotonic class and Jim has a standing thing with his guys.  Generally, we don’t do a lot of cooking on Wednesdays, but we do have fresh greens and other items that need using up. As I’ve said before, one advantage of local greens is that they last longer, but not indefinitely. Plus we will shortly be getting more stuff to use. A delicious cycle.

Last week, we got golden beets, and I planned to make a warm beet salad last night. Instead, I worked late and got home realizing I needed a quick, weeknight meal instead. (We ordered take-out.) I love beets, though, and wanted to make sure we used them up. So, while waiting for our take-out delivery, I preheated the oven to 425, washed the beets and placed them on aluminum foil. I drizzled them with olive oil and added a generous amount of salt and pepper. The beets cooked about an hour and came out soft enough to push a fork into. Once cooled a bit, I popped them in the fridge.

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Roasted Beets

Tonight, I got home around 8 pm, and peeled the beets (easy once they’re roasted). We got Bibb lettuce, green onion, and feta cheese all from the CSA, so I threw together an easy, fresh salad. For dressing, I mixed 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, green goddess dry mixture, and extra garlic powder. I whisked well and poured over the salad just before serving. We at the salad and sandwiches, enjoying many of our fresh CSA veggies and making room for tomorrow’s pick-up.

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Golden Beet Salad (no dressing)

June 9, 2014 / beatricebunny

Spring

It was a long cold winter for my first winter in NYC, and while I cooked, I was not really excited about it, but spring is here, and we have joined a new CSA – Next Doorganic.  We have been getting a nice selection of wild greens in addition to cultured vegetables. I’ve been thrilled to cook ramps, dandelion greens, and fiddle heads. We’ve also gotten a weekly local cheese selection. Last night, I made bison burgers with a local stinky soft cheese (Snow’d In), potato salad with a purple varietal, fiddle heads, and Hudson Valley Apple sauce. Delicious. I am planning to start cooking more and blogging about it again now that the CSA is in full mode. Hopefully, I’ll be more prepared for winter here now that I’ve been threw one, but right now, there is an abundant summer to enjoy.

April 29, 2013 / beatricebunny

Trying New Things

I did a fair amount of cooking this weekend.  Yesterday for dinner I made quinoa and heart of palm salad and seared yellow tail tuna.  Brunch today was another use of leftovers – french toast.

I love quinoa and had been craving it.  The catch?  I had never actually cooked with it.  All the quinoa I’ve eaten has been prepared by someone else, most often the Whole Foods deli.  I found a recipe at Epicurious.  I had no idea that handling and prepping quinoa is such a pain in the ass!  For my part, I did not follow the instructions in this recipe for prepping the quinoa.  Instead, I followed the instructions on the bag, which were much simpler.  Even so, it is a tiny grain.  The holes in my colander were too large, so I ended up having to line my colander with cheesecloth in order to rinse the grains.   So, I washed the quinoa thoroughly.  The first time I ran water through the colander, the water foamed and bubbled much like a creek with soup in it.  It was kinda gross.  I rinsed until this no longer occurred.  The final result was delicious!

The seared tuna was very good, but there isn’t a lot to say about it.  I marinated the steaks in garlic powder and soy sauce for 15 minutes, and then seared in sesame oil – high heat, 2 minutes on each side.

We had the meal with olive bread and white wine.

And that leads to today’s brunch.  We had about half a loaf of olive bread left.  I love olive bread.  It is rich and the olives create an olive oil taste which means that it doesn’t need butter.  It was more expensive than I normally pay for bread, and I didn’t want to waste the rest, so after yoga today, I made a savory take on French toast.

I whisked together four eggs, a couple of table spoons of Green yogurt, Penzy’s Fox Point seasoning, stone ground mustard, salt, and pepper.  Then, I sliced thick slices of the olive bread.  I left the bread soaking in the egg mixture.  I fried a couple of pieces of thick cut bacon in a large skillet, then removed the bacon, but left the grease.   Then, I fried the French toast in the bacon grease.  After every couple of pieces of toast, I would fry another piece of bacon (all in all, I used 4 pieces of bacon, cut in half and made 6 pieces of French toast).  we had the toast, bacon, good coffee, and mimosas.  It was a lovely meal.

April 21, 2013 / beatricebunny

Brunch Stew

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am not a fan of leftovers, so I try to re-purpose them.  Breakfast today was a perfect example of that.  Last night, I made pot roast.  I usually try to use up opened foods I have on hand rather than buying the “right” ingredients, so for my pot roast, I seared the seasoned roast, let it rest, and then cooked up some garlic and onions in my smaller dutch oven.  I added the roast back, threw in some baby carrots and red potatoes from a meal earlier this week, and covered with the liquid I had open and and on hand – low fat, salt free chicken broth.  I added seasonings (fresh thyme, bay leaf, salt, pepper) and then simmered until all was warm.  I popped it in the oven and cooked for 2.5 hours at 250 degrees. 

This, however, is not the recipe that I am writing about today.  This morning, I had 2.5 cups of chicken/beef broth from last nights roast.  It still had some garlic and onions, a few carrots, and a couple of potatoes in it.  I had never even considered stew a breakfast (brunch) food until I had a version of it at Erin and Neil’s house back in Louisville several years ago.  We cooked a really good Rachel Ray recipe that is still in rotation in my house.  And it wasn’t until I made chakcouka that it occurred to me that you can poach eggs in something other than water and vinegar.  This morning, I combined those ideas.

I started with leftover chorizo from my husband’s turn to cook dinner on Thursday.  He bought ready to serve links, so I just sliced up the two remaining links and tossed them into my heated soup pot.  To this, I added all the broth from last night with the carrots, onions, garlic, and potatoes.  I brought this to a low boil and then added a can a tomatoes and chilies we had in the pantry.  To this I added some Penzy’s Fox Point Seasoning, and a healthy dose of Mama Pearl’s Caribbean Hot Sauce.  Once I brought it all to a low boil, and tasted it to adjust the seasoning, I poached an egg in the soup.  Once it was ready, I put the egg in a bowl and poached a second one.  Then I spooned the soup over top of the egg, making sure each person got a potato, some carrots, some onion, and a little chorizo.  After serving, the diner cuts into the egg, pouring the yolk into the broth and thickening it from a soup to a stew.

It was delish – and now I have a more complex leftover broth to play with later for another meal.  Should I add a little pasta and make a soup?  More poached eggs?  No idea. 

 

April 20, 2013 / beatricebunny

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

Japanese Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I love this little slice of serenity in the midst of the city.

April 10, 2013 / beatricebunny

Braised Octopus

I am so excited about my new full-sized kitchen!  I’ve moved into a pre-War apartment in Brooklyn, and despite giving up space everywhere else, we have the largest kitchen I’ve ever had.  And a gas stove!  Also, local grocery stores carry awesome foods like octopus.  I am one happy home cook.

After a bit of research, I decided to make braised octopus and paella.  The paella was a pretty standard recipe, so I am not going to talk much about it.  I will say that paella is one of the dishes that I always thought would mark me as a “real cook,” so making a successful version of it makes me feel very accomplished.  It was good.

This was my first time making octopus too.  I bought three small octopus at the local grocery store, totally around 6 pounds all together.  Octopus, unlike squid, live to be pretty old, and their meat can get really tough, as such, they require some pretty intense prep.  First, I boiled them for 8 minutes in unsalted water.

Octopus Boiled

While they boiled, I prepped my braised pot. I used my smaller dutch oven, and based my flavor profile on the Spanish flavors in paella – sweet paprika, pepper, lime & lemon, garlic cloves, and a bay leaf.

Octopus Braising Base

 

It looked so pretty!  I admit it was a little weird to watch the octopus boil, because the tentacles moved around like it was still alive.  I’m nor generally squeamish about my food having been alive… but that was a little… mmmm… weird.

Ocotpus

 

I lifted each one out with tongs and nestled them on top of the braising ingredients.  The octopus braised at 200 degrees for around five hours.

Octopus prepped to braise

Meanwhile, I made the paella.  Once the octopus was done (I could easily stick a fork in it), I tossed it with salt, pepper, paprika, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic (all made into a paste in the food processor).  I topped the paella with the octopus.  It was delicious!

Octopus Finished Project

April 6, 2013 / beatricebunny

Leftovers

We are so happy with the food in our new neighborhood.  We arrived earlier than our kitchen by a couple of days, so we ate out for three days in row, and kept the leftovers.  These have resulted in some great breakfasts the last couple of days. 

Two days ago, we had scrambled eggs cooked with mushroom saag, Moroccan harira soup, and whole grain toast.  Today it was more of the harira soup, spinach, Moroccan chicken, again eggs.  This time we had whole grain everything bagels.  Delicious!