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dal makhani (punjabi lentils)

February 27, 2016

nothing against my favorite gujarati dal.

sometimes you just want something that tastes like butter, and cream, and winter comfort.

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cook 3/4c black split urad dal (if using whole dal, soak overnight) in 1.5c water and a pinch of salt. when cooked completely (better a little overdone than a little underdone,) add half a can of red kidney beans. mash and set aside.

in a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat about 2.5 T butter and/or ghee (i used a combination) over medium or med-high heat. (butter is a lot of the flavor of this dish, so if you’re vegan, i recommend a buttery oil like coconut.) add a teaspoon of whole cumin seed, an inch of cinnamon, 2 whole cloves, a small hot green chili pepper slit lengthwise, 3 cardamoms, and a small finely chopped onion.

cook until onions are golden brown, and turn down heat to medium.

then add 1/2 t ginger-garlic paste, cayenne (1/4 t for mild, 1/2 t for medium, 1 tsp for hot,) 1/4 teaspoon turmeric, and 1 1/2 c fresh or canned pureed tomato. simmer until oil rises to the top.

add the dal, salt to taste, and about 4 T water. simmer 15 min.

stir in a half-cup of heavy cream or, if you’re vegan, substitute coconut milk. simmer about 2 minutes. serve with fresh cilantro and rice.

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wonderful. definitely a favorite.

adapted by friedsig from tarladalal

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beet-walnut dip

February 14, 2016

this recipe from prairierth farm is really similar to binnur’s turkish walnut and hazelnut yogurt dip posted in the early days of this blog. i never tried making it, and forgot about it.

then yesterday, someone from the farm sampled this out, with carrot and kohlrabi to dip. it was well worth the trip. the dip is absolutely phenomenal. a clutch of people lingered by the sample table, staring wistfully at this pink stuff like they were smitten. part of the reason it was so amazing was that all the ingredients were farm-fresh. part of the reason it was so amazing is that this is made of some of my favorite foods!

1 lb beets (4 smallish,) scrubbed
1 c walnuts
1 clove smashed and peeled garlic
3 t sherry vinegar or lemon juice
a few fresh herb leaves, such as marjoram or thyme (optional)
1.5 t kosher salt, or half as much table salt
1/3 c olive oil
1/3 c greek yogurt

boil beets, covered, turn down heat, and simmer til tender, 20-45 min. peel beets.

toast walnuts on the stovetop or at 350 for 5 min

grab your food processor. add peeled beets, garlic, walnuts, vinegar/lemon juice, herbs, and salt.

with motor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and yogurt.taste for salt and tang.

dip anything in it – carrots, kohlrabi, crackers, apples, whatever you like.

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thanks to PrairiErth Farm in central illinois for the recipe!

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miso-glazed fish

February 13, 2016

here’s the original recipe:

tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 (7 ounce) black cod fillets

simmer all but fish together for 3 min, pour over fish on baking sheet, and broil 5 min on each side.

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recipe by chef Nobu Matsuhisa

 

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UPDATE:

Got it! This is one of my favorite fish recipes. Usually I just throw fish on a hot cast-iron, squeeze a little lemon juice on there, and call it good – that’s my typical “fish recipe”.

This is my new go-to fish recipe!

heat the cast iron on medium-high with a thin layer of sesame oil and veg oil

separately, in a small saucepan or frying pan, combine over low heat
(this is more than enough for one small 4oz fish fillet, and would be enough for 2, but any more than that and you should double or triple this.)
1T water
1 t sesame oil
1 t fermented black bean paste or chili-bean paste (sub. miso if you don’t have this)
1 T sake and 1 T mirin, or 2 T of one if you only have one
1/2 t or so of the crumbly onion and chili bits from la jiao jiang (opt.)
1/2 T miso
a few dashes of liquid ginger or a little minced fresh ginger
1/2 t black sesame paste (opt., if you like it sweet, or a pinch of brown sugar)

stir often and cook down for about 3 minutes, until thickened.

throw (defrosted) fish into cast iron. let cook for a minute or so, then pour a little sauce over the top. cook til done on one side (just 2 or 3 min for a thin fillet) and flip, pouring the rest of the sauce over the top.

serve hot, with rice, or veggies, or basically anything.

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i had this with roasted squash (it’s february!) and it was great. i picture sichuan blistered green beans or a big green salad with this once it warms up out there.

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guinness beef stew with potatoes

February 7, 2016

not a bad way to spend a lazy cold weekend when you want the oven on all day. this soup is everything you are picturing – rich, hearty, and dark. it’s the only meaty dish dark enough to rival my vegan chipotle chocolate chili.

 

1 cup homemade chicken stock
1-3 lbs. boneless beef chuck roast, or any stew beef cut into smallish stew-y bits
3 large carrots, one just cut in half, and 2 cut into large dice
2 parsnips, one just cut in half, and one cut into large dice
8 oz – 1 lb small, waxy potatoes
4 peeled medium onions, 2 cut in half, and 2 cut into large dice
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1 oz bittersweet chocolate (about a small handful)
2 bottles or cans of dark, rich beer, like a stout or porter
sprigs of fresh thyme, parsley, and bay leaf (optional)
1 T fish sauce
1 T worcestershire sauce
1 T soy sauce
handful of flour
neutral veg oil, like canola
salt and pepper

preheat oven to 275. heat a dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop, with a T or two of veg oil. wait til it’s hot. brown meat over a medium-high flame, about 10 min, turning regularly.

remove meat. add just the halved carrot, onion, and parsnip, along with garlic, and brown 4 min or so.

lower heat and add stock, beer, fish sauce, soy sauce, worcestershire, and herbs.

cut meat into stew-sized pieces and roll in flour. add to dutch oven, and bake the whole thing partially covered for 30 minutes. then stir, and bake for another 30 minutes.

then add potatoes and bake for another 30 minutes.

on the stovetop, saute the diced carrots, parsnips, and onions. skim any fat on top of the stew, and remove the herbs and the halved vegetables. add diced sauteed veggies to the stew and cook for an additional 45 minutes, or until everything is tender. the lid can be removed for the last 20 minutes.

garnish with parsley, or with sour cream, or hot sauce and tons of crusty bread.

 

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recipe by serious eats: serious eats guinness beef stew & adapted by sig at friedsig

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good, solid stew recipe, but boring enough that i got tired of it before it was gone. good for a “meat and potatoes” kind of person, but there was nothing super exciting about it to me, so i gave the rest to someone (who liked it a lot). maybe it needs something sour to cut the heartiness a little? it smelled great as it was cooking, though, and was really not bad at all.

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irish oatmeal soda bread

January 27, 2016

this completes a trinity of irish soda breads.

between this irish oatmeal soda bread, this savory rosemary soda bread, and this sweet soda bread with raisins, you can please anyone.

this one’s right in the middle. it’s by far the most neutral of the three. it doesn’t have as much of the characteristic “irish soda bread” flavor as the other two. it’s just a good quick bread to whip up and occupy the second rack when you’re roasting vegetables or meat.

& since it’s a soda bread, you don’t need yeast, and you don’t have to wait for anything to rise. just mix the ingredients with your hands, and plop it on a cookie sheet. super easy. my housemate really liked this one, but i thought it was too dense. i just wonder if 375 is the right temp for my oven – the crumb came out doughy and glutinous. or did i overmix it? or does it need more baking soda? it calls for a third of the baking soda of the rosemary brown butter bread. any suggestions?

 

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4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats {plus more for sprinkling}
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking soda
4 tbsp cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ¾ cups well-shaken buttermilk or homemade kefir
1 egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until no more large clumps exist.
Combine the lightly beaten egg with the buttermilk. Pour into dry ingredients and mix. Dough will be wet!
Using wet hands, form a large shaggy ball of dough and place on a parchment paper lined sheet tray. Cut an “x” in the center of the loaf with a knife and sprinkle oats on top.
Bake for 50 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

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from pbs

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borar jhaal (bengali lentil balls in mustard sauce)

January 23, 2016

1/2 c urad dal, rinsed (also called “black lentils”)
1-4 green chilis (recipe called for 4, which seems painful)
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t ginger paste
pinch of asafoetida or onion/garlic power

1 t nigella seed
salt

sauce:
1 t black mustard seed
1 t yellow mustard seed
0-2 green chilis
1 t sugar

soak dal for 30 minutes
drain; put in blender with salt, ginger, chilis, and sugar, & blend
roll into 12 balls & squeeze out water
fry in 1 c mustard oil for 5 minutes – make sure to wait til the oil is sizzling before frying them!
drain on paper towels or paper bags.

separately, mix up the sauce with a little water

heat 3 T oil in a pan & add nigella seed, stir-fry 1 min
add mustard sauce, simmer 10 min
add fried balls & remove from heat

 

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from Mark’s book about Indian cooking

 

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the sauce is not really a sauce. i may not have copied this down correctly. it’s kind of just mustardy water. maybe my mustard seeds are old? balls of fried lentil are always good but i might recommend fermenting it and doing some vadai or some dosai instead of this. i do really like the nigella seed infused oil – i might try that with dal some time.

if you really want to try this, i would say, remember to only add water a bit at a time into the blender. i got the texture right (for once) and the balls held together, but it’s a delicate balance, and many times my vadai came out unfryable (unfriable?)

also just skip the sauce and fry them in nigella seed and mustard seed.

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nasu dengaku (japanese miso eggplant)

January 19, 2016
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NASU DENGAKU

here is a recipe from otaku food!

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant, or 2 Japanese eggplants
  • 1/4 cup dashi
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Chopped green onion and sesame seed for garnish

Quick Directions

  1. Slice eggplant in half, then cut the surface in a criss cross pattern.
  2. Brush the surface with oil, then bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes until the eggplant is tender.
  3. Bring dashi, mirin, sake and sugar and bring to a gentle boil. Add miso and whisk to blend. Remove from heat.
  4. Remove eggplant from oven, then turn the broiler on. Brush eggplant with sauce, and sprinkle with sesame.
  5. Broil for a few minutes until the sauce has caramelized. Remove from oven and garnish with green onion.

check out the whole site at otaku food for great info about how it’s usually “grilled and roasted over the fire” in the summer at barbecues!

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don’t have dashi on hand? here’s a recipe i modified from fat-free vegan. sounds very sweet but very amazing!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sake (may substitute stock with dry vermouth or white wine)
  • 4 tablespoons mellow white miso
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or agave nectar
  • 4 Japanese eggplants, stem end trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • sliced green onions, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place the mirin and sake in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for about 2 minutes to allow some of the alcohol to cook off. Then add the miso and stir until smooth. Stir in the agave nectar, reduce the heat to very low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, while you broil the eggplants:
  2. Brush the cut sides of the eggplants with the sesame oil, if desired. Put the eggplants cut-side down on a baking sheet and place under the broiler of your oven for about 3 minutes, checking often to make sure that they do not burn. Turn them over, and cook for another 3 minutes or until the tops are a light to medium brown. Do not burn! (If your eggplant still isn’t tender all the way through, try baking it–no broiler–a few more minutes; then proceed with the recipe.)
  3. When the eggplants are tender, top each one with the miso sauce and put them back under the broiler until the sauce bubbles up–this should take less than a minute, so watch them closely. Serve hot, sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.+

    from fat-free vegan and adapted by friedsig

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update 1/31/16… here’s what ended up happening:
1 medium eggplant
1/2 c homemade chicken stock simmered for a few minutes with seaweed & strained
2 T white wine
1 t sesame oil
1/2 t. la jiao jiang (I know it isn’t Japanese, but I love this stuff!)
2 t sugar
1 T miso

cut eggplant in half, score tops and brush with olive oil, and bake at 350 til soft.

simmer all ingredients together for a few minutes except miso. turn off heat. add miso.

if your miso and stock and la are salty, you shouldn’t need to add salt at all.

pour over eggplants & broil for about 5 minutes.

I added too much stock, as you can see from the photo. A half-cup is too much for the sauce to caramelize. It’s not very photogenic, but it tastes amazing. I will try this again with actual mirin and sake. Next time, I will cut down on the sugar and the stock. Highly recommended!

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