Posts Tagged ‘favorite’

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salt-free seasoning blend

January 9, 2019

My first salt-free seasoning blend was improvised without a recipe. I made a ton, and it was perfect. No clue what I put in it, but my goal is to craft a recipe. Here’s round 2:

1 T coarsely ground black pepper 1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 T whole white pepper, coarsely ground
1 T whole mustard seed, coarsely ground
1 T garlic powder or roasted garlic powder
1 T dried minced onion
1 T paprika
3/4 T ground chilli or cayenne
1/2 T dried chives
1/2 T dried basil
1/2 T dried thyme
1/2 T whole coriander seed, toasted and ground
1/2 T whole black or white sesame seeds, coarsely ground
1/4 t powdered ginger
3/4 t dried powdered orange zest
1/4 t smoke powder

There is no particular logic to how this ended up this way besides reading recipes by linda larsen at the spruce eats, bake at midnite, and christina at allrecipes, and whatever I read the first time I made this.

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Needs WAY less black pepper, WAY more sour (lemon zest?), and way more diversity of seasoning. Next time, I will add more smoke powder, more seeds or nuts, lemon zest, and way less pepper!

My salt-free seasoning blends are an essential part of my pantry, so I’m tagging this “favorite”. This will be a living document, edited constantly over time, so check back in to see its evolution!

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I’ll also be doing some different salt-free blends this spring – looking forward to trying a ranch seasoning with no dairy, and a mess of new smokey meat salt-free blends with the smoke powder Mark got me for the holidays. But for now, check out some of my favorite salt-free seasoning blends – like ras-el-hanout, bokharat / baharat, and numbing xi’an spice.

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hot and numbing xi’an style spice

September 17, 2018

This is by far my favorite new condiment. I made a batch for numbing Xi-an style oven-fried chicken, and ate the entire container of the spice blend within a week. Since then, I’ve made two or three more batches, because it’s amazing on eggs, in salad dressing, on pork, on popcorn… everywhere!

This is now a blend I keep in the house at all times, along with my salt-free seasoning blend, bokharat / baharat, ras-el-hanout, and a simple curry powder.

The heat comes from the chili. The “numbing” comes from the Sichuan peppercorns. It’s sweet, savory, hot – a really magical flavor when it comes together. It’s impossible to describe the flavor. Just try this:

It couldn’t be easier. Just toast 1 tablespoon whole cumin seed, 1 teaspoon whole fennel seed, 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes (preferably Thai,) and 1 tablespoon whole Sichuan peppercorns, seeds removed. When toasty, grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Recipe from kenji at serious eats

I can’t recommend this highly enough! If you like spicy, you’ll love this! Tagged favorite because it’s just that incredible.

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moroccan roasted vegetable soup

March 14, 2018

just adding this one ingredient (ras-el-hanout – a moroccan spice blend that’s complex and amazing) to a basic roasted vegetable soup is a total game-changer.

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roast one full cookie sheet of chopped veggies (I did carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, whole cloves of garlic, and butternut squash) coated in olive oil

roast an onion, too, or chop it raw and saute it in a soup pot or dutch oven.

when soft, add the roasted veggie chunks and a bunch of stock or broth of some kind, whatever you have in the house. also add ras-el-hanout to taste. the original recipe calls for a tablespoon, but my blend is very spicy with tons of cayenne, and barely a teaspoonful was enough.

when everything is totally soft, after simmering for a while, blend the soup and serve.

you can top with plain yogurt, and/or fresh mint.

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adapted by friedsig from the bbc

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almost exactly the same as the vegetable soup i normally make, but the simple addition of ras el hanout makes it taste totally new again. if you’re bored of the same old veggie soup you always make, definitely give this a try! i always make curried red lentil and squash soup, but coconut milk is getting really pricey, and this is a great alternative!

this is one of my newest vegan soup favorites. i will 100% be making this again soon.

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curried red lentil, squash, and coconut soup

March 17, 2016

i think this is one of the best pureed soups i’ve tried – but maybe that’s because i haven’t eaten solid food in a week. if you are on a soft foods diet on order of dentist or doctor, make sure to add this one. it’s full of medicinal spices like turmeric and garlic. get well soon!

[edit 2018: still one of my favorite soups. and yes, i got my tooth filled since this post, haha.]

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roast a big (or 2 little) butternut squash (or acorn, or whatever you like)

saute onions and carrots in a dutch oven over medium heat

when soft, add a clove or two of garlic, and stir 2 mins

add:
– chicken stock, vegetable stock, or even lightly salted water
– a tablespoon or 2 of “curry powder” (or make your own with a lot of coriander, some turmeric and cayenne, and a little fenugreek, mustard powder, cumin, black pepper [to help your body absorb the turmeric,] and curry leaf – or whatever you have around)
– the flesh of the roasted squash
– between a half-cup and a cup of red split lentils (masoor dal)
– a good amount of ginger paste or ginger juice

bring to a boil and simmer about 20 minutes

throw everything into a blender or food processor, or mash well.

return to pot and add coconut milk. use a whole can, unless you don’t like the taste of coconut – then just add a half-can.

reheat, adjust spices if necessary

turn off heat, and add fresh lemon juice to taste, about 1/2 to one whole lemon.

recipe sloppily adapted by friedsig from a few different recipes, mostly this epicurious version

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nasu dengaku (japanese miso eggplant)

January 19, 2016
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NASU DENGAKU

EDIT 2018: I absolutely love this. I make it regularly. Here’s basically what I do:

cut an eggplant in half
brush the top with oil
cut two large X’s into it.

roast at 325 until soft – could be 40 mins or more for giant purple eggplant, much less for the thin varieties of eggplant

in lieu of dashi, i put a half-cup of stock or broth (veg, chicken, fish, whatever) into a saucepan with some seaweed and simmer until visibly reduced. strain out the seaweed. add to the saucepan:

1 T of mirin or dry vermouth
1 T of sake
dash of sesame oil

 

simmer and reduce until it smells a boozy, like the alcohol has cooked off, maybe five mins.

pour this over the top of the eggplant.
broil for a few minutes.

can top with sliced green onions, white and/or black sesame seeds, or a drizzle of hot chili oil

it’s a great side dish to have with anything at all – but i especially love it for breakfast with a bowl of white rice and a poached egg, with some seaweed flakes and sesame seeds sprinkled on top!

(still adapted from otaku food; below you can find my original post)

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original post:

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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quick balsamic vinaigrette

September 29, 2015

I know the world of salad dressing is a lot bigger than classic honey mustard (I do equal parts honey, mustard, oil, and lemon juice) but I always have diy honey mustard ready to use in the fridge, so I never branch out. This week is all about new dressing!

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Essential Balsamic

1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 t mustard
1 t brown sugar (opt.)
1/2 t kosher or sea salt
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 clove to 1 clove crushed garlic
1/2c – 3/4c olive oil, depending on how vinegary you like it

put all ingredients in a small jar and shake the daylights out of it

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Creamy Balsamic  (really awesome)
make recipe as above, but add 2 T mayonnaise. doesn’t taste mayonnaisey at all – just creamy, sweet, and sour.

Blueberry Balsamic (also really awesome)
make recipe as above, but add a few dried blueberries, crushed fresh blueberries, or a teaspoon of blueberry jam

Strawberry Balsamic
you get the idea, right?

Blackberry Balsamic
mmm

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This is my new favorite dressing. I had it on a salad of spicy greens from the farmers market with sweet grapes, dried blueberries, and cashews. Amazing!

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from inspired taste

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best-ever 15-minute baked beans (vegan and non-vegan versions)

May 20, 2015

really easy, fast, delicious way to switch up your bean game. you can take the finished beans and bake them in a low oven for an hour, but i think they’re just fine like this for a quick lunch. don’t let society pressure you into adding bacon and sugar. caramelized onions add plenty of sweetness.

TIPS FOR THE PERFECT BAKED BEANS:
– a long, slow cook, if you have the time. i make these for a quick 15-minute dinner and leave them simmering for an extra hour afterwards so they’ll be perfect the next day for lunch. they’re great when they have been cooking for ten minutes, but nothing can compare to how they taste a half-hour later.
– go a little heavier with the molasses than you think you should. it’s a big part of the flavor you associate with baked beans.
– don’t be scared to experiment. leftovers, like roasted bell peppers, chicken, sausages, and even bits of stale bread, can work in baked beans just like in chili.
– even if you don’t like it hot, don’t leave out the smoked paprika or cayenne – even just 2 pinches can help balance out the flavors.
– don’t forget to undersalt if you use processed meats like sausage or bacon, and oversalt if you’re leaving them out. beans like salt.

VEGAN
– saute onion in coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
– when caramelized, add cooked (or canned) pinto beans, tomato sauce, molasses, vegetable stock, apple cider vinegar, and minced roasted garlic cloves.
– season with mustard, garlic and onion powder, clove, thyme, and smoked paprika or smoked salt if you have it. add veg worcestershire sauce if you like it.
– simmer on low for 15 minutes.
– add brown sugar, maple syrup, or hickory syrup if you like it sweet, or just serve as is.

NON-VEGAN
– if you like your beans bacony, start by frying a few strips of bacon, then remove the bacon, crumble it onto a plate, and set it aside. fry onions in the bacon grease.
– otherwise (this is my favorite,) just start by sauteeing onion in chicken schmaltz (or oil of your choice)
– when caramelized, add cooked (or canned) pinto beans, tomato sauce, molasses, a little vegetable or chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, and minced roasted garlic cloves.
– season with mustard, garlic and onion powder, clove, a pinch of thyme, and smoked paprika or smoked salt if you have it. add worcestershire sauce if you like it. don’t forget salt and black pepper.
– simmer on low for 15 minutes.
– add brown sugar or maple syrup if you like it sweet, or just serve as is.

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edited 2016 & added to “favorites” since i make these all the time