Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fried Chicken Wings

In response to Rico's request for more culinary travel blogging, a recipe. Tamales, tacos, and tortas this is not - I refuse to be constrained by Western notions of "authenticity". Alitas de pollo are a delicious and popular dish, especially in the north. Decidedly not vegetarin, but I had to listen to a rooster yodling (cockle doodling?) at 6am every day for 4 months (in the middle of a city of 20 million!!), so really, they owe me one.

- chicken wings
- flour
- oil for frying
- salt and pepper
- your favourite bbq sauce

Coat chicken in flour. Place in a single layer in a pot of HOT oil for 10ish minutes. Remove, drain, and coat in your favourite sauce. Serve with salad and/or rice so you don't feel like such a pig. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Enchiladas Verdes

Back in the land of grey buildings and personal injury lawsuits, I am missing Mexican food. I am relearning to discard toilet paper in the toilet bowl, and enjoying the calmness of traffic and taxicabs, and going unnoticed on the street as a guera/whitey. I learned this recipe from various Mexican mothers and grandmothers but like any good oral tradition, this likely inadvertently includes my own toque especial. My favourite thing about enchiladas is that they can be enjoyed at any time of day: breakfast, lunch, dinner or as drunkfood.

Serves 4.

You will need:
- corn tortillas (12?)
- oil for frying
- 1 whole chicken
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot (or was it garlic? luckily this is not very important)

For the salsa verde:
If you are a lazy person you can buy this pre-made. I think Herdez and La Costeña make good ones. But it's not as good as homemade! It may however, be cheaper.
- 10? tomatillos (these are the green tomatoes that come with a papery covering, generally found at Mexican specialty stores like at Bloor and Dufferin. If you don't have one near you, you can buy a tin of them), papery covering removed
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 6? serrano or jalapeño chillies (green and hot are the two key characteristics)
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt?

Toppings:
- iceberg lettuce, chopped
- crema (Mexican specialty store again, or just use sour cream)
- a mild shredded or crumbled white cheese

Prepare the chicken:
Put it in a pot with the onion and carrot and/or garlic and cover with water. Boil until cooked (no red juices emerge, and it's not creepily tender), about 30 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the water and pull off the meat into small pieces with your hands. [Unrelated to this recipe but a happy byproduct: Throw the chicken carcass and skin and ligaments (mm!) back into the water, add some veggies and herbs, simmer uncovered for 3 hours and you have delicious chicken stock!]

Prepare the salsa (unless you are lazier than a Mexican and bought it in a store):
Blanch the tomatillos in as little water as possible. In the same water, boil the chillies until tender (about 10 minutes). Do not discard the water. In a food processor or blender, blend the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and chillies to taste. Add cilantro to taste and blend. It should be very very liquid so add the chilly water as necessary. Transfer to a deep frying pan or pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Prepare the tortillas:
Heat some oil in a frying pan. Fry each tortilla in the oil for about 30 seconds. You don't want them to brown, you just want them to take up some of the oil so they don't get soggy in the salsa, and be hot so they are easier to fold. Keep warm in paper towl, plastic, or between two plates.

MAKE THE ENCHILADAS!
Place chicken meat onto one half of each tortilla and fold over. One at a time, place the stuffed tortilla in the frying pan with the salsa verde and submerge it for a few seconds. Remove to each individual's plate. Top with extra salsa verde. Give to your guest to add toppings.

Put on some cumbia and sit down to eat.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

wanna be startin' something

friends, i have been contemplating this post for many months, but every time i step up to put fingers to keys, i am overwhelmed with the power and immensity that is sourdough starter, and cannot find the strength to continue. luckily, my sourdough starter is in a state of hibernation (very likely the deepest of comas) in the fridge and it can't sneak up on me. but from what i've learned, it can do almost everything else.

sourdough starter fun/terrifying fact one:
it doubles as a building material! some industrious settlers, when not driving indigenous peoples westward or shooting buffalo herds from trains, filled the holes between the logs in their log cabins with sourdough starter. true story. you'll see this is true when you try and wash the jar you've been storing it in and find yourself grappling with a concrete-like substance.

so, sourdough starter is the base of sourdough bread, and it gives it its delectable sour quality. the way sourdough starter works is that it is either inherited or made, if you are gifted some by a friend, you can feed it and it will grow, or you can create a yeast trap and try and catch some delicious bacteria to make your own starter.

the joy of cooking describes a few processes for making your own starter, depending on whether you think there are magical yeast particles floating around your kitchen from past baking endeavors. i opted to use commercial yeast. essentially, you mix flour and water and yeast in a bowl, (or if you are trying to catch yeast, then just flour and water), and keep it in a warm place for days, stirring occasionally. in an ideal world what results, besides some very hard crusts (see fun/terrifying fact one), is a brand new sourdough starter that you can place in a jar, and then put in the fridge. (the image is of my jar of starter next to the loaf it spawned. note the warm locale.)

sourdough starter fun/terrifying fact two: it eats! and grows! after removing it from the fridge, and pouring off the "hooch," the clearish, alcoholy liquid that may have collected on the surface, you can feed your starter. sourdough starter is "fed" by adding equal parts flour and lukewarm water to the original, and allowing the mixture to sit out in a warm place. your starter is healthy if it begins to bubble after a few hours, after which you now have more starter then you had before. this can be used to bake bread, or placed back in the fridge to hang out until you need it, or until you want to feed it again. my rookie mistake was using all of my starter to bake the pictured loaf, after which i was out of starter and had to begin the whole starter-making process all over again. you always want to have enough starter for your recipe AND to leave in the jar to feed and regenerate. which brings us to...

sourdough starter fun/terrifying fact three: it remembers! they suggest you put your starter on a regular feeding schedule because it has the capacity to remember when it was last fed and expect similarly spaced feedings in the future. this is just little shop of horrors all over again. fear not, if starved, the starter goes into a state of hibernation, and can usually be revived by following the regular feeding instructions.

you and your starter are now poised on the threshold of a crusty and magical world of bread-baking, many aromas and buttering opportunities await you.


perhaps also armpit hair.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Egg Drop Soup with Noodles

Hey Kitchenettes,
Loved this one because I never end up cooking these tastes and was frankly surprised I could reproduce them in my (dirty, dirty) kitchen. Simple comfort food at its best. Think you could add some light veggies in too, if you're looking to beef up the veggie content (that's right).



You need
  • 5 cups chicken stock, or 4 cups chicken broth plus 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 cup dried fine egg noodles (1 oz)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil, or to taste

You do



Bring stock, soy sauce, Sherry, ginger, and garlic to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Remove ginger and garlic with a slotted spoon and discard. Stir in noodles and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 4 minutes. Stirring soup in a circular motion, add eggs in a slow, steady stream. Simmer, undisturbed, until strands of egg are cooked, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in scallions (to taste) and sesame oil. Season with salt.




With thanks to Gourmet/Epicurious


Love, Prof. TT

Guest post: Nadine's multilingual summer cocktail


Here's a terrific summer drink for you and your loved ones:

Greyhound:
-freshly squeezed juice of 1 Pampelmuse
-gin (1 -2 shots)
-a splash of whiskey (optional)
-ice wuerfel

Prost!
xox nads


Friday, June 10, 2011

the hard truth

dear friends,

i know that in the past (sadly i know less about the present for many of you), most of us have orbited, if not entered, the vegetarian universe. why you ask? my personal reasons include living next door to madeleine cohen whilst i was learning to cook, the general grossness of raw chicken skins, and wild fears of "bad meat." however, as i learned the other day, in a sense all meat is "bad meat."

this judgment call of badness is related to the ratio of foodstuffs required to produce meat. it takes approx. 16 pounds of edibles (i'd say mostly grain) to produce 1 pound of meat. those are 16 pounds of food that could be consumed by other human beings on our rapidly populating, overheating, justin bieber-crazed planet. (did you know justin bieber is canadian?) instead, we feed perfectly good food to cows to produce less food in the form of meat.

don't think i don't have the bacon cravings, or that i don't eagerly give in to them. but just as an informative, fact-spreading, non-coercive, apolitical discussion of ideas, i thought i'd trot out the ratios and give us a little food for thought.

justin is clearly contemplating the ramifications of a meat-based diet.

-the statistics mentioned are accessible through mark bittman's new york times column: http://bittman.blogs.nytimes.com/

Sunday, May 29, 2011

how to cook eggplants OTHER than the way you always do them

hullo there, kitchenettes,

what's baking?

i was recently feeling frustrated about cooking eggplants, as i inevitably ended up just doing the same thing as always: baking them with shit tons of olive oil. however, my friend passed on the following strategy and it is, as steph would say, delish.


fun fact: more than 4 million acres (2,043,788 hectares) are devoted to the cultivation of eggplant in the world. mostly in china.

without further ado:

i just made eggplant following faith's instructions, and it is SO GOOD. you just put a whole eggplant on a baking sheet in the oven on HIGH, with a flame coming from above. Keep it in for about 1/2 hour or 45 minutes, turning every once in a while when one side gets black. By the end the flesh is soft and the skin is completely burnt. Scoop out the flesh into a strainer and let it sit for 15 minutes (to drain). Then mix with about 1 t. red wine vinegar per eggplant, plus rock salt and pepper, and then eat it! SO DELICIOUS. alternately you could mix it with tahini, lemon and garlic.


love,
prof. tata (with thanks to sophie!)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Savoury butternut squash muffins

Dear friends,

This weekend I baked and brought what turned out to be delicious savoury muffins to a brunch potluck, pictured to the left. These babies were packed with butternut squash, spinach, parsley, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, feta, and parmesan.

These delicious treats are hearty and filling, and even the gluten and dairy averse could not help themselves from partaking because they were so beautiful. I will link to the recipe (HERE) because I don't want to steal the text and am too lazy to make it my own. But don't be too lazy to make them because they are so tasty.

xoxo

SOCCA - SO delicious.


alright i'm not just saying this because i'm no longer eating wheat, but socca (chickpea flour flatbread) is one of the best things to happen to me in a long time. it's one of the easiest things to make, is incredibly adaptable and has an amazing texture and flavour. you can use it as you would a roti or chapati. or as a bread with dinner. OR you could get really crazy with it and make socca pizza.

all you need:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
olive oil
sea salt
ANY spice that you might want for flavour (cumin, rosemary, etc)
a cast iron skillet or other oven safe skillet

here's what you do:
mix together the water, chickpea flour and about a spoonful of olive oil. whisk together and let the batter rest (outside of the fridge) for preferably 2 hours. in a pinch, i have made this without enough resting time and the taste seems fine but the texture is not as fluffy.

when you're ready to get going, turn your broiler on as high as possible. put the pan in the oven on it's own to get it piping hot. I usually leave mine in for 5-10 minutes. then, add a bunch of olive oil (a few teaspoons at least if you're using cast iron). and pour a bit of the batter into the pan. you can use as much or as little as you want. for pancake style socca, 1 cup of flour usually makes about 3. broil on high until the socca cooks through and the top is browned.

remove from the oven, drizzle with olive oil, some kind of coarse salt i've you've got it, and whatever other seasonings you choose (rosemary is usually best to add after the fact while cumin should be mixed into the batter).

chickpea flour is high in protein, fibre, and all sorts of nutrients. AND it tastes amazing.

enjoy!

Friday, February 11, 2011

brightening up a gluten-free existence....

dear friends and lovers:

for various assorted reasons, i have been eating gluten-free these days after a month-long "detox". this likely explains my lack of blog posting. what kind of zeal could i possibly have in a life with no gluten? WELL. let me tell you. my need for treats has propelled me into the world of mystery flours: almond flour, coconut flour, chickpea flour....

First, a quick note on almond flour. It is VERY expensive. Sometimes its worth buying it pre-ground because it has a much finer texture. But you could also experiment with making your own in a food processor. It's all about finding the balance between ground almonds and almond butter. All you need are some blanched almonds (skin off) and you're good to go.

So for now, I will share an amazing cookie recipe that I made last night. Largely inspired by the amazing Elana at Elana's Pantry, here is a recipe for gluten free lemon lavender cookies.

you need:
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons dried lavender, finely minced
1/4 cup oil (i used canola, but Elana recommends grapeseed oil - which is much healthier. It is, of course, much more expensive and canola worked fine).
3 teaspoons agave nectar (you could also use honey or maple syrup if you don't have agave and if you are less considered about high glycemic foods)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
juice of half a lemon

now, here's what you do:
1. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Whisk wet ingredients in a smaller bowl.
3. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones.
4. Form the cookie dough into 1/2 inch balls and press them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (no need to grease if you're using parchment)
5. Bake at 350 for 7-10 minutes.

Be VERY careful not to overbake. Almond flour is funny so if you're experimenting with it, i'd recommend baking these in the upper portion of your oven. I baked mine closer the bottom and found that i had to leave them in for a bit longer than the 10 minutes since they weren't setting, but then the bottoms ended up burnt. If this happens to you, you can use a grater on the bottoms of these babies and they will be good as new.

enjoy hot out of the oven!
you won't even miss the wheat in these little gems.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Pasta that Almost Lead to Tenderness (aka Fettucine with Peas, Asparagus and Pancetta)


Last night had all the makings of a great night - a shower, a hot steamy evening (thank you tropical weather) and the decadence of pancetta. Tenderness guarantee, right? WRONG. BUT, the pasta was deeeelish. Like, make it for a co-worker you want to impress with your culinary prowess.
Or when you have someone who thinks they are better than you over for dinner. Oh really, person who thinks they're better than me? Have you tried this awesome fucking pasta? Just do not use this pasta on the path to tenderness, for that road is fraught with peril and early morning golf games.

Also, as a tenderness-related-P.S. and a heavily nostalgic note, I've been listening to the epic first wives' club "you don't own me" every morning while teeth brushing and/or bed making and I'd say it has improved my life at least 17%. If we add in my frequent bacon-product use, we might be up to a solid 20% improvement overall. The potent combo of feminist empowerment and grease should never be underestimated. Anyways, every day should start out that awesome and end off with pancetta...trust me.

Finally, some alterations: I usually add a bit more lemon because I think it is more fresh and delicious that way. I substitute the whipping cream for whatever 1% or 2% milk I have in the fridge (add a bit less.) And I never add peas to this dish because I find them suspicious and gross, but if you're into that then go wild. Hope you lovers enjoy. xo

12 ounces fettuccine or penne
3 ounces pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 1/4 pounds asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
2 cups shelled fresh green peas, blanched 1 minute in boiling water, drained, or frozen peas (do not thaw)
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided


Cook pasta in pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot.

Meanwhile, cook pancetta in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 teaspoon drippings from skillet. Add asparagus to drippings in skillet; sauté 3 minutes. Add peas, white and pale green parts of green onions, and garlic; sauté until vegetables are just tender, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add vegetable mixture, 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid, dark green parts of green onions, 1/2 cup Parmesan, cream, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, half of parsley, and half of basil to pasta. Toss, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if needed. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle pancetta, remaining parsley, and basil over. Serve, passing additional Parmesan cheese.


Friday, January 21, 2011

i want a little (spicy baked chickpeas) in my bowl...

need a little heat to save your soul?

i used this recipe to make a super quick meal the other night with a low amount of things in the kitchen. added a bunch of vegetables into the mix too and upped the spices. and i think it would definitely benefit from some more flavor, for example coriander etc., but nonetheless, great in a fix!

sing it, nina:

http://www.mojvideo.com/video-nina-simone-i-want-a-little-sugar-in-my-bowl-1967/4d5996760ea7e2a41767


ingredients
• 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon spanish smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
• kosher salt

directions
preheat the oven to 400 degrees f.

rinse and drain the chickpeas and dry by rolling them around in a kitchen towel. combine the oil, paprika cumin, cayenne and salt in a large bowl. add chickpeas and toss to coat evenly. transfer the chickpeas to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread them out in a single layer. bake until golden and crispy, 25 to 35 minutes, shaking the tray to toss after 15 minutes. remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the chickpeas to a serving bowl.


love,
prof. tata

Monday, January 3, 2011

comfort food, cali style


i think that most americans would be horrified to learn that until i moved to vermont 4 months ago, 'shepherd's pie' or 'corned beef hash' were nothing more then culinary mysteries. and while the word 'meatloaf' has been mentioned in my presence, i certainly have no personal experience with it. in california, comfort food takes on a notably more mexican flavor. in fact, i bet that after trying my dad's tacos, the whole midwest would stop stocking whatever meatloaf is made of, and start filling the shelves with beautiful, spicy mexican chiles.

california comfort food a la r. horwitz (and l. brydolf):

1 white onion
2 jalapeno chiles
2 pasilla chiles (these look like green peppers, if unavailable, use green peppers)
kalamata olives
cooked potato
chicken (if desired)
cilantro
avocado
green salsa
corn tortillas
canola oil
feta

1. to begin, a key flavor comes from blackening the chiles over a gas range, or lacking that, broiling them in the oven. either way, wait until the skin is black and bubbled and then remove it with your fingers or a paper towel. mostly it's just important not to involve water because that removes the roasted flavor.
2. once blackened, remove seeds and dice the chiles and the onion and saute them in a pan with some canola oil. add some green salsa to the mixture, and when the onions have been cooked through, add pieces of potato, chopped olives, and chicken (my dad usually buys a rotisserie chicken and adds the already cooked meat).
3. the above makes up most of the taco innards. to complete the deliciousness, saute a corn tortilla in a bit of canola oil, add the chile mixture, top with cilantro, avocado, and if you like, feta cheese and more green salsa, and close the taco.
4. consume rapidly and make more!

the best thing about this recipe, is that if you've done some of the prep work beforehand, or had others do it for you (ex: rotisserie chicken), this meal takes about 20 minutes. plus if you make extra, you can keep eating it for days and days. and let me tell you, 3-day old hot tacos kick 3-day old shepherd's pie out of the water. or kitchen.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Carrot Ginger Orange Soup

C is for Kitchen friends!

Hoping for a year full of posting, I will begin with this simple carrot, ginger, and orange soup!

You will need, about

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
4 cups carrots, chopped
2 tsp grated or minced ginger
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 cup orange juice
salt & pepa

Use a big saucepan to melt butter and heat olive oil. Add onions and carrots and saute for about 4 minutes. Add ginger and cook for 2 more.

Add stock, water, orange juice. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer. When carrots are soft (thirty minutes or so) take it off the stove to cool for a second, or don't, then use an immersion blender or a regular blender and blend to the texture of your dreams! Reheat it, season with salt and pepper, and there you go! So delicious and easy!

You can also garnish with yogurt and parsley or cilantro if you are inspired.

It also goes delightfully with this easy recipe for homemade six-seed soda bread:
http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/sixseed-soda-bread-recipe.html