Sunday, August 14, 2011

Peach-Pecan Muffins

Summer bounty equals far too many peaches at times (though there really is no such thing). Some of these peaches were getting a bit... squishy, and since I can't use more than one in a smoothie each day, I decided to make muffins. It's also that on-and-off drizzle outside that northeastern Ohio excels at during the last summer, so I relished the opportunity to turn on the oven.

Peach-Pecan Muffins

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Mix (I threw this in on a whim, because I like spiced peaches, but if you don't have it, consider a teaspoon of cinnamon, a hearty pinch of nutmeg, a half teaspoon of ground ginger and some cracked black pepper instead.)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk (or soymilk, or apple juice, or peach nectar...)
1 egg
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped fresh peaches
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix together dry ingredients, beat together wet ingredients with a fork. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet and stir until just combined. Fold in peaches and pecans, then spoon into muffin tins lined with cupcake liners until 3/4 full. Bake at 400 for around 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Eat while warm with butter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Adjective Sandwich

I began making adjective sandwiches at the Decafe, Oberlin’s made-to-order sandwich-salad-smoothie bar/grocery store. The Oberlin Alumni Magazine did a little write-up of my creative endeavors, which was read by a glorious alum named Gwendolen Gross. After some consulting and totally excellent emails, her book The Orphan Sister hit the bookstores featuring some adjective sandwiches between its covers.

I received her book in the mail on Wednesday, July 6th, and it was chock full of thanks and wonderful things (haven’t read the book yet, as I’m saving it for a very long plane ride next week, but Ben Jones found a section full of sandwiches and read it to me), and I realized how much I missed making sandwiches.

Enter The Adjective Sandwich, a website dedicated to the creation of new sandwiches, fueled by volunteered adjectives. I haven’t stopped thinking up combinations, and while my previous eaters are now all around the world, now I can share my creations with everyone, rather than one sandwich at a time. Enjoy.

I want an adjective sandwich! How does this work?

Email with the following bits of information:

- your adjective,
- likes/dislikes/things you can't eat,
- vegetarian, vegan, or omnivorous,
- your tolerance for spicy things.

Please add your name so I can thank you, too!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zucchini Soufflé Casserole

If there is any ingredient I love to embrace the versatility of, it has to be eggs. I love everything about them. A few years ago, I experimented with seperating the eggs that went into a frittata, ending up with a thin rich omlette on the bottom of the dish and a fluffy pesto meringue on top. It took your average clean-out-the-fridge fast meal and instantly made it classy.

Tonight, on this verge of springtime in northeastern Ohio, I want eggs, and I want vegetables, and I want them now. Enter the zucchini soufflé attempt.

3 medium zucchini
5 cloves garlic, crushed or finely minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Grate zucchini and combine with garlic, butter, olive oil, several dashes of salt and a few pinches/grinds of black pepper in a medium saute pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook until zucchini is no longer white, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and drain off liquid.

Separate the eggs into two large bowls. Beat the whites with a whisk until stiff, then whisk in dried basil, salt, and pepper. Beat the yolks with milk, salt, and pepper, then add the flour and whisk for a few more beats. Add zucchini and cottage cheese and whisk until just combined.

Add 1/3 of the beaten egg whites to the zucchini mixture and stir a few beats. Add another 1/3 of the egg whites and gently fold into the zucchini mixture. Repeat with remaining egg white mixture.

Pour into a greased 9x13" glass baking dish and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the top is browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Serve with a salad that most definitely contains cucumbers (mine was artichoke hearts, onion, and English cucumber).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fiercegiving Leftovers: Triple Decker Sandwich

Ali and I are the masters of Thanksgiving leftovers. Today, Ali made a toasted sourdough sandwich with a fried egg, provolone, green bean casserole, and mustard.

I made this:

Triple-Decker Thanksgiving Sandwich
Serves 1, easily multiplied

3 slices pumpernickel bread, toasted
Cooked turkey, shredded (I prefer dark meat, but white will do fine)
1 slice pumpkin pie (or a single serving of extra pumpkin pie filling that has been baked in a mini custard dish)
Green bean casserole with caramelized onions (recipe below)
Cranberry sauce
Salt and white pepper

On the first layer of bread, thinly spread mayonnaise and top with shredded turkey, salt and pepper to taste. Top with a second slice of bread, with thinly spread mayonnaise on the side touching the turkey, and pumpkin pie filling spread on the top.

Next, cover the pumpkin pie with green bean casserole, and top with the final slice of bread, that has a thin layer of cream cheese and cranberry sauce coating it. Anchor with a toothpick or two and enjoy.

Green Bean Casserole
Fills a 9x9 square baking dish

1 pound fresh green beans, cleaned and snapped into 1-inch pieces
2 white onions, thinly sliced into rainbows
1 cup stock
1.5 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Steam or boil green beans in salted water until tender. Strain into a colander and run under cold water to stop the beans from cooking.

Caramelize the onions in a large pan with olive oil, one tablespoon of butter and salt and pepper over medium heat. Stir every few minutes, until the onions smell sweet and turn a creamy brown, about 20-30 minutes.

Melt remaining butter in a medium saucepan. Add flour and whisk in until a thick paste forms. Begin gradually adding stock and milk and whisk until all the lumps of flour have dissipated. When the sauce becomes thick, salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat. Add green beans and stir until combined.

Pour into a 9x9 glass baking dish and top liberally with caramelized onions. Bake in a 350 degree oven until bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Turkey Udon with Butternut Squash and Corn

Post-Thanksgiving: dealing with leftovers, and lots and lots of stock. With some of yesterday's ingredients and this morning's stock, I concocted this soup.

Turkey Udon with Butternut Squash and Corn

Serves 4

6 cups turkey stock
1 medium sized butternut squash, cubed
1 cup corn
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried lemongrass
3 bunches of udon, cooked to package directions
1 cup cooked turkey, shredded (I prefer dark meat, but white is also delicious)
Salt and white pepper to taste
Chopped green onions
4 eggs, optional

Bring 3 cups of turkey stock to a boil with an additional cup of water. Boil squash until fork-tender and remove with a slotted spoon. Add remaining turkey stock, ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, and simmer until fragrant (10-15 minutes). Add corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Divide the udon into four large, deep bowls and top with butternut squash and shredded turkey. Cover with boiling turkey soup and garnish with green onions and a hard boiled or poached egg, if desired.

My moody squash, posing.