11/19/13

roasted cauliflower with curry and red vinegar

roasted cauliflower with curry and vinegar

Posting a recipe for this dish feels like cheating. It's not really complicated. You probably have most ingredients on hand. Cooks in no time. Lots of flavor. Vegetarian. Could be vegan if you substituted the butter. Hell, I am pretty damn sure it's even gluten free. It's supposed to be a side dish but served over some rice or any other grain, maybe add an egg and you have a light but filling supper.
                     
Not to get all poetic on you or anything but this dish is the equivalent of waking up from a nap on a cold rainy day. You know that feeling? All cozy and warm under the covers? Relaxed, happy, and well rested? Satisfied?

Seriously, that's this dish.

roasted cauliflower with curry and red vinegar
the a.o.c. cookbook by suzanne goin
printable recipe

(Side note: This recipe, as posted, fed 3 people as a main course. We were all very sad that there wasn't any leftovers for the next day.)

1/4 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 medium head cauliflower, cored and cut into florets
1 small yellow onion, peeled, cored, and cut into sixths
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toast the coriander seeds in a small pan for a few minutes, until the seeds release their aroma and are lightly browned. Repeat with the cumin seeds. Using a mortar and pestle, pound coarsely.

In the warm pan that you used to toast the seeds (take pan off heat), add the coarsely ground coriander and cumin seeds, curry, paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Stir together to combine. This helps bring out the flavor of the spices.

Place the cauliflower and onion in a large mixing bowl. Pour the olive oil and melted butter over the top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower and onions, toss well to coat the vegetables completely in the oil, butter, and spices. Add vinegar and toss again.

Place the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes or so, until the cauliflower is tender and nicely caramelized. Scatter the cilantro over the cauliflower, toss with a large spoon, and taste for seasoning.

11/5/13

frijoles con todo

Yay Fall!!!! #vscocam

It's been 575 days since my last post...

I honestly haven't missed it because I really, I mean I REALLY detest writing. Writing is a struggle for me. I can't seem to find consistency, should I be funny or serious, quiet or loud? Point me in a direction and I will go, go, go but every time I approach the keyboard I automatically tense up and my brain comes to an abrupt halt right up against my skull. Writer's concussion? Is that a thing? Is it more serious than writer's block? Hypochondria for writers? Everything I'd like to write about flees my brain the very instant I touch the keyboard and questioning myself drives me batshit crazy to the point of wanting to knock down my monitor and saying I am outta here! And yet... I have come back. I know it's very much like exercising, the more I write the easier it gets but like exercising, I hate it, damn it.

still life #vscocam #nofilter #california

Ready for a bumpy segue? If I was in shape I could weave this post together in a few fluid, witty paragraphs but yeah, that's not happening.

Anyways, these beans... well, this recipe was like how I feel about writing. A pain in the ass. (That's your warning)

 I made this recipe over and over again. I was like Goldilocks,

These beans are too hard
These beans aren't seasoned enough
Oh, these beans are just right

When I finally got this recipe down cold it was and still is a head scratching, "how in the hell did that happen?" magic. (That's your incentive for making them. Magic. Cooking Magic.)

Really all these beans do is simmer in some chicken stock and their own juices and they taste like nothing you could ever imagine. Beans in their own juices sounds kinda disgusting, I know but trust me when I say this is a warm comforting dish for autumn and it's magical when done correctly.

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comfort food: frijoles con todo #vscocam

Frijoles Con Todo
~Pinto Beans With Everything~
(printable recipe)

2 cups pinto beans, picked over, rinsed and drained
3-5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed (to taste)
½  white onion, peeled and root cut off
½- 1 jalapeno, stem cut off (to taste)
2 Bay leaves
Salt
¼ teaspoon of each: (add more to taste)
Powdered Mexican oregano
Pasilla chile powder
Cumin powder
Ground coriander

Toppings:
Red Onion, chopped
Jalapeno or Serrano peppers, chopped
Avocado, sliced
Cilantro, stemmed and chopped
¼ pound of queso Oaxaca, Shredded (Monterey jack works well also)
Sour Cream

Directions:

Place beans and everything else, except toppings, in a heavy duty sauce pan and cover with chicken stock so that the waterline is about 3 inches over the beans. Bring the beans to a boil over high heat, and then decrease the heat to medium. You might have to skim some foam from the top of the beans. Discard that nasty foam.

This is important!!!! Simmer, not boil, but don’t under-simmer either or this recipe won’t work. 

Simmer, adding stock or water to keep the waterline two to three inches above the beans for the next 2-4 hours. Stirring occasionally to keep the beans from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Stop adding water after 2-3 hours of cooking or when the beans are tender. At this point, the liquid will be cloudy and milky and start to thicken from the starch of the beans. You’ll want the stock to slowly reduce until just covering the beans until perfectly tender. This is also tricky because sometime I have to add more stock and am constantly adjusting temperature and stock levels. I like this dish a little more broth-y so adjust to your taste.

Adjust seasoning and slowly add salt. (You’ll need more than you think) Remove bay leaves, onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeno from the pot.

Ladle the beans and broth into each bowl and top with cheese, avocado, onions, cilantro, chiles, and sour cream.

4/9/12

toasted almond scones




I want to make the argument that scones are the instant gratification of the baking world. I know, I know you have had some bad ones, cold ones, stale ones... so have I. But.

But, but, but... let me be the scones champion for a moment and tell you why they are full of awesomeness for the person who is craving a baked good but is feeling a little lazy.

Craving sweet or savory? You can have either. As long as you have a basic ratio for scones you can play around. Also if you want them plain to showcase some fancy butter and awesome jam that you bought, well there's that too.

Speaking of playing around, the ingredients are fairly cheap and not so time intensive that if you screw up and make a truly bad batch of scones you won't feel as guilty throwing a batch of scones in the trash than.... let's just say this for example.

There is no prep or much of what I call pre-thought involved. Everything comes out of the refrigerator cold and goes straight into a bowl or food processor. No thinking about setting out the eggs or butter to warm to room temperature or trying to soften the butter in the microwave and getting melted butter because you turned your back for 1 tenth of stinking second. Oh we have all been there.

The less fuss and mixing... the better. No multiple rises, not too many dishes or mixing bowls and speaking of which...

Most recipes for scones can be baked on 1 baking sheet. No multiple batches, like cookies. Don't get me started with cookies and I adore cookies but sometimes a girl just wants a one and done recipe.

Also, there is just enough but never too much so they go stale. How very Goldilocks of them.

And last but not least, the best argument for scones instant gratification blue ribbon status. They are best right after baking. No chilling, no waiting 24 hours or even an hour... 10 minutes max. That, by the way, is the worst thing about brownies and cakes. You know you don't want to wait for an hour to cut into whatever you just you've just baked. So you cut into them and burn the roof of your mouth and worst of all it will never cut neatly now. Sigh.



 toasted almond scones: baking from my home to yours by dorie greenspan
(printable recipe)

makes 12 but I made eight because I cut mine a tad larger

1 cup blanched almonds (whole, silvered or sliced), toasted
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup cold heavy cream
1/4 cup cold whole milk
1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional)*

Preheat the oven to 400 deg. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

Divide the toasted almonds in half. Finely grind 1/2 cup in a food processor or blender with the sugar. Make sure not to overgrind the nuts or you will end up with almond butter.

Finely chop the other 1/2 cup.

In a bowl, stir the egg, cream, milk, and almond extract together.

In a separate large bowl, whisk the flour, ground almonds and sugar, baking powder and salt together.

Drop in the butter and using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is has pea sized pieces through out. Don't worry if some pieces or smaller or larger.It's cool.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir with a fork just until the dough, which will be wet and sticky, comes together. Don’t overdo it! Remember lazy is good. Stir in the chopped almonds. Still in the bowl, gently knead the dough by hand, less than a dozen times! I swear this is the key to good scones. It's okay if there are bits of butterless flour on the bottom.

Turn the dough out into a lightly floured work surface divide it into half. Working with one piece at a time, pat the dough into a rough circle that’s about 5 inches in diameter, cut into 6 wedges and top each scone with a few sliced almonds. * I forgot to add the almonds on top... now that's lazy! Place them on the baking sheet. Bake the scones for 20-22 minutes or until their tops are golden and firmish. Transfer to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving, or wait for the scones to cool to room temperatures.