……………………………………………………. Baking our mark

Mustard-Roasted Potatoes July 1, 2012

Filed under: Side dish,Vegetarian — krandle @ 8:36 am
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Sometimes, I can look at a recipe and know immediately that I will love it and that it will turn out delicious. One of the only other places I get this sense of recognition, oddly, is on my daily walks to and from work. Sometimes, I see another girl, tromping along in her tennis shoes and business casual attire, hair a mess, carrying a giant bag – and I can just tell we could have a good conversation. Even if we just talked about walking and the homeless people we see and how we think we’re in every tourist’s photo of the Swann Memorial Fountain, I can just tell that it would be nice.

But here’s where the vague similarity between recipe research and  my identification with strangers ends. I have never once walked up to one of these fellow walkers to chat, and I can’t say that I have a strong desire to; I’m content to leave them alone in their own universes.

The recipes, however, I keep.

Mustard-Roasted Potatoes (from B.A.)

1/2 cup whole grain Dijon mustard
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. (1/4 stick) butter, melted
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. dried oregano
1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
3 pounds 1- to 1 1/2-inch-diameter mixed unpeeled red-skinned and white-skinned potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch-wide wedges

Position 1 rack in top third of oven and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 425°F.

Spray 2 large rimmed baking sheets with nonstick spray.

Whisk mustard, olive oil, butter, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, lemon peel and salt in large bowl to blend. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to roast the potatoes.

Add potatoes to the large bowl and stir to coat. Sprinkle generously with freshly ground black pepper.

Divide potatoes between two lightly greased baking sheets, leaving any excess mustard mixture behind in bowl. Spread potatoes in single layer. Roast potatoes 20 minutes. Reverse baking sheets and roast until potatoes are crusty outside and tender inside, turning occasionally, about 25 minutes longer.


Chipotle Mac and Cheese October 17, 2011

Finally – the leaves are beginning to turn and it’s cold enough that I get to wear  blazer-weight jackets around outside. That also means I get to start cooking heavier foods (without feeling guilty about it).

Mac and cheese was first on the list this fall. (Pumpkin things are coming next.) Now, we love mac and cheese here – we’ve made pumpkin Gruyere mac, nacho mac, and three cheese mac, and some other random cheese/pasta dishes.

This weekend, I was all about this easy chipotle mac. (I love all things chipotle, so I tweaked the original recipe to be spicier and more adobo-y. Watch out.)

Chipotle Mac and Cheese

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 – 3 Tbs. chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped
2 Tbs butter
1/8 cup all-purpose flour
2.5 cups milk
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 lb noodles, such as macaroni, cooked al dente
8-oz cheese, such as cheddar and monterey jack, grated
1/8 cup breadcrumbs

In a large saucepan, cook butter, onion, garlic, and chipotles, stirring until onion is soft. Then, add flour and cook for about 3 more minutes. Whisking constantly, add the milk, then bring the mixture to a boil.   Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add pasta to the mixture, then stir in the cheese. Transfer the combination to a buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top, and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.


Ginger Rice July 19, 2011

Not everyone has this problem: the ginger root in your crisper drawer has gotten just a tad old and if you don’t hurry up and use it, you’re going to lose it. (I’m sure other people have similar issues, but probably just inserting a food other than “ginger” into that sentence. If you have this problem with ice cream, just call me up – I will make sure it doesn’t have to be tossed.)

Anyhow, I have dilemmas about what to do with spare ginger root periodically, and have recently found a solution that is pretty well near perfect: ginger rice. This dish has a great deal of flavor (ginger flavor, if you’re curious), but isn’t so weird that it doesn’t go with a lot of other foods and isn’t so difficult that it requires me to go get more ingredients. It’s a perfect pantry recipe. Beware that it is very ginger-y, so if you don’t like the fresh stuff, don’t make it.

Ginger Rice (which goes terribly well with Apricot Chicken and, as leftovers, in Chicken Rice Bowls and Chicken with Eggs)

1 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup rice (preferably basmati)
1.5 cups stock or broth (chicken, turkey, and vegetable stock all work well)
Salt to taste

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and then add everything else. Bring to a boil, then cook for about 12 minutes more or until water is absorbed. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.


Shaved Squash Salad June 22, 2011

At my [rented] house in Philadelphia, I have a vast, spacious yard tiny patio with a large[ish] planter box. It is just perfect for growing squash. My squash plants have become, since I first planted them in April, crazy giant monster plants. So, now, I have an incredible amount of squash. [The boyfriend is quite pleased that it’s a mild yellow squash – he was worried he was going to get saddled with pounds of butternut squash when I told him what I planted.]  So, when I saw a recipe on B.A. for a squash salad that involves no cooking but lots of garlic, I knew I had to try it. And, it’s great. Went quite nicely with the other things I served at my recent mini-dinner party.

Shaved Squash Salad 

3 Tbs. almonds, roasted, then coarsely chopped
1 lb. summer squash [I used 2 yellow squashes and 1 zucchini]
3 to 4 handfuls of baby arugula

Dressing [I doubled this part of the recipe since I like the flavor of garlic better than the flavor of squash]
2.5 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 minced garlic clove
Salt and pepper

Trim the ends off summer squash. Using a vegetable peeler, thinly slice the squash lengthwise into strips and transfer to a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the dressing, then pour over squash shavings. “Toss” (as much as you can toss squash shavings) to coat, and let rest for a few minutes. Then, add some handfuls of baby arugula to the mix.

Garnish with the almonds. [Yes, it’s worth it to buy almonds – without the texture differential in there, the salad doesn’t seem as exciting.]


Soy-Ginger Vegetables May 17, 2011

Today marks the anniversary of starting my job and my real adult life. What an appropriate time to write about boring, green adult food.

I actually thoroughly enjoy vegetables…and I really enjoy them when they’re easy to make. So, frozen vegetables it is. (Plus, they make it easier to make single servings of veggies.) I normally just steam them, but am willing to decrease the healthfulness by adding fat on occasion…if the end result tastes delicious.

And yes, these veggies taste delicious in the end.

Soy-Ginger Vegetables

1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
10 oz. frozen vegetables (I used green beans, broccoli, watercress, and carrots in the pictured veggies)
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
If desired, salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Then, add garlic and ginger, stirring for about a minute. Add the vegetables (no need to thaw) and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then, add broth and soy sauce, cooking for about 2 more  minutes, or until vegetables are tender but still crisp. Season to taste.

Use the extra sauce in the skillet to add some extra flavor to rice.