Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tickle Your Taste Buds!

I've been asked for a lot of recipes lately, so I'm going to go ahead and try to archive some of them here for you.  Some are my own creations, some are my interpretations of recipes I've had elsewhere, and some are from other sources such as loved ones or much loved publications.
I'll note the source so as not to be accused of culinary plagiarism.  Surely there must be a word for that...
A word about my cooking.  Penzey's Spices are my main resource for spice blends.  They have a wonderful catalog of  spices and herbs and I have to attribute a lot of my cooking success to their spice blends.  
Here are a few of my staples that I've relied on for years:
Italian dressing base
Greek Dressing Base
4/S seasoned salt
Chipotle Powder
Pumpkin Pie Spice

My new favorite snack was printed in the December 2008 Southern Living.  It's healthy and highly addictive.
Chili Roasted Chickpeas
Preheat oven to 425 f.
In a medium bowl combine 2 cans chickpeas (16 oz.) rinsed & drained with:
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
Transfer mixture to a lightly greased cookie sheet (I use Reynold's nonstick foil for this)
and bake for 45-55 min, or until dry & crispy, stirring every 10 minutes.
(I turn down the heat 25 deg. for the last two or three times I stir.  The trick is to bake them for as long as you can for as hot as you can without burning them.)
Let cool 20 min. Stores well in an airtight container for up to 2 days (My own opinion

This next recipe is my own*.  I was inspired after having a fantastic edamame hummus in a local Raleigh restaurant called Humble Pie.  I have no idea what they put in theirs, but theirs is worth trying, too!
*a note about my recipes.  i am a slap-dash cook.  i cook by sight, smell and sound as well as taste.  measurements are my best approximations.  fear not, my friend; taste as you go and you'll be just fine.  

Cody's Edamame Hummus 
In a 7 cup capacity food processor combine until pureed as much as possible:
1 bag frozen shelled edamame, cooked according to package directions, then drained
1/4 c. white wine
3 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 c. vegetable broth (or bouillon cube dissolved in 1/2 c. warm water)
2 cloves minced garlic
a small fist full of each fresh basil and fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp. salt 
1/2 tsp. pepper

My Mama Sue's Vinaigrette
In a blender combine until emulsified
1 clove garlic & 1 tsp. salt smashed on a brown paper bag, not on the cutting board. (don't ask--it matters)
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 fresh basil leaves
4 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. canola or veg. oil
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. dijon mustard

Creamy Vegan Potato Salad for the Mayonnaise Haters
1-2 lbs. red skin potatoes, chopped into 1" cubes and boiled in salted water until firm-tender
3-4 Tbs. Vegenaise (found in the refrigerator section of Whole Foods)
1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1-2 tsp. dried dill
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Cucumber & Tomato Salad
(to remove your cuke seeds, cut in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds out with a spoon.  I recommend it for less burps.)
2 cukes, peeled and seeded, cut into 1/2" thick moons
6-8 roma tomatoes, cut onto 1/2" pieces or 1 pkg. grape tomatoes, cut into halves
juice of 1 lemon
1-2  Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf (italian) parsley
small handful chopped mint
1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 bunch chopped green onion
1 tsp. salt
put it all together in a big ol' bowl and gently combine.

Black Bean and Corn Salad (with optional avocado)
1 can rinsed & drained black beans
1 bag (12 oz?) frozen white shoepeg corn
3 chopped roma tomatoes (or 1 can petite diced tomatoes)
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
small handful of either chopped cilantro or flat-leaf Italian parsley
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or as hot as you want it)
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (it's not spicy)
(I use 1/4 tsp. Penzey's chipotle powder instead of cayenne & smoked paprika)
as with everything else, toss it all together.  The frozen corn will thaw and keep the salad cold while you get ready for your fiesta~ole!!
optional: add 1 chopped avacado

Mama Sue's Dutch Baby (German Pancake)
Dutch baby is a crepe-like batter that you bake in the oven and it is probably the easiest and best dish for a brunch.  Especially if you or your guests are hung over.  It requires a 2-3" high oven safe skillet.  I use a well seasoned iron skillet.
3 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
6 Tbs. melted butter
juice of half a lemon
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 450 f.
Beat egg.   Gradually add flour and salt, blending well with a whisk.  Add milk and blend thoroughly until smooth.
Swirl 3 Tbs. of the melted butter around in the pan.  Pour in batter and bake for 15-20 min. Check on it at 15 minutes--it might be done already.  It may need 20 minutes, but not in my oven.  
You'll know it's done when it has puffed up then collapsed and turned golden brown. 

Mix remaining 3 Tbs. melted butter, lemon juice & maple syrup together and use it as the most amazing topping for your warm Dutch Baby...bon apetit!
For you fancy pants types, give it a sprinkle of powdered sugar.  

Roasty-Toasty Cauliflower
Give this veggie another look--it's not what you remember as a kid.  Firm, tender and flavorful, it will make you want to clean your plate!
1 head of cauliflower, rinsed well, chopped into florettes
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Preheat oven to 400f.
Toss cauliflower in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes until cauliflower is a little deeper than golden brown around the edges.

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