Tag Archives: Jeanne Lemlin

#NationalPastaDay

is today, October 17th and I almost missed it.

Actually, ANY Day WITHOUT Pasta is a day I don’t have very often.

And I was raised to call it Macaroni.

Macaronis

in the plural.

macaronis

This image from Wikipedia under ‘macaroni’ is labeled: “macaronis”

Sometimes Noodles…….noodles could be macaroni. Like lasagna noodles….

Pasta was something we didn’t talk about when I was young, back in the olden days….

We had Baked Macaroni and Cheese for Friday nights – and nothing out of  blue boxes then either.

We had Prince Macaroni on Wednesdays….princespaghettibridgeIt was called the Prince Macaroni Plant. The facility was sold in 2014 and now Prince Pasta is part of a mega conglomerate.This bridge was (is) in Lowell MA.

 

….or whatever brand of macaroni was on sale, although we an an awful lot of Mueller’s.

 

muellers-pastaAnd now, for my sad rather pathetic recent macaroni story. It starts with broccoli….

Brassica oleracea var. italica

Brassica oleracea var. italica – the broccoli I was looking at was even more lovely then this!

I saw a beautiful, lovely, absolutely GORGEOUS head of broccoli at the store. I had purchased some feta at the Farmer’s Market and I remembered a dish that was Feta, Broccoli and Rice  from Jeanne Lemlin’s  Quick  Vegetarian Pleasures that I had not made in far too long

qvp-lemlin

This is soooo simple.

  1. Put the rice on to cook – I found the jar with rice, then a found another jar, with a little less rice….so I measured out the water, sauteed the rice, added the water and a little salt and set it up to boil.
  2. I rinsed and broke apart the broccoli into bite sized bits.
  3. I realized the original recipe called for tomatoes, choose to not use them, and got out some crushed hot pepper.
  4. I put some olive oil in a big saute pan, let it heat. Added the broccoli, stirred around, then added some water and put on the lid. The lid was the wrong lid – too small….couldn’t find the right lid. The water was evaporating too fast – add a little more water. Add the crushed red pepper and some salt – very little – there’s feta coming up – and stir around.
  5. Timer dings – rice is ready! Open the rice pot – the rice has swelled and there’s lots of water on top!….Did I use too much water? Why yes, I had – twice as much water as I needed. But the size, the shape….had I used the last of the orzo instead of the dregs of rice????
  6. Why yes, yes, I had! What NOW?????
  7. Drain the pasta – which had cooked for 20 minutes and if it hadn’t been orzo it might just be glop….
  8. Add the overcooked orzo to the broccoli, turn the heat up for a bit to get a little more saute action going….now the liquid is evaporating…..stir stir stir
  9. Add the crumbled feta, stir and adjust the seasonings – it actually needed a little more salt because the pasta was SOOO waterlogged.
  10. Serve and enjoy. On the plate and hot it was good. The next day for lunch, with a little more oil and vinegar, it was great pasta/broccoli/feta salad.
  11. New Rule – label ALL jars in the cupboard.
  12. Although this dish is very good with rice – Orzo would be even quicker.
ball-jar-labels-disolvable

These labels and a Sharpie now live in the cupboard. Everything gets a label.

 

 

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It’s snowing and it’s only the second of November…..snowMaybe it’s not THAT much snow, but it might as well be…I have my rain boots at the ready, my rain gear by the back door.

What is this SNOW???????? I’m not ready for snow before Thanksgiving.

Time to head back to the kitchen. Since I really don’t want to go to the store, what’s in the pantry for tonight?

Potatoes. Onions…if there are eggs in the fridge, I know what I’m-ma gonna do….

chicken w a cape on

The Little Chickie was so cold she had a cape on…but still, there are eggs!

Potato and Onion Frittata

¼ c olive oil

2 medium potatoes

4 medium onions

6 large eggs

¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp salt

Ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9” pie plate.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast iron or nonstick frying pan. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½ cubes
  3. When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry the potatoes until golden and tender.
  4. Peel and dice the onions
  5. Remove the potatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon. Cook the onions about 15 minutes, stirring and tossing frequently until very tender. These aren’t caramelized onions, just very well done – more beige then dark brown, but meltingly soft.
  6. Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper and cheese.
  7. Add the potato and onions to the eggs.
  8. NOTE: Keep the onions and eggs in one bowl, the eggs and seasonings in another, cover and fridge for several hours before cooking. Bring out and mix together while the oven is preheating.
  9. Put mixture into pie plate and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Jeanne Lehman. Quick Vegetarian Pleasures:152.

simple vegg pleasur peaseWhich is all well and good, and I’ve made  plenty of fritattas this way, BUT as a single single (versus my single Mom days) I now make half as much and just keep it all on the stove, maybe listening to some NPR at the same time, or staring at the white board at the side of the fridge, writing down things as they flit through my head…

So

1 potato, peel it and cut it into a dice, or really thin slices. Fry in olive oil – the olive oil is part of the flavor. When it’s tender and golden, take those taters out and add in 2 onions, any kind, any color, sliced very, very thin or diced, cook them slowly in the oil, stirring them every now and again, keep it all moving along. By now you’ve already checked around the fridge – any leftover bits that might be nice – but only bitty bits in the fritatta for one.  A slice of ham, one piece of bacon, a stalk of broccoli. Or not.

Beat 3 eggs, add some salt and pepper, maybe a pinch of smoked paprika or a pinch tarragon….by now you know what you’re hungry for. Add the potato to the eggs, add the onions to the potato, and if you want some cheese in it, now the time. If the bottom of the pan is still slick you’re good, or add another drop or two of oil to it. Put the egg mixture in the pan, keep it at medium and shake it about a bit to get the eggy parts to the bottom to cook, and to keep it from sticking.  Put a lid on it, and don’t go too far away….10 or so should do it. Slide it out to your plate, and sit at a table, preferably one with a view (if you don’t have a view, get flowers) and enjoy.

Clara Peeters - flowers, good; mouse, optional

Clara Peeters – flowers, good; mouse, optional

It’s still snowing…….

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Kale

Kale is one of those vegetables that is never out of season, or it least so it seems. It is often the the workhorse green, and only recently has gotten trendy.

Kale - this is the curly kind

Kale – this is the curly kind

Tuscan or black kale

Tuscan or black kale

It seems that the words ‘kale’ and ‘chips’ are now partnered, like ‘potato’ and ‘chips’  or ‘fish’ and ‘chips’ or even ‘wood’ and ‘chips’……

Kale Chips from Wiki How

Kale Chips from WikiHow

Since you might very well have kale on hand right this minute…here are some suggestions from what I’m reading right this minute.

Good with

  • Garlic – lots of garlic
  • Something sharp – lemon juice, vinegars
  • Something mellow – olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce
  • Bacon – just a little – or other strong sausages – linguica and chorizo are very good
  • Smoked paprika and smoked salt
Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

from Deborah Madison. Vegetable Literacy.Ten Speed Press: 2013. p. 134.

 

But when I think of kale, I think of potatoes…like Colcannon or Caldo Verde. Not the trendy kales, the traditional ones.

So here’s a soup that right anytime of the year, and is all but guaranteed to make any day better.

BACK TO BASIC KALE AND POTATO SOUP

3 TBL olive oil

8-10 garlic cloves, minced (or just use the whole head)

¼ – ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 Quarts vegetable stock (or water)

4 cups peeled and finely diced potatoes (about 4 medium – she calls for waxy potatoes, which will hold their shape, but I also like it when the potatoes give up their shape…)

1 # kale, washed and stripped of the nasty rib (DM says, “It’s as tough as rope and will never get tender, ever.”) and chopped or cut into ribbons

1 teaspoon salt (used a smoked salt to change it up or if you’d like less garlic)

 

  1. Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold everything by the end over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minutes. Do not let the garlic get as all brown. It should smell good (it should smell GREAT) – you’re infusing the oil to help those flavor compounds carry.
  2. Pour in the stock (or water), raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the potatoes, lower the heat and keep at a lively simmer. Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes.
  4. Stir in the kale and the salt and cook 15 more minutes.

Serves 4-6 as a main course.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. HarperCollins, 1998. p. 119.

Simple Veg Pleasures

There are 2 covers for this book...of course I can't remember which one is mine, even though I looked at it 3 hours ago and I've owned it pretty much throughout this entire century

There are 2 covers for this book…of course I can’t remember which one is mine, even though I looked at it 3 hours ago and I’ve owned it pretty much throughout this entire century

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Filed under Books, Recipe

Beer Pizza Pronto

Pizza and Beer are a pretty good combination.

Grolsch Beer  - Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 - a little history in a little bottle

Grolsch Beer – Dutch beer from a brewery founded in 1615 – a little bottle of history.

Pizza without sauce...sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianca

Pizza without sauce…sometimes known as white pizza or pizza bianc0

So beer IN the pizza….pure genius!

This is a dough that can be made in a hurry, mostly with pantry/fridge ingredients, so also easy to do on the spur of the moment.

BEER PIZZA PRONTO

3 cups AP flour, plus more for the board
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 12 oz beer, bottle or can, light or dark, whatever your purse and palate allow in the house
Olive oil
3 cups grated mozzarella cheese (not the fresh; the supermarket kind. Even the pre-grated packaged stuff would work here; depending on your topping, the pre-grated ‘cheddar’ stuff could also be good – let your taste buds decide)
Assorted toppings – you know what you like – or what you have…
1. Pre heat oven to 450°
2. Lightly grease 2 baking sheets with olive oil; put aside.
3. Spread flour on your work surface – give yourself enough swing room if you’re using a rolling pin.
4. Open the beer (If it’s been a rough day, open 2 – one for the pizza and one for the cook. Put the Cook beer out of swing range of the pizza dough prep – if you spill it, angels will weep. They just don’t like messy kitchens)
5. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder. I use a whisk.
6. Pour in the beer, mix well. This will form a sticky lump.
7. Dump it out on the floured work surface. Roll it in the flour until it’s not so sticky and knead it a time or two to form a ball. A Bench knife is your friend. Divide to make 2 balls.
8. Place one ball on each greased baking sheet and pat, pull and otherwise coax with your impeccably clean hands the dough into a 11-12” circle (oil your hands if the dough gets sticky ) OR
9. Roll each ball to an 11-12” circle and place on the greased baking sheet.
10. Sprinkle 1 ½ cups of the grated cheese on top of each, and top with topping – remember, this is quick and easy, so don’t over load. Make a salad or an antipasto to serve WITH the pizza with all the cool stuff you’ve found kicking around your fridge and pantry instead of piling it all on this pizza. This is a quick dough, not a sturdy one. Cheese, one topping. IF you need some tomato sauce, very little, merest, tiniest  smidge – or use the sauce to dip……you are eating outside the box, after all!
11. Bake 12-15 minutes until golden brown top and bottom.

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin. Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. Quill. 1998. p. 137.

Simple Veg Pleasures

Jeanne Lemlin

Jeanne Lemlin

 

 

 

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Pizza on a Roll

not exactly – WAY too many carbs…but since the pizza topic is far from exhausted, another pizza from my past.

But first – when is a pizza not a pizza? What is the essential pizzaness of the pizza?

What about this pizza from Papa Gino’s menu :

  • Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese Spicy buffalo chicken and macaroni in a creamy cheese sauce with a blend of American, asiago, and sharp cheddar cheese, topped with crispy breadcrumbs.

Is the combination of buffalo chicken AND mac AND cheese take it beyond pizza, or is it defined by the crust and the pan? I just heard about this for the very first time this month, and I just don’t know.

What about this pizza from Brazil ? :

Chocolate Pizza from Brazil

Chocolate Pizza from Brazil

Continue pondering…….

There is another reason I connect pizza and Christmas. According to Wikipedia (I know, keep reading):

The term ‘pizza’ first appeared “in a Latin text from the southern Italian town of Gaeta in 997 AD, which claims that a tenant of certain property is to give the bishop of Gaeta ‘duodecim pizze’ [‘twelve pizzas’] every Christmas Day, and another twelve every Easter Sunday”

(Salvatore Riciniello (1987) Codice Diplomatico Gaetano, Vol. I, La Poligrafica)

And where was my mother born? Gaeta.

I should definitely revive the 12  pizza thing. Next year. Someone remind me. BTW, there are both Pizza and History of Pizza entries in Wiki and they should probably spend a little more time together.

A little more general history , on pizza and Pizza Margharita, the pizza that carries the colors of the Italian flag in the red tomato, the white mozzarella and the green basil. On second thought, since this leads right into the story of the pizza napoletana, the European Union and legislation (Hooper, John (9 December 2009). “Pizza napoletana awarded special status by EU”. The Guardian. Retrieved 9 December 2009.) this is proabably a story for another day.

Pizza Margherita

Pizza Margherita

So if the Pasta di Pizza (that would be the dough that makes the crust) has no yeast in it, but is leavened with baking powder, is it still a pizza? asks the girl who has made (and eaten) English muffin pizza, toaster pizza, pizza roll-ups (at least I think that’s what they were called – or were they pizza bites?) Here they are…..

Cresent rollup - 1982 Pillsbury Bake Off winner

Crescent Pizza  roll-ups – 1982 Pillsbury Bake Off winner!

So here’s a recipe for Quick Pizza – and it is made in a jiffy, with ingredients that I generally had on hand.

Quick pizza

2 C flour + ½ cup ww (although I generally use half and half flour)

1 ½ teaspoons Baking Power – not be confused with baking soda, which is for Irish bread and not Italian Pizza

½ teaspoon salt

4 TBL butter

1 cup milk

toppings

  1. Heat the oven to 450. Prepare 2 cookie sheets – parchment paper, silpat or well greased.
  2. Mix the flours together with the baking powder and the salt.
  3. Cut in (or rub in – it’s rather like biscuit here) the butter.
  4. Add the milk and form into a dough ball.
  5. Cut the dough into 4 equal parts and shape into 8″ rounds (or other shapes to fit your  sheets or your plates or your moods)
  6. Put on your toppings.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden on the bottom and melty to brown on top.

from Jeanne Lemlin. Main Course Vegetation Pleasure . HarperPerennial. 1995 (June 1995). P. 134. She also wrote  Quick Vegetarian Pleasures and Simple Vegetarian Pleasures.

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