Tag Archives: meatless Monday

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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Filed under 1990's, Autumn, Recipe

Two Many Tomatoes

Two is more than one. Quite actually, many, many, many more than one. One tomato is easy to handle. tomatoEat it. Maybe even out of hand. One perfect tomato sandwich to eat over the sink. Add it to just about anything.
More than one tomato, find other ways, many other ways, to eat them…..

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

So I learned to can. Cherry tomatoes.In a class. With Rosa Galano. But Friendship sauce is a post on it’s own.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I'm the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I’m the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

and that was Wednesday night, and I had too many tomatoes on Monday afternoon. Not just cherry tomatoes. Big tomatoes. Big Ripe tomatoes. Big Ripe Juicy tomatoes. Lots of them. A BAG FULL. That needed eating NOW. Or at least very close to now. Thank you, Mindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here's she with Cindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here’s she with Cindy.

Stop drooling, start slicing.

A One, Two Tomato Punch.

These are guidelines more than recipes, which are what recipes really ought to be seen as.

Tomato salad.

1. Tomatoes, chopped/sliced/diced – whatever the tomato tells you it should be.
2. Fresh basil, eating fast because cold nights are coming and that marks the end of it, unless you’re clever and have already potted it up and brought it indoors and put it in a sunny window that you aren’t likely to leave open at night or you could have save yourself the trouble and just left it OUT in the cold….
3. Good oil.
4. Vinegar. Change out the vinegars – red wine, white wine, balsamic, raspberry (I have fruit vinegars for beets, but they’re good on tomatoes, too). Mint or tarragon vinegar when I’m not using basil. Just this is the basic salad.
5. Salad Improved: Add cheese – fresh mozzarella, or blue or feta or a few shavings of Romano.
6. And add a piece of bread to mop up the juices, and now it’s a meal.

The Happy Meal of My People!

And then…..

Tomato salad because Saucy

Tomato Sass

1. Cook a pound of spaghetti, or other member of the skinny-strandy branch of the Pasta Family.
2. In another pan, fry up a well chopped onion with a clove or 2 of garlic in oil. A pinch or two of hot pepper (or a spoonful of the chopped red hot peppers is nor amiss, either) if you like. Cook it up nice. If you have more fresh basil, add a little chopped now, too. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drain spaghetti.
4. Add the onions and the oil, toss.
5. Add Tomato Salad, without improvements. 2, 3, even 4 cups worth. Toss again
6. Serve with cheese on top.

This is based/influenced on Victory Garden Cookbook

Victory Garden Cookbook - Marian Morash

Victory Garden Cookbook – Marian Morash

Cold Tomato Sauce with Hot Pasta. p. 320.

Very Loosely. Seeing the name alone set me on my way. Marian Morash has a slightly (very) different version that is also very good, or so say the splashes on the page.

Leftovers of this, mixed with eggs and fried , topped with more tomatoes and cheese, makes great fritatta.

There’s also a tomato jam somewhere…not in this cookbook, but in one nearby, one that I already trust. if/when there are more tomatoes. It’s still September, there are still more tomatoes.

Green_Tomatoes
And Green tomatoes. Emeril Lagasse has a green tomato pie with molasses ice cream, a combination that make me want to drool just reading the words, but I don’t have an ice cream maker (or I would make – and eat – one or two batches of ice cream every month/week/day/meal) so maybe I should be looking for some green tomatoes. But where in the Emeril world IS this recipe?????

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

 To be continued…..

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24 Carrot Gold

Exactly how  many carrots are to a pound depend on the size of the carrots, but if you have 24 lovely little carrots, or about 3 pounds (2 1/2 pounds for cooking and a 1/2 pound for snacking) you can make some carrot salad for the days that remind you that although the Dog Days are over, summer isn’t really over quite yet, and some carrot soup for the days can get chilly and tell you Fall is coming soon, just not as soon as all the pumpkin flavored everything that is available would seem to indicate.

More then enough carrots here to make both soup and salad

More then enough carrots here to make both soup and salad, and have a little carrot nosh in the interim

CARROT SALAD

¾ cup dried chick peas or white beans

1 or 2 garlic cloves

1 ½ pounds carrots

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup vinegar –wine or cider

¼ – ½ cup chopped parsley

1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Scallions OR fresh cut chives or garlic chives (you might want to omit the garlic cloves if you go this route)

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin or ground coriander

Optional –

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

And/or 1/3 cup minced fresh dill

  1. Cook the chickpeas or the beans with the garlic. Drain well.
  2. Peel the carrots, or merely scrub them well if they’re very fresh and thin skinned. Cut them into thin, flat matchstick pieces, 1½ inches long by ¼ inch wide. Steam them for 5 – 10 minutes – just tender.
  3. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
  4. Combine olive oil, vinegar, herbs and spices in a large bowl.
  5. Add cooked beans and mix well.
  6. Add cooked carrots and toss gently.
  7. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

4-6 servings

Adapted from Mollie Katzan. Still Life with Menu Cookbook. Ten Speed Press. 1988. pp. 157-8.Still life with Menu

Carrots come in many colors and can be used interchangeably

Carrots come in many colors and can be used interchangeably

CREAMY CARROT SOUP

2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

4 cups broth

1 cup white wine

½ cup ricotta cheese

½ teaspoon celery seed or dill seed

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook onions and garlic in butter over medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add carrots and cook. Covered, another 5-10 minutes, until the carrots start to sweat (the juices start to come out of them).
  3. Add broth and wine, raise heat.
  4. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer until the carrots are soft.
  5. Puree mixture in a blender or a food processor.
  6. Put the puréed back in the pan over low heat and add ricotta, celery seed and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat thoroughly and serve.

Makes about 2 quarts.

From A Musical Treat: Good Food is Music for the Palate. Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra Volunteer League. 1995. p.49.This is a recipe I contributed. It’s an amalgam of several different recipes that finally became mine.

carrot blossom-Daucus_carota_May_2008-1_edit

Carrot in flower – Queen Anne’s Lace is really wild carrot. It used to be known as Bird’s Nest. Those little flower ends keep curling up as they form seeds

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Filed under Books, Recipe, Summer

Just another Meatless Monday

BASIC BEANS ANOTHER WAY

1 pound dried beans, picked over and rinsed
1 large onion, quartered and/or
2 garlic cloves, crushed and/or
2 bay leaves

1. Pick, rinse and soak the beans in enough water to cover plus an inch or two (a bowl with a wider top will need less surface water then on that is narrow but deep). Soak for 8 hours or overnight. If it’s warm and you don’t have AC, soak them in the fridge or you’ll get some fermentation going….. Theoretically they’re still edible, but there are texture and flavor issues…
2. Drain the beans place them in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Add (or not) the onion/garlic bay leaves. Add enough water to cover – 6 – 8 cps.
3. Cover and cook on high 8 – 12 hours, depending on the type and age of bean.
Robin Robertson. Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Harvard Common Press: 2004. p. 95.

Fresh from Veg Kitchen

Butternut Squash Chili

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion (or equal amount of onion-ness), chopped

3 cloves of garlic, smooshed

1 ½ pound butternut (or other winter) squash, peeled and cubed – it comes ready to use in frozen form…frozen butternut squash

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

4 cups cooked pinto beans (2 cans drained and rinsed)

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cups broth or water

1 teaspoon salt

  1. In large pot, sauté onion until soft over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the squash and celery, continue sautéing until celery is soft and some of the squash is a little brown.
  3. Add the chili powder and cumin and toss and heat another minute – it should smell divine.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth and salt. Give it a good stir.
  5. Raise the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat to keep it at a good simmer. You might (probably) have to do the partially covered thing with the lid. Simmer for 30 – 4o minutes.

Adapted from a recipe submitted by Anne Marie Rossi in edibleBoston, No. 31, Winter 2014. p. 31.

edibleBostonW14-Cover_Mary-500x654

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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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Homemade Ricotta

This is seriously easy and exceptionally good.

For REAL, authentic in every detail ricotta, first you milk your cow…..

Woman milking a cow - Karel Dujardin - 1650 Dutch

Woman milking a cow – Karel Dujardin – 1650 Dutch

or your sheep or water buffalo OR you could got to your favorite market and pick up a gallon – whole milk, please, regardless of beast of origin.

Modern Day Milk Jug

Modern Day Milk Jug

What I’m going to suggest isn’t EXACTLY ricotta, but 1,000 times better then anything in a plastic carton

The particular brand is not important - if you ave a local dairy that is making fresh cheeses, you may stop here and then there. Otherwise, keep reading.

The particular brand is not important – if you have a local dairy that is making fresh cheeses, you may stop here and then go there. Otherwise, keep reading.

I’ve been working a lot with curds and whey lately, partly as part of my job and partly because it’s the fresh dairy time of year.

A small time out before I go any further.

RICOTTA MEANS ‘RE-COOKED’

IT IS A CHEESE MADE FROM WHEY LEFT OVER FROM CHEESE-MAKING.

First you have milk, then you add rennet,then you have curds and whey, then you take the whey and with THAT you make ricotta (at last!)

Like other whey cheeses, it is made by coagulating the keratin proteins that remain after the casein has been used to make cheese, notably albumin and globulin. Thus, ricotta can be eaten by persons with casein intolerance.

Thus speaketh Wikipedia, the most complete and least technical explanation I could find. In English. True ricotta is more complicated and involved than what I’m about to suggest.

Two simple truths:

  1. It is easy to curdle milk.
  2. Fresh is better then packaged, especially for dairy products.

Cook’s Illustrated to the rescue.

Because I keep back issues, and because I’ve been reviewing them, I rediscovered  simple, easy homemade ricotta.

Cook's Illustrated September 2009. Influencer

Cook’s Illustrated September 2009. Influencer

The reason I LOVE Cook’s Illustrated  and consider them an Influencer?

Things like this:

This technique will yield 3 1/2 cups of a superior-tasting ricotta facsimile (true ricotta is made from whey created as a by product  of cheese-making) that can be used in recipes from lasagna to manicotti to cheesecake and ricotta pie.

And if this isn’t a lasagna/manicotti/ricotta pie time of year, when is?

Homemade Ricotta

1 gallon whole milk

1 tsp salt

2 lemons, juiced,  for 1/3 cup lemon juice plus another tablespoon (1/3 c lemon juice = 5 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon. 2 lemons = approximately  6 T)  OR 1/3 cup white vinegar

2 lemons should give you enough juice for this ricotta - wash them first so you can use the zest after. Warm them for 10-20 seconds in the microwave before squeezing and you'll get more juice out.

2 lemons should give you enough juice for this ricotta – wash them first so you can use the zest after for something else. Warm them for 10-20 seconds in the microwave before squeezing and you’ll get more juice out.

thermometer (or trust your impeccably clean fingers )

cheesecloth (flour sack towels work even better, cost less and wash up more easily, if you’ve got them. If you’re going to be making cheeses at home, you’ll want some of these. K-Mart, Vermont Country Store – they’re everywhere)

Flour-sack towels - evidently they're quite the thing with the cloth baby diaper crowd...You can also use them to boil up a Christmas Pudding or two.....or dry a dish.

Flour-sack towels – evidently they’re quite the thing with the cloth baby diaper crowd…You can also use them to boil up a Christmas Pudding or two…..or dry a dish.

 

  1. Juice the lemons and put the juice aside.
  2. Heat the milk and salt to 185° over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed pan. If you’re doing this  Old-School and not using a thermometer, the milk should be at a simmer, not a boil and not still still. Use your impeccably clean finger, dip it in and the milk should be hot  – not warm, hot, but not boiling. Heating helps, boiling hinders.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add the lemon juice, stir it in.
  5. Allow it to stand, undisturbed, for 5 minutes.
  6. Solid white curds should now be visible above  liquid translucent whey.
    Curds and whey - where's Miss Muffet?

    Curds and whey – where’s Miss Muffet?

     

  7.  IF it is not setting up, add another tablespoon of lemon juice, stirring gently and let stand for another 5 minutes.
  8. Once there are curds,gently scoop them up with a slotted spoon and place them in a cheesecloth lined colander (over a pot or a bowl or in the sink; there will be more whey dripping).

    If it's very drippy, hang it over the sink till it slows...but get it into the fridge before to very long long. This is food prep, not science experiment.

    If it’s very drippy, hang it over the sink till it slows…but get it into the fridge before to very long . This is food prep, not science experiment.

  9. DO NOT try to speed things up by dumping the whole pot of curds into the colander – the weight of the whey will destroy the beautiful, delicate curds, you’ll have a mess and be stuck with buying packaged ricotta.
  10. Drain without pressing (which will essentially give you paneer, a soft cheese that can be sliced) or squeezing. Let drain overnight in the fridge over a bowl (do I really have to say that out loud? Since I’m the one not always good with The Obvious….at least for one)

    Ricotta draining baskets - you could invest or you could improvise....

    Ricotta draining baskets – you could invest or you could improvise….

  11.  Keep refrigerated and use within five days.
  12. Makes about 3 1/2 cups of ricotta.

 adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, September/October  2009, p. 31.

 

Go to University of Cincinnati Clermont College ricotta making site for Real Ricotta .

 

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Olive U

Oh, yes I do.

Little olive, I love you.

 

Olea eurpaea Kobler

Olea eurpaea Kobler

Although in my kitchen, they often look more like this:Pastene_pitted_black_olivesThe problem is, once I open a can, I can eat a can full.  In a very short time. Let’s just say, there isn’t a storage issue…often not even a serving issue….

So I buy olives when I planning to sue them IN things, and then I can enjoy them over several days, which in the end, is more enjoyable.

Olives in a sauce, and some olives in a salad….

Here’s a story for a sauce, according to wiki:

According to Annarita Cuomo, writer for Il Golfo, a daily newspaper serving the Italian islands of Ischia and Procida, sugo alla puttanesca was invented in the 1950s by Sandro Petti, co-owner of Rancio Fellone, a famous Ischian restaurant and nightspot

In the February 17th, 2005 edition of the newspaper, Cuomo says the moment of inspiration came, when near closing one evening, Petti found a group of customers sitting at one of his tables. Petti was low on ingredients and told them he didn’t have enough to make them a meal. They complained that it was late and they were hungry. “Facci una puttanata qualsiasi (Make any kind of garbage),” they insisted. In this usage, puttanata is an Italian noun meaning something worthless. It derives from the Italian word for whore, puttana.

At the time, Petti had nothing more than four tomatoes, two olives and some capers; the basic ingredients for the sugo. “So I used them to make the sauce for the spaghetti,” Petti told Cuomo.

Later, Petti included this dish on his menu as spaghetti alla puttanesca.

Some versions include anchovies, but I usually make this without the little fish.

Pasta Puttanesca

Olive oil (two swirls around the pan)
4 smooshed garlic cloves
1 small onion, diced
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes (I like lots of chunky bits – use crushed tomatoes if you don’t OR if you’re topping spaghetti or another finer pasta shape)
Salt
½ cup pitted, chopped black olives (or more….)
1 Tablespoon capers
1 tsp red hot pepper flakes (more to sprinkle on top, if you like it hot – it keeps getting hotter, so don’t over-do if you’ll be saving some for another meal)
1/3 cup chopped parsley (or half a supermarket bunch, which seems to vary with the season and how much rain wherever THAT bunch of parsley was grown) OR 6-8 fresh basil leaves, shredded
1 # penne – or another sturdy pasta with nooks and crannies
Grating cheese

1 Put on the pot of water to cook the pasta in.
2 Swirl the olive oil in another pan; bring to medium heat and add the onions
3 When the onions begin to soften, add the garlic.
4 Add the tomatoes, squishing them through your fingers to make good sized chunks. Pour in the liquid from the can.
5 Season with salt, and simmer on low.
6 When the pasta water comes to the boil, salt that and boil the penne until al dente.
7 Add the olives, the capers, the parsley (or basil) and the red pepper flakes to the tomatoes.
8 Save out 1 cup of the pasta, drain the penne.
9 Add the penne to the sauce (or vice versa, depending on your pot/pan situation). Add some of the save water if the sauce needs thinning.
10 Serve with grating cheese.

Pasta Puttanesca

Pasta Puttanesca

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Waffles for supper

Meatless M0nday – unless if when you hear waffles, chicken isn’t far behind.

Chicken and waffles is not meatless, but a great supper any day of the week

Chicken and waffles is not meatless, but a great supper any day of the week

In keeping with my resolution to reduce food waste, I had to come up with a way to use the buttermilk left over from the Irish bread baking of last week.

I once tried to cross reference my various recipes for just this sort of occasion…it was a hopeless muddle. I just wanted to group all the 1 cup of buttermilk recipes, all the 2 tablespoons of tomato paste recipes, all the…you get the picture.

But because I was reading Marion Cunningham, she neatly solved this buttermilk conundrum for me.

A waffle iron was one of the best small appliances I ever indulged myself in. I’ve actually worn out several. I don’t buy the high-end semi-industrial machine.

This waffle iron is a beaut - but at 200 bucks...I won't eat 200 dollars worth of waffles in my lifetime!

This waffle iron is a beaut – but at 200 bucks…I won’t eat 200 dollars worth of waffles in my lifetime!

I wait for a sale at Benny’s or Target, and get a perfectly respectable machine for under $30. It  has always served well for years. Now that I make waffles less often (read: New Years Day and maybe once or twice in the year, as opposed to maybe 25 or 30 times a year) my current waffle iron should last for decades.

Waffles also have an historic element – you knew I’d be working the food history angle in here eventually –

Waffles as good time food c. early 17th century:

This is a detail from a Pieter Bruegel painting about Carnevale. Notice the waffles as headgear!

This is a detail from a Pieter Bruegel painting about Carnevale. Notice the waffles as gambling booty and  headgear!

This is a 17th century waffle iron from France - It had to be heated over the fire. It's hard to tell from this photo, this might be a wafer iron, which are waffles super thin, extra rich cousins

This is a 17th century waffle iron from France – It had to be heated over the fire. It’s hard to tell from this photo, this might be a wafer iron, which are waffles super thin, extra rich cousins.

 

CORNMEAL WAFFLES

1 cup cornmeal

1 ¾ cups AP flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs, separated

2 ½ cups buttermilk

4 tablespoons of butter, melted

3 tablespoons of sugar

  1. Start heating the waffle iron.
  2. Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together the egg yolks. Add the buttermilk and butter to the egg yolks, blending well.
  4. Combine the liquid mixture with the flour mixture, mixing well.
  5. Beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff, slowly adding the sugar.
  6. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
  7. Spoon ½ cup waffle batter in the hot greased waffle iron.
  8. Bake until golden. It will smell like popcorn.
  9. Enjoy!

Makes 6-8 waffles, depending on the size of your iron.

The Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Twelfth edition. Edited by Marion Cunningham with Jeri Laber. Alfred A. Knopf: New York. 1979.p. 500.

the-fannie-farmer-cookbook-57448l1

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Fresh Garlic Soup

This is the sort of thing that could be meatless or not, it all depends on the broth you use. In most Italian soup, you actually use water, because the flavor comes from all the things you put into the pot.

This isn’t  a strictly  Italian soup, but comes from the cookbook Food To Die For which is more or less a companion cookbook for the  Kay Scarpetta mystery series by Patrica Cornwell and Kay Scarpetta cooks Italian.

Patrica Cornwell

Patrica Cornwell

Now, there’s nothing I like better then a good mystery, especially for a Friday night. Give me a problem, some fast paced sleuthing and then: TA DA DAA: Problem Solved.  A nice break from work, a little vacation to someone else’ s world and then back to reality, all the loose ends neatly tied up. The best mysteries involve some personality, and Kay Scarpetta turns to the kitchen when things get rough, which makes her my kind of person.

Food To Die For

Food To Die For

This is a cookbook that my son gave me more then 10 years ago, and I actually cook from it quite a bit.

Cornwell  has a really nice pizza – and one should have a repertoire of pizza recipes, because one is never enough, and there’s even a grilled pizza recipe that I haven’t tried yet…maybe this summer is the grilled pizza summer…  There is also a chili that was one of the go-tos for Wednesday Chili Nights. Wait till Wednesday.

Last month, at the Rhode Island Flower Show, when I wasn’t chatting up the Fabulous Beekman Boys or Roger Swain from the Victory Garden.

Roger Swain, formerly of The Victory Garden with fanboys Brent and Josh

Roger Swain, formerly of The Victory Garden with fanboys Brent and Josh

I purchased a bag of heirloom garlics from the Landreth Seed Company booth .

Landreth Catalogue 2013_lg

There keeping their prices at 2013 levels – same catalog good for this year too!

After the woman behind the booth told me it was culinary garlic, maybe 3 0r 4 times….I assured her I had every intention of eating it and not planting, but it wasn’t until I said,”Who plants garlic in the Spring?” she knew my intentions and rang up my purchase. Then I realized if you don’t grow garlic round here, maybe you would try to plant it in the spring. I just need to eat it.

garlic line drawing

William Woodville, Medical Botany, 1793.

Fresh Garlic Soup

10 or so cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed

Olive oil

Carrots – one or 2 depending on their size – grated

2 cups stock*(potato peel broth, chicken stock, beef stock – or even water – whatever is in your pantry)

Chopped fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 egg (she uses 3 egg yolks and makes twice as much as this)

Splash of wine/sherry/beer/vinegar +sugar +water

¼ cup freshly grated Parmigianino- Reggiano cheese

Chopped fresh Italian parsley

Salt and fresh ground pepper

2 slices good bread (by good bread I mean something not so WONDERful that has nothing to add to the bowl)

  1. Two circles of olive oil around your pan, over medium heat add carrots and garlic. Stand there stirring for the 3-4 minutes for it to be tender but not brown.
  2. Add stock, thyme and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat and then lower heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer COVERED for about half an hour.
  4. Turn off the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Moosh things around. (She tosses it into a food processor…you know where I stand on that. If I need garlic soup, I’m in no good place to face a sink full of dishes.)
  5. If you’ve got an alcoholic flavor component, splash it in now
  6. In a small bowl which together 1 Tablespoon olive oil and the egg. Add the grated cheese and mix together a little more.
  7. Gradually add ¼ cup of the hot soup to the egg/cheese/oil mixture and then add it back to the pot.
  8. Heat soup medium high, again stirring, stirring, stirring until it thickens, 8 – 10 minutes (I think). Don’t let it boil or it will curdle.
  9. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  10. Toast the bread and put a slice in each bowl. Pour the soup over. (If it curdles, you can still eat the soup. Toast and butter the bread and put it on top of the soup….let it sop up for a minute or two while inhaling and saying grace and you’ve got a peasant dish fit for royalty.)

Adapted from Patricia Cornwall and Marlene Brown. Food To Die For. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. 2001. pp.78-9.

The COMPLETE Book of Garlic - on my list...

The COMPLETE Book of Garlic – on my list…

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Filed under Books, Eating, Recipe

How To Make A Cheese Sauce In 40 Seconds

This is not just ANY cheese sauce – A RICH cheese sauce in 40 seconds. This is the promise of the Waring Cook Book for the 8 Button Blender. 1967.

Waring Cook Book

Waring Cook Book

It begins with a “Short Course in Blender Cooking” that includes the advice

“You own an electric blender….USE IT EVERY DAY!’

They’re also terribly fond of all caps, never realizing that ONE DAY it will look like they’re SHOUTING.

The second section is 30 ways to use your blender every day, the first way being

1.   Whip Cream.

I would like to pause for a moment and contemplate the place where whipped cream is an everyday thing……..

whipped creamor even this kind of whipped cream

HA_WhippedCreamBack to blenders…..

waring blender

This is the 8 button model, but I’m pretty sure ours wasn’t white. On the other hand, it wasn’t the first blender and it certainly wasn’t the last…

Blenders have come and gone, but this little cookbook has remained. I had to promise that my time with it is a LOAN agreement, and that it must return to the ancestral home and take it’s rightful place next to Betty Crocker, the 1957 Better Homes and Gardens and the Church cookbook (which I’ll be borrowing next).

But a quick and easy cheese sauce for mac and cheese…which takes slightly longer then 40 seconds to make, especially if you need 2 batches to feed everyone around the table.

It also calls for only one sort of cheese – cheddar –  and cheddar is great – we often had Cracker Barrel cheddar in the house

Cracker Barrel cheese has a Facebook page...I can't make this stuff up

Cracker Barrel cheese has a Facebook page…I can’t make this stuff up

but we usually we used several different sorts of cheeses in the sauce, one of them being Velveeta. velveeta box

 Rich Cheese Saucemakes 3 cups

2 tablespoons soft butter or margarine

2 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt (I add the salt after the cheese is blended in because the salt level of  cheese varies so much)

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 cups scalding milk

1 ½ cups diced Cheddar cheese (Don’t be afraid to mix this up – great way to use up bits)

  1. Put all the ingredients – except the cheese – into the blender.

  2. Cover.

  3. Press WHIP and when blades reach full speed, press Blend. Blend 20 seconds.

  4. With motor on, remove cover (I feel the need to tell you to be VERY careful – hot milk inside, please don’t let it get outside all over you) gradually add cheese.

  5. Blend 20 seconds longer.

  6. Pour into a sauce pan and cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally OR

  7. Mix with 8 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked, in a 2 quart baking dish and bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

maccheese

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Filed under Books, Recipe, The 1960"s