Sunday, December 6, 2009

Horenso no Kurumi-Ae

Spinach with Walnut Dressing

1/2 lb spinach, washed, de-stemmed
4 large (or 6 small) whole walnuts
1 tsp sugar
4 tsp soy sauce

Parboil spinach, rinse in cold water, squeeze out water, chop a bit. Make the dressing by mashing the walnuts in a mortar and pestle and adding the sugar and soy sauce. Toss spinach with dressing.

Source: Zen Vegetarian Cooking by Soei Yoneda with Koei Hoshino, p. 172-173

Friday, December 4, 2009


Use atta flour (whole wheat, made from hard wheat). Add water to flour until it's tender and smooth, not too much water. Roll out into thin circles like chapati. Make a cut from the center to an edge, then fold over into a 60 degree triangle (so it'll be 6 layers). It'll be kind of a cone shape, so kinda squash that open, flatten, and roll out. Cook on a hot dry pan. Put oil on one side, then flip so it cooks on both sides.

Source: cooking class in Delhi

Cottage cheese rolls

200 grams (about 1/2 lb) paneer
1/2 c. finely chopped onions
2 green chilies, chopped
3 tsp coriander
1/2 c. grated mild, soft cheese like cheddar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 c. bread crumbs
oil for deep-frying
1 tsp corn flour
1 egg

Mash paneer in a bowl with all other ingredients except oil, egg, and crumbs. Roll it into an oval, shape it like a cutlet, dip it in egg and bread crumbs, and fry it.

Source: cooking class in Delhi

Dal Makhani

1 cup black lentils (probably split)
some tomato puree- maybe 1/2 cup
about 1/4 cup cream
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 green chili
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1/2 tsp chopped garlic

Put everything but the butter and cream in a pressure cooker and cook it for 1/2 hour. Open the lid by running it under cold water until the steam is done, then add the cream, cook 10 minutes. Add butter as a garnish (however that works).
If you don't have a pressure cooker, just cook it all in a pot. Soak the lentils for a couple hours beforehand.

Note about oil: sunflower oil and mustard oil are popular in India. Mustard oil is good for winters, it makes things last longer.

Source: cooking class in Delhi

Garam Masala

16 tsp (1/3 cup) whole coriander
4 tsp (1 tbsp + 1 tsp) whole cumin
4 tsp whole black peppercorns
2 tsp whole black cumin
2 tsp ground dried ginger
1 tsp whole black cardamom seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp crushed bay leaves

Toast the coriander, cumin, black pepper, black cumin, cardamom, and, uh, cloves? At least all the things that look like seeds. Then grind it all!
You may want to make a half recipe, as this makes 2/3 cup, and it's the most flavorful right after grinding.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


Ponzu sauce

1 c. lemon juice, or lemon-lime, or sudachi citron or other very acid citrus fruit
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1 c. dark soy sauce
2 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp mirin, alcohol burned off
1/3 oz (10 g) hana-katsuo
2-inch square konbu

Mix all ingredients and let stand 24 hours. Strain, mature 3 months in a cool dark place or refrigerate. Keeps indefinitely, but is best used within 1 year.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 172

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brokkori Ninjin Kinpira

Steam-sauteed broccoli and carrot with savory dressing

8 oz. broccoli stems
Some carrot
1 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 c. light soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
pinch of salt
pinch of red pepper or shichimi
1 tsp white sesame seeds

Peel the hard outer layer of the broccoli, and the carrot. Cut both into 2-inch pieces. Saute carrot and broccoli in oil quickly until tender. Stir in everything else. Remove from heat, steam about 1 minute, but don't overcook. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, serve immediately.

Source: the Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking by Max Jacobson, p. 85

Poteito aoshiso miso nimono

Simmered new potato with sweet basil and miso

1 1/2 lb new (waxy) potatoes, skins left on
2 tbsp corn oil
2 qt. dashi, or enough to cover potatoes
2 tbsp red miso
2 tbsp mirin
3 small bunches sweet basil, minced

Wash potatoes, pat dry, saute for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add dashi, miso, and mirin, bring to a slow boil until broth almost completely evaporates, about 20 min. (pour off a little broth if necessary) Add basil, mixing thoroughly.

Dan's note: try not slicing the potatoes; they may become a mushy mess.

Source: The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking, by Max Jacobson

Shishito Ninjin Sunomono

Japanese Green Pepper and Carrot Vinegared Salad

5 shishito (Japanese green peppers) or 2 bell peppers
1 large carrot, peeled, sliced into rounds
1 tsp white miso
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
pinch of shichimi

Steam the peppers over boiling water for about 3 minutes, plunge into ice water, and drain. Pat dry with a towel. Slice peppers into thin spears, place in a bowl. Add the carrot.
Mix miso with sugar, add everything else. Mix well, pour over vegetables, and serve.

Source: The Art of Japanese Vegetarian Cooking, by Max Jacobson, p. 48


Cucumber and potato salad

4 large potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb)
1/2 c. peanut or corn oil
5 hard-boiled eggs, yolks and whites separated
1/2 c. smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 c. water
3 c. peeled and thin-sliced cucumbers

Peel and slice potatoes into long, thin pieces. Fry in oil until brown and soft. Drain well, set aside.
Make the sauce by mixing egg yolks, peanut butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and water.
Slice egg whites, mix with cucumbers, potatoes, and sauce. Serve at room temperature.

Dan's note: This was mostly great, but a few times I'd get a bit of something that was really bitter and metallic and bad. I don't know what it was. ... look out for that.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 185-186

Sayur Manis

Coconut creamed vegetables

2 c. coconut milk
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 c. sliced onion
1 slice ginger (about 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
3 red or green semihot chilies, sliced in half
1 stalk lemon grass
1 lb long Chinese string beans, broken into 2-inch pieces
1 lb Chinese broccoli, stems trimmed and discarded

Put everything but the beans and broccoli in a saucepan, boil, add green beans, and simmer 5 minutes. Then add broccoli, cook 10 minutes. You can add some tomato cubes if you like.

Dan's note: it's pretty salty. I think that's the point. Keep the salt in, though, it makes it good.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 184-185

Sambal Goreng Tomat

Tomato Stew

1 lb ripe, firm tomatoes, cubed
1/4 c. sliced onion
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp dried red hot chili
2 tbsp peanut or corn oil
1 c. coconut milk
2 bay leaves
2 pieces of laos
1/4 c. dried shrimp, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. tamarind, dissolved in 1 tbsp water

Fry onion, garlic, and chili in oil. Add everything but the tomatoes. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, cook for 3 more minutes, basting frequently. Don't overcook; make sure the tomatoes stay firm.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 183-184

Orak arik jagung

Scrambled corn and assorted vegetables

2 tbsp thin-sliced onion
2 cloves thin-sliced garlic
1 tbsp peanut or corn oil
1/4 lb small shrimp
1/2 lb ground beef
1 green semihot chili, sliced thin
1 c. shredded cabbage or broccoli, in 2-inch pieces
2 scallions, sliced thin
12 oz corn (or a few ears' worth)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. carrots, cut in matchsticks
2 eggs, beaten

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 1 minute. Add shrimp and beef, fry for 3 minutes or until beef browns.
Add everything but the eggs, fry for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, fry for 3 minutes more or until dry but not overcooked.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo

Sambal Goreng Ati

Chicken Livers Saute with Snow Peas

1/4 lb fresh snow peas
1 lb chicken livers
2 c. water
1/4 c. thin-sliced onion
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp peanut or corn oil
1/2 red sweet pepper, sliced thin
1 c. coconut milk
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp shrimp paste
2 salam (bay) leaves
1 piece of laos (galangal)
1 tsp tamarind, dissolved in 1 tbsp water
1 tsp dried red hot chili

String and refrigerate the peas in water, drain.
Boil the livers in water for 2 minutes. Drain and cut into lobes.
Fry onions and garlic for 1 minute, add the sweet pepper and fry for another minute. Add everything else but the peas. Cook 5 minutes, basting to distribute flavors. Add peas, cook for 2 minutes more.

Source: The Indonesian Kitchen by Copeland Marks with Mintari Soeharjo, p. 91

Nasu to Shimeji no Takimono

Eggplant and Shimeji Mushrooms

2 eggplants, peeled, quartered, sliced; about 1/2 lb.
1/4 lb shimeji or other mushrooms, washed, stem bases removed
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce
pinch salt

Put everything in a saucepan, boil, simmer 3 minutes, serve hot.

Source: Zen Vegetarian Cooking by Soei Yoneda and Koei Hoshino

Agedashi Tofu

1 1/3 c. dashi
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 cakes tofu
flour and oil for deep frying

Heat the sauce ingredients, keep warm on a back burner.
Heat oil to 350F. Dredge tofu with flour, deep-fry for 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately with sauce as a dip. Garnish with green onion, red maple radish, grated ginger, ito-kezuri-katsuo, or whatever.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 412-413

Miso soup


3 1/3 c. dashi or sardine stock
1/2 c. nameko or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cake tofu
4 tbsp. red miso
4 stalks trefoil
ground sansho pepper

Soften the miso in a bowl with 2 tbsp tepid stock, whisk. Ladle the miso into the stock, simmering over medium heat. Add the solid ingredients. Do not boil. You can really use all sorts of ingredients instead of these, this is just a starter.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 156-157

Nasu Dengaku

Eggplant Dengaku

4-6 small eggplants, or 2 medium eggplants
vegetable oil
red and/or white dengaku miso toppings

Cut eggplants in half (or slices if they're big). Cross-cut score surfaces, brush with vegetable oil, grill or saute on high. Apply topping to one side, garnish, serve.
Note: you can use tofu or meat instead.

Red/white miso topping:
1/2 c. red miso + 3 tbsp white miso, or 1/2 c. + 3 tbsp white miso
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp sugar
7 tbsp dashi
One of the following seasonings: ground toasted sesame seeds; grated yuzu, lemon, or lime rind; mortar-ground kinome leaves, fresh ginger juice

Mix all but the dashi and seasoning, heat in a double boiler, slowly add dashi, stir until thick, then add one seasoning.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 194

Horenso no goma-ae

Spinach with Sesame Dressing

1 lb spinach, washed and parboiled
4 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tbsp dashi

Toast sesame seeds, grind in a mortar and pestle. Add sugar, stir, add soy sauce and dashi, and mix (almost whip) to blend well. Add more sugar if necessary.
Chop spinach into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Lightly use the pestle to mix the spinach and dressing- a little bruised but not crushed.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 253

Kinpira Gobo

Burdock Kinpira ("Kinpira Ninjin," if you're using carrots)

1 medium burdock, scrubbed with a brush, or 3 carrots
2 tbsp sake
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or shichimi

Cut burdock in shavings as if sharpening a pencil, or julienne the carrots. Stir-fry in oil over high heat about 3 minutes, until vegetable softens a little. Add liquid and continue stir-frying until almost completely reduced. Flavor to taste with red pepper.
Can also use konnyaku instead, or lotus root.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 392-393

Daikon fukume-ni

Drenched radish or squash

1 daikon radish, kabocha squash, or turnip
2 1/2 c. dashi
1 tsp salt
2 tsp light soy sauce
splash of mirin
kinome sprigs (optional)

Peel radish and cut into rounds, or cut squash into chunks. Bevel edges if you're a champ. Simmer the vegetable in water, drain. To serve, simmer all ingredients together for a half hour. Garnish.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 395-396

Tofu Bekko-ni

Tortoiseshell Tofu

2 c. dashi
1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
pinch salt
1 cake tofu, pressed (if not silken)
3 tbsp cornstarch in 3 tbsp water
kinome sprigs or finely shredded fresh ginger

Mix dashi, sugar, mirin, soy sauce in a medium pot, boil, simmer, add salt.
Cut the tofu into quarters, slide them into the pot (try not to break them). Ladle the liquid over the tofu until heated thoroughly, about 4 minutes. Remove tofu, keep on the heat, add the cornstarch/water. Stir until thickened, about 1 minute.
Ladle sauce over tofu, garnish, eat with spoons instead of chopsticks.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 398-399

Kyuri no Sumomi

Vinegared Cucumber

4 japanese cucumbers, or 2 western cucumbers peeled and seeded
1 c. rice vinegar
1 c. dashi
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar

Cut cucumbers into paper-thin slices. Spread out on a cutting board, sprinkle with salt, knead about 1 minute. Transfer to bowl without washing.
Sanbaizu sauce: Combine sauce ingredients just to a simmer, force-cool (bowl in a bowl of ice water).
Serve: pour half the sauce over the cucumber, squeeze with your hands, pour off sauce. Then add the other half of the sauce to the cucumber. Serve at room temperature.
Note: you can add wakame too; soaked, scalded in hot water, plunged into cold water. Toss with cucumber just before adding sauce.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 423

Horenso no Ohitashi

Soused Spinach

1 bunch spinach, trimmed, washed, parboiled
1 1/4 c. dashi
pinch salt
1 tsp mirin
3 tsp light soy sauce
1/3 c. ito-kezuri-katsuo (dried bonito thread-shavings) or regular hana-katsuo (flakes)

Bring dashi to a boil, then simmer. Add salt, mirin, soy sauce. Force-cool by putting it in a bowl inside a bowl of ice. Add spinach and mix, refrigerate 5-6 hours. Serve spinach, with stock poured over, and garnish with bonito flakes/threads.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 430-431

Tara Chirinabe

Cod and Cabbage Pot

2 lb cod fillets, with skin
6 leaves Chinese cabbage (Napa does not work so well)
1/2 lb spinach
10 sprigs chrysanthemum leaves (shungiku/kikuna, optional)
6 fresh shiitake mushrooms
6 Japanese long onions (naganegi) or 8 leeks
2 cakes grilled bean curd (yakidofu)
Ponzu sauce
4-inch square konbu, slashed with a knife
some of the following: 6 tbsp finely chopped green onion, 2 quartered lemons, 6 tbsp red maple radish (daikon with red peppers, grated), 4 tbsp grated fresh ginger

Cut fish into 1-inch slices, put in colander, pour boiling water over them, rinse, drain, refrigerate.
Cabbage rolls:
Parboil cabbage, rinse, trim thick stems. Parboil spinach. Wrap spinach in cabbage to make rolls, wrap in plastic or a towel and refrigerate.
Other stuff:
Cut stems off chrysanthemum sprigs, wash, drain, cut in half. Cut mushrooms in half. Wash onions/leeks, cut diagonally into 1 1/2 inch lengths.
Put all pieces (fish, cabbage rolls, chrysanthemum, mushrooms, onions, tofu; cut to same size) on platters. Put the kelp in the water, bring just to a boil. Add fish first, then vegetables and tofu, simmer until just tender. Put ponzu/condiments in bowls, dip food in them.

Source: Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art, by Shizuo Tsuji, p. 432-433

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Warm Potato Salad in Basil Cream

2 1/2 lb. small new potatoes
1/3 c. olive oil
10 basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 c. whipping cream
salt and pepper
1 tsp capers

Peel potatoes, cook in salted water, drain and cut in half while still slightly firm.
Put olive oil, basil, and garlic in a medium pan, heat, mashing basil with a spoon. When the leaves look wilted, turn off heat and steep for 10 minutes. Remove leaves, reheat oil, add vinegar, cream, and seasoning. Mix, add potatoes, stir while cream simmers. When sauce thickens, taste for seasoning, serve with capers and/or small basil leaves.

Squash and Lemon Salad

6-8 zucchini/yellow squash
3 firm tomatoes
1 small tomato half
2 lemons
1 1/3 c. dry white wine
2/3 c. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced fine
1 tsp thyme or lemon thyme
salt and pepper

Slice squash into 1/4 inch rounds, tomatoes into wedges, arrange in concentric circles with a small tomato half at the center.
Skin 2 lemons, cut into wedges, remove seeds, scatter over squash. Add everything else. Bake for 25 minutes at 350. Taste to make sure it's still a little firm/crunchy. Serve cool, but not chilled, with fresh bread.

Source: Summer Food by Judith Olney, p. 88

Polenta Tart

For the topping:
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 green pepper, chopped
6-7 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped, or a 28oz can tomatoes, drained
pinch sugar
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, oregano, thyme, mixed
salt and pepper

For the polenta base:
3 1/2 c. water
1 tsp salt
1 c. yellow cornmeal
2 eggs
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
olive oil

Cook onions and garlic in oil until soft, add the rest of the sauce ingredients, simmer 30 min until quite dry. Set aside.
Bring water and 1 tsp salt to a boil, pour in cornmeal in a slow stream, stirring. Continue stirring for 15 minutes. When dry, cool slightly, stir in eggs, spread into a pie pan. Pat and smooth with wet fingers until it forms a thin pie shell. Place tomato topping in it, sprinkle with parmesan and olive oil, bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Source: Summer Food by Judith Olney

Sushi rice

Source: chef Shawn Dempsey, Chiso, at Cook's World cooking class

3 cups short grain japanese rice (1 cup is about 3-4 rolls)
3 1/4 c. water
1/3 c. rice vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Wash rice with cold water until water is clear (can soak for 30 minutes before cooking). Add a little over 1 cup of water to 1 cup of rice (or 1 knuckle over the rice). Keep the lid on the rice, or cover with foil with a little hole in it. Cook on high heat until it boils, then turn down to low, simmer 10 minutes. Turn the heat off, let it sit for 10 minutes, do not remove the lid ever.

Transfer to a big mixing bowl or deep plate, spread out evenly, add vinegar mixture, fold in with spatula, cool it with a fan or an open window, let it cool.
10 minutes later, turn it over so it all cools at the same rate. After 15-20 minutes, it'll be ready to use.

Sushi notes

Source: Shawn Dempsey, sushi chef at Chiso, Seattle

Sashimi knife- yanagi- for fish only, made of carbon steel, rusts so dry it quickly, 1-sided so you cut something and it falls away
Make sure everything's dry- wet seaweed is bad news
Peeling a cucumber- use a thing that peels it into sushi-sized chunks, or just peel the whole cucumber into a big sheet like a champ
Avocado: halve, pit, scoop out with spoon, slice
Kaiware: daikon sprouts
When buying nori, don't buy top shelf (too fragile, too fancy) or bottom shelf (cheap and thick). Make sure it's roasted. JFC is a good brand.

To make a temaki (hand roll): put rice on left half (of a wide rectangle), put stuff diagonal from top left to bottom center, bring lower left corner to top center, roll up
Uramaki (like a california roll): put rice on nori, add sesame, turn over, add tobiko (fish eggs) in a divot, avocado, cucumber, crab, shape it with saran-wrapped sushi mat
Futomaki (fat roll)
Hosomaki (thin roll)
Obi: little ribbon around nigiri
Gunkan: "battleship" full of fish eggs or whatever
Cut rolls with a knife that has a little water on the blade
Cut fish across the grain so you don't get a big grain in your fish
Cut unagi (eel) at 45 degree angles

Buying fish:
Tuna, salmon, albacore are easy to get
Yellowtail oxidizes so you can't buy it really
Salmon eggs, tobiko, sea urchin all good
Cooked shrimp/eel, no problem
Whitefish: hard to fillet
Scallops: generally safe
Types of tuna: Bluefin (otoro) is most expensive (and overfished), Bigeye (chutoro, orotoro?) is next, then Yellowfin (maguro?) I think the grades don't exactly match up with the types
"Fresh" tuna not actually good- rigor mortis sets in. Flash frozen is the best.

Spicy tuna: scrape tuna into little bits with a spoon, chop up, add sriracha or sambal

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chicken Soup

3 bone-in chicken breasts
a bunch of stock- 2qts? If you don't have any, make some, just boil the odds and ends from the celery, carrots, and onion in water for a while, then remove.
1 big onion, peeled, uncut
4 sprigs celery
6 carrots, or to taste, sliced
parsley, to taste
ginger (optional), about 1tbsp fresh grated
noodles (Polish Kluski or whatever you like)

Get a large pot. I don't know how big yours is, but mine is 8 qts. Fill up to less than 2 inches from the top, with stock/water. Boil chicken, skim off the junk that floats to the top until most of it has stopped rising.
Keep simmering and add the onion and celery (to be removed later).
Simmer for 3 hours with lid on, but slightly ajar.
During the final 1/2 hour add carrots, parsley, ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Add noodles whenever so that they'll be done when they're done.
After 3 hours turn off heat, remove celery, onion and discard. Remove chicken and hopefully all the bones. When cool enough remove the chicken from the bones and put back into the broth.

Source: the Danseys

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Panzanella

Spring Panzanella Recipe

The bread I used also had walnuts and dried cranberries in it, but I think I'd prefer a seeded whole wheat version. Use whatever you like.

1 lb loaf of hearty, day-old, whole wheat bread into 1-inch cubes
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme - just pluck leaves from the sprig
a couple pinches of salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, cut into segments
2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
4 handfuls spinach
1/4 cup small basil leaves

In a large bowl toss the bread with the garlic, shallot, thyme, salt and olive oil. Turn the bread out onto a baking sheet and toast in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes - or until they are nice and golden and crunchy.

In a cold skillet pour in a splash of olive oil, a splash of water, and a couple pinches of salt. Dial up the heat and when the water starts to bubble stir in the asparagus. Cover, wait about twenty seconds, now add the peas. Cover, wait a few seconds, now add the spinach. Cover and cook just a few more seconds until the spinach starts to collapse just a bit.

Put the bread crumbs in a large bowl. Now pour the asparagus and peas and all the pan juices over the top of the bread.

Give it a good toss, add the basil leaves and toss again. Serve the salad family-style on a big platter.

Makes about 6 - 8 servings.


Sunday, April 12, 2009


Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza) Recipe

Leeks are notoriously gritty. To clean them well I typically slice them lengthwise and then submerge them in a big bowl of water - where I rinse and swish them to loosen up any dirt. Drain and repeat if needed. Then chop/slice.

2 cups cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup leeks, well washed and chopped (see head notes)
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all purpose flour)
a couple pinches of fine grain sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1+ tablespoon olive oil

Garnish: toasted slivered almonds, chives/ herbs

Combine the cabbage, leeks, flour, and salt in a bowl. Toss until everything is coated with a dusting of flour. Stir in the eggs and mix until everything is evenly coated.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a generous splash of olive oil. Scoop the cabbage mixture into the pan, and using a metal spatula press it into a round pancake shape, flat as you can get it. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the bottom is golden. To flip the okonomiyaki, slide it out of the skillet onto a plate. Place another plate on top and flip both (together) over. If you need a bit more oil in your skillet, add it now, before sliding the okonomiyaki back into the skillet. Again press down a bit with a spatula and cook until golden on this side - another 3 -5 minutes.

When you are finished cooking, sprinkle with toasted almonds and chives, and slide it onto a cutting board to cut into wedges. Enjoy immediately.

Serves 1 - 2.


Thursday, January 22, 2009


Firecracker Cornbread Recipe

3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
3/4 cup instant cornmeal (or instant polenta) or fine-grain cornmeal
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
1 cup buttermilk (or milk)
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups corn, fresh (or at room temperature if previously frozen)

more butter for drizzling (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees, with a rack in the middle.

Just before you make the batter, in a small saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the red pepper flakes, and pour into a 9-inch pie tin (I have an enameled cast-iron one that is perfect) or equivalent baking dish. Place in the hot oven.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and corn. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just combined. Now very carefully remove the hot pan with butter from the oven. Fill it with the cornbread batter, pushing the batter out to the sides if needed. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is just set. Remove and drizzle with a bit of melted butter (optional).

Makes 10 slices.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Corn

Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Corn
10 Servings
Source: Bon Appetit, November 2008, c/o Jill Ricker

1 1/2 cups Wild Rice (about 9 ounces)
2 tsps coarse kosher salt
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 1 1/2-lb squash)
3 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, divided (Jill's note: or much less, like 1 tbsp, and it still turns out fine)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks, white part only
1 1/2 cups frozen white corn kernels, thawed (Jill's note: make sure it's small corn)
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

Rinse rice in strainer under cold water; drain. Bring 6 cups water and 2 tsps coarse salt to boil in large saucepan. Add rice; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until rice grains begin to split and are tender but still slightly chewy, and slightly split, about 45 minutes (although it varies). Drain. Spread on rimmed baking sheet to cool. Transfer to bowl. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil rimmed baking sheet. Toss squash cubes and 3 tbsp oil in medium bowl. Spread squash in single layer on prepared sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast just until tender but firm enough to hold shape, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. (Jill's note: cook longer, make sure it's not hard) Transfer squash to bowl. Cool. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Melt 4 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and 3/4 cup water; simmer until leeks are tender, about 7 minutes. Add corn; simmer 2 minutes longer. Add rice and butternut squash; simmer until heated through and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp butter and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Dan's notes:
Sarah suggested more wild rice.