Archive for ‘Sauté’

March 3, 2013

Frittata, Frittata, Frittata, Je T’aime

by cillefish

For the frittata-uninitiated, these are basically quiches without crusts — firm, cakelike omelets cooked slowly over low heat. My first efforts at these resulted in scrambled eggs, but a good frittata actually can be super simple and surprisingly classy for something so packed full of good things. Tips to simplify:
Frittata

  • The right hardware: A big, cured skillet is best for this recipe since the frittata turns out particularly attractive if you sit it under the broiler for a minute or two, and I don’t trust teflon or the “wrap the plastic handle in foil” method not to do nasty things in the oven.
  • Butter is better: If your skillet isn’t (or is) well cured, barely-browning some butter in the bottom of the pan right before you pour in the egg mix will help it stay loose and come out a little easier.
  • Implements that help: A big, flexible pancake spatula is also a plus here, as is one of those knives that looks like a soft-cheese knife but has very good, small serrations on the bottom for astoundingly excellent julienne-slicing.
  • Shortcut: For the faint of heart or accident-prone [me], the baking method also works: butter a deep pie dish, do whatever stovetop prep is necessary to get the veggies where you want them, and pop the whole thing, uncovered, into a 350° oven for, say, 30min.

Spinach, Red Pepper, Onion, and Feta Frittata:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, halved vertically and thinly sliced
  • 2 red bell pepper, quartered lengthwise and sliced very thinly
  • 10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed out (I up it to 15oz)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 c crumbled feta
  • optional: 1 Tbsp pre-grated parmesan
  • optional: 1/4 c to 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley, or 1-2 Tbsp dried (I omit this)
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning (I used 1 heaping tsp)
  • Pepper to taste or a pinch of crushed chili pepper (the egg can handle it)
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Preparation:

  1. Pop the spinach in a bowl in the microwave on half-power to start it thawing. Meanwhile, chop everything. More Frittata goodness
May 20, 2012

Black Beans with Garlic, Cumin and Cilantro

by cillefish

I love black beans, but mainly when I cook them, since sometimes other people don’t cook them well enough and they annoy my stomach, and horseradishsauce tells me if they’re cooked incorrectly on too low a heat, the toxin levels in them go nuts and they make you sick. Wikipedia agrees.

So, this recipe requires you to cook the shit out of these so they will be delicious and gentler on your tummy. Adapted (and doubled) from this recipe. We made these for Mother’s Day along with gouda-red-onion quesadillas and spicy orange salad.

Ingredients:

  • 2 16-ounce cans black beans
  • 3 1/2 to 4 large garlic cloves, crushed thoroughly and minced, or pressed through a garlic press
  • 2 generous teaspoons ground cumin (I like cumin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup tomato juice or water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Method:

  • Put the beans from the can in a medium saucepan, with about 2 c of their beanwater, plus tomato juice if using. Bring to a boil, stirring about every 4 min to scrape the bottom.
  • Continue to keep beans at a low boil for 1 hours. Keep adding water as necessary.
  • Separately, fry the cumin and garlic in the oil over med-low in a pan until fragrant. Add into the beans.
  • Continue up to 3 hours at the low boil, adding water as necessary, until the beans get to be the mash-y texture of refried beans or slightly softer.
  • Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro and salt, top with extra cheese from the Quesadillas, and serve.
April 3, 2011

Homemade Popcorn (“Be Very Alarmed”)

by cillefish

homemade popcornI haven’t been attempting much on the wild and crazy wannabe-gourmet side of things lately, though I’ve definitely been wanting to try this braided sweetbread with lemon-cream-cheese filling. What I have been doing: writing time-consuming stuff about gendered religious communications for medieval female ascetes (somehow I remember my writing in college involving so many fewer leaps of logic…)

Anyway, that leaves little time for out-of-the-box cooking stuff, so my most novel achievement recently is …homemade popcorn. No, really.

I’ve avoided the in-a-bag microwaved stuff for years, ever since one of my college roommates introduced me to the wonders of the for-real popcorn she used to make in one of the contraptions pictured at right.

popcorn makerI don’t have one of those and I don’t like burning stuff, or setting stuff on fire, or burning me, or creating difficult-to-remove residues on the bottoms of other people’s cookware. So I’ve been avoiding attempting it.

Newsflash: homemade popcorn is obscenely easy (and generally a lot better for you than the microwaved junk).

Homemade Popcorn

What you need:

  • 1 wide, medium or large, lidded stock pot
  • 2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil (olive oil is more healthful, but the flavor is different)
  • 1/2 c popping corn
  • 2 small potholders
     
  • 1/4 c – 1/2 c butter (1/2 to 1 stick) or vegan butter chopped up, sitting on its paper (I use 1/4 cup because I like real butter but don’t like things greasy. You can use vegetable oil if you want, but it doesn’t soak up quite as well)
     
  • Seasoning: I usually use 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, a pinch of Cayenne (red) pepper, & 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning (see below for other flavorings). I don’t add salt since the cheese has some saltiness to it.

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March 14, 2011

Honey-Ginger Eggplant 4 Ways

by cillefish

I made the 3rd version over the weekend for my lunch today. On top of wilted spinach with sauteed onions and toasted walnuts, it was pretty great but a little over-sweet, so I’ve adapted it below (original recipe, Option A, was from: Modern Spice by Monica Bhide). The 3rd option came out to a nice, juicy softness with a bit of firmness and just a hint of crispiness on the outside.

The Marinade:

Mix the following ingredients in a small jar and keep stored in the fridge until you need it:

  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, peeled and grated to a pulp (on the small grater that looks like someone tried to punch their way out of it using a ballpoint pen)
  • 1/4 cup warmed liquid honey (microwave on 1/2 power for 15 seconds, no cap!)
  • 3 tsp red chili flakes, or 1 1/2 tsp good cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses (find at Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern stores / cafes)
  • 1 Tbsp olive or peanut oil
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon/lime zest
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (2 or 3 tsp)

The Other Ingredients:

  • 1 medium size eggplant* sliced in 3/4″ to 1″ discs
  • 1 package fresh spinach (normal salad-bag size)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped to 1/2″ size bits
  • 2 smaller cloves garlic, or 1 big one, smashed & minced
  • 2 Tbsp small-chopped walnuts
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Warmed Jalapeno bread or spicy-garlic naan (or just 2 c cooked plain rice)

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