Monday, May 30, 2011

Link: How to be a Vegetarian at a Barbeque

Jezebel had a good article up today called "How To Be A Vegetarian At A Barbecue".  

They recommend Gardenburger over Boca burgers. I vote the opposite. Boca burgers with cheese are one of my favorite things to grill along with their fake chicken patties. Alternately, homemade walnut burgers are fantastic.  (Recipe coming on that- I haven't made them in a while so I'll need some sort of sacrificial test run.)

I completely agree on one point in the article:  

Do not overestimate the portobello mushroom...Don't necessarily assume that your vegetarian guests are going to be super psyched about the portobello mushroom caps you are grilling for them in lieu of burgers.

Large, watery baked mushrooms are not universally loved by vegetarians.

In general, most vegetarians are happy eating from a large array of side dishes, especially if there's a large selection of fruits, vegetables, and grain/bean/pasta dishes rather than just potato salad and chips. That's probably healthier for everyone, but- hey- I like cheese mixed into everything. Not judging.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Pao Doce with Apricots

Pao doce is a Portuguese bread typically made for Easter. It's also popular year-round in Hawaii. This is a version made with apricots and makes the best breakfast toast ever.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pineapple: Caribbean Pineapple and Oranges

Photo by Danielle Hartman-Semtry

This is another fruit salad that uses a glaze and orange segments like Glazed Citrus and Raspberries. This time the glaze is lighter and accented with fresh ginger and coconut. The amount of ginger in this recipe can be cut back to make the glaze mild. The fruit and ginger can be cut ahead of time but the glaze and coconut should be added at the end.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cabbage: Sesame Noodle Salad

Photo by Emily Mills

This dish is one of my favorite things to bring to potlucks because it can be served hot, cold, or room temperature. It's also vegan and not spicy so a large number of people can eat it. (You could even switch to rice noodles and tamari instead of soy sauce to make this gluten-free). The best thing about this type of dish is that you can make it in stages rather than trying to time out cooking a bunch of vegetables that take wildly different amounts of heat and caramelization. Just put on music or an episode of True Blood and don't stress out about doing too many things at one time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Come eat potatoes and support tenant rights in Madison!

Come see me in the Iron Chef Cook-off to benefit the Tenant Resource Center.  It's happening 5-7 pm on March 25th at the Brink Lounge. A $25 donation benefits the Housing Crisis Fund.   I'm in the Potato Battle and going against last year's champions,  Michael and Corey Jacob. There are also battles with citrus, curry, and beans. Now, I'm not ultra competitive, but I really would like to vanquish my competition here. I'm going to play by the rules of Iron Chef here and make only my own recipes and use only proper potatoes. In my opinion, sweet potatoes would be cheating since they're in an entirely different botanical family than potatoes, so I'll stick only to varieties of "real potato" potatoes. Cooking won't happen on-site, so a challenge will be to make dishes that can survive minimal heating or prep work at the venue. I'll also have to think of ways to make some parts of the dishes ahead of time given the number of people expected and personal time constraints. I haven't decided exactly what I'm making, but I have ideas to start testing out next week. I'll put the best recipes up here after the event.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Butternut Squash: Red Curry with Squash and Tofu

Photos by Meghan Rose

Squash and tofu in red curry is a common menu item in Thai restaurants and is easy to recreate at home. It can be served over rice, rice noodles, or on its own as a soup. This pictured bowl would have been prettier with a fresh basil garnish, but it was a winter night in Wisconsin and I didn't feel like making a run to Asian Midway Foods for fresh basil.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Toffee: Toffee and Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are thin, crispy cookies that are the perfect reason to own a silicone baking mat. The toffee pieces tend to stick a bit to ordinary cookie sheets, though a few broken ones can just be the rejects that have to be eaten immediately. It's a personal choice.

1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
2 cups unsalted butter
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup chopped toffee pieces
1 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chips/pieces.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Cream butter, brown sugar and white sugar in a mixing bowl and beat in eggs. Add flour, salt and baking soda and stir until blended. Add toffee and chocolate pieces and mix. Drop onto a cookie sheet using a spoon or fancy cookie scoop. Bake 9-12 minutes at 375 or until cookies are light brown. Wait a few minutes to cool on cookie sheet and transfer to cooling rack.