Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Food: Lemon Cucumber

This is not a recipe, but rather an add-on to this week's posting.

I tried something new and I wanted to share! My friend and partner in crime for my Friday meetings, Sally Waters, had told me about these little guys, which I had never seen or heard of. When Dan and I went to the Farmer's Market at the Ferry Building yesterday (Saturday) I decided to keep an eye out for lemon cucumber and found some.

Cucumbers are tricky because they don't really cook very well. I think the best way to enjoy them is to throw them in a salad. I decided to keep it very simple, so that we could enjoy their full flavor.

I chopped the cucumbers and halved tiny tomatoes (see above how tiny they are!) I got from the Civic Center Farmer's market Wednesday.

Look how pretty it looks all chopped up together!

I wanted to find something that would compliment the flavors well, and I remembered that I hadn't yet tried the Raspberry-Balsamic vinegar I got at the Stonestown Farmer's last Sunday.

I didn't want to put too much vinegar as to not overwhelm the taste of the cucumber in there, so I put only 2 tsp.

Add a little salt, pepper, and you've got a simple, delicious salad! The idea was to have some leftover for dinner, but the whole thing went for lunch. Victory!

I think those little dudes (the cucumbers) are very seasonal, but I think they are worth the efforts. Cucumber taste fresh already, but I think these have this light summery freshness to them which made this simple salad all the more enjoyable.

Thanks to Sally for giving me a heads up on those, I will get them again!

P.S. Little shameless plug, (it's my blog, I can! ;op) Sally has her own line of skin care products which I cannot live without now. It's called Birdy Botanicals. Give them a look, they have saved my highly allergic skin!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Cotelettes de porc a la jamaicaine

This recipe is simple, quick and gives a lot of taste to simple pork chops. I have used the same recipe on chicken with great results.

The recipe calls for oven baking, but I've done it on the grill too. It's just one of those easy, good for everything recipe!

Cotelettes de porc a la jamaicaine (Jamaican style pork chops)
4 servings, 5P+/serving

4 boneless pork chops (about 1 lb total)
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP orange juice
1 TBSP olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, minced
1 tsp Jamaican pepper
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt,
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch cayenne pepper

1- Make little cut on the side of each chop of about 1 inch. In a bowl mix all remaining ingredients. Rub the mixture on each pork chops and put in an oven safe dish in one layer.

2- Cook pork chops for 18 minutes or so at 375 F, or until they are golden but still pink inside, turning once.

Source: Coup de Pouce, Au menu ce soir, p. 36

Friday, August 19, 2011

Apple-Fennel slaw

This recipe is a creation of mine. I was looking for a good fennel salad, and was tired of my usuals, so I experimented. I'm not beyond bragging, this was really good!

I've shared it on Facebook already, but thought I'd share it here for posterity (HA!)

Apple -Fennel slaw
6 servings, (recipe builder says 1p+/serving, but that counts the apple and fennel. I protest!)
2 granny smith apple, thinly julienned
1 fennel bulb, cored, thinly julienned
2 TBSP lemon juice (or so)
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar, divided
1 (generous) TBSP dijon mustard (I use whole grain, it's prettier)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 packet stevia (or 1 tsp sugar)
1/2 TBSP (or more) poppy seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

Mix 1 TBSP of the vinegar with the lemon juice and pour over the apple juliennes as soon as they are cut (to keep from browning). Put in a big bowl

Mix the mustard, the remaining vinegar, the oil and the stevia in a little bowl, pour over the slaw. Add poppy seeds, salt and pepper and toss well.

Source: My own brain, please credit said brain if you're going to reuse ;op

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Eggplant-Chicpea Curry

I have entirely too many cookbooks, and I am purging them every once in a while. I do however have a very extensive and, if I say so myself, well researched vegan cookbooks collection.

This recipe is from a favorite of mine: Appetite for reduction from Isa Chandra Moskiwitz. Isa's recipes are sometimes a little complicated and out there, but her cooking is very creative, and inspiring.

This recipe is one of the simplest most satisfying "whole meal" that I've gotten out of that book.
Don't let the cooking time and long instruction get to you, it is very easy to make and a good way to deal with eggplant when one feels a little intimidated. :o)

Eggplant-Chickpea Curry
6 serving, 4 P+/serving

1 tsp oil
1 small white onion, chopped finely
3 clove garlic, minced
1 TBSP fresh ginger, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional, spicy!)
1 pound tomatoes, chopped roughly (about 2 cups)
2 pound eggplant, cubed (3/4 inch)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp mild curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (15 ounces) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (1 1/2 cup)
Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Use a little nonstick cooking spray if needed. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes (if using), and saute for another minute. Mix in the tomato, eggplant, and salt, and cook, stirring constantly, for about a minute. The tomato should deglaze the pan (if not I cheat and throw in a TBSP or a little more vegetable broth).

Mix in the curry powder, garam masala, and ground cumin. Add the vegetable broth, stir and cover the pot. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and cook with the pot covered for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The eggplant should be mostly broken down by this point. Add the chickpeas and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes,stirring for about a m inute at first (to further break down the eggplant) and then occasionally.

Taste for salt and serve garnished with cilantro.

Source: Appetite for Reduction, Isa Chandra Moskowitz p. 230.