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Showing posts from March, 2007

Easter Specialties from Kitchen Parade's Archives

Tis still another season of food traditions. On Good Friday, I'll bake hot cross buns, with any luck, my sister will too. (And you, you too?)

But funny enough, Christmas dinner was so perfect, I may just repeat it for Easter dinner. A fresh Miller ham (for St. Louisans, from Ladue Market, absolutely gorgeous meat) which goes just perfectly with a creamy carrot puree and Nupur's vegetable biryani. And dessert, hmmm, something new, perhaps. No, I know, lemon pots de creme, what I call lemon pots.

Or who knows, maybe I'll do an asparagus custard tart for brunch. With a winter fruit salad. And a sweet ending. Isn't it lovely that food fantasies have zero points?

Looking for still more ideas for Easter morning, Easter brunch or Easter dinner? Check out all the special recipes for Easter from Kitchen Parade's archives.

One Easter basket idea that's not to be missed, these glorious ruby-colored eggs, stained with beet juice. Aren't they ever so pretty?







A Veggie Vent…

Quick Lunch: Chicka Chicka Chickpea Salad ♥

"Where shall we go for lunch?" is the question-of-the-day in many offices. But since I've worked from home for more than ten years now, I know that just around the corner is today's (and yesterday's and tomorrow's) lunch spot, aka, the frig.

But some days there's just no appeal to last night's soup or the weekend's leftover roast chicken or even the ultra low-brow Satisfying Lunch in One Point. I want something fresh and bright and filling and and not-leftover.

Thanks to Orangette, this is my new go-to lunch though with considerably more points. (Chickpeas always surprise me with calorie count. I'm not saying they shouldn't be eaten. They just taste more virtuous than the numbers add up.) Whether I return to my office to browse food blogs or step outside to enjoy a bit of early-spring warmth on the patio, this salad has become a mainstay.

SIDE NOTE I'm also becoming addicted to Great Harvest's tomato herb rolls -- and applaud Great…

Easy Weight Watchers Recipe: Sugar Snaps, Carrots & Peppers ♥

Love this side dish for its color and taste -- but try it for its technique, one that will work just as well for other vegetables.

It starts off with thin-sliced carrots in nothing more than water, salt and pepper beneath a cover of oil- or butter-coated parchment. Parchment! Of course -- it's the same principle as a covered skillet but really concentrates the heat and the moisture right there. I couldn't believe how quickly the carrots cooked!

Don't start cooking, however, til the vegetables are prepped. The carrots and pepper slice up in no time but the sugar snap peas take a bit. These weren't stringy so I didn't bother to remove the 'string', just trimmed the ends and cut into pieces.

NEXT TIME The inspiring recipe said to "halve the peas lengthwise diagonally". Hmm. What does this mean? I decided that it meant to just cut the peas into bite-size pieces on the diagonal. But they were pretty fat so next time I think I'd cook the carrots first …

Baking with Vegetables: Chocolate Sauerkraut Cupcakes ♥

When Chocolate in Context announced the theme for this month's Sugar High Friday (the sweet lovin' food blogging event that attracts dozens of participants from around the world) as 'naked chocolate' (okay, okay, they really called it 'raw chocolate'), I looked at the just-peeled raw cocoa beans on the counter and thought, How lucky is that?

Say hello to Chocolate Sauerkraut Cupcakes, made with my very own cocoa powder.

The whole cacao beans came from Global Foods, my very own neighborhood international grocery, for a couple of bucks. The beans came from El Salvador and the instructions were minimal. "To prepare home made chocolate: Toast and peel the seeds. [oh! toast! I missed that until just now]. Add cinnamon and sugar to taste. Ground [sic] all ingredients."

It took forever to peel the beans -- but then again, it was perfect for dual-tasking in front of the TV. And when I ground the beans in the food processor, the result was more like grainy nibs o…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Meatball Soup with Broccoli Rabe ♥

I fell in love with broccoli rabe (aka broccoli raab and aka rapini) a year ago. So it's no surprise to A Veggie Venture readers -- though it will be to Kitchen Parade's print readers -- that this week's column features two recipes using the fresh, light green, a meatball soup on the table in 45 minutes and my new favorite sandwich, the rapini panini. (Get it?!) Where's that column? Here at Kitchen Parade!

And speaking of sandwiches stuffed with rapini, last week I shared a lovely late-night supper with the brand-new bloggers from Food Blogga, Susan and husband Jeff. Susan's picture is on Food Blogga's homepage and she writes the sweet stories about everyday life and people but Food Blogga is a team effort. Jeff handles many of the technical details and has good reason to make things work. Eyes big, he mentioned a recent post about broccoli rabe, "You know who got to EAT that sandwich after the photos were done, don't you? Talk about fringe benefits!&q…

Quick Appetizer: Green Chutney ♥

Appetizers aren't my strong suit, always an afterthought, more often an Oh, whoops. And so as much as I adore the idea of Eating for Life, sponsored by Lucullian Delights and Joanna's Food, it seemed only natural to sit out the first event featuring 'finger' foods.

But then suddenly it was the first day of spring and warm, besides, and a small soiree on the patio seemed in order. At four o'clock, I had the choice between a grocery run and a dog walk. The dog, in turn wagging furiously and twirling in excitement, won out. At five o'clock, I looked into a nearly bare frig, fully prepared that a stiff spring drink would be the extent of the offerings, not a proud moment for someone who loves to cook.

But, la-di-da, tucked inside were nearly all the ingredients for the green chutney from One Hot Stove, a quick and easy no-fat spread that Nupur wowed me with on little cucumber sandwiches last fall. Ten minutes later - including filling a plate with crackers - the par…

Microwave: Green Beans with Tomatillo Salsa Dressing ♥

Today's recipe comes two for the price of one.

Number One: How to cook green beans in the microwave.

How did I miss cooking green beans in the microwave? (Perhaps because I didn't have one for so many years? Perhaps because the one in the kitchen is serially referred to as the Popcorn Maker and the Butter Melter and the Water Boiler?) Call me hooked, these fresh green beans cooked in the microwave were great.

Number Two: A new flavor profile, thanks to my new favorite cookbook, Rick Bayless' Mexican Everyday. The beans are the cookbook's maiden recipe but I've been pouring through the pages, bookmarking recipes, underlining ingredients, strategizing what to make when. Once again, call me hooked.

This is home cooking, Mexican style. The ingredients are (mostly) familiar and (mostly) available. And it doesn't endorse cooking by prescription but by taste. Every single recipe includes adaptations and embellishments.

The dressing is made from only lime juice, cilantro a…

Quick Side: Zucchini Moons with Mint & Parsley ♥

There's absolutely nothing special about this quick side dish -- and that's what makes it special! (How weird is that?!) It's just every-day simple sautéed zucchini tossed with mint and parsley. You may well have the ingredients on hand -- if it were summer, I'd fetch both mint and parsley which thrive in the side herb garden. But it was decidedly tasty, a definite keeper.


FROM the ARCHIVES
If you love zucchini and want to check out all the zucchini recipes, the Recipe Box has lots of quick zucchini recipes.

A YEAR AGO Cauliflower Cheddar Horseradish Gratin ... "'Delicious' barely describes the cheese sauce's bright notes of horseradish and mustard."


PRINT JUST A RECIPE Print any post, only the post and the recipe print, not the header and the sidebars, saving ink and paper!

NEVER MISS A RECIPE! Just enter your e-mail address in the box in the sidebar. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, straight to your e-mail In Box.
ZUCCHINI M…

St. Louis Restaurant Reviews: Mihalis Chop House

Welcome to the latest in an occasional series of St. Louis restaurant reviews from my friend, the Foodie Patootie. It's an A (with points off for smoke) recommendation for Mihalis Chop House on the western edge of Dogtown in Maplewood. Enjoy!

My internal “restaurant radar” never fails to alert me when a new restaurant is about to debut, so after months of driving by a construction site on McCausland Avenue in Maplewood, my nose twitched to signal “Aha! A new restaurant” and one whiff signaled “And a steak place at that!”

FIRST VISIT: DINNER FOR THREE, PASTA AND STEAK
Upon entering, I was immediately impressed by the personal warm greeting, the entry’s rich, warm colors, the subdued lighting, the soft, rhythmic music, and the elegant coat closet.

Too bad the spell of the first impression was broken by the smell of cigarette smoke (gross!) from the adjoining Onyx Bar. I considered leaving (who wants a delicious dinner whose subtle flavors and tastes are clouded by a known carcinogen…

Finally! Print the Recipe!

Ever wish you could print recipes without wasting ink and paper on the banner and the sidebars? Me too! Here's how to print just the introduction and the recipe, skipping A Veggie Venture's banner and sidebars and JUST UPDATED! -- reader comments.
LOCATE THE RIGHT BUTTONS First, find the 'print' button in your browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc.), there's often a one-click printer icon. But also find (something like) File/Print and take note if there's (something like) a 'page range' option for 'all', 'pages 1 to x' and 'selection'. (Don't do anything with these yet, just find them.)MAKE SURE YOU'RE ON THE RIGHT PAGE Now, make sure you're on the page you want to print.If you're on the home page, eitherclick the post's title at the top of the post (nearly always, this is the recipe name but for example, on this page the post's title is Finally! Print the Recipe!)
~ or ~click 'page permalink' at…

Kitchen Parade Archive: Tender Pork Tenderloin with Cumin Carrot Fries ♥

While this column has been online in the Recipe Box at Kitchen Parade for awhile, just recently, I made it for the first time in a few years -- just to add a photograph, no more. And then I made it again. And again. And again.

Tender Pork Tenderloin is one of those every-day staple recipes that's just so easy and so good, it almost cooks itself. And the carrots, ah, the roasted carrots spiked with cumin! They're sooo good.

And so here is the column again, in case it's been overlooked. Enjoy!

Vegetable Recipes for CSA Shareholders

Updated October 18 for Week 18

See prior weeks' vegetable recipe ideas

Oh! How time does fly! Here we are in the 18th -- and last -- week of fresh vegetables from Maine CSA Wolf Pine Farm.

It's been my pleasure to share a few favorite vegetable recipes each week. But vegetable recipes are a year-round affair here at A Veggie Venture (and it's not too soon to start planning for Thanksgiving vegetable recipes!) so I do hope you'll come back often.

Better yet, sign up for an e-mail subscription and then new recipes (including a brand new set of Thanksgiving vegetable recipes, beginning November 1) will show up in your In Box, you'll never miss a single one!

But here are this week's vegetables - your boxes are overflowing!

Wolf Pine Farm's CSA Deliveries October 15 - 20

NEW!
Rutabagas - You'll find just a few rutabaga recipes but I do especially recommend the rutabaga and apple, perfect for fall!

NEW!
Potatoes - Oh there's nothing like just-dug potatoes! You'…

Comfort Food: Potato & Poblano Pepper Gratin ♥

So when you're Too Busy to Cook, do you spend an hour making just a side dish? And then wait another hour waiting til it's ready for the table? AND use a a sinkful of dishes, a big pot, a skillet, a food processor and a baking dish? Of course not. (But I do rely on Kitchen Parade's collection of Quick Suppers.)

So when this wonderful scalloped potato dish was featured in Bon Appetit's
'Too Busy to Cook' reader recipes, I had to chuckle. And then I picked up some poblano peppers and made it straight-away. Quick it's not and pretty it isn't -- but delicious it is. It is a great idea for a St. Patrick's Day feast on Saturday? I think so! So are these other recipes ideas for St. Patrick's Day festivities!

NEXT TIME I will
use the full quantity of peppers since poblanos are quite mild; I was half short on peppers, only enough to create a smoky background.
heed the instructions for salt since the Gruyere didn't provide as much saltiness as thought
cut …

The Danger of Convenience: Birds Eye Steamfresh Frozen Vegetables

Earlier this week I picked up bags of the Steamfresh cauliflower and the Steamfresh beans, just to check. Talk about convenient: just pop the whole bag into the microwave for 4 - 6 minutes, open it up and voila, there's tonight's vegetable.

And then I tasted them. And THEN I read the labels. I'm a big fan of frozen vegetables, but take these off your shopping list.

GREEN BEANS: The beans tasted okay though turned out rather 'moist', soggy even. These aren't 'special', just decent frozen green beans, so not worth a price premium if there is one. On the plus side, the ingredient list was straight-forward: beans, nothing but beans.

CAULIFLOWER: I really liked the cauliflower and was happy to call the whole twelve-ounce bag 'lunch' (at two Weight Watchers points a bag, that's not bad!) And THEN I read the label.

IT PAYS TO READ THE FINE PRINT Because the cauliflower is 'specially seasoned', the ingredient list includes salt, sugar, garlic po…

Comfort Food: Alsatian Cabbage ♥

Last November, I learned that butter and cream and cheese and even sugar can move vegetables from the real world into Thanksgiving vegetable heaven.

But this Alsatian cabbage -- just cabbage seasoned with caraway and cooked in bacon -- reminded me that bacon accomplishes a similar earth-n-heaven moving experience. That said -- I 'Alanna-sized' the inspiring recipe from Food & Wine, using half the bacon it called for and omitting the butter. It was still plenty rich and served up piles of flavor for just one Weight Watchers point. Yes, it's a keeper!

It would be great paired with St. Patrick's Day food -- you know, the homey, easy and delicious traditional corned beef, sausages, mashed potatoes and such.



FROM THE ARCHIVES
If you like vegetables with bacon, me too! I especially love pancetta, an Italian bacon, in Brussels sprouts, in cauliflower and with broccoli. Naturally, they're all in the Recipe Box!

A Year Ago Today: Another great St. Patrick's Day vegetabl…

Kitchen Parade Extra: Emerald Isle Stew ♥

Let the party begin!

St. Patrick's Day festivities will soon be upon us and thanks to this week's column at Kitchen Parade, you're prepared! It's a recipe for beef stew from my long-time friend Lisa, always an inspired cook. She serves the stout-spiked stew recipe in bread bowls. In or out, it's delicious!

This year I'll be remaking my long-time favorite caraway corned beef, cooked with potatoes, carrots and cabbage topped with cheese sauce. Yummy.

Kitchen Parade offers up other ideas for special foods for St. Patrick's Day, whether traditional favorites or 'green food' specialties.




DON'T YOU LOVE THE INTERNET? If a Swiss woman who lives in Spain can sponsor a St. Patrick's Day food blogger event, then it must be acceptable for an American cooking Irish to enter? Many thanks to Zorra from Kochtopf for hosting the party!



A Veggie Venture is home of the Veggie Evangelist Alanna Kellogg and vegetable inspiration …

Comfort Food: Scalloped Potato & Apple ♥

Some nights, you just throw together what's in the frig and get lucky ... not without inspiration, however, tonight from Sweden's Anne's Food, who from this distance seems a natural-born culinary magician.

The potato-apple combination went over big: the cream-cider combination as well. This is a concept definitely worth developing.

I tried a new mandoline tonight: $29.95 worth of worthlessness. The hand grip wouldn't grip either the potato or the apple. It wouldn't slice the potato. It did an okay job on the apple but so do my two hands and a sharp knife, on both apples and potatoes.


FROM THE ARCHIVES Check out all the great vegetable casserole recipes (what we Minnesotans grow up calling 'hot dishes') in the Recipe Box

A YEAR AGO Ugly but delicious, a clean-out-the-frig vegetable puree.


NEVER MISS A RECIPE! Just enter your e-mail address in the box in the sidebar. Once you do, new recipes will be delivered, automatically, straight to your e-mail In Box.
SCALLO…

Comfort Food: Fennel Mashed Potatoes ♥

Well, the pot roast on top (sans mushrooms) was only so-so and got pushed to the side, but the mashed potatoes, well, the creamy-fennel-y potatoes warranted a second helping. If you'd like to notch up mashed potatoes a small notch, with small extra effort, this is your pick.

What do I mean by fennel-y? Lots of people avoid fennel because they think it will taste like licorice. But the cooked form of fennel is entirely different, it's smooth and sweet and wonderful. I could've eaten the whole skillet of sautéed
fennel, hang the potatoes.

This was a weeknight supper so I lightened the potatoes. Still they were plenty rich, not sumptuous but completely delicious. If I'd had fat-free half 'n' half, I'd have used it (and have, in mashed potatoes, with great results) so will include that calorie impact. (Turns out it makes no difference in the Weight Watchers points.)

This is the first time I've used russet potatoes for mashed potatoes but it won't be the las…

Healthy Cabbage Recipe: Cabbage Roses ♥

Simple wedges of cabbage, either red cabbage or green cabbage, steamed and seasoned. Weight Watchers zero points!
My goodness, how delicious something entirely simple can be!

Here's how cabbage roses -- my name, yes, but don't they look like roses?! -- came to be:
Come March 1, I'm itching to be in the garden, whatever the weather. Starting about now, several times a day I survey all the gardens (there are a few, yes!) to see what's popping through the ground. This time of year, what you see at day's dawn can have changed by day's end. My sister mentioned that she's been steaming cabbage recently.
I spike them with nothing more than a spice mix, this one from FamilyStyle Food actually, but you could use a bit of butter, a bit of salt, or, for real spareness, just the cabbage.

CABBAGE ROSESHands-on time: 2 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves as many as you like
Steaming water
Wedges of cabbage, sliced off a whole cabbage, red or green

Set water to boil with ste…