Saturday, November 30, 2002

moroccan chicken stew

flour and brown chicken thighs in a pan. add chopped onion and garlic. add eventually also sliced carrots, diced potatoes, about 2 cups of water, a small can of tomato paste, 2 handfuls of raisins, a good squeeze of honey, and spices including salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, saffron, cayenne, and cinnamon. simmer till everything is cooked and the meat is falling off the bone. eat over couscous.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002

sandow birk

red pumpkin curry
maggot salad
band-aid trout

Saturday, October 19, 2002

spaghetti squash and green bean thing:
pierce spaghetti squash and wrap in plastic wrap and microwave 9 mins each side, let sit 5 mins in microwave.

toast 1 tbsp szechuan peppercorns in a pan. grind.

toast 2 tbsp sesame seeds.

mix together 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter, the szechuan peppercorns, a bit of black pepper, the sesame seeds, salt, about 1 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp ginger powder, and a splash of water.

blanch green beans.

mix the sauce, green beans, and spaghetti squash meat together and eat. good cold too!

Sunday, October 13, 2002

oh yeah, also made lasagna last night:
sauce of canned tomatoes and tomato paste, frozen spinach and broccoli, dried basil, dried oregano, dried thyme, garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and water. layered with won ton skins and sharp white cheddar cheese slices (from trader joe's) in a pan and baked at 350 for maybe 30-45 minutes (the timer broke). uncovered and broiled briefly to brown the cheddar and parmesan on top.

delicious dark truffles at trader joe's today (#1 ingredient partially hydrogenated vegetable oil). became more and more swayed to the idea that milk chocolate is a pale mockery of what real chocolate should be.

cooked some old radishes and they didn't taste very good (kind of a mishmash)--mixed up butter and oil, fried garlic and radishes in it, stirred in some white miso and soy sauce, added salt and pepper.

cooked focaccia using the bread machine, but spread it too thin and it ended up cracker-like:

1 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp yeast

put in machine on dough setting, then let rise 30-40 mins in a warm oven (turn oven to "warm" for 2 mins and then off). spread out in an oiled pan, preheat oven to 400, sprinkle a mixture of minced garlic and olive oil over the top, then sprinkle parsley and parmesan cheese over the top, and bake 30-40 mins.

i stuck a pierced medium-small butternut squash (at least a year old, from grandma) in the oven as well while that was baking, and let it go another 20 minutes or so after i took out the bread.

then made a yummy barley "risotto":
toasted about 1/2 cup total slivered almonds and pine nuts in a dry pan. added the radishes, then some ginger and garlic powder. added about 1 cup moist pearl barley and toasted. added hot vegetable bouillon, stirring and topping off with liquid whenever necessary. put the flesh of the squash into the pan as well and cooked for a while until all soft. added dried cranberries and cherries, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, rosemary. turned off heat, stirred in a pat or two of sweet butter and some parmesan cheese. delicious!

Thursday, September 26, 2002

semisweet chocolate with dried orange peel
potato salad:

boil yukon gold creamer potatoes. hard-boil eggs.

make vinaigrette from lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, capers, preferably cut-up bread and butter pickles.

pour vinaigrette on warm potatoes.

fig and cheese won ton tarts:

spray muffin tin with baking spray. press wonton skins into it. preheat oven to 375 degrees.

cut stems off figs and halve them. saute in butter with cinnamon and a little salt and pepper until warm and cooked and oozy.

i think it would be best also to add sugar and lemon, but i haven't tried this.

crumble a little blue cheese (i think i bought maytag) into the bottom of each little cup, then cover in figs.

bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the won ton skins are crispy.
spinach thing:

cook rice in rice cooker.

take frozen spinach, boil and drain.
cut up garlic and saute in pan with olive oil and some ginger powder and crystallized ginger.
add spinach, a little water, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper, nutmeg, dried red pepper, bragg's liquid aminos.
add dried cranberries and cook till plumped.
add toasted hempseed.

fry an egg sunny side up or over easy. break yolk into rice and stir up with rice and spinach mixture.


Monday, September 09, 2002

no figs or calf's liver, but this last week i tried this, after intense overtime i went to the safeway near jason's house at pleasant hill and after waiting in line forever at 11:45 pm behind a lady trying to buy her food with $62 in food stamps and $10 in cash, then went home and started cooking:
chop shallots, saute in olive oil, add chicken livers, sliced portobello mushrooms, and various and sundry herbs and seasonings (salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sherry, soy sauce, maybe some others?) and finally blackberries mashed through a sieve with a spoon.

it was ok, nothing exceptional.

a few days later (yesterday, sunday) the leftovers turned into a black sludge like crude oil, but chunkier. more like dinosaurs and swamp vegetation not quite rotted all the way yet. or like a peat bog. i chopped the leftovers and threw them in a pan with some chopped garlic, dried basil, and canned tomatoes, then poured the sauce over fresh garlic herb fettucine from safeway. delicious, and closer to brown than to black in the end!

other food this week:
many apple pears, red bartlett pears, white nectarines;
dannon light yogurt;
spinach pizza at jupiter's and a hefeweizen with lemon;
strawberries and nectarines with whipped cream at casey's;

Thursday, September 05, 2002

i want to make calf's liver and portobello mushrooms in a sauce of shallots cooked with sherry, pepper, and pureed fresh figs.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

add also potato masher
bread knife

so we ate tonight (8/2) for an anniversary-type thing at zazoo's (where nicholas alioto used to work) and it was very atmospheric, right on the water, near jack london square. there were only 2 other groups max in the restaurant the whole time we were there. first we sat outside on the deck and looked at the lights rippling in the water and the huge buttressed horse-shapes of the cranes on the docks. canadian geese kept flying by honking in long straight lines. the occasional boat sailing past and the utter serenity and closeness of the water below us made me think nostalgically of venice and its wonderful peaceful lack of traffic noise. we were a bit cold, though, and went inside. the inside was somewhat less charming, though warmer--the view diluted by the tinted glass picture windows, the air polluted with the sounds of jeopardy! and 80's pop music. the place specializes in italian-style seafood and afghani food. i was torn between the two--i've never had afghani food! but finally i cracked and ordered the thoroughly unhealthy fried oyster, scallop, and prawn platter.

they brought warm rolls with butter.

rahul's clam chowder ($3.75) was rather lacking in clams. definitely not the best i've ever had, though by no means bad. my steamed clams (6.75) were much nicer. they were served in a sauce made of some combination of clam "liquor," lemon juice, and butter, as well as something red, memory betrays me as to whether it was tomato or red bell pepper, and lots of chopped clams that made up for the 10 clams in shells that came in the sauce.

my fried seafood platter ($16.75) came with a pile of basmati rice pilaf, white with a few saffron-yellow grains here and there, 7 fried scallops (breadcrumb), 8 fried prawns, and 4 fried oysters. (i only know the exact numbers because rahul and i were each eating exactly half our meals and then trading.) the oysters were the standout. i had forgotten how good and like the sea fresh oysters can taste, almost floral in their complexity. there was also a pile of steamed vegetables, thankfully not overcooked. the peculiar thing was the carrots the bright, unnatural yellow of highlighters. rahul thought them squash before tasting them because of their color and shape similar to yellow summer squash (i have to assume). and oddly enough, also a slice of raw tomato and a single ring of raw red onion. not a whole slice, mind you, but only one ring out of that slice.

rahul got the grilled salmon ($13-ish, I think) which i tried only a tiny bite of, but found strange. the strange thing: it was topped with a mixture of melted orange and white cheeses (cheddar and jack? mozzarella?) with flakes of parsley and something dark red which i have not yet identified. the salmon was also rather dry. dry or moist, however, i think serving it with melted cheese like a glorified tuna melt gives a nice salmon steak a somewhat bizarre and declasse quality. salmon parmigiana? cacciatore?

we were full then and went home. i forgot how i missed the water of venice, its closeness and quiet.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

kitchen things i want:
a real whisk
a nice sharp chef's knife
a real peppermill
chocolate pots de creme:
melt 5 oz semisweet chocolate chips in 2 cups heavy cream plus 1/2 cup milk. mix 1/3 c splenda with 6 egg yolks, then whisk into the cream mixture (off the heat). i poured it into a muffin tin in a baking pan full of hot water and baked at 325 for about 1 hr. best when chilled after that--they fall and become dense and luscious. but i took one to work scooped out and put in a plastic bag, and now it looks like a bag of dog poop. mmm.
lavender chicken:
1 tbsp dried lavender blossoms
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

pound to a fragrant paste w/mortar and pestle. add 1/2 cup olive oil and smear onto 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. marinate at least 1 hr.

heat the george foreman grill and grill the chicken about 10 mins.

slice onto a salad of arugula dressed with 1/2 c. evoo, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp dijon mustard, 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon, and 1 tbsp honey.

arugula salad: not so good. chicken was "scrumptious."

8/27 dinner:
pasta aurora:
1 shallot, 3 cloves garlic coarsely chopped, sauteed with 1 diced red bell pepper in olive oil. i hate to admit my naivete, but the shallot was very strange inside the brown papery skin--soft and translucent lavender. chopped about 5 heirloom tomatoes (on the mushy side) from the farmer's market--green and yellow-striped zebras, a butter-yellow tomato with all its seeds in a small frog-spawn-like ball easily scooped out with my fingers, a flat, red, deeply ribbed costoluto, and a tomato the insane plastic yellow of a bell pepper. dropped them in the pan and reduced them at high heat until they turned into a thick red syrup. added fresh torn basil, dried oregano, salt, pepper, dried red chili pepper flakes, sugar, a splash of sherry, and finally some heavy whipping cream. added 1 can sliced black olives and 1 can mushroom stems and pieces. reduced the heat, reduced the sauce some more, and tossed with linguine.

it was good.