Wednesday, February 28, 2024

taiwanese meefun


I loved all the veggies in this dish.  It was especially good with kimchi...but I'm starting to enjoy kimchi with just about anything with these sorts of ingredients.

taiwanese meefun (New York Times Page-A-Day Calendar)
5 ounces dried rice vermicelli
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
5 tablespoons olive oil (I scaled WAY back)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 large shallots, thinly sliced (I used green onion)
kosher salt
1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/4 small green cabbage, shredded (about 2 1/2 cups)
8 ounces baked tofu, cut into think matchsticks (about 2 cups) (I made baked tofu cubes)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground white pepper (I used 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro roughly chopped
chile oil, for serving

In a medium bowl, cover rice vermicelli in cold water and soak until softened, 5 to 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Soak dried mushrooms in warm water until hydrated and softened, about 10 minutes, then drain and slice 1/4-inch thick.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat.  Add beaten eggs, swirl to create an even layer and cook until eggs are set and cooked through, about 1 minute.  Transfer the cooked eggs onto a cutting board.  Let cool slightly, then cut into matchsticks.  Set aside.
Return the skillet to the stove and raise heat to medium high.  Add a little oil, the shallots and shiitake mushrooms.  Season with salt.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the edges of shallots begin to brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add carrot, season with salt and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but still crisp.  Add cabbage and cook stirring frequently, until slightly wilted.
Add tofu, soy sauce, drained noodles and 1 cup water, and cook stirring frequently until the noodles absorb the water, 5 to 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in reserved eggs to combine.  Serve topped with cilantro and chile oil.

crispy baked tofu


I found this recipe because I needed to make baked tofu to go into a different recipe I was making (Taiwanese Meefun).  This recipe was great!  I love that I now how how to make it so I can throw it into stir fries and other dishes and the tofu won't crumble to bits.

crispy baked tofu (cookie & kate)
1 block (12-15 ounces) organic extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the tofu from sticking.
To prepare the tofu, drain the tofu and use your palms to gently squeeze out some of the water.  Slice the tofu into thirds lengthwise so you have 3 even slabs.  Stack the slabs on top of each other and slice through them lengthwise to make 3 even columns, then slice across to make 5 even rows. 
Line a cutting board with paper towels then arrange the tofu in an even layer on the towels.  Fold the towel over the cubed tofu then press gently to help the tofu drain.  Let the tofu rest for at least 10 minutes up to 30 minutes.
Transfer the pressed tofu to a medium mixing bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and soy sauce.  Toss to combine.  Sprinkle the starch over the tofu and toss the tofu until the starch is evenly coated, so there are no powdery spots remaining.
Tip the bowl of tofu over onto your prepared baking sheet and arrange the tofu in an even layer.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing tofu halfway, until the tofu is deeply golden on the edges.  Use as desired.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

slow-cooker cauliflower, potato and white bean soup


This soup is creamy and delicious.  My kids couldn't easily guess what was in the soup.  Carrots was one of the guesses.  Garbanzo beans was another guess.  Good guesses but incorrect.

slow-cooker cauliflower, potato and white bean soup (New York Times Page-A-Day Calendar)
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 to 2-inch chunks
1 pound cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets and stems
2 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained
1/2 yellow onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (I used 1 tablespoon)
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
course kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
8 ounces sour cream (1 cup at room temperature) dang- I forgot this part
1/2 cup chopped chives
shredded cheddar cheese for serving

In a slow cooker, combine the potatoes, cauliflower, beans, onion, garlic, vegetable stock, butter, thyme, garlic powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt.  Cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 8 hours on low.
Remove and discard the thyme sprig, and turn off the slow cooker.  Add the lemon juice.  To make a completely smooth and creamy soup, puree the ingredients.  Stir in the sour cream and chives.  Taste and add additional salt if necessary.  Serve in bowls topped with black pepper and shredded cheddar.

Friday, February 23, 2024

roasted vegetables for vegetable sandwiches


Hall of fame.  These roasted veggies are perfect for a roasted veggie sandwich.  Toast some ciabatta bread, smear with basil or tomato pesto, pile on the veggies and top with some cheese.  You can even melt the cheese.

roasted vegetables for vegetable sandwiches (adapted from Eating Well)
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven 450.  Toss vegetables with oil, garlic, salt and pepper .  Put on a prepared baking sheet.  Roast the vegetables until tender and starting to brown, 30 to 35 minutes.  Let cool.

silky zucchini soup


Hall of Fame.  This soup really is silky and delicious.  What made this mild, delicious soup even better was some fresh dill that I am growing in my very own kitchen. 

silky zucchini soup (food & wine)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1 tablespoon)
1 small onion, finely chopped (I used 3 tablespoons dried onion)
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced (I used minced garlic)
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used 5 medium zucchini)
2/3 cup vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups water (I used 2 cups)

In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the olive oil.  Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the stock and 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to a simmer; cook until the zucchini is very soft, about 10 minutes.
Working in two batches, puree the soup in a blender until it's silky-smooth.
Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt and pepper.  Serve it either hot, garnished with fresh dill.

Monday, February 5, 2024

carmelized brussels sprouts pasta with toasted chickpeas


My girls loved this pasta and thought it was so boujee.  I have to say it made me want to eat a big plate of carmelized brussels sprouts!  This dish had a fun combination- chickpeas, brussels sprouts, capers, lemon juice, parmesan and chives.  That's a lot of flavor.

carmelized brussels sprouts pasta with toasted chickpeas (NYTimes cooking calendar)
kosher salt and black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I cut way back)
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I halved it)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed and very thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
8 ounces dried tagiatelle pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven or large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium.  Add chickpeas, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden and well toasted, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the chickpeas to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add the butter, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the oil to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly carmelized, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions in the boiling water until al dente.  Drain, reserving 2 cups of the pasta water.
Add the pasta, 1 cup reserved pasta water, about 3/4 of the toasted chickpeas and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the Dutch oven.  Stir in the Parmesan, capers, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and half the chives until well incorporated and saucy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add more pasta water if a thinner sauce is desired.
Divide pasta among bowls.  Top with remaining toasted chickpeas and chives.  Garnish with more black pepper and parmesan.

roasted tomato tart with ricotta and pesto


This recipe was an instant Hall of Fame recipe and it opened by eyes to many ideas of how to utilize puff pastry.  I already have plans to serve this at my daughter's Galentine's party this weekend.

roasted tomato tart with ricotta and pesto (New York Times cooking calendar)
4 small, multicolored tomatoes sliced 1/4-inch thick (I used many more)
kosher salt and black pepper
1 sheet packaged puff pastry, thawed (about 7 ounces)
3 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream (I used 1/4 cup or more ricotta cheese)
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
red pepper flakes
3/4 cup ricotta
store bought pesto for drizzling
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
fresh basil leaves, for garnish

Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.  Set the sliced tomatoes on top in a single layer.  In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.  Use it to season the tomatoes evenly on both sides, cover with another paper towel and let sit, 15 minutes, allowing the salt to draw moisture out of the tomatoes.
As the tomatoes sit, heat the oven to 400 degrees and set a rack in the middle of the oven.  Working on a large sheet of parchment paper, roll out the puff pastry into a 9 by 11 inch rectangle, trimming any uneven edges.  Prick the inside with a fork every few inches, leaving a 1/2 inch border.  Using a pastry brush, coat the center of the puff with ricotta, leaving the border unbrushed.
Working within the border, layer the tomatoes and red onion on top of the tart, allowing them to overlap slightly.  Transfer to a sheet pan and bake, rotating halfway through, until puff pastry is browned and puffed, 30 to 35 minutes.
Sprinkle tomatoes with red pepper flakes.  Dollop with fresh ricotta.  Thin pesto with olive oil until it reaches the proper consistency for drizzling; drizzle on top of tart to taste.  Top with basil and serve warm or at room temperature.