Figs with Goat Cheese

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And we’re back!

With a summer time salad! Just as summer is winding down. ::sighs::

So, Adam and I are back from his brother’s wedding – congratulations John and Caroline, it was a very lovely ceremony. Let me tell you – Charleston in August (especially the tail end of August) is HOT. Also muggy. Am also glad that I wore all the clothes that could become see through from sweat on days I was mostly indoors. With air conditioning.

I truly understand why air conditioning is used all the time in the south. Life around here would be pretty unbearable in the summer otherwise. Says a fairly died-in-the-wool preferrer of cold over heat (I can put on a sweater; eventually I can’t peel off any more clothes!)

Any rate

An asparagus and radish with mint salad.

Little cooking but decent amount of knife work. The whole thing tastes much, much better with very thin slices of radishes. So really, I’m not about to recommend this one to you unless you own a mandolin. Or are really good with a chef’s knife. … Or want to develop your knife skills.

It is pretty darn good though. And make ahead (by a bit) if you need the time closer to the meal for other things.

Asparagus and Radish Salad

Original from TheKitchn.com
Makes ~6 servings
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 30; Vegetables: 1 recipe left

Verdict: Keeping

  • 1 asparagus bunch, ~1lb
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 bunch radishes, ~1/4-1/2 lb
  • 1 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • Kosher or other flaky salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh or dried mint leaves, to taste (fresh is better, dried will do)
  1. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and cut the remainder into 1 inch pieces. Heat the oil or butter in a skillet over high heat; cook the asparagus until warmed through and tender, but still crisp, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  2. Slice the radishes into thin rounds with a mandolin or very sharp chef’s knife – by preference, the slices will be translucent. Toss the asparagus and radishes together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together the good olive oil and rice vinegar. Pour this over the vegetables and toss; season to taste with salt and black pepper. If using fresh mint leaves, slice them very fine. Toss the mint with the vegetables.

Can be refrigerated for up to 4 hours before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Tasty potatoes

You know, I really need to a) copy out some recipes before I try them for the blog and b) wait on cold weather recipes until the actual fall!

I freely admit that trying out recipes before copying is ultimately cutting down on the number I will copy out, thus less stress on my hand/thumb, as well as cutting down on the paperwork tracking everything and the amount of paper that ends up in the recycling bin (when I don’t like a recipe). I also cop to the fact that we are moving in two weeks (in city move) and thus quite a bit of time has been spent prepping for that. You know how I kept saying I would try to be really picky with the recipes in a section and eliminate lots before they even got to the copying and trying stage? Yeah, picture that going on with our 1000-ish book collection. Except even worse on the elimination aspect. We may get down to 850/900 books to move.

So potatoes and the roasting thereof: wait until fall Laura! There is no need to heat the house with a 450°F in the middle of summer and the air conditioner works well. Even if it was a relatively cool day (highs in the low 80s [I think]). Hot stoves are uncomfortable to stand next to or at. Even if you’re only there for 5 minutes sautéing the chicken and pulling both the potatoes and corn out of the oven.

That said, these were tasty and fun (looking – lots of down time on the roasting). We used red potatoes this time and I’m interested to try out more varieties. Ooooh, maybe I could grab 1/2 a pound of a whole bunch and make them all at once, have a taste test night. 😀 I like this idea.

Personally, we like garlic a lot, so this variation used 3x the amount called for in the originating recipe. Modify to suite your tastes. Please.

Grown-up Tater Tots

1 lb potatoes
Recipes left to try (& copy…): 34; Vegetables: 2 recipes left

  • 1 lb Red potatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil,
  • salt, black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Wash the potatoes and arrange on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn oven up to 450°Fand bake for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be tender enough to be pierced by a fork, but not browned. Allow to rest until cool enough to handle.
  2. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, sturdy glass or plate, smash the potatoes with firm downward pressure. Squish until about3/4 and inch thick.
  3. Transfer potatoes to the baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with olive oil, then sprinkle with the minced garlic. Return to the oven and bake until crispy and golden, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and an herb of your choice, if you so choose.
  4. Serve.

Try not to eat the whole pan in one go. Adam and I failed miserably at that.

Tater Tots

Trying stuff before copying out

So you know how I said in the ‘about me’ section that I can’t/don’t really cook from recipes unless they’ve been handwritten out? Apparently I’ve started to move past that (finally). Because I’ve bee able to try a couple of the recipes from this latest set before they’ve been copied out. Now I’m dropping out of my brain what I’m doing about twice as fast, and hence checking the recipe twice as much. But this is actually an improvement.

Also, why did no one tell me before that roasting broccoli is awesome? It’s the fastest I’ve ever roasted something, time always being the drive not to roast. So simple to do and these came out great. Like Adam trying the first piece and going ‘oh my god make these again, make them lots.’

Definitely copying out and putting in the binder. Don’t even have to add them to the list of things to try 🙂

Curry Roasted Broccoli

originally posted on Table for Seven by Soni’s Food

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1tsp masala mix (substitute your favorite type of curry spice mix here)
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • salt to taste
  • ~2 tbsp olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil, spray with non-stick spray, lay down a sheet of parchment paper or otherwise prepare a baking sheet.
  2. Mix together the spices and salt.
  3. Arrange the broccoli on the baking sheet, then drizzle with the olive oil. Mix the two together (your hands work just fine for this), then sprinkle the spice mixture roughly evenly over the broccoli.
  4. Bake until the broccoli starts to turn golden at the edges, about 13-14 minutes, and serve.

The leftovers:
Curry Roasted Broccoli

In which I finally get back to trying out new (to me) recipes

So that was a thing, my missing Thursday for posting. I’m sorry y’all, there wasn’t any emergency or thing that made me miss, I just ran out of time and brain-space. And didn’t post that to the front page like I should have. Mea culpa.

After that un-planned break, I think I should be getting back to some basics around here and concentrate on posting some new-to-me recipes, trying them out for you. Let’s get started with Sweet Potato Leek Hashbrowns.

Unfortunately, this one wasn’t too interesting. Now, maybe I needed a blacktop or to have squeezed out more water from the russet potato or browned it more in the pan (although I think longer and it would have started burning rather than crisping like I wanted). But whatever it was, this one didn’t really turn into anything. Just kinda warmed separate ingredients – flavor blending – and it’s not like a russet potato and a sweet potato are that different from each other that the contrast is all kinds of interesting.  Also, texture – I would have liked there to be some texture contrasts please. On the other hand, it was a pretty fast recipe. And surprisingly, easily substituted for rice to accompany a stir-fry recipe. What can I say, I decided I needed to make a new recipe, picked this one, decided I needed something fast and in my cooking comfort zone so I wasn’t going crazy coordinating multiple recipes on a week-night, picked a stir-fry, looked at my proposed menu and then shrugged in a ‘whatever’ and continued onwards. ::shrugs:: Potatoes, rice, they’re both starches. It worked out okay. For a random week-night dinner – no worries, I wouldn’t serve a menu like that to anyone other than the very tolerant cook around here.

In conclusion – unless you really like hashbrowns and think you can make this work, don’t bother. Too much work grating potatoes for the end result.

To make up for the sadness of an unhappy recipe, there will be French Bread afterwards.

Sweet Potato Leek Hashbrowns

Recipe Count – 33 left
Section Count – Side dishes: 1 more left
Original from Tara’s Multicultural Table

Serves 4

  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 a leek
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • salt, pepper to taste
  1. Peel both potatoes. Grate the russet potato; place the pieces on a dry kitchen towel and roll it up tightly. Grate the sweet potato. Slice the leek in half and clean between the layers. Thinly slice the white part.
  2. In a large pan over medium-high heat, drizzle the oil. Add the leeks to the heated pan. Cook until beginning to turn golden. Squeeze out any excess water from the russet potato filled towel. Unwrap and add to the leeks, along with the sweet potato and garlic.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring about every 2 minutes, until potatoes are tender, 9-10 minutes. Season to taste and serve immediately.

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And now, as promised, French Bread

French Bread

and before you ask how I got that the shape… I own a french loaf pan. This is what happens when you let me loose in Williams-Sonoma with a gift card and a stocked kitchen at home. I buy weird single use tools for bread.

In which there is a lack of applied heat (Moroccan Raw Carrot Salad)

Recipe Count – 43 left to try
Section Count: Vegetables – 1 left to try

Need an easy, quick, side dish for a large number of people? I can give you two out of three – easy and lots of people. One hour chilling in the refrigerator takes it out of the quick category though 🙂

Also, food processor – definitely need a food processor for this to be an ‘easy’ recipe.

All that said, this came out pretty nice after only 15 minutes in the refrigerator (I was running behind on making dinner…) and having been scaled down to half sized – carrots, parsley, oil, and lemon juice in half, spices at full strength. I suspect it’ll scale up just as easily.

Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this one other than ‘yum’, I’m using it in my next Feastly event (and will let you know how it does chilling in the fridge for a day), and it made some pretty pictures (which were on the camera when those bastards stole it. mergle-ferph).

Without further ado:

Moroccan Raw Carrot Salad

original from Panning The Globe
serves 6

  • 1 lb carrots
  • 1.5 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  1. Shred the carrots in a food processor. Add the chopped parsley.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt, ground cumin, and cayenne pepper together. Keep whisking as you slowly add the olive oil to emulsify the ingredients. Toss the dressing with the carrots and parsley. Chill for a minimum of 15 minutes in the fridge before serving.