Cauliflower & Cheddar Soup05.04.10

052 I have found them.  I found the lost photographic evidence of our foray into cooking like Pioneer Woman!  On a cold, dreary night in February, back when I was still on my soup bender, I realized I had all the ingredients on hand to attempt Pioneer Woman’s Cauliflower Soup.

None of the kids were excited, and thinking back on the soups I’ve put in front of them over the last couple of months, I get it.  I really do.  But Ree is An Expert.  So I figured this had a shot at pleasing them, even if I’ve failed over and over previously.

Right away, I knew I was going to be making a few modifications to the recipe, based on my hope that the addition of cheddar cheese would make this soup more Boy-friendly.  And we typically replace sour cream with plain Greek yogurt – and my kids haven’t been big fans of tangy recently, so I figured I’d just top my bowl with it and let everyone else get a pass.

Here’s the cast of characters:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Local Eats, Main Course, Savory, Soup, Spring, Uncategorized, Vegetable, Winterwith 1 Comment →

Cuban ground beef with fried plantains01.22.10

035“I’m sorry, you’re doing what with those bananas?”  That’s what everyone wanted to know when I started heating up the oil to fry the plantains.

“These are not bananas.  They are plantains.”  I didn’t have a plan for them when I purchased them, and as they sat on my counter, slow turning from green to yellow, yellow to black and yellow, I figured I’d better get off the stick and come up with a plan.

Of course, since I’ve never cooked with plantains before, I wasn’t sure where to start.  I thought about making muffins or something, but remembered that they are often used in savory dishes.  So I went internet diving to see what I could find.  Good ole Emeril had a recipe for a Pinon, a Cuban-style Beef and Plantain Pie. That sounded pretty darn good to me, but I thought the kids wouldn’t eat it if it was all baked together like that.  And then I found this recipe for Arroz ala Cubana that also sounded amazing.   I decided to riff off of both recipes and make Emeril’s beef mixture, but serve it over rice, and serve the plantains on the side.  Here’s what I started with (cribbed from Emeril’s recipe, sorta):

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Posted in Exotic, Main Course, Savory, Uncategorized, Winterwith 4 Comments →

Chicken soup with invisible spaghetti01.18.10

016“You’re a sucker for punishment.”  That’s what my husband said when I announced that it was Chicken Soup Returns:  The Reckoning night.  And I’ll admit, that last go round was tragically off the mark, but this time, I was sticking to classic chicken soup flavors.  And I had little helpers!  It was going to be great!

That’s when the hubs noticed the package of mung-bean noodles on the counter.  His face lit up.  “Invisible Spaghetti!”  I guess growing up, his Korean mom would substitute these clear noodles for wheat-based noodles quite a bit.  With that kind of kid-friendly code name, I figured they’d be a hit in my soup, too.

Here’s what we started with:

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Posted in Comfort Foods, Savory, Soup, Uncategorized, Winterwith No Comments →

Southwestern chicken soup with jicama01.17.10

029We picked up a softball sized jicama at the store this last week, and my initial plan was to make some sort of chopped salad. The Boy, however, was running low on patience for all the weird combos we’ve been churning out, so I though, hey, let’s make a simple chicken soup.  See, a long time ago I made a chicken soup that featured fire roasted red bell peppers pureed and added to a rich chicken broth, flavored with garlic, cilantro and lime juice, with grilled chicken and cubed jicama added in the final minutes.

I figured I could just make something like that, except I couldn’t recall where I had the recipe.  (I’ve since found it, and it’s a winner – I’ll be making the real recipe in coming days.)

What follows is my attempts to wing it.  Duck and cover, people, because this gets really wrong, really fast.

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Posted in Exotic, Main Course, Soup, Uncategorizedwith 3 Comments →

Tomatillo Raw Salsa01.10.10

023On another produce aisle spelunking mission, we came home with a handful of lovely tomatillos.  The Boy gave them a double-take, which totally qualified them as our second What The? Food.

Now, I didn’t really have a plan for these yet, but I had purchased some corn tortilla chips, and figured we could make a nice little fresh salsa with them.  I know that most of the green salsas I’ve had have been cooked, but I really enjoy the flavor of fresh tomatillo, and figured we might as well try to make an uncooked salsa.

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Posted in Dips, Exotic, Fruit, Gluten-Free, Vegetable, Vegetarian, What The? Foodwith No Comments →

Glacé carrots, parsnips and pearl onions01.09.10

070 Well, this is a cheery photo to start off with, right?  Look at my  happy, happy son, eating his vegetables with nary a mite of pushback.  Hah!

First, a little background.  When I was in middle school, I was in the GATE program.  If I remember correctly, that stands for Gifted and Talented Education, but it has been a number of years, and it might have actually meant something else.  I wasn’t sure why I was in the program, and in fact, when I was asked to participate, I told them no.  The school called my mom, and she told me I had to do it.  What exactly I was objecting to, I’ll never know.

In any case, the leader of the GATE kids was a teacher whose name escapes me right this minute (clearly, whatever got me into the program was not memory related) who was either from France, or his parents had been.  Often, our field trips and extra-curricular activities had a tinge of the Gallic to them.  We visited museums, created art en plein air, learned some classic French insults and made up a few of our own, and most memorably for me, we learned to cook.  Not a whole lot, but this teacher (why can’t I remember his name?!?  He clearly made a big impression.  I can see his face in my mind right now…) would pull us out of our regular classes to learn to make cheese souffles and crusty french bread.  In fact, being able to leave math to go punch down my dough, feeling the yield of the glossy mass and smelling the yeast ranks up there as one of those formative memories from that period of my life.  Not a bad moment to remember, considering this was, like, sixth or seventh grade and I was neck deep in tween drama most of the time.

Anyway, one time, we were asked to bring some vegetables from home.  Other kids brought carrots, but I was asked to bring pearl onions.  Not my favorite veggie, to be sure, and I was not so enthusiastic when I found out that we’d be eating the results of our cooking.  I didn’t know we’d be slowly sauteing the veggies in butter until they were tender, and then finishing with a bit of chicken broth so that the veggies were tender, flavorful and amazing.  Those pearl onions made me reconsider my dislike – and I have never looked back.  So when I found these little beauties at Trader Joes a while back, I tossed them in the cart.

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  • You Avatar
  • Gnomeo Test

  • You’ll Eat It, and You’ll Like It, Mister.

    A
    Alfalfa Sprouts | Apples | Apricots | Artichokes | Arugula | Asian Pears | Asparagus

    B
    Bananas | Beans | Bean Sprouts | Beets | Belgian Endive | Bitter Melons | Blackberries | Black-eyed Peas | Blood Oranges | Blueberries | Bok Choy | Boniato | Boysenberries | Breadfruit | Broccoli | Brussels Sprouts | Burro Bananas

    C
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    D
    Daikon

    E
    Eggplant | English Cucumber | Escarole

    F
    Feijoas | Fennel | Figs | Flowering Kale/Salad Savoy

    G
    Green Garlic | Garlic | Ginger Root | Grapefruit | Grapes | Guavas

    H
    Heirloom tomatoes | Herbs | Honeydew | Horned Melon/Kiwano

    J
    Japanese Cucumbers | Jicama

    K
    Kale | Kiwifruit | Kohlrabi | Kumquats

    L
    Leeks | Lemons | Lettuce, Iceberg | Lettuce, Leaf | Lettuce, Romaine | Limes

    M
    Malanga | Mamey Sapotes | Mango | Melons | Mushrooms | Micro-greens

    N
    Nectarines

    O
    Okra | Onions, Dry | Onions, Green | Oranges

    P
    Papaya | Passion Fruit | Peaches | Pearl Onions | Pears | Pepino Melons | Peppers, Bell | Pepper, Chili | Persian Melons | Persimmons | Pineapple | Plantains | Plums | Pomegranate | Potatoes | Prickly/Cactus Pears | Pumpkins | Pummelos

    R
    Radicchio | Radishes | Rapini/Broccoli Raab | Raspberries | Red Bananas | Rhubarb

    S
    Salsify | Sapotes | Shallots | Snap peas | Snow Peas | Spinach | Squash | Strawberries | Summer Squash | Sunchokes | Sun-Dried Tomatoes | Sweet Potatoes | Swiss Chard

    T
    Tamarillos | Tamarindos | Taro Root | Tomatillos | Tomatoes | Turnips

    W
    Watercress | Watermelon | Winter Squash

    Z
    Zucchini