Sunday, March 30, 2014

Menu: Week of March 16

Su: King Ranch Casserole
M: Tomatoes & Cinnamon Chickpeas (Urban Pantry); steamed barley
T: Pasta with Parsnips
W: out
R: pasta with red sauce
F: [K & Z for dinner] Braised Pork Shoulder; Corn Bread; Chocolate Pudding

Braised Chicken & Shallots

When we were shopping for this recipe, we briefly had a conversation about exactly how many shallots we should get (the recipe has a range, and though it calls for "medium shallots," the ones our co-op had were quite large). There was a woman next to us apparently filling her shopping cart with shallots. She overheard us talking and leaned in to ask whether we were making "the New York Times recipe." "The one with the cherry tomatoes," I said, nodding. She was delighted and told us to get more rather than fewer shallots. One of her friends had recommended the recipe to her and specifically said that the shallots were fabulous. Her friend's advice was solid - the shallots really are excellent here - and I hope that her dinner was as wonderful as ours.

Although the recipe calls for using the shallots whole, because ours were so large I halved them length-wise before cooking. (For the wine, I used Monkey Bay's Sauvignon Blanc - a gift from our lovely neighbors). We had the chicken and sauce over baked potatoes.

Rishia Zimmern's Chicken with Shallots

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Easy Chocolate Pudding

This dessert feels so simple and wholesome, it barely qualifies as as dessert. The menu suggestion on the original recipe says that "no matter how many fancy desserts are in your repertoire, this is most likely the one the kids will remember when they are grown and gone." No kids here, but I would guess that this would be an easy dessert to make frequently enough for it to be a household staple.

Easy Chocolate Pudding
(just barely adapted from Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites)

  • 3 Tbs cornstarch
  • 3 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 C milk (I usually use skim)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a saucepan, whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir in the milk. Over medium heat, stir frequently until the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened (~4 minutes). Stir in the vanilla. I prefer to heat this pudding warm, but it's also good cold if that's your thing.

A tiny bit of cinnamon or espresso powder, added with the other dry ingredients, are a nice addition. A little almond extract can also be added when you add the vanilla.
makes 4 small servings

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Menu: Week of Mar 9

Su: Sweet Potato & Beef Hash (no recipe; used leftovers from BBQ Brisket)
M: Chickpea & Spinach Curry
T: pasta & red sauce
W: leftover lentil soup
R: out
F: improvised chicken soup

Sunday, March 16, 2014

my first lentil soup

I've been making this soup since I was in college. It's easy, cheap, and filling, thus hitting all my requirements from that period. I still really like it, for those reasons but also because it's healthy and freezes well (and of course, I wouldn't have made it many times if I didn't think it was tasty, too).

Lentil Soup
(adapted from Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen)

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
Saute onion, celery, carrots and garlic in some olive oil in a large pot until soft (5-8 minutes).  Add lentils, tomatoes, broth and other spices.  Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for at least 25 minutes, until lentils are soft.

As written, this recipe is vegan, but I often add a parmesan rind with the broth (remove when the lentils have finished cooking).

serves 4

Sunday, March 2, 2014