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Pickled Beets

16 May
Beets, in a pickle.

Beets, in a pickle.

Pickled beets for breakfast.  Why yes, I am a Russian.

Pickled beets for breakfast. Why yes, I am a Russian.

After I made pickled beets, I realized how versatile they are.  How did I ever live without them??

Breakfast: Pickled beets on cream cheese on Russian toast with green onions.

Lunch: Pickled beets in just about any sandwich.  Roast beef, falafel, or some garlicky hummus.

Dinner: Pickled beets with roasted chicken and couscous.

Drinks: Pickled beets are the world’s most perfect chaser for vodka.  And I’m thinking there’s probably a bloody martini in my future, with pickled beet juice and vodka.  There should be a better name for it, though….Blood Transfusion?

Pickled Beets:

1lb red beets

1/2 of a large red onion

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

3 teaspoons salt

4 bay leaves

1 tsp oregano or tarragon….or whatever dried or fresh herbs you have on hand.

If your beets are huge, cut them down to approximately golf-ball sized chunks.  Leave the skin on.  Boil them for about 30 minutes, until fork tender.  Drain, wait until they’re cool enough to handle, and rub off the skins.

While you’re waiting for the beets to cook, heat up the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, and other herbs in a pan until the salt and sugar are dissolved.  Let it cool a bit.

When your beets are done, slice them into thin, translucent pieces.  Thinly slice your red onion.  Layer the beets and the red onion in a jar or container with a lid.  Fill the rest of the jar with that liquid you just made that makes your kitchen smell like vinegar.  Take a knife and poke it down the sides of the jar to poke out any air bubbles.

Sooooo that’s it.  Put on the lid, throw the container in the fridge for a few days.  I didn’t want mine to be super-salty/sour so I just pickled them for about 2 days.  Breakfast was RAD!

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maintenance cooking

2 May

I roasted beets.

Before...

Before...


After!  SHAZAM!!!

After! SHAZAM!!!

So I tried that salad…

2 May

An anonymous someone anonymously posted a vague tip about making a salad with shredded raw beets, cabbage, and walnuts. And I think carrots. After all the shredding, things were a little heavy.

Shredded everything.

Shredded everything.

To lighten it up, I tossed everything with some lettuce, green onions, walnuts, and my fave ginger dressing. Was pretty good!

Saved by that awesome ginger dressing.

Saved by that awesome ginger dressing.

Chicken Matzo Ball Soup – PROPA!!

2 May

Actually, I lied.  This is the version of the soup I make when I’m a self-piteous ball of frowns.  It’s a low-labor-intensity meal.  Just throw a buncha stuff in a pot, cover with stock, and boil until it’s soup.

A pile of Delicious.  In Broth.

A pile of Delicious. In Broth.

I started with my trusty Boston Organics veggies: carrots, a yellow onion, and some potatoes.

Why is this picture so dark?  Oh yes, it was because of my personal storm cloud.

Why is this picture so dark? Oh yes, it was because of my personal storm cloud.

Regular soup base: carrots, an onion, celery, herbes de Provence, salt&pepper.

Wooden spoon not added for flavor.

Wooden spoon not added for flavor.

My mama always adds a LOT of dill.

What's the dill-io.

What's the dill-io.

Then I just threw the rest of the ingredients into the pot, covered with stock, and simmered for 1.5 hours.  You don’t have to cook it that long.  It’s pretty much done after about 30 min.  But I like for the meat to fall apart and for the potatoes to make it nice and starchy.

A soup is born.

A soup is born.

Aaaaand meanwhile, in the other pot, I just made some matzo balls according to the recipe on the box.  Nothing spesh.

Did y'all notice I only own three pots? Bet you didn't know you can make matzo balls in a sautee pan!  Thanks, Necessity!

Did y'all notice I only own three pots? Bet you didn't know you can make matzo balls in a sautee pan! Thanks, Necessity!

Soooo that’s it.  Recipe:

Chicken Soup

3 big carrots

3 big celery stalks

1 yellow onion

3 bay leaves

1/2 tsp herbes de provence

2 tbsp olive oil

big handful of dill

1/2 lb of potatoes, peeled, chopped

1 lb chicken breast (that’s about 3 chicken breast halves)

3 cups of stock, chicken or veg
Chop all the veggies into bite-size chunks.  Cook them down a bit in some olive oil with the herbs.  Add potatoes and chicken and dill.  Cover with stock.  Put the lid on and come back when it’s soup.

For matzo balls, I forget the proportions.  But what you need to have on hand is:

Matzo meal

vegetable oil

two eggs

water

seasoning if your mazto ball mix doesn’t have it already. All I added was salt and pepper. My mama also adds chopped dill.  It turns the matzo balls green.  Tee-hee!

Parsnip Curry Turmeric Soup

14 Apr

Oh, hello daunting Bag-o-Parsnips.  I can barely figure out what to do with one of you, never mind a pile of you.  Another roast?  Another mash? Too boring, too….beige.

Is it possible that the parsnips are making everything around the beiger?  Are they boring-ifying my world??

Is it possible that the parsnips are making everything around the beiger? Are they boring-ifying my world??

Fortunately I discovered a sunny yellow box of turmeric in the back of my cupboard.  And next to it, some damn spicy curry powder.  To the Soup Machine!!  On y va, mes amies!!

Here’s the soup:

1 bag of parsnips.  Probably 6 parsnips, or like a pound or something.  Cut them into 1-inchish pieces.

1 glug of olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped but don’t try too hard cuz we’re gonna blitz them with the immersion blender anyway.

4 teeth of garlick, squashed and diced.

1 bay leaf, or more if they’re dried out and decrepit like mine

2 teaspoons of turmeric

1 tablespoon curry powder

3 cups of veg stock (or whatever stock is on hand)

salt & pepper

Sautee down your onion and garlick a bit, add bay leaf, turmeric and curry until everything’s yellow.  Then add parsnips and stock.  Burble away for like 40 minutes. Add salt & pepper, adjust curry/turmeric as needed, and remove the bay leaf.  Then throw everything in a blender and marvel at how awesome your kitchen smells.

Starting to feel spicy....there should be a parsnip make-over montage here...

Starting to feel spicy....there should be a parsnip make-over montage here...

Bzzzzzz....

Bzzzzzz....

Ta-da!  It's soup!

Ta-da! It's soup!

Okonomiyaki – Cabbage Me to the Moon and Let Me Play Among the Katsu Sauce

14 Apr

Yes, I know that title makes no sense. So remember when we made Okonomiyaki last week? Here are the pictures from that.

Okonomiyaki kit in all its splendor.  Plus the extra ingredients not in the kit.

Okonomiyaki kit in all its splendor. Plus the extra ingredients not in the kit.

Dicing the shrimp.  I didn't take pictures of cleaning the shrimp.  You're welcome.

Dicing the shrimp. I didn't take pictures of cleaning the shrimp. You're welcome.

Okonomiyaki ingredients, pre-entanglement.

Okonomiyaki ingredients, pre-entanglement.

The Vortex Of....OKONOMIYAKI

The Vortex Of....OKONOMIYAKI

Oppressing the masses...with a spatula.

Oppressing the masses...with a spatula.

Egads, that is FREAKING DELICIOUS!!

Egads, that is FREAKING DELICIOUS!!

Apple Ginger Galette

9 Apr

I’m not big on baking.  I’m also not big on taking something healthy, like apples, and encrusting it in white flour and butter.  But sometimes I like to flirt with the dark side, and this apple galette is aaaaall dark side.

Anyway, I just had way too many apples accumulating in my crisper over the weeks.  The recipe is straight from Smitten Kitchen, and her recipe is derivative from Alice Waters, who is my hero. See the recipe here.

Start with awesome local apples.  I used Empire and Mutsu.  I think.

The Apples of Evil...mwahahahaaa

The Apples of Evil...mwahahahaaa

Peel them, core them, slice them into chunks like this:

Presto, change-o.

Presto, change-o.

Make the galette dough, which is just flour, butter, and like 3 tablespoons of water.  Let the dough sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes, then take it out and roll it.

For the filling, it’s just sliced apples, like an inch of grated ginger, sugar and melted butter.

Oh, guess what.  I don't have a rolling pin, so I had to roll the dough using a tomato can.  Hilariousness ensued.

Oh, guess what. I don't have a rolling pin, so I had to roll the dough using a tomato can. Hilariousness ensued.

I like how rustic and un-precious this format is.

I like how rustic and un-precious this format is.

Fold up all the uneven sides.  Brush some melted butter over the top.  Sprinkle the whole thing with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 45ish minutes.  There’s also a glaze you can make using the apple cores and peels, but it didn’t work for me.  Too soupy.  Maybe I got the proportions wrong.

NOM

NOM

Moments later…

I can't believe there were leftovers.  I mean, it was just the two of us.  But really!  We COULD have decimated that thing.

I can't believe there were leftovers. I mean, it was just the two of us. But really! We COULD have decimated that thing.