Friday, August 26, 2011

a word to the wise

Happy Friday from Flour! I stopped on my lunch break and picked up my faaavorite flourless triple chocolate mousse cake. It's to die for.

What a sweet way to start off my weekend. Now, if only I could be enjoying this hurricane in St. Augustine, FL with all of my college pals... Hurricane parties are probably near the top of my list of favorite things ever. You should probably go out tonight and get all your supplies, then hunker down and throw a nice little hurricane party. Don't forget to get plenty of water, beer and a deck of cards. Seriously though, be careful everyone. And remember, swimming in the ocean during a hurricane/tropical storm/tropical depression is a BAD idea. In fact, Jim Cantore and I agree that you should probably stay indoors, period.


What is your favorite natural disaster activity?

Monday, August 22, 2011

"N" is for...

Nectarine Salsa!

Our blogging sister Nicole specifically requested that I make something beginning with the letter 'N' on Saturday, hours after I was at Star Market, tasting a sample in the produce department and thinking, "MMmm! I should make this!" Then I came home and saw Nicole's special request. I had purchased a beautiful piece of cod, which incidentally, goes perfect with a fruity-spicy salsa. Coincidence?
So tonight, I mixed it right up, threw my fish on the grill pan, Sanne made some Fried Green Tomatoes, and we watched some trash TV and drank a little vino. Perfect-o!

I'll give you the recipe as it was given to me, but I'm telling you now, I had to tweak it. Not measuring is the way to go with this one. The recipe calls for:

1 1/2c chopped nectarine
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2c finely chopped red onion
2t chopped mint
1T evoo
1T fresh lime juice

I followed the recipe, and it wasn't nearly enough. The card said that this was 6 servings, but it was probably more like 4. I doubled-ish it. I put a little on top of the grilled fish, and we ate the rest with tortilla chips. It was delicious.

*side note* I tasted one teeny piece of diced nectarine and my throat started to close up. Do any of you have a birch pollen allergy? If yes, aren't our tongues dumb?! My throat swelled up after one tiny taste, and I was p.o.ed. Luckily, a little lime juice and olive oil was enough to fake it out. Stupid tongue.

I decided to ribbon chop the mint, which means you stack the leaves in a nice little pile, roll them and chop.

For fried green tomatoes, simply slice your tomatoes...

Dip them in egg, then flour + cornmeal mixture and fry in oil.

Don't forget to salt them when they're done.

Good stuff. This is a great summer side dish! Thanks, Nicole, for suggesting it!
Fruity-salsas are fun to make. Do you have any favorites?? C'mon, I have some leftover mint that I need to use!

Oh! After I mentioned pickling yesterday, a blog that I follow, budget bytes posted a recipe for pickled carrots! Thoughts?


Sunday, August 21, 2011

stir fry and Woody Allen

Not much to report this weekend. I made a simple stir fry for dinner with broccoli, carrots, sweet green peas, and mushrooms. Now I'm watching Scoop and eating chocolate ice cream. That's pretty much it.

I have big plans for this week, however. Stay tuned for the much anticipated chicken pot pie, a grilled veggie pizza and maybe, just maybe, something beginning with the letter 'N' for a certain blogger friend by the same letter.

p.s. I've been doing a little research on pickling; I really want to start experimenting with green beans! Here's what I found; what do you think? Have you ever pickled?

Have a good Monday.

Friday, August 19, 2011

part one: the party

I have good news and bad news. The good news: Two of our favorite new friends have graduated from their business program! But the bad news is... they are moving. Both events are reason to celebrate (not celebrate them leaving, of course. You know what I mean...), so we threw them (and they threw themselves) a little party on Saturday night.

I really wanted Sujoy to cook for us, because he is a fabulous cook, if you remember. And, I wanted him to teach me a few dishes that I could replicate on my own. So I asked him to bring me something easy-ish to cook.

Eggplant.  This dish is called Baingan ka bharta: bachelor style (because he says it looks nothing like the original recipe). The first thing we needed to do was heat it up so that we can gut it, and throw out the skin. 15 minutes in the microwave did the trick. 

score it first

 Eggplant meats. Let it cool for a few minutes, then scoop out all the guts and set aside.

Next, thaw and drain some peas, chop a red onion and a jalapeño or two, and heat some oil in a pan.

Add mustard seeds and fennel seeds to the oil, then jalapeno and onion. Sautee and stir.

Then, add the equivalent of about 4 plum tomatoes, chopped. Heat through and add the eggplant and peas.

Finally, its time to add some spice. I'm not going to tell you how much to put in, because this was more or less improvised, and it all depends on your own taste. Some of the spices used were coriander powder, chili powder and chicken curry powder, and garam masala. Experiment with different Indian spices and taste as you go. If it starts getting a little too spicy, greek yogurt will mellow things out. Don't forget to top it with fresh cilantro before you serve!

we'll cook for you!

While Susie talked me through the eggplant (and did most of it himself), he also made his chicken curry.

He also brought over these already mixed cutlets. I've had two different versions of these so far this year, and they were both great. So I was eager to taste Sujoy's interpretation. His was a mixture of mashed potates, boiled and mashed green peas, cut onions, finely chopped cilantro and green chilies. We covered small patties in breadcrumbs, and fried them in hot oil.

Delicious and easy. My favorites.

 This is Tharun.
Pleased to meet you, Tharun

a toast, to business!

pay no attention to the paper plate...

kiss the cook


 M2K2, Koti, Aditya, Susie blew out their candle and cut their cake, collectively.
Congrats, grads!

As the house began to quiet down, and the food ran out, M2K2 (I can say his full name, I just can't spell it...) showed us a bit from a Bollywood movie on his iphone. It was set in Spain. Naturally.

Happy trails, Ady and Susie. We'll miss you!
Now that I've "mastered" Indian cooking, what would you like to see FeDish try next?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

part two: the following morning...

We did have a party Saturday night. It was tons of fun, with music and Indian food and lots of laughing and it was very fun and Indian. Before I tell you about that, I'm going to give you part two: breakfast. We almost always cook a big breakfast after we throw a big party. It's been awhile since we've done this, so it was nice to have a full table of friends to feed.

Sujoy, who will now and forevermore be known as Susie, bought some sausage. Actually, he bought hot dogs by mistake, but later went back and bought sausage. Anyway, he sauteed some red onion, green pepper and indian spices with soy sauce, maple syrup, and scrambled egg. An interesting combination, but very tasty. It was a nice, spicy compliment to my pancakes.

Meanwhile, I found a basic pancake recipe to play with. I made two batches and added my leftover sweet potatoes to one batch, and lemon juice & blueberries to the second. My sweet potatoes were salty enough already, so I simply omitted the extra salt from that batch.

aside: While watching him spaz around while cooking Saturday night, I realize that I may have met my match in the kitchen. Susie might be more high-strung and more improvisational when cooking than I am. But he's damn good at it.

I thought I ruined the second batch and was about to throw it out and start over, but Susie encouraged me to improvise. I am not very confident in my baking abilities, so this worried me a little. But I went with it, and they turned out great. Thanks, Susie! We just ended up with twice as many pancakes as I thought we needed... but then I remembered I was feeding 7 boys. 

the winner!

The boys wanted more pancakes, so I told them to go make it themselves. Q: How many grown-ass men does it take to pour batter into a pan??

A: 5
Stayed tuned for part 1: the party!
What are your favorite pancake add-ins?


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Red Meat.

Last night, I had every intention of making something nice and lady-like, like a chicken pot pie. But I got to Star Market, the Sirloins were calling to me, and I am not one to ignore magical talking meats. I've never cooked a steak by myself before, nor do I own a grill, so I knew this would be a challenge.

Sanne has a couple of cast-iron skillets, so I decided to use one instead of that cheap Ikea grill pan (no offense, Ikea). I couldn't risk ruining this beautiful steak.

I found a recipe in my Pioneer Woman cookbook that told me for a medium-rare steak, all I had to do was cook it over medium-high heat for about 4-5 minutes each side. I marinaded it in some soy sauce, garlic, s+p for a bit, tossed a few tablespoons of butter in my pan and went to town.

I also baked some asparagus and sweet potatoes in s+p and olive oil.

Oh yeah, and I caramelized some onions. <3

hello gorgeous

I'd say I did a pretty swell job of it, wouldn't you? 

Today I had a quick breakfast, then went with Rajiv to Target to stock up on some supplies for our Indian Party tonight. That's right, 9 Indians + me in our teeny apartment. Sujoy is going to bring something special for me to cook. Who's excited?!

eat that protein, it's gonna be a long night...

What grade would you give my steak?