19th March 2009

    “Almost Meatless” Albondigas, or, Oatmeal: It’s What’s For Dinner

    oatmealalbondigas

    This recipe was recently featured on Serious Eats; it comes from a cookbook titled Almost Meatless: Recipes That Are Better for Your Health and the Planet. I’m all for the occasional veggie burger, but make no mistake: these plump, juicy orbs of joy are NOT vegetarian. Rather, ground lamb is supplemented with steel-cut oatmeal to add bulk — the aim of Almost Meatless is not to eliminate meat all together, but to just use less of it. I haven’t yet tried any of the other recipes from this book, but unless this a one-off standout, I certainly look forward to it!


    Lisa says:

    What the — how are these “almost meatless”? Aren’t they made with lamb?

    Chris says:

    Yeah, but only 1/2 a pound in the entire recipe… certainly not “mostly meat”.

    Lisa says:

    Ah, okay. I get it.

    Chris says:

    These are so juicy! I would not have realized that they were made with oatmeal…

    Lisa says:

    Me neither — maybe rice or something, but definitely not oatmeal.

    Chris says:

    These would be awesome for a tapas party; just stick some toothpicks in them and you’re done.

    Lisa says:

    Ooooh, I think we should have one soon!

    “Almost Meatless” Albondigas
    1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal
    1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped plus more for garnish
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped
    4 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons ground coriander
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 lb ground lamb
    2 tsp olive oil
    1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
    1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
    1 cup water
    Juice from 1 lime

    Mix together the oatmeal, cilantro, half the garlic, the chipotle, 2 teaspoons of the cumin, 1 teaspoon of the coriander, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Use your hands to incorporate the lamb into the mixture, distributing it evenly. Form balls out of tablespoon-size scoops of the mixture and set aside.
    Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining garlic, cumin, and coriander, cooking for an additional 30 seconds. Add the canned crushed tomatoes and water and stir to combine.
    Bring the sauce to a simmer and add the meatballs. Simmer partially covered for 45 minutes.
    Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste, squeeze the lime juice over top, and serve with extra chopped cilantro.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Almost Meatless, Appetizers, Main Dishes, Mexican, Spanish | 5 Comments

    10th February 2009

    Ultimate Veggie Mini-Burgers

    sproutburgers

    This recipe from Super Natural Cooking: Five Ways To Incorporate Whole and Natural Ingredients into Your Cooking sounded pretty interesting — it’s not your Garden(burger) variety veggie patty. With this recipe, the veggie patty is the bun, so you don’t end up with such a dry burger. You can then fill it with whatever strikes your fancy: we used avocado, sauteed shrooms, tomato, and sprouts.


    Chris says:

    Ha, these are awesome! It’s like an inside-out burger.

    Lisa says:

    I know — not only do they taste delicious, they look pretty fancy. We should make them for our next party.

    Chris says:

    I could totally see that — have a tray filled with these guys already assembled. Yum.

    Lisa says:

    I bet these would be good with guacamole…

    Chris says:

    That holds true with most things, IMHO.

    Lisa says:

    …or crispy shallots.

    Chris says:

    Did you bring that up just because I burned that one batch?

    Lisa says:

    Hmmmm… now why would I do that? Just saying they’d probably be so delicious on these mini-burgers… mmmm, so goood….!

    Chris says:

    O burnt shallots! Why must ye torment me so, cruel devils!?

    Lisa says:

    Whoa. What was that?

    Chris says:

    Not sure.  I just really want those on my burger now.



    Ultimate Veggie Mini-Burgers

    2 1/2 cups canned garbanzos, drained and rinsed (a little less than 2 15-oz cans)
    4 large eggs
    1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt
    1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    1 onion, chopped
    zest of one large lemon
    1 cup alfalfa sprouts, chopped
    1 cup toasted bread crumbs
    1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

    Combine the garbanzos, eggs, and salt in a food processor. Puree until the mixture is the consistency of a thick, slightly chunky hummous. Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the cilantro, onion, zest, and sprouts. Add the breadcrumbs, stir, and let sit for a couple of minutes so the crumbs can absorb some of the moisture. Form into twelve 1 1/2″-thick patties. (Remember, these are mini-burgers, so they’re not very wide). If the batter seems too moist to form into patties, add more bread crumbs a bit at a time to firm it up. Or, if too dry, add a bit of water to moisten the batter.

    Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium low, add 4 patties, cover, and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, until the bottoms begin to brown. Raise the heat if after 10 minutes there is no browning. Flip the patties and cook the second side for 7 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the skillet and cool on a wire rack while you cook the remaining patties. Cut each patty in half — like a bun! — fill with your favorite treats, and eat!

    Makes ~12 mini-burgers

    Update: As suggested by one commenter, I’m submitting these little guys to Equal Opportunity Kitchen’s Tried, Tested and True 3: Wedding Edition .

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    posted in Appetizers, Main Dishes, Super Natural Cooking, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

    15th November 2008

    Fennel and Celery Salad – Dama Bianca

    One thing that can be a challenge if you subscribe to a CSA is, well, not wasting vegetables! Sometimes you get way more of a certain ingredient than you’d normally buy at the store, or you end up with vegetables that you’re not used to cooking with. That actually ends up being a bonus for us, as it’s forced us into finding completely new dishes or to adapt and explore ways to incorporate new ingredients into old favorites. A few days ago I looked in the fridge and realized that we had most of a bunch of celery and a fennel bulb left over from last week’s delivery. Just a couple minutes of searching turned up this extremely simple salad recipe from Gourmet magazine — the only thing I had to pick up was the mozzarella. Great success!

    Lisa says:

    Such a fresh-tasting salad!

    Chris says:

    It was extremely simple and quick to make.

    Lisa says:

    I really like the crunch from the celery and fennel.

    Chris says:

    The light dressing really brings out the flavor of the fennel — I’m a fan.

    Lisa says:

    Now I’m ready for dinner!

    Fennel and Celery Salad – Dama Bianca
    1 medium fennel bulb, stalks discarded
    3 pale inner (white) celery stalks, leaves discarded and stalks thinly sliced
    1/4 lb ball mozzarella, roughly torn
    1/4 tbsp grated lemon zest
    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
    1/8 tsp fine sea salt
    freshly ground pepper

    Cut fennel in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise about 1/4 inch thick. Toss with celery and arrange on a platter with mozzarella. Whisk together zest, juice, oil, sea salt, and pepper and drizzle over salad.

    3-4 starter-size servings

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    posted in Appetizers, Salads and Light Soups | 2 Comments

    26th July 2008

    Pimientos de Padrón

    Hmm, a tapas-style treat of quickly pan-fried peppers, with the odds that 1 in 10 will be incredibly spicy? Sounds like a slam-dunk to me! I saw these guys on YumBlog a few months ago, and thanks to a tip on ChowHound discovered that the Spanish Table sometimes carries Pimientos de Padrón in the summer. A quick walk down there this week confirmed their availability, so I picked some up for a quick Friday-afternoon snack.

    Lisa says:

    Are these spicy?

    Chris says:

    According to the write-up/legend/whatever, I’ve read that anywhere from 1 in 10 to 1 in 30 is hot.

    Lisa says:

    With my luck, I’ll get the hot ones.

    Chris says:

    With my luck, I won’t!

    Lisa says:

    Oooh, these are good!

    Chris says:

    I knew you’d like them… simplicity itself! Peppers, olive oil, salt!

    Lisa says:

    I heart sal… whoa! Can I get some water?

    Chris says:

    Did you get a hot one?? Lucky!!

    Lisa says:

    Actually it was really hot to start, but now it’s not that bad.

    Chris says:

    Well, hopefully that wasn’t the only one in th… Yikes! I just got one too — that IS hot! I really want more of these. I hear that they actually grow pretty well here; I sense some seeds in our future…

    Pimientos de Padrón
    Pimientos de Padrón
    olive oil
    coarse sea salt

    Take a pan and pour just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat up to high. When the olive oil starts to sizzle toss the peppers in whole. Lower the heat to medium-high, and shake the pan occasionally so the peppers cook evenly. When the peppers start blistering and browning, they are ready. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up some of the extra oil, then transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Eat ‘em whole and wait for a spicy one!

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    posted in Appetizers, Spanish, Vegetarian | 8 Comments

    16th February 2008

    Roasted Garlic with Caperberries

    We had originally planned to roast some garlic for the housewarming party last weekend, but with all the other dishes we had, we decided to skip it. We had already purchased quite a few heads of garlic, however, so having Thad and Abbie over for dinner was the perfect opportunity to go for it! Many recipes for roasted garlic involve brushing the garlic heads with olive oil, we made it by just filling a roasting pan with olive oil to coat the bottom, and placing the heads cut-side down. This allows you to serve the now roasted-garlic-infused olive oil as an additional dip. The inspiration for this method comes from this post over at Desert Candy.

    Thad says:

    Pretty garlicky!

    Chris says:

    I like that you can taste a hint of garlic and caperberries in the oil.

    Abbie says:

    What? Those are caperberries? They look like olives!

    Chris says:

    Nope, try one — they’re like ginormous capers.

    Lisa says:

    These rule… you don’t even need the bread. I like just sticking a fork in and eating a whole clove by itself.

    Chris says:

    You heart garlic!

    Roasted Garlic with Caperberries
    ——————————–
    6 heads of garlic
    olive oil
    caperberries
    salt and pepper

    Preheat the oven to 325F. Cut the top third off of the heads of garlic — if you’re cooking something else that night, you can save the top bits, otherwise toss ‘em. Pour oil into a small roasting pan, then place the cloves of garlic cut-side down. Add the caperberries, salt, and pepper, and cover tightly with foil. Roast for 50 minutes or until the garlic is soft and golden brown. Remove the garlic cloves to a serving dish, and pour the oil into a bowl for dipping. Serve with warm baguette and get your dip on.

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    posted in Appetizers | 1 Comment


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