13th March 2008

    Caribbean Salt Cod and Okra Soup (featuring Mashed Yams!)


    This awesome soup comes from The Ultimate Soup Bible: salt cod, spinach, and okra in a tomato-wine broth surround a mountain of mashed yams. Very different, and very delicious!

    Lisa says:

    This is so good! I like the cod, though it’s not as salty as I’d expected.

    Chris says:

    Soaking for over a day will do that, I guess.

    Lisa says:

    Never in a million years would I have thought to put mashed yams in the middle of a soup!

    Chris says:

    Mashed Yams? More like Mashed YUMS!

    Lisa says:

    I know! We should make the yams on their own, too — so good.

    Abbie says:

    I like our mountain of potatoes… I’d live on it if I were this big…

    Chris says:

    You may not realize that the people out there can’t see you touching your fingers together to indicate that “this big” means “miniscule”.

    Abbie says:

    Um, it’s kind of implied if I refer to it as a “mountain” of potatoes.

    Chris says:

    Good point.

    Caribbean Salt Cod and Okra Soup
    ——————————–
    1/2 lb salt cod, soaked for 24 hours, with several water changes
    1 tbsp olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
    6 plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 1 32-oz can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
    1 cup white wine
    2 bay leaves
    3 3/4 cups water
    8 oz okra, trimmed and cut into thirds
    8 oz spinach
    salt and pepper

    For the potatoes:
    1 1/2 lbs yams
    juice of 1 lemon
    1/4 cup butter
    2 tbsp heavy cream
    1 tbsp chopped chives

    Drain and skin the salt cod, then rinse under cold water. Cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pan. Add the garlic, onion, and jalapeño and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium-high heat until softened. Add the salt cod and cook for another 4 minutes until it begins to color. Stir in the tomatoes, wine, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Add the water, return to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the okra the soup and cook an additional 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook for 5 minutes until the okra is tender. While the soup is cooking, prepare the yams. Peel the yams and cut into large dice, then place in a pan with the lemon juice and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain well, then return to the pan to dry over the heat for a few minutes. Add the butter and cream, and mash the potatoes. Season as desired. Add the chives.
    Season the soup with salt and pepper. Spoon portions of the yams into the center of six bowls and ladle the soup around it. Serve and enjoy!

    6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, The Soup Bible | 2 Comments

    28th January 2008

    Garden-Style Lasagna

    Tonight Lisa made this labor-intensive lasagna based on a Cooking Light recipe, and added extra spices and mushrooms. I’m usually a bigger fan of tomato-sauce based lasagna, but this one hit the spot with its variety in textures and sheer number of sauteed vegetables.

    Chris says:

    Wow you’re on a roll with these Cooking Light recipes. Good picks.

    Lisa says:

    This one is delicious — and actually has portion sizes that are relatively generous for a “light” recipe…

    Chris says:

    I heart this lasagna.

    Lisa says:

    Me too! I still can’t believe it’s low fat.

    Chris says:

    I love that we have enough leftovers for like three more meals.

    Lisa says:

    Good thing we liked it, then!

    Garden-Style Lasagna
    ——————–
    Cooking spray
    2 cups chopped onion
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    2 cups chopped zucchini (about 8 ounces)
    2 cups chopped yellow squash (about 8 ounces)
    2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 8 ounces)
    2 cups chopped broccoli (about 6 ounces)
    1 cup sliced mushrooms
    1 teaspoon salt, divided
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
    3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
    1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Dash of nutmeg
    1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat cottage cheese
    2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    12 precooked lasagna noodles, divided

    Preheat oven to 375°.
    Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and yellow squash; sauté 4 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown. Add to onion mixture. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrot; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chopped broccoli; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and oregano; toss well to combine.
    Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Stir in spinach.
    Combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over spinach mixture in dish; top with half of cottage cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of vegetable mixture (about 2 1/2 cups), and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
    Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    12 Servings

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    posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 10 Comments

    27th January 2008

    Aloo Palak


    This week’s CSA box included plenty of potatoes and spinach, so this dish was an obvious choice. The recipe below is modified from a few different sources online.

    Lisa says:

    This is *so* good.

    Chris says:

    It really is — I love that combo of spinach and potatoes.

    Lisa says:

    Did you mention that we’re currently eating this with delicious garlic naan and some saffron rice?

    Chris says:

    No, I didn’t… but I guess you just did.

    Lisa says:

    Can we have this every week?

    Chris says:

    Yes, please.

    Aloo Palak
    ———–
    1 bunch spinach
    1/2 bunch cilantro
    3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
    1 inch fresh ginger, roughly chopped
    2 onions, chopped
    1 green chilies, chopped with seeds
    1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed*
    (*We actually used a full pound, since we had them on hand)
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 1/2 tbsp butter
    1 tsp cumin seeds
    1 tsp garam masala
    1/2 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp ground cumin

    Saute the garlic, ginger, onions and green chili together until the onion starts to brown. Then add the cilantro and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. Place in a blender and puree to desired consistency. Cook the potatoes (boil, or microwave) until almost done. In a deep pan heat the butter and fry the cumin seeds for about 20 seconds till they start to lightly brown. Add the turmeric and other spices and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the spinach-onion mixture, salt, and potatoes and cook for a few minutes for the flavors to meld and the potatoes to fully cook.

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    posted in Indian, Main Dishes | 0 Comments

    22nd November 2007

    Borani (Spinach and Yogurt Dip)

    The first dish of the day for our Thanksgiving feast was Borani, a Persian spinach and yogurt dip. This recipe comes from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home cookbook.

    Lisa says:

    This is delicious! And even better after it’s been chilled.

    Chris says:

    Yeah I really like this — next time we have people over I’ll have to make it again, but double the recipe. Hey, I’m thirsty.

    Lisa says:

    Good thing I made Sangria!

    Borani
    ——
    1 bunch fresh spinach, well rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
    1 cup chopped onions
    3 scallions, chopped
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 tbsp minced fresh dill
    1/3 cup feta cheese
    2 tbsp light plain yogurt
    salt and ground pepper to taste

    After rinsing the spinach, cook for a few minutes over medium heat in a covered sauce pan until wilted but still bright green. Drain the spinach and press in a colander or sieve to squeeze out the excess moisture.
    Saute the onions, scallions, and garlic in the olive oil. When the onions are soft and translucent, stir in the spinach and dill and heat for about 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to press out any extra liquid and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the feta and yogurt and add salt and pepper to taste. Chill for at least an hour.
    Serve with bread or pita.

    Makes approx. 2 cups

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    posted in Appetizers, Moosewood Cooks at Home | 9 Comments

    24th October 2007

    Huzzah! Best Saag ever!

    I’ve always wanted to make Chicken Saag at home; it has been and remains one of my all-time favorite Indian dishes. I tend to judge every Indian restaurant by this dish — but this version gives the local joints a run for their money, and it’s lower in fat. The recipe is based on a few I found online, but with a lot less oil.

    Chris says:

    This was a bit time consuming, but really easy. It came out *so* good!

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, it really did. I love the spices.

    Chris says:

    Next time I’d make it a little hotter, but other than that it’s exactly the way I like it.

    Lisa says:

    Maybe a little less chicken?

    Chris says:

    Sounds good. I’ll post the recipe like I’ll prepare it next time.

    Saag Chicken
    ————
    2 lbs chicken breast, cubed
    5 cloves garlic, minced
    2 large onions, minced
    1 (400g) can crushed tomatoes
    1 inch ginger, minced
    4 tbsp milk
    4 bunches spinach, washed & chopped
    2 tbsp butter
    3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp turmeric powder
    2 big cardamom pods
    2 whole cloves
    7 tsp oil
    1 tsp garam masala
    1/2 tsp salt

    Heat 4 tsp of the oil over medium-high heat, add the chicken and stir-fry for around 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Set aside.
    Put the spinach in a pot, add 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. When cool, grind very well (almost to a paste) in blender and set aside.
    Heat the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat and add the ginger, garlic and onions, stirring until lightly browned. Add tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, turmeric, cloves and cardamom. Add a tablespoon of water and cook for 10 minutes over low heat.
    Add chicken and milk to the pan. Simmer until the chicken is tender (about 10 minutes).
    Add spinach and garam masala to the pan. Cook until spinach starts sticking to the pan (about 15 minutes).
    Remove from heat, add butter and cover until ready to serve with rice.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Indian, Main Dishes | 4 Comments


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