15th December 2008

Acorn Squash, Pear and Adzuki Soup with Sautéed Shiitakes

acornpearsoup

Tonight’s recipe (hm, we’ve been doing a lot of squash soups lately…) is from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. Squash, pears, onions, and peppers are cooked until tender and then partly pureed; adzuki beans are stirred in, and then it’s all topped with some sauteed shiitake mushrooms.

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Chris says:

This soup reminds me that I want an immersion blender. This transferring half the soup to the blender thing is for suckas!

Lisa says:

Guess you’re a sucka then… looks good! Like butternut squash soup.

Chris says:

Acorn, but close enough. I like it; it’s got a nice sweetness from the pears.

Lisa says:

Hmmm, it’s like I’m eating dessert…

Chris says:

Oh yeah, I forgot that you don’t like sweet things for dinner. And this isn’t even that sweet, really.

Lisa says:

I know… it’s good, but I like savory.

Chris says:

Well I really like it — and the mushrooms are awesome.

Lisa says:

That’s totally true — I’d actually put more in and make it part of the soup.

Chris says:

Sounds like you’re trying to recreate the soup we made last week.

Lisa says:

Oooh, yeah! I liked that one a lot.

Chris says:

Thought so…

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Acorn Squash, Pear and Adzuki Soup with Sautéed Shiitakes
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch thin slices
1 red pepper, cut into 1/4 inch thin slices
2 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
2 acorn squashes, seeded, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
2 firm bosc pears, peeled, seeds removed and sliced into thin slices (roughly one inch long)
4 cups vegetable broth
15 oz can adzuki beans, drained and rinsed (about a cup and a half)
1 tbsp fresh lime juice

4 oz fresh shiitakes, sliced in half (about a cup and a half)
2 tsp peanut oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce

Preheat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onions and peppers for about 10 minutes, or until onions just begin to brown.
Add the ginger and garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the salt, Chinese five spice, acorn squash and pear and cook for another minute, stirring often. Add the vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, set the heat to medium-low to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Puree half the soup by transferring half the soup to a food processor or blender and then back into the rest of the soup.
Add the adzuki beans and lime. Cover and simmer on low, just until the beans are heated through.
While the soup is heating, prepare the mushrooms. Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat. Add the oils and sauté the mushrooms for about 7 minutes, until they are soft. Add the soy sauce and stir constantly until the soy sauce is absorbed (about 1 minute).

Ladle soup into bowls and top with sautéed mushrooms.

6 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, Veganomicon, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

4th November 2008

Caribbean Vegetable Stew

Another great way to use our CSA veggies tonight: a very colorful, unusual stew with strong flavors of lime and cilantro along side sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and okra. This recipe comes from the vegetarian recipe book The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

Lisa says:

Wow, that’s really limey… 

Chris says:

See? And we get criticism that we like everything we make. (That’s for you, CB). 

Lisa says:

No, I meant that I really liked the lime. 

Chris says:

Oh! Well, there goes the I-don’t-love-it example… I like the slight heat from the jalapeno. 

Lisa says:

I don’t really taste it. 

Chris says:

Really? Hmm, well, next time I won’t remove the seeds. I was worried that it would be too spicy for you. 

Lisa says:

Well, you could have left them in this time. I really, really like this soup. 

Chris says:

I do too, but I’m going to say it’s not the best in history, just to even things out a bit. 

Caribbean Vegetable Stew
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 jalapeno, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cups water
3 cups diced sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes
salt to taste
2 cups fresh chopped tomatoes
2 cups frozen sliced okra
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
chopped peanuts
sprigs of cilantro

In a large pot, saute the onions in the oil on medium heat for 4 or 5 minutes.
Add the cabbage and the jalapeno and continue to saute, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add the grated ginger and the water, cover the pot, and bring to a boil.
Stir in the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with salt, and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender.
Add the tomatoes, okra, and lime juice.
Simmer until all of the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro and add more salt to taste.
Sprinkle the stew with chopped peanuts.
Top with a few sprigs of cilantro.

4 Servings

posted in Caribbean, Main Dishes, Moosewood Cooks at Home | 2 Comments

3rd August 2008

Tacos de Carnitas

Tacos Carnitas

Wow. Just, wow. I’ve been meaning to make carnitas tacos for at least a year now, and can’t believe how wonderfully they turned out. I started with a recipe from Elise’s site and made some modifications based on some of the comments, and changed the toppings to suit our tastes. Moist, spicy, fall-apart pork, crisped up in the oven and placed in a tortilla with homemade pico de gallo, crunchy cabbage, and sweet-tangy pickled red onions. This might be my favorite dish we’ve made this year.

Chris says:

Wow; do you smell that kitchen?

Lisa says:

The kitchen? Try the whole house! I’ve been drooling for the last three hours!

Chris says:

This is awesome — and amazingly simple for the results. It’s somewhat time-consuming, but most of it is unattended. The most complicated part was carving up the pork and trimming off most of the fat!

Lisa says:

Seriously? That rules — I think this is one of the best meals we’ve had in a while. Home-cooked or at a restaurant.

Chris says:

Everything works so well together: the savory pork, the freshness of the pico, and the tartness of the onions… I love it.

Lisa says:

You go ahead and keep talking about how good it is — I’m going to shut up and eat.

Chris says:

Actually, I think I’ll join you.

Tacos de Carnitas
4 lbs boneless pork butt (shoulder), cut into large cubes (remove as much fat as possible)
1 quart beef broth
2 cups chunky salsa, medium-hot

corn tortillas
pico de gallo (diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice)
pickled red onions (recipe below)
cabbage, shredded
creme fraiche (or sour cream)

In a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat, combine pork, broth, and salsa. Add water to completely cover the meat, if needed. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 3 to 4 hours, until meat pulls apart easily.
Remove the meat from the liquid in the pot, set aside, and shred. (I use “shred” lightly, the pork will be so tender that just pressing it with the back of a fork will make it fall apart.) Pour the liquid through a colander to filter out solids, then return a third of the liquid to the saucepan. Heat over high heat for 12-15 minutes until it reduces to a gravy-like consistency. Add the reduced liquid to the pork and mix thoroughly.
Turn on the broiler in your oven. Place the shredded pork in a shallow layer in a roasting pan, or a wire rack over a cookie sheet, on the bottom rack of the oven. Broil for 5-7 minutes, until pork starts to crisp up. Use a spatula to flip the pork, and broil for an additional 5-7 minutes until crisp.
Serve the carnitas in warm corn tortillas with homemade pico de gallo, marinated red onions, and shredded cabbage. Drizzle with a little creme fraiche.

6-8 Servings

Pickled Red Onions
1 red onion, cut into 1-4″ half-rings
rice wine vinegar (about 1 cup)
1/2 tsp sugar
orange juice
oregano
peppercorns
coriander seeds

Blanch the red onions in boiling water for 15 seconds, then drain, rinse, and pat dry. Dissolve the sugar into the rice wine vinegar. Place onions in a shallow dish, then add rice wine vinegar to just about cover the onions. Add about 1/4 cup of orange juice (enough to totally cover), the oregano, a few peppercorns, and a few coriander seeds. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. These will keep for about a week in the fridge.

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican | 14 Comments

27th July 2008

Ugly But Delicious: Summer Squash Veggie Enchiladas

Ugly!  Summer Squash Enchiladas

Lisa wanted to make dinner tonight, and we had a ton of vegetables to use up from our CSA box, so we came up with these vegetarian enchiladas, filled with summer squash, spinach, and mushrooms, and topped with a green chile enchilada sauce.  Photogenic?  Not so much.  Healthy, full of veggies, and quick?  Absolutely!

Lisa says:

How come all the food I make is ugly?

Chris says:

Hey! All the food you make isn’t ugly; and I think the biggest reason this one isn’t exactly photogenic is because of the blue tortillas.

Lisa says:

Hmm… maybe… I love that enchilada sauce, it’s got a really nice flavor.

Chris says:

I like the creaminess from the creme fraiche.

Lisa says:

The filling is awesome — I don’t miss not having meat in there.

Chris says:

Totally — and I like using up all our CSA veggies from the fridge.

Lisa says:

I can’t wait to have ugly but delicious leftovers tomorrow. 🙂

UBD Summer Squash Veggie Enchiladas

1 14-oz can green chile enchilada sauce
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 tbsp creme fraiche
1 1/2 cups mixed summer squash, cubed
8 oz mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 red salad onions, bulbs and stems thinly sliced OR 1 large red onion, sliced
10 oz spinach
10 corn tortillas
pepper-jack cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the summer squash and mushrooms; cook for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms start to brown.  Add the garlic, about three quarters of the red onion and continue cooking until the onions turn translucent and the squash is crisp-tender.  Add the spinach and red salad onion stems, stirring constantly, until the spinach is wilted.  Season with a teaspoon of salt, and cover to keep warm.
Lay out the tortillas on a baking sheet and spray on both sides with cooking oil, then stack in twos. Bake for 3 minutes or until soft and pliable. Remove and stack in a single pile; cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm.
In a small pot, heat the enchilada sauce to boiling, then lower the heat.  Stir in cilantro and the creme fraiche into the sauce.  Taste and season with salt, if desired.  Hold a tortilla by one edge and dip into the sauce.  Fill the center with 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling, then roll and lay seam side down in a 9×13 baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and remaining red onion, and bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Garnish with additional salad onions.

Makes 10 enchiladas.

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican | 4 Comments

29th May 2008

Broccoli with Turmeric and Tomatoes

Broccoli with Turmeric and Tomatoes
We’re always looking for new ways to use up the last of our veggies from the CSA box; this recipe from Quick from Scratch Herbs and Spices was easily adaptable to what we had left: broccoli and leeks! It comes from the “Spices” half of the book, and features Turmeric, which we’ve never really had as the main spice/focus of a dish: usually it’s used simply to add color. Not that it didn’t do the same here!

Chris says:

I’ll say it again — the recipes in this book are quick indeed.

Lisa says:

What are those little discs?

Chris says:

Those are the broccoli stems — you cut ’em like coins… good, eh?

Lisa says:

I like the crunch.

Chris says:

Me too. I like the leeks in this; I’d almost make that a permanent alteration.

Lisa says:

Well we certainly seem to get them often enough in the CSA box…

Chris says:

Yeah, it’s kind of comforting… secure. Wait, ha! It’s a —

Lisa says:

Please don’t say, “Security Leek”

Chris says:

I’ll just go back to eating now.

Broccoli with Turmeric and Tomatoes
2 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 large leek, thinly sliced
3/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 lbs broccoli (about 2 large stalks), stems peeled and cut crosswise into 1/4 slices, tops cut into florets
1 cup drained canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes (yield from 1 15-oz can)
1/3 cup water
3/4 tsp salt

In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and leeks are very soft, about 5 minutes longer.
Stir in the turmeric to coat. Stir in the broccoli, tomatoes, water, and salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes.

4 Side Servings

posted in Quick from Scratch Herbs and Spices, Sides, Vegetarian | 4 Comments