Monday, August 28, 2006

Peanut noodles

This is a good "kitchen sink" recipe to use up whatever vegetables are around (broccoli, carrots, cucumber, green onion, peppers, zucchini, peas...). I like to use whole-wheat spaghetti in this because I can't stand it with any other sauce. Top the whole deal with a spicy peanut sauce and you're all set in about 15 minutes.

Sauce should go something like this:

peanut butter
soy sauce
hot sauce
lime juice

To taste.

Yum. Quick, easy, and edible. 3 1/2 stars.

Schug (Middle Eastern hot pepper sauce)

1 lb peppers - mix hot and sweet to your taste, but go with one color family (red or green) so the sauce will have a good vibrant color
5-6 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
1 1/2 T cumin
black pepper and salt to taste
olive oil to cover

fresh cilantro, cardamom, and/or lemon juice

Throw peppers and garlic into a food processor and purée. Add spices and pulse a few times to mix. Store the mixture in a glass jar and cover with olive oil. Refrigerate.

Recipe from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen

I used 2 large sweet red peppers (which I roasted and peeled), several red and yellow banana peppers, one red jalapeno, and 1 orange habanero (from my garden!). All peppers were seeded. I added a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and a good strong pinch of salt. It's fantastic! It could even be a little hotter - I'm thinking about throwing it back in the food processor with another habanero! Though as it is, it has a delicious spicy garlic flavor and I can HEAP it on pita bread. If I make it hotter it'll become something to use just a dash of... we'll see.

5 red hot stars!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Shrimp Skewers with wine & basil marinade

24 jumbo shrimp or 40-50 large shrimp
1 c. dry white wine
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. Dijon style mustard
3/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves
Combine the wine, oil, lemon juice, mustard, chopped basil and freshly ground pepper and pour over the shrimp in a shallow non-metallic dish. Marinate at least three hours.

Prepare coals for grilling and skewer the shrimp. Grill the shrimp basting with the marinade for several minutes on each side until shrimp is done.

5 stars

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Mediteranean-style fish stew

A very loose recipe - based on one in Martha Rose Shulman's Mediterranean Light cookbook, one of my all-time favorites. The pictured version here uses tilapia, orzo, and fresh mint. I often make it with shrimp, tilapia, potatoes, basil, and thyme.

1 lb fish (tilapia, grouper, monkfish, shrimp, scallops - anything goes)
1 1/2 lb tomatoes (fresh or canned), chopped coarsely
3 garlic cloves
1/2 smallish yellow onion
1/2 c white wine
1 c broth (vegetable, fish, or chicken)
potatoes, rice, or pasta (~1/2 lb)
fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, basil, oregano, tarragon, or mint all work)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until transparent. Add the tomatoes, wine, and broth and bring to a simmer. Add your starch and cook until tender. Add the herbs, salt & pepper to taste, and the fish and continue barely at a simmer until the fish is just cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges.

We love this in all its variations. 5 stars.

Monday, August 21, 2006


1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 T finely chopped fresh parsley
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 t salt
1/2-1 t dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 t cumin
1 t baking powder
4-6 T flour

Vegetable oil for frying

In a food processor, chop the chickpeas and onion with the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin until blended but not pureed.

Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered (preferably for several hours but at least 30 minutes).

Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.

Heat 2-3 inches of oil to 375 degrees and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 6 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Serve in pita bread with tahina sauce, cucumber-yogurt sauce, and tomatoes. Hot peppers are also good, or even better, try it with Schug.


The falafel was much quicker to make than I thought, and was very yummy with good texture. Also good cold the next day (didn't reheat well in the toaster oven, though: greasy!). 4 stars.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sour Cream Pancakes

1 1/4 c all purpose flour
2 T flax seed
1 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 c buttermilk
1 c lowfat sour cream
1 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract

maple syrup

Whisk dry ingredients in one large bowl. Whisk wet ingredients in another. Add wet to dry ingredients. Stir until batter is just blended but still lumpy (do not overmix).

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Pour batter by heaping 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle. Cook until bubbles break on surface. Turn pancakes over. Cook until bottoms are golden.

Makes about 10.


The basic recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit March 1999 via Epicurious.

I didn't have any buttermilk, so made sour milk using 1 T vanilla vinegar + the rest of a cup of 2% milk (so I also decreased the vanilla extract to just 1 t). I added about 1/2 t cinnamon. Served them with maple syrup but they're actually even more delicious with jalapeno-peach jam from the Bread Lady at the farmer's market.

4 stars, for not being the healthiest breakfast, though delicious and filling.