Entries tagged with “vegetarian”.
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Mon 21 Feb 2011
Posted by Dana under Savory
The return of the -30° C weather has me roasting up the storm. Our drafty 102 year old house warms considerably when the oven is on for long periods, so I have been all too happy to roast often. Food that warms the home as well as the tummy is the theme of this winter. I did my first solo roast (feeling quite grown up about that) and roasted a chicken as well, but what I’m here to talk about is balsamic roasted vegetables. Because really, what could be better?
The roasted vegetables release all kinds of sugars that brown and are so luscious, the balsamic vinegar reduces away into syrup and absorbs into the aforementioned vegetables. Thyme lends woodsiness to the earthy vegetables, and black pepper some notes of pungency to round it all out.
It’s a side dish that takes center stage (and keeps the kitchen warm while I do dishes). If I were a vegetable, I’d like to spend some time getting cozy with balsamic vinegar in a nice warm oven.
Balsamic Roasted Vegetables
1/2 a butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and roughly chopped
1-2 red bell peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
1 small onion, also roughly chopped
12-15 baby carrots (2-3 regular sized) cut into ~2 inch long sticks
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp salt
- Put all of the vegetables together in a bowl.
- Pour over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, tossing to coat.
- Sprinkle on the pepper, thyme and salt, tossing to distribute evenly.
- Pour the contents of the bowl into a glass or nonreactive metal roasting dish, and pop it into a 375° F oven until all of the vegetables are cooked through (~45 minutes, depending on how roughly you chop), the squash will take the longest to cook, so use it to check for doneness.
- Serve hot from the oven.
Next time I’m thinking I’ll include a clove of garlic or two to roast with it, or maybe some mushrooms. We’ve addressed balsamic vinegar before on The Funky Kitchen, so if you are a balsamophile like myself, be sure to check out: balsamic vinaigrette, summer tomatoes, caramelized onion marmalade, or this super cool pavlova!
Mister says that he liked the way the acid counterpointed the caramelized sweetness of the vegetables and that there should have been more red pepper because they were the best part.
…And! Happy day! Photo quality will be returning to The Funky Kitchen as soon as I get through my backlog of pictures and recipes. Somehow my camera battery charger became a casualty of the move, but the new one off of ebay got here today! Hurray for no more phone pictures!
Thu 1 Jul 2010
Posted by Dana under Savory
Sometimes I get made fun of when I eat corn on the cob. Personally, I don’t think that I do it in a particularly weird way, I just do it methodically. I hate getting the membranes that cover the kernels stuck in my teeth, so I eat corn on the cob row by row. It makes sense, in it’s own way, to me because it grows in a row by row pattern. Why not eat it that way? It also ensures you get at every kernel of gorgeous corn on the cob goodness.
Oh yeah… row by row nibbling is pretty slow going. There was that time a particular person I was dining with decided to time my ‘corn eating process’, and announced the time to the rest of the table, much to my embarrassment. But you know what? I really don’t mind that it takes me a while to finish my corn, even if the people sitting around the table grow impatient. I’m a slow eater, just especially slow with corn. Moreso when the corn is this good.
Grilled corn on the cob with sriracha lime butter just proved that it would be incredulous to eat it any other way than row by row, savoring it and making sure not to let any of it go to waste.
Another barbecue adventure that ended in success! Though I’ll admit that I was aided in lighting the barbecue once more, next time I’ll do it all by myself! Corn on the grill was new terrain, which came with much hemming and hawing over how to know it was ready to be husked. Maybe next time I’ll just husk it and then grill it, does anybody have any technique suggestions?
Grilled Corn with Sriracha Lime Butter
4 ears of corn
1/2 Cup butter
3/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (add more if you like it really spicy, this amount left a nice tingle at the back of the palate but nothing too extreme)
3/4 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Turn on the barbecue (on your own, or with help if needed, haha), set your burners to medium-high and allow it to come to heat.
- Place your corn, inside the husks, on the grill. Allow to cook for a few minutes per side, turning when the husks start to become grill marked. I made six turns, totalling a time between 15 and 20 minutes, and the corn was pretty much cooked through before I came to the husking.
- While the corn is grilling, melt the butter.
- Mix the sriracha sauce, lime juice, pepper and salt into the melted butter.
- Remove the corn from the grill and remove the husks. This will be somewhat tricky, due to the corn being quite hot to the touch. Oven mitts saved my rushing fingers, though I suppose you could let the corn cool a little and then do the husking.
- Go back to the barbecue, and return the corn to the grill, turning when grill marks have been achieved. Brush with the melted butter periodically.
- Serve hot, with the bowl of left over butter for those who like their corn extra buttery.
The spicy tang of the butter on this corn is surprisingly tasty. I was so curious to try it, but scared it would overpower the sweetness of the corn. Instead of overpowering it, though, the sriracha lime butter was a good counterpoint, present and contrasting but still allowing the corn flavor to shine through. Give it a try, whether you are a slow and steady row by row corn consumer or a quick crunch and muncher.
Happy Canada Day!
Tue 15 Jun 2010
Posted by Dana under Savory
If we played a little bit of word association and I said tomato soup, what would you think of?
Campbell’s? Gazpacho? Grilled cheese? Velvety goodness?
Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat‘s tomato soup, from their cookbook Bite Me is full of velvety goodness, as well as a whole lot of tasty vegetables. And, even better, it is topped with grilled cheese croutons! This is just one of the fabulous recipes from their book, which happens to be one of the most unabashedly fun cookbooks I have seen in a long time. It is seriously worth a look.
When I think of tomato soup, I hope for it to be everything that this tomato soup is: flavorful, intense and smooth. Roasting the tomatoes brings out so much more of their flavor. And then, in a twist of the classical pairing of tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches, the sandwich gets cut up into little croutons and sprinkled over the soup.
What an awesome, healthful dinner. With a little dollop of sour cream as the cherry on the sundae, this soup is a pretty serious reminder that with a little bit of effort, what you can make on your own can often be so much better than what you can buy at the store.
Roasted Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons
(adapted from Julie Albert and Lisa Gnat’s Bite Me, Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons)
2 – 795 mL cans whole tomatoes
4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 small yellow onion (or half of a large one, like I used), diced
12 baby carrots (original recipe calls for 2 medium carrots), diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp flour
2 Cups water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp basil
4 slices of bread
2 Tbsp butter
cheddar cheese (depending on how much cheese you like in a grilled cheese sandwich)
- Set the oven to 425° F, and allow to come to temperature.
- Strain the tomatoes, giving each a good squeeze to release the juice inside. Reserve the juices from the tomatoes.
- Place the dried tomatoes in a oven safe dish, drizzle with half to the olive oil and season with half each of the pepper and kosher salt.
- Roast the tomatoes in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a soup pot, saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in the olive oil until softened and beginning to take on color.
- Add the flour to the pot, stirring to coat the vegetables and cook the flour through evenly.
- To the pot, add: the roasted tomatoes, tomato juices, water, bay leaf, brown sugar (it will help to calm the acidity of the tomatoes), and remaining pepper and salt.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Discard bay leaf and puree until smooth and velvety. Stir in basil.
- Using the bread, butter and cheddar cheese make two grilled cheese sandwiches. When done, place them on a cutting board and chop them into 1×1 inch pieces.
- Ladle hot, hearty, scrumptious soup into bowls, and top with grilled cheese croutons.
I left the grilled cheese sandwiches in the pan a little bit longer than I normally would, figuring that the extra crispness would help them stand up to being partially immersed in soup. Taking into account my aversion to toast, though, they were probably grilled to a pretty normal degree. I’d like, next time, to figure out a way to get the grilled cheese croutons to have more crouton crunchiness. Any suggestions? Maybe I should bake them in the oven…
What is that shiny new piece of kitchen hardware in the pictures you ask? That is my lovely new Peasant Chef’s Knife from Lee Valley. It is so nicely balanced, and isn’t too heavy. It fits my hand just right. Thanks again Mister, you sure know how to tug at a girl’s heart strings.