Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mushroom Bouillabaisse

This was a lovely soup. The saffron and orange peel give the broth a pungent kick, but there weren't nearly enough mushrooms in the original recipe, so the following day I sauteed and added more. To give the mushrooms more flavor I sauteed them separately with garlic, tamari, and worcestershire (worcestershire sauce is amazing!).

Other bouillabaisses I have also liked: here and here.

Mushroom Bouillabaisse
(adapted from Rachel Carr)

For the saffron sea vegetable broth:
2 qt veg stock or water
1/2 teaspoon saffron
2 large Kombu leaves
1 large piece of orange peel
2 bay leaves & 12 stems thyme
For the mushroom seafood:
olive oil
4 cloves garlic minced
5 c sliced shiitakes or other mushrooms
splash tamari
1 tsp worcestershire sauce (optional)
For the bouillabaise:
4 cloves sliced garlic
1 large onion
1 bulb sliced fennel
1 cup white wine
2 cups chopped red potato (I used rice instead)
2 cups chopped tomatoes

Broth: Bring to a boil, simmer 10 minutes and strain.
Mushrooms: Sautee garlic and mushrooms in olive oil until juicy; finish with tamari and worcestershire. Set aside.
Soup: Sauté onions, fennel and garlic in olive oil. Deglaze with 1 cup white wine and reduce in half
Add broth, potato (or rice) and bring up to a simmer until potato is tender (about 15 minutes) and then finish with tomato and mushrooms.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles

I'm still rocking out with fridge pickles here. Crisp zucchini make lovely pickles, similar to cucumber ones but creamier. In general I prefer the fridge pickles liquid to not be 100% vinegar (too strong), but a mix of vinegar and water (maybe 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water?). I've never had them go bad, even after months in the fridge, so it seems like that's still acidic enough while giving a milder flavor.

Spicy Zucchini Refrigerator Pickles
(adapted from kitchentreaty)

1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini
4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 cup white vinegar
2 TB granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
6 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch turmeric
1 head dill (or a few sprigs)
water as needed

Wash and dry a pint-sized glass jar with airtight lid.
Cut the zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. Place in jar along with the cloves of garlic. You might have to do a little squeezing and pushing to get them all in there.
Add the vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, mustard seeds, salt, and turmeric to a small saucepan. Set it over medium heat and bring just to a boil.
Remove from heat and carefully pour over zucchinis and garlic in the jar. Top with dill, immersing it as much as possible. Add some water to make the liquid cover the vegetables. Place the lid on the jar and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Roasted Maitake Mushrooms in Sesame-Miso Broth


When I saw this in the store I was fascinated. I don't think I'd ever had maitake before, and I'd definitely never cooked with it. Was it one thing or many? I ended up treating it more as a one-thing kind of thing, cut into filets and roasted as in this recipe.

I also want to try: maitake fettucine in cream sauce and black lentil soup with crispy maitakes and smoked sea salt. But for a first try, roasting seemed like the way to really focus on the vegetable itself as the star of the show.

Roasted Maitake Mushrooms in Sesame-Miso Broth
(from olives for dinner)

16 oz maitake mushrooms
2 TB olive oil
1 tsp Earth Balance
1 TB toasted sesame oil
1 shallot, minced
1 stalk celery, minced
1 TB ginger, minced
2 TB sherry
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tsp dark miso
minced scallions
white sesame seeds

1. Preheat your oven to 425.
2. To roast the maitake, place one tablespoon of the olive oil into a medium-sized cast iron pan, tilting it to cover the bottom. Place the maitake into the pan, taking care to kept them as intact as possible. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil evenly over the maitake and place into the oven to roast for about 25 minutes, turning over once through the roasting time.
3. To make the broth, heat the vegan butter and toasted sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in the shallot, celery, and ginger and stir to coat. Allow them to sweat for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat if needed if any of the vegetables start to brown.
4. Turn the heat up to medium-high. After 2 minutes, deglaze the saucepan with the sherry. Allow to simmer for 3-4 minutes more, then add in the vegetable broth. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, then remove from the heat. Remove a bit of the broth and add the miso to it. Stir until smooth, then add it back to the saucepan.
5. By now, your maitake should be almost ready. It's done when it smells buttery and is very slightly crisp around the edges. Divide the maitake into two bowls, spooning the desired amount of broth over the top. Garnish with minced scallions and sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sesame-Ginger Green Beans

Like these recipes, to make this recipe you blanch your beans first and then add the flavors. I suppose it's almost like a salad.

Sesame-Ginger Green Beans

3 c beans, trimmed and cut to 1-in pieces
1 in ginger
1/2 serrano, seeded minced
2 cloves garlic
1 TB miso
1 tsp sugar
1 TB lime juice
1 TB rice vin
1 TB sesame oil
2 tsp tamari
2 TB sesame seeds

1. Blanch green beans by pouring boiling water over them, letting them sit for 7-9 min, then draining them and putting them in ice water. Set aside until ready to use, then drain again.
2. Mix together remaining ingredients into a sauce, then toss beans in that sauce.

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Here's another thing I kept making the past few months, with different variations. I started with vegan Richa's recipe, but added some more cashew cream to thin it. The second time, I added some full fat coconut milk, smoked salt, chili flakes, and nutritional yeast; and I thickened the whole thing with 1 TB flour (mixed with water).

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

6 to 8 oz Rotini or Fusilli (or similar) pasta
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
8 sage leaves, chopped
1 to 1.5 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 to 2 Tbsp tomato paste
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
smoked salt to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
nutritional yeast to taste
black pepper to taste
1 TB flour mixed with 1/4 c cold water
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
6 fresh sage leaves, julienned
2 to 3 Tbsp breadcrumbs or coarsely ground cashews or pumpkin seeds
a generous pinch of salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to instructions. Drain and keep aside.
In a large skillet, heat oil at medium low heat. Add Sage, thyme and garlic and cook until garlic and herbs change color slightly. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
Add tomato paste and pumpkin and mix in. Add milk, salts and peppers and mix in. Bring to a boil. Add flour-water mixture and reduce heat. Simmer; taste and adjust salt.
Add cooked pasta, toss well. Cover and take off heat. Let sit for a few minutes.
Make the topping
In a small skillet, add oil and heat at medium. Add sage and cook for half a minute. Add breadcrumbs or coarsely chopped nuts and cook until golden and toasted. Add salt and pepper and mix in. Use to garnish the pasta generously.

Basil Zook Soup

Another green soup! I've made this one countless times since this first run with its sadly underwhelming photo. Try it with a drizzle of olive oil (basil-infused?) or cashew cream to make it look not so sad.

This one is mostly zucchini (I used Mexican squash; they're interchangeable). That, and the inclusion of ginger and basil, gave it a lightness that actually made it very good cold. Similar soups (with asparagus) I've found to be a bit cloying when eaten cold.

This one was like jumping into a deep, clean lake on a hot summer day. A lake with a lot of spiciness. This seems like the perfect late-summer soup because even though in LA you can have them year-round, I still really associate both zucchini and basil with that time of year.

Basil-Zucchini Soup

1 onion, chopped
4 garlic, chopped
1/2 chili, minced
2 TB ginger, minced
4-6 c mild green vegetables, sliced: I used 2 broccoli stalks (only the stalks, not the florets) and 6 small mexican squashes
4-6 c stock/broth/miso (I used broth prepared with half veggie better than boullion and half cold mountain kyoto red miso)
1 large bunch basil, chopped

1. Saute onion, garlic, chili, and ginger, then add mild green vegetables and saute a bit more.
2. Add broth and simmer until broccoli stalks are quite soft. Turn off heat and let cool.
3. Add basil and blend until quite smooth. I tried using the immersion blender and found that the broccoli was a little too tough, so I ended up using my regular blender.
4. Enjoy hot or cold. Serves about 5.

Radish Dal, Potato Masala Dosa

Not quite a triumphant comeback, but hello! I have many things to share from the past few months!

I always forget that you can cook radishes. I can't wait to try this recipe for roasted radishes and cipollini onions, and this recipe from aromatic cooking was great. For this radish dal, I used brown lentils rather than moong beans; otherwise I followed the recipe.


I also really liked Vaishali's recipe for quick masala (potato) dosas: It's not a traditional recipe, but it's really easy; a great shortcut. (no foto sry!)