Posts Tagged ‘unrecipe of the week’

Unrecipe of the Week: Summer Salad Rolls

May 19, 2014

These vegetable rolls are riff on the traditional Vietnamese Summer roll. A study in simplicity, these rice paper rolls are filled with fresh julienned vegetables. The secret lies in the sauce: we dipped ours in a carrot, sesame oil and soy based dressing that brought the flavors to life. The best part? We’re torn between how healthy and low calorie they are, and the fact that nothing needed to be cooked.  Twice the reason to try this unrecipe!

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For the rolls:

Julienne a variety of vegetables, including cucumbers, carrots, diakon, red bell pepper, radishes and beets. Mix it up to suit your tastes. I used a mandolin, but depending on how many you are making, you can just cut them by hand. Be sure to peel the carrots, diakon and beets first!

To assemble:

Dip a large rice paper wrapper* in warm water to soften. There is no need to soak them, just get them hydrated enough to be pliable.

Place the rice paper on a work surface. Lay a small piece of lettuce and a fresh mint leaf or two at the bottom of disc. Layer on the julienned vegetables. Begin rolling the rice paper, tucking it tightly, but gently as you go. Roll it twice, fold the sides in, and continue rolling to the top. It should look like a fat, transparent egg roll.

Lay the finished roll on plastic wrap. The rolls will stick together, so be sure to keep them from touching. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.

For the sauce:

Peel about 3-4 medium carrots, and cut them into chunks. Place them in the food processor, along with a small shallot, peeled and quartered, a good sized chunk of peeled fresh ginger, about 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar, a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce, about a 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. Puree until everything is finely diced and combined. With the machine running, add about 1/4 cup or so of vegetable oil ( We used grape seed oil, which has a neutral flavor. Do not use olive oil, as the flavor is too strong!) Add about 1/4 cup of water, and continue mixing until it forms a a chunky dressing. Check flavors, and add more vinegar, or soy sauce as needed. If the dressing is too thick, add a little bit more water. Refrigerate until ready to use.

We served the rolls cut in half lengthwise, on a pool of drizzled dressing, and then put the rest on a platter with a bowl of sauce on the side. Sounds like the perfect dish to toss in my lunch bag tomorrow!

*rice paper wrappers are sold packaged in the international foods section of grocery stores, or at Asian markets.

Unrecipe of the Week: Eggs and Asparagus

April 21, 2014

What symbolizes springtime more than stalks of green asparagus, eggs and a lemony sauce? We served this last night as a first course, but it could be a great main dish for a light dinner, accompanied by soup and some crusty bread (hello meatless Mondays!) or as an entree for Sunday brunch.

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Roasted Asparagus With a Poached Egg and Lemon Mustard Sauce:

recipe adapted from Foxes Loves Lemons

Clean asparagus and trim the tough stems. Coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 15 minutes, until cooked but still crisp. Timing will depend on the thickness of the asparagus, so be prepared to cook thick stalks longer, and very thin ones for less time.

In a sauce pan, heat about 3/4 cup heavy cream,  and simmer until it reduces to about 1/2 cup, and has a thick, saucy consistency; about 6-8 minutes. Remove it from the heat and whisk in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, a little lemon zest, a generous tablespoon of butter, 1/8 teaspoon dried mustard, and a little finely chopped fresh tarragon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In the meantime, bring water to a boil in a large pot or high sided sauté pan, and then reduce the temperature so that it is gently bubbling. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (plain white vinegar will also do) to the water, and gently slide in the eggs. We recommend cracking them 1 by 1 into a small dish and pouring them into the water to avoid breakage. Cook 3-5 minutes. Three minutes will yield a very soft, runny yolk, and at 5 minutes it will be nearly hard boiled.  Using a slotted spoon, gently remove the eggs from the water, and place on a paper towel to drain.

To serve, place several asparagus spears on a plate. Add the egg, and drizzle with the sauce. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper, and garnish with a few tarragon leaves and some lemon zest. Enjoy!

photo: indigojonesnyc instagram

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Unrecipe of the Week: Miso Coconut Chicken

March 10, 2014

I was craving something with some interesting flavors, but nothing too spicy, too heavy or too obvious. I stumbled upon this recipe adapted from i am a food blog, and knew this was just what I was looking for. The smell of onion, ginger, mushrooms and garlic, perfumed the kitchen and added just the right amount of flavors to chicken. The miso paste and coconut milk combined to make the perfect sauce; creamy, but not cloying, and so delicious we wanted to eat it with a spoon. Of course, I tweaked it, or maybe just didn’t bother to measure it, to make it into an real unrecipe.

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Miso Coconut Chicken:

Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and sear, skin side down, in vegetable oil for 6-8 minutes until it is crispy and brown.

Remove chicken from the pan, and sauté about 1/2 of a large onion diced, 2 or 3 cloves of diced garlic, and a nice sized hunk of diced ginger until it is soft and fragrant, but not too browned. Add in about a pound of sliced shitake mushrooms, and continue to cook until the mushrooms are done, scraping up any browned bits as you go.

Add 2 tablespoons of water, and 2 heaping tablespoon of miso paste to the pan, stirring until it becomes smooth. Add 1 can (14-16 oz. ) of unsweetened coconut milk to the pan and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, and add the chicken pieces back to the pan. Cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked. Taste the sauce and correct the seasonings if necessary. Serve over steamed jasmine rice, and enjoy!

photo: glasshouse images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Chicken Roasted in Milk

January 6, 2014

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On New Year’s Day, I craved something warm, nourishing and different. I stumbled upon the recipe for Jamie Oliver’s Chicken in Milk, and thought it sounded downright vile. The idea of combining chicken, milk, lemon,garlic and cinnamon seemed just wrong. Yet, a writer from a trusted source, The Kitchn, absolutely raved about it, claiming it was the best chicken she has ever eaten. So,in the spirit of “new year, new attitude”, YOLO, etc., I decided to cook on the wild side and give it a try. We are all very glad that I did. It was crispy on the outside, succulent on the inside, and the sauce was surprisingly clean, yet rich at the same time. The flavors somehow meshed together perfectly, and the only regret was not having a loaf of thick bread on hand to sop up the sauce the chicken was sitting in. Go ahead, step outside of the norm, and give it a try. It really is delicious!

Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Roasted in Milk: (unrecipe version, of course!)

(c) 2012 || jocelynmathewesphotography.com

Season one whole chicken ( about 3 or 3.5 pounds or so ) with salt and pepper, and brown it in olive oil in a large, but snug fitting pot that is oven proof. Remove the chicken, pour out the excess fat, and place the chicken back in the pot.

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Toss in a handful of fresh sage leaves, 1/2 a cinnamon stick ( confesssion: I used ground cinnamon since I was out of sticks and it was just fine) 8 or 10 garlic cloves unpeeled, and the zest of 2 lemons. Pour in about 2 1/2 cups of milk, and roast in a 375 degree oven for about 90 minutes until the skin is crisp and the meat is cooked through. You can walk away and forget about it like I did, or baste it from time to time. Our sauce did not curdle at all, but you may expect to get a few curds.

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When you are ready to serve it, pull the chicken off the bones with your gloved hands,( it’s hot!) or use a poultry sheers to cut it into pieces. Pour the juices over the chicken, and prepare to be wowed! You can squeeze the roasted garlic cloves onto bread,  vegetables, or mix into mashed potatoes and enjoy!

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Zucchini “Pizza”

December 30, 2013

TSF fuits et légumes sur fond blanc

The holidays have taken their toll, and we would be hard pressed to find anyone who is not interested in “reeling it in” a little bit, on the indulgence side. This quickie vegetarian dish could be the centerpiece to a meal, or a great appetizer. The zucchini base functions in lieu of a crust, and is topped with tomatoes and cheese like a pizza. It has all of the flavor, and none of the guilt of the real deal. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say it replaces traditional pizza, I will say it’s a darn good alternative when the craving strikes and the scale is recommending abstinence!

Zucchini “Pizzas”

Slice open a zucchini lengthwise, and shave a little off the bottom so that it lays flat. Place it on a cookie sheet, brush it lightly with olive oil, and sprinkle it with finely diced garlic. Top with thin slices of tomato, and sprinkle with some shredded basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Top it with mozzarella cheese, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. For an even lighter version, use Parmesan cheese instead of the mozzarella.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Start the year off right:

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Unrecipe of the Week: Hot Chocolate Mix

December 18, 2013

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Homemade gifts embody the true spirit of the season. They come from the heart, are made with love and tend to be sweet.
This recipe for homemade hot chocolate mix is perfect for gift giving. It’s easy to make, and is can be customized to suit the recipient.

Package it in a mason jar tied with a beautiful ribbon, or in a bag tucked inside a lovely mug. Add a special spoon, or a bag of homemade marshmallows. Perhaps a small bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Peppermint Schnapps with some candy canes on the side might take the edge off of a cold winter’s night. The possibilities are myriad, and the results well worth the effort. Why use preservative laden mixes when making your own is so simple, and so much more flavorful?

Hot Chocolate Mix: 

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup Dutch processed high quality cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups powdered milk ( many hot chocolate aficionados swear by Nestle’s  “Nida” whole milk powder )

1 scant teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

* add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy twist if desired

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly with a whisk to prevent clumps, and store in an airtight container.

To serve:
Fill a mug 1/2 way with the dry mixture and pour in hot water. Stir until mixed, add the garnish of your choice and enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Parmesan Cups

September 4, 2013

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These tasty little parmesan cups are real show-stoppers. Sometimes referred to as frico, these savory, yet delicate crisps are the perfect edible bowl for all kinds of mini salads. We filled ours with diced heirloom tomatoes tossed in a little olive oil and lemon, and arugula and cherry tomato salad another night,but the possibilities are endless. Chunks of avocado? How about artichokes in truffle oil? Chicken salad? Prosciutto and melon? Isn’t it fig season? All this food talk is making me so hungry, I might just run downstairs and whip up some more, because, they are that easy to make.They contain exactly one ingredient: Grated Parmesan cheese. Really, that’s all. It is all in the technique, and once you get the hang of it, it’s quite simple.

Pre heat the oven to 375 degrees. Make a circle of parmesan cheese on a flat cookie sheet. It only takes a spoonful or two. Use a biscuit cutter, a bowl or a measuring cup to make them consistent.  I used a 2 cup metal measuring cup as my guide. They do not spread much so you can get 4 on one sheet.

Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven, and allow them to cool for a few seconds. Use a long thin spatula to gently loosen the rounds from the pan. Quickly, (and without burning your fingers!!!) place each round into a muffin tin to create the freeform bowl shape. For a broader, shallower cup, use the back of the muffin tin. For a tighter, deeper cup, use the inside. Make sure you get a flat bottom so they will stand on the plate. The trick is to work quickly. If they cool too long, they will not be malleable and will break. You can always put them back in the oven for 20 or 30 seconds to soften again. If a few break, no worries. They are delicious sprinkled in soups and salads. Allow them to cool before removing and filling with whatever suits your fancy.

Enjoy!

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Unrecipe of the Week: Tomato Tart

August 30, 2013

This delicious tart is a great way to feature the last tomatoes of the season. Served as a main dish with a salad, or as an appetizer, this savory tart features heirloom tomatoes, basil and soft goat cheese.

Tomato Tart with Basil and Goat Cheese:

Roll out pate brisee and place it in a tart pan with a removable bottom. Find our basic pastry recipe here.

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Make a basil puree out of fresh basil leaves, and clove of garlic. Pulse them in the food processor until they are finely diced. With the machine running, add olive oil until it makes a loose, spreadable paste. Spread this on the bottom of the tart crust.

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Place heirloom cherry tomatoes cut in half in concentric circles on top of the basil mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and brush lightly with olive oil.
Bake in a hot (425 degree) oven for about 40 minutes or so. At this point, the crust will start to turn golden, and the tomatoes will begin to shrivel a bit.

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Sprinkle soft goat cheese on the tart and continue to bake until the cheese melts and the crust reaches the desired shade of golden brown; about 10 more minutes.

Allow to cool slightly and cut into wedges. Serve with a side of mixed greens and enjoy!!

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Unrecipe of the Week: Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

August 14, 2013

We have been having a lot of office celebrations lately, prompting discussion of our dream birthday treats. Artisanal ice creams came up and the desire for lactose free or vegan versions struck a cord. There are lots of types of alternative milks, why not use them to make ice cream?
I set out to tackle the challenge. Fresh strawberries and creamy coconut milk provide the base for this luscious ice cream.

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Puree 1½ to 2 pints of strawberries in the blender and chill.

strawberry puree

strawberry puree

Mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with ½ cup of coconut milk and whisk until well blended.  Set aside.

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Place 1½ cups of coconut milk into a large pot and cook just until bubbles start to form. Add 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt and about ½ cup of a natural liquid sweetener, such as organic cane juice, agave or Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

Slowly whisk in the coconut milk/cornstarch mixture and cook at a high heat until thickened and custard-like.

Cook until thickened

Cook until thickened

Cool the mixture for several hours or overnight.

Using an ice cream machine or mixer attachment, churn the coconut milk mixture and the strawberry puree together following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Place the ice cream in a container, and freeze until ready to eat.

Enjoy!

This “unrecipe” can be used with any fruit. Try experimenting with different fruits, and different types of milk, such as soy or almond milk. Let us know if you stumble upon a winner!

photos via indigojonesnyc instagram

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Unrecipe of the Week: Accordion Potatoes

July 29, 2013

For awhile, it seemed like we were bombarded with photos of beautiful accordion-like potatoes, often referred to as Hasselback Potatoes, in honor of the Swedish restaurant The Hasselbacken, which created them. Tonight, I thought I would give them a try, as the accompaniment to a rack of lamb.

I used small Yukon Gold potatoes, but any kind will do.

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Peel the potatoes. (confession: I didn’t.) Cut small slits into the potato, leaving it still attached at the bottom. You can place chopsticks on the cutting board on both sides of the potato to stop the blade of the knife from going all the way through. Be sure to cut deeply enough, or the potato will not fan open while baking.

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Brush the potato liberally with melted butter or olive oil, allowing it to seep between the cut. Sprinkle it with coarse salt and any other seasonings you wish to use. Place the potatoes in a greased  pan, cover with foil and bake in a hot, 400 degree oven for about 30  minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Uncover, and brush with more butter or oil, and cook another 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Enjoy!

Some recipes call for cheese, garlic, or any other topping that catches your fancy. If you are using cheese, add it to the last 15 minutes of roasting.

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