Posts Tagged ‘unrecipe’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Mirepoix

October 10, 2017

 

It’s no secret that I am a big Trader Joe’s fan. I brave the crowds frequently to stock up on items that are unbeatable for both price and quality.

One of my latest discoveries is not new to the brand, but it is new to me and it is life-changing. One word. Mirepoix. 

Mirepoix (meer – pwah) is a staple in the French culinary world, consisting of diced onion, carrot and celery, which provides the base for soups, stews, and sauces. It takes a bit of an effort to make, due to the washing, peeling, and dicing of the vegetables.

Trader Joe’s offers it in a 14 oz tub, layered with the perfect proportion of one-half onion, three carrots, and 3 celery stalks, all cut and ready to use. In the time it took to unpack my groceries, I had sauteed the Mirepoix and was ready to add the other ingredients for a quick pureed soup. And did I mention it’s only $2.99?

Quick Pureed Soup:
Slowly saute the mirepoix in butter or olive oil, until the vegetables start to soften, and the onion becomes translucent. True mirepoix is not meant to brown or caramelize.

Add the vegetable of choice, (zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli are all good options) and any herbs you might like. Add enough chicken or vegetable stock* to fully submerge the vegetables and simmer covered until they are soft. Puree the mixture until smooth, put it back in the pot, correct seasonings and enjoy!

* If you don’t have stock on hand, Better Than Bouillion is another easy fix. It comes in a jar and is spoonable, rather than dehydrated into a salty cube. It is organic, not full of fake ingredients, and a big dollop added to the pot of water makes a tasty soup. It is high in sodium, so be sure to taste before adding additional salt.

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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: Cod in Spicy Tomato Broth with Calamari

May 13, 2013

I haven’t been posting many (un) recipes lately. I have been busy with work and other commitments, and  I have been falling back on my old standbys rather than creating new ones. This weekend, I was committed to trying something different.

We had a violent storm rip through the city on Saturday afternoon, and when the thunder, lightening and torrential rains subsided, I headed out pick up some ingredients for dinner. I ran into a friend along the way, who decided to accompany me on a trip through Chelsea Market, making the journey much more fun.

Inspired by a recipe from Andrew Carmellini, I began foraging through the market.

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First stop, the newly renovated Lobster Place. Oh how I missed my fabulous seafood market during the several months they were closed! It has finally reopened, with an expanded space, immense selection and an attached restaurant.

It was there that I picked up fresh cod filets, cleaned squid and a small bottle of clam juice.

Next stop: The Manhattan Fruit Exchange for fresh produce. I added a red bell pepper, a bunch of basil and some baby arugula to my stash, and moved on.

My final stop was Rana, where I bought some homemade fettuccini to use as a base for my concoction.

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The result?

Oven Braised Cod in Spicy Tomato Broth with Calamari

In a large sauté pan, (with a lid) sauté some thinly sliced garlic in olive oil. Add a red bell pepper sliced into thin strips. Toss in some hot red pepper flakes, and add about a ½ cup of dry white wine. Bring it to a boil and add about a cup of clam juice and 2 cups of marinara sauce. At this point, it’s ok to use a simple marinara sauce from a jar if you don’t want to take the time to prepare your own.

Simmer on the stove for about 15 minutes, until the red pepper softens. If the sauce starts to get too thick, add a little more wine or clam juice. Pour it into the blender, and puree until smooth. *

Season the cod filets with salt and pepper and place them in the sauté pan. Pour the tomato broth over the fish, cover it, and cook it in a 375-degree oven for about 12 minutes or so.

When the fish is done, carefully remove it from the pan, and set aside, covering it to keep warm.

Return the pan to the stove, and add the calamari (squid) cut into rings.. Simmer lightly for 2 or 3 minutes until they are fully cooked. Avoid boiling them, as they will get rubbery. Add some chopped basil and arugula to the pan and mix thoroughly.

To serve: Place the cooked fettuccini into pasta bowls. Place a fish filet on top of the pasta, and pour a generous amount of the sauce and calamari over the fish.

Make sure you have a spoon, or a big piece of crusty bread on hand, because you will want to lap up every last bit of that rich, spicy sauce!

Remember, this is an unrecipe. If you can’t find fresh calamari, try rock shrimp, bay scallops or clams instead. Or be adventurous, and use a little of each!
Even simpler, just cook the fish and use the flavorful sauce on it’s own, without the added seafood. It will still be delicious! If you choose to use a bottled sauce, you may need to adjust your seasonings a bit. If the sauce already has a lot of garlic, you may not want to add anymore at all.

Enjoy!

* Be careful when blending hot liquids! Place a kitchen towel over the top of the blender, and use a few cautious pulses to get started. You only need to experience the explosion of scalding hot liquids when the top blows off the blender once, to learn to practice caution.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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Unrecipe of the Week: Ratatouille

October 22, 2012

My family was hankering for pasta with Bolognese sauce, and the meat and pasta part of the dish just wasn’t doing it for me. However,the idea of a slow cooked flavorful dish held some appeal.  I had an eggplant laying around waiting to be converted into something, and I realized I hadn’t made ratatouille in many years.

Ratatouille is an ultimate “unrecipe” since the ingredients and flavors are flexible, as is the cooking time.

Indigo Jones’ Ratatouille

Sauté diced garlic and onions in olive oil until transparent.

Working in batches, sauté sliced mushrooms, diced red and/ or green peppers, cubed eggplant, and zucchini until browned. Season with salt, pepper, oregano and basil to taste.

Add diced tomatoes and pitted Calamata olives.

Transfer to an ovenproof casserole and bake for about an hour, until the vegetables are cooked through, and the flavors meld together. Sprinkle with Parmesan

cheese and enjoy!

CSA Tuesday

September 19, 2012

Today’s CSA bounty was very different from last week’s haul.

There are lots of greens, including lettuce, collards, kale, parsley, sage, and kohlrabi.

An lonely acorn squash rounded out the assortment.

With one family member who grew up in the South and remembers over-cooked collard greens simmered in leftover, and possibly rancid bacon grease, and another that only eats green items like gummy worms and M&M’s, this selection is going to be a challenge. And I LOVE a good cooking challenge!

Stay tuned. This week indigo jones is going green and sharing the unrecipes along the way! Wish me luck!

Unrecipe of the Week

September 24, 2011

This salad has an unusual mix of ingredients that complement one another in a unique way. There is an earthiness to it that we love as we move into the cooler weather.

Fig, Corn and Radish Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

 For salad:

Combine mache, or mixed baby greens with arugula, and a few thinly sliced radishes.

Cook about 1 cup of corn in a grill pan over high heat, so it is seared. Shake pan often to avoid burning it. Cool slightly, and add to the other vegetables.

Toss with dressing and mound on individual serving plates.

Add fresh figs, quartered, and a few very thin slices of red onion to the plates.

Sprinkle with black pepper and enjoy!


For dressing:

½ cup olive oil

juice of one lime (or more if they are tiny)

a splash of orange juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together the ingredients and pour over the salad mixture.

photo: Glasshouse Images

In partnership with Glasshouse Images

A division of Glasshouse Publishing

Unrecipe of the Week

August 31, 2009

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Looking for a low calorie alternative to pasta, that uses all the delicious vegetables of the season? Try using julienned zucchini as a base for a delicious fresh tomato sauce that takes minutes to prepare.

Zucchini “Pasta” with Fresh Tomato Sauce

Julienne zucchini, or use a peeler to shave into ribbons (about 1 zucchini per person)

Dice a couple of garlic cloves

Sauté the garlic and zucchini in olive oil for about 2 minutes, just to slightly soften (do not over cook!!!!)

Remove from pan

Sauté diced fresh plum tomatoes until soft. Stir constantly, and lower heat to allow tomatoes to form a rustic sauce

Season with salt and pepper to taste

Add a handful of fresh basil, cut into strips

Put the zucchini into bowls and spoon the tomato sauce over it.

Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

I love to add shrimp to this dish. Just sauté the shrimp in olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper. Add it to the tomato sauce and serve.

Enjoy!
Tip: Can’t live without a little pasta? Try thinking of the vegetable portion as the meal, and adding a little pasta to it as a condiment. It gives the dish a little heft without adding too many calories.

photo:Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week

August 11, 2009

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Looking for a way to jazz up fish? Try this “unrecipe” for a quick mustard, and fresh herb topping for broiled salmon:

Salmon with Mustard and Fresh Herb Sauce:

Dijon mustard (about 2 tablespoons)

Chopped fresh thyme and rosemary

A clove or 2 of minced garlic

A drizzle of olive oil

A dollop of white wine

Mix the ingredients well.
Sprinkle fish filets with salt and pepper, and broil until the top is just starting to brown (about 2 or 3 minutes).

Spread the mustard mixture over the fish, and return to the broiler until the fish is cooked through.

Enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe Of The Week

July 22, 2009

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With summer finally here, I have been obsessed with tomatoes. The markets are filled with a vast selection of rich ripe tomatoes, from the traditional beefsteak and plum varieties, to the more unique heirloom tomatoes that grow in beautiful colors of red, yellow, green, orange and purple. Try this simple “unrecipe” for a great salad, or as a topping for fish, chicken or pasta.

Select a variety of tomatoes, and cut them into chunks.

Drizzle with olive oil and a little lemon juice.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Sprinkle with fresh basil cut in thin strips.

Enjoy!

photo: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Assignment


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