Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kasha (Polish-style toasted buckwheat groats) with sauteed leeks and mushrooms

Kasha!!


http://www.naturesrice.com/KASHA%20bmp.jpg

If you avoid wheat and you haven't tried it before, you should. It's a delicious alternative to rice or other cooked grains, with a nutty flavor all its own. Polish folks have a gazillion recipes for it, and some involve putting the kasha to bed. Yes, literally, putting it under the covers for a period of an hour or more.

 I followed these directions here and merged with some other suggestions & recipes I found on the web. The result was delicious.

I used the above directions for toasting, precooking, and baking the kasha as suggested, but mixed the precooked kasha with a sauteed mushroom mixture before I put it in the oven. The mixture:

3 leeks, thoroughly cleaned then chopped (just the white parts)
1 pound brown mushrooms, chopped
dash of dry dill and thyme
salt
fresh-ground black pepper

Saute in olive oil with some butter. Mix with pre-cooked buckwheat groats (3/4 cup kasha, toasted and tossed with melted butter) and a bit over a cup of water, cooked on low flame until the water evaporates) and 1 slightly beaten egg. Bake in 350 degree oven for about half an hour.

Would be delicious paired with a meat or dairy main dish.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Allergy-friendly, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free pizza!


Pizza 'sauce'
4 large tomatoes
sea salt & fresh-ground pepper
olive oil

Pizza dough
1 cup potato starch (also called potato flour)
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
1 cup brown rice flour or other whole-grain flour (EG quinoa,barley, amaranth, or millet; make sure it's gluten-free if you're cooking for someone with gluten intolerance)
1 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
chia seeds or other seeds, such as sesame or hemp (optional)
additional polenta (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
water (up to about 2 cups)
bacon grease (optional)


Making the 'sauce'
Slice the tomatoes into thin slices and lay onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Broil on high until tomatoes begin to brown and you see them softening. Flip them over and broil until the other side of the tomatoes is slightly brown. Remove from oven and set aside. Switch the oven from broiling mode to baking mode and preheat to 430 degrees Fahrenheit, then begin to assemble dough.


Making the crust
Assemble dry ingredients in big metal bowl or dry Vitamix blender container, and mix. If you are using a Vitamix, you can start with whole dry grains, and grind them and continue blending until well mixed. Then, transfer into your large bowl. (When I use my Vitamix, I reserve some polenta and the seeds to add after the mixture goes into the bowl, so the dough has a bit of grainy texture.)

Add a tablespoon olive oil and about a cup of water, and mix the ingredients with your hands. Knead together,
adding water and a little more olive oil as needed and kneading until the mixture holds together loosely in a ball. It will be a crumbly and somewhat sticky dough.

Divide the dough into three sections. Two balls can go into a bag in the fridge for up to a week for future pizza adventures.

Grease the bottom and sides of a 12-inch cast iron skillet with bacon grease or olive oil. (Bacon grease makes for an amazing flavor, but if you're veggie or concerned about saturated fat, you'll want to stick to olive oil.) Press the dough into the skillet, using your fingers and the flat of your hand to press the dough down and toward the sides of the pan. Keep going until your dough is satisfactorily thin and even. I like to have it climbing up the sides a bit to make for a more deep-dish style pizza. It can make it easier to spread it out if you sprinkle a bit more olive oil on top and slide the dough out with your fingers. In any case, sprinkle it with a little olive oil before it goes into the oven.


Bake in an oven preheated to 430 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes. While it's baking, assemble your allergy-friendly pizza toppings. Some favorites for us: shredded vegan 'cheese' and/or crumbled goat cheese (I personally can't have dairy and have to avoid yeasts, but seem to be able to tolerate goat cheese occasionally); roasted or sauteed vegetables (especially kale chopped into bite-sized pieces and sauteed in garlic and olive oil); fresh-chopped herbs from my garden such as oregano, thyme, and basil; Applegate's pepperoni (gluten and casein-free and free of hormones, antibiotics, and added nitrites). . . and the list goes on.

When the pizza crust has baked for 10 minutes, take it out of the oven. Lift the roasted tomatoes out of the baking dish and arrange in the bottom of the crust.



Sprinkle your cheese or cheese substitute over the tomatoes, and layer your remaining ingredients on top.


Bake for 20-30 minutes, until your cheese or cheese substitute has melted and the top of the pizza is gently browned. Serves about 2 persons.



To give credit where credit is due, the crust recipe is based on a gluten-free recipe I found on an excellent gluten-free food blog.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Stupidly easy balsamic chicken

As far as recipes go, it doesn't get easier than this. I was once told that this dish is Mexican in origin, but to me it represents the fusion of cultures that comes of the Romance Languages Department that I've called home for the past 6 years.

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs (it's perfectly OK to leave the bones in and the skin on)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 large sweet onion, sliced
3 dried ancho chiles, rehydrated and some of the seeds removed

Directions:
1. In a dutch oven or large wide bottomed pot, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil
2. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
3. Being sure not to crowd the pot, brown the chicken on both sides. (You may need to do this in batches.)
4. Add the remaining ingredients and allow to stew, covered, over medium heat for 30 minutes.

Serve over rice.
Serves 4

Crab Enchiladas with Black Bean Sauce

These enchiladas just came together in my kitchen this evening. They were very much the product of what I had on hand so feel free to experiment with the contents of your own kitchen. The guiding rule is to keep the flavors fresh.

Ingredients:

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained--divided
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped--divided
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped--divided
1 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley (substitute 1 1/2 tsp dried herbs if needed)--divided
juice of 2 limes--divided
3 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp rum or tequila
1 jalapeno pepper, some seeds removed, diced
1/4 cup vegetable stock or water
2 small cans (or one large can) of crab meat
1 poblano pepper, some seeds removed, chopped
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 cups shredded jack cheese
10 corn tortillas
Salt and Pepper
Sour cream

Directions:
1. In a medium sauce pot, combine 1 1/2 cans of black beans, 1/2 the onion, 1/2 the bell pepper, cumin, 2 Tbsp of cilantro, the juice of one lime, tomato paste, rum, jalapeno pepper, and stock. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat while assembling the enchiladas. Stir occasionally.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the remaining black beans, cilantro, lime juice, crab, and poblano pepper. Set aside.
3. In a saute pan, heat the canola oil. Add the remaining onion and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add onions and peppers to the crab mixture.
4. Add the cheese to the crab mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Grease a rectangular baking dish and set oven to 350 degrees.
6. Begin stuffing the tortillas with crab mixture. Roll each tortilla around the filling and place the enchilada into the baking dish, open side down. Arrange the enchiladas in row, filling in the sides of the dish with extra enchiladas placed perpendicularly to the row.
7. Remove the black beans from the heat and either blend the sauce with a hand blender or puree it in a food processor. Pour the sauce over the enchiladas, covering the entire pan.
8. Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes. If desired, sprinkle additional cheese on top of the sauce.
9. Serve with sour cream.

Serves 4

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Pot Roast

So it seems as though I'm steering the Kitchen Empress into carnivorous territory, but at Ms. Heather's request, I'm sharing my recipe for pot roast. This is an amazingly simple recipe suitable for even kitchen novices.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp canola oil
2.5-3 lb beef chuck roast
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 of a large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 can of Baxter's French Onion soup
3/4 cup red wine or water

Directions:

1. Heat the canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Sprinkle the salt and pepper evenly over the roast before placing it into the hot oil. Brown the roast on both sides.
3. Transfer the roast to a roasting pan with a lid.
4. Set oven to 350 degrees.
5. Sautee the onions in the skillet with any drippings from the beef. Cook until the onions begin to soften.
6. Layer the onions onto the roast in the roasting pan.
7. Pour the soup on top of the roast and onions and add the wine or water.
8. Place roasting pan into the oven and allow to cook, covered for 3 to 3.5 hours, turning the roast every hour.

The meat should be fork tender once it is done and the sauce should have formed a very thick, sweet oniony gravy. I served this with some fresh steamed green beans and an apple parmesean risotto, but mashed potatoes would go equally well.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Humble introductions and a modest (shepherd's) pie

Ms Heather, a dear friend, kindly invited me to share some of my recipes and the joy that I find in creating tasty food on her blog. While I make no claims to being able to live up to live up to the status of a veritable Kitchen Empress, I'm willing to share my ideas and recipes as a lesser kitchen noble. I thus thought it only fitting to assay my status as a kitchen notable with a recipe of truly humble origins. This shepherd's pie was the perfect meal for a cold and rainy spring night in Michigan and was just the dish to share among friends. This recipe should feed you and three of your nearest and dearest.

Ingredients

1 lb. of ground lamb
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
Pepper to taste (four turns of my pepper mill normally does the trick)
1 bottle of flavorful beer (I happened to have Bell's Oberon on hand)
3 cups beef stock (If you're using a no/very low sodium stock, you may need to add some salt)
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped or 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 medium carrots, chopped
2/3 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 Tbsp semolina
Mashed potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes worth. I usually just go with the plain butter and milk variety that might remind you of the ones your grandmother might make.)

Directions
  1. Over medium-high heat, brown the lamb, onions, garlic, and pepper in a large sauce pan.
  2. Add the beer, stock, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, paprika, and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and allow the meat to stew for about 4 hours. Check it occasionally and give it a stir, but by and large you can trust the lamb, liquid, and seasonings to play nicely with each other. If you find that the liquid is evaporating too quickly simply add some water and/or stock. (The cooking time for this step can easily be cut by 2 or even 3 hours. The flavor and tenderness of the meat simply build the longer you let it simmer. And besides, shepherd's pie is best served on days that could benefit from the gentle heat coming from a slowly simmering pot.)
  3. Stir in the carrots and peas and remove the lid. Turn the heat up to medium to get the liquid to start evaporating.
  4. Allow the mixture to reduce for roughly half an hour before sprinkling in the semolina to thicken it. When adding the semolina, it's best to do so very slowly and while dusting it into a thin layer on the surface of the liquid. That way you can stir it in easily without any danger of starchy lumps. This would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Let the mixture continue to cook down until it's a thick, rich broth that only just seems to keep all the goodness in the pot in suspension.
  6. Transfer the content of the pot into an ovenproof casserole dish. I typically go for a 9x9x2.5 pan. (Alternately, you could begin the whole process in a dutch oven or other stove-top-to-oven vessel. Just keep in mind that having a large surface area will call for more mashed potatoes to "crust" the pie.)
  7. Use a piping bag or a steady hand and a spatula to pipe/spread an even layer of mashed potatoes onto the lamb mixture.
  8. Put the casserole into the over and allow to bake for 35 minutes or until the potatoes start to turn brown. Using your broiler for the last 3-4 minutes of the cooking time will create a lovely golden potato crust.
It may not be much to look at, this pie was praise-worthy in it's humbleness.

Sunday, March 22, 2009