September 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
When fall descended on New York last Thursday over the course of two hours (literally), I decided that I could finally stand the idea of being near the oven and cooking Real Food on a regular basis again. And tonight, I like to think that I was divinely inspired to return to the ole ball and chain that is this blog. I can’t promise that any of the roomies will join us here in the One-Drawer Kitchen, or that I’ll always have interesting commentary to accompany the recipes I attempt, but don’t stop believin’. You never know what could happen.
So without further ado,
CIAOder. (aka Chowder. See what I did there?)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (I omitted this because I don’t really like mustard)
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omitted because I have zero tolerance for spicy things, unfortunately)
- 2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth (I used one of the 32-oz boxes of chicken broth)
- 8 ounces broccoli crowns, cut into 1-inch pieces, stems and florets separated
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese (I used normal extra sharp cheddar because low-fat cheddar is an abomination)
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream (already had this on hand, and not as offensive to the Diety of Dairy)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (omitted, because even with reduced-sodium broth, it was a tad salty)
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery; cook, stirring often, until the onion and celery soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add potato and garlic; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in flour; cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
- Add broth and broccoli stems; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in florets; simmer, covered, until the broccoli is tender, about 10 minutes more. Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a bowl and mash; return to the pan. After reading comments on the recipe, I decided to skip the hand mash and lightly puree most of the soup in the blender for a smoother/creamier soup.
- Stir in Cheddar and sour cream; cook over medium heat, stirring, until the cheese is melted and the chowder is heated through, about 2 minutes.
April 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
When I think Easter dinner, I usually think ham. Green bean casserole. Au gratin potatoes.
But this year, I decided to go for a lighter variation on the theme–pork medallions in cranberry chutney with roasted asparagus, green beans, and potatoes.
So after a lovely lunch on the roof with friends of The One-Drawer Kitchen and an old-school Easter egg hunt in our backyard, I forced myself to walk away from the candy and get down to business.
- 1 lb of pork tenderloins, cut into thirds, about 1 in. thick
- 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup canned whole-berry sweetened cranberry sauce
- 1 T cider vinegar
- 1/2 t freshly ground ginger
- small bunch of asperagus
- 3-4 red potatoes, chopped
- bag of fresh green beans, washed and ends removed
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the pork
Heat oil in a large skillet. Salt and pepper both sides of pork and saute for 2 minutes per side. Remove pork; set aside. In the juices in the skillet, saute onion for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Return the pork to the pan; simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, until pink is gone from center. Serve.
April 23, 2011 § 1 Comment
1. That we do, indeed, have a broiler here in our fancy kitchen.
2. That French onion soup is absolutely, beautifully, simply delicious.
Anyone who knows me (Wesley), or who has read this blog at least once, probably knows that I (and the rest of us here at the apartment) absolutely love caramelized onions. They’re without question one of the greatest foods known to mankind. Also delicious: crusty bread and melty cheese. That being said, how is it at all possible that I have never once in my life (seriously, not ever) eaten French onion soup, or any onion-related soup at all, for that matter? One of life’s unanswerable questions, to be sure.
So, today, like mostly every day in recent memory, was rainy. And gross. And when it wasn’t raining, it was stuffy and humid and awful. One of those days where it feels like everything — people, animals, plants — is just entirely listless. On my walk to the grocery store (accompanied via phone by my mother, of course), it seemed as though the clouds and rain and dreary weather had gone and sucked all of the energy out of the entire neighborhood. On a day like that, there are few things to do other than cozy up in the apartment and make soup. And make soup we did. This soup. Holy. Moly. Smitten Kitchen, you are the greatest.
And ended with this:
In between, Anna and I put together a salad course to tide us over the second of two 40-minute simmering phase of the soup-making. It was perfect.
Today, also, I learned about our broiler. I had no idea that we had one – in fact, I was going to bail on the cheesy toast slices altogether, thinking that we didn’t have the capacity to broil them to crispy perfection. Anna showed me just how wrong I was.
And now, we’re letting our glasses of white wine set in before finishing off our delicious dinners with some dark chocolate ice cream. Life is good, rainy day and all.
Wesley & Anna
April 21, 2011 § 1 Comment
It’s not just a Cosmo-sanctioned grocery store pick-up line that we mocked endlessly, or the subject of intense “is this Kosher?” (in the literal sense) debate, or a food Leonore had never heard of before living with Alison.
It’s also what we had for dinner last night as a delightful update of the classic dish, rice and beans.
Here’s our version of the recipe:
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon curry spices
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 1.5 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
As far as preparations go, start by heating the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned. At this point, (we, at least) also make sure that both of the living room windows are open to create a breeze that (usually) prevents the smoke alarm from going off.Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth (or your favorite mix of water and “Better than Bouillan”). Season with curry powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.While simmering, consume copious amounts of gruyere and cheddar cheese on whole-wheat pita chips from your artfully-designed cheese plate.
Finally, stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans (no colander needed to rinse–just use the can and save on dish washing) and cilantro.
Serve with garlic bread, avocado slices, and more cilantro for garnish (and extra flavor, if you’re of the pro-cilantro persuasion).
April 16, 2011 § 4 Comments
It’s a rainy and miserable April afternoon, the kind that even the promise of May flowers can’t redeem, the kind where you sit around and eat soup, and watch TV, and even the characters on the TV are eating soup. (Synergy!) I’m trying to find the silver lining of all of these clouds, and am using this evening to look through the many pictures of my mom’s visit.
What’s great about having visitors is that they give you an excuse to go do all the things you otherwise forget about – visiting museums, eating at the tasty restaurants you’ve been meaning to try, venturing to Herold Square and Rockefeller Center, and generally playing the role of tourist while still maintaining your jaded New Yorker cred. But what’s great about having your mom as a visitor is that you get to do that stuff, but also enjoy her home cooking expertise. So, without further adieu, a sampling of what my mom and I ate on her visit here.
On Sunday, we went to Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg, on the first outdoor weekend of the season. The Sunday Flea is right on the water, with a lovely view of Manhattan and the bridges (which is incidentally the name of my next band). Unfortunately, the location also means that it can be freezing and windy, and on this Sunday, it sure was. We kicked off our visit with a stop at the Porchetta booth, which fortified us enough to brave the the wind and the dust devils. But delicious meat can only last you so long (get your mind out of the gutter), so we capped off our Flea-sperience with a Romaine Dinghy from Saltie. There’s nothing like a salty, fishy sandwich and a sample of olive oil cake to protect you from the wind. Except maybe a windbreaker.
After the flea, we went to Trader Joe’s to pick up ingredients for dinner and a Brooklyn Trader Joe’s bag for my mom. I, on the other hand, used my D.C. Trader Joe’s bag, which completely impressed our cashier. He’s apparently quite an collector, and has researched all available Trader Joe’s bags. According to him, the hierarchy of bag awesomeness is D.C.>Brooklyn>Atlanta. We’ll have to take his word on how hideous the Atlanta bag is, since there are no Googleable pics to back him up. A conspiracy? Anyway, you heard it hear first: Trader Joe’s bags are the next Beanie Babies. But more tasty than a bag? Chicken piccata with potatoes and asparagus and salad. Once more, my mom was dismayed to learn we didn’t have a staple – capers, in this case – but we improvised and it worked out. Here’s what’s great about moms: they don’t need recipes! How long until I’m at that point?
Also, pro (mom) tip: if you’re going to pound your chicken with a frying pan, make sure to put it in a plastic bag first. Otherwise, it’ll sploosh out everywhere. Live and learn!
You know the other great thing about moms, or at least my mom? If you’ve maybe left salad greens in your fridge for like a week plus, and maybe some of it has become that gross black lettuce decay, she’ll pick through the greens for you and salvage the good stuff. Motherly love! Or, like, instinct of protecting your young. Regardless. Moms! The best!
The reason we had that salad for dinner is because we had eaten 6 and 8 ounces of tri-tip for lunch. I’ll leave it up to you to guess who ate how much. The tri-tips were courtesy of a place called Tri Tip Grill, in Rockefeller Center. But I can’t think of it as anything but the Buckhorn. See, I grew up in Winters, a town with 5,000 people. It was known for a few things: having no stoplights, being the gateway to Lake Berryessa and the Glory Hole (again, mind out of gutter, y’all), and having the Buckhorn Steakhouse, one of the best steakhouses around. In my childhood, the best/worst part of the Buckhorn was the huge collection of taxidermied animals adorning the walls. But now, it’s the utterly addictive Roadhouse Onions. If you’re in New York, San Francisco, or, I don’t know, Winters, CA, go get ‘em!
In an excellent coincidence, the other restaurant in Winters owned by the Buckhorn folks was featured on Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives while my mom was here. If you watch it, you can see my pre-school teacher endorsing the pizzas made in an oven built by my next-door neighbor, while my parents’ friend sits at the next table. Like I said, small town.
After she’d bought my steak, taken me to Al Di La, cooked all week, and didn’t complain once about sharing my bed, I figured I owed my mom a little something something. So I made the delicious pull-apart cinnamon toast breadfor her. We showed remarkably more restraint this time, and took two whole days to finish eating it! But seriously, this bread is so good that I can honestly see myself making it for the rest of my life. TRY IT.
And finally, a pro (Anna) tip: why buy a rolling pin? Just guzzle a whole bottle of wine and use that instead!
Anna (and her mom)
April 13, 2011 § 1 Comment
Greetings from The One-Drawer Kitchen’s novice chef!
I’m a recovering picky eater who also lived in the freshman dorms for all four years of college (kind of like those kids who have to repeat kindergarten). So this is the first year I’m cooking for myself on a regular basis in a kitchen of my very own.
AND I’m lucky enough to get off work at 4pm, so more often than not, I have time to cook on the weeknights. Though Monday taunted us with the glory that will be Spring, lingering wintery weather made a rude reappearance on Tuesday. It turned out fine, however, because it gave me a chance to use my Farmer’s market squash for a one last hearty warm meal of the season–Butternut Squash Soup.
The recipe called for curry powder, but after scouring our incredibly well-stocked spice basket (yes, we keep our spices in a basket) I couldn’t find any, so I replaced it with a bit of a flavorful shortcut–Mrs. Dash. No laughing! That stuff is delicious. I also made some adjustments for just one squash.
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 tsp Mrs. Dash
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, seeded and chopped into 2-inch cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- dollop of fat-free sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped fresh chives for garnish (found some in the fridge and used a tiny bit, hope that’s ok lovely darling roommates!)
I started out by peeling (twice, which I learned the last time I cooked a squash).
Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer 15 minutes, until squash is spatula-tender.
Remove bay leaves and, working in batches, purée soup in a blender (I used a measuring cup for scooping). Ladle soup into bowls and top each serving with sour cream and chives.
I toasted a piece of 10-grain bread, which was perfect for dipping. I thought it was really filling, but you could also pair it with a side salad for more veggie goodness.
Depending on your local climate, you might have to save this one for the fall, but it’s delicious!
April 10, 2011 § 1 Comment
Every Saturday, the Greenmarket comes to town and/or our neighborhood, with the random saxophone players and peddlers of free samples calling to all true Brooklynites like “Pop Goes the Weasel” blaring from an ice-cream truck calls to children. And this Saturday was so sunny and springy that we couldn’t resist a trip to Prospect Park to check out the offerings.
We ended up with a bag of spinach, a butternut squash, and an assortment of potatoes.
After much googling and thinking about the ingredients we already had on hand, we decided on Spinach Risotto, modified from this recipe.
We followed the preparation instructions, except that at the beginning, we arbitrarily carmelized three onions [Wesley sincerely believes that caramelized onions are one of the most perfect foods in existence] to add to the risotto, then sauteed the washed and stemmed spinach, setting it aside to cool while we stirred the risotto. The spinach and onions were so perfectly beautiful and delicious, Wesley seriously considered eating them on their own. With a fork. All of them.
This seems like a recipe best completed with two people – stirring constantly for close to half an hour is pretty tiring. But also, good exercise. Teamwork! Everybody wins!
Since we used brown rice, we added another half cup of broth near the end to try to soften it. That mostly worked. And while it was a bit more than just a bit al dente, it was delicious and hearty nonetheless. Finished off with a bit of freshly grated parmesan and cracked black pepper, this was a definite success.
Leo & Wesley