Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Simple Side

Here is one thing you might not think of as a side dish often. Radishes. I remember my father sitting down with a bowlful of them, stems removed, salt-shaker in hand. He'd sprinkle just a bit of salt on them and bite into the crunchy, peppery bulbs.
The little ones were always to much for me, I preferred the larger, more mild ones. Then, I forgot about them, until I began eating out (as an adult) and noticing them as second-thought garnishes to pretty platefuls of glorious food.
Daniel likes them too, we buy them and he snacks on them similarly to my father, just eats them right out from under the tap (after washing them you know). Well, we got a little too excited when we found them on sale... Daniel thought allowed, "Hey I can snack on these at work before I eat lunch!" And I thought it sounded better than a bag of chips or a oil-laden quesadilla from the site-cafe, so we bought a bunch, well, three to be exact.
Now, the first day, Daniel came home complaining of a stomach-ache. They were just too spicy for the morning before he had any food in his stomach (he refuses to eat breakfast). He tried them again the next day and still a stomach-ache, so, he was a little burnt out on them. I asked myself if I could possibly stand to eat that many by myself.
I absolutely love them with butter and a little sea salt, but that almost defeats their "healthy" aspect, so I began thinking of other ways to use/eat them. Luckily, I had stumbled across [eatingclub] vancouver, a blog by two sisters originally from Manila. They had a entry with not just one, but three(!) ways to use radishes. I remembered stumbling on their entry Radishes, Three Ways from goodness knows where, but luckily I had saved the entry in my bookmarks (obviously should such the current situation come up)! I went back to their post and surveyed the recipes... One, quite simply with butter and sea salt (hey, I think I've heard of that from somewhere :) And radish tea sandwiches. I didn't think Daniel would be eating those any time soon so I zeroed in on the last recipe, Glazed Radishes.

Very intriguing to me. They reminded me of Vichy Carrots... And, they were pink after cooking... Almost translucent.
Stop by their blog for the recipe... You can just make it out from their picture of the cookbook (If you Google glazed radishes you can find it as well). I, like them, didn't have as many radishes as the recipe called for, so I eyeballed the ingredients and went by taste. In fact, I tasted it so often I burned my tongue in anticipation, waiting for the pink, soft, slightly sweet & sour babies to be done! (How often does that happen to me? too often I will tell you :)

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Gourmet. Comfort. Food. (and some new plates)

Since we decided to go on this vacation to Mexico ("only 24 days!" Daniel reminds me), the idea that I've had to lose weight has loomed over me for many months... I love food. I'm not a thin or in-shape person. I'm active... but we love food and beer enough to outweigh that, no pun intended.
In the summer, it is far too hot to do any exercising outside, but now that it has cooled down, I've began walking in the mornings. Walking along one Saturday, I passed a sale with some funky dishes displayed. I picked up two and decided to take them home to Daniel to see what he thought. He thought they were funky... Maybe just funky enough to use for our food photography! I hope they are not too funky... You'll have to tell us what you think ;)
Thinking of that miniature wheel of Gouda from the previous entry that taunted me for weeks... I had to use it up once I cut into it. I browsed my pantry and freezer and found some frozen Aidell's organic Chicken & Apple sausages (which I've mentioned before). Perfect... fruit and Gouda goes great. I also had half a yellow sweet bell pepper, which I thought would compliment the flavors nicely. After roasting the pepper and making a delicious Gouda "mornay," I served it over pasta and it completely hit the spot. The peppers were perfectly sweet, the Gouda was fruity, almost nutty, the Chicken & Apple sausage added a hearty, salty-sweet element and the pasta was a wonderful canvas for it all. Original Recipes
I'm sending it to Presto Pasta Nights as I haven't participated in that for a while. (It is hosted by Judith of Think On It this week check out the roundup this Friday). I'm also sending it to Lore from Culinarty for her Original Recipes Event. Check her blog for the roundup!

This was pretty easy to put together once I put the peppers in to roast and grilled the sausages while I heated the water for boiling the pasta. Once each element was done I threw it together for some delicious comfort food.

Gouda-Cream Pasta with Chicken Apple Sausage
print recipe only

  • 1 four-pack Aidell's Chicken & Apple sausages
  • 8-10 strips roasted bell pepper (use jarred or roast your own)
  • 3-4 oz dry linguine/fettuccine pasta, cooked
  • olive oil to toss

  • butter
  • white all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2-4 oz gouda cheese, shredded
Roast peppers if not already roasted (this can take 30-45 minutes so start before starting anything else - use jarred red peppers for color and ease) Cook sausages using desired method. I like a grill-pan or the George Foreman grill for ease, but using the real grill gives a crispy carmelized element to the sausages). Cook your pasta and toss with olive oil.
Meanwhile, melt 2-3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour to make a roux. Cook 1-2 minutes, then whisk in milk. Bring to temperature, then add cheese. Stir/whisk to distribute.
Slice cooked sausages on a bias. Layer pasta, then peppers, and finally sausages in a bowl. Drizzle with sauce.

Doesn't that look good?! Gourmet comfort food.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

A Pefect [Pear]

Strolling through the farmers' market I came upon some Asian pears that were quite inexpensive, they usually range from about a dollar to over a dollar per pound, so when I found them for for $0.69/lb I snatched some up quickly. If you've ever had an Asian pear, which I hadn't at the time, you'd have probably grabbed more than I did... I ended up with three and took them home very excited to try them. They are sometimes called apple-pears because they are firm like apples, but taste like pears. They are fragrantly sweet, just grainy enough to let you know they are in the pear family, and
I had a mini-wheel of gouda cheese that's been winking at me from the cheese drawer for weeks. Gouda is great out of hand or with fruit and wine. While I love eating slices for snacks, I've been avoiding it as I am trying to lose weight for an upcoming vacay to Mexico.
Well, these Asian babies proved too much for my will-power and I grabbed the gouda out of the drawer, sliced it thin and made myself little Asian pear and gouda sandwichs (no bread needed). The sweetness of the pear complimented the creamy, fruity, almost nutty cheese.
What else could I do with this wonderful combination, I asked myself? Well, I tried it with pecans on top, which was an excellent combination. I also speculated that melted gouda and grilled pears would be wonderful... But Daniel wasn't home and there was no way I was firing up the grill for just that... so I tried out some grilled gouda sandwiches... and added the slices of pear just after the cheese had melted, as I didn't want to cook them too much. The result? Another heavenly sandwich that just might take over the BLT's spot in my list of favorite things to place between two slices of bread.

Without further ado:

Grilled Gouda Sandwiches with Asian Pear

  • (enough for one sandwich) gouda cheese, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 2 slices whole/cracked wheat bread
  • 1 Asian pear, thinkly sliced, seeds/core removed
  • pinch white pepper
  • butter or olive oil
Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread, place butter-side down and lay slices of gouda over each piece of bread (this is where shredded works nicely as it tends to melt faster in that form). Turn heat down to medium. Once the cheese has melted, layer on the Asian pear slices over one piece of bread. Sprinkle a pinch of white pepper over the other and use a spatula to flip it onto the cheese/pear layered slice.
Cut sandwich across or diagonally and enjoy.

PS: Sorry, no pictures turned out, :( I'll have to post some when I try this recipe again.
PSS: Even if you don't make this sandwich, try the combination of gouda and pear, it really is delectable!Stumble Upon Toolbar
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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Foodbuzz Love

Isn't this the coolest!? We got it in the mail this week... A green silicone spatula, and a totally awesome apron to protect the threads from our culinary concoctions! It even matches our totally cool tote-bag (for shopping green!) we got in the beginning of the summer!

Foodbuzz, we have three words for you.

We luuhhvve you.

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Oktoberfest is Here

Seeing how it is time for Oktoberfest we decided to celebrate by making schnitzel again (and drinking tons of Warsteiner beer!) This time I chose to make a Zigeunerschnitzel. Zigeunerschnitzel, "gypsy schnitzel," also known as paprikaschnitzel, is a schnitzel served with a spicy sauce of bell peppers and onions. We used veal cutlets again, dipped in egg first and then liberally coated in bread crumbs and fried on a medium-high heat until they were golden brown. (print recipe here)

The sauce was made by dicing up some bell peppers, some onion and some tomato. I used a variety for good color:

1/4 green bell pepper, diced
1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/4 white onion, diced
1/2 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
beef broth
1/4 cup water
tomato paste to thicken
1 teaspoon mild paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
pepper to taste

Put peppers, onions, and tomato into a sauté pan and let them brown just a little bit before adding a few ounces of beef broth (I added no more than 1/2 cup). Add water, and a heaping teaspoon of tomato paste. Simmer to thicken up a bit before adding paprika, chili powder, and white and black pepper to taste.

To serve, just pour the sauce/gravy over the schnitzel, grab a couple bottles of Warsteiner beer and enjoy!

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