Sunday, January 24, 2010

Flash Re-Heating

Interesting article about re-heating food without overcooking it here from cdkitchen.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Simple, Small-Batch Granola.

-->Have you ever noticed how many granola recipes call for a dozen different ingredients and are designed to give you a six-month supply of granola? It's all too much! Here is a recipe for a small batch, inspired by a post at Sweet Beat and Green Pea, that uses just a few ingredients.
Simple, Small-Batch Granola.

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup broken nuts (pecans or walnuts)
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Measure out the oats. Take from the measured oats 1/3 cup and grind it into a flour using a blender or small food processor. In a medium bowl, mix together this oat flour, the remaining oats, the nuts, olive oil, salt, and maple syrup.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared pan. Pop into the oven and toast slowly, stirring occasionally, until the granola achieves a golden color, 45 to 60 minutes. The time may vary based upon your oven, so keep on eye on it.

When granola is removed from the oven, stir in the raisins.

Let the granola cool on the pan. When cool, use the foil to carefully lift and funnel the granola into a storage container.

The result is a simple, small batch of granola to top your yogurt in the morning. If you are feeling more ambitious, check out this granola recipe from the New York Times, which also uses olive oil and maple syrup, but includes more sugar, spices and additions.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Mulligatawny Soup

-->It's winter. You want soup. For a bit of variety, try this Mulligatawny Soup. The Tamil words milagu tannir mean "pepper-water"; accordingly, this soup is flavorful, but not overly spiced.
With this dish it is essential to get everything together before you begin cooking: vegetable broth or chicken stock at-the-ready, veggies washed and chopped, and spices measured out and ready in a dish. Once you turn on the burner, things go quickly.

Note: If you don't have a specific measuring spoon for 1/2 tablespoon, just remember that there are three teaspoons to a tablespoon and do the math!


2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tbs. peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, chopped
1/2 Tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. tumeric
1/4 tsp. ground fennel
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1-1/2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4 -5 cups stock (vegetable if you want a vegetarian dish; I use chicken stock).
4 Tbs. lentils (red if you've got 'em; green are fine)
1 small (8 ounce) sweet potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 small (8 ounce) turnip, peeled and diced
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1-1/4 tsp. salt
Lime wedges for serving.


In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno and cook for 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary; the onion should be lightly brown and the ingredients fragrant.

Lower the heat to medium, and stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and fennel. Cook for about 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Add in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Carefully pour in broth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Add the lentils, sweet potato, carrots, and turnip. Lower the heat to simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion / stick blender ( here is an example: Cuisinart CSB-76 Smart Stick Hand Blender) puree the soup until it is smooth.

Add the coconut milk and salt to the soup and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more stock.

Serve with lime wedges.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Game Day Lunch

This Sunday my Wisconsin Basketball Badgers are playing Penn State, and then the Packers are playing Arizona. We'll need a good lunch to get through it all successfully, so I'm making Muffuletta Sandwiches.

I began making the sandwiches yesterday by preparing an olive salad spread using a recipe I found at Allrecipies. Preparation of the salad involves a lot of chopping, but is otherwise easy. I also started some bread dough yesterday. The dough fermented overnight, and I baked this morning. The bread recipe is a spin-off of the now-famous No Knead Bread that was published a while ago in the New York Times. Instead of making one round loaf, I baked two loaves of Cibatta using a baking stone and clay baker. This technique is described in My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey.

Bread, olive salad, ham and Provolone will make a great sandwich. Go Team!