Thursday, December 30, 2010

who knew Falafels were this easy to make?

My health food store sells falafel mix in the bulk bins. Mr. Snowgoose and I have been on a greek food kick and after reading the directions I thought I'd try to make them.

Ingredients

1 cup falafel mix
3/4 cup water
2 tbsn oil

Directions

1. Combine mix and water in bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.




2. Shape into 12 patties or balls.

3. Fry them until they are crispy/ hardened.




See, so simple! And good. And cheap. I have a feeling we'll be eating a lot of these!

Fake out take out: spicy orange-ginger beef with broccoli

Usually as the month draws to a close, I get more creative with my cooking as I play "let's clean out the fridge/pantry/ freezer." Last night was no exception. We had beef and frozen broccoli and brown rice among other things and since my take out fake out cashew chicken was so well recieved I wanted to try another spin on faux Chinese food.

Ingredients

3/4 pound beef for stir fry
1 large package frozen broccoli
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 tbsn soy sauce
2 tspn ginger
2 tbsn minced garlic
1 tbsn chili paste
1/3 c orange juice
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tbsn oil

Directions
Note: If possible, marinate beef in 2 tbsn soy sauce for a few hours

1. Cook brown rice according to package

2. Saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes in oil. Add soy sauce, ginger and beef and cook until beef is done. Add broccoli and cook for 2 minutes before adding orange juice and chili paste. Cook 1-2 more minutes.

3. Serve over rice.

Cook's notes:

1. You can do the ingredients in any order and add more chili paste if you like it spicy.

2. Mr. Snowgoose loved it!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Fake out take out: Sweet and Sour Chicken with Cashews

Mr. Snowgoose loves Chinese food. I do not, though I will compromise and make him fake out take out dishes from time to time. In the April 2010 issue of Real Simple I came across a recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken with Cashews. Last week I finally made it, though I made several modifications to make it easier (and healthier)

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
18 ounces frozen chicken nuggets
1/2 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoons dried ginger
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 package stir fry veggies
1 tbsn chili paste
1/2 cup roasted cashews

Directions

1. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, cook the chicken according to the package directions.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the preserves, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger. Set aside.
4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the veggies and chili past and cook until the vegetables are just tender, 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Add the chicken, sauce, and cashews and toss to coat. Serve over the rice.




Cook's Notes:

1. It was good, though even better the next day.
2. I love the use of chicken nuggets because they hold the sauce perfectly. Maybe next time we'll try sesame chicken or kung pao chicken with the nuggets.
3. This is going into our take out rotation!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

French onion soup for beginners

Ever since Mr. Snowgoose and I were in Paris this fall I've been craving French onion soup. Combine that craving with torrential rain last weekend and you have my motivation for making this classic dish.

I had made it about 4 years ago with disastrous results and haven't tried it since.

This time I opted to fly by the seat of my pants and make it American-style. Warning: it still took forever.

Ingredients:

4 cups beef broth

2 tbsp olive oil

4 large yellow onions, finely sliced

2 tbsp diced garlic

salt and pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or cheddar or mozzarella)

6-8 slices of slightly stale french bread

2 tbsp cornstarch

4 tablespoon red wine

Directions:

1. In large stockpot or dutch onion, saute onions and garlic in olive oil until onions have caramelized.

2. Add beef broth and salt and pepper. Let simmer for 1- 1/2 hours. Add red wine and corn starch to thicken soup.

3. Broil french bread with enough shredded cheese on top to cover it for 5 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

4. Serve in bowls with french bread and cheese on top.

Cook's Notes

1. It made about 6 large servings, though you can add more beef broth and water if you want.

2. We freeze wine in ice cube trays when we near the end of a bottle no one wants to drink. One cube= 2 tablespoon.

3. Full confession: we were out of parm cheese so I used mozz and cheddar!

my now famous candied almonds with rosemary

Special thanks to my grandma who sent me the recipe as a hint after I sent her dried rosemary for Christmas last year.

This tastes like a million dollars and like you slaved over a hot stove for hours. In reality, it takes 10 minutes. Thank you Martha Stewart!

Indredients:2 tablespoons sugar
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups almonds (raw or blanched)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir together 4 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Heat butter and honey over medium-high heat in a large skillet until bubbling. Remove from heat. Add almonds and rosemary, and toss to coat.

2. Transfer almond-rosemary mixture to a rimmed baking sheet (do not scrape excess syrup from skillet). Sprinkle with sugar-salt mixture. Roast almonds until fragrant, 8 to 9 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt; toss to coat. Let cool completely.

Cook's Notes:

1. Of course when I made it I didn't measure anything, which comes as no surprise. The beauty of this simple recipe is that you can play around with it.

2. I used fresh honey from a health food store, but I imagine the honey that comes in pastic bears will work fine.

3. Also, Martha says not to scrape extra syrup from skillet, but I did and so far no one has died.

4. I'm gifting this to practically everyone this year. So far no complaints. It pairs well with granola if you're making your own food gifts (I don't mean combining the two in one container).

5. Since my yard is overrun with rosemary I imagine I will gift this forever. Also, check the bulk bins at stores for almonds, it's often cheaper than the packages!

Happy Holidays!

That mushroom/chicken/ rice dish your mom made in the 80's

Lately I've felt like I'm turning into my mother (in the kitchen that is). Over the past few years I've embraced the semi-homemade recipes she made from my childhood: homemade pizza, chicken and yellow rice, turkey soup, just to name a few.

Post-Thanksgiving I was cleaning out my freezer/ cupboard and I stumbled on a can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. I tried in vain to remember what she used to make that involved chicken and mushroom soup. Google came to my rescue with Creamy Mushroom-Garlic Chicken, a no-fail recipe with stuff that you already have on hand!


Creamy Mushroom-Garlic Chicken

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)

1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom with Roasted Garlic Soup

1/2 cup milk



Directions:

1.Heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes or until well browned on both sides.

2.Stir the soup and milk in the skillet and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Cook's Notes:

1. In a total 80's move I added rice and brussel sprouts, though I gave it a 2010 twist: brown rice and sauteed the sprouts in bacon, olive oil, garlic, and sprinkle shredded parm. cheese on top.

2. Mr. Snowgoose loved it. Adding it to my rotating menu. The best part? It took 20 minutes to make.

3. I don't even like brussel sprouts, but it's true. Bacon makes everything better.