Friday, August 29, 2008

tomato, mozzarella, garlic, and basil, and carmelized onion, fig, and gorgonzola pizza bianca

made a two topping pizza, the first half topped with sliced tomato, fresh chopped basil, chunks of garlic, and thin sliced fresh mozzarella, and the second half had caramelized onions, fresh sliced black mission figs, and crumbled gorgonzola cheese. made the dough with a modified recipe from cook's illustrated. mixed 3c. of flour into 1 2/3c. room temp water, 2 1/4t. table salt, 1pkg instant yeast, 1 1/2t. sugar, 5T. EVO, and 2T. rosemary leaves (chopped up somewhat small and then rubbed in the palm of your hand until it smells nice). let that sit oiled in the bowl for an hour or so and then transferred to a large oiled 1" deep baking sheet. Let rise in the baking sheet until the dough is almost at the edge of the top of the baking sheet, then put it in a 400-degree oven for 10-minutes (top rack), with an oven safe bowl with about a 1/4-inch of water in it on the bottom rack (to create some humidity and let the dough rise more). after 10-minutes, the water dish was removed from the oven and the dough was brushed lightly with olive oil and the toppings were put on, then it was baked for another 8 or 10-minutes, until the bottom of the crust was barely brown. this is a relatively liquid dough, so it makes it hard to work with, but it produces a crazy-good pizza result, and could also be a quick focaccia.

[notes: none of the pictures really turned out that hot, so a few were just kind of sewed together.]

Thursday, August 28, 2008

flax seed, cashew, and dill hummus

flax seed, cashew, and dill hummus, originally uploaded by aarn! +28th August, 2008+.

ground up a clove of garlic, some olive oil, cashew butter (interesting spin on tahini), a tablespoon or so of ground flax seed, some of the hot oil, a splash of sherry, a few sprigs of fresh dill, a small plum tomato that had been fire roasted and skinned, some sea salt and pepper, and some leftover strained and rinsed chick peas. kind of brings up the question: what can't you put flax seed in?

white bean, chick pea, garden zucchini and fresh mozzarella salad

tossed small white beans, chick peas, uncooked peeled and cubed garden zucchini, the meaty part of a few tomatoes, and cubed fresh mozzarella in some ground white beans with a little canola oil, some of that hot vinegar, fresh dill, some seasoned rice vinegar, and salt and fresh ground pepper. took it on a picnic with some pitas and fresh picked berries.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

honeydew melon and extra sharp white cheddar salad

honeydew melon and extra sharp white cheddar salad, originally uploaded by aarn! +21st August, 2008+.

was thinking of making a watermelon and feta salad, but then realized that there was honeydew and a nice sharp wisconsin white cheddar in the refrigerator. sliced up some delicious almost-overripe honeydew melon and cheddar cheese, tossed with some salt, fresh cracked pepper, and some very thinly sliced red onion. made kind of a glaze/dressing for the salad with a spoonful of apricot jam and cashew butter, a splash of the hot vinegar (see 8/4:"vinegar base hot sauce experiment", have since strained out the chunks of organic matter and seeds, and it left a nice hot and tasty vinegar), some rice vinegar, a splash of canola oil, and a splash of lemonade (lemon juice would have been ideal, lemonade was on hand), and whisked it up into a kind of vinaigrette mixture.

[notes: i was skeptical at first, but this salad had a really great flavor. shaving the cheddar would have produced a better result, there was just too much cheese. had originally planned to just plate alternating, equally thick slices of melon and cheese over some of the balsamic-grand marnier reduction in a fallen-dominoes type fashion.]

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

pb+j spin: cashew butter, dulce de leche, banana, and apricot jam on toasted whole wheat sourdough

made some cashew butter by grinding up 2c. or so of raw cashews with 3-4tsp. of canola oil (a couple at first and then add until at the desired consistency), a pinch of sugar (to taste), and a pinch of salt (to taste). reduced some sweetened condensed milk into a medium-thick dulce de leche syrup/cream. smothered some iggy's whole wheat sourdough with the dulce de leche, followed by the cashew butter, placed some sliced bananas on top, smeared the other side with a nice meaty organic apricot jam, and put it together. served with some nice honeydew melon.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

crepes!: spinach and gorgonzola crepe with olive and celery salad

sauteed up some onions and garlic and doused with sherry on medium heat, added a large handful of baby spinach leaves, the juice of 1/2 a lemon, and a splash of apple cider vinegar and covered on low heat for a few minutes. after the spinach was cooked, it was removed from heat and the garden fresh tomatoes and crumbled gorgonzola were added to the pan. crepes were made using the same recipe as before (crepes!: dumpling crepe with yogurt cucumber and dill salad: "made the crepe on medium heat in a flat pan with batter consisting of 1c. flour, 3 eggs, 1c. water, a pinch of salt, splash of oil, and a pinch of sugar, whisked up and cooked until firm and crispy on the bottom in light oil.")

dad's olive and celery salad is chopped celery (and celery greens) and kalamata olives, seasoned with red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and olive oil. stuck in the refrigerator for a few minutes to chill.

[notes: the crepe kick only lasted two days...didn't even get a chance to buy one of those wood crepe tools. oh well.]
[photo: trisha]

crepes!: dumpling crepe with yogurt cucumber and dill salad

crepes!: dumpling crepe with yogurt cucumber and dill salad, originally uploaded by aarn! +14th August, 2008+.

had originally planned to make some neat raw vegetable filled steamed dumplings, but had to change paths when the dumpling dough ended up being too brittle to work with. made a filling with some re-hydrated tvp (which had been re-hydrated with dried black trumpet mushrooms in a bowl of boiling water and then strained, kind of took on the mushroom flavor), black trumpet mushrooms, the meaty parts of garden fresh zucchini, and tomatoes, seasoned with garlic, anise, cinnamon, a spoon of the hot pepper jelly, cayenne, orange zest, a little cardamom, fresh ground ginger, a spoon of soy sauce, crushed peanuts, a spoon of sesame oil, and a pinch of rice four. made the crepe on medium heat in a flat pan with batter consisting of 1c. flour, 3 eggs, 1c. water, a pinch of salt, splash of oil, and a pinch of sugar, whisked up and cooked until firm and crispy on the bottom in light oil. salad was peeled/sliced garden fresh cucumber tossed in yogurt, salt, pepper, and dill.

[notes: would have been great with a wasabi yogurt or something along those lines.]
[photo: trisha]

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

baked yellow squash and cod cakes with hot pluot and garlic jam/sauce

grated a whole yellow crookneck squash, an orange bell pepper, half of a red onion, a few baby portobello mushrooms, a few cloves of garlic, and strained in cheese cloth. added 1/2-lb of skinned and diced cod, about 1/2c. of flour, a couple of beaten eggs, and about 1/2c. of pankos, a splash of canola oil, some salt, pepper, fresh dill, and cayenne, mixed up and shaped. placed on an oiled baking sheet in 400F oven for 12-min on each side.

sauce/jam was made a few days prior with a case of overripe pluots and a nectarine, reduced with a 3/4:1 ratio of sugar to fruit, with a ground habenero and a few cloves of garlic.

served with a salad of romaine hearts, garden yellow string beans, and garden cucumber. in a dressing of red wine vinegar, grapes, gorgonzola, a little garlic, and some oil, all whipped up together.

Monday, August 11, 2008

modified waldorf salad

modified waldorf salad, originally uploaded by aarn! +11th August, 2008+.

romaine heart salad with halved grapes, crumbled gorgonzola, peeled orange slices, and garden cucumber. dressing was a vinaigrette of fresh squeezed orange juice, red wine vinegar, canola oil, fresh dill, salt, and fresh ground pepper.

fresh harvested horseradish

harvested horseradish, originally uploaded by aarn! +11th August, 2008+.

dug up some horseradish root, washed/peeled it, chopped it up. ground root with ratio of 1 cup of root to 3/4c. white vinegar, 1/4t. salt, and 2T sugar. shouldn't have used the smaller roots, they gave the mixture a bitter flavor and it ended up not being hot at all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

really hot, hot pepper jam

really hot, hot pepper jam, originally uploaded by aarn! +5th August, 2008+.

took a bunch of hot peppers (jalepeno, habenero, red hot cherry), ground them up, removed the seeds and insides, and put on heat with a 1:1 ratio of ground hot pepper to sugar. even before the heat touched the mixture, the sugar caused the pepper mash to release a surprising amount of liquid, enough to simmer with. cooked down the mixture for a while and then after about 15 minutes added the juice of almost an entire lemon, for the pectin content, and let that reduce for another 10 minutes. the hot mixture was then put into a glass jar and let to cool in the refrigerator. shown in the picture, after it set for a while, on a stinky cambozola cheese and flax seed water cracker. also tried it with a nice goat brie (in the background).
[photo: trisha]

Monday, August 4, 2008

vinegar base hot sauce experiment

vinegar base hot sauce experiment, originally uploaded by aarn! +4th August, 2008+.

took all of the seeds and some of the insides from the hot peppers (jalepeno, habenero, red hot cherry) that were used to make some hot pepper jam and put them in a bottle with some fresh garlic, salt, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and a splash of vodka. then added a warm 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and water. has a really great taste, and some nice kick. it's also neat that it doesn't look like it would be hot. the real test will be if the vinegar actually holds onto any of the hot oil.
[picture didn't turn out so hot]