Monday, September 27, 2010

Food Blog

This IS a food blog so I should probably blog about all the good eats I've been cooking up. I apologize for how unappetizing my last post was! First let's talk the last two weeks of CSA pickups.
CSA Week 12:
Asian Pears
Mcintosh Apples
Two Kinds of Kale
Romaine Lettuce
Summer Squash
Acorn Squash
CSA Week 13:
Macintosh Apples
Green Beans
Red Leaf Lettuce
I took some of those ingredients- specifically the eggplant, romaine, pears and corn and made Crunchy and Spicy Tofu Tacos. I had bought tofu and was looking for something fun to do with it.  Frying the tofu was difficult- I never was able to get the oil at the right temperature, plus I only used a tiny bit of oil which wasn't so good for the three batches.  But in the end, you got the heat of the thai chili paste along with the subtle sweetness of the fig jam and pears.  I think it worked together perfectly!
Crunchy and Spicy Asian Tofu Tacos
Inspired by Food and Wine

3 tablespoons of chili powder
1 tablespoons of thai chili paste
1 tablespoon of fig jam
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
2 tablespoons toasted-sesame oil
Kosher salt
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup canola oil, for frying
8 corn or flour tortillas
1 medium-sized Asian pear, julienned
3 scallions, sliced thinly
Sauteed Eggplant
Corn cut off corn
Romaine Lettuce, garnish

Place the tofu on a towel and drain for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 1 T of the chile powder with the chili paste and fig jam along with garlic and sesame oil and season with salt. In another large bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the remaining 2 tablespoons of chile powder and 1 tablespoon of salt. In a medium, deep skillet, heat the oil until it reaches 365 F and preheat oven to 350 F. In another skillet, saute the eggplant until soft and cook the corn and cut off the cob. Add the tofu to the chile sauce mixture and stir gently to coat. Put the tofu into the cornstarch mixture and toss to coat. Fry the tofu in one batch, stirring occasionally, until golden and crunchy, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes;. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the crunchy tofu to a paper towel–lined rack and sprinkle with salt. Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in oven for about 8 minutes. Then slice asian pears, and cut the romaine into ribbons. Place the tortilla on a plate and add fig jam, then layer with veggies, pears, tofu and lettuce.  Roll up and enjoy! I served these with Kale chips of course!
I also made two different kinds of pizzas- a Bacon Avocado Pizza and a Mexican Pizza.  I've made this Bacon Avocado Pizza a few years ago (before the blog) and loved it and thought I'd make it again. It's inspired by Rachael Ray and absolutely delicious! I mean how could bacon, avocado, crusty dough and tomatoes be bad??
Bacon-Avocado Pizza 
Store-bought Whole Wheat Pizza Dough 
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 shallot, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 avocados
2 tablespoons of lime juice
One 12-ounce package bacon
2 Cups of Arugula
In a large bowl, toss together the tomatoes, shallot, olive oil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature. For the avocado "sauce", you can either mash the avocados by hand or let your food processor do it like I did.  I scooped the two avocados into a bowl and squeezed some lime juice and salt and pepper in it and then let it whirl. Preheat a large skillet; add the bacon and cook, turning once, until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Spread out your dough on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Spread the avocado evenly leaving a 3/4-inch border. Toss the bacon with the tomato mixture and scatter over the pizzas. Add Arugula on top.

The second pizza I made is a Mexican-inspired pizza.  I often get questions about if I cook EVERY night.  Well here's my secret!  I cook 3-5 times a week by making two meals in the same nite!  Like I did with the pizzas.  We ate the first pizza on Monday and this second pizza the next night.  Score!
This pizza is really simple and I love it! Pizza dough, salsa as the sauce, rinsed black beans, corn cut off the cob, Mexican blend cheese and some guac on top!
Wednesday night I had my mom over for dinner and made a very fall-like meal.  I had bought mango chutney and turkey breasts at the grocery store and wanted to do something with them together.  I googled those two words and came up with this recipe.  Thanks Kitchenbelle!
Turkey Rollatini's Stuffed with Cranberries, Cheese and Arugula
adapted from Kitchenbelle
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh arugula
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
coarse salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cups panko bread crumbs, seasoned to taste with coarse salt and pepper
1/4 cup of mango chutney
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 turkey breasts, pounded thin with a meat mallet
1/4 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (I didn't have goat cheese so I used cheddar which was fine)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over low heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until soft.  Add arugula.  Add salt and pepper and use a spatula to move arugula around the pan.  Cook until just wilted and then turn off heat and add chopped dried cranberries, and cheddar cheese (or goat). 
 In a dish combine mustard and chutney.  Mix with a small spoon until combined.   Pour breadcrumbs into a second dish.
Dip cutlets, one at a time, into chutney mixture.   Then pat breadcrumbs onto one side of the cutlet.  Place on cookie sheet and scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the arugula filling onto one side of the cutlet.  Fold top portion of cutlet onto filling and secure with a toothpick (or multiple toothpicks if you are like me).  Repeat for remaining cutlets. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until turkey is done.
I also made a red and white quinoa salad with some mango chutney and many of the vegetables from up above that I had leftover including eggplant, tomatoes, summer squash, Acorn Squash and avocado.
And also sometime last week, I had these three lovely books/magazines sitting on my desk when I walked in to work.  Gretchen somehow gets THREE issues of Bon Appetit a month and gives me one!  She also brought in Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life and Amanda Hesser's Cooking for Mr. Latte.  I immediately got started on Amanda's book and I LOVE IT!  I'm only halfway done and I cannot put it down!
A favorite quote (so far):
This resonated so well with me...
"I've never been the type of cook who welcomes friends into my kitchen to make a salad or to chat with me while I am cooking.  I am not mentally coordinated enough to simultaneously sauté and tell a story. But more than that, I prefer the solitude of my kitchen; I like to hear the faint crackle as my knife slices into a fresh onion, to watch butter and sugar meld into milky fluff as I whisk....I like to chop garlic, dice tomatoes, and carve chicken to relieve tension, just as someone else might go for a run..."
(well I do both : )

I'll tell you about more quotes I find in this amazing book as I come across them. Oh the other great thing about this book is the recipes! (Probably the reason Gretchen wants it back as soon as I finish!)


  1. Dang I don't even know where to start everything looks so good! I had to CSA is just starting in November!

  2. That mexican pizza is insane! I love the quote you picked out of the book. I want to read after you!

  3. Your meals always look so good!! The rollatinis look awsome as does the Mexican pizza :) That book looks cute!


  4. I am drooling over those tacos and the rollatini! You are so creative.

  5. So much good food here :)
    That's so interesting that you cook 2 meals/night. Does it still taste fresh the next day? I feel like it's different than lunch leftovers for some reason. Hmm. Something to consider for the future :D

  6. The pizzas look awesome. I've been thinking of buying Coking for Mr Latte and this post convinced me!

  7. What no post-wedding post? Food not delicious enough for the blog? Boo from Hawaii! Hehe. Jk. Stalking your blog again while waiting for the plane to the next island...Kauai! Love and miss you. :)