Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Mediterranean Shabbat Picnic

This Shabbat, I was going to make a southwestern picnic- turkey chili, cornbread, the whole deal. However- my plans were derailed when I happened to stop in Grand Central Market and found a beautiful package of yellow tomatoes, and two flats of baby artichokes. That, plus the rustic bread I picked up from Zaros, was enough to inspire me to make a Mediterranean-Basin-Themed Shabbos Meal.

Provencal Tomato Salad
Chop and de-seed red and yellow tomatoes. Add capers, salt, pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, and torn fresh basil leaves. Marinate in Fridge.

Steamed Baby Artichokes

Tunisian Tuna Salad
1 largish can white tuna, waterpacked- really it should be ventresca in olive oil, but we work with what we find in the bodega.
Added a bit of lite mayo, dijon mustard, a generous amount of chopped cilantro, a finely chopped green onion, two ribs of celery, a dab of harissa, lemon juice, and cumin. A hit, I tell you!

Syrian Potato-Egg Salad
Boiled 2 large and 1 small baking potato. Let cool overnight, peel, cube. Hard-boil 2 or 3 eggs. Peel, cube. Combine. Add salt, ground pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, granulated garlic, and cumin. Fresh chopped parsley would have been nice with this.

Pesto Cauliflower
Steam or boil some cauliflower. Make a loose pesto (I made mine with my stickblender) of basil leaves, a garlic clove, salt, oil, and a few pine nuts. Pour over the chunked cauliflower. Let marinate in the fridge. Garnish with a few pine nuts before serving.

Tuscan White Bean Soup
Soak a bit less than a bag of white beans overnight. Sautee an onion, a few garlic cloves, 2 celery ribs and 2 carrots with some rehydrated porcinis and some oil. When the vegetables are partly cooked, add some kind of crushed tomato product and then combine in crockpot with the beans. Add some salt, pepper, dried oregano, and granulated garlic. Let cook untill lunchtime.

Rustic bread- buy somewhere good. Dip in olive oil.

Dessert- soak a box of strawberries in a bit of vanilla, a splash of good scotch, and a shake of sugar. Marinate in fridge. Tear up and top with some mint leaves, serve over bryers vanilla ice cream along with assorted chocolates. Delicious.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Hippogirl goes on a diet...

ok, its offical folks. I have two weddings this summer and I'm worried that my shapely curves are beginning to be a bit out of a nice shape and my muscles are not as toned as they once were. henceforth, i will be nobly attempting to hit the Curves circuit 3x a week (i hope) and elminating the following foods...

Refined flour
fatty things- i will allow myself 1.5 tablespoons of olive oil/day- i cant cook or feel good about my food without that. But transfats are out and the earthbalance margarine in the fridge is only to be used on very special occasions.
cheese- ah, the big temptation. I can eat a whole wedge of kashkeval in one sitting. cheese is henceforth restricted to ancillary roles, no more eating of cheese by itself and never in unreasonable quantities, and preferably not more than once a day.
Chocolate- actually, ive been very good about this one lately. I bought myself a bag of nibs for very bad cravings.
Ice cream- I'll admit ive been slipping with this one lately. I will buy 1 pint of tastidelite and have bits of that instead.
Eating untill really really overful- yikes, this happens alot. Strategies to curtail- will try to drink more beverages with meals and/or soup. Helped tonite at cafe viva.

There. These all sound like good, well reasoned and healthy moves on my part. Hippogirl POWER!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

an exotic pilaf

composed of qinoa and rainbow chard and yummy yummy pine nuts.

I sauteed the chopped chard in warmed olive oil with crushed garlic and let it steam with a little bit of water untill it was tender. I dished it out and rinsed a cup of quinoa, then placed it in the same pot with 2 cups of water and some salt and freshly milled pepper and let it steam. I toasted some pine nuts in the oven which was already on for the chicken breasts roasted in capers, lemon juice, thyme, and olive oil which went with a romaine lettuce salad with the delicious avocados I picked up for a fraction of their usual price at an open market on 175th on thursday afternoon and a dijon mustard dressing.

I composed the qinoa and chard, stirring them and enjoying their lovely colors. I strewed the pine nuts over and had to take it to Malka's to stop picking at it with little tastes and nibbles.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

when you give a hippogirl an apple.....

she will use the integrated camera to take digipix of her creations, what else?
of course, this means that I couldn't really get all the angles I wanted, but this chocolate cake, the simple chocolate cake of shabboscooking fame, looked very pretty in all of its bundty goodness. I also added pecans. Maybe I should whip up a glaze to put over it? with icing sugar and vanilla? I'm bringing this cake to a dinner at becky's this shabbos along with a bottle of wine, and Im thinking of making a quinoa pilaf (quinoa, pine nuts, dried nectarines; or, quinoa, chard, and pine nuts????) and a chicken ceasar salad.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Purple Artichokes, Continued

I cut the stems and peeled them rather thickly, placing the artichokes and their stems in my saucier with water- the artichokes with a portion of their beautiful purple-thorned crowns sliced into a flat top so they will steam, inverted.

The artichokes retained their purple and imbued the steaming water with a rich rosy hue reminiscent of my favorite purple roses.

I ate one. I composed a sauce of lite hellmans, grey poupon, and lemon juice. The artichoke was a deep, exquisitley bitter vegetal flavor, more artichokey than ordinary green artichokes, with the uniform purple of the leaves giving way to two-tone, then striped leaves, putting me in mind of their thistly relatives. It was like eating a flower.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Purple Artichokes!

In our peri-monthly trip to Fairway, I was entranced by a beautiful bin of purple artichokes with long green stems.