Dude – this has four ingredients. Four. And it is AMAZING. Remember those roasted pears from last week?
So, I put some in the freezer. Yes, fine, so I wouldn’t just eat all of them in one sitting. You got me. Then I started to think of that awesome banana “ice cream” you can make with just frozen bananas, and thought, “Hey! I wonder if I could do that with that bag of frozen roasted pears?”
The answer is YES. It was amazing. But himself was not impressed. So, I added some minced candied ginger – and pop! He liked it! I’ve read about this flavor combo tons, but never thought I’d like it so didn’t try it. This is delicious!
There isn’t really a recipe for this – take the Roast Pears post from last week, freeze it and then puree it in the Cuisinart. Stir in some candied ginger and serve. I can’t tell you if it freezes well at this time because….uh…..there wasn’t any left. Yeah. Try it, tell me what you think.
1 batch roasted pears (peel/core/cube 4 pears, toss w/ lemon juice & sugar & roast 375* 40m), frozen
2 Tbsp. minced candied ginger
Put the frozen pears in the food processor. Spin till a beautiful soft serve is formed. Stir in the ginger, and serve in frozen dishes.
Fat 0 g
Sodium 1 mg
Carbs 7 g
Protein 0 g
Damn you, Costco. Damn you and your cute food. I can never resist the bags of those dainty and delicious Forelle pears. They beckon me, in their out-of-season-shipped-from-Chile voices. Pear bastards.
Next to nectarines, pears are my favorite fruit. Fresh, they are a dream. But when it comes to cooking, they just lose their essence. Their delicate flavor is lost and a mealy texture remains. I thought when I discovered Pear Honey it would be the solution, but that’s just so damn sweet. (Yes, I see the word honey in the title. That stuff is amazingly delicious, btw, and you should make some immediately. But I digress.)
So, I’m walking past three pounds of pears on the dining table for a week, waiting for them to ripen. The magic day arrives – and I realize I have to eat three pounds of pears in the next 48 hours or they will go bad. What to do, what to do.
So last night, I got out the mandoline and made some pear chips. (Thank you, Martha.) Yum! Need some chèvre to eat ’em, though. This morning I woke up and said, chuck all – I will just toss them in lemon juice and sugar and roast them all.
All in all, this was pretty easy. Any pear would work for this, although personally I wouldn’t use a Bosc. Mainly because they are a pain in the ass to peel and cube with that long skinny neck. D’anjou and Bartlet will do just fine, or the Farelle.
So, why roast? It cooks out some of the liquid in the fruit, and concentrates the flavor. That, with that tinge of caramelization makes for a more pear-tasting pear. Trust me, this is delicious.
4 large or 6 medium pears, just barely ripe
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ c sugar
Heat oven to 375*.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Peel, core, and cube the pears.
Toss with the lemon juice and sugar.
Spread out evenly not touching on the baking sheets.
Bake about 40 minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. The bottoms of the pears should be just barely caramelized, and the top edges tinged golden.
Ways to eat them
By themselves, straight off the tray.
With plain greek yogurt (or crème fraîche), thyme and honey.
With whipped cream and sprinkled with chopped candied ginger.
On top of vanilla ice cream.
On top of yogurt.
Frozen and pulsed into a sorbetto/granita hybrid in the cuisinart with chopped candied ginger.
Baked in to a coffee cake.
Pulsed with some fresh pear cubes and a little simple syrup and made in to popsicles.
Fat 0 g
Sodium 3 mg
Carbs 48 g
Protein 1 g
Could you hear me squeal all the way to your house on Saturday? That would be when I saw the blood oranges had arrived at Sprouts. I just love their color. Of course I had to wander around the produce department after that, looking for something to make with them. The avocados looked amazing, and that sealed the deal.
This is a delicate salad, with very subtle flavor. Make sure your avocado is absolutely prime.
This is rich and smooth with the lovely anise crunch of the fennel. I liked it best after it had sat for about an hour, to let that nice heat from the jalapeno really soak in. We have some left, and I am on my way to the store to get some shrimp to grill and serve with rest. Dang I wish I’d thought of that first.
When I was growing up, mashed and vegetables together meant one thing: potatoes. Then I went to Paris – they call it a purée there. And you can purée lots besides potatoes – carrots were quite popular. Then I had a friend from New England tell me how her family always had mashed turnips instead of potatoes for the big feasts. Food is so awesome – a virtual root cellar full of possible variations.
Forgoeing mashed potatoes when Himself had to change his diet was probably the most traumatic thing for me. Mashed potatoes are their own food group in my family. But, luckily there’s the interwebs. And friends. Through some trial and error, I’ve come up with a great flavorful creamy purée that we look forward to at our house. I’ve had a couple friends ask for the recipe, so here it is – Purée de choufleur à l’ail et aux fines herbes. Although we just call this cauli mash at our house. I was hoping if I fi-fi-chi-chi’d up the name a little, it would fancify things a bit. Now, before you go any further please take heed: this is not mashed potatoes. Let me repeat: this. is. not. mashed. potatoes. If you want something that tastes like mashed potatoes, you will need to actually eat mashed potatoes.
What this IS (caveat aside) is a delicious, rich, smooth purée that captures the slight sweetness of the cauliflower and garlic and which has a lovely creamy texture that goes great with roasted or grilled meats.
Honestly, if we could eat real cheese in our house, I would totally put this in a buttered casserole and toss it in the oven with some cheddar on top. That would be freaking amazing. … …. if we could eat cheese. Not that I’m bitter or anything. Cheese. Damn my dairy-rejecting genes. Bastards.
1 20oz package generic frozen cauliflower
1 fat or 2 small cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp sour cream or cream cheese (or, if you live at our house, Tofutti sour cream)
2 tsp. Penzey’s “Buttermilk” seasoning blend (or italian herbs if you don’t have Penzey’s lying about.)
Put the cauliflower and the garlic in ‘wave safe bowl, covered, in the microwave on high until it’s quite soft and hot. That takes 9 minutes in my wave. Drain off any water that come out during cooking.
Put that and the rest of the ingredients in the food processor. (Or the kitchen robot, if we keep up our Frenchie trend.)
Pulse until it’s a delightful smooth concoction; you may need to stop and scrape down your sides. Don’t go too far, I’ve heard you wind up with a gluey mess. I’ve not experienced that, but best to stop before that happens
Fat 10 g
Sodium 66 mg
Carbs 11 g
Protein 4 g
Are you ready to taste summer? I am. I have found myself daydreaming about the bounty to come – piles and piles of tomatoes and squash and melon. And the salads. Oh, the salads. I find myself rejecting recipes of late if they involve turning on the oven. Mind you, it’s not super hot yet. Not at all. It’s just that I’m ready.
So it’s safe to say the baking tornado of the last few months at The Yum are at an end. Which left me, well, idea-less for a post. After much guilt, I gave myself permission to say fuck all and go out for the day. Stop #1 – Za’atar for a falafel breakfast. I fucking love that place. Hopped over to Caravan while waiting for my order, and he had these gorgeous crates of mint and dill and cucumbers and eggplant and lemons and ……aaaaaah. I had to have some.
Those, some olives, some fig jam and sesame candies for Himself and away I went.
When I saw the watermelon in the fridge as I was putting things away, I knew what to make. And then immediately consume.
This is fast, and should be served and eaten immediately. I even got to feel all fancy-pants when I rolled the dill up in the mint leaves for a quick chiffonade. (Thank you, Sarah Moulton and FoodTV!) This baby is all about the fresh and crunch. Mmmmmm. Chompa-chomp-chomp.
You could totally add some cubed feta and a wedge of bread and call this summer supper (just leave out the salt if you do). I inhaled mine as a snack. Couldn’t even wait to grill some chicken or something to eat with it.
Come on, Summer. This just has me wanting you more.
2 c. watermelon in ½” dice
1 c. jicama in ½” dice
1 c. cucumber in ½” wedges
1 thin slice red onion, separated in to rings
Drizzle of olive oil
Drizzle of white balsamic or wine vinegar
Four or five fresh mint leaves and a thumb-sized sprig of fresh dill, chiffonaded
Dash of S&P
Toss together and eat.
Fat 1 g
Sodium 6 mg
Carbs 20 g
Protein 2 g
Another carrot salad in time for Easter. Hmm…..maybe if this happens again next year, we’ll have a real pattern.
Anywho….got this bag of pretty carrots at TJ’s to cook with the brisket for Saint Pat’s. Only thing is, the red ones lose the red when cooked and just look normal. So, a cold recipe would keep the prettiness.
That was the first time we’ve had carrots in the house since himself had to change his diet – they are on the verbotten list, along with peas and bananas. But I digress.
Hey, Mikey! He liked it. I went easy on the hot pepper at first; when I added more Himself was disappointed that he could taste the curry less. Sigh. Your tongue can only process so much data at a time.
Give this a whirl. If you don’t have curry paste lying about, use powder. It’ll still be yummy.
For the salad
3 carrots, peeled then shaved in to strips
½ shallot, cut in to thin rings
¼ c. craisins or currants or sultanas
¼ c. pistachio meats
For the sauce
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. dijon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp. curry paste
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
3-4 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
Use your veg peeler to shave the carrots. Cut the carrots in half across the middle first, or you will wind up with a papardelle like salad.
Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk together the sauce in another bowl.
Dress the salad right before serving.
Fat 5 g
Sodium 44 mg
Carbs 23 g
Protein 2 g
Froggy fantastic times continue at the Yum. Marcel Proust aside(ugh, shoot me now Aunty), this week Cuisine A-Z featured a bunch of madeleine recipes. I’ve had these pans for years, and never used them. Probably because of Proust. But, it is now time.
I know a sprinkling of powdered sugar is traditional, but I won’t be delivering these until the next day. So, a lemon juice glaze it is – that should keep them nice and moist until the grandladies get to take a bite. I think of them whenever I make something with lemon.
These take less than ten minutes to mix and then ten to bake. Twenty minutes to tea time temptation – not bad, ya’ll. Not bad.
for the pan
1 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
¼ c AP flour
for the batter
½ c sugar
heaping ¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup AP flour
2 tsp lemon zest
6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
for the glaze
½ tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 c. powdered sugar
Thoroughly butter the pan with the 1Tb melted butter, then using a flour sifter dust with the ¼ flour, jostle the pans a bit to get the flour in every nook and cranny. Tap out the excess. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Heat oven to 375*
Whip the eggs, sugar and salt on high in the mixer for about two minutes, until it is barely pale yellow and super fluffy. Sift in the flour, then pour on the butter, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix quickly for acouple seconds until it’s homogenous.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter in to your prepped pan. Go evenly to the top or just below – don’t overfill, you’ll have a mess.
Bake 10 minutes until just *barely* golden at the edge, and they spring back when touched. After cooling for just a minute or two, test the edges of the cookies to make sure they are not stuck, and invert the pan.
Glaze when cool.
You can skip the glaze and just dust these with powdered sugar.
If you do glaze and don’t eat them immediately, the glaze will melt in to the cookie making the top slighlty sticky but ridiculously delicious.
Fat 4 g
Sodium 34 mg
Carbs 13 g
Protein 1 g
So a couple Saturdays back, I needed to do something with some leftover bacon in the fridge. (I know, right?! How the HELL did THAT happen? I do not know), and that made me think of my mom’s potato soup when I was a kid. Only we don’t do potatoes now, but we do cauliflower and….wait! That’s it! And there you have it, another snap shot of the way my brain works.
Regardless of brain workings, this soup is delicious. And easy. And filling. And fast. Plus, bacon.
When I made this again for the blog, I had to cook the bacon. This added some time – so plan ahead and make extra bacon at breakfast, then hide it.
Ya’ll know we can’t do dairy so much, so I made this with cashew cream. And really, you should make it that way the first time because it is AMAZEBALLS. Or, wimp out and use heavy cream – because I am not your dairy police. That’s between you and your intestines.
Give this bad boy a whirl, and share your results!
For the cashew cream
½ c. raw cashew pieces
¾ c. warm water
½ tsp. corn starch
½ tsp. nutritional yeast
For the Soup
20 oz. pkg frozen cauliflower
6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 oz)
2 Tbsp. bacon fat
½ white onion, coarsely chopped
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1.5 qt. chicken stock
S&P to taste
If you are doing this with cashew cream: put cashews and water in your blender, set aside to soak the cashews.
For the soup
Cold pan fry up that bacon. Chop 5 of the slices and reserve the 6th to crumble as garnish. (Now, this is assuming you can control yourself around bacon. If you cannot, cook extra slices accordingly.)
Take 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease and use it to sweat the onions in a big soup pot.
Once they’re clear, add the thyme, nutmeg, cauliflower, chopped bacon and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Simmer about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is fall-apart soft.
At this point, if you are using the cashew cream, put the corn starch and the yeast in the blender and set it on high/liquefy for about two minutes. You may need to stop/scrape midway. You should end up with a super-smooth mixture that looks like cream. Rub a drop between your fingers – it should not feel grainy. If it does, give it another minute or so until it is super smooth.
Scoop the cooked cauliflower (and whatever onions and bacon make it along for the ride) in to the blender. Keep the lid open a crack (so you don’t have a soup explosion) and puree until smooth. You may need to add a little broth to make it work. Pour all that back in to the soup pot with the broth and simmer about ten or fifteen more minutes. (If you eschew the cashew, put enough liquid in the blender with the cauliflower to puree it; then you can add 1 c. heavy cream and simmer for the same amount of time.)
Serve it up, garnished with some of that bacon and a sprinkle of more nutmeg.
This reheats great – I have not tried freezing it, but the next day for lunch? Super deelish.
And – this is soup consistency soup. If you want a super-thick, stand up your spoon kinda purée, cut the liquid in half. And use the food processor to purée instead of the blender.
Fat 12 gg
Sodium 430 mg
Carbs 14 g
Protein 10 g
So, this week I’m making what every French child knows how to make by the age of 8. (Right before they start smoking and after they’ve been drinking wine, of course….)
Why do we all buy salad dressings? Sometimes when I’m on auto pilot at the grocery and find myself reaching for a bottle, I stop to think, “you idiot.”
Seriously – is there anything easier? Make it at home – control what’s in it.
Why not try making your own? Fresh, easy, delicious; and you probably already have all the ingredients and don’t even know it. Play with the ingredients, too – leave out the shallot, add tarragon. Or leave in the shallot and add parsley and thyme. Or cracked green peppercorns. Whatever. Just play with your food.
This is a big batch – fills a whole bottle from Cost Plus. Feel free to halve or quarter it, or double and give some to the neighbors…..
And, I whisked it – but of course later remembered this great tip from Cooks Illustrated – just put everything in a jar with a lid and shake it til it’s emulsified. Remember those Good Seasons italian dressing cruets when we were kids? Like that…..
Try it! Share how it turned out.
¾ c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
3 Tbsp. dijon mustard
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1.5 – 2 c. good oil.
In a large bowl, or blender, or 4-cup measuring cup, whisk together everything but the oil.
While you’re still whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil until you get an emulsion. (It will thicken, and become dull instead of shiny.)
Keeps in the fridge for at least a week.
Play with the ingredients, too – leave out the shallot, add tarragon. Or leave in the shallot and parsley and thyme. Or cracked green peppercorns.
For the oil, I like to go half plain veg oil and half extra virgin olive oil. I think going all olive overpowers this. Save that for the balsamic vinaigrettes – they can handle it.
Serving size is 2Tbsp – or 1oz.
Fat 28 g
Sodium 47 mg
Carbs 0 g
Protein 0 g
“Hmmm….how do I photograph lentils to make them look appetizing?” Another item to file in the “shit I never thought I’d hear myself say” folder. But, seriously. How?
I guess you are going to have to take my word for it. In the winter I am often obsessed with an italian sausage and lentil soup created by that genius Beth at Budget Bytes. It was cold. Any rainy. And a hearty bowl sounded just perfect! Plus, I’ve been trying to find that “just right” bread recipe……it was destiny. (More on the bread next week…)
Billy bought some chorizo for our breakfast mini omelettes, and I started to think how good that would taste with lentils. (The chorizo, you guys, not the omelettes.) So, poof! Soup! Make some. It’s fairly quick and easy. Himself can’t have carrots anymore, so the base is stock, onion and celery only. Feel free to add two peeled carrots sliced for soup. And, this does work with Soyrizo – you just have to add it at the end with the spinach.
This is made with Mexican style chorizo, by the way, not the Spanish kind. Although that would also be very tasty. And, for chrissakes, get the pork. Unless you go the soyrizo route – but we’ve already talked about that. As a reformed vegetarian, I can’t bitch now.
This soup is awesome. And easily serves four very hungry people, add some good bread and salad and it’s show time.
½ # pork chorizo, cooked. Use the good kind that’s lean. It makes a difference. (or, use Soyrizo)
½ # lentils. I used green, but yellow or orange would be tasty if creamier.
½ white onion, in ½” dice
3 stalks of celery, sliced in soup chunk size
2 quarts chicken or pork stock
½ package frozen chopped spinach
S&P to taste
Wash and pick through the lentils. Rocks and bad bits are rare these days, but not impossible.
In a large stock pot, brown the meat. If you didn’t listen and got greasy chorizo, drain it. Toss in the veg and sauté with the meat for a couple minutes. Pour in the lentils and the stock. Simmer about an hour. (Or on low in the crock pot while you’re at work. If you use a crock pot, only use 1.5 qts stock). Ten minutes before serving, take the stick blender to half the pot. This breaks ups some of the lentils and thickens the soup. Then, add the spinach give it a stir and set the dinner table. (If you’re going the Soyrizo route, add it now.)
Serve with lime and hot sauce. Or a sprinkle of smoked paprika and sliced bitter olives. Or with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You get the idea. You are going to LOVE this.
Fat 9 g
Sodium 830 mg
Carbs 21 g
Protein 16 g