A personal kitchen diary. I try new recipes and make notes on what works and what doesn't. Sometimes I can things, and sometimes I dry herbs. This is the story of my kitchen.

Month: May 2016

No Recipe – Bacon, Beans, and Rice

No Recipe – Bacon, Beans, and Rice

I felt like having some bacon this morning. I had some bacon from #barhamfamilyfarm in the fridge. I didn’t want to eat JUST bacon though. So I thought about it for awhile, and nosed around in my pantry and fridge, and came up with this. […]

Smokey Baby Back Ribs on the Grill

Smokey Baby Back Ribs on the Grill

I’ve made these ribs a few times before, and really like the method.  But I wanted a smokier taste. I made a grilled chicken the other day and put together a rub that used smoked sweet Spanish paprika, and thought it would be perfect.  I […]

CSA Stir Fry

CSA Stir Fry

As I mentioned before, I belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  I get a share of whatever is ripe on the farm every week.

In the spring it is heavy on greens, and I often do some variation of the stir fry below.  In this week’s share I had some Bok Choy, spring onion, and green garlic.  And I had dried birds-eye chilies from last summer.
This really isn’t so much a recipe as a method.  The only thing that really remains the same is that I always have some form of garlic and ginger.  And the stir fry sauce.
But if you want a recipe, you can follow the one on my CSA’s blog, here:
http://fairsharenews.blogspot.com/search?q=Stir+fry
With any stir fry, the work is all up front.   Before I get started, I start my rice cooker.  The timing is almost always perfect for when I will be done with the stir fry.
 
I finely minced the white bulbs of the green garlic.  I sliced the green part of the spring onions and put in a separate bowl, and thinly sliced half-rounds of the white portion.  I again separated white from green on the Bok Choy.  I slice the white portion in half rounds, and cut the green leaves in one inch (appx) strips, then stack and slice the strips in one inch spacing.

Because the different veggies go in at different times, I have them in separate bowls, ready to go.

Next I make sure the stir fry sauce is also ready.  This stir fry sauce is:
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil (Toasted if you have it, much more flavor)
1 tsp red pepper flakes (I took one of my dried chilies, broke it open and used the seeds, then decided to heck with it and threw the whole thing in)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp cool water.
Everything goes very quickly once you start cooking, it’s important everything is ready to go.
I don’t have a wok, so I heat a tablespoon (or so) of sesame oil over high heat in a large skillet.  Once it is hot and shimmering, I add the green garlic (or garlic if that is what I am using) and this time just a squeeze of ginger purée.  If I have fresh ginger I will have grated a tsp or so, or already minced ginger I might use that too.  I stir this for only about 30 seconds.  This is about the time it takes for the fragrance to bloom, and then it is time to add the next thing.
Each vegetable should be added according to its density and how long it will take to cook them.  Keep in mind that the first ones in the skillet will be cooked the entire time.  So don’t overcook them at the beginning.
In this case the densest veggie I had was the Bok Choy white parts.  I added them and sautéd for 2 minutes.
Next I added the white portion of the spring onions, and sautéd for another minute.
And last in are the leafy green parts of the Bok Choy and the sliced green parts of the spring onions, sautéed for another minute.
I always love how bright and green the veggies are at this point.  And frankly, they probably would be good as is!  But I have a stir fry sauce to add.  I whisk the cornstarch and water one more time and whisk it into the sauce, and add all at once to the veggies.  And yes, you guessed it, cooked for one more minute.
The rice was done, and I poured the vegetables over the rice.  I had a little too much sauce here.  I didn’t adjust it to the amount of vegetables I had.  Oh well, just add more rice to soak it up!
This week I’ll make a variation of this with tat soi.  Sometimes I have hakurei turnips in my CSA share, and I’ll use those.
Lamb Meatballs with Hummus and Pomegranate Molasses

Lamb Meatballs with Hummus and Pomegranate Molasses

This is another recipe for the cooking challenge I’m doing with some of my friends.  This month the challenge is to use pomegranate molasses in a new-to-you recipe.  Since I never used pomegranate molasses before period, any recipe using it would be new to me! […]

Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken with a Smokey BBQ Rub

Grilled Spatchcocked Chicken with a Smokey BBQ Rub

A friend of mine brought back some smoked paprika from a spice shop she visited in Nashville TN. I wanted to try something that featured that smokiness, and I came up with a winner.  I made a rub that included the paprika, and grilled a […]

Hummus

Hummus

I am trying a new recipe for lamb meatballs this week, and the meatballs are served with hummus. I decided to make the hummus today.  And while I was as it, have a little dish of hummus tonight too.

The basics are usually the same starting with chickpeas and tahini.  The easy recipe I like comes from the very first South Beach Diet book.  Along with the chickpeas and tahini, it’s got garlic, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin and ground red pepper.  I was going to use Piment d’espellete because I have some and I like it, but decided to use Aleppo instead, which is more true to the region.
A little chopping and measuring later, and I was ready to employ the food processor.
I had to make a note in my recipe to remember to drain the can of chickpeas over a bowl so I could use the liquid to get the right consistency after blending.
Into the food processor went the drained chickpeas.
Then it was just a matter of adding all the ingredients and pulsing, scraping down, and pulsing the mixture again.  I do find I have to add some of the chickpea liquid for it to blend properly.  Add until you get the consistency you like.
Even though the hummus is for another dish this week, I thought I ought to go ahead and try it out and so I put a little in a bowl.  I chopped up some kalamata olives and topped the hummus with that, drizzled it all with olive oil, then sprinkled a little of the Aleppo pepper over it all.
And ate with wedges of pita as shown above (and now below as well).
Hummus
 
1 15 oz can of chickpeas
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp red pepper (I used Aleppo)
1/2 tsp salt
Drain the chickpeas over a bowl, reserving the liquid.  Add the chickpeas to the bowl of a food processor or blender container. Add all remaining ingredients and pulse.  Scrape down the sides and pulse again. Add chickpea liquid as needed until you get the consistency you like.
Refrigerate 3-4 hours before serving to let the flavors blend.
Online Recipe
 
I couldn’t find the exact recipe online, but here are some notes from the South Beach Diet about different kinds of hummus.
http://www.southbeachdiet.com/diet/delicious-ways-to-enjoy-hummus
Pomegranate Molasses Roasted Carrots

Pomegranate Molasses Roasted Carrots

An online group I am in decided to start a new monthly food challenge.  For May, we are to make a new-to-us recipe using Pomegranate Molasses. Since I have never used PM before, all the recipes will be new to me, but I started with […]

Roasted Red Peppers, Goat Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Spring Mix orArugula

Roasted Red Peppers, Goat Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Spring Mix orArugula

Tonight was all about adjusting to what was in my kitchen.  This is a favorite salad, but I usually make it with arugula.  Turns out I didn’t have any, but a spring mix of baby greens worked fine. This was also the first time I […]