Wednesday, March 28, 2012

bits and crumbs

Sometimes life does not allow me to cook up a new recipe every week. This is the perfect opportunity to share hoarded links, revisit past recipes, and give shout-outs to some of my ├╝ber-talented friends.
If you can't get enough balls (and who can?!), follow my Ball board on Pinterest. Also, check out my friend Cupcake Project Stef's post on cous cous balls, in which she so generously gives me a nod. Fun! BALLS!

I got an ice cream maker for my birthday (best boyfriend ever!), so I've been playing with it. I made some black pepper ice cream! I was inspired by a fabulous dinner at Home Wine Kitchen, where Cassie Vires (who's turducken recipe I used this past thanksgiving) made black pepper ice cream served with strawberry bread pudding and balsamic reduction. This dessert blew my mind. I used this recipe from my friend Kelly's blog, but infused the custard with peppercorns instead of popcorn. This was a super rich and yummy ice cream, with a lovely hint of black pepper. It went brilliantly with fresh strawberries and reduced balsamic vinegar!

I revisited one of my favorite recipes, Nam Tok beef. I don't often find myself with leftover steak, so I tried the recipe on a beef brisket I cooked in the slow-cooker (with water, onions, garlic & soy sauce.) It's the same concept, and it worked really well. So delicious. Do it.

The above photos were taken with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, specifically the "Foodie Hipstapak" lens/film combo. I love how well food photos turn out with this. So much so that I shared all my favorites on my Daydream Believer Blog. Also on that blog, I wrote about my favorite food-centric bath and body products.

Enough about me... check out some of my St. Louis food blog buddies!

Stacey (remember her guest post?) Was on T.V.!! She showed the Lou how to make some homemade snacks. She's so cool!

Jon of Shoot To Cook made some pizza crusts that I NEED to try.

Amrita from The Sweet Art shares pomegranate lemon marscapone tart. with coconut macadamia crust. Dear lord. *fans self* is it hot in here?

Kimberly of Rhubarb and Honey made a heart-healthy chicken picadillo that looks too good to be good, you know?

I wannna go on a picnic with Jess and Maddie of City in a Jar. Check out their bread topping ideas.

I mentioned Kelly above (love her!). This Andouille corn chowder on her blog Sounding My Barbaric Gulp is on my must-make list. wow.

See? There is plenty of good food to go around... I don't need to ALWAYS hog this space with me me me. :)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

tuna bahn mi

I'm not even sure this qualifies as a recipe or deserves a blog post. Doctored up canned tuna on a sandwich? But maybe you've never had canned tuna like this... it is my favorite way to flavor the cheap pantry staple. All the ingredients I use are stuff I always have in my fridge and cabinets.

I lived off canned tuna and rice in college, mostly because I had no money. But it was a healthier and more delicious alternative to cheap ramen packets. Did I mention how skinny I was in college? Sheesh.

You can use this tuna in a variety of ways... eat on rice with shredded raw cabbage and vegetables, on crackers... in this case I made a sandwich, bahn mi-style. It was perfect for a spring day... fresh, light, slightly spicy.

Steph's Spicy Asian Tuna
(Note: everything here is to taste... this is more of an idea than a recipe... I have never actually measured ingredients when making this, but this recipe will get you close.)

-2 cans tuna in water
-2 Tablespoons soy sauce
-1 Tablespoon Sriracha sauce
-1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
-1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
-pinch of red chile flakes
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
-1/4 teaspoon cumin
-1/4 teaspoon granulated ginger
-1/4 teaspoon coriander
-2 Teaspoons olive oil or vegetable oil

Mix everything together. Let chill together for at least 15 minutes to let all the flavors settle, mingle, and harmonize. Serve on rice with raw vegetables, on crackers or, as I did here, on a sandwich. This "bahn mi" had tuna, cucumbers, carrots and sprouts on flaky french bread, with a smear of mayonnaise mixed with sriracha sauce. You should also put cilantro on it...

Do you have a favorite way of using canned tuna? Or a favorite "pantry supper?" Leave a comment and tell me about it! :)

Related posts from the archives:
Pork Sung-wich
Fettuccine with tuna and capers
Sushi Ceviche
Slut's Spaghetti
Tater Tot Tacos
Cashew Chicken Balls

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hummus Balls!

Yup! The Year of the Balls continues... Oh, and I figured it required a logo:

You like? :)

So On to these hummus balls... I know what you're thinking... "Stef... wouldn't that be falafel?" well... okay, yes, this probably is falafel. But, I was really going for the flavors of hummus and pita, so I'm calling them Hummus Balls. LET ME HAVE MY MOMENT!

Ahem. I researched several bean ball recipes (heh... bean balls), and I wanted to make sure these weren't too dense or dry. I employed some basic meatball techniques to help with fluff and moisture... dairy, egg, bread crumbs. Other than that I used the basic flavors of a good hummus... chick peas, sesame seeds, lemon, garlic (have you seen this fantastic hummus tattoo? So smitten with it.) Unlike hummus, I used a potato masher to mash the chick peas into a more course texture, which I thought gave the balls a better texture... crumbly yet not too dry.

Hummus Balls with Tzatziki Sauce

2 cans chick peas
2 cups pita chip crumbs
4 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 lemon
4 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 6 0z. tubs of plain Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/2 cucumber
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
salt and pepper

-Shred the cucumber and salt it. put it in a colander over a bowl to drain while you make the balls.

-Mash the chick peas until you get a nice mix of mush and small chunks. Add 1 cup of the pita crumbs, juice of half the lemon, 2 Tablespoons of yogurt, 2 Tablespoons of sesame seeds, the egg, 3 of the minced garlic cloves and the sesame oil. Use the masher to combine, season with salt and pepper, then your your hands to make sure everything is well combined. Roll the mixture into ping-pong ball-sized balls.

-To make the Tzatziki sauce, combine the rest of the yogurt with the shredded cucumbers, the other half of the lemon juice, the mint and the other clove of minced garlic. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

-Combine the remaining pita crumbs and sesame seeds and roll the balls in the mixture, gently pressing to make the crumbs stick.

-Coat a skillet with half of the olive oil and put over medium heat. Cook half of the balls in the skillet, turning so that all sides are golden brown. Wipe out skillet, add the rest of the oil and cook the other half of the balls. Serve on lettuce with tomatoes, cucumber, red onion and the tzatziki sauce.

Related posts from the archive:
Sesame Salmon Balls
Morroccan Lamb Balls
Salsiccia Balls with polenta
Cashew Chicken balls
Masterpiece meatballs
Pioneer Woman's Comfort Balls
Turkey Kefta
Sesame Chickpea Stir Fry
Radish Garbanzo Salad
Chorizo Garbonzo Stew
Curried Chickpea Salad

Monday, March 05, 2012

tarragon cod on arugula and beans

White fish fillets are a sustainable and easy option for quick weeknight dinners. Inspired by this post by Mark Bittman on a bunch of different ways to cook white fish, I came up with this dish which includes two of my favorite foods... cannellini beans and arugula! This seriously came together really fast... my wine didn't even get a chance to chill!

Tarragon Cod on Arugula and Beans

-2 small cod fillets
-1 egg
-1 cup all purpose flour
-4 Tablespoons tarragon, chopped
-zest from half a lemon
-juice of 1 lemon
-1/3 cup or so vegetable oil, for pan-frying
-3 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 shallot, chopped
-4 cups arugula
-1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Scramble the egg with 1 Tablespoon of the tarragon and the lemon zest. Season the flour with salt. Lightly dredge the fish fillets in the flour, then dip into the egg. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet. Cook the fish in for 2-3 minutes per side. remove to a paper-towel-lined plate. Clean skillet. In olive oil, cook the garlic and shallot until translucent and just starting to brown. Add in arugula, the rest of the tarragon, and the beans. Toss in the lemon juice. Cook for about 2 minutes until arugula is wilted and everything is heated through. Serve the fish on top.

What is your favorite way to cook white fish fillets?

Similar posts from the archive: