Thursday, January 30, 2020

Roasted Cauliflower with Spicy Tomato Sauce



Roasted cauliflower is a great blank canvas and the perfect vehicle for an easy spicy sauce to ride around in! But this sauce is equally as yummy when it's on any roasted veggie- especially eggplant.

And by the way (don't we all love that phrase!), after years and years, I finally upgraded my phone all the way to an iPhone 11. Instead of taking the photos on this post with my Canon Rebel, I shot them with the iPhone. Besides that- I didn't even alter them with any of filter or program. (Perhaps you are thinking I should have.) So what do you think? I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts at yatesyummies@gmail.com. 



Ingredients for 2 to 4 servings:

1 head cauliflower
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons vinegar, (I used red wine vinegar here, but plain is best)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced or put through a press 
Greek Yogurt
A handful of  herbs such as cilantro, basil, mint, parsley or dill

Directions:


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or fire up the grill to medium high heat.

Wash the head of cauliflower, pull back the large green “leaves” and cut off the stem at the bottom. Slice the head in half and then cut out the core at the bottom of each half. Separate into florets and place on baking sheet. A quarter sized sheet works great.

Drizzle the cauliflower with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt.

Put sheet in oven or in grill with door closed. Bake 20 minutes. Gently turn each floret over to allow other side to brown. Continue to bake another 10 minutes. Florets should easily pierce with a fork and have some deep golden brown spots when done.


While cauliflower is roasting, make the spicy tomato sauce.

Combine tomato paste, vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper flakes, cumin, pepper and garlic. Either microwave for 1 1/2 minutes or heat up to just a boil in a pan.

Place roasted cauliflower in bowl, add heated sauce and gently mix to coat.

Serve with handfuls of herbs and a dollop of Greek yogurt.




Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Arugula Sweet Potato Salad


This is the easiest salad ever - and maybe one of the prettiest. It's also super yummy. The arugula really works well with the apple, sweet potato and red onion. The apple cider vinegar dressing seals the deal. It's something that can be thrown together very quickly, especially by using the microwave to cook the potatoes. It's a very portable salad/side to bring to a pitch-in/potluck, just don't put the dressing on until ready to serve.




Ingredients for Four Servings:

4 cups arugula
2 large sweet potatoes
2 Granny Smith apples
1/4 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds 
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder



Directions:




Wash and pierce each sweet potato a few times. Microwave on high about 6 minutes until they feel tender when squeezed but not mushy. Slice them open length wise, allow to cool, then cut into 1/4 inch cubes, leaving skin behind.

Spread 1 cup arugula on each of four salads plates or put all four cups on one huge platter.  Put sweet potato cubes,  diced apple, diced onion, and pomegranate seeds on top of arugula. 

Whisk vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder together. Pour vinegar and oil mixture over ingredients and serve.



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Saturday, December 21, 2019

Oatmeal Buckwheat Pancake Mix- An Easy Homemade Gift



I had been listening to foodie type podcasts of Christmas past, when I heard this idea on an episode of Bon Appetit Foodcast. The topic was edible gifts and this sounded very doable since I already had all the dry ingredients on hand, including lots of jelly sized ball jars. All the receiver of a jar has to do is add the perishable, wet ingredients to make surprisingly fluffy pancakes.

I did do some altering such as leaving out flax seeds and exchanging buttermilk for regular milk (or a nut milk) and vinegar. The original recipe called for whirling everything in a blender, but I don't like extra steps and I do like the fact that unblended pancakes have texture.  Since the recipe calls for buckwheat flour and oatmeal, it could claim to be gluten free.  If needed, I think the buckwheat flour could be changed out for all purpose flour. 

Small confession: because I bought my oatmeal and buckwheat from an Amish bulk food store, I jazzed the "Just Add" label of the mix up to say "Amish Oatmeal Buckwheat Pancakes".  It just sounded better - ha! (There's an old story that people were giving a liter of puppies away for free, but no one was interested in them. When they put out a sign that said "Amish Puppies for $50", the pups were all sold in half an hour!)



What's in the jar:


1 cup old-fashioned oats 
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt


What's on the Label - What Needs to be Added



2 eggs
1/4 cup of melted butter
1 cup milk (can be nondairy)
1 1/2 teaspoons vinegar

Just stir the dry and wet ingredients together and fry as a regular pancake.  They are great with maple syrup or even yummy with just butter and a fried egg on top.

                   
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Saturday, November 23, 2019

Ruby Red Clam Sauce


So it's the weekend before Thanksgiving and you have lots of family coming in? Maybe the cousins from Detroit or the kids are home from college? Well, they all want to eat and but who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen right before the most labor intensive cooking day of the year?


I learned this fast, little cheat of a recipe from Ruby Menozzi, a Florida friend from Upstate New York. Ruby and her husband Ed come from huge families and they are used to feeding a lot of people, without being stuck behind a stove.


This easy recipe feeds a crowd with little effort because it relies on ingredients such as canned clams, tomato juice, and tomato paste. In fact, Ruby uses garlic from a jar and dried parsley- but even I couldn't go that far! (But it could be done!)  If someone feels that bad about cheating with canned clams, run to Sam's Club or Costco and get some frozen clams. Steam them and stick the shells on the top when it served - but wait - who wants to go to all that trouble!



Ruby Menozzi's Red Clam Sauce - Serves 8


Ingredients:



Several glugs of olive oil - enough to cover the bottom of a large pot to about 1/8 inch
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 whole head of garlic, each clove peeled and put through a press or finely minced
1 (46 oz.) can tomato juice
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
1 (6 oz.) can chopped clams
1 (10 oz.) can whole clams
1 pound of pasta cooked according to package directions


Directions:



Put oil in pan and warm it up over medium heat. Add pepper flakes, oregano and parsley. After they sizzle for 30 seconds, add the garlic and saute for another 30 second.



Pour in the tomato juice. Whisk in the tomato paste. Add the chopped clams along with the juice.



Turn the heat down to low and allow the mixture to simmer for an hour or so.



About 10 minutes before you are ready to eat, drain and add the can of whole clams. If the sauce seems too thick, add a bit of the liquid from the clams and some water. Simmer another 10 minutes.



Serve over spaghetti, linguine, or even zucchini zoodles.


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Sunday, November 10, 2019

The Kane Sister's Pumpkin Bread (Muffins)


This recipe for pumpkin bread or muffins came from the same source as my family's legendary carrot cake- the Mueller girls. These two sisters, who I knew when we were all teenagers, seemed to be on a diet all the time.  It was so ironic that they sure could bake!  Just like their fabulous carrot cake, this recipe has typical ingredients but a totally unorthodox way of combining them. Besides that, the directions call for baking it low and slow.  It wasn't until years later that I realized how unconventional the recipe was. Nevertheless, my sister Claire and I used the recipe often and brought the resulting pumpkin bread to holiday pitch-ins for years!


Pumpkin Bread - Yields Two Loaves or 24 Muffins


Ingredients:



3 cups regular white sugar
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups flour
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts such as walnuts



Directions:


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Oil and flour two loaf pans or insert cupcake liners in muffin pans.



Beat together the sugar and eggs.

Add the flour, oil, pumpkin, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Combine well.



Stir in the raisins and nuts.



Make at 325 for one hour for pumpkin bread, about 30 to 40 minutes for muffins. Top will have characteristic crack and when inserted, toothpick should come out clean. 

If making pumpkin bread, let the loaf rest 5 minutes before removing from the pan.



Thursday, August 22, 2019

Three Summer Salads & Squash Blossom Soup

We are on the road again, hence the collage of dishes in lieu of step-by-step photos. During this late summer into fall trip we are headed towards the eastern states. So far we've hit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and parts of charming Connecticut.


I've been inspired by some OPRs (other people's recipes) that I've seen in magazines and some recent cookbook purchases. This is a great time of year to find fresh produce and I took the recipes and adjusted them to suit us and our way of life in a tiny motor home kitchen. But that's what everyone does with a recipe- right? You might follow it the first time, but after that you make it your own!


Tomato, Bean, and Basil Salad - Inspired by a Photo in Bon Appetit Magazine




Ingredients:


2 or 3 ripe tomatoes, sliced and cubed
2 cups cooked cannelloni beans or 15 oz. can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups fresh pureed tomatoes or 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes that are food processed
1 clove garlic, put through a press or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 cup green olives
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup basil leaves, some chopped, some whole
1/2 cup dark leafy lettuce blend, like spinach & kale


Directions:

In a large bowl, mix the pureed tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, olives, olive oil and vinegar. Add the beans, basil and leafy greens and gently stir. Place on platter and serve with crusty bread, if desired.



Peach and Cucumber Salad - Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine




Ingredients:


2 or 3 ripe peaches, sliced
1 large cucumber or a couple smallish ones, both sliced and cubed
2 or 3 cups of some kind of dark leafy green salad mix - like spinach/kale
1/4 of red onion, finely diced
Juice of 1 lemon, about 1/4 cup, plus more for a finishing squeeze
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup of crumbly white cheese - original recipe calls for feta, I used queso fresco

Optional - the original recipe calls for a handful each of basil and mint leaves, I've done it with and without

Directions:


Whisk together onion, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bon Appetit says to divide the resulting dressing and pour 1/2 over the peaches and 1/2 over the cucumbers before ultimately mixing them together, Lazy me, I just put greens on a platter, mixed together the peaches and cucumbers and then poured the dressing on top. I then crumbled the cheese over it all and finished it off with a sprinkle of more Kosher salt, a dash of pepper and some squeezes of lemon juice.



Corn Salad with Crunchy Corn Nuts - Adapted from Dining In by Alison Roman



Ingredients

4 ears of corn on the cob
2 limes
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, including both leaves and tender stems
1/2 cup plain corn nuts
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco


Directions:


Cook the corn by leaving it in the husk and either microwave it on high for 10 minutes, bake it at 425 for 30 to 40 minutes, or - as the original recipe calls for -  put it on the grill for about 25 to 30 minutes. (I've done this all three ways. When I did it on the grill, the husk caught on fire - so keep some water close to put out the flames.) 


Squeeze the juice out of one of the limes, and combine the juice with the onions, pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Set Aside.


Husk the corn and cut the kernels off the cob, by holding the cob straight up and scraping down with a knife. In a large bowl combine the kernels, corn nuts, cilantro and lime/onion mixture. Transfer it all to a serving platter and top with crumbled cheese. Use the second lime to squeeze some lime juice over the top.




Squash Blossom Zucchini Soup - Recipe Adapted from My Mexico City Kitchen by Gabriela Camara 




Ingredients:


2 medium yellow or white onion, sliced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium zucchini
4 cups chicken broth or 2 (15 oz.) cans chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon dried epazote or Mexican oregano
1 chopped zucchini flowers plus some whole ones for garnishing


Directions:


Over medium low heat, saute the onion in the oil until it is tender. Add the epazote or oregano and cook an additional 30 seconds.


Dice the zucchini and add to the onions along with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat so the mixture is simmering. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.


take off the heat and divide between four serving bowls. To each bowl add 1/4 cup zucchini flowers and serve.


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Monday, July 29, 2019

Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce


Caroline and Adam have been renovating their Chicago suburban kitchen for what must seem to them an eternity. For several months they have been without a stove, oven or sink. In fact, there is only one room in their whole downstairs that isn’t gutted. As a result they turned an upstairs bedroom into a makeshift kitchen, using a toaster oven and microwave to get by. To help them out, I made a few frozen meals so all they had to do was defrost, then nuke or bake. One meal Caroline requested was chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce. Don’t let the sour cream in the filling scare you off- there’s just enough of it to bind the chicken and onions together and the tomatillo sauce supplies tartness to offset the richness.


Ingredients for the Tomatillo Sauce:



12 small to medium tomatillos
1 cup fresh cilantro, leaves and tender upper stems
1 small to medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons canned green chili peppers
1 large clove garlic, put through a press
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt or less 



Directions:



Husk the tomatillos by pulling the papery skins off. Wash and place in a pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes and drain. Place cooked tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic and peppers in a food processor. Blend for about 30 seconds to a minute until all ingredients are combined. 



Heat oil in skillet over medium high until it shimmers. Pour the blended tomatillo mixture into the hot pan. The liquid will hiss and start to boil. Give it a stir and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.



Add in the chicken broth and stir well to mix it in. Continue to let the mixture simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and if needed add the salt. If not, discard it.


Ingredients for Eight Chicken Enchiladas:

3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed.
1 cup diced white or yellow onions
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 large flour tortillas
1 Batch of tomatillo sauce from recipe above
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese


Directions:



In a bowl, mix the chicken, onions, sour cream, salt and pepper together.



Ladle just enough tomatillo sauce into a 9x13 baking dish to cover the bottom. Place a heaping 1/3 cup of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese on top of the chicken in each tortilla. Roll each tortilla up and place seam side down into the baking dish.



Pour the remaining tomatillo sauce over the top, reserving about 1/2 cup for serving.



Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 50 minutes or until tortillas are browning and sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes more to melt the cheese. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro leaves as a garnish.