Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pancakes!! No Wheat!!

1 cup almond meal
1 cup sorghum flour (or corn flour, buckwheat flour, non-wheat flour of your choice)
1 egg
3-4 tablespoons butter or non-refined coconut oil (spectrum sells organic virgin coconut oil that is very good for this purpose)
1/2 to 1 cup milk (I use raw whole milk)
1/8 cup 4% milk fat greek style yogurt (or other plain high protein yogurt with some fat)
1/4 tspn salt

Added's (I use the first three together usually, the rest are as you like to taste)

Mix flours together with spices and salt. Fold in yogurt and egg until thoroughly mixed. Add 1/2 cup milk and mix until consistent. The batter should be the consistency of... pumpkin soup! Thick, but liquid, not watery. Depending on what flour you use you may need more or less milk. Put a tablespoon of butter on your pan, spread it around, use a quarter cup measure to pour batter on to heated pan into size of pancake desired. Re-oil pan between each batch, and expect first batch of pancakes to stick, always. If adding fruit, earlier for dried fruit, later (like onto the batter in the pan) for wet fruit like fresh blueberries. I don't know how to add crack, you're on your own with that.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Seared Tuna with Soba Noodles

Bret, I think it has been a month since I promised to submit more recipes... so here we go. Simple, fast and delicious. Make sure to get high quality, sashimi-grade tuna for this, since it will be pretty raw (for those living in Berkeley, Tokyo Fish Market is the place to go). I found the recipe on BBC's Good Food site.

- 1/2 lbs Hamachi tuna (fresh and almost wiggling)
- 4 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp sesame seeds (I used sesame salt, a mixture of black sesame seeds and coarse salt sold in Japanese markets)
- soba noodles
- 1 small cucumber, cut into matchsticks
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp soy sauce (I used the one with less salt)
- 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, finely grated or chopped
- 3 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp sugar

Drizzle the tuna with 1 tbsp sesame oil and season with salt and pepper. Roll in sesame seeds until coated. Heat a pan until very hot, sear the tuna on all sides and chill until using. Make sure not to overcook the fish, you want to achieve a nicely seared crust while keeping it raw in the center.
Boil the noodles in salt water, drain and rinse well in cold water. Divide noodles between bowls. Arrange the cucumbers and spring onions on top. 
Mix the lemon juice, soy sauce, ginger, mirin, sugar and the remaining sesame oil to make a dressing.  Slice the tuna and arrange on top of the noodles. Pour the dressing over and sprinkle with some sesame seeds.

Image (c) www.bbcgoodfood.com

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Turkey Meatballs

I made these on Sunday and they turned out really delicious. I will include the recipe as it is written in the Joy of Cooking, with my substitutions in parenthesis. As you will see I made a lot of changes and it still turned out delicious. I mixed the meatballs with pasta, steamed carrots, and a yellow bell pepper. Quite tasty!

Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion with one cloves garlic in olive oil. Cook until translucent. (I used closer to one cup and the onions were a little toasty.)
In a bowl add:
onions from above
1 lb. ground turkey (1.4 lbs)
1 large egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (7 shakes from of parm from the bottle! Don't tell anyone:))
2 tablespoons milk (I only had buttermilk. I know it sounds crazy, but maybe it was the key to my success?)
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (one slice toasted bread smashed with a rolling pin. I then realized I actually had bread crumbs and I added a hearty helping of that as well.)
1 tablespoon tomato paste (ketchup)
1 tablespoon fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
Sea salt and pepper

Mix it all up with your hands and thoroughly combine. Roll into 1 inch balls and roll into cornmeal. Heat oil in a large pan. Add meatballs and brown, about 10 minutes. I found that covering the pan with a lid helped things cook more evenly. And that is it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Easy, delicious, beautiful, healthy 'chinese' cabbage salad

I've been thinking about the recent article in the nytimes that seems to be circulating around alot - The 11 foods you should be eating or something to that effect. Basically, ive been trying to incorporate them into my diet in fun & new ways as much as I can. I was somewhat inspired by the photo of red cabbage slaw/salad they featured, but thought I could do a little better. This salad, which can be a stand alone meal, is super yummy, colorful, cheap to make and very healthy. my boyfriend summed it up by saying, 'you feel like you're killing all the cancerous cells in your body when you eat this.' Let's hope so!

Here's what you need (adjust to how much you want to make)
Red cabbage - chopped
Carrots - julienned
Daikon (japanese radish) - julienned
Green onion - chopped finely
Ginger root - chopped finely
Pumpkin seeds
Almond slivers
1 package of instant ramen - crushed into bitesized pieces
Cooked chicken (optional)

Sesame seed oil/salad oil/olive oil
Fish sauce or soy sauce or both!
1/2 of the seasoning package from the instant ramen

Simply chop all of the vegetables and mix them in a big bowl. If you are in a hurry, you can just crush the ramen noodles and add straight to the salad. Another interesting twist is to fry them for a few minutes with some butter until they are golden brown. For the dressing, I felt that 100% sesame would be too strong, so I used about 80% salad oil and 20% sesame. Then add just a few drops of fish sauce if you have it and a few drops of soy sauce. If you dont have fish sauce, I would totally invest in it - it's great to add to curries, stir fries and salads like this. it has a much richer taste than soy and you don't need nearly as much. I also added about 1/2 of the seasoning packet to the dressing for a kick.

This meal is great - from 1 head of cabbage, 3 carrots and 3/4 of a daikon, I've been able to make 8 meals! Yeahhh!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Carnitas is basically meat candy: chewy, crispy, tender, sweet and savory. This recipe makes a pretty large batch, but carnitas are a pretty good excuse for a party. Also, foil care packages of the stuff will make you some fast friends. The quantities mentioned here are entirely from memory, and are loose guidelines anyway; the main keys to the recipe are abundant seasoning and the initial slow-cooking of the meat.


1 boneless pork shoulder (5-6 lbs)

1 onion, peeled and halved
2 jalapenos, halved lengthwise
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
3/4 cup orange juice
Juice from 2 limes
1/4 cup tequila
1 T. coriander seeds
1 T. (or less) cumin seeds
1 sprig fresh oregano or 1 T. dried
3 bay leaves
a sprinkle of brown sugar (optional)
2T or more good-quality lard or vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Cut pork shoulder into 2" cubes, seperating and reserving any large pieces of fat. Put meat and fat into a roasting pan. Salt the meat generously, and add onion, garlic, jalapenos, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, oregano, bay leaves, and sugar (if using) to the pan. Cover with the orange juice, lime juice, and tequila, and add water if necessary so that the meat is almost submerged in liquid. Cover the roasting pan with foil, and bake for 2 or more hours, or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily. Let cool slightly and remove the meat. Strain and reserve the cooking liquid. Use two forks or your hands to shred the meat into large pieces. Add the cooking liquid back to the meat.

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add enough of the pork and liquid to fit in one layer in the pan. The cooking liquid should boil and begin to reduce. When it is reduced to a syrupy consistency around the meat, you may need to add some vegetable oil or (yum) lard to the pan so that the meat fries and doesn't stick. Continue cooking until there is no liquid left and the meat begins to brown. Adjust the heat if necessary -- you should have shredded pieces of pork that are juicy inside and caramelized and crispy on the outside. Sprinkle with salt if necessary, but the reduced liquid should have enough seasoning.

Serve with soft corn tortillas, pinto beans, pickled red onions, and a green salsa if you like. Also napkins.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Insanely delicious chocolate truffles

This recipe comes courtesy my friend Abby, who makes these for Christmas every year. They're pretty damn easy, and will impress the hell out of your friends and family. Seriously, make these. Ok?

Recipe for 4 dozen truffles (or 3 dozen if you make them a bit bulkier)

1 Tb instant coffee, disolved in 1/4 c water (or, 1/3 C espresso)
8 oz semisweet chocolate
1 oz bitter chocolate
3 egg yolks
1/2 c unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 c myers rum or grand marnier
Unsweetened cocoa
Powdered sugar

1 - Chop chocolate into pieces, put in in a double broiler with the coffee, and melt, while stirring.

2 - In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks. Add 1/2 c chocolate mixture to them, beat well, and add back to the chocolate in the pan. Beat well for 2 minutes, let cool for 5 minutes, and then gradually beat in butter, one or two pieces at a time. Make sure no butter is visible, and add the rum/grand marnier.

3 - Refrigerate one and a half hours (or longer if you're making multiple recipes), until firm enough to do the next step.

4 - Scoop up truffles with a teaspoon and drop them onto a cookie sheet. They will be sticky blobs with no particular shape.

6 - Refrigerate for at least half an hour, but probably not more than an hour and a half.

7 - Combine two parts cocoa and one part powered sugar in a lidded container (I like a glass jar). Probably 1/4 c cocoa and 1/8 c powered sugar will be enough. drop truffles into mix, put on lid, shake to coat, and the pluck them out and quickly roll them into a ball with the palms of your hands. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. I also sometimes keep a jar of cocoa/sugar around to freshen them up when needed.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Broiled Polenta with Winter Tomato Sauce

Made this on new year's eve, and it was totally delicious. We used regular cornmeal instead of the instant polenta, which took a long time but was totally worth it. Pretty easy recipe, would be even easier with instant.

Also, I'm not sure why it's a "winter tomato sauce." It's just a very basic tomato sauce, and honestly, you can probably make this polenta with any of your favorites sauces and it would be delicious. Maybe the recipe makers knew I was making this during the winter.

For the basic polenta:

4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal or instant polenta

1/4 pound Fontina cheese, preferable Italian, grated (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for brushing
1 large onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
a 28- to 32-ounce can whole tomatoes including juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves (I didn't use any parsley...)

To prepare basic polenta:

In a heavy saucepan bring water and salt to a boil and gradually whisk in cornmeal in a thin stream. Cook polenta over moderately low heat (it should be barely boiling), stirring constantly, until very thick and pulls away from side of pan, about 40 minutes for cornmeal and about 15 minutes for instant polenta. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm. Stir polenta just before using. Polenta will keep warm, covered, about 20 minutes. Makes about 3 cups.

To prepare the polenta:

In a bowl stir together warm polenta and Fontina until smooth. Pour polenta into a lightly oiled shallow 1 1/2-quart bowl (or just a plate... it will be very solid) and cool. Polenta may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered.

To prepare sauce:

In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté onion with salt to taste, stirring, until golden and tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and sauté, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, stirring to break up tomatoes, and simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Stir in parsley. Keep sauce warm.

Preheat broiler.

Unmold polenta onto a cutting board and cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange slices in one layer in a lightly oiled shallow baking pan and brush slices with additional oil.

Broil polenta about 3 inches from heat until edges are golden, about 5 minutes. Turn polenta over and broil until edges are golden, about 3 minutes more.

Arrange polenta on a platter and spoon sauce over it. Enjoy!