Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Mediterranean Power Squash reprise, with peppers

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I made this recipe just now, but instead of red pepper flakes, I added:

1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Hungarian purple pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Hungarian pale green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 red habanero, seeded and chopped

with the garlic, leek/scallions, squash, and zucchini.

Very tasty. Recipe at the link has been updated.

Written by LeisureGuy

25 August 2019 at 3:23 pm

Got my erythritol and tried the pink juice with green foam

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It’s great! I use my immersion blender and its beaker. Put into the beaker:

1/2 cup frozen cranberries
a handful of fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons erythritol
1 cup of water

Blend that, then add enough water to bring the total to 2 cups, stir, and enjoy.

Erythritol is good. It doesn’t cause gas or bloating, doesn’t raise blood glucose or trigger insulin, has no side effects, and is just about zero calories. Use it instead of granulated sugar, teaspoon for teaspoon.

Since I’m consuming the whole cranberry and not just extracted juice, I’m  thus getting fiber and the bioflavonoids that are in the skin, making this a very healthful drink indeed.

Next I’m going to try frozen cherries and lemon juice with water to make 2 cups.

Written by LeisureGuy

24 August 2019 at 11:49 am

A healthful high-antioxidant drink: Pink Juice with Green Foam

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And, it turns out, erythritol is even good for you:

Written by LeisureGuy

22 August 2019 at 3:10 pm

Plant-Power Broccolini

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This was very tasty indeed.

I put my large (No. 12) Field Company cast-iron skillet (see my review of cast-iron skillets) in the oven, turned it on to 350ºF and while that heated I prepared:

• 6 cloves garlic, chopped small – do these first so they can rest 15 minutes
• 2 bunches large scallions, chopped including leaves; spring onions would be good in season
• 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced somewhat thick
• 2 bunches broccolini, chopped

When the oven reaches temperature, let skillet remain heating for 5 minutes or so, then turn on large burner to medium-high heat (assuming you have an electric range). When burner is hot, turn off oven, remove skillet and put on burner. At this point I put the handle glove on the handle since otherwise I would forget an grab the hot handle.

Add:

• 1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• and all the prepared vegetables

Cooking, stirring often at first and then from time to time until the broccolini is cooked and the mushrooms have given up their liquid and the onion has softened.

The flavor is really excellent.

Written by LeisureGuy

18 August 2019 at 12:37 pm

Spain’s Burnt Cheesecake Breaks All the Rules. And Lord, It’s Good.

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Daniela Galarza has a wonderful article in Taste, but first watch this brief video:

The article begins:

Ask a chef, almost any chef, about the cheesecake at La Viña in San Sebastián, Spain, and they’ll inevitably sigh and nod, with a knowing, faraway look in their eyes. Over the past three decades, restaurateurs, cooks, and the food-obsessed from London, Tokyo, Istanbul, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, and hundreds of other cities have gone on pilgrimages to Spain, a land rich with pork and bright with citrus. And over the past three decades, a cheesecake—a closer cousin to Junior’s in New York and Eli’s in Chicago than knafehin the Middle East or torta de ricota in Italy—has enchanted chefs and diners alike.

La Viña, a restaurant that opened in San Sebastián—the Basque region’s capital city—60 years ago, serves an improbable tarta de queso. Its blackened top, surrounded by a flutter of burnt parchment paper, hides a center the texture of soft custard. “It breaks all the rules of the porcelain-white, even-textured cheesecake [Americans] know,” says pastry chef Bea Vo, who’s based in London and has had La Viña’s cheesecake at least a dozen times. “It’s proudly tanned and even burnt in spots, with a rough, pillowy edge and oozy center.”

There’s something ugly-but-beautiful about its appearance, but everyone who has tasted it agrees that it’s spectacular. A slice of it looks like a wedge of triple-crème Camembert, with a rough exterior and a middle that puddles on the plate. That darkened top adds a mysterious, but highly enjoyable, flavor akin to salted caramel or browned butter, with an added complexity and alluring tang from the milk solids in the cheese, which caramelize at high temperatures.

San Sebastián claims to be the birthplace of pintxos, or tapas-like dishes stabbed with a pintxo, or small skewer. Like all great things, tapas were born of necessity: Probably two centuries ago, bar patrons in Spain started using slices of bread to cover their glasses of sherry so that flies didn’t drown in their drinks. Eventually, those slices of bread became more elaborate when bar owners decided to garnish them with anchovies, olives, salty cheeses, grilled seafood, and ribbons of bright red serrano ham. Tapas and pintxos are never sweet because, well, that would defeat the purpose.

So it’s particularly surprising that in a land full of perfect pintxos, cheesecake has inspired rapturous praise and sent both home cooks and professionals into the kitchen to try to reproduce this magic in their homeland. First, it went viral throughout Spain, of course, with copycat versions popping up in bars around San Sebastián and Bilbao.

In 2008, chef Alex Raij of New York’s Txikito put it on her menu, but “no one really noticed,” she recalls. “I don’t think New Yorkers really got it,” she says.  “We put our own spin on La Viña’s version using goat’s milk cheese.” Meanwhile, bloggers and vloggers from around the world reported on their taste memories and shared recipes they made inspired by the real thing.

In 2009, Australian-Spanish chef Frank Camorra put a version of the cheesecake (his recipe included sheep’s-milk curd) on his menu at MoVida in Melbourne, and in his cookbook, Rustica, published in 2011 in the U.S. Around 2012, the cheesecake sprang up in cafés in Istanbul. B.Blok bakery has 30,000 Instagram followers who are obsessed with its “San Sebastian cheesecake,” which it put on its menu in 2014. It’s so popular today in Istanbul that a bakery owner is suing a competitor for using the same name for the cheesecake in question. Last year, chef Tomos Parry put it on his menu at his Basque-inspired restaurant, Brat, in London. Parry says he uses goat’s-milk curd to get the moist but soufflé-like texture and funky taste. . .

Read it all. Recipe link included at the end.

Written by LeisureGuy

17 August 2019 at 4:30 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

Don’t Throw Out the Leek Greens

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Allison Robicelli’s article in Taste caught my eye because over the past year or so I’ve not been discarding leek greens, but slicing them up with the white part (though it is necessary to rinse them well—I like her method of just slicing them up and then putting them into a bowl of water to rinse them: much easier than what I’ve done, and you can use more of the green). Full disclosure: I also don’t stem kale or chard or collards or the like. I chop the stems small and start cooking them first (with the onion I normally cook with greens.)

She writes:

Cooking without a recipe can be wild and reckless. Anything can be questioned. Rules can be broken. You can bastardize things you’ve already tried, amalgamate dishes you love into irresistible culinary monstrosities, turn the mundane into something great. When it’s time to make dinner, my recipe of choice is “throw something together with whatever crap I have in the house”

One particular favorite non-recipe in my household is a dish that I’ve come to refer to as “That Thing With the Leeks.” It all started with, naturally, a bunch of large leeks, one of my favorite vegetables to buy and then forget about until I find them liquefied in the bottom of my produce drawer.

Often, you’ll see the delicately flavored leek used as a background note in places where it seems like onions might be too strong. I’m sure that you’ve probably eaten countless leeks in your life, yet if you were asked to describe their flavor, you’d struggle, thanks to their perpetual second-banana status. But why should we treat them like the Muzak of the allium world when they have their own distinct, fresh sweetness, full of character and grassy-green color?

Most recipes tell you to cut off the green tops and throw them away, an act which is verboten in my teeny, tiny kitchen. Throwing out perfectly good food is a sin, and I didn’t pay $3.99 per pound for organic leeks to be tossing half of them in the trash. But more importantly, leek greens are much more than “perfectly good food”: Prepared well, they’re utterly spectacular.

You’d never know this if you blindly subscribe to the fake leek news, perpetuated by years of recipes, which contends that they’re “too tough to eat.” Know what easily fixes that problem? Cooking. Throw them into the pan to soften for few minutes before throwing the white parts in. No special prep, no massaging them with salt, no soaking them in an excessively complicated brine. Just cook the damn things.

The first time I made soupy leek rice (recipe below), I slowly cooked the leeks with a good amount of butter; the next time I braised them in olive oil. Once I threw a few tablespoons of schmaltz in there, and another time I started it off by rendering bacon fat in the pan, reserving the meat to crumble over the top. All of these were, in their own special way, great decisions, confirming the fact that I am a genius.

Next to go into the pan was half a bag of Arborio rice I found hiding behind my secret Oreo stash. I don’t make a lot of risotto because, with two adolescent boys living in the house, the hours between 3 and 8 p.m. are a nightmarish hellscape where my biggest priority is to make it to bedtime without someone requiring stitches. I have no time to be standing by the stove, gingerly stirring while adding small ladles of white wine and fresh stock. I do have the time to dump the rice, wine, and stock into the pan before walking away, which is what I did.

Once the rice had absorbed all the liquid in the pan, in went a bag of shredded gouda. I have no recollection of ever buying the shredded Gouda, no idea what I had intended to do with it, but it was there and needed something to do. As fate would have it, it was exactly what the dish needed—adding a little bit of nuttiness to make an otherwise mellow dish feel a bit more alive.

It’s not pretty, but scooped into a bowl and eaten in front of the television, this non-recipe hits all the right notes. But just like mac and cheese or potato salad, this is merely greatness upon which more greatness can be built. You can . . .

Continue reading, and note the recipe link at the end.

This is pretty much the kind of cooking I do: improvised, and then run variations in subsequent iterations.

Written by LeisureGuy

3 August 2019 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, Recipes

I just had a very pleasant snack-supper

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I didn’t feel very hungry—this whole-food plant-based diet is, as I have commented before, very filling—but I did want a little something, plus Cronometer showed I was short of B5 because I didn’t eat my regular breakfast (which includes about 6-7 oz mushrooms, which are high in B5).

So I put 2 teaspoons of oil in my 2-qt sauté pan after heating it and then immediately added one bunch of large scallions, chopped. I let them cook and sprinkled them generously with Savory Spice Blend (having made a new batch today—it’s really good) and after they cooked down a bit added 5 cloves garlic minced quite fine.

I let that cook a minute, the put in two Portobello mushrooms caps, stem removed (and eaten). I covered the pan and cooked over medium heat for 5 minutes, then flipped them and cooked 5 minutes more. You might even cook a little longer, but they seemed mighty good to me. And my B5 is now 108% of the RDA.

I notice I’m running a little low in lysine. This weekend I’ll pick up some dried apricots.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 August 2019 at 6:51 pm

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