Archive for August, 2010

27
Aug
10

salmon and peas.

I’m going through some changes right now. It’s almost, like, pubescent or something. It all started with this lamb chop fascination, and the next thing I know I find myself in line at a Giada book signing (jealy?) thinking that I will eat the pasta apps they’re handing out regardless of any potential pancetta. Who am I? After minutes of introspection, I’ve decided to eventually ditch vegetarianism. Jesus, what a weight off my shoulders. This isn’t something happening today, tomorrow, or even a month from now, but I know it’s in my future. Just knowing it’s out there is kind of reassuring, though, because I often question my love of food seeing as how I cut out 95% of my options at all times. Now I’m just waiting for that moment like the one that made me a vegetarian in the first place. I was at my cousin’s wedding eating appetizers, and some chicken roll-up or something showed its face (figuratively). I thought, “And I’m done,” and haven’t touched chicken or turkey since. I guess I’m waiting for the inverse to happen or something. An “And I’m ready” moment, whatever that may be. Hold tight.

This whole meaty-future promise has me thinking protein, and so my meals have been pretty protein focused these days. And get this — I’ve totally started to eat fewer calories. I’ve realized that the reason I snack is because I’m rarely full, and that’s where protein is oh-so-reliable. And so, I turn to my girl Giada for inspiration. I made this amazeballs salmon last week. Not only is is lovely when assembled, but it’s also like the easiest dish I’ve ever made:

pea pesto

Lemon Brodetto:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot, diced

2 lemons, juiced

1 lemon, zested

2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

4 (4-6 oz) pieces of salmon

Pea Puree:

lemon

10 oz frozen peas, thawed

1/4 c fresh mint

1 clove garlic

1/2 c olive oil

1/2 c Parmesan

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

To make the Lemon Brodetto, warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for about 7 minutes. Add lemon juice, zest, and broth, and simmer. And that part is good to go.

Meanwhile, combine the peas, mint, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and puree. I lurve this part, because the food processor has become my default appliance these days. Add the olive oil while everything is mixing, then move to a bowl and stir in the Parm. Aaaand we’re done with that part.

To make the Salmon, season with salt and pepper and cook in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sear about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. And that part is done as well.

To assemble, add the tablespoon chopped mint to the Lemon Brodetto and pour into a shallow bowl. Place a large spoonful of Pea Puree into the center of the bowl as a sweet little salmon bed, and then lay that salmon on top. Easiest meal EVA and oh so easy on the eyes. See below for the final dish:

salmon in lemon brodetto with pea puree

08
Aug
10

broccoli rabe, yoga, Thai food

I just had the most demoralizing experience. Despite prior claims to become a dedicated yoga-goer, I’ve had a hard time dragging myself to more than a class a month (at best). I think it’s because I have a hard time equating it with exercise. I feel all soft when I put on the loose pants and barely bother to tie my hair back. I get so much more out of running in 90 degree heat with sweat dripping in my eyes. I feel like I earned that shit.

I have to gear myself up for, like, weeks before I’ll attend a yoga class. This weekend I had four separate sets of plans to go until I finally caved and went this afternoon. Five minutes into the class and my muscles had had it. I found myself cursing during downward dog and half-assing every plank we did. And the sweat? It found my eyes (and arms, back, legs, etc.) I honestly can’t remember the last time I got that disgustingly sweaty in front of about 50 strangers, but it was probs at The Atlantic. Ahh memories. Anyways, yoga was all, “you got served” to me, and I was like, “recognized and modified, thanks.” I don’t care for smugness.

the least offensive yoga photo on google images

On the spicy side, there are so many greens I’m just now getting to know. And I’ve been a vegetarian for, like, years (two). Last week, I decided to get to know broccoli rabe. I found this recipe on Epicurious, and decided to make it, mostly because I still have pounds of untouched orecchiette pasta left over from my birthday. For those just joining, I had plans to make four sets of appetizers on my birthday, and I grossly misjudged how long I would need to prepare. I ended up cutting the appetizer list in half, sacrificing my much hyped truffle mac and cheese. Failure suuucks.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
6 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 1/2-ounce cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas), well drained
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh sage
1 1-pound bunch broccoli rabe, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup (packed) freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
1 lb orecchiete pasta

You start by boiling the pasta, and in a separate pot melt the butter and olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and garbanzo beans, and saute for about 8 minutes until they get all golden brown. Add half the sage and saute for a minute more.

Add broccoli rabe, wine, and 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to the pot. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes until the broccoli rabe is tender. Then add pasta, remaining sage, and Parmesan cheese; toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. I, of course, added some red pepper flakes for some spicy. It was goooood. I think the acidity of the white wine cut down the bitterness of the broccoli rabe or something, because everything worked really well together.

Try as a I might not to steal Giada de Laurentiis‘s identity, I’m kind of doing it. She’s so damn adorbs, and she has it all. I watched her make Thai food last weekend, and I found myself jacking the Veggies in Yellow Curry recipe for dinner that night, with a few modifications.

orecchiete with broccoli rabe and fried chickpeas

Ingredients:

1 yellow curry jar (she called for coconut milk and curry paste)
1 small russet potato, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 15 oz can baby corn, drained and rinsed
1 Thai chile, sliced
5 sprigs basil, with stems, plus 1/4 cup chopped (she used Thai basil)
1 tsp lime zest (she called for 3 Keffir lime leaves)
1 tbsp fish sauce

Ok, so Giada made her own curry with curry paste and coconut milk, but I wasn’t able to find yellow curry paste anywhere. I had to settle on using one of these. Just admitting this makes me feel like a fraud, so imagine how I felt doing it! I never like to take shortcuts while cooking. If anything, I like to make things harder on myself. Even the Asian grocery was out of curry paste, though, so I had no choice.

Anyways, you start by heating the sauce, and then add everything. Easy enough, Giada. You win at life. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, I made this really good whole grain brown rice and read a little from my new ibook. That’s right; I’m trendy. Once 30 minutes are up, you remove the lid and continue to simmer until the vegetables are tender, for about 5 minutes. Discard the lime leaves and the basil sprigs. I served atop the rice, and it was all kinds of delicious. It also fed me for — count it — 7 nights. Hello, record breaking leftovers. Where were you when I was perpetually broke? Better late than never, I guess:

veggies in yellow curry




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