Archive for October, 2010

26
Oct
10

farro salad.

I’ve recently fallen victim to habits similar to the Home Decor Obsessive (HDO. Don’t google; I’m pretty sure I invented this disorder, and if not it’s probably an offensive acronym in French or Dutch or something. Bitenuker). I moved just a week ago, and bare walls are not, and have never been, my forte. They’re the equivalent of an undressed salad – ‘taint happening. I’m going to need some extra virgin olive oil or Annie’s Green Goddess immediately. I feel this compulsive desire to get these nakey walls covered by any means possible, so’s not to terrify the occasional visitor by their state of undress. A coffee table can wait. So I don’t have household scissors, refrigerator magnets, or curtains in my bedroom that prevent all of Tomkins Square Park from seeing my business. So what? That’s all secondary. What’s really important is that I just bought this sweet vintage mirror/window combo that’s going to make my living room look like it’s 700 square feet, which I’m pretty sure is a LOT of feet. Also, I bought a gorge piece of art that has gotten like 12 favorable comments on facebook since yesterday. So, win.

That being said, it’s obvious that I can’t afford cable just yet. No matter, for I’ll turn to cooking and exercising for entertainment. More material for the blog, you say? Someone’s astute.

I’m still mid-gym freeze month, and it’s been a feat. I’ve had to turn to the great outdoors more than once for my endorphins fix. How unnatural. I ran outside like seven times last week, which far exceeds anything I did at the height of track fame. I’ve hardly been using those muscles all month due to my trial gym separation, so it actually made an impact on my physique. It turns out I’m NOT dead inside, which was a total relief. I’d made the mistake of thinking so when my body plateaued last month, but all it took was some variety and a temporary stoppage to start responding. My calves are coming back, and I think I saw a quad this morning. Lower abs are historically next, so it looks like I’ll find a use for my 90s baby tees soon enough.

Nothing compliments baby tees like an arugula salad, so I made just that for lunch yesterday.

arugula salad

Ingredients:

2 cups arugula
1/2 block extra firm tofu
1 plum, sliced
1/2 oz brie, chopped
1 tbsp grey poupon mustard
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I started by sautéing the chopped tofu in one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. It’s worth noting that my dad sent me some high quality new cookware courtesy of Rachael Ray, so you can infer that I’m mostly using my new toys from here on out. Oh, also, aren’t my new dishes adorbs? This place is my mecca. While the tofu was sautéing, I laid down a bed of arugula and topped it with the sliced plums and chopped brie. I whisked together the mustard, honey, and olive oil for a tangy homemade honey mustard dressing, and added a little salt and pepper to the mix. Tofu – on. Honey mustard dressing – drizzled. Et voila. One of my more attractive lunch companions.

I just think Giada de Laurentiis is the coolest. Wait, have I mentioned that before? Weird. It’s such a discreet admiration. I made her Mediterranean Farro Salad last night, and it was a hit. With me. I totally approved. It calls for:

my girl Giada

Ingredients:

10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips (totally forgot this ingredient)
3 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1 small bunch chives, snipped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Start by boiling four cups of water in a saucepan and add the farro. For those just joining, farro is a grain that has the texture of a couscous and the looks of a quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tsp of salt and simmer for 10 more minutes, then drain completely. Meanwhile, boil water in another saucepan for the green beans. Add those, cook for two minutes, and then blanch in ice water. Drain and set aside.

Stir the green beans, olives, Parmesan, and chives into the farro. I also would have stirred in the red pepper, had I remembered its place in this recipe. Fail. In a small bowl mix together the sherry vinegar, olive oil, mustard, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Pour over the farro salad. Combine and consume.

Yeah, Giada wins again. I loved this tangy salad and its good looks too. See below:

Mediterranean Farro Salad

20
Oct
10

Italian food, African dance

To begin, I had to move a few weeks ago, which always sucks. Luckily, I upgraded to my own place (holla) and still get a human-sized kitchen! With counter space, a dishwasher and a refrigerator that’s useful for more than just elves. Nice one, East Village. I knew you had it in you. Moronically, I left behind most all of my kitchen staples, so I’ve temporarily regressed to the meals of my youth (ah, 22. I hardly miss ye).

I’m making stir fries and paninis like whoa. Pre-move and food regression, I made a few meals from Giada’s new cookbook. This orecchiette with greens, garbanzo beans and ricotta salata was one of my first and best looking:

orecchiette with greens, ricotta, etc.

Ingredients:

1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
12 ounces Swiss chard, stemmed
12 ounces baby spinach leaves
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups small cherry or grape tomatoes
8 ounces ricotta salata cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons lemon zest
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

You start by cooking the pasta in salted, boiling water for 8-10 minutes. Heat oil in a medium sized skillet, then add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. It will smell amazeballs already, but refrain from eating. Garlic infused olive oil has hardly satisfied as a complete dish. Rather, remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard, then add the chard and cook until wilted. Add spinach little by little until that’s wilted too. Add beans and tomatoes, cook for 5, and turn off that heat. You’re almost therrre. Add pasta, half the cheese, and lemon zest, and toss it all together. Move the mix to a bowl, add the remaining cheese, and season with salt and pepper. It’ll look as gorge as it does above, and it’ll taste infinity times better. Guaranteed.

I also made a halibut dish with peas and mint, but like a thousand differently worded Google searches are failing me right now to find the exact recipe. Please excuse my rough ingredients list and poorly memorized instructions for preparation:

peas, red bell pepper, shallots and mint

Ingredients:

2 4-6 oz halibut steaks
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 cup mint, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Now this is entirely from memory, but I’m pretty sure I grilled the halibut via Panini Press with some aluminum foil for about five minutes, or until it was opaque. Meanwhile, I sauteed the shallots in olive oil until crispy. I then added the peas and bell pepper, and sauteed for a few minutes. Lastly, I added about 3/4 of the chopped mint, and combined all. Similar to other Giada fish recipes, I made a bed of the peas, pepper and mint, and laid the fish atop. I finished it off with chopped mint, and it was all kinds of beautiful. I’m reserving it for bottom blog position, which is the equivalent of business class for those just joining.

Now, let’s talk some sweaty, shall we? I have become sooo disenchanted with the gym. I’m aware that I’ve made prior claims of up and leaving my gym, but I’m too attached to the convenience and reliability of it all. So, how’s about a little breaksie? That was my mode of thinking this past month, at least. I requested a freeze for the month of October, and I decided to see how I could manage without the security of my gym. It’s midway through the month, and I’m a tidbit conflicted. I forced myself to start dancing again, and I briefly thought it could replace cardio. On the one hand, it does make for a more interesting workout, but I was unprepared for the inferiority I’d feel when stepping into any form of dance save hip hop. My technique is – to be kind – shit. At least that’s how I feel when dancing alongside such skilled tweens. I found a studio where the teachers manage not to make me feel like a jackass for trying an intermediate level class, and yet I do. I have dipped my toes into African dance, though, and I’m pretty impressed. Thrashy, yes. Ab work, tons. But I’m still feeling it.

See below for my halibut:

grilled halibut with peas, red bell pepper and mint




October 2010
M T W T F S S
« Sep   Nov »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Categories