Archive for the 'roasted potatoes' Category

19
Oct
09

black bean and pumpkin burger and cumin fries.

I’m getting into a phase in which I’m, like, herb-obsessed. For a while I strayed away from all things stemmy, mostly because I was born sans-green thumb and they make me feel morally inferior. I know “morally” is a stretch, because I can’t recall the last time I saw basil give back to the community, and I don’t think that’s even expected of the greater herb population. In any event, it took me years to discover salt and pepper, and so naturally basil, thyme and rosemary took longer to pique my interest.

Though I can get away with the casual purchase of fresh basil or cilantro, I scare too easily to step out of that comfort zone. In the name of penny pinching and unspoiled herbs, I’ve decided to start small with the dried herbs at my disposal.

I bought these adorable mini pumpkins at TJ’s to break the seal:

baby pumpkins

baby pumpkins

Cue the six month obsession. For my first pumpkin-fueled recipe of the season, I decided to make black bean and pumpkin burgers with oven baked fries. Though I looked up a few recipes for inspiration, the end result was original(ish).

It started easy, with a can of black beans which I rinsed and drained and tossed in a food processor. DONE. Then came the pumpkin cutting, which, though I was armed with a super sharp knife (I have battle scars), was pretty damn unpleasant. Pumpkins, like, don’t want you inside. Luckily I’m stubborn, so I stuck with it until I separated all the innards (minus the seedy parts) from both mini-pumpkins. After that 20 minute ordeal, I added the pumpkins to the processor as well. I diced a red pepper for the mix, and then added about a teaspoon of chili powder, maybe 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, salt, pepper, one egg and a couple cups of bread crumbs. I blended until they were sculpt-worthy, and got to pan frying.

I heated a few tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat and formed my mix into patties. Each patty took about 4-5 minutes on each side until they got black-ish, so on the side I started on my fries.

I had a few fingerlings left from my reduction, so I cut them into fry-like spears and tossed them in olive oil. I added some salt, pepper, and some cumin, which rarely gets any action from me. I haven’t been able to figure out why, though, because it’s no stranger to Indian and Mexican cuisines, and I enjoy both very much. I tossed them all in the toaster oven at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes. If I had foresight, I would have made them during my pumpkin gutting. Foresight is not my forte.

I toasted a kaiser roll and served one patty on it, not realizing how the monstrous roll would dwarf my hard work and make it look insignificant. I added some amazing deli mustard to the top along with a handful of arugula, and served it all alongside my fries. It was SO good, and for once I have proof. My roommate had one and backed up my claim! And it was pretty, too. See below:

black bean and veggie burger, cumin spiced fries

black bean and veggie burger, cumin spiced fries

12
Oct
09

roasted potatoes and veggies.

Exciting things are on tap. First off, autumn has officially hit NYC and it’s all about Gator football and winter squashes, both of which I can’t get enough of these days. Also, pumpkins are back! Welcome home, my lovelies. I missed them so. Finally, I’m getting back in the workout mindset after months of going through the motions. Maybe I haven’t mentioned it, but I’ve been all drag ass-y lately. I skipped the gym twice last week. WHO AM I?!?

In honor of change, I decided to cook with potatoes. It’s so rare for me to buy and/or cook with potatoes, although I’m not trying to spit in my Eastern European heritage’s face. To be fair, I tried to keep them on hand in college, but their whole “cool, dry” storage instructions pretty much guaranteed I’d have rotten Russets in my cabinet for weeks before I found the source of the smell. Also, they’re heavy, and I have to lug my groceries several blocks. 

I bought a bunch of Fingerling potatoes at the farmer’s market, though, and I got the kind of excited that I usually reserve for $0.99 cheese. Not only are they lightweight, but they’re way easy to clean. Who needs a dirt coated Russet? Very few people. Fingerlings are the way to go for those who loathe long meal preps and shoulder strain.

In keeping with change, I decided to buy carrots to add in the mix. I’m so wild and adventurous. I also bought my regulation grape tomatoes, and then I decided to – wait for it – roast it all. I came thisclose to getting out of that comfort zone. 

I’ve always wanted to reduce something, so I started with some balsamic vinegar and honey. I added a tablespoon of honey to 1/4 cup vinegar and brought both to a boil on the stove top. It got all bubbly and delicious:

mama's first reduction

mama's first reduction

 

I brought the mix down and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped the Fingerlings and cut the carrots into matchsticks. I also diced a shallot and left the tomatoes whole. I tossed all in some olive oil and roasted it in a 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. 

Since it was my first reduction, I started preparing it too early in the process. The timing was a little off, and the potatoes were still softening while the reduction was, like, halfway out the door and ready to go. I let it sit on low heat for a little and tried to trick it into thinking it wasn’t quite done, but the reduction saw through me. As a result, it turned out a little too thick and molasses-like. I drizzled it atop my veggies, but within two minutes it was solid like candy. I kind of loved it anyways. See below:

 

roasted potatoes and veggies in a balsamic honey reduction

roasted potatoes and veggies in a balsamic honey reduction

12
Sep
09

seared Ahi tuna and roasted potatoes.

Last weekend, I hoovered in a few thousand excess calories in Florida. I got off the plane, and my dad was all, “Want some homemade bread? Nine pieces, did you say? Here, have some butter. I just made some cheesy vegetable and potato dish if you’re interested. Save room for dessert!” I returned to NYC all food coma-ed out, and proceeded to double up on the gymming to even out my life.

In my dad’s defense, everything was relatively healthy that weekend. After a day of barbecuing at a family friend’s house, my mom and I wanted a little something for dinner. He made these adorable eggs in baskets:

my dad's eggs in baskets

my dad's eggs in baskets

I, like, licked my plate and then had a bigass bowl of ice cream. I have no portion control in swing states. Ahem, Texas.

In between bites I DID manage to run the lake that I love so. Also, I got to swim for probably the second time this year, and that’s my favorite exercise in life. Any sport in which I can impersonate the Little Mermaid (stop judging me) AND do handstands is pretty much ideal to me.

Speaking of fish (worst segue ever), I made some Ahi tuna last week that turned out kind of gorgeous. I’m not sure if this is necessarily encouraged by the FDA, but I defrosted a frozen fillet and then seared it. I didn’t get violently ill afterward, so that’s a success as far as I’m concerned.

I coated the fillet in lemon juice and olive oil, and my beloved threesome of salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. I seared it in a pan for about a minute and a half on each side, until it looked like this:

seared Ahi tuna

seared Ahi tuna

Meanwhile, I bought this mix of potatoes at TJ’s, that included but were not limited to Yukon Gold, red potatoes and new potatoes. Unless red potatoes and new potatoes are one in the same? I honestly don’t know, and I’m MUCH too lazy to look into this, so just play along, please.

I chopped them into cubes, and then tossed them in some olive oil and dried herbs. I used rosemary, thyme and basil, and then I added salt and pepper. But of course. They went in my toaster oven at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, and they came out totally tender and ready to go.

I chopped about half of my fillet and served it on top of some arugula, and then I dressed it with that champagne pear vinaigrette. It has Gorgonzola cheese in the dressing, which I’m usually opposed to. It really got along with my other flavors, though, so I was pretty into it. Anyways, see below:

seared Ahi tuna on arugula, herb roasted potatoes

seared Ahi tuna on arugula, herb roasted potatoes




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