29 October 2008

Oktoberfest ! Ja!

It's the end of October already! Can you believe it? In honor of Oktober, I decided to cook a German meal. Because really, who doesn't love German food? If you raised your hand, then you obviously haven't German food before. In case you haven't, here's a start. I, by the way, could eat this stuff EVERYDAY. I would put sauerkraut on most things if I could. Yum!

German Quiche
*Modified from Rachel Ray

1 cup sauerkraut, squeezed dry + 2 extra handfuls
2 baking potatoes (mine weighed 1.29 pounds in case you're wondering)—peeled, grated and squeezed dry
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
3 teaspoons caraway seeds
Salt and pepper
1 c. egg substitute (or 4 lg. eggs)
1 cup heavy cream
One 9-inch frozen (deep dish!) pie shell

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine the sauerkraut, potatoes, bacon and caraway seeds; season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and cream. Stir into the potato mixture. Pour the mixture into the pie shell; place to pie shell on a cookie sheet. Bake until the filling has set and is golden around the edges. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(*Note: The original recipe said to bake for 35 minutes. I had to bake my quiche for almost 75 minutes and the potatoes were still slighty raw and the center was not completely set. Next time, I would grate the potatoes, then partially cook them in the microwave and then bake in the quiche. I also think the non-setting had something to do with using egg substitute. I'll be making this again for sure and will experiment!)

German Beer Brats

5 uncooked brats
1 medium onion
1 bottle of beer (I used Miller Lite)
1 bottle of water
red pepper

Turn oven on broil. Put all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Make sure that you have enough liquid to cover the brats. Bring to a simmer, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove brats and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Leave onions simmering on sove top. Broil on each side until brat turns brown and crispy (I prefer mine extra crispy!). This process goes fast, so leave the door cracker and keep an eye on your brats. Brats are ready to eat as soon as they are brown enough for you! Serve with onions and a good german mustard!

*Note: You can also skip the broiling and throw the brats on the grill. However it was cold and I don't do grilling, so broiling is basically upside down grilling. =)

Gl├╝cklich Essen!

08 October 2008

Omnivore's 100

I've been food blog perusing lately, actually I've become quite addicted to it. On a lot of blogs I have come across this list. So I'll bold the ones I've tried and put in red the things I would NEVER try.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile (Alligator, yes; crocodile, not yet)
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail (I'm really tempted to strike this out, but I'm not quite sure yet.)
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel (ah! maybe)
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin (again, big maybe. I saw this prepared on Iron Chef and it totally grossed me out)
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (surprisingly enough, I haven't had this)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini YUM-O.
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (hesistant)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs (they tasted okay, but I couldn't get past the idea.)
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake (LOVE all of them!)
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain (READY to try!)
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette Nope, won't do it.
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe (Believe it or not, yes. But I don't think we drank it in the proper way. Actually, I KNOW we didn't drink it in the proper way.)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill Something that has been hunted, yes; something that has been runover, no.
76. Baijiu or shaojiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta (trying it this week! woo!)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

White Bean and Spinach Lasagna

Ohmygoodness, this stuff was delicious! It's one of the first times I've cooked since the hurricane, so maybe that might have had something to do with it's tasty-ness. I adapted this recipe from "What Can I Bring Cookbook?" by Anne Byrn. I modified it to be more heart friendly and healthy for my uncle. I added leftover turkey because it's what we had. You can use ground turkey, or you might not even need meat at all. It would taste good without any meat, I can promise you wouldn't even miss it. Below is my version:

White Bean and Spinach Lasagna

32oz. pasta sauce (I used one full jar of Pasta/Alfredo Sauce and half a Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce)
1 clove garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained
leftover turkey

15oz. fat-free ricotta cheese
2 c. fat-free mozzarella cheese
1/2 c/ egg beaters

1 pkg. frozen spinach
1 pkg egg roll wrappers
2c. fat-free mozzarella cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Bring the pasta sauce, garlic, beans and turkey to a simmer in a saucepan. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses and egg beaters in a bowl. In a 9x13 pan, layer the following:
sauce on the bottom,
layer of egg roll wrappers,
and sprinkle the last 2c. cheese on top. (I find that it's easier to guesstimate the measurements rather than try and measure them. It just gets messy and you have to way too many measuring cups, so sorry there's no measurements.) The original recipe called for it to bake 40 mins and rest 20. I found that it needed longer to bake and didn't need to rest that long.

What I would do different next time...I would use garbanzo beans and mash them into the cheese mixture. They were too lumpy in the tomato sauce mixture. I would also mix the spinach into the tomato sauce mixture. There is no need to keep it separate, it is just too time consuming to keep it separate. I think I would also add a can of crushed tomatoes to the sauce mixture because the lasagna was a little dry. Not dry as in dry, but I like my lasagnas creamy and this wasn't. I ended up having to heat a can of crushed tomatoes and add some seasoning to make it a little more saucy. Even though, it was sooo tasty. It really hit the spot. Serve this with some good Italian bread and woo, it will be a hit!

06 October 2008

Menu Planning!

Since the hurricane, I've been staying with my Aunt Connie and Uncle Cliff. We've come to terms that I'll be the designated chef for the household and my Aunt Connie will be the cleaner (which is totally my ideal situation!). So here's what I'm planning:

Greek/Antipasto Pasta Salad: I don't know why but I loooove Greek food, so I'm planning to combine two recipes.

Taco Salad: My Aunt cooked a turkey on Sunday, so instead of grilled chicken, we're using leftover turkey and I'm making a homemade vinaigrette.

White Bean and Spinach Lasagna: This recipe seemed too interesting to pass up. Instead of noodles, this calls for egg rolls wrappers. Also, since we're into healthy eating, a vegetarian meal seemed like a plus.

Sweet Potato Turkey Meatloaf: Again, a healthy recipe with turkey and the sweet potatoes add a "fall-y" element that I am ready to explore.

Pumpkin Polenta w/ Italian Sausage, Tuscan Cauliflower (side dish):I've been wanting to experiment with polenta for a while now, so with a recipe like this, how could I resist?

I don't know yet when or what side I'll cook with most of them, but we'll see. I'm planning on going to a farmer's market tomorrow too as well, so that will probably give me some new ideas! I'm REALLY excited about the farmer's market because I haven't been to one in forever. I'll *hopefully* make posts this week as I go along.

If any of the three people that read this have any ideas for healthy "fall-y" meals, I'd more than welcome them!