Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chipotle-Chili Tartar Sauce

This is an excellent all purpose sauce for adding a little smokiness/spiciness to burgers or whatever else you choose. Sometimes when I have people over to eat, but I want to keep things simple, I make something plain and then have a few sauces/spreads available so everyone can choose whichever one they like. It's nice because you can whip them up quickly the day before and they're ready to go.

Yield: approx. 1 ¼ cups

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or dill
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon drained capers
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk everything together in small bowl. Can be made 2 days ahead; Cover and chill.

barely tweaked from Bon Appétit (originally from Hal’s Bar & Grill, Venice, CA)
can of chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
all the ingredients ready to mix

The original recipe called for dill, but based on
the reviews, I used cilantro (and did not regret it).
chipotle-chili tartar sauce
generously slathered on a burger...
...and hot dogs

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cottage Cheese Roast (Vegetarian Meatloaf)

I know, this sounds disgusting. At least that's what I thought when I first read it. I couldn't wrap my mind around how a cottage cheese based loaf could be anything but nasty. Which is exactly why I had to make it and find out. And damned if it wasn't good. I never expect vegetarian loaves to taste like meat (I just try to appreciate them in their own right). But this one actually does taste similar to meatloaf. I'm sure it wouldn't fool a real meatloaf connoisseur, but someone like my dad (who inhales his food way too fast and isn't all that discerning) could probably be duped.

Makes 8 servings

1 1/3 cups walnuts, finely chopped (about 5 oz.)
2 cups corn flakes, Special K or other non-sweet flake cereal
16 oz. cottage cheese (I used small curd, 1%)
4 large eggs
1 envelope Lipton dry onion soup mix (or other vegetarian onion soup mix)
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons brown sugar

1.      Heat oven to 350º F (175º C). Grease a standard size loaf pan with vegetable or canola oil.
2.      Combine all the loaf ingredients in a large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.
3.      Spoon mixture into prepared loaf pan.
4.      Combine glaze ingredients in a small bowl; mix until smooth. Spread evenly over the loaf.
5.      Bake for 60 to 70 minutes.
6.      Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

slightly adapted from by Connie K.
finely chopped walnuts
Since I chopped my walnuts in the food processor and it was
already dirty, I decided to mix everything else in there too.

I actually used 1 package of Knorr leek soup mix, not realizing it
had beef powder in it. Good thing I'm not a vegetarian anymore
(then again, if I was, I probably would have read the ingredients first).
mixed (looks like lumpy hummus)
in the pan
glaze spread over the top
cottage cheese roast (vegetarian meatloaf)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Mattar Paneer

This is one of my all time favorite Indian dishes. So after successfully making homemade paneer (in order to make saag paneer), mattar paneer was next on the list. And it was everything I hoped it would be...creamy, sweet and a little spicy too (although this is a mild version, so if you like things really spicy, increase the heat). And I have to say, I think I'm getting addicted to making paneer. It's so easy and fun. Although I am worried about the fact that making cheese is now my idea of fun and the idea of staying up until 4am at a bar sounds like torture. I'm old. It happened. Probably some time between when I moved to the suburbs and when I started buying antacid in bulk.

Makes 6 servings

4 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
20 ounces paneer, cubed
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 (1 inch) piece ginger, finely grated
3 -4 garlic cloves
1 (24 oz.) jar tomato puree or finely diced tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes, finely diced with juices)
2 teaspoons agave nectar (or sugar)
salt (to taste)
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
3/4 teaspoon chili powder (or more if you prefer spicier)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup heavy cream or half ‘n half
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for garnish)
cooked basmati rice for serving (optional)

1.      Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet and fry paneer cubes until they turn golden brown. Set aside.
2.      In a separate pot, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil; add mustard and cumin seeds. Cook until they darken and sputter.
3.      Add onion, ginger and garlic and cook until onions soften.
4.      Add tomato puree, sweetener and salt, and cook for another 5 minutes (if using fresh tomatoes, cook until tomatoes soften, adding a little water if needed).
5.      Mix in the garam masala, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, and turmeric. Add the peas. Cook just until the peas are tender.
6.      Mix in the cream and add just enough water to thin out to desired consistency. Then add the paneer and let simmer over medium heat so the paneer can absorb the flavors.
7.      Garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve with basmati rice.

adapted from (by eatrealfood)
homemade paneer
(double the recipe to make 20 oz.)
frying paneer cubes
(I may have let get a little darker than intended, but they were good).
onion, ginger and garlic

If you want to make a spicier version, I suggest mincing
a hot pepper and adding it with the onion etc.
I accidentally started cooking the onion/ginger/garlic
before the mustard and cumin seeds, so I moved them
over and let the seeds cook on one side of the pot
until they spluttered and then mixed it all together.
tomato puree added
mixing in the ground spices
adding frozen peas
mixing in the cream
adding the paneer
mattar paneer in the pot
mattar paneer garnished with cilantro