emilly: (Default)
After hanging out in a friending meme for a few pages, I feel like I should post something either fannish or substantial here, if not both. But the back of my brain is spending most of its time stressing about work closing down in a week and a half, and still not knowing what I'm doing next year. I will know by 15 January; perhaps then I will start posting about other things than food.

But now: Emergency Dessert. I don't like plain vanilla icecream so when I decided yesterday that dinner needed a dessert I was momentarily sad that it was all we had. But then I saw raspberries, and dark chocolate, and fanced it up a bit!

Pull some frozen raspberries - about two handfuls - out of the freezer as soon as you realise you want dessert. Consider microwaving them (on low!) to defrost them faster. Break some dark chocolate (this is how it's emergency dessert: milk chocolate would already have been eaten, but in this house dark chocolate is an ingredient, rather than food) into a bowl and microwave it to melt. Drop a handful of flaked almonds into a frying pan and seriously consider butter, and sugar, and making almond toffee, but realise that is far beyond the bounds of emergency dessert, and you don't want to scrub the frying pan tonight anyway. Toast the almonds. Get the icecream out of the freezer. Once the chocolate is melted and liquid, stir in a drop of almond essence, a tiny pinch of salt, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a slosh of cream - just enough that the chocolate won't solidify again straight away.

Dish up four small bowls of ice cream, pour over the chocolate sauce, the hopefully-defrosted raspberries, sprinkle with the toasted almonds, and have your family be confused that you managed dessert before the coffee was ready.
emilly: (hurrah we shall have cake)

and then emailed to the all-staff list, where i garnered as many compliments for my recipe writing style as for the salad itself.

I totally forgot that I promised to write out my recipe for quinoa salad! here is less of a recipe and more of an idea:

quinoa is probably in the health food or the gluten free section of the supermarket. You can get red, black or white quinoa - you cook them the same, they taste the same, the colour is the only difference. it is technically a seed I think? from south america? it is full of protein and I usually eat it cold but it is perfectly nice warm too. it is pronounced "keen-wa" because it is a trick.

You ought to rinse it before you cook it (apparently it can be bitter otherwise?). I sometimes cook it in the rice cooker (cause then I don't have to worry about it being done, and turning off the heat) or else just in a saucepan. Three cups of water for every cup of quinoa, bring it to the boil, turn it down & simmer for about 15 minutes - it probably says this on the packet. I usually add stock powder so that it's cooked in vegie stock rather than plain water but plain water is fine. I like to put a handful of sultanas in the saucepan too, towards the end.

It expands a little when cooking so 1 cup of quinoa (with plenty of other salad-y bits in) is enough for three giant lunches, which is the way I like my lunch, or one big bowl for a potluck.

Dress it while it's still warm with some olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon or lime or orange juice if you like, salt & pepper, and put it in the fridge until lunchtime/time to make your lunch & go to work.

Then add the salad-y bits. I like a couple of chopped tomatoes, some red capsicum, a grated carrot and some flat leaf parsley. Segments of orange or mandarin are tasty in this; toasted cashews maybe; spring onions or red onion; dried apricots; a can of chickpeas or black beans - anything you might put in any other salad. And then everyone at work will admire your colourful healthy delicious lunch.

emilly: (Default)
So anyway, the other thing I've been doing lately is cooking my way through Viva Vegan. It's a great book, generally well written and full of interesting sounding recipes, and ingredients I don't often cook with. The first thing I cooked out of it this year was the potato & chickpea enchiladas, which got the response "how is this vegan? it's really tasty!" which is amusingly wrongheaded but flattering nonetheless.

In the last two weeks I've also made the seitan chorizo - look, before i say what i thought, i should qualify that a) I'm not actually vegan and b) pretty much my favourite way of eating animals is as spiced preserved pork products - salami, chorizo, bratwurst from the vic market - all those types of sausages are why i end up being "vegetarian-ish" and not actually vegetarian. so, look, the seitan chorizo is good, sure, but it's not a lot like chorizo. It's the same texture all the way through (chorizo usually has lumps of meat and fat in it) and it's awfully bread-like. Which is unsurprising for something made from flour and spices. The recipe made six sausages, which i put in the freezer - still have one left!

The first meal we ate the chorizo in was caldo verde - a potato soup with leafy green vegies stirred in, and chorizo on the top. I quite liked the soup, but next time might make it with more chilli in or something - it was the tiniest bit bland. I also chopped one chorizo into some chilli sin carne one evening, but it was wasted in there.

The other day I made drunken beans with seitan chorizo - i used two cans of pinto beans so that I could make it after work and not soak and boil the beans for 10 hours or whatever. I also changed the recipe by using a whole can of tomatoes (instead of one cup) and left out the tequila (cause i wasn't going to buy a bottle for the sake of one tablespoon). Really good. Really really tasty. definitely making this again.

I served the drunken beans with yellow rice & garlic - should have broken up the annatto paste more, it was a little lumpy - and simple cabbage salad. I don't even like cabbage much, but i thought i'd give it a try: shredded green cabbage, grated carrot, dressed with cilantro-citrus vinagrette. and it was so good! so tasty. now i kind of want cabbage in the vegie box next week so that i can make this again! The recipes were written to serve six; we got two serves of leftovers and still both of us ate so much it was almost painful.

Last week I made the chimmichurri baked tofu, brazilian orange rice, and silverbeet with raisins and capers. The rice and the silverbeet were good - the silverbeet particularly is on my "make it again!" list - but the chimmichurri baked tofu seemed like a lot of effort for not a particularly great result. I'd like to try the other baked tofu recipes, still, but I wasn't particularly impressed by this one.

Actually all the baked tofu recipes seem to be a little awkward: one bakes the tofu for about twenty minutes, and then coats them with the marinade/sauce and bakes it for another 20-30 minutes. It seems to me that that's only good enough to have the flavour around the edges of the tofu and not really all the way through! But the ppk forums are pretty enthusiastic about the orange mojo baked tofu so I'll give that a go soon.

I've also made the quick red posole twice now - once for just two people and once for four. the cans of hominy i can buy in melbourne are twice the size of the ones called for in the recipe, so when i served it for four i just used the whole can. Actually I should have upped the beans when making it for four too - to be honest i can't remember if there were leftovers when i made it as written for just me and danni! but the quick red posole is totally on our make again and again and again list, and I've even got a couple extra cans of hominy in the pantry so that i don't have to keep going back to johnston st (which makes it considerably less quick). new fact this year: hominy is actually really tasty! it's just corn, but processed in such a way as to make the kernals both fluffy and chewy, and it is delicious in a tomatoey-beany soup with avocado and chilli and corn chips on top.

on the weekend i'm going to make tamales, i hope: red chile seitan and veggie mole. The thing about a lot of these recipes is the other recipes you have to make first: for example, the enchiladas way back in march required green tomatillo salsa (which is pretty simple - things in a blender, then cooked up a little) and pine nut crema (which is even more simple - things in a blender, then left until the next day), but it means you have to keep flicking back and forth between different chapters to put together your shopping list and plans, and that you often have to prepare part of the meal the day before you eat the rest of it. I find it a little off putting, and it's why I've mostly stuck to the simpler recipes so far. but not now! tonight i shall make steamed red seitan, red chile sauce and mole sauce, and then tomorrow make fillings, and then make the tamales themselves. And then our freezer shall be full of delicious foods! conceivably i will even get danni to take pictures and then do a real food blog for it.
emilly: (hurrah we shall have cake)
except that when i promised to bring a salad for work thing, i said i'd bring potato salad.

pita bread, pulled apart and put in the oven to get crunchy & brown and then ripped into bits
green chilli, spring onion chopped up small
cos lettuce ripped up
parsley & coriander chopped up small
avocado scooped out in chunks
limejuice limezest olive oil salt and pepper, as dressing.

only you do have to make it just before you want to eat it, or you know. unpleasant avocado will ensue.

TWO MORE DAYS

baking

Sep. 27th, 2010 04:46 pm
emilly: (Default)
Okay, I have to say that decent though the cake in my last entry was fresh, it is quite unpleasant four or five days later. Both gluey and cardboardy, as though that's even possible.

Anyway, the epic adventur of fruitcake has moved on. Useful facts: 1.5 times the cake batter for Margaret Fulton's 24 cm rich fruit cake is enough for what turned out to be 2.25kgs of fruit & nuts, wet. I realised afterwards that I never weighed it dry, but the first kilo was what I tweeted about; I then added most of two (tiny, 80g?) packets of dried blueberries (I ate the rest of them; they're as nice dried as they are fresh!) & a packet (200g) of dried apples. There was also about one handful of natural almonds and four handfuls of walnuts, chopped. I fed that mixture something like 2 cups of rum, over the week. It was the end of one bottle, plus about a third of a new bottle. And, now that I think of it, a slosh of brandy before I noticed the new bottle. I had a wee packet of cranberries too, which I added to the mixture just before it got turned into cake. They weren't dried, what do you call tinned fruit that's packed in little plastic packets? Twitpic was cranky at me, but I did take a photo of the mixture before packing it into the tins; I had to use the punch bowl as 2.25kgs of fruit and nuts reconstituted in rum is, in fact, the cubic volume of our largest mixing bowl.

So now I have three mediumsmall cakes and one tiny cake, sprinkled with more rum and wrapped in foil in the back of the cupboard. And I was able to baffle steph about the whole leaving the cake to ripen for a month or so before it gets eaten. And having blogged this, I have a shot at remembering what I did, next time the fruit cake urge comes over me!

Of course, I still have rum left over. Which implies I didn't yet use enough rum.

lazy cake

Sep. 22nd, 2010 12:22 pm
emilly: (Default)
There is a cake in my head that is kinda like a fruit cake but with no fruit, and kinda like nigella lawson's stem ginger gingerbread cake: all brown sugar and spices. This isn't that cake at all, but I really like the texture & the fact that even though I was too lazy to beat anything it still came out fluffy and not particularly crumbly.

lazy cake recipe )
Is slightly bland, but certainly succeeds in being the kind of cake I can eat all day. Which is what I was after, so success!

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