Posts tagged Vegetables
Monday, April 20, 2009

cabbage with hot sauce

spicy cabbage

I feel like spring is toying with my emotions. It’s playing tricks on me giving me sunshine and warmth for a few days, and then turning cold and wet. We’re not having a fine romance I imagined it to be this year – and I feel led on by the season. I keep saying it’s my favorite season, but I’m beginning to question why? It’s never quite as warm as I remember it – perhaps my memory paints past events in better light.

To all of you who wrote lovely comments to me in my last entry and those of you who reached out personally – thank you. I’m so grateful for your thoughts and wishes and so moved by them. I’m hoping for the best – and time will tell.

spicy cabbage

With everything that’s been swirling around me recently, I’ve been a bit lackluster in the kitchen. Just not the same energy after a long day of work and a challenging run in the park. I get home with barely enough time to repack my gym bag, make a few calls and read a few pages. I’m still waiting on some news and it makes following most directions a bit of a challenge. With such lazy approach to cooking as of late, my kitchen has seen quite a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches pass through. I cannot think of a better make-shift meal that comes together in mere seconds, nourishes, fills, and delights. Yes, delights. In fact, I’m pretty much okay having peanut butter sandwiches just about every day. I’m a bit of a peanut butter fanatic, if you must know.

spicy cabbage

Strangely, however, a food blog where I regale you with tales of my peanut butter consumption doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as a food blog where you see various dishes across your screen. The latter seems more appealing and this is where I need to pick up slack. Despite my resistance to pick up a knife and turn on the stove, not all dishes come with pages of instructions and some cook themselves in mere minute resulting in glorious, comforting and wholesome meals. Like this spicy cabbage. Like peanut butter, I’m afraid I could eat this every day (and have eaten it for many days now).

Ever since attending Molly’s wonderful reading of her beautiful book “A Homemade Life”, I’ve been kind of obsessed with this cabbage. She mentioned it during Q&A and I couldn’t get it out of my head. When I made it, I was floored with how easy and delicious it was. I made more the next night. And the next. And… you get the idea. In fact, as I write this, a gourmet dinner a few hours away, I kind of want to just ditch dinner, go home and make a heaping bowl if this, plop a fried egg on top and eat it with a thick slice of crusty bread. Oh and while I’m being so hedonistic, I’d pour myself a glass of red wine and away we go! And since it’s raining and cold outside, this is the perfect meal for a night like this one. If I am feeling particularly decadent, I would even put some Sasha Dobson on to complete the experience. But, sigh, dinner out awaits me (I should be ashamed to even complain!) and so the cabbage must until tomorrow to be made again.

Continue reading cabbage with hot sauce.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

sauteed brussels sprouts with onions and lemon zest

lemon zest love

Happy belated New Year to everyone – I included the picture above because the lemon zest looked so much like confetti, it reminded me of a celebration! I’ve been quite absent from regular posting having had an unprecedented month of work, travel, being sick.

I’ve been cooking not as often as I’d like. It’s been cold. We’ve been attending holiday this and holiday that. We went to Texas and ate barbecue and I lost my voice and had to get antibiotics and was called for the rest of the trip the Christmas Mime (because I could mime oh-so-expressively). So one of the New Year’s resolutions is to post more regularly! And take better pictures. And get some more camera equipment like a sexy macro lens I’ve been eyeing and a flash! All thanks to a more than generous B&H gift certificate from KS’s dad’s family, I can now indulge in those items! Oh, I can’t wait!

There are also design tweaks in the works. They’re so late in arrival that I wanted to keep this an absolute secret from you, but I am hoping that very soon, you’ll see a much sleeker version of SassyRadish!

locally grown

Some other resolutions involve my being more web savvy, learning CSS, understanding the intricacies of MT 4.0 and becoming my very own web designer extraordinaire! With the new addition to our household, our iMac looks very inviting and promising, if this can’t make me more design-literate, all hope is then lost.

I know that I’ve already written about Brussels sprouts recently and it’s one of those been-there-done-that stories, but really I can’t get enough of those miniature cabbages! They are soooo cute! And soooo good! And as one of my resolutions last year was to use the produce already in my fridge, no matter how much the glossy recipes call to me. And so with five pounds of Brussels sprouts from Satur farms, something had to be done. Half of them went into the recipe here, and another half became part of the chicken stew I’ll write about soon.

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? And what would you like to see on this site? Could be more recipes of a specific type, like “More Russian food!” or better functionality (like a recipe index!) or better photography, punchier writing, or something else! Please give suggestions and don’t be worried about hurting my feelings. If there’s something about the site that drives you crazy, let me know as well!

Continue reading sauteed brussels sprouts with onions and lemon zest.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

butternut squash and caramelized onion galette

like watching a trainwreck

In grade school, we were quick to taught that if you add two numbers together, and then another two numbers together and add the sums of those two previous sums, you will get a third sum. You could, of course, just add the four numbers together and get the same thing. You don’t need that whole two and two thing. I caught onto that one real fast – and in first grade was the top math student in my grade, which in Russia, is really something. Thanks, Dad, for doing all those puzzles with me.

Unfortunately, the same laws do not apply to cooking. I’ve learned this one over and over and well, two nights ago, it was yet again manifested in my kitchen. I took ingredients I loved, put them together, and got something altogether different than what I had expected to come out. I should probably tell you right away, in the spirit of full disclosure, that I got a wee bit creative at the very last minute. And so it goes.

butternut looking all promising and happy

Deb of the Smitten Kitchen fame, posted a little while back about a galette filled with butternut squash (swoon), caramelized onions (double swoon) and fontina cheese (me faint with excitement). I clipped that recipe in my mind’s eye and was going to make it sooner or later. Well that sooner was two nights ago and I had that butternut squash sitting around on our kitchen counter, boldly challenging me to peel it and dice it – a task I feared more than making my own pâte brisée after the disaster this summer. (Deb swears it was the summer heat and humidity and not my own ineptitude that wrecked my pie dough – and I’ve been so traumatized by the experience, I’ve yet to repeat it.)

I peeled and cut the squash – all in all, it was not so bad. I already had the onions happily sautéing in the pan, turning to that seductive golden hue. I was on a roll. I decided to use the dill we had instead of sage (a deviation I actually don’t regret here, for a change). In short, it was a thing of beauty – KS popped into the kitchen three times to tell me just how good it smelled – people, he never gets that emphatic. It was all going so well.

so full of hope...

And then, then I got too bold. Too haughty and too clever. I thought to myself, “Hey self, you have some fillo dough sitting in the freezer – wouldn’t it be great to use that on the galette?” And this, dear reader, is where I went all kinds of horribly wrong. I should have just stuck with the recipe, but I didn’t. And that killed the dish flat out.

Something about the squash and the onions made the fillo gross and mushy and limp. It tasted raw despite having baked for over an hour. We picked the squash and the onions off of it and between the layers (oh yes, I just had to get creative with the layers too!) and KS consoled me that at least the flavors and the vegetables were good. The only silver lining here – KS actually likes butternut squash and can’t recall telling me he doesn’t. A success in some ways, though I wish the dish turned out fine in the end. I suppose you win some and you lose some. And maybe this loss is kitchen muse’s way of telling me that I should just go ahead and give that pie crust recipe another go – and maybe I just will.

Continue reading butternut squash and caramelized onion galette.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

spicy swiss chard

looks can be deceiving

Oh people, I tell you don’t mess with a good thing when you know you have one. It’s like this – you have this amazing, perfect food that is best at its simplest preparation, and you love making it and in fact you make it all the time, but always feel a bit of a cheat. I mean, take for instance Swiss chard – perhaps one of my and KS’s favorite vegetables. We eat it a few times a month and our method has most often been steaming it. With washing and trimming off the stems, the whole process takes a few minutes, no more. We sprinkle a bit of salt over our steamed chard and eat it plain as a side to our meals. It’s a “meaty” green and tastes best, to us anyway, this way.

But I always feel as if I’m cheating and being lazy. Anyone can steam chard – it’s not exactly cooking, nor is it particularly “sexy” blog material. No one will read about steamed chard and rush to the kitchen to make it – it’s as easy as it gets, a “duh” of the recipes – too embarrassingly simple to write about. But it seems to be that the “duh” is the hidden “aha” in this case.

so much promise... such pretty colors...

The trouble was that this dish was like a good thing gone bad. Or as KS put it, I took a good, clean, wholesome dish, and turned it into a cheap, street hussy. And that’s kind of how I felt about it too – Swiss chard went from noble to common.

This recipe here was all kinds of wrong – the sauce was overpowering, it took over chard’s natural taste and flavor and as a result, neither the sauce, nor the chard were all that noteworthy. A disaster it was not, but really, it was a disappointment all around. Food Network, (Bobby Flay, even though this wasn’t your recipe, I’m looking at you!) I was hoping for a better recipe. I suppose a lesson learned here is that sometimes the simplest is really the best. Tomorrow, I will tell you about what happens when you mess with a classic, tried-and-true recipe by getting that last minute “creativity” spark – nothing good to say the least, but for that, you’ll have to tune in tomorrow. I hope the cooking blunders will stop at that for awhile.

dear swiss chard, i'm sorry

Continue reading spicy swiss chard.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

roasted acorn squash with a wine reduction sauce

roasted acorn squash stuffed with spiced couscous in a wine reduction sauce

It never ceases to shock me that KS and I will disagree on food likes and dislikes. I naturally assume that we’re so well-suited that it’s simply impossible for me to like, nay love tomatoes, and for him to be tolerant of them. As a child, I would eat ripe tomatoes like one would eat apples, biting into them hungrily and devouring them with but a sprinkling of salt. KS looks at tomatoes as good and sometimes delicious even (when we find a good heirloom variety in season), but he would hardly trip over himself running to the market to find the best tomatoes available. Same with deep, dark chocolate desserts. I look at molten chocolate cake and I can’t help myself (kind of like last night at the New York Chapter MS Society Dinner of Champions where I devoured a cake in no time). A spoonful of it in my mouth is one of the closest heaven-on-earth moments I’ve experience. KS, on the other hand, can have a bite and push the plate over to me. How can one be so calm and composed about chocolate I will never, ever know. I suppose there’s always more of it left for me!

roasted acorn squash stuffed with spiced couscous in a wine reduction sauce

And so when we went to the market and I picked up a butternut squash, impatiently imagining all the amazing things I could do with it, KS gave me a bored look and pointed to the acorn squash. I shot the look right back and pointed to the butternut. He – to the acorn. And thus we repeated the process a few times, until I gave in and picked up the acorn squash, making him promise me that our next squash will be a butternut one. Compromise, after all, is one of the magical things that makes cohabitation possible.

that cute yellow spot made me smile couscous spiced with prunes, walnuts, cinnamon, cumin and sambar powder

After our pact to practice equal opportunity squash treatment, this little, cute acorn squash came home with us and lived on our counter for a few days while I devised a plan for its demise. I didn’t want to just roast it. And we’ve already steamed our fair share of acorn squash (we put our steamer to some good use). I would look at the squash, tilting my head from side to side, thinking, “What am I going to do with you?” And this idea came to mind, plus we had some leftover couscous that I didn’t want to go to waste. All in all, I love the idea of stuffed squash – it’s easy, delicious and it looks gorgeous on a plate. And while acorn squash is tasty and almost meaty-tasting when you roast it, I cannot wait to make the butternut this week. Maybe I’ll get KS to switch sides of this squash disparity and join the butternuts. I am always so hopeful.

Continue reading roasted acorn squash with a wine reduction sauce.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

carrot salad with garlic and dates

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It’s Yom Kippur today, so why am I writing about food? Well, last night while figuring out our dinner options we were trying to come up with a quick and tasty way to use our carrots, which were hanging out happily in the fridge, but a few more days and Yom Kippur today and my Sunday business trip (Sunday, I know), it was either now or never with these carrots.

Now, I’m pretty weird when it comes to carrots. I love them raw and I love them in things like chicken soup. In fact, as a kid I loved carrots in my soup so much that my mom would always put in extra carrots in my bowl and they would be the first things I would eat. I think I even made up a song about eating carrots in my soup. The blurry memory is lazily rolling around in my head, but luckily I can’t remember the song! And yet, when my mom made stewed carrots (tzimmes), I would refuse to touch the mushy, orange mess on my plate. Boiled soup carrots were fine, but the stewed carrots were not. I’m still fickle with my carrots, not to such an extent, but some cooked carrots I won’t go near.

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I’ve got to confess I’ve cooked nary a thing this week. It’s been a confluence of events – my office relocated further uptown and east, and coming from Tribeca has managed to make my work commute 45 minutes door to door. I know, living in Manhattan and spending 45 minutes each day twice a day commuting, is pretty sad. And work has picked up so much. There are meetings and conference calls and business trips and of course work that you do at your desk to add!! So when I would come home at 7:30 or later, my lovely KS had dinner waiting for me – so the next few entries will be about his magical and filling concoctions. We’d eat, and by 8:30, I’d be pretty much a tired, lackluster monkey.

Ah, but the carrots! I thought, at first, to shred them and mix them with a generous serving of freshly chopped garlic, some raisins and olive oil. But then my heart (and stomach) earned for something warm. Since I just told you about my cooked carrot dislike, you understand my conundrum. And then, a little idea appeared in my head and I was all aflutter – I could warm the carrots with some sesame oil and sesame seeds and voila – I’ll have a meal I like. I added some garlic to the carrots along with a little bit of curry mix. Some salt, a couple of minced dates, and the warmed carrots were done. The whole process grating and all took about 15 minutes. How’s that for dinner in a hurry? We ate our carrots with the remnants of the picadillo KS made the night before. While I liked my carrots just fine, KS loved the orangey warmth. The trick is to just warm the carrots and not cook them – this way you preserve the texture and taste of raw carrots, but give it a little more of that fall comfort. Looking back, I would have added a dash of cinnamon. And if we had any cilantro, the dish would have sparkled even more! But in no time, we ate a tasty dish and salvaged the contents of our crisper!

And now that I’m sufficiently hungry, Yom Kippur seems even longer to me. Fasting isn’t a food blogger’s strongest suit. How long will I last? I have low expectations for myself!

Continue reading carrot salad with garlic and dates.