Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Saved the celeriac

From the previous post, you may have read that I attempted a rosti with celeriac

(Rosti: peel 1.5 pounds of potatoes, 6 cloves of garlic, herb of choice (rosemary, parsley, whatever), shoestring the potatoes, throw into olive oil in hot pan with peeled whole garlic and herbs, add salt and pepper, sautee until potato starts to get tender, roast for 25 minutes in the oven, smush down with aluminum foil and oven mits into a flat cake, roast another 25 minutes. Obviously, I did it with celeriac, which took far less time.)

However, the celeriac rosti did not stick together due to a lack of starch I believe, and nor did it end up with a pleasingly crisp/soft texture. No, friends, it more closely resembled extremely fragrant flavorful shreds of shoe leather. I know a lost cause when I see one, and it didn't take much to reach the conclsuion that this was one of those dishes that would forever languish in the back of the fridge until succumbing to mold. So I figured, hey, this needs to soften up, and it tasted great with sour cream, so why not gently simmer it in milk?

I did. And it worked. And I added a pinch of herbes de Provence mixture thingy. Very tasty and insanely flavorful. So, then I had a stroke of genius. What better way to achieve the impossible (make Danny full) than to add 6 eggs, a can of chickpeas, and turn it into a protein loaded Spanish-style tortilla? Due to the presence of all that somewhat caramelized celeriac, parsley, garlic and random herbs, it needed nothing else. I beat the eggs in a bowl until they were combined, dumped in the now-soft celeriac, the can of chickpeas, and stirred it up. Then I poured it into a pan and let it cook. We ate it with yogurt on top, and drank a very young gruner veltliner. We each had a glass.

It was totally awesome. And we were both stuffed, despite having leftovers! I think we tallied it up, and Danny ate the equivalent of 3 eggs, half a can of chickpeas, and half the celeriac. Hells yeah. I'm going to add up the cost of this meal, in a very rough approximation:

- 1/2 dozen eggs - $1
- 1 can chickpeas - $1
- 1 celeriac - $1.50, maybe. generously. It was maybe $0.59 per pound, and it was ~ 1.5 lbs.
- The whole large container of yogurt was probably around $2? We each had a few spoonfuls. You do the math because I don't feel like it.
- Bottle of wine - $10, unless it was $9. I forget.

Not bad, not bad at all. Sans alcohol, the whole thing cost slightly more than $3. McDonald's can seriously KISS MY ASS.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Danny and I got a subscription to a CSA for a present (and a very nice present it was, as opposed to simply being more shite we have to find a place for), and it just started last week.  I was uber excited as I made my way down to the pick-up.  The produce looked great; tender new salad greens in a bag, a bunch of small radishes, asparagus (the most resilient strong-looking asparagus I've seen in forever), some green onions, garlic chives, 3 leftover apples from the winter, 3 leftover potatoes, strawberries (2 large containers), and rhubarb.  

So, I gotta be honest... I was expecting more.  The amount of veggies is roughly enough to fill our cavities because we eat like professionals, and man, we love our veggies.  We did try (and failed) to make rosti with celeriac.  By failed, I mean we generated a kind of garlicky celeriac hash which doesn't taste bad at all, but it's a little dry and doesn't stay together in a neat little cake of moist and crispy matchsticks.  It is, however, totally off the chain with a dollop of sour cream on top.  

But the CSA stuff... the radishes and lettuce made their way into a massive salad that we've had for diner, lunch, and lunch again tomorrow.  I took the rhubarb and followed this recipe for curried duck legs with rhubarb, but I subbed in chicken because it's cheaper.  I tell you, it was kind of a lot of steps and all, with the food processor and the extra sauteeing, but it's quite tasty.  It's like a thicker, sweeter, tangier version of my curried chicken.  Definitely richer than mine, too.  I like it a lot, but I think I prefer mine because (a) it's a bit lighter, (b) I really like potatoes, (c) less dirty dishes at the end, and (d) fewer steps.  

We plan on a quick broil of the asparagus, after rubbing them in a olive oil and garlic, and we're just eating the strawberries because they are really, really small, flavorful, and amazing.  The green onions made their way into a block of cream cheese (very awesome under lox on bread), and I'm not sure what the garlic chives are going to be a part of yet, but stay tuned.  

This sounds like a lot of food, but for us, it isn't.  We don't buy lunch or anything, and we seriously eat like gluttons.  Very happy, vegetable-centric gluttons.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

today's breakfast smoothie

Today I peeled and sliced a whole mango, half an avocado, and some vanilla soy milk and blended. I am going to edit my suggestion to using only a quarter of an avocado if the avocado in question is not small. The smoothie was tasty, despite having too little mango flavor, IMO - which should be remedied by using only a quarter avocado in the future - and I stayed full until now!

Usually I have to eat lunch at 11-11:30. By me, mangoes are miraculously $0.50 each. Hells to the yeah.

Iron powerhouse chili

I am experimenting with making chili the same way I make cholent; throw everything in the crockpot, turn it on low, and walk away. I did one whole bag of black beans soaked for 24 hours, 1.5 pounds of stew beef, an onion, a buttload of garlic, 6 chiles (3 anchos, 2 guajillos, 1 pasilla, or something like that; all snipped into bits with kitchen shears), a bunch of whole cumin seeds because I couldn't be bothered to root through our ENTIRE haphazardly thrown together spice closet and find the ground variety, a couple bay leaves, some Mexican oregano, a can of choppped tomatoes, and salt and pepper. This qualifies as a Vat-o-Chili.

I hope I don't burn the apartment complex down.

This chili is going to be the iron powerhouse chili. Black beans - very high in iron for plant material. Beef - high in very bioavailable heme-bound iron. I've heard the combining your plant iron sourcecs with your animal iron sources results in more overall bioavailability of plant iron. Sounds good to me, people. Stay tuned for results...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Another smoothie

I have stepped into interesting territory with my smoothie-making skillz. I have entered the throwing-weirdass-things-into-a-blender-and-seeing-what-comes-out phase. The weird ingredient of choice today was half of a very ripe Haas avocado.

I started with a bunch of (maybe 6?) medium sized strawberries, washed, with the leaves removed, threw in half an avocado, and then poured chocolate soy milk over the whole deal. Then I blended.

Holy crap, you guys.

The flavor was light, fruity, and chocolatey, with that very subtle green tang from the avocado, and it was somehow both light yet extremely filling. The texture was unbelievable. It was thick and creamy with a silky mouthfeel, like a milkshake. And yet... it was oddly light. I highly, highly recommend half an avocado if your smoothie seems thin. It's better than yogurt because it doesn't add a lot of sour to the party. I want to experiment with other fruits, regular milk, and maybe some sweetened condensed milk (like a tablespoon) and vanilla as sweetener and added flavor. Or maybe oranges, avocado, orange juice, and a tiny bit of sweetened condensed milk to get a creamsicle thing going on...

Ok, that sounds a little wacky, but it just might work... And the possibilities! They're endless!