Monday, January 21, 2008

Something weird has happened...

I, the queen of breakfast, have lost my appetite.

Long gone are the days where I lovingly sip coffee and relax with a stack of whole wheat waffles with fresh fruit or a seasonal veggie frittata.

Everything seems bland and there is no joie de vivre in my mornings anymore. I hope it comes back! It used to be my favorite part of the day.

My waffles taste dry. My eggs are uninspiring. I think this has absolutely nothing to do with breakfast itself but more to do with my lack of time.

Must. Find. Time. And. Love. Again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Onion Galettes

I first moved into my own apartment about 3 years ago. It is the apartment right next door to where I live now. I had just broken up with a guy I dated for 2 years. About a month earlier we bought a cute bungalo under the premise that having an extra bedroom would help solve our (ahem) problems. I don't know who thought that sounded like a good idea. And I hope we never said that aloud to anyone outside of the relationship. That was like a $190,000 band-aid that was applied too tightly and cut off my circulation. So I fled while E was on a business trip to Tokyo. To the closest thing I could find. A cute little one bedroom apartment in a newly renovated, 1920's, 4-plex.

Then a year later I moved next door because of the better kitchen.

When I moved I had nothing. No bed, no table, no sofa well no furniture. Maybe a bookcase, blanket and a stereo. You know, basic necessities.

The first thing I went out to buy was a nice set of stainless steel pots and pans and my kitchen table. I was broke, bored and lonely. After work each night I would come home and cook for one. One night I made a whole wheat pie crust with the intention of making a full sized quiche but decided like with most other things in life, it would be cuter (and therefor better) in small, individual servings. It was also a chance for me to experiment with creating a free form pie, quite possibly the most beautiful thing ever. I caramelized some onions, grated gruyere, pressed out mini crusts with my hands, minced some fresh tarragon and put it all together.

Then I waited. Patiently, impatient. For my mini galettes to be finished cooking. And I ate. And I loved. And I have been lovingly eating ever since.

Onion Galettes

1 lb onions of your choice, sliced
4 tbsp butter
1 cup grated gruyere
2 tbsp fresh minced tarragon
1 egg white

Whole Wheat Paté Brisee

1 cup whole wheat flour
6 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ice cold water

Pulse flour, salt and butter together in food processor. Add water until dough forms a ball. Chill until ready to assemble.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium and add the onions, s&p and cook until they begin to brown. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Portion the dough into six equal pieces. Roll each piece out to a 6" circle. Fill each circle with some gruyere, onions and fresh tarragon and fold the sides up. Place the galettes on a baking sheet and brush the crusts with the egg white. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes or until the galettes are browned on top.

Weekly Menu 1.12

Split pea soup.
Boeuf Bourgignon
Roasted Salmon and Winter veggies with Salsa Verde.
Onion Galettes

Split Pea Soup

Olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
1 lb green split peas, picked over and rinsed
Ham bone
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Heat oil over medium in a soup pot. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme; season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften about 5 minutes.

Add broth, split peas, ham bone, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and partially cover; simmer until peas are soft, 30 to 45 minutes.

Remove bone, cut any remaining meat off and add to the soup. Simmer until heated through. If necessary, thin with water. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Salmon Amendment

I realized after posting the menu that I was out of parchment. I had to substitute with what i had on had so I decided to do roasted Salmon with pesto and couscous instead.

This is one of the easiest, fastest week night meals. I like it in the summer better when I can get fresh heirloom tomatoes to stir into the couscous.

I like to add a pinch of cayenne to my pesto. I started doing this about 5 years ago when I wanted to fake the spicy-ness of garlic. I really loved the outcome and still do it everytime.

Roast Salmon with Pesto and Couscous

1 lb Salmon Fillets
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves torn
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup roasted walnuts
3 cloves garlic
pinch of cayenne
1 cup Israeli Couscous
3 chopped roma tomatoes
salt and pepper

Roast the salmon in a 450 degree oven until cooked through. about 12 minutes

To prepare the pesto place olive oil, basil, garlic, walnuts, cayenne and salt into a food processor and mix to desired consistency. I like mine a little chunkier than some.

Cook the couscous in 1 1/2 cups of water until soft about 15 minutes. After it is cooked stir in a little bit of the prepared pesto and fresh tomatoes.

Place on piece of salmon on each plate and top with pesto. Serve with some couscous and top all with fresh romano to taste.

Turkey Meatballs with Spicy Serrano Sauce

This time I made my meatballs with turkey instead of buffalo. I served them with whole wheat spaghetti and roasted squash.

(Princess Fussy Face helped...)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers

4- large red peppers
1- red onion, diced
2- cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup quinoa
1 tsp cumin
1 1/2 cup broth
1/2 cup pepitas
1 cup provolone piccante, grated
s & p to taste

1.) Clean out pepper seeds and prepare them to be stuffed. Cut away the remaining red pepper pieces from around the stem and dice.

2.) Saute red pepper dice, onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the quinoa and the cumin and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3.) Add the broth, lower heat and cover until quinoa is completely cooked, 10-15 minutes.

4.) Stir in pepitas, provolone piccante and salt & pepper to taste. Stuff peppers with mixture, grate more cheese on top and bake in a 40o degree oven until peppers are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

I like to serve this with one of my favorite salads. I blanch green beans and toss a whole lot of them on a bed of arugula. The dressing I use is a basic vinaigrette of olive oil, white wine vinegar, minced shallot, salt and lots of fresh black pepper.


Recipe adapted from a Martha Stewart Food recipe.

Saturday, January 5, 2008


Meatballs with Spicy Serrano Sauce and Winter Squash
Quinoa Stuffed Red Peppers with Provolone Piccante
Miso Salmon Packets with Braised Baby Bok Choy
Pork Chops with Apricot Chutney and Hazelnut Couscous
Roasted Veggie and Pesto Pizza with Spinach Salad

Mmmm. Can't wait!

Roasted Veggie and Pesto Pizza

1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 small red onion, sliced
1/2 eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
4 roma tomatoes sliced
2 portobellos, sliced
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup shredded fontina
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup romano
red pepper flakes

Place all veggies in a bowl and toss with olive oil and s&p. Lay on a baking sheet in one layer and roast in a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes until all are soft.

Roll out pizza dough to desired shaped. Spread dough with pesto and and roasted veggies. Use a slotted spoon to transfer veggies onto the dough so you get the veggies but not all the liquids released. Top with the grated cheeses and hot pepper flakes.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the crust is browned.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Food Pairings

I found this handy little site last weekend in my laying-in-bed-for-12-hours phase of being sick



This is my first breakfast in weeks. I have been ill and time crunched between trying to get enough sleep, working and hanging with my sista who is in from out of town.

I had hot barley cereal with walnuts and carmelized apples. A stand by for winter.

We are cooking on sunday though so expect the menu for the week.