Wednesday, July 20, 2011

currying favor

by Lisa

I heartily encourage you to get yourself a head of cabbage and make this simple dish for dinner tonight. I don't quite remember how I found this recipe, but when I did, it was love at first sight.

Five-Minute Indian-style Cabbage
from herbavoracious
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee (clarified butter), or mustard oil, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • optional garnish: cilantro, lemon juice
  1. Heat a large skillet or wok over a medium-high flame. Add the oil, wait 10 seconds, and immediately add the mustard seeds.
  2. As soon as they start to pop, add the rest of the spices and any optional ingredients and stir-fry for 10 more seconds. Move quickly here so you infuse the flavor in the oil but don't burn them.
  3. Add the cabbage and salt, and stir-fry until crisp-tender or tender, your preference. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and/or lemon juice. (As much as I love this on other curries, I don't find it necessary for this dish.)

Friday, July 8, 2011

setting the record

by Lisa

As I write this post, the leftover shakshuka is still warm in the dutch oven. I think I'm setting the record for posting.

After David forced me to download all - yes, all 8 GB - of my photos off my camera last night, I've committed to post more immediately on the happenings in the Ro household.

Plus I told Felise I would give her the recipe.

After getting back from camping yesterday, I knew I was too tired to make anything elaborate, but I still wanted to have something special this morning for Felise. I then remembered that I had feta and parsley, which meant that I could easily make shakshuka, whose other ingredients are pretty much staples. Shakshuka pretty much defines Lisa-food: eggs, spicy, hot, saucy, cheese.

Well, David's home now so I'm off to throw in one last egg. Here's to posting more regularly!

Shakshuka (Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4 to 6

1/4 cup olive oil

2-3 jalapeƱos, finely chopped (I leave in the seeds)

1 small yellow onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed then sliced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon paprika (I used chile pepper instead, about 1/2-1 teaspoon)

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, undrained

Kosher salt, to taste

6 eggs

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
 (I use more)
Warm pitas, for serving (you can eat this with any bread, or rice/grain, or just on its own, like we did today)

Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add chiles and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. (I add the onions first, and chop the chiles while those are cooking.) Add garlic, cumin, and paprika/chile, and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is soft, about 2 more minutes.

Put tomatoes and their liquid into a medium bowl and crush with your hands. Add crushed tomatoes and their liquid to skillet along with 1/2 cup water, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Season sauce with salt.
Crack eggs over sauce so that eggs are evenly distributed across sauce’s surface. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 4 minutes. Using a spoon, baste the whites of the eggs with tomato mixture, being careful not to disturb the yolk. Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pitas, for dipping.

Note: I usually make 2 eggs per person. You can always re-heat the leftover sauce and add more eggs for your next meal, or when others join you at the table.

Monday, June 20, 2011

simply delicious

by Lisa

Our new neighbor and friend, Jenn, is a dancer. From her, I've learned that if you give a hungry dancer a cupcake, she will eat it. And maybe want another.

Or three more.

After tasting Simply Dessert's* Red Velvet Cake, we decided to give a go at our own. I compared recipes and landed on the NY Times'. They call for three ounces of red food coloring - which, at $2.99/oz., I decided to skimp on. I bought one ounce and added two ounces of water to make up the volume.

We made a three-layer cake (our digital scale came in handy in making it even), but if you have the capacity, I think four layers would be amazing.

In my opinion, reducing the food coloring made no difference, and so other than that, I thought the recipe was fantastic.

*I've decided that "Simply Desserts" is simply a misnomer for this shop. While they do offer a cookie or a muffin for those who wish, their cases are primarily filled with huge delicious cakes. Try the Banana Amaretto and the Chocolate-White Chocolate.

Red Velvet Cake
adapted from the NY Times

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3½ cups cake flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch process)
1½ teaspoons salt
2 cups canola oil
2¼ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) red food coloring
1½ teaspoons vanilla
1¼ cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons baking soda
2½ teaspoons white vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place teaspoon of butter in each of 3 round 9-inch layer cake pans and place pans in oven for a few minutes until butter melts. Remove pans from oven, brush interior bottom and sides of each with butter and line bottoms with parchment.
2. Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
3. Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. (Take care: it may splash.) Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
4. Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
5. Divide batter among pans, place in oven and bake until a cake tester comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in pans 20 minutes. Then remove from pans, flip layers over and peel off parchment. Cool completely before frosting.

a foodie's worse nightmare

by Lisa

In the only Korean drama I've watched in its entirety, My Name is Kim Sam Soon, the protagonist says that she can't bake sweet things with a broken heart. Likewise for me, it's been hard to enjoy cooking after all these transitions. Moving to a new city where we didn't know anyone has made rare the opportunities to cook for big groups of people whom we love.

It's a foodie's worse nightmare when you can't even eat food and enjoy it. That's how it was when we first moved to Seattle. (Of all places to not enjoy food!)

Praise God that I'm getting over that one.

And so now I have a plethora of pictures and recipes for you, in the posts to follow.