Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Leek Curry with Tofu and Thai Basil

Having barely made an impact on my oversized Thai basil bunch with the winter squash soup, I tried to use up a little more of it and cook up some leeks sitting around since last week's csa haul.

Like most "recipes" I share on this blog, this is dead simple. Sauté some clean, chopped leeks and green pepper strips in a pan with sesame oil, butter, and olive oil (one by itself would, of course, do) and stir in some green curry. Once caramelized, add in coconut milk until it looks like a dish you might order in a Thai restaurant. Throw in some Thai basil leaves to steep while you brown up some tofu. Mix the tofu in with the curry and serve with rice, garnished with purple basil flowers.

Posted by ShoZu

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Winter Squash and Thai Basil Soup

A ridiculously large bunch of Thai Basil (with lovely purple flowers) arrived with my CSA take today. I was pretty clueless about what to do with it until I thought about the two types of winter squash which came in today, too, and remembered a pumpkin curry from Busaba Eathai in London.

I sautéed some garlic and shallots in sesame oil, butter, and olive oil, stirring in some green curry paste after a minute or so. I then coated a couple pounds of cubed squash in the mixture and then poured in enough veggie stock to cover it. Then I covered it (and simmered). After the squash was fork tender, I simmered for another 5 min and then got the boat motor going. I salted to taste and blended in some of the Thai basil.

Can't wait for tomorrow's leftovers!

Posted by ShoZu

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

(Pureed) Purple Pepper Pesto Pasta (with Spinach)

Okay, it's official: call me an infomercial but I am using my oven about 80% less frequently now that I have the NüWave. To get my oven to preheat to 450 for some veggie roasting takes over half an hour--in that time I can have the thing roasted and done in my crazy space-age appliance. Case(s) in point: the garlic and island purple peppers I roasted perfectly in about 12 minutes. After roasting, I tossed the peppers and a few cloves into the food processor and processed with some olive oil. I let that sit for a bit as I cooked up some linguini and sautéed some shallots, spinach, and the rest of the cloves. I scooped the pesto into the sauté pan and added starchy pasta water until the conistency was right. Stirred in the pasta over heat and microplaned some Parmesan. The texture was practically like an alfredo but the only dairy was the sprinkling of cheese; it was just the way the pesto coated the pasta that felt so decadent. And talk about nutritional value! This dish for two used a full head of garlic, 4 medium-sized peppers, and a big ol' bunch of spinach!

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cheatsy Peach Pancakes

After pulling out all the stops for a homemade poached eggs florentine (okay okay: I used storebought English muffins!) on Friday, I decided to let my kitchen tools and my pantry do all the work for this morning's peach pancakes.

it all starts with an Aunt Jemima powdered pancake mix. Soooo easy, and to make them taste (almost) as good as homemade, I stir in some (wild berry and ginger) preserves. Meanwhile back at the ranch, or, in this case, my Nü Wave oven (don't judge, dude), I have some maple sausages (making a return cameo) browning perfectly alongside ramekins of diced white peaches (unripe is fine!), microplane'd ginger, brown sugar, and butter. When the flapjacks are ready, I drench them in the perfectly jammy "baked" peach sauce and serve alongside the crunchy juicy sweet savoury (humanely raised!) pork sausages.

No syrup needed, even for a stroope hound like me!

Posted by ShoZu

The Bombay: Flex Mussels

With shellfish so succulent you can easily forgive the punny name, Flex Mussels on 82nd and 3rd boasts over 20 moules-frites concoctions and about 5 oysters on the half shell, including one which is an exclusive. The oysters (roughly $3 each) aligned perfectly with the menu's tasting notes and were easily the best I have ever had. Ditto the full & meaty mussels which, a la The Bombay ($19, pictured above, after K and I had gorged for quite some time) come bathed in a white wine, mango, curry, star anise, and cinnamon sauce. Suh-blime.

Dont miss the homemade donuts (4 for $9) on the dessert menu, especially the wild blueberry!

(The place can get quite loud and the service a little sluggish when busy, so I recommend popping in after 10pm)

Posted by ShoZu

sweet potato gnocchi with brown butter sage, maple sausage, raisins, and spinach

Confession: I didn't make the gnocchi from scratch, nor did I make the unfathomably delicious maple sausage (which came from one of my CSA's neighbouring farms). What I did do, however, is have the good sense to brown up the sausage, remove it from the pan, deglaze with butter, brown up some sage, sauté some spinach (with a few healthy cracks of nutmeg), throw in some rehydrated raisins, boil up the gnocchi, spoon some of the starchy water into the sauce pan, throw the sausage back in, stir in the drained gnocchi, and coat the whole thing in fresh Parmesan.

(One other confession: this recipe was ripped off from the rather excellent Vespa (on 84th & 2nd) which has a similar sweet potato raviolacci with raisins.)

Posted by ShoZu