Recent Dinners: Soba noodles with tofu and green beans from NYT
I was hosting a dinner party and had both vegetarians and gluten free folks in attendance. A challenge (rubs hands together maniacally). I took this original step of googling “gluten free vegetarian dinner party” and found this recipe from Bon Appetit. Another wrinkle is that I HATE MUSHROOMS. Can’t abide ‘em. So my version has no mushrooms and less liquid because this recipe took an ungodly long time to reduce down and less potatoes because I had tons leftover. I served it with rye soda bread and had tons left over even after 8 people ate their fill. Be forewarned, this recipe takes a long time (um…all day…but you can also make almost all the elements beforehand) and will use up most of your dishes. But, delicious, if you don’t mind a challenge. Warm, comforting and the sauce bubbles up into the potato to make a yummy gravy.
3 pounds potatoes, russet or yukon gold, unpeeled
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup whole milk, warmed
2 cups brown or French green lentils
6 garlic cloves, divided, plus 2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cups coarsely chopped onions
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 cups dry white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled fall vegetables (I used carrots, parsnips and butternut squash)
1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed, halved
2 4-inch rosemary sprigs
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley, chives, and sage)
Topping: Potatoes can be made 1 day ahead.
Preheat oven to 450°. Bake potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet until tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, then peel. Mash potatoes thoroughly or use a ricer or food mill. Add butter; stir until well blended. Stir in milk. Season to taste with salt. Let cool, press plastic wrap directly onto potatoes, and chill.
Filling: Lentils, sauce, and vegetables can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately; chill.
Combine lentils, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp. salt, and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender but not mushy, 15–20 minutes. Drain lentils and discard garlic.
Heat 3 Tbsp. oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly, until tomato paste is caramelized, 2–3 minutes.
Add bay leaves and wine; stir, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half.
Strain mixture into a large saucepan and bring to a boil; discard solids in strainer; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 450°. Toss vegetables and pearl onions with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, 5 garlic cloves, and rosemary sprigs in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast, stirring once, until tender, 20–25 minutes. Discard rosemary.
Arrange lentils in an even layer in a 3-qt. baking dish; set dish on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Toss roasted vegetables with fresh mushrooms and chopped herbs; layer on top of lentils. Pour sauce over vegetables. Spoon potato mixture evenly over.
Bake until browned and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
Some pics to guide you:
Sauce (before straining and simmering)
Sauce after straining and simmering
All the bowls!
Whenever I bake something on a weekday, I feel like I should get an award. Plus, this is the first time I’ve cooked collard greens, and it was awesome, if I do say so myself. I started out with this recipe from Food and Wine via the Yellow House but made a lot of changes to veggie-fy everything. In fact, this recipe is very nearly vegan, except for the butter in the cornbread, which you could easily replace with chilled earth balance.
Collard Chickpea Cobbler with Cornbread Topping
For the topping:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons cold butter (maybe earth balance?) cut into small pieces
3/4 cup soy milk, or buttermilk or milk or yogurt or whatever you have
For the veggies:
One large bunch of collard greens
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
4 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 16oz can diced tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained
3 glugs olive oil.
1. In the food processor, combine all cornbread ingredients except the milk and pulse a few times to chop up the butter. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the milk until the dough coheres.
2. Press down or roll out the dough to 3/4 inch thickness, adding a little flour if needed. Cut roughly into squares, put on parchment paper or silpat, and let the dough chill in the fridge while you prepare the veggies.
3. Separate the greens from the tough stems and chop into 1-inch strips.
(like my new salad spinner?)
4. Preheat the oven to 375f. In a large ovensafe skillet or dutch oven, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic, and fennel until soft and fragrant. Add the tomatoes with tomato juice and bring to a simmer.
5. Add the greens and the chickpeas and cook for 10-15 minutes until greens are tender and cooked down. Bring the cornbread out of the fridge and arrange on top of the veggies. This doesn’t have to be precise - just call it rustic.
6. Grind some fresh pepper on top of the cornbread, and stick the whole thing in the oven for 40 minutes, until topping is golden.
I’m pretty proud of myself for this one - especially since I made the stew without a recipe. I would call the stew “chili,” but I know people get fussy about what does or does not qualify as chili, so let’s chill out (or chili out?) and call it stew. And I carried on despite a nasty burn on my hand while taking the cornbread out of the oven. You can see the edge of it in the cornbread photo below. The things I do for noms.
Skillet Cornbread from the Pioneer Woman - crispy on the outside, buttery and very easy to throw together. I used butter instead of shortening and added a splash of vinegar to whole milk in lieu of buttermilk.
Black Bean Pumpkin Stew
1 can black beans, mostly drained
1 medium pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
1-2 green bell peppers
5 cloves garlic
~1 cup vegetable stock
Smoked paprika, cumin and coriander, to taste
Hot sauce and greek yogurt to top (optional)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot or dutch oven on the stove over medium heat.
2. Add pumpkin and cook for 5 minutes, stirring infrequently.
3. Add garlic and peppers, cook for 3 minutes until softened and fragrant.
4. Add beans and spices, stir to combine. Add just enough vegetable stock to not quite cover the veggies. Bring to a boil, turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
5. Service with hot sauce, greek yogurt, cilantro and cornbread.
I was in the mood for a savory quick bread last week. The claim behind beer bread is that the yeasty-ness of the beer can act as a leavening agent - however, this alone would make a pretty gross bread without additional baking soda or powder or yeast. Flavor-wise beer adds a nice molasses-y taste to the bread, especially if you use flavorful beers. I can’t imagine a can of natty boh would bring much to the party beyond water. It came out slightly dense and soft - kind of like a savory banana bread. So, not an artisan crust, but great alongside soup. Also good for a snack or breakfast with a little cream cheese and jam.
adapted from Feral Kitchen
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tb olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9x5 bread pan. Mix the flours, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Slowly mix in the beer until just combined. In retrospect, slightly flat beer may have helped because the fizzy-ness was a little annoying. You’re going for thick pancake batter consistency.
3. Pour into the pan and brush with olive oil. Bake for 60 minutes until golden brown and a fork stuck in it comes out cleanly.
Williams-Sonoma Haul: Beer making kit, spoon rest, adjustable measuring spoon, silicone brush, vegetable brush, dish brush, baking sheets. I love them all!
Two delicious pizzas, made with whole wheat crust sans rosemary. Brush crust with olive oil before adding toppings, and cook in a 500 degree oven for 10-12 minutes on a pizza stone:
1) Veggie Sausage Pizza
Topped with chopped red and green bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese and tofurkey italian sausage sliced thin.
2) Margaritish Pizza
Topped with shredded mozzarella, green and red tomatoes, basil and these cute tiny yellow bell peppers from the farmers market.