September 27, 2010

Late Summer Gazpacho

So, I broke down and bought a VitaMix and frankly, I'm so pissed at myself for waiting so long to get one! Holy crap this thing is amazing. The time savings alone is worth its weight in gold and what about all the stuff you can make with it!? OK, let's start with late summer gazpacho. I was looking for something to eat with powerful flavors and all fresh veggies. This adaptation of the Joy of Cooking gazpacho did the trick.

6 ripe roma tomatoes
1 green pepper
1 clove garlic
2 T chives
2 T basil
2 T parsley
1 T taragon
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red or white wine vinegar
4 T fresh lemon juice
1 sweet onion, cut in quarters
1 medium sized cucumber
pinch salt & paprika

With a VitaMix, you don't need to chop very much. Just cut the tomatoes, pepper, and onion in halves or quarters and toss them in. Same for the herbs - grab a bunch and throw in blender with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, paprika, and vinegar. Blend until you like the consistency. If you don't have a VitaMix, then you can either use a food processor or if you are a total beyatch in the kitchen, you need to finely dice all of the herbs and veggies until you are ready to take a gun to your head.

August 1, 2010

Grilled Corn on the Cob

When sweet summer corn, good olive oil, and sea salt have a menage a trois on a grill, magic happens. Try it, I promise you will leave the table satisfied.

Corn on the cob - stalks off
Sea or kosher salt
Olive oil

Brush olive oil all over the corn. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Heat up your grill to medium heat. Grill corn right on the grates. I like a fair bit of char on my corn so I cook it for longer but it's really up to you. The whole affair took me about 7 minutes. Can be made ahead for a party and served room temperature.

Quinoa with Balsamic Chicken, Pine Nuts, Currants, and Basil

I was seeking comfort food today but needed something that was summer figure friendly. After all, you can't exactly come off the beach and down a bowl of mashed potatoes. Well I guess you could. It's a free country. But if you want to fit back into your bathing suit tomorrow, I suggest quinoa as a better choice for a carb fix. You can literally mix anything you want into quinoa and it tastes good. I was feeling uber lazy and didn't want to go to the market, so I made this creation with stuff I had on hand.

1 cup of quinoa - prepare according to the box
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup of fresh basil, julienned
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic minced
4 skinless chicken breasts (hormone-free, antibiotic-free, & organic....I mean, duh.)

2-3 hours ahead, marinate chicken in 1 cup of balsamic, 1 cup of water, and 1 of the minced garlic cloves. Make quinoa. When done, transfer to a bowl and mix in currants and toasted pine nuts. Grill marinated chicken - doesn't matter how to you do it. You can even bake it if it's easier. After baking or grilling, let the chicken rest for 10 minutes to seal in the juicy juices. Girlfriend, there is nothing worse than dry chicken and cutting into it as soon as it's done is the fastest way to dryville there is. Believe me, I've been there. OK, once the chicken has rested cut it up into bite sized chunks. Add to the quinoa mixture. Make a quick dressing of 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 clove of minced garlic. Pour dressing over quinoa. Add fresh basil. Stir and eat. It's a highly satisfying, one bowl wonder.

July 19, 2010

Summerstyle Grilled Veggie Platter

So, it turns out when you go back to work, daily blogging and food journaling becomes, um, shall we say near impossible. When I look back on last summer when I was footloose and fancy free, I remember fondly the days spent cooking and snapping pix of my latest creation. Usually while drunk as evidenced by the oft questionable photos. Anyway, I'm back in the rat race and therefore have no time for hours in the kitchen - so it's back to basics, rustic style.

Any moron with a grill can grill veggies. Period. All you need is three things.

1. Veggies
2. Olive Oil
3. Salt

Slice up your veggies in pieces big enough so they don't fall through the grates. I used asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, and peppers. Coat liberally with olive oil. Kosher salt all around. Heat grill to medium heat and chuck on the veggies. Don't go away - the asparagus will grill very quickly. The zucchini will too. Eggplanties and peppers will take longer. I like to allow the veggies to get nice and charred but do as you like. Artfully arrange on a platter and serve. Can be made ahead and served room temperature.

February 5, 2010

Vegan SnackGasm

Thanks to the Google Chefs, who for 9 years have fed me well. This is one of my favorite snack recipes from the Goog kitchen - it's 5 ingredients, 1 minute, and so tasty. Vegan too.

1 cup of sesame tahini
1/4 cup honey
sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds
sliced apples

Mix tahini, honey, salt, and sesame seeds together. Dip apples and enjoy.