Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orzo with Three Onions

You know why this meal is so awesome? Start to finish, it took me 15 minutes. Fifteen. Minutes. That's it.

And? And?

Totally good.

I went for a run tonight when I got home, and when I got back I got distracted by the dog.
She's cute and she likes to run around with squeaky toys. Also? Bat ears. It's funny. Also, I'm easily distracted. So, one minute turned into 45 minutes and suddenly I was starving. Three onions, you ask? Yellow onion, leeks, and chives, together in yumminess.

This was the answer to my hunger.

Quick. Easy. Cheesy. Delicious.

Orzo with Three Onions
Serves 4
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1/2 c onion, diced
2 medium leeks, chopped
1/4 c chopped chives
1 head broccoli, chopped into roughly equal pieces
1/2 c peas (I used frozen)
3/4 c orzo
1/4 t red pepper flakes
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
2 oz goat cheese
  1. Boil a 3 qt pot of water with 1/2 t salt. When the water boils, add the broccoli, orzo, and 1/2 t salt.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add the onions, leeks, and 1/2 t salt and saute for about five minutes until the onions and leeks are tender.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes and peas and stir, cooking until peas are warmed through, about 3 minutes.
  4. Once the peas are warmed through, stir in the goat cheese and chives, and 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
  5. Drain the broccoli and orzo and combine with the onion mixture.
  6. Serve; sprinkle with Parmesan if you like.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stromboli. Or, I ignore the lovely weather and pretend it's winter

I love pizza. When I was in high school, my brother and I were always so excited when Dad would make his homemade pizza because it was so much better than what we could order. It still is.

Homemade pizza is one of the happiest foods ever. Ever. No lie.

I was flipping through a magazine not too long ago and I saw a picture of stromboli. I don't remember why (probably because my brain is a giant sieve) but we used to sell stromboli in high school as a fund raiser. I remember them being pretty good. I'm pretty sure that high school is the last time I thought about stromboli, and that was about a million years ago.

But then there was a magazine, and it talked about stromboli. And I got the urge to make them. Since I'm making them, I make the rules, and to me, stromboli are pizzas that are rolled into logs. In case you're curious, I consider calzones to be pizzas folded in half. The pizza family is large, and it brings me great happiness.

This is stromboli. It is a happy, comforting food that you should make. Soon, before it's legitimately too hot to turn the oven on.

I made it in stages, browning the sausage and making a sauce of sorts, then laying out the dough and rolling the stromboli.

They certainly aren't the prettiest stromboli in the world, but they were delicious.
Sausage Stromboli
Serves 4
1 T olive oil
1 lb italian sausage, removed from casings
1 yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic
1 t oregano
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1 T tomato paste
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 bunch kale, chopped
1/2 bunch spinach, chopped
4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
pizza dough (recipe follows)

  1. Heat oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown, breaking it into smaller pieces as necessary. It's not necessary to cook the sausage all the way through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add 1 t oil to the pan and cook the onion until translucent.
  3. Add the garlic and spices and stir until fragrant, then add the greens. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomato paste and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. As the pan starts to sizzle a bit, pour in the tomatoes and stir until combined. Simmer 10 minutes to meld flavors.
  5. Pour the tomato mixture over the sausage and let it sit until you're ready to use it.
  6. Divide the pizza dough into four quadrants and stretch then into 4x9 inch rectangles. Arrange 3/4 cup of the sauce in the center and top with grated mozzarella. Pinch the edges together, lengthwise, to create a log. Move to a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  7. Repeat for all four pieces of dough.
  8. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes, or until golden and warmed through.
Pizza Dough
Makes dough for one pizza
3 1/3 c flour
1 t salt
3 t olive oil
2 t oregano, dried
1 t sugar 2
t yeast
1 1/4 water

  1. Heat the water to 105 (about 35 seconds in my microwave). Stir in the sugar, then the yeast. Allow this mix to stand for 5 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Add the flour, salt, 2 t oil, and oregano to a food processor. Pour in the water mixture on the dough speed as fast as the flour will absorb it.
  3. Allow the mixture to combine, then process for 30 seconds.
  4. Turn the dough out into a slightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow it to stand for 45 minutes, until risen.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Grilled Corn Salad

I love grilling season. The weather, the sun, the warmth. The skies are so gray for so long that when the blue skies return, I feel like I shouldn't take one second for granted, That sentiment, unfortunately, lasts for about a month, then I start to take the weather for granted.

Our weather this weekend was perfect early season gorgeousness. The mountains were out and super clear and made my bike ride and run more than worth it. The sun wore a corona and the food was amazing.

Random fact: sun halos, like this one, are caused by particles of moisture in cirrus clouds located in the troposphere.

Not quite as educational random fact: grilled corn is awesome.

Shuck the corn and rinse off any of the corn silk that's still stuck to the ear. Using a great deal of care, cut the corn off the cob.

Once you put everything in a bowl, it looks like the beginning of summer.

This recipe is particularly enticing because it's endlessly adaptable for everything that summer brings.
Grilled Corn Salad
3 cobs corn, grilled
1 tomato, chopped
1 c arugula, chopped
1/2 c yellow onion, minced
1/4 c parsley, chopped
2 T tarragon, chopped
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 c asparagus, grilled and chopped
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour dressing over the salad (recipe follows). Enjoy.

Cumin Vinaigrette:
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 t mustard
1/2 t cumin
1/3 c olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Harissa BBQ Sauce; or; Oh, Look! I Have a Blog!

It's been a while.

Part of that is laziness. I made some things that I was going to share, and I took photos of them. But I never uploaded the photos from the camera.

Yes, that pretty much makes me lazy.

Tonight will be a different story. We had beautiful weather, perfect for grilling, a pork shoulder steak and a jar of Harissa.

Keep in mind that this sauce has sugar in it, so if you use it as a marinade, it's likely to burn pretty quickly. If you'd rather have it as a sauce, salt and pepper the meat and grill it as you usually would, adding the BBQ sauce at the end.

I like flavor, but don't care too much for intense spiciness, and this was perfect for me. This is a really balanced sauce - neither too spicy nor too sweet, and it has amazing flavor.

Harissa BBQ Sauce
Makes about 1 1/2 - 2 cups
1 T olive oil
1 c yellow onion, minced
1 allspice berry, smashed and chopped
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
3 threads saffron
1/8 t ground black pepper
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground cardamom
1/4 t ground ginger
1/4 t salt
1/4 t turmeric
2 T Harissa
2 T tomato paste
1/4 c pineapple juice
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 T blackstrap molasses
1 T agave syrup

Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute to release the aromas. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cook approximately 3-4 minutes to meld the flavors. Let it cool before you use it.