I cook better than I write

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Squash and couscous

And finally one of my own creations ;)

I came up with this dish while looking through squash stew recipes. The result was very delicious, filling, yet light stew that is ideal for cool Fall days.

Butternut-Squash Couscous

4 tblspoons olive oil, divided
1 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp grounded ginger
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juice (from one 15-ounce can)
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 head of cauliflower separated into florets
2 carrots peeled, quartered, and cut into sticks 2-3 inches long
2 celery sticks halved and cut into sticks 2-3 inches long
1/4 cup raisins
3 cups vegetable stock
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups drained and rinsed canned chickpeas (one 19-ounce can)
3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 block of tempeh, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups couscous
Parsley and coriander to garnish

Boil cubed tempeh in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain, pat dry and set aside.
Heat 2 tspoons of oil in a skillet, add onion and garlic, and sautee for 2-3 minutes, until just tender.
Add spices, carrots, celery, squash, and chickpeas and sautee for 3 minutes. Add cauliflower, mix well and sautee for another 2-3 minutes.
Transfer vegetables in a big pot, add tomatoes, and broth, bring to boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender (10-15 minutes)
Meanwhile, add the remaining oil to the skillet, and fry tempeh until golden-brown on all sides.
When the vegetable mix is ready, add raisins and tempeh, mix, and simmer for 5 more minutes.

To prepare the couscous

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Stir in the couscous. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Serve the stew over the couscous and top with parsley and/or coriander.

Picture from "Food and Wine's" recipe that inspired me.


A very simple recipe from RealSimple magazine:

Black Beans and Rice

2 tspoons kosher salt
2 1/2 tblspoons olive oil
2 cups long-grain rice
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 large green or red pepper, chopped (1 ½ cups)
2 medium cloves garlic, minced (1 tblspoon)
2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tblspoons red wine vinegar
2 bay leaves
1/2 tspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup sliced shallots (optional)

1 In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water with 1 tspoon of the salt and 1 ½ tspoons of the olive oil. Bring to a boil.
2 Stir in the rice, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until the rice is tender.
3 In a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, green or red pepper, and garlic until the vegetables have softened, about 5 minutes.
4 Add the beans, broth, vinegar, bay leaves, black pepper, cumin, and remaining salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes; remove the bay leaves. Spoon the beans over the rice and sprinkle with the scallions, if desired. Serve warm.

Tip: For a quick black bean soup, follow this recipe. Then remove the bay leaves and process the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Instead of serving it with rice, spoon a dollop of sour cream onto each serving and sprinkle with sliced shallots.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tomato Soup and Vegetable Tian

More Martha Stewart recipes:

Spiced Chickpea and Tomato Soup

3 garlic cloves, minced
3 dried hot red chilies, chopped or 1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp coarse salt
1/8 tsp caraway seeds
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup drained jarred roasted peppers, rinsed
3 1/2 cup vegetable stock
Parsley for garnish

1 Using the mortar and pestle crush garlic, chilies, coriander, salt, and caraway to form a paste
2 Heat oil in a saucepan; add garlic mixture and cook until just softened, for about 3 minutes
3 Stir in chickpeas, tomatoes, roasted peppers, and stock. Simmer, stirring often for 15 minutes.
4 Pure soup, rewarm if necessary. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream and spring of parsley.

Makes 6 cups.
Picture from Cookinglight

Vegetable Tian

6 tbspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, quartered lengthwise, rinsed, and cut into 1/4 inch slices (1 1/2 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small Italian eggplant, unpeeled, very thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 zucchini, unpeeled, very thinly sliced (1 cup)
1 yellow zucchini, unpeeled, very thinly sliced (1 cup)
2 plum tomatoes, very thinly sliced (1 cup)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees with a rack in the center. Coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil. (You can also use round 9-inch baking dish)
2 Heat oil in a large skillet, add leek and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, for about 4 minutes.
3 Spread the leek mixture on a baking dish. Arrange the vegetables in leek in slightly overlapping rows, alternating eggplant, zucchinis, and tomato.
4 Top with wine, 1 tbsp of oil, oregano, salt, and pepper.
5 Bake 30 minutes, drizzle the remaining oil, and bake, until the vegetables are tender, 30 minutes more.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Hash brown - camping style

Finally a camping recipe!

This hush brown is easy to make and ideal for car camping. Serve it on its own, with sliced vege-sausage, with scrambled tofu, or with pancakes.

For 2 people you will need:

4 small potatoes, washed.
2 mushrooms
1 tsp of oil
~ 1 tbsp of tomato pesto or tomato paste
~ 1 tsp of garlic paste (or you can use 1 minced garlic clove)
Spices. I prefer za'atar and use a lot of it, but any other spice mix would work well.

Cut potatoes in 8. Boil them.
Meanwhile slice the mushrooms and mince garlic.
When potatoes are tender, heat oil in a skillet (you can use a pot if you don't have camping frying pan). Add garlic, pesto, and mushrooms. Saute for half a minute. Add potatoes and spices and fry until potatoes will get slightly crispy on the outside. Add salt, pepper, and extra-spices if needed.

Martha Stewart

Here is a recipe of a lentli stew from Martha Stewart. Do not be scared by the long list of ingredients, the soup os very easy to make. It is a very unusual combination of salty, sweet, and flavourful. The smell made me almost think of homemade apple-spice pie.
The recipe is slightly modified from its original.

Golden Lentil Stew

This slightly sweet Moroccan chickpea and lentil stew, known as harira, is brightened by spices and lemon.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
8 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought vegetable stock
4 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped
3 teaspoons coarse salt
4 celery stalks, finely chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup yellow lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
5 ounces orzo or vermicelli (or any other small pasta), broken into pieces
1/2 cup chopped, pitted dates
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, stock, and water, and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.
Mash garlic, finely chopped cilantro, and salt into a paste. Add garlic paste, celery, tomatoes, lentils, tomato paste, lemon juice, and spices to pot. Simmer until lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Add pasta and dates, and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. Stir in coarsely chopped cilantro and parsley. Garnish with parsley leaves, and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 6-8.