Thursday, September 30, 2010

work treats

quinoa salad

We had a birthday party potluck at work yesterday, and due to a communication breakdown I was the only person working that day who knew about it. We pulled ourselves together and got some cake and ice cream to complement my salad, so my efforts were not in vain. Everyone but me had brought their lunch--not knowing there was a potluck--so there was enough to go around. My salad turned out really well, and several people asked me for the recipe, so I decided to record it here.

It was adapted and Americanized from this recipe by Yotam Ottolengi. I didn't have enough fennel, but had some lovely leeks I'd gotten for my birthday so added those, and I substituted edamame for the broad beans since that's a lot easier to find in Seattle. You could, of course, do your own substitutions and additions--but try to keep everything green, as the greenness was one of its appealing attributes.

Green Quinoa Salad

1/4C olive oil, divided
225g quinoa cooked in 325ml water (I did it in my rice cooker)
400g frozen edamame, thawed and mixed in with the hot quinoa
1 big fennel bulb, thinly sliced
2 or 3 leeks, depending on their size, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 green chile, deseeded and chopped (I used a roasted poblano)
1 sweet green pepper, seeded and chopped
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
Salt and black pepper
a handful of mint, roughly chopped
a big handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
some of the feathery leaves from your fennel, roughly chopped
3 limes, supremed, along with the juice squeezed from the leftovers

Heat 2T of olive oil in a big frying pan and sauté the fennel and leeks for about 15 minutes, till the leeks are soft. Add the sugar, vinegar, and some salt and cook for a couple more minutes, till the sauce thickens. Let cool.

Mix the quinoa and beans, your cooked vegetables, and all the remaining ingredients except for the lime supremes, in a big salad bowl. Artfully scatter the limes on top, and serve.

If you're not going to eat this straight away, keep the herbs separate and mix them in at the last minute, as the mint will turn ugly and black after a while and you want your salad to be pretty and green.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

noodle fun


I made these noodles the other day, and it really was fun. You bake baking soda for an hour to turn it into sodium carbonate--more alkaline than sodium bicarbonate--and then mix a little of it into the water for your noodle dough. It turns the dough yellow and makes the resulting noodles more springy and slippery than they would have been with plain water. My dough was a little dry and I had to add a little more water (for maybe a total of 7 tablespoons), but that may have been because I didn't have enough semolina and had to use about half durum flour.

Harold McGee says you can also use sodium carbonate to dip your pretzels in before you bake them if you're afraid of lye--it does a much better job than baking soda, which I know from experience has no effect.

Friday, September 17, 2010

fluffy spelt bread!

fluffy spelt bread

I've made this bread several times lately--it's really good when you want some sandwich bread in a relative hurry (i.e. you've no time to wait for your levain to resuscitate itself from its dormant state in the fridge). With this amount of yeast it will still take ten hours or so, but if you were in a super hurry you could speed it up by tripling the yeast. The disadvantage of making your bread this way versus with a levain is that it will stale much more quickly: you'll want to eat it up within three days, or make two smaller loaves and freeze the second one.

Quick and Fluffy Spelt Bread

750g whole spelt flour
525ml water
2T chickpea flour
2T oil (walnut oil's nice, if you have it)
1t yeast
2t salt
1t-1T honey (less if you're making savory sandwiches, more if you're eating it plain or making sweet sandwiches like the almond butter and bread and butter pickle one pictured below)

Start this before you go to bed if you want to have bread in the morning, or when you get up if you want to have it for dinner.

Mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl. Stretch and fold two or three times over the next hour, and then let the dough rest, covered, for about eight hours.

Shape into one big or two small loaves (for one 9"x5" pan or two 8 1/2"x4" pans), put into greased loaf pans, cover with a tea towel, and let rise till a little more than doubled.

Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 425° oven.

almond butter and pickle sarnie

Saturday, September 4, 2010

savory breakfast


I had a bunch of spinach that needed using up, and some leftover rice and pressed tofu from last night's dinner (we had this very good celery-tofu salad), and I decided to make them into my breakfast. It ended up being both tasty and photogenic, and something I'll want to fix again--suitable for a blog post!

Spinachy fried rice

serves one greedy person, or two with smaller appetites

1T peanut oil
1/2 an onion, cut into biggish pieces
2oz pressed tofu (or just firm, if that's what you have on hand), cut into little rectangles
about one cup cooked brown rice
salt and pepper (be generous!)
1T tahini
juice of half a lemon
a bunch of spinach, just the bottom inch cut off, washed and patted dry on a tea towel

Heat the oil on medium high heat in a big frying pan with a lid (like this one), and add the onion. Stir it nnow and then, and when it's starting to look cooked add the tofu bits. When the tofu starts to get nice brownish crusts, add the rice, salt and pepper as soon as the rice looks shiny and fried turn the heat down to medium, stir in the tahini, then add the spinach and lemon juice and cover the pan. Breakfast will be ready when the spinach is barely limp.