Sunday, October 23, 2016

Easiest Flakiest Olive Oil Crust

Making homemade crusts for quiches and savory tarts has been my regular m.o. for more than 25 years. It was cheaper and had better ingredients: no brainer. But the cutting in of the butter, chilling of the dough, and then rolling out is quite the process. Then I discovered this recipe! Eureka! Soooo easy, soooo flaky, and no chilling or rolling!

The "freeze the olive oil" crust that Post Punk Kitchen circulated a few years ago was an improvement on the butter, chill, roll method, but this one takes the cake or more aptly, the pie! Try it, you'll like it! You may never go back!

You can thank me as you're spooning that flaky goodness into your mouth, or crushing the last bits with your fork tines and watching lovingly as they mash together oh so beautifully, not dry and crunchy. And quick! Did I mention how fast it comes together. What's not to love!

As usual, I had to reduce the liquids since I was using spelt; see the original recipe if you're using all purpose flour.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Goan Style Paneer

Once you discover the joys of homemade paneer you will probably find yourself making it more often then you would imagine!

Unlike homemade pasta, (which is just as rewarding) it requires a lot less actual work on the part of the cook, just some time to hang around and wait for the milk to come to 180 degrees, then curdle it (with lemon juice or white vinegar), pour it into cheesecloth and then pat it into a pan to chill in the refrigerator. I usually make a double batch, but you will need to eat it within a week since it will go bad.

Goan style stews are really delicious, coconut, tangy and lightly spiced compared to other regions in Indian. This was a real hit with some Zucchini Besan Sabji (my favorite way to make veggie side dishes when I make Indian dishes).

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bang Bang Cauliflower

Having worked in a restaurant as a maker of hot wings, it is hard for me to resist anything that is crispy and coated with hot sauce. When Olives for Dinner posted her version of Bang Bang Cauliflower, I knew it would make an appearance on my dinner table sooner rather than later. Yup, it was super yummy! Even the teenager loved it!

While I prefer a runnier sauce, similar to a hot wing sauce, this is made with mayo, so it there is more of a creamy coating on the cauliflower. Next time I will try it with less mayo, always fun to experiment.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Spinach Spaetzle with Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

Spaetzle is one of those names that sounds extremely foreign, enough so that many people probably think it is a) hard to make, b) not worth the effort, and or c) over rated. Wrong, wrong and wrong!

Not only is it fun to make and delicious to boot, but easy as well. Whodda thunk it!

While this recipe came from the New York Times' David Tanis, it was a comment from a German cook that tipped me off on how to easily create fun little spaetzle; using the dull edge of a large knife to slide slivers of dough into the boiling water. Brilliant and fun!

Obviously you can add bacon (David's version) instead of the olives and sundried tomatoes that I mixed in. Either way, do keep the crisp sage leaves, they are a real treat.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Harissa Eggplant

Eggplants always seduce me, particularly at Farmers' markets and even more so when they are the long eggplant Japanese variety. Often they get used up in pedestrian ways but this time my brain thought of a really fun way to eat them, baked with a Moroccan infused flavor explosion!

My harissa is based on Aziza owner's cookbook and it is not super spicy but is very flavorful. Mashed with some preserved lemon, dried mint (actually more appropriate than fresh in this case), it was perfect! Even my vegetable suspicious husband really liked it!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

30 Minute Pizza Crust - Pesto Pizza with Homemade Veggie Italian Sausage

It was one of those nights, when cooking seems like the hardest thing to do - yes, it happens, even to me. And then Vegan Richa's new post popped up and she promised a 30 minute pizza crust. Intriguing and turns out, quite good!

Oddly enough it is a normal crust - flour, water, yeast, oil, salt. There is very little rise period, which makes for a very crispy crust. Take care not to overbake it or it will be too crispy!

Having just made some veggie Italian sausage and being gifted with two huge bunch of fresh basil, it was perfect for a pesto pizza with pan fried sausage on top!

Do note that I made my crust with spelt flour so the water in the recipe is slightly less; check Richa's recipe for the wheat flour version.