Tuesday, November 23, 2010

BrokeAss Gourmet's Orange-Cardamom Applesauce

Though I saw this applesauce recipe on BrokeAss Gourmet a month ago, I just now got around to trying it.  I absolutely love it and am desperately trying not to eat it all before I can it this afternoon.

I made some small changes: 

1) Reduced the amount of orange juice to the juice from just one orange (and replaced that lost liquid with water).
2) Added about a teaspoon more of cinnamon and about a teaspoon of some good curry powder.
3) Used orange blossom honey instead of regular honey.

I used a combination of organic Fuji and Granny Smith apples.

Seriously, you have to try this.  Gabi's recipe is not only extremely tasty, but making applesauce is incredibly easy and tastes nothing like the stuff you buy from the store.

If you don't want to eat it right away, here are some instructions on canning your deliciousness.  The actual canning process starts around step 8.  Make sure your applesauce has cooled before you put it in jars.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Tonight we were really in the mood for salmon, spinach, and rice, but didn't know what we to do with them.  We didn't have a whole lot of time to cook and eat, so we used mostly pantry ingredients.  This version of bibimbap was the end result: flaky salmon, wilted spinach, crispy onions, all over steamed rice.  It's got lots of great proteins and it's really filling.  

I don't have a steamer basket and didn't feel like rigging one, so I ending up cooking the salmon under the broiler, and the spinach, onions, and rice in separate pans.

Total time: about an hour


5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 C thinly sliced onions 
10 oz spinach leaves
1 C medium-grain rice, rinsed
1 Tbsp butter
whatever cooking liquid you want to use for your rice--water, broth, etc.
8 oz salmon fillet, skin left on
sesame oil
rice wine vinegar
2 eggs
Sriracha or whatever Asian chili paste you're into
toasted sesame seeds
scallions, chopped (optional)


Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Add the spinach (in batches if necessary), season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender.  Drain the spinach and squeeze out the excess moisture.  Place the spinach in a small bowl, and season with the sesame oil and rice vinegar to taste.
Flaking the salmon.

Dry the skillet and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil; heat over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until onions brown and begin to get crispy (not burned).  This should take about 25 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, melt the tablespoon of butter in a pot.  Add the rice, and toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently.  Add your cooking liquid (in whatever appropriate amount, depending on the kind of rice you use).  Bring to a boil, cover, turn your heat to low, and simmer until the rice is fluffy (about 18-20 minutes, or longer if you're using brown rice).
While the onions and rice are cooking, heat the broiler and prepare your broiler pan with cooking spray or oil, lightly brush some olive oil on the top of the salmon, and season with salt and pepper.  Place the salmon on the pan and broil until the internal temperature reaches 145F.  Flake the salmon with a fork, removing the skin.
Mixing the bibimbap!

Place the pot of rice back on the stove over medium-low heat.  Add 2 tsp of sesame oil, flatten the top of the rice, and carefully break the eggs over the rice so that the eggs fall to the sides of the pan.  Cover, and cook the eggs for about 5 minutes.  Add the salmon, spinach, and onions to the pan to the sides of egg.  Cover, and continue to cook until the egg whites are solid but the yolk is still a bit runny (I sprinkled some drops of water over the eggs before covering to help the steaming process).

To serve: add a generous dollop of Sriracha in the center of the bibimbap.  Mix everything together, scoop into bowls, making sure to get the toasty rice bits at the bottom of the pan.  Add some toasted sesame seeds and scallions, if using.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bolognese Meat Sauce

This recipe is adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.  I served it over homemade pappardelle (I followed Lidia Bastianich’s recipe for rolling and cutting), but you can of course use boxed, dried pasta. N.B. This recipe is almost doubled from Hazan’s original.  I like to make this huge batch and freeze the rest for later use.  This will make way more than enough for 1 ¼ lb of fresh pasta.

Total time: about 3 ½ - 4 hours

2 Tbs olive oil
6 Tbs butter
1 C chopped onion

1 1/3 C chopped celery
1 C chopped carrots
1 1/2 lb ground beef chuck

1 1/2 C whole milk

1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg

1 C dry white wine

28 oz canned Italian plum tomatoes (I use San Marzano), cut in with their juice

freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp good red wine (drink the rest)
freshly graded parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and melt the butter.  Add the chopped onion, stirring and cooking until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped celery and carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes more, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.
Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and black pepper. Break up the meat and stir well, cooking until the beef has lost its raw, red color.
Add the milk and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. This can take a while (20-30 minutes). Add the 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg and stir.
Add the wine and let simmer until it has evaporated. This can also take a while. Add the tomatoes with their juices and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest simmer with occasional bubbles breaking. Cook uncovered for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. If the sauce gets to dry, add some water to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot.  When you’re ready to serve (or store the sauce for later use), no water should remain and the fat must be separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
To serve: add the tablespoon of red wine and stir.  Toss with cooked drained pasta.  Serve with the grated cheese on the side.
If you’re not going to serve it right away, you can freeze the sauce.  Reheat gently before tossing with the pasta.

I don't have any pictures of just the food, but here we are enjoying it with (lots and lots of) wine.

I served this with some turnip green - potato mash.  It's adapted from a recipe in Lidia Bastianich's cookbook,
Lidia's Italian Table.  She uses swiss chard and baking potatoes.  Since it's November I couldn't get any swiss chard, so I substituted turnip greens.  Recipe to follow!

Butternut Squash Gratin with Sage and Rosemary

Active Time: about 20 minutes
Total Time: about 1 1/2 hours


3 lbs butternut squash, halved longways, seeds scooped out
4 Tbsp olive oil 
1 1/2 C onion, thinly sliced 
2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped finely
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cumin seeds
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C low-sodium chicken broth

3/4 C fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 C freshly grated grana padano
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary

Roast your squash in a 350F oven for about 30 minutes.  Peel, then cut the squash into 1-cubes. Leave oven on.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, season with some pepper, and cook until onion is transparent.  Add the squash, sage, thyme, and cumin seeds, and continue to cook until onion and squash begin to brown.

Scrape contents of skillet into a 9x13 casserole and pour in the chicken broth.  Place in over for about 30-40 minutes until the liquid is almost evaporated.  Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, olive oil, basil, and rosemary in a bowl.  Distribute evenly over the top of the casserole and return to the oven until the breadcrumbs begin to brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.