Archive for October, 2010

We hadn’t had pizza in a while, and this one looked too good to pass up. With a few modifications, I made it my own. We really liked the grilled chicken on top, and totally left off the pesto and never missed it. I just loved the panko crumbs mixed with the tomatoes – it added a very flavorful and sophisticated crunch. Delicious.

Pizza with charred grape tomatoes

3/4 pound grape tomatoes

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

5 basil leaves, torn

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s)

1 boneless grilled chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup grated soy mozzarella

3 tablespoons grated soy parmesan

Preheat the broiler. In a medium baking pan, toss the grape tomatoes with the panko, garlic, shallot, basil, and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Broil 6″ from the heat for about 5 – 8 minutes, or until the tomatoes pop and brown lightly.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Prepare your dough in your favorite fashion and place on pan (rolled out, or like mine – I stretched mine out on a cornmeal dusted pan). Spoon on the grape tomato topping evenly, then add the chicken breast, scattered evenly. Sprinkle on the mozzarella and then the parmesan. Pop into the oven and bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is lightly golden brown. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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I love anything edamame, and this was a fresh idea for its use. A sort of modified pesto, sans nuts, but bursting with fresh flavor. I added some grilled chicken, too. This also tasted good for lunch the next day.

Spaghetti with edamame, parsley, garlic, and olive oil (from the NY Times, adapted by me)

1 large garlic clove, finely minced

leaves from 1 bunch parsley

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/3 cups frozen shelled edamame

3/4 pound spaghetti

1/4 cup grated soy parmesan

1 boneless grilled chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces (my addition)

Begin heating a large pot of water for the pasta. Meanwhile, turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop in the garlic. When it’s chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Add the parsley to the bowl, and process until finely chopped. With the machine running, drizzle in the olive oil. Transfer the mixture to a large pasta bowl.

When the water in the pot comes to a boil, salt generously, add the edamame and cook five minutes. Remove from the pot with a strainer and place in the bowl with the parsley.

Add the spaghetti to the boiling water, and cook al dente following package instructions. When the pasta is cooked, remove 1/2 cup of the cooking water and add to the bowl with the parsley and edamame. Drain the pasta, and toss with the parsley mixture. Add soy parmesan and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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After the successful attempt at making a panade last week, I found another panade recipe for inspiration and enjoyment. Again, substituting real cheese with soy, and with the addition of some grilled balsamic chicken, this was a complete meal for us. Most delicious, and it filled the house with great aromas as it cooked.

Chard, onion, chicken, and swiss soy panade (originally from the Zuni Cafe, via SuperSpark blog, with my adaptations)

1 1/2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced

about 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 cloves garlic, slivered


1 pound red swiss chard, thick ribs removed, cut into 1″ wide ribbons

1 boneless balsamic-grilled chicken breast, from Trader Joe’s (or any kind of cooked chicken of your choice)

10 ounces day-old chewy sour dough bread, cut into rough 1″ cubes

2 cups chicken broth

2 loosely packed cups of grated soy swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place the onions in a large skillet, drizzle and toss with about 1/8 cup olive oil, then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and a few pinches of salt. Continue to saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and deeply golden. Set aside.

Place the chard in a large skillet, drizzle with olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Set pan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are just starting to wilt, about 2 – 4 minutes. Set aside.

In a 2 quart pan or dish, assemble the panade layers. Start with a good smear of onions, followed by a loose scattering of bread cubes, a thin layer of onions, a blanket of chard, and a handful of cheese and chicken. Repeat, continuing until all ingredients are incorporated and the dish is full. Aim for 2 to 3 layers of each component, but make sure that the top is a mosaic of all ingredients, having a rustic look.

Bring the broth to a simmer and pour the liquid slowly, in doses, over the assembled panade, drizzling it down the sides of the dish. The liquid should come up nearly to the top of the layered ingredients.

Cover and bake until hot and bubbly, about an hour to an hour and a half. The top should be pale golden and a bit darker on the edges. Remove the cover, raise the oven temperature to 375 degrees, and bake for another 10 – 20 minutes, until the to is golden brown. Remove from oven, let it settle for a minute or two, then serve. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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I found this splendid little risotto in the NY Times. Normally, when I’ve made risotto in the past, a grated cheese is added at the end (for me, that would be a grated soy cheese). In this recipe, pesto is added at the end, and what an addition this was. This just might be my favorite risotto.

Risotto with green beans (from the NY Times, with nondairy modifications by me)

for the pesto:

1 or 2 garlic cloves, to taste

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup grated soy parmesan

for the risotto:

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and broken in half

7 cups broth

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, minced

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the pesto, turn on a food processor fitted with a steel blade and drop in the garlic. When it is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop machine and scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add the basil, pumpkin seeds, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Process til smooth and creamy. Add the parmesan, and pulse until well combined.

To make the risotto, bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, and add the green beans. Boil for five minutes, remove the beans with a skimmer, and refresh with cold water. Turn down the heat under the broth and keep at a simmer.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the rice. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until the grains separate and begin to crackle.

Add the wine. Cook, stirring, until there is no more visible in the pan. Stir in enough of the simmering broth to just cover the rice. The broth should bubble slowly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add more broth. Continue to cook in this fashion – stirring often and adding more broth when the rice is almost dry – until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Add the green beans and another ladleful of broth to the rice. Stir in the pesto, taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, stir a couple of times, and serve. The risotto is creamy. Makes 6 servings.

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Just recently, I discovered the wonders of baked donuts. And then I found this recipe. So naturally, I had to try it. I’m still trying to decide which ones we liked better. But the verdict is definitely that each recipe is a winner. These go great with tea/coffee, and are a lovely apple butter brown on the inside, too. A great autumn treat.

Baked apple cider donuts (adapted to be nondairy, from The City Sisters)

approximately 3 tablespoons sugar for preparing the pan

2 cups AP flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup apple butter

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/3 cup apple cider

1/3 cup plain soy yogurt

3 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray donut pan with cooking spray; sprinkle with sugar, shaking out excess.

In a mixing bowl, combine together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In another bowl, combine together the egg, brown sugar, apple butter, maple syrup, cider, yogurt, and oil. Add dry ingredients to wet and stir until combined. Fill each cavity of the donut pan half-way. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched lightly. Let donuts cool for five minutes before turning them onto a rack. Clean the donut pan and re-coat with oil and sugar for a second batch.

If you want to coat the donuts, fill a low bowl with equal amounts of cinnamon and sugar. Dredge each donut in mixture and place back on the rack to fully cool. Makes 1 dozen.

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Delicious. From Martha. With love.

Ratatouille (modified slightly)

1 large eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes

1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

6 pounds tomatoes (about 10), cut into quarters, discarding seeds when possible

2 bell peppers, 1 red and 1 yellow, cut lengthwise, seeds and top removed, cut into 1/2″ strips

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 medium onions, halved and cut into half moons

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Toss together the eggplant, bell peppers, onion, garlic, 1/3 cup oil, 1 tablespoon thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread out on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are golden, about 1 hour.

When these are done roasting, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft, about 7 minutes. Add all the roasted veggies, 1/4 cup basil, and the remaining thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are all very soft, about 30 minutes. Stir in the parsley and remaining basil. Cook until heated through, about 1 minute more. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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Away for the week

I’ll be back in the kitchen by next weekend.

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