Ching-He Huang teaches a beautiful salad in Ching’s Everyday Easy Chinese where she combines tomatoes with plums and pears, and grates salted plums over it and dots it with basil. Tomatoes and stone fruit?! Yeah. It’s amazing. I have played with so many variations on that. My salad’s quite different from Ching’s, but hugs to Ching for the inspiration! She has so many cool veg dishes. I can’t wait to make it again when the peaches on our tree are ripe. They’re little but sweet and a gorgeous vibrant orange. This salad is killer as a BBQ or grill side dish! Read More
Broccoli Soup. This is my favorite thing to make in the Instant Pot. The original recipe was from The Healthy Meal Prep Instant Pot cookbook. I loved the concept, but it was unseasoned and light on produce. My version tastes a lot like that mall restaurant we all used to know and love, Olga’s. If you know that name, you were probably a teenager in the 80s, too! LOL!
I’ve made two batches in a row a few times so I can fill a few Mason jars to find in the fridge later. So good! Read More
I’ve always adored avocado. My mother-in-law told me that when she was a little girl in Cuba, they loved pairing it in a salad with pineapple. Game changer. In Gran Cocina Latina, she caramelizes the pineapple spears under the broiler. So good! That’s inspired my breakamole this morning. If you have a sweet tooth, this will make your day! Read More
I was in the mood for cold sesame noodles. But I don’t want pasta, so I went with Sesame Spaghetti Squash. Well, Peanut Butter Spaghetti Squash, but that doesn’t have the right ring to it! Read More
#DavidChang #UglyDelicious #SeanBrock #Heritage
About two years ago, I was watching David Chang’s Ugly Delicious, and he had Sean Brock on, making Nashville Hot Chicken. Brock finished his off with vinegar powder. Mind blown. My husband and I looked at each other, and I ordered a copy of his book, Heritage, on the spot. That book deserves its own post, but if you grab a copy, be sure to make his fried chicken skins. I mean, chicharrones are awesome, but come on! And make the Southern Screwdriver!
That vinegar powder is a fabulous ingredient. I was reviewing a dehydrator book the other day and the author had garlicky kale chips in it. Great, but I wanted salt and vinegar chips. The vinegar powder is perfect for this! Read More
I’m getting lots of emails asking for details of how I made Veggiewise the Clown. Because IT part 2 just came out! I can’t even wait to see it! My Veggiewise is the old-school Tim Curry version. I need to do a Bill Skarsgård version. That would be terrifying produce. I updated the post with veggie details. Happy Halloween season, everybody!
#CiderMillPress #ElizabethOrsini #FromGardentoGrill
Summer grilling season has arrived! I’ve been playing in a great produce-centered grilling book, From Garden to Grill: Over 250 Vegetable-based Recipes for Every Grill Master. My review of the book is below, but first I wanted to share a terrific grilled teriyaki tofu and broccoli dinner with you. This recipe is vegan, but the book itself is vegetarian with a lot of suggestions of how to make recipes vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or how to add meat. It’s delicious and super filling, so no side dishes are required. Perfect dinner on the patio. You just need a few string lights overhead and icy Pellegrino, lemon cucumber water, or lovely white wine to go with it.
If you’re new to tofu, a nice dish is all about the drain. Cut it into chunks as the recipe instructs, wrap it in a lot of paper towel, set a plate on it, and set a big can on that and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Or, I sometimes cheat, and just stick it in my panini press for the same amount of time. Saves, paper, too. Niiice. In this recipe, I threaded the tofu on soaked skewers, so I’d have less to turn on the grill.
It’s cold outside! I’ve lived in Texas for 10 years now, but I grew up in Wisconsin, and chilly air is like Pavlov’s bell to this Cheesehead. I start craving melted cheese.
My favorite fondue method is a little unorthodox. Rather than heating wine and tossing corn starch coated cheese into the pool, I love to start by making a roux and building a lovely béchamel. The resulting texture is velvety. I like to use a combination of both milk and wine, like you would in a wine cream sauce. It’s a bit less boozy which is nice for family fondue night. This uber-garlicky fondue is just as nice for roasted veggies as it is for bread. Really. I know that that’s not generally true, but you need to trust me here.
It is of utmost importance that you cut the broccoli into bite-size pieces. Your guests will be armed with nothing but a fondue fork, and will not be singing your praises if you make them feel like a moose, trying to navigate a ginormous piece of broccoli into their mouth. Seriously. No one feels attractive with an overstuffed broccoli mouth. My husband, the physics major – I’ll call him Nerd Boy for my purposes here – would have you scale down the size of all objects to be dipped for a different reason. It increases the surface area that cheese can adhere to, resulting in a higher cheese to bread ratio.
Hope you love it! I’ll talk about my favorite cheese books and my favorite fondue pot after the recipe…. Read More
We read Stephen King’s It for bookclub, and I was inspired by Pennywise the Clown to make a nice little produce sculpture to take with. Veggiewise the Clown. I cracked up when my friends were really hesitant to sample my little crudite display. He is a little bit more off-putting than our treats of Halloweens past…..
Edit: September 2019. I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking for a little more detail about Veggiewise, so I thought I’d add it in here. 😀
Overall face – Cauliflower florets
Hair – Grape tomatoes and irregular slices of sweet red bell pepper
Framing the top of his head – Irregular slices of green bell pepper
Ruffled collar – Green zucchini and yellow squash ribbons create with a vegetable peeler.
His clown top – Yellow squash, halved the long way and then sliced into half moons
His clown top poofball – Baby carrots standing upright in a happy little bouquet
Eyebrows – Kalamata olives
Eyes – Radishes with green olive irises, and Kalamata olive trimmings and green pepper triangles
Nose – Radish and Kalamata olives
Mouth – The bottom of a sweet red bell pepper. It’s much easier to sculp if you choose a really fat-bottomed pepper. They make the produce world go round. The teeth are trimmed almond slivers over a Kalamata olive background.
For the dip, I made float out of Kalamata olive slices. They float really well. My dip is ranch, but since this is the old-school Pennywise, it would be heeelarious to make a Curry dip for Tim Curry. I really need to make the new Bill Skarsgård version. That would be some mighty terrifying produce.
Tools. I am a knife enthusiast. Here’s my collection. I have two very favorite knives for produce sculpture. They are wonderfully comfortable to work with for long periods of time and cut just so well. They are both full tang, which means that the blade runs the full length of the handle, so you don’t have to worry about it ever separating.
Okay, I am personally addicted to epic fails. Here’s one that someone sent me that cracked me up to no end.
And here’s a link to my own epic fail… and some flippin’ delicious popcorn if you need a treat right now. Jen’s defeated Santas. Happy Halloween, everybody!