Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cranberry Sauce

Here is our cranberry sauce for tonight.  You can follow the directions on the back of the bag if you want to.  It is very easy.

1 bag of cranberries
1/2-1 cup of sugar
1 cup water or orange juice

Put everything into a sauce pan, cook on medium until the berries begin popping.  Don’t worry, it isn’t like popcorn, but you can hear them split—or pop—when they heat up.  Once they have all popped, after about 5 minutes, turn off the heat.  I like to mash mine, like I did for the second picture, but you don’t have to.  If you pour it into a dish—don’t use plastic—and refrigerate it for a few hours, it will gel and be nice to serve.  I know some people who like it hot, so if you are a person who wants hot cranberry sauce, put it into a gravy boat and set it on the table.


Red Kuri Squash

This is the Red Kuri squash that I made this morning.  I put it into a 350F oven for about an hour, pulled it out, cut it in half, and scooped the seeds out.  It smells great and will be cubed and roasted with brussel sprouts for dinner tonight.  Don’t forget to sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt before serving.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Pho Soup #2

Yesterday I was feeling a bit sick, so I decided to make Pho soup again.  I made it a little differently this time as the soup at the restaurant is quite different than what I made last time.  It really turned out well this time, so here is an exact recipe for what I did:

10 cups water
2 large carrots cut into 2 inch pieces
1 stem lemon grass, cut into 2 inch pieces
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, broken into fourths
1 onion, cut in fourths, with the skin on
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
2 inches fresh ginger, cut into large matchstick pieces
1 star anise
3 whole cloves
15 whole peppercorns
1 bunch cilantro
1 1-inch piece of rock sugar

I put all of this into a pot and simmered it for a little over an hour. I strained out the vegetables, then I added vegetable bouillon that I got at the oriental market; it is nice because it had powdered mushroom in it. I did that to taste, then added 1 teaspoon of sea salt.

Serve over cooked rice noodles and put a plate with cilantro, bean sprouts, mint leaves, basil leaves, and lime wedges on the table for people to garnish their soup with as they please.

By the time the vegetables had cooked and I removed them, the pot had lost about 2 cups of liquid.  It made a lot of soup, but there are 5 people in our family.  We ate the entire pot!  The cilantro had not been added to the pot when I took that picture, but it really made a nice tasting addition to the broth.  I saw it on a couple of different places and thought I would give it a try.  I think if you do not like cilantro, just leave it out and it should still be really nice.  I leave the onion skins on because it adds a nice color to the broth.  I had several people tell me to do that when I was learning about making soup.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Samosas, Cauliflower Curry, Enchiladas

Cauliflower and Pea Curry just before serving.

Cauliflower with the frozen peas added last.

Curry after the cauliflower was added.
Enchilada Casserole with the first corn tortilla of the second layer.

First layer of Enchilada Casserole is finished.
This is how I layer the black refried beans, in blobs, then spread with a spoon.

Samosa with Dipping Sauce

Chopped potatoes with frozen peas added.
Boiled and peeled potatoes for Samosa filling.
Last night I made some meals for the next two days; one was enchilada casserole and the other was curry with samosas.  I put enchilada casserole up here a couple of weeks ago, but here are pictures of it in progress; Last time I just put up the final picture. 

The recipe is the same as before, but I left out the Daiya cheese this time.

I also made samosas.  The picture the third from the bottom is the final product, but I did decide to change how I make it after doing that one.  The wrap is not a traditional samosa wrap, rather it is a square of puff pastry.  It looks great and my husband said it tastes great, but I try to not eat food with added oils, so I am going to make the next batch and wrap them in homemade tortillas.  The idea to use tortillas came from Fat Free Vegan

3-4 small potatoes
1 cup frozen peas
1 onion diced
1 t. chopped garlic
12-14 grates of fresh ginger (or 1/2 t. already chopped, but grated is better tasting in this)
1 T. green chili, whatever variety you prefer, leave out the seeds and membranes if you want to cut the heat.  I have even used canned green chili when I was in a pinch and couldn’t find fresh chili.
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 t. powdered chili de poplano (or whatever powdered chili you have)
1/2 t. tumeric
1/2 t. garam masala

Boil and peel the potatoes.  Cut them into small chunks then add the peas.  Cut the onion and saute it in 1/3 cup of water along with the garlic, ginger, and green chilies.  Once the onion is translucent, add the lemon juice, chili powder, tumeric, and garam masala.  Mix well and add to the potatoes and peas.  Mix well and use to fill either puff pastry squares or roll into tortillas or flat bread.

Samosa Dipping Sauce
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
1 T. brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 t. diced garlic or a shake or two of garlic powder
Mix all of these in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, turn down heat and keep at a simmer for 8-10 minutes.  Let cool in the refrigerator until sauce is a bit thicker and a little bit sticky.  We found something a lot like this sauce at an Indian resaurant in the Austin area called Bombay Express, we really like it.

The cauliflower and pea curry was really tasty, but honestly, was hot.  I tried a new curry powder and it had to much heat for most of my family, but not for me!  I will be eating this all week for lunch.

2 yellow onions, sliced thinly
1 t. chopped garlic
1 large tomato, diced
8-10 coriander seeds
1/2 cup water
1 large head cauliflower, cut to florets half the size of a ping pong ball
1-2 cups frozen peas
3-4 T. of your favorite curry powder
1/4 t. coconut extract in 1/4 cup soy milk
1.5-2 cups water

Saute the onions, coriander seeds, and garlic in water until onions are translucent.  Then add the tomato and cook for 1 more minute.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer, with a lid on if desired, until the cauliflower is as done as you like.  If you want a thicker sauce, mix 1/3 cup soy sauce with 1 heaping T. corn starch, whisk to get rid of any lumps, and stir slowly into the curry until it is as thick as you desire.

Serve over steamed rice.