Count Broccula's veg-head ramblings

My home experiments with vegetarian cooking. Focused on seasonal produce with some vegan stuff thrown in for good measure. I may include random other food-related stuff as I please.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

What's cookin'?

Well, it's been two months, and it isn't that I haven't made anything interesting -- it was a shortage of time and of interest, mine and (I thought) my readers. But recently I said something to the effect of "Yeah, I kind of quit doing it because who'd want to read about my cooking experiments anyway." Three people in the immediate vicinity raised their hands. Now, Piggs has to be supportive because he's my husband and I make him, and Monkeygirl's just a blog whore ("I need more blogs to read!"), but if there's interest, well then, what the hell. I cooked up a storm today, too, so there's plenty to write about.

Roasted Pepper Gazpacho
6 medium tomatoes
4 small gypsy peppers (bells would work)
4 hot peppers
1 head garlic
2 cucumbers
1 medium red onion
1 lime
1 avocado
salt and pepper
olive oil

Put the peppers and tomatoes into a baking dish. Cut the top third off the garlic head and put it in as well. Drizzle everything with olive oil, then salt. Put into a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Let cool. When everything is cool, remove the stems and skins from the tomatoes and peppers (not a big deal if some skins get in the mix, though) and put in a blender. Squeeze the now roasted garlic from the head and add it as well. Finally, add any juices left in the pan. Blend until smooth. Peel and chop the cucumbers (remove the seeds) and the onion and add to the puree. Then squeeze the juice of half the lime into the mix and stir just to blend. Chill until cold. Slice the avocado and lay it over the top of this thick soup and serve. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I thought it might also be good with cilantro and a little crumbled cotija cheese. I don't usually puree my gazpacho, as I am a big fan of chunks, but the roasted tomatoes and peppers were hard to cut up. It was good, but I kind of like the raw taste of regular old uncooked gazpacho, too. I also noted that up until the "add the cucumber" step, this would probably be a tasty hot vegan soup.

Baba Ganoush
1 eggplant
half a lemon or lime
1 Tbs tahini paste
1 tbs olive oil

Bake the eggplant until it is soft -- this will take longer than you think, maybe 45 minutes or an hour.
When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the stem and skin and transfer the meat to a blender or food processor. Add lemon juice, tahini, oil, salt, and as much garlic as you like (I would use at least two large raw cloves or darn near a head of roasted garlic). Process until fairly smooth (it won't be perfectly fine because of the seeds).
Serve with pita chips, spread on sandwiches, whatever . . .

On a personal note, I used roasted garlic this time because I had roasted extra for the gazpacho. I also used a lime because, well, I had half of one left over. I accidentally over-salted it today, but it's still not bad. I'm not crazy about eggplant, but if you're going to eat it, baba ganoush is definitely one of its more palatable forms.

On baking the eggplant: I usually just throw it in the oven whole, but if you wanted to halve it, oil the cut sides, and bake it like that it would work, too. Next time I actually might go to the trouble of peeling the sucker and baking it in big chunks, because it's hard to peel when it's cooked. The best baba ghanoush I ever made was with an eggplant I'd thrown onto the barbecue whole, but for that you have to have the barbecue going already . . .

Gingery Stonefruit Cobbler
5 plums, sliced
2 large peaches, sliced
1/2 Tbs white sugar
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats (I use Bob's Red Mill 7 grain hot cereal mix)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 tsp ground ginger (powdered)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1-inch knob fresh ginger
2 Tbs butter, melted

Put the fruit in a cake pan. Sprinkle with white sugar. Mince the garlic and toss it with the fruit. In a bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats or grains, almonds, cinnamon and powdered ginger with the butter and stir until combined (this will still be very dry and crumbly, not wet). Pour this mixture over the fruit evenly and pat it down. Then put into a 350 degree oven for approx 25 minutes.

All right, listen, this was GOOD. Even though I love chocolate desserts more than almost anything else, this rocked my world. I sort of stole the recipe from Mollie Katzen (probably the Still Life with Menu cookbook); I used to make a recipe she called "summer fruit crumble", but I added the almonds and ginger and left out berries (I had some earlier in the week, but I ate them all). I can't remember if her recipe called for oats or not, but I like them . . . Yeah, basically I used the old recipe as a framework on which to build my deliciously evil creation!

I also made a potato salad that was okay, but nothing to write home about. It would have been better if I'd just stopped after roasting the potatoes and eaten them plain or salted and peppered.

I was thinking today that I will never win a recipe contest. Obviously partly this is because of my habit of giving instructions like "It'll be lumpy, but whatever, and if you don't have cotija you can use feta" but partly it's that most of those contests have instructions like "using three different Kraft products." Maybe Bob's Red Mill will endorse me -- I use their cereal in oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, too. On a side note, pretty much everything I used today was organic -- well, all the fruits and veggies and the flour, anyway. I wasn't going for that, it's just what I had on hand. To tell the truth, I don't care about organic -- I'm fine with conventional. But maybe when we're working on breeding or have succeeded, I'll change my tune. Oh, actually the onion, the hot peppers, and the plums all came from people's gardens or yards -- mine, Drummergirl's and Mom's, respectively.


Blogger monkeygirl said...

That's right I am a whore (a blog whore) and damn proud!!! Plus you always make stuff I have (a) never made or (b) never heard of.

July 29, 2005 at 10:35:00 AM PDT  
Blogger gardenideas said...

Have you ever seen Asparagus this BIG
They grow up to 15in long and 2in wide.

October 8, 2005 at 12:46:00 PM PDT  
Blogger lindaweaverfamily said...

Vegetables are great, but the Heart Start Defibrillator is better (At saving your life, that is ;) ).

November 8, 2005 at 8:08:00 PM PST  
Blogger lindaweaverfamily said...

Vegetables are great, but the Heart Start Defibrillator is better (At saving your life, that is ;) ).

November 8, 2005 at 10:45:00 PM PST  

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