Aug 28, 2012

BED: Basil Eggplant

When the vegetarian and I first started talking seriously about moving in together, I started actively wondering how that would affect my cooking habits. Just as we began our apartment search, I found an old copy of Fields of Greens, a vegetarian cookbook from Greens Restaurant. The vegetarian and I spent a rainy afternoon lying in bed and pouring over the recipes -- some of them simple, but many complex. We went through a box of sticky tabs, marking our favorite recipes with different colors according to seasons.

Of course, two-and-a-half years later, we've probably only made one or two recipes from that book as I find myself taking more and more recipe inspiration from various internet sources rather than cookbooks. But that afternoon is one of our fondest memories and set us together on the path that eventually led to this blog; the path that taught the vegetarian will eat (almost) anything with eggplant as the main ingredient.

Basil Eggplant
inspired by

Heat a wok over high heat. When it is hot, lower flame to medium/medium-high and swirl in olive oil. Add serranos and garlic. Stir-fry until garlic just starts to color, about 30 seconds. Add eggplant and stir. Pour in water and stir. Cover the wok and let cook 7 minutes, raising the flame to high. The eggplant should be translucent and the water all-but evaporated. Swirl in tamari and stir. Add basil and stir just until leaves are wilted but still green. Remove from heat and serve. This was delicious over Herbed Quinoa, along with some Merlot. Bon appetit!

**VEGETARIAN'S CHOICE! **  Easily one of the most successful and delicious we've made since starting this blog.  While I usually enjoy everything we cook together, this was one of the few dishes we've made that I've helped myself to THIRDS!  The look of satisfaction on the Omnivore's face was the icing on the proverbial cake. :)

Edible Inspirations:

Aug 23, 2012

Monthly Cooking Adventure: French White Chocolate Bark

"I love apricots. They're so fuzzy they're furry. They're like little pets you can eat legally." -- This is the story my great-grandfather told my father, who then told my grandfather, who then told me about how the mythical Mr. Boo, Charles Manseur Fizzlebush Grissham III, better known as Mr. Fizzlebush, and Orafoura are all in fact me

Whew! The title of that book almost made me reconsider my choice for using the quote! But, you see, apricots' fuzzy skins are just one of the many things that makes them so much fun. When I was a little girl, I used to love the various touch sensations that came from eating a just-ripe apricot -- the fuzzy outside, the soft nearly gooey inside and the juice dribbling down your chin. Yum! So, with stone fruits in season, there was no question for me but to choose apricots as the highlight of last month's Monthly Cooking Adventure.

However, when I started looking through cookbooks to decide what to do with said apricots, the recipe that most jumped out at me was one for French Chocolate Bark from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics. While there are apricots in the bark, they're dried and not fresh. Ah, well. Dried apricots are still apricots in my book!

Needless to say, I had to change a few things from Ina's recipe to make it my own. The biggest change was that I made my bark out of white chocolate. This produced a deliciously creamy dessert and, in my opinion, really made the flavors of the fruits inside sing. I also added toasted pine nuts along with all the fruit for a savory (but still buttery) crunch. Finally, make sure you use sour cherries for a tangy counterpoint. We served this after Spring Green Risotto, Red Lentil Salad and Apricot Sangria. Bon appetit!

French White Chocolate Bark
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics

Preheat oven to 350 F. With a pencil, draw a 9x10 inch rectangle on a sheet of parchment paper. Make the markings dark enough that they can be seen through the paper, then flip the paper over and place on a sheet pan (so the pencil markings don't get on your food).

Spread pine nuts out on another pan and bake 8 minutes, until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

Place chocolate in a glass bowl and microwave on high in 30-second segments, stirring with a rubber spatula in between, until chocolate in just melted. It's fine if there are still a few chunks; they'll disappear with some vigorous stirring. Keep stirring until chocolate is completely smooth and slightly glossy.

Pour chocolate onto parchment paper, spreading it out so it fits into the drawn rectangle (don't go crazy if it isn't perfect). Sprinkle the top evenly with the ginger, pine nuts, cherries, apricots and raisins. You may have to push the fruit and nuts into the chocolate so they stick. Put in freezer for 1 hour to harden. Cut into chunks and serve cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Edible Inspirations:

Aug 16, 2012

BED: Baked Bluefish (or Tofu)

Several months ago, I read a review in Tasting Table of a cookbook called The Adaptable Feast which was comprised of recipes for omnivore dishes from which you could create vegetarian servings and vegetarian dishes that you could add some meat to and feed a couple of omnivores. While I never ended up buying the book, this idea of adapting one dish for various diets definitely piqued my curiosity.

And so, when I saw bluefish at the farmer's market one Saturday, the vegetarian and I came up with a way to make just one dish out of it but still have two meals. Originally, I was just going to make a separate pan of tofu (and I'm including instructions for that if it interests you) but the vegetarian wasn't in the mood for tofu so instead I baked the bluefish on top of lots of potatoes and onions. Because I used a big pan, the bluefish was only on half of the vegetables and those, along with a Cucumber Millet Bean Salad with Mozzarella and Blackberry and Mozzarella Salad with Rosemary. (NOTE: If you're a strict vegetarian, you'll probably want to cook the vegetables in a separate pan from the fish so as to avoid any fish juices sneaking in.) If you're drinking wine, I recommend a Chardonnay, preferably local. Bon appetit!

Baked Bluefish (or Tofu)
Adapted from

Preheat oven to 500 F. Pat bluefish (and/or tofu) dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with 1/2 cup melted butter.

Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Spread out potatoes evenly. Place fish (and/or tofu) on top. Brush with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle onions and dill over everything.

Cover with another sheet of aluminum foil and bake 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 400 and bake an additional 20-30. (If only doing tofu, only bake for an additional 10 minutes.) Enjoy!

Edible Links: