piranha: red origami crane (Default)
curried chickpeas with ginger
adapted from "the gourmet vegetarian slow cooker" by lynn alley for my instant pot

2 T sesame oil
2 T mexican chile powder
1/2 tsp black pepper corns
8 cloves
1 tsp cumin seeds
8 green cardamom pods
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric
4 cm fresh ginger root
1 medium red onion
4 cups water
2 cups dried chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon
yogurt

chop the onion and ginger.
grind the pepper, cloves, cumin, cardamom (or use already-ground spices).
add them and the chile, curry, turmeric, and cayenne to the hot oil to release the flavour.
add the onion and ginger and sauté for ~ 2 min to soften.
add the water and chickpeas.
cook @ 11.6 pressure for 40 min; let pressure release naturally.
take a cup of beans with some liquid, purée it, and add back to the pot to thicken.
stir in the lemon juice.
serve with yogurt over your grain of choice, or pasta.

this is medium-hot for me; just at the limit of what makes my sinuses act up; i might use a bit less cayenne next time. the sauce is a little thin, so i'll need to add less water. the chickpeas are just over the edge of being done; a few are a tad too tough, so maybe another minute of cooking would be a good idea -- or a quick pre-soaking. i was too lazy for that today. it'd be nice with some carrots added too, i think.

i changed all the spice amounts considerably from the original, because pressure cookers affect different spices in different way (increase potency of peppers, decrease that of dried leaves), and because i don't like cumin when it predominates, but love cardamom.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
sweet smoky black bean and squash chili
adapted from "the new fast food" by jill nussinow for my instant pot (6 quart; it won't fit smaller pots)

2 T canola oil
2 T mexican chile powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chipotle chile powder
2 tsp dried oregano
1 large onion
8 garlic cloves
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium butternut squash (> 1 lb)
400g (2 cups) black beans
1-1/2 cups water
796 ml (28 oz) can of tomatoes (low salt)
1/4 cup tomato paste
salt to taste

soak the black beans (this needs to be a full soak, so the beans and squash end up taking the same time to cook under pressure).

remove the squash guts, peel it and cut it into 1/2" cubes.
de-seed the pepper and cut it into pieces.
chop the onion and garlic.
purée the tomatoes and tomato paste.

sauté the spices to release the flavour.
add onion and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes to soften.
add the red pepper and sauté for a minute more.
add the water, stir.
add the beans.
add the squash.
cook for 12 min @11.6 pressure. let pressure release naturally.

dig down and taste the beans. if they're not done, cook with lid open until they are.

add tomato purée, stir, and cook for ~ 5 min more. stir now and then so it won't start sticking to the pot.

salt to taste (i used about 1/2 tsp).

ok, this one is a keeper; very yummy. the original recipe uses sweet potatoes, but i didn't have any. i only quick-soaked the beans, which wasn't long enough, and the extra cooking time made the squash more mushy than i prefer, but it is still very good; a lovely meld of sweet and smoky, with a nicely warming after-bite.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
curried garbanzo beans with corn and basil
adapted from "the easy pressure cooker cookbook" by diane phillips for my instant pot

2 T canola oil
2 tsp madras curry powder
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots
1 small can (384 ml) vegetable broth
1 cup garbanzo beans, dried
1 can corn, kernels
2 tsp basil, dried
salt to taste

wash beans.
quick pre-soak: in small pot cover beans with sufficient water, bring to a boil, cover pot, turn off heat, and let soak for 30 min.
chop onions and carrots
sauté curry powder in oil to release flavour.
add onions and carrots and sauté to soften (~2 min).
add broth and drained beans.
cook @ 11.6 pressure for 35 min.
quick release.
add corn and basil; mix.
cover and let stand for a few minutes to heat the corn.

this turned out very good -- i halved the original recipe, but added a bit more liquid (enough to cover the beans), and adjusted the spicing upward as well. very tasty, but not overpowered by curry. i've never cooked garbanzo beans myself before, though i've had them canned -- they're much better cooked from dried.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
lentils castelluccio style
from "the easy pressure cooker cookbook" by diane phillips, adjusted for my instant pot

3 T olive oil
1 medium onion
4 celery stalks (include leaves if they have them)
2 tsp rosemary, dried, rubbed into small bits (if fresh, use accordingly)
2 cups lentils, french or italian -- the kind that stays intact
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

rinse lentils.
finely chop onion and celery.
sauté rosemary in olive oil to release flavour.
add onion and celery and sauté until softened (about 2 min).
add broth and lentils, mix, and cook @ 11.6 pressure for 25 min.
quick-release pressure.
season to taste.

the lentils were green ones from dan-d-pak. they took up the entire 2 cups of liquid. i was fine with the moisture of the dish, but the paramour found it a little dry. some of the lentils were just a tad undercooked; not enough to be bothersome, but they'd probably be better if cooked a minute longer (or if the pressure naturally released, though that might make them too soft).
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
split pea soup

(recipe by the "instant pot" manufacturer)

1 cup of split peas (i used half green, half yellow)
1 medium onion
1 medium carrot
2 stalks celery
2 bay leaves
1 lb ham hock (i used ~200g low-fat, low-salt ham from schneider's)
4 cups of water

chop the hell out of the onion, carrot, and celery. dump everything in the cooker. cook on "soup" for 30 min. let depressurize naturally, which means +10 min. season to taste (i used about 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp of sea salt).

this is the second incarnation of this soup, and it still needs work. yesterday's used 5 cups of water, and it was way too thin. today's is still on the thin side, so next time i'll use even less water. salting wasn't necessary yesterday; the ham had enough, but today needed some help. yesterday i threw in way too much ham (it had escaped my notice that 1 lb ham hock does not actually translate to 1 lb ham). this ham isn't good for letting cook the entire time; it becomes very mushy (and cooking it twice does not improve it; it didn't fall apart like i was hoping). if i make this again with ham, i'll cook it without and then put it in just to warm it.

the consistency, apart from being too thin, is good though -- normally i end up pureeing the soup if i cook it on the stove top; here that's not necessary.

this recipe contains measurements i usually don't like -- i prefer to weigh ingredients. what fits in a cup differs too much, and sizes like "medium" are even more meaningless. but since it's for soup, eh, i don't care; winging it varies the taste a little so it doesn't become completely boring after the 10th time i have it.

this isn't too different from my standard split pea soup recipe, so i think i can now adapt that one.

i really like how the pressure cooker concentrates flavour. apparently a lot more of it cooks away into the air during normal cooking than i expected.
piranha: origami crane with santa hat and holly on tail (xmas)
as the new year looms, i am planning to live vegetarian for a month, just to see whether i can do it. i'll probably not manage vegan because i like my milk products and eggs too much, but doing without meat will not be difficult. it'll be a challenge to myself to learn new recipes and be more mindful of what i am shoveling into my maw.

to that purpose, i am hopeful to make many new friends in the legume family. i'm thinking it might be useful to isolate them the first time, to get a better feeling for innate flavours. i've also got myself a pressure cooker (actually an "instant pot IPLUX-60" several-methods-in-one cooker; it can saute, steam, pressure-cook, slow-cook, make rice with just a button press).

the new year isn't there yet, but we're past the solstice, which is what really matters, so here we go. the paramour suggested i call it "logume", *sigh*.

2012-12-25: small white bean, noname package, presumably navy bean.

cooked 1 cup dry beans in 4 cups water for 30 min, pressure @ 11.6). came out as thin soup, slightly mushy; some beans completely disintegrated, others still intact. threw in just a bit of fleur de sel afterwards. quite tasty, actually. paramour says this is the "baked beans" bean, which wikipedia confirms. i've always hated baked beans, but i like this. delicate; a bit mealy, but not dry.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
i've been doing rather well with cooking lately. now, i hope nobody mistakes me for a cooking wiz; i learned how to cook for a family of 5-10 people, but i don't really like the food of my childhood. consequently i don't have a big repertoire of real meals, and i don't cook much for others because i have peculiar tastes. and while i like the recipes i make up, i wouldn't normally offer the food to others. i make a mean herring salad, for example, but the paramour hates pickled things and dill, and that pretty much nixes this recipe for him because it has pickled herring, pickled onions, pickled gherkins, and much, MUCH dill. i'll make a huge pot of it, and then i'll eat it for several days straight, with new potatoes. OMG, so good.

i've been playing with the chili recipe i posted once, and it is now more flavourful than it was at the start; i should edit it, because this is eminently shareable (of course it is mostly somebody else's recipe, which accounts for that ;).

i concocted a split pea and ham soup with lovage, which i find really smooth and enjoyrable, i think i'll post that recipe so others can try it and let me know whether this actually passes as food for people-not-me. if any of you grow lovage, that is. of course now it's a little late for that in the northern hemisphere. but lovage is fun to grow (it gets HUGE in its 2nd year), and it tastes much like celery, only milder and more interesting, IMO.

i also made a carrot cake with ras-el-hanout (an arabic spice mixture which has become a fixture for me because it manages to taste different in everything i've thrown it into). the cake was so much on the moist side that it was a little unbaked in the centre, so this recipe needs more fiddling. it was very tasty though. this is how a lot of my ad hoc recipes come out; not quite ready for prime time.

the paramour has had a crappy few weeks; lots of frustration at work. so i did a little research and pulled together two different recipes, one for shortbread, and one for lemon curd, and made lemon squares. wow. these are a hit. a perfect marriage of sweet and tart (with all the fat and sugar you could possibly want, and then some *sigh*). the only drawback is that some of the squares have lot of lemon topping, and others not so much -- our stove is not level, and the mix starts out very liquid, so it settles on one side of the baking pan. next time i'll have to fashion little aluminum foil feet for the pan, *grin*.

i'm feeling accomplished, because cooking is something that doesn't come particularly easy to me, and i am not really patient and organized enough for it, but i enjoy coming up with something the paramour and/or the *poing* also like.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so, i am not a cook. i mean, i can cook foods that i find tasty, but while i am an enthusiast when it comes to eating, i am not one when it comes to cooking. so i mostly stay away from foodie newsgroups and communities because food porn just makes me hungry. :) when somebody on my flist posts a recipe, i might memorify it if it's for baked goods, and i'll ooh and aah over any pretty pictures, but that's pretty much it.

last week somebody (i think pat? or kathy -- had to be one of the two, since they're the most into non-veggie food.) posted a recipe for brining pork. i had vaguely heard of brining, enough to know what distinguishes it from marinating, but i didn't really know much about it; it wasn't taught in my home ec class nor did my family know of it, and that's pretty much whence my knowledge of cooking hails; very provincial. usually i skip right past food posts, but since i had some cheap pork chops in the fridge which are kinda tough when simply pan-fried, this post caught my attention and i went a-hunting for more information on brining.

am i ever glad i did. we just had the best pork chops ever.

of course i didn't follow any recipe i found -- it's not because i feel myself above it (as i said, i am no cook), but because my forays into experimental cooking usually happen outside of normal shopping hours, and i have to make do with what i have in the house.

this is what i cobbled together:

4 cups water
1/8 cup table salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
5 fat cloves garlic, crushed [*]
2 T peppercorns, freshly cracked
3 T fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp onion powder (approx -- i just emptied the old stuff left in the container)
1/2 tsp nutmeg (same as the onion powder -- must remember to buy new)
1 tsp ginger, ground

[*] edited to add that i like unusually large amounts of garlic. this did not turn out super-garlicky for me, but somebody who's not as much of a fan might want to use less.

i heated it all up to draw the good stuff out of the spices and herbs and into solution, then let it cool down while we went to get the door.

when i got back, i poured the mix into a bowl and layered the chops i had (6 big ones) into it. covered, and let sit in the fridge overnight. this morning i took them out of the brine, tossed the brine, and put the chops back in the fridge. tonight i pan-fried two of them, without any further spicing.

OMG. divine. savoury-sweet flavour through and through and ever so juicy.

we shall be doing this sort of thing a lot. and, being as the paramour isn't too fond of chicken breasts, complaining that it's their dryness that deters zir, i shall do it to them as well.

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piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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