Friday, September 30, 2011

Zucchini fritters

Victory at last!  I don't know why, but I am deeply bothered when there is a vegetable that I don't like.  Zucchini and summer squash both fall into that category, not so much because of taste but because of texture.  They just get limp and disgusting immediately upon cooking.  I know that you can make them into quick breads, but that is NOT eating your vegetables...that is dessert!

So I was really happy when I found this idea: use coarsely grated zucchini instead of potato and make fritters.  Add some wicked fine flavors like oregano and Romano cheese, and your fritters will make a very satisfying dinner.

Zucchini Fritters

2 zucchini, coarsely grated
1 onion, coarsely grated
1 oz Romano cheese, coarsely grated (about 1/2 c)
1/3 to 1/2 c flour (start with less)
1/2 c chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 t fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 eggs
Olive oil for frying

Stir all ingredients together (not olive oil) in the order given.  Drop the mixture by 1/4 c measures into a skillet coated with olive oil.  Fry for a few minutes per side until cooked through.  Drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.  Serve with yogurt, jam, syrup, or plain. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beef roll-ups

Beef roll-ups were a go-to meal when I was young.  My mother made them with slightly thicker slices of beef than I now use, and I doubt she fried them in bacon grease...but I could be wrong.  These are not for people who have clogged arteries.  The last time I made them, we kept the onions separate and made a sandwich that included...what else?...bacon!  Those are onion rolls with poppy seeds.  Heaven. 

Beef Roll Ups

Shaved beef
Spread with French's mustard
Thin sliced onion rings
Sliced pickles or relish

Roll up and spear with toothpicks. Fry in bacon grease. Yum.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Chocolate Tart with Cookie Crust

 Cookie Crust
Unbelievable!  I forgot to take a picture of the finished tart.  I'll just have to make it again :-)

Chocolate Tart with Cookie Crust

16 chocolate chip cookies (cheap generic ones are fine)
3 T butter, melted

1 c heavy cream
8 oz (1-1/3 c) semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 c milk
1 T butter
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350. Make the crust by grinding the cookies into fine crumbs. Add the butter while the processor is running. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie or tart pan. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes until darkened. Let cool totally while you make the filling.

Lower the oven to 300. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just beginning to boil. Pour over chocolate in a large glass measuring cup. Let stand and stir to melt chocolate. Stir in milk and butter. Whisk in egg and pour the filling into the cooled crust.

Bake about 22 minutes until edges are set but middle is still slightly soft. Cool on a wire rack. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Braised chicken adobada

Adobada, or adovada, means "marinated", and although it's often pork in Latin dishes, I found this version that uses chicken thighs in Eating Well magazine. Absolutely delicious.  I ended up eating the left over sauce on crackers the next day!  Even though it calls for the chicken to be braised in the oven, I don't see any reason it couldn't be done in a crock pot if that would be more convenient for you.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lentil-Quinoa Salad with Fresh Ginger

Every once in awhile, you'll come across a recipe that is put out by a specific food brand that ends up being a keeper.  Not often, but this is one of those times.  Pompeian Olive Oil company had an ad somewhere (I can't remember where) that I tried for a very tasty salad.  No, I don't shill for them!  I served it at a large party, and there wasn't much left afterwards...a good sign.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Panko-crusted fish

Feeling uninspired?  Just grab some white fish, some panko, an egg, and any type of spice or herb you'd like to add.  Easy-peasy dinner.  I mixed some Old Bay into the panko/egg mixture before dipping each piece of fish and sautéing it.  Add roasted vegetables and a salad.  Rolls too, maybe?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Spicy good soup!

I used to swear that you couldn't make food too spicy hot for me, but I may have met my match!  I threw some finely chopped habanero peppers into our Chipotle-Gazpacho soup the last time!  Wow. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Falafel subs

Oh, these are soooo good!  Next time you make Falafel, make sure there will be left overs.  Saute some peppers and onions, and add a couple of eggs to the mix.  Serve on submarine rolls with a squirt of Sriracha sauce.  Heavenly! 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Blueberry-lemon muffins

I forgot to get a picture!  Dooooooh!  I'll have to steal Martha's...

These are very moist and are just packed with flavor.  Make them when the blueberries are at their peak.  I found the recipe in Martha Stewart Living magazine, but I made mine as muffins instead of tea cakes.  The recipe made 24 muffins that baked for 22 minutes.  I added a sprinkle of raw sugar to each top before serving. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

New York crumb cake

New York style crumb cake is loaded with butter!  2-1/2 sticks in the topping and 1-1/2 sticks in the cake.  But seriously, there's simply no other way to get that taste and texture.  So if you'd prefer a "light" version, look elsewhere...I'd rather have a small piece of the real thing!

New York Crumb Cake

3-1/2 c flour (all-purpose or cake)
2/3 c sugar
2/3 c light brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
2-1/2 sticks butter, melted

Whisk the flour through the salt together in a medium bowl.  Melt the butter in a glass measuring cup and pour it over the dry ingredients.  Mix by hand until large crumbs form.  Set aside.

1-1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 c sugar
2-1/2 c cake flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 eggs plus 2 extra egg yolks
1 t vanilla
2/3 c buttermilk
1 c blueberry jam, heated to soften

Preheat oven to 325.  Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light.  Beat in the eggs and yolks one at a time and then add the vanilla.  Whisk the flour, soda, and salt together in a small bowl.  Alternate adding the flour and the buttermilk to the butter mixture, beating well.

Scrape the thick batter into one large or two smaller prepared pans.  Spread the jam on top and sprinkle with the crumb mixture.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean: about 1 hour for a 9x13 pan, 40-45 minutes for two 8x8 pans.  Place on wire rack to cool.       

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Real Food Fast now has a contact form

How could I not have thought about this before?  I love hearing from all of you, but sometimes you just don't want to leave a public comment.  So I've attempted to make it easier for you with a big bold CONTACT button right up at the top of the page and in the sidebar too!

Here's an incomplete list of the various reasons that you might choose to contact me through this page:

  • Visitor questions
  • Site problems - anything from spelling mistakes to html glitches
  • Foods you'd like me to cover in the future.  No, I won't promise, but I will consider it!
  • Services you'd like to offer in exchange for publicity - a recipe or items for giveaway, perhaps?
  • Product review requests
  • Advertising inquiries
  • Affiliate program invitations
  • Publishers and editors - do you need some recipes or photos to fill your book? 
  • Media inquiries - anyone need an "expert" home cook?  :-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuna and sides with sofrito

Sofrito is a tomato-based cooking sauce used in a lot of Latin American cooking.  If you'd like to try it out before learning to make it yourself, I recommend the Goya brand...very tasty!  We ended up smearing it all over the fish (steamed) and mixing it into the rice.  The only thing we left alone was the mass of beet greens and onions!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chicken skewers with sweet potatoes and fennel

We really enjoyed the honey marinade in this recipe for Chicken Skewers in Hannaford's Fresh magazine.  Using both fennel bulbs and fennel seeds is brilliant! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Antique cooking gadgets: wooden spoon

Just a classic primitive wooden spoon, one of the first of the wooden kitchen primitives that I bought lo these many years ago.  It's got a great hook on the end, but I've retired it from use since it's chipping and splitting a bit as you can see around the bowl.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Balsamic strawberry smash

What do you do when your strawberries get too ripe?  Cut off any funky parts and turn them into a fantastic adult beverage, of course!  I found a recipe for Balsamic Strawberry Smash on Serious Eats.  Wouldn't want to have this too often, but it was quite an eye-opener!