Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Last taste of summer

Summer doesn't feel the same in the city.

I mean, I suppose any year with time spent inside will never feel the same as it did when I spent 10 to 12 weeks at camp. Grown-up life doesn't have the intense friend-making experiences that I associate with summer.  There are fewer hikes and swims and thunderstorms. Less campfire food. (But more ice cream.) And living by myself, I don't eat nearly enough watermelon.

I've avoided eating watermelon in the city. It feels rude to spit seeds out on my fire escape. It takes too long to eat my way through it. But the farmer's market had some that were smaller (even if it takes up half a shelf in my fridge), and I decided I needed to keep summer going a little bit longer.

A week later I'm still working on it. When I was leafing through my Minnesota Monthly I saw a restaurant review that mentioned a watermelon and arugla salad with chevre and pickled radishes. And thus today's inspired lunch. Which was yummy enough to write-up in hopes that I'll remember it next time I buy too much watermelon.

Summertime Salad (for 1 Sarah-sized lunch)

1 inch-think slice of watermelon
3 radishes
2 inches of cucumber, thinly sliced
4 large leaves of lettuce
1 generous chunk of chevre
Apple cider vinegar
Olive oil

1) I don't have pickled radishes in the fridge. My first step  work on pickling the radishes--which I made up on the spot while cooking breakfast. What follows is what I did, not necessarily the best practice. Slice up some radishes. Put them in my smallest pot. Cover with apple cider vinegar. (Well, almost cover. I need to buy more vinegar.) Add a dash of sugar. Bring to simmer. Stirring occasionally.

2) Chop the watermelon and slice the cucumber. Wash the lettuce.

3) Find a salad-friendly container for salad. (It's all in the fridge. Hmph.) Fill container with the lettuce and cucumber and watermelon.

4) Turn off heat on radishes. Strain radishes from the liquid. Save the liquid in a small jar! Let radishes cool.

5) Make dressing by adding a drizzle of honey and a pour of olive oil to the vinegar.

6) Add radishes to salad. Break up chevre to sprinkle on salad. Top with a grinding of pepper.

7) Wait until lunch time and eat outside.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Steel Cut Oats Muffins

I first tried this recipe last fall. Now, it's replaced Tassajara as my go to muffin recipe. These are certainly muffins, not cupcakes. The texture of the oats comes through and the whole wheat adds heartiness.

This morning's variation:

Steel Cut Oats and Berry Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk
1/3 cup yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cooked steel cut oats
1 cup frozen raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees as you cook the oats.
2. Mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately. Then, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet.
3. Fold the oats and raspberries into the batter.
4. Spoon into silicon muffin liners, and bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes about 18 muffins for me.

Other favorite combinations:
Cranberries + maple syrup
Apple + cardamom and cloves
I'm excitedly awaiting blueberry season for surely the best muffins.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Variations on a theme--Fried Egg Salad

"Have you blogged about this?" Isaac asked over breakfast.
"I don't think so, I haven't posted in a long time."

But I got the hint.

The fact that I'd tried taking photos for this blog post back when pomegranates were in season, suggests that maybe this is a bit overdue. I promise it's yummier than the photo makes it look. Food photography is hard.

Fried Egg Salad

This salad gets to be a light meal at any time of day. Today it was breakfast. That time in the picture it was dinner. I rarely do late-night snacks beyond crackers and cheese or granola and yogurt, but if I did, this would be it.

Heavy duty greens--I like buying greens that aren't going to wilt in my fridge instantly. Because I'm one person. And greens go bad. And there's only so much magic that soaking sad greens in a bowl of cold water will do. (Though, that is a pretty impressive trick.) Kale's the best of this kind if you're not going to cook them.  But usually I get collard greens. Tid bit cheaper and they feel more real to me.
Fruit--my favorites are grapefruit in the winter, pomegranate in the fall. The juiciness of the fruit eliminates the need for dressing.
Egg--to be fried
Grinding of pepper
Other additions
Veggies--This is an occasion to pull out the frozen roasted red peppers. Shredded carrots (with food processor or a carrot peeler) tend to work better than chopped.) Avocado is amazing with grapefruit.
Cheese--My favorite is blue cheese with that grapefruit and avocado. Feta worked well with the pomegranate.
Bacon--Only tried it once. Works better if it's crispy.
Alternative for bag lunches
Skip the egg and add nuts. (Best if you can keep the nuts in a separate container until right before you add them. Otherwise the texture gets soft.

What I do
Rinse the greens. Get rid of the stems and chop them up. Put in the cast iron skillet over medium heat and cook until they're bright green. Stir enough that they don't get burnt.
While the greens are cutting get your fruit ready. Then prep any veggies.
Put the cooked greens in a fun bowl. Add your favorite fat to the hot pan and crack the egg into the pan. While the egg is cooking, top the greens with fruit, veggies, and cheese. Flip the egg. Let it finish cooking. Add it to the salad. Finish the salad with a grinding of fresh pepper.
Serve and enjoy.

Another photo that's been on my computer since the fall. Local pizza place that the fork collector might like to visit.