Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

My Brain vs. Reality March 27, 2013

Filed under: Random,Recipes — rabbit @ 7:14 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

2013-03-19 18.05.43

I wish you could see the recipe ideas I have in my noggin, the list of inspirations sitting in my laptop that have yet to be attempted.

I wish you could be there when the light bulb over my head brightens, and I start getting all food-geek on whoever’s next to me.

2013-03-19 18.28.08

It’s frustrating when you have all these sparks going off in your head…

But you lack the ingredients, time, money, energy, or motivation.

To.  Just.  Focus.

2013-03-19 18.44.12

2013-03-19 20.09.50

Fortunately, other things still happen.  Everything just kinda falls into place…

2013-03-19 20.13.59

Much like other things in life.

Millet & Black Bean Stuffed Poblanos

This recipe is an impromptu result of seeing poblano peppers on sale at the farmer’s market.  The Mexican in me cannot resist.  Everything else I had on hand, but at the end of the recipe I shall offer variation depending on what you have.

Ingredients:

4 medium poblano peppers

1/2 cup finely chopped carrots

1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms

1/2 cup diced onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup millet

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 cup cooked black beans

a handful of chopped fresh cilantro

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Brush the peppers with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and roast until the skins become wrinkly and tender.

2) While the peppers are roasting, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the carrots, mushrooms, onion and garlic.  Cook over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Add the millet and spices (cumin through thyme).  Stir the mixture around to toast the millet and distribute the spices.  Add 3/4 cup water, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover.  After 20-30 minutes, all the water should be absorbed and the millet fluffy.  It’s like cooking rice, don’t freak out.  Once the millet is done, remove from heat, and add the black beans, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

2013-03-19 18.35.22

2013-03-19 18.09.42

3) The annoying part:  once the poblano peppers are cool enough to handle, cut out the stems, and slice the peppers almost in half lengthwise,  leaving some connection so that they resemble wings.  Use your fingers to scrape out the seeds.

4) Generously fill one half of each pepper with the millet mixture, fold over the other half, and place in a baking dish.  Repeat until all the peppers are stuffed.

2013-03-20 17.36.31

At this point, you can refrigerate the peppers until you are ready to heat and serve.  Otherwise, pop them in the oven until hot.  Any temperature between 350°F and 450°F  should be fine.

Variations: Millet is a wonderful, relatively inexpensive grain I finally tried, but rice, quinoa, barley, etc. can be substituted.  Just check the water and time requirement for cooking.  Any type of cooked bean, peas or lentils can also replace the black beans.  And if poblanos are too hot for you (though they’re fairly mild), you can use bell peppers which have no heat at all; the only issue is that bell peppers tend to be larger, so you may need to make more filling

2013-03-20 19.16.59

Ideas on how to serve…

Melted cheese.  Avocado or guacamole.  Hot sauce.  Salsa.  Sour cream…

Y’know. Whatever you got.

2013-03-20 19.17.47

Advertisements
 

She Thought It Was Chocolate Pudding… March 9, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 11:54 am
Tags: , , , ,

I can’t believe I used to dislike olives.

2013-03-06 18.56.22

I wonder when I first had a Kalamata olive…?

2013-03-06 19.04.36

Pitting olives is meditative.

Not really.

2013-03-06 19.22.23

I must tell you…  I brought the end result of this recipe to work.  I was about to dip some broccoli into it when I saw my co-worker staring over.  She looked concerned.  She’s often concerned for my sanity.

“What is that?”, she asked, like a deer in headlights.

2013-03-06 19.30.35

She thought I was about to dip my broccoli in chocolate pudding.

Hmm…  Don’t put ideas in my head now…

Kalamata Olive & Walnut Hummus

Initially I thought about doing a tapenade with the olives and walnuts.  But then I remembered some black-eyed peas waiting to be used.  Oookaaaay, I said.  Olive lovers, this hummus is for you.  If you like, but not love, olives, you can dial back the amount of olives and see how you feel with the result.  I like the walnuts in place of tahini because their rich, yet mellow flavor pairs nicely with the briny olive, but I imagine tahini would be just as awesome.

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked black-eyed peas, garbanzos, or a combination

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

1/2 cup walnuts

some fresh or dried herbs of your choice– rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.

red wine vinegar– enough to achieve the desired consistency

salt & pepper to taste

2013-03-06 19.34.12

In a food processor, combine the beans, olives, walnuts, and herbs.  Pulse everything together, then add enough red wine vinegar to smooth out the consistency.  You can also use a bit of olive oil or water to adjust the consistency so you don’t use too much vinegar.  Add salt and pepper (remember to go easy on the salt since the olives add brininess).  If the olive taste is too intense, you can drizzle in a bit of honey or agave.

 

No Mercy for the Cha-Cha February 19, 2013

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 11:11 am
Tags: , , , ,

            2013-02-17 19.04.39    Hey everyone.

This is Cha-Cha the Chayote.

Hello, Cha-Cha.

2013-02-17 19.04.48

2013-02-17 19.05.42

Good-bye, Cha-Cha.

2013-02-17 19.06.03

I know.  You barely knew Cha-Cha.

You didn’t get to hear about Cha-Cha’s relatives, such as the squash, cucumber, and melon.  You didn’t get to hear about Cha-Cha’s Central American origins, and popularity around the world– Brazil, India, Thailand, The Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Louisiana…  Damn, Cha-Cha, you got around.  Not surprised, I guess, you’re pretty tasty.  Mildly sweet and pleasant.  Crisp when raw, tender when cooked.  And you pair so well with so many flavors!

2013-02-17 19.25.30

Let’s do Cha-Cha some justice.

Add some garlic, onion, carrot.

And we got some coconut and cilantro waiting by…

Coconut, Cilantro, and Chayote Medley

Ingredients:

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 medium chayote, cut in into bite-size chunks

1 medium carrot, sliced into coins

1/2 cup cooked garbanzos

2-3 Tbsp pumpkin seeds

juice of 1 lime

a few dashes each of cumin and cinnamon

2-3 Tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut

a couple handfuls of cilantro leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1) Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion.  Once the onion begins to soften, add the chayote and carrot.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chayote and carrot have started to char and become tender.

2013-02-17 19.37.21

2) Add the garbanzos and pumpkin seeds, and cook for a couple minutes more.  Add the lime juice, then the cumin and cinnamon, and stir.  Finally, add the coconut and cilantro, salt and pepper.

Serve alongside some rice, Asian flatbread such as naan or roti, or with some tortilla chips and salsa.  If you chop the chayote and carrots smaller, this would also be a great taco filling.

2013-02-17 19.46.54

2013-02-17 22.17.15

I can see a lot of you thinking how weird this dish is.

Okay, maybe it is…  But it’s delicious.

It draws inspiration from Mexican and Southeast Asian cuisine.

It’s hearty, kinda sweet, kinda smokey, a little tangy.

Trust me.  Trust in Cha-Cha.

2013-02-17 22.16.52

 

Because Hello Kitty is a Fame Whore… January 29, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 5:46 pm
Tags: , , ,

One of the most difficult aspects of being super awesome and hardcore in the kitchen…

2013-01-28 17.27.41

Is storing chives in your Chococat mug while you think about cool ways to use them.

Yeah, that’s right.  I have a Chococat mug.  Suck on it.

2013-01-28 17.27.57

Suck on some garlic while you’re at it…

And cashews, salt, pepper, garbanzo beans, white wine vinegar…

2013-01-28 17.27.30

It’s hummus time.

(Hmm…  That would be a good name for my own brand of hummus…  I call it!)

2013-01-28 17.31.27

See, I was thinking about what to do with leftover chives

from this DELICIOUS Shepherd’s Pie I recently made…

Y’know, kinda like when I was all like,

“What-am-I-gonna-do-with-this-leftover-cilantro?!#%^$”

It happens.

That’s okay.  Fine by me.

Good for YOU.

2013-01-28 17.44.30

Chive Jive Hummus

Ingredients:

1/4 cup raw cashews

1-2 cloves of garlic

small bunch of fresh chives (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped)

1 15-oz can garbanzos (or 2 cups home-cooked)

a few Tbsp of white wine vinegar, to taste and to adjust consistency

salt and pepper to taste

1) Combine the cashews, garlic and chives in your food processor.  Chop and mix until the cashews are pretty much ground up, scraping the sides down one or two times.

2) Add the garbanzos and puree.  Stream in the vinegar until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.

3) Give yourself a pat on the back and grab some crackers, pita chips, or fresh bread…

2013-01-28 17.45.51

Make a sammich…

2013-01-28 17.46.43

Or something.

Some notes…  If you’re not so much into garlic as I am, you should stick with one clove, and go from there.  I used 4 garlic cloves for no sane reason, and that’s a good idea if you’re trying to avoid the flu or venereal disease…  Yeah.  As far as chives, it’s difficult to go overboard with them, because they’re so much more mild than their relative, the onion.  In place of white wine vinegar, you can use lemon juice, as well as some zest if you like.  And you can use nuts other than cashews, but I like their buttery sweetness to help carry the onion-y flavor of the chives.  I imagine pistachios would be great as well, and add to the lovely green color.  Green is pretty awesome.

That is all.  Carry on.  Chococat 4 lyfe.

 

The Geese Are Smarter Than Us May 27, 2012

Filed under: Random,Recipes — rabbit @ 2:15 pm
Tags: ,

My week:

– Cracked an egg with twin yolks at work.  What if that egg had been allowed to fully develop??

– Simultaneously shredded and burned the roof of my mouth via a tempura mushroom.  Eating and drinking anything hurt for a few days.

– For the first time in my life, heard a South African speak in person.  I love that accent.

– Saw a kitty that looked just like mine, with two exceptions: this one had gray spotting instead of orange (although same pattern), and the tip of its ear was chipped.  Sooo cute.

– Finally started watching Mad Men.  (I don’t have a TV in my room, so my viewing habits are generally limited to Netflix and Hulu.)  It makes me want whiskey and cigarettes.

– Witnessed my dad run a red light.  Senior moment.  It’s okay, he’s allowed because he’s killed a bunch of people.

– Watched a family of four geese use a crosswalk.  If only my camera phone weren’t so slow…

Taking crappy pictures of food is difficult enough.

Start with fresh mushrooms and chickpeas.

(I had no appropriate segue for this.  Screw that, it’s my blog.  Banana.)

Soy sauce, honey, caraway seeds, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Simple, yes?

Put them in the oven.  Walk away.

Come back to stir.  Walk away.

Take them out of the oven.

If your brother comes to visit and you’re in the bathroom, he will eat a third of the dish while it’s cooling.

That’s just how things are.

Meaty Mushrooms and Chickpeas

Ingredients:

a couple handfuls of fresh mushrooms (cremini, portobello, white button, shiitake, whatever you fancy)

2 cups drained chickpeas

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp honey, agave, or maple syrup

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

salt and pepper to taste (remember, even low sodium soy sauce is pretty salty, so go light on salt here)

Optional additions include: minced garlic, sliced onions, a drizzle of sesame or olive oil, and any other herbs or spices you’d like to try.

Preheat oven to 400 °F.  Toss everything together in a bowl, and transfer to an oiled baking dish.  Bake for half an hour, stirring once halfway through.  Alternatively, heat a bit of oil in a large saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until mushrooms are done.  Allow to cool slightly before serving, lest one of the juicy mushrooms scald your mouth and haunt you in your dreams.

This dish is hearty, loaded with umami flavor, and a great source of protein, so it makes a fantastical vegetarian substitute for meat dishes.  You can serve it with wild rice and sauteed greens, inside a pita with yogurt sauce, alongside mashed potatoes, or chilled on top of spring mix for an entree salad.

Not the most interesting tidbit of my week, but certainly one of the tastier ones.

 

Stuffed Avocados: you want them. September 17, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 11:37 am
Tags: , ,

Would you like something yummy and healthy?  Something that feels kinda indulgent yet nourishing?

Okay, that’s not really a question, that’s a statement.  You would like something yummy and healthy.  You would like something indulgent and nourishing.  Duh.

Get an avocado, and slice it in half.  Scoop out some of the pulp, like so:

Like a little bowl.  It’s cute.

Set the scooped out pulp aside in a small bowl, and using a fork, mash and mix in: about 1/2 teaspoon of agave nectar, and 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar.  Then dice one small tomato, and a couple of fresh figs, or three to four dried figs.  Mix those guys, along with about 1/4 cup of garbanzo beans, and a few pinches of sea salt into the mashed up balsamic avocado pulp.  Be gentle.  Sing to it.

Spoon the filling into the avocado bowls, and sprinkle with some extra sea salt and black pepper.

Looks funky.  Tastes awesome.  Makes you feel nice.  I need a better camera.

 

Zen Hummus September 5, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 10:14 am
Tags: , , , ,

Sometimes, I feel an impending need to make hummus.  If you keep up here, that may come as no surprise.  If it does, you’re missing out.

I think my hummus urges are a sign that I need more beans in my life.

I was looking at my list of hummus ideas, thinking about what crazy flavor I would make.  It had to be quick and easy, because I reeaaallllly needed some hummus. 

Matcha.  Yes.  Matcha would be fun.  I hope you know what matcha is.  If not, it’s a very high grade of powdered Japanese green tea.  Traditionally, it is drank during tea ceremonies, and great care is taken in its preparation.  Nowadays, matcha has a place in mainstream cuisine, being used to flavor noodles, ice cream, cakes, and all sorts of delights.  Maybe you’ve seen Starbucks’ green tea latte and Frappuccino.  But of course, like everything else Starschmucks sells, their matcha powder is loaded with sugar.  I’m pretty sure it’s mostly sugar, actually.  I’m allowed to criticize them because I used to work at one.  I used to work at one because I’m an English major.  I’m an English major because I don’t intend to use my degree.

…And that’s what matcha is all about.  I also remembered a Japanese spice blend that I bought a while ago from The Spice and Tea Exchange.  That means it was expensive.  No, wait, I think I got it as a bonus.  The other thing I bought was expensive.  Anyway, the spice blend is called Togarashi Pepper.  It includes sesame seeds, orange zest, ginger, seaweed, and of course, chili pepper.  After Googling togarashi, I found the blend, in Japan, is known as shichimi togarashi, which means “seven flavor chili pepper”.  Although the recipe can have variations, the ingredients I mentioned are pretty typical.  The blend is often used for soups, noodles, and rice products.  But it’s quite delicious and I believe you can use it in just about anything.  Except your eye.  That would probably hurt.

Pretty, yes?  Pretty and spicy.

You should be able to find shichimi at any Asian or Japanese grocery store.  While you’re there, you may also find matcha powder.  And lots of cute candy packages because that’s how the Japanese roll.

I used 3 teaspoons of shichimi, and 1 teaspoon of matcha.  Matcha’s pretty strong, so be careful if you decide to add more.

If you’re not too good with spicy stuff, use less shichimi.  You won’t be as cool though.

Then you just blend with a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, a couple tablespoons of tahini, about a third of a cup of lemon juice, a squirt of honey or agave, and salt to taste.  Adjust ingredients to your preferred taste and texture.

How does it taste?  Refreshing.  Zesty.  A lingering sensation of heat.  The matcha is unintrusive, and provides a bit of smooth, herbal undertone.  It makes me happy.  I ate half the batch.  Enjoy with rice crackers next to a koi pond.