Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

Old Love, New Form April 7, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 11:05 am
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For a long, long, long… long time…

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I’ve had an adoration of mushrooms.

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They’re my first thought for toppings when ordering pizza.

Raw, stuffed, curried, grilled…

Deep fried at my Kingshead Pub

In a quiche, in a crepe?  Oui, s’il vous plaît.

Wild mushroom risotto?  The only time I will consider ordering a bowl of rice.

Portobello sandwiches, all the way.

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Or…  Something I’ve never done…

We can caramelize them with onions in Marsala wine.

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Everyonething is better with wine.

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And then we get fancies.

Marsala Mushroom Pate

This recipe is inspired by my passion for shrooms.  And by Homestyle Vegetarian.  I veganized it, as well as incorporated the Marsala wine.  Because that’s what I do, I dunno.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup Marsala wine

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1/2 a small onion, sliced

1 lb fresh mushrooms (white button or baby portobellos), quartered

1/2 cup raw hazelnuts

1/2 cup raw almonds

2-3 Tbsp sherry or balsamic vinegar

herbs/spices of your choice (such as rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.)

salt and pepper to taste

1) Pour the wine into a large pan.  Add the garlic and onion and simmer until the onion starts to become translucent.  Then add the mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.  Allow to cool.

2) While the mushrooms are cooling, you can skin the hazelnuts if desired.  Just place them on a baking sheet lined with foil, and toast them at about 300°F for 5-10 minutes, or until the skin comes off easily.  Then immediately throw them into a dish towel, wrap them up well, and rub around to loosen the skins.  This step is probably not necessary, but it the skin may darken the color of the pate.

3) In a food processor, finely chop the hazelnuts and almonds.  Then add the caramelized mushrooms and process until smooth.  Scrape down occasionally, and add the vinegar to smooth it out.  You can also use a little extra wine, vinegar, or olive oil to help with the texture.  Then add herbs, spices, salt and pepper to your liking.

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(Yep.  Looks like cat food.)

For variation… You can use another type of dessert wine, such as sherry or port.  You can also substitute different types of nuts– walnuts, macadamias, pine nuts, cashews, etc.  This pate can be used on crostini as an appetizer, an accompaniment to some grilled vegetables and tofu, stuffed into ravioli, spread on sandwiches, etc.

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But I’ve no problems just eating it with a spoon…

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

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 5:46 pm
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One of the most difficult aspects of being super awesome and hardcore in the kitchen…

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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.

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Suck on some garlic while you’re at it…

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

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It’s hummus time.

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

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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.

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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…

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Make a sammich…

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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.

 

Beetwood Mac October 27, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 2:27 pm
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Have mercy baby, on a poor girl like me.

You know I’m falling, falling, falling at your feet.

I’m tingling right from my head to my toes

So help me, help me, help me make the feeling grow…

‘Cause when the loving starts and the lights go down,
And there’s not another living soul around,
You woo me until the sun comes up,
And you saa-aay that you love me.

Pity, baby, just when I thought it was over

Now you got me runnin’, runnin’ runnin’ for cover

I’m begging you for a bit of sympathy

And if you use me again it’ll be be the end of me…

‘Cause when the loving starts and the lights go down,
And there’s not another living soul around,
You woo me until the sun comes up,
And you saa-aaay that you love me.

Baby, baby. hope you’re gonna stay away,
‘Cause I’m getting weaker, weaker every day.

I guess I’m not as strong as I used to be,
If you use me again,
It’ll be the end of me.

Beet Carpaccio Salad

1 medium beet, peeled

about 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill weed, more or less to your liking

1 garlic clove, minced

juice of 1 lemon

a schtickle of red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the beet on a mandolin, or finely shred it into a bowl.  Combine with the remaining ingredients and toss well.  Done.

This dish is wonderfully crunchy, juicy, peppery and sweet.  I think thinly sliced is the best way to go, but whatever floats your boat.  You can eat this on its own, or over mixed greens, in a sandwich, as part of an antipasto plate, etc.  Above, I served it with sauteed fava beans, a cucumber-yogurt dip, yellow sweet pepper and pita.  Feel free to toy around with other fresh herbs, or different vinegars.  You can add a bit of olive oil, nuts, dried fruit, other vegetables, etc.  Have fun with it and eat your beets.  And listen to Fleetwood Mac.  Duh.

 

Bulbous March 11, 2012

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Random — rabbit @ 11:25 am
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A quickie for you today.

I found something at the supermarket that struck my fancy.

Elephant garlic.

“Dude.  The hell?  That’s not normal.”

Sure it’s normal, cat.  By the way, you got shit on your nose.  Again.  Actually, elephant garlic is not true garlic.  It’s a relative of the leek, part of the onion family, but looks and tastes much more like garlic.  It’s milder than regular garlic, so it’s more friendly to those whose taste buds are sensitive to real deal.  And, as you can see, it is gigantic in comparison.

Elephant garlic does not have as long of a shelf life, though, so if you find this jumbo baby at the grocery store or a farmer’s market, use it soon.  Treat it like you would any aromatic ingredient and just experiment- soup, stew, stir-fry, salad, etc.  I roasted mine.

Because everyone likes roasted garlic.  Especially in hummus.

I would also like to note that while this was roasting, it started to turn a greenish blue color.  I freaked out.  But I did a search, and it turns out it’s totally okay.  It’s just a chemical reaction cause by the naturally occurring sulfur, the same stuff that makes your life miserable when cutting onions.  I kept roasting and it subsided (mostly).  This apparently can also happen with onions.  So.  Don’t freak out if one day you’re cooking fresh garlic or onion and it turns greenish blue.

“Why aren’t you paying attention to me?”

 

A Little Yin for the Yang November 20, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 10:24 am
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I know people are not very likely to serve salad on Thanksgiving.  And if they do, it’s most likely to be your typical toss of romaine or iceberg lettuce with some cucumber, tomato, maybe some onion and shredded carrots.  Pfft.

It’s okay, I get it.  Thanksgiving is all about carbs and fat.  Duh.  (Funny enough, after I made this dish, my dad said I “forgot the potatoes”, to which I replied flatly, “…no.”)

And as much as I like to indulge in all that (assuming there’s something vegetarian for me), I still think there should be some contrast on the plate.  Something light and juicy to offset the casseroles and stuffing, something fresh and tinged with herbs to complement the biscuits and butter.  I think if every other dish is gonna be special on Thanksgiving, there should be a special salad, too.

Tomatoes are special.  I think so anyway.  Nobody knows whether to call them fruit or vegetable.  They’re used in a variety of world cuisines.  They’re essential to some of our favorite foods– various sandwiches, pizza, pastas, salsa, chili, curries, barbecue sauce, and I guess I have to say it… ketchup.

So here’s a little special treatment for a special… vegefruit.  There, problem solved.

Herbed Roasted Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

approximately 2 lbs tomatoes, any variety

a few cloves of garlic

fresh or dried herbs/spices of your choice (suggestions: sage, thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, dill, etc.)

olive oil

salt and pepper

I decided to splurge a bit and buy a few heirloom tomatoes since I’ve never had them.  Pretty good, but I don’t think there’s any reason not to go with whatever you favor or have on hand.  If I were to select cheaper varieties for this dish, I’d go with Campari, cherry, grape, or plum.  The sweeter, the better.

1) Cut your tomatoes in halves and wedges.  No need for precision.  Pack them together in an 8×8 inch baking dish.  Try to keep the skin facing up as much as possible.  Peel your garlic cloves and cut them in half.  Stick them randomly in between the tomatoes.

2) If using fresh herbs, chop them roughly and fit them in the same way you did with the garlic.  If you’re going with dried herbs, mix them together in a small bowl and crumble them with your fingers to release their maximum yum-factor.  Sprinkle evenly over the tomatoes.  Follow with salt and pepper, and a generous sprinkling of olive oil to coat all the tomatoes and garlic.

As you can see, this recipe is pretty free form.  As far as herbal quantity goes, just do what makes sense for you, as long as you use enough to keep all your tomatoes company.  My personal blend here was anise seed, basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme.

3) Roast these babies at 400°F for about an hour or so, until the skins are wrinkled, slightly blistered, and they smell soooo gooood.  If you need to turn the oven temperature higher to accommodate another dish, no problem, they’ll survive (and cook faster, of course).  I actually had to raise the temperature to 475 for something else, and my tomatoes came out lovely.

So… yummy…

These can be served warm, but I like to let them chill so the herbs get all nice and mellow with the tomatoes and olive oil.  You don’t even need extra dressing– the tomatoes, mixed with their juice, olive oil and herbs are the dressing and main component in one.  They can be made a day ahead to save time.  Then you just toss them with lettuce or mixed greens, maybe some walnuts or cheese, and boom.  A salad worthy of the Thanksgiving spread.  Or, you know, whenever.

 

Stuffed August 22, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 10:24 am
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You know when you’re in the kitchen eating raw mushrooms and looking for stuff to put on them?

No?

Jerks.

Well, when I opened the pantry I saw pistachios leftover from wonderful chocolate covered pistachio balls.  I took a few pistachios and combined them with a mushroom.  Why haven’t I had this before??

Pistachio Stuffed Mushrooms, 2 Ways!

Ingredients:

16 baby portobello mushrooms

balsamic vinegar (for brushing mushrooms)

1 cup pistachios

2 garlic cloves

olive oil (for sauteing)

3-4 oz goat cheese

2 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves

a dash each of: thyme, marjoram, rosemary and anise seeds

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Wipe the mushrooms clean, remove the stems and set them aside.  Lay the caps, dome side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  (If you have a wire rack to place on top of the sheet, that would be good, as liquid from the mushrooms is going to seep out.)

(before going into the oven)

Brush the caps with balsamic vinegar and bake for about 10 minutes, or until their liquid has cooked out.  Once they’re out of the oven, use a pair of tongs to set the caps aside, and drain the liquid from the pan.  Keep the oven on.

2) While the mushroom caps cook, finely chop the pistachios in a food processor.  Set them aside in a bowl.

3) Wipe out the food processor and put in the mushroom stems and garlic cloves.  Finely chop those as well and divide into two portions.

4) Place the goat cheese in a small bowl.  Using a fork, mix in the thyme, marjoram, rosemary and anise seed.  If you’re not using ground anise seed, be sure to crumble the seeds between your fingers before adding.  Add pepper if you like.

5) Pour a few teaspoons of olive oil in a pan and add one portion of the mushroom stems and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until lightly browned and the liquid from the mushroom is cooked out.  This should take just a few minutes.  Add to the goat cheese and mix with a fork.  Set aside.

6) Add a little more olive oil to the pan and the rest of the mushroom stems and garlic, as well as the spinach leaves.  Cook over medium heat again, until most of the liquid from the spinach and mushrooms has evaporated.  Lower the heat as you go so as not to burn them.  Once done, put the spinach in a bowl.

7) Add half the chopped pistachios to the goat cheese, and half to the spinach.  Mix each well.

8) Stuff half the mushroom caps with the goat cheese mix and half with the spinach mix.  Place them back on the baking sheet and in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until heated thoroughly and the pistachio bits start to toast.

EEEAAAAAAAAT!

You can prepare and stuff the mushrooms ahead of time and simply heat before serving, so that’s nice, right?  By the way, did you like how I gave one vegan version and one non-vegan?  Yyyyeaaah.  Both fillings are pretty addicting, and you’ll probably have leftovers, so you’re welcome.  You can also try mixing them for super hardcore status.

 

A Most Offensive Salad July 2, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 9:49 am
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I wanted to call this THE most offensive salad.  But due to the lack of fermented fish sauce, Limburger cheese, Marmite, or some other wildly odoriferous component, I had to remain humble.

It’s a raw onion salad.  With roasted garlic, and Kalamata olives.  Yow.

Roast a head of garlic first.  Remember how?

(Peel away the outer skin.  Cut the top off.  Rub with olive oil, salt, pepper.  Wrap in foil or parchment paper.  400°F for about an hour, or til soft and kinda sweet.)

Then you gotta face this guy…

And you definitely want a red onion.  They’re sweeter.

Chop off that little toupee and peel away the papery skin.  Then cut in half.  You will need only one half.

Slice it super thin, preferably on a mandolin.  Actually, that’s the only way you’ll get it super thin.

It needs to be super thin, otherwise it won’t absorb its dressing properly, and will be too intense.

And you’re going to cry.  There’s no escaping it.  Unless you wear a scuba mask.  See, the onion releases a sulfuric gas, and when it hits your eyes, you’re screwed.  You’re going to cry.

But then things get fun.

Sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, paprika, and dill.  That should do.

Then sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and champagne vinegar (or some kind of light, sweet vinegar).  If you’d like, some olive oil will be nice (but personally, I’m not really using oil at home lately).  Chop up a handful of Kalamatas, or another type of black olive, throw those in.  Scrape your garlic cloves into the mix.

And this is how you DON’T get laid.

This is one of those that will get better with some time, as the seasonings and vinegar marinate the onion.  By itself, this is not for the faint of heart.  But you can soften the blow by eating it with a bit of tahini, hummus, mayo, sour cream, goat cheese, etc.  You can also use it as more of a relish, like on a sandwich or over a green salad.  And naturally, you can make the salad itself less offensive by mixing in cucumber, tomato, bell pepper, cooked potato, etc.

Seriously, don’t eat a bunch of this the same day you plan to get your swag on.  Do eat this if you like the components.  Do eat it for the garlic and onion’s anti-inflammatory properties.  If you feel a cold coming on, this is a good way to alleviate it.  And olives.  They’re awesome.  They have good fat, vitamin E, and the Kalamatas help to cut the intensity of the onion.  And they’re awesome.  I love olives.

Do eat this right before personally speaking to someone you want to avoid the rest of your life. ;)