Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sometimes Too Much of a Good Thing is Just Too Much

Pin It So. Anyone noticed that I haven't posted in awhile? No?

VB's parents were in town and treated us to some of the finest dining that San Francisco offers. We ate an unseemly lot. And everything was so delicious. I ate goat and seafood and duck and... VB ate vegetables with some tofu here and there. All this gluttony even before Thanksgiving! Towards the end, I was craving a square homecooked meal -- just an easy, simple, healthy and flavorful meal. I did manage to cook a couple of times during this span and here are some of those recipes.

Here we have roasted Brussel's sprouts with caraway seeds, Dijon mustard and red wine vinegar. This dish is vaguely inspired by sauerkraut on a caraway seed buns with mustard, but all in one bite. Totally delicious and simple. Just saute Brussel's sprouts in some butter, toss in some caraway seeds, a big heaping tablespoon of spicy Dijon mustard and couple dashes of red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper then roast in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Here is a simple potato dish, provided that you have a mandoline slicer and someone who's willing to hand wash it. VB is in charge of dishes around here, and he always bemoans the use of mandoline and food processor, especially when I accidentally leave in the attachments in the mandoline and he has to wash every single sharp and pointy attachment by hand. But at least he likes this dish! Thinly slice big Russet potatoes to 1/8 inch slices and arrange them up in a pie pan. Slice some shallots and stick shallot slices in between potato slices in 2 inch intervals or so. Drizzle with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in 425 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Add a few sprigs of thyme with about 20 minutes left in baking time. This is a Martha Stewart recipe, by the way, but I can't seem to find a link for it. But you get the gist of it.

Here is maple roast winter squash soup with pinto beans, although it's hard to tell because soup always photographs poorly and ends up looking like vomit. It's not vomit, it's soup. Take my word for it. I roasted butternut squash and acorn squash coated with olive oil and maple syrup along with whole cloves of garlic until tender. Then I added the flesh and peeled garlic into a pot with sweet onions, vegetable stock, paprika, turmeric, ginger and pinto beans and boiled until the soup came together. I decided against pureeing it into a smooth soup (mostly due to laziness), but that's always a good option.

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