Sunday, August 5, 2007

Mut8nt Meme-R4

Goldfish tagged me for this meme, which is a brand-new variation on the Random 8 meme. Now, she tagged me for it on either the same day or the day after I did the Random 8 meme, when I felt I had already exhausted my tagging possibilities--and that was before Jody posted on how she feels about randomness!


So here's the deal: I'm going to put 4 names up at the end of this, but consider them mild suggestions. If your name isn't there and you'd like to tell the world your recipes, volunteer in the comments and I will edit the post to add you in. If your name is there, and you think this would not be fun, then do the exact same thing about unvolunteering and all trace of obligation will disappear. I will even delete your comment if you like.


Here goes:

The rules:

1. Let others know who tagged you.
2. Players start with 4 recipes they especially like (ethnic or regional recipes and quick meals are especially nice).
3. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 4 recipes.
4. Players should tag 4 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

I chose these recipes because they are all easy, and are all recipes that originated elsewhere, but which have morphed since coming into my cooking repertoire. I have a tendency to tweak, in the kitchen and with fiber.

Recipe for a messy daughter

one bar of Ghir@rdelli's bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
one small bowl that fits into
one larger bowl, double-boiler style
items for dipping: we have had success with strawberries, cookies, pretzels, candied ginger, dried apricots, honey bunnies. Really, there isn't anything we haven't had success with. It all gets eaten. It all gets the daughter messy.
one daughter (a son may be substituted). If you increase the number of offspring, I suggest increasing other ingredients.
water as hot as your tap can possibly make it
waxed paper or parchment paper

This one is freely adapted from the Joy of Cooking, which tells you to do all this unnecessary crap with candy thermometers and using extra pieces of chocolate to regulate the temperature. I say: hooey. If it's melted, you're fine.

Put the chocolate in the smaller bowl. Put the water in the larger bowl. Put the smaller bowl in the larger bowl. Wait, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate is melted, dip your stuff and put it on the waxed paper. When it's dry, eat it. Or put it in the fridge for later (let me know if you manage that one.)

Avocado soup

If you read my recipe for pie, you might have received the impression that I'm not very invested in exact numbers in recipes. This will confirm that for you.

I got the original version of this from someone in Dog Park ten years ago or more.

3 ripe avocados
1 or 2 cucumbers
plain yogurt of whatever degree of fat you like
scallions, maybe, if you have them in the fridge
fresh dill (optional, esp. if you're Jenny)
a little cumin, maybe
I think the original version had ice cubes?
salt to taste
Two big bowls
blender or food processor

Separate the avocados from their peels and pits, cut into chunks and put in a big bowl. Peel the cucumber(s), scoop the seeds out with a spoon, cut into chunks, add to bowl. Press garlic into this mixture--you know how much garlic you like, but I usually think two cloves is plenty. A. would probably put in three. Dill and scallions, likewise. If you're going to try it with ice cubes, add them, too, I guess. Put all of this through the blender in batches with enough yogurt to keep everything liquid, transferring each batch to the other bowl. Add more yogurt if it's too thick. If it's really too thick, add water. Put a little cumin in if you like. I dunno, 1/2 a tsp? You can always add more if it's not enough. It's good if you have time to leave this in the fridge for an hour or two, but I'm seldom that organized. I usually add salt at the table.

Vegetarian Chili

AKA, what we had for dinner tonight. There are a lot of ingredients in this, but not much chopping. Everything is a pantry item, so this is a good back-up plan meal. It is possible that AJ in JP will still recognize a central core of this recipe from her version, which we learned from her when we all rented a cabin in Maine a million years ago (well, six).

1 medium carrot, cut in coins
1 medium onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1-2 slices jalapeno pepper, like you get in a jar for hoagies, finely minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 cup green olives w/pimentoes, cut so most are halved but don't kill yourself
2 cans diced tomato, with juice or only slightly drained
1-2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 can chili beans, drained
1/2 cup tvp
3 tbsp sliced blanched almonds
2 tbsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a big skillet, add carrots and onions and saute. When the onions start to look translucent, add garlic, jalapeno, and spices. Saute for a minute or so more, add olives and tomatoes. Heat through, add cocoa, stir, add chili beans. Let everything bubble along until it's starting to look thicker, 10-15 minutes. Add tvp and almonds. When tvp is plump (2-3 minutes) it's ready to serve w/grated cheddar or jack cheese. We sometimes get extravagant and make cornbread, which is excellent, but it's also fine w/corn chips.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

This one is a variation on the Moosewood New Classics recipe; apparently (from the soy powder, at least, if not also the flaxseed) I adapted it for my pregnancy diet--so Co and Furrow and (un)relaxeddad, this is for you! (And veggie chili is also good for protein during pregnancy.)

1/3 c. soy powder
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
2/3 c. oat flour (I think you can put rolled oats through a blender instead)
1/3 c. ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
small bowl

2 sticks butter, softened
1 c. sucanat (or brown sugar)
2 eggs, room temp.
large bowl

4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 c. lowfat yogurt
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
small bowl

3/4 c. chocolate chips

2 loaf pans

Preheat oven to 350, grease loaf pans

Mix together dry ingredients and set aside. If you don't have soy powder/oat flour/flaxseed, make up the missing volume with whole wheat.

Mix the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla together and set aside.

Blend butter and sugar, add eggs. Add banana mixture. Fold in dry ingredients, 1/4 at a time. Fold in chocolate chips.

Bake 50 minutes or until a knife comes out of the center clean of batter (chocolate residue is okay.)

Now, is it your turn? Jenny, ppb, Magpie, (un)relaxeddad, I'm tagging you. Feel left out? Feel uninspired? Feel free to make adjustments in the comment field per instructions above.


Jody said...

Oh no! That damn title to my blog post....

I was GOING to do four things driving me crazy in the summer, and four things I was enjoying. Not random, so not the meme, but still the response. And I was totally hijacked by thing number 1 driving me crazy -- whiny, cranky, fighting kids.

I was really quite charmed to be tagged, and I should have written back when you commented to withdraw the tag. It truly wasn't about the meme at all (although I do have a certain fear that I'll miss being tagged....)

Jenny Davidson said...

Good memory on the evil dill thing!

I love your recipes, but I'm going to have to decline being tagged, I never cook anything! I used to bake fairly regularly, but it's been years, and now the only thing I make is luridly iced cupcakes--from a box mix! Cake from a mix was the ultimate treat when we were kids, my mom made frugal and in retrospect very nice but restrained desserts like sponge cake with jam or jam tart (she's English needless to say!) but for our birthdays we were allowed to have a cake mix and that icing that comes in a can...

But I will give the recipe for the icing. A box of confectioner's sugar, two-thirds of a stick of butter (or 2 parts cream cheese one part butter if it's a carrot-cake or pumpkin bread type thing), a generous splash of vanilla, and food coloring. I do it in the Cuisinart and it's ready instantly and with nice texture. Food coloring in my opinion is NOT optional, split it up in a couple different bowls and do pink, green, blue etc. I recommend the gel food colors that you can get from specialty stores, but the supermarket drip kind is fine too.

Cupcakes with this kind of icing, even if they are made from mix, are an infallible thing to bring to a party. (Use the foil cases rather than paper, they seal in moisture better as well as being more decorative.)

I will do the next non-cooking meme you invite me for, this one just doesn't make sense for me though!

Jenny Davidson said...

Oops, there you go, I forgot to say "And then add milk as needed"! A big splash to begin, then dribble in more till it's the right texture once you've done an initial mix.

If you're a careless measurer, it will be sensible to keep an extra box of icing sugar on hand in order to top up an excessively runny batch of icing, but the amount of butter in the recipe makes it relatively easy to manage the consistency...

(un)relaxeddad said...

Uh-oh! I'm going to have to think about this one!

Magpie said...

Okay then. I'll scrounge around later.

I like your slapdash approach to the kitchen - tweak, invent, adapt.

Are you a vegetarian?

S. said...

Jody, thanks for explaining--I do feel better to know you were happy to be tagged, but I wasn't taking it personally. Sometimes things just overwhelm you.

Jenny, thanks for the one recipe! I remember eating the icing from a can right off of the plastic knives we used to spread it. Now there's a childhood pleasure I couldn't stomach today.

(un)relaxeddad, I'm looking forward to what you come up with.

and Magpie, yes, since I was 17.