Smitten Kitchen

meatless monday: broccoli fritters with spinach and fried egg

image2(6)Some of you know that one of my favorite bloggers is Deb Perelman of smitten kitchen. Alex and I got the chance to meet her a little over two years ago at a book signing at Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta, and I was taken aback at how down to earth and cool she was. I was almost a little worried to meet her since I’d been reading her blog religiously; some people say to never meet your heroes so you won’t be disappointed. I can certainly say that I wasn’t disappointed and that I was so glad that I got to chat with her for just a few minutes as she signed my cookbook.

Deb recently re-posted a recipe for broccoli parmesan fritters on her Facebook page, and I felt like she must have read my mind (or refrigerator). I almost always order the broccoli from our CSA, and I almost always roast it up as a side dish. Why not make it the main event on Meatless Monday?

Deb’s description of her broccoli-dense fritters with a little dose of flour and parmesan was so appealing to me that I knew I had to make the little discs of goodness. I added a little more garlic and parmesan, but mostly because I always add more garlic to recipes because we like it so much. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly, and I was so happy to do so. I set three fritters on a bed of lightly dressed greens (olive oil & balsamic) for each plate, then topped both plates with a fried egg for protein and deliciousness.

Deb’s recipe is here for your viewing pleasure. Check out her other great stuff, too!

tasty tuesday: baby kale and arugula salad with herbed steak, sweet tomatoes, and blue cheese

Light and yum.

Light and yum.

The temperature and weather in the Macon area has finally become what I recognize as summer, so it was time to rock a nice summer salad. I am aware that this is the second tasty tuesday in a row with a salad, but these are totally different animals.

Today’s salad is with a nod to Smitten Kitchen who I went to for inspiration (still suffering from post New Orleans exhaustion and moving offices means my brain functions are lower than usual). Where she uses skirt steak (which is what I wanted to use in the first place), I used flank steak because my non-local grocer had no skirt steak. Flank steak works similarly, but it needs to be cut a couple of times to get to a proper thinness for a good char-doneness-flavor ratio. Another departure was the use of baby kale, something I’d not seen at the grocery before, but I found it to be delightful.

This meal was also fairly economical. The steak, which made more than enough, only cost five dollars and the rest of the ingredients were fairly cheap. Two could eat for 10-15 dollars.

Anyway, to the cooking!

I started this meal with a herb marinade for the steak. It was roughly:

3 cloves garlic
1 small shallot
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp spicy oregano
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Process in a food processor until it forms a pastelike mix.

While that’s sitting, cut the steak into three length-wise thirds, essentially making three long, thin steaks. Place the steaks in a bowl and pour the marinade over the steak and stir to cover. Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

This is a good time to make a dressing. Using Deb’s recommendation I made a dijon vinaigrette consisting of:

1 tbsp dijon mustard
1tbsp pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1/2 lemon’s juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp worcherstershire sauce
Salt and Pepper.

Mix all ingredients and adjust to taste. Place in refrigerator until ready.

Grill the steak on a range grill for roughly 3 minutes on the first side and two after a flip. Remove and slice thin.

Assemble the salad by mixing the greens and lightly dress. Halve some small sweet tomatoes and top to taste. Place as much steak as you’d like and go to town with this:

Sweet Cheesus!

Sweet Cheesus!

All told, a nice summer meal. Quick, cheap, good. Happy Eating!

 

meatless monday: asparagus and tomato pizza- JAM

Eleta is here:

Yeah, I know.

Yeah, I know.

So I am manning Bungalow Kitchen solo this week. Doesn’t mean we can’t have a good meal right?

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: When in doubt, trust The Smitten Kitchen and add garlic. I stand by that with with tonight’s pizza.

After you follow the linked recipe, set about with your toppings. I re-appropriated one of Mrs. Perelman’s recipes to create my cast of characters.

I started out with some nice, spring asparagus and slivered it like so:

It takes some getting used to.

It takes some getting used to.

Get as much asparagus as you would like and add a little salt and pepper and olive oil and set aside.

Once your dough has risen, flatten it out on a floured surface and brush the top with olive oil and garlic, like so:

Allow the oil to absorb the garlic for about 20 mins.

Allow the oil to absorb the garlic for about 20 mins.

Then, add a layer of parmesan cheese!

Pizza sauce? Pfftt.

Pizza sauce? Pfftt.

This will form the base for your pizza. Sauce would be too much here, and you’ll be glad you added all that garlic.

Now, you are ready to top. Add slices of tomato to your heart’s content and the asparagus from earlier. Add 1/2 lb of mozzarella slices and top with basil and any of your garlic and oil from earlier atop the cheese.

Aroma= Divine.

Aroma= Divine.

Now, place in the oven, preferably on a stone, though a foil covered cookie sheet will do (if you have an egg, go to town, but you’ll need the stone there! Mine is broken). If you use the stone, make sure the pizza is on a cornmeal dusted peel. Baked at 500 degrees until the cheese is melted and browning and the crust is crisp, about 13 mins.

I want PIZZA P-I-Z-Z-A.

I want PIZZA P-I-Z-Z-A.

Slice and enjoy!

meatless monday: asparagus goat cheese pasta, caprese salad- JAM

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Man, why would I just start craving a Caprese salad. I know it is a nice, bright dish with fresh basil and tomato and big globs of cheese– in other words, all good– but what would cause me to want it all of a sudden? Whatever it was, thank you. I’d also like to thank Deb Perelman of The Smitten Kitchen for the recipe I used. I felt like I need to go back to basics after going on a few off book adventures of late.

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Who could resist?

I also went to the Smitten well for tonight’s main, a nice gooey goat cheese pasta. Goat cheese when mixed with hot pasta and a little oil and water makes the easiest cream sauce you’ve ever made. I tweak her recipe a bit with a little garlic and a visit to Bungalow Garden.

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I can smell these guys through the screen.

This is one of those recipes where the ingredients really matter. The herbs have to be fresh, the tomatoes have to be ripe (I used “ugly ripe” heirloom tomatoes, the pasta needs to stand up to flavor of your good chevre (cannot used crumbles). Even if you are using quality ingredients, this meal is not going to break the bank and it is going to make a ton of food. Wonderful delicious food cast down from Nomulus and Nomus, the founders of Flavortown.

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Things got fancy, this is from Italy.

Caprese: Altered from smittenkitchen.com

3/4 pound fresh mozzarella, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pound peak-season tomatoes diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 15-ounce can white beans
A handful of chopped basil plus 1/4 cup olive oil
3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Bed of red leaf lettuce

Stir it up and go to town.

Asparagus Goat Cheese Pasta: Altered from Smittenkitchen.com

1 pound spiral-shaped pasta
1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove of elephant garlic, lightly roasted
Grated lemon peel from 1 whole lemon
2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, oregano, rosemary, thyme
2 4-ounce log soft fresh chevre (1 regular, one with herbs
Fresh lemon juice to taste

Boil the pasta with salted water for about 6 minutes. Add the cut asparagus to the water and continue to cook for another 3 minutes or so. Drain, but retain some of the water for a gooey sauce. MIx the herbs, garlic, oil, and cheese in a bowl. Add the hot pasta and the water and stir until it looks like this:

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It’s the mac and cheese you never knew you wanted all the time.

 Enjoy the adventures, y’all. Both of these recipes are prime for tweaking. Share your ideas!