Category Archives: recipes

Cabbage apples mustard, cheese strawberries pineapples

Something fast to eat on cold nights:

some shredded cabbage (in a bag is fine)

2-3 apples

mustard (we use spicy brown)

red wine vinegar

Procedure:  put some olive oil in a pan, chop the apples and fry them with a little pepper.  Throw the shredded cabbage on top of it and fry further.  Put in some mustard and stir.  Then toss a glug of red wine vinegar in the pan, cover, and let steam a few minutes.  Good with chopped up turkey kielbasa in it.

CJ asked me also to blog about his strawberry pineapple cheese pie.  (This is a layer of shredded cheese on a plate, with frozen strawberries and pineapples on top, microwaved until melted and thawed respectively.)

Turkey burgers, gazpacho, Paul Robeson

It’s hard to make a turkey burger taste good. You kind of need to season the hell out of it. We mixed a pound of ground turkey with a minced half-onion, a couple of cloves of garlic, an egg, and — CJ’s idea — 1/2 tsp each cinnamon and cumin.  Kind of a turkofta.  Onions keep it from getting dry, spices keep it from getting bland.  I blog it in order to remember it.

In other news, this New York Times gazpacho smoothie is ace and we’ve been making it three times a week.  The suggested pecorino crackers are too salty and unnecessary.

We’re in the heart of tomato season now and I’m buying about 10 lb a week.  Did you know there was a Paul Robeson tomato?  Once you sang on Broadway and battled for civil rights, Paul Robeson.  Now you are in my smoothie.

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Green eggs

We don’t eat ham in our house, but CJ got excited about having green eggs anyway.  We had them for lunch today.  And this is how you make them:  get the blender out and puree a bunch of peas, a handful of basil, and some grated parmesan or what have you.  (I used Farmer John’s excellent asiago.)   Put in a little half and half if you swing that way.  You will get something very green.  Mix the greenness with eggs and scramble up as desired.

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Cinnamon garlic eggs

CJ wanted scrambled eggs for lunch today.  While we were making them he said he thought they needed some spices.  But which ones?  He went over to the cabinet and picked out some cinnamon (“because that will make the eggs really sweet.”)  Then he dithered a bit between dried dill and garlic powder, but decided on the latter (“because that will give the eggs a nice spice.”)  A little black pepper, too, as usual.

And you know what?  Cinnamon garlic eggs are awesome. Per Google we are the first people ever to make them.  Don’t let us be the last!

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Chef du cuisine

CJ: “I want jam for breakfast.”

“OK, you want some bread and jam?”

“I don’t want bread, I want plain jam.”

“You can’t just have plain jam for for breakfast; you have to have it on something.”

An impasse follows in which CJ explains several more times that he wants his jam plain. Finally an idea strikes him.

“I want beans and jam.”

Then he happily eats a bowl of chickpeas with a dollop of cherry jam on top. Gastronomy marches on.

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Kohlrabi kugel, Jalapeno Loco

I tried to make kohlrabi-beet latkes, but I couldn’t get the batter to bind well, so after two latke scrambles I gave up, put the batter in a Pyrex, and made it into a kohlrabi-beet kugel instead. It was good — and at least as far as Google knows it was the first kohlrabi kugel ever made.

In other good food news, we discovered (thanks to a tip from Chowhound) that Jalapeno Loco, the dismal-looking Mexican restaurant on the dismal-looking stretch of road adjoining the Milwaukee airport is, in fact, a first-rate Oaxacan place. We stopped there last week before our flight to Houston. Their rendition of chiles en nogada — a poblano stuffed with finely diced pork, apples, plantain, peach, and almond, battered, fried, drenched in a creamy walnut sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds — is by a mile the best Mexican dish I’ve eaten in Wisconsin. And the vegetarian version, with el portobello replacing el puerco, is just as good! We liked it so much that when we got back from Houston, we stopped and had it again.

One more reason to fly direct from Milwaukee instead of one-stopping it from Madison. I need a transit historian to explain to me how it came to pass that General Mitchell is so much more pleasant than airports in other similarly-sized cities. Easy parking, short lines, lots of direct flights, a good used book store — and now chiles en nogada.

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Link roundup, June 2008

  • You can type any word into JustTheWord and get statistics, drawn from the 100-million-word British National Corpus, about which words appear most frequently in combination with the word you chose. What noun would you expect to follow “striking” most frequently? I guessed “contrast” but in fact that’s in third place, behind “feature” and “example.”
  • I Am Neurotic collects tics, quirks, and undesired thoughts sent in by readers, e.g.

    I can’t stand drying my hands with any kind of towel if only one hand is wet. I have to purposefully make the other hand wet and then dry them both at the same time, because the feeling of one dry hand rubbing against a towel makes me want to hurl.

    Compulsively readable.

  • Some days you just feel there’s nothing new under the sun, and human ingenuity has been exhausted. If you’re having that kind of day, gaze in awe upon the hamburger made of ground bacon. The mind unfettered by convention is a glorious thing.
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In which CJ makes pizza

CJ was entranced by the exhibit in the Chicago Children’s Museum where you could make a pizza on cardboard crusts with fabric pepperoni and mushrooms.  So tonight I thought he might like helping me make a couple of pizzas for real.

Now I try to be an autonomy-granting parent, so I went along with CJ’s suggestions for what toppings we should use. And that is how we came to dine tonight on apple, pineapple, macaroni and cheese, and Cheerio pizza:

and, for our second course, pineapple salsa and green bean pizza:

The second pizza was actually quite tasty. The first was a little weird — but I do have to say that Cheerios based in the oven gain a strong and pleasant toastiness not present in the raw state.

In case you’re finding my parenting too permissive, I want to point out that I did reject some of CJ’s suggested pizza toppings, including tomato soup, Weetabix, and Trader Joe’s blueberry bran muffins.

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Good things I ate today

Hot today, and the market’s starting its summer swell. L’Etoile is selling house-made brats from the front stoop of the restaurant — so good I don’t even mind the absence of kraut. This might be the last week of morels, so I bought a half-pound from the guy pictured below. These I brought home, fried up in some butter, and mixed with scrambled eggs. image by flickr user beautifulcataya, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 licenseI also got a small wedge of Bleu Mont Bandaged Cheddar, as seen recently in the New York Times. If you ate this without knowing it was cheddar, you might find it hard to put a name to it. But knowing it’s cheddar, your reaction is more like “Aha — that‘s what cheddar is supposed to taste like.” Finally, for dinner, a somewhat experimental dish of soba noodles with chicken, asparagus, pineapple, scallion, and leftover light coconut milk and penang curry paste from last week’s soba experiment. CJ thought it right to pour Trader Joe’s butternut squash soup on top of his portion.

Image by flickr user beautifulcataya under the terms of the Creative Commons License.
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Improvised miso soup

I went out this afternoon during CJ’s nap to do a little spectral sequence wrangling in a local coffee shop. On the way, I was happily surprised to find that my local Asian grocery, Lee’s Oriental, was open on Easter Sunday. So I bought a couple of bags of stuff and made the following off-the-cuff soup, which I record here for future reference:

Saute about half a big head of napa cabbage, a bunch of enoki mushrooms, and 6 cloves garlic in the bottom of the soup pot. Pour a gallon of water on top of it and bring to boil. Stir in about 1/4 c miso (I was using Korean miso, which the shopkeeper — Lee himself? — warned me was very strong; usual miso recipes seem to want more miso per unit of water.) Then add 2 lb soba noodles (I used Sukina brand “Japanese vermicelli”) and boil for about 7 minutes. Three minutes before the end of cooking, add a big handful of bean sprouts (about a cup) and a bunch of scallions, coarsely chopped. One minute before the end of cooking, crack three eggs in the soup and stir furiously until scrambled.

At table, the soup can be garnished with pieces of deep-fried tofu (more precisely: ajitsuke inari age) and sesame oil.

Remarks: The bean sprouts and enoki mushrooms were probably unnecessary; neither really asserted themselves in the final soup. I might have used less soba; it absorbs a lot of soup, so that by the time we were done with dinner, the leftovers were really no longer a soup with noodles, but a noodle dish with a thick glutinous sauce. But it will probably be easier for CJ to eat this way. Soup, per se, remains a challenge for him.

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