Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cottage Cheese Farm Salad

I had a some cottage cheese and lots of fresh veggies from our CSA. A little googling led me to Grandpa's Home Cooking.

  • 1 tomato (heirlooms preferred; quarter and slice into chunks)
  • 1 cucumber (quarter and slice into chunks)
  • 1 bunch of green pencil onions (sliced thin)
  • 1 fist full of fresh basil leaves (chopped)
  • 24 oz container of large curd, 4% milk fat cottage cheese
  • A pretty serving bowl
  • Salt
  • Pepper

  1. Empty the contents of the cottage cheese container in a bowl. Add the tomato and cucumber chunks, round pencil onion slices, and chopped basil. Stir the vegetables and cottage cheese together. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spoon into a pretty serving bowl and set it on the table.

Notes: I know not everyone is a fan of cottage cheese, but I am, and I really enjoyed this salad. The crunch of the cucumbers and the flavor of fresh basil make the dish.

Liz's Rating: 8.5/10
Tim's Rating: 8/10

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Amazing Race: Boston Baked Beans

The Amazing Race 17! Racers will take off from Boston tonight- can't wait.
Recipe from The New Basics Cookbook

  • 1 pound dried navy or Great Northern beans
  • 8 ounces slab or thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/4" pieces
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Rinse and pick through the beans. Soak them overnight in a large pot of water.
    Rinse the soaked beans well under cold water and place them in a heavy saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 45 minutes to an hour. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
  3. Place a 2-quart flameproof casserole or dutch oven over medium heat and saute bacon until slightly crisp and fat is rendered, about five minutes. Add the onions and garlic, cooking until it's wilted, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the brown sugar and stir over medium-low heat until it has dissolved, about five minutes. Stir in the ketchup, syrup, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Add the drained beans and mix well.
  5. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 2 1/2 hours. Make sure you scrape the bottom when you stir.
  6. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved bean liquid, cover, and bake another 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake, stirring once, until the sauce is thick and syrupy, another 10-15 minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Boston Baked Beans have an interesting history. From what I've read, the Puritans would slowly cook beans on Saturday evenings and consume them, still hot, on Sundays, their Sabbath, when they were unable to work due to their religion. Traditional Boston Baked Beans recipes use molasses, as molasses was widely available due to Boston's rum trade. (You learn something new every day.) And do you know about the Boston Molasses Disaster? You can't make this stuff up.

Tim loves baked beans, but I'd never attempted them from scratch. It's quite the process, both taking longer and being more expensive than buying canned. However, it isn't a lot of work, as you can just throw the pot in the oven and go watch some football. :)

Tim's Rating: 9/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Next week on The Amazing Race 17: London, England.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tomato, Basil, and White-Bean Salad

Martha Stewart

  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound small roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced

  1. Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.

Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Grilled Soy-Glazed Halibut

Real Simple

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 6-ounce pieces white fish fillet (such as cod or halibut)

  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, and ginger; set aside.
  3. Grill fish skin side up for 5 minutes. Flip and grill an additional 7 minutes, brushing twice with the sauce.

Loved the ginger-soy combination with the fish.

Tim's Rating: 8.5/10
Liz's Rating: 8.5/10

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Rick Bayless' Mexican-Style Zucchini Tacos

Rick Bayless


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (6 to 8 Italian-plum or 2 medium- large round)
  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (about one ear of corn)
  • 4 medium zucchini cut into 1/2" cubes (about 1 1/2 pounds or 5 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup homemade crème frâiche or heavy cream
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup Mexican queso fresco or other crumbly fresh cheese-like salted, pressed farmer's cheese or feta
  • 24 fresh, warm corn tortillas

  • Instructions:
    1. Measure the oil into a large (12-inch skillet) and set over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until richly browned, about 8 minutes.

    2. While onion is cooking, coarsely puree the tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Add garlic to the browned onion, cook 1 minute, stirring, then add the tomatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

    3. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning regularly until the skin has blistered and blackened on all sides, about 5 minutes for an open flames, about 10 minutes for the broiler. Remove from heat and cover with a kitchen towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Rub off the blackened skins, then pull out the stems and seedpods. Rinse briefly to remove stray seeds and bits of skin. Slice into 1/4-inch strips.

    4. Uncover the skillet, return to flame and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir in the poblanos, corn, zucchini, epazote and crema. Cook, stirring frequently, until the zucchini is crisp-tender and the liquid has thickened enough to coat the vegetables nicely, about 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt, about 1 teaspoon or to taste. Serve in a decorative bowl, sprinkle with crumbled cheese and pass hot tortillas separate for do-it-yourself tacos.

    Nutrition facts per serving (1/6 of the recipe): 453 calories, 18 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 43 mg cholesterol, 66 g carbohydrates, 12 g protein, 604 mg sodium, 8 g fiber

    Tim's Rating: 8.5/10 ("better than 'facos'")
    Liz's Rating: 8.5/10