Monday, July 30, 2007

Things I'd Eat Right Now If I Could.....

Although I'm honestly not having any many cravings during my detox (stroll over to 28 Detoxifies if you want to know how it's going) I thought it would be fun to do a "What I'd eat right now if I could" post.

Here are some things that I will definitely be making once the 21 days are over. Many of these are older recipes from the beginnings of 28 Cooks, but I think they are some of my favorites.

Cauliflower & Potato Curry

Cauliflower Curry

Carmelized Leek, Grilled Pear, and Blue Cheese Pizza

Carmelized Leek Pizza

Not-Your-Mama's Brussel Sprouts


Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

And for my lovely mother, who asks me daily how my orchid is doing:
It's doing beautifully.....


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Midsummer's Cleanse

So I've been kicking around the idea of a detox for a few months now since it's been years since I've done one. Although I eat fairly healthy and consume plenty of veggies and fruits, I do still ingest a fair shair of toxins and unhealthy foods.

My father decided he wanted to do a 21-day juice fast, so I've decided to join him. Starting tomorrow, for the next 21 days, we plan on only consuming fresh fruit and vegetable juices, supplemented with vitamins and plenty of water.

But have no fear, 28 Cooks' readers, for I will post at least twice a week with cookbook reviews, some remixes of some older but still fabulous recipes, and highlight some of the blogs that have been catching my eye. If you're interested, you can follow along with me on the companion blog, 28 Detoxifies.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

7 Pepper Hot Sauce

As I've said before, I grew up with a mother who carried a bottle of hot sauce in her purse wherever we go, which means I came into a love of spicy things almost from birth. I was recently at one of my favorite Mexican restaurants and had fish tacos, topped with their house-made "salsa picante." It was a freshly-made habanero pepper sauce which was absolutely delicious.

I haven't made hot sauce in awhile, so I thought I'd try a batch, especially since it's so easy to make. Although it's not the prettiest or doesn't have a cute little name like most of the hot sauces in the stores, such as "Slow Burn," "Satan's Elixir," or "Your Mom Called and Wants Her Hot Sauce Back," it is extremely delicious. It would be the perfect use for any of those fresh-from-the-garden hot peppers.

Although you can add this to any of your favorite recipes or dishes, it is quite delicious by itself on tortilla chips. Although this isn't the hottest hot sauce I've ever had, it definitely ranks at least a 7.5 on a hot sauce scale of 1-10.

7 Pepper Hot Sauce

7 Pepper Hot Sauce

7 habaneros
7 jalapenos
7 serrano peppers
2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 c chopped vidalia onion
10 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp ground mustard powder
1 tsp turmeric

In a small pot of boiling water, blanch peppers for 1 minute. Remove from water, cut off tops, and set aside. (You can deseed them to make the sauce milder) Add carrots, onion, and garlic to boiling water, return to boil, lower heat and simmer vegetables until fork tender. Drain and cool slightly. In food processor or blender, place all ingredients and puree. Cool, place into glass jars, and refrigerate. This will last in the fridge for weeks.

Other Hot Sauce Recipes:
*Red Chili Sauce

Monday, July 16, 2007

Cracked Pepper Seasoning Blend

I've been doing extremely well in my goal of not buying lunch at work, and have been packing hearty and healthy lunches. One of the things that makes its way into my lunch most often is a nice piece of tilapia that's been seasoned and then either grilled or broiled. Not only is it healthy but it's also extremely easy to make.

This weekend, while grocery shopping, I came across a Cracked Seed Seasoning blend at my not-so-local Wegmans. As soon as I got home, I fired up the Foreman grill, liberally sprinkled it on a piece of tilapia, and promptly fell straight into love. Since Wegmans is about 50 minutes away, I immediately started trying to dissect the blend so I could try and make my own.

This recipe is pretty much spot on, although I did make a few adjustments for my own taste. The recipe makes about enough to well-season 4 large filets of fish, but it can easily be doubled or tripled. It would work well on seafood, and probably just as good on chicken or turkey. It would also make a pretty fantastic addition to a foodie gift basket.

Cracked Pepper Seasoning Blend I

Cracked Pepper Seasoning Blend
2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seed
1/2 tsp dill seed
1/2 tsp crushed hot peppers
1 tsp dried minced garlic
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt

Cracked Pepper Seasoning Blend II

In a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, crush pepper, coriander, and dill seed to desired texture. Pour into bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Note - I love a good pepper-crusted anything, so I deliberatly left my blend more coarse. Feel free to make yours as fine or as coarse as you desire.

Cracked Pepper Seasoning Blend III


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Slaw with Gingered 3-Seed Dressing

There must be something about this time of year that screams "coleslaw!" As I made my way around the food blogs, I saw so many variations of this old standard that I just had to get in on the action. Last week, I posted one of my favorites, the Citrus Asian Slaw. This week, I wanted to take it in a little bit of a different direction.

This Gingered 3-Seed dressing is my take on a recipe from "The Passionate Vegetarian," which is a huge cookbook, chock-full of good recipes. It makes about 2 1/2 cups, so it's perfect to have on hand for salads, as well as impromptu potato salads and coleslaws, like this one.

Gingered 3-Seed Dressing

Slaw with Gingered 3-Seed Dressing

Makes about 2 1/2 cups

1 c plus 2 tbsp vegetable stock
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 c red onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced peeled ginger
1/3 c cider vinegar
2 tbsp pomegranate infused balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
1/4 c sugar
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
Almost a 1/2 c light-tasting oil
1/2 c honey
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp celery seeds


6 cups shredded cabbage
1 c snow peas, thinly sliced
1 c radishes, thinly julienned
1/2 c dried cranberries

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of vegetable stock to a boil. Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 2 tbsp until smooth and stir into boiling stock. Whisk until thickened and clear, which happens almost immediately. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

In the meantime, combine onion, ginger, vinegars, sugar, mustard, soy sauce, and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. In a 1/2 c measuring cup, place 1 tbsp sesame oil and fill to the top with other oil. Slowly add oil mixture and honey to processor and process until emulsified. Pour into bowl and whisk in seeds. Slowly whisk in thickened stock mixture until well combined.

In large bowl, place all slaw ingredients and toss with 1 cup of the dressing. Serve immediately or allow to chill in the refrigerator until served.

Coleslaw with Gingered 3-Seed Dressing

Other great salads:
Creamy Asian Slaw by Everybody Likes Sandwiches
Napa Cabbage Salad by Simply Recipes
Blue Cheese Coleslaw by Kalyn's Kitchen

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Coffee Granita


Well, it's time for the "Chilled Out" round up here at 28 Cooks. I was really happy to get some very different recipes submitted from some very good food blogs. But before I get into their amazing treats, here's my own submission.

I'm a huge fan of coffee. It's very rare that I start off a day without it, and a trip to get an iced coffee in the middle of a summer day does wonders for my mood. In light of all of that, it was only natural that I incorporate coffee into some type of frozen treat. And let me tell you - I think I have a winner here. This coffee granita is perfect by itself, or if you like it a bit sweeter and creamier, top it off with a touch of sweetened condensed milk, as pictured below.

Although granitas get a bad rap for being a bit time consuming to make (you have to stir it every 30 minutes for a few hours) it actually ended up being fairly easy for me. After the first 2 initial stirs, I ended up leaving the house, completely forgetting the granita in the freezer. The next morning, I simply pulled it out, set it on the kitchen counter, and let it thaw for about 30 minutes. At that point, I just stirred it with a fork and it came out perfectly. It will then store in the freezer for weeks and maintain its crumbly texture. That also makes it perfect to have on hand to serve to unexpected guests on a hot summer day.

Coffee Granita II

Coffee Granita
1/2 c sugar
3 cups strong coffee or espresso

In large container, combine sugar and coffee. Cool to room temperature. Place into deep dish, cover with foil, and place into freezer. Check it in an hour, and break up any large chunks of ice. Place back in freezer and stir with a fork, every 30 minutes, until granita has an even texture (This should take about 2-3 hours) or use the method described above. Divide into dishes and top with sweetenend condensed milk if desired.

And now onto the round up.

You have to visit The Well Seasoned Cook to see a picture of Susan's Violet Granita. It's absolutely gorgeous and looks like it would be the perfect ending to a lovely outside meal.

I must admit my ignorance and say I didn't know what a quark was or what it could do until I received Ulrike's submission of Lemon Quark Ice Cream. Now I must positively get my hands on some to try.

I'm such a huge fan of all things green tea, so Ashley's Green Tea Ice Cream sounds absolutely amazing to me. I bet it would be amazing after a lovely Thai meal.

Head on over to Trial and Error to see Nabeela's contribution, a Roasted Banana Ice Cream. I love the soft pale color of it, and can't wait to whip out my ice cream maker to give it a try.

And finally we end up with something different - a well-detailed recipe from Where's the Revolution on how to make the perfect mojito. For those who have tons of mint growing in their backyard, this is the absolute perfect way to use it up.

Thanks for joining myself and the rest of these talented food bloggers on the "Chilled Out" round up!