Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mushroom Curry

I know I've mentioned before how much I love Indian food. Ever since I had my first Indian meal at a great restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya, I've been hooked. The combination of flavors and spices is almost obscene in its goodness. For me, Indian food is comfort food at its best.

I have also grown to love mushrooms, especially now that I've become a vegetarian. They're meaty and filling, easy to find, and have great flavor. This recipe combines both the spice of Indian food and the greatness of mushrooms. This would make the perfect side dish to another Indian entree or is hearty enough to stand alone as the main event. Another great thing is that this recipe is super easy and can be on the table in about 15 minutes. I like my food more on the spicy side, so if you're heat sensitive, I'd use less jalapenos.

Mushroom Curry II

Mushroom Curry
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seed
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
4 c mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (I used a mixture of white and baby bella)
2 jalapenos, sliced
1 c onion, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 c water or vegetable stock
1/4 c fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

Heat oil over high heat. Add cumin seed and stir for 10 seconds. Add garlic, ginger, mushrooms, jalapenos, and onion. Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are soft. Add coriander and garam masala and stir for another 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce and water or stock, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and creme fraiche and cook for 1 more minute. Serve over rice or by itself.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Roasted Potatoes with Green Olive & Caper Vinaigrette

Here's another dish for you olive lovers out there. I needed a quick side dish and was pawing through my refrigerator when I noticed a forlorn bottle of green olives in the side door. I used them as a basis for this quick little vinaigrette and tossed them with some freshly roasted potatoes. The saltiness of the olives, along with the zing of the fresh lemon, is the perfect combination for this warm salad. The dressing is also versatile enough to toss with salads or other favorite roasted vegetables.

Roasted Potatoes with Green Olive and Caper Vinaigrette

Roasted Potatoes with Green Olive & Caper Vinaigrette
3 cups of potatoes, washed, cut, and roasted
1/2 c green olives, pitted
2 tsp capers, drained
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper

Roast potatoes until crispy and brown. (I normally just toss them in a 375 degree oven with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper for about 30-35 minutes) Coarsely chop olives and capers. Place in a small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined. Toss desired amount with warm potatoes and serve.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Kalamata Olive Hummus

I know, I know - you're going to start thinking I'm only a one-trick pony that is only capable of making hummus. But this one was a request by a dear friend of mine, so I felt compelled to give it a try.

I love olives. They are one of those food things that I hated growing up, but the older I got, the more I really started to appreciate them. A good loaf of Kalamata olive bread or some nicely marinated olives will definitely hit the spot. And quite often, when I make my hummus wraps with fresh veggies in a pita, I often toss in a few olives. It's only natural that an olive hummus would be amazing, right??

And I was right. The saltiness of the calamatas are perfect with the chickpeas, and it makes a lovely little dip for fresh veggies or spread on crackers. Go ahead and try this latest variation of hummus - I promise you'll like it! And Bethany, this one was for you.

Kalamata Olive Hummus

Kalamata Olive Hummus
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp brine from olive container
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garam masala
A generous 1/4 c of chopped Kalamata olives

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, lemon juice, brine, olive oil, salt, and garam masala until creamy, or desired texture. Stir in olives. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two for flavors to mix together.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lists and Lists

So yesterday I had a funny thing happen to me. I was talking to one of my classmates at school* about being a vegetarian. We were talking about recipes and cooking when she turned to me and said, "Hey, if you love to cook, there's a great website one of my friends recommended to me. It's 28 Cooks!"
It took me a minute to process before I started laughing and told her it was mine! It was very flattering.

And now onto the mega-list of food writing and cookbooks that were suggested during my contest. There are some really good ones on here, and my Amazon Wishlist is bulging under the pressure.


Alton Brown - I'm Just Here For the Food
Chef Paul Prudhomme - Fiery Foods That I love
Sherry Yard - The Secrets of Baking: Simple Techniques for Sophisticated Desserts
Vegan with a Vengeance
Dorie Greenspan - Baking From My Home
Alford and Duguid - Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
Alford and Duguid - Mangoes and Curry Leaves
Doris Janzen Longacre - More With Less
Fine Cooking Annual
The Soup Bible
The Moosewood Cookbook
Trish Deseine - Je Veux Du Chocolat
Deborah Madison - Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Madhur Jaffery - Taste of India
Claudia Roden - Arabesque
Ruth Reichl - Garlic and Sapphires
Ruth Reichl - Tender at the Bone
Ruth Reichl - Comfort Me With Apples
Nick Malgieri - How to Bake
Colette Rossant - Memories of a Lost Egypt
Joy of Cooking
Cook's Illustrated - New Best Recipe
Suzanne Goin - Sunday Supper at Lucques
Marcus Webb - Herb and Spice Companion
Albi and Walthers - Greens Glorious Greens
The Un-Cheese Cookbook
Marlene Spieler - Vegetarian Bistro
The Artful Vegan
The Millenium Cookbook
Weight Watchers - Around the World
Weil and Daley - The Healthy Kitchen
Chocolate and Zucchini
Cooking the Best
Culina Mundi - World Cooking
Sally Fallon - Nourishing Traditions
Jeff Cox - The Organic Cook's Bible
Anthony Bourdain - Les Halles
Mark Bittman - How to Cook Everything
Laurie Colwin - Home Cooking
Aniko Gergely - Culinaria Hungary
The Bread Bible
Amy Sedaris - I Like You
The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook
Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Cote d'Azur
Nick Malgieri - Chocolate
Jamie Oliver - Jamie's Italy
Sarah Kramer - La Dolce Vegan
Giada DeLaurentiis - Everyday Italian
Vegan World Fusion Cuisine
Eat, Drink, and Be Chinaberry
Rose Elliot - Veggie Chic

*Currently pursuing my Masters in Social Work

Monday, September 10, 2007

3-Bean Salad with Sun dried Tomatoes

First off, let me thank everyone for chiming in with their favorite cookbooks. Unfortunately, my Amazon wishlist has grown quite a bit because of it, but a lot of you are reading really good books! I'll be posting a list on Wednesday of all of the books that were suggested, either via comments or emails.

But now for the winner of the contest. Congratulations to Genie of the Inadvertent Gardener who will be receiving Morimoto's new cookbook. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do.

And now, today's recipe...

I'm always trying to find new ways of using beans. So full of fiber and flavor, it's impossible to not want to give them a try. This salad is no exception. The addition of the sun dried tomatoes really kick it up a bit, and the dressing is the perfect complement.

This would be perfect to throw into a brown bag for lunch, and works perfectly on top of a bed of lettuce.

3-Bean Salad with Sundried Tomatoes

3-Bean Salad with Sun dried Tomatoes
1 can each red kidney beans, black beans, and cannelini beans
3/4 c red onion, chopped
1 c oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, julienned
1/4 c oil from sun dried tomatoes
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 tsp green peppercorns in brine, drained and chopped
1/2 tsp mustard powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/3 c pomegranate balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)

In a large bowl, combine drained and rinsed beans. Add onion, sun dried tomatoes, parsley, basil, and green peppercorns. In a small bowl, whisk oil from sun dried tomatoes, mustard powder, salt, and vinegar. Pour over salad and stir well. Serve and enjoy!

Monday, September 03, 2007

A contest!

Here it is - the first contest here at 28 Cooks. Being a food blogger, I'm a huge fan of cookbooks. Although I haven't followed a recipe in years, I love to read about food and cookbooks provide perfect inspiration for me to create my own recipes. I used to have well over 200 cookbooks, but due to space constraints, I had to seriously weed out my collection. I still enjoy adding to my collection, but I am a little more selective in my choosings.

One of the great perks about owning a food blog is that often I will receive things in the mail that companies want me to try and review. I am very upfront in letting them know that while I don't mind receiving them, I will be very honest about my feelings about them.

One of the things I love the most is getting cookbooks. Over the past few months, I've received 2 very excellent books. The first is called Street Food, which is exactly the type of cookbook I would write if given the opportunity. It's part travelogue, part recipes, and beautiful pictures. It's full of great street food from all over the world, and the recipes are easy enough for the home chef to follow.

The second book I just recently received is Morimoto's new cookbook, Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking.I was completely floored by this one. Although the recipes are definitely more for the gourmet chef, the history and pictures are absolutely beautiful. And here's the best part - I have 2 copies so I am offering one of them to one very lucky reader. All you have to do is leave me a comment telling me what your favorite food book or cookbook is before Midnight (Eastern Standard Time) on September 9th in order to be put into the drawing. On the 10th, I'll randomly pick a comment and the book is yours. If you do not win, however, I highly recommend at least looking through the book. The pictures are absolutely incredible, and if you love Japanese food, you'll love this book. Note - anyone is eligible, regardless of location, provided you can receive a package by post.

Now go ahead, leave me a comment and put yourself in the running for this fantastic book!