Monday, September 21, 2009

Yummy to the extreme

Things that are not photogenic with my not so awesome camera: things that are white, which mostly today includes tzatziki sauce and the pita bread. So I’ll provide the links for both of those, but only talk about the kebabs here.

These kebabs were awesome, I was unsure about how cooking something covered in yogurt was going to go down, but that all burned off and left a slightly lemony purely delicious meat. I love lamb, as a side note. Like love, like I don’t understand why I forgot about it until this recipe and never buy it at the store. Maybe because the word lamb is so cute and makes me feel like a bad person? Something for you all to ponder.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, as well as the Pita and tzatziki
Lamb Kebabs

1 pound plain yogurt (regular or lowfat)
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing grill
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (This takes more than the lemon you bought for zest)
5 tablespoons fresh whole rosemary leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds top round lamb (I used a shoulder cut that was awesome)
1 red onion

First mix everything except for the lamb and onion together in a bowl. Stir. Cut the lamb (using scissors people! How thrilling is that?) into little kebab sized chunks about an inch and a half big. Let marinate between two days and four hours, then stick on a kebab stick as well as cut up pieces of red onion. Pop on the grill for a about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with tzatziki and homemade pita.

Now eat.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mmmm orzo

I am cooking for two, and this recipe says it serves four. I didn’t think to halve it because leftovers never hurt, however, this recipe lied. It really serves far more than four people, and my Dad is leaving on a business trip so I scooped up some leftovers for my sister’s boyfriend, and some for two of my friends in the neighborhood. This was good, basically homemade risotto and the tomatoes were by far the best part.

I love recipes that call for cherry tomatoes, because my Dad grows a few varieties they add so much color. I just halved them for this recipe, but you could quarter or even just cook them whole. Either way, the more the merrier, because they were little bits of deliciousness in the creamy but sort of bland orzo.

Adapted from Sidewalk Shoes
Tomato with Orzo
Serves at least 6

3 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cherry tomatoes
5 cups chicken stock
2 cups orzo
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup fresh ricotta
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
finely grated parmesan for serving

Heat the butter in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes soften. Add the orzo and the stock and cook like pasta (which is to say until orzo is cooked). For me very little broth was left at the end. Stir through the basil, ricotta, and salt and pepper. You can top with the parmesan, though I didn’t and serve. This would also be good with some shredded chicken in it, and I served it with French bread I spent yesterday making.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Peel a tomato?

If the judge of the quality of a dish is how fast it disappears then this counts as a success. Considering that I made two pies, and the only people in my household who are eating it are me and my Dad, it is rapidly disappearing. The first night both me and my darling ex-roommate and my Uncle all had seconds, and the rest of it has spiced up lunch like PB&Js never did.

This says it made enough for one pie, and while the crust measures out to that I had more than enough filling for two pies, and I even forgot the cheese. So I’ve adapted the recipe for enough filling to make only one pie. I thought it tasted fine without cheese (I’m not a huge cheddar fan) but it would probably be better with it.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Tomato Pie that isn't Pizza

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, divided
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons or 3 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 teaspoons melted
3/4 cup 2% milk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pound beefsteak tomatoes (about two large ones)
1 ear corn
1 tablespoons finely chopped basil,
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped chives,
1/8 teaspoon black pepper,
3.5 ounces coarsely grated sharp Cheddar (1 cup),

Crust: Have butter room temperature/slightly softened (I popped mine in the microwave for a quick ten seconds because I have no foresight). Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Then fold in butter with your hands until it has a sort of coarse texture. Add in milk and make dough. Divide into two balls, and roll one out on a floured surface. Mine did not come out round and pie shaped, but I made it fit into the pie pan anyways.

Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice. This will look like icing, which is misleading.

Cut large a large ‘x’ in the bottom of each tomato and then blanch. You do this by dropping in boiling water for ten seconds and then immersing in an ice bath, this makes it easy to peel which is the next step. Which was weird for me because normally I skip the peeling step in most recipes, but what Smitten Kitchen recommends I blindly follow, and the result was nice. This is also a little soupy so the recommendation is to remove the seeds and tomato juice, but I couldn’t bring myself to follow.

Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Chop tomatoes into slices and lay on top of crust, put corn over this (you could also just use a cup of frozen already cut corn, but I am always one for fresh ingredients) and sprinkle herbs and cheese. Pour mayonnaise over this, and then roll out second half of dough and cover. Cut four vents and brush with the melted butter. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes (32 worked well for me). The top is biscuity and the filling is delicious, and this is all super easy.