Absent

February 14, 2010

It’s not been easy getting the new floors to match our kitty…

Back soon.

Last night, I informed Mr. Onepot that we were about to order Chinese.  Then, out of some poorly defined but quite persistent guilt, I found myself preparing the following:

Polenta+spinach+black bean strata

  • 3 cups water + 1 cup milk
  • 1.25 cup polenta
  • .5 large onion
  • 1 can black beans
  • .5 lb spinach (fresh, in this case, but surely frozen would also do)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • salt, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 380F.
  2. Bring the water and milk to a boil.  (Remember that milk will trick you into thinking it’s nowhere near boiling, and then, in less than a second, puff up to an obscene height and spill all over your stove top.  So, sorry to say, you will have to babysit this just a bit.)
  3. Once it boils, stir in the polenta and salt.  Turn the heat down to low and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring only occasionally.  (This you don’t have to babysit!  I’ve never understood why people complain about the intense attention polenta requires.  In the Old Country, we treat it roughly and it turns out just fine.)
  4. While the milk+water are heating up, start sauteing the onion.  Once it’s soft and happy, add the beans along with a touch of their liquid.  Season ever so generously with paprika and cayenne pepper.
  5. After the beans and onions have had, say, 5 minutes to get to know each other, turn the heat off, toss the spinach on top of them, and cover.  The residual heat will cause the spinach to wilt just a touch, making it more manageable.
  6. In an altogether unrelated bowl (oh, this is so not a one-pot dish), beat the egg and combine with the yogurt.
  7. Layer!  First the polenta, then the beany and spinachy mix, and finally the yogurty egg.
  8. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

(…In the end, I was so very glad we hadn’t ordered Chinese.)

Winter salad

February 5, 2010

Who says that winter is a wretched, terrible, not at all good time for salads?

Well, I do, most of the time.  But look!  This combo is pretty darn tasty.  And it’s so good for you that you can feel mighty righteous after eating it and justify just about any kind of dessert afterwards.

Winter salad

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 small red cabbage
  • 1 thimble-sized bit of ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • gorgonzola
  • curly parsley
  • olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

Of course, you know how to throw it all together without any help from me.  So I’ll just contribute this one nugget of wisdom: once you’ve cooked the quinoa, toss the chopped ginger and garlic in right away and let it all steam under the lid for another couple of minutes with the heat off.  This takes a bit of the zing out of the garlic.  Your coworkers will thank you for that if this ends up being your lunch the following day.

Our “Lost” treat

February 3, 2010

We have a tradition of eating fiercely hot, seriously doctored up ramen while watching “Lost.”  So here’s how we rang in the start of the final season:

“Lost” ramen

  • 1 package Shin Ramyun per person
  • 1 poached egg per person
  • 2 shredded carrots
  • a touch of shredded ginger
  • a fistful of spinach leaves
  • 4 chopped scallions

    Beer bread

    February 1, 2010

    For the longest time, we were unable to make beer bread.  Any beer earmarked for this project would simply get imbibed instead.

    And then we finally stumbled upon a solution: truly terrible beer.  You know, the cheapest 24-pack you can find… the kind that tastes like slightly hoppy water?  No temptation to drink it, none whatsoever–but oh, it makes such scrumptious bread!

    Beer bread

    • 1.5 cup white flour
    • 1.5 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 bottle (or can) beer
    1. Combine all dry ingredients.
    2. Mix with beer.
    3. Bake for 50 minutes at 375F.

    Saturdaying

    January 30, 2010

    At first glance, you might think that this picture has nothing to do with food.

    Wrong.

    See, I was holding a croissant, a cup of coffee, and a large bunch of keys while trying to take this picture with my iPhone (which, as you may know, most definitely requires two hands if they happen to be scrawny ones).  The result?  To protect, in the order of importance:

    1. iPhone
    2. coffee
    3. croissant

    …I ended up dropping the keys into a crevice between two boulders.  Five-foot tall, closely spaced boulders.  By a frozen lake.  On a 5-degree day.

    So yeah, this has to do with comestibles.  Apparently, to my subconscious mind, they are more important than access to my home, job, and car?

    And the rest…

    January 29, 2010

    A peek at a few dishes that I’ve been hiding from you out of sheer deep midwinter lethargy: