Sunday, November 17, 2013

Roast Dinner

Roasted root veggies
Acorn squash and rice pilaf
When the weather turns cool we love to turn the oven on. It makes dinner for us. What could be easier?

Toss root veggies with olive oil, herbs you like, and S&P. Pick a pan small enough so it's piled up deep, not spread out on a sheet. If you're patient enough to wait for an 75 mins or so at 350, it's going to taste great. Just give it all a toss half way through.

If you don't have that much time, crank up your oven and you can be done in 45 mins, but keep an eye on it. But what's so important? Have a beer.

Roast a lots of garlic and you'll have left-over to use all week. Chop off the top of the head and drizzle a little oil on it.

If you haven't had kale roasted to crispy deliciousness this way, please try it.

We usually make a yogurt sauce for this. You can add chickpeas or serve with feta.


All kinds of squashes are great roasted, too. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds (*save the seeds, more in a sec). Roast them face down with some water. When just soft, flip and roast with veggies. If the squash is big, cut into quarters.

Try with just a bit of maple syrup, soy sauce, or butter and pumpkin pie spices. Or stuff with rice pilaf.

* As for the seeds - clean them up in a bowl of warm water, boil in salt water until very soft, toast quickly in a hot dry pan. Careful that they don't burn.

Also see here.

Home Made Pizza

Store-bought pizza? What are you thinking!?

We used Boboli crusts for many years, adding our own sauce and fresh veggies. Pretty good. Broccoli and onion, or spinach and feta, or pesto and zukes.

But so much better on your own crust. The no-knead, a-few-days-in-the-fridge method is so easy.

Try this.

Or this bread method.

The trick is to mix up the dough when you have a minute (literally). We use half whole wheat flour. Wait until it shows some life, then move to the fridge for a few days to develop flavor.

That's the hard part for me. I want to dip into the stash every day to make an english muffin or a pita.

But on pizza night, you can always add more flour and yeast. And take a minute to replenish the dough.

To cook, preheat your oven to at least 450. A pizza stone is supposed to help, but we use an oiled cookie sheet.


Added note: NY style pizza is thin, until you get to the crust. Store-bought doesn't do that.

Rice Paper Wrappers

 You can buy awesome rice paper wrappers all over now, but it's still fun to see what happens at home when you go into the kitchen lab.

These dumplings and the rice roll were very tasty, if a but more crumbly than I hoped for. They have an even amount of rice flour and corn starch.

The steamed dumplings are too thick and large, the dry-pan-fried roll a bit too dry.

Worth more attempts after some research ...


recipe links here


Time to catch up with what I've been cooking.

When you make individual mac-n-cheese bowls, crunchy top and edges balance with gooey middle.

I like a green veggie mixed in. Here's one with broccoli, one with asparagus. Peas are great, too, of course.

If you're starting from scratch, you can cook the mac covered well in milk and  you use the pasta starch to start the sauce - no need to add more flour in a roux.

If you have left-over pasta, you can use flour, or cornstarch, or a combo. Cornstarch can make a great stable sauce.