Sunday, January 31, 2010

Potato and Onion Flatbreads

Lately, I've been wanting to make homemade pizza or bread. Flatbreads seemed like a great place to start. Since I don't have a pizza stone, I did some research on making flatbread in an oven safe skillet or pan. The following recipe worked pretty well in my skillet, though it probably would work even better in a cast iron skillet (I only have a square grill pan). I topped one of the flatbreads with thinly sliced fingerling potatoes, and the other with loads of caramelized onions. They were both very tasty, served with a side of homemade marinara sauce.

Potato Topping

about 6 fingerling potatoes, very thinly sliced
salt and pepper
olive oil

Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown and remove from heat.

Onion Topping

about 6 baby red onions, sliced (I found baby onions at the greenmarket, but you can substitute 2 or 3 regular sized onions of your choice)
1 tablespoon butter
olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat a bit of olive oil and the butter in a pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the onions and stir to coat. Let cook for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan and stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, and let cook until lightly browned and caramelized (scraping up the brown bits helps this process a bit).


2 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups water
a pinch of salt
olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, combine salt and flour together in a large bowl. Incorporate water slowly, while whisking, to create a thin, pancake-like batter. Put a bit of olive oil in your skillet, enough to generously coat the bottom. Preheat the pan on the stove over medium heat, or in the oven. When the oil is hot but not smoking, remove pan from heat and pour about half the batter into the pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes until browned and cooked through. When the flatbread is ready, the sides will start to come up a little bit, and the center should be pretty firm. It took a bit of cajoling to the flatbread out of my pan, but I imagine with a cast iron skilled it should lift right out. Top the flatbread with desired topping and return to the oven on a baking sheet for a couple of minutes to crisp it up. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kale with Buckwheat and Acorn Squash

In keeping with my new tradition of cooking every Sunday and, of course, posting it here, I invited my friend over on Sunday for a nice, healthy, home-cooked meal. This Sunday's recipe is inspired by a dish that I had at Barbuto. My roommate and I have been getting kale and squash almost every week this winter from our CSA, so this dish is a great way to use up our weekly veggies. And everyone agreed that it's delicious, too! I served it as a main course with a side of avocado salad, but this dish itself would make a great side.

Kale with Buckwheat and Acorn Squash

1 bunch kale
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small acorn squash (I only used half of the squash, and saved the other half for lunch the next day)
1/2 cup buckwheat
juice of 1 lemon
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and stringy insides and discard. Place cut side down in an oven safe dish. When oven is ready, place squash in oven and roast until tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 1 cup water to boil, add buckwheat, and let simmer until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes (or cook buckwheat according to instructions on package).

Rinse and dry kale. Trim off the stems and chop coarsely. In a saute pan, heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, then add kale and combine. Saute until tender, about 8 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.

When the acorn squash is ready, remove from oven and let cool. Reserve one half of the squash for another use. With the other half, scoop out the flesh and chop coarsely. Combine kale, buckwheat, and squash. Add lemon juice (start with juice from half a lemon and taste from there) and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and mix to incorporate.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Kohlrabi, Four Ways

For my first food project this year, I experimented with the vegetable kohlrabi. Kohlrabi smells and tastes a lot like broccoli stems and can be eaten raw or cooked a variety of different ways. I made it four ways: raw, in a salad; as crostini; roasted, with tomatoes; and sauteed, served with polenta. All dishes tasted pretty great, but my favorite was the kohlrabi crostini. After this meal and its leftovers, I must say, I'm kohlrabi-ed out! At least I'll know what to do with it the next time my roommate and I get it for our CSA.

Pear and Kohlrabi Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

1 small kohlrabi
1 small pear (I used Bosc)
2 scallions, chopped
a couple handfuls of mixed greens

Trim and peel the kohlrabi. Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, slice the kohlrabi into thin strips. Core the pear and cut into thin slices. Combine kohlrabi, pear, chopped scallions, and greens with orange vinaigrette.

Orange Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
a pinch of salt

Combine orange juice, vinegar, and salt. Whisk in olive oil.

Kohlrabi Crostini

1 kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil, plus some for sauteing onions
salt to taste
1 baguette, sliced and toasted in the oven
parmesan cheese

Bring a pot of salted pot of water to boil. Add kohlrabi and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a bit of olive oil in a pan. Add onions and saute until tender but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute or two. Blend kohlrabi, onion mixture, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Add salt to taste. Spread kohlrabi on baguette toasts and serve topped with shaved parmesan.

Roasted Kohlrabi with Tomatoes

1 small kohlrabi, trimmed and peeled
1 pint cherry tomatoes
olive oil to coat
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve the kohlrabi and cut into thin slices. Toss the kohlrabi with cherry tomatoes and olive oil. Place on baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake until kohlrabi is tender, about 35 minutes, shaking the pan a few times in between.

Kohlrabi with Polenta and Mushrooms

1 kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled, and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 pound mushrooms, whichever kind you like, sliced
1 cup medium grind cornmeal
1 tablespoon butter
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring 4 cups of lightly salted water to boil. Stir in cornmeal and lower heat. Allow polenta to cook, stirring consistently until creamy. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until softened, then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add kohlrabi and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from pan and set aside. Add butter and a little bit more olive oil to the same pan. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve polenta topped with kohlrabi and mushrooms.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Year's Resolution and First Project of the Year

One of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to keep up with this blog. I've been such a slacker with it, and I don't even know if anyone out there is reading what I post. But there are some food projects and adventures that I've been concocting, so I will try my best to document them and share them with you here.

My first project, inspired by a topic on Serious Eats, is to choose an adventurous vegetable and cook it a bunch of different ways. Since my roommate and I belong to a CSA, we usually get a bunch of different vegetables, some of them pretty adventurous. But I always do the same thing with them. If it's kale, I'll saute it with some onions. Brussels sprouts, roast them. Root vegetables, roast them. Fennel, grill it. It's getting a little boring. So this weekend, I'm going to go to my local Green Market and find a fun vegetable that I will then cook several different ways.

Any suggestions for the vegetable?