Sunday, October 28, 2007

Swiss Chard and Tomato Casserole

Swiss chard and cheese casserole

I buy a lot of Swiss Chard because it is so pretty. The big green leaves and the colorful stems - the rainbow kind is especially festive.

Then I don't know what to do with it. There is only so much pasta fazool one girl can eat, and I don't really like it by itself.

I found a recipe for Swiss Chard, Tomato and Cheese casserole on and thought the late-summer combination of big ripe tomatoes and rainbow chard would be perfect.

I should have chosen slightly less-ripe tomatoes than I did, because it is hard to make nice, neat slices out of large soft tomatoes. Live and learn.

This is also one of those recipes that takes every pot and pan in the house - wash the chard, stem and chop it, wilt it, saute onions and peppers, shred cheese, put it all in a baking dish...your mileage may vary, but my kitchen looked like a disaster area.

The results were really good, if a little too cheesy for my taste. Next time I'll cut back and I think it will be just as tasty.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What Am I Eating?

I am serious. I really DON'T know what I am eating.

I had lunch at Jay Bharat on Pioneer Blvd. in Artesia, CA - the street known as "Little India." After lunch I decided to buy a snack and this is what I ended up with.

It is spicy puffed rice and nuts. I remember it had "Poha" in the name, which I have found means "flattened rice." But there was another word that began with P in the name, and it is not printed on the packaging.

All I know is that it is wonderful and addictive. I am eating it just like it is, out of hand. Should I be doing something else with it?

Monday, September 03, 2007

Book Review: Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking

Morimoto: The New Art of Japanese Cooking
Masaharu Morimoto
DK Publishing 2007
272 pp, hardbound, $40 US, $50 Canada

Everything about this book is as beautiful and stylish as you would expect from something connected to Iron Chef Japanese, Masaharu Morimoto.

The plentiful photos, the clever printing on the cover, the typeface - all of it makes a gorgeous, impressive package that would make a great gift for a foodie in your life.

Morimoto explains his philosophy of food and shows the exceptional attention to detail that has made him world-famous.

His section on sushi should be a must-read for any American commits the trifecta of sushi faux pas - mixing wasabi into the soy sauce, dunking the rice into the resulting mixture and letting it soak.

This is more of a cook's book than a cookbook, however. Many of the explanations - preparing salmon roe, milling sushi rice - are for procedures that even the most obsessive home cook is unlikely to try.

The recipes given rely on ingredients that most people outside of Asia will have a hard time finding - lotus leaves, sweetfish liver, Japanese soy lecithin sheets. Yuzu is a common ingredient, and even here is southern California with our plentiful Asian population, I only see that fruit on rare occasions.

Vegetarians won't have much luck finding anything to eat in here. Even one of the ice creams has squid (Squid Strawberry Ice Cream) in it.

This is a book for those who love Morimoto, who want to know more about East-West fusion gourmet cuisine, or who have dined with Morimoto and who want to relive the experience through his words and photos.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Lazy Girl's Lunch

I used to call this "canned stew" but it only confused people. Read the recipe and you will see why.

This pairs well with cornbread and a handful of shredded cheese.

Lazy Girl's Lunch

1 onion, diced
Coupla cloves of garlic, cut into small chunks
2 carrots, if you are feeling enthusiastic, diced
Chili powder, salt and cumin to taste
1 can kidney beans, drained
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 can corn kernels, drained
1 can diced tomatoes

Saute the onion in the oil for about 5 minutes - enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan generously. If you are using the carrots, throw them in and saute them for a while, too - maybe 5 minutes or while you are opening all the cans. Toss in the spices and saute for 2 minutes or so.

Add all the cans of ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until most of the liquid is gone.

Voila. Now you have enough lunch for several good-sized meals, plus some extra to give to a friend.