Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Game Changer: 101 Grilling Recipes


Well, this week's Minimalist is another show stopping 101 column: 101 Fast Recipes for Grilling. The list is full of winners; can't wait to cook a few of these this summer. It's too early to pick a favorite, but I'll leave you with this:

46. Not so easy, but so impressive: Stuff squid bodies with chopped chorizo (optional), garlic-toasted bread crumbs, lemon zest and parsley. Close with toothpicks. Char quickly over a very hot fire.

Oh, and the video is SUPER kooky.

101 Fast Recipes for Grilling [nytimes]
Actually Grilled Cheese [nytimes video]

Monday, June 28, 2010

Salad Leftovers: Chopped Salad, Sorta

Bringing lunch to work is a win-win proposition in my book: you save money, and what you eat is tastier (usually) and healthier (usually) than what you'd buy on your lunch break. Salad, however, poses a problem. What started out last night as a delicious plate of greens is nothing more than a mushy pile of yecch by lunchtime today.

Crunchy Salad1.jpg

Well, fellow Serious Eats contributor Maggie Hoffman over at Pithy and Cleaver has a solution: skip the greens altogether. Her Chinese restaurant inspired Crunchy Cucumber Salad has all crunchy ingredients (plus sauteed shiitakes) smothered in a peanut sesame dressing (go check it out). I wanted to replicate this, but my salad had to go with the White Beans with Sausage and Greens I was making for dinner (more on that soon), so I switched in a simple lemon vinaigrette for the peanut sauce, and voila: a salad that's even better the next day. It's not so different from Bittman's recipe for Chopped Salad, so we're going to go ahead and check that recipe off the Everything list, too.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Substantial Salad: Warm Chickpea Salad with Arugula

Here's a nice, substantial salad that you can eat as a main course or a side--I had it as a main, and it was nice and hearty yet light enough for a hot summer day.

You just sautee some garlic, ginger and cumin (I added green garlic to the mix, which worked great) and then add chickpeas and stir until they're coated in the seasonings. Then you just add some honey and vinegar and mash up some of the chickpeas to give this dressing a bit of texture. That goes into a bowl with some sliced shallot or red onion and arugula, mix it up, and you're done. I added some cheese, because hey, why not?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Mother's Day: Quick-Braised Scallops in Tomato Sauce

For Mother's Day, I was off on a trip to Montreal. Whoops! But as soon as I got back, I headed straight to my parents' place and made Mom dinner. It had to be fast, and it had to be special, so I pulled some tomato sauce out of the freezer and went to the Greenmarket to get some super fresh scallops from Blue Moon.


This recipe is a variation on Quick-Braised Fish Filets in Tomato Sauce. It's great over pasta. Throw in a salad, you've got a special home cooked meal that doesn't take much time to prepare. You lightly dredge the scallops in flour, brown them quickly on each side over high heat.


Remove them from the pan and throw in some garlic and onions, then some white wine, then tomatoes (canned works well here). Or, you could do what I did, which is just dump in some pre-made tomato sauce. You could probably even get away with using a jar, though it's not much easier than just adding a can of crushed tomatoes. Once the sauce is hot, lower the heat a bit, return the scallops to the pan until just done (do NOT overcook them!). I garnished with green garlic, which is great if it's in season and you can find it. Otherwise, some parsley or scallion does the trick. That's it. Spoon some scallops and sauce over a bowl of pasta, and you have something super classy that took almost no time to make.

It was Mom's birthday yesterday, so I guess I better start planning another special dinner...