Remember when sushi was weird?

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John Bender: What is that?

Clair: Sushi.*

John Bender: Sushi?

Clair: Yeah rice, raw fish and seaweed.

John Bender: You won’t accept a guy’s kiss on
your mouth, but your gonna eat that?

Clair: Can I eat?

John Bender: I don’t know but give it a try.

Molly Ringwald & Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club

Last night Kajsa and Chris were having an in depth discussion about the dining habits of our various family members. You see, we are what you might call a mixed marriage. I am an Ovo-Lacto vegetarian while Chris will quite literally consume anything that doesn’t get away fast enough.

Maya has been raised vegetarian. And, despite a few taste test experiments, appears to be staying that way.

Kajsa on the other hand, is very curious about meat. What is it? Of which animal is each type composed? And why do some people eat it while others do not?

For the longest time she thought only men ate meat. (Then again, she used to think that everyone had tubes in their belly until they reached a certain age. But that’s a whole different post.)

So they talked about why some meat is taboo in our country, while other varieties are considered culturally acceptable. As it turns out, Chris has eaten dog & cat, but not horse. Strangely, this doesn’t really affect me, as I view “farm” animals as equally deserving of the honor and dignity we give our pets.

Coincidentally, today I found this blog discussing the weirdest food that people have actually ever eaten. And you know what; this could very well be the cure for obesity. Every time you get the munchies you could simply prop your eyelids open ala A Clockwork Orange, and stare at this post’s comments. Seriously, after reading it a glass of water sounds mighty dandy.

Enjoy

… … … … … … … …

*Speaking of sushi: this simply makes me drool with desire.

What’s cookin’

One of the saddest things about my computer crashing was that it happened quickly enough that I was unable to save my MasterCook recipes.  Now, those of you who know me at all, know I love to cook food that makes people happy.  Even if I never got to sit down and eat it myself, just watching someone else’s eyes light up as they elicit a small moan of gastronomic pleasure makes my heart go thump.  And yes, before you think I’m some kind of anorexic saint, I do also love to eat.  (Any picture you find of me can attest to that fact.)

Yep, I’d collected some true pleasures.  But I didn’t take the time to back up the cookbook properly, ‘cause I’m always on the hunt for the next wowing delight.  SO now I ask for your help.  I NEEEED some fantastic vegetarian recipes.  And this does not include ingredients that I won’t be able to find.  Please remember that I live in a town with a population of 500 and have to drive 45 minutes to get to the big town of say 30,000.  So it’s just a little difficult for me to get agar agar flakes and hijiki.

On another note, I tried in vain to find a good recipe for vegetarian Swedish meatballs.  Alas, the search was in vain.  On RecipeZaar I found on that, at first glance, looked good.  But the reviews declared it a bit too crumbly.  My search must continue….

Speaking of RecipeZaar, does anyone use their professional level services?  If so, do you find them worth it?  I would like to avoid the panic of losing my much loved recipes in the future.  So I’m actively looking for solutions. 

But back to the post at hand…

I’m looking for casseroles, desserts, soups…all those good stick to your ribs, comfort foods that will be so satisfying as the weather begins to cool.  You know; the tried and true recipes that you just keep coming back to.

So, how about it?  What’s your favorite recipe to share?

Here’s one from me to start the ball rolling:

Curried Zucchini Soup
Serves 4

This recipe came to me from Chris’ cousin Kristin last year when I had zucchini coming out of my ears.  We loved it so much that it became a regular dish around the house.  It is especially delicious when eaten with toasted pita wedges.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped yellow onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne
2 pounds zucchini, trimmed and chopped
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chopped cilantro, garnish

1.     In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

2.     Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt, and cayenne, stir, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini; reduce to medium heat, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 6 minutes.

3.      Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the zucchini is very tender, about 20 minutes.

4.      Remove from the heat.

5.      With a hand-held immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor, puree the soup. Return to medium heat and stir in the cream. Simmer for 3 minutes. Adjust the seasoning, to taste.

6.      Pour into a clean container and let cool slightly. Refrigerate until well chilled, 4 to 6 hours.

7.      To serve, ladle into large cups, garnish with cilantro, and serve with hot pappadums or pita toast. This soup may be served hot or cold.

spring fever

Sometimes I think about how noble and healthy it would to take the
plunge, and become vegan.  But then I find amazing recipes like this one and I know it’s just never going
to happen.

Grilled  Eggplant Towers with Mozzarella and Tomatoes

Grilling the eggplant first adds lots of toasty, smoky flavor. Layer
in colorful heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella slices for a real
show-stopper.      

Servings: 2-4
Time: 60 minutes

  • 1 organic eggplant, cut in thick slices
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 organic tomatoes, cut in thick slices
  • 8 large basil leaves
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or fresh mozzarella, sliced thin – my preference)

1. Heat your grill to
medium.
2. Place the eggplant slices on a large baking sheet. Brush oil over the
slices. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Grill the eggplant slices for 5-7 minutes each side, until soft.
4. Assemble the towers by stacking the eggplant, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil
leaves. Place a sprinkle of mozzarella and an eggplant round on top.
5. Heat the towers in a 350° oven for 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve
warm.

Oh my…

Whaaah?

So there I was surfing around technorati, getting my political tank topped
off.  Through my meanderings, I ended up reading  this
page
.  Boy was I surprised upon clicking the
link found in the last paragraph (the one about the vegans). 

I honestly thought my computer was acting up again.

FRIDAY’S FEAST

Veggie_soup_picPOTATO PANCAKES WITH CHUNKY VEGETABLE STEW

Vegetable stew

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 12 ounces 1/2-inch cubes zucchini
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained
  • 12 Kalamata olives, pitted, chopped

Potato pancakes

  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, coarsely grated, squeezed dry in towel
  • 1/3 cup grated onion
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

For vegetable stew:

  1. Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion; sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add next 4 ingredients; stir 1 minute.
  4. Add zucchini and tomatoes with juices; bring to boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer until zucchini is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add garbanzos and olives; simmer 3 minutes.

For potato pancakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Mix first 3 ingredients in bowl.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Working in batches, spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray; add 1 teaspoon oil.
  5. Heat over medium-high heat.
  6. Add potato mixture by 1/3 cupfuls, spreading each to 3-inch round.
  7. Cook until pancakes are brown, about 5 minutes per side.
  8. Transfer to baking sheet; keep warm in oven.
  • Place 3 pancakes on each of 4 plates.
  • Spoon stew over and serve.
     

Per serving: calories, 420; total fat, 12 g; saturated fat, 1 g; cholesterol, 0

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe By: Bon Appétit January 2003 via Epicurious.com

CARKEY CUISINE

Cakerising_3Lest I get too weepy or nostalgic for Seattle, I must remind myself of a few of the fine opportunties provided by our fine desert life.  Among them, dashboard dining.  (Yes, Virginia, you can cook an egg on the sidewalk.)  One could never do that in the grey cool of the Pacific Northwest.
Heck, I can hardly wait for Spring so that I can try out this coffee cake