Meal Zeal

April 25, 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 3:22 pm

Made and served almost exactly according to Food and Wine’s recipe (except made a half-recipe in an 8-inch square pan).


  • 2 pounds rhubarb stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 2 t fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract


  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened (I used coconut oil instead.)
  • 1 1/2 C light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat.)
  • 1 1/4 C quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3 T canola oil
  • 1 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 3/4 t salt


  1. MAKE THE FILLING: Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, toss the rhubarb with 3/4 cup of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In another bowl, toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rhubarb to the strawberries; discard any rhubarb juice. Add the cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla to the fruit and stir well. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.  Filling can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight; bring to room temperature before using.
  2. MAKE THE TOPPING: Combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, mix the ingredients together until large crumbs form.
  3. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° and continue baking for about 30 minutes longer, until the fruit filling is bubbling and the topping is nicely browned. Let the crisp rest for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Slow-Cooked “White” Coq Au Vin-Inspired Stew

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 3:18 pm

Adapted from a combination of: 1) a Coq Au Vin recipe originally from Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes (found on CHOW) and 2) Williams-Sonoma’s Chicken Stew in White Wine recipe.

  • olive oil
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 pound red-skinned potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 C flour (I used whole wheat.)
  • 3 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 C white wine (I used Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc.)
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • bouquet garni of 6 thyme sprigs, 1 bay leaf, and 6 parsley sprigs
  • a few dried porcini mushrooms
  1. Preheat slow cooker to Low. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil. Cook the mushrooms until they are browned and very fragrant, about 5 minutes. Reserve the mushrooms in a covered container.
  2. Cook the potatoes until they are crisp on the outside and cooked through. Turn off the heat under the sauté pan.
  3. Pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels. Lightly season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour. Return the sauté pan to medium heat and add more oil if necessary. Brown the chicken pieces, in batches, on both sides, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer each batch of chicken to the insert. When all of the chicken has been browned, drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
  4. Cook the bacon, onion, shallots, carrots, and celery in the sauté pan, in batches, until the vegetables are lightly colored, about 5 minutes per batch. Add the garlic to the last batch and cook for 3 minutes more until the garlic is very fragrant and has softened slightly. Transfer each batch of vegetables to the insert.
  5. Increase the heat under the sauté pan to medium-high and add the wine. Scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Transfer the wine to the insert. Add the stock, dried mushrooms, and bouquet garni to the insert. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours, until the chicken is very tender.
  6. Gently remove the chicken pieces to a serving platter and set aside to keep warm, tented with foil. Pour the braising liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a large saucepan. Press on the vegetables to get all of the liquid, then discard the vegetables. Skim off and discard the fat. Bring the liquid to a boil, then simmer until about 2 cups remain.
  7. Add the potatoes and mushrooms to the sauce to warm them. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.

I served with toasted baguette.

April 19, 2010

Crispy Turkey Cutlets

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 7:34 pm

from the April 2010 issue of Real Simple magazine

  • 4 thin turkey cutlets (about 1 pound total)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 C flour (I used whole wheat.)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 C breadcrumbs (I used homemade, ground from good whole multi-grain bread.)
  • 3 T olive oil

Season the turkey with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper. Coat with flour, then dip in the eggs (letting any excess drip off), and then coat with the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to help them adhere.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the turkey until golden and cooked through–2 to 3 minutes per side.

Wheat-Free (and Vegan) Chocolate Chip Cookies

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 7:25 pm

From Veganomicon, whose authors say “these cookies couldn’t be any easier to make unless you had someone else make them for you.”  True!

P.S. I like them better than the ones with wheat.

  • 1 3/4 C oat flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 1/3 C canola oil (Am definitely going to use at least part coconut oil next time; made with canola, they lacked richness.)
  • 1 T ground flaxseeds
  • 1/4 C UNSWEETENED soymilk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 3/4 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375.

Sift together flour, soda, and salt.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together flaxseeds and soymilk.  Add brown and granulated sugars and stir, add oil and vanilla, and whisk vigorously until all ingredients are emulsified–about a minute.

Mix wet ingredients into dry and then fold in chocolate chips.

Drop batter by tablespoons onto an ungreased baking sheet, leaving 1 1/2 inches space between cookies.  Bake around 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool the rest of the way.

Avocado Salad Dressing

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 7:19 pm

from the “Salad of Curly Endive, Avocado, Grapefruit, and Fennel” recipe in Anna Thomas’ The New Vegetarian Epicure

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 1/2 – 2 T lemon juice
  • 3 T fruity green olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Halve and peel the avocado, slice it, put the slices in a glass dish or bowl, and immediately pour the lemon juice over them. Drizzle the olive oil over your salad, add the avocado and lemon juice and a little salt and pepper, and toss the salad very gently until everything is well combined and coated with dressing.

April 18, 2010

Double Chocolate Pudding Pie Filling

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 6:58 pm

adapted from the recipe in Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

  • 1 T unflavored gelatin
  • 1/3 C boiling water
  • 2/3 C sugar
  • 1/3 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 3 C UNSWEETENED soymilk
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I only had unsweetened, so I added 1 1/2 t granulated sugar per ounce, as directed by Nestle.)
  • 2 t vanilla extract

Put the gelatin in a small bowl, add the boiling water, and stir until dissolved.  Set aside.

In a medium nonstick saucepan, mix sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt.  Gradually add half of the milk, whisking until mixture is smooth.  Whisk in rest of milk.  Turn heat to medium, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil–about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add chocolate and stir until it is melted.  Stir in vanilla and gelatin slurry.

Pour mixture into a pie crust (I used a store-bought reduced-fat graham crust.) and let set for 3 hours in the refrigerator.

Slow-Cooked Red Beans and Rice

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 5:26 pm

Even though I omitted some of the spices–namely allspice and cloves–from Gourmet’s recipe, this was still a little “spicier” than I remember the red beans & rice of my youth (growing up in Louisiana, where it was often served for lunch in the school cafeteria). Another adaptation was using the slow cooker rather than simmering on the stove.  So the recipe ended up as follows.

  • 1 pound dried red kidney beans
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 pale green inner celery ribs with leaves, chopped
  • 6 C of a mixture of low-sodium chicken broth and water (I did 4 C broth–because that’s what I had on hand–and 2 C water.)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 T dried thyme
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 1 t Tabasco sauce
  • 3/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 ground black pepper
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 pound smoked turkey sausage, sliced

In a bowl soak beans in water to cover by 2 inches for around 8 hours. Drain and rinse. In bowl of a slow cooker combine all ingredients except sausage.  Cook on high setting 2 hours and then turn down to low setting and cook for an additional 10 hours.  (I actually just cooked on low for around 14 hours because that worked better with bedtime.  I did need to add a little more water at one point–around 8 hours in–to keep all beans covered.) When beans are done, remove a cup of them and mash in a bowl.  Then return to the slow cooker along with the sausage slices and simmer until sausage slices are heated through–around 10 more minutes.

I served over long-grain brown rice, cooked “perfectly,” thanks to Pinch My Salt author’s helpful post, and with the cornbread from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking:

  • 2 C whole cornmeal
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 C buttermilk (I used plain kefir.)
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, melted (I used Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks)
  • 1 T grease for the pan

Preheat oven to 450. Place 9-inch cast-iron skillet in oven.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add wet, all at once, to dry, stirring quickly and lightly just until batter is evenly combined.

Remove skillet from oven and place the tablespoon of grease into it.  Swirl the pan around so the grease melts and covers the bottom and sides. (I used a paper towel to spread evenly.) Carefully transfer the batter to the hot pan and return it to the oven to bake until the top is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean–around 30 minutes.

April 17, 2010

Pizza Dough

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 9:45 pm

The author says you can freeze the dough in balls rubbed with olive oil and then placed in freezer bags, but I didn’t try that this time. Though this was perfectly fine, am also interested in trying the “Best Pizza Dough Ever” from 101 Cookbooks (originally from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.)

  • ¼ ounce package active dry yeast
  • 1 C warm water
  • a little sugar or honey (I used 1 T honey.)
  • 2 ½  C all-purpose flour (may substitute whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the all-purpose, which I did)
  • ¼ t salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • cornmeal for sprinkling the pan
  1. Mix honey or sugar into warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top. Wait until yeast becomes foamy—about 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour, salt, olive oil and combine.
  3. Knead until you have a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic—6 to 8 minutes. (I used the dough blade in the Cuisinart.)
  4. Cover dough and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. (I ended up letting it rest for more like an hour and a half, just because we weren’t ready to eat yet; this was fine.)
  5. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450.
  6. Lightly grease two 12-inch pizza pans (I used the backs of cookie sheets) and sprinkle with a little cornmeal.
  7. Divide dough in half. Place each half on a pan and pat with your fingers until it stretches over the whole pan. (I did a combination of stretching on my hands and then on the pan.)
  8. Lightly cover with pizza sauce* and the toppings of your choice.
  9. Bake until bottom of crust is golden and cheese has just browned—around 10 minutes. (I started checking beginning around 5 minutes in.)
  10. Remove from oven and let rest about 5 minutes before cutting with a chef’s knife (not a pizza wheel, which can drag the toppings).

*Made the pizza sauce linked above as directed except added a generous sprinkle of brown sugar.

Slow-Cooked Moroccan Chicken Stew

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 5:07 pm

Invented after doing some reading about Moroccan cuisine (including various recipes).  Don’t know how authentic it is, but very rich and satisfying anyway.

  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • a few small carrots, sliced lengthwise
  • 14 ounces low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 C pitted prunes
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t sweet paprika
  • pinch saffron

In the bowl of a slow-cooker, combine onion, carrots, broth, and prunes.  Top with chicken thighs.  Rub chicken with mixture of salt, cinnamon, cumin, and paprika.  Crumble saffron over chicken.  Cover and cook on high setting for 4 to 5 hours (or low for 8 to 10).

I served over maftoul (Middle Eastern couscous) and with some bread and eggplant salad from the Middle East Bakery.

Blueberry Spelt Muffins

Filed under: Uncategorized — jenseyt @ 3:54 pm

(adapted as indicated from a Whole Foods recipe)

Made the batter a couple nights in advance; froze it in the muffin tin, removed from the tin once frozen (easy when gently pried with a butter knife), and put the “muffins” into a freezer bag. Put a few back into the tin when I was ready to bake this morning. Had read that baking time should be extended by 10 minutes for pre-frozen batter, but the original baking time proved sufficient.

This recipe is for one dozen, but unless you overload the cups, it makes more like 14 in my experience.

  • 4 T canola oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1/2 C honey or agave nectar
  • 1/3 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C fresh orange juice
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 C spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2 C fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper muffin liners. In a large bowl, mix oil and agave nectar. Stir in applesauce, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. In a second large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir flour mixture into oil-egg mixture until just combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups and bake until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean—about 30 minutes.

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