Tag Archives: vegetarian

Chive Butter

22 Aug

Earlier this year Nick built me a planter so I could grow some herbs – it was going well until recently when my thyme, chives, parsley and oregano absolutely exploded.

I didn’t know what to do with all of my flavorful greens… I started drying some and putting them in mason jars, cooked with some, and threw some in olive oil (foreshadowing for another post coming soon!). While the thyme, parsley, and oregano dehydrated well, I knew that the chives wouldn’t do too hot just drying. I had to figure out what to do with my pounds and pounds of chives!

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In the main office at work we have a large poster of Paula Deen. Every day for the last few months those blue eyes just pierced my soul… it was like she was trying to communicate with me. And then, finally, it happened. Paula quietly whispered “butter” in my ear, and I knew what I was going to do.

I started by pulling a stick of butter out of the fridge before bed one night, to let it soften (cue major debate on whether or not you’re supposed to refrigerate butter… I do, get over it). Early the next morning, I cut about a handful of chives from the garden, and diced them finely – it turned into between ⅓ cup and ½ cup when chopped.

In a bowl, I combined the butter, the chives, and I added about 1/2 tsp of sea salt. I mixed well with a spoon, put into a tupperware container, and then instantly started putting it on everything! Spreading on toast, caramelizing onions, and our next step is to throw it on steak.

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Easy reading version:
1 stick butter, softened
~½ cup chopped chives
1/2 tsp sea salt

Combine! Put in a nice container and pop in the fridge.

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Sushi! (first attempt)

18 Apr

We made sushi last week – it was so much easier than I could have ever imagined. For some reason I expected it to be super hard and complicated, but it was so so easy.

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We went to Haymarket and grabbed a pound of tuna (for $3, come on, how could we not!). We decided to be risky and eat it raw – bold move, I know. We went to an asian grocery store and picked up a pack of seaweed sheets (the wrapper stuff). Try to get the perforated type! So much easier to deal with. We made two rolls and gobbled them down within about 2 minutes each. We were under the influence at the time (which explains why the pictures are disastrous) so it’s a little sloppy, but it was still really good (or so I remember….)

What we used:
Dried seaweed sheets
About a cup white rice (maybe a little more) – cooked and cooled
½ pound of tuna, sliced up thin
Whatever other delicious things you want to put in! We used cream cheese, carrots, and celery in our second wrap, sliced
Pickled ginger, wasabi, soy sauce – to eat with the wrap

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How we did it:
Lay the sheets out so the rough side is up. If there are perforations, you’ll want them to run left to right (it’ll matter later).

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Lay a thin layer of rice down – try to be sure the rice is completely covering the sheet, but also try and lay it down as thinly as you can. Leave about ½” at the right edge uncovered.

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Put your fish (or whatever) down the left side (perpendicular to the perforations). If you’re using other ingredients, you can put them in here – we used cream cheese, carrots, and celery.

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Roll it up, and cut it into pieces on the perforations. We dipped the pieces into soy sauce and topped with some wasabi – and then chased with ginger. It was supeerr delicious!

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I think next time we’ll be a little more wild with the other ingredients – maybe something a little spicy? Hmmmmmm

 

Chilled Asparagus Soup

16 Apr

I picked up a couple bunches of asparagus at Haymarket over the weekend… they were 3 for a dollar, how could I resist?! We used one bunch in a pasta dish – we roasted peppers, asparagus and onions over pasta with an olive oil/garlic sauce.

Anyway, that left me with two extra bunches of asparagus. The stalks didn’t look wonderful… they were pretty floppy. In order to try and salvage some of the whopping financial investment I had already made in asparagus, I pondered the ways to use extra bunches… and somehow decided on making soup (what is this, my third time making soup in two weeks?) It’s a lot simpler than the last couple soups I made, with a lot less ingredients. I wanted a cold soup, but this could be eaten either way.

I definitely think that next time I make this soup I’ll add some rice in – I liked it, but some people weren’t crazy about the texture (excuuuuuuuse me NICK). I think adding rice will make it more palatable.

As usual, this makes a good size serving (about 7 cups). You can easily halve this recipe if you don’t have an army to serve.

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Serving Size: 1 cup Total Servings: 7 Cals per serving: 89
Fat: 5.0 g – Protein: 4.9 g – Carbs: 7.0 g

What I used:
Two bunches of asparagus, washed
1 ½ onions
1 lemon
4 cups veggie broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, basil
a blender is a must!!

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What to do:
Start by chopping the onion up – actual size of pieces doesn’t matter, it’s all going to get blended anyway. Put the olive oil in your favorite soup pot over medium heat, and when it’s hot add the onion. Cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.

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While that cooks, start on the asparagus. Begin by cutting off a couple tips (2 for each serving, they’re for decoration). Chop the rest of the bunches into roughly 2” pieces. Once the onion in done, add the 2” pieces of asparagus, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and garlic powder and cook for about five minutes – the asparagus will become a more vibrant green than before.

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After the five minutes is up, add the broth, cover, and turn to high heat. Once it boils, let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the asparagus is pretty soft. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a bit… and grab your blender.

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Blend it in small batches, being sure to take the middle piece out of the blender top before turning on (see picture). Otherwise it explodes EVERYWHERE. I used an oven mitt over the top of the blender as a precaution – whatever you do, be sure to secure the top down well.

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Pour the blended parts into a bowl and stir to combine. I like to squeeze the lemon juice onto the soup at this point, but I’ve heard of people who just use the lemon rind here.

Refrigerate the soup until chilled. Take those asparagus spears (bet you thought I forgot about them, didn’t you) and remove the little thorns. Pour into bowls and top with the spears, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic.

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We served with stuffed peppers and crusty bread, but Nick mentioned it’d probably be really good with some steak and potatoes, too.

 

Sesame Seed Encrusted Tuna

20 Feb

I had never cooked fish by myself until last spring. One day, I ventured out to Haymarket (Boston’s sort of sketchy open air produce market), and stumbled across a wonderful secret – they sell all kinds of fish for $3/lb! I was really weirded out by it, but the guy running the stall insisted the fish was good – even going so far as to cut a piece of the raw fish and eat it in front of me (it’s like sushi!). I decided that I was going to trust the guy (or get food poisoning along with him), and bought 2 lbs of fresh tuna. It was the most wonderful dark red color and just looked delicious.

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I puttered around and picked up a couple more ingredients down there, and made four meals (dinner for 2 that night and lunch for us the next day) for about $10-12 all together… admittedly I did own some of the ingredients beforehand so I guesstimate the cost those would add in, but it ended up being a really reasonable meal for being so classy feeling (to compare, I got a very similar meal at top of the hub for ~$30).

Sorry about the crummy pictures, these were taken with a very crappy camera.

What I used:
About 2 lbs fresh tuna, trimmed of excess fat and skin
salt/pepper
white/black sesame seeds – about 1.5 tbsp of each (maybe more – as we ran low I just added more)
olive oil
optional: flax seed – about 1 tbsp
optional: wasabi sauce
How:
Start with a very, very sharp knife. Cut the tuna into equal sized pieces – we did about ½” thick, but as long as they’re equal, it’ll be fine.

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Liberally salt and pepper the tuna. Spread the sesame seeds (and flax seed, if you’re using it) out on a plate, and press each side into the seeds, coating completely.

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Meanwhile, take out a frying pan, put it on medium-high on the stove, and coat bottom in olive oil. You know that the temperature is right when a sesame seed dropped in the pan dances around.

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Place the tuna in the pan and fry for about 30 seconds. Using a pair of tongs, grab the tuna and turn, making sure that every side gets cooked. Once the pieces are done, stick the tuna in the fridge for a minute (it’ll make it easier to cut).

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I served with slices of avocado and a little salad, with a little wasabi sauce drizzled on top.

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