Hiatus :(

I am sorry to report that the Kitchibitionist will be on hiatus until May 15.  I keep thinking I will find time to share all the things I’ve cooked with you (somehow, I am still finding time to cook), but it hasn’t happened, so I think it’s time to admit that the Kitchibitionist needs to take a break until after finals.  I’m including some teaser pictures of things that I promise I will post once finals are finished.  In the meantime, enjoy the spring weather, and see you in a month!

Orange Pan-Glazed Tofu & Lentils

I had some tofu I needed to use, and had been trying to figure out a good substitute for rice as a base for tofu dishes.  I decided to try lentils and the verdict was great success.  I found this great recipe on 101 Cookbooks for Orange Pan Glazed Tempeh.  I followed it with a few little modifications, and added steamed broccoli and cooked lentils.  Note that it was very pretty when it was first made, and while it still tasted good reheated as leftovers, it was not nearly as appealing looking.  One other thing – next time I’d think about doubling the sauce…but I like things saucy 🙂

ingredients
10-12 oz extra-firm tofu
1 c. orange juice (freshly squeezed is preferred – I juiced the one orange I had, and then filled it in with bottled juice)
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1.5 tbsp mirin (or white wine of your choice)
2 tsp maple syrup (I used the fake kind and it was fine.  i won’t tell if you don’t.)
2 small garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsps olive oil
1/2 lime

instructions

1. cut the tofu into squares about 1/2 inch thick.  place on top of about 4 paper towels, and top with another 4 layers of paper towel, and put a weight on top.  i used a frying pan.  let this sit for about 15 minutes – the tofu will be nice and dry.

2. mix the orange juice, grated ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, mirin or wine, and garlic in a small bowl.  set aside.

3. heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. when the oil is hot and shimmers a little, add the tofu and fry 5 minutes on either side, so that it is nice and golden brown.

4. pour the orange juice mixture over the tofu and simmer 10 minutes, turning the tofu to coat occasionally – the sauce will reduce to a thick glaze.

just starting to reduce….
now we’re talkin

5. serve over steamed broccoli and cooked lentils.

Poached Eggs over Garlicky Chard

Hello world, this is your guilty blogger writing.  I have so many new recipes to share with you and I just haven’t been able to find the time to put them up.  I’m going to try to get back on the wagon though.  Most of the stuff I’ll be posting in the next month or so will be relatively easy and quick, since it’s finals prep time and life is a little hectic.  This is a ridiculously easy and quick recipe that I really loved.

A big part of this recipe is the poached eggs.  I was a little unsure of how they would come out, but it turns out they aren’t as easily ruined as you’d think.  Don’t worry too much, just go for it – you’ll thank me later as you find yourself eating poached eggs on EVERYTHING (more to come on that in a later post).

ingredients
1/2 bunch swiss chard
1 roma tomato
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
salt and pepper

instructions
1. put a small pot of water over high heat.  you want to keep the water at a low simmer – just below boiling – so that tiny bubbles are coming up slowly, but no big bubbles.  add 2 tsp vinegar and stir.

2. crack the eggs into individual small bowls or ramekins (or do them one at a time).  gently slide the eggs into the water one at a time, dipping the ramekin into the water as you do it so there is no drop for the egg.  once you’ve added the eggs, tap the surface of the water with your slotted spoon a couple times to break the surface tension.

3. simmer 3-4 minutes.  to test if the egg is done, lift it out of the water with a slotted spoon, and touch the white – you want the white to feel fairly firm, but still tender.

4. slide the eggs into a bowl of ice water, then remove, set on a plate and cover with plastic wrap.  this ice bath will stop the cooking process.

5. heat a sautee pan over high heat.  while the pan heats, trim the tough veins from the chard and rinse the leaves.  rip into bite-sized pieces, remembering that the chard will shrink significantly during cooking.  add the olive oil to the pan, and when it shimmers, add the chard and a pinch of salt.

6.  while the chard cooks down, dice the tomato.  add the tomato and garlic to the chard in the pan and stir.  cook about 3 minutes, until the chard is all wilted and the tomato and garlic are soft.

7. serve the chard with the poached eggs on top.  top with fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste.

Mango & Corn Salsa

Yes, I know I’m guilty of disappearing for the last few weeks – things have been a little crazy.  But on the upside, I have about 5 recipes to share as soon as I get around to writing them up!  We’ll start here, with a quick one…

This is a super easy salsa – great to take to parties!  It tastes best if you have enough time to let it sit in the fridge overnight before serving, but it’s ok if you serve it right away too.  If you are short on time, you could make it in a food processor and skip all the chopping – just make sure you don’t pulverize the veggies!

ingredients
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 orange bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, finely minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
14 oz can corn
2 mangos (or 1 mango and 1 peach)
1 lime
1/2 c white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. water

instructions

1. prepare all your vegetables and fruit.  drain the tomatoes and corn in a colander.

2. combine the juice of the lime, the vinegar, the sugar and the water in a small bowl and mix to dissolve the sugar.

3. combine all ingredients in a large bowl, and add salt and pepper to taste.

4. stir and refrigerate overnight before serving.  serve with corn chips, preferably blue corn.

Spring break, WOOOO!

The Kitchibitionist will be back next week!

In the meantime, on a note totally unrelated to food, you can fill the time you would have spent cooking watching this great episode of Arrested Development: Spring Breakout!

happiness and chocolate chips

Yesterday I was in an inexplicable bad mood.  Maybe it was the weather – the forecast was warm and sunny, but the day turned gloomy and gray.  I was thinking about what would make me feel better and I realized – a homemade ice cream sandwich.  I am partial to the Immaculate Baking Co.’s break-and-bake chocolate chip cookies with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.  I challenge you to stay in a bad mood after you eat one of these.

Goodness, gracious, great balls of chicken!

Today I bring you yet another Smitten Kitchen recipe: Baked Chicken Meatballs.  This one is originally from Gourmet Magazine via Epicurious – it’s like whisper down the lane, recipe-style.

The meatballs go with a roasted red pepper salsa-like sauce called peperonata.  As a disclaimer, I will let you know that I roasted my own peppers and peeling them was a hassle.  But I was also trying to follow two recipes at once, and didn’t exactly follow the directions for blackening the peppers and slow roasted them instead….I suspect that by blackening them, the peeling process would become much easier.  Your call.

The meatballs themselves were really great – flavorful and not too heavy.  You will want to make these again, immediately.  In fact, I liked them so much that I ate a leftover one on toasted italian bread with a smear of goat cheese for lunch the next day, and then finished them off for dinner that night with the leftover pasta.  Incidentally, I served the meatballs with pasta with a red pepper and goat cheese sauce, which was fine, but overall unremarkable, especially compared to the meatballs’ glory.

MAKE THEM NOW!

ingredients
1 lb ground chicken
about 3 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion or 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 c. torn up bread – i used a bolillo roll
1/3 c. milk – i used original-flavor almond milk and it was fine
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 large egg
2 tbsp tomato paste, divided

instructions

1. preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  heat a large skillet over medium high heat.

2. pour the milk over the bread in a small bowl and toss to make sure all the bread gets contact with the milk.  let it soak 3-4 minutes, or until the onions are done.

3. add 2 tbsp olive oil to the skillet.  when the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic, and the salt and pepper.  saute until the onion softens, about 3-4 minutes.  try not to let it brown too much – if it starts to, turn down the heat.  when the onions are soft, remove from heat.

4. squeeze the bread to remove excess milk, and discard milk.

5. in a large bowl, beat the egg.  add the bread, ground chicken, onion and garlic mixture, parsley, and 1 tbsp tomato paste, and plunge your hands into the chickeny mixture.

6. form 12 meatballs out of the mixture.  in a small bowl, mix the remaining tomato paste and remaining tbsp olive oil with a fork.  brush the mixture over the tops of the meatballs.

7. bake 15-20 minutes at 400, until just cooked through.  mine were done right at 15, so check them then.

8. top with peperonata if you like – i really liked how the tangy peperonata cut the richness of the meatballs.

Note on peperonata: Deb at Smitten Kitchen recommended that you roast the peppers whole, then remove the skin before cutting them up.  Here are some instructions for roasting and peeling red peppers – let me know if it goes better than my attempt!