Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Vegetable Frittata

It's about time I made one and posted about it. It's basically eggs and vegetables. I'm bound to like it.

Well guess what? I did like it! So did my granny.

Ingredient list:

-1/2 of a yellow squash, diced
-1 cup of frozen mixed veggies
-2 large handfuls of fresh kale, chopped
-Olive oil
-6 eggs
-Black pepper
-Sea salt
-1 tsp of minced garlic
-Cheddar cheese

1) Pour olive oil into a pot. Add the vegetables and garlic. Stir to coat all the veggies with oil and garlic. Let it cook for about 10 minutes.

2) In the meantime, beat up the eggs in a bowl with some sea salt and pepper.

3) Let the veggies cook until the frozen veggies are no longer frozen and have separated. Grease a 9 or 10 inch pie plate with some butter or olive oil. Spoon the veggies into it (try to spoon it in instead of dumping it all in to avoid transferring the liquid in the pot to the baking dish). Spread out the veggies in an even layer. Pour the beaten eggs over the veggies and bake in the oven at 325 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

4) When the frittata is mostly set, take it out and grate some cheese over it. Put it back in the and let it finish baking, perhaps 10 minutes.

I served this with sliced cantalope.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Aloo Baingan with Rice

I love Manjula's website. It's one of the best Indian food recipe sites I've ever come across.

She's also like the really nice aunt I never had. Most of my aunts were mean, would pinch me really hard or threaten to pop me one if I spoke out of turn.

It's no wonder I am afraid of them

Adapted from Manjula's Kitchen

Ingredient list:

-1 medium eggplant, cubed and washed.
-4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
-2 tomatoes, diced
-1 tsp of ginger
-1 tblsp of coriander powder
-1 tsp of cumin seeds
-a pinch of asafetida
-1/2 tsp of turmeric
-1/2 of chili powder
-1 tsp of salt
-Oil for frying

1) In a large pot, fry the potatoes and eggplant in just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Keep an eye on it and fry until the potatoes are golden brown and the eggplant is cooked.

2) In a small bowl, mix the ginger, coriander, turmeric, chili powder and salt together with some water to make a thin sauce. Set aside for now.

3) Add the cumin seeds to the fried vegetables and stir to coat. Add a pinch of asafetida and mix well. Then pour in the spice gravy. Mix it well to coat all of the potatoes and eggplant. Add some water to partially fill the pot. You don't need to cover it but you do want to keep the vegetables from sticking to the pot. Add the chopped tomatoes.

4) Cook until the gravy boils down a little, about 10 minutes. Serve over freshly cooked rice.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Restaurant Review: District of Pi

On the day of the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Washington DC, Jessica ran and completed the event as her husband and I cheered her on (by "cheered her on" I mean we went to the DC Market, ran some errands, and then met her at the finish line). After running for over 2 hours she was famished, so we went to District of Pi (along with her co-worker and fellow marathon runner) Raphael.

We were seated as soon as we walked in.

Jess and I shared The Delmar.

It's mozzarella, cheddar, barbecue sauce, chicken, red and green peppers, red onion, and cilantro.

I also ordered a glass of  Allagash White

It's a Belgian-style wheat brew. It's light and slightly fruity. If you're not a beer lover you might like this. It's not as bitter as other beers. 
The pizza was scrumptious. The crust was dusted with cornmeal and had cornmeal baked into the crust itself. The cheddar was a nice complement to the usual mozzarella, and the barbecued chicken and veggies balanced out the other flavors perfectly.  

Raphael ordered the East Loop

It's mozzarella, pesto, roasted chicken, mushrooms and onions. I tried a piece. It was delicious. I love the addition of pesto.

I like District of Pi enough to go back. The service was good, but toward the end of the meal the waitress seemed to be eager to take my plate away. I got the impression that she wanted to clear the table quickly.
It didn't ruin the experience, however. I would patronize District of Pi in the future.

District of Pi

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

This may be hard to believe, but I have never made cheesecake bars before.

One would think this to be impossible, given how much I like cheesecake, but it's true: I have never made the bar version of this delicious and irresistible dessert.

That all changed the day decided I wanted to combine fruit with cream cheese and crushed graham crackers.

The working title sounds better than what I just typed.

Ingredient list:

-1 pint of fresh strawberries
-1/8 cup  of cornstarch
-1/4 cup of sugar
-2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
-1 stick of butter, melted
-2 packages of cream cheese, softened
-2 eggs
-1 tsp of vanilla extract
-1 cup of sugar
-1 cup of yogurt or sour cream

1) Finely chop the strawberries.

2) Place in a pot with 1 cup of water. On low heat, add 1/4 cup of sugar and the cornstarch. Stir to dissolve and let it thicken into a sauce. Make sure the heat is on low so it doesn't overcook.

3) Mix the cracker crumbs and melted butter together in a bowl and press into an aluminum foil lined 9x13 baking dish. Press it down and spread it out so the entire bottom is covered with the cracker base.

4) Beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream or yogurt one at a time, mixing after each addition.

5) Pour the finished mixture over the graham cracker crust. Spread it out into an even layer. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes. You can also place a pan of water in the oven with it. This helps keep the top from cracking.

6) When it cools, spoon on the fruit topping.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lemon-Cucumber Detox Water

I was looking up detox water recipes online one day and ones for lemon-cucumber-mint water kept popping up. Detox water is meant to flush out your system and possibly help your tummy look flatter.

Of course, there are other factors to tummy slimming. Like doing sit ups. Eating less cake. Not listening to me when I tell you that not eating cake is a surefire way to make hell freeze over.

What? That wasn't me. I never said that!

Ingredient list:

-1 gallon of water
-4 lemons, cut into quarters
-6 ounces of fresh mint leaves, chopped
-2 cucumbers, chopped into small pieces.

1) Layer each solid ingredient in a pitcher. Try to rotate them so they are all mixed.

2) Pour enough water in to fill the pitcher.

3) Chill in the refrigerator overnight and keep in the fridge until you've used up the water.

I have been enjoying this. It's refreshing and way healthier than soda or sugary juice (I rarely drink those two, btw). It's a nice alternative to plain water on hot days.

Healthwise, I do feel my system picking up on days when I drink this. It's a minimal effect, but I feel better somehow. It could be a placebo happening.

What I do know is that I like this water drink. I hope you like it too. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Strawberry Cake with Raspberry Whipped Cream for Lammas

I'm a day late for Lammas, but I did make a delicious fruity dessert to usher in the first festival of the harvest season.

Ingredient list:

-1/2 cup of butter
-3/4 cup of sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp of vanilla
-1.5 cups of chopped strawberries
-2 tsp of baking powder
-1.5 cups of all purpose flour

Raspberry Whipped Cream

1 cup of heavy cream
-1 tblsp of sugar
-1/2 cup of raspberries, crushed with a fork

1) Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract.

2) Puree in a blender or food processor the strawberries.

3) Beat in the egg. Then add the strawberry puree.

4) Sift together the baking powder and flour. Gradually add this to the wet ingredients. If the batter seems a little dry, add some milk.

5) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch round pan. Pour in the batter and bake for 30-35 minutes.

6) In a clean bowl, whip the cream and sugar together using an electric beater. When you start to get stiff peaks (meaning you've gotten whipped cream), beat in the crushed raspberries, just enough to incorporate them into the entire bowl of cream. Be careful not to overbeat. 10 seconds should be enough time.

7) Let the cake cool. When it's cool, slice it in half horizontally so you have two layers. Spread whipped cream on one layer and carefully place the second layer on top. Coat the entire cake with whipped cream.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Restaurant Review: Kum Gang San

I went to Kum Gang San with a friend. We were wandering around midtown, and we walked through Koreatown. My friend spotted Kum Gang San, and we decided to check it out.

Once inside, we ordered fresh sushi. We also chose ready made and packaged meals: dumplings, squid, wontons, miso soup and various spiced veggies. It's sort of buffet style. You get to choose what you want from a precooked serving island.

I really loved the California roll we ordered. It was perfect.

The squid was less tasty to me. It was very spicy and otherwise flavorless. I liked the dumplings, fried dumplings and rice.

I would go back. I wouldn't get the same meal package I got the last time, but I would give this place another shot. They also serve free tea and the service is great.

There are two locations in NYC: Flushing and Manhattan.