Friday, October 28, 2011

Celery Salad

We just made this for lunch. (Yes, working from home is awesome.) It was delicious with celery fresh from our CSA.

(Adapted from Cooking Light)

celery, washed and diced
walnuts, toasted and chopped
shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. EVOO
1 tbsp. lemon juice

(Quantities of walnuts and Parm really depend on how much celery you have. We used 3 very small bunches of celery, about 2/3 cup of walnuts and about ½ cup of cheese.)

1. Combine all ingredients in bowl. Mix well. Serve.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Things I Learned: 10/25/11

-The Ancient Egyptians invented bowling

-Some dolphins in Shark Bay, Australia use conch shells to catch fish.

-Superior canal dehiscence syndrome, an inner ear disorder caused by a small hole in the bone covering part of the inner ear, causes every sound within the body to be amplified. (People with this disorder can hear their eyeballs move.)

-Wooly rhinos, which lived in what is now Tibet about 1 million years before the Ice Age, had large flat forward-leaning front horns that most likely acted as snow shovels.

-Niacin deficiency causes pellagra, a shriveling disease the Italians got from eating too much polenta (which is made from corn, which is deficient in niacin). Native Americans also ate a lot of corn, but they planted their corn with beans, which are loaded with niacin.

-Thomas Jefferson brought dried pasta to America.

-The model T was offered in colors until 1914 when Henry ford discovered that black paint dried faster.

-Fleas that live on a dog can jump higher than fleas that live on a cat.

-“Thriller” was originally titled “Starlight.”

-People’s tolerance for grossness (measured by their response to images of gross things like a man eating worms) is linked to their political views. People who were more disgusted by gross images tended to be more conservative. Study subjects who opposed gay marriage tended to exhibit the deepest levels of disgust for the images.

-Last year, 25% of the bras sold in intimacy boutiques were size G or larger.

-Dueling is legal in Paraguay (as long as both parties are registered blood donors).

-Personal drug use is not a criminal offense in Portugal.

-In Kentucky, it’s illegal for a human female to appear in a bathing suit on a highway unless she’s a) escorted by at least two police officers; b) armed with a club; c) lighter than 90 pounds or d) heavier than 200 pounds. A female horse can appear in a bathing suit on a highway without any of these silly restrictions.

-Shorter lower legs allow animals (modern mammals and Neanderthals) to maneuver over mountainous terrain more efficiently than those with longer lower legs.

-It’s illegal to plow a cotton field with an elephant in North Carolina.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Grilled Cheese Steaks

This really doesn’t need an introduction.

(Adapted from “Bobby Flay’s Grill It!”)

Grass-fed steak
2 tbsp. Olive oil plus more to brush on the steak before grilling
7 tbsp. unsalted butter (don’t freak, you won’t use it all)
3-4 cloves of garlic, roasted*, peeled and smushed
sliced gluten-free baguette (or French bread)
aged provolone cheese, sliced (you want equal numbers of cheese slices, bread slices, and steak slices)
3 large yellow onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Parsley Oil (optional)
We found the dish to be too oily with this, but the parsley did add a nice flavor. If you want to try it, combine the following:
¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley leaves
½ cup EVOO

*To roast garlic: Preheat oven to 300°. Place unpeeled garlic cloves on a sheet of aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and seal up the packets. Cook until the garlic is soft, 45 minutes to an hour.

1. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes (until the onions are soft and caramelized).

3. Heat grill to high.

4. Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill 4-5 minutes (until golden brown and slightly charred), then flip and grill for 6-7 minutes.

5. Transfer steak to cutting board and tent loosely with foil. Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing it into thin strips.

6. In a small bowl, combine the remaining butter (5 tbsp.) with the roasted garlic.

7. Spread garlic butter on one side of each slice of bread.

8. Grill the bread, butter side down, until golden brown (1-2 minutes). Flip, then top each slice with a piece of cheese and grill until the cheese melts (30 seconds or so).

9. Plate the bread, top with caramelized onions and a slice of steak. (Drizzle with parsley oil if you so desire.)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gluten-Free Baguette

All recipes posted on this blog undergo rigorous quality testing. If a dish lacks the awesomeness that we expect, it doesn’t get posted. No exceptions—except this one. This bread is very very good, but we think it could be better. We will better-ify it (sure, “improve” would be appropriate there, but I like better-ify) and then we will post the better-ified recipe. BUT for now, it is imperative that we share this recipe so you have an appropriate surface on which to serve the amazingly delicious cheese steaks we’ll be sharing tomorrow.

(from “125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipes”)

2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
2 tsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. xanthan gum
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups water
2 tsp. cider vinegar
2 egg whites, lightly beaten

1. Combine the brown rice flour, potato starch, sugar, xanthan gum, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Mix well.

2. Add the water, cider vinegar and egg whites to the bread machine baking pan. Start the “Dough Cycle” and gradually add the dry ingredients to the bread machine baking pan.

3. Let the bread machine do its kneading thing, but as soon as it stops kneading, turn off the bread machine (the “Dough cycle” won’t be finished).

4. Remove the dough and split it into two lumps.

5. Get your hands wet and shape the lumps into baguettes and place the baguette-shaped lumps on a lightly greased, parchment-paper lined baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal.

6. Use a knife to make three to four diagonal slits (about ¼-inch deep) in each loaf.

7. Walk away. (Let the dough rise for an hour, preferably in a warm, draft-free place.)

8. Preheat oven to 425°.

9. Bake for 20-23 minutes. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

4-Ingredient Bars and a Prudish Carrot

Under normal conditions, I like easy recipes. When I only have a couple hours between finishing a half marathon and arriving at a baby shower to which I’ve promised to bring baked goods, I really like easy recipes. This one fit the bill for yesterday’s craziness.

(Adapted from Friesencold)

3 brown bananas, mashed
2 cups gluten-free oats
½ cup chopped dates (without pits)
½ cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9-inch springform pan (or a 9” x 9” pan).

2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

3. Press mixture into pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes.

5. Cool and then cut into bars.

A Prudish Carrot