French Onion Soup – Vegetarian style

January 29, 2014

French Onion Soup

Cold, gray, snow-filled days call for warm fires and belly-warming soup. While French onion soup always takes a while to make, what else are you going to do when you’re snowed in? So make quick work of the onions in this recipe in a food processor, and get to caramelizing! Soon enough you’ll have warm, sweet-but-mostly-savory soup topped with stringy, gooey Gruyere that is certain to warm your family up from head to toe. (more…)

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Hoppin’ into the New Year

December 28, 2013

Hoppin John

Hoppin’ John is one of my favorite dishes, and it’s something that really shouldn’t be confined just to the first day of the year. For those of you who have never heard of Hoppin’ John, it’s a traditional Southern dish made with rice and black eyed peas, and when eaten on New Year’s Day, it is supposed to bring good luck and prosperity for the year. It is generally served with greens. The black eyed peas are supposed to resemble coins, and the greens add to the year’s prosperity and wealth due to their green color (you know, the color of money). Sometimes cornbread also gets into the action, given its golden color (again, the color of a different kind of money). While I’m not sure about all that, I am sure that creamy black eyed peas mixed with the saltiness of bacon and spiced up with some andouille and pepper makes taste buds happy and fills up bellies. (more…)

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Sufferin’ succotash!

October 4, 2013

Roasted chicken with succotash

A few month’s ago, while in Carmel, I had what might be the best roasted chicken I had ever had out on the town at Hog’s Breath Pub. Maybe it was just because my husband and I were enjoying a weekend away together, maybe it was the wine, but either way, I couldn’t get the perfectly crisp skin, flakes of salt, and fresh vegetable succotash out of my head. So of course, I decided to recreate the meal at home.

Of course, I didn’t actually know what constituted a succotash. I assumed corn, because every succotash I had ever seen had corn. Making this meal was a little on the fly, as I noticed the grocery store had a large bunch of fresh corn in. So I wandered through the produce section, picking up some okra and zucchini, because it looked good. Only later did I learn that succotash also includes lima beans, by definition. So we’ll call this Courtney’s sort-of-succotash, sans beans, but you won’t miss them.

For the chicken recipe, I decided to try Thomas Keller’s simple roast chicken. (more…)

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Fall is in the air!

September 30, 2013

Pork Loin with Apples and Onions

On September 22, the first day of fall, that autumn feeling was in the air, and I completely switched into fall food mode. Even though here in the Bay area we keep swinging between crisper, breezier days and sunny, summer days, when my husband suggested we have something with pork for dinner, I jumped at the chance to make this whole pork loin atop apples. It is so simple I’m not sure why I haven’t made it in a few years, but I’m so happy I made a quick stop by the store for the ingredients this weekend. Pork + apples, it’s been too long! (more…)

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Ingredient review: Cup4Cup (gluten-free) flour

September 23, 2013

Cup4Cup Flour

Over the past few months you may have noticed on the Daily Nosh that I’ve been talking a lot about gluten – whether it be a gluten-free alternative to an older recipe, or a reintroduction of something to my diet with gluten. At the beginning of the year I experienced many bouts of food poisoning while staying in the UK and with that came a host of unexpected side effects including vertigo and numb extremities. Needless to say, it freaked me out a bit. So when it was suggested that my body may not be able to process the gluten due to the food poisonings, I resolved to go gluten free for a couple of months while I tried my best to rebuild the flora in my gut (because, really, I couldn’t imagine not having any gluten for two months, let alone the rest of my life).

One thing I was sure of, though, was that I did not want to go out and find a plethora of gluten-free products to replace my gluten-filled products. First and foremost, I know what wonderful bread and homemade pasta tastes like, and I know gluten-free is never going to match that. Secondly, my husband said he would go gluten-free with me, and many of the gluten-free products out there contain chickpea flour, which he’s severely allergic to. So for the most part I focused on adding more vegetables to my diet, but I did keep a couple of gluten-free alternatives around to squash the cravings for my favored pastas. One was a quinoa pasta, which, while it didn’t soak up sauce the way traditional pasta does, and the texture was horrid leftover, it was quite tasty with my veggie spaghetti.

After two months, I began adding gluten back to my diet, and my husband did the same. Only while it was sitting okay with me, he realized he was doing a lot better without it in his diet. Uh oh! Suddenly mostly-gluten-free was looking more and more like a way of life in this household. So I decided to try Cup4Cup flour which I had seen earlier on in my gluten-free quest, but passed on since my 2 month hiatus was almost up. (more…)

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