Friday, November 07, 2008

Recipe: Vegetarian Potato Latkes

Sometimes you can't beat the classics. This is one of those instances. Don't mess with latkes! Serve these with homemade applesauce, organic sour cream and freshly snipped chives. Incredible. Simple. Classic. Unbelievably good!

2 cups coarsely shredded baking potatoes
3 eggs
2 Tbsp flour
1.5 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp shredded or finely minced onion
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Oil for shallow frying

1. After shredding your potatoes, squeeze the shreds in small batches in a dishtowel to rid them of extra water.

2. Place them in a bowl with the remaining ingredients (not the oil).

3. Pour a generous amount of oil in a frying pan or skillet so that it coats the bottom to a depth of about 1/4 inch. You can be more sparing if you like, but these tend to come out better (and probably absorb LESS of the oil) if there's more in the pan.

4. Heat the oil on medium high until it's good and hot, about 350 degrees.

5. Form the potato mixture into silver dollar size cakes and slip gently into the oil. If the dough seems wet, just leave the extra moisture in the bowl, draining the cakes as best you can as you form them. The cakes should be somewhat skinny so they cook all the way through.

6. When the bottom is good and brown--about 4 minutes should do it--turn the latkes over and cook the other side.

7. Remove the latkes with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or a paper bag.

8. These are best served right away, but can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven for a bit before you serve them. Garnish with your best applesauce, sour cream and chives. YUM!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Why does this look so familiar?

Wow. Deja vu!

Is the McCain campaign getting strategy ideas from Batman reruns? It would seem so.

Recipe: Vegetarian Gumbo

This is a fantastic and incredibly easy gumbo. It's a nice dish to serve if you're trying to please a group that's a mixed bag of vegans, vegetarians, seafood-lovers and meat-eaters. You can make the vegetarian gumbo as a base and then have everyone top it as they please at the table: with soy cheese, shredded Monterey jack, grilled shrimp, sausage, you name it. No matter what you have on top, make sure to serve with plenty of your favorite hot sauce to taste. Mine is Trappey's Louisiana Bull. Yum.


2 Tbsp Olive or other oil
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
One onion, chopped
Two cloves garlic, minced
Two carrots, chopped
Two stalks celery, chopped
One pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper
1 bag (about 1lb) frozen sliced okra (or fresh, if you prefer)
1 bag (about 1lb) frozen corn kernels (or fresh, if you prefer)
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Dash red wine vinegar
Hot sauce to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium heat. (If you're using a pressure cooker, you'll want to use that).

2. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently, until the flour is nice and brown, the color of an old copper penny.

3. Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and cook for about 2-3 minutes. If the mixture starts to look dry or sticks to the bottom of the pot, add a tablespoon or so of water.

4. Add the spices and black-eyed peas. A moment later, add water to cover (about 4 cups).

5. If you're using a pressure cooker, bring to full pressure and cook until beans are done, about 20-40 minutes, depending on your cooker. If you're using a normal pot, bring to a boil and then simmer slowly until done, adding more water if a lot of the water is absorbed by the beans

6. When the beans are done, add the okra, corn, tomatoes, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste.

7. So simple, so easy... You won't believe how good this is. Serve over rice and with freshly made cornbread. Pass the hot-sauce. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Charlie Goes to Candy Mountain

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cute Alert: Baby Panda Sneezes!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Strozzapreti: Recipe

Special Guest blog by Jeff!

We had a delicious meal last night from a recipe out of a 1970s vegetarian Italian cookbook, authored by the incomparable Romagnolis, the currently out-of-print "Romagnoli's Meatless Cookbook,' about the little-studied, little-known segment of Italian vegetarian cooking called cucina di magro.

They call these "priest-chokers." They are little bite-sized balls made of a delicious ground-up mixture of swiss-chard, bread crumbs and parmesan. The story behind the name doesn't ring true to me: That the priests collected a "tax" from the peasants in the form of farm produce, and this pasta dish was so good the curate might well have choked on them, eating as the peasant's guest with such gusto. Yeah, right! I still think the "tax" part of the story might explain the "priest-choker" name for the dish.


2 pounds swiss chard, cooked in salted water about 5 minutes, drained, allowed to cool, squeezed dry and finely chopped/processed
1 cup toasted bread crumbs, finely processed
3/4-1 cup parmesan, grated

3 eggs, beaten (have more in reserve)

butter, ex virg olive oil, fresh sage and parmesan for top

1. Mix the cooked chard, bread crumbs and parmesan together and allow to sit for a few minutes.

2. Beat the eggs, salt and pepper in with a fork. The dough should be somewhat dry, but sticky enough to form cohesive balls that stay together when you roll them between your hands like meatballs.

3. Bring 4 quarts of water salted at 1 tsp/quart to a low boil/simmer, and test one cherry-sized strozzapreti ball for its stick-togetherness.

4. It will rise to the top after a while; allow it a few minutes at the top of the water before taking it out with a slotted spoon to tase-test. If it's done (and doesn't need more eggs/breadcrumbs to make it stick together) start rolling the dough into cherry-sized balls, about 16 each batch, waiting a few minutes after they rise to the top.

6. Transfer the pasta to a bowl that has however much melted butter, olive oil, sage, you would like, and stir in some more parmesan when they are all done. Andrew keeps the bowl in a heated oven at 200F while we're cooking and transfers and mixes each batch in the butter as they get done. Top with parmesan when they're all done and serve.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A Very Barney Christmas

My sister told me about this "Daily Show" parody of the annual Barney Christmas video, i.e. our retarded, soul-deprived president's annual attempt to humanize himself with a video of an unwitting and un-consenting dog. (Hello, PETA? Doesn't this qualify as cruel exploitation of an innocent animal?)

The actual parody comes in at about 5:30 on the vid if you're in a hurry, but the five minute, 30 second lead-in is pretty funny, too. Enjoy... And Happy Yule, everyone!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The Christmas that Wasn't

I'm not a total Christmas-hater, but this made me laugh...