Archive | February, 2012

Progress: Week 17

24 Feb

Jane v. Giada

5 Feb

I think the competing devil and angel on my shoulders can be summarized as “the little creative, take life as it comes, be spontaneous, you love adventure and surprises” side and the “organize, order, prepare, and plan” side.  I am not yet sure which is angel and which is devil.  But I like to think many of the greats had similar competing forces on their shoulders (ie Thomas Jefferson, Steve Jobs, etc.).

Anyways, the organized one (we’ll call her Jane) spent all day yesterday waking up early to beat the crowd at the co-op, making a pot of black beans for the week and a cilantro chutney for a dinner a week away, and creating a list of foods she’d have the ability to make throughout the week on her kitchen’s chalkboard (see exhibit a below).

But today, the creative one (we’ll call her Giada) came home, tired of compartmentalizing and planning and just said, “I’m hungry.”  And in light of the creative, work-with-what-you-have mentality I have been harnessing, I whipped up black bean, cilantro chutney, and sharp cheddar cheese quesadillas for lunch.  Note: That menu item is not listed on my planning chalkboard (exhibit a).  Giada wins today.

Cilantro Chutney

5 Feb

I recently took a cooking class at Miette Culinary Studio.  Specifically, I learned how to make Indian Street Food.  It was a fabulous class!  Jam and I are having friends over next weekend and I thought I would give my Indian food menu a shot.  So, I am tackling one of the things this weekend to get it out of the way.

Cilantro Chutney

Juice of 3 limes

1 medium red onion (chopped)

1.5 inch fresh ginger root (peeled and chopped coarsely)

2 cups tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (2 bunches)

6-8 hot green chilis (or 2 jalapenos)

salt to taste

Wash the cilantro well (don’t remove stems).  Blend the onion, lime juice, and ginger into a smooth paste.  Now add the cilantro, green chilis, and salt to the paste and grind further to make the chutney.

(If you don’t add any water, will keep in your fridge for a few months.)

Good with samosas, over grilled chicken or fish, or even on a tomato and cheese sandwich.

 

“Bittmanesque”

3 Feb

I think I just created a word.  Or perhaps, another way to summarize our generation.  Or just how I like to cook.  Or how I hope to approach my life.  There’s Romanesque, Kafkaesque, grotesque, and now Bittmanesque.  (Don’t tell Jam.  He’s already jealous of my love of Mark Bittman.)

And this book, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, is Bittmanesque.  I am incredibly excited to buy my own copy.  Read the NY Times article here to get a taste of what it will feel like to cook using only what’s in your fridge while being free of recipe-following constraints.

Inspired by this Bittmanesque thinking, I took a long, hard look (not that long, it was slim pickin’s) at what I had in my fridge and pantry (which I thought was nothing) and came away with a delicious spinach pesto over orzo with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Very empowering.  Can’t wait to order the book and read more.