Day After Soup

For the broth:
Turkey carcass
1 large carrot roughly broken
2 celery stalks roughly broken
2 bay leaves
1 yellow onion quartered with skin on
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
2 sprigs of parsley

Put all ingredients in large stockpot add enough water to cover or just about cover the turkey. Bring to a boil then simmer for two hours or so skimming off any foamy stuff around the edge. Take out the big pieces and then strain into another pot or bowl big enough to hold the broth.

For the soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion medium dice
3 carrots sliced thinish
3 celery stalks sliced thinish
3 cups turkey meat pulled apart
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning (or half tsp each of sage, thyme, marjoram rosemary, pepper— I leave out the nutmeg due to allergies)
1 teaspoon salt—taste to adjust after a little while
3/4 cup Madeira wine
1/2 pound wild rice or mixed wild rice like Lundberg wild blend
All the broth plus water if needed

In a stockpot/soup pot add one tablespoon olive oil, teaspoon of salt and add onion, celery and carrot and cook on medium-high until softened. Add poultry season stir for a minute so it can bloom. Add 3/4 cup Madiera wine and turn heat to high and reduce about half. Add broth, turkey, rice and water if needed (I add water if needed to bring level up to about 4/5 of stockpot) bring to a boil, simmer for a few hours. Spoon off any foamy stuff around edge.

Copyright © 2018 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Summer Roll

I make 3 per person. Here I’m making 12. Sometimes the ingredients get a little tilted by the end. I usually run out of avocado first.

1/4 of a 14oz package of rice stick noodles
36 shrimp peeled and deveined
1 carrot julienned
1 cucumber julienned
Rice vinegar
2 cups cabbage (Napa, Savoy, Green…) sliced thin
1 Avocado halved and finely sliced
24 sprigs of cilantro
24 basil leaves
12 25cm extra-thin spring roll wrappers
Sweet chili sauce for dipping
Toasted sesame seeds for garnish

2 cups boiling water in a 9×9 casserole dish or something close to that. Break up a quarter of a 14oz package of rice stick noodles and soak for about ten minutes then drain in colander. Cut up a bit with scissors.

36 shrimp. 3 for each roll. I buy frozen medium size wild-caught white shrimp and flash them for 3 minutes in lightly salted boiling water. Then drain in colander and remove tails.

On a big cutting board with prep bowls if needed:
1 carrot julienned (I have a hand-held Japanese julienne tool thing)
1 cucumber cut lengthwise and seeded. Julienne half. Thinly slice other half and put in bowl with some rice vinegar.
About 2 cups of cabbage finely sliced (Napa, Savoy, green, or whatever)
1 avocado cut in halves and sliced thin
Cilantro leaves and tender stalk
24 or so basil leaves

12 25cm extra-thin spring roll wrappers.

With enough space on cutting board to roll and a 9×9 casserole dish with hot water next to it, rotate wrapper through hot water, place on cutting board and begin to load about a third of the way down the wrapper: basil leaves and shrimp next to each other and then everything else on top. Tuck in sides and roll.

Serve cucumber slices in small dishes topped with toasted sesame seeds and sweet chili sauce for dipping. I usually make sushi rice as a side.

Copyright © 2018 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Flu Prevention Diet

6 medium or 4 large beets stems and greens removed
1 small yellow onion finely diced
1 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
4 to 6 cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Cut stems and greens from beets. Place in pot and cover with water and bring to a boil. Continue on a slow boil until knife pierces beet easily. Half hour or so for small/medium and sometimes an hour for big ones. When done, reserve 1 cup of beet water. Set aside to cool.

In a small saucepan, combine beet water, a small yellow onion finely diced, one cup white wine vinegar, quarter cup sugar, four to six cloves, teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for around five minutes.

Meanwhile, trim ends off beets, pull skin off, slice or dice beets however you want. Combine beets and sauce in covered container and refrigerate overnight. Pull out a few hours before eating to let them warm up a bit.

Serve with hot tea and an orange.

Copyright © 2018 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Holiday Beef and Peppers

…because it’s red and green. This is a quick one pan and one pot or oven/toaster oven recipe that would work well in a tiny house or micro apartment or anywhere. I wish I had thought of this in my first apartment. Like instead of pizza rolls.

1 1/2 cups short grain brown rice
2 1/3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or use garlic press
1 tablespoon curry powder (recipe at end because I have a fenugreek allergy)
1 pound ground beef
1 large yellow onion sliced into strips
1 red pepper cut into strips
1 green pepper cut into strips

Make rice. I bake short grain brown rice. Get the oven going at 375º. Bring 2 1/3 cups of water to a boil. I use a measuring cup in the microwave. In a covered baking dish or use foil, combine 1 1/2 cups rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and the boiling water. Stir. Cover. Bake for 50 minutes.

Make sauce. In a measuring cup add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix in 1/3 cup soy sauce slowly. Then 1/3 cup water. Add 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped or put through the press, 1 tablespoon curry powder.

Brown around one pound ground beef. I freeze ground beef for dishes like this. I use 90% lean grass-fed. In a large frying pan, add frozen ground beef. On medium high heat, turn and break up with spatula. Meanwhile, back at the cutting board, slice one yellow onion into strips. Add onion when beef is browned. While onion is browning cut red and green pepper into strips. Add peppers to the pan and about a half cup of water. Cover and steam until peppers are how you like them. Work in the sauce for a minute or so, adding water if needed. Serve over rice.

Done.

I’m thinking about trying this with a butter, worcestershire sauce, and curry over mashed potatoes.

Curry powder: 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon tumeric, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

 

 

 

Salmon and Vegetables Teriyaki

The same dish they have for takeaway at Whole Foods with better salmon and a less sweet teriyaki and also you can control the teriyaki here.

2 cups short grain sushi rice
3 cups water
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 carrots
1 large red pepper or 2 small
4 cups broccoli florets
1 pound salmon
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 rice wine or sake
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Ground black pepper
Toasted sesame seeds

Sushi rice in the rice cooker or heat 2 cups rice with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. To make more or less rice: 1 teaspoon canola oil and 1/2 teaspoon of salt for every 1 cup of rice add 1 1/2 cup water. About 17 minutes.

Steam Carrots, red pepper, and broccoli: start carrots first for a few minutes, then red pepper, then broccoli.

Pan sear salmon however done you like (remove pin bones if needed). I use around a pound for four people. I have been using Silver Coho Salmon I found at Trader Joe’s and it has been very tender and moist. Can also bake in foil at 350º for around 25 minutes.

Mix teriyaki sauce: in a measuring cup add a heaping spoon of cornstarch, then stir in 1/2 cup soy sauce until you have a smooth slurry. Then 1/4 cup each mirin rice wine or sake, brown sugar. Add a teaspoon of grated ginger and fresh ground pepper to taste. Microwave a minute at a time until thickened or bring to a boil on stove.

Garnish with toasted sesame seeds. Maybe some thinly sliced scallions too.

Done.

Would work for chicken. Short ribs? All vegetables?

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Cucumber

When a small packet of heirloom cucumber seeds turns into this, you need more cucumber ideas. I have quite a few Asian and Greek inspired recipes so I needed something to go with other foods. This paired well with pasta.

This is best made a few hours before serving. Start with this basic recipe and then see how it tastes. I usually end up adding a little more vinegar or sugar. You can also add chopped fresh dill or red pepper flakes for a different take. Or more garlic.

4 cucumbers, skins removed and seeds scooped out, thinly sliced
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons good tasting olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed or put through a garlic press
salt to taste

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Tabbouleh

 

The first time I had this was in a Persian restaurant in Washington DC. What an incredible idea: a salad of parsley. It’s a bit of a pain to make, especially since I don’t like parsley stems, but foolproof.

1 1/2 cups bulgur wheat (medium or coarse)
2 big bunches of parsley
1 small red onion
2 large tomatoes
1 cup lemon juice (4-5 lemons)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh or dried mint
Salt and pepper to taste

Start proofing the bulgur wheat. There are many ways to do this. I’ve settled on putting it into a mesh strainer fitted into a saucepan—shown above—and running hot water over it to wet the grains until the water reaches the top. I sit it by the sink and about 45 minutes later it’s all puffed up and you can just pick the strainer up and let the water run out.

While this is going on, get out a large bowl, the biggest one you have. Finely dice the tomatoes and put them in your bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside.

In a 2 cup measuring cup, add a half cup of olive oil and stir in the mint; finely minced if using fresh. Squeeze the lemons and add to the olive oil.

Now finely dice the red onion and add it to the olive oil and lemon juice mixture.

Now the parsley. I don’t like stems so I painstakingly pluck the leaves and then coarsely chop them. But you can do this however you want.

Once the bulgur is drained and ready, add everything to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add freshly ground pepper to taste or not.

Watch it disappear in less time than it took to make.

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Yucatán Bentosh

This inspired take on the traditional rice bowl comes from a trip to the Yucatán peninsula. After discovering these bright pink pickled onions (escabeche de cebolla) in Mérida, I wanted a place for them. The ingredients can vary— here, I’ve used ground beef. But it is just as good with shredded spiced chicken or beef, or beans. If you’ve got the time, you could even take this to the next level with Mayan style Cochinita Pibil, which is another dish I first had in Mérida. Cochinita Pibil is like pulled pork, but with a kick from sour orange juice instead of vinegar. There’s a good recipe for this on rickbayless.com.

1 pound ground beef
1 red onion halved and sliced thinly
2 small/medium yellow onions finely diced (one for the rice, one for the beef)
1 medium tomato for the rice
2 cups Jasmine rice
3 cups water
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon +1 tablespoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic finely minced of put through garlic press
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
Iceberg lettuce (to me, iceberg tastes the best here since it is cool and kind of sweet)
Cilantro leaves (I pluck the leaves unless the stems are really tender)
1 cup white vinegar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
Additional toppings: avocado, jalapeno slices, shredded cheese….

Work on the onions first because they need time to cool; you can also make them early in the day or days in advance. Halve and thinly slice red onion and boil covered in water for two minutes or so, until they soften. Don’t worry when you see their color fade. Drain the onions, place in a bowl big enough for them, and cover with white vinegar. Now the magic will happen: they’ll start turning bright pink.

Get a pot out for the rice. Add some oil to the pot, I use about a teaspoon of olive or canola oil, and a teaspoon of salt. You can set this on low while your finely chop a half of a yellow onion. Saute the onion until it’s kind of soft. While this is going on, finely dice a medium size tomato. When the onion is done, add about a teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder and let that warm up a bit. Add the tomato and saute for a minute. Stir in two cups of rice— I’ve been using Jasmine rice here—and three cups of water and bring to a boil; then cover and set on low for seventeen minutes. This is the perfect rice timing I got from one of my first cookbooks, a ‘learn to cook’ cookbook by Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey, but once I accidentally just turned the burner off and it sat for the seventeen minutes on its own heat and it was fine. Who knows, every time I think something is a ‘must,’ I find it may not be so. But the general rule is a cup and a half of water for every cup of rice and seventeenish minutes. You could also make cilantro lime rice. Or you could also use Near East Rice Pilaf Spanish Rice to cut down on prep time; two boxes would equal about what I have here. Put the bowls on the stove to warm up.

Once the rice is on its own, start browning your ground beef while you chop one yellow onion and a few cloves of garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the meat and brown everything up a bit before adding around a tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of cumin. Give the spices a minute to bloom before adding a 14.5 (why isn’t it 15 ounces?) can of diced tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a boil and then let this simmer. I stir it every few minutes; sometimes I need to add a little water.

While the meat and rice are cooking, you can get the toppings ready. Toppings can be a lot of things here: any kind of lettuce, chopped tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, any kind of salsa, cilantro leaves, sliced jalapeno peppers, roasted peppers, shredded cheese, gosh what else? Don’t forget the pickled onions. I’m sure there’s other stuff. Oh, lime quarters (maybe not with the pickled onions). Avocado. Beans too. I’m allergic to legumes so I can’t really recommend what kind, but they could be in addition to or instead of the meat. Margaritas and mojitos. But Mexican Coke in the green bottle is awesome. Wait! Horchata! That would be most awesome.

Notes: I’m starting to buy some different chili powders. Just like olive oil, there are a lot of different flavor notes in them: different kinds of smoky, some have citrus flavors, and others are almost sweet, some are H-O-T. I find them in local Hispanic markets, where I also see a lot of whole dried peppers. I haven’t advanced to grinding my own, but one day I’ll probably give that a try just to see if it makes a difference. Whole Foods has some different ones now. I use grass-fed ground beef all the time now. In this dish, you can’t really taste the difference, but you can appreciate the tender texture of the grass-fed beef. I also want to try cotija or queso blanco. I’ve made this with jack cheese, but I wasn’t crazy about the flavor.

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Winter Chicken and Tomatoes

A good way to bring tomatoes to the table in winter— as the little ones taste the same to me in any season.

Four small chicken breasts
2 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 or 2heads of garlic
2 cups of orzo
1 cup of parsley leaves (I don’t like the stems, so I pluck the leaves)
1 lemon
2 tablespoons of capers
Sea salt flakes, ground pepper, olive oil

Arrange the shelves in the oven to make room for the baking dish with the chicken and the baking pan with the tomatoes to go in together— I put the chicken just below the middle and the tomatoes and garlic just above the middle. Get the oven going at 400°. Put the cherry tomatoes and peeled garlic cloves in a bowl. Toss with a little olive oil, spread this out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with some sea salt flakes. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish and sprinkle with salt and fresh cracked pepper. If the baking dish doesn’t have a lid, cover with foil; I use an 11 cup Anchor Hocking baking dish with a glass lid which is good for up to four not too big chicken breasts. Put everything in the oven. The tomatoes will take around 30 minutes to shrivel up and get some brown spots. I usually just leave the chicken in until everything is done, but you can test it around 20 minutes; if it looks cooked through when you pierce it with a knife or the instant read thermometer says it’s 165º, it’s done. You can take it out and let stay warm on the stove.

While the tomatoes are roasting, start a pot for your orzo and bring it to a boil; salt the water if you wish. Orzo usually takes 10 minutes, so try to plot for it to be done when the chicken and tomatoes come out. While you’re waiting, finely chop some parsley for the orzo, drain a few spoonfuls of capers, and have some lemon wedges ready— I take out any pips that I can see. Set your bowls on the stove to let them warm up a bit.

When the tomatoes and garlic are shriveled up and brown in spots, it’s ready. Drain the orzo and put it back in the pot; drizzle with some olive oil and fold in the parsley and maybe some salt. Take the chicken and tomatoes out of the oven and slice or dice the chicken in the baking dish or on a cutting board. Now it comes together: every bowl gets some orzo, a few slices of chicken, tomatoes and garlic. Then I finish the dish with a few capers and a splash of lemon juice. This might work with fish, maybe tilapia dredged and pan fried. The orzo could be any small pasta (little shells with fish could be nice) or even rice, quinoa, or couscous.

Notes:
For olive oil, I use Columela or Nunez de Prado— it has a sort of spicy flavor, for sea salt flakes, I use Maldon, and for pepper, I use the Tellicherry variety. I use table salt for anything mixed in or cooked and save the sea salt flakes for finishing or roasting. Using these ingredients adds a little extra flavor to the dish and they’re getting much easier to find now. I’m wondering about the salt packed capers I see popping up, but they are super expensive. I guess I should try them.

Update February 2016: I made this with quinoa instead of orzo and I like it just a much.

Copyright © 2017 MRStrauss • All rights reserved

Hark! The Cookie

Common name: White chocolate chip mint chocolate cookies.

Not a bowl recipe,but you could certainly put them in a bowl to eat. I wanted to photograph one in a bowl but it was dark and overcast on both days. And then they were gone. You can also make these in a toaster oven. Two at a time for big cookies and you need to watch the time, you may need more or less then 14 minutes.

So, ok, this was my younger daughter’s idea for a holiday cookie, based on her love of peppermint bark, that we cobbled together from various cookie recipes. I always like to say you can use whatever brands you want because I don’t want to be a food snob, but the truth is the ingredients really make a difference, especially when it comes to desserts. I learned this many moons ago when I first made Georgetown Cupcake’s chocolate ganache cupcake with regular butter, Hershey’s cocoa and chocolate chips. I couldn’t figure out what was so great about these cupcakes. For some reason, I decided to make them with their recommended ingredients: Plugra butter, Valrhona cocoa, Callebaut chips, the whole deal. And WOW! So it’s not that they won’t be good without all these special ingredients, but they won’t be great. I think it was mostly the chocolate that really made a difference, so I didn’t sweat it here when I realized I had only regular salted butter.

6.5 ounce bag of starlight mints or box of candy canes
8 ounces of butter (two sticks), I used regular salted butter this time because that was all I had
1/4 teaspoon salt if using unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2/3  cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
2 cups of flour (I used Gold Medal)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I used Guittard Cocoa Rouge)
1 teaspoon baking powder
12 ounces of white chocolate chips (I used Guittard Choc-Au-Lait)

Get the butter and eggs out to soften and get up to room temperature (this usually takes a half hour or so).

Get the oven going at 350˚.

Line cookie sheets with parchment or silicone mats (such as Silpat) if needed.

Bash the candy into something around the size of Red Hots or M&M Minis. Careful here. The first time I used a rolling pin and now it is covered in pock marks. I had better success placing the candy between two layers of heavy duty zip lock bags and using the flat side of a meat mallet on a plastic cutting board. I have also used a food processor, but that just turns it to mostly dust (it also gets the machine really hot and etches the bowl).

Combine 2 cups of flour, 2/3 cup cocoa, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Set aside. I don’t usually sift the dry ingredients together unless it’s a cake or cupcake.

With a stand or hand mixer, cream together 8 ounces of butter, 1 cup sugar, and 2/3 cup brown sugar. Scrape down as needed. Add the eggs. Mix until all mixed together.

Scrape down the bowl and begin adding the dry ingredients in three additions. Scraping down between each addition. This is to help incorporate the dry ingredients and also to keep you from having a flour bomb go off.

Once everything is thoroughly mixed, fold in the crushed candy and white chocolate chips. Don’t worry if the batter seems ridiculously thick.

Now you can decide what size you want the cookie. I used a large ice cream scoop that holds a ⅓ of a cup. I baked 5 cookies at a time on a large baking sheet. This made a ‘monster’ size cookie between 4 and 5 inches across. I baked these for 14 minutes. I did one sheet at a time, although if I would have turned the convection on, I could have done three sheets at a time.

Let cool slightly and eat.

Ugh. I’m going to track this over the years: the Guittard white chocolate chips are down to 11oz.

Copyright © 2016 MRStrauss • All rights reserved