Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Tropical Sunday!

This weekend saw some absolutely gorgeous weather in Brooklyn. Spring, at least for the time being, has definitely sprung!

I knew I wanted to make something fun for dinner on Sunday, and a recipe calling for pineapple caught my eye in my google reader. I know I preach eating local, but sometimes a little taste of the tropics, at least every now and then, can really compliment the sunshine!

I crafted Salmon with Pineapple Salsa using this recipe from Epicurious, just subbing the fish instead of chicken. It turned out beautifully! I think our salmon may have been a tad over cooked, but otherwise, very bright and just a tad spicy from the jalapeno. I used fresh rather then canned.

As a side, I opted for Pineapple Fried Rice with Tofu and Sesame Broccoli, both from the Moosewood Simple Suppers cookbook.

These complimented the salmon perfectly and were delicious! A note on the rice, I halved the recipe and we still had leftover, but the original recipe is listed below.


Pineapple Fried Rice with Tofu
Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers Cookbook

1/2 Cake firm Tofu
1/3 C Soy Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves minced
1 TBS grated peeled ginger rood
1/2 tsp Chinese chili paste
1 bell pepper, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 scallions minced (I left this out, we didn't have any)
2 C diced pineapple (canned or fresh)
4 C cooked rice

Cut the tofu in 1/2 inch cubes and place in a bowl. Pour the soy sauce and sesame oil in the bowl and stir gently. Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil. Add the giner, garlic, and chili paste and stir fry on medium for a minute. Add the veggies and tofu with marinade and continue to stir fry under vegetables are tender, 3-5 minutes. (I went a bit less as I like them crispier.) Add the pineapple and rice and stir fry until everything is heated through. Serve topped with toasted cashews if desired.

Sesame Broccoli
Moosewood Simple Suppers

1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1 bunch broccoli

Steam the broccoli as you normally would. Whisk together ingridients. Toss the dressing with broccoli. Serve.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Vegetable Croquettes!

This is another delicious recipe from the Cafe Brenda cookbook I received for Christmas this year. She has an entire section devoted to croquettes, and I'd never made them before, so thought it'd be fun to give it a go.

It took a little more time to assemble everything and make the sauce then I would normally spend on a weeknight meal, but the results were well worth it! These were kind of similar to falafel, but a little spicy with a bit of a kick. The croquettes were also super filling, both Alex and I were completely stuffed after a few with a side of quinoa and salad.

In hunting for the ingredients I also got to make my first shopping trip to Sahadi's, a middle eastern grocery near our new apartment that I've been hearing everyone raving about since we moved to the area. For those in Minneapolis, it's kind of like a gourmet Holyland. And it's awesome. So many fun things, and the hummus to end all hummus. I have no idea what's in this stuff, but something close to heaven.


Chickpea-Vegetable Croquettes with Tahini-Vegetable Sauce

The Cafe Brenda Cookbook by Brena Langton and Margaret Stuart

Tahini-Vegetable Sauce
1 C tahini
1/2 C water
juice of 2 lemons
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 C diced tomato


Whisk together the tahini, water, and lemon juice until smooth. Combine with other ingredients. Chill while you prepare the croquettes.

*Note: This recipe made WAY too much for us to eat. I would say half it unless you double the croquette recipe.

*The recipe called for 1/5 C dried chickpeas. I subbed one can. This worked out well. You may have to cook your chickpeas longer if they are dried. The recipe says 1.5 hours, I boiled my canned chickpeas for about 10-15 minutes.

1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 carrot, grated
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, minced
1/2 tsp tumeric
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
sprinkle of sea salt
1 egg beaten
oil for sauteing
bread crumbs

Simmer your chickpeas for a bit until soft. Drain and mash chickpeas when tender. I used a food processor, and this worked great. Saute onion, carrot, garlic, and celery in olive oil for 3-5 minutes over medium heat. Combine mashed chickpeas, sauteed veggies, spices, salt and egg. Stir well. It mixture is too wet, add up to 1/2 C bread crumbs. Form croquettes, making them about 2 inches in diameter. Saute in hot oil until well browned on both sides. Serve with Tahini-Vegetable Sauce.




Sunday, March 14, 2010

Year of the Tiger!

As much as possible I have been trying to make the effort to get out in the city and soak up all the cultural events that it has to offer. One of my favorite events of the year is the Chinese New Year parade. It's such an explosion of color and energy and the streets are packed to the brim.

Below are a few photos from this year's event!



These tubes are exploding streamers, one went off about every 10 seconds. They completely littered the streets after the event.



They passed out both Chinese and American flags and sung both anthems before starting the festivities, which I found really interesting.



I have no idea who this guy was or what his role was...


The Chinese Pillsbury Doughboy?

Marital arts instructor.