Tag Archives: ginger

Food Matters Project #41: Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

As the temperatures are warming up, we are all wanting desserts that are cold and refreshing.  Thankfully, my new friend Meg, of Fledgling Foodie, reminded us of this with this weeks Food Matters Project!  From Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook, Meg chose the Chocolate Tofu Ice Cream recipe.  Check out her post here.  Also, take a peek a what other Food Matters Project participants did here.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet: Kumquat

I took the route of a frozen dessert…but I diverged a bit with a fruity one, rather than chocolate.  A couple of weeks ago I was reading a DC bloggers post about kumquat sorbet.  I’ve never had kumquats before, but the photo’s made it look so delicious.  So I blame Nik, of A Brown Table, for the fact that I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe.

I’ve been reading Nik’s blog for quite some time- he’s so inspiring by telling stories how he came to choose various recipes, reasons behind particular ingredients, and his amazing photos.  I think I pin most of his recipes on my Pinterest page since they all look so delicious.

Although I have never had a kumquat, I decided to try making this recipe.  I did buy extra kumquats to snack on, and figured it would be a great way to taste this new fruit.  They are sour (more than lemons), a little bitter, and somewhat sweet- definitely something I’ve never tasted before.  To add a little more sweetness, I did add freshly squeezed orange juice.

And now that the sorbet is almost gone, I’m trying to think of other frozen desserts for the summer months.  Any recommendations?  We’ve previously made a Pear Sorbet and Rum Raisin Ice Cream.

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet

Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Adapted from: A Brown Table

Boiling the kumquats takes out the bitterness from the fruit, I highly recommend doing this. 

12 oz kumquats
6 cups water (to boil kumquats)
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 inch ginger, peeled
juice of 1 orange

Rinse the kumquats, cut the ends of each fruit- discarding the cut pieces.  Then cut each fruit in half, and pick out the seeds.  Add the kumquats to a medium saucepan, and cover with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then discard the water and repeat this process 2 more times.  Once you’ve repeated this process, drain the kumquats and puree them in a food processor.

In a medium saucepan combine 2 cups of water with sugar and ginger.  Continue to stir until the sugar water is boiling.  Once it boils, take out the ginger and pour the sugar water mixture into a bowl, add in the kumquat puree and orange juice.  Place that bowl into a large one, which has ice and cold water in it.  Keep the liquid in the ice bath for at least 30 minutes, or until the mixture is cold.

Then pass the mixture through a sieve, making sure to squeeze out as much juice out of the pulp as you can.  Chill this mixture for about 20 minutes in the freezer.  Then once it’s cold, follow your ice cream maker instructions to prepare the sorbet.  The sorbet will be done once it’s frozen and has a milky orange-yellow color.  Scoop the sorbet into a freezer-proof container, and freeze for a couple of hours before serving.

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Food Matters Project #26: Veggie Stir Fry

Another exciting recipe for the Food Matters Project!

This weeks host is Big Girls Small Kitchen College.  It’s a blog written by college students across the country on how to cook, eat, drink and live on and off campus.  There are a number of contributors that provide recipes and college stories.  Today’s contributor, Jen, chose the Crispy Rice Cakes with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Chicken; check out her version of the recipe here.  For all Food Matters Project contributors recipes, look under the comments section on this page.

I really enjoy making Asian food, especially since the home version is always healthier than the takeout!  Although I glanced over Mark Bittman’s recipe in the Food Matters Cookbook, I decided to do my own version of this dish.  First, we didn’t have chicken, so we enjoyed a vegetarian dish (you can also add tofu, chicken, beef or shrimp).  Secondly, although the rice cakes sounded great- I just wanted some regular stir-fry.  Sounds like everyone had some fun making the rice cakes, so check out Mark’s original recipe on page 324.  I was going to add water chestnuts, which I forgot about- so definitely add that into yours.

Veggie Stir Fry
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original
Servings: 4

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp stir fry oil
1 large onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cup snow peas, halved or quartered
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook rice per package instruction.  The cooked rice should yield about 2 cups.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp stir fry oil in a skillet.  Once it’s hot, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and carrots- cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Then, add in the ginger and broccoli, cook for 2 minutes.  Finally, add in the snow peas, jalapeño, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1 tbsp stir fry oil, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook all of these ingredients, while stirring, for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t want your broccoli or snow peas to be crunchy, cook for another 5 minutes.

Place the rice on the plate, add the stir fry veggies.  Then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.  Serve with some chopsticks!

Food Matters Project #5: Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms

Yes, it’s another post for the Food Matters Project.  This weeks recipe was chosen by Dominica of Wine Food Love.  She chose Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce, it can be found on page 479 in The Food Matters Cookbook.

As with almost every recipe which can be found in this book, Mark Bittman gives some ideas on different variations for this recipe.  He suggests tossing the ingredients (bean sprouts, beef, scallions and sesame seeds) with soba noodles, rice or quinoa.

From first glance I knew I didn’t want to use beef for this recipe, this past week we’ve had more meat than usual, and I wanted more veggies.  When I gave the choice of mushrooms or tofu to Sam, he went with the mushrooms.  Then he mentioned he’s not a fan of orange sauce.   So I was thinking about soy-based sauces that include sesame seeds, garlic and ginger.  Lastly, we’ve a number of noodle dishes in the last weeks for the Food Matters Project, so I decided to not include any noodles and make this a very vegetarian dish.

It took me less than 30 minutes to make this, so it’s perfect for a weeknight meal.  Tofu, chicken, beef or tempeh can be used as a substitute for the mushrooms.  If you have a favorite asian sauce, feel free to swap that here.  If you’d like more of a crunch, feel free to add some chopped peanuts or cashews.  Lastly, different vegetables can be added: broccoli, snap peas, or even edamame are just a start.  On a last note, I found that this dish tastes great cold- so no need for reheating.

Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 479)
Servings: 2-3 portions

2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
4 mushrooms caps, cut into long strips
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp ginger, grated
3 tbsp sesame oil
16 oz bean sprouts
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sriracha (optional)
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp honey
5 green onions, chopped

Heat up a skillet, once the bottom is slightly warm, add the sesame seeds.  Allow them to toast, while shaking the pan often.  Don’t allow them to burn, once they are brown (3-5 minutes) them remove them from the pan and put them aside.

Heat up the skillet once again, when it’s warm add the butter and allow it to melt.  As it’s melting, add the onion, mushrooms, 4 garlic cloves and 1 tbsp ginger.  Allow this mixture to sauté until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are browned.  Once they are cooked, remove the ingredients from the pan and leave them in a separate bowl.

Next, add 2 tbsp of sesame oil into the same skillet.  Allow the oil to heat up a bit and then toss in the bean sprouts.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper.  Allow the bean sprouts to sear, and every couple of minutes move them around and flip some over.  I continued to cook the bean sprouts until the ends started to brown, and the sprouts had a crunchy texture to them (I tasted them every so often).  It took about 10 minutes on medium-high heat.  Once they are crisp to your liking, then place them on a napkin, so some of the oil will soak out.

In a bowl, or dressing container, mix together: 2 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, sriracha, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, 2 tbsp ginger, honey and 1 tbsp sesame oil.  Shake or whisk together all of the ingredients.

Divide the bean sprouts among plates.  Then sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on top.  Next, spread out the mushroom mixture on top of the dish.  Then drizzle some of the dressing onto the plate- the amount depends on what you prefer; I think I used about 2-3 tbsp.  Lastly, sprinkle the top with the green onions.

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant)

My love for Indian food has grown over the last 2 years and as I’ve gotten better at making it, it’s become even tastier.  You have no idea how excited I was to pick up garam masala from the store a while back since that would help me make Indian dishes even more delicious.

When I found this recipe from a new blog which I had discovered, I couldn’t wait to try this out.  It’s a very simple, but an extremely flavorful dish.  I was able to make this in between finishing up some cleaning around the house.  Low-stress recipes are always the best, especially during really busy weeks.  In addition, this is a vegan recipe that will not require any meat additions- it’s just perfect on its own.  It’ll taste great over rice or with a piece of naan bread.

Baingan Bharta
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 eggplant
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
(we also added a habañero- so that’s an option)
1 green pepper, chopped
small (1 inch) piece of ginger, chopped
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp curry powder
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes

Preheat over to 400°F.  Slice the eggplant lengthwise, and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of salt on the fleshy side.  Also, rub the whole eggplant (fleshy and skin sides) with 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Then, place the eggplant on a cookie sheet, flesh side down.  Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes.  Switch the oven to a broil, and broil it for another 5 minutes.  Then take it out of the oven, and let it cool off.

In a large skillet, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Once it’s heated, add the onion and garlic.  Sauté until the onion is translucent, then add: jalapeño, green pepper and ginger.  Sauté all of the vegetables until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garam marsala, cumin seeds, turmeric, chili powder and curry powder.  Add the tomatoes, and stir well.

Next, once the eggplant has cooled off a bit, scoop out the seeds.  With what is left over, try to cut it up into a couple large chunks (skin included).  Add the eggplant to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.

Lastly, ladle all of the vegetables into a food processor.  Process the mixture until it is smooth.  Serve over rice, and with a piece of naan bread.

Spicy Asian Salad with Sunflower Seeds

This past weekend, my friend PB* (Happy Birthday!) and I took a walk on the Theodore Roosevelt Island.  If you live in the D.C. area, or are visiting- this is definitely a relaxing walking/running path that does not make you feel like you’re in the city.  We got to see the flowers that have bloomed, and the leaves with their deep green colors.  We also got to see some animals:

All the greenery made me think of foods that take you back to basics.  Earthy flavors.  So, this is a different type of a salad which we had this week (it’s a green one!).  I’ve actually made this for a couple of friends before (C* this is for you, but I’m sure you already know the recipe by heart!), and decided we needed to have it for lunch because it was that delicious.

I’m sure recipes like this one are floating around somewhere.  From a nutritional standpoint, many salads miss out on the flavor and the nutritional boost.  This salad definitely does not lack on either.  I don’t always feel like making a salad, no matter how easy it might be to make.  I love to eat them out, but at home I feel like they are a little too much work?  (I know, this sounds silly).  But when you see how good this is for you, and take the first bite, you’ll start to crave it!

One of the distinct changes I had made from the original recipe was that I used sunflower seeds rather than pumpkin seeds.  Both are delicious, I just couldn’t find pumpkin seeds in the store- come October it’ll be the perfect addition.  Until then, find the seeds that you prefer!

Spicy Asian Salad with Sunflower Seeds
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

Salad:
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup carrots, grated
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 green onions, chopped

Dressing:
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp Asian Stir-fly Oil
1/2 tsp sriracha chile sauce
1/4 tbsp ginger, grated

Coat a skillet with cooking spray, and heat it over medium heat.  Pour eggs into the skillet, and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until firmly set.  Transfer the omelet to a cutting board, and let it cool.  Once it’s cooled, chop the omelet into 1/2-inch strips.

To make dressing, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Add the spinach leaves, bean sprouts, carrots, sunflower seeds, green onions and egg pieces to a large bowl.  Finally, add the dressing, and toss to coat.