Tag Archives: Mark Bittman

Food Matters Project #40: Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula

Apologies for the little delay here with our Food Matters Project post! We’ve been focusing on house projects: adding a screen door, a composter for the backyard, and we also made a new batch of beer. It was a productive and relaxing weekend- those are the best (best of both worlds). And during some down time, we made this weeks dish!

This week’s host is Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla. Check our her version: Shrimp-Grapefruit Stirfry with Fennel. This was a great recipe from the Food Matters Cookbook, something I probably would not have chosen, but now I’m glad I tried this flavor profile. Take a peek what other Food Matters Project participants did here.

When my parents were visiting us a couple of weekends ago we were talking about scallops. The first time my parents met Sam, we took them to Zaytinya- a José Andrés restaurant, specializing in Turkish, Greek and Lebanese dishes. When my parents were choosing their orders, Sam insisted that they try the scallops with a yogurt-dill sauce and sugar snap peas. My Dad was a bit hesitant at first, but did order this dish- and he loved it. He loved it so much, that while my parents were visiting, my Dad mentioned that those were the best scallops he every had- nothing has compared in the last 3 years!

Since that conversation, we’ve been craving scallops and decided to swap the shrimp for them in this recipe. There are a few changes as well- no fennel, it’s not my favorite, and we added more heat. And rather than serving it over rice, per Mark Bittman’s suggestion, we opted for a salad option, and served it over a bed of arugula.

Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula

Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 449)
Servings: 2

Since Sam was in charge of this dish, it was a bit spicy with 2 habañeros. We recognize that not everyone has that kind of a pallet. Instead, I would recommend one of the following choices: 1) using only 1 habañero; 2) using jalapeño(s)- you can even deseed them; or 3) using regular peppers, red would show up beautifully in this. Feel free to serve this over pasta or rice.

3 tbsp olive oil
2 habañeros, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 green onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 grapefruits, peeled, segmented and chopped (juice included)
1 lb fresh scallops
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Coat a pan in olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the habañero, ginger, green onions, and garlic. Allow them all the sweat for about 2 minutes. Then add the soy sauce, lime juice, and grapefruit- sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Finally, add the scallops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté for approximately 3 minutes on each side. Then remove from heat, serve scallops and sauce over a bed of arugula.

Food Matters Project #39: Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado

Remember last week how I talked about how awesome salads are?  Well, this week we have another one!  I’m hoping all of you will be trying out some of these soon!

Another Monday brings a new Food Matter Project post!  This weeks host is Jessica, of Cheese Please.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Chickpea Salad with Mango Chutney.  Also, check out what other FMP participants posted here.

I actually made this recipe last week, I needed a salad that was filling and healthy to prepare for the Nashville Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.  I’m putting together a post about my trip to Nashville- so be on the lookout for some delicious food photos.  Until then, make this salad and enjoy it!  This is perfect for the spring, as the weather begins to warm up.  I found myself eating this out on our porch, sitting in our new chairs, and sipping a glass of wine.  Relaxing!

Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad

Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado
Adapted form: The Food Matters Cookbook (pg 174)

This salad would also be great in mid- to late-summer when peaches are in season, just swap two of them for a mango.

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 mango, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lime
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 avocado, sliced

Cook bulgur wheat according to package directions.

In a large bowl, mix together the cooked bulgur wheat, chickpeas, garlic, onion, cilantro, mango, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Serve with the avocado on the side, or in the salad.

Food Matters Project #38: Spinach Cobb Salad with a Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette

I absolutely love salads for lunch!  If you choose one that has fresh ingredients, lots of vegetables and a delicious dressing- it’s the perfect dish that won’t weigh you down, or make you sleepy in the afternoon.  Fortunately, this week’s Food Matters Project recipe was a salad I can add to our meal rotation!

When I saw that Sara, of Pidge’s Pantry, chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for the Mediterranean Cobb Salad, I was excited to see what changes he made to the salad to pack it with flavor and nutrients.  I’ve never been too happy after ordering a cobb salad at a restaurant- it’s usually served with iceberg lettuce, tomato, bacon, egg, and blue cheese.  Not the healthiest of ingredients, and definitely not a refreshing salad.

I made additional changes to Bittman’s recipe.  I wanted the salad to have a bit more nutrients and vegetables, so I mixed the romaine with spinach.  I also had some red bell peppers, cucumbers and green onions which I added to the salad.  For those who are not fans of anchovies, I can sense your apprehension- I had that once myself.  But if you’ve had a good dressing with anchovies in it, then you just might be a convert.  This dressing fit perfectly with the salad, providing that tangy, salty flavor that it needed.  But if you’re not that adventurous just yet, then double the capers, and skip the anchovies.  You’ll make this salad again- so there is plenty of time to try new ingredients down the road.

Check out Sara’s version of the Mediterranean Cobb Salad, and all other Food Matters Project participants variations here.

With spring here, and summer just around the corner, here are some additional salads we’ve shared and eaten in the past: Greek Panzanella Salad, Lentil & Summer Vegetable Salad, Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market Salad, Spicy Asian Salad with Sunflower Seeds, Arugula Salad with Eggs & Mushrooms, and Asparagus, Tuna & Bean Salad.

Spinach Cobb Salad with a Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette

Spinach Cobb Salad with a Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (pg 149)

I’m not providing specific amount of the ingredients since this can be tailored to how many people you plan on feeding, or if you want more of certain ingredients.  The dressing produces about a 1/2 cup of liquid- enough for at least 4 servings.  If you don’t want to use anchovies in the dressing, just double the amount of capers.

spinach, chopped
romaine lettuce, chopped
tomato, chopped
red bell pepper, chopped
cucumber, chopped
hard-boiled egg, chopped/crumbled
chickpeas
green onion, finely chopped

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
3 anchovy fillets, with a bit of their oil
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp parsley
pinch of pepper

To make the vinaigrette combine the oil, vinegar, anchovies, capers, parsley and pepper into a food processor.  Blend together until a creamy emulsion forms, within 30 seconds.  Taste and add more vinegar or pepper if necessary.

Mix the spinach and romaine lettuce together on a large plate.  Then spoon the ingredients on top (the order doesn’t matter): tomatoes, red bell peppers, cucumbers, egg, chickpeas and green onions.  Then drizzle the vinaigrette on top, right before serving.

Boston Marathon & Food Matters Project #37: Central American Red Beans & Rice

The blog post below was ready to be published when I found out about what happened at the Boston Marathon.  I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around this tragedy and devastation.  Although I blog about food, my other hobby is running.  Running races are a time when runners can celebrate all of the hard work they put into their training, and their family and friends can support them.  During races the amount of energy, comradery, and excitement is like nothing I have every experienced before- this is the reason I continue to sign up for races, cheer my friends on, and volunteer.  My heart goes out to all those affected by yesterday’s events.

If you’d like to read more, here are some blog posts which resonated with me.  There are more posts being published by the minute, so if you find one that touched you, please share in the comments below.

Health on the Run
Pavement Runner
Run to Eat
Sweet Life Ericka

Or, check out these articles:

If you are losing faith in human nature, go out and watch a marathon – The Washington Post
The Meaning of the Boston Marathon – The New Yorker

______________________________________________________

The start of the week means a new post from the Food Matters Project!  This week our host is Aura, of Dinner with Aura.  Aura lives in Michigan, so she was happy to make a warm and comforting dish for a cold, rainy day.  Fortunately, DC has had better weather the last couple of weeks- spring is finally here!

Aura chose Mark Bittman’s recipe for Super-Lemony Kidney Beans, from his Food Matters Cookbook.  Definitely check out her Lubia Chalow-Afghan Lemon Kidney Beans, as she stuck to the original recipe in the cookbook.  The photos are beautiful, and now I can’t wait to try this recipe.  Make sure to stop over and check out what other Food Matters Project participants made here.

Aura mentioned this in her post, and I agree with her, I have a hard time imagining what each recipe will look like, since there are no photos in Mark Bittman’s cookbook.  As I’ve been doing this project for over a year now (this page has the list of all of the FMP posts we participated in), I realized that I skip over many recipes in other cookbooks just because I can’t visualize them- changing this might have to be a new resolution when it comes to cooking!

I read the ingredients.  Then I went to the grocery store, and rather than buying a bag of kidney beans, I was intrigued by the Central American Red Beans.  So I got a little side tracked, and the Afghan flavors turned into South American one’s…so I didn’t follow Mark Bittman’s recipe!  The beans are great, perfect when incorporated with the rice- but they do take a little to cook (although it’s worth the time and effort).

Central American Red Beans & Rice

Central American Red Beans & Rice
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

This recipe makes a lot!  We had friends over for dinner, and only half was eaten- so be prepared to eat it for a week, or halve the recipe.  We started with chips and salsa, and paired this with some steak in chimichurri sauce which was made on the grill.

1 lb Central American Red Beans (although you can use any dried beans)
water
2 cups of uncooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
green onions (optional)
cilantro (optional)

Add the beans to a large pot, then add water so it covers all of the beans.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium heat.  Cook the beans until they start to be soft (once cooked, these are bit harder than black beans or garbanzo’s).  I had to add additional water while cooking, so keep an eye out for them.  The cooking process should take about 5 hours.

Cook rice per package directions.

Once the beans are close to being done, add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, adobo sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Continue to cook for about an hour, then take off heat and mix in with the rice.

Feel free to sprinkle with green onions and cilantro for additional flavor.

Food Matters Project #36: Dal with Lots of Vegetables

To make it 3-in-a-row, yesterday was another gloomy Monday.  Last week we made the Provencal Pasta Sauce to keep us warm and toasty.  But yesterday it wasn’t just rain, there was even a little bit of snow on the ground here in DC!

Snowy Day

Yes, we got snow on March 25th, it must be a record.  Fortunately, today it’s sunny and getting warmer by the hour- I think everyone is ready for spring!

Yesterday’s Food Matters Project recipe was perfect for a gloomy day.  It was chosen by Anita, of Cooking Poetry.  She hosted Dal with Lots of Vegetables from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out her blog and the Indian feast she had made- I’m a little jealous, everything looks delicious!  There are also other versions of the meal from other FMP participants here.

I’m a huge fan of Indian food, thanks to Sam.  He introduced me to the spice  soon after we started dating, and I have craved this cuisine ever since.  My favorite reason behind it is because you can make most of the dishes vegetarian, and not feel like you’re missing out.  Slow cooking the lentils and vegetables gives them extra flavor and fills you right up.

Want to try some of our other Indian creations?  Golden Red Lentil Soup; Indian Chicken Soup; Indian Chicken Curry Wrap; Baingan Bharta; Curry with Vegetables; Samosa Casserole; Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry.

Dal with Lots of Vegetables

Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 362)

Feel free to swap vegetables for what you have on hand- for example, I’ve had half a bag of green beans I’ve been needing to use up.  If you don’t want this dish to be as spicy, don’t use the jalapeño or chili powder.  Not into a deep curry flavor?  Just halve, or quarter, the Indian spices. 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, florets & stems cut into small pieces
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 cup green beans (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups of water
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Punjam Red Tandoori powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add oil to a large pot, and allow to heat up.  Then add the onion, allow to simmer until the onion is translucent.  Next, add in the garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the rest of the vegetables: jalapeño, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini,  green beans, and spinach.  Cook the vegetables, while stirring, for at least 5 minutes.  Then add in the water, lentils, curry powder, garam masala, Punjab Red Tandoori, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients together, bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour (up to 2 hours).

Serve over rice, or with a piece of naan.