Monday, July 25, 2016

Rosie Is Making Vegan Meals. Don't Tell Anybody.

Rosie is having vegans for lunch.
Actually, I'm cooking for vegans,
which, for some reason,
always gets me jonesin' for some kind of organ meat -
calf or chicken liver.

2 TB oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch cube of frozen ginger, nuked, juiced, and minced 
1 jalapeno, minced
handful of mushrooms, sliced
squash and zucchini from the garden, spiralized
2 scallions, sliced
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
mung bean sprouts
toasted peanuts

 Juice of 2 limes
2 TB fish sauce
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB brown sugar
Whisk all together.

Heat oil in skillet and sauté ginger, garlic, jalapeno, and mushrooms,
stirring for about 2 minutes.
Add sauce, scallions, water chestnuts, 
squoodles and zoodles, and sprouts.
Bring sauce to a boil and toss to distribute evenly.
Top with toasted peanuts.

In case you're wondering what squoodles and zoodles are,
they're squash and zucchini noodles.
Any time Mr. Hawthorne can use one of his gadgets,
he's a happy camper.
He got to use his spiralizer attachment for the Kitchen Aid.

Spiralize away, Mr. Hawthorne.

How fun!

Everything's ready to go.

Sauté the ginger, garlic, jalapeño, and mushrooms. 

Add in sauce.

Add in everything else.

Heat all through.

Stop and give some lovin' to a German Shepherd puppy.
 Yes...  Puppy.
This is Joy, Beau's friend.

What a beautiful face, Beau!

And here's my "noodle" dish.

It needs one more thing.
Marinated, fried tofu.
For the how-to,
please go to General Rosie's Tofu.

Basically, I sliced a chunk of tofu in half
 and weighed the halves down with an iron skillet
on an inclined plane, to get the moisture out.
Mop up liquid with paper towels.
Then I made a marinade for the tofu,
drained it, tossed it in corn starch, and fried it up.
I added the fried tofu and the heated up marinade
to the "sqoodles and zoodles" mixture.

Marinade for tofu: 
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup water
3 TB ketchup
3 TB rice vinegar
2 TB Tamari sauce
1 TB hoisin sauce
1 TB mirin
1 TB Thai style chili sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1-inch cube frozen ginger root
scallions, sliced, for topping
toasted sesame seeds for topping

I always keep frozen ginger on hand.
 I like to use ginger juice in marinades and sauces
 and it's hard to impossible to get juice out of fresh ginger.
 I take a cube of frozen, nuke it for about 25 seconds,
 then squeeze it and the juice flows out.
  Next, put the ginger in a garlic press
 and scrape the pulp off for 2-3 squeezings.

Mix all ingredients except for scallions and sesame seeds.

After the moisture has been pressed out of the tofu,
 slice into 1/2-inch cubes and place in marinade.
Marinate at least an hour.
 You want as much of the marinade soaked up as possible.

Next, drain the tofu and toss in cornstarch to coat.
 Fry cubes in 325° peanut oil until cubes are lightly browned.
  Drain on rack.

Pour remaining marinade into a sauce pan and bring to a boil.
 Reduce heat and toss fried tofu cubes in marinade.

Fry until golden brown.

Drain on rack.

Heat up marinade.

Add in fried tofu cubes.

Mix all together.

I know it ain't the prettiest of dishes,
but it was scarfed down and there were no leftovers,
which is good, 
since I don't know where I'd go with "Moreovers" for this.

Oh, Lord.
I need organ meat!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Rosie Makes Blueberry Muffins.

Lately, I've been baking a lot of pastries.
Berry tarts, galettes, pies, something else I can't remember, and today,
 Youngest Hawthorne walked in and mentioned
something about could I make some blueberry muffins.
 Mr. Hawthorne and I had just gone to Foodlion today,
AFTER 12 o'clock,
(Damn Blue Laws.)
and had come home with blueberries,
so, yeah, Boy, that's doable.
And, you're welcome.

Blueberry Muffins
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups blueberries
turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Heat oven to 375°.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
Spray the pan and liners with non-stick cooking spray.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, 
beat butter and sugar for about 2 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time,
scraping down the sides of the bowl,
beating well after each addition.
Beat in extracts.
Gradually add flour mixture, 
alternating with milk mixture,
beating on low to combine.
Gently fold in berries.
Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins
and sprinkle turbinado sugar over tops of muffins.
Bake about 30 minutes, until lightly golden
and a toothpick comes out clean.
Let muffins cool in pan for about 10 minutes,
then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

I forgot to sprinkle with turbinado sugar before I baked.
I don't think my muffins were compromised.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Rosie Makes A Squash Casserole.

 I'm growing a new squash this year -  Golden Egg Hybrid.
They're the size of a small to medium eggplant.

So I'm making a squash casserole for lunch today.
I love squash casseroles.
There's something comforting about casseroles
although I don't recall eating any casseroles in my youth.
But they do comfort me now.
And this one tastes even better because I grew the squash.

Rosie's Squash Casserole

1 Golden Egg Hybrid Squash, peeled and diced
That would be 4 cups of diced squash.
1 medium Vidalia onion, chopped
1 TB unsalted butter
1 TB oil (I used peanut.)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

3 eggs
1/4 cup skim milk
1/4 heavy cream
I use that combination because I always have
I always have skim and cream on hand, never whole milk.)
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
about a sleeve of Ritz crackers, crumbled

In a large skillet, heat butter and oil.
Add in diced squash and sauté,
giving the pan that little flip every now and then,
for about 2-3 minutes.
Push the pan forward so the food slides up the sides
and comes over like a wave
and then pull the pan back to catch the vegetables.

It's all in the wrist and, most importantly,
 you must commit to the flip.

Add in chopped onions, and sauté until translucent
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour into a buttered 7 1/2 x 9 inch baking dish.

Whisk together eggs, skim milk, heavy cream, and salt and pepper.
Stir in grated cheese
Pour mixture over squash and onion mixture.
Crumble Ritz crackers over top.
The more, the better.
Dot with butter if you're so inclined.

Bake at 350° for about 30-35 minutes,
until no longer jiggly.
Let sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Flounder - Water To Table In About Two Hours.

 We are lucky enough to have several fine fishermen in our family -
 quite a plus when seafood is a major part of one's diet.
Youngest Hawthorne brought home this 18-inch flounder.
I am looking forward to lunch today.

 Boy did a nice job of fileting.

 We like to soak our filets in buttermilk for at least 30 minutes.
Drain the filets, knocking off excess buttermilk
and dredge through a mixture of
1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup semolina flour,
and 1/3 cup cornstarch with a generous helping of Old Bay.
Fry in small batches in 350° peanut oil.
Depending on thickness of filets,
fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown
Usually, they'll float to the top.

 Drain on racks.

 This is sublime on its own.
Just a twist of lemon.
The meat is sweet and tender.
The crust is light and crunchy.

 Fried flounder, 2 hours out of the water!
Green beans, just picked out of garden,
on the left.

For the green beans:
Blanch green beans in salted boiling water,
until al dente, about 3-4 minutes.
Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking and set the color.
Make a simple vinaigrette with rice vinegar,
a little sugar, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.
Whisk in a bit of olive oil and taste-test.
Add in some crumbled feta and toasted walnuts and toss.
Cover, refrigerate, and let flavors get acquainted.

For the cole slaw,
I picked a purple cabbage out of the garden,
julienned a some carrots into it,
then made a 1/2 and 1/2 mayonnaise and buttermilk dressing
with a little distilled white vinegar and sugar.
Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Toss and refrigerate for the flavors to meld.

My last accoutrement is a zucchini, squash, and cucumber salad
straight from the garden.
Use baby vegetables.
Slice and dice.
Toss together.
Make of dressing of mayonnaise,
rice wine vinegar, some chopped fresh dill, basil, and tarragon.
Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.