Counter Intelligence
Sungold Tomato Sauce

And they said it couldn’t be done.  Most sauces are annoying cause you have to skin the tomatoes, but I sure as hell* wasn’t going to skin a hundred baby tomates, so instead we have this.  Basically, this works if you like chunky sauce and tomato skins don’t bother you.  And it works well.  I had an overabundance of yellow grape tomatoes from my most recent CSA pickup, as well as a bunch of other relevant items, and I thought about how opening your freezer to summer tomato sauce in the fall is kind of the best, so I’m gonna do it.  You can, too!

Sungold Tomato Sauce

pasta and kale

1lb sungold cherry tomatoes

1 head garlic

1 onion

2 stalks celery

1 green pepper

2 small carrots

1/4c basil leaves

herbs de provence

salt n pepa

First!  Oven or toaster oven to 400.  Drizzle garlic cloves (skin on) with olive oil, double wrap in foil, and stick in there.  Cut all your tomatoes in half and fill a little pyrex (or whatever you wanna roast em in) and toss with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  These went into the 400 degree oven for something like twenty minutes.  they start looking like this:

raw

and when they’re done they’ll look like this:

roasted

The garlic is done when you squeeze the foil (which will be hot, remember) and it’s soft, 40ish minutes.

Everything else (onion, carrots, pepper, celery) gets chopped finely and put in a pan with 1-2T olive oil until the carrots are tender enough for a food processor.  Add the basil and herbs a few minutes before transferring the vegetable mixture and roasted garlic to a cuisinart.  Blend!

Then put it all in a saucepan to combine!  End result:

sauce!

Top photo is with pasta and kale!  So easy, I made it twice.  

*This idiom is especially apt, as hell isn’t sure, and I’m prone to taking on needlessly time consuming and tedious projects.  This time I didn’t.

Asparagus and Carrot Fried Pancake

I’m not totally sure why I thought to make this.  I was trying to think of something different to do with asparagus.  Grill for salads?  Saute for an egg scramble?  Then I remembered one of my breakfasts in California this March, when I had a perfect potato pancake with a sunny-side egg and delicious green mole.  I got out my grater and some veggies.

Last week was my first CSA distribution for the 2012 summer season (!!) so instead of buying groceries I looked to the contents of my full fridge.  One large white carrot and three large stalks of asparagus formed the substance of the mix, with some garlic chives for good measure.  I had some Citrus and Garlic Chive Dressing made earlier this week, which perfectly completed the salad.

Asparagus and Carrot Fried Pancake

Asparagus Carrot Pancake


one large carrot

three large asparagus stalks

a few garlic chives

one egg

shpices

2T coconut oil

Grate the carrot and asparagus into a bowl, use kitchen shears to cut in a dice of garlic chives.  Pro-tip: knuckles are not grate-proof.  Add some spices you have lying around.  I think I added cayenne, paprika, CHILI 3000 “The Now Chili” (no joke), and a dash of herbs de provence for no good reason.  A pinch of salt, also.  Whisk egg in a separate bowl and add to the carrot/asparagus mixture.  Heat a nonstick pan and add 1T coconut oil.  I made four palm-sized pancakes, and felt I needed to add a little more oil when I turned them.  My friend and breakfast chef in Cali gave me the tip that coconut oil helps to make a nice crust when you fry.  And it did!

I’m maybe a little too pleased with myself over this one.  You should try it.

Borscht!

Real talk: borscht is delicious.  When I was a kid my dad would buy beet soup.  It came in a jar like juice does, and I knew it was disgusting cause we all know that soup comes in cans and is never purple.  One helpful reviewer on epicurious.com suggested that since beet soup is gross you should just try minestrone, instead.  I suggest that we all remember that I was an idiot when I was a kid, and also that we read fewer “comments” on websites in 2012.

With borscht you can go Whole Hog (which would require beef, actually) or you can do it this way.  Much faster; fewer cows.  I’m sure it’s not *quite* as good as your Ukrainian gramma used to make, but you don’t even have one of those, so shut it.  Also.  I made like a gallon and a half of the stuff, most of it is in my freezer.  If you didn’t just pick up 20lbs of veggies/you don’t have eleven children to feed you can safely cut these proportions in half.

Borscht

Borscht

3T olive oil

1 1/2lb potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 1/2c chopped green cabbage (I used savoy cabbage, great texture)

1 large onion, chopped

6-8c broth/stock of choice (I used a beef base for more “authentic” “flavor” but if you have a favorite just throw it in there—but not yet! we haven’t started)

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

4 large (3” diameter) beets, peeled and chopped

1c drained chopped canned tomatoes

1t cracked pepper

a lemon or two

Fage yogurt (or sour cream…if you’re into that sort of thing)

Heat oil briefly in large(st soup pot you have) over medium heat.  Add potatoes, cabbage, and onion, stirring while the cabbage softens (5-10min).  Add beets, carrots, tomatoes, pepper, and stock.  I like thick soups, so I added stock just to the level of the veggies in the pot.  You can do the same for now.  The choose your own adventure part comes in a minute.  Bring the pot to a boil, cover, reduce the heat, and simmer til the veggies are all tender, a half hour or longer.

When everything is cooked through, blend four cups of the soup and then return the puree to the pot.  If the whole thing looks too thick to you, add some broth/stock a little at a time.  Stir in 1-2T fresh lemon juice, add a dollop of greek yogurt, and voila!  Something tasty.  

Winter Vegetable Soup with Crumbled Pecans

OK, OK.  I’m going to allow a moment of delusion and say I’m sorry.  I know you all have been waiting for a long time, not eating until I got around to posting something for you to make to eat.  So…I guess I’ll need to try to find new subscribers, cause there’s no way you’ve survived this blog drought.

I’ve been making food, and sometimes I’ve taken photos of it, but I’ve been avoiding this corner of the internet for unknown reasons.  I will post these photos and I will try to remember how I made the food in them over the next couple weeks.  ”Promise.”

Word of warning: when it gets cold, I make a lot of blended soups.

Winter Vegetable Soup with Crumbled Pecans

Winter Vegetable Soup

2 sweet potatoes

1 large carrot

1 apple

1/2 medium onion

2 cloves garlic

1-2 jalapenos

1T butter

salt, pepper

Wash and peel your vegetables and apple, and then cut everything to a pretty uniform size.  1/4 inch slices would do just fine.  Or chunk it.  Your call.

Sweat your chopped onion, garlic, and jalapeno (seeded) in butter for 5-10 min on  medium heat, stirring.  Add sweet potato, carrot, and apple.  Add spices you might like.  I added curry powder and turmeric and black pepper and salt.  You might want to go to the cumin/chili powder/pepper/salt route?  I don’t know.  I don’t know you very well.  Stir these things around and then add some mild veg stock or just plain water until everything is almost covered.  I think it was like…three cups.  I forgot to measure for you.  But mostly just keep in mind that you’re blending it later so too watery isn’t great, but you can always leave some liquid out of the blending process or just put the blended soup back in the pot to simmer it down (, now).

So, bring your pot to a boil, turn the heat down, cover that sucker, and let things cook.  15 minutes is probably a reasonable time, maybe a little longer.  Just waiting for the veggies to be fork tender and ready to blend.  I like to taste the soup when it’s still in the blender to check the salt level, etc, as the blender is way better at incorporating extra values of sprinkly things than my arm + spoon.

Dish up, throw some pecans (or walnuts? or blue cheese? or kettle chips?) on there, turn the flash off before you take the last picture your batteries will be alive for (blast!) and enjoy.