Archive for January, 2009

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Epic fail #2, unfortunately.

Growing up, tuna casserole was what we ate when Mom was too tired to cook anything else. Or maybe we were low on groceries.  In my current household, tuna casserole is what we eat when we can’t afford to buy fresh food.  When we kids were old enough to know not to repeat the word in school, this dish was affectionately referred to as Tuna Shit.  It’s cheap, it’s easy, it’s comforting.

It does not involve making a bechamel sauce or chopping or sauteing anything.  It involves opening a lot of cans and a bag of frozen veggies from the freezer and dumping it in a big bowl. The only ingredient that can even remotely be considered fresh is the cheddar cheese (which, by the way, the WF Cookbook version does not contain). Read the rest of this entry »

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Chili Cheese Tamales

This recipe earns the Whole Foods Market Cookbook its first EPIC FAIL.  The proportions given for masa dough in this recipe will give you a big bowl of corn flour soup.  I have decided the amount of masa harina (corn flour) must have a typo in it – the recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but 1 1/2 cups is the amount that actually makes sense.  I’m not going to post the recipe until I’ve made this successfully – I don’t really see the point.  (Basically, though, masa for tamales is masa harina, fat, and just enough water to make it come together.

The Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa that goes into the tamales was pretty tasty.  I mean, it’s hard to go wrong with salsa verde, but the poblanos and chipotles gave this one a nice depth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lentil, Sausage, and Rice Soup

Short because I’m three posts behind (sorry!) – this was delicious.  It was rich and hearty but not heavy or greasy.  Didn’t taste nearly as healthy as it was, what with the spinach and the lentils and the brown rice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shepard's Pie

Another yummy success.  I made a few changes – the original recipe calls for tempeh but says “you can substitute beef” in the notes.  I split the difference and used ground turkey.  The recipe also specifies a cornstarch slurry as a thickener, and since I really dislike the texture cornstarch gives to gravies, I used flour instead, adding it after the first veggie saute like a roux.  And to the sweet potato topping, I added barley malt syrup (which I had on hand) instead of brown rice syrup (which I did not). Read the rest of this entry »

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Firecracker Shrimp with Orange-Cashew Rice

Back to the book tonight!  This was seriously yummy, and filling without being heavy, which is exactly the sort of thing I like around this time of year.

The shrimp marinates for about an hour in what the book calls a “fiery almond pesto.”  The ingredients are 1 jalapeno pepper (with or without seeds according to your preference, fresh cilantro, scallions, almonds (slivers or slices work best), olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper.  Mix in a food processor until a thick paste forms.  Toss with shrimp and marinate in the fridge 1 hour or more.  (If you are like me and buy your shrimp frozen, you can let the marinate and defrost at the same time, which saves you having to remember to defrost them in advance.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Pepperoni Pan Pizza

I promise the next entry will be back to business as usual, cooking my way through the Whole Foods Market Cookbook.  But yesterday was the inauguration of President Barack Obama (HELL YEAH!) so I thought it was only fitting that I make a Chicago-style pizza in his honor.  This is the Pepperoni Pan Pizza recipe from America’s Test Kitchen and is as close an approximation to real deep dish pizza at home as any I’ve ever had.   The recipe as written takes about 90 minutes start to finish, but you can make it an easy weeknight dish by making the dough the night  before and letting it rise overnight in the fridge. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cincinnati-style Chili

Another non-WF recipe!  There are several recipes for chili in that book, but none of them are my mom’s.  This one is.  Texans will probably want to stop reading now.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Cincinnati-style chili is a savory, spicy affair with several unusual ingredients and an even more unusual serving style.  Growing up, I had no idea it was weird to put chocolate in chili, or to serve it over spaghetti, and I plan to raise my own son (as well as any future children) in the same state of blissful ignorance.  But on to the recipe.  I’ve been making this since I was allowed to use the stove, so assume any actual numbers below are made up.  (Except for the things coming out of cans.  Those I’m pretty sure of.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Ricotta Pancakes

This is from the “cooking with kids” chapter, so of course I had to let Dylan help make them.  He did a great job stirring the batter.

dscn3677 Read the rest of this entry »

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Pasta with Butternut Squash and Sage

This is not from the WF cookbook.  You can tell because it involves BACON FAT as the primary flavor base.  Nom nom nom.  (It is, in fact, from the Jan/Feb issue of Cook’s Illustrated, and will be online free until the next issue comes out.  Or you can join the site for $20/year.  I think.  Maybe a different price.)  Or you can read it free here forever! Read the rest of this entry »

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Inaugural Lunch recipes

Departing from the strict theme of this blog for a moment to post this link to the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon menu and recipes.  I will be at work when the big moment arrives (and I doubt Cafe Metro will be serving pheasant), but in case anyone wants to recreate any portion of this menu, now’s your chance!

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