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Archive for the ‘Gluten Free’ Category

You know it is spring when the forest of skinny green trees sprouting from crushed ice begin to show up in your grocery store. Here in the Northeast we are entering the early asparagus season – although I have been cooking it up for a few months now thanks to modern transportation! The majority of the time I consume asparagus it is roasted, grilled or blanched. All of which are delicious, but I was intrigued by cooking it ceviche style

Ceviche, traditionally with fish, uses citric acids to break down or cook the proteins and carbohydrates in the food – as opposed to heat.  Which was absolutely perfect during our weekend kitchen renovations when the oven couldn’t even be cracked open, few pots were to be found and it looked like a two year old had a temper tantrum throughout the house.  However a newly finished table and chairs and more shelves to store all my baking pans and Cuisinarts was absolutely worth it!

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When it comes to edamame, I have a hard time resisting.  I normally think of it boiled, salted with some fine sea salt and released from the pod with the pressure of your teeth.  This is exactly how we had it this past weekend in the company of the boyfriend’s brother and fiance as we watched the UConn Men’s basketball team make their way to the final four!  (And the edamame made their way from stove to stomach quite quickly as we watched this nail biter of a game…)

Tonight the women play in the elite eight and there will be no soybeans in their pods…but they will be swimming in a sea of wild rice and sesame seeds.  Sure the work required to prepare it is a bit more difficult than some boiling salted water and frozen pods, but it is well worth the effort and can actually serve as a complete vegetarian meal (edamame, cheese and bread are oh so delish – but don’t really cut it!).

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Really, I hate lasagna.  Mainly due to the fact that I really hate ricotta cheese, yes to the point it makes me gag if I try to politely eat it at a dinner party.  I was that girl in college who ordered my calzones with only mozzarella – bread and mozzarella – delicious after all of the carbilious cold ones had gone down!

But with my affinity for red sauce, and getting out of the rut of having it with the raviolis from the grocery store (love these, especially the pumpkin ones with a little sage butter on top!) I thought it would be fab with my polenta squares from yesterday.  Or maybe just the chub of polenta you have in your pantry :(, you don’t know what you’re missing…

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We dined out at one of my favorite restaurants last Friday and I ordered an Italian Ragu with Polenta.  And it was absolutely fantastic.  The sauce was good, the meat (yes, I ate meat) was cooked perfectly, but the polenta!  It was cooked just right, seasoned just right and flavored just right with buttery goodness.  I have had polenta on the mind ever since!

Polenta Squares 

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Pesto Succotash

Succotash….

I have tried a many succotash recipes this week and none beats this one.  But in the whole process, the one thing I have learned is I truly have a love/hate relationship with cooking magazines.  It all started off with the Carribean Succotash from Bon Appetit magazine.  Well, it wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t remarkable either.  I added salt, I added cayenne, pepper, more thyme, more nutmeg and I finally decided…well this isn’t the recipe for me.  All those out of season ingredients shipped in from half way across the world that I trashed the environment to buy…  But imperfect recipes just incite my determinism to charge forward and forge on for perfection. (Me…a perfectionist?!  Oh, you don’t know me all that well yet!)

Left over lima beans, left over pesto in the fridge and a new Food Network magazine I must have read at least six times before going to sleep over the last few nights.  What to do next…well try out Food Network’s succotash recipe in the 50 things to do with pesto section.  So much for using a schwag foodie magazine…

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