Vegetarian Ramen. Hello, Grad School.

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It turns out grad school : hard.

Due to the brain-crushing, time-consuming monstrosity that it is getting an education, it has been an impressively long time since I’ve chimed in. But since we had this fabulous kale shortage of 2015 (also known as Juno), I’ve been given the rare moment to brag about some of our grad school meals. Cue ramen, grad school fare.

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Found this fabo recipe on blueapron.com, slightly tweaked for what we had on hand.

Ingredients:IMG_4887

  • Head of Bok choi
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Scallions
  • 1 Package Firm Tofu
  • 3 Ounces Shitake Mushroom
  • 3 Tbs Vegetable Demi-Glace
  • 2 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Miso Paste
  • 1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce
  • 12 Ounces Ramen Noodles

IMG_4889In a medium pot, heat some oil and add garlic, the hard parts of the bok choi, and the white parts of the scallion.  When soft stir in the vegetable demi-glace (which is super weird stuff), 4 cups of water, the mushrooms, miso, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then let it just hang there for 6-8 minutes.

Meanwhile sauté the tofu in some oil for a little less than 5 minutes, turn the heat off, and then add the hoisin sauce.

Add the ramen noodles and bok choi leaves to the broth, cook for 2-4 minutes. Divide into two bowls, add the tofu and the scallion greens.

Blamo, ramen.

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Momofuku ain’t got nothin’ on us.

Kohlrabi Fritters with Applesauce and Lemon-Honey Yogurt

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This week we got an absurdly sized kohlrabi in our CSA, much too big for a slaw and as we’d done a coconut curry earlier in the week our Kohlrabi Curry felt redundant. I looked online for a little inspiration, and found that people use kohlrabi in lieu of potatoes for latkes! (Or fritters for the less Upper West Sidey of my readers.)

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Fritters sounded phenomenal and not a big stretch for a Wednesday. And thus, the standard recipe:

  • 2 small bulbs kohlrabi
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Vegetable, canola, or olive oil for frying

Our kohlrabi was so big and juicy that we not only doubled the eggs, but also tripled the flour. We also had some fantastically aromatic dill that I chopped and added to the kohlrabi mixture.

Localfoods.about.com gives the following instructions, with a few little edits and tweakings of my own:

  1. Peel the kohlrabi or chop the skins off with a knife. Grate the kohlrabi on a large holes of a grater or shred it in a food processor. Put the grated kohlrabi onto some towels, twist them together, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  2. Crack the egg (or eggs if you’re doubling) into a large bowl and beat it with a fork. Combine the kohlrabi and the egg and chopped dill. Sprinkle the mixture with the flour and salt and stir to combine thoroughly.
  3. Heat a generous layer of oil (about 1/4 inch deep) in a large frying pan or pot over medium-high heat until the pan is evenly very hot. A bit of batter dropped into the pan should sizzle immediately.
  4. Put generous spoonfuls of batter into the pan and flatten a bit with the back of the spoon. You should be able to fit about four fritters in a large pan at a time. Partially cover and cook until the fritters are browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes, flip, partially cover again, and cook until they are tender and browned on both sides. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve immediately.

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IMG_3186WIMG_3182hile the fritters were frying I chopped up some of our CSA apples and put them in a pot, covered them with water, and let them cook down into applesauce.  It’s bonkers to buy applesauce when it is this simple to make. And your local apple flavor will be massively more delicious than Mott’s, I promise! We also squeezed half a lemon on some Greek yogurt and added a swizzle of honey.

Dinner: Kohlrabi Fritters with Applesauce and Lemon-Honey Yogurt and a nice big share salad.IMG_3205

Apple Season is Back!

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We’re back with yet more apple ideas.

In past years we’ve given you Dabbled with Apples in which we stupidly went apple picking despite the plethora of apples coming our way via our CSA (going picking is just so irresistible in October), and Appletopia in which we provided three things to do with your apple bounty, and made an insensitive Steve Jobs joke.

This year amongst the piles of apples accumulating in our kitchen I have made use of them in the following ways:

  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Apple-kale juice
  • Apple, arugula, and sharp cheddar on a croissant
  • Applesauce
  • And most recently, apple muffins

I found this recipe on the blog addapinch.com and they were really straightforward to make and a serious crowd pleaser. They were gone before I could even blink.

Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Serves: 12 – (or more realistically, four… in one sitting)
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (+ 2 teaspoons for coating apples)
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (+ ½ teaspoon for coating apples)
  • 2 cups diced apples – I added a squeeze of lemon to them so they didn’t brown and had a slight zestiness
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup milk
  • For the Topping:
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375º F. Add muffin liners to your muffin tins.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Toss together diced apples, squeeze of lemon, and 2 teaspoons of flour to coat apples in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  4. Cream together butter and sugar until lightened in color, about 3 minutes. Add an egg, one at a time, taking care to fully incorporate before adding the other. Mix in vanilla.
  5. Gently fold in flour mixture, alternating with milk. Stir until just combined. Fold in diced apples and scoop mixture into prepared muffin tins, filling about ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake until a toothpick or skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  6. Prepare topping for muffins while the muffins are baking by melting the butter and allowing to cool slightly. Pour butter into a separate bowl sized easy for dipping tops of muffins. Mix together granulated sugar and cinnamon in a separate bowl and set aside.
  7. Once muffins have baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the muffin tin. Then, remove each muffin and dip first into the melted butter and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place onto a plate to finish cooling.

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I wish I had more pictures to share – but this is the last lonely muffin.

Which will be gone by the time I’ve hit “Publish.”

What Would You Do…

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… if on your second week of grad school you fell bouldering and fractured your ankle?

It turns out – if it were me – that I would ignore the foreboding pile of books on my desk and invite some loved ones over to play board games and keep me company, whilst picking at the leftovers of this week’s CSA. Treats like, for example:

  • Share cherry tomatoes with share garlic, local mozzarella, basil, balsamic and oil.
  • Share green and yellow string beans drizzled in olive oil with coriander and sea salt.
  • Share greens and arugula, with share peaches and non-share pistachios.
  • And fruitcake made with share plums.

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Plus the additions of bread, cheese, falafels, hummus, and copious amounts of ankle-numbing liquor brought from my personal fan club, it could theoretically turn into a spread worth sharing.

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Later – again, just if it were me – I would deteriorate into a pile, make a fort, and watch a movie I’ve seen 10,000 times.

Lessons learned from the past week:

  • When injured, let your friends do the cooking.
  • … And also the cleaning.
  • Mean Girls is only funny 9,999 times.  On the 10,000th it loses some of its punch.
  • Grad school is harder on crutches – as are revolving doors.
  • Your partner can only provide so much help without sparks erupting from his ears.
  • Settlers of Catan is the worst… but I will likely start a war of mythical proportions by saying that out loud.
  • I have a wonderful and hilarious circle.
  • And! If at all possible, don’t break yourself.

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Jerusalem Artichoke: Beacon of Hope

Maggie and a J. Artichoke

Last fall when root vegetables were a-boomin’ I stumbled across a Jerusalem artichoke at the farmers’ market. It’s a charming little veg with a winning spunk that looks a bit like ginger root. I’d eaten Jerusalem artichokes in its cooked form, but never seen it in its raw and was delighted to get to take one home and experiment. IMG_7549As with my purple kohlrabi incident, I knew I wanted to try and cook with my newfound artichoke, but hadn’t any idea what. So after a comedy of errors in the peeling department, Ev and I simply sautéed it in a pan until it was soft.

IMG_7556We added a purple (!) pepper that we’d also found at the market with this stunning lime green interior. It was slightly more bitter than your average pepper, but beautiful and tasty nonetheless.

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Then we plopped our artichoke and pepper on a soft taco with greens. Probably not how nature intended, but a divine little treat nonetheless. The Jerusalem artichokes were heavenly and sweet. I might not be looking forward to root season returning, but I’ll keep this little reminder in my back pocket as a beacon of hope.IMG_7573 IMG_7575

Curaçao: Part III (Lunch at the Villa)

photo 5So this is the villa we stayed in (…NBD).

And in the back of this photograph if you squint really hard you might notice a tiki bar in the way back of the back patio… which looked to us like a pretty good place to enjoy a nice lunch.IMG_1299

The Boys’ House (as our abode was referred, comparable to The Girls’ House, although obviously there was some intermingling what with couples) spent a great majority of our downtime lazing about by the pool or breakfasting on the deck and basking in Caribbean sun. But we also took time to cook a little, including this delightful lunch consisting of a salad with beans and mango (Laurel), a pasta dish (Ben), fried plantains (I’ll credit Evan, but mostly so he feels included), and a smoothie made of mango, papaya, and orange (Brian).IMG_1306 IMG_1310 IMG_1324Nice teamwork, Boys’ House. Communal living anyone?

Curaçao: Part II (The Marketplace)

IMG_0837One of our favorite outings when we were in Curaçao for the wedding was visiting the marketplace!

IMG_0832Tropical fruit is an immense thing to behold, and it doesn’t seem to matter how efficient our system is for transporting fruits across country-lines, it just never tastes the same. We had some spectacular mangos that just fell right off the skin (not at all like from our local NYC markets), a very tasty sharp and sweet pineapple which tickled my tongue, and lots and lots of papaya. Plantains also played a delightful role in our trip and were phenomenally served with almost every meal.

IMG_0827Evan and I bought some cinnamon to bring home and below is a picture of our dreamy friend Ben buying cane sugar.

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The last picture really demonstrates Curaçao’s colonization. Still owned by the Dutch, there are these derivative stretches of Amsterdam-esque streets painted colorfully in Curaçao style. They are both stunning and surreal.
IMG_0913Still a bit more beachy romance to come on Curaçao, and then back to the grind…