hopeful aebleskivers

aebleskivers

I have been a blogging slacker as my relationship and my gaining of relationship/knee injury weight has increased exponentially. Hopefully I will increase my blogging and decrease my TV watching and weight gain… hopefully it will be a lot of “cooking light” ….hopefully my knee is a little better so I will have to get off my butt (as I sit here blogging and drinking a beer).

Today I am blogging my joy in the of the acquisition of a new toy; an aebleskiver pan! I’m reclaiming roots that I didn’t even know I had.  I’m Danish on the paternal line so if my great-great grandmother made these, it was a lost tradition, because my great grandfather didn’t.

They are actually quite small like little jelly filled donut holes but the batter is more pancake like. You could call them  “round danish pancakes” I providentially had some lingonberry jam to fill them with!  I’ve only made one batch so far but there will be more, sweet and savory of all kinds!! Wahoo!

Easter (Bread) Coffee Cake 2014

 

rhubarbcoffeecake

I know, I know I haven’t blogged for months but it is Easter bread day and it feels like a tradition and I was able to go outside and take a photo with lovely lighting.  It was also very delicious,…but is not really bread. It is strawberry-rhubarb coffee cake (this recipe is basically the same one I used).

This breaks some of my rules; luckily they are my rules so I can break them. I don’t really buy strawberries or rhubarb off-season and I also don’t buy them from the supermarket. To me they are the bounty of early spring/summer to be anticipated, eaten to exhaustion while found each week fresh and delicious from the farmers market, then forgotten about until the following year. But I wanted this coffee cake today! It just tastes like spring to me and we all need a little spring around here. I found some fresh, although really really large, rhubarb and then used a combo of fresh and frozen strawberries, all from the store.

Even with the inferior fruit, it was still very delicious (btw coffee cake is all butter)… still not really bread. I ate a lot of it. Rob and Ron ate some but I really ate the lion’s share. I just can’t say no to strawberries and rhubarb! To be extra spring-tacular it was so nice outside we ate our Easter brunch on the porch. Happy.

Postcards from India… or my kitchen

friedfish

This fish in a spiced chickpea flour batter and it fried up really nice and crisp but light and airy. It was just Tilapia and still really tasty. Perhaps my best deep frying effort to date. I still hate all that boiling oil though. (Here is a gluten-free variation of the Julie Sahni recipe)

The dal was leftover that I made before and I  had in my freezer. 

The rice is an easy Judith Jones recipe for leftover rice. Sauté it with some onion, mushrooms, hot green chili, cumin, and coriander. Are mushrooms a common ingredient in Indian cooking? 

 

once upon a time there was a lobster

lobstersOnce upon a time, I drove to Argyle St (also known as Little Saigon here in Chicago). I could not find a parking spot and parked about 3 blocks away as usual, but it was a nice day.  I walked to Argyle street and then up and down it a few times. Somehow every time I missed the store with the giant tank of lobsters and crabs in the window. (sigh.) Finally with the help of my trusty sidekick, iPhone, I was able to find the seafood shop.

At the front of the shop was a large tank, 1/2 crabs and 1/2 lobsters and a small empty counter, behind which sat a grumpy teenage girl, also consulting her trusty sidekick.  The shop was long and narrow as storefronts tend to be but this made more obvious by the fact that it was empty like a tunnel all the way to the back where there was also a small seafood counter.

The teenager was even more grumpy when I requested 2 lobsters. I know, having to be at work and do work! Life is tough and I’m sorry but this part never changes unless you can marry into the 1% and become a “real housewife of…” The problem then is of course that you have to be a “real housewife of…” but I digress. She grumpily set down her trusty sidekick, grabbed a brown paper bag grocery bag put it in a plastic grocery bag, put on a big glove, stood on a stool and started pulling out flapping-flailing lobsters for me to pass judgement on. A few were spared for the moment but two were sentenced and placed into the paper bag, weighed and paid for…cash of course.

I had luckily brought a bag of my own (that ikea one that looks like it is is made from a blue plastic tarp) because that soggy paper bag in a flimsy plastic bag with two lobsters flapping away in it would have made the 3 block walk back back to my car much more exciting.  To be honest after sentencing they accepted their fate with a respectable dignity.

I got home and started boiling the water. Rob offered to put them in for me but I don’t roll that way. If I can’t do this then I can’t eat it. I’m not going to go get myself a job at an abattoir but I’m not going to shy away from this lobster business either…no way, no how.

The first one went in and died immediately. The second was not so lucky as the water temp had lowered after the first went in and it seemed to take a few seconds for it to go.  But it was done and no one screamed: not the lobsters, not Rob, not even me.

After boiling the lobsters I realized that I had no way to get into them. That’s right it was only after they had been cooked that I realized that I did not own a single “cracker”…nut, seafood or otherwise of any kind. Luckily I live a short distance from a cookware shop. When I returned with an small assortment of crackers and seafood picks, the lobster lunch was able to begin. I think it was all the more delicious because I appreciated the reality and the work required. I realize that I didn’t actually catch the lobsters.   Maybe next time she will let me stand on the stool and wear the big rubber glove.

Prologue: I, of course, used the shells to make copious amounts of lobster broth which has taken over my freezer. Perhaps this calls for a sequel….Lobster Chowder Lunch.

vegetables on bread

bruschettaThis is obviously from a few month ago when the farmers market was in full swing and I was always buying too much wonderful produce and then trying to decide what to do with it. I would often settle for an easy classic, vegetables in vinaigrette on garlic toast otherwise known as bruschetta. Usually considered an appetizer, but to me it is jut an open-faced sandwich.

The top picture is good old heirloom tomatoes with balsamic and basil. The second was a little more interesting,  marinated grilled eggplant, it sounds odd but was really very good. I especially liked it with my homemade labneh (Greek yogurt left to drain until it is the approximate consistency of cream cheese) to cut the acidity of the vinaigrette a little.

we fried a chicken

Shall we discuss my fear of frying…and especially frying largish pieces of meat. I am terrified of a giant pot of super hot peanut oil. I panic about what to do with all that oil after I’m done. But Rob wanted fried chicken and I try to make him happy occasionally because he cheerfully eats a lot of food he is not very excited about and sometimes barely recognizes.

He also helped with the frying. He really fried the first batch and I did the second. We had the problem that I often have which is that the breading burns a little before the food is cooked through. I did like the addition of onions for flavor and it did go fairly well and tasted pretty good. I don’t think anyone is going to accuse me of making good fried chicken.

Basically I kind of hope I find myself near the Chalfonte Hotel Cape May, NJ someday so I can experience the real deal.

I put most of oil back in the oil bottles and put it in the fridge for another day…I guess I will need to fry something. Something that can be onion-y and chicken-y.

Tonight I’m back to my comfortable cooking… roasted vegetables on boiled pasta.

friedchicken