Vegetable Fideua (but not really)

IMG_9566

Where did this recipe go wrong?

– I should have used thinner noodles.
– I misunderstood what it meant to break the noodles – I didn’t interpret that as smaller pieces than how I broke it up. But afterwards, when I looked at other recipes for this dish, it’s obvious the noodles are supposed to be substantially smaller than I had them here.

The dish wasn’t bad, but I’m sure it’s nothing like what fideua is supposed to be like. For what it was though, it wasn’t bad. Nothing like a standard noodle dish.

And truly, that was the point. Rachel of Rachel Cotterill is hosting this month’s Pasta Please, a monthly blog round up of pasta dishes based around a certain theme. Rachel set the theme this month as fusion. She challenged us to make a vegetarian pasta dish that steps away from the Italian influences.

So what did I do? I googled “Spanish noodles” and I got this dish. I followed this recipe loosely in making the dish that wasn’t very Spanish nor like fideua, but still tasty.

So here’s my tips for you, future fideua makers: break your noodles A LOT smaller than mine are. And maybe use angel hair pasta instead or something thinner than a spaghetti noodle.

pasta please

Vegetable Fideua

Ingredients
8 oz thin noodles
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
6 oz frozen green peas
3 tomatoes, diced
1 1/3 cup vegetable broth
salt, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Lay the noodles on a baking dish. Bake the noodles for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. (mine got too brown)

2. In a large oven safe pan heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the green bell pepper and cook until it softens. Add the green peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for several more minutes.

3. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Crush the noodles and sprinkle them over the vegetables. Stir the noodles into the dish. Simmer until the noodles are tender.

4. Place the pan in the oven set at 400 for a few minutes, so the remaining liquid can be cooked off.

* serves 4

Smashed Pea and Mint Bruschetta

bruschetta

 

I’ve been busy. I’ve been SO busy. But it’s been great. I had my second trial ever last week. I haven’t even passed the bar exam yet, but I’ve had two trials and in this most recent trial I hung the jury, which is awesome.

In food news, I’ve decided I’m not going to buy bread anymore. I feel like it costs so much money and I can easily make it myself. Since making this decision I’ve made several different breads: baguettes, hamburger buns, dinner rolls, and pita. This weekend I’ll be making hamburger buns and baguettes again. It takes over my Sundays, but it takes them over in a wonderfully great way.

I decided to make bruschetta with the baguette I made. The combination of peas and mint was quite springy, which might be out of season for the fall season that is finally cooling down my house, but the fresh combination was still welcome. I served it alongside a simple noodle.

Smashed Pea and Mint Bruschetta
(source)

Ingredients
1/2 baguette
10-oz frozen peas, thawed
1 tbsp mint, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

1.  Slice the baguette into rounds. I got about 9 slices out of my 1/2 baguette. Place the rounds on a baking sheet. Broil until they’re golden brown (about 1 1/2 minutes per side.)

2. Process the peas in a food processor. Process until roughly chopped. Stir in the mint, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

3. Spread the mixture on the rounds.

weekend cooking

* makes about 9 pieces
* I’m sharing this recipe with Weekend Cooking

Jamaican Curry

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This month I’m participating in Cooking Around The World. This month the blog is traveling to the Caribbean and we were challenged to make a dish from any of the Caribbean islands.

I decided to go with Jamaica. I wish I could be in Jamaica right now for real. With this Sacramento-cold (which I know isn’t even that bad compared to a lot of the United States,) I could use a day of sunshine. I’ve been waking up and having to scrape ice from my car windows every morning. I’d rather have to worry about putting on sunscreen than standing outside in the cold shivering scraping my car windows.

Anyway, the recipe I found wasn’t exactly authentic. It’s Martha Stewart. It was delicious though. And it made me dream of the beach.

Jamaican Curry

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup water, divided
salt, to taste
4 carrots, thinly sliced
1 can coconut milk
1 10-oz package frozen peas, thawed
Cooked rice, for serving

Directions

1. In a heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, brown chicken for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, curry powder, thyme, and 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onion is soft.

3. Add carrots, coconut milk, 1/2 cup water, and chicken. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the peas.

4. Serve the curry over rice.

* serves 4

Bloggers Around the World Logo

Fried Rice Two Ways

 

Since Monday this week was a holiday, I had time to make dinner and didn’t need to rely on the slow cooker. But just because Monday allowed enough time to make dinner, Tuesday still did not. Because of this, I knew I needed to make enough dinner Monday to have on Tuesday and also to change the dish up a bit so I could have it two ways.

Clearly I’m not very good at keeping up with challenges I keep for myself (as you can see my 52 Week Around the World Challenge) ended short, but at least through this semester there should be a dish a week that I make two ways just because my schedule sort of forces it.

This fried rice made use of the crystallized ginger Rose sent me a few months ago in my Foodie Pen Pal box. Because it was cut up very fine, it wasn’t overpowering but to get a piece of that sweet ginger was excellent in the rice.

 

Day 2 got a bowl of fried rice soup, which was an easy way to make the dish into something else. In retrospect though, it could have used more broth.

Day 1: Fried Rice
Day 2: Fried Rice Soup

Fried Rice

Ingredients
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups shrimp, shelled, deveined, and cut into pieces
1 10-oz package frozen peas
3 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp crystallized ginger, finely chopped
4 tsp toasted sesame oil

DAY 2 EXTRA INGREDIENTS
1 cup chicken broth

Directions

1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until medium. Combine the eggs and pour into the skillet. Cook, stirring, until scrambled, about 1 minute. Break into small pieces and transfer to a bowl.

2. Add another tbsp of oil. Add the onion and the garlic to the pan, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and peas. Cook until the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the eggs.

3. Heat the remaining tbsp of oil in the skillet of medium-high heat until hot. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy.

4. Stir together the soy sauce, white wine, ginger, and sesame oil. Add to the skillet along with the egg. Cook until heated through.

5. DAY 1 INSTRUCTIONS: Serve as is.
DAY 2 INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the chicken broth and the rice in a large pot until simmering. When warm, serve.

* makes 4 servings of rice (DAY 1 & DAY 2 each make 2 portions)
DAY 1 CALORIES: 498 calories per serving
DAY 2 CALORIES: 503 calories per serving

Tuna Noodle Casserole

 

My mom tells me stories all the time about how when she was a little girl she hated Friday night dinners because her mom would make tuna casserole. Because of my mom’s aversion to tuna casserole, I never really had it as a child. But as a broke student, tuna noodle casserole is easy to make and incredibly cheap to make.

I’m not sure why she hated it so much, because yum!

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Ingredients
6 oz egg noodles uncooked
1 can of tuna, drained
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
parmesan cheese to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the noodles, tuna, mushroom soup, milk, peas, and cheese.

3. Spread into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and parmesan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes.

* serves 4
* Shared with Presto Pasta Nights,

Tomato and Sausage Pilaf

This last semester of law school had me effectively fall off the planet. As of last night though I am now 66% done with law school – only one year left!

If this blog were actually entitled Law Student Eats or something (as opposed to it being my Cookbook) these last few months of food would be filled the nastiest foods ever. I have eaten a lot of hot dogs and chili fries, hamburgers, pizza, and Chinese food. I am not saying any of those are actually nasty, because they taste really good . . . But I have hardly been healthy and unfortunately I’ve noticed a major increase in my weight in the last few months. This is very disappointing given how much I lost last year. I don’t want it all to be for nothing, so it’s time I pull myself together again and start making meals that matter and reexplore my kitchen and have fun.

My around the world challenge, like I’ve mentioned, was entirely set-back by my hectic life. But I will be making those missed out ‘trips’ up starting next meal plan hopefully. If not, I do still plan to make 52 dishes from other countries – we will just see how it pans out.

My school work has really gotten in the way of cooking. I was also disappointed that I wasn’t able to participate in Food ‘n Flix last month because I just had no time to watch the movie. I already have my dish picked out though for this month’s movie, Sideways. I plan to make it Friday this week. I just need to go to the store and get some wine first. To participate in this fun event check it out here.

Now with that being said and all my talking out of the way, this pilaf was delicious. I usually mess rice up if it’s not cooked traditionally (or in a rice cooker.) This recipe was surprisingly simple, left me with fluffy (not burnt) rice, and tasted delicious.

Tomato and Sausage Pilaf
(source)

Ingredients
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
9 oz smoked sausage, sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup basmati rice
2 1/2 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp chicken broth
1/2 cup frozen peas

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Heat 1/2 tsp of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add sausages and cook, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

3. Add 1/2 tsp of olive oil, onion, and garlic to the frying pan. Cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the rice, and cook stirring for 1 minute. Transfer to an ovenproof dish. Place sausages on top of rice.

4. Add the remaining oil and mushrooms to the frying pan. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to release liquid. Add the tomato and broth; bring to a boil. Pour over rice and stir to combine. Cover dish with tight-fitting lid.

5. Bake for 40 minutes. Add peas. Bake covered for 5 more minutes.

* serves 2

Around the World in 52 Weeks: Eggplant Bharta and Peas

I’ve been the worst world traveler ever. I got sick last month and I totally fell off the cooking wagon completely, so my kitchen travels suffered. Out of this sick month though, I did only miss two of the meals I was supposed to cook (Brunei and Isle of Man). In the next two weeks I’ll be doubling up and making sure I get back on track. This was the one resolution this year that I really didn’t want to fail at, so my cold that turned to a sinus infection will not defeat me!

I’ll also be posting my most recent traveling dish on the usual Saturday. I just wanted to get back on track a little here.

So this dish is Pudina Chicken and Eggplant Bharta and Peas. As I’ve said many times, Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines. In facts, I actually have traveled to India.

It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. The only bad thing is that I got a little spoiled by good Indian food, authentic spices, fresh and delicious bananas, and even the lack of meat. I’m a little hesitant at home to make vegetarian Indian dishes because I feel like I need to use paneer, but I have no idea where to get that locally.

I know this meal is hardly authentic with the Pudina Chicken. When I was in India I didn’t eat chicken at all – everything was vegetable based or paneer based. Maybe I should have made a veg dish. Now I’m kicking myself. The pudina was good, but the bharta was better and is the recipe I’m sharing.

On another note, I’m always looking for ways to prepare vegetables I don’t like. Eggplant is that vegetable in this. I loved this preparation.

Eggplant Bharta and Peas
(source)

 Ingredients
1 eggplant
1/2 onion
1/2 cup frozen peas
3 garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 jalapeno
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 lime
butter, as needed
oil, as needed
salt to taste

Directions

1.  Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and spread with butter. Place the eggplants sliced-side down on a baking sheet. Roast the eggplants at 500 in the oven for about 30 minutes.

2. Place the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor and puree.

3. When the eggplant is finished roasting, use a spoon to scoop out the roasted innards. Discard the skin. Mash the eggplant until smooth.

4. In a medium saucepan heat some oil over medium-high heat and add the pureed vegetables and mustard powder. Cook until slightly browned.

5. Add the mashed eggplant and peas to the pan. Cook until warm, and then reduce temperature to low. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until the peas are fully cooked.

6. Before serving squeeze in lime juice.

7. Serve over rice.

* serves 2

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Beef Stew

This month Food ‘n Flix was hosted by La Cocina de Leslie. The movie this month was a movie I had never seen before, Last Holiday. Georgia Byrd, a woman who lives just an average life has a life changing moment when she learns she has only a small amount of time left to live. Georgia regrets not going for her dreams while she had the chance, the dreams of being a chef, the dreams of traveling.. So she cashes in her life savings and goes on a European adventure before she dies. To enter Food ‘n Flix this month, go here to check it out. You have until the 29th!

Georgia seems to have a love affair with the Food Network, with the first dish she makes in the movie being from Emeril Lagasse. I decided that in the spirit of the movie I would make a dish of Emeril’s. This stew was perfect. The flavors were absolutely amazing. For something as simple as stew, I was surprised this could be full of so much flavor. Part of the recipe calls for Essence. I made way too much of the spice mixture just for this stew, so I’ve been including it in every recipe I’ve cooked since. It’s a wonderful combination. If you see me mention  Essence in the ingredients of my upcoming posts, this is what it is!

Beef Stew
(Emeril Lagasse)

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
3 lbs beef, cut into chunks
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Essence (recipe below)
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp butter
1 lb mushrooms, quartered
2 cups onions, chopped
2 cups carrots, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups beef stock
4 tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp ground allspice
4 cups russet potatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Directions

1. Set a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 3 tbsp of olive oil. Season the beef with salt, pepper, and Essence. Add the meat to the pot and cook until brown on each side. Remove the beef and set aside.

2. Add the butter and mushrooms to the pot, and cook until well browned. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and saute until the onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, allspice, and beef. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot and cook for 30 minutes.

3. Add the potatoes. Recover and cook 30 minutes more.

4. Stir in peas. Remove from heat. Serve over rice or egg noodles.

* serves 6

Essence

Ingredients
2 1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried thyme

1. Mix all together thoroughly. 

Egg Drop Soup

Soup soup soup! I’m all about it recently, as I’m sure you can tell by my recent posts. So rather than break away from the soup, here’s another recipe.

I probably shouldn’t eat this, because I have high cholesterol and egg is high in cholesterol… But shoot me. It tastes good.

Egg Drop Soup

Ingredients
6 cups chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
9 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup peas, frozen

Directions

1. Combine the cornstarch and broth in a pot and whisk together until fully dissolved.

2. Turn heat up to medium and bring to a low boil. Add soy sauce and garlic and stir. Add the carrots and mushrooms, stirring and cooking for 2 minutes.  Add the shrimp and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the peas and stir.

3. Reduce heat to simmer. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into the soup. Stir.

* serves 2
* 364 calories per serving
* I shared this recipe with These Chicks Cooked Weekly Recipe Collection and What’s Cooking Wednesday?

Around the World in 52 Weeks: Jerk Chicken, Vegetable Patties, and Banana Fritters

This week for my 52 week journey around the world I found myself on the beach in Jamaica. While I was sitting on the beach with my toes buried in the sand getting a horrible sunburn (because I don’t tan and I will burn regardless of how much sunscreen I have on) I began to feel a bit peckish. To fill my belly with the cuisine of Jamaica I decided I needed some jerk chicken. With my jerk chicken I made some vegetable patties to accompany. And every yummy meal needs a dessert. So banana fritters it was.

Of course this is all my fantasy. I wish I was on the beach of Jamaica and I wish I could walk into a restaurant on the Jamaican shore and be served some real jerk chicken and some real plantain fritters (instead of banana fritters.) Since this isn’t a possibility for me, I just started my first week of the spring semester and all, I had to transform my kitchen into a Jamaican kitchen and my dining room into a beach.

I have no idea if my jerk chicken tasted like jerk chicken at all, because I’ve never had Jamaican food. The vegetable patties were an excellent accompaniment to the chicken, though frying the vegetables definitely doesn’t make them all healthy and vegetableicious.

For dessert I had banana fritters. They made a great dessert and would make a delicious breakfast as well. 

Now if only I could go to Jamaica for real.. Also, I didn’t have any travelers join me this week in the around the world challenge, but I hope maybe next week someone will come!

Jerk Chicken

Ingredients
1 tbsp rum
1/2 tbsp water
2 tbsp malt vinegar
3 green onions, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp lemon juice

Directions

1.  Boil the rum and water in a small saucepan for 3 minutes. Transfer the rum mixture into a blender. Combine with the vinegar, green onions, garlic, thyme, vegetable oil, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, black pepper, and brown sugar. Blend until smooth. Transfer 1/2 tbsp jerk seasoning to a small bowl and combine with soy sauce and ketchup. Cover the sauce and set aside.

2. Arrange the chicken in a roasting pan. Pour lemon juice over the chicken. Rub the remaining jerk seasoning over the chicken. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 350. Bake for about 30 minutes, until juices run clear.

* serves 2
* 229 calories per serving

 Vegetable Patties

Ingredients
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp jerk sauce from the jerk chicken
1/2 tsp kosher salt
4 cups carrots, grated
2 cup canned peas, drained
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
3 large eggs
1/2 cup milk

Directions

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic, jerk sauce, and salt and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrots. Cover and reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the peas and remove from heat.

2. Mix the vegetables in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs, eggs, and milk.

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Form 1/3 cup mixture patties and place it into the skillet with the hot oil. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook for 5 minutes on the other side. Set on a paper towel and let drain.

* serves 6
* 2 patties per serving
* 193 calories per serving

Banana Fritters

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup milk

Directions

1. Peel and mash the bananas. In another bowl beat together the egg, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Stir together the egg mixture and the bananas. Sift in the baking powder and flour. Stir in the milk.

2. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over high heat. Once the oil is hot drop spoonfuls of the banana batter into the oil. Once the fritters are golden brown, flip and cook the other side.

* makes 26 fritters
* 61 calories per fritter

NOW! Come travel the globe with me this year.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at elizabeth@crabtech.net. Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time