Five allium soup

October 31, 2010 § 2 Comments

Five allium soup is my name for this version of onion soup. It’s not going to win any beauty contests, but this is one of the best-tasting and most comforting soups I know. While generally I’m not a huge soup fan, I’ve yet to not enjoy any version of onion soup (it helps that I love onions), and this one is my adaptation of – you guessed it – a Jamie Oliver recipe. Even if, unlike me, you’re not really an onion fan, I think you’ll really enjoy how such humble ingredients become a rich, luxurious soup that chases away the autumn chill.

My version of the classic onion soup combines whatever ingredients I had on hand. Normally onion soup is made with beef stock, but since I had homemade chicken stock, I decided to use that instead. Then, I added in herbs that managed to survive my windowsill of doom, so I added in rosemary and thyme. It’s a bit lighter than a heavier beef-stock version, but I think it’s just as nourishing and comforting as the original.

Since this is five allium soup, you’re going to obviously need five kinds of alliums! I chose yellow onions, red onions, shallots, leeks, and garlic.

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The best Crispix mix

October 23, 2010 § 7 Comments

Generally I try to steer clear of superlatives on here, if only because I tend to lavishly overuse them in my everyday speech. But, this time, I mean it: this is the. best. Crispix. mix. ever. and will rock your (snack) world. This snack mix is the culmination of diligent Crispix mix-making research. Amazingly tasty research, I might add. I think most people who like this stuff have their own tweaks for it, but I will hold that my changes are the best, and yes, I have more than one. The two “secret” ingredients are Old Bay and honey: my home state’s spice adds a certain kick and complexity, and of course honey adds a teensy hit of sweetness that plays off of the heat. In short, this mix will be like hanging out after school watching Pokémon reruns, but even more delicious than you remember.

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Sesame-soy sauce spaghetti squash

October 16, 2010 § 3 Comments

Usually when I cook spaghetti squash, I take it in an Italian-ish direction, with Parmigiano cheese  and basil and sometimes even bacon (the Midwestern version of pancetta), as this squash is often treated like pasta. But, this time I decided to take spaghetti squash in a completely different direction, but still being inspired of the spaghetti squash’s namesake by thinking of Asian flavors and, more specifically, Chinese noodles. I like the contrast of the spaghetti squash’s nutty taste and the bright, energetic flavors of sesame oil and soy sauce, but taken up a notch with fresh ginger, scallions, peanuts, and garlic.

I opted for crushed peanuts as garnish, but you could top it with sesame seeds, roasted squash seeds, or cashews. Of course, this is great on its own, but adding in shrimp or pan-fried tofu would also be tasty, and turn this into a heartier dish.

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Couscous with feta, almonds, and raisins

October 8, 2010 § Leave a comment

By now you’re probably thinking: couscous again? Why isn’t this blog just called Couscous Kitchen or something!? But I have to say, if you are not a couscous fan, you will be after this recipe, because it is just so good. Besides, I love couscous for how easy it is to make and how great it tastes and how fast it cooks, and most of all for its versatility. This couscous salad takes its inspiration from Morocco: it has lovely golden raisins, goat’s milk feta, and almonds. There’s a lovely hint of cinnamon and cumin, plus lemon juice to brighten everything up.

Not only is this couscous salad/side dish easy to whip up, it also works great both as a weeknight dinner dish, or for a takealong to a potluck, as it’s great both hot or at room temperature. Basically, this is that great standby recipe that has saved me at the last minute more times than I can count and I’m thrilled to finally be sharing it here…once I finally planned ahead to make  and photograph it, of course! « Read the rest of this entry »

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