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Entries Tagged as 'Veggie Recipes'

Habanero Applesauce

November 11th, 2005 · Comments Off

I got some free habaneros a week ago, and I’ve being experimenting with them (see the soup), although very conservatively. They’re brilliantly hot, but I find I can get them to just be a hint of heat and flavor by using them sparingly. I threw a minced square inch of it into a BBQ sauced pork loin and it wasn’t really enough. But I did come up with this applesauce which will become one of my staples. It turned out rather mild, but I’m sure it’s easy to make this as firey as you want with a little more habanero or one of its ribs. Keep in mind these peppers can vary in heat so exercise caution.


Not my best photograph, but it illustrates its color next to some panko-coated fried pork cutlets.

a cored, peeled and diced granny smith apple
a square inch of minced habanero
a minced carrot
a shake of powdered ginger (although minced fresh stuff might make a nice touch)
1 T apple juice
1 T Datu Puti Sukang Maasim cane vinegar

Maybe that last ingredient is a little obscure, but the slightly sweet Phillipino cane vinegar is perfect for this. I think I picked it up at Lincolnwood Produce. I imagine apple cider vinegar would work too, but I haven’t tried it.

If you have a small food processor or chopper, pulse all the ingredients a few times to get an applesauce consistency. The bright habanero flavor shines through the apple sweetness that’s cut by the mild acidity. You may have to strain it a bit if it’s too wet. This stuff is awesome on pork.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Habanero Squash soup

November 6th, 2005 · Comments Off

Not as dangerous as it sounds.

1 small potato, diced
half of an acorn squash, seeded and cleaned out
a small onion, diced
a carrot, diced
1/4 stick of butter
1/4 cup of cream
1 cup of apple juice
a postage stamp size slice of habanero, no placenta, no ribs no seeds


You could roast the half a squash, but it will take more than 20 minutes, so I cheated. I oiled it, dusted it with pepper and ginger and microwaved it for four minutes. Then it got cubed up and pan sauteed to get a bit of brown on it.

I boiled the apple juice with a cup of water. The diced potatoes, onion got pan sauteed in butter. The carrots, and everything that got sauteed went into the boiling juice and water. Then the habanero was diced and added. Then the cream went in with some more butter. Season with nutmeg and ginger.

I let it simmer for a few minutes, then pureed the whole thing with a stick blender. I strained it, but you could puree it more and make it thick, like a bisque. This one’s garnished with a few tiny slices of carrots and some tarragon. For hardier souls some very finely minced habanero might be a good touch.

This should make a subtly sweet, creamy soup, but with an underlying spiced heat that isn’t overwhelming.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Botanical Edibles

September 14th, 2005 · Comments Off

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted any food pictures, so here are some pictures of pretty food I took at the Chicago Botanical Garden’s Fruit and Vegetable Island



okra flower
Okra flower.



red cabbage

Susan Goss
Susan Goss from the West Town Tavern shows us a seedless, rindless watermelon during her presentation for the Great Chef Series. The melon is a PureHeart. Other Dulcinea products, depending on your outlook, are either perfected or over-engineered fruit. It was tasty and very sweet.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Vegetarian food

August 16th, 2003 · Comments Off

Excellent article on Formulating Vegetarian Foods. Learn what tempeh, seitan and quorn are, and what ingredients are sometimes needed to complete a ‘meat analog”. Some of these these ‘meat simulations’ sound much worse than the real thing.

Quorn is the processed cellular mass obtained from the filamentous fungus, Fusarium venenatum, mixed with a binder, usually egg white or whey protein. It has a meat-like bite, mild flavor and a fibrous structure that resembles chicken muscle tissue.

A large portion of my meals are vegetarian, but not because of any environmental or spiritual reasons. The variety of greens, funghi, and veggies one can get these days is pretty amazing, and they really do deserve to be eaten as the main focus of a meal, not just as a boiled afterthought plopped next to a slab of meat. I made a veggie spread the other night and had it with some Pilsbury biscuits (sorry no photo of this one – it was too hot, and I was too hungry).

I had some heirloom squash, tomatoes, okra, peppers (green and ancho) and herbs (basil and chives) from the farmer’s market. I sauteed some cut mushrooms in some butter and a little soyu, chopped up everything else. When the mushrooms were almost brown I put in the okra, then the squash, then the tomatoes and peppers, in that order, since thats the order that they cook. When the peppers were barely sweated, I took half of the cooked ingredients and pureed them in a processor. Then everything went into a bowl with the chopped herbs. The idea here was to have a base of the mixture of flavors as a paste, binding the individual chopped veggies. This would have been good as a dip too. Next time I’ll make sure I have some spinach as an extra binder. It might improve the grey color of the spread as well.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Coconut macaroons

August 3rd, 2003 · Comments Off

macaroons.jpgI’ve tried a few attempts at baking lately. My first try is an easy one – coconut macaroons based on the recipe from Cooking for Losers called Orgasm-Inducing Coconut Macaroons. I don’t know if they quite deserve the name but they turned out pretty good. The recipe just calls for a big bag of Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut and 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk and some vanilla. I saw Barefoot Contessa making these and she used some egg whites in hers. Alton uses no condensed milk and only egg whites. I comprimised and folded in a couple egg whites. They took about 25 minutes at 325F.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Farfalle with sorrel pesto, morels and asparagus tips

May 25th, 2003 · Comments Off

Sorrel is a green I haven’t ever used before. Its sour lemon tang seems like it may be overcome anything paired with it. But in this pesto, paired with lots of chives and green garlic, it adds a nice touch without being overbearingly sour. It went very well with the morels. I’m not sure why I threw the asparagus tips in, since I really wanted the morels to be the main focus. All of the veggies in this dish were bought at the Evanston farmer’s market and everything is organic, so it’s not a particularly cheap dish maybe especially since it contains $5 worth of morels.

1/6 lb morels
about a cup of chopped sorrel, ribs removed
3 stalks green garlic
1/2 cup chopped asian flat leaf chives
2 T pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
black and white peppercorns
sea salt
farfalle (bowtie) pasta

I pureed the pine nuts, peppercorns, salt, sorrel, chives and 2 of the stalks (chopped) garlic with the oil until it was smooth, then I added some more chopped chives and garlic, into the mix and just slightly chopped the mix in the porocessor, to leave little green bits. I figure this adds some visual dimension to the pesto, so it doesn’t look like green slime.

I quartered the morels and sauteed them in butter, salt and olive oil until they were just slightly browned. The morles came out, and another stalk of chopped up green garlic went in to saute, then the pesto went in. I was fairly gentle about cooking the pesto, since I wanted to get some of the flavor to come out of the garlic, but I had read that the sorrel would lose its unique tang with to much heat. 2-3 minutes on low, and it turned out fine.

The farfalle was cooked, and mixed up with the pesto and the morels went on top.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Campanelle pasta with morel chive cream sauce

May 17th, 2003 · Comments Off

I managed to get myself up early for the first day of the Evanston farmer’s market. The variety is slim compared to what’s available later in the season, but there’s some good stuff available early. I bought a bunch of chives, some asparagus, and some morels, and some bread and crossiants from Bennison’s bakery booth. I also picked up some goat’s milk queso fresco.

This is a fairly simple meal, it’s just pasta. For the base of the sauce, I threw some dried porchini mushrooms in some boiling water, adding some chopped up chives, salt, oregano, a few drops of olive oil and a touch of Maderia, (about an oz. since I didn’t want to over power the mushrooms with anything). In a separate pan, I sauteed my sliced morels in some butter, taking 2 or 3 out and putting them in the water with the porchinis, which had reduced a bit. I then pureed the porchinis with its liquid and poured it into the pan with the morels. I added some more chopped chives, butter (half a stick) and a 1/4 cup of heavy cream.

Meanwhile the asparagus got cooked quickly in some simmering water, and the queso fresco was melted in some butter and cream. While this meal might be vegetarian, the enormous amounts of dairy doesn’t make it particularly healthy.

The queso fresco was great with the asparagus, both of which had more flavor then what you’d find in a supermarket.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Pork Loin and Sweet Potatoes

November 26th, 2002 · Comments Off

I made a nice meal of a pork loin and baked sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes were kick-ass, if I may say so myself

I recently got a subscription to Cook’s Illustrated (thanks Mom) and got inspired by something I saw in this month’s issue. For those of you unfamiliar with it, it’s the magazine of America’s Test Kitchen, sometimes seen on PBS.

They bake, broil and fry over and over until they get the dishes exactly the way they want. Most of us don’t have that luxury of course, but they document everything, letting us know why something worked and why it didn’t.

I followed their technique for sweet potato and it turned out very good. Notice I said technique, not recipe. Cook’s Illustrated recommends not boiling the sweet potatoes, like everyone does, since the water washes many of the subtle flavors away. Cook them over low heat, in a covered pot with some butter and cream. I took one of their suggestions and cooked them in coconut milk and a little butter, and just a hint of nutmeg and a seeded hot pepper.

The bone-in pork loin I just roasted with a crust of black and white peppercorns, coriander and some crushed up blackberry sage tea.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Pumpkin Cheesecake

November 25th, 2002 · Comments Off

I really was going to make a pumpkin cheesecake for all of my loyal readers before thanksgiving (yea right, I was going to make it for me, and if my office was lucky, they might get some). But because of the onslaught of the laziness virus I still haven’t done it. And worse, I’ve eaten half the box of graham crackers and made pasta salad with some of the cream cheese that I bought to make the cheesecake. Also I was going to follow Alton Brown’s cheesecake advice but it takes a bit more time than I have this week. Alton recommends an egg/yolk combination, a one piece pan, a waterbath and the one hour with the oven on and one with the oven off. I do want to try that. My recipe below is from a few years ago, and I’ve tested it many times so it does work and it’s very good, but I’m sure a little more technique will result in a fluffier, taller, uncracked cheesecake. Note that I use a springform pan, but wrap it in foil so the water from the bath doesn’t get in. Also I have no measurment for how much crushed cookies you need for the crust. Alton says 33 graham crackers. I like to throw some ginger snaps in too, so adjust accordingly. In any case here’s the recipe.

KIPlog Pumpkin Cheesecake



Special Equipment

9-inch springform cake pan

low cooking pan of some kind, capable of holding an inch of water


graham cracker crumbs

ginger snap cookies

1/2 stick butter


2 8-oz packages Philadelphia brand cream cheese (DO NOT USE THE LOWFAT! What would be the point?)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

5 eggs

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 stick of butter

tsp vanilla extract





Knob Creek Bourbon

1 can of pumpkin (Libby’s if you can get it)


Take the cream cheese and butter out of the frig for about an hour to get soft.

Mash the ginger snaps into crumbs, and if you bought graham crackers instead of pre-crushed crumbs, mash them too.

Spread lots of butter on the bottom and sides of the springform pan, mush the rest of butter into the mashed cookies, and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and on the sides. You won’t need to go all the way up the sides perfectly, the cake won’t reach that high. Put in a 325 degree oven for 5-8 minutes just to set the crust.

Mush and beat the cream cheese, butter, sugars and cream ’til mixed. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the eggs slowly, a little at a time, mixing them in. Add the spices according to your taste and mix in. I like more ginger than cinnamon and more cinnamon than nutmeg. Add a dolop of honey. Add the can of pumpkin and bourbon (a shot or so). Mix ’til smooth.

Pour the filling into the pan and center the pan on square of heavy-duty foil; press to side of pan. Put the pan in the other pan with an inch of water or so.

Put in a 325° oven for an hour or until the top is light brown, the filling is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Take it out, chill for awhile (at least an hour, overnite if possible), and try not to eat the entire cake in one sitting.

Also the Web designers among us might appreciate Jakob Nielsen’s Cheescake Recipe

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Tags: Veggie Recipes

Patty pan squash over udon noodles

September 5th, 2002 · Comments Off

patty pan squash over pastaLast weekend my parents were in town, which meant I got to eat at some of the best places in town, reviews of Tru, Arun’s and North Pond to come.

After such a decadent weekend (we also had some pretty decent steaks at Pete Miller’s) I really didn’t need any food for a couple of days. But by the time Thursday rolled around I needed a meal and after such an awesome array of food, I needed something much more than takeout. I luckily had some patty pan squash (scalloped squash) from the farmer’s market this weekend. So I cooked up this simple but very tasty, rich-sweet butter-browned-pan-sauteed squash, with a sauce of pureed squash and cider over some thin udon noodles.

1 medium size patty pan squash (3-4 inches diameter) sliced on the diameter about 3/4 inch think
1 baby yellow squash sliced
2 T butter
1/4 cup of apple cider
1 T cider vinegar
1 tsp ginger juice
1 T Mirin
udon noodles, thin

Slice the squash along the diameter and pan saute in a tablespoon of the butter. When one side has browned slighted, throw in the sliced baby yellow squash. Brown everything on both sides.

Combine the cider, vinegar, mirin and ginger juice in a saucepan and reduce slightly as you puree one and a half of the larger cooked patty pan squash slices (you should have at least three more). The combo of cider, vinegar and ginger should be very subtle. I included the seeds, which cook up tender. After blending down the squash, add the liquid from the saucepan and puree smooth. Heat through, reducing a bit.

By now the noodles should be done. Serve the squash slices, quartered over the pasta and sauce.

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Tags: Veggie Recipes