A Greek Salad in Winter

February 28, 2012 § 16 Comments

The weeks are continuing to double time it in their march forward.  The days downright hurtle.  I duck as something goes whizzing uncontrollably over my head, then stand back up muttering, “holy bleep, was that Thursday?!”

I feel the insight of Lewis Carroll’s winsome scene in which Alice, on the cooky side of the looking glass, runs beside the Red Queen as the Queen explains that they’re not going anywhere, but rather everything is moving swiftly by them and, “it takes all the running you can do, to keep in place.”  (I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting my work on believing impossible things before breakfast, though.)

As I run to stay in place, I try to remember to notice my breath, feel my hands and feet, and to keep around a bottomless pot of soup and a sturdy salad so I can dip into them for several days.

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Carrot rösti

November 29, 2011 § 18 Comments

Or maybe these are latkes.  I’m not terribly well versed in the spectrum of grated potato pancakes.  And so I’m going to say these are a take on rösti because that simply seems more fun to me right now.

Either way, I figured that the potato should not have the corner on the market on this style of cooking a root vegetable, and on my continued quest to make carrots in diverse and exciting new ways I shredded them and fried them into little rounds.

(And I didn’t want to call them fritters because then you’ll all think that I’m obsessed with fritters (given that I’ve made several different kinds already.  At least, in my mind I have.  I’m not sure about it in reality, come to think of it), and we all know I have more than enough obsessions to go around already.)

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Mushroom Ragout with Cheddar Mashed Root Vegetables

January 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

More badly lit photography – sorry!

I find our relationship to critters like molds and fungus very interesting.  It’s so divided.  When we find mold on our bread we wrinkle up our noses and shuttle the bread right into the garbage (or compost, if we’re being virtuous).  But, if it’s in our bleu cheese, we’re thrilled by it and the strength of flavor it adds.  If we have a fungus on our foot…well that’s not even something I really want to bring up on a food blog.  And then there’s a variety of fungi, astutely given names like “death cap” and “destroying angel”, that will kill us quickly if we eat them.  But then there’s a whole subset, from shiitakes to morels to truffles, that people will easily pay almost ludicrous sums for, and that, when added to food, add incomparable flavor (though I’m still not entirely convinced that the texture can be vouched for).  If I go to a restaurant and I reach something that contains sautéed mushrooms, I have a tendency to stop right there and look no further for what I’m going to order (well, unless there’s a dish with a competing fixation of mine, ie. caramelized onions or avocado, then I go into contortions having to choose).

I love mushrooms, though I’m afraid no one will ever, ever be able to convince me that a grilled portabella burger is a substitute for a hamburger.  However, treating mushrooms as mushrooms, they make for a great star in meatless dishes (or meat-ed dishes for that matter!).  Give me a grilled portabella on some bread with goat cheese, pesto, and roasted red peppers and I’ll be one happy sandwich-eating camper.  Normally I don’t cook with mushrooms half as often as I’d like to because I don’t think to buy them if I happen to be at a grocery store.  But, this last week has been an exception, big time.  I can’t stop cooking with them!  They’re everywhere!  Poor Joel (the wonderful man in my life, who still misguidedly under appreciates pumpkin pie) works very near to a super market, and almost every night of the last week he has received an email from me at work suggesting that maybe he was secretly hoping to go to the store again and pick up some more mushrooms, and since he probably was hoping this that perhaps I might support him in doing so.  And so the mushrooms make their way into supper again and again. « Read the rest of this entry »

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