Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dinner on the Fly: Warm Brussels Sprout Salad

How many times can I cook brussels sprouts with pancetta?  I am not saying they are not good.  What doesn't taste good cooked in pork fat?  But what else goes well with brussels sprouts?  This was my Wednesday night challenge and here is what I came up with...

Cut brussels sprouts into quarters and toss with olive oil and salt in an oven proof baking dish.  Roast at 350 degrees until tender.  Toss with pecans, blue cheese and a very sweet balsamic glaze.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dinner on the Fly: Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Leeks and Orange Beet Salad

Ho hum.  Blue-Gray January, as much as I marvel at your bright white and icicle touches, I can't help but say I feel a little blue-gray myself.  I try to remind myself of how little I have to be melancholy about when I see the pattern of graceful branches outside our office window.  Although they are beautiful, I still just want to do nothing more than curl up under my furry blanket with a steaming mug of tea and a good book. It isn't as though the running list of would-be/could-be project ideas and to-do lists are escaping me.  But my cold weather lethargy has made it difficult to motivate myself.   Maybe the first on my list of New Year's resolutions is to find some inspiration.

I have spent a lot of time at trend shows this month looking for inspiration for new designs for the coming year.  I went to the MOMA and spent some time with the NY Abtract Expressionist paintings, and saw the "Counter Space" show on kitchen design. (I am utilizing that MOMA membership I got for Christmas, thanks Mom!)  Next I need some cooking inspiration.  It wouldn't hurt me to follow a recipe once in a while and learn from someone else.  What great cook should I turn to?  What can I make that I haven't made before?  Tonight it will have to be enough to be inspired by the colors of my simple dinner.

Orange Beet Salad

Orange, Clementine or Tangerine
Black Radish
Cooked Beets

That is pretty much the whole salad with a little drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.  Talk about minimalist.  

Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Leeks

1 cup white all purpose flour
1 cup chickpea flour
water - I never really measure this out.  Add your water slowly a little at a time. If you want a thicker pancake add more water, less if you want it thinner.
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste 
1 chopped leek
olive oil

Mix all ingredients except the leeks until there are no lumps.  The leeks should go in last.  The trick is to use a skillet and keep the heat on medium low.  This way your olive oil gets hot enough for a good result but not too hot that it is smoking.  I use a ladel-full of batter for each pancake.

Dinner!  I served this with some chevre.  It went perfectly with the salad.