Garlic Baby Broccoli

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is so simple & so delicious but you gotta LOVE garlic.  I do.

I also love to point out that I recently published my first novel & the reviews om Amazon are great!  I hope you will buy a copy!  They are cheap!

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And now – on to this quick & easy side dish!

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Garlic Baby Broccoli

Serves one

INGREDIENTS

1 small bunch of baby broccoli – ends trimmed

2 TBS olive oil

10 (more or less) cloves of garlic – minced

S&P

Lemon as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the broccoli.  Saute for 10 minutes or so being careful not to burn it.  Once the broccoli is nearly done, stir in the garlic & cook for maybe a minute.  Cooking longer will lessen the pungency of the garlic – and you might prefer it that way – just be careful you do not burn the garlic.  A little golden is OK but more than that & garlic tends to get bitter.

Serve with S&P & maybe a squeeze of lemon.  Eat it all up & know that the vampires won’t be coming for you tonight!

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Summer Garden Vegetable Pizza

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes pizza is really just a bread plate.  That is the case here.  This pizza is really just a few warmed vegetables on a plate of bread with a little cheese.  I have never been one for extra cheesy pizza.  I prefer other flavors & this pizza offers a lot of them!  It was inspired by a box of locally grown vegetables that got mistakenly delivered to my door.  Relax!  I called the company that delivered them & was informed that food safety laws prohibited them from redelivering the box.  So I got to keep it!

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Say – have you heard?  I wrote a fucking NOVEL!!!  It is hilarious!  Read the reviews on Amazon – HERE.  They are VERY positive!  Why not buy a copy & check it out?

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OK – so – at the risk of sounding like a broken record – pizza toppings are very much a matter of personal preference.  Not just as to which ones to use but also how much of each.  I don’t like heavy or thick pizzas.  Others do.  So – I will just list the ingredients I used for this beauty & let you make your own choices.

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So – again – here is the pizza dough I use – and all I do is throw everything in my bread machine & let it run on the dough cycle.  SO EASY!  Then I let it sit & rise or a hour & either use it immediately – or use a bit & store the rest in plastic wrap in the fridge.

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups flour
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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Summer Garden Vegetable Pizza

INGREDIENTS

Dough

Fresh mozzarella (or other pizza cheese)

Parmesan – grated

Tomatoes – sliced

A few mixed baby squashes – sliced

Basil

Jalapeno – seeded & sliced

Onion – sliced thin

Avocado

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500.

Treat a pizza pan with cooking spray or use parchment paper.

Roll the dough out & put it on the pan.  Score it a bit with a knife or fork tines.

Divide the avocado portion you are using in half – and reserve half the avocado & all of the basil for AFTER the pizza is cooked.

Layer toppings starting with the cheese & layering veggies on top of the cheese.  This make the pizza bright & vibrant with the colors of the vegetables – rather than the white cheese.

Bake that fucker for 10-15 minutes or until the crust & toppings look done to you.  Top with more avocado & the basil.

Kid yourself that this is just a warm salad & that there is no harm in eating the entire thing yourself!  And then DO IT!

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Vegan Pasta with Celery, Chickpeas, Lemon & Parsley

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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If you read my blog with any regularity, you know two things.  One – that I wrote a novel that is getting great reviews on Amazon!  www.BathingBook.com

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And two – that I think both celery & parsley get short shrift.  I think they are both bursting with fresh flavor & add a great deal to dishes in which they are used – but they are typically written off as garnish.  So – this dish is my homage to the two.  Easy & clean & fresh-tasting.  An easy dish that can be whipped together very quickly.

I added the dried lemon zest seen here –

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because I had some left over from my Brussels Sprouts & Burrata Pizza with Pecorino & Dried Meyer Lemon Zest.

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It is completely unnecessary.  Regular lemon zest is terrific, quicker & more flavorful.

I used a lot of crushed red pepper because, well, that’s just what I do.  I add lots of it to nearly everything.  I have found, however, that different brands (and ages) of the stuff can have wildly different levels of heat.  So – always start slow & add it incrementally.

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Pasta with Celery, Lemon & Parsley

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta of your choice

1 cup cooked chick peas – drained

1/4 cup or more Parsley – chopped – plus more for garnish

4 stalks celery – sliced diagonally (if the celery has leafy parts – you can chop these as garnish)

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper – or to taste

1-2 TBS lemon zest

1 shallot – diced

Olive oil

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your pasta according to directions & drain.

Meanwhile, boil another pot of water deep enough to hold the sliced stalks of celery.  Add a bit of salt & blanch the celery for a minute or two then drain, rinse under cold water & set aside.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add the shallots & cook until tender – a few minutes.  Add the chick peas & celery & maybe a pinch of chopped parsley & heat through.  Add the garlic & crushed red pepper & 1/4 cup or more of chopped parsley & saute another minute.

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Add the pasta & stir to combine.  Add the lemon zest & season to taste with S&P.  Serve with additional parsley and, if you have them, the chopped leafy parts of the celery.  Season with a squeeze of lemon, if you like, or maybe some additional crushed red pepper.  And don’t be shy with the SALT (another villainized (sp?) ingredient) and pepper!  Eat it up & admit that parsley & celery are unsung heroes and promise to be nicer to them forevermore!

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Spicy & Easy Vegan (or Not!) Firecracker Chicken

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK, people!  This dish is INSANELY easy & outrageously good!  Better than take-out!  Wow your friends!  Make your neighbors jealous.  Oh – and buy my book!

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OK- that said – back to this outrageous revelation!  You can use real chicken or shrimp, if you want, but I hope you will try it with this stuff (or another brand of vegan meat).  Here is a coupon to get some for free!  Go to their site to find out which retailers near you might carry it.  The coupon can be printed an infinite number of times & you could get a free package every time you went to the store.

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Also – this could be made using any pre-made buffalo sauce bought from the supermarket.  That would make it even easier.  But I had extra buffalo sauce from my Vegan Buffalo Falafel Sliders with Smashed Avocado so I used that.

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Homemade Buffalo Sauce

(This makes more than the 1/3 cup required for the Firecracker Chicken)

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup cayenne based hot sauce

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour starts to look golden and smell sorta toasted. It can bubble but do not boil it.  This should take about 4 minutes.  Add half the hot sauce and stir until it is all mixed. The flour should thicken it a bit. Add the rest of the hot sauce, water, and vinegar and stir until it is all mixed up. Set aside.

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Can I repeat how easy & insanely yummy this is!  And do not expect it to taste like buffalo sauce.  It doesn’t.  At all.  Which is bizarre.  So – if buffalo sauce ain’t your thing – still try this.  And know – the more sugar you add – the less you taste any buffalo sauce element.

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Spicy & Easy Vegan (or Not!) Firecracker Chicken

Feeds one well

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken (or real chicken) – cut into cubes

Cornstarch

2 TBS olive oil

1/3 cup Buffalo sauce (store bought or homemade – recipe above)

1/2-3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 TBS apple cider vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

1 TBS water

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

Scallions – chopped for garnish

Cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

For the Firecracker sauce, heat the Buffalo sauce, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, salt, crushed red pepper & water until the sugar dissolves.  Set aside.

Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

Make some rice.

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While the rice cooks, toss your vegan (or real) chicken in enough cornstarch to lightly coat it.  Heat the olive oil in a frying pan.  Cook the chicken until it is nice & browned on the outside.

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Put the cooked chicken into an oven-proof pan.  I used a pie dish.  Toss with the firecracker sauce.  Heat in the oven for about 30-45 minutes or until the sauce thickens up (and your REAL chicken (if you are a carnivorous wimp) is cooked through).  This could probably be done just as simply stove-top…and maybe more quickly.  I will try that next time.  And there WILL be a next time!

Serve that shit over your rice with some scallions.  Resist the urge to pour it all over your naked body & roll around in ecstasy.   That shit is hot and WILL burn you – and it really is too delicious to waste on your sordid sex life.

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Cauliflower & Southern Greens Pesto Pizza with Burrata

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So – yeah!  THAT is happening!  In June!  In Pasadena!

And, yeah, I feel lame posting another pizza but that is exactly what I am going to do.

But first – look what showed up at my door today!

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I used to use this service & get weekly delivery of produce but I could never seem to get through it before it went bad – so I canceled the deliveries.  This box wasn’t meant for me.  It had a completely different address on it – wrong house number & the wrong street.  So – I called & told them & asked if they wanted to come get the box.  I was informed that, due to food safety laws, the vegetables could not now be delivered to the proper person.  So – I got to keep it!   Yay!  Maybe I will make something other than pizza, now.

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So – again – here is the pizza dough I use – and all I do is throw everything in my bread machine & let it run on the dough cycle.  SO EASY!  Then I let it sit & rise or a hour & either use it immediately – or use a bit & store the rest in plastic wrap in the fridge.

PIZZA DOUGH

MAKES FOUR 12-OZ. BALLS

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. sugar (⅞ oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil, plus more (½ oz.)
½ tsp. active dry yeast
5½ cups flour
2 tbsp. kosher salt (¾ oz.)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine sugar, oil, yeast, and 2 cups cold water in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook; let sit until foamy, 8-10 minutes. Mix flour and salt in a bowl. With motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until a smooth dough forms, 8-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a greased baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour.

2. Divide dough into 4 balls; transfer to a greased 9″ x 13″ dish; brush tops with oil. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 48 hours (or get impatient like me & use it immediately).

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Cauliflower & Southern Greens Pesto Pizza with Burrata

INGREDIENTS

Dough

Burrata or other mozzarella

1/2 head cauliflower – cut into tiny florets

Olive oil

1- 3 tsp crushed red pepper – depending on your tolerance for heat

6 cloves garlic – chopped

8 oz southern greens (I used a collard, turnip, mustard greens & spinach blend)

1/4 cup pecans

1/4 Parmesan

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 sun-dried tomatoes (optional)

1/4 cup fresh basil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-500 degrees.

Make the pesto by boiling water & blanching the chopped greens for about 3 minutes.  Drain & set aside.

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Toast the pecans in a dry pan for a few minutes or until they begin to toast a bit.  Be careful not to burn them.

In a food processor, blend the pecans & FOUR of the cloves of garlic & the sun-dried tomatoes.  Once they are chopped well, add the greens, Parmesan, apple cider vinegar, basil & a tsp of crushed red pepper (optional).  Pulse until well blended & then, while the machine is running, drizzle in about 4 TBS olive oil.  Taste & adjust S&P.  Set aside.

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In a saute pan with a lid, heat 2-3 TBS olive oil over medium heat.  Add your crushed red pepper (I used a lot) and the cauliflower florets.  Stir to combine & cook about 5 minutes.  Add 3 TBS water & raise the heat to high.  Cover the pan & steam the cauliflower for 3 minutes or until it is tender.  Lower the heat to medium again & add the remaining to cloves of garlic.  Stir for about a minute, adding olive oil if it needs it & add S&P & set aside.

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Now – simply assemble the pizza.  I love parchment paper but a greased pan is just as good.  Roll out the dough & put it on the cooking pan.  Pierce it all over with the tip of a knife or a fork.  This keeps the dough from bubbling up & displacing the toppings.

Smear some pesto on there, add some cauliflower & top with the cheese.  Cook that sucker up for about 10-15 minutes or until it looks ready to you.  Devour!

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Vegan Buffalo Falafel Sliders with Smashed Avocado

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK.  In the interest of full disclosure – I got the recipe for the buffalo falafel from one of my all-time favorite blogs – the almighty Thug Kitchen!

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(Photo by Thug Kitchen)

This site is just amazing and HERE is their falafel recipe.  I am going to include their actual recipe below – because – if you are unfamiliar with these guys – you need to get familiar.  Read the recipe!  Hilarious!

BUFFALO FALAFEL

FALAFEL:

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas or 1- 15 ounce can, rinsed

1/3 pound of cauliflower

¼ cup diced onion (yellow, white, red, whatever)

1-2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ teaspoon all-purpose seasoning blend (The no-salt blends are best because you can add that salt shit later in small amounts)

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

BUFFALO SAUCE:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons flour (Whole-wheat flour works here so does brown rice flour. Use whatever)

1 cup cayenne based hot sauce

¼ cup water

1 tablespoon vinegar (Apple cider vinegar is my favorite here but white vinegar would work too. Use what you got)

For the falafel: Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly spray some oil on a baking sheet. Chopped the cauliflower up into small pieces. Throw it in a food processor and run that shit until the pieces of cauliflower kind of look like rice. If you don’t have a food processor then just chop that shit up as small as you can. Mash the fuck out of the chickpeas in a medium bowl until they form a paste. Chop the garlic up into small pieces. Add the cauliflower, onion, garlic, oil, seasoning blend, and breadcrumbs to the chickpeas and mix that shit up. If your seasoning blend didn’t have salt in it, now you can add a pinch of salt to that motherfucker. The mixture should easily form into balls. If it is too fucking dry, add a little water. No stress. Form the mixture into balls a little bigger than a ping pong ball. Throw the balls on the baking sheet and bake them for 20-25 minutes, flipping them sons of bitches half way through. Remember to set a timer so that you don’t burn the shit out of them. Both sides should be nice and golden. While the falafel bake, make the buffalo sauce.

For the buffalo sauce: In a small saucepan, heat the oil over a medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir constantly until the flour starts to look golden and smell kinda toasted. A few bubbles are cool but this shouldn’t look like it’s boiling. This shit takes about 4 minutes if you got your heat right. Add half the hot sauce and stir until it is all mixed. The flour should make that shit thicken up a bit. Add the rest of the hot sauce, water, and vinegar and stir until it is all mixed up. Turn off the heat.

When the falafel are done cooking, push them gently to the center of the baking sheet and put ¾ of the buffalo sauce on them. Bake that shit for like 5 extra minutes so that the falafel absorbs that sauce. Pour the extra sauce over them when they get out of the oven or whenever you eat them.

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Instead of pita – I used little brioche slider buns – that were not vegan.  Here is proof I made the buffalo sauce.

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This made a boat load of buffalo sauce so I stored the extra in a jar in my fridge.

I made the falafel – but I got all lazy & just mashed the bejesus out of the ingredients in my food processor.

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A word about chick peas.  And lentils.  And rice.  Did you know you can make these kinds of things in large batches – like chick peas from the dried version rather than canned – and then measure out a cup or two of them & put them in Ziplock baggies & freeze them?  I made a whole bag of chick peas & froze them up & now – I can just grab what I need from the freezer in small increments.  SO MUCH CHEAPER!  And easy!  Do it!  I used some of those chick peas here & I will in my post tomorrow, too.

Anyway – I recommend prepping the falafel as Thug Kitchen suggested.  The processed version were very soft & fragile.  I lost a lot just trying to flip them.  So – touche, Thug Kitchen!

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Now – smashed avocado is really just guacamole.  Shhhhhh!  I just smashed up some avocado with a few pinches of salt & a squeeze of lime.

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So – yeah.  Make the falafel “dough” and create little patties.  Bake them maybe 15 minutes longer than the recipe suggests as these are a bit bigger.  Or – at least – mine we so soft that they required a bit more time.

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Then just assemble those bad boys as you like.  Eat them.  Drink up.  Belch.  FTW!

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Endive, Mushroom & Shaved Parmesan Salad with Lemon & Olive Oil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Sometimes salads full of little bits of a thousand things are fun & satisfying.  Things like candied nuts & pomegranate seeds & bits of cheese & croutons or fruity things.  But sometimes minimalist salads are fun, too.  My two favorite salads of all time are of the latter variety.   The first is one I put on top of pizzas all the time – a simple arugula & shaved Parmesan salad.

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The other is this salad I present today.  They served it at what used to be my favorite Italian place in Los Angeles – Chianti.  It was a dark room with booths & opera playing & the food was simple & lovely.  I always got this salad.

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There are really just three ingredients & they are all equally important.  If you do not like mushrooms – this salad ain’t gonna work.  If the light bitterness of the endive bugs you – ditto.  And if a salad made of about 1/3 shaved Parmesan is not on your diet – skip this guy.  But if you like those three things – this will be pure joy for you.  Light & clean & simple & so good with a crisp glass of white wine!

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Endive, Mushroom & Shaved Parmesan Salad with Lemon & Olive Oil

(salad for one)

INGREDIENTS

5 large mushrooms – sliced

2 heads endive – sliced

Parmesan – shaved (or vegan alternative)

Olive oil

Lemon juice

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the mushrooms in a little olive oil & lemon juice & some salt.  Go light but just add enough to get some on all the mushroom slices.  These can sit for a while or be used immediately.  Letting them sit a bit is good, though, because the mushrooms absorb the flavors, soften a bit & take on a richer color.

Make a dressing with about 1/4 cup olive oil & the juice of 1/2 a lemon & some S&P.  Taste & adjust the flavors to your palate.

Then simply toss the endive with the a boat load of shaved Parmesan & the mushrooms.  Drizzle with the dressing & eat this fucker up!

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