Sunday, May 31, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Fast food need not be unhealthy and revolting.
Jen Matlack says,
Once a week, my husband, Chef Jeff, makes us Mexican pizzas. It’s an easy recipe (especially for me, since he makes it) and it's soooo good and healthy—black beans are full of antioxidants.
Cover whole-grain tortillas with black beans, chipotle hot sauce, steamed broccoli, and sharp cheddar cheese. Broil the pizzas to melt the cheese, then add Trader Joe's Salsa Verde, sour cream, or anything else you like. Then enjoy.
It’s that simple.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
According to Wrangham, our raw-food-eating ancestors had to devote vast energies to digestion; once cooking was employed, the human brain was able to develop.
Apes began to morph into humans, and the species Homo erectus emerged some two million years ago, Mr. Wrangham argues, for one fundamental reason: We learned to tame fire and heat our food.
“Cooked food does many familiar things,” he observes. “It makes our food safer, creates rich and delicious tastes and reduces spoilage. Heating can allow us to open, cut or mash tough foods. But none of these advantages is as important as a little-appreciated aspect: cooking increases the amount of energy our bodies obtain from food.”
This book is sure to be controversial with today's raw-food advocates, but it sounds fascinating.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
We've all been there: too tired to make anything complicated, with just enough energy to grill a piece of fish or roast some vegetables . . . but craving something just a little more interesting. That's when we reach for our jar of wasabi-spiked mayonnaise.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
- Pine & Post 2006 Chardonnay (Washington State) $7.99.
- Thierry & Guy Fat Bastard 2007 Chardonnay (France) $9.99.
- Alamos 2007 Chardonnay (Argentina) $10.99.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
5 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 pounds red potatoes, 1 1/2-inch chunks
sprig fresh oregano
1. In a small bowl, combine mustard, oil, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Arrange potatoes in lightly greased 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan or on a shallow baking sheet. Pour mustard mixture over potatoes; toss to coat well.
2. Bake at 425 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and crispy, stirring occasionally. Garnish with oregano.
This also reminds us of one of our favorite things to do: roasted potatoes, which are so easy and which can be altered slightly to work with whatever else you're serving. We'll soon drop in a post about some of the many things you can do to roasted potatoes.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
For two servings of brussels sprouts, I melt two tablespoons of butter, then add Dijon mustard—either smooth or grainy—using my little whisk to emulsify the butter and mustard. I start with about two teaspoons of mustard and keep whisking in small quantities until the sauce looks right, which is when the butter is thoroughly incorporated. The proportions are roughly one part mustard to one and a half parts butter. Mustard straight out of the refrigerator seems to emulsify more easily. Drizzle sauce over the sprouts and mix to blend.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Though we are not about to get into political discussions at Eat Well, Eat Cheap, we were amused and befuddled by right-wing commentators’ recent botched attempts to drag Dijon mustard into the culture wars. Arugula and lattes kind of made sense—even though it’s silly to demonize food, everybody got the allusion. But mustard?
As it happens, Ruth’s mother, a devout nonelitist and an upstanding American, always kept a jar of Grey Poupon in her refrigerator, between the Velveeta and the Miracle Whip, one shelf above the Smucker’s.
We were gratified to see the Dijon “controversy” fall flat. It seems that whether they are on the right or the left, most Americans love the spicy mustard—with good reason. Delivering maximum flavor and zero fat, it adds piquancy to everything from salad dressings to sandwiches to marinades like this one, which has been adapted from James Beard. He used rabbit, but this is wonderful with poultry or pheasant.
Protein of your choice (Beard uses 1 rabbit, cut into serving pieces)
8-ounce jar creamy (not grainy) Dijon mustard
1 large onion, quartered
4 T. butter
2 T. olive oil
1 t. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
salt, fresh-ground pepper to taste
Optional: 2 T. flour mixed with 1 T. butter
Optional: 2 T. flour mixed with 1 T. butter
1. Smear your protein with mustard. Arrange the pieces in a glass bowl with the onion, then cover with red wine. Marinate for at least 24 hours.
2. Lift the protein pieces out of the marinade. Scrape off the mustard, letting it fall back into the marinade. (If you like things a little less mustardy, you should discard the scraped-off mustard.)
3. Heat butter with oil in large sauté pan. Brown the protein on all sides, then place in a casserole.
4. Season protein with thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Pour the wine-mustard marinade mixture over the protein, cover, and bake in a 350-degree oven for about an hour.
5. When the protein is done, arrange it on a platter and keep it warm.
6. Add a cup of red wine to the marinade and reduce the liquid by half. (If you like, you can thicken the sauce with butter and flour, mixed together and added gradually.)
Serve with boiled potatoes or wild rice, to either liberals or conservatives.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
- Bodegas Luzon "Black Label" Jumilla 2007 (Spanish red) $6.95
- Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut (Spanish champagne) $7.45
- Vega Sindoa Tempranillo/Merlot 2007 (Spanish red) $7.45
- Cristalino Brut (Spanish champagne) $7.95
- Wishing Tree Shiraz 2006 (Australian red) $7.95
- Panarroz Jumilla 2006 (Spanish red, also on the 4/16 list) $7.95
- Castano Yecla Monastrell 2007 (Spanish red) $7.95
- Bonny Doon Framboise half-bottle (CA desert wine) $7.95
- Trevor Jones "Jonesy" Old Tawny Port (Australian port) $8.95
- Yalumba Y Series Sangiovese Rose 2007 (Australian rosé) $8.95
- Domaine LaFage Catalanes Cote Est 2007 (French, Languedoc white) $8.95
- Tormaresca Neprica 2007 (Italian red) $8.95
- Bodega Rj Vinedos "Pasion4" Uco Valley Malbec 2007 (Argentine red) $8.95
- Maipe Malbec 2008 (Argentine red) $8.95
- Las Rocas de San Alejandro Rosado 2008 (Spanish rosé) $9.45
- Milbrandt "Traditions" Riesling 2006 (WA white) $9.45
- Terra Andina "reserve" Chardonnay 2007 (Chilean white) $9.95
- Chateau St. Jean Fume Blanc 2007 (CA white) $9.95
- Pillar Box Red 2007 (Australian red) $9.95
- Las Rocas de San Alejandro Garnacha 2006 (Spanish red) $9.95
- Bodegas Olivares Monastrell Altos de la Hoya 2007 (Spanish red) $9.95
- George Duboeuf "Flower Label" Morgon 2005 (French red) $9.95
- George Duboeuf "Flower Label" Julienas 2005 (French red) $9.95
- Torremoron Tinto 2006 (Spanish red) $9.95
- Chateau Ste. Michelle "Mellies Garden" Dry Rosé 2007 (WA rosé) $9.95
- Falset Marca Garnacha Rosé 2006 (Spanish rosé) $9.95
- Jacobs Creek "Reserve" Riesling 2008 (Australian white) $9.95
- Masserie Pisari Negromaro 2006 (Italian red) $9.99