Tag Archives: lucas

Monday Night Dinner

Having made a cold weather amiable meal the prior week and feeling comfortably within the confines of spring I planned ahead to make a meal that would suit my weather expectations. Alas, such was not the case, except for a brief moment of sunshine the weather was decidedly un spring like. Regardless, I held fast to my original choice of veggie burgers. In the fall I had been intrigued by some exceptionally good store bought veggie burgers and feeling bolstered by newly appreciated cooking prowess decided to try my hand at a recipe.

After some deliberating I chose to base my burgers around the grain Bulgar and to stay away from “meat texture” facilitating ingredients such as eggs and bread crumbs. The necessary ingredients are listed below followed by my interpretation of the recipe.

½ onion

½ cup bulgar

1 cup water

1 cup pinto beans

1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce

¾ cup walnuts

2 gloves of garlic coarsely chopped

½ cup parsely chopped (cilantro may also be used)

1 tsp ground cumin

¼  tsp cayenne powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

olive oil

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 lime

whole wheat bread

First, heat ½ tbs olive oil in frying paying and cook ¼ of the onion over medium heat until browned. Then add in the water and bulgar, cooking covered over low heat until the water is completely absorbed (15-18 minutes). Meanwhile, combine the rest of the onion, walnuts, garlic, parsely, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the soy sauce and pinto beans. When the bulgar is finished cooking place in the bowl with beans and allow to cool a bit. Next combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fine. Shape mixture into four half inch thick patties (1/4 cup each) and place on parchment paper and allow to cool in the fridge for at least ten minutes. You can take this time to combine the mayonnaise with a teaspoon of lime juice as well as zest from half the lime, to be used as the condiment.  Cook burgers on a skillet with olive oil or on a grill sheet as they tend to fall apart, roughly 4 minutes a side. Serve of toasted whole wheat bread.

Alongside this I served a sweet potato and black bean salad with a chili lime dressing, which was created by our friends at the New York Times and notably (generally) shares an ingredient list with another friend of ours who goes by the name of vegetarian sweet potato chili.

2 medium sweet potatoes

1 large red onion

2 cups black beans

1 red or yellow bell pepper finely diced

juice of two limes

½ jalapeño pepper

½ cup cilantro chopped

1 clove garlic

brown sugar

olive oil

salt

pepper

Skin and cut sweet potatoes into ¾ inch cubes, chop red onion and toss both with olive oil salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes at 400F, turning on occasion until browned. Set aside to cool and combine rinsed bean with bell pepper and cilantro. Toss in the baked vegetables and top with dressing that is made by utilizing a small food processor to puree the jalapeño pepper, lime juice, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil , salt and pepper to taste.

Monday Night Waffles

Tonight’s meal was inspired by a staple from the restaurant Sneakers’ (Winooski, Vermont) menu. The dish is sweet potato waffles and chicken and has been a source of inspiration on many cold college Sundays. The enthralling part of this meal is the unreal flavor that is imparted from the juxtaposition of culinary elements that don’t typically frequent the same social circles.  As the sweet potato waffles soften beneath the chicken gravy you begin to realize how brilliant this meal really is, but enough praise for Sneakers, below I will describe how I attempted this dish.

After some searching on the web of internets I came across a few suitable recipes and by borrowing the best points from each I attempted to turn mediocre into masterpiece.  The waffles required the following ingredients.

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

½  tsp salt

4 tspbaking powder

1 tsp spoon sage

3 eggs separated

½ cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

pinch of cream of tarter

2 medium sweet potatoes (chopped up, boiled until soft, mashed)

Combine the dry ingredients excluding the cream of tarter in a large bowl with a whisk. In a separate boil beat together the milk, oil, egg yolks and sweet potatoes. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry without over mixing. Finally, beat the egg whites with the cream of tarter until frothy and fold into the dough.

Follow directions on your typical waffle maker and cook waffles until browned on the outside.

The gravy I choose relies on the flavor of caramelized onions, make this ahead of time by cooking one large onion thinly sliced into rounds with olive oil over medium heat for roughly 40 minutes, if is taking too long or you want a sweeter flavor sprinkle some brown sugar on the onions to expedite the process.  For the gravy you will also need the following;

2 tbs butter

2 tbs flour

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper to taste

pinch of nutmeg

 

Melt the butter and slowly whisk in the flour to create a roux. Then slowly add small amounts of liquid starting with the milk and alternating between each. Allow for the gravy to thicken and then add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and finally the caramelized onions.

While stirring the sauce you should be simultaneously cooking the chicken. While this meal would traditionally be served with fried chicken I simply cooked it in olive oil in a skillet. You should dredge roughly a pound of chicken tenders in flour with paprika to taste and once the skilled is hot cook until tender and brown on the outsides.

Now all that remains is putting the pieces together which entails placing two tenders on each waffle and topping with sauce, I also served peas alongside which complemented the dish excellently.

 

 

 

 

 

Chef Profile: Lucas

Delighted to introduce you to one of the recently graduated twin child (ha!) chefs. This is Lucas. He is an excellent cooker. Lucas reports on the family survey questions (extra blogger commentary in blue):

Favorite ingredient: Butternut squash, balsamic vinegar, israeli cous cous
Favorite foods: sweet potatoes. (He makes excellent roasted sweet potatoes and phenomenal sweet potato fries)
Favorite snack: juice (he means fresh, homemade in a juice maker juice – expect a post on that!) chia seeds (Does anyone else eat these? They’re weird)
Personal cooking speciality: gingerbread houses (see photo below, impressive huh?)
Best/worse meals consumed: best thanksgiving dinner (family thanksgiving will definintely be a future topic – we eat chicken instead of turkey…intriguing, yes?) , worst in NZ (The twins spent a semester together in New Zealand and had the. worst. meal. ever at an Asian place in Christchurch. Comically bad. Should not have counted as food)
Favorite meal of the day (why??): dinner (Yeah, why?!)
A cooking mishap: the time sis made soup and broke the house (there was an explosion – broke is an exaggeration)
General hobbies/interests: running, cycling, winning, badminton, squash, snow
Will not Eat…: doesn’t really apply, best eater in the house (hmm… we’ll see if that is true)
Check out this gingerbread house!