Archive | May 2015

New Domain and a New Persian Recipe

Hmmm, something looks a bit different with Sunshine Kitchen, you might be saying to yourself. Yes – I finally bought a domain name for this blog! I initially wanted to see if I was going to stick with this whole blogging thing, and then I just never bothered to get around to it. But here we are! Yay! So this week I decided to do another Persian/Iranian dish, which is called a kuku. It’s basically their version of a frittata. I looked at a number of recipes, and ended up making a stove-cooked mishmash of this recipe and this one.

Eggplant Kuku
1/2 medium eggplant, chopped into wide matchsticks
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 eggs (I did 2 eggs and 1 egg white)
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
salt

Heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Saute the onions until soft, then add the eggplant pieces until they are soft too. While the eggplant and onion are cooking, beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the garlic, turmeric, ginger, parsley and a dash of salt. When the onions and eggplant are done, pour the egg mixture over them. Cover the frying pan and cook at medium heat until the edges are done. Flip and cook the other side until done, which will only be a few minutes. If you can actually flip in in one fell swoop, color me impressed. I, however, cut it in in half and flipped each one. Serve and eat warm.

A truly international meal: kuku, sangria, and SF sourdough

A truly international meal: kuku, sangria, SF sourdough,and a British novel

So good. The first bite was like, hmmm, but after a couple more bites it was mmmmmm! Every time I try a new Persian recipe my reaction is always why don’t I cook Persian dishes more often? This will be made again. And there are a billion variations, and I like the spice/herb combos in Persian food a lot so more versions will be made and posted as well. Song of the week: I am the Walrus, by the Beatles. Total honestly, when I saw the name of the zucchini version was kuku kadoo, my first thought was koo koo kachoo from this song’s refrain. So, it clearly needed to be featured this week. It’s also a great song and trippy in the best possible way.

Chocolate-Chip Blondies

Yay stress baking! Yes, it was one of those weeks. One in which baking things with insane amounts of sugar was the only real way to deal with my life. For some time now I’d been intrigued by the concept of blondies, figuring that adding chocolate chips would satisfy my need for chocolate while still having me try something new. I didn’t even really bother doing much research, I just pulled together a slight modification of the first recipe that came up on a google search. Eh, I figured with all those ingredients, there was no way it could turn out badly.

3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
chocolate chips (I used milk chocolate ones)

Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg until they are nice and fluffy. Add the flour and baking powder and beat that in. Stir in the chocolate chips. Stick in a pan (I used an 8X8 and that was slightly too big sadly) and bake for like 20 minutes at 350. And done

blondie

They were good, but not great. Too chewy from all the brown sugar and tasted almost nutty, which I have no idea how that works when there was nothing remotely nutty in them. I’m happy I made them, and will enjoy eating them (I didn’t even bring the leftovers to work) but I doubt I will repeat this recipe. Song of the week, Problem by Ariana Grande. I already loved this song, but have been obsessively listening to this song all day. Is there a connection between this song and my stress baking? Distinctly possible.

Corsican Bell Pepper Stew for Summer

This week, I was at a loss for inspiration. Sad but it happens. However, this is why we have cookbooks! and food blogs! Rather than flipping through Greens again, I went through the spring and summer sections of my French Market cookbook, and in the summer section, I found something that I actually had nearly all the ingredients for. Not quite all, but close enough for me to attempt my own version: Corsican Bell Pepper Stew.

1 1/2 red bell peppers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
splash of wine (like 1-2 tablespoons)
wine vinegar
Salt
olive oil

Prep all the ingredients first. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes, like five. Then add the diced (not chopped, diced) bell peppers and the rosemary. Let the whole thing stew on medium-low heat until the bell peppers have softened, about 25 minutes or so. Then add the tomatoes, wine, and salt to taste. Stew until the tomatoes have broken down, about another 15 minutes. Let the stew cool (seriously you can let it just sit for hours, it actually improves it), then splash with a little wine vinegar and adjust the salt to taste if necessary. You can serve it as a side, but I had it spread on some bread.

corsican bell pepper stew

Tasty! So tasty. It reminded me of caponata, albeit without the eggplant or pine nuts. Which, geographically makes a certain amount of sense. I’m pretty sure you could do a lot with this stuff besides sticking it on bread – which admittedly was pretty awesome. I’ll have to experiment and see how that goes. Serve with a glass of whatever wine you cooked with – and drank while cooking if you are anything like me. I went with a French rose – its late spring and hot out so I’m off red wine until fall, and French wine seemed appropriate to go with French food. Song of the week: It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy. This came on the radio when I was driving a week or so ago and I was singing along and still know almost all the words. It’s so messed up and yet.

Peter Rabbit Tart

First off, let me apologize for the extended absence. I had an unexpected trip to California which did not give me anytime to cook anything (tragic, given my parent’s giant and beautiful kitchen). But I’m back on the East Coast, and will hopefully have a slightly less adventurous life for the next couple weeks. This week’s recipe I found on a wonderful cooking/book blog called The Little Library Cafe. It’s sort of a quiche-salad hybrid, that the author made inspired by the story of Peter Rabbit and called Mr McGregor’s Tart. Well, it looked freaking delicious, and I needed to use up some goat cheese, so I decided this week to make my own variation of the concept. I used fairly different ingredients in the topping, so I’m calling it a Peter Rabbit tart. There are three parts to this one, so it will take a while to put together.

I didn't realize it would look quite so Christmasy

I didn’t realize it would look quite so Christmas-y

Dough
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
pinch of salt
cold water

Measure flour and salt into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until there are no significant sized lumps. If compressed, the dough should almost be able to stick together. Add water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together. The dough should be soft and pliable, but cohesive and not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Filling
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt
pepper
several pinches dried basil
3 oz crumbled goat cheese

Beat the eggs and milk together. Add the salt, pepper and dried basil and whisk them into the liquid mix. Then add the goat cheese and mix that in too. Take the dough you made earlier and roll it out to line whatever pan you are using. I used my large pie plate, but since the was a tart, the edges only when half-way up the sides of the pan. Pour the liquid egg/milk/cheese mixture into the lined pan – it shouldn’t quite fill it up. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400. Don’t worry if the crust isn’t quite brown yet, it will go back in the oven later.

Topping
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
1 small leek, halved and sliced
1 cup chopped cabbage (or other greens)
2 radishes, thinly sliced

While the base is baking, prepare the veggies to go on top. The veggies I chose were based on the very specific criteria of already being in my fridge at the time. So feel free to use whatever ones make you happy. After the veggies are all chopped and the tart base is out of the oven, sprinkle the sliced leeks and tomatoes on top, and stick it back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes or so. It won’t hurt the eggy base and will give the crust more time to cook and brown. Once its done, toss the remaining veggies on top of the tart. Serve either warm or cold, both work.

peter rabbit tart 2

The result. Good! The leeks and tomatoes were awesome, so unless you hate either of those vegetables, I highly recommend using them. The radishes were a nice touch, although I’m a bit iffy on the cabbage. I would have preferred to go with spinach or spring mix lettuces, but I’m a firm believer in using what is in my fridge before it goes bad, so cabbage it was. Next time, I will use some other leafy green vegetable. My love affair with rose wines continues, although I had it with an Argentinian rose blend, which was less fruity than I normally go for. Song of the Week: A Book Report from the the musical You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown. A completely ridiculous but amazing song from the Charlie Brown musical in which all the characters have to write a book report on … Peter Rabbit.