Monday, June 17, 2013

Chickpea Piccata from Isa Chandra

tuuuurtle!  totally unrelated to this post, but really cute, no?

I'm not one to be excited about vegan dishes, usually.  We have several vegan restaurants in Memphis and I haven't tried any of them.  My husband and I both eat anything, so usually a (to me) more realistic option for us is somewhere that, you know, serves dairy and meat. 

However.  I also really love vegetables and could probably become vegetarian if the need arose.  I usually order meals that aren't very meat-centric, and we eat meat-free salads all week long (which helps us balance out our typical gluttonous weekends of eating out and my baking habits).  So, when I saw Appetite for Reduction in my suggested reads on my Amazon homepage, I was somewhat dubious but intrigued because, wow, if you take one look at the reviews it's pretty hard not to see that this is a promising book.  I bought it last year sometime, and of course am just now getting around to using it.

But poor me!  I could have been enjoying these recipes for an entire year.  Dang, people, these are good recipes.  Not only are they full of flavor, you have barely anything to feel guilty about - approximately 200 to 400 calories per serving and you're done.  Seriously, go try some of her recipes here.  And then buy her book.

And if you try just one recipe, try her Chickpea Piccata recipe.  I made it over the weekend and brought it to work for my lunches.  I added some chicken (not vegan, remember?), and ate it over arugula.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Seriously.  Somehow the flavors combine and give you rainbows in your mouth.  I read a lot of food blogs and become irritated when people get excited about a recipe online ("Try this!  OMG!") because then I have to wait hours until I can get home and try it myself, but at the risk of being annoying, I'll say it again - make this recipe NOW.  So good, so fast, so easy.  You could serve it over potatoes (or her Caulipots which I still have yet to try), or just eat it with arugula like I did.  Seriously.  Go now.  Then when you eat this for lunch (like I did today), you'll have extra calories that you can use up on the lemon meringue pie you baked over the weekend and will eat a slice of (like I will tonight).

Monday, June 3, 2013

Lately...

lazy Sunday

A roundup of food happenings at our house...

A few Saturdays ago I really wanted something crispy and crunchy, and something with shrimp.  I thought long and hard about this, and wrote a recipe in my head that involved breading shrimp with panko and then baking it.  As much as I would like to think that I'm the first one to think of it, a quick google search proved me wrong.  There are no more real, original ideas, right?

I settled on this recipe, and modified it back to reality by using a whole egg and 2% milk.  I knew going into it that the seasoning looked a little on the bland side, and yikes, I was right.  Next time I'll amp up the flavorings for sure.  If we had eaten this shrimp on its own, the lack of flavor would have been more of an issue, but I served it with homemade remoulade, which more than made up for the flavor deficiency in the shrimp.  I typically use the remoulade recipe from this book (gosh how I love this book.  Have I told you that before?  I bought this at an antique mall - at the much missed Bojo's in Memphis - after our honeymoon to New Orleans and I looove it.  Love!  His little stories alone about his mom and grandmother are worth the price of the book, but the recipes are great as well). 

Also:  Mother's Day.  Let me just say...my husband did so well.  As did the weather!  I told him I didn't want any gifts - just time with the two of them.  So that's exactly what we did.  We kicked off the weekend with brunch at Cafe Eclectic, and then we drove out to Shelby Farms to pick strawberries.  I told my husband that I want this to be just one of the many traditions that we start with A.  My grandmother took me to pick strawberries when I was young and I always remember that fondly.  After the berry picking (and A's first taste!), we had milkshakes at Wiles-Smith, and then we went home and I got to make jam while little A played in the kitchen with me.  That night, we grilled pork steaks and corn on the cob and enjoyed our deck and the nice weather.  On Sunday, my husband made me buttermilk waffle, bacon, and coffee.  Do you see a theme with this Mother's Day?

And then last weekend (yes, I'm still typing, I'm really sorry), there was a request put in for some homemade ice cream, so I made french vanilla ice cream using this recipe from my KitchenAid ice cream maker recipe booklet.  I know, way to branch out, right?  But I've made it before and it's so. so. good.  Does anyone else sort of gasp when they start pouring the custard into the mixer, like it won't all fit in there?  It always miraculously does, though.  And each time I make ice cream I think about the other recipes that I want to try, like this.  I'm also on the lookout for a pistachio ice cream (or gelato? custard?) recipe.  Any ideas out there?

Also, this is how I feel about coffee.  I wish every moment was a morning moment so I can just slowly sip good coffee and pick at a warm pastry.  Right?


Ok, one last link.  I made this brisket on Saturday night for some good friends (who are expecting!  Any day now, and our little boy will have a playmate!), and it turned out beautifully.  I didn't have any peach preserves on hand, but I did have canned peaches.  I tried to make them better by simmering them in butter and brown sugar for an hour.  It was a good stand in for the preserves, surprisingly!