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BORSCHT

Posted by Patrick on January 30, 2014

Patrick’s Borscht
aka “Belting Borscht”
Serves 4-5

3-4 large beets
1 qt vegetable stock
3-5 stalks of celery
1 onion
1 T chopped garlic
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1 T of your favorite high-temperature oil
½ to 1 cup of your favorite pickle juice

         
          First, chop your onion, beets and celery into cubes, about 1-2 inches across. If cutting onions makes you cry, pretend that you’re an actor, and that this is practice for your big role.

          Put your oil – I use butter - in the bottom of a stockpot that’s capable of holding at least a gallon. Make sure that your stockpot is on your stove, and your vegetable chunks – onions, beets, celery, and garlic- are all in the stockpot.

          Now, use the heat from your stove or a garden-variety flamethrower to sautee the chopped vegetables. Stir this often and vigorously, but not so vigoursly that you lose any bits.

          Any bits that are slung from the pot can be snacked on. If you don’t want to snack from the stovetop, consider cleaning your stove more often or developing a healthier relationship with bacteria, which cover everything on Earth. Trillions of them are inside you RIGHT NOW – so a few extra bugs from the stovetop isn’t really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

          Add your vegetable stock to the pot, directly on top of the cooking roots, and gently bring it to a boil. Use a low temperature setting so that you have plenty of time.

          Let your boiling go on for about 30-40 minutes. Don’t boil it hard, use a cover for your pot, and stir it every few minutes. This is a good time to get some things done – make a salad for your guests, have a few glasses of wine, clean your stovetop, or just wash up. Beet juice is a real chore to clean up, so now’s as good a time as any. 

          Once an appropriate amount of time has elapsed, check your chunks to make sure they’re soft. If they’re soft, remove the soup from the stove. Add the yogurt and the pickle juice and pour the mixture into a food processor or large blender, and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and reheat if necessary

          If you don’t have a food processor or large blender, this can be prepared as a chunky soup, but it is much tastier as a puree.

          Serve hot or cold with wine or beer, pickles, and sourdough bread.

Bok Choy and Apple Stir Fry

Posted by Patrick on January 29, 2014

Curried Apple and Bok Choy
(Serves 2)


1-2 heads baby bok choy
1 apple
1 tablespoon of your favorite curry paste or powder
¼ cup water
1 lemon or lime
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon of your favorite oil

Chop 1 onion. If chopping onions makes you cry, get someone else to do it. Now, add the chopped onions and the garlic to your skillet. Have your skillet set to medium heat and make sure it is well oiled. Do not oil the bottom of your skillet, as it will be in contact with the stovetop, and will catch on fire.
While the onion and garlic are cooking, mix your curry powder or paste with the water.
When the onion becomes soft and slightly translucent, add the curry liquid. Keep stirring as often as you can. Turn to low heat.
For those of us with two arms, stop stirring long enough to chop the apple and the bottom white stalk of the baby bok choy. Four-or-more armed cooks can continue to stir while chopping. However, all cooks should save the green leafy tops for the end of the recipe.
Add the apple and bok choy bottoms. Let your apple and bok choy soak up the curry flavorings. This can take a few minutes. Stir well. Keep your eyes on the mix to try and avoid overcooking.
Finally, add the green bok choy tops and the lemon/lime juice. Let it simmer for a minute at most, then take it off the stove and add it to a bowl where the residual heat will cook the tops the rest of the way through. When it is cool enough to eat, serve.
This mix pairs well with roasted roots, or on top of rice and/or bean dishes.

Poached Apples in Red Wine

Posted by Patrick on January 21, 2014

Recipe: Apples Poached in Wine


4-6 apples, of any size and flavor.
1.5 cups of wine - any wine, really.
2 tablespoons honey, agave, or maple syrup.
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
Zest of ½ lemon or lime
Tablespoon of vanilla extract
Tablespoon of cinnamon powder.

First, pour yourself a cup of wine and drink that. You’ll feel better about cooking. If that doesn’t work, resist the urge to pour a second cup - unless you’ve got a lot of wine. You’ll need at least a cup and a half for the recipe.

Secondly, combine all of your ingredients, except for your apples, and bring them to a boil in a deep pot. You’ll want to do this slowly - because, while the ingredients are coming to a boil, you’re going to core and quarter your apples. This is another reason you’ll want to go easy on the wine - you’re about to be doing some fancy bladework.

If you’re particularly in need of work for idle hands, peel the apples. If you’re feeling less excited, or you’ve had plenty of wine, just place the apples cut-side down into the liquid.

Now, simmer your apples, covered, for 10-12 minutes. You can go up to 15 if you want them softer, or if you’re using a crunchier variety. Then, flip the apples and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Once the apples can be easily pierced with a fork - don’t try too hard - they’re ready. Remove your apples and let them cool.

While the cooling is going on, turn up the heat on your stove - you’re going to reduce the liquid into a thick sauce. This will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, and produce a sauce you’ll pour over your apples.

For additional gustatory glory, drizzle the apples with some combination of whipped cream, yogurt, honey, and/or blue cheese.