Friday, November 28, 2014

A sandwich suggestion

Dear Thanksgiving (which was yesterday),

I made cranberry sauce today. I got up at 4:30 this morning to get on a plane, and when I made it back to Utah I biked to the grocery store and made cranberry sauce because I wanted leftover sandwiches. I'm a little topsy turvy, and my kitchen counter's quite a mess.

I've been struggling to find gratitude this year, but it's certainly not out of want. Somehow all of my blessings feel wrong, an embarrassment of riches and absolutely nothing like what the world needs now. The gratitude for relationship that I can normally feel without closing my eyes feels strange too, because this is my reality and most of us have never been told our lives don't matter. Even my devastation is insulated by privilege.

More specifically, the 'Salt Lake stands with Ferguson' facebook page is too racist to bear and I'm not good enough at the internet to be a part of this in any other way. It's teaspoon vs dumptruck time and I can't find my spoon. Or weild my spoon. Or, you know, a better metaphor. Bottom line: the world is shitty right now, and I'm bystanding hard. 

So I'm going to lean into this whole thing and just talk about sandwiches instead.

On this Thanksgiving, I would like to say that cranberry sauce, cheddar cheese and Sriracha make a kickass sandwich. Sweet-sour-salty-spicy: an excellent return on minimal investment. Especially if you're not me and you actually start with leftovers.

Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich

cheddar cheese
cranberry sauce of your choosing

Instructions: make a sandwich.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Soup at an inappropriate hour

I'm definitely afraid of this space. I've had plans all week to map out some posts, to photograph some recipes... I even started writing about a bread pudding I used to make in college. I've been cooking too; things I felt I could attach stories. They all photographed terribly. Know what I haven't done?

Tonight I got home from work at 9:45. I'm not sure if my first bus even passed me by; they certainly didn't stop, and I was too absorbed playing 2048 to care. I stayed on the second one about a mile past my stop, texting my feelings to a friend who is too far away.  I walked two mindless miles out of my way, but when I finally made it home I made soup.

There's gotta be something driving this, some reason that I need to cook. Even on days when I eat four chocolate chip cookies in as many minutes, days when I'm absolutely not hungry or awake or prepared enough, I chop an onion and peeled a butternut squash and listen to this lovely lady.

I didn't actually eat four chocolate chip cookies today... but I may have eaten five.

When I was trying to take this picture, I came thisclose to dropping my iphone into the soup. True story.

It's after midnight where I am, and I"m still typing and eating soup. I don't have the energy to upload the recipe now, but I promise it will come soon.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Kale Salad with Apple, Walnuts and Pecorino

There's some strangeness in my life right now.

Today I am aware of my age. Today I have a curfew, and three different adults who are concerned about my ability to navigate a gridded city. I have a large crack on the underside of my big toe, and the internet, and a bunch of kale.

I've decided to focus on the kale. One step at a time, right?

Step 1: assemble ingredients. Important players include a bunch of kale, an apple, walnuts and Pecorino Romano cheese

Step 2: chop stuff. Apples get sliced, pecorino gets grated, walnuts get chopped. Shred the kale as finely as you can-I like mine about the size of confetti. KALEFETTI!

I toasted the walnuts because I was feeling fancy.

Step 3: dressing and assembly!

I ate my dinner straight from the salad bowl, with my feet up and a Reed's original ginger brew. Never apologize! Sometimes plates are unnecessary. Sometimes all you can do is make a salad, find your balance, and go to sleep in a strange city. Welcome back, world.

Kale Salad with Apples, Pecorino and Walnuts
(most likely adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Orangette

I got the  idea for this salad last Thanksgiving, but I've messed around with it a lot. When I went looking for an original recipe, I drew a blank, but I did find a similar salad courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. The dressing I use is stolen directly from Orangette, and is delicious on everything.

Finally, the most astute of my nonexistent readers may notice that in the photos above, my cheese is decidedly not grated. That's because I currently don't have a cheese grater, and had to make do with a vegetable peeler. If you do have a cheese grater, the whole salad get coated in a thin layer of cheese... way better :D

1 bunch of kale (I went with curly, but any variety would probably be good)
1 apple, cored and cut into chunks
1/4 cup walnuts
1-2 oz pecorino romano cheese, finely grated

1 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
good pinch of salt
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Prep the kale: first you need to separate and discard the stem/rib section, which I do by folding each leaf along the rib and then cutting alongside it. Anyway you choose, don't be too worried about leaving some leaves behind. To make kalefetti, stack a couple leaves, then roll them up and slice crosswise. This gets pretty imprecise with curly kale, so I focus on slicing thinly rather than rolling neatly.

Toast walnuts: put a frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until the walnuts start to brown and smell toasty.

Make dressing: whisk the mustard, vinegar and salt together in a small bowl. Add the olive oil a little bit at a time, whisking consistently to keep the dressing emulsified.

Toss the salad: put the kale, walnuts and apple in a bowl. Toss with about half the dressing, then add pecorino and toss again. At this point you might want to add more dressing depending on your taste- I ended up using about 3/4 of what I made.

One final note: unlike most salads, this was still awesome and crunchy the next day. Kalefetti one, other lettuce zero.