Saturday, December 22, 2012

Brussels Sprouts Hash with Caramelized Onions

Hello, world! It's been a hectic couple of months in Barrister Land. Around the time of my last post, I began volunteering at my local Obama campaign office. Within a week, I was sucked in, spending 12 hours a day there (and sometimes more). I took on the role of office manager and coordinated all of our large Get Out the Vote phone banks along with another very awesome volunteer. Those last 5 days? I spent about 80 hours in the office, wrangling volunteers and the occasional nutcase.

Congressman Mike Honda also called me bossy -- but you don't come into my campaign office on Election Day, cause a bit of a ruckus, and then refuse to make calls. Thankfully, he caught on pretty quickly and spent a few minutes making calls.

Cooking and blogging obviously took a back seat during this time (if you follow me on Twitter, you'd know this) -- all of my no-cook groceries went into an office mini-fridge with instructions to KEEP OUT. But hey! I got to see President Obama speak in San Francisco with a great group of people and on the first Monday of December, I was invited to the White House for a California team meeting about the fiscal cliff. Below is one of my favorite pictures, but you can see the rest here.

BO! Made out of cotton balls.

Thankfully, I did manage to make it home for Turkey Day. My dad took care of the turkey and stuffing, while I made some delicious rolls and this brussels sprout hash. I actually hadn't eaten brussels in at least a decade, mostly because I thought they smelled. I decided to try them this time, though, as my dad bought them on the stock. A lot of brussels sprout hash recipes call for faux caramelized onions -- real ones take time. You should take that time and do it low and slow. The flavor is so much more intense. 

Low and slow, baby. Low and slow.

The best part about this recipe, which I adapted from a gazillion recipes across the web, is that it's still delicious the next day. Reheat in a dry frying pan, allowing the sprouts to crisp up. Add some shredded turkey and toss it on a leftover roll for a pretty great sandwich. 

Speaking of turkey, my dad insisted I take a picture of his. Here's a few bonus pics of my brother chowing down:

Embarrassing him is fun. Anyway, enjoy!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sesame Orange Kelp Noodles

Look, before you say anything, I know I've failed you. I promised to post, but I haven't. I'm sorry. The reality is that life got in the way, and I haven't been motivated to do much of anything. Plus, I basically ate watermelon, stone fruit and yogurt all summer long. There's no fun in posting about that.

Before we get to today's recipe -- sesame orange kelp noodles -- I have two announcements to make. First, I'm officially back to my unemployed lawyer status -- by choice. My job was sucking the life out of me and I wasn't even practicing law. I'm still hunting a real legal job in California while offering professional editing services and taking on a lone case or two. If you know of a permanent position, please let me know.

Second, my dear Angel, the monster dog known for eating my challah and being generally adorable, passed away on September 13. She lived a long life and would have been 15 come the beginning of October. She was with our family all but the first few months of her life and will be sorely missed. 

Especially when I'll undoubtedly be eating watermelon next summer while visiting my parents:

Crappy iPad photos of the Old Man post-gardening and the Dog Who Begs for Watermelon

Now, for a change in topic. Kelp noodles. I picked these babies up on a lark a few weeks back when perusing the aisles of the second Berkeley Bowl location with Uncovering Food. She's just in love with the grocery store as I am (and I have been since 2002). Though they look like they could be soft, they're actually quite crunchy and would make a good addition to any Asian-inspired salad. They also have a very mild, almost nonexistent taste, which means you can flavor them as you wish. I suspect they would also do well in a soup.

Can you spot the giraffe in the picture?

As for me? I decided to combine my kelp noodles with an array of leftover (and dying) veggies in the fridge. It was sort of an homage to fried rice (a flavor of which will be my next post!), but, you know, cold. My recipe follows below, but any combo of veggies, oil, acid and seasoning would work. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vanilla Santa Rosa Plum Jam

We're going to ignore my prolonged absence and just jump into the fun part -- jam! I've always wanted to learn to can, but have been fearful of poisoning my friends and family. That's a handful of lawsuits this attorney just does not need.

Fortunately, this past weekend I had a chance to get over these fears with the help of jammin' gurus Gina and Lisa. We visited the home of one Miss Lawyer who Loves Lunch, along with Jean and Liren. We made jam -- and lots of it.

Fruit was obviously a plenty. So was the sugar. We made nectarine and blueberry jam; strawberry lemon jam; fig balsamic jam; and a vanilla Santa Rosa plum jam. I learned from Gina that there is a general jam ratio from which you can start any recipe. Just use, or halve, the following amounts, all of which are measured by weight:
6 pounds of fruit
2 pounds of sugar
4 ounces of acid
flavoring, such as a spice or herb
Certain fruits may require added pectin, so research the pectin content of your fruit first. Also, when adjusting for sugar and acid, you need to taste the cooked liquid instead of the cooked fruit. The acid should balance out the sugar, so you taste the fruit and just a hint of lemon at the end. But if you prefer a sweeter jam, go ahead and add more sugar. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Prosciutto, Goat Cheese & Apple Sandwich with Raspberry Jam

Lately, I've been obsessed with goat cheese. I put goat cheese on sandwiches. I put goat cheese on pizza. I put goat cheese in salads. I combine goat cheese with mashed up blackberries and a drizzle of honey. That one is really good.

I'm so obsessed with goat cheese these days that I'm subjecting others to my love. I brought it, along with leek confit and crostini, to Patty's baking party last weekend. She, Gina, Gina's daughter, Lisa, Bonni and I decorated cookies and made some Valentine's bark with red hots. Go look at their pictures -- I've got a bit of a, uh, photo editing backlog at the moment. 

Okay, that's an understatement. It took me a month to do anything with these photos. I also have two other posts worth of photos and I plan to snap a few this upcoming weekend when I'm in L.A. I seriously need a vacation. And a dish fairy. I'd totally blog more if I had a dish fairy. Any takers? E-mail me -- I pay in food.

I'll even make you one of these sandwiches. It made my roommate incredibly jealous, and she's not really a sandwich eater. It was just so gooey and crunchy and completely difficult to resist. In fact, none of you should have to resist. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to create this delicious sandwich. It's a science and an art form -- follow carefully.