Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Pickled Onions

I planted onions in our small garden this year for the first time.  I was hoping to get nice large onions that I could chop up and freeze or use fresh in our meals, but that was not to be.  I do not know much about growing onions so it could just be my inexperience, but these these little onions in the picture below, would not get any bigger.  I read online that when the leaves fall to the ground and start turning brown they are ready to be harvested.  So instead of the nice large onions that I expected, I ended up with a couple of hand-fulls of small onions.  Well, that means only one thing.  Pickled onions!

When I googled “pickled onion recipe”, the first article that came up was this one from ezinearticles and it looked easy enough to try.  I mainly got a few ideas from there and then set out to try my own recipe.

I started by cleaning and trimming the onions.  I had to borrow the kids swimming goggles for this part (no really!)  One would think that such small onions would not be quite as strong as their larger cousins, but don’t be fooled, they are potent!

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Once they were cleaned, I boiled about 2 pints of water and added 8 tablespoons of salt to it.  Ezinearticles suggest that you use pickling salts or  something without a flowing agent in it.  I used my regular table salt and the results were fine.  I let the water cool and once it was room temperature, the onions were placed into a large glass bowl, covered with plastic wrap and topped with a ceramic plate to weigh the onions down.   There they stayed for 24 hours.  Then, they got a quick cold water rinse and placed into mason jars.

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Inside each jar I placed a bay leaf and a few coriander seeds, then topped it up with English malt vinegar.  In the process of making these I managed to drop a jar and lost all of my malt vinegar,  I had to us a concoction of red-wine vinegar and white vinegar in one of the jars.

I had watched a Youtube video on how to make a quick pickled onion and they put the onions in the refrigerator for three days and it was apparently done.  I figured that I would try this and put the red-wine pickles in the fridge.  Today, the kids and I tried them and they were very close to what I would call a pickled onion.  The center was still a little “raw” or untouched by the vinegar, but a few more days and it will be done.  It was also very tasty.

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The two malt vinegar jars will stay out of the fridge for about a month before I will open them.  I am looking forward to trying them.

James will be home later and will get to taste the red-wine pickles so I will post again to say what he thought.

PostHeaderIcon Corn Souffle

Corn souffle is part of our Sunday or weekend meal.  I normally make a roast of some kind and souffle has to be one of the sides.  It is easy (don’t let anyone tell you souffle has to be hard), does not cost much and taste wonderful.  This recipe is the very basic and still Yummy!

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Corn Souffle Recipe
1 can creamed corn
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup milk

Whisk the 3 eggs together until it has small bubbles, about 1 minute with an electric mixer.

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Add the flour, sugar and salt.  Mix for another minute.  Add the creamed corn.
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Pour the mixture into a greased oven proof dish.  I used an 8x9x2.
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Bake at 350 ‘F for 30-45minutes.  If you are not sure, insert a knife and if it comes out clean it is done.

Emily does not eat it (I think it has to do with the texture since she does not eat whipped foods), but the rest of us will gobble the whole thing up in one sitting.  Did I just admit that in public………?

PostHeaderIcon Thai Veggie and Oats Patties

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The girls had oats for breakfast this morning and when I  make oats I always end up with more than I need.  I was looking for a recipe to use the extra oats in and I came across a suggestion to add it to veggie burgers.  Most veggie burgers have mushrooms or beans in them, but since I had neither in the house, I had to come up with my own veggies to put in it. I pulled out the broccoli and figured that was a good start. I also had loads of peppers in the fridge, cilantro, lime and fresh tomatoes from the garden. It seemed like an unlikely veggie burger, but more like a Thai curry so that was my inspiration.  I have been craving a good Thai curry for months now and have not gotten around to making one so this was a good solution. Here is what I did.
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Ingredients:
2/3 cup leftover cooked oats
1/2 cup broccoli cut into tiny pieces
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped yellow pepper
bread crumbs (enough to firm up your mixture)
1 egg
1 tablespoon cilantro or taste
1-2 teaspoons red curry paste
lime juice to taste
Salt and pepper
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Directions:
Mix together oats, broccoli, tomatoes, onion, peppers, salt, pepper, cilantro, egg, curry paste and a squeeze of lime juice.  The mixture will be very wet, add enough bread crumbs just so that the mixture is firm enough to form patties.  They will still be sticky patties.  Pan fry the patties in a small amount of olive oil or non stick spray if you prefer until they are browned on both sides.  Serve with extra fresh cilantro and lime slices.
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I ate mine on a slice of firm tomato with the cilantro, lime juice and crushed black pepper.  The flavors were great, I really got my Thai fix with this one.  Tonight I made brown rice as a side to our dinner (this was lunch), so I may try to make these with the left over brown rice as well.

PostHeaderIcon Potato Gratin

Don’t be fooled by the name, this dish is neither fancy nor hard to make, which makes it right up my alley!

I have copious amounts of potatoes in my fridge and pantry due to co op purchases and needed something to make as a side dish to BBQ ribs, a nice rustic Potato Gratin did the job.

Gratin Fin

The basic Potato Gratin is potatoes, cream, butter, garlic and salt and pepper.  You can “fancy” it up by adding cheese, mushrooms, herbs or whatever you prefer.  I had half a red onion in the fridge so that was used in today’s recipe.  If you prefer to leave the onion out it will be just as tasty. Here is what I did.

Potato Gratin Recipe
1 teaspoon olive oil (you will not use this is you do not add the onion)
3 large potatoes peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 onion thinly sliced (optional)
2-3 tablespoons of butter
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2/3 – 1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkling of dried parsley

Soak the potatoes in water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
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Make sure they are completely covered with water, they will turn brown if not.
Saute the garlic and onion in the oil until soft, do not burn the garlic.  Burnt garlic tastes horrible! (you will leave this step out if you do not use onions)
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Assemble the dish as follows:
Butter an oven proof dish with a little butter. Place one layer of sliced potatoes in the bottom of the dish, then dot with small amounts of butter. Add a third of the garlic and onion mixture (if you are not using onion, this is where you will add a third of the raw chopped garlic). Next salt and pepper and then a drizzle of cream (about a third of your cream).
Repeat the above starting with a layer of potatoes and ending with the drizzle of cream. You can add a bit more cream at the end if you find it looks dry. Here is a picture of mine before it went in the oven, but I did add a few more splashed of cream after this picture. Sprinkle with dried parsley and bake in a 375′F oven for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the top is brown.

Gratin Prebake

This is so simple to make and looks great on a table.  The kids helped me put this together.

I served it with BBQ ribs and marinated vegatables for dinner tonight.  The picture at the beginning of the post is the final product.

PostHeaderIcon Raw Marinated Vegetables

This is a recipe that I regularly make, it never tastes the same and that is half the fun. If I cook the vegetables, James will eat it as well.  If I leave it raw as I intend to do today, it becomes a snack for the kids and me to enjoy for the next few days. Although my 5 year old will pick all the herbs off it first. Here is what I did:
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Ingredients:
2 Carrots, Julienne (thin)
1 cup
Green beans, roughly chopped
2 Tomatoes
cut into thick rings, for large tomatoes cut the rings into quarters
1 cup
salad peppers roughly chopped
1/4 cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 small cauliflower roughly chopped
1/2 small broccoli, roughly chopped

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Marinade:

Red wine vinegar, you can also use Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
Garlic oil, or regular Olive oil
Fresh Thyme, Oregano and Basil, you can use any herbs that you like or dried Italian herbs work well
Salt to taste

Toss the chopped veggies together, then add equal amounts olive oil and either lemon juice or vinegar. The amount of oil and vinegar will depend on the veggies that you use. I use whatever I have in the fridge, unless I am having guests for dinner I will never go buy veggies especially for this recipe. Use what you have. Use enough oil and vinegar to just coat the veggies, you do not want to drench them in the marinade. Sprinkle with herbs and salt.  I store them in a plastic ziploc bag in the refrigerator over night and the next day I have a lovely snack or a side dish to go along with a meal.
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Grilled veggies:
If you plan to grill these veggies, do not use tomatoes and chop your other vegetables into larger chunks.   Grill in the oven at 400′F for about 30 minutes.  I cannot have grilled vegetable without at least one onion quartered. I love grilled onion in this marinade.

This is the most simple and very healthy side dish to make.  I tend to grill them in the winter and keep it raw during the hot summer months.

PostHeaderIcon Atjar recipe with South African roots

Atjar is an Indonesian sweet and sour vegetable salad or side dish.  In South Africa we make several different types of Atjar, mango is very popular, but one that I love and that my family made was a medley of vegetables.  I have never tried to make it myself, but this week I felt a craving for curry (a key ingredient in the Atjar) and I had to make some.  The recipe I made has almost a pickled flavor and gets better with time.  It is a great way to use up extra vegetables and I had an abundance of green beans, carrots and onions this week due to a co-op pick up last Friday and I am due to pick up another this Friday so I need to make space in my fridge.  When I finished making this, my house smelled lovely, it was a real trip back into my childhood.  The smell was so familiar it was great.  Here is what I did.

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Vegetable Atjar recipe

Ingredients:
4-5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips (julienne)
1/2 head of cabbage coarsely chopped
1/2 cauliflower coarsely chopped
1-2 cups coarsely chopped green beans
1-2 large onions coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Turmeric
2 tablespoons curry
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white vinegar
Salt to taste
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Directions:
In a LARGE  pot, heat the oil, turmeric, curry, salt, vinegar until it simmers.
Add the vegetables a few cups at a time and stir fry until cooked, but still crunchy.
Cooked
Now it is time to bottle the Atjar.  I boil a large pot of water and place the glass jars and lids in the water. Boil it for about 3 minutes, remove and fill them.
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I have eaten some of the vegetables already, but most have been bottled and will be opened as we need them.  As they sit the flavor will get stronger and yummier!  The bottles need to be rotated every week so that the juices get a chance to flavor the veggies in the top.  So they will be on their tops for one week end standing up right another.
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The biggest question was where to put the jars.  This was honestly the only spot I could think of.  My pantry is very small so there was no way 6 jars were going to fit in there.  I know as soon as James sees this he is going to have something to say about it!  If you have not figured it out, this is on top of one of my kitchen cabinets.

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