Archive | January, 2013

#Meatless Monday: Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce

28 Jan

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I am a huge fan of honest food blogs.  Honestly, the dishes I prepare don’t always taste awesome, and sometimes I forget an ingredient two. Sometimes my cakes don’t slide perfectly out of my greased and floured pan.  And, I honestly don’t believe that I am the only home cook who experiences these problems.  So, when I read a food blog and I find all of their recipes turned out perfect and amazing and deserving of the home cook equivalent of a Michelin star then I am a little incredulous.  Of course I want to know about all of the great dishes, but I want to hear the honest accounts of the over-salted gratin or the pie crust that would just not cooperate.

This brings me to why I love Amelia Morris and her very honest food blog, Bon Appétempt.  Her recipes are always interesting and include her very honest and detailed account of the preparation of the dish.  Mostly everything she posts looks amazing, but she doesn’t hesitate to include the nitty-gritty details about dishes gone awry.  I love to read about dishes gone awry!  How else would I know to avoid using a cheese grater on the potatoes if I’m attempting homemade gnocchi?  Without honest accounts of our failed cooking attempts, we are doomed to repeat our kitchen disasters.  But this recipe isn’t a disaster at all.  For an incredibly rich tasting dish, it only has a few tablespoons of butter (and, ok, a pretty hefty amount of feta).  This was also my first time preparing an eggplant!  I can imagine the polenta base of this dish tasting wonderful paired with any number of vegetarian sauces, but the eggplant sauce was really simple and delicious.

Sweet Corn Polenta with Eggplant Sauce from Bon Appétempt

Ingredients
Eggplant Sauce
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup chopped, peeled tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 6 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano (I didn’t have fresh oregano so I used about 1/2 tbsp of dried oregano instead)
Polenta
  • 6 ears of corn, shucked
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 7 oz feta, crumbled
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
Directions

Heat up the oil in a large saucepan and fry the eggplant on medium heat until nicely brown.  Drain off as much oil as you can and discard it.  Add the tomato paste to the pan and stir with the eggplant.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook for 1 minute.  Add the chopped tomatoes, water, salt, sugar and oregano and cook for a further 5 minutes to get a deep-flavored sauce.  Set aside; warm it up when needed.

Remove the leaves and silk from each ear of corn. Using a sharp knife, carefully stand each ear of corn upright in a bowl and shuck off the kernels.  You want to have 1 1/4 lbs of kernels (6 ears of corn was perfect).  Place the kernels in a medium saucepan and cover them with the water.  Cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer.  Use a slotted spoon to lift the kernels from the water and into a food processor; reserve the cooking liquid.  Process them for  quite a few minutes, to break as much of the kernel case as possible.  Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes too dry to process. Return the corn paste to the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture thickens to a mashed potato consistency.  Stir in the butter, the feta, salt and some pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Serve the polenta in bowls topped with the warm eggplant sauce (and, if you’re like me, some additional feta crumbles).

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Cookbook Create is Hiring Spring Interns!

18 Jan

Are you interested in food blogging or graphic design at a fun, growing start up?

We’d love to find an amazing editorial intern specializing in recipe writing, and a fabulous graphic design intern who is interested in getting hands-on experience and developing showpieces for his/her portfolio.

Recipe Blogging Intern:

It’s important that you want to learn new skills and a love of food is a given! Experience with WordPress and other blogging platforms is a huge bonus. We’d like you to have a fun attitude & strong communication skills both written and verbal.

Responsibilities:

  • Create weekly blog post with enticing pictures
  • Contribute new and engaging topics to the editorial calendar
  • Promoting content via social media

Interested?  Please email your resume, 3 writing samples, and a photo sample of your food to anna@cookbookcreate.com with “Recipe Blogging Internship” in the subject line.

This internship is a minimum 16 hours per week unpaid, however we’ll pay for you to attend a couple evening classes of your choosing at General Assembly or SkillShare.

 

Graphic Design Intern: 

Photoshop & InDesign knowledge is a must.  Print design, web design, WordPress proficiencies are also a  huge bonus. A fun attitude and love for food is essential!

Responsibilities & Requirements:

  • Design cookbook templates
  • Design Word Press blogs and edit pictures and layouts
  • Design marketing materials
  • Strong communication skills both written and verbal

Interested? Please email your resume and relevant web links to anna@cookbookcreate.com with “Graphic Design Internship” in the subject line.

 

 

 

#Meatless Monday: Ina Garten’s Warm French Lentils

14 Jan

Katie- LentilsI have been consuming a lot of lentils lately.  They’re a regular on the menu for family meal at the bakery where I work.  I prepare them at on an almost weekly basis now.  I even introduced them to my Thanksgiving menu this year.  But, my typical lentil preparation can’t hold a candle to the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe.  I would venture to call this dish extraordinary.  Very simple and inexpensive ingredients yield an extreme amount of flavor.

There was a moment while I was making this dish where my trust in Mrs. Garten faltered.  The dijon dressing you prepare for the lentils has a very strong, salty flavor that made me second guess her quantities to the point of remaking the sauce.  Don’t question Ina.  She knows exactly what she is doing, and once you combine the dressing with the warm lentils everything combines together beautifully.

Ina Garten’s Warm French Lentils

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp plus 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup French lentils
  • 1 whole onion, peeled and stuck with 6 whole cloves (I didn’t have cloves and skipped this step.  My dish still turned out wonderfully)
  • 1 white turnip, cut in half
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Directions

Heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil in a saute pan, add the leek and carrots and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute and set aside.  Place the lentils, 4 cups of water, the onion and the turnip in pot and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat, add the leek and carrots, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until the leeks are just tender.  Remove and discard the onion and turnip and drain the lentils.  Place in a bowl and add butter.  Whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, mustard, vinegar, salt (I did reduce the quantity of salt to 1/2 tbsp for my dish) and pepper.  Add to the lentils, stir well and serve!

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