Cooking Hussy


Pav Bhaji November 27, 2007

Filed under: Main Dish,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 10:19 pm



Wow. Thank you, Fat Free Vegan Kitchen, for this Indian recipe of Pav Bhaji. After making the cauliflower and pea recipe last week I was looking forward to making another Indian inspired recipe. This one called for pav bhaj, which is a spice mix. The last time Chris and I ate at Hema’s Kitchen just off Devon, I stopped into a grocery store and easily found a box of the spice mix. For $0.69. It was worth it.

1 large onion chopped finely
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 green chillies, slit lengthwise and diced
1 bell pepper, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup each of each of these vegetables, finely diced: green beans, carrots, cauliflower
2 cups diced peeled potatoes
1/2 cup frozen green peas
3 T. pav bhaji masala (spice mix available at Indian markets)
1 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste

Cook the green beans, carrots, cauliflower, and potatoes in water until soft. I used about 3/4 cup of water. When they’re soft, add the peas and mash the vegetables well, in the liquid.

Heat a good non-stick pan. Add the onions and cook, adding a little water as necessary, until they begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chillies and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers, and cook for another 2 minutes.

Stir in the pav bhaji masala, chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Add the tomatoes, and cook until they start to break down. Mix this into the pot of mashed vetetables along with 1/2 cup water and salt to taste. Cook on low for about 20 minutes. Serve on toast!

Notes: This recipe may have inspired me to try more Indian recipes. It’s nothing but vegetables and spices! If my cold wasn’t making my blood sugar jump to 200 upon even smelling food, I think I would have landed nicely after this meal. I won’t make any changes to this recipe the next time I make it.

Servings: 7 – 8 servings.


GUEST CHEF: Rachel’s Herbed Focaccia November 26, 2007

Filed under: Bread/Muffins,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 11:23 am


This is from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld.

2 c. lukewarm water (105-110 F)
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
1/4 c. fresh chopped oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 c unbleached bread flour (I used all purpose flour and it seemed to work), plus additional as needed
3 T. extra virgin olive oil

1. Dough and first rise – Pour the water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the yeast and let sit for several minutes. Add half the herbs to the yeasted water. Cover the remaining herbs with a damp paper towel and refridgerate. Stir the salt and flour into the yeast mixture to form a soft dough. Knead for 8 minutes with the dough hook
or paddle at medium speed, or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until it is elastic and satiny, about 8-10 minutes. The dough should be very soft and will stick to the bottom of the electric mixer bowl as it is kneaded, but if it is too sticky to pull away from the sides of the bowl after 5 minutes of kneading, add another quarter cup
of flour. If kneading by hand, add only as much flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Put the dough in a large bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and a clean towel, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 90-120 minutes.

2. Second rise – In another large bowl, stir the olive oil and remaining oregano together and spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the bowl. Punch down the dough and scoop it into the second bowl on top of the herb mixture. Let the dough rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.

3. Forming the loaf – Place a baking stone in the center rack of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Without punching down the dough, turn it out onto the parchment so that the oiled and herbed side is up. Use your fingertips to poke the dough while at the same time pulling it out to a 12-inch oblong. The dough will deflate a little, but try to keep as much rise as possible. Use a paper towel to blot away oil that drips down the side. Let the dough sit and rise again for about 15 minutes.

4. Baking – Trim the edges of the parchment around the dough with scissors. Set the edge of the cookie sheet next to the baking stone, and then carefully grab an edge of parchment and slide it with the dough off the cookie sheet and onto the baking stone. Bake the bread until golden brown on top and well browned on the bottom, about 25
minutes. It will puff a bit more in the oven. Remove the loaf from the oven with a large spatula and cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes. Slice into rectangles or break at the table.

Note – This was my first bread, and it was easy! I was disappointed only because most of the herbs on top fall off when you handle the bread. I would mix more into the dough and put less on top next time. Also, I don’t think I poked nearly enough because I was afraid of deflating, and as a result its not so much a focaccia texture.

Also note that you can use an herb mixture instead of one herb. Recommended is – 2 T rosemary, 2 T. sage, t T thyme, savory or oregano, all coarsely chopped.


GUEST CHEF: Rachel’s Black Bean Soup with Apple

Filed under: Main Dish,Soup/Stew — cookinghussy @ 11:18 am


This is from The Herbfarm Cookbook by Jerry Traunfeld.

8 c. water
1 lb dried black beans
6 oz bacon, finely chopped (replace with 1/4 c. olive oil for vegetarian version)
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 ribs celery, finely chopped
7 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
2 tsp ground allspice
3 dried bay leaves
3 large, tart apples such as granny smith, cut into 1/4 inch squares
2 T finely chopped fresh thyme
1 T finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or sherry vinegar (I used – and recommend -apple cider vinegar)
2 T maple syrup or dark brown sugar (I used the syrup and recommend it if you have good maple syrup)

1. Beans – bring the water to a boil in a large soup pot. Pour in the beans, remove the pot from heat and let the beans soak for one hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. Drain and rinse the beans.

2. Simmering the soup – Rinse and dry the soup pot and place over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, until it renders most of its fat but is not quite crisp. Tilt the pot to remove some of the fat, leaving about 1/4 cup behind. Add the onion, garlic and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened. Add the beans, stock, red pepper flakes, ginger, allspice, and bay leaves and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and gently simmer until the beans are very soft, 90-120 minutes.

3. Finishing the soup – Stir in the apples, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, vinegar and syrup; simmer until the apples are soft but still hold their shape, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaves. Taste and add more salt or venegar if needed. If you’d like, garnish with fresh chives or sharp cheddar cheese.

Note – I used my slow-cooker for this. After soaking the beans, I put the beans, onion, garlic, celery, stock, red pepper, ginger, all spice and bay leaves in the cooker for 8 hours on low. When I got home, I cooked my bacon. I got Canadian bacon and cut into 1/4 inch pieces. It was less oily and we liked the bigger pieces. I took the soup from
the crock pot and put it into the soup pot and then added the bacon. Then, I did step 3. The soup was even better with more apple and spice flavor the next day, so if I did it in a slow cooker again I might add all but the apples into the cooker.


Thanksgiving Leftovers: BBQ Turkey Sandwich and Mashed Potato Croquettes November 23, 2007

Filed under: Main Dish,Salad/Side — cookinghussy @ 8:59 pm



I was in charge of throwing together some dinner on Friday night and decided to use up the Thanksgiving leftovers.  I made some quick bbq turkey to make sandwiches along with some potato croquettes with leftover mashed potatoes.

BBQ Turkey:

Diced turkey, about 3+ cups
1 onion, diced
BBQ sauce to taste

Saute onions in a little oil until soft and mix in turkey and bbq sauce to taste. Enjoy over toasted bread!

Mashed Potato Croquettes

4+ cups mashed potatoes
2 whole eggs
1 egg white
1/2 onion, diced and sauteed
Salt & Pepper

Saute onion in oil until soft. Mix together with potatoes, eggs and seasonings. Make into small patties and fry in a little oil until crisp and browned!

Notes: Easy way to use some leftover Thanksgiving food!

Servings: Served 6


Stir-fried Cauliflower with Peas & Ginger November 20, 2007

Filed under: Main Dish,Salad/Side,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 6:01 pm


I found this recipe while looking for lower carbohydrate meals that were still healthy and not overly heavy on meat. I have a cupboard full of spices and only had to buy one new spice for this dish (fennel seeds). It was a fast, easy and really tasty meal that I will build on when I make it again. I could at a lot more vetegables and even tofu to make it more of a meal.

3 T. canola oil
1 T. fennel seeds
1 T. coriander seeds (I used ground coriander)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (I used ground cumin)
3 T. fresh ginger, finely grated
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1 large head of cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
2 cups frozen green peas (do not thaw)
1 teaspoon garam masala

Toast the seeds about 2-3 minutes on high heat on a dry skillet. The only whole seed I used was fennel so that was the only spice I toasted. Grind and mix with the other spices. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spices, jalapeno and ginger for about 1-2 minutes. Add in the cauliflower and cover, stiring every few minutes. Saute for about 8 minutes. Add the peas and salt and continue cooking until cauliflower is cooked. The pan started to dry out for me so I just added a little bit of water to help cook the cauliflower. Once the cauliflower is cooked through, add the garam masala on high heat and then eat.

Notes: Loved the flavor and how basic this dish was. I’d love to add to it with more vegetables and/or tofu.

Servings: 3-4 servings as a main meal


Wilted Spinach Salad November 19, 2007

Filed under: Salad/Side,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 10:31 pm


I was concerned about how all the pieces of my Sunday night meal would come together before people arrived. I was imagining myself in the kitchen in a slight panic, throwing things together while everyone else enjoyed the yummy Saint Andre cheese with crackers while drinking wine in the dining room. But I planned everything well and was just mixing up this easy salad when Emily and Pete arrived!

1 1/2 bag baby spinach
5 T. olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
Feta cheese (about 8-9 oz)
2 T. red wine vinegar

Place spinach in large salad bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Add onions and saute until brown and softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with spinach. Remove skillet from heat and add the rest of the oil along with the feta cheese. Stir about a minute until cheese starts to softened. Add in the vinegar and stir. Pour mixture onto spinach and onions and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Notes: My skillet was too hot when I added the feta. It melted almost immediately with the oil. Next time I’ll let it cool a little before adding the oil and cheese. It still tasted great, just not the consistency I was hoping for with the feta.

Servings: 5-6 servings


Sweet Potato Vanilla Whip

Filed under: Salad/Side,Vegetarian — cookinghussy @ 10:31 pm


I came across this recipe on as Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes. Let’s just say that she had better luck with this recipe than I did.

Marti’s assesment was on point: It reminds me of orange sherbet.

5 large sweet potatoes
1/2 cup plus 3 T. heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (She called for vanilla bean, but they don’t sell that at Jewel and I wasn’t about to pay $20 for a few beans from the Chopping Block. This may be part of why this recipe failed.)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (Um, this could also be why this recipe failed.)
2 T. unsalted Butter
Salt and Pepper

Bake sweet potatoes at 350 for about an hour, or until tender. Let cool and peel before placing into a food processor. Heat cream, zest and vanilla bean (if you have it) in a pot on the stove and simmer for about 5 minutes. I just added the vanilla extract to the food processor along with the cream. Process until all smooth. This too awhile as there were a lot of potatoes to whip.

Notes: The smell was almost candy-ish and very sweet. It was a bright orange color, which was neat, and I liked the consistency, but the orange zest and vanilla extra made for a ‘orange sherbet’ sweet potato. It wasn’t horrible, but I won’t make it again.

Servings: 7-8 servings