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Feb. 6th, 2020 @ 10:23 pm Introduction to the Lady of Shallots Recipe Journal
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This journal is for recipes and cooking tips. All recipes and cooking tips are vegetarian. Some, but not all, will be vegan. I will do my best to make sure main ingredients are tagged.
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Aug. 23rd, 2009 @ 11:23 pm Lavosh pizza
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Nov. 15th, 2008 @ 10:17 am Sweet potato slices
I never liked sweet potatoes, which is odd because I love winter squashes, which have similar flavor and texture when cooked and mashed. Recently, a friend treated me to a different way of eating them, and suddenly I was hooked! So thank you, Joe, and here I immortalize your idea!

You'll need:
2 sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/4" thick slices (however way you want--lengthwise, rounds, half circles, whatever)
olive oil
Creole seasoning (or Old Bay, which is what I used, or Garam Masala for an Indian-style flavor)

Preheat oven to 425F

Take a baking sheet and brush olive oil over its surface. Sprinkle the seasoning onto the oiled surface, then lay the slices down on the sheet. Brush each slice's top surface with olive oil, then sprinkle seasoning on top.

Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

While baking, mix up the following dipping sauce:
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Serve dipping sauce on the side with the slices.
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Aug. 10th, 2008 @ 07:20 pm Lavender iced tea
I used a tea-maker for this, but I can provide instructions for making this if you don't have one.

You'll need:
5 regular black tea bags (whatever your favorite kind is)
2 tablespoons lavender
3 tablespoons honey
Ice and water

Tea-maker: Pour the amount of water needed to brew 2 quarts of tea into the tea maker, using your tea-maker's instructions. Do NOT put ice in the pitcher, however. Put a coffee filter in the brew basket, then put the tea bags (remove the tags; they can add an unpleasant flavor to the tea) and lavender in the coffee filter. Brew the tea. Stir in the honey once the tea is finished; you want to do this while it's hot so it will dissolve quickly (so this is why you're waiting on the ice). Top off the pitcher with ice to the 2-quart mark. You're done :)

No tea maker?
Bring 4 cups water to a boil. Put the lavender in a tea ball (if you don't have one, you can put it into some cheesecloth or a square of linen, then tie it off with a piece of string), and put the lavender and tea bags into a pitcher. Pour the water over the tea bags and lavender. Let steep for about 5 minutes, then remove the bags and lavender (use a slotted spoon if you took the tags off the bags). Stir in the honey, then top off the pitcher with ice.

If you use a coffee maker for the brewing step, make sure you scrub out the brew basket and pot with vinegar or borax (borax works GREAT) to keep the tea from tasting like stale coffee.
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Jul. 19th, 2008 @ 09:18 pm Vegetarian Bastilla
Bastilla is a Moroccan pastry; it is also called pigeon pie, because it traditionally contains pigeon meat. Obviously, I did not include pigeons in my version of it.

I would recommend setting aside about an hour for prep time, and make sure you start with a clean kitchen that has your utensils and cooking dishes clean.

The ingredients are divided according to how they are put together. Read through the entire directions at least once before starting.

SO, you will need:
1 package phyllo sheets, thawed (put the frozen package in the refrigerator overnight)

1 stick butter, halved (you'll use part for one purpose, part for another)

1/2 Vidalia onion, finely chopped
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon dry or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 package Quorn tenders, finely chopped

6 eggs
3 scallions, finely sliced
1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (can substitute cilantro if you like cilantro)

1 1/2 cup almonds (unsalted, and you can use whole or sliced)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
extra cinnamon

Do all of the chopping of ingredients, then preheat the oven to 400ºF

Put the almonds, granulated sugar, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon in a food processor until the almonds are well crushed. It is okay if there are a few pea-sized chunks, but you generally want them smaller than that. Set the almond/sugar mixture aside for now.

Melt half a stick of butter in a large skillet, then sautee the onion, shallot, turmeric, ginger, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in the butter until the onions are translucent.

Stir the Quorn into the onion mixture and cook until hot and very slightly browned in some places. You may need to dribble in a couple tablespoons of water to keep it from getting too dry to cook.

Put the Quorn mixture into a bowl and set aside (alternatively, get out another skillet for the next step).

Melt a tablespoon of butter in the skillet, then scramble the eggs and cook them. When they are partway done, fold in the parsley and scallions. Cook until the eggs are done, then add the Quorn mixture to the eggs and mix them together, then remove from heat and set aside.

Now, you should have a skillet of egg/Quorn stuff, and a bowl of almond/sugar stuff. At this point, you may cover and refrigerate them to use later; you might even want to do this for half of them, because the recipe makes two large pastries.

Melt the remaining butter in a bowl. Get out two pie pans and brush butter on their bottoms.

Very gently open the package of phyllo dough (do not open it early; it dries out FAST) and unroll a sheaf of pastry leaves. They will resemble very fine sheets of paper. Take two sheets and layer them so that one covers half the pan (with the edges hanging out over the sides), while the other covers the other half. Layer more sheets on top of these in the same fashion until it seems fairly sturdy (if using Athenos brand, you'll use maybe 6-8 sheets if they are the little 8x10 sheets). If you're using larger, thicker sheets, you may be able to use just two. *

Once BOTH pie pans have been prepared with phyllo dough, get out your bowls of egg/Quorn stuff and almond stuff. Starting with the almond mixture, alternately layer some of each mixture in the pie pans. Try to spread them such that you get about four layers total (two almond, two quorn) in each pan. You don't have to be exact here, and the layers are going to blend together. That's okay.

The phyllo that is hanging over the edges of the pie pans should now be folded over the top of the fillings. Use a pastry brush to brush melted butter on top of the folded phyllo.

Pop those suckers in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until the dough on top is golden brown.

Remove from the oven. Put a plate upside-down over the top of each pie plate, and then very carefully (this means you, Brian) turn them over so that the pastry is turned out upon the plate. Remove the pie plate (and again, carefully--use oven mitts).

You should now have a pastry on a plate. If it has been damaged by the turning out, that's fine! Cover each pastry with half of the powdered sugar (you can use a sifter or strainer to make it coat evenly), then sprinkle cinnamon on top in a criss-cross pattern (well, that's traditional, but hey, you can use a stencil to make something cuter, I suppose).

Let it cool a little bit before eating! It is HOT. It is traditional to eat it with your fingers, no utensils. I, however, give you permission to use a fork or spoon :) Also, you can cut a slit in the top before serving to let some of the heat out quicker.

* Also note that you can make mini-bastilla with ramekins, and probably just use two small sheets for that, both centered on the ramekin.
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Jul. 19th, 2008 @ 08:13 pm For Brian: Egg salad
You'll need:
8 hard-boiled eggs*, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced (if you're out of it, put in 1/4 teaspoon celery salt)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 medium shallot OR 1/4 vidalia onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (or 1 teaspoon mustard sauce)
1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt

Mix it all up, taste to adjust flavor as needed, eat.

* put the eggs in a pot with enough water to cover them. Put the pot on a burner and turn it on to high. Once the water starts to boil, set a timer for ten minutes. After ten minutes, remove them from the heat. Pour off the hot water and replace it with cold. Change the water several times with cold water until the eggs are cool. Don't peel them when they are still hot; it will not only burn your fingers, it will also be harder to peel them without tearing away chunks of egg.
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Feb. 27th, 2008 @ 05:01 pm Lentil Stew
Please know that this was thrown together, and I might not remember exactly how it was done.

2 cups lentils
4 cups water
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon Adobo with cumin
2 teaspoons Better than Bouillion (vegetarian)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 bay leaf
1 large carrot, chopped into small pieces
1 parsnip, quartered and slivered
1/2 onion, minced--OR 2 shallots minced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 cup chopped collared greens (I used frozen; I keep it on hand for my turtle's salads, haha)
1/2 stick butter (real stuff, if you can eat it)
Sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste (the more, the better, imo!)

Throw it all in a small crock pot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours. You can kick start it a bit if you cook it on high for an hour or two in the beginning, then turn it down for another couple hours. If it's too rich, stir in some freshly cooked rice.
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Dec. 22nd, 2007 @ 08:37 am Tofu stroganoff
You'll need:
1lb of pressed, frozen/thawed tofu*, cubed
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms (or other dark, meaty mushrooms, cut into small pieces)
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock (I use Better Than Bouillion)
4 shallots, diced
2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons corn starch or arrowroot powder (flour can be substituted)
olive oil
seasoning salt (Lawry's or similar)
freshly-ground pepper (I prefer a four peppercorn blend)
1/2 pound egg noodles (dry weight)
1/2 cup sour cream

Use a big skillet for the stroganoff preparation! If you are using a nonstick pan, the tofu will not stick as badly; if you are not using a nonstick pan, you're going to need a metal spatula to scrape as you're browning the tofu.

While you're cooking the tofu, start a pot of water for the egg noodles.

Put some olive oil into the skillet and heat it up on medium-high. Once it's good and hot, toss in a little salt and the tofu. Cook the tofu until it is slightly darkened, scraping it and turning it every so often so it cooks evenly.

Once it's cooked a bit, toss in the paprika, shallots, and mushrooms. Continue to turn the mixture over with the spatula until the mushrooms and shallots are well-cooked.

Stir in the corn starch, folding it into the mixture until there are no lumps.

Add in the stock, red wine, and tomato paste and stir thoroughly. If you're using Better Than Boullion, it's okay to just pour in the water and spoon in the bouillion mix without pre-cooking it (so easy!). Turn the heat to LOW and allow the mixture to simmer.

Put the egg noodles into the pot of water that should be boiling by now and cook them according to directions.

Once the noodles are cooked, the stroganoff mixture should be ready to serve. Grind in some pepper, and give it a taste test to see if it needs more salt.

Serve stroganoff over the noodles, with sour cream on the side. I find that I like it better without the sour cream, but tastes may vary.

* To prepare the tofu:
Squeeze out as much water as you can without crushing the block.

Set the tofu block on top of something screened, like in a colander, or a splatter guard placed over a . Put something clean on top, like an upside-down plate, and then pile something heavy on top, such as books, or a brick. Let the tofu sit like this for about half an hour.

Toss the tofu into the freezer and allow it to freeze solid. Then, allow it to thaw. Freezing changes the texture, making it firmer and more spongey.
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Nov. 26th, 2007 @ 12:45 pm Spritz cookie recipe
This is my favorite tried-and-true recipe for pressed cookies. I grew up with this recipe.

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/4 cup shortening (I usually use margarine instead)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract*
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional: a few drops of food coloring can be added as desired.

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mix up everything but the flour, then stir in the flour**.

Follow the directions on your cookie press, using it to put the cookies on the sheets about an inch apart from one another. If you just want the flavor without the cookie press, you can drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.

Decorate the cookies with sprinkles, colored sugar, or other candies before baking, if desired. Rainbow nonpareils look awesome on tree-shaped cookies!

Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Allow these to cool thoroughly on a wire rack for the best texture

* A half teaspoon of almond extract can be substituted for half a teaspoon of the vanilla, if you want. I love almond extract.

**If using a stand mixer, do not overmix the flour--only mix until it is combined. If you mix it too long, the gluten in the flour will change its quality and make chewy cookies. These are supposed to be crispy, not chewy.
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Nov. 21st, 2007 @ 10:05 am Pecanless Pecan Pie
The challenge: To find or create the best-tasting pecanless pecan pie recipe for a friend, who revealed that he liked the "goo" of pecan pie, but didn't like pecans.

Basics of pecan pie: Pecan pie is a type of custard pie made mostly with corn syrup, pecans, and most of the other typical custard pie ingredients (eggs, vanilla, butter). Some people (including me) prefer to use brown sugar and a little water instead of the corn syrup; if you use white sugar, a dab of molasses can give it the brown sugar flavor.

Experimentation: I tried out several variations, including one that replaced the pecans with oatmeal, before I finally settled on this recipe. I actually didn't like it at first, but after it had set for a day, it was exactly right.

Let me FIRST give you my favorite pecan pie recipe:
3 eggs
2 cups brown sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
tiniest little dash of nutmeg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup pecans, broken or halved (whatever you've got)
1 pie crust

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mix everything but the nuts (and pie crust) together until it's smooth; stir in the nuts; pour into pie shell; bake for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for at least twenty minutes before serving.


NOW! For the pecanless version!

1/3 cup butter, softened
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 eggs, well-beaten
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (do NOT add more; it will overpower the pie even in small quantities!)
1 pie crust

Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Cream together the sugar and butter, then blend in the eggs, cream, and nutmeg. Beat this mixture until it's well-blended and slightly fluffed (this will take about 45 seconds with a silicone spatula). Pour into the pie crust and bake for 55 minutes. At the 40 minute mark, check the pie and cover the crust with foil or a pie guard if it seems pretty dark.

Allow the pie to cool for a minimum of an hour. Baking it the day before it is to be eaten is ideal; it can take a while to set. If you prefer it to be very liquidy, though, pull it out of the oven at 45 minutes and eat it the same day. It depends on your preference!
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