RAINBOW CHOPPED SALAD WITH ISRAELI COUSCOUS

2014-08-03 19.06.37

VIBES: CHILDISH GAMBINO “URN”

Im not going to lie. I definitely just made this recipe up. After a few weeks of traveling, craft services, on set catering and mediocre room service, I was craving something really fresh. I had dinner recently at a really great Moroccan spot in Los Angeles, and have been obsessed with incorporating some of those flavors into my home cooking. Ive also been searching for meals to pack for long flights. Airport food is typically SO bad, and I travel often for my day job. It keeps well at room temperature and gets better overnight in the fridge. Leave out the feta cheese and its completely vegan.

RAINBOW CHOPPED SALAD WITH ISRAELI COUSCOUS

1 1/4 cup water

1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous

Pinch salt for water

1/3 cup diced purple onion

1/3 cup diced green pepper

1/3 cup diced orange (or red) bell pepper

1/3 cup diced cucumber

1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled

handful of chives, finely chopped

salt and black pepper to taste

VINAIGRETTE

4 TBSP red wine vinegar

1TBSP greek yogurt

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp honey

pinch of salt and pepper

Boil water, add salt and couscous. Cover, reduce to simmer for about 8 minutes (or cook according to package directions) Remove from heat and let cool thoroughly.

Meanwhile chop all vegetables, set aside.

Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and whirl until emulsified, or you can also whisk the ingredients together by hand.

Assemble salad by combining, cooled couscous, chopped veggies and vinaigrette. Top with crumbled feta and chopped chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or chill in fridge.

 

 

 

WARM LENTIL SALAD + ARUGULA

VIBES: WU TANG CLAN “HEATERZ”

I have a slight obsession with all things lentil. Ive had this dish countless times at one of my favorite spots; Lucky Strike.  One day I realized I just needed to learn how to make it at home. A super healthy quick meal. Add grilled fish or chicken for another layer of flavor.

WARM LENTIL SALAD + ARUGULA

1 cup  green lentils, picked over and rinsed
3 cups  water
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme (dried is ok too)
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon grain mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp water
Crunchy sea salt, for serving
Fresh arugula, washed and chilled.

In a medium saucepan bring lentils water and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered until almost tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in 1/4 tsp of salt and cook another 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy.

While lentils cook, warm 1tbsp oil in a skillet over medium low heat.Add onions, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme,1/8 tsp salt, and cook until vegetables are softened. About 8 minutes.
Prepare the vinaigrette. Whisk together vinegar, mustard, honey, remaining salt, water and olive oil. Whisk until it emulsifies.

Drain lentils in a colander and discard the bay leaf. Dump into skillet with vegetables, add vinaigrette. Cook over low heat stirring gently until heated through. Add splash of red wine vinegar and serve warm over a bed of fresh arugula. Top with a pinch of crunchy sea salt.

Recipe adapted from (Patent and the Pantry)

HOMEMADE PASTA

2014-07-20 19.56.10-1VIBES: RADIOHEAD “ALL I NEED”

This is a nice little Sunday project. I recently acquired a super cheap pasta machine, so i set out to see how hard this was. My interest in fresh pasta began at  Posada Margherita in Tulum. I thought it was so bizarre that some of the best pasta Ive ever had was in… Mexico?? (and yes I’ve traveled through most of Italy) Good food is good food.

The Kitchn has a great fresh pasta tutorial. Most of this recipe is adapted from them with adjustments for a food processor vs. hand kneading.

FRESH HOMEMADE PASTA

2 cups of all purpose flour, more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs

Combine flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with blade attachment. Pulse a few times to combine. Crack the eggs on top of the flour. Process for 30-60 seconds, until dough comes together and forms a ball.If sticky add flour, if its too dry and pebble like, add more water. Repeat until dough comes together. Remove dough from food processor, shape into a ball. Rest dough in bowl covered with plastic wrap for at least 30 minutes.

Note: At this point, the pasta dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let it come back to room temperature before rolling.
Divide the dough into four equal portions. Dust the portions with flour and cover with a clean dishtowel. Make sure to keep all pasta dusted with flour. You do not want the dough to stick to anything. Flour all surfaces including your hands when handling the dough.
Set your pasta machine to the thickest setting (usually marked “1”). Flatten one piece of dough into a thick disk between your hands and feed it through the pasta roller. Repeat once or twice. Fold this piece of dough into thirds, like folding a letter, and press it between your hands again. With the pasta machine still on the widest setting, feed the pasta crosswise between the rollers. Feed it through once or twice more until smooth. If desired, repeat this folding step. This helps to strengthen the gluten in the flour, giving it a chewier texture when cooked.
Begin changing the settings on your roller to roll the pasta thinner and thinner. Roll the pasta two or three times at each setting, and don’t skip settings (the pasta tends to snag and warp if you do). If the pasta gets too long to be manageable, lay it on a cutting board and slice it in half. Roll the pasta as thin as you like to go. Ive tried both thicker and thinner, and i prefer the pasta as thin as possible since it tends to puff slightly when cooked.
Cut the long stretch of dough into noodle-length sheets, usually about 12-inches. If making filled pasta or lasagna, proceed with shaping. If cutting into noodles, switch from the pasta roller to the noodle cutter, and run the sheet of pasta through the cutter. Toss the noodles with a little flour to keep them from sticking and gather them into a loose basket. Set this basket on the floured baking sheet and cover with a towel while you finish rolling and cutting the rest of the dough.
To cook the pasta immediately, bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, and cook the pasta until al dente, 4-5 minutes. To dry, lay the pasta over a clothes drying rack, coat hangers, or the back of a chair, and let air dry until completely brittle. Store in an airtight container for several weeks. To freeze, either freeze flat in long noodles or in the basket-shape on a baking sheet until completely frozen. Gather into an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Dried and frozen noodles may need an extra minute or two to cook.

GROWN UP GRILLED CHEESE

VIBES: THE XX: ANGELS

Grilled cheese is one of the greatest gifts. Outside of Raekwon and Pizza, its up there with my favorite things. Hook it up with GOOD bread, GOOD cheese,  FRESH tomatoes and a balsamic reduction and you just went to a whole new place. Easy.

GROWN UP GRILLED CHEESE
-Ciabatta bread, sliced in half
-Irish Cheddar, thinly sliced (I used Dubliner)
-Two slices red tomato
-Two slices yellow tomato
-1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar
-cracked pepper to taste



Toast bread in a toaster until golden. Transfer to baking sheet and layer cheese, then tomatoes, then pepper. Place under broiler high heat. Broil for about 5-6 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Meanwhile make balsamic reduction on the stovetop. Add 1/4 cup of balsamic to a saucepan on medium high heat. When it begins to bubble, swirl constantly for about 3 minutes or until the liquid has thickened and reduced to half. It should be a syrupy consistency. Remove grilled cheese from oven and drizzle balsamic on top. Serve immediately!

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CUCUMBER HUMMUS SANDWICH

VIBES: SZA – JULIA

5 Ingredient recipes. Bread, Cucumber, Hummus, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper. Its so painfully obvious, yet i didn’t discover this combo until a recent trip to The Warehouse Cafe. Thank you cool hipster guy who made my sandwich, you changed my life. You can use store-bought hummus or make your own. Its super easy, heres my recipe. Listen to SZA while making this sandwich and your day will improve 1000%.

CUCUMBER HUMMUS SANDWICH
-Whole wheat sandwich bread, toasted
-Hummus (recipe)
-Exactly 9 slices of cucumber
-Sea Salt
-Cracked Pepper

Toast bread, slice cucumbers while bread is toasting. Spread a generous amount of hummus onto toasted bread. Arrange the cucumbers in a single layer over the hummus. Sprinkle sea salt over cucumbers. Crack pepper. Enjoy!