A Sarcastic Appetite

Caramelized Cauliflower with Capers & Golden Raisins
May 5, 2013, 11:09 am
Filed under: Index of Recipes, Recipes | Tags: , , ,


It’s actually incredible how much of the food I make, whether it appears on this site or not, is dictated by the Nutritional Ninja’s dietary requests. Any time I tell my mother, “Oh, I can’t possibly make that – You-Know-Who won’t touch it,” she screeches, “You’re the chef! You get to make whatever you want and he can deal with it!”

But it seems counter-intuitive to mess up the kitchen making some elaborate dish only one of us is going to eat. And we all know that when left to my own devices, I’m much more likely to be found rifling through the fridge like a modern-day forager, putting together some bizarre-o combination like carrots, leftover chickpea salad, and some old rice crackers and calling it “dinner.”

So rather than complain endlessly in addition to complaining endlessly about his latest diet restriction (no nightshades), I’ve decided I’ll work within them. But it’s also meant we eat a lot of broccoli. And a lot of asparagus. A LOT OF BROCCOLI. Don’t get me wrong; I love that roasted broccoli recipe almost as much as I love a 3pm cookie. Sometimes, however, it’s important to expand one’s horizons. So I turned to broccoli’s less attractive cousin: cauliflower. I made a similar version of this on the site a while back; this is much, much simpler. And I think the end result is much, much better.

The process is pretty simple: roast a bunch of cauliflower. When it’s done, toss it in a sauce you made on the stove, consisting of olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and the requisite capers and golden raisins. I added more olive oil and more capers and golden raisins because more is usually better. If you’re hesitant about the combination, don’t be. It’s salty and sweet – and delicious.

Caramelized Cauliflower with Capers & Golden Raisins

Adapted from Martha Stewart. Serves 2.

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into smallish florets

1-2 Tbsp. olive oil + 1/4 c. olive oil

lots of salt and pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

3 Tbsp. capers

3 Tbsp. golden raisins

Some chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425. Toss the chopped cauliflower with the 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, flipping the pieces about halfway through. When the cauliflower has just a few minutes left, warm the olive oil (you want a good film on the bottom of the pan; don’t be stingy) over medium low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper – let it sizzle but don’t let it burn. Saute for 30 seconds or so. Raise the heat; add the capers and golden raisins and saute for another minute or so. Add the cooked cauliflower and toss together to combine; pull off the heat before adding the parsley. Serve.

Mushroom & Farro “Hash”
April 9, 2013, 8:55 pm
Filed under: Index of Recipes | Tags: , ,


Last night I made this chicken from Alexandra’s Kitchen; it’s one of my go-tos. But we devoured it before I thought to take a picture. This blogging thing….apparently it takes some getting used to. (For the record, I use only thighs and I bake them at 425 for about 45 minutes. If you’re curious.)

So tonight I vowed to remember the photographic evidence.

Dinner lately has been somewhat of a challenge, and not just because my dance card’s awfully full. The Nutritional Ninja has diagnosed himself with psoriasis, and as a result prescribed himself a no-nightshade diet, which means no potatoes, peppers, eggplant…or tomatoes. Oh, and don’t forget he’s “practically” gluten-free….which meant that suggesting this mushroom and farro “hash” for dinner tonight did NOT go over well. Never mind that farro is a good source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin E, or that the recipe would actually help me use up the dry sherry I had lying around in the fridge.


I flew off the handle and made it anyway, forgetting the poached eggs because it’s filling enough on its own and I am spectacularly lazy. Roast some broccoli on the side if you want to up your veg intake. It’s delicious, and I suspect will be even better tomorrow.

Ripe’s Cremini Farro Hash with Poached Eggs 

Adapted from this Serious Eats recipe. Serves 2, with plenty leftover.

1 c. pearled farro, rinsed

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

8 oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (I used shitake; they were delicious)

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

lots of salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. dry sherry

1/4 c. sour cream or greek yogurt

juice of half a lemon, plus more to taste

3 Tbsp. chives or finely chopped scallions to garnish

If you’re making the eggs:

1 tsp. white vinegar

2 large eggs

Cook the farro according to package directions. In a large saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the onion and mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and add the dried thyme. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms have released their juices and the onion is soft and translucent. Add the sherry; let it evaporate almost completely.

By this time the farro should be cooked; drain it and add to the onion and mushroom mixture. Add more salt and pepper; pull off the heat before stirring in the sour cream (or yogurt) and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. Keep warm while you make the eggs.

If making the eggs, boil some water; add the vinegar and poach those suckers. Soft boiled eggs would also work well here, as would fried. All you want is the runny yolk. Garnish the whole thing with the chives (or scallions).

Cucumber Mint Agua Fresca
July 27, 2011, 6:57 am
Filed under: Index of Recipes, Recipes

Sometimes, the occasion calls for something non-alcoholic. I know, I know – but sometimes you have an adorable friend who’s pregnant and manning the grill on the occasion of her adorable husband’s birthday, and as the resident drink expert, you need to find something appropriate. This is just that thing. The only thing I changed here was to add less sugar and a bit more mint. It’s deliciously refreshing, especially on a hot summer’s day when you’re slinging burgers and dogs – or even when you have nothing to do except lounge around the pool, as was the case with me. It was wonderful.

Then, if you’re not the one who’s pregnant, you can take it to the next level with a splash of sparkling wine, or maybe Pimm’s….Go ahead, get after it – it’s summertime!

Cucumber Mint Agua Fresca

From Furey and the Feast. Makes about 4 c.

1 lb. (1 large) cucumber, seeded and diced

6 c. water, divided

1/3 c. mint leaves, chopped

1 Tbsp. sugar

juice from 1 lime

Combine the cucumbers and mint and 2 c. of water in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and combined. Let sit for at least 5 minutes to allow the mint leaves to steep. Strain the puree into a large pitcher (cheesecloth would help here) and add the remaining 4 c. of water, lime juice, and sugar. Taste and adjust as you like. Garnish with mint leaves and/or thin cucumber slices.