Archive for March, 2009

From the Vault: Baked Coconut Rice

March 30, 2009

I thought I’d post up some of my recipes from my old food blog, so that new readers can enjoy them too.  This is one of my favorite rice recipes. It is very versatile and consistently good. Serve as prepared below with fish. Add fresh cilantro after baking to serve with Indian food (like curries or bean dishes) or add mint for the last few minutes of cooking to serve with Mexican/Southwestern cuisine.  I’m working on a curry coconut brown rice, so look for that in a future post. 

Baked Coconut Rice (Serves 4)

2 T oil (e.g. Canola)
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon sugar

1 cup long grain white rice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, combine the coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Wash rice. Lightly brown the rice in oil in a 1-quart, ovenproof saucepan. Bring the other ingredients to a boil and pour over the rice, take caution because this can create a lot of hot steam. Bake covered for 30 to 40 minutes, until rice is tender and fluffy.


Recipe Report: Oatmeal Cookie Comparison

March 21, 2009

I made two different recipes of oatmeal cookies recently. The first recipe I used was from the pastry flour bag and was tasteless and lacking texture. The second batch was from Alton Brown’s cookbook: I’m Just Here for More Food: Food x Mixing + Heat = Baking. This is not just a cookbook, but a text for learning the how and why of baking. Chef Brown’s understanding of the importance of baking technique made a far superior cookie.

Both of these recipes had basically the same ingredients, but in different quantities and with different techniques.  The better of the two did not spread out all over the pan, but held a good shape and had a great texture.  I even tried adding an egg to the egg-less flour bag recipe, but it couldn’t rescue the taste, texture or shape. 

Now, of course I couldn’t follow the recipe in I’m Just Here for More Food directly.  Instead of white flour, I used whole wheat pastry flour and not being a fan of raisins, I added very finely chopped walnuts instead.  I also added a few chocolate chips to half the batch, but I have to admit, the chip-free cookies were just as good (and I’m a huge chocolate fan).  I baked them to crispy. 

I’ve made other recipes from this cookbook with great success.  If you had to buy one baking book, I’d suggest this one.  Even as a whole grain baker, I find the recipes easily adaptable.  In my opinion, I’d rather start out with a tasty recipe with a good technique and adapt it to be whole grain than fumble around with a second rate whole grain recipe. 

Note:  There are other oatmeal cookie recipes by Alton Brown printed on the web, but I haven’t seen this particular one.  I don’t think it’s kosher to reprint it here, so you’re just going to have to go check the book out for yourselves.  I highly recommend the library if your cookbook shelf is as stuffed as mine.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

March 20, 2009

Here’s my recipe for juicy and flavorful stuffed bell peppers.  For an extra special treat at Halloween, use orange and yellow peppers and carve jack-o-lantern eyes and noses into the peppers.   



You will need:


·         1 lb ground beef

·         1 tbsp olive or canola oil

·         1 medium onion, diced

·         2 garlic cloves, minced

·         1 slice whole wheat bread

·         1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes, drained quickly in fine mesh sieve (you want them still juicy)

·         1 egg

·         1 tbsp beef seasoning w/ paprika base (I use Skagit River Ranch)

·         4 bell peppers (preferably yellow, red or orange)


Put it together:


·         Sauté onion in oil until begins to brown, add in garlic and sauté for another minute, set aside to cool

·         Cut up bread in food processor, just for a few seconds (if you don’t have a food processor tear into small pieces by hand

·         Put raw beef in medium sized bowl with bread crumbs on top and then tomatoes and eggs – allow the bread crumbs to soak up tomatoes and eggs for a minute

·         Mix together

·         Add onion and garlic mixture to meat

·         Mix together

·         Add seasoning

·         Mix together

·         Cut tops off peppers, remove membranes and seeds

·         Stuff peppers fully with meat, replace tops if making jack-o-lantern peppers

·         Bake in a shallow, ungreased dish at 425 degrees F. for 40-45 minutes until an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. is reached and peppers are very dark on top

·         Optional: Cool slightly and peel skin off peppers


Slow Food Interview on 60 Minutes

March 17, 2009

The Slow Food moment supports biodiversity in the food supply, taste education and connecting food producers with consumers, or as they call them, “co-producers.”  Alice Waters, a Slow Food movement activist, was on 60 minutes. You can watch the episode here on the CBS website.  

Many of the ideas behind the Slow Food movement coincide with what we practice in my home.  We cook tasty food from scratch utilizing many local, environmentally friendly and humanely grown ingredients.  It always bugs me though  when Californians insist everyone use fresh, local produce year round, because this is not as realistic for the rest of the U.S.  That being said, they do good work and I thought this interview would be of interest to our viewers/readers.  Thanks to Malissa for passing along the link to me.