Saturday, November 24, 2007

Almond Cookies

1 cup ground almonds
Sliced or whole almonds (optional)
.5 cup butter
.5 cup sugar
.75 cup flour
1 egg
2 tsp. almond extract


Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix in the sugar and softened butter in a large bowl. Add the egg, and almond extract and mix. Slowly add flour and ground almonds while mixing. Make little balls after everything is well mixed and place the balls onto a greased cookie pan. If you have any sliced or whole almonds, place them in the center of the ball. Depending on how large you made the cookies you should bake for ~10 mins.

Execution Time: 30 mins
Output: ~16 cookies

Almond Milk


1 cup raw almonds
3 cups water
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. sea salt


First soak the almonds overnight. Puree the almonds with water in a blender. Filter the pureed almonds through a cheesecloth to separate the milk from the almonds. The milk should be smooth without any solid bits of almond. Finally, save the dry almonds for cookies (I've frozen them before and they seem to keep for quite a while).

At this stage, place the milk back into the blender and mix in the salt and honey to taste. If you drink it right away, the milk will be warm and frothy. Otherwise, the milk should last for a couple days (I don't actually know since I usually drink all of it in one day...)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Feta Omelette with Fried Green Tomatoes

Background and Motivation:

I don't think enough people eat omelettes. I'm not sure why really, considering how good they taste and how easy they are to make. They are also highly modular and can sport a wide range of variations. For instance, my omelette contains diced tomatoes and feta.

As a quick note, I just got back from the Albuquerque Downtown Grower's Market (phew that's long...) so I'll be able to make mine with mostly local ingredients (minus the salt, pepper, olive oil, and cornstarch). I was able to procure some of the last green tomatoes of the season, so I'll include fried green tomatoes as well.

Variables for Omelette:
3 eggs
1/4 cup feta cheese (or cheddar)
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup tomatoes
1/4 cup bell peppers
1 garlic clove (minced)
1 tsp. salt and pepper
Olive oil (for frying)

For Fried Green Tomatoes:
1 medium to large green tomato
1/2 cup of cornmeal
1 tsp. salt and pepper
Olive oil (for frying)

Algorithm for Omelette:

Slice all the vegetables up and set aside. Get a little pan with a bit of olive oil, set the heat to medium, and cook the vegetables for about 5 mins. The onion should become a little translucent.

Get another frying pan for the omelette and coat it with olive oil so that the eggs don't stick. I like to set the heat to between medium and medium-low so that the eggs cook evenly. Whip the eggs thoroughly and place in the pan. Cook for about 10 mins. or until the bottom part of the omelette looks pretty solid (look near the edges to tell how cooked it is). During this time, I like to roll the eggs in the pan around so that it evenly spreads over the entire surface.

Before the entire egg is cooked, add some salt and pepper. Afterwards, place the cooked vegetables and feta cheese onto the surface and let it cook for a few more minutes until the egg is done. I personally like the taste of feta more than cheddar. It's a bit saltier and usually not as sharp.

Finally, flip the omelette over in half near the end to let the cheese melt a bit before serving. It's probably better to place the ingredients on one side to make this part easier. Oh well, next time...

To remove the omelette from the pan, angle the pan over your plate and use a spatula to gently push it out. Sprinkle any additional salt and pepper to taste.

For Fried Green Tomatoes:

Cut the green tomatoes into slices (about 1/3 inch). Mix the salt, pepper, and cornstarch. Thoroughly cover the tomato slices in the mixture.

Get a frying pan with enough olive oil for frying and set the heat to medium - medium high. Once the pan is hot, place the tomato slices in it and fry each side for about 4 minutes or until golden brown.

Execution Time: 20 mins.
Servings: 2 medium sized servings.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sweet and Sour Shrimp

Background and Motivation:

Well the wife's away, so that means it's time to cook something for myself. Grey's Anatomy is on tonight, so it needs to be good, simple, and fast.

Sweet and sour shrimp to the rescue. As the name implies, this food has the amazing property of being both sweet and sour at the same time (yes, I am easily amused). You can eat it by itself or with another dish (such as steamed rice).

Variables for The Shrimp:
.5 lbs raw unshelled shrimp (I used Key West Pink Shrimp)
Vegetable oil

The Sauce:
1 tbsp. chopped green onion
2 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1.5 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. rice wine
1/2 cup vegetable stock

The Finish:
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sesame oil
Some pretty green stuff (like lettuce leaves)


Clean the shrimp and remove the little tails (but not the shells). You'll want to pat them dry since we'll be placing these in hot oil.

Get a wok (or anything resembling a wok) and place enough oil in it to cover all the shrimp. Heat the oil (approximately medium-high until you see small bubbles in the oil). Place the shrimp into the oil (I used chopsticks to do this part) and fry for about a minute or until cooked. Afterwards, place the shrimp on some paper towels.

Now discard all but a tablespoon or so of the oil. Reduce the heat to approximately medium and add the green onions and ginger. Let that cook for a few seconds and add all the other
sauce ingredients. Let it cook at a light boil for a few minutes.

Finally, add the shrimp and the Finish ingredients to the wok. The cornstarch should make the entire concoction thicker and give it the texture that we've all come to expect from Chinese buffets. Let it cook for another minute or two while you thoroughly mix everything.

To serve place everything on top of your desired leaf vegetable (I used baby greens). At this stage you may be wondering whether to eat the shrimp with or without the shells. I tried both: the deep frying made the shells more edible and it had a nice, crunchy texture. I suspect that a shrimp with a less tough shell (the key west pink has a pretty thick one) would be better for this. If you don't like the shell... well then take it off. This is going to be messy though, so good luck.

Execution Time: Approximately 30 mins.

Servings: 2 medium servings.

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Background and Motivation:

Negroni is a bitter sweet apertif that I've started drinking recently. It combines the bitter taste
of campari with the sweet taste of vermouth and actually goes well with the unique taste of gin.

I've had it on the rocks in a tumbler and more traditionally in a martini glass. It tastes good both ways and choosing between those two modes may be more of a function of who you want to show off to than anything else. If you think the drink is a bit too strong, try adding some soda or tonic water.


1 part gin
1 part sweet vermouth
1 part campari
Orange peel (optional garnish)
Soda water (optional)


Mix in a shaker with ice and pour into a martini glass.

Execution Time: Minimal