Tag Archives: sea salt

Avocado on Toast

Avocado on toast is supremely satisfying (and filling) and can be eaten for any meal, although my favorite time of day to eat it is for breakfast.  Sometimes I add a fried egg underneath the avo if I know I’ll be having a late lunch.  A squeeze of lime on top is also nice if you have it on hand.  Try it on Buttery Beer Bread–you won’t be sorry!

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 ripe avocado
1 slice bread
olive oil, to grill bread
sea salt, to taste
fresh lime juice, to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan.   Add bread to pan, and toast in the oil until both sides reach a golden-brown consistency.

Remove bread from pan and place on plate.  Scoop avocado onto to fresh toast and sea salt to taste!  Add a little lime juice to enhance the sweetness.

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Tostones

The ripeness and color of any plantain you choose at the market has a huge impact on the taste of your intended meal.  Green plantains are fantastic as a savory dish, as they are only slightly sweet; yellow and black plantains are more suited for sweet caramelized dishes.  

When I make tostones I choose a green plantain with almost no black spots.  When I make platanos maduros, I prefer a ripeness somewhere between yellow and black, although many traditional Latin-American dishes suggest using a completely black plantain.  Generally, I buy them green and store in a bowl on the counter for future use.  A green plantain can take up to a month to turn black, so its an easy fruit to perpetually have on hand.

INGREDIENTS:
1 green plantain
1/4 inch corn oil in a cast iron skillet
1 small dinner plate
Sea salt to taste
Lime wedges

DIRECTIONS:
Peel the plantain by cutting off each edge and then slicing lengthwise on both sides. Peel away the remaining peel. Slice the fruit at an angle into 1 1/2 inch chunks–slicing at an angle (rather than creating a flat surface) will help with smashing later in the process.

Heat 1/4-1/2 inch of corn oil in a cast iron frying pan. When a small drop of water sizzles in the pan, the oil is ready for frying. Carefully add plantain chunks to pan and fry both sides for approximately 3-5 minutes–until tostones just begin to brown.

Remove chunks and drain oil on a paper towel.  Using a small plate, flatten the tostones one at a time. The idea is not to make them super-flat, but just mash them down.

Return to oil and fry an additional minute or two flipping halfway through, until tostones are golden brown.

Remove from frying pan and drain oil once more onto paper towels.  Sea salt to taste, and serve with Lime-Garlic Mayonnaise and some extra lime wedges.


Olive Oil Sesame Crackers

I really enjoy the challenge of making every part of a meal from scratch:  homemade crackers and freshly blended hummus are some of my favorites because they are such a simple standby snack–but knowing I did everything aside from picking the beans and grinding the flour (no gardening here in New York City!) is a cool feeling whenever I sit down to eat.  The experience means so much more.  I love baking all sorts of crackers, but this is my favorite standby.

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/4 C whole wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 C olive oil, plus extra for pan coating
1 C room temperature water
1/2 T garlic powder
1 T mixed italian herbs (I like to use rosemary and thyme)
2 T sesame seeds (for sprinkling)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of olive oil.

Combine dry ingredients (flour, salt, garlic powder, italian herbs) in a large mixing bowl.   Stir lightly to distribute ingredients within the mix.  Add water and oil.  Mix with spoon until absorbed.

Move dough to a clean surface–no need to flour.  Knead until wet ingredients are completely combined and distributed.  Break dough in to 3 or 4 sections.  You can bake all sections at once, or store dough in fridge for 2-3 days.  (They also keep in the freezer for about a month).

Roll out one section of dough to no thicker than 1/8 inch.  It is important to roll as thinly as possible, as this will ensure a crispier cracker.  Sprinkle a layer of sesame seeds and light sea salt over the rolled out dough.  Run a rolling pin over the dough once more to press the seeds and salt into the dough.

Using a pizza cutter, slice dough into 1×1 or 2×2 inch squares, depending on your preferred size.  One at a time, place squares on olive oil coated baking sheet.  Bake 15-20 minutes, flipping the squares at least once when they begin to brown on the bottom to ensure an even crispiness.  I also rotate the pan when I flip the crackers.

Serve with hummus, cheese, Vegetarian Chili, olives, fruit–whatever you use crackers for!  Store  in an airtight container for up to a week.

Vegetarian Chili

I’m a fan of spicy chili, so this recipe tends to be on the spicier side (according to my roommate).  If you’d like to tone it down, halve (or omit) the crushed red pepper.  Additionally, you can stir in a spoonful of sugar at a time until the spiciness is adjusted to your liking.

INGREDIENTS:

1 15 oz. can black beans (with sauce)
1 15 oz. can kidney beans (rinsed)
1 15 oz. can chick peas (rinsed)
1 C uncooked lentils
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 medium yellow squash (grated or chopped)
1 medium zucchini (grated or chopped)
1 medium onion (grated or chopped)
2 T minced garlic
2 T chili powder
1 T crushed red peppers
1 T ground cumin
1 T oregano
1 tsp sea salt
3 T olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare vegetables and set aside.  I like to use the grating plate on my food processor, but if you like a chunkier texture in your chili, then you might like your vegetables chopped or slivered.  A grated texture tends to mask the vegetable flavor, if you are cooking for someone who prefers a meatier chili.

In a large stovetop pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, squash, and garlic.  Sautee 4-5 minutes, until vegetables are soft, but not browned.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add chili powder, crushed red pepper, cumin, sea salt, and oregano.  Stir into mix, and continue to heat until fragrant.  Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and lentils.  Cook for 30 minutes.  If chili begins to wildly sputter, then turn the heat down a bit.

Add kidney beans, chick peas, and black beans (remember to include the liquid from the black beans can).  Stir, and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Taste, and adjust spices to your liking.  Garnish with sour cream, chives, shredded cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, or all of the above!


Curry Roasted Edamame


INGREDIENTS:

2 C edamame (thawed if frozen, and dabbed dry with a paper towel)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a bowl, mix edamame, olive oil, salt, and curry powder.  Transfer contents of bowl to a baking sheet and spread evenly.  Roast 15 minutes until crispy.  Toss beans occasionally to prevent burning.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.  Store in airtight container for maximum freshness.  Eat raw, or add to salads.

Chickpea Cutlet Wraps (a la Veganomicon)

This is my favorite standby recipe when I don’t want to think about cooking.  I have the recipe semi-memorized from  Veganomicon.  I don’t recall the exact measurements, because the book is being kindly stored by my parents in Indiana (and I am in NYC), but here’s how I currently prepare them.

INGREDIENTS:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 C breadcrumbs or oats
1/2 C wheat gluten
1/2 C vegetable broth
2 T olive oil
2 T soy sauce
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced.  orange or lime works okay too if you are in a pinch
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp rosemary, thyme, or both (depending on my mood and the other ingredients I have on hand)
1 T rubbed sage (or to taste–I love lots of sage, so you may choose to tone it down)
additional olive oil for pan frying
1 ripe avocado
romain lettuce hearts
sprouts or microgreens (clover, alfalfa, radish, etc…)

DIRECTIONS:
In a bowl, mash the chickpeas and olive oil together until everything is evenly distributed.  Add remaining ingredients.  Mash everything together with your hands and let it sit for about 5 minutes to activate the wheat gluten with the wet ingredients.  When the mash becomes stringy pull it into 8 equal pieces and shape into a flat patty.  Pan fry in olive oil until golden on both sides.  These are delicious by themselves, but my new favorite thing to do is make them into wraps.

Now for the wrap.  Lay out a large romain leaf.  Add cutlet to lower center.  Top with avocado and sprouts.  Wrap like a burrito or an open-ended envelope.  They are easier to eat if the top is left open–see picture of my roommate!  If you are making a bunch to serve, it is helpful to spear each with a deli toothpick after you wrap them.

Dip in soy sauce (and add some wasabi, if you’d like) for a saltier kick!

Chocolate Salted Caramels

This recipe is not my own.  It is from Gourmet Magazine–BUT it was my first truly successful attempt at making caramels, so I plan to personalize it over time to make it my own!  

INGREDIENTS:

2 C heavy cream
10 1/2 oz high-quality bittersweet chocolate (I used Sirius 70%)
1 3/4 C sugar
1/2 C light corn syrup
1/4 C water
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 T unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
2 tsp flaky sea salt

DIRECTIONS:
Line bottom of 8×8 baking pan with 2 pieces of criss-crossed parchment paper

Bring cream to a starting boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce to low and add chocolate.  Let stand 1 minute, then stir until chocolate is completely melted.  Remove from heat.

Bring sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt to a boil in a heavy pot over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.  Boil, uncovered, without stirring but gently swirling pan occasionally, until sugar is deep golden, about 10 minutes.  Tilt pan and carefully pour in chocolate mixture–which will bubble and steam.  Continue to boil over moderate heat, stirring until mixture registers 255 F on thermometer, about 15 minutes.  Add butter, stirring until completely melted, then immediately pour into lined baking pan (do not scrape any caramel clinging to the bottom or side of saucepan).  Let caramel stand 10 minutes, then sprinkle with sea salt.  Cool completely in pan on a rack, about 2 hours.  Carefully invert caramel onto a clean, dry cutting board, then peel off parchment.  Turn caramel salt side up.  Lightly oil blade of a large heavy knife and cut into 1-inch squares.

Layer in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper, or individually wrap each caramel in wax paper.