Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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Purple Potato and Chorizo Frittata PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Sunday, 22 December 2013 23:09

 

The other day I was cleaning out our cabinets and I found two little purple potatoes from the fall. Purple potatoes! They're one of my favorite treats of the autumn. It was like a little gift from October. Since they were such a treat, I decided to pair them with chroizo that I'd bought for a Christmas batch of Paella.

 

And since I already had Spain on the brain, I decided to make a frittata that had the feel of the Costa del Sol.

 

This frittata would be perfect for a Christmas or New Year's brunch. It's simple enough to saute the sausage, potatoes and peppers ahead of time, and then just assemble it for the oven the morning of.

 

Substitute in red potatoes for the purple ones if that's what you have on hand, and andouille would be delicious if you don't have chorizo.

 

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Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Cranberries PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 23 November 2013 00:14

 

 

Hello November. How's it going? You're looking a little gray and drab. But, you still have amazing produce and I'm not about to turn down all you have to offer.

 

Especially when you provide me with fresh brussels sprouts.

 

And I do love brussels sprouts.

 

So does Jedd, as it turns out.

 

A few years ago I realized I hadn't eaten brussels sprouts since I lived at home with my parents – in the early 90's – and I decided to buy some. I mentioned that to Jedd and he became ridiculously happy.

 

“I love those!”

 

So, for 15 years I had erroneously assumed he didn't like these cute little vegetables. And apparently, he had assumed the same of me. You know what they say about people who “assume,” it does make an ass out of you and me.

 

For the rest of the winter we ate brussels sprouts 3-4 times a week. I'm not saying that we were obsessed over making up for lost time, but we sure did eat a lot of them.

 

And roasting them with lemon quickly became my favorite way of preparing them. It even surpassed my childhood favorite of brussels sprouts tossed with vinegar. The sprouts are caramelized and tangy. If you have them on hand, cranberries are a wonderful addition too. They add sweetness to the dish.

 

This would be a pretty addition to the Thanksgiving table, or just a Wednesday night meal.

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Spicy Thai Basil Sauce PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Thursday, 26 September 2013 17:10

 

 

 

 

“I found Thai basil, I found Thai basil!” Jedd happily yelled when he walked through the door.

 

“Whut?” I asked looking up from the computer.

 

“I found it, I finally found it,” he said.

 

And, indeed, he finally had.

 

Thai basil doesn't seem that exotic an ingredient, but we've never seen it. We've checked grocery stores and health food co-ops, but we've just never been able to get our hands on it. So suddenly having a bunch of the slightly peppery basil to play with, felt a little daunting.

 

Then – of course – I fell prey to “Launie hoarding.” It had taken years and years of searching, so of course I wanted to make something spectacular with it. Which meant that I trimmed off the ends, and stuck it in a jar where it sat for two weeks.

 

Jedd was just as “hoard-ish.”

 

“We need to do something really special with it,” he said.

 

“I know, but what? Thai chicken? In a soup? What about a noodle dish?” I suggested.

 

“Any of those sound good,” he said.

 

Which should have given me direction, but instead made me more nervous about what to do with the precious bunch of herbs.

 

So, there it sat.

 

Finally, I decided to “seize the day” and combined it with some things in the fridge and the vegetable bowl to create a spicy sauce.

 

Which was a wise decision. Instead of blowing the whole batch on one dish, we've been eating the sauce on vegetable wraps, chicken, beef, rice and noodles. It's been the bedrock of our meals for the last few days because it's sweet, but salty, citrusy but hot.

 

If you only have sweet basil to play with, add some black pepper and a little fennel to mimic the taste.

 

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Panzanella, the Perfect Salad for a Picnic PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 27 August 2013 18:11

 

 

Labor day is fast approaching and it typically leaves me a little stymied. Especially if I'm invited to a gathering and the hosts say, “Don't bring pasta salad, we've got that covered.”

 

Because then - of course - that's all I can think of to bring.

 

“Corkscrew pasta with dill and tomatoes!”

 

Nope. That's a pasta salad.

 

“Campanelle with mozzarella, olives and basil!”

 

No, sir. Not only is that pasta, it would also involve mozzarella sitting out for hours in the hot sun. Sweaty, warm mozzarella? No thanks.

 

“Blerg!” yells my inner Liz Lemon.

 

But then it dawned on me to make something that would actually improve the longer it sat out.

 

Panzanella salad.

 

It's meant to be made the day that it's eaten, but it also loves time to marinate. And it's incredibly inexpensive – especially compared to pasta salad.

 

(No joke. Maybe it's just me, but I can't make a good pasta salad for a crowd that costs less than $15.00 Sure, the pasta is inexpensive, but it's the olives, the parmesan, the occasional oil-packed artichoke heart and capers that make my pocket book shiver.)

 

On the other hand, panzanella is meant to be made with ingredients that are dirt cheap this time of year. Also, if you're feeling particularly frugal, you can make the bread yourself and then it's even more inexpensive.

 

This salad also lends itself to what you have laying around. Do you have some cooked beans? Add them in. Do you have some bell peppers kicking around? Add those too.

 

I was lucky enough to have 4 types of tomatoes in my vegetable bowl from our CSA and the farmers market. We have a little basil plant that was groomed for the salad, along with a bunch of parsley in water.

 

So, for four dinner-sized salads, or 8 small salads, I was out of pocket $1.99 for a loaf of bread.

 

Not too shabby for something that bursts with flavor and is incredibly addictive.

 

Although I'm going to give a full recipe, it's more of a guideline depending on what you have on hand. The two tricks are to have day-old bread, and an equal ratio of tomatoes to bread.

 

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Inspired by Kim: Kale, Parsley and Basil Pesto PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 09 August 2013 00:09

 

 

 

Last week I was talking to my mother on the phone, when she happened to mention that my cousin, Kim had made kale pesto for the family over the weekend. I promptly filed that away in my head as “something I'd like to try.”

 

So, when Jedd and I went to Stone Hollow Farm's booth at the farmers market and loaded up on basil, parsley and huge-mongo scallions, I remembered Kim's pesto when Jedd started reaching for a bunch of kale.

 

“We need kale, right?” he asked.

 

Gulk.

 

I remembered that we had a bunch of kale (that was larger than our two heads combined) on the bottom shelf.

 

“Nope. We really don't need any more kale.”

 

And when I got home I quickly decided to jump into “pesto-making” mode. When I was done, we didn't even bother to make pasta go along with it. The pesto was so flavorful we just ate it slathered on crusty bread and called that dinner.

 

It was a good meal.

 

Kim, thanks for the inspiration!

 

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