22 June 2011

SeaVeggie Pesto

I haven't been posting much lately because I've been writing a lot lately for school.  I'm excited that I can finally take a break from that because I *finally* submitted my first refereed paper to the Astrophysical Journal.  Here's hoping that the editor/referees are gentle.

Anyway, I do more than just write about food.  This should be obvious since I've only posted twice this month and I'd be doing a lot of nothing if I didn't. ;)  Awhile back, I had the opportunity to give a talk at Austin's Nerd Nite.  It was about astronomy and sort of a brief overview of the stars I study and why they're interesting.  There's a video my Nerd Nite talk, along with the other speakers.  In meeting with the Nerd Nite organizers, I got to meet Lewis Weil, a man of many talents.  Not only does he help organize Nerd Nite (which you should totally check out if you're in Austin), he also grows his own ogonori, which he calls SeaVeggies.  Lewis let me take a pack home to play with and I came up with seaveggie pesto.

SeaVeggie Pesto

SeaVeggie Pesto
1 pack (~30g) SeaVeggies 
1 T miso paste 
1 T soy sauce 
2 T toasted sesame seeds 
1/2 T sesame oil
splash of rice wine vinegar to taste

Process all the ingredients until it makes a thick paste.  


I tried this pesto mixed in with some couscous, which was pretty good and also on some grilled fish.  The salinity of the seaveggies in the pesto match really well with seafood.  I tried it with steelhead trout but you could definitely do this with salmon or any other flavorful fish.

pesto on grilled trout

A month or so later, I stopped by the SeaVeggie stand at the downtown farmers market and was given a couple packs to bring to the Austin Food Blogger Alliance potluck.  I made a sesame and wasabi SeaVeggie salad.  This was sort of whipped together at the last minute and these amounts are approximate.

Sesame+wasabi SeaVeggie salad

2 packs SeaVeggies, roughly chopped  (the SeaVeggies, not the packs. ;))
1 T sesame seeds, toasted
1-2 t prepared wasabi (depending upon how much heat you like)
1 T sesame oil
2 T mirin
2 T rice wine vinegar

Whisk together the wasabi paste, sesame oil, mirin, and rice wine vinegar.  Taste and adjust for seasoning.  If you find it to need some sweetness, either add in a bit more mirin or you could also whisk in a few drops of honey.  Combine with the sesame seeds and the sea veggies.  Enjoy!

wasabi+sesame SeaVeggie salad

The combination of my terrible photography skills and the fact that ogonori isn't, perhaps, the prettiest vegetable around means that these photos don't do SeaVeggies justice.  Both applications were really tasty!  You can purchase SeaVeggies at the downtown SFC Saturday farmers market and at Wheatsville Co-op on any day.  Thanks, Lewis, for the three packs of SeaVeggies and for letting me play with a really fun and new-to-me ingredient!

07 June 2011

Strawberry Cupcakes

No quaint story to accompany this cupcake.  Just a recipe because it's 2:30 AM and I should be editing my paper.

strawberry cupcakes (makes ~30, adapted from Baked)
2 1/2 c cake flour
3/4 c AP Flour
3/4 t sea salt
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda

2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract
1 T water
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 1/2 c strawberry puree

1/4 t cream of tartar
3 egg whites

In a food processor, liquefy ~12 oz of washed and hulled strawberries.  Pass through a fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth (or, really, I passed the puree through a chinois) in order to get rid of the seeds.  Make sure it makes 1.5 c of liquid.  Preheat oven to 325 F.  In a large bowl whisk together flours, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and egg+yolk and combine.  Alternate in the flour mixture and the strawberry juice. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I served these with cream cheese frosting and placed a strawberry atop each cupcake to reinforce the strawberryness.

06 June 2011

a menu and some promises

These are really tasty. I promise.
Why it's, gasp, yet another quick menu post.  I've got some really yummy things in the pipeline, including recipes using Austin Sea Veggies and from-scratch strawberry cupcakes, but I figured that I needed to put a menu down somewhere before we end up eating whatever is closest to the stove for the rest of the week.  Last night, I made Colby go to HEB with me at like 10 PM to get fish sticks (because I'm apparently 7 years old) because it was late and I was hungry.  It was some tasty nostalgia, but in order to convince him to get out the door and put on big boy pants, I promised that we wouldn't eat out for dinner the rest of the week aside from tonight.  Speaking of which, tonight is my awesometastic office mate, Athena's birthday so we're going out to Trudy's for drinks and dinner and then we're coming back to my place for strawberry cupcakes, brownies, and ice cream.

So now the question is... what are we eating the rest of the week?  Actually, the only person asking this question is actually Colby, but let's keep me accountable, eh?

And by the way, on Thursday, we're getting this from Farmhouse Delivery:

Peaches - McPeak Orchards
Tomatoes - Josh Reese Farm
Lettuce - bella verdi and Bluebonnet Farm
Carrots - Montesino Ranch
Yellow squash and zucchini - Naegelin Farm
New Potatoes - Naegelin Farm
Parsley - Tecolote Farm
Cucumbers - The Farm Patch

Salmon burgers, with cucumber salad and strawberries


spicy egg salad sandwiches, with carrots and strawberries

Strawberry, walnut, Gorgonzola salad with strawberry vinaigrette

garden burgers, grilled zucchini/summer squash, tomato, cucumber, parsley salad

grassfed all beef hot dogs, bruschetta with tomatoes, mozzarella, and homegrown basil :), fresh fruit 

fish tacos with jalapeƱo slaw