Batter Licker

May 25, 2012

gabi moskowitz’s brokeass gourmet cookbook and broccoli-kale gratin

I remember first meeting Gabi Moskowitz serendipitously at an Indian food-themed dinner hosted by our mutual friends, Rebecca and Bill Kee. While in the middle of preparing dal (a spicy lentil dish), she paused to introduce herself in a very warm and welcoming manner before putting me to work chopping onions. As I began that task, Bill casually mentioned that Gabi had a food blog too.  Soon I learned that she was not just any other kitchen maven named Gabi, but was The Gabi of Brokeass Gourmet, a recipe site with a monthly readership of over 30,000. I can guarantee the consistency of my onion cuts suffered as a result of being dorkily starstruck.

Thankfully, her fun and sassy demeanor disarmed my intimidation before I did too much damage in the kitchen. And I was happy to have shared a stove and chopping board, albeit briefly, with such an incredibly talented woman.

A few years’ worth of mostly social media exchanges later, I was excited for Gabi when I discovered she had procured a cookbook deal. When her PR rep sent me a complimentary copy of The Brokeass Gourmet Cookbook** to review, I could hardly contain myself upon its arrival. I can neither confirm nor deny whether I Gabi-vangelized the delivery person.

For those unfamiliar with this kindergarten-teacher-turned-cuisinière’s food blog and general background, I highly recommend you hop on over there, even if it’s just for a cursory visit. Once you bounce around her site a bit, you’ll see that Gabi’s cooking philosophy is grounded in accessibility and flavor.

These values carry over into her 116-recipe cookbook, where she starts with advice that will make meal-making much easier to manage no matter your skill level: how to stock a pantry with essentials like flour, olive oil, and salt for merely $50. And if you’re a bit of a lush like me, you’ll appreciate her subsequent input on how to smartly stock a budget bar.

Continuing to flip through the pages, I found that Gabi often takes dishes that might ordinarily be intimidating, such as Pakistani Butter Chicken (pictured above, although I deviated slightly by cooking the chicken thighs whole) or Sun-Dried Tomato Gnocchi, and simplifies the techniques involved without sacrificing flavor. She transforms the seemingly complex recipes such that beginner and immediate cooks alike can appreciate the time, steps and stress she’s saved them. (more…)

May 5, 2011

mexican tortilla lasagna with chorizo, kale and beans

Whenever I have extra tortillas sitting around after a night of mango-salsified and pink chipotle-sauced fish tacos, I typically insist on using them as is (pretending not to notice that they’re stale and ripping when I fold them for a taco or burrito), or during slightly more logical moments, I chop them into wedges, toss with olive oil, salt and cumin, and bake them into chips. This time, I pretended they were lasagna noodles.

Some might define insanity as repeating the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. But I bet a few of you are reading this and thinking that indulging my admitted illusion that tortillas can work as noodles is just another type of crazy. And you would probably be right.

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But I love an excuse to make Mexican food, and the miniature stack of leftover tortillas provided me with exactly that. (more…)

October 26, 2010

october feast: warm potato salad with bratwurst and kale in creamy mustard sauce

October might be on its way out the door, but that only gives me another reason to have a final hurrah in the form of an October feast. And what’s a better way to do that than with a colorful, flavorful, one-pot (and one foil sheet) warm potato salad with bratwurst and kale in creamy but spicy mustard sauce?

Traditional Oktoberfest meals are always so flavorful, but also so … brown. Nothing against brown food, but with plenty of options for colorful veggie add-ins, I can’t quite understand why fall feasts systematically embrace such monochromatic earth tones.

Here, I used a trio of mini potatoes to add an unbelievable zap of color, from the creamy light yellow flesh of the standard fingerling to the pink peel and bright white flesh of the red thumb fingerling to the dark purple peel and bright purple flesh of the purple majesty. All three held their coloring after roasting and developed slightly different flavors and creamy textures perfect for a potato salad.

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(more…)

April 22, 2010

kale and jalapeño red lentil dal with cumin-red pepper tempering oil

Filed under: beans,indian,vegan — Tags: , , , , , , — Kristen @ 6:30 pm

I’m a big fan of warm, mushy-but-not-slimy comfort foods. Any mashed potatoes that I’ve ever come into contact with while having access to a spoon, a fork, or – in truly desperate situations – just a finger could affirm that much, but all traces of them would have disappeared by now. Same goes for refried bean-filled burritos. So when I happen upon a warm, mushy, comfort food that’s actually healthy, I get a little obsessed. Just ask lentils.

These babies have been my go-to food for those many cold, grey, and just plain sad- and grumpy-looking days in San Francisco from November through April. They’ve not only warmed my belly and my spirit along with it, but also have kept me eating healthily and feeling full (both of which kept me from digging into too many bowls of mashed potatoes and mac and cheese this winter).

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But enough of the healthy-and-filling yada-yada-ing … these lentils are also yummy! The kale basically melts into the lentils, while the jalapeño adds a little peppery bite. Mixed with the tempering oil, the lentils take on the smokey flavor of cumin and the spicy-sweet flavor of paprika. (more…)

April 14, 2010

quick and healthy smoothie with berries, almond milk, and kale

Filed under: breakfast, brunch,fruit,vegan,veggies — Tags: , , , , , — Kristen @ 11:20 pm

If I had known breakfast could taste like a berry-vanilla milkshake, I would never have become a Pop-Tarts fanatic in elementary and middle school or a Cocoa Krispies junkie in high school or a leftover-pizza-for-breakfast snarfer in college.

And that’s not even taking into account how quick and easy this smoothie is, much less the fact that it is incredibly healthy and full of vitamins (thank you, leafy green kale). Check out the nutrition facts listed at the end of this post if you don’t believe me.

But to find out whether this good-for-you, quick-to-make-and-consume smoothie actually tastes like a berry-vanilla milkshake, you’re just going to have to make it yourself. And I’ll tell you a little secret: (more…)

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