Monthly Archives: April 2013

Veggie Chili & Jalapeño Cornbread

A few weeks ago, it was still winter in NYC so I wanted to make a warm-me-up meal and what does that better than chili? I decided to make a vegetarian 3 bean with black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans. For a little something extra, I decided to try my hand at some home made jalapeno corn bread. But first, the chili:
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This is a lot of chopping, but I’m into that sort of thing. Here’s what’s in this skillet:

1 red bell pepper, 1 poblano pepper, 1 long hot pepper, 1 jalapeno, 1 purple onion, 5 cloves garlic, the aforementioned beans, cilantro, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and the holy quadrinity: salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne.

I used to tell myself that I would cook more if only I had the proper cooking equipment. As you can see, by virtue of the fact that I gleefully make my chili in a skillet on the stove, that I have thrown that nonsense to the wind. It doesn’t take fancy equipment to cook great meals, it just takes a little creativity. For example, I had run out of foil on this particular day and, since it was freezing out, instead of getting more, I did this:

veggie chili, chili, cornbread, jalapeno cornbread, vegetarian, vegan, recipe

And guess what? It flippin’ worked just fine. I let the chili simmer, covered, for 6 hours. It’s pretty good after 4 hours, but the longer, the better so since I had the time I decided to keep it on until it looked like this:

veggie chili, chili, cornbread, jalapeno cornbread, vegetarian, vegan, recipe

This recipe was created in my brain thanks to a few other recipes. I started with 2 cups yellow corn meal, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 cup buttermilk, 1 egg and 1 stick of butter. Here’s where it gets controversial: there are at least two schools of thought on corn bread. One is sugar, one is no sugar. I heard Emeril Lagasse makes his with no sugar, so since I’m a sheep, I made this with no sugar. But yes salt, add some salt!veggie chili, chili, cornbread, jalapeno cornbread, vegetarian, vegan, recipe

This batter stays a little clumpy, so don’t over mix it, just do a medium-mixing job and pour it into a greased pan. I sprinkled the jalapenos on top here so that the didn’t all sink to the bottom of the pan during baking:

veggie chili, chili, cornbread, jalapeno cornbread, vegetarian, vegan, recipe

Pop that bad boy into a 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes or until it can pass a toothpick test, whichever comes first. I’m not going to lie, but I am going to brag: this cornbread was pretty good for a first timer (I guess I need to work on my bragging skills). veggie chili, chili, cornbread, jalapeno cornbread, vegetarian, vegan, recipe

I have to admit, however, that I think it would have been better with some sugar. Sorry, Emeril.  veggie chili, chili, cornbread, jalapeno cornbread, vegetarian, vegan, recipeTop that shiz with some fresh onions, cheese and avocado and that’s what I call a warm-me-up meal. POP POP.

 

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Hotel Chantelle Brunch NYC

A few weeks ago we decided to treat ourselves to a nice couple’s massage on the lower east side of Manhattan and wanted to start the day with some brunch. After reading about Hotel Chantelle in Time Out New York , we decided to give their brunch menu a try.

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Yes, you read that right! 92 cent cocktails? Don’t mind if we do…

While there were several scrumptious looking items on this menu, I felt compelled to get something I’d never be able to eat at home, The Maple Jalapeño Sausage:

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Served with whipped potatoes, fried brussel sprouts and a sunnyside up egg.

Mi amor went with something a little fancier, The Russ and Daughters Lox Crepe:

hotel chantelle, nyc brunch, lower east side, dining, new york restaurants

With warm goat cheese, sweet red onion, dill crème fraiche

I tasted both of these dishes and, even though I am not a lox fan, they were both incredible. My potatoes were creamy and smooth, the sausage was sweet and savory and who doesn’t love a good runny egg? The crepe was delicate, the cheese was sharp and the crunchy hash brown on top was to die for. I spent the better part of the weekend thinking about these dishes.

But I saved the best part of Hotel Chantelle Brunch for last, this guy:

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I love a man in an ascot.

He’s not joking.

If you’re in the mood for a little class, a little jazz and some impossibly delicious cheap cocktails, Hotel Chantelle is your joint. The food’s not bad, either 😉

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How Kim Jong Un’s Rhetoric Undermines A Real Nuclear Threat

The Boy Who Cried Wolf:  A guest blog from Jared Molton

Kim Jong Un, North Korea, South Korea, US Foreign Policy, News

Created in Photoshop by J. Molton

My parents grew up in the shadow of nuclear war. For forty years the Soviet Union and the United States played a dangerous game of brinksmanship with thousands of nuclear warheads aimed at one another’s major cities. This terrifying reality created a real sense of danger about nuclear weapons and the prospect of nuclear war. Those who’ve grown up in the wake of the iron curtain collapse do not have this sense of real danger and Kim Jong Un’s rhetoric further diminishes how seriously my generation takes these threats.

Over the past few weeks the White House has responded to North Korean threats appropriately, first by providing military and intelligence support to South Korea and then as recently as last week deploying an anti-missile system to the US base in Guam. Still, the media continues to report that there is little validity to Kim Jong Un’s threats. They say that as a new leader he is being overly aggressive in order to gain prestige and respect among his people. South Koreans insist that the US should take North Korea’s threats with a grain of salt as business remains as usual in Seoul. While all this may be true, nuclear war is not a threat to be taken lightly.

It is unclear how far North Korea’s nuclear reach extends but the fact remains that they have powerful weapons that can devastate their neighbors. The combination of powerful weapons and an unpredictable ruler who is trying to prove himself is a very dangerous one. North Korea represents the peril of nuclear proliferation; a hazard that we Americans’ have grown assimilated to, a risk that no longer keeps us up at night. Kim Jong Un may be bluffing this time, he may bluff next time, but sooner or later history dictates that he will not bluff and when that happens will we be prepared?

The aggressive behavior of North Korea and the language of their government in regard to nuclear warfare further undermines real nuclear threats that exist from elsewhere. Iran, who funds terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas, is believed to be developing nuclear weapons. Pakistan, where terrorism organizations continue to prosper, already has nuclear weapons. A nuclear weapon could very easily get into the wrong hands in Pakistan and Iran and if that were to happen it would mean destruction to the west. These are serious global issues that the media doesn’t like to remind us about and issues that‘Generation Me’ doesn’t ever consider.

The United States government and the worldwide media must remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These weapons can alter the course of history. Any time that nuclear war is threatened that threat must be squashed. This is our world to create; this is our world to destroy.

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Roasted Veggie Gratin Recipe

This has been a week of celebrations for those in the Judeo-Christian faiths and a big part of those celebrations is the food! Easter dinner for me growing up in Texas was almost an identical repeat of Thanksgiving. We would gather, eat turkey, ham, stuffing, green bean casserole and we would watch the Texas Longhorns play.

A few weeks ago I was looking to make a fun side dish to accompany an otherwise unremarkable dinner at home when I stumbled upon a recipe for a Veggie Tian (whatever that means). It was a mixture of veggies and potatoes baked with parmesan so I took a few ideas, created my own version and called it a roasted veggie gratin. Last week, I had the pleasure of joining my person at a Seder for the first night of Passover and I decided to bring this as a side dish.

As most great dishes do, this one began with garlic and onions.

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First I sautéed garlic and onions in some olive oil.

I greased a square baking dish and spread the garlic and onion mixture along the bottom of it.

Vegetable Tian, Veggie recipes, vegetarian recipes, tomatoes, zucchini, potato

Then I cut tomatoes, potatoes and zucchinis.

I cut the vegetables about a quarter of an inch thick and pre-heated the oven to 350 degrees.

Vegetable Tian, Veggie recipes, vegetarian recipes, tomatoes, zucchini, potato

Arrange in a spiral fashion and sprinkle with salt, pepper, etc.

The “etc” here can be whatever you’re into. I’m a cumin-cayenne kinda gal so I added those. I think the original recipe called for thyme and rosemary, so whatever taste you’re going for ought to do just fine. Bake for 35 minutes.

Vegetable Tian, Veggie recipes, vegetarian recipes, tomatoes, zucchini, potato

After 35 minutes add parmesan cheese and pop that baby back in!

Let it bake for another 25-35 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

https://leacraftspencer.com/2012/04/10/a-passover-seder/

Serve immediately and enjoy 🙂

I hope everyone had a wonderful Passover and Easter!!

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