Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ingredient Inundation

I was feeling antsy last week, so on the spur of the moment I headed to Boston where times were good and friends were great. The weekend theme seemed to be excess--not of food or booze, though there was some of both (a 2am Shaws run is not the time to exercise restraint). Everywhere I turned there seemed to be a friend working on some bizarre project that left them with too much of a single ingredient on their hands. So welcome to This Week In My Culinary Closet: Ingredient Inundation Edition.

Broccoli Bounty:
I met my kale-loving former college roommate L. at Appleton Bakery (Bostonians, try their unbelievable Rome sandwich, which was my go-to pick-me-up when I worked nearby.) L. is ambitiously making the paper for her wedding invitations out of broccoli stalks, leaving her with 100 invitations worth of broccoli florets. Yikes.
Salad: I've made this Broccoli Crunch Slaw many times before, using all sorts of nuts (cashews, walnuts) and all sorts of dried fruit (yellow raisins, apricots). I like that this recipe uses yogurt. I usually add some diced red onion.
Soup: L. started eating cheese and was looking for a broccoli cheddar soup recipe that didn't have loads of "processed cheese product" as the main ingredient.
Appetizer: Purees and dips are always a great way to use up excess or unwanted ingredients. This Broccoli Chickpea Puree looks great. I'll be posting an herb-spiked dip that I whipped up last week out of some lima beans I accidentally overcooked.

Citrus Cornucopia:
Saturday night some friends threw a "Miracle Fruit" party, where we popped a berry extract that rewires your tongue to taste sour food as sweet. (It's not as shady as it sounds: The Times printed an article about it, so it must be OK!) Our generous hosts laid out a smorgasbord sour: goat cheese, tomatoes, pickles, Guinness, and piles of citrus fruit. Folks picked at the spread after the miracle fruit wore off, but at the end of the night there was still a huge bowl of citrus and many cartons of juice.
Salad: Spicy Orange Salad, Moroccan Style: The revamped version looks great too, but I've made and loved the original 80s recipe. I skip the olives and add 1/2 red onion, slivered.
Dessert/Breakfast: Broiled Grapefruit With Honey, Vanilla & Cardamom looks amazing. A simpler version uses just brown sugar and ginger.
Cocktail: This Classic Spanish Sangria Recipe is my default party recipe (I use just 1/4 cup of sugar, adding more after if needed).

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