How to Peel Pomegranate Redux

A while back I posted “How to Peel Pomegranate” complete with pictures and detailed information on how I peel my fruits. You can see that post HERE.

Though pomegranate season is nearing the end, I thought I would share this new video that I saw. This gentleman explains and demonstrates how to extra pomegranate seeds efficiently with a knife and wooden spoon. I have yet to try this technique, but from what I see, it looks like an efficient alternative to sitting and gently peeling the fruit. He gives great explanation, so you can watch the demo below.

In case you can’t watch the video… the basics:

  1. Score the pomegranate around the entire circumference of the fruit… the equator. Equidistant from the flowering end and other end
  2. With your fingers, gently “stretch” the edges of the fruit to dislodge some of the seeds.
  3. Over a bowl, flip the pomegranate into your palm (cut side on your hand) and spank the skin of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon until all of the seeds have been dislodged
  4. Remove the larger chunks of pith from the bowl
  5. DONE!

Crispy Quinoa Cakes (burger substitute)

The other day I was trying to convince myself that I did NOT need to eat my 3rd burger of the week… I was losing this self-argument, but in a lightbulb of genius I decided to make quinoa patties. I had been thinking about quinoa and black bean vegetarian patties for a few days, so I thought it only natural to use what I had in the house already. I pulled inspiration for these “cakes” or “patties” from here and here. Have you read Yummy Supper before? Excellent pictures, excellent inspiration, and the name is so adorable!! The other blog is a new find, and I’m excited to read more from it!

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Crispy Quinoa Cakes (Inspired from Yummy Supper and EYS)

  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small bunch of parsley
  • 1 cup of cooked brussel sprouts
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used some random raspberry beer cheddar I had languishing in the fridge, but I imagine anything would be good in this! I’m going to try feta next time)
  • 3 eggs whisked
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of flour (optional)
  • 1 cup of olive oil (maybe a little less)
  1. Wash the quinoa and drain well (I find that unless you give the grains a good scrub you end up with a little sandiness so I’m sure to wash them really well and drain in a mesh sieve). 
  2. In a saucepan, bring the quinoa to a boil in 2 cups of water. Once the water boils, lower to a simmer and put a lid on it (bahaha… put a lid on it). And let it cook until fluffy (about 20 minutes).
  3. While your quinoa is cooking, get started on the vegetables.
  4. Dice the celery and onion. Put into a large mixing bowl.
  5. Slice the brussel sprouts. I used pre-roasted brussel sprouts, but you could use frozen ones or whatever other green vegetable you have on hand. Add to the mixing bowl.
  6. Chiffonade the parsley and add to the bowl
  7. Grate the carrots, using the large holes on your grater, into the mixing bowl with the other vegetables.
  8. Once your quinoa is done, add to the bowl and stir until evenly incorporated.
  9. Add in the whisked eggs, shredded cheese, and salt/pepper.
  10. Shape the mixture into patties. I used about 1/3 cup of the mixture for each cake (this makes about 16 cakes)
  11. (OPTIONAL: You can dust the patties lightly in flour before frying them, it helps a little with cohesiveness, but I fried with and without flour… so it’s really up to you.)
  12. In a frying pan (I used a non-stick one), heat the olive oil until a little bit of batter sizzles.
  13. Taste the little sample batter and adjust your seasonings accordingly.
  14. Fry the cakes in small batches, allowing them to brown before flipping them. I cooked mine for about 4 minutes on each side.
  15. I let them drain on a cookie cooling rack.

I ate my quinoa cakes with seared scallops and packed the rest of the cakes in a large container with pieces of parchment paper in between layers. To reheat, I simply put them in a frying pan and reheated for a few minutes with a teaspoon of olive oil. These keep well in the fridge for up to a week, but I doubt they will last that long.

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Let me know if you have any other questions! I think my recipe might be a little garbled, but I made these in a frantic and starved state (and I’m writing it in the middle of the night)!!

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Hazelnut Almond Scones with Chunky Chocolate and Cherries

What a mouthful…. both literally and figuratively. Let me tell you… these scones? Amazing. Totally and utterly drool worthy… these are the scones that you drive an extra 15 miles to a different grocery store to get the right ingredients for. These are the scones that you get heart palpitations when you see someone else reaching for the last one that you wanted to add to your tummy (in addition to the 2 others you stored in there).

Forget the whole wheat thing… these are made of nuts. Nuts!!! This will change your life forever. I mentioned the recipe by Nom Nom Paleo, but being the nudge that I am, I had to tweak it. I couldn’t help it. Anyway – here is my recipe, just adapted a bit.

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Hazelnut Almond Scones with Chunky Chocolate and Cherries, a mouthful in every way (Adapted from Nom Nom Paleo)

  • 2 cups of finely ground almond flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 cup of finely ground hazelnut mean (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons of cold butter
  • 2 large eggs (Did I ever tell you guys about the difference in egg size?)
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 teaspoon of bourbon vanilla
  • 2 – 3 ounces of good quality dark chocolate, smashed (because baking is all about stress relief)
  • 1/4 cup of dried cherries (I chopped mine in half)
  1. Preheat your oven to 335F (I know. It’s a weird number, but I promise it works)
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and a pinch of salt (I didn’t use any because I used a salted chocolate and salted butter, but this is totally your call).
  3. In the dry ingredient bowl, grate the butter (using the chubby grater holes) into the dry mixture. I like to dip my butter into the flours and grate so that the grated butter doesn’t stick. You can also freeze the butter, but I normally just dip and grate.
  4. Once the butter has been grated, crumble the dry ingredients with the butter. Make sure you have some chunky bits. Think the pea-sized bits you want when you make good fluffy biscuits.
  5. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the eggs, vinegar, honey, and vanilla.
  6. Make a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients.
  7. Combine gently. Your mixture should be cohesive, but very wet.
  8. Gently add the chocolate and cherries. (As I mentioned above, I smashed my chocolate bar. I also used closer to 2.5 ounces because I ate some before I added it to the bowl)
  9. Portion out the dough into even balls and shape on a parchment lined sheet.I managed to make seven large scones, but you can just as easily make daintier ones.
  10. Bake at 335F for 12 minutes before raising the temperature to 350 and rotating the pan. Bake at 350 for another 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Gobble them up!!!

Notes:

  • You will notice that the original recipe used baking soda, but I chose to use baking powder because the smell of the baking soda was unnerving to me. Baking soda and powder are basically the same, except baking powder has cream of tartar in it. For whatever chemical reason, baking powder does not have the same smell. I’m weird about smells… so this made a huge difference. Keep in mind, because baking powder does contain less baking soda (leavening agent), the dramatic rise and pouf of my scones is much less dramatic. However, barring your strange obsession with smell, feel free to use baking soda for the dramatic lift and the pillowier texture.
  • In the same vein, these scones are not light and fluffy… instead they are moist, a little heavier, and deliciously flavored.
  • I used a cup of hazelnut flour because I saw it at the store and I figured… why the hell not. It definitely adds a certain nutty flavor and luxuriousness to these scones, but you can also just use almond flour. Also… something important to note? Hazelnut flour smells TERRIBLE, but it bakes perfectly and it loses that strange smell. They turn into beautifully nutty scones.
  • I did try this recipe with 100% hazelnut flour and NO almond flour… they do not turn out the same because hazelnut flour is a great deal chunkier than almond flour. The resulting “scone” was more of a pile of semi-stuck together ground up hazelnuts. While it was delicious, they were not scone-like in nature.
  • I am pretty convinced the reason these scones are just so glorious is the quality of ingredients that are used. Most of the ingredients are on the pricier side, but well worth it. I think when you use truly good quality and well sourced ingredients, everything is bound to taste delicious. I’m not really sure why this comment is included, but it popped into my head so I’m leaving it.

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Burnt is Better

Remember a while back I mentioned stuff on how to roast vegetables MY way? Well, I wanted to revisit how to roast vegetables because it is SO easy and really an amazing way to get tons of vegetables into your diet. Winter vegetables can get old REALLY fast. I mean… how much kale and squash can you possible consume before you lose it and resort to stuffing your face with chocolate and cheeseburgers (maybe not together though…).

Anyway… I like my vegetables to get this unbelievably golden (almost burnt) salty crust on them before gobbling them up with some protein (sausage, egg, steak… anything).  My favorites these days have been cabbage, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, and sweet potato. You can really roast any type of vegetable like this… acorn squash, butternut squash, radishes, beets… anything.

My oven and I have come to the understanding that 400 F is the right temperature because it is low enough to get the vegetables soft and chewy, but hot enough to get the edges crispy. I use a good helping of good olive oil (between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil for every sheet of vegetables). Good salt. And about 60 minutes to 120 minutes depending on how chunky your vegetables are and how “burnt” you like them. I make plenty of roasted vegetables at a time and store them for up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. It’s an excellent way to prepare for healthy meals for the entire week.

Obviously… just salt and oil can get a little boring, so there are some add ins to toss with the salt and oil:

  1. Herbs de Provence (oregano, lavender, and some other yummies)
  2. Chopped garlic and parsley thrown in for the last ten minutes of the roast
  3. Chunky slices of onions with root vegetables
  4. Honey glazed – add a few tablespoons of good honey with the salt and honey, and toss to coat the vegetables before roasting
  5. A generous sprinkle of black pepper and pink peppercorns for a zingy punch
  6. Cayenne and red pepper flakes for spicy vegetables

Here are some pictures of the vegetables I’ve roasted recently.

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What about you guys? How do you like your vegetables? Crispy crispy? Or less?

Potato Chip Pancake

Since I’ve gotten my little mandoline (which I just noticed my computer autocorrected to mandolin in my last post… fear not, I’ve not been cutting my vegetables with a stringed instrument!) I’ve been on a bit of a vegetable slicing kick. It’s just so much fun! Thin little slices! Even slices!

Anyway, last night in a fit of procrastination, I sliced a couple potatoes and onions on my mandoline and made this crunchy potato slice pancake. It resembles potato chips just melted together. It’s delicious!

Potato Chip Pancake (a Kaprise Kitchen procastination special)

  • 1 or 2 medium potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon of good butter
  • salt/pepper
  1. Slice the potatoes and onion thinly
  2. In a small pan (non-stick is always helpful), melt butter
  3. Arrange potatoes in overlapping circles from outside in
  4. The first layer should be all potato, with the second and third layers interspersed with onion slices.
  5. Cook at medium heat until the potato slices have begun to adhere to each other. I shake the pan every so often to make sure the slices don’t stick. The steam from cooking the potatoes should release the starch and act like a glue between the slices and onion.
  6. Once the bottom has browned, gently flip the pancake in one fluid motion. If your pan is larger, use two spatulas to make sure you don’t lose any pieces.
  7. Cook until browned on the other side. Add more butter as necessary.

Sprinkle cheese and serve immediately.

 

 

 

Easy Peasy Zucchini and Feta Squares

This is a tart of sorts… it’s a pie? I don’t know what I should call it, but I needed something to help me procrastinate my little heart out. I’m having the worst time focusing on finals this year. I’m good at waking up, but the only thing getting me out of bed is dehydration this semester. This is the first semester I have been single since starting law school, so I have been getting more work done (no pesky boys clamoring for my time), but I’ve also been distracted. I’m thinking about running and getting back into top running form. I’m thinking about where to jet off too… I just want to be on the move.

This morning, my neighbor invited me to run with her running group. I went along and it was phenomenal. I ran 10 miles with the group, paced at about 9:30/mile. It was wonderful. I was back in my apartment by 9:00am. But, the only thing I have been having problems with is splitting headaches after my long runs. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem… but about an hour after finishing a longer (more than 7 miles) run, I’m sitting with my head in my hands with a horrible headache. So instead of hitting the library as planned, I was zoinked out on my bed sleeping off my headache. Maybe it’s the water. Or maybe, like my neighbor suggested, it’s because I run without water and without any nutrition. I just go. Hmm.

This tart is super easy. Five ingredients, thirty minutes, and delicious. You can use any variation of vegetables. I imagine it’s delicious with some squash, maybe thin eggplant slices? Or even tomatoes. Or potatoes… the possibilities are endless.

Easy Peasy Zucchini and Feta Squares (the result of Kaprise Kitchen procrastination)

  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced. If you have a mandoline (I do not) this would be supremely easy
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 8-10 sheets of phyllo dough (I used 8 out of a package, but feel free to use whatever thickness or variation)
  • 4 oz of feta cheese, crumbled finely
  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  1. Place the phyllo dough on a cookie sheet, brushing the bottom of the first sheet with butter, and brushing alternating layers lightly with butter.
  2. Spread crumbled feta cheese once inch from the sides of the phyllo dough.
  3. Arrange the zucchini and onion slices on top of the feta cheese
  4. Fold the sides of the dough up to cover a little bit of the zucchini and onion.
  5. Brush with butter
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown

Bibbity Bobbity Boo!

Tada! I’m back. I promise. I’m not sure what I’ve been doing that would excuse my 10 day hiatus, but I do have a delicious quick recipe for you.

I was making lemon tart a while back, and as I removed the crust from the oven to pour the lemony curd into the shell I dropped it. The little pieces of crust scattered everywhere! But I snagged a little piece from the pan and thoughtfully chewed on it while I swept up the other crumbs. I’m a sucker for pie crust. I was notorious for picking the crust off the pumpkin pie during Thanksgiving as a kid, so I guess not much has changed. I swapped out some white flour for whole wheat, sprinkled sea salt over the tops, and mixed turbindo sugar in for a delightful little crunch. The flavor is mild and the sweet/salt melting on your tongue is just my favorite. The cookies can be difficult to roll out, so I roll them out on plastic wrap and pop the little cookies up and onto my baking sheet.

Whole Wheat Shortbread, for pie crust lovers like Kaprise!

  • 1/2 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat  flour
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (I used a mixture of granulated and turbindo sugar)
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of flaky salt
  1. In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter until completely melted. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt into the melted butter. Knead for a minute or two until the ingredients come together.
  3. At this point, you may chill the dough for 30 minutes to allow the dough to firm up a little. This makes it easier to roll out and cut.
  4. But, I’m not patient enough to wait for the dough to firm, so I spread parchment paper or plastic wrap on my counter and use my little 1/2 inch fluted circle cookie cutter and punch out my cookies. Then I just lift the paper/wrap and pop the cookies onto a baking sheet
  5. Bake cookies at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown