Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Cooking and eating

I've been getting back in the swing of cooking around here again but not back in the swing of blogging about it. During my recent silent period I did a bunch of work in the back yard of the house, including finally putting in those raised beds that I've been talking about installing in the side yard for years now. I've got tomatoes, peppers, winter squash, basil (sweet and Thai), and several other herbs, doing really well. The strawberries are unhappy, the onions were looking pretty sad even before I got them in the ground. Jury is still out on the beans and peas. I'm still hoping to see some sunflowers and wildflowers from the seeds I spread.

The other night I cooked up a couple of halibut cheeks wrapped in prosciutto (inspired by Cook Local's Prosciutto wrapped halibut with asparagus sauce and then grilled, along with scallops with basil (from the garden!) also wrapped in prosciutto that came out pretty well. I've been keeping a steady stream of asparagus in the house from the farmer's market and just loving it. The farmer's market has been a great source of inspiration lately, full of strawberries, rhubarb, great bunches of mint, spring onions, amazing tomatoes, Columbia City Bakery's baked goods, and lovely rarities like kohlrabi and sunchokes. I also baked Blondie and Brownie's fabulous raspberry-rhubarb pie though I used about half as much of the chai-oatmeal crumble topping as called for and might cut it back even further in the future, I've been on the Cooking Light minimalist-style of pie baking for too long, I guess.

Speaking of Cooking Light, it remains my go to for excellent, good-for-you recipes but I have been branching out a bit. After many years of almost but not quite getting a grill, I finally have one and the weather's been cooperating so I've been going through Steven Raichlen's books for recipes and techniques, or doing a little more experimenting via new-to-me food blogs. I also have a bit of a food crush going on for Eating Well magazine right now. Picked it up on a whim and was pleased to note their nutrition and health advisory board includes people like Marion Nestle (author of Food Politics and Safe Food) and Brian Wansink (currently the Executive Director at the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and author of Mindless Eating). The rest of their advisory board members are similarly prominent nutrition scientists, professors, and researchers but Nestle and Wansink jumped out at me in particular because I just finished reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food which quotes both Nestle and Wansink; I read Wansink's book last year myself.

Anyway, I'm interested in the sorts of things that are appearing in Eating Well at the moment and it's a fresh take on food and nutrition that I really appreciate. My current favorite recipe is their Huevos Rancheros Verdes, which I've been making for a couple of weeks now. Dead easy and everyone in the family likes it! I'll post it below. Give it a try, if you like it you might like the rest of Eating Well Magazine, too.

Heuvos Rancheros Verdes
Eating Well Magazine May/June 2009

1 1/2 cups very thinly sliced romaine lettuce
1 scallion, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 teaspoons canola oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup salsa verde
8 6-inch corn tortillas
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine lettuce, scallion, cilantro, 1 tsp. oil, lime juice, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Set aside. Combine beans and salsa in another bowl.

Coat both sides of each tortilla with cooking spray. Place tortillas on a large backing sheet in four sets of overlapping pairs. Each pair should overlap by about 3 inches. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the bean mixture over each pair of tortillas and sprinkle with 3 tbsp. cheese each. Bake until the beans are hot and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack each egg into a small bowl and slip them one at a time into the pan, taking care not to break the yolks. Season the eggs with remaining 1/8 tsp. salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook undisturbed 5 to 7 minutes for soft-set yolks. For hard-set yolks, cover the pan after 5 minutes and continue cooking until yolks are cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes more.

To assemble, place an egg on top of each pair of tortillas and top with a generous 1/4 cup of the lettuce mixture.

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