Tuesday, February 17, 2015

What to Cook During a Southern Ice Storm

Like true Memphians, we went to the grocery store for a big shop on Sunday ahead of the ice storm. People who didn't grow up here can laugh all they want at how much we all prepare. Following this tradition has paid off since we're still stuck inside the house for the time being, and for once, we have actually had electricity the whole time. This never happens! (Making do has inspired many desperate recipes in the past.)

Maybe we're still very scarred from the 1994 ice storm in Memphis, when everyone was on standstill without power for up to two weeks. Trees and power lines, making the most unnatural sounds as they fell, toppled due to the weight of ice. It was a pretty trying time; it's a blessing it didn't happen again this round.

So earlier this week at the store, we went through the aisles thinking of possibilities along with stocking up on necessities since cooking sure does pass the time nicely after you've gotten work done, organized all drawers, read everything, and cleaned the house. So y'all in the same situation, stay safe and warm and let us know what you're going to make with your own provisions! Here's what has been going on so far in our kitchen, along with what might happen next:

Amazing Almond Fluor Biscuits (Gluten Free)

Cajun Boiled Peanuts in the Slow Cooker

Squash and Sage Lasagna / Summer Herb Lasagna

Peanut Butter + Banana Smoothie

Vegetarian Pot Pie

Meaty Portobello Chili

Triple Tomato Soup

Banana Pudding

Apple-Ginger Crisp

& of course, since we pretty much make them every week or so, Katie's Black Bean Brownies

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Happy (belated) Valentine's! We worked on this article together last week and were really looking forward to one of our favorite days of the year. Making sushi as tradition calls for, going all around Mississippi (two highlights: here and, of course/always, here), and finding lots of records made for a great weekend. Hope you had a beautiful time with the one you love!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Grilled Cauliflower with Fresno Chili & Chimmichurri

I was lucky enough to be in the kitchen on assignment for The Local Palate when this recipe was being conceptualized and created by Chef Kelly English of Restaurant Iris and The Second Line. You see, as a food photographer who also happens to be a vegetarian, I don't get to eat much of what I shoot. I pick and taste when I can, but for Chef English's article about eating only vegetables for a month, I got to pig out!

Not only did he make this smoky, grilled cauliflower, but also charred okra with yogurt, and quinoa tartare with chanterelles. I was in vegetarian-food-photographer heaven. These dishes have made it into the rotation at our house, but the bright chimmichurri  in the following recipe gets spooned onto everything: salads, grilled avocados, and roasted winter squash. 

You can find the balance of these recipes in The Local Palate's recipe archive, which even sports a vegetarian and vegan button in order to sort out recipes you might want to try for Meatless Monday or whenever you're feeling like you need something green on your plate. 

Grilled Cauliflower with Fresno Chili & Chimmichurri

¼ cup thinly sliced cilantro leaves
¼ cup thinly sliced parsley leaves
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
Juice of one lime
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
½ cup + 4 tablespoons olive oil 
1 teaspoon cumin
1 head cauliflower, cut into four slices
2 Fresno chilies, roasted and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chili paste
Salt and black pepper 

To make chimmichurri, in a mixing bowl, mix together cilantro, parsley, green onion, lime juice, vinegar, ½ cup olive oil, and cumin. Season mixture with salt and pepper.

Heat your outdoor grill or cast-iron grill pan to high. Coat cauliflower with remaining 4 tablespoons oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until tender (about 4 minutes per side).

To serve, arrange cauliflower on a serving platter. Sprinkle with Fresno slices and top with the chimmichurri. Serve with chili paste on the side. (Serves 2.)