Jim’s Vegetables

 


You will NOT have to scrub the corn to remove the silk and you will have the BEST TASTING sweet corn ever because conventional boiling removes half of the flavor.  This is so simple and fast you’ll increase your corn consumption and then you will grow to be fat but you will be a happy fat person.

1.


Stick the ears of corn into your microwave. Allow 1-1/2  to 2 minutes on high per ear of corn.  Start the microwave.

2.

When the microwave stops cooking the corn, cut each ear at the bottom (thick) end just ABOVE  the rounded curve of the bottom.

3.

Hold the small top end of the husk in one hand and squeeze the cooked corn out of the end that you cut off.  (Notice that I had to make a lengthwise slice in the husk because this one didn’t want to slide off easily.)


There will be NO cornsilk and the flavor will amaze you.

      

( 1 Endive is sufficient vegetable side item for one person. 2 are twice as good. I got this from an Internet recipe and made just a few changes to it.)

The sauce that the endives create along with the other ingredients is a taste that gave me a very pleasant surprise -- almost the best sauce I've ever tasted.

3-4 Belgian endives (enough to fill your frying pan snugly when sliced in half lengthwise)

3-4 Tbs butter

1 cup chicken broth

2 Tbs (roughly) lemon juice

2  tsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

3/4 tsp.  Chicken Bouillon


Put the butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan and heat until butter is frothing. Slice the endives in half lengthwise and add them flat side down, to the pan, keeping the heat relatively high so that the butter browns (but does not burn) and the edges of the endive caramelize. After a few minutes, when you think you are in danger of burning the butter and/or the endives, turn down the heat to medium/low and pour in the chicken broth. Sprinkle the Sugar and Lemon juice and Chicken Bouillon over the endives and cover loosely. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender.  Obviously it depends on the size/thickness of your endives.


Quantities below would serve 2 people in "main dish" quantities


2 Fennel bulbs

3 medium size tomatoes (slightly un-ripe are most flavorful in this)

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

4  Large Cloves Garlic

12  Seedless Calamata Olives

1 /2  Lemon (or about 2 Tbsp)

2/3 Cup Dry White Wine

2/3 Cup Chicken Broth

1 tsp. Chicken Bouillon (powder or granules or 1 cube)

1 /2 tsp. Sugar

Dice the tomatoes.  Slice the garlic into thin slices. Slice the Calamata olives into thin slices.  Cut the fennel bulbs into bite size slices.


Put the Olive Oil into a heavy bottomed frying pan and heat until the oil is frothing. Add the fennel pieces.  Turn over the fennel pieces so that the olive oil browns (but does not burn) and the edges of the fennel caramelize. After a few minutes, when you think you are in danger of burning the oil and/or the fennels, temporarily remove the fennel pieces and reserve them. 


Put the diced tomato pieces into the hot oil. Try to get the edges of the pieces slightly brown -- the slightly browned tomato is more flavorful.


When the tomato pieces are slightly browned turn the heat down to low or simmer and add:

the reserved Fennel pieces, White Wine,  Chicken Broth, Sliced Garlic,  sliced Calamata Olives,  Lemon juice, Sugar, and the chicken bouillon.


Let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes until the fennels are tender and the juice is reduced and concentrated to your liking.  Stick a fork into the fennels to test for tenderness and when you like the result you're finished.



















If you will put the fennel and sauce mixture over a slice of good bread you’ll have the maximum enjoyment from this super recipe.

Braised Fennel and Tomato Provencal

(So far, this is our favorite braised vegetable dish.)




Clean and slice the carrots. I usually quarter the larger carrots along their length and then cut the pieces 4 inch long. I halve the smaller diameter carrots lengthwise and then cut them 4 inches long.

The flavor of this dish is almost unbelievable. Most of the flavor will come from the Tarragon Vinegar. This is white or red vinegar in which you have put dry tarragon. After the vinegar sits for a day or two it is ready to use.

 

  Sliced and quartered Carrots (enough to fill your frying pan snugly.


3-4 Tbs butter
(or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter margarine. This amount of butter/margarine is needed to cause the carmelizing of the carrots. You will NOT be eating all this butter -- it's just a cooking aid!)

  1 cup chicken broth  (If you are out of chicken broth you can cheat by using about three teaspoons of chicken bouillon powder dissolved in 1 cut of hot water.)

  4 Tbs. Tarragon Vinegar
(or use a little bit more.)

  2 Tbs (roughly) lemon juice
(a half lemon squeezed into the sauce will be about right.)

  1/ 2   tsp sugar

Put the butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan and heat until butter is frothing. Put the carrots into the pan, keeping the heat relatively high so that the butter browns (but does not burn) and the sides of the carrots caramelize. Turn over the carrots so that they get caramalized on two surfaces. The more you caramalize the carrots the more flavor you'll get. After a few minutes, when you think you are in danger of burning the butter and/or the carrots, turn down the heat to low and pour in the chicken broth. Pour in the Tarragon Vinegar. Sprinkle the sugar and lemon juice over the carrots and cover loosely. Simmer for 20 minutes or until tender or until the tenderness is what you want.

 

Cut up each vegetable, and using two frying pans that can be loosely covered, melt a tablespoon of butter in each pan. Turn the burners up to hot and toss each vegetable in its frying pan until you see some browning on the edges of the vegetables. (I hate the word “veggies” so you won’t see it here.)


Then add to each frying pan:

About 1 cup Chicken Broth,

A few squirts of either Tarragon, Thyme, Sage, or Rosemary vinegar,

Juice from 1 Lime,

1 Tsp. Dijon Mustard,

1/2 Tsp. Chicken Bouillon,

1/2 Tsp. Sugar.


Turn the heat to Medium, loosely cover each frying pan, and let the vegetables steam and boil until they are tender enough to cut easily with a fork. Turn the vegetables over every few minutes during cooking. 


I like to let the vegetables cook until the sauce gets reduced to the point that it has some “thickness”. If the sauce gets too thick you can easily extend it by just pouring in some more chicken stock while it is steaming.  Put the vegetables on a plate with the sauce over them. You won’t believe the flavors.

Jim’s Braised Celery, Braised Onion

The flavors will amaze you, and these recipes give you a great use for these herb flavored vinegars. I just put some clippings of the herb into a bottle and then add vinegar. Let them sit for a day or more. At left are Sage, Rosemary, Thyme, and Tarragon vinegars.

Here are Braised Celery and Braised Onion. They don’t look like much but the flavors are incredible.  To make this interesting, each vegetable was braised separately in a frying pan so that different vinegars could be used.



Boil potatoes in a little bit of water, covered.  When they are cool, peel and slice them 1/4 inch thick.


Chop some onions.

Use a big frying pan -- big as you can get, even if it's too large for the burner (in fact, that's better).

  

Cut up some bacon into little pieces and fry it only until it's soft, the saute the onions in the bacon grease, then push them to the side of the frying pan.


Fry the potatoes in small batches on the hot part of the frying pan and as they are frying sprinkle them with:

salt,

pepper,

oregano,

marjoram.

Turn them and brown the other side and sprinkle them again with the salt, etc.


Push the finished potatos to one side of the pan and do a new batch.  Repeat and each time push them to the pile in one side of the pan -- the cool side.


That's it.

Israeli Couscous

Israeli couscous is not what you’d think of as couscous because it is not semolina grains but is, instead, a “toasted pasta”.  It IS a pasta.  It is easy to prepare and you can flavor it in dozens of ways. Here’s my current favorite way to flavor and prepare it.

Here are some of the products I used: Cavender’s Greek Seasoning, or Jack Stack Steak Seasoning, Grated parmesan cheese, Wyler’s Beef Bouillon (the powder, not the cubes), and two brands of Israeli couscous.


  1. 1. The instructions on the couscous may tell you to simmer the little pasta balls for 10 minutes. I don’t think that’s even close to being enough time. I simmered them 20 minutes.


We had dinner at Hilary and Martin’s and Hilary served some baby carrots

that had been cooked in ginger ale. I loved them. Plus, I’m trying to lose weight and it struck me that these would be better for me to snack on than Danish Kringles. Here’s how Hilary said to prepare them:

“I really don't have a recipe for the carrots, but you put about a pound of baby carrots (all about the same size) in a pan of such a size that they are no more than about one inch deep.  Cover them with ginger ale. (I use diet).  Add at least one half teaspoon of cinnamon and little ground ginger if you like ginger a lot.  Cover, bring to a rolling boil, remove the cover and keep at a brisk boil.  Stir occasionally, and by the time the liquid has boiled away, the carrots should be done. That's it!

When they had finished cooking I put them in a jar in the refrigerator and then I go in and snack on the cold carrots.

Red Beans and Andouille Sausage

Ingredients:

6 oz. Andouille Sausage

2 Cans prepared Red Beans

1 Shallot, chopped up

2 Pods Garlic, chopped up

Zatarine’s Creole Seasoning

1 tsp oil

Slice and chop up andouille sausage.  In a  saucepan, cook until fat is released and sausage is slightly golden in spots, 10 to 12 minutes. When done, using a slotted spoon, transfer andouille to a plate.

Add chopped up shallot and garlic to pan; cook until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. If needed, add a bit of oil.

Add beans and andouille and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer, partially cover, and cook until flavors are well mixed. Shake in a bit of Creole seasoning to taste.

Acorn Squash in the Microwave

I love acorn squash but when I get them at the grocery store I have to get one that has the cooking instructions because as easy as these are to cook I still forget how. Here’s how:

Cook Whole. Pierce it in several places with sharp knife. Cook on high in microwave 8 minutes per pound. Let it stand 5 minutes then cut in half and scoop out seeds. Fill halves with butter, brown sugar, some salt and pepper to taste.

Artichoke Hearts in Lemon Sauce

1 Cup Artichoke Hearts in Oil

   (from Costco see picture. Also

     put the oil into the pan.)

2  Lemons, squeezed for juice

1/2 tsp. Chicken Bouillon

1/4 tsp. Anchovy Paste

1/2 tsp. Corn Starch

   (mix this with cold water

     before adding to the pan)

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce


Cook gently in a saucepan until sauce thickens. Serve.

Hilary’s Carrots in Ginger Ale

Cook sweet corn in your microwave.

Jim’s Braised Belgian Endives

Braised Tarragon Carrots

Hannelore Engel's Bratkartoffel(Fried

        Potatoes)

  1. 2. The instructions told me to get 1-1/2 cups of water simmering and then to put 1 cup of dry couscous into the water and simmer for ten minutes. THIS IS WRONG. I used 1-1/2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of dry couscous and simmered for 20 minutes.  This gave me what I consider to be two servings of couscous as side dishes.  COVER THE POT while simmering.


  1. 3. When the simmering is complete and the couscous is soft enough for your taste stir in:

     1 level teaspoon (not more -- it’s very salty) Wyler’s Beef Bouillon,

     1/4 teaspoon ( to your taste -- test it) of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

     or any seasoning you like.  Mix and serve with a small sprinkling of

     Parmesan cheese on it.


NOW ---  Figure out dozens of other things that you can mix into Israeli couscous:  Italian salad dressing and served cold, nuts and fruits and raspberry salad dressing, spaghetti sauces and served hot, pesto, ANYTHING!