Liza Wallis Margulies: Blog http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Liza Wallis Margulies snootydog.images@gmail.com (Liza Wallis Margulies) Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:42:00 GMT Mon, 25 Aug 2014 15:42:00 GMT http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u655532647-o971833289-50.jpg Liza Wallis Margulies: Blog http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog 93 120 CREAMY CRUNCHY CUCUMBER NOODLES http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/creamy-crunchy-cucumber-noodles * for those of you having trouble with the salt content, see my COOK'S NOTE at the end of this recipe

As I am typing this I’m crunching on a bowlful of this cucumber salad.  Honestly I always forget just how much I love this recipe.  It has that very rare combination of being both refreshing, AND comforting.  I have not come across too many dishes that satisfy both those requirements.

And by the way, I apologize for today’s photo.  I realize it’s pretty lackluster but the cats were all in foul moods and wouldn’t pose.  The dogs were sacked out on the sofa after their long hard day of chasing balls and sniffing through the woods.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 Long Hothouse cucumbers

1 smallish (2-3 inches in diameter) sweet onion (Vidalia or the like)

 

THE DRESSING:

1/3 cup sour cream or greek yogurt (I prefer the less tart sour cream in this recipe but both work well)

3-4 tbs mayonnaise or, if you are anti-mayonnaise you can use cream cheese or you could just put in more sour cream or yogurt

3 tbs rice vinegar (use less if you are using yogurt)

Generous amount of dill weed (2-3 tablespoons)

1-2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp salt (kosher or freshly ground sea salt is always nice)

1 tsp grated or prepared horseradish (leave this out if you don’t want a slightly spicy kick)

Pepper to taste.

 

PREPARATION:

Using the larger of the two noodle blades, run your hothouse cucumbers through the spiralizer.  Then switch to the smaller noodle blade and run your onion through the spiralizer. 

 

As I’ve said before, I like my cucumbers super crunchy so I try to get as much water out of them as possible before I add the dressing.  To achieve this, Combine onions and cucumbers in a bowl with lots of salt.  To get super crunchy cucumber s you want to take as much water out of them as you can and the salt helps with that….  Find a plate that will fit inside your bowl and put that on top and find a weight to put on the plate.  Refrigerate it like this for a couple of hours, and then drain off the excess water that will have accumulated at the bottom of your bowl.  Depending on your crunchy desires you can do this a couple more times or you can stop after the first water removal.  It’s your call.

There is also an item called a vegetable press that can do this job for you.  http://www.amazon.com/Kotobuki-491-040-Tsukemono-Pickle-Press/dp/B0060NQ3HU/ref=pd_sim_k_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QV7T0FSFYQ9DDF8AS2R

 

While your cucumbers and onions are draining, combine all your other ingredients.  Taste, and adjust salt, pepper, dill, garlic and horseradish levels to suit your tastebuds.  Don’t be afraid to experiment.

 

When your cukes crunch pleasingly and your dressing ingredients have melded nicely, combine them all together and let them sit in the refrigerator for a half hour or so.

 

Serve chilled or slightly cooler than room temperature.

 

By the way, I tried this dressing on zucchini noodles and it is different but is delicious in its own right.

 

*COOK'S NOTE: Some of you have written in to say that your cucumbers came out terribly salty and you were wondering if you should rinse them.  They actually should NOT be too salty so try adding less salt.... perhaps a tablespoon for each cucumber. Rinsing them would only put back in the water you have just painstakingly taken out. You can also try leaving out the salt in the dressing.  When I am done preparing this dish it tastes lightly salted.  To Give you some idea of the water content....  I pressed 5 of the long hothouse cucumbers with 2 vidalia onions and removing over a quart of liquid.  Most of the salt got washed out with the liquid.

HOPE THIS HELPS!

 

 

 

Happy Munching

 

 

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snootydog.images@gmail.com (Liza Wallis Margulies) crunchy cucumber spiralized http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/creamy-crunchy-cucumber-noodles Mon, 28 Apr 2014 01:24:37 GMT
ZESTY CRUNCHY CUCUMBER SALAD http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/zesty-crunchy-cucumber-salad vinager cuke saladvinager cuke salad

* for those of you having trouble with the salt content, see my COOK'S NOTE at the end of this recipe

 

For reasons unclear to me, Izzy has been particularly interested in my spiralized creations lately.  For those of you who don't think pets and food should mix, my blog recipes are probably not well suited for you.

Ingredients:

2 long hothouse cucumbers

1 small sweet onion

 

The Dressing:

1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

3 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs. of Mayo (optional)

1 tsp mustard

1 tbs. dill weed powder or fresh dill if you’ve got it

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Using the larger of the two noodle blades, run your hothouse cucumbers through the spiralizer.  Then switch to the smaller noodle blade and run your onion through the spiralizer.  Combine onions and cucumbers in a bowl with lots of salt.  To get super crunchy cucumber s you want to take as much water out of them as you can and the salt helps with that….  Find a plate that will fit inside your bowl and put that on top and find a weight to put on the plate.  Refrigerate it like this for a couple of hours, and then drain off the excess water that will have accumulated at the bottom of your bowl .  Depending on  your crunchy desire you can do this a couple more times or you can stop after the first water removal.  It’s your call.

There is also an item called a vegetable press can do this job for you.  http://www.amazon.com/Kotobuki-491-040-Tsukemono-Pickle-Press/dp/B0060NQ3HU/ref=pd_sim_k_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0QV7T0FSFYQ9DDF8AS2R

 

While your cucumbers are draining, mix together the ingredients for your dressing and refridgerate.  Rice vinegar is very important to use here so try not to substitute.  Some people like to add a little sugar to the dressing but I prefer mine purely sour without the sugar.

 

After your cucumbers have drained sufficiently for your taste, pour on the dressing and let stand at least a half hour before serving.  Well, you could actually eat it right away, but the flavors will meld a bit more if you let it stand.  Plus, I think impulse control is always a good thing.

 

You could also use the ribbon blade for this recipe, but I am a noodle girl all the way.  The ribbon blade is a bit more traditional though.

 

*COOK'S NOTE: Some of you have written in to say that your cucumbers came out terribly salty and you were wondering if you should rinse them.  They actually should NOT be too salty so try adding less salt.... perhaps a tablespoon for each cucumber. Rinsing them would only put back in the water you have just taken out. You can also try leaving out the salt in the dressing.  When I am done preparing this dish it tastes lightly salted.  To Give you some idea of the water content....  I pressed 5 of the long hothouse cucumbers with 2 vidalia onions and removing over a quart of liquid.  Most of the salt got washed out with the liquid.

HOPE THIS HELPS!

 

 

Munch Lively! 

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snootydog.images@gmail.com (Liza Wallis Margulies) lo carb spiralized tangy cucumber salad http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/zesty-crunchy-cucumber-salad Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:10:50 GMT
ZUCCHINI NOODLES with SUNDRIED TOMATO AND BASIL PESTO - NO COOKING! http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/you-wont-miss-the-pasta ZUCCHINI NOODLES with QUICK SUNDRIED TOMATO AND BASIL PESTO - NO COOKING! (DOESN'T IT LOOK LIKE PASTA?)

sundried tomato and basil pestosundried tomato and basil pesto

I do not like sundried tomatoes and yet I love this sauce.  As you can see, Izzy is looking to get a mouthful of this deliciousness. (she didn't, by the way).

The beauty of this dish is that there is no cooking.  I guarantee you wont miss the pasta.  In fact, I find the zucchini far preferable to pasta with this dish because it brings a sweetness and a brightness to a sauce that is otherwise dense and earthy.  By my taste buds’ standards, this sauce and the zucchini noodles are a perfect marriage.

THE SAUCE:

10 – 20 Sundried tomatoes

½ cup – 1 cup fresh basil leaves 

½ cup parmesan cheese (more, if you love cheese)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

20 capers (optional  – they add a note of saltiness)

1 – 2 cloves garlic

3  – 4 tablespoons pine nuts (you can substitute almonds or cashews if you like)

5 - 10 olives, either green, or calamata, your choice.

4 - 8 tablespoons heavy cream or milk or half and half or any other white milk–like liquid you desire (this is a new addition...  I made this without the cream or milk many times.  I just decided to try it.  If you don't want it, leave it out.  You'll love it either way - well, maybe you wont, actually.  Just because I love it doesn't mean you will).

½ a jalapeno pepper (optional – if you don't like spicy foods, leave this out.  The dish wont suffer in the slightest)

Pepper to taste

Water for thinning as needed

 

THE REST:

4 oz (or thereabout) Mozzarella cheese cut into 1/3 inch cubes. 

12 cherry tomatoes quartered

6 zucchini, spiralized with the thin noodle blade

 

 

Put all the ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini mozzarella and cherry tomatoes in the processing device of your choice (blender, ninja, food processor, vitamix, etc).  I usually put the sundried tomatoes, basil, and olive oil in first and blend until well mixed.  Then I add the parmesan cheese and blend some more.  Now’s about the time I add some of the cream (or milk) and add the garlic, capers, olives, jalapeno and I grind in some black pepper.  Blend until fairly smooth, but expect to still see the cheese and other ingredients in little bits. This Picture should help you with consistency:

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 You probably wont ever get this really perfectly smooth without adding tons more olive oil and I just don’t think you want to do that.  Granular smoothness is good enough.  This should be very very  thick.  I taste at this point and decide if I want more garlic or more saltiness (add more capers or olives if you want it saltier) or more jalapeno if I want more spice.  I might add a little water at a time just to get the sauce a bit more spreadable. 

 

When everything is as I like it, I either put it in a container to refrigerate or if we’re ready for dinner I put it on top of spiralized zucchini noodles and toss well. If my sauce is really thick I sometimes put on rubber gloves and massages it into the noodles. I top the platter of noodles with the quartered cherry tomatoes and the mozzarella cubes and toss again.

 

Happy Munching.

 

PS….  If you are wanting leftovers I suggest that instead of mixing everything together in a large bowl, you have everyone take their portion of zucchini and add the sauce individually.  Overnight the sauce soaked zucchini might get a bit too watery.

 

Note that my photo doesn’t show the cubed cheese or tomatoes….  At times I prefer the sauce alone without these chunks.

sundried and basil2sundried and basil2

 

 

 

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snootydog.images@gmail.com (Liza Wallis Margulies) spiralized zucchini noodles http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/you-wont-miss-the-pasta Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:49:40 GMT
KING OYSTER MUSHROOM FRIES http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/king-oyster-mushroom-fries  

king oyster mushroomsking oyster mushrooms

When you crave French Fried Potatos but you’ve given up carbs and starch, this is my go to recipe.
 
These mushrooms are not readily available in most of the places that I shop so I would imagine you might have to hunt them down as well.  They are worth the hunt, believe me.  They are not like other mushrooms.  You know how mushrooms are often described as “earthy?”  These don’t seem earthy to me at all.  They are very plain and almost a bit nutty.  It's their texture that I like.  They have a tendency to be a bit rubbery so if you’re not a rubbery food kind of person I would pass on these although I do at times slice them and grill them which makes them wonderfully crispy on the outside and less chewy on the inside.   I have heard some vegans slice them real thin and make fake bacon out of them.  They will crisp nicely.
 
Okay, I have to admit to being a little disappointed.  Well, actually, more than a little....  I had really hoped to be able to spiralize these mushrooms. At about the same size as a kirby cucumber, they certainly had good dimensions for spiralizing, but alas their consistency just would not cooperate with the spiralizer.  I even tried freezing them first to make them firmer but when I attempted to spiralize I ended up with little bits resembling rabbit food.  I was able to cook them, but there was no spirally joy.  So, for this recipe you can put the spiralizer back on the shelf and use a good old fashioned knife.
 
Here’s what I do....  I take about 20 of these (you can make more or you can make less but just remember, these are mushrooms so after cooking you will have about a quarter of the quantity you started with.... the water cooks right out)
I cut off the crown and slice it into 1/4 or 1/3 inch slivers.  Then I take the body of the mushroom and slice it the long way much the way you would a potato when making french fries.  The key difference is that the potato slices will stay pretty much the same size after cooking but the mushroom slices will shrink significantly.  So typically I slice my mushrooms into 1/4 to 1/3 in sticks, the full length of the body (usually 3 to 6 inches).  I leave the length as is.
 
Now you have a choice...  you can either put these in a baking dish and toss generous with your favorite oil (I use olive oil even though I know I should probably use vegetable oil) add a little bit of you favorite salt and grind on some black pepper. Put all this in a 425 oven. Depending on my mood, I might cook this for up to 2 hours.  Seriously.  The sticks get nice and crisp on the outside and still have some chewiness to them.  At about the first 30 minutes I check for liquid and drain as much as I can out of the pan.  Then I stir things up, add a bit more olive oil if needed and put back in the oven.  I check every half hour or so.  if more liquid accumulates I drain it again.  I taste at every checkpoint and remove them from the oven when I like the consistency.  Its just that simple.
 
Your other option is to put the olive oiled, salted and peppered mushrooms into a vegetable basket for the grill and cook over a nice flame for a while.  The beauty of this method is that you don’t have to keep draining the mushrooms because all their water will just drip out the bottom of the pan.  So, just keep tasting and stirring until you are satisfied.  An hour?  More?
 
With either of these methods just try not to let them burn to black unless you like a charred flavor (some people do)
 
Once small caveat.... I've found that some men do not like the consistency of these mushrooms.  I have my hunches about why but I can't be certain.
 
The king oyster mushroom also goes by the name king trumpet.
 
 
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snootydog.images@gmail.com (Liza Wallis Margulies) king oyster lo carb mushroom http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/king-oyster-mushroom-fries Sun, 13 Apr 2014 01:03:42 GMT
CURRIED KOHLRABI NOODLES http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/curried-kohlrabi-noodles curried kohlrabi_3020070curried kohlrabi_3020070OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kohlrabi, I meant to put one aside to photograph but unfortunately I used them all in this dish.  I'll try to get a photo of a whole one photographed soon, but in the meantime, you can google it.  I used a green one.  Rarely do I even find the purple ones around here.

Kohlrabi is versatile yet highly underrated little knob...  it has a hearty crunch, and can be as juicy as an apple (though not fruity sweet). It can be eaten raw or cooked, roasted, baked, boiled, broiled or fried and, and has a mild flavor that can be dressed up or down to complement your mood or your meal.

Though Kohlrabi isn’t technically a root vegetable, it functions much like one.  Its got a taste that seems to cross broccoli and cabbage with a hint of a low impact radish.  For the purposes of this recipe I will refer to the kohlrabi as “the bulb” and will tell you that I used 5 bulbs about 3 inches in diameter (about the size of somewhat flattened apple),  By the way, you can eat the leaves but in this recipe I didn’t include them.

Make sure you peel the outer darker skin of the kohlrabi and also the thin fibrous layer just below the skin (sometimes that fibrous layer isn’t really apparent.  You basically want to get down to the whitish core of the bulb… the skin is very thin and can be removed with a sharp knife.

Okay, those of you who know me know that I am a “little bit of this, little bit of that” kind of cook.  I will try to give you amounts but please please please don’t be afraid to experiment with adding a little more or a little less to suit YOUR tastebuds.  My recipes are just a loose guide.

Prep time: 15 minutes at most

Total time: 1hr 15 mins

 

INGREDIENTS:

5 kohlrabi bulbs about 3 inches in diameter.  Don’t drive yourself nutty here… if you get smaller ones that’s fine and if you get larger ones that’s fine as well.

1/3 cup plain greek style yogurt (or any plain yogurt that suits your tastebuds)

2 or 3 tablespoons olive oil (vegetable oil works just fine as well)

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon of your favorite salt (sea, kosher, iodized, etc)

Pepper to taste

1 or 2 limes

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425. 

Spiralize the Kohlrabi using the Paderno World Cuisine Spiral Slicer.  I chose the fine blade but feel free to use the larger one.  Again, this is about what YOU want.

In a small bowl mix all the ingredients except the lime until fully blended (you’ll still see the specks of the spices).  Once mixed, dump this mixture on top of your noodles which you have hopefully transferred to a baking dish by now.  Using your hands (I wear thin rubber gloves but only because I am a bit odd) fully coaT the kohlrabi noodles with the yogurt/spice mix making sure all the noodles get in on the action.  Once the noodles are well coated put them in your preheated oven.  Every 20 minutes or so check on the noodles and stir so they get evenly browned.

Remove from oven when you are satisfied with how they look… if you like crispier cook a little less, and if you like browner cook a little more.  I cooked the ones pictured here for about 70 minutes. They still have a little crispness but I also like the brown bits.

You can serve these hot or cold. I prefer cold. Provide limes for everyone to spritz over the noodles… the acid is a nice counter note to the spices on the noodles.

Embellish the noodles any way you’d like… add some chopped scallions or maybe even chopped peanuts.

Enjoy!

curried kohlrabi_3020088curried kohlrabi_3020088OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

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snootydog.images@gmail.com (Liza Wallis Margulies) kohlrabi spiralized vegetables http://snootydog.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/curried-kohlrabi-noodles Mon, 03 Mar 2014 02:08:32 GMT