The Big Green Reflection

Friday, January 11, 2008

What makes a good programmer?

I came across this blog post by way of Slashdot and like it. Very accurate.

How to recognise a good programmer

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

What to do with beet greens?

This! It's delicious. Not sure where Erin found it, perhaps Good Eats? It would also work with most any hardy green thing, like kale, swiss chard, mustard greens, etc. We just had some beet greens lying around.

1 pound beet greens
1 strip of thick cut bacon, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup of water
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/6 cup of cider vinegar

Wash the greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and wash a second time. Drain greens and remove any heavy stems. Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

In a 3 qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned. Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occassionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic. Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper. Continue cooking until mixture boils. Add greens, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes (up to 30 minutes for kale or collard greens). Stir in vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)

Serves 4.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Recipe: Braised kale with cherry tomatoes

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound kale, tough stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable stock or broth
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until lightly golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the kale and vegetable stock. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the kale is wilted and some of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and cook uncovered until the kale is tender, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Roasted Beets with Dill-Walnut Vinaigrette

We've made this several times now and really really like it. It comes from Pioneer Organics.

Roasted beets with dill-walnut vinaigrette

Serves 2-3. Prep time: 1 hour.

4 medium beets
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
1 medium shallot, minced or salad onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and ground black pepper
some blue cheese (see tweaks)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash your beets, trim the stems, wrap the beets individually in aluminum foil and place in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until a skewer inserted into a beet comes out easily, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Whisk the walnuts, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, shallot, dill and olive oil together in a bowl large enough to hold the beets. Remove the beets from the oven, open the foil and allow to cool. Peel off the skins and slice into quarter-inch thick slices. Place in the bowl with the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tweaks: we like to add crumbled blue cheese into this. It is REALLY fantastic.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Oven ribs

6 tablespoons mustard (yellow)
2 tablespoons ketchup
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 racks St. Louis-style spareribs , 2 1/2 to 3 pounds each, trimmed of surface fat, membrane removed (see illustrations below), each rack cut in half
1/4 cup Lapsang Souchong tea leaves (finely ground)—from about 10 tea bags, or 1/2 cup loose tea leaves ground to a powder in a spice grinder)
1/2 cup apple juice

Pomegranate Syrup or Molasses:
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice


1. For the Rub: Combine mustard, ketchup, and garlic in small bowl; combine pepper, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, salt, and sugar in separate small bowl. Spread mustard mixture in thin, even layer over both sides of ribs; coat both sides with spice mixture, then wrap ribs in plastic and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.

2. Transfer ribs from refrigerator to freezer for 45 minutes. Adjust one oven rack to lowest position and second rack to upper-middle position (at least 5 inches below broiler). Place baking stone on lower rack; heat oven to 500 degrees. Sprinkle ground tea evenly over bottom of rimmed baking sheet; set wire rack on sheet. Place ribs meat side up on rack and cover with heavy-duty foil, crimping edges tightly to seal. Roast ribs directly on stone for 30 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees, leaving oven door open for 1 minute to cool. While oven is open, carefully open one corner of foil and pour apple juice into bottom of baking sheet; reseal foil. Continue to roast until meat is very tender and begins to pull away from bones, about 1 1/2 hours. (Begin to check ribs after 1 hour; leave loosely covered with foil for remaining cooking time.)

3. Remove foil and carefully flip racks bone side up; place baking sheet on upper-middle oven rack. Turn on broiler; cook ribs until well browned and crispy in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. Flip ribs meat side up and cook until well browned and crispy, 5 to 7 minutes more. Cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into individual ribs. Serve with barbecue sauce, if desired.

-- From America's Test Kitchen