Friday, October 1, 2010

Cooking In My New Home!

Leah here, LA's newest official resident. LA has been treating me very well so far, except for that one pesky day where it was the hottest day ever recorded in Los Angeles. Since I've been here, I've been cooking for myself a lot. It's a nice relaxing thing to do at the end of the day, and it keeps me occupied. Now, I am just cooking for me so there a lot of recipe adjustment and a lot of left overs but I think it is rewarding to cook for yourself. I hit the web with Real Simple and Epicurious to find some recipes to try out.
My first dish was Creamy Fettuccine with Corn and Arugula from
I used more of a papardelle style pasta from Trader Joe's (it's actually in my building!)
The recipe was very easy, with just a bit of chopping and sauteing and turned out awesome! It was just as delicious the next night too. Link

While browsing Real Simple, all I wanted to make were all of these delicious pasta recipes. Plus an occasional rice, grain or bread. I am an admitted carb lover. So I figured I had to try at least a little bit of meat. I decided on Tuscan Lamb with Tomatoes and Polenta. It uses these cute little lamb loins that I easily found at whole foods. The meat starts out on the stove, and then is transfered to the oven to finish cooking. Instant polenta could not be easier to make. You essentially dump it in hot water, stir for about 30 seconds and it's done. It is nowhere near as good as the real thing, but the real thing takes like an hour to make. Overall, I'd say the dish was good not great. I definitely need to work on my meat cooking skills. Link

So now that I felt more adjusted to my new kitchen, I decided it was time for a real challenge: Falafel.
Falafel is one of my favorite foods. My best friend L and I got falafel sandwiches every wednesday for an entire year in high school. My personal favorite accompaniment to falafel is tzatziki sauce. A yogurt and cucumber sauce. I made this the night before, not crucial, but several recipes said it benefitted from time in the fridge and you have to let the yogurt drain to thicken it up. The falafel itself was very easy to make, just toss a bunch of stuff in the food processor and bam. The raw material was actually quite delicious but then came the tricky part. The frying. I heated the oil to the correct temperature and added the raw falafels. They cooked quite easily however I don't think I left them in long enough. Falafel is very very dark brown and I could have let mine cook for much longer and they would have been crispier. Then it was time to assemble my dinner. Store bought pita bread, a generous amount of my homemade tzatiki and 2 cripy falafel balls. It was so so yummy. Like I said, it could have been crisper, but for my first effort, I was duly impressed with myself.
Falafel Link
Tzatziki Link

Happy Eating!

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