Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Feeding the Masses, First Course February 11, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 12:55 am
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I had a birthday feast last weekend. I was hoping for pictures, but none have surfaced yet. I promise to post as soon as they are passed on to me.

I will post each course separately.

Roasted Squash Soup

6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable broth or chicken
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, toss diced squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour squash into a large baking dish and spread into an even layer. Roast squash until it starts to brown, turn oven to broil for a few minutes to brown further. Remove from oven and add wine, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen juices.

Transfer contents to a large pot, add stock and set to a low temperature. Use a hand blender to purée the contents, adding more stock if necessary. If you do not have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender in batches. Add nutmeg and ginger, raise heat to medium and let soup cook until just starting to boil. Reduce back to low and carefully add cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


Dream Meal January 12, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 1:52 pm
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This might sound odd, but I had a dream that I was on Master Chef (a show I am planning to audition for later this month), Jason Mraz and the owners of Cafe Gratitude were the guest judges and the task was to create a vegan meal.

I was really excited to cook for Mr. A-Z, even though I am not a big fan of the vegans… I don’t like people who limit their food enjoyment. So I made vegan tamales and chocomole for dessert. The dream was so detailed that when I woke I felt the need to start cooking. Here is the tamale recipe I dreamed up, forgive the funky photo – my camera died and I’m using my iphone.

Sweet Corn Tamales with Soyrizo & Cactus

(Tamales de Elote con Soyrizo y Nopales)


1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup canned cream corn
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt


1/2 package of Soyrizo
1/2 cup of nopales, chopped

Other filling options:

slices of soy pepperjack cheese
chopped mild chiles

Tomatillo Sauce

1/2 lb. fresh tomatillos, husked
1 jalapeño, split and seeded (pulled from nopalitos jar)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons vinegar (rice or white wine)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
2 teaspoon lime juice

In a medium bowl, mix filling and set aside. In another bowl, mix all dough ingredients together until the consistency of soft play dough. Spread a thin layer of dough on corn husks soaked overnight, leaving about an inch uncovered on the narrow part of the husk. Spoon some of the filling down the middle – careful not to overfill, fold the sides in and then fold the narrow bit down. Place tamales into a steamer basket and cook for about an hour or until firm.

While tamales are steaming, broil the tomatillos until the skin is lightly burned. Throw all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.


Black-Eyed Peas November 17, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 2:02 pm
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My humps, my humps… Oh wait, the other kind of black-eyed peas.

Last night I made b.e.p. with kale. A simple, healthy  and very tasty meal. I threw in some leftover steak, but this would also be very tasty with chicken. It stands up fine without meat, for the vegetarians out there not appalled by my excessive use of bacon.

Black-Eyed Peas and Kale

1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 bunch kale
1 cup dried black eyed peas
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoon vinegar
2-3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt

1/2 lbs boneless chicken breast or lean steak, cubed

Rinse beans and remove any funky looking beans or stones. Place in a bowl or pot and fill with water, about an inch above the beans. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and a couple bay leaves and let sit for 4 hours or more. The beans are ready when you can cut one in half easily with your fingernail.

Rinse and chop kale, removing the hard stems and set aside to drain.

Start beans cooking on a medium heat, once boiling reduce to low and simmer while cooking the kale.

Sautee onions in a large pan with olive oil until soft and transparent, add garlic and sautee for another few minutes.

If you are adding meat, toss this in now. Sauteing for another few minutes.

Add kale and toss carefully. You might need to add kale in batches to prevent spillage. Add sprinkle with cumin and paprika and cover pan with a lid for a few minutes. The kale will cook down and release liquid into the pan, add the rest of the kale (if necessary).

Drain some of the liquid from the beans, but not all, and add to the kale. Add vinegar, tomatoes and parsley and toss well.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve by itself or over rice.



Mangez comme le Français September 29, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:40 pm
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Since I haven’t posted enough recipes lately, I figured I’d post a fancy one for you today. Now it sounds fancy and you should sell it that way, but it’s not that hard to make.

The version I’m posting is vegetarian. But the original recipe has ground meat, feel free to add if you like.


Aubergine au Gratin

1 large eggplant
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes  or one large tomato chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon Herbs du Provence (or a mix of Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano, Sage and Basil – or what you have on hand)
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

Slice eggplant into cubes or 1/4″ rounds. Heat a large skillet and cover the bottom with olive oil, add eggplant slices once the oil is hot, if you do it before it will suck up all the oil. Cook for about 10 min on each side. Do not crowd the pan too much, do a few rounds at a time if necessary. Remove eggplant and set aside.

In the same pan, add a little more oil and the mirepox (onion, carrot and celery) and cook until onions are translucent. Add crushed tomatoes, white wine, garlic and herbs. Cook for another 10 min then add cream and stir until incorporated.

Place half of the eggplant pieces into a greased baking dish, then place half of the sauce on top, add second layer of eggplant and remainder of sauce. Cover with grated cheese and bake at 350 for about a 30 min or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.


Lunch July 28, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:12 pm
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Even though I love everything that goes into sandwiches, I’m not really a sandwich person. I like things that are a little less conventional. I also prefer to go with something light for lunch, unless I have the luxury of an afternoon nap.

Here are a couple of my favorite sandwich alternatives.

Salad Wrap

1 tortilla
handful of veggies
slice of cheese
protein of your choice
salad dressing

Throw everything into the tortilla and wrap it up, easy! This is a great way to eat something light but have it ‘feel’ a bit heavier. I imagine this would be a good kid meal as well.

Italian BLT

tomatoes (fresh and/or sundried)
fresh mozzarella
pesto mayo

I use thin slices of focaccia, usually cut one piece down the middle. Then pile on the pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes. Also adding a little oil and balsamic – basically making a caprese sandwich. Very nummy.

Unless I have pesto on hand, I make large batches a couple times a year and freeze it, I buy a small jar of premade pesto and mix in a little mayo. Not much, just a little to add a creamy tangy flavor. If the word mayo turns you off, then call it aioli.


long time no post April 28, 2008

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 9:13 pm
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wow, I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post!

I’ve been working from home and it’s caused me to keep odd hours and thus odd eating habits.

Today I made quite a tasty meal, it was super easy.

Portabello Shepard’s Pie

2 Portabello mushroom caps
1 cup leftover mashed potatoes (red potatoes, butter, milk, garlic salt and pepper)
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup peas
2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

layer the peas, cheese and potatoes in the mushrooms with potatoes on top. sprinkle
top with breadcrumbs and broil until the top is golden.

easy huh?


Thanks Mom! September 6, 2007

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 11:01 am
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There are a few things that my mom makes that is better than just about everything else in the world. One of which is her lentil curry. It’s served over brown rice, with a little yogurt and maybe some cilantro or parsley on top. It’s simple and easy but I never make it because Mom makes it best ☺

Here is the recipe, I expect a serving if you make something using my recipes.

Lentil Curry

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils – boiled with bay leaf in water
1/2 medium onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic chopped
oil to cover bottom of pan
1 tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin – optional
1/2 tsp ground cardamom – optional
1 can tomato paste

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil till onions are transparent and just starting to brown, stir in curry powder and add tomato paste,’burn’ the paste lightly. Pour in lentils with some of the water they were boiled in and let simmer over medium heat at least 20 minutes – longer is better – add more
water if necessary.

You can add more curry powder, salt and pepper or other spices to taste when you have it all together