Presenting The Faux Gourmet!

The Faux Gourmet has been on hiatus for a while. I began this blog as a creative outlet during law school. After law school, I started other blogs on other topics and no longer needed this as a creative outlet, not to mention my diminishing free time.

But I kept cooking, kept taking food pictures and garden pictures, kept wanting to share the little tidbits of what I'd made. I occasionally did this on my personal blog (to which, I'm sure, people yawned and wondered when I'd post another cat picture). But I started to miss this space. Of all the blogs I have, this format, culled over several dedicated years and incorporating that adorable illustration by Sam Wedelich (see info the left) is by far my favorite.

So I'm back!

Expect short and sweet posts. Less food porn, more recipes and tips. If you want food porn you can look at any of the 5000 million existing food blogs. I don't have good lighting in my apartment and don't have time to style plates. I just want to make something yummy and eat it. If that sounds ok with you, stick around.

Looking forward to being back in touch!


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    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    We Got the Beet!

    I'm still without a good digital is getting rather frustrating to be unable to photograph anything I cook & has dulled my appetite for writing. I'm trying...and I really need to stop prefacing my blog posts with this. But the good photo below is way better than my photo below. Sigh...

    Tossing in a magic ingredient
    makes winter veggies pretty in pink

    Photo from Pinch My Salt Food Blog

    Taste & See: You don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to beat the riddle- between the limited number of pink plants out there and the title of this post, most of you are probably on to the magical powers of the beet. Beat away your preconceptions regarding this underappreciated little globule, often relegated to canned purple gelatinous Thanksgiving side-dishes. A beet can be so much more!

    Bet you didn't know sugar beets are used in making table sugar, did you? Or that beets were grown in ancient Babylon & ancient China? Who's late to the game now? Thousands of years of agriculture can't be wrong! Of course beets did lose their popularity with the advent of spinach. Whatever happened to make new friends but keep thee old? I say, time to bring that beet back. Even if the President isn't a fan.

    If you're anything like me (lazy & vain), you're beaten down things like beets because you don't relish (pun intended!) the idea of purple fingers. I had a whole sack of CSA beets I was avoiding for just that reason until my cousin Linda came to visit with her simple solution: cook unpeeled. Doh. Why didn't I think of that? Beaten by the beets no longer!

    Following her advice I slit off the tops and bottoms, stabbed with a fork a few times, and loaded them into my go-to roasting pan. But it looked so sad and lonely with only purple orbs. Fall wants more color--orange carrots, golden onions, brown and red potatoes...all those hardy creatures of the underground just waiting to be jazzed up with a stunner like beets. I didn't bother to peel the carrots or potatoes so the prep took mere minutes. Everything went in the roasting pan, along with a healthy toss of salt, pepper & herbs, and about 30 minutes later I had a pink roasted cornucopia.

    While you can't necessarily see it in the photo above...the dish was so pretty! Even before peeling the beets, which was a snap after they'd softened (but still gave me purple fingeritis) their color had bled to the rest of the dish in a most lovely way, giving a shockingly magenta sheen to the usually earthy roots & tubers. I served it with rice, which also became speckled with pink. Even better, the tangy flavor from the beets was set off ever so perfectly by the buttery, salty base flavor of the rest of the dish. And you can't beat a dish that comes together so quickly, with so little effort.

    If you've been avoiding beets, don't beat yourself up. Beat the habit with a beet rehab program, starting with of pink roasted cornucopia of your own.

    Do It Yourself: Pretty in Pink Roast Beets

    There is no set amount of each vegetable; use what you have on hand or what you like to fill a roasting pan. Suggested vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, celery, carrots, onions, yams, garlic, and of course beets.

    For a four person serving, I used approximately 2 onions, 2 potatoes, 3 carrots, 2 medium stalks celery, & 6 small beets & and 4 cloves of garlic.

    Seasoning suggestions: I used ground pepper, garlic salt, olive oil, and chopped sage, parsley and carrot greens. Rosemary would also add a nice woodsy flavor.

    Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
    Do not chop beets, but cut off tops and bottoms and stab with a fork.
    Chop vegetables roughly into bite-sized pieces. Save onions, vegetables can be roasted with skins on if well-washed.
    Season to taste.
    Cover with foil and cook for approximately 30 mintues. Test vegetables; if soft, remove. If not, continue checking in 10 minute intervals.
    Peel beets when cool and chop into bite-sized pieces.

    Serve with rice or hearty bread and apple cider.

    See also: Check out some of these other beet is enough to make you actually start craving beets!

    Cafe Fernando: Beet soup looks simply divine.
    Simply Recipe: Pickled beets, to feed your craving all winter long.
    The Kitchen Table: Beet risotto with greens
    White on Rice: Beet ice cream. NOW you're talking...
    Pinch My Salt: Chocolate Beet Muffins. I'm not making this up...

    And for the inquiring minds among us:

    Tournament of the Tubers: Not surprisingly, beets lose to sweet potatoes.
    All about Beets: The author of this easily surpasses my beet-related passion.