Monday, March 29, 2010

Ratty Style Gumbo

I didn't feel right calling this dish "gumbo" because it's not the real thing, and my Ethnic Eats class would have a fit over the authenticity of this dish. Indispensible to real gumbo are okra and the "holy trinity" of celery, bell peppers, and onions. Come to think of it, this dish resembles gumbo just about as much as a remote control does spinach. Ah, what the heck - it tasted good!

Ratty Style Gumbo
white rice
yellow rice
roasted garbanzo beans
corn kernels
baby shrimp in sauce
tomato sauce (pasta line)
red chili flakes
hot pepper

1. Combine all ingredients on a plate.
2. I was lazy this time, but if you have patience, it might be a good idea to add more sauce and microwave everything together to infuse the flavors and warm it up.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Spring Fling Egg Cheeseburger, inspired by Guillaume Riesen

This time, minus the veggies.

Inspired by Guillaume's Bacon and Egg Double Cheeseburger. As Guillaume says: "This is a very simple but mind-blowingly delicious and satisfying concoction. You simply order three eggs over-easy with cheese, then prepare a double cheeseburger (tomato slices and salad optional but somewhat frowned upon) with bacon when available. A dab of mayonnaise helps bind everything together later. You then carefully cut out each yolk, and place them in the burger - one at a time. Once one yolk is exhausted, stick in the next one. If you do it right, the yolks will well up at the front of the burger making a delicious warm sauce that replenishes itself with every bite. So. Good."

Thank you, Guillaume, for your sharing your inspirational food experiences with us.

I waited a good half hour in line for this quarter-pound Spring Fling burger plus 10 minutes in the omelette line, and one would think that after a good deal of waiting expectations should be pretty darn high. Maybe they were, but somewhere along the way I picked up a heaping teaspoon of that spice called Hunger. So when I finally got around to eating, this burger was very delicious indeed.

Spring Fling Egg Cheeseburger, inspired by Guillaume Riesen
1 burger (2 if you want a double cheeseburger)
1 plain bun
2 slices cheddar cheese
3 eggs, sunny side up
dab of mayo
dab of mustard (optional)
onion rings (optional)

1. Order 3 eggs, sunny side up, from omelette line.
2. Assemble burger: spread mustard and mayo on bun if desired, and layer patty with cheese, onions (optional). Use an upside-down plastic cup to cut out one of the yolks and place on top of patty.
3. Enjoy oozing egg yolk with each bite, replenish if necessary.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Spiced Toast

A toasty accompaniment to salad or soup.

Spiced Toast
2 pieces of multi-grain bread
2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of the following:
black pepper
garlic powder
onion powder
red pepper flakes
ground oregano
1 Tbsp chopped scallions

1. Mix oil with spices in a small bowl. Spread on both sides of bread.
2. Grill in panini press for 2-3 minutes, garnish with fresh scallions, and enjoy while it is toasty.

Marinated Beef with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Roasted Peppers

Beef, broccoli, and mushrooms are a classic trio, and the tangy roasted red bell peppers add contrast and an appetizing fiery accent to the plate.

Marinated Beef with Broccoli, Mushrooms, and Roasted Peppers
4 slices marinated beef
4 broccoli florets
3 sliced mushrooms
olive oil (garlic or basil infused, if you prefer!)
black pepper
roasted red bell peppers

1. Place broccoli, mushrooms, olive oil, and black pepper in a bowl, cover with a plate, and microwave on high for 50 seconds.
2. Plate the beef, bell peppers, and broccoli in a pretty way. Eat!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Crispy Waffle with Whipped Cream

This was made somewhat on accident. The waffle batter happened to be runny, and it had the effect of producing a layered, nook-and-cranny filled, funnel-cake-like, crispy golden waffle that was just delicious with fluffy whipped cream.

Crispy Waffle with Whipped Cream
half ladle of waffle batter (make sure it is runny)
2-3 second squirt of whipped cream

1. Generously spray non-stick spray on top and bottom of waffle iron.
2. Pour runny waffle batter into waffle iron, press top down and turn over immediately and cook for 2 min 15 seconds.
3. Serve with a generous squirt of whipped cream and enjoy by a sunny window.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Basil Hummus with Cucumbers

Hummus and cucumbers go together like...toothbrush and toothpaste. Maybe that's not the best analogy. But it brings us to a more important point! Try this recipe, and we are confident you'll come up with something better.

Basil Hummus with Cucumbers
1 bowl of hummus
2 Tbsp basil infused olive oil (love this stuff!)
1 Tbsp chopped cucumbers
1 Tbsp white beans
2 tsp chopped red onion
sliced cucumbers
salad greens for garnish
dash of black pepper

1. Top the hummus with the oil. Take a moment to admire how it seeps artistically into the organic grooves of the lovely hummus.
2. Garnish with chopped cucumbers, white beans, red onion, and salad greens. Add some black pepper.
3. Spread on cucumber slices or crackers and enjoy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spicy Tuna Melt Baked Potato

I just love the savory combination of tuna and melted cheese. The baked potato magnifies and marries the creamy savoriness of the two, and it is quite yummy.

Spicy Tuna Melt Baked Potato
1 baked potato
1/4 cup tuna
2 Tbsp sour cream, plus a dollop on the side
1/4 cup shredded cheese, plus more for topping
1 Tbsp chopped red onion
1 tsp ground oregano
dash of Tabasco
sprinkling of red pepper flakes
sprinkling of dried chives
salt and black pepper
broccoli on the side

1. Cut a thin slice off the top of the potato (lengthwise).
2. Scoop out flesh of potato into a bowl. Mix with tuna, sour cream, cheese, red onion, oregano, Tabasco (use a fork to mash them together til smooth).
3. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and melt in microwave for 50 seconds, or until melted.
4. Garnish with chives and red pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed broccoli and a dollop of sour cream.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bread Pudding, by Jane Brendlinger

Thank you, Jane, for your cinnamon-honey infused "just like momma's" bread pudding. As Jane said in her e-mail to Ratty Gourmet, "I think I just had one of the best Ratty-made desserts ever. It was so good that I had to share the experience with someone, anyone, immediately." And we're sure glad she did.*

Note from Jane about bread: "experiment with this: white, cinnamon raisin, pumpkin. I used the sweet fluffy white kind from seven stars." In our recipe, we used a cinnamon swirl bread, available on select days at the soup station.

Bread Pudding, by Jane Brendlinger

1 slice of bread
milk/soy milk (soy milk adds a hint of vanilla)

1. Break bread into pieces in a bowl.
2. Douse with milk.
3. Drizzle with honey.
4. Top with cinnamon. A lot of cinnamon.
5. Microwave, about a minute.
6. Mmm, just like momma's.

*our stomachs say thank you, too.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Broccoli "Stir Fry"

Technically, this is a recipe for steamed broccoli, but when you think of "steamed" anything you think bland, and this spicy sesame soy-sauce infused festival of veggies is anything but.

Broccoli "Stir Fry"
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
5 onion rings
7-8 mushrooms
7-8 broccoli spears
4-5 shakes of red pepper flakes

1. Gather veggies on a plate.
2. Drizzle oil and soy sauce over veggies. Sprinkle on red pepper flakes.
3. Place another plate upside-down on top. Microwave for 1 minute 40 seconds. Remove top plate carefully (it will be steamy!) and enjoy.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ham and Cheese Rolls

Not as elegant as sushi, but these rolls have their own rustic charm.

Ham and Cheese Rolls
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 tsp mustard
2 tsp mayonnaise
3 slices tomato
2 slices cheddar cheese
3 slices ham

1. Spread tortilla with mustard and mayo.
2. Layer the tomato, cheese, ham and lettuce.
3. Roll it up, cut into fourths and enjoy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Egg Burger, inspired by Guillaume Riesen

Guillaume sent us a mouth-watering Bacon and Egg Double Cheeseburger a few weeks back, and I have attempted to recreate it at the Ratty twice since then (the first time the pictures didn't turn out as well...although I'd take any excuse to make this scrumptious recipe many more times).

A note, however. In Guilliaume's original recipe, he says "tomato slices and salad [are] optional but somewhat frowned upon" and after trying it with the veggies (and without the bacon) I have to agree--this is another one of those lip-smacking "protein only" sandwiches (if you insist on getting your greens, have it on the side with a splash of balsamic).

So, this version of the burger (plus the veggies) is remotely inspired by Guillaume's recipe, although I have a strong feeling one of us is going to recreate the original Bacon and Egg Double Cheeseburger sometime in the near future (this time, all meat and protein). So keep an eye out for a future post of Guillaume's original Bacon and Egg Double Cheeseburger.

Egg Burger, inspired by Guillaume Riesen

1 bun
some mustard
2 tomato slices
2-3 onion rings
1 beef patty
1 lettuce leaf
1 fried egg, over easy
1 slice provolone

1. Order 1 egg over easy from omelette bar.
2. Spread mustard on one bun.
3. Stack patty, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, egg, and onions on bottom half of bun. Top with the other half of the bun.
4. Take a big bite. When you get to the egg yolk, have napkins handy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Feta and Sunflower Seed Waffle by Karolina Woroniecka

This delicious waffle was inspired by Karolina Woroniecka. Here's her recipe:

Feta and Sunflower Seed Waffle
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 1/2 tablespoon feta cheese
1/2 scoop waffle batter
tomato quarters and cucumbers drizzled with balsamic vinegar (optional)

1. Mix up the first three, put it in the waffle machine.
2. When finished, serve with vegetable salad. If fresh herbs are available, it would be great to mix them in!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tuna Melt, Inspired by Guillaume Riesen

Thanks Guillaume for your awesome recipe! We tried it out and it was delicious. As Guillaume says, "I use the pre-made grilled cheese sandwiches from the vegetarian line. Pull one open, spread on a layer of tuna salad from the grill line, some tomato slices, and grill it on the panini maker until warmed through (the grilled cheeses are already a bit crunchy, so it doesn't take much). If you want salad, it seems important to add it on last - pull the sandwich open yet again and stick some in there. Otherwise it will tend to wilt on the grill. A dab of mayonnaise is optional."

Our version adds some cheese and omits the tomato, for no reason other than forgetfulness.
Tuna Melt, Inspired by Guillaume Reisen
1 whole wheat grilled cheese
1/2 cup tuna salad
1 slice cheddar cheese
lettuce leaves to serve it with

1. Pull open the grilled cheese.
2. Spread on a generous layer of tuna salad and add a slice of cheese.
3. Put the sandwich back together and press on the panini press for 1 minute.
4. Cut on a diagonal and serve with lettuce.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Asian Noodle Soup

Asian Noodle Bar is back this week! Has anyone ever tried making a bowl of noodles from the stuff provided? The veggies are sweet and crunchy when you heat them up in the microwave with the broth, and even better with some freshly sliced scallions on top.

Asian Noodle Soup
1 bowl rice noodles
1 bowl clear broth
mushroom slices
sugar snap peas
bean sprouts
julienned carrots
sliced water chestnut
tofu cubes
diced red bell pepper

1. Get a bowl with all the ingredients.
2. Microwave for 1 minute.
3. Garnish with scallions.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Egg, Cheese, and Bacon on French Toast

This makes for a delicious weekend brunch. You can also have it for breakfast, although you'd miss out on the salad and sliced cheddar. Try instead the Cranberry Passionfruit Mocktail (minus the ice cream) as a refreshing accompaniment.

Egg, Cheese, and Bacon on French Toast
1 slice french toast
2 eggs over easy, with cheese
1 slice cheddar cheese
2-3 strips of bacon

1. Slice french toast in half along edge to make two thin slices. Order 2 eggs over easy, with cheese, from the omelette station. Cut the fried eggs in half so that each half has a yolk, and set aside.
2. Place slice of cheddar, a few strips of bacon (break in half if needed), and one of the egg halves on one of the "half slices" of french toast, and top with the other.
3. Press in a panini press until nice golden grill marks appear and cheese is melted.
4. Top with other half of egg. Enjoy with the Refreshing Spinach Cucumber Salad.

Refreshing Spinach Cucumber Salad
baby spinach
cucumber slices
feta cheese
edamame (green soybeans)
splash of balsamic

Combine salad ingredients and splash some balsamic over the top. Fruity, light, and refreshing, this salad is yummy when eaten with something hot off the panini press.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pasta with Olives and Scallions

Pasta con cipolline e olive è delizioso e sano!

Pasta with Scallions and Olives
plateful of whole wheat penne
1/4 cup scallions
1/4 cup sliced olives
1 full ladle of tomato sauce
sprinkling of parmesan cheese
sprinkling of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp basil infused olive oil
1/4 cup shredded cheese

1. Mix all ingredients except cheese on a plate. Sprinkle cheese on top after everything has been well incorporated
2. Microwave for 1 minute, or until cheese has melted. Season with salt/pepper if desired.

Buon Appetito!

Monday, March 1, 2010

"Fried" Brown Rice, Inspired by Natalie Serrino

A shout out to Natalie Serrino for emailing us this fabulous idea for delicious "fried" rice made in the microwave! Natalie suggests using broccoli, onion, carrots, and optional hardboiled egg, tofu, or chicken, and we adapted the recipe to use breakfast ham and scrambled eggs. It was so delicious we might make a future version of it, with peas, corn, chopped red bell pepper, and scallions when the opportunity arises.

"Fried" Brown Rice, Inspired by Natalie Serrino
1 deep bowl of brown rice (from Roots and Shoots)
1/4 cup shredded carrots, cut in half
1 ham slice from breakfast line, diced
3 broccoli florets, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup shredded zucchini (optional)
6 red onion rings, diced (not optional!)
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp sweet red chili sauce (optional)
1/2 cup scrambled eggs (get 'em when they are not overdone and dry, but moist and tender)

1. Mix the liquids/spices in the bottom of a bowl.
2. Press all the ingredients except for the eggs into the bowl, putting the rice on top of everything and the veggies on the bottom.
3. Put a small plate upside down on top of your bowl and steam in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.
4. Remove carefully, lifting lid away from you to avoid getting a painful facial.
5. Chop the scrambled eggs into smaller pieces, and mix them with the rice. Mix everything well to distribute the flavor. If there are scallions, top it with some scallions!