Adventures in (Post) Gradland

Thoughts on life after the PhD

New recipes!

I’ve come across a lot of delicious new recipes lately & thought I’d share.

Potato Corn Chowder

Courtesy of Tyler Florence, whose ultimate tomato soup and “smashed” potatoes with lemon and dill are also awesome. This recipe is remarkably fast and easy for such a rich-tasting soup. Use dried thyme if you don’t have the fresh stuff, though the fresh stuff is better. And definitely use fresh corn. I tried it a second time with canned corn (corn on the cob can be hard to find in Tokyo, and it’s expensive), and it just wasn’t quite as good.I also added a sprinkling of grilled bacon on top, but obviously you can omit that.

The directions claim that this makes eight servings, but I’d say it’s closer to four.


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups canned vegetable stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 ears corn
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves


Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Dust the vegetables with flour and stir to coat everything well. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the cream and the potatoes, bring to a boil and boil hard for about 7 minutes, until the potatoes break down (this will help to thicken the soup and give it a good texture).

Cut the corn kernels off the cob and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the corn is soft, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the parsley and give it another little drink of olive oil. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

White Bean Basil Hummus

I used to go through at least a tub a week of Trader Joe’s white bean basil hummus. A quick online search yielded this recipe from Weelicious, and I’m happy to say that it is just as good as the original. Oh, and I should say that I really, really want to hate Weelicious (check out the website and you might see why). But goddammit, so far all the recipes I’ve tried have been wonderful.


1 Can Cannelini or Northern White Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Cup Fresh Basil
1 Small Garlic Clove
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp Tahini
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth.
2. Serve with vegetables, pita chips or as a sandwich spread.

Very Berry Salad

We just filmed this recipe as part of an ongoing “cooking in English” segment for the website I’m working on. It was really, really good.


4 cups baby spinach

1 1/2 c. strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters

1 cup blueberries

1 small red onion, sliced thin

1 handful roasted pecan pieces

1 handful chopped almonds

1/4 c. grated Parmesan

For the dressing:

2 tbsp. lemon juice

3 tbsp. raspberry vinegar

1/3 c. sugar (less is fine)

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp poppy seads

1 tbsp sesame seeds


Put all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together with a whisk. Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Shiitake Tempeh Dip

Another one for the workplace cooking series. I have never been a fan of tempeh or seitan or any other fermented bean-type quasi-meat substitute, but this recipe made me a convert. I was surprised by how creamy it was. Great with crackers or pita chips. I think I liked it better hot, but you can serve it cold or at room temperature.


3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

1 onion, chopped fine

12 shiitake mushrooms, chopped into very small pieces

1 package tempeh (a square block about 5 in. by 5 in.), cut into small pieces


1. Marinate the tempeh in the honey, soy sauce, and olive oil for at least 30 minutes.

2. Fry the onion in the olive oil until it’s soft (4-5 min)

3. Add shiitake and fry for another 3 min.

4. Add marinated tempeh and cook for another 5-6 min.

5. Pour everything into a bowl and puree with an immersion blender, or toss it into a regular blender and pulse until the mixture is creamy. Serve hot or at room temperature with crackers or pita chips.

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This entry was posted on March 21, 2012 by in Food! and tagged , , , , .
Emerging from the Cocoon

Thoughts on life after the PhD

A Modern Girl / モダンガール

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