Sunday, February 26, 2012

Risotto Mexicana

1 c Arborio Rice
4 c very flavorful vegetable broth
1/3 of a beer
1 white onion
3-4 cloves garlic
1  bay leaf
6 T roasted salsa
2 tomatillos, diced
1 roasted pepper, diced
garnish- fresh tomato, lime & more cilantro
*serve with guacamole and refried beans

Heat 1 T oil in a pan, add the onion and cook for several minutes, until aromatic and golden. Add the garlic and arborio rice and cook for a few additional minutes. Add the beer and let it simmer til it evaporates. Season the rice with the bay leaf, oregano, cumin, paprika and cayenne, then begin adding broth one ladle at a time.
Stir the risotto frequently, allowing the broth to cook down into the rice before adding more. You keep adding the broth until you reach the desired texture of your rice. It should take at least 30minutes. In the last few minutes of cooking add the salsa, peppers, tomatillos and juice of 1 lime
Taste for salt and stir in cilantro at the very end.

Tamale Chowder

Welp. This is a masterpiece. I'm in love. Total prep& cook time was right around 4hours. I probably could've done it in 3, but forgot to soak beans in advance, so I prepared most of the ingredients last night then woke up, cooked the beans and finished the soup.
YOU can make this soup in 1.5 hours if you use canned beans, store-bought broth & tamales.

1 large white onion
5 cloves garlic
6-8 c vegetable broth
assorted roasted peppers - I used red & green bell, poblano, anaheim and 4 jalapenos
5 tomatillos, diced small
1 sweet potato, diced very small and roasted
1 c cooked pinto beans
1/2- 2 c prepared masa (or 4-5 cooked tamales)
1/2 lime, juiced
garnish- freeze dried corn, cilantro, lime

Stay tuned for the complete recipe!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Roasting Peppers

There are several ways to roast a pepper. You can easily achieve this on a grill, over the open flame of a gas stove, or under a broiler. My favorite way is on a grill, but in my apartment I roast peppers as follows..

First, slice em in half, remove the stems, pith and seeds. Rub oil over the skin side of each pepper, them put em under the broiler.

Once the skin starts to brown, bubble and pull away from the flesh.. you have success!

Now to easily remove the skin from the sweet roasted flesh is to store them in an air tight container. You can toss em in a ziplock bag, a brown paper bag... tonight I had this tupperware handy so in they went. Keep the container in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Once they've cooled you can easily peel them.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

13 Bean Dahl

1c Bob's Red Mill 13 Bean Mix (I love Bob)
5 c water
small piece Kombu
2 T coconut oil
1/2 T ginger
1/2 T fennel seeds
1 t cayenne
4 t coriander
2 t cumin
3 medium tomatoes diced, or 2 cans
1 t salt
optional garnish with tumeric cashew cream, (recipe follows) bean sprouts and fried chickpea noodles

Tumeric Cashew Cream
cashew cream (1 part H20 + 1 part cashew, blend until smooth)
shake of tumeric
dash of salt
pinch of cayenne

 Soak the beans overnight. Then cook 1 c beans in 5 c water for an hour or until soft.
Meanwhile, heat oil in saucepan. Add the ginger and fennel seeds and cook for 1 minute. The oil should be hot enough to should hear it sizzle, but not so hot that it burns. Then add cayenne, coriander, cumin and cook for an additional minute. Now, add the diced tomatoes and cover. Cook until the tomatoes have completely fallen apart and the mixture has become a sauce. Now stir in the beans and simmer for 10 minutes.

Tuscan Potato Soup w Herbs and Truffle Oil

1 large leek, diced
1 yellow onion , diced
1 stalk celery, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
8 med yukon gold potatoes
5-6 cups vegetable stock, or more to reach desired consistency
3 tomatoes, quartered, roasted then skinned
fresh rosemary, marjoram & sage
truffle oil to garnish

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Root Soup: Potato Turnip & Horseradish Chowder

 I love horseradish. I've been thinking a lot about it lately and its about time I started including it in more recipes. I interned at the Farm today and scored some turnips, picked up some potatoes at the store.. and this recipe was born.

My Yukon Golds and Baby Turnips before they get diced and tossed into the soup pot.

Leeks and onions gettin happy in the pot

Everybodys gettin hot, just waiting for the broth
Mmm a beautiful sight. Flavors marrying, layers building, soon we'll head to the blender and make a puree.

1/2 large yellow onion, diced small
2 leeks, diced small
3 cloves garlic
2 T oil, I used a blend (almond, coconut, olive)
7-8 medium yukon golds, diced small
6-7 small turnips, diced small
vegetable broth to cover, about 5 cups
2-3 T horseradish
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 T minced marjoram
2T chives
salt & black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the leeks and onions. Season with salt. After several minutes of sauteing add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the potatoes and turnips, a bit more salt, stir and cook for about 10 minutes. Once they start to get soft add the broth, horseradish, cloves, bay leaf and marjoram.
Cook for 15 minutes or until everything is very soft. Puree the majority of the soup in a blender, then add it back to the pot.
Stir in the chives, then season to taste with salt & pepper.

Best Way To Dice an Onion

If there is an onion in your pantry.. you should be able to come up with something delicious to eat.
This is by far, the most used vegetable in my kitchen.

Pickled, grilled, caramelized, roasted, sauteed, fresh, fried.. these guys are the base for most cuisine and pair well with any savory dish.

Onions have properties which are anti-inflammatory, anti-cancerous, anti-cholesterol, antioxidant and are believed to be an aphrodisiac.
In some lesser developed countries onions are used to reduce swelling, scars, to treat blisters, bee stings, boils and sore throats.

Could you imagine living in a world where onions are as rare and expensive as .. oh, lets say a black truffle?! I shudder at the thought.

  • Slice off as little of the papery end as possible
  • Cut the onion in half, by slicing directly through the root end
  •  Lay it on the flat side, then begin making cuts like "flaps." Be careful not to slice them all the way off, but leave each flap intact at the root end. After this point, I should be able to pick up the onion by the root & it should still hold together
  •  Now make cuts longwise from end to end, being careful to keep all the pieces together as much as possible.
  • Here comes the dice! Carefully, bring the knife down from top to bottom, slicing your strips and layers into a dice.

Prepping Leeks

A member of the Lily family, leeks look like overgrown green onions or scallions. 
They have a slightly sweet, mild onion taste. 
Ideally, they're used early in the cooking process to build a depth of flavor. 
Leeks are often braised, fried, sauteed, roasted, grilled, steamed and boiled.
  • First, you'll want to start by chopping off the tough green tops. I like to save them for making vegetable broth, so I keep them in my freezer, in a bag full of scraps.
  • Now slice the tender bottoms of the leeks in half and rinse them really well. Lots of mud and dirt like to hide in between the layers
  • From here, depending on your recipe and desired cut your technique will vary. To dice the leeks small, I make several cuts longwise through the vegetable.

  • Hold the leek carefully, while you slice width-wise to create a small dice.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Cinna-Apple Maple Banana Oats

1/2 c steel cut oats
1 1/2- 2 c water and/or milk (its nice to mix the two, if so add milk at end)
1 apple diced
1 T coconut oil
3 T almond or peanut butter
1 banana, chopped
pinch salt
serve with maple syrup

In a saucepan heat the coconut oil and add the oats, stir to toast the oats for 2min. Add water then bring to a simmer, add the apples, cinnamon, raisins, and salt then cover. Simmer on low for 20min. Add the banana and stir in the nutbutter, then continue to cook for at  least 5 more minutes or until you reach the desired consistensy. Garnish with maple syrup & enjoy

Friday, February 10, 2012

Chickpea Eggplant Puttanesca on a bed of Arugula

Spring is Coming!!! I picked these edible flowers at Green Gate Farms. I work there about twice a week doing all kinds of different tasks. Just about every time I go I do something different. I always get to pick some food and take it home with me. The white flowers are from the arugula plants and the yellow are from a more mild green called Mizuna.

2 c cooked Garbanzos (chickpeas)
1/4 onion
3 cloves garlic
olive oil
jar of good puttanesca sauce  (I cheated!! I had one in my freezer)
capers and green olives, if desired (too make it more puttanesca-ey)
1 eggplant roasted and chopped (see previous post Roasting Eggplant)

Heat the olive oil and cook the onion until it softens and becomes translucent. Add the chickpeas & garlic then cook for an additional minute. Stir in the pasta sauce, eggplant, capers and green olives (if desired)

Serve very warm on a bed of Arugula.

Creamy Cran-Orange Pistachio Farina

1 c water
pinch salt
1/3c Cream of Rice Farina (Bobs Red Mill)
vanilla, dash
1 orange, supremed  (See post, Supreme Citrus)
dry cranberries
maple syrup, light drizzle

Bring 1 c of water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Stir in the Rice Farina then add cranberries and a dash of vanilla extract. Turn the heat to low and while it cooks you can supreme your orange.
Once the water has cooked in, this should only take a couple of minutes, serve with the oranges, their juice, pistachios and a light drizzle of maple syrup. Then enjoy the rest of your day!!

Spiced Swiss Chard & Mung Bean Stew

Mung Beans cooking with a piece of Kombu
Mis en place, while everyting my broth and beans are cookin'
Onion and bell pepper cooking in sesame oil and lots of spices
Puree 1/3 of the the stew then add it back in!

6 c vegetable broth (see previous post Let There Be Broth)
1 c dry mung beans, cooked in 3 c water
sesame oil
1/4 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, mined
1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems chopped and leaves chiffonade (see post Teach the World to Chiffonade)
**dry spices: tumeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, 1 clove, fennugreek, white pepper, mustard

Prepare the Vegetable broth. Meanwhile cook the mung beans in water and prepare the rest of your ingredients

Heat 1 T sesame oil in a pan. IF USING WHOLE SPICES add them to the heated oil and allow them to cook for 2-3 minutes. This will soften them and toast them. IF USING GROUND SPICES add them at the end, directly to the stew. I used about half whole and half ground.  Use what you've got.
**I didnt specify the amount of each spice because... it doesnt really matter. This is a great combo. I probably used about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of each.. besides the clove and white pepper.. I went easier on those. Just toss in 1 or 2 cloves and a few cracked white (or black) peppercorns.
After your whole spices have cooked in the oil for a few minutes add the onion and red bell pepper. Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes.

Once your mung beans have cooked, add the vegetable broth and spice/onion mixture to the beans. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chard at the end.

Teach the World to Chiffonade

Start by placing similar leaves in a pile 

Then roll them up!

like this

Next, slice the leaves into strips.  
Chiffonades vary in size from large to very fine. 
This one is somewhere in between

This cut is great for soups, salad, sandwiches, pizzas..

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tangerine Quinoa Slaw

1/2 c red quinoa
1 c filtered water
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1/2 jalapeno, minced
8 sugar snap peas, sliced thin longwise
1 scallion, sliced very thin
2 tangerines, supremed (see previous post Supreme Citrus)
1 small avocado, diced
cilantro, minced

Rinse the quinoa well. Grains and beans are often pretty dirty.
Bring the water to a boil, add the quinoa, and cook until all of the water has cooked into the grain.
Prepare the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and once the quinoa has cooled, stir it into the mix. Adjust the salt to taste.The flavor of this salad is best if you let it marinate and get happier overnight.

Roasting Eggplant

Set the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the Eggplant in half and score the back of each half with an X. If you wish, you can thin slice garlic and shove the pieces into the slits of the X. Rub the flat side with a high heat oil and generously sprinkle with salt. Let her roast for at least 30 minutes.

Mmmm sweet juicy eggplant : ) At this point you should be able to poke the eggplant and feel how soft it is.

Flip em over.. and bask in the glory. Those aren't burn marks baby, that's caramelized eggplant and it's going to add a sweet depth of flavor to your dish and is guaranteed to make you a happy cook.
At this point I usually let them cool before separating the flesh from the skin. This is a great addition to pasta sauce, spreads, flat breads and sandwiches.

Supreme Citrus

To "supreme" citrus is to remove the skin, pith, and seeds while leaving each individual segment intact. 

Slice off the top and bottom so that the fruit has a flat surface. Then carefully remove the skin with a very sharp knife. If you don't have a sharp chef knife, use a serrated bread knife.

This is called a Honey Tangerine.. they taste like Orange Hi-C!! They're my current fave this citrus season. We've had at least a dozen varieties of mandarins and tangerines come through the market this month. 

Once you've removed each segment squeeze the rest to extract all the sweet juicy glory.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Basic Butternut Squash Soup

3 small-med butternut squash
2 c vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste

Roast the Squash. Scoop out the flesh into a blender. Combine with broth and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This is the shortest blog recipe I've ever written.

See these previous posts for tips on some of the steps in this recipe.
Roasting Winter Squash
Let There Be Broth

In the above photo I garnished with black truffle oil and Italian breadcrumbs. There are so many great additions to this soup. Check out the list below!

try adding one or more of the following..
-herbs (especially Sage, although most common herbs would be nice!)
-cheese; parmesan, fontina, gruyere, pecorino..
-maple extract

Roasting Winter Squash

This technique is so much easier than trying to peel a winter squash.

Set the oven to 400. Wash and halve the squash. Rub oil on the flat side of each piece then salt generously..
Lay each piece flat side down on the pan and bake for 30minutes or until soft.

You should be able to easily scoop the flesh out with a spoon. Flip em over and let em cool.

Once they're cool you should be able to easily remove the seeds and separate the flesh from the skin. YES!

ALSO!   If you want cubed squash for the dish you are preparing... you don't have to peel it at all! Just scrub the squash well, get out your sharpest chef knife and cube that sucker. The skin is totally edible and loaded with nutrients. It isn't going to be tough or chewy or whatever you would assume... its actually quite lovely
: )

Let There Be Broth

The Super Bowl is on. I really couldn't care less. Except one of my very favorite people looooves the Patriots. So I actually made an attempt to join her and watch the game, but the bar was "at capacity."
That'll be fine.
I'll just make some soup : )

I  have 3 butternut squash on my counter.. so naturally they'll be the star of this evening's soup.
I start by making a broth... I look through the fridge, through the pantry, and OH. MY. OH. NO!! There are NO onions in this apartment!!!! I only have 1/2 of a very very small onion. I'll admit I freaked a little. I reallllyy didn't want to run to the store tonight. My anxiety rose when I realized there is also. no. garlic. I gave up. Watched an episode of The Office on Hulu.. and THEN decided that I would NOT be defeated.

Making a good broth is a lot like making tea. You find flavorful ingredients and cook them in water until all of their goodness steeps out. I organized my spice cabinet recently (alphabetical order and categorized by peppers, blends, herbs, and roots/seeds) and remembered that I had some dried onion flakes and a jar of dried shaved garlic that my momma put in my stocking a couple years ago. Thanks Mom!  So I checked the fridge again and came up with tonight's broth.

This is a pretty basic vegetable stock. It can be used to add depth to a wide variety of dishes. If I was making a corn chowder, I would add the cobs and any other scraps from that soup. Broccoli soup? Add the stalks to the broth. You can save mushroom stems in the freezer for broths and if you cook a lot, you could save up several days worth of veg scraps, make broth, and store it in your freezer for later use.
Here's an idea: Freeze it in an ice cube tray, pop out the cubes, and keep em in a ziplock bag. Bam.

2 parsnips
3 celery stalks
1/2 small onion
2 bay leaves
few white peppercorns
1/4 c dry onion flakes
2 T dry garlic flakes

 To extract the most flavor from your vegetables, cook them in a bit of oil. Stir frequently for about 5minutes, then add water.
 Boil the heck out of it. And keep a lid on, unless you want it to reduce. Boil for a minimum of 30minutes, and no longer than an hour.
Strain. Here I fit a strainer over a pot and mashed the veg to release as much of the liquid as possible.

 Finished Product. 2 cups of beautiful,delicious nutritious broth.