Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cornmeal Pancakes

I was looking for something fun to make for brunch yesterday. I am always a fan of the Southwestern egg dishes. This was a great alternative to the breakfast burrito. It also could not be easier.

This too came from the Moosewoods Restaurant Cooks at Home.

Cornmeal Pancakes
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbs butter (softened or melted)
1 Tbs maple syrup

Mix everything in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Cook as you would an other pancakes.
I served these with black beans and scrambled eggs with cheddar.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Potato Salad

Here is an interesting take on potato salad. It is from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.

Mediterranean Potato Salad
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 - 1/2 pounds red or golden potato, cubed
1 1/5 cups scallion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup EVOO
2 TBS lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the scallions, cumin, Oil and juice in a large bowl. Meanwhile soak the tomatoes in boiling water to soften.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until cooked but still hold their shape.

Finely chop the tomatoes and add to the dressing.

Add the hot drained potatoes. I served with some greens to complete the salad.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Onion and Fontina

Last night my father in law came to dinner, he is always a fan of soup and I am always game. I was looking for something interesting but not overly complicated. This soup from Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special fits the bill, last night I served it without pureeing it. Today I pureed it, and prefer the smoother texture.

Creamy Onion and Fontina Soup
1 Tbs butter
5 cups onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup flour
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 water
1/4 white wine
1 Tbs mustard
2 cups Fontina, grated

Melt the butter in a large pot with a touch of oil. Add the onions and salt and saute about 10 minutes.

Add the thyme, nutmeg and pepper, continue cooking 5 - 10 more.

Add the flour, stirring, and cook 1 minute more. Make sure there are no lumps of flour.

Add about 1 cup of the milk. Cook until the sauce thickens.

Add the rest of the liquid and continue cooking another 5 minutes.

Add the wine, mustard and cheese. Cook on low until the cheese has melted, stirring.

Serve topped with cheese and more nutmeg.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cannellini with Kale

I was looking for something to do with kale, that we could eat as our main dish for dinner. I came across this super simple (one pot, five minute) recipe.

We left out the kielbasa and added extra kale, the the recipe was basically the same.

Cannellini Beans with Kale
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 small onion, slivered
  • 1 small bunch kale, about 2 cups, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

Place everything in a pot, except the cheese, add a cup of water or stock.

Cook for about 5 minutes until the kale is cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

Served topped with cheese.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Peas and Tomatoes

This week in our produce from Irv and Shelly's, we received frozen peas. I was looking for something interesting to do with them and came to this recipe from Cooking in Spain by Janet Mendel. The book we picked up when we lived in Madrid and it has been a great resource for great Spanish food.

Guisantes a la Valenciana
1 lb peas
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
fresh thyme and parsley
pinch safron
1/4 tsp cumin
salt and pepper

In a pan warm the oil and add the peas, onion and one clove of the garlic.

Add the wine and herbs and cover. Cook for a few minutes until tender.

In a mortar, crush the other garlic with the saffron and cumin and a pinch of salt.

Add in a tablespoon of the cooking liquid and add to the peas.

Season with salt and pepper.

To go with the peas I made stuffed tomatoes with rice. To flavor the rice I used a Chermoula sauce, that I found in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

4 cloves garlic
2/3 cup cilantro
1/3 cup parsley
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/4 cup EVOO
juice of 1 - 2 lemons

Crush the garlic with the salt with a mortar and pestle.

Chop the greens and add to the garlic. Smash this together.

Add the spices and liquids.

To fill the tomatoes I used brown rice. I cooked about 1 cup and added about 3/4 of the sauce when the rice was done cooking but still hot.

To prepare the tomatoes, chop of the top, about 1/4 inch from the top. If the tomatoes are very round, slice a very thin piece off the bottom so that they sit flat.

Using a spoon, scoop out the seed and the inner membranes.

Stuff with the rice.

Place in a dish and drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in 400 deg oven about 20 - 30 minutes.

Serve topped with the rest of the sauce.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Braised Fennel

We only used half the fennel from the other night and i was fairly excited after our first success with the salad.

I tried this interesting recipe from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Not only did it use fennel, which we rarely eat, but used a braising technique that I can't remember using at home.

In the end we really enjoyed this, and it has helped reduce our distaste for fennel.

Braised Fennel with Parmesan
2 Tbs butter
2 or 3 fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup Parm
salt and pepper

Pre heat oven to 325 deg.
Steam the fennel for about 10 minutes until it begins to soften.

In a buttered dish, arrange the fennel in a single layer. Add the wine, season with salt and pepper and top with butter. Cover and bake about 20 minutes.

Remove the cover and add the cheese.

Return to the oven and cook another 10 minutes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Dama Bianca

We are usually no fans of fennel, to anise-y for our taste, but we received one this week in our produce basket and I am determined to use it all.

I came across this recipe, that was easy and had cheese, so how bad could it be. As it turns out we really liked it. The lemon mellowed the anise flavor and the cheese was a nice touch.

Dama Bianca :: Fennel and Celery Salad
2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded
6 pale inner (white) celery stalks, leaves discarded and stalks thinly sliced
1 (1/2-pound) ball buffalo mozzarella (optional), roughly torn
1/2 tablespoon grated lemon zest (preferably from an unwaxed organic lemon)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons good-quality fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Thinly slice the fennel and toss with the celery.

The best tool to zest the lemon is a Microplane. They now come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They were originally made as a wood working tool, but chefs soon learns the versatility of them and they have truly taken off. They are not only grate for zesting, but they are great for ginger as well.

Top with the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

In this weeks produce we received another head of broccoli. I was looking for something new to try. This is a fairly straight forward soup, that does not require a lot of time. I found that soups either were thickened with potato or flour and milk. This uses the later, as I did not have a potato on hand. I also choose to puree it to make it a bit smoother, though not totally smooth.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
2 Tbs butter
1 onion, cut into medium dice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 lb chopped broccoli
1 quart broth
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
salt to taste
8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Melt butter over medium heat in a stockpot. Cook onion in butter until softened.

Add garlic and pepper; cook for 1 minute then stir in broccoli, and stir in broth.

Bring to a boil and simmer until broccoli is tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile whisk flour into milk until dissolved.

Puree the soup using an immersion blender.

Stir flour milk mixture into soup stirring frequently until thickened.

Reduce heat, and stir in cheese until melted and heated through. Season with salt to taste.

Serve topped with extra cheese.

Banana Nut Muffins

We had a friend over for tea and i was looking for a simple treat to serve. I was after something that was not too sweat but would be nice with the tea.

Banana Nut Muffins
2 cups flour (1 cup wheat, 1 cup white)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)

1/4 cup maple syrup
3 Tbs butter melted
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup mashed banana (about 2)

Mix dry ingredients. Pre-heat oven to 400 deg.

I keep a bunch of frozen bananas in the freezer. Then just peel and chop them up to add to muffins.
Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Mix the wet into the dry and mix until just combined.

Divide the batter into 9 greased muffin tins. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden.