Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Amaranth pizza

Last week we received amaranth from our veggie basket from Irv and Shelley's, I figured it would make a great pesto.

Like a traditional pesto, this is made with garlic but not the nuts or cheese.

Start by blanching the leaves in boiling salted water for a minute until soft.

Puree the leaves, with garlic, EVOO, salt and pepper.

Spread this on pizza or add to pasta.

While I was at it I made a dessert pie. This I spread with chocolate peanut sauce from Cacao Sampaka from Spain. (Cacao Sampaka is one of the best chocolate destinations in the world. Whenever in Spain it's a must destination.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hot and Cold Beets

This recipe combines the beets with beet greens, topped with a little goat cheese.

Saute beet greens in a touch of oil. Season with salt and pepper. When almost wilted, drizzle some Balsamic on top to finish.

Roast the beets (as shown here), place some of the warm greens on a plate, top with the roasted beet. Drizzle with EVOO and more balsamic and a little goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cooking with Auden: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

We wanted to make some simple oatmeal cookies and came across this recipe. We replaced some of the fruit with chocolate chips. They turned out yummy but very soft.

Mixed Dried Fruit Oatmeal Cookies
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes
1/2 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl cream the butter with the brown sugar

Mix the baking soda with water.

Add in the egg, the baking soda mixture, the flour, the salt, and the vanilla. Stir in the oats, the apricots, the prunes, and the chocolate chips and combine the dough well.

Stir in the oats, the apricots, the prunes, and the chocolate chips and combine the dough well.

Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough about 4 inches apart onto greased baking sheets.

Bake the cookies in batches in the middle of a preheated 375 F. oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden, transfer them with a spatula to racks, and let them cool.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Grilled quesadilla and chili-lime corn

Corn is one of my favorite vegetables, and I especially like it grilled. This is a simple preparation that gives a great charred flavor. Any leftover corn can be added to soups and is a great addition to salads.

Drizzle the corn with a touch of oil and season with salt and pepper.

As it was raining, I turned to my trust cast iron grill. Cook the corn for about 20 minutes on a hot grill, turning every few minutes to evenly char with out over burning.

To finish the corn, I made a simple chili-lime butter. Soften butter and add a squeeze of fresh lime, salt and a dash of hot pepper to taste. Spread this on the hot corn.

I love the taste and texture of grilled quesadillas. Once you have a hot grill, it is no more work then cooking in a pan and adds a great flavor.

To fill, mix cheese (I used cheddar) with scallions, cilantro, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder.

To jazz these up, mix chili powder with a touch of oil and brush on the outside of the quesadillas before grilling. This not only helps to prevent sticking, but the chilis when cooked pop and give a great pink-red color to the outside, not to mention they taste great.

Grill a couple minutes a side, turning to prevent over cooking, though some charring is ideal.

Serve with the corn and some rice and beans and guacamole and you have a great simple meal

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Asparagus and Spinach Soup

This was another quick spring vegetable soup. The asparagus and spinach add a nice creamy texture with out a lot of added fat.

Asparagus and Spinach Soup
1 small onion or spring onion, diced
2 - 3 cloves garlic
1 bunch asparagus, diced and tips reserved
4 cups water or stock
1 bunch spinach
salt and pepper

Saute the onion in oil with a touch of salt.

Add the garlic and the chopped asparagus (except the tips). Cook for a few minutes until softened.

Add the stock and cook until the asparagus is cooked through.

Add the spinach and cooked through.

Puree the soup until smooth.

To cook the tips, boil in salted water for a minute or two, until warm but still crunchy.

To serve, top the soup with the tips and a generous amount of Parm.