Sunday, April 13, 2014

SRC Reveal: Artichokes with Hollandaise


Welcome to my first reveal with Group B's Secret Recipe Club. I've been a part of the club for several years and took on hostess duties last month, but I still cooked with Group A in March. Now, I'm completely moved over to Group B. Hooray! 

This month I was assigned to Smells Like Brownies, a blog written by Melissa. I love that she characterizes blogging as a journey...she's continually working to improve her skills as a food stylist, photographer, writer, and chef. Way to keep it real, gal. We all need to continue striving for improvement. Love it. And I really love that she has an entire series of posts about her CSA goodies.

I considered her Warm Garlic Scape Vinaigrette, Carrot Chickpea SaladSweet and Salty Arugula Salad, and more. In the end, I settled on Artichokes and Hollandaise. Unlike Melissa, artichokes are a household staple. Maybe it has something to do with our proximity to California's artichoke capital. I was even honored as a 'choke artist in a local paper's 'Artichoke Fetishes and the Insane Recipes that Come With Them' article where I shared my Salmon-Artichoke Cakes, White Lasagna with Artichokes, and Artichoke-Chocolate Bundt Cakes. But I have never ever eaten artichokes with hollandaise sauce...much less made them. This month I changed that. Thanks, Melissa, for the inspiration!

And, as a bonus, these 'chokes were from our CSA Farm - High Ground Organics.

Hollandaise Sauce
inspired by Smells Like Brownies's Artichokes and Hollandaise

Ingredients
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 8 T butter, melted
  • pinch of fleur de sel
  • freshly ground pepper
Procedure
In the top of the double boiler, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, and vinegar. Add the melted butter to egg yolk mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time while whisking yolks constantly. If the hollandaise begins to get too thick, add a teaspoon or two of hot water. Continue whisking until all the butter is incorporated. Whisk in salt and pepper, then remove from heat. Place a lid on pan to keep sauce warm until ready to serve.

To prepare the artichokes...
Trim the spines from the leaves. Steam until the outer leaves pull away from the stem easily. Remove from pot. Serve with the hollandaise.


Melissa, what a great combination! My husband said he couldn't believe that I've never put those two together before. This will definitely appear on our table again soon, especially since artichokes are just coming into season.

#SundaySupper: Bademjan Shekam-por {Stuff, Roll, Wrap}

It's #SundaySupper time again. And this round we are stuffing, rolling, and wrapping. What a fun theme! I considered stuffing grape leaves, tomatoes, peppers, and even apples. But in the end, I wanted to make something with eggplants. 


A couple of years ago, I hosted an eggplant dinner for two friends' birthday celebration; I called it 'Ode to an Aubergine.'


Little back story: one of our friends claimed to not like eggplant. I took the challenge to come up with an entire dinner menu made with eggplant...from Eggplant Boats to Creamy Eggplant Soup and Braised Lamb Over Eggplant Puree to dessert. Yes! Even dessert. I made an Italian dessert - Melanzane al Cioccolato - with eggplant and chocolate. And, of course, I ordered eggplant hats for everyone.

The dinner was a wild success and the eggplant-averse friend declared, to my delight, Okay, I like eggplant now!

So, for this edition of #SundaySupper - Stuff, Roll, Wrap - I decided to do my own version of Bademjan shekam-por, Persian stuffed eggplants. Traditionally, it's fried eggplant that's stuffed with ground beef simmered in a tomato sauce and topped with slivered almonds. I opted to bake my eggplant and topped it with feta cheese instead of almonds. I also added lots of fresh herbs. So tasty!

Bademjan Shekam-por
Persian Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients serves 4

  • 2 Chinese eggplants*
  • olive oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 green garlic, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 C green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 C tomato sauce
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 1/4 t ground cumin
  • 1/4 t ground coriander
  • 1 t ground paprika
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • juice of one Meyer lemon
  • 1 T fresh chopped dill
  • 1 T fresh chopped basil
  • 1 T fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 C feta, cut into cubes

*the only eggplants I could find were long - over a foot long! If you can find shorter ones, you might need 4.

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse and dry your eggplants. Lay them on top of foil and drizzle them with olive oil. Fold them into the foil so that they are completely enclosed. Place the foil packets on a baking sheet. Roast for 50-60 minutes.


In the meantime, make your meat filling. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large, flat-bottom pan. Saute the green garlic and leeks in the oil until they are softened and begging to turn translucent. Add in the ground beef and brown until cooked through. Stir in the green beans and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and add in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and paprika. Cook until the sauce thickens. Squeeze in the lemon juice and fold in the fresh herbs.

Open the eggplant packets, leaving them on the foil, and slice them lengthwise. Mash the eggplant slightly, pressing the meat away from the skin slightly. Spoon the meat filling into the eggplant. Top them with the feta cheese and return them to the oven. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.


Serve stuffed eggplants with rice or with warm flatbread and plain yogurt.

Here's what the rest of the #SundaySupper brought to the party...


HTML: Starters and Snacks
Entrees and Mains
All things Sweet
All things Sweet


Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos. 

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

EGGStravaganza {Recipe Round-Up}


At the beginning of April, I put out a call for recipes. "Bring me your favorite egg recipes," I said. For the first time ever, the savories outnumbered the sweets. This is what I got..

Savory

I love all the variations of deviled eggs!
photos courtesy of participating bloggers: Farmersgirl KitchenShockingly Delicious

Sweet Basil Deviled Eggs by Shockingly Delicious

More egg-y deliciousness!
photos courtesy of participating bloggers: Cupcake MuffinOn the Move, In the Galley

Easy Hash Brown Egg Casserole by Close to Home
Eggciting Curried Eggs by Love & Flour
Shirred Eggs with Tomato by Cupcake Muffin
Chinese Tea Eggs by On the Move, In the Galley
Molded Hard-boiled Eggs by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Broccoli, Ham and Cheddar Egg Bake by Join us, Pull Up a Chair
Egg and Hash Brown Breakfast Pie by An Affair from the Heart
Arugula Salad with Bacon and Poached Quail Eggs by Flying on Jess Fuel
Quinoa Frittata by  Flying on Jess Fuel
Eggs Benedict Casserole by Cheese Curd in Paradise

Some with International Flair...
Menemen by Rachel Cotterill
Chinese Stir-Fried Tomato and Eggs by Tara's MultiCultural Table
Moroccan Meatball and Egg Tagine by Tara's MultiCultural Table
Thai Stuffed Omelet by Tara's MultiCultural Table
Tuscan Baked Eggs on Lentils by Shockingly Delicious

These are SO pretty!
photos courtesy of participating bloggers: On the Move, In the GalleySpinach Tiger

Eggs in a Lacy Nest by On the Move, In the Galley
Baked Eggs in Avocado by Curious Cuisiniere
Breakfast Burgers by Amy's Cooking Adventure
Baked Eggs with Sweet Potato-Brussels Sprout Hash by Spinach Tiger
Eggs Benedict Risotto by Cheese Curd in Paradise

Sweet
Peanut Butter Eggs with Dark Chocolate by Spinach Tiger
Strawberry Passionfruit Pavlova by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Chocolate Chip Meringue Cookies (Gluten-Free) by The Heritage Cook
Meyer Lemon Curd and Shortbread Cookies by The Heritage Cook

Drinkable
photo courtesy of participating blogger: The Martini Diva

Easter Egg Martini by The Martini Diva
Easter Chocolate Cream Egg Martini by The Martini Diva

Thanks to the bloggers who shared their recipes!

Lemonade Stand


Last week, during Spring break, the boys wanted to hold a garage sale at my parents' house. Well, Dylan wanted to sell items; Riley wanted to sell lemonade.

Funny: they made more from the lemonade sales than from the junk!



Riley said, "Mom, I told the customers it was made with organic lemons from a garden."

Whose garden...we don't have a lemon tree and neither does Nonna?!! 

"Nonna's friend gave us the lemons," he explained.

Oh good! We don't have to have a conversation about truth in advertising, then.

Riley's Lemonade 
Ingredients makes 20 servings
  • juice from 5 organic lemons
  • 10 C cold water
  • 1-1/2 C blue agave nectar
Procedure
Measure out all of your ingredients. Pour the lemon juice, water, and blue agave nectar into a jar. Gently shake the jar to mix the nectar into the juice and water.

Pasta al Tricolore


Il Tricolore is what the Italians call their flag. I love serving this dish - pasta with three colors (read 'three sauces') - because everyone gets what they want Dylan and I get pesto, Riley gets marinara, and Jake gets beciamela. Win, win, win.

I cook one pot of pasta and then toss it with three different sauces for serving.

For the green: 
Mizuna Pesto, Dandelion Pesto, or whatever your favorite recipe is

For the white: 
Beciamela (recipe in here) or whatever your favorite recipe is

For the red:
Fresh Marinara Sauce or whatever your favorite recipe is

Olive Oil-Lemon Pudding

I was having a serious dessert craving last night and realized that I had no butter and no flour. I had my CSA goodies from High Ground Organics and that was about it. Then it hit me. With some lemon, some eggs, some sugar, and some olive oil, you can make a mouth-puckering pudding. And it takes less than 10 minutes. Woohoo. Craving averted.


Ingredients
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 C organic coconut sugar (this renders the final pudding a sort of mustard color; for a true yellow, use granulated sugar, I just didn't have any)
  • 1/2 C freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (Thanks, Marsalisi Organic Farms!)
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C extra virgin olive oil


Procedure
Place all ingredients into a double boiler or bowl set over gently simmering water on the stove. Whisk until it thickens into a pudding or custard consistency. We are ours warm with some High Ground Organics strawberries on the side!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

CSA Spotlight: Meet Mizuna + a Recipe

As we go through the CSA season, I figured I'd spotlight something from the box each week...and I'll provide a recipe for what I did with it. Last week, I shined the spotlight on Celery Root. Today: Mizuna.


Meet Mizuna - Mizuna, also called Japanese mustard, is a leafy green that has spiky leaves and the bitterness of arugula but the heft of watercress. At least that's how I would describe it. It's actually a variety of brassica rapa (Napa cabbage). Like cabbage or arugula, you can easily use it both raw or cooked. I opted to use it raw, in a pesto.


Pesto is a sauce that originated in the Ligurian region of northern Italy. Pesto genovese, from Genoa, traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano The name derives from the Italian verb pestare which means to pound or to crush, referring to the original way of preparing it - with a mortar and pestle. The ingredients in a traditional pesto are ground with a circular motion of the pestle in the mortar. Now I use a blender. It's much easier!

Mizuna Pesto


Though my 10-year-old could eat pesto every day, it isn't one of Jake's favorites. So I don't make it very often. But when I saw a bunch in my CSA box from High Ground Organics this week, I decided to make a definitively non-traditional pesto, using mizuna greens and almonds instead of basil and pine nuts.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch mizuna greens
  • 1 T crushed garlic
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 1/2 C shredded parmesan
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fleur de sel
Procedure
Place all of the ingredients into the blender. Pulse a few times, drizzle in olive oil, and resume pulsing.  Pulse. Oil. Pulse. Oil.

If you want a smoother, sauce-like pesto, add more olive oil and blend longer; if you want a chunkier pesto, use less oil and blend for less time.  So simple. So fresh. So fragrant.

You can use this in pesto-filled potatoes or tossed into pasta. I served ours in a penne alongside a roasted salmon for dinner tonight.

Herbes de Provençe-Roasted Salmon

It's salmon season!!! My family could eat salmon everyday. In fact, as soon as we finished dinner last night, Riley asked if we could have it again today. Yep.

We needed something to go along with our Roasted Asparagus with Vanilla-Lavender Aioli. I went with a roasted salmon with flavors that complemented the veggies. So easy!


Ingredients serves 4
  • 1-2 pounds wild salmon, skin removed
  • olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 t Herbes de Provençe (lavender, fennel seeds, savory, and tarragon)
  • juice from 1 lemon

Procedure
Preheat oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Place salmon pieces on baking dish lined with parchment paper. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 10 minutes.

Lightly crush the salt, pepper, and Herbes de Provençe together with a mortar and pestle...or just crush it between your fingers. Remove the dish from the oven and sprinkle the spices on top. Drizzle with more olive oil if the salmon looks dry. Squeeze lemon over the top and return the dish to the oven for another 10 minutes or until salmon is just cooked through. Serve hot.