Saturday, February 6, 2016

Lemon-Matcha Truffles #FreshTastyValentines #sponsor #giveaway


I have a prolific Meyer lemon tree just outside my back door. And when I received the Better Zester from KitchenIQas a sponsor gift for #FreshTastyValentines, I knew that I had to do something with Meyer lemon zest for the event. I did make a great vinaigrette that I will share soon, but I decided to share another sweet treat. It's not too sweet and it is completely unique.

On that "unique" note, I have to admit that this wasn't a hit with all three of my valentines. Jake said the ginger and matcha competed on your palate (okay, those weren't his exact words, but that was the gist of his critique); R said that it was too dry; and D actually liked them. So, next time, I might use honey instead of ginger syrup and I'll add more coconut oil to make them more moist. But, D and I thought these were fine as is. So, I'm sharing them.

 Ingredients makes 8 to 10 truffles
  • 1/2 C ground almonds (or use almond meal)
  • 1/2 C ground coconut (or use coconut flour)
  • 1 t Matcha green tea powder
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 t lemon zest
  • 2 T ginger syrup
  • 1 T coconut oil, melted
  • organic granulated sugar for rolling


Procedure 
Add all ingredients - except the organic granulated sugar - to a bowl and mix until they are all combined.


Roll into teaspoon-sized balls. Roll balls in sugar.


Just a note about the Better Zester: Remember my crazy lemon tree that produces all year long? Well, I have a trusty microplane that I use for zesting and a different style that creates thicker strips of zest. But what I love about this one: It requires very light pressure and picks up a fine layer of zest. It doesn't grab any of the pith at all. And its handy compartment catches the zest with no mess. Plus, when you remove the zest-catching compartment, it shoves all the zest to one end for simple retrieval. This product is an amazing improvement on the old fashioned style of zester. I definitely recommend it.

You have the chance to win one. See below!


Giveaway
Don't forget to check out the prizes and enter our #FreshTastyValentines Giveaway
HERE. You have the chance to win prizes from KitchenIQ.


*Disclosure: I received complimentary product from KitchenIQ for the creation of this post. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.*

Find KitchenIQ
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here

Today's #FreshTastyValentines Recipes

Friday, February 5, 2016

Ciambotta, a Delicious Calabrese Mess #ItalianFWT


This month the Italian Food, Wine & Travel - #ItalianFWT - blogging group is traveling to Calabria. Follow along the journey with my fellow #ItalianFWT bloggers.  You can also chat with us live this Saturday morning at 11am EST on Twitter at #ItalianFWT.  Hope to see you there!


To Calabria
Calabria is a region in Southern Italy and forms the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by the region of Basilicata, to the west by the Tyrrhenian Sea, and to the east by the Ionian Sea. 

I spent one evening in Calabria as a stop between our adventures on Ustica, off the coast of Sicily, and the Amalfi Coast. I regret to say that I wasn't paying too much attention at the time. I collapsed in our room after a walk from the train station, woke to find a place to eat dinner, drank too much red wine, and went back to the hotel to catch a few zzzzzzs before going back to the train in the morning. I will have to return to Calabria one of these days.

The Other #ItalianFWT Offerings... 

In the Glass...
This month has been crazy. Along with the mayhem and my poor planning, I found myself without a Calabrian wine to pour. Boo! But I plan to hunt one down soon as I am intrigued by the regional red Gaglioppo.


On the Plate...
I had initially planned to make Costolette D'Agnello Alla Calabrese, Calabrian-Style Lamb Chops. But Martin at Enofylz Wine Blog was already making that dish...and he had already done the cooking and pairing while I had yet to make it to the market. Besides, my procrastination, we try to give our group's readers some variety! So, I changed directions and will share my version of that dish another time.

Today, I opted to make a version of ciambotta. Its akin to a caponata but without the agrodolce (sour-sweet) that comes with the vinegar-sugar syrup in a caponataLike caponata, people in Calabria eat ciambotta in many different ways. They might eat it with crusty bread or as a contorno with grilled meats or sausages. They might also eat it topped with eggs and grated cheese. Che squisito!

Also like caponata, making ciambotta is more of a process than an actual recipe. Measurements are not crucial as, for instance, one more or fewer zucchini will not dramatically alter the dish. Everything softens and melts into a delicious saucy stew.

Fun Fact: Italian food names are often appropriated as colloquialisms. You know if someone is driving too slowly, another driver might shake a fist at the slow-poke and holler "Polenta!!" Ciambotta is similar. If someone gets confused and tells a story wrong, a Calabrese might apologize and exclaim that they have made a "grande ciambotta" (a huge mess).

This dish is a big, delicious Calabrese mess.


Ingredients
  • 1 sweet onion (I used 1/2 red onion and 1/2 white onion)
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 C cubed waxy potatoes (I used baby red potatoes)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 T fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 T fresh parsley, chopped


Procedure
Cut the onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, and potatoes into cubes. In a large, flat-bottom pan, cook the onions in a splash of olive oil over medium heat until softened, approximately 5 to 8 minutes. 

Add the eggplant, and potatoes and cook until the eggplants are softened. Add the tomatoes and bell peppers. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are very tender, approximately 30 minutes. Add water if the mixture seems too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


When the ciambotta is done, remove it from the heat and stir in the basil and parsley. Serve hot or at room temperature. I poached some eggs in the ciambotta for a quick and easy dinner.

Carrot Pâté Canapés #FreshTastyValentines #sponsor #giveaway


As my Fresh Tasty Valentines event enters its final stretch, I wanted to share a recipe from a new BenBella Vegan title: Dining at the Ravens by Jeff and Joan Stanford. I'm not going to say too much about it as I will be kicking off a blog tour for them on the 9th. Check back for that full review and another recipe then.

For this event, BenBella Vegan is providing a prize package that includes five different cookbooks from their 2015 publishing releases! One #FreshTastyValentines winner will receive a print copy of the following cookbooks: The Plant-Based JourneyDining at The RavensPlant-Powered FamiliesThe China Study Quick & Easy Cookbookand The Plant Pure Nation Cookbook. Enter the giveaway below!

Carrot Pâté Canapés 
makes 1-1/2 C of pâté
slightly adapted - recipe shared with permission

I selected an easy - and versatile - recipe. It was quick to put together and delicious slathered on crostini for my mini-boys and on cucumber slices for my currently gluten-free husband. All three of my valentines were excited. You can also just use it as a dip for crudités. 

Ingredients
Carrot Pâté
  • 1 1/2 C cashews
  • 1 C carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 T tahini
  • 2 T red or white mellow miso (I used red)
  • 1 T gluten-free tamari
  • 1–2 T water
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • black sesame seeds, for garnish
Canapés
  • crostini, bread, or crackers (I used sliced naan)
  • cucumber slices
  • fresh herbs for garnish, I used parsley

Procedure
Place all ingredients - except salt and pepper - in a blender and process. Add 1 T water and check texture. Add an additional tablespoon of water if the pâté is too thick to easily spread.

With a rubber spatula, scrape sides of the blender and continue to blend until a smooth paste is formed. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To serve, place a small smear of pâté on the bread or cucumber slice. Sprinkle with parsley and black sesame seeds.


Giveaway
Don't forget to check out the prizes and enter our #FreshTastyValentines Giveaway
HERE. You can win a prize package from BenBella Vegan!

*Disclosure: I received a complimentary cookbook from BenBella Vegan for the creation of this post. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.*

Find BenBella Vegan
on the web
on Facebook
on Pinterest
on Instagram
and on Twitter

Today's #FreshTastyValentines Recipes

Salted Brown Sugar Caramel Sauce {Contributed to My Disorganized Life}


Remember when I announced that I had recently become a contributing writer to My Disorganized Life? Well, my February post is live over there. And it's just in time to inspire you for any Valentines treats on which you want to add a little more sweetness. I've got you covered.

Click to read the recipe at My Disorganized Life!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Savory Hemp Seed Pesto Truffles #FreshTastyValentines #sponsor #giveaway


I love making little savory truffles. You can't go wrong with cheese, right?! With some help from #FreshTastyValentines event sponsors - Bob's Red Mill and Gourmet Garden - these were super easy to make. Normally I make pesto in the blender, but because the Gourmet Garden pastes are ready-to-go, I just squeezed the pastes into a bowl and stirred. So. Easy.


Ingredients
Hemp Seed Pesto
  • 3 T basil paste (I used basil paste from Gourmet Garden)
  • 1 T lightly dried basil (I used lightly dried basil from Gourmet Garden)
  • 1 T garlic paste (I used garlic paste from Gourmet Garden)
  • 1/4 C hemp seed hearts (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/4 C grated parmesan
  • juice from 1 organic lemon (I used Meyer lemon because we have a tree in our backyard)
  • olive oil, as needed
Savory Truffles
  • 4 ounces chevre
  • 1 T hemp seed pesto
  • 1 to 2 T lightly dried basil (I used lightly dried basil from Gourmet Garden)
  • 1 to 2 T  hemp seed hearts (I used Bob's Red Mill)


Procedure
Hemp Seed Pesto
Place all of the ingredients - except the olive oil - in a bowl and stir to combine. Add olive oil until it's the texture you want.

Savory Truffles
Place chevre and pesto in a bowl and stir to combine.


Spoon the lightly dried basil and hemp seed hearts onto two different plates for rolling.


Scoop 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture and roll into a ball. Roll to coat in either the basil or the hemp seed hearts. You can also leave it naked, too. I alternated. Once finished, chill until ready to serve.


Giveaway
Don't forget to check out the prizes and enter our #FreshTastyValentines Giveaway
HERE. You have the chance to win prizes from Bob's Red Mill and Gourmet Garden.


*Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Bob's Red Mill and Gourmet Garden for the creation of this post. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.*


Find Bob's Red Mill
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here

Find Gourmet Garden
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here

Today's #FreshTastyValentines Recipes

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Artisan Pasta Class: Potatoes Galore and Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream

Tonight was the final week of my Artisan Pasta Class. Boo. But, I am a better pasta maker because of it...and it was nice to spend three evenings with a friend from college who is now teaching Culinary Arts at a local high school. She's amazing! 

Today we made gnocchi which is technically not a pasta, but it's definitely under the pasta umbrella. We made Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Cream and Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Brown Butter-Sage Sauce. Ummm...yum. We were split into different teams. Carolyn, Regina, and I were Team Gorgonzola Cream. So, I'm sharing that recipe.


But first, a word about potatoes. I learned that there are three categories of potatoes: waxy, starchy, and all-purpose. 

Starchy, namely russet potatoes, are perfect for gnocchi. Waxy potatoes, such as fingerlings and baby red potatoes, are the ones to use for potato salad. And all-purpose potatoes, such as Yukon gold, red potatoes, and white potatoes, are the ones to use for scalloped potatoes and any dishes where you want the potatoes to hold their shape.

Who knew? Seriously. Who knew?! I certainly didn't. I used to buy potatoes because I liked the color I had no idea they had different properties or purposes. I feel smarter already.


Every class I've taken with Jenn has me running to the store for a new gadget. I am not a gadgety cook, but I am all for becoming a better cook. So, when I took Jenn's truffle class years ago, I went right out and bought a scoop. After the first week of the Artisan Pasta Class, I bought a better food scale. And after this week, well, I think I might just need a ricer.

Using a ricer made the gnocchi smooth and uniform. I've made a lot of gnocchi in my time, but these were the best. They were what gnocchi should be. They were pillowy soft and almost melted on your tongue as soon as they hit your mouth. Outrageous.

Ingredients adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Gnocchi
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 ounces all purpose flour + more for rolling
  • 1 t salt + 1 T salt for cooking the gnocchi

Gorgonzola Cream
  • 3/4 heavy cream
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • 4 ounces gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 2 T fresh basil, chiffonaded
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • grated parmesan and more basil for serving


Procedure

Gnocchi
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. With a paring knife, poke each russset potato 8 times. Microwave potatoes until slightly softened at the ends, approximately 10 minutes, rotating potatoes mid-way through cooking. [Okay, I don't have a microwave, so I'll just roast them longer!] Transfer potatoes directly to the oven rack and bake until skewer easily pierces the potato, approximately 18 to 20 minutes.

Holding each potato with  kitchen towel, peel potato with a paring knife. Process potatoes through a ricer onto a rimmed baking sheet. Spread the potatoes into an even layer and let cool for 5 minutes.

Place 16 ounces of riced potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Using a fork, blend in the egg, flour, and 1 t salt. Combine until all the flour is incorporated. Press mixture into a rough ball. Transfer to a lightly floured counter. Gently knead until smooth, approximately 1 minute.


Cut dough into eight even pieces. Roll dough into 1/2" ropes and slice into 3/4" pieces.


To form the gnocchi, press a piece of dough onto the tines of a fork. 



Use your thumb to create a dimple in the top of the gnocchi. Roll the dough down the tines to create gnocchi's signature indentations. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.


Once your gnocchi are rolled, make the sauce.


Gorgonzola Cream
Bring wine and cream to a simmer in a large, flat-bottom pan over medium heat. Stirring constantly, gradually add the gorgonzola and cook until melted and the sauce is thickened, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To cook the gnocchi, bring water to a boil with splash of olive oil and 1 T salt. At a low boil, drop the gnocchi into the water and cook until they float, approximately 1 minute.


Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the cooked gnocchi. Drop the cooked gnocchi into the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. 

Chipotle-Roasted Veggie Polenta Bowl with Truffled Eggs #FreshTastyValentines #sponsor #giveaway



This is a fantastic, hearty breakfast for your Valentine. And while I make some version of this at least once a month, this was the first time I used something other than olive oil to roast my veggies...and the first time I shaved black truffles on the top of the eggs.

Thanks to Fresh Tasty Valentines sponsor T.Lish Dressings, my veggies had a hint of chipotle. I used some broccolini from Mann Packingstirred some Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices into the polenta, and topped it all with an egg and thin shavings of black truffle. Delectable and perfectly decadent for a special breakfast or brunch entree!

Ingredients

Roasted Veggies

  • delicata squash, halved, deseeded, and sliced
  • butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • sweet potatoes, cubed
  • fennel, trimmed and sliced
  • broccolini from Mann Packing
  • Chipotle Vinaigrette & Marinade from T.Lish Dressings

Polenta

  • 2 C polenta
  • 3 C warm chicken stock
  • 3 C warm water
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T lightly dried parsley from Gourmet Garden
  • 2 T lightly dried basil from Gourmet Garden
  • 1/2 C shredded parmesan cheese

Topping

  • eggs, boiled to your preference
  • black truffles
  • fresh chopped parsley
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Procedure

Roasted Veggies
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Place the delicata squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and fennel in a large mixing bowl.


Pour in enough Chipotle Vinaigrette & Marinade from T.Lish Dressings to coat everything. Toss and turn out onto a parchment lined sheet in a single layer.


Slice the broccolini into 2" length and toss to coat with Chipotle Vinaigrette & Marinade. Turn the broccolini onto a parchment-lined sheet in a single layer.



Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until the broccoloini is fork tender and the squash is nicely caramelized. Set aside until you're ready to plate.


Polenta
Butter a baking dish and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all of the ingredients - except the herbs and cheese - together in a large mixing bowl. Then spoon everything into the baking dish. Bake for an hour, but stir it every twenty minutes. When it's finished, add herbs and cheese. Stir that together until the cheese is completely incorporated.

To Serve
Spoon the roasted veggies onto a plate. Scoop the polenta on top and lay a few more veggies on top. Peel and halve your eggs. Place them on top of the polenta. Shave black truffle slices on top of the egg and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve immediately. Che squisito!


Giveaway
Don't forget to check out the prizes and enter our #FreshTastyValentines Giveaway
HERE. You can win prize packages from T.Lish, Mann Packing, and Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices!

*Disclosure: I received complimentary product from T.Lish, Mann Packing, Gourmet Garden Herbs & Spices for the creation of this post. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.*

Find T.Lish
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here


Find Mann Packing
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here

Find Gourmet Garden
on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
on Google+: here


Today's #FreshTastyValentines Recipes

Share Buttons