Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fennel, Leek, and Orange Osso Buco {Putting Down Roots}


I am so rarely in front of the camera. But my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf grabbed my camera as I was heading to the table to serve the Osso Buco. And I told him I'd use the photo.

I've made osso buco a handful of times, including Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout and a lamb osso buco, but I was inspired to do osso buco this year for Thanksgiving because, well, I am anti-turkey. Sorry...I know that's almost un-American.

Osso buco, literally means, hole in the bone. So have your butcher cut the shanks into 1" to 2" lengths that have the bone - and marrow - showing.















I was so excited to finally get to use my brand-new Dutch oven. So, so happy.

Ingredients serves 6
  • six 2" osso buco-cut beef shanks
  • flour for dredging
  • 3 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 leeks, cleaned, trimmed, and chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 C organic chicken stock (it should come about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the shanks)
  • 1/2 C red wine
  • 1/2 fresh tomato sauce
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
For serving
  • 3 oranges, supremed
  • Fennel-Orange Gremolata [see recipe below]
Fennel-Orange Gremolata
  • 1 T fennel frond, chopped
  • zest from 1 organic orange
  • 1 T leek, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 t fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 sea salt
  • 1 t olive oil
  • juice from 1 organic orange
In a small mixing bowl blend all of the gremolata ingredients together. Set aside for serving.

Procedure
Heat 1 T butter and 1 T oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottom oven-safe pot over medium heat until melted. Dredge the shanks in flour and brown the shanks in the butter-oil mixture.


Cook for 2 to 3 minutes per side, letting a golden crust to form on each side. Remove the shanks from the pot and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Add 2 T more butter and another 1 T of oil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the carrot, leek, and fennel; sauté until slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.


Return the shanks to the pot. Pour in the stock, wine, and tomato sauce. Bring the liquid almost to a simmer.


Cover the pot with a lid and place the pot on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 3-1/2 or 4 hours - until it’s almost falling off the bone. Osso buco should be tender and juicy, but still hold its shape.  


To serve, Plate the shanks and drizzle lightly with the sauce. Top with dollops of gremolata and supremed oranges. Serve immediately.


Here's that hole-in-the-bone. The marrow slid easily from the bone and was so, so tasty. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Boozy Olives for #SundaySupper


This week's #SundaySupper event is a DIYers dream. 'Gifts from the Kitchen' is the theme for the event, so we're sharing recipes for homemade holiday presents. I've made and think these would make great gifts, too: Salted Caramel Sauce, Gin-Drizzled Gravlax, Cranberry-Clementine Infused Gin, Stone Fruit Jams, and Quick Pickled Asparagus.

But today, I'm sharing a recipe for Boozy Olives; I had intended to make Homemade Cocktail Onions, too, but life has been more chaotic than usual and I am still between two kitchens. I'll post the cocktail onion recipe later.

For the olives, go for a variety of colors. I used the green Castelvetrano, purple Alfonso, and black Niçoise. Be forewarned, this recipe takes 2 weeks to age; so, make them now to have them ready in time for the holidays. Cheers!


Ingredients fills 5 jam jars

  • 4 C olives
  • 1 1/2 C gin (I prefer Hendricks)
  • 1/4 C dry vermouth
  • 2" piece of Buddha's Hand Citron (click to read about Buddha's Hand), thinly sliced
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 t mixed peppercorns

Procedure
Combine all ingredients plus 1 C water in a large mixing bowl. Make sure the olives are completely submerged. Let stand for at least 2 hours. Divide into smaller jars. Pour the liquid over the olives. Cap the jars. Wait 2 weeks and enjoy.


Here's what the rest of the crew made...I have so many things on my to-make list now! Totally inspired.

Beverages:
Bread:
Appetizers and Snacks:
Condiments and Sauces:
Savory and Sweet Mixes:
Desserts and Sweets:

Sunday Supper MovementJoin 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. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

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

Putting Down Roots Wine Pairing: Donkey & Goat Roussanne


I was very excited to learn about this wine - Donkey & Goat's 2013 Roussanne, Stone Crusher - from Martin at ENOFLYZ Wine Blog. Thanks for the great tip!

First, Donkey & Goat is based in Berkeley; though I haven't lived there in almost 20 years, it still has a warm spot in my heart. Second, there's Jared and Tracey's manifesto: read it here. These are two winemakers I'd really love to meet. Maybe someday.

I actually ordered their Thanksgiving 6-pack, so I have five more Donkey & Goat wines to try. I'll definitely be uncorking one soon.

I poured this with the first course of our Thanksgiving feast that included a White Velvet Soup and a Duet of Salads.

Now about the wine. They have been making this orange wine for about 5 years, when they realized that the skins helped  their natural fermentation finish. Yes, I did write "orange wine." It's not white, or even pink. It's not red. It's really orange. See.


With two weeks' contact with the skins of the grapes, the wine has an alluring hue. It's probably one of the most interesting - and unusual wines - I've ever tried. It's bitter...in a good way...and toothy. What I mean by that is that it is a mouthful that you savor, almost as if you're chewing it. Don't get me wrong, you don't actually chew it, but it has that food quality, versus typical wine that passes through your mouth without really registering.


If you have the opportunity to try Donkey & Goat's 2013 Roussanne - or any other of their wines - do! I think you'll find it surprising and unforgetable.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Salad Duet: Celeriac-Apple Salad, Shaved Beet-Carrot-Radish Salad {Putting Down Roots}



As part of our soup and salad course, I created a duet of root-based salads. One featured celeriac, the other showcased a combination of beets, carrots, and radishes. And I put my brand-new mandolin to great use. I can't believe it's taken me this long to get one. It's outrageously easy.



Salad One: Celeriac-Apple Salad
A bright mustard vinaigrette is tossed with celery root and tart apples for a light salad with a delicious crunch.

Ingredients 
for the Mustard Vinaigrette

  • 2 t Dijon mustard
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 2 T walnut oil (or you can use 5 T olive oil if you don't have any walnut oil)
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

for the Salad

  • 1 medium celery root
  • 2 medium tart apples (I had some Granny Smiths from our High Ground Organics CSA)
  • 4 medium celery stalks
  • juice from 1 organic lemon
  • 1/2 C fresh herbs, finely chopped
  • 1/4 C toasted pecan pieces for garnish

Procedure
Whisk the mustard and vinegar together. Add the oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly, until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Peel and julienne the celery root and apples. Thinly slice the celery stalks. Toss all with lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Just before serving, toss the salad with vinaigrette and top with the toasted pecans  and an additional sprinkle of sea salt if desired before serving.


Salad Two: Shaved Beet-Carrot-Radish Salad
This  medley of paper-thin slices of raw beets, carrots and radishes are dressed with a light dressing and tons of herbs.

Ingredients
for the Dressing

  • 2 T light, fruity vinegar (I used a peach balsamic vinegar)
  • 5 T olive oil
  • 1 t ginger syrup
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

for the Salad

  • 3 small golden beets, scrubbed and dried
  • 2 small red beets, scrubbed and dried
  • 2 Black Spanish radish, scrubbed and dried
  • 3 medium carrots (I used a mixture of orange and purple carrots), scrubbed and dried
  • 1/2 C fresh herbs, chopped

Procedure
Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl.

Thinly slice the beets, carrot, and radishes on a mandolin - or, if you're lucky enough to have one - ask your Kitchen Elf do it!



Just before serving, toss the sliced vegetables with the dressing to coat evenly. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and season to taste with additional salt and freshly ground pepper, if desired.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Butter Braised Radishes {Putting Down Roots}


Preparing radishes this way take them from somewhat piquant to perfectly smooth. We love them prepared like this...and they were the perfect addition to my Putting Down Roots menu for Thanksgiving. I used pink radishes and some Black Spanish radishes from our High Ground Organics CSA.

Ingredients
  • 2 T butter
  • radishes, cleaned, greens removed, halved or quartered lengthwise (see photo above for how many I used - 5 pink and 4 black)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly ground sea salt
  • 1 T honey (I used a local honey)
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 T fresh herbs, thinly sliced
  • olive oil


Procedure
Use a pan large enough to hold the radishes without crowding. Melt the butter over medium heat, letting it brown slightly. Add the radishes, honey, and water. Stir to combine. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes or so. Uncover, increase the heat to high and bring back to a boil. Cook for another few minutes, until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Toss with chopped herbs, a splash of olive oil, and a bit more salt and pepper if you wish.

Cy's Vinegar Pie for Cook the Books


This round Simon, at briciole, selected That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx for our October-Novemer Cook the Books project. Here's her post

I have to be honest: I couldn't get through this book. I tried. Twice. The first time, I was reading the words without really engaging. I decided to restart, thinking I just needed an attitude adjustment. 

The second time, I was more interested in the characters and the story, but that only lasted for about the first fifty pages. Then, again, I was slogging through. 

I used to be a stubborn reader, determined to finish any book I started. But I am not that reader anymore; if a book doesn't hold my interest, I know that there are plenty more that will. I am thoroughly enjoying Jim Gaffigan's Food: A Love Story.

But just as I was about to throw in the towel and declare that I was out for this round, I read a page about Cy's Old Dog Café and knew that I could cook something from the book...even if I didn't finish the book.

I was most intrigued by the mention of vinegar pie. Really. Who would have thought to put vinegar in a pie? Apparently, though, vinegar pie is a traditional recipe. With a little reading, I discovered that vinegar pies have been around since the mid-19th century; they are a very simple dessert - a custard pie flavored with apple cider vinegar.

I imagine it was invented out of a lack of ingredients. And, rest assured, it tastes far better than it sounds. Here was my starting point... a vinegar pie recipe from Epicurious.

Ingredients
Crust Ingredients
  • 2 C flour
  • 1/2 C organic powdered sugar
  • 3/4 C butter, very-cold, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 T ice water
  • 2 T gin (typically I use vodka in a crust, but I didn't have any)
Filling Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T flour
  • 1 C cold water
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 t pumpkin pie spice

Procedure
For the pie crust...


Place the butter cubes, flour, and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. I used to use a pastry cutter, but after watching a pastry chef, I have started pressing the butter by hand. Flatten the butter by hand into discs, blending it in to the flour. Add in the water and gin and press the dough together till it comes together into a ball.


Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough out between 2 pieces of parchment paper.


Transfer the crust to a pie pan. Trim to the correct size. Crimp the edges and prick the crust with a fork. Place the crust in the freezer to chill while you preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 400°F.


With a little bit of extra crust, I dug out a pig cookie cutter in honor of Global Pork Rind in the book.


Line crust with foil and top with a handful of rice...or use pie weights. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove foil, rice or weights and return to the oven until the bottom of the crust is golden, approximately 10 to 12 minutes more. I baked the pig along with the crust.

While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and 1/4 cup sugar until well- blended well. In a large saucepan, whisk together flour, spices, and remaining sugar. Whisk in water and vinegar. Bring to mixture to a boil, whisking until sugar is completely dissolved. Pour in the egg mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly.

Cook the filling over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until filling coats the back of spoon. Mine took between 14 and 15 minutes. Take care not to let the mixture boil or the eggs will curdle. 

Reduce oven temperature to 350°F, then pour hot filling into baked pie shell. You can cover the edges with foil to keep them from browning too much. Bake pie until filling is set, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. I pressed the pig into the pie when it was still warm. Cool completely before serving.


Well, that's a wrap for this round of Cook the Books. I don't actually know what's up next for the group. I haven't seen the new list. But, join us, if you're inclined! 

Roasted Turnips - and Other Roots - with Parmesan {Putting Down Roots}


I had intended to just serve roasted turnips, but I ended up having other roots that needed roasting. So my sidedish ended up as roasted roots, including purple top turnip, Black Spanish radishes, potatoes, and carrots, too.

Ingredients

  • 1 large purple top turnip
  • 2 Black Spanish radishes
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 to 3 carrots
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 T olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 C shaved parmesan

Procedure
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Quarter the turnip and radishes and slice into 1/4 to 1/2" pieces. Slice the carrots into 1/2" coins. Place the roots in a large mixing bowl. Season with cayenne, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Transfer roots to a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper and roast until golden on both sides, approximately 30 minutes. Turn them over halfway through baking.

To serve, transfer to a serving dish and shave cheese over the top.

White Velvet Soup {Putting Down Roots}


I  wanted to start off the Thanksgiving meal with something silky and luscious. (This photo makes it look lumpy, but it really wasn't. I promise!) This soup was made even more decadent with a drizzle of white truffle oil.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 medium onions
  • 5 potatoes (I had red potatoes)
  • 1 C water
  • 5 C vegetable broth
  • juice of 1 organic lemon
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • white truffle infused olive oil
  • fresh herbs (I used a mixture of chives, mint, majoram, thyme, and parsley)


Procedure
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Wash and cut your head of cauliflower into small pieces. Slice your onions and potatoes into wedges. Spread them out onto the baking tray. Drizzle olive oil over top.


Put trays into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the edges have become a nice golden tinge.


In batches, blend the veggies mixed with water and stock. The proportions don't need to be the same since it's all going into the souppot together. Place the puree into the pot. Add in the lemon juice and heat till warmed through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls. To serve, garnish with fresh herbs and drizzle with white truffle oil.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Kitchen Elves' Homemade Rootbeer {Putting Down Roots}


Seasoned with sassafras, sarsaparilla and a variety of other herbs and spices, the ingredient list for homemade rootbeer is daunting. But I finally got around to amassing what I needed. The boys were so excited. And it was perfect for our 'Putting Down Roots' Thanksgiving menu.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 C sassafras root bark
  • 1-1/2 t sarsaparilla root extract
  • 1 T licorice root
  • 1 t ground ginger root
  • 1 T dandelion root
  • 1 hop flower
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 T birch bark
  • 1 t juniper berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 10 C water
  • 1 C organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 C fresh whey*


Procedure
*First you have to make the whey. It took about an hour for me to get 1/2 C of whey from my plain yogurt. I've read to leave it overnight, but I just did it till I got what I needed for the recipe.

Line a colander with cheesecloth, then spoon your yogurt into it. Let drain.







Place all of the ingredients - up to the water (on the list above) - in a large souppot.


Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the roots, berries, barks, leaves and flowers for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes, turn off the heat.


Strain the infusion through a colander lined with cheesecloth into a pitcher.


Add sugar to the hot infusion, stirring until it dissolves. Cool for approximately 20 to 30 minutes - until it reaches 98 degrees. Once the infusion has cooled, stir in the fresh whey and pour into bottles, leaving at least 1" head space in each bottle.

Let the root beer ferment for 3 to 4 days at room temperature, then move it to the fridge for an additional day to age. Serve over ice.


The verdict: the flavor was strong. Good, but strong. However, it wasn't very carbonated. So, it's back to the drawing board. But it was passable and fit our menu theme.

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