Saturday, April 30, 2016

Baked Okra Fries for a #BurgerMonth sidedish

So, May is #BurgerMonth. Did you know that? Well, you will. And I am excited about sharing my new burger recipe. But I figured I'd share the side dish today. We battled over these and I definitely will double the recipe next time.

This simple dish comes together quickly and tastes amazing.


Ingredients
  • 1 pound okra, rinsed and dried
  • 1 T corn meal
  • ½ t freshly ground salt
  • ½ t freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T olive oil



Procedure
Preheat oven to 450°F. Trip the end off the okra and slice them in half lengthwise.

Place okra in a large mixing bowl. Add in the corn meal, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.


Place okra on a silicone or parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.


The okra fries should be browned and nicely crisped. Serve immediately as they will get less crisp as they cool.


Though I use my Clongs from Dreamfarm all the time (I received them during last year's #BurgerMonth event), I figured I'd share a photo since they have contributed a prize to this year's #BurgerMonth giveaway again. More on that soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC


Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from - The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.*

Judy, Vicki, and their publisher, Tarcher-Penguin, have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous.

This month Sarah at Things I Make (for Dinner) has selected Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read Sarah's invitation. She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages.


On the Page...
While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it.

photo by R - Lake Tahoe, northshore

First, a note: I had no idea this had been made into a movie. I can't wait to track it down because I so enjoyed the book. Though I rarely enjoy a movie-from-book as much as the book itself. So, perhaps I'll skip the movie and just revel in my adoration of Chevalier's book.

I enjoyed the main character, Griet. Though she is essentially a peasant, she is competent, intelligent and observant. She has been hired by Vermeer, the Dutch painter, to clean his studio. Her task: clean without moving anything. Or rather, clean without making it apparent that she moved anything.

Much to the dismay of his high-strung wife Catharina - who is constantly pregnant - Maria, his mother-in-law, and his many children, Griet forges a relationship with Vermeer. It's not a sexual relationship, but it is illicit. She is the only one in the household allowed entry to the studio. Griet displays an affinity towards his art, so she begins to assist Vermeer, grinding his colors, laying out the paints, making subtle suggestions by changing placements in his still-lifes, and - ultimately - being the muse of Girl with a Pearl Earring.

from wikipedia.com

"I saw for him...three or four times a week, for an hour or two each time. It was the part of the week I liked best, with his eyes on only me for those hours. I did not mind that it was not an easy post to hold, that looking sideways for long periods of time gave me headaches. I did not mind when he sometimes he had me move my head again and again so that the yellow cloth swung around, so he could paint me looking as if I had just turned to face him. I did whatever he asked of me."

So, I'll just say that the pearl earring belonged to Vermeer's wife. And it was taken and worn without Catharina's knowledge and consent. As you can imagine, Griet left the household under a cloud. She married Pieter and became a butcher's wife.

On the Plate...
I decided to make a dish with meat, as her life after being the Girl with the Pearl Earring, was at a butcher's stall. I found at traditional Dutch recipe that was found in cookbooks from the 18th and 19th centuries: Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands. Lamb chops old-Dutch style. It was delicious.

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands
Lamb chops old-Dutch style


Ingredients makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 4 bone-in lamb shoulder chops
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 C meat stock
  • 2 t fresh rosemary
  • 2 t fresh thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 t flour or cornstarch
  • 1 T fresh parsley

Procedure
Let the meat come to room temperature on the counter. Sprinkle both sides liberally with freshly ground salt and freshly ground black pepper. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

Heat your grill or grill pan until oil is almost to the smoke point. Place the chops on the pan and sear for 3 minutes.


Flip the chops to the other side and sear for another 3 minutes.


Place them in a lightly oiled oven dish and roast them for 12 to 15 minutes.

In the same pan that you seared the chops, add a splash of olive oil and cook the onions and garlic until softened and caramelized. Deglaze the pan with the wine and pour in the stock. Add in the rosemary, thyme, and bay. Bring to a boil. Whisk in the flour or cornstarch and bring to a boil again. Let thicken. Fold in the fresh parsley.

To serve, put the chops on individual plates and pour the sauce over them. 

Giveaway
This month Sarah at Thing I Make (for Dinner), this month's host, is giving away a copy of the book.* Enter to win a copy of the cookbook so you can join us in future months, if you wish!

One of our lucky readers - US and Canada only! - can enter to win a copy ofThe Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, courtesy of Tarcher-Penguin. Giveaway runs from April 1st till April 30th at 6 o'clock PM, Pacific time. Please see terms and conditions in the rafflecopter widget below. Many thanks to Tarcher Books. You may find Tarcher: on the web, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on Pinterest.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Disclosure: Sarah received a complimentary copy of The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp as an opportunity to give a copy away. Opinions are our own. We received no further compensation for our posts.

**This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.


   

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

{Gluten-Free} Celebratory Strawberry Muffins

Today, my Love turns 41. He would probably rather not have his birthday celebrated. Too bad.

Note to self: if you stick a thin birthday candle in the muffin while it's still hot, the candle will melt. Whoops. The Precise Kitchen Elf declared, "It's okay. I'm sure it's culinary grade wax." Hilarious.


I canceled my morning workout and ran to the grocery store to get ingredients for a gluten-free treat. I decided on strawberry muffins because the baskets of beautiful organic strawberries were calling to me. And, because my gluten-free baking is sometimes if-y (read: dense, flat, and grainy), I used a gluten-free baking mix. Yep, I did.

And it paid off. The muffins were raised and fluffy. The boys even doubted it was gluten-free. Then, I told them it was a mix and they said, "Oh, that explains it." Okay...I obviously need to hone my gluten-free baking skills a little more.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix
  • 1/3 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 1/2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C organic strawberries, chopped


Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the baking mix and sugar. Whisk in the oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla. With a spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, and mix just until moistened.

Fold in the strawberries. Using a kitchen scoop, fill the muffin cups about three-quarters of the way full. Place in the oven and bake for 23 to 25 minutes. The tops should be golden brown and firm to the touch.


Let cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes before removing them to a wire rack. You can cool them more or serve them immediately. 

Grilled Potato, Smoked Black Cod and Charred Green Onion Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette #sponsor

This sponsored post is written by me on behalf of  Real Good Fish. All opinions are my own. 

When I was faced with developing a recipe with Real Good Fish's Carmel Canyon Smoked Black Cod (it's a Good Food Awards 2016 Winner), I wanted it to be the star of the dish. Or, at least, I wanted it to be recognizable. I didn't want to mash it into a dip or shape it into a croquette.


Finally, inspired by the protein-rich Salade Niçoise - very, very loosely inspired in that I completely skipped the signature olives - I decided to grill some baby potatoes, char some green onions from our CSA box, and bring it all together with an anchovy-kissed lemon vinaigrette. Then I'd just chunk the smoked cod and place the pieces on top.


My family is spoiled. Yes, I can admit that. They get home-cooked, multiple course meals almost every evening. And while they usually say thank you, it's very rare that they gush about how great a dish is. Remember: they're spoiled.

But this salad was a hit with all of them. And the first question out of my Precise Kitchen Elf's mouth: "Where did you get that smoked fish?" The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf chimed in, "Yes, that was the best smoked fish we've ever had!"

Fisherman Stan Bruno calls the smoked cod "fish candy." It is delicious!

So, between bites of grilled potato, charred green onions, and the tastiest smoked fish we've ever had, we talked about our CSF (community supported fishery), Real Good Fishand the sustainability of black cod, also known as sablefish.

Grilled Potato, Smoked Black Cod and 
Charred Green Onion Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

Ingredients
  • 1 lb baby potatoes
  • ½ lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2" lengths
  • 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and cut into 2" lengths
  • canola oil for brushing on the grill or grill pan
  • ¼ lb smoked black cod (prefer Real Good Fish)
  • 2 organic lemons (I used Meyer lemon from the tree in our back yard)
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained, finely chopped
  • ½ C olive oil
  • ¼ t crushed red pepper flakes
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Parboil the potatoes. Drain, slice in half lengthwise, and set aside. Blanch the green beans. Drain and set aside.


Supreme your lemons and place the segments in a medium mixing bowl. Mix in the anchovies, olive oil, and red pepper flakes. Using the back of a spoon, break up the lemon segments against the side of the bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Lightly brush the pan with canola oil and place the potatoes on there, cut-side down. Cook until you have nice grill marks. Char the green onions until they, too, have grill marks and are softened.

Place the potatoes and green beans into a large mixing bowl and toss to coat with the dressing. Arrange them on a serving platter with the grill marks facing up for a nice presentation. Lay the charred onions and chunk of smoked black cod on top.

Serve immediately with more cracked pepper, if desired.


*Disclosure: I received complimentary product from Real Good Fish 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.*

Monday, April 25, 2016

Coriander-Kissed Quick Pickled Radishes

Because I was testing a recipe for Edible Monterey Bay this weekend that required pickled radishes, I decided to make some quick pickled radishes with coriander seeds. The coriander mirrored the flavor profile of the dish I was testing. And I will happily munch on these till the jar is gone.


These radishes are "quick pickled" because they are ready to eat within twenty-four hours. Really quick! You can, of course, let them pickle for longer; their flavor will just get better.


Ingredients
  • radishes, trimmed, quartered, and enough to fit in your jar
  • 3/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 C water
  • 3 T organic sugar
  • 1 T salt (I used some large-grained flake salt)
  • 1 t black peppercorns
  • 1 t coriander seeds
  • 3 to 4 bay leaves

Procedure
Place your radishes in a sterilized mason jar, packing them in tightly. Place all of the other ingredients together in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. Pour the liquid over the top of the radishes. Let come to room temperature.


Seal the jars and refrigerate until ready to eat. These will keep for approximately 2 weeks. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Roasted Tomatillo-Corn Salsa


I was testing a recipe for Edible Monterey Bay this weekend and made a roasted tomatillo salsa with roasted corn to go with it.. So easy. So tasty.


Ingredients
  • 10 tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 whole onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 ear of corn
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, if needed

Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, and corn on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet.


Roast until the tomatillos are soft, the onions beginning to caramelize, and the pepper is wilted, approximately 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly.


Place all of the ingredients - except the corn - into a blender or food processor.


Blend until smooth. Cut kernels off the cob and fold into the tomatillo salsa. Season to taste with salt. If your salsa needs some tang, squeeze in the lemon juice.

Delicacies: The Intersection of Food and Jewelry #sponsor

This sponsored post is written by me on behalf of Delicacies. All opinions are my own. 

Besides my boys, food and jewelry are two things about which I am most passionate. So, when the opportunity to review a piece from Delicacies arose, I didn't hesitate for a second. With Mothers' Day right around the corner, this jewelry line might be just the solution for any foodie moms on your list. Food and jewelry intersecting? Yes, please.

Behind the Scenes...
Andrew Zimmern - yes, that Andrew Zimmern - is at the helm of the project as Chief Culinary Officer. You know I'm a fan of his show "Bizarre Foods" and his Exceptionally Weird, Wild, and Wonderful Foods book inspired a six-week cooking class that I just started for 6th through 8th graders: my Bizarre Foods SEM.


The Line...
Zimmern has teamed up with Nicolle Nelson, Chief Designer of Delicacies. They say that the pieces are designed by people for people who love food. Yes, that's me!

The minimalist pieces are delicate with a single ingredient cast in sterling silver and mounted on a thin piece of Italian leather. Explore the options: here.

First you choose your ingredient; they have everything from pig, crab, and lobster to pineapple, ginger, and egg. Each ingredient comes with an explanation of the ingredient mythos. For example, the octopus "promotes wisdom, health, strength, and perseverance." And wearing the octopus will "push you toward the fathoms that frighten you."


Second, you select your leather. They offer black, brown, natural, and white all with a robin's egg blue edge.

They also offer gold pendants (retail $200) and thick cut bracelets (retail $85). Delicacies bracelets retail for $75.

Giving Back...
Each piece sold creates "Delicacies Dollars" that are monies donated directly to a not-for-profit organization that battles hunger and food insecurity. That's where Zimmern comes in. There is a Chef's Table, a seasonal roster of chefs and other food influencers, that determines where the dollars should go; Zimmern sits at the head of the Chef's Table, curating the members.

This month, Chef Dominique Crenn joined the table. She's a two-star Michelin chef at her restaurant Aterlier Crenn in San Francisco. Her charity of choice is the SF-Marin Food Bank. And between now and the end of July, each Delicacies purchase will benefit that organization. You can click to see Dominique's profile, her ingredient bracelet pick (she picked the tomato!), and one of her recipes for that ingredient: here.


My Thoughts...
I do believe that food is imbued with unique energies, that creating a meal is an act of love, and that all food has a story. So, I really appreciate these pieces.

I enjoyed perusing the ingredients and had a hard time choosing. In the end, I selected the octopus because, to me, devouring octopus tentacles with relish - like R here - embodies my philosophy of raising conscientious eaters with fearless palates. Recently, I tackled braising a whole octopus!


Besides, on my first sushi date with Jake - I took him to sushi for his birthday ostensibly because he had never had sushi - he looked at the menu, beckoned to the sushi chef, and declared boldly, "I'll try the octopus!"

Jake and I had only be together a month or so, but I thought to myself, "I appreciate a man with a sense of culinary adventure. I could marry him." True story.

My boyfriend in college was the polar opposite of adventurous. In fact, he actually tossed a rosewater custard I made out the window during a dinner party. Another true story.

So, I was relieved that Jake humored my palate. And I've been challenging his palate ever since. That sushi dinner was eighteen years ago. This week, in fact. Wow.

If you like delicate pieces, I think you will love these. They are elegant, graceful, and meaningful. I prefer bold pieces and had no idea how small the charms actually were. But I do see how you could easily stack the bracelets to create more of a statement. For example, if you love Italian food, I imagine you could create a lovely trio with the basil, garlic, and tomato. If you're a daily mocha-gal; pair up the cacao and coffee bean.

These have a nice feel, a great quality, and a wonderful story. I think they would make a fantastic Mothers' Day present for any foodie-mamma on your list. And the best part: it's a gift with heart. Every purchase not only gives your favorite epicure a wearable conversation starter, but it benefits someone who might need assistance getting access to good food. You can't beat that.

*Disclosure: I received complimentary products from Delicacies 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

on the web: here
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on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here

Saturday, April 23, 2016

{Gluten-Free} Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with Spicy Aioli for #SundaySupper


This week the Sunday Supper crew is sharing regional specialties. Thanks to Sue from A Palatable Pastime for the great theme! I love seeing recipes from my favorite bloggers all around the country...and the globe. Oh, before I forget - I'm on the central coast of California. So, I'm spoiled with fresh produce, great seafood, and terrific wine.

All the Regional Specialties...

Appetizers
:
Beverages:
Breakfast:
Salads:
Sauces:
Side Dishes:
Soups:
Main Dish:
Desserts:
Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement


My Central Coast of California Offering...
Based on input from local friends, I vacillated between a few dishes. Top suggestions were: calamari, clam chowder, artichokes, and strawberries.


I settled on Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with Spicy Aioli for a few reasons. First, I wanted to honor local farmers by including artichokes. I am only about 5 miles from the self-proclaimed 'Artichoke Capital of the World' and artichokes hold a special significance to my family. I'll get to that shortly.

Second, I wanted to celebrate local fisherman since crab season just kicked off. Crab season's start was delayed by detection of unhealthy levels of domoic acid, a toxin that can cause gastrointestinal illness. Boo. But we got the all clear just in time for this dish. 

So, artichokes and crab were a natural combination for my recipe choice for the Sunday Supper regional specialties event. And I created a spicy aioli because the spicy tanginess perfectly complements the sweet meatiness of the artichokes and crab.

Okay, now on to why the artichoke is so beloved by my family.

2010 was, for my family, the year of the artichoke. My husband submitted a painting for the Artichoke Festival and it was chosen as the festival's poster. In December 2009, he did a color study and settled on his subject; he decided to paint our older son, holding an artichoke.


A few weeks after Jacob submitted his painting, the commission called and requested a meeting. And after almost three hours in a room with five people, Jacob finally sent me a text message: I got it!

They loved his painting, but required some changes - he had to change the choke, from a summer choke to a harvest choke; he had to put some more details in the fields; and he needed to paint the lettering on the painting itself.


It was his first commissioned painting! During the festival, the original painting was auctioned off. But image was reproduced on the festival posters and festival tshirts. So, sometimes we'll be around town and see my son's face on someone's wall or chest.

This was the official reveal of the painting that kicked off the season of festival promotion.


Enough about the artwork. I'll get to the food part now. But...before I forget...this was the final image. Now on to the food!


Needless to say, that year we ate a lot of artichokes! I was on artichoke overload for awhile and didn't post too many recipes with artichokes for a few years after that. But I'm back on the artichoke-wagon. Some favorites: Braised Baby Octopus with Artichokes, and Salmon-Artichoke Cakes with Caramelized Leeks and Kale.

Crab-Stuffed Artichokes with a Spicy Aioli

Ingredients serves 4
  • 4 large artichokes
  • salt
  • water
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
Stuffing
  • 1 ¼ C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 C gluten-free bread crumbs
  • 1 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 T fresh chopped basil
  • 1 t fresh chopped thyme
  • 2 C crabmeat, cooked, cooled, and cleaned
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
Spicy Aioli
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed or minced
  • 1/2 t mustard (I used a Dijon mustard)
  • 1 t cajun spice 
  • 1/2 to 3/4 C olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Artichokes
De-stem the artichokes and pull off the small leaves at the bottom. With a sharp knife, slice off the top inch of each artichoke. Then, use kitchen shears to trim off the spiky ends of the remaining
leaves.


Simmer the artichokes in a large pot of lightly salted water over medium heat until the bases are tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.


Transfer the artichokes to a colander and let them drain upside down until cool. Once they are cool, you can scoop the center leaves out, leaving a hollow for your stuffing.


Stuffing
While the chokes are cooling, make the stuffing. Clean your crab.


Place all of the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl and combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon - or your hands! Set aside.

Assembly
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Gently pry apart the artichoke leaves and pack a spoonful of the stuffing in between. Place the stuffed artichokes in a rimmed baking dish and pack their middles with the rest of the breadcrumb mixture.


Cover the dish with foil and bake the artichokes for 35 to 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking the artichokes until the stuffing is golden brown, approximately 10 to 12 minutes more.

Spicy Aioli
While the artichokes are baking, make the aioli. Place all of the ingredients - except the olive oil - in a blender.

Blend to combine. With the blender on low, drizzle the olive oil in slowly. Let each addition incorporate into the egg mixture before adding more. As more oil is incorporated, you can add the oil more quickly.

Season to taste with freshly ground salt and freshly ground pepper.

To Serve
Garnish the artichokes with parsley and serve immediately with the aioli on the side.

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.

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