Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bejeweled Legume Salad #HolidaySideDishes


This week Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks rounded up a group of bloggers to share holiday side dish recipes. I completely blitzed on getting my Monday post done as we were gone all weekend at a robotics competition. But I was determined to finish my other two. Before I get to that, however, please check out the other recipes for the day...


Bejeweled Legume Salad

This is a hearty salad that I usually make with French green lentils, but I made it with heirloom beans for this version. It's beautiful to look at and hearty enough to be filling. If you need it vegetarian, just skip the chicken broth and substitute a veggie broth or water for cooking the beans...or use canned beans to make it an even easier preparation. This is also really flexible; the only thing is that you need lots of colors. So, instead of carrots, use sweet potatoes. Or instead of cherries, use cranberries. Get creative.

Ingredients serves 8 to 10

Salad
  • 4 C cooked beans or lentils (HOW TO: Cook Dried Beans), cooked in chicken broth
  • 3/4 C diced onions
  • 3/4 C carrot coins
  • 3/4 C sliced celery
  • 1/2 C dried cherries (susbstitute dried cranberries, if you wish)
  • 1/2 C fresh pomegranate arils
  • 2 T olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Dressing

  • 2/3 C olive oil
  • 5 T golden balsamic vinegar (substitute aged balsamic, if you wish)
  • 1 t maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla pod, sliced lengthwise, seeds scraped
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Also needed a lidded mason jar
Procedure

Dressing
Place all ingredients in a lidded mason jar and shake to combine. Set aside. Remove the pod before dressing the salad.


Salad
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Stir in the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook until desired level of doneness; I prefer them with a little bit of crunch still.


Place onions, carrots, and celery in a large mixing bowl. Add in dried cherries, pomegranate arils, and cooked beans. Toss to coat with dressing and let stand for at least 30 minutes.


I actually used this legume salad underneath some lingcod topped with caramelized onions this week. Delish!

Black Cod with Fermented Beans Over Sesame Noodles #FishFridayFoodies


It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' November event. 

In any case, we are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month.

This month, Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories is hosting as we share stir-fries
. She wrote, "The theme for November is Stir-Fry. Create a stir-fry featuring seafood of any kind. If you don't have a wok, a good skillet will also work just fine."

Before I get to my recipe. Here's the rest of the #FishFridayFoodies' stir-fry menu...





Ingredients
  • 1 pound black cod, with skin still attached, cut into 1/4 lb portions
  • 6 baby leeks or 3 large leeks
  • 2 T cooking oil
  • 1 T chili bean paste
  • 1 t sweet bean paste
  • 1 T fermented black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 t soy sauce, divided
  • 1 t organic granulated sugar
  • noodles, cooked according to package direction
  • 2 t sesame oil
  • black sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Procedure
Cook the noodles. Drain and toss with 1 t soy sauce and 2 t sesame oil. Set aside.

Add the oil to a seasoned wok or other heavy pan and heat till sputtering. Stir in the chili bean paste and the sweet bean paste. Cook until the oil in the pan is red and fragrant. Stir in the black beans and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the remaining soy sauce and sprinkle in the sugar. Stir to combine well then add in the sliced leeks. Stir-fry until the leeks are softened. Nestle the fish pieces in the sauce, cover and cook until the fish is opaque, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

Season to taste with salt, if needed. I find I rarely add additional salt to dishes that include soy sauce. 

To serve, place noodles in individual bowls. Top with black cod. Spoon some of the cooked leeks over the top. Garnish with black sesame seeds, if using. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Grilled Mushroom Skewers #HolidaySideDishes


This week Heather of Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks rounded up a group of bloggers to share holiday side dish recipes. I completely blitzed on getting my Monday post done as we were gone all weekend at a robotics competition. But I was determined to finish my other two. Before I get to that, however, please check out the other recipes for the day...

Grilled Mushroom Skewers

I had visions of doing this on the grill - hence the recipe title - but when it came down to it, Jake didn't have time to start the grill and I was reluctant to do it myself with only a few mushroom skewers to grill. So, I opted for Plancha-Grilled Mushrooms. A plancha is a griddle; I use mine over a flame though, so it feel like grilling.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound brown crimini mushrooms
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 t organic dark brown sugar
  • 1 t freshly ground salt
  • 1/4 t freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar (I used an aged balsamic)
  • Also needed: bamboo skewers, soaked for at least 10 minutes; plancha or grill


Procedure
Place all of the marinade ingredients in mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Place the washed and dried mushrooms in the liquid and toss to coat. Let the mushrooms marinate for 15 minutes, then turn them over and let marinate an additional 15 minutes. Heat the grill or plancha.

Skewer the mushrooms snugly onto the bamboo/wooden skewers that have been soaked. Several of mine cracked, so I need to figure that part out, but Jake told me I needed to skewer though the stem...not the way I did it. Whoops!

Place the skewered mushrooms on the hot plancha for about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately or tent with foil to keep warm before serving.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Hot and Sour Cabbage Soup #KitchenMatrixCookingProject



Can you believe that Thanksgiving is fast approaching? That means that the Kitchen Matrix Cooking Project - really Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories, and I - have been doing this for ten months already. You can read more about our project here. And this month, Wendy picked the recipes. This week, she selected Cabbage + 12 Ways. Check out the line-up...




I enjoy cooking with cabbage and was more than a little interested in trying several of Bittman's recipes. The Thai Style Raw Cabbage will definitely be on our table soon as will the Stir-Fried Cabbage with Pork and Peanuts. Yum! But the recipe I decided to try for this week was Bittman's Hot and Sour Soup. I did substitute brown crimini mushrooms for the shiitakes and forgot to add the scallions. Otherwise, I stuck pretty close to the original. I really love that this was on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Ingredients serves 4 to 6

  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 8 C chicken stock or broth
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 C sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 6 C shredded cabbage (I used a mandolin slicer)
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1/4 C rice vinegar
  • 1 C tofu, cubed
  • pinch of red pepper chile flakes
  • 1 t sriracha hot sauce
  • 4 T fresh cilantro, roughly chopped


Procedure

Add sesame oil to a large souppot. Stir in onions, garlic, and fresh ginger. Cook until they become aromatic, but aren't starting to brown. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Let boil for 5 minutes, then stir in the cabbage and cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper chile flakes and hot sauce. Add in the tofu and mushrooms and simmer until warmed through, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Fold in the cilantro and serve immediately.


Ladle individual servings into bowls and serve with more sriracha, if desired. We will definitely be adding this recipe to our soup rotation this season. It was delicious!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Keema Matar (Indian Beef with Peas) #EattheWorld


Here we are in November for another installment of our #EattheWorld project, being spearheaded by Evelyne of CulturEatz. Here's her challenge.


In February we kicked off the project with Cuba; in March we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with a tabletop trip to IrelandThailand was our April destination. May had us headed to Kenya. You get the idea. Last month Evelyne invited us to a special edition: #EattheWorld for Halloween. What spooky, delicious fun! And, this month, we are continuing our culinary nods to international festivals by posting Indian recipes in honor of Diwali.


Diwali
Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights and is celebrated every autumn in this hemisphere. From my limited research, the festival symbolizes the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. That is much needed in this day and political climate. So, while I'm always up for learning about different international traditions, this one seemed particularly appropriate. These tea lights actually fulfilled a multitude of things - I lit them around our yurt during the annual Halloween camping trip so the kids knew that we were one of the sites they could trick-or-treat; these were in honor of a grade-school friend who is succumbing to the cancer that's invaded her body; and, as my friend Priya said, it's for Diwali.

The Other Indian Recipes


Keema Matar (Indian Beef with Peas)

Indian food is a family favorite. We've made and posted Kheema Aloo, a slightly untraditional Sungta ani Bende Kodi, Shrikhand, Palak Paneer with Homemade Paneer...


...and my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf is our resident master of Biriyani! So, when we were scheming on what to make - that we haven't made before - I was inspired by the fresh peas that I found at the market. I roped D into shelling them for me and made our own version of Keema Matar, Indian beef with peas. This isn't totally traditional - big surprise there - as we added in some julienned carrots as well.


Ingredients serves 4
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1 C)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 t ground coriander
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1⁄2 t garam masala (our homemade version)
  • 1⁄2 t ground cumin
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 lb ground beef (prefer organic, grassfed)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 C water or beef stock
  • pinch salt
  • 2 C fresh peas, shelled
  • 1 C julienned carrots
  • 2 t vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • 1⁄4 C fresh herbs, torn or chopped (I used cilantro)
  • steamed rice for serving

Procedure
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Stir in the onions and cook until softened and beginning to turn caramel colored. Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute. Add in the coriander, paprika, garam masala, cumin, and cayenne, if using. Cook for another minute before adding in the beef,

Brown the meat until fully-cooked, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon. Add in tomatoes, carrots, and 1 C liquid - either water or beef stock - and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Fold in the peas. Stir well and simmer, partially covered, for approximately 8 to 10 minutes. The peas should be cooked but not mushy. Pour in the vinegar and fold in the chopped cilantro. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Celebrating Sonoma: Lamb Lollipops with Spiced Apple Chutney + Wild Ridge Pinot Noir 2014 #WinePW


Welcome to the November edition of Wine Pairing Weekend (#WinePW)! The past two years have had devastating fires in wine-growing regions the world over. Gwendolyn of Wine Predator is hosting and you can read her invitation here. She asked the bloggers to pick an affected area and shine the spotlight on that region.

The Posts


Sonoma in My Glass
In January of this year, also for #WinePW, I posted about the Sonoma fires and shared Za'atar-Crusted Rib-Eyes with 2014 Geyser Peak Walking Tree Cab. As I was preparing for this event, I started seeing previews and stories about Chef Tyler Florence's documentary Uncrushable. It's a compilation of interviews - filmed as the fires were still burning - with residents, emergency crews, vintners, and more. I haven't been able to see it, but I can't wait.

For this month, I decided to stick with a focus on Sonoma. We often wind our way through the county on our annual ten-day camping trip. It's usually our last, or second to last stop, as it's not too far from where I live. And I've certainly felt the aftermath of the 2017 fires within my circle of friends. 


So, I uncorked a bottle of Wild Ridge Pinot Noir 2014 from the coast of Sonoma County. And I was slightly wistful as I got a whiff of smoke on the nose. I paused, wondering if I was really sensing that, or I just had the fires on my mind. But Jake swirled the beautiful garnet liquid, stuck his nose in the glass, and declared, "It's like that smoky tea you like. What's it called?" Ahhh...lapsang souchong...good, I'm not imaging it!

This was a beautiful wine with sweet, fruity aromas and complex delectable layers on the tongue. I swear I could taste the sea and the smoke even though I know this wine predates the fires. It was a perfect match with an oven-roasted rack of lamb.

Spiced Lamb Lollipops on My Plate
Though this looks impressive on the plate, it's largely hands off. You just need to rub the spices on the lamb the night before you plan to serve. And you can stick it in the oven and do other things. The night I made this, we were packing for our annual Halloween camping trip. Actually, I had planned to bring the lamb and the wine up to the campsites and share with friends. But when my little one wasn't feeling well, we delayed our departure and I roasted these up for just us. Selfish, I know.



I always make a batch or two of this chutney when my family goes apple picking. It usually lasts us through the end of the year and the boys like telling our holiday guests that they picked all those apples!         

Ingredients 
serves 4 as an entree or 8 as an appetizer

Lamb
  • 2 racks of lamb
  • 2 T smoked paprika
  • 2 T paprika
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 2 t ground sumac
  • 1 t freshly ground salt
  • 1/2 t freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil

Spiced Apple Chutney makes about 3 pint jars
  • 6 to 7 peeled, cored organic apples (approximately 6 C when diced)
  • 1 C golden raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 large onion (approximately 1 C when diced)
  • 1 large sweet red pepper (approximately 1 C when diced)
  • 1 hot red pepper (I used a jalapeno)
  • 1 C lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 T mustard seed
  • 1" knob ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 t ground allspice
  • 1 t ground salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 C apple cider vinegar

 Procedure

Lamb
Place the smoked paprika, paprika, coriander, cumin, sumac, salt and pepper together in a small mixing bowl. Divide the spices evenly over the two racks. Massage the spices into the lamb. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in a lidded container, or in a plastic bag, and refrigerate overnight. Before roasting, let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place lamb on a roasting rack with the fat-side up. Roast for 30 minutes, then flip the rack over and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes.


Remove the lamb from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing into lollipops. Serve with a side of chutney.


Spiced Apple Chutney
Place all of ingredients into a large, nonreactive pot. I use a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer, stirring about 1 hour until thickened. Spoon into sterlized jars and place in hot water bath for 10 minutes to process.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Buddha's Hand-Cranberry Shortbread #CranberryWeek


I'm excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week - now in its third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #CranberryWeek on social media for more ideas all week long.


Buddha's Hand

Buddha's Hand resembles something that might have surfaced from the benthic zone or something that should be entombed in a jar of formaldehyde in a collector's basement. 


But it's a wildly gorgeous citrus fruit that has no juice and no pulp; it's used strictly for the pith and rind. And the scent...it's an alluring blend of citrus and rose. We love it! When I saw this at the market yesterday, I immediately grabbed up four of them. Two other shoppers stopped me in the store: What do you do with that? 



We play with them. No, really. So many things...but I have cookies in mind for these lovelies, I said.

If you're lucky enough to find them, select a fruit that is fragrant, firm, and bright with plump fingers. Avoid Buddha's Hand with shriveled or browned fingers.

Ingredients
  • 10 T butter
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 t Buddha's Hand zest
  • 2 T chopped dried cranberries
  • 1-3/4 C flour
  • granulated sugar, for rolling and sprinkling

Procedure

Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in vanilla extract, maple syrup, and Buddha's Hand zest until well combined. Beat in the egg, then carefully fold in the flour and dried cranberries.

Roll the dough into a long cylinder. Put the dough in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour, until the dough is firm enough to slice.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough cylinder widthwise into 1/4" slices and place, slightly apart, on the baking sheets. 



Sprinkle with sugar and and bake for 16 to 18 minutes until slightly browned. 



Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Herbed Cranberry Chèvre Truffles #CranberryWeek


I'm excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week - now in its third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #CranberryWeek on social media for more ideas all week long.

Herbed Cranberry Chèvre Truffles


I've always loved savory truffles. Maybe it's because I'm a fan of cheese. Like a full-blown caseophile. Seriously. So, I decided to share a version of my favorite chèvre truffles with fresh cranberries mixed in. Yum.


Ingredients
  • 8 ounces chèvre 
  • 1/4 C organic fresh cranberries
  • 2 T chopped fresh herbs (I used a mixture of parsley, dill, and mint)
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1/4 C chopped nuts (I used macadmia nuts)

Procedure
In a food processor pulse together the cranberries, herbs, and olive oil to a form a rustic paste. Set aside.

Place chèvre and cranberry mixture together in a bowl, setting aside 2 T for rolling a few of the truffles in. Mix the cheese and cranberries together until well-combined.

In one bowl, place the remaining cranberry mixture; in another bowl, place the chopped nuts.


Roll teaspoon-sized mounds into balls. For each person, I did one plain, one with the cranberry mixture pressed onto the outside, and one with macadamia nuts pressed onto the outside.


Refrigerate until ready to serve. I served these with some sliced salami and stuffed olive for an easy autumn dinner.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Cranberry-Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Yuzu #CranberryWeek


I'm excited to be sharing this recipe as part of Cranberry Week - now in its third year! See all the tasty cranberry recipes being shared today below and follow #CranberryWeek on social media for more ideas all week long.


Cranberry-Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Yuzu
I had grand plans to make a cranberry salsa and serve it over shredded beef tacos. But those intentions were dashed when I was volunteered to make six dozen cookies tonight for a school event tomorrow. Whoops. Oh, well. I made this cake for breakfast this morning instead and while I loved the tart-sweet of this bundt cake, aesthetically, it didn't turn out how I wanted it.

I would love some baking advice: How do you mix in berries and have them "stay where they are" in the batter? All of mine floated to the top, rending the 'bottom' on the bundt, when inverted, laden with fruit and the 'top' rather plain. Suggestions?

In case you're unfamiliar, a yuzu isn't a deformed lemon or a discolored orange. It's an exotic citrus that is mainly cultivated in Japan, Korea, and China. It's incredibly fragrant and its zest and juice are used for flavoring in the kitchen.

Fresh yuzu can be tough to track down since most of the fruit is grown overseas and is not often imported. There's a small crop being grown in California, so between the months of September through November — check out your Asian grocery store and you just might find it. Otherwise, grab already squeezed juice or frozen zest, which can also be found at Asian grocery stores. I went with the juice option for this cake.


Ingredients

  • 2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1½  C milk
  • ½  C  olive oil
  • 3 T yuzu juice
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 C flour
  • ½ C ground almonds
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 2 C fresh or frozen cranberries


Procedure
Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter your bundt pan. Set aside. Combine sugar, milk, oil, juice, and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and baking soda; stir with a whisk until smooth. Fold cranberries into the batter and pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown and cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool cake on wire rack. Loosen edges of cake with a spatula and invert onto plate. 


If you would like to glaze the cake, make a glaze with 1 C organic powdered sugar, 1 T yuzu juice and 1 T olive oil. I skipped the glaze and lightly dusted the cake with powdered sugar.

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