Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bread & Butter Zucchini Pickles

Having a CSA farm share, you learn to make things with seasonal ingredients. I can eat just so much steamed, roasted, grilled zucchini before I need to mix it up. This is an unusual way to use zucchini. It is not as sweet a the traditional bread and butter pickles you get in the store which is good for me since I find them cloying sweet. 
The yellow color comes from the tumeric. "Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh.... Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger, and while it is best known as one of the ingredients used to make curry, it also gives ballpark mustard its bright yellow color.... " It is also thought to be one of the world's healthiest foods.
Although the original recipe only had you waiting overnight before eating, I would that the texture of the zucchini was still too firm at that point and did not have the texture of a pickle. After about 2 days the flavors and texture was wonderful.

Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles 
adapted from Food & Wine August 2014
1/2 pound firm medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch thick discs
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion 
1 1/2 Tbsp kosher salt 
Ice water 
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar 
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar 
1 tsp  mustard seeds, crushed 
3/4 tsp dry mustard powder 
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 cup water 
Toss the zucchini and onion with 1 Tbsp of kosher salt in a large bowl. Cover with ice water and let stand until just softened, about 45 minutes. Drain the zucchini and onion well and pat dry.
Combine the remaining 1/2 Tbsp salt with the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, mustard powder, turmeric and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar; set aside to cool completely.
Place the zucchini and onion in a 2 cup container and pour in enough brine to cover. Seal the container and refrigerate for 2 days before using.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Meatloaf Cupcakes with Garlic Mashed Purple Potato Icing

I stumbled upon Duff Goldman's show Sugar High on Food Network while channel surfing on day. I don't usually stop on baking shows as I am not a big baker, I much prefer savory over sweet and cooking over baking. What was different on this day is that he was visiting The Meatloaf Bakery in Chicago, IL. A restaurant that serves individual meatloaves in the shape cupcakes, bite size "loafies" and family style pastries. So when I learned they had a cookbook, I had to have it.

Meatloaf Cupcakes

1 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
1/2 cup minced dill pickles,drained
1/4 c. egg substitute
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. ketchup
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
cooking spray
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cherry tomato halves, for garnish
Scallions, green parts only, chopped for garnish
Bacon Bits, for garnish

2 cups ketchup
2 tsp. hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a pan and cook onions until soft. Drain on paper towels and cool to room temperature. Combine all of the meatloaf ingredients adding the onions when cooled and mix well with your hands.
Divide the mixture into 6 portions and place in muffin tins coated with cooking spray. Round the top of each "cupcake" to form a dome. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile make the glaze by combining the 2 ingredients. Brush some of the glaze on top of the meatloaves, reserving the remaining glaze to be served with the meal. Return the pan to the oven for about an additional 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F on an instant read thermometer.
Using an ice cream scoop top each cup cake with mashed potatoes and top with a cherry tomato half, chopped scallions and bacon bits.

Garlic Mashed Purple Potatoes
4 roasted garlic cloves
1 lb. purple potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp reduced fat sour cream

Boil the potatoes until the potatoes are fork tender.Warm the milk and butter in the microwave. Drain the potatoes and return to pan. Add the milk  mixture and the sour cream and mash to desired consistency.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fluffy Baked Eggs and Bacon

I have never been to the Rocking Horse Manor B&B in Lexington, KY but found their recipe many years ago on the internet. It sounded good then and tastes even better. Think of a crustless quiche but the Bisquick gives it some lightness.
Believe it or not, center cut pork bacon and turkey bacon have very similar stats -- 30 - 35 calories and about 2.5g fat per slice

Fluffy Baked Eggs and Bacon
adapted from the Rocking Horse Manor Bed & Breakfast in Louisville, Kentucky

8 sliced of center cut bacon or turkey bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup Bisquick baking mix
3 Eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups reduced fat milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp.pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375F.Coat a deep dish pie pan with cooking spray. Cook the bacon in a skillet until it is almost crisp then add the onions. Continue cooking until the bacon is crisp. Drain well then spread  the mixture on the bottom of the pie plate.
In a mixing bowl combine the  Bisquick, eggs, milk, salt and pepper and whisk until smooth.
Slowly pour egg mixture over bacon; top with the cheese.
Bake uncovered, until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Malfatti ---- Italian dumplings

Swiss Chard Malfatti with Sage Brown Butter
adapted from Bon Appetit December 2012

1 lb. Swiss chard leaves, center ribs and stems removed
1 tsp. kosher salt

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter,melted
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. ricotta cheese
2 large egg yolks
1/2 large egg
2 Tbsp. flour plus more for flouring
12 sage leaves, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan
Fill a large bowl with ice water. Cook chard in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still bright green, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to ice water; let sit until cold. Reserve cooking liquid.
Squeeze chard dry. A double layer of cheesecloth can be used as the hcard will stain a kitchen towel. I tend to have a couple of old towels hanging around so I do not have to spend the money on the cheesecloth. Wring tightly.
Pulse the chard in a food processor until minced, about 30 seconds. Wring out the chard again to remove any remaining liquid.
Transfer chard to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the melted butter, ricotta, egg yolks, egg, 2 Tbsp.  flour, and 1 teaspoons salt to chard. Mixt until a dough forms, 1-2 minutes.
Cook 1 golf ball-size sample portion of dough in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes (to check for texture and seasoning). Taste sample; adjust seasoning if needed. If sample falls apart in the water, mix 1/2 more egg  and 1/2 - 1 tablespoons flour into dough until it holds together.
Lightly flour a rimmed baking sheet. Scoop out heaping a tablespoon of dough; dust with flour and roll between your palms to form an oval-shaped malfatti; place on sheet. Repeat with remaining dough to form about 12  malfatti.
Bring the reserved chard water to a boil. Cook the malfatti until cooked through, 6-8 minutes per Drain and transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add sage and cook until butter foams and begins to turn brown and sage becomes crispy, about 30 seconds. Season sage brown butter with salt and pepper. Serve malfatti topped with sage brown butter and Parmesan.

Cabernet Sauvignon Braised Beef Short Ribs

Here is an unusual way to determine what to make for dinner. I had half of a carton of beef stock left over in the refrigerator. So I searched through my electronic recipe collection for recipes that required beef stock. Lo and behold I found something. I just had to defrost the ribs from the freezer.

Cabernet Sauvignon Braised Beef Short Ribs
adapted from Bon Appetit October 2011
3 lbs. bone-in beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
1 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/3 Tbsp. flour
3/4 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
2/3 tsp. dried rosemary
1 dried bay leaves
1/2 head of garlic, halved crosswise
2 1/2 cups beef stock
Preheat oven to 350°. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot. Working in batches, brown short ribs on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer short ribs to a plate. Pour off all but 1 1/2 Tbsp.. drippings from pot.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to pot and cook until onions are browned, about 5 minutes. Add flour and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until well combined and deep red, 2-3 minutes. Stir in wine, then add short ribs with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil; lower heat to medium and simmer until wine is reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Add all herbs to pot along with garlic. Stir in stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to oven.
Cook until short ribs are tender, 2–2 1/2 hours. Transfer short ribs to a platter. Strain sauce from pot. Spoon fat from surface of sauce and discard; season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Serve ribs topped with sauce.

Caprese Salad with Carrot Top Pistou

Pistou is pesto without the nuts.
I love caprese salad. The sliced tomatoes and mozzarella topped with pesto is just such a yummy combination. This week in the farm share I got these beautiful carrots with the feathery tops still attached so I started googling to see what I could do with the tops. What I would was a delicious pesto which brought the caprese salad I was making for a party to a whole new level.

Carrot Top Pistou
adapted from
2 cups carrot tops
1 cup basil leaves, loosely packed
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
pinch of
6 Tbsps. extra virgin olive oil (I use 6)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Add carrot tops to bowl of a food processor and pulse briefly. Add basil, garlic, salt, lemon juice and cheese. Process until finely chopped. Add olive oil slowly through the feed tube until smooth, adding more oil to preference. Adjust flavors as needed.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Savory Green Beans

I love green beans. Just give be a bowl with some butter salt and pepper and I am good to go. But I am trying to get away from the fat and calories so I am playing with some different ways to enhance flavor.
To get a rich beef stock or broth many recipes will tell you to use twice as much beef bouillon cubes or crystals to water or to reduce canned stock. I think this methods gets too salty. I like to use Penzey's Beef Soup Base (1 tsp. to 1/2 cup). It creates a very rich flavorful broth without all the salt.

Savory Green Beans
1/2 cup rich beef broth or stock
2 Tbsp. chopped green pepper
1 Tbsp. chopped shallot
1 tsp.dill seed

1/2 tsp. dill weed
Steamed green beans

Combine all ingredients except the green beans in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the favors meld. Add the beans. Cover and simmer until heated through.