Monday, November 15, 2010
Maple Chipotle Drummies
Mmmm...these were a football watching snack this weekend. We've posted wings/drummies before, but really, it's a good idea to revisit this tastiness every so often. I just have to say that these are one thousand times better than any wings I've ever had out at a bar or restaurant. Making them at home means we get to control the level of heat, as well as mix up awesome flavor combinations including maple chipotle, among others. It also means we can roast them instead of frying. Food & Wine posted a bunch of wing recipes last winter and they are still my favorites. You should also check out their sweet and sticky, ginger honey, and Thai green curry recipes.
Over the weekend, I made a batch of vanilla bean ice cream specifically for the purpose of pouring espresso over it to make this dessert. I used the recipe that came with my Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment, and tweaked it ever so slightly. Instead of using vanilla extract, I used a vanilla bean, which I split to scrape the seeds, putting both bean and seeds in the custard to infuse. I threw in four whole coffee beans to lend subtle flavor to the custard as well. All of these assorted beans I removed before freezing the custard. Once the ice cream was done, all I had to do was brew some espresso and pour it over the ice cream for a super simple and tasty treat. It's like a root beer float's sophisticated Italian aunt.
Baked Sugar Loaf Radicchio with Sweet Potatoes
Since Sugar Loaf Radicchio was completely new to me, I took a cue from the HVF newsletter and made this baked casserole. First I chopped up the radicchio and sweet potatoes. I mixed these two together and filled a ceramic casserole dish. Next, I poured about 3/4 cup of cream over the veggies and topped with toasted bread crumbs, pine nuts, and Pecorino-Romano cheese, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I baked this in a 375 deg oven for about 45 minutes. The radicchio's flavor is that of a bitter green, very similar to endive, so this bitterness combined with the sweetness of the potatoes and creaminess of the cheese and cream made for a complex and tasty dish. Nick is a huge fan of the bitter greens and really enjoyed this. I must say, I am a fan as well.
In very exciting news, Minneapolis got a ton of snow on Saturday! Nick and I took advantage of being 'snow bound' and totally piled on the blankets and had a cozy weekend of watching football (yeah Badgers!) and Battlestar Galactica on Netflix. Even though everything is melting now, I am so excited for the cross country ski season ahead of us. The first big snow always makes me a little giddy. I hope you all had great weekends.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Cashew Veggie Stir Fry over Jasmine Rice
Last night I decided to pull out the wok. It's been a little while since we've used it but I thought it'd be perfect for tackling a big pile of veggies. I used 3 medium carrots, 2 beauty heart radishes, 3 small onions, 2 very small heads of broccoli, and 2 small heads of baby bok choy, along with 2 handfuls of cashews. Once I chopped everything to it's desired size and separated the stalks from the leaves of bok choy, I heated up 3 tbsps of grape seed oil over high heat in the wok (this oil is better for frying than olive oil because of it's smoke point). When this was smoking hot, I added the veggies in this order: carrots and radish slices; onions; broccoli; bok choy stalks; bok choy leaves. I also tossed in the cashews towards the end and added some tamari for seasoning. Once the veggies were cooked, we piled them into big bowls of jasmine rice and enjoyed a fresh and vibrant stir fry. The veggies were still 'al dente' and retained some crispness as well as their delicious flavors because I followed my stir fry rules...high heat, short cooking time, proper veggie order (those that take longest to cook go in the wok first). Works every time.
In other news, I just spent the better part of the afternoon organizing some kitchen shelves. Why am I so bad at staying on top of kitchen clutter? At least I feel a little better now, although I'm not sure my clean shelves will stay that way for long. I really am a horribly unorganized person.
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Variations on a Theme
"Two ways" might be a stretch, since the only difference between the bowls is the topping. Nick wanted some smoked trout on top of his salad, and I opted for some Pecorino-Romano cheese. So there you have it. This can be categorized as another autumn salad meal. We used Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend which includes Israeli style couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa, for our grain base. To this we added a little chopped bacon, some Brussels sprouts (both the sprouts and the leaves), and toasted walnuts. We added a some fresh orange zest too. We came across this amazing flavor combo at Bar La Grassa a couple weeks ago in a gnocchi dish, loved it, and promptly decided to copy it in our home kitchen. Next time you're making anything in the cabbage family (broccoli, cauliflower...) add some orange zest and give it a try.
White Beans with Kale and Sausage
I was craving this combination after seeing it in soup form on a menu recently. Since I didn't have time to make soup, I decided to make this dry. I made sweet Italian sausage meatballs and fried them up. Next, using the fat rendered from the sausage, I tossed the kale into the pan to wilt a bit. After a few minutes, I returned the sausage to the pan, along with the cooked beans and warmed everything together. We topped our bowls with toasted breadcrumbs and Pecorino-Romano cheese.
Over the weekend I made a couple of batches of infused simple syrups for soda making. The first is an old favorite from Bon Appetit (although I have yet to find the recipe online), Thyme Pink Peppercorn, which is a great spicy, herbaceous blend including cloves and star anise in addition to those flavors mentioned in the name. I was able to use some thyme from the yard despite a few hard freezes that have left a rather barren landscape outside. For the second, I tried my hand at punching up my standard ginger soda by including toasted coriander and a black cardamom pod along with the chopped fresh ginger. I really like the result. It reminds me a little of Vernors Ginger Ale, which has a unique flavor among store bought ginger ales. The cardamom is subtle, which is what I wanted, but I might add just a little more next time. The coriander brings a nice citrus-y brightness. Infused simple syrups are so much fun. Just add some soda water and you're set. Of course, various spirits can be added too, to make a great cocktail. Cheers!
Thursday, November 04, 2010
I have just picked up our latest box of veggies from Harmony Valley and I am excited. Pictured above are some of the goods, including: beauty heart radishes (aka watermelon radishes); broccoli; Brussels sprouts!; lacinato kale; sugar loaf radicchio; beets; garlic, and carrots. Veggies not pictured include baby bok choy; sweet potatoes; butternut squash; salad mix; and spinach.
Can I just say yum? I am giddy with delight that we got some Brussels sprouts because I love them. I am also excited to make something with the sugar loaf radicchio, which is a new veggie for me. This week's newsletter has some fantastic ideas for how to prepare all of these guys and I'm looking forward to giving some of the ideas a try.
As always, thank you to the hard working crew over at HVF that puts these veggies on our table, and ultimately in our bellies.
Warm Wild Rice Salad with Kale, Cranberries, Walnuts and Bacon
Here it is, another autumn salad. I have been following my 'golden ratio for autumn salads' when whipping these up. This includes roughly 2 parts grain of choice to 1 part green of choice to 1 part protein of choice (which often ends up being some combination of nuts/meat/cheese/beans for me). This formula allows for countless possibilities when creating dinner. Last night I came up with wild rice for my 'grain' and kale for my 'green'. My 'protein' ended up being a slice and a half of chopped cooked bacon, a handful of toasted walnuts and, just for good flavor, a handful of dried cranberries. I mixed all of this up together and made sure it was heated through before serving. It was delicious with the earthy, smoky flavor of the rice mixing with the rich walnuts, salty bacon and sweet cranberries. The kale added just a hint of bitterness to round everything out. Very satisfying.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Garbanzo Bean Curry with Carrots, Potatoes and Broccoli
While perusing the Kitchn last weekend, I came across this recipe and it sounded perfect for dinner. I have made many a curry in my day, and I like almost all of them. This recipe was interesting because it seemed to be a combination of a Thai coconut milk-based curry, and an Indian tomato-based curry. I worried a bit at first thinking the finished product might have conflicting flavors, but upon tasting it I realized all this worry was completely unfounded. It was amazingly tasty with a nice richness from the coconut milk and a good tangy heartiness from the tomatoes. I substituted broccoli for the cauliflower called for because it's what I had on hand. If I make this substitution again, I would add the broccoli a little later in the cooking process since it cooks faster than cauliflower. Other than that, my only recommendation is for you to give this recipe a try.
Indian Spiced Tofu Scramble with Broccoli Romanesco and Yukina Savoy
If this looks familiar to anyone it's probably because I have made this recipe before. In fact, I found it posted awhile back on the blog and seeing it inspired me to have another go at it. The original recipe can be found here. This time, instead of using the cauliflower and spinach called for in the recipe, I used Broccoli Romanesco and Yukina Savoy from our most recent CSA delivery. It turned out deliciously and I quite enjoyed eating this rendition of it as much as my first go around. It's currently my favorite thing to do with tofu.