Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Today's recipe is a breakfast dish you can prepare tonight and bake in the morning and it's sure to be a hit with everyone.
Baked Orange French Toast
8 slices french bread cut 3/4 to 1" thick
grated rind of one large orange
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup orange liqueur (optional)
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 or milk
3 tsp sugar
4 tsp butter
powdered sugar for dusting
Butter an 8-inch glass or nonreactive baking pan
Lay bread slices evenly in pan
Mix everything except butter and powdered sugar in a small bowl, then pour over bread and dot with butter
In the morning, preheat oven to 350° and bake about 30 minutes, or until puffed and set. Dust with powdered sugar. If desired, serve with a topping of butter, orange marmalade and maple syrup warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Today's recipe: Peppermint Hot Chocolate
mix 1 1/2 oz peppermint schnaaps with one cup hot chocolate, top with whipped cream and garnish with a small candy cane
mix 1/2 tsp peppermint extract with one cup hot chocolate, top with mini marshmallows and garnish with a small candy cane
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Grilled Rabbit with Peanut Chili Sauce
sounds right up our alley....check out the recipe and I'll get back to you on how it turned out.
I know, I know....rabbit??? But Farmer Paul from JenEhr assured me it was pasture raised, organic and delicious. And my research shows it is healthier than many other meats.
Whether I'll actually be able to swallow any is the question...but Tim eats most of the meat anyway!
I also researched how to cut up a rabbit, as I've never done that before.
Here's a couple of links that explain it pretty well.
EHow to Cut Up a Rabbit
The Rabbit Wrangler
Next mission...recipes for rabbit terrine or pate.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
For gametime snacking...
Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip:
1 can artichoke hearts
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 lb steamed spinach (or whatever greens you have on hand)
1/2 cup shredded parmesan and romano cheese (or just parm if that's all you have)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
crackers or baguette bread
Place the cream cheeses, spinach and seasonings in the food processor or mixer and blend well. Add the artichoke hearts and mix just until the hearts break down into smaller chunks. Heat in a crock pot, on the stove top, or in the microwave. Serve with crackers or baguette bread and dip away!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Today was the last Farmer's Market of the year, so I went and stocked up for holiday meals.
I hadn't decided what to make for our holiday meals yet, and found some interesting options at the market. JenEhr Farms had fresh pasture raised rabbit for the first time. I have to admit, I'm more of a bunny hugger than kill-and-cooker, but I was intrigued by Farmer Paul's desciption of how their cook had prepared the dish on the grill, so I decided to give it a try. I'm letting the meat age and we'll enjoy it on Christmas Eve and let you know what we thought.
I'm researching recipes and found this one from Jamie Oliver that sounds intriguing: grilled and marinated rabbit (coniglio marinato alla griglia). I also picked up some beauty spinach from JenEhr. I purchased some chorizo, bacon, summer sausage, lamb chops and beef tenderloin from Jordandal Farms. I picked up eggs from Pecatonica Farms, cheese from Forgotten Valley Cheese, and sweet potatoes and lettuce mix from Don's Produce, carrots and garlic from Driftless Organics, and apples from Green's Pleasant Spring Orchard. By then my bags were full and my wallet empty so I headed home, pleased with my finds for holiday meals. I'm sorry that the market is closed for the next two weeks, but happy for the farmers that they will have a break from their busy schedules to spend time with their families enjoying their bounty for the holidays. The next market will be at the Madison Senior Center on January 9, 2010.
Friday, December 18, 2009
One of my favorite side dishes for holiday meals, or any meal, for that matter, is Wild Rice. It's super easy to make, extremely healthy, tasty and versatile. Make extra for leftovers, soups, casseroles, breakfast, whatever!
2 cups long grain wild rice--the real deal, not that Uncle Ben's nonsense
6 cups water
2 pinches salt
2 Tbsp butter
Rinse the wild rice then place in saucepan with water, salt and butter. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cover. Wild rice takes about 1 hour to cook and will become soft and plump when finished. You should check it occasionally to make sure there is still some liquid left in the pan because depending upon your stove it may dry out and burn before the rice is fully cooked.
To help speed up the cooking time, rinse the rice and place in the pot of water for up to 8 hours before cooking. This will help ensure that the rice cooks in the 1 hour. You can easily prepare the rice a day or two ahead of your meal and simply reheat it in the oven, on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Today's recipe is in memory of my good friend, Sandra Hammer, who died from Breast Cancer in 2007. Sandra LOVED lobster bisque, and because of her Tim and I have made Lobster Bisque a tradition on our holiday menu for Christmas. This recipe is super quick and easy to make, even if you don't cook I think you could pull this one off. Look for Better Than Bouillon Lobster Base in the grocery aisle where you find soups. Most stores will carry it. If you can't find it, you can make lobster stock by boiling the lobster shells in water, then strain the water and use that in place of the bouillon and 1 cup water. Look for Lobster Slipper Meat at your local seafood shop or in the freezer section of your grocery to save some money on the meat for the bisque. You can also make it without the meat if you prefer. This recipe can be increased for more servings.
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
1 Shallot, Minced
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1 Cup Milk
1 Cup Dry Sherry
1-2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1/2 tsp Paprika
White Pepper to taste
1 Cup Minced, Cooked Lobster Meat (optional)
1 Tbsp Better Than Bouillon Lobster Stock
1 Cup Boiling Water
Mix 1 Tbsp Lobster Bouillon in 1 Cup Boiling Water and set aside. In a large stock pot or soup kettle, melt 3 Tbsp butter then stir in the shallot and cook until softened and translucent. Stir in 3 Tbsp flour and mix well, cooking for just a couple of minutes until light brown. Add Cream, Milk, Lobster Stock, Sherry, Tomato Paste, Paprika and lobster meat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with White Pepper and serve immediately with crusty french bread for dipping.
Makes 4-6 Servings of rich and dreamy bisque.
You can also substitute crab meat and make it crab bisque.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Another cookie recipe today
Candy Cane Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup crushed candy canes (do this in the food processor-it's loud, but fast; also, the small ones work best)
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 375°
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and the extracts and beat until well blended. Gradually add the flour and salt. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. Coat two baking sheets with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper. In a shallow bowl, combine the candy canes and the granulated sugar and mix well. Shape the chilled dough into 1-inch balls then roll each in the candy cane mixture. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned. Immediately remove from the baking sheets and cool on wire racks.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Granny's Ginger Snaps
3/4 cups shortening (I use butter)
1 cup white sugar
1 egg beaten
4 Tbsp molasses
2 cups flour (granny's note: or 2-1/2 cups--what?)
2 tsp soda
salt (I'm guessing 1/2 tsp)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves (ground)
1 tsp ginger (ground)
Roll in round ball & dip in sugar or candies bake at 350° (she doesn't say how long...I'm guessing about 8 minutes)
I can't tell you how many it makes, probably depends upon how big you roll them. You gotta love Granny's recipes...makes baking adventurous!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Granny's Peanut Butter Snowballs
These delicious sweet treats are a hit with kids of all ages, and the kids will love making them too!
1 cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup toasted, crushed walnuts
1 cup rice krispies
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tbsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
Mix together ingredients and roll into 1-inch balls, dip in glaze, and then roll in coconut
Chill to firm them up and just see if you can wait to try them!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
In honor of the twelve days til Christmas, I'm posting a holiday recipe each day until Christmas, and I hope you enjoy! I don't have photos of all of them but will share the ones I do have.
Lisa's Shrimp Gumbo
3 Tbsp Bacon Grease or oil or butter
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Large Onion, diced
2 Stalks Celery, diced or 1 cup Cubed Celeriac
3-4 Cloves Chopped Garlic
3-4 Chopped Chipotle Peppers
3/4 Cup Red Lentils
3/4 Cup Brown Rice
6 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 can Tomatoes or 3 large ones from the freezer doused in boiling water, then peeled
1 can Tomato Paste
3 Tablespoons Chili Powder
2 Tablespoons Smoked Paprika
2 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
1 Tablespoon Ground Cayenne Pepper
1-2 Teaspoons Sea Salt
1-2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Bay Leaf
1 lb peeled, deveined, tail off shrimp, chopped into smaller bite-sized pieces
...and a partridge in a pear tree.
Heat a large kettle over medium heat, then add the fat. Cook the onions, green peppers and celery or celeriac over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more before adding the bay leaf and spices. Next add the tomato and tomato paste and allow the tomato (if frozen) to continue thawing. Next add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the rice and bring the pot back to a boil, then turn down to medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lentils and bring the pot back to a boil, then turn down to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 10 minutes more.
Serve with homemade cornbread and extra hot sauce for those of us who like it spicy!
Makes a big pot, so you can have leftovers for lunch or even freeze some for a quick hot meal on a cold winter day.
Approximately 8 servings
Start to finish time: 1 hour
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
1 quart turkey, chicken or vegetable stock-place in pan and turn on low to simmer
1/4 of a celeriac, skinned and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 thin slices kohlrabi, skinned and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
2 inches of leeks thinly sliced and washed
1/4 bunch of spinach, cut into thin ribbons
Put vegetables in a fry pan with a little oil, saute until slightly soft and bits of brown (about 5-7 minutes). Add to the simmering stock, along with the spinach. Simmer for 7-10 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the spinach is wilted. Add salt to taste. Leftover noodles or rice can also be added for the last 60 seconds of simmering.
Serve hot, nice with a grilled cheese sandwich.
Really easy and simple
JenEhr Family Farm
Printed with permission from Kay Jensen
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
1 lb fresh beans, trimmed and cleaned, and cut in half
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into slices about the same size as the beans
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
Zest of one lime
3 Tbsp green Thai curry paste
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2-3 Tbsp Chili Garlic or Sriracha Sauce (optional)
-for garnish: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro; 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (optional)
Rice to accompany
Directions: Place all ingredients except for the garnishes in a crockpot and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat all day. When ready to eat, prepare rice according to directions and serve curry on top of rice, sprinkled with chopped herbs.
WARNING: This dish is very hot with the Chili Garlic or Sriracha Sauce included. It gets even hotter after sitting in the refrigerator overnight and being reheated the following day.
Delicious! One of the best eggplant dishes I've concoted yet!
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
When I was a teenager, maybe 15 years old or so, one day Mom told me to start the chicken in the oven for dinner before she got home. She instructed me to turn the oven on at 325°, wash the chicken, put some salt and pepper on it and put it in the oven...sounds easy, right?
Well, that night while carving the bird, Dad found the innerds still in the package inside the chicken. Mom said, "I told you to clean the chicken!" I replied, "You told me to wash the chicken, and I did...you never told me that I had to look inside!"
Anyway, now on to Beastie Treats...as part of our CSA from JenEhr Farm we get chickens each month and they come with, you guessed it, innerds in a bag. I'm not all that into meat to begin with, but I'm really not into some of the more interesting insides, like heart, gall bladder, liver, etc. I used to throw them out, except for the neck, which always goes into the pot with the carcass to make broth. The neck bones have a good deal of gelatin, which is super healthy, so even though nobody at my house eats the neck bone, we always save it for the broth. The rest of the innerds...we boil them at a slow boil for about 40 minutes, then puree and feed it to the kitties...super healthy, good for their coats and bones and geeze, they love the stuff! So, next time you're going to toss that package of innerds, think about your babies and cook some up for them. Dogs love them too---what animal can't pass up chicken!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Pear and Pumpkin Bars
Recipe by Locavore Lisa Lathrop
½ cup butter
¾ cup agave or 1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¾ cup cooked, pureed pumpkin
1 cup cored, diced pear (about 2 small pears)
1 cup unbleached flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp salt
Cream together butter and agave or brown sugar until light and creamy. Add egg and mix well. Add vanilla and pumpkin. Stir together dry ingredients and add to wet mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Fold in pears by hand. Bake in a greased, floured 8-inch square baking pan at 350° for 50-60 minutes if using agave and for 40-50 minutes if using brown sugar. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when done. Cool on a rack before slicing. Store in the refrigerator if using agave, as baked goods with agave will mold quickly unless refrigerated or frozen.
Note: Agave is an all natural sweetener that is safe for diabetics and others with sugar sensitivities to eat. It comes in a liquid form similar to honey, but is thinner and sweeter.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Watermelon infused vodka--cut watermelon into small chunks, or scoop out small balls with a melon baller then place in a glass container and cover with vodka. Store in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks, then make a fun cocktail using the infused vodka. Watch out for the chunks of melon though, they're nearly lethal if you get one in your drink.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
- 1 bunch chard
- 4 oz pancetta, thinly sliced, cut into 1-inch strips
- 2-3 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 Tbsp bacon fat or butter
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- sea salt
- ¼ cup parmigiano reggiano
- ½ lb cooked pasta
- ½ cup reserved pasta water
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Sauteed Chard and Pancetta with Pasta
1 bunch chard
4 oz pancetta, thinly sliced, cut into 1-inch strips
2-3 cloves chopped garlic
2 Tbsp bacon fat or butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup parmigiano reggiano
½ lb cooked pasta
½ cup reserved pasta water
Wash and dry the chard. Remove the leaves from the ribs and cut the ribs into ½ inch pieces. Slice leaves into 1-inch wide strips. In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, melt bacon fat or butter then add pancetta and cook until it starts to get crispy. Add olive oil, garlic and chard ribs and cook until the chard ribs are just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add chard and season with salt. Saute, stirring frequently until chard is just wilted, then drizzle with balsamic vinegar and add reserved pasta water. Allow the pasta water to reduce for 1-2 minutes then stir in the pasta, top with parmigiano reggiano and serve with your favorite bread and wine.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 small onion minced
1 large handful fresh basil (you could substitute other herbs or just leave them out)
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 pieces bread or 1/2 cup bread crumbs. I used frozen baguette chips that I keep on hand for making bruschetta.
Mix together in the food processor or mash by hand--you want the beans to be pretty well smashed. Form into patties and cook or freeze.
Note: quinoa is a super food--inexpensive and very high in protein and other nutrients. You cook it like rice-1 part quinoa to 2 parts water about 25-30 minutes. It is great to add to salads or soups or served as a side dish. It soaks up the flavors of whatever you put with it.
Let me know what you think of the veggie burgers, or even submit your favorite recipe on the comments section.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Heat a medium sized saute pan over medium-high heat then add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 cup chopped tomatoes, the sweeter, the better. I've been using a combination of sungold, yellow pear and grape for this, but any tomatoes will work. If larger tomatoes have lots of pulp and seeds, cut them in half and squeeze that out prior to chopping. Toss with olive oil, add a little sea salt, and saute for about 5 minutes. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar and saute 1-2 minutes more. These can be served immediately or chilled for later use. They're great with pasta or lentils. We made sandwiches with french bread, bacon, brie, basil and these tomatoes---delish! You could also use these to top bruschetta and add a bit of fresh basil and parmigiano reggiano.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Here's a quick and easy pasta recipe to try:
Tuscan Kale and Pasta
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
4-6 Tbsp olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 bunch Tuscan kale
1/2 pound pasta--bowties or penne work well with this
Fresh grated reggiano parmesan or romano cheese
Saute onion and garlic, with salt and pepper in 4 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat for about 20 minutes until tender
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the kale for about 20 minutes. Then scoop the kale out with a slotted spoon and add to onion mixture. Boil the pasta in the kale water and then scoop that out with a slotted spoon and add to onion and kale mixture. Add about 3/4 cup of the pasta water to pasta mixture and stir. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and add salt to taste. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp olive oil over the top and enjoy!
Optional: If you like for extra protein you can add 1 cup of cooked lentils or you can saute some proscuitto with the onions and garlic.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
When we're overwhelmed with greens I clean, chop, blanch and freeze them for use during the winter in soups and stews. One of Tim's new favorites follows:
Ham Hocks and Greens
1-2 smoked ham hocks
8-12 cups cold water, salted with 3-4 tbsp salt
12 cups washed, chopped greens, such as collard or mustard
¼ cup sugar
3-4 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce
Optional: 2 Tbsp liquid smoke
Cover ham hocks with cold salted water and cook over medium heat for 3-4 hours. Check the water occasioinally to make sure the ham hocks stay covered in water. If necessary, add more hot water to keep them covered. You want to cook the hocks until they are tender. Then add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook for 1- 1 ½ hours more. Remove the bones from the ham hocks and shred the pork with a fork. Salt to taste and add more Sriracha if you like it spicier. This gets even better as it sits in the fridge for a couple of days. Enjoy!
Note: This is best prepared with hearty greens such as collard, rather than tender greens like spinach.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Recently I made a pesto using carrot tops, parsley and basil with the usual garlic, olive oil salt and parmesan cheese. It was quite tasty and nobody even knew it was carrot tops!
You can also blanch and freeze them to use in soups and stews during the winter.
I've found there are many uses for the various greens from vegetables, so don't waste that great nutrition!
Friday, August 14, 2009
Spinach and Cheddar Savory Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup whole milk
1 cup chopped fresh or ½ cup chopped frozen spinach (if frozen, thawed, drained and squeezed dry)
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease 12 cup muffin cups, or line with papers.
2. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl.
3. Stir the melted butter, egg, milk, spinach, and cheddar cheese together in a large mixing bowl until evenly blended. Slowly stir in the flour mixture to form a batter. Scoop into muffin cups using an ice cream scoop, or fill about 2/3 full.
4. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Lisa's Mediterranean Green Beans
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and trimmed (I used flat Italian beans the first time)
3 large tomatoes, diced
2 teaspoons sugar or agave
1 ½ teaspoons dried basil
1 ½ teaspoons dried marjoram
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons Sriracha sauce to taste
1. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir the onions and garlic in the skillet until tender.
2. Mix the remaining olive oil, green beans, tomatoes, sugar or agave, herbs and salt into a slow cooker, add the onion mixture. Cook on medium-low for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours if you’re going to be gone all day. Stir the mixture occasionally if possible. If not, stir them as soon as you get home. Before serving add the Sriracha sauce and cook just a few minutes longer.
If you prefer to do these more quickly just add the ingredients to the onion mixture in the skillet and cook over med-low heat for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Note: these make a wonderful sauce so be sure to have some bread handy to soak up the sauce.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Here are a few ideas:
- invuse vodka with cucumber and mint or lemon balm--just remove the skins and seeds and dice or thinly slice the cucumers then place into a glass container with vodka and fresh mint, store in a cool place or refrigerate--wait a couple of weeks and enjoy in a tall glass over ice with some seltzer or club soda--garnish with a cucumber slice and a sprig of mint or lemon balm
- make a simple cucumber salad-peel deseed the cucumbers, thinly slice then place in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Let rest refrigerated for at least 1 hour before serving--makes a great snack or side dish
- make cucumber canapes--top with your favorite spread, or other veggies--the ones shown are topped with a smoked salmon spread piped onto the cucumber slices with a pastry bag
- make cucumber pickles or relish and can it for enjoying during the winter
- make cucumber salsa
- make tzatzki (pronounced dza-DZEE-kee)--a yummy Greek dip: 16 oz thick Greek yogurt; 6 cloves minced garlic; 1/2 cup diced or grated peeled cucumber; 1 tbsp olive oil; 1-2 tsp lemon juice; 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh mint (optional): Prepare all ingredients in advance. Combine oil and lemon juice in a medium mixing bowl. Fold the yogurt in slowly, making sure it mixes completely with the oil. Add the garlic, cucmber and mint, stir well and chill. Serve by itself or with veggies or pita bread for dipping-YUM!
- make Granny's Sweet Cucumbers (my Granny's recipe): 6 cups cucumbers, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced; 1-2 cups thinly sliced onion rings; 2 cups sugar; 1 cup vinegar; 2 tbsp salt. Combine and let stand refrigerated for 2-3 days. Makes 2 qts full. Enjoy!
- want more? surf the net--there are tons of fun, quick and easy recipes for cukes
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
It's quick and easy and delicious.
1 pie crust
2 oz bleu cheese (if you hate bleu, substitute another cheese that melts well, maybe gruyere)
1 lb summer squash sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, sliced thin
1-2 tbsp molasses (optional)
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2-3 oz chevre or other goat cheese
2 tsp dried herbs or 3 tbsp freshly minced herbs
Sea salt to taste
Carmelize the onions by cooking over medium heat in 2 tbsp olive oil for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure they cook evenly and don't get crispy. Be sure to salt the onions so they release their juices more quickly. When the onions are soft and carmelized, you can add a tablespoon or two of molasses to give them that rich dark sweet color and flavor. Set aside the onions and place remaining oil in pan then saute the garlic and summer squash for about 7-10 minutes, until squash is still a little firm, but tender. Stir often to ensure they cook evenly.
You can either use a store bought pie crust or make one yourself, they're quick, inexpensive and easy. Then roll out the pie crust to a couple inches wider than your pie pan and place it in the pan and fill as follows:
1 oz Crumbled bleu cheese on the bottom of the crust
top with 1/2 of the sauteed squash and garlic mixture
top that with 1/2 of the carmelized onions
top that with 1 oz of chevre
sprinkle 1/2 of the herbs all over and then repeat the process
When you're done, fold the edges of the pie crust over the top so there is an edge of dough all the way around.
Bake at 400° for 30-40 minutes.
Can be served hot or at room temperature.
If making ahead, keep refrigerated until serving and then let stand at room temp or heat through in oven.
Monday, August 10, 2009
A friend contacted me today and said she had an abundance of Lemon Balm, and what to do? Well, first off, lemon balm is of the mint family and it will take over your garden, so if you're just starting out, plant it in a pot in the ground and then watch it and prune regularly...otherwise it will take over. There are some fun uses outside of the ones you might think of right off. Of course, you can make teas and vinegars with it, and it has the most incredible lemony flavor, but here are a few other ideas and one recipe:
- Dry the leaves and store for winter teas--you can dry them in your oven, which works particularly well if you have a gas oven with a pilot light. Just wash and dry the leaves and lay them out flat, then turn them every day or so for 3-4 days until dried crispy. Store in an air tight container once dry. If you don't have a gas oven you can turn on your electric oven to the lowest setting for a few minutes just to warm it up, then shut it off and put the leaves in. You may have to re-heat the oven occasionally just to keep the moisture out, but they will dry to a crisp in a few days. You do want them crisp dry, otherwise they'll mold in storage.
- Make Sangria with the leaves and other herbs, spices and citrus
- Add the leaves to your bloody mary mix
- Add fresh chopped leaves to salads for a lemony brightness
- Add fresh chopped leaves to marinades
- Use fresh chopped leaves mixed with basil for pesto
- Add leaves to fresh made lemonade
- Use leaves for a garnsih for macerated fruit, combining fresh lemon juice and minced leaves with a little grand marnier poured over fresh fruit as a marinade
- Add chopped leaves to muffins or scones, both sweet and savory
Try this recipe for Valentino from The Herb Garden Cookbook by Lucinda Hutson:
2 oz unsalted butter, softened
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp strawberry preserves or orange marmelade
1 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur or fresh orange juice
3 tbsp chopped fresh lemon balm
Fresh Strawberries (optional garnish)
Fresh lemon balm sprigs (optional garnish)
Blend the butter and cream cheese with a fork. Mix in the other ingredients. Best made a day in advance for flavors to mingle; chill overnight and serve at room temperature. Keeps for a week. Serve as a dip for fresh strawberries, or as a spread on open faced sandwiches or with shortbreads.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Rinse 1 lb asparagus and snap off the ends by holding the asparagus and breaking from the bottom end. Let the asparagus break naturally and this will remove the tough bottoms. Save the bottoms in the freezer for the next time you make broth.
Pat dry the asparagus then drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and top with lemon zest or a little lemon juice. Grill for 5 minutes and enjoy hot or cold.