Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holy Tomatillos!

Try this! Try this! Try this recipe for Green Posole with Chicken. Posole is essentially the same thing as hominy. You can buy it in the canned vegetables section of a regular grocery store. Most grocery stores also carry fresh tomatillos these days. These look like green tomatoes that grow (and are sold in their) papery husks, but they are not tomatoes and don't taste tomatoes. They have a magic all their own. Remove the husks and throw the whole tomatillo into the pot.

If you are heat-averse, then discard the jalapeno seeds rather than including them. I have never added the pumpkin seeds, but if you do let me know how you like it. You can also throw in 1/4 cup minute rice at the end or serve it over rice.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Best Green Beans I Have Ever Eaten

No joke. I couldn't' stop eating these Crisp Haricots Verts with Pine Nuts. I used green beans from the farm so I cooked them closer to 10 minutes in the salted water and didn't plunge into ice water. So good!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chicken, Green Bean, Corn and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese

I was looking for a way to use up some of the green beans I've been getting from the farm and came across this recipe for Chicken, Green Bean, Corn and Farro Salad with Goat Cheese from Bon Appetit. It was great! The recipe calls for semi-pearled farro or spelt berries. I found farro at PCC, but it wasn't pearled and so it took a long, long time to cook, but it was delicious. You could use pearled barley which is much easier to find.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Vietnamese Sticky Chicken With Daikon and Carrot Pickle

I don't like pickles - you know the green ones from a jar - no matter what the brand. In fact, I hate them. If you are like me you might see the name of this recipe Vietnamese Sticky Chicken with Daikon and Carrot Pickle and skip on by. DON'T!! Pickles are commonly misunderstood. At the simplest "to pickle" something just means to put vinegar on it as in this recipe. I would recommend increasing the amount of chicken. It was sooo good!

Scallops with Cilantro Sauce and Asian Slaw

I found this recipe for Scallops with Cilantro Sauce and Asian Slaw when trying to figure out what to do with the daikon radish I received in my CSA share. What a delicious surprise this recipe turned out to be!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ceci Bean Pasta or Cherry Pit Pasta

We adapted this from a recipe one night when we found we were missing some of the intended ingredients. When I put it on the table Natalie peeked over the rim of the pot and says "Oh, Mom put cherry pits in the pasta!" I am not in the habit of serving my children inedible parts of produce, but we have been eating a lot of cherries so I guess she had cherries on the brain. Note - ceci bean is another name for garbanzo beans or chickpeas.

Ceci Bean or "Cherry Pit" Pasta

Yield: 4 LARGE servings

1 lb penne pasta
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 spinner full spring greens – radish, turnip for example
1 can drained, rinsed garbanzo beans
1 T anchovy paste (available in a tube near the canned fish)
Pinch of red pepper flakes
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped fresh basil
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 ¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Start salted water boiling, prep veggies, start pasta when water is ready.

Meanwhile, heat oil large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, sauté 30 seconds. Add beans. Saute 30 seconds. Add greens, anchovies, and red pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in ½ tsp salt. Add more oil if needed. Add tomatoes and ¼ cup basil. Stir in salt to taste (maybe ½ tsp?).

Drain pasta when done. add vegetable mixture and lemon juice to pasta; toss to coat. Transfer pasta to large bowl. Add remaining ¾ cup basil and ¾ cup cheese; toss to blend. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, passing remaining cheese.

Zucchini, Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Zucchini season has arrived! Keep your front doors and car doors locked!! Or use all that squash in this recipe:

Zucchini-Corn-Black Bean Quesadillas

a few Tbsp of vegetable oil
3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained
3 large zucchini, diced
1 cup finely chopped onion (red or white, your choice)
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Corn tortillas (I *LOVE* the corn tortialls from Trader Joes)
Your choice of cheese: queso fresco, Monterey Jack, cheddar, Colby-Jack, etc., grated or crumbled
Your choice of other (optional) garnishes: sour cream, chopped cilantro, fresh or canned jalapenos, guacamole, salsa, etc.

Pour about 1 Tbsp oil into the bottom of a large skillet and swirl the pan to lightly coat it. Heat over high heat, then add the corn. Cook the cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the corn is warmed through and has some slight charred marks on the edges (charring very important). Season with a tiny bit of salt. Remove the corn from the pan and set aside.
Add a bit more oil to the pan and repeat this same process with the zucchini. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add a bit more oil to the pan and the add the onion. Cook the onion, stirring, until is it totally softened and starting to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one more minute. Return the corn and zucchini to the pan and stir. Gently stir in the rinsed and drained beans and cook another minute or two, until filling is warmed through.
Warm a very large, flat-bottomed pan or a griddle over medium-high heat and melt a little bit of butter onto it and spread it around to lightly coat the cooking surface. Place one tortilla on the pan (or griddle) and sprinkle a bit of cheese over it, trying to keep the cheese on the tortilla, rather than into the pan (watch your fingers!). Top the tortilla with a generous layer of the zucchini/black bean/corn mixture. Top with another small layer of cheese and a second tortilla. Cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to insure that the cheese melts and the filling stays warm, until the bottom tortilla is golden brown. Quickly spread a very thin layer of softened butter on the top tortilla. Carefully flip the quesadilla and repeat the cooking process until the tortilla that is now on the bottom is golden brown and starting to lightly crisp up. Remove the quesadilla from the pan and cut into wedges. Top with your choice of garnishes and serve immediately.

Farfalle Pasta with Carrots, Sage and Scallions

If you'd ever tried my Pasta Piselli recipe, you know that looks can be deceiving. This one looks too simple to have any flavor, but it is delicious. It is made even more delicious by the fact that it is simple and fast. For me this is a "pantry-meal" since I have a sage plant in my garden and I always stock pasta, parmesan cheese, and carrots. I almost always have green onions or scallions, but if not you could substitute a regular onion chopped fine or shallots. You can also use a different pasta - We used fiori last night and it worked just as well as farfalle.

Farfalle with Carrot, Sage and Scallion


1/2 lb Farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
1 ts Olive oil -- extra virgin
3 T Butter -- unsalted
3 md Carrots -- grated
9 Scallions -- cut diagonally Into 1/2-inch pieces
40 Sage leaves, fresh -- stems removed, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice from 1/2 lemon (or 3 T)
3 tb Cheese -- freshly grated (optional)


Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Meanwhle, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and 1 1/3 T butter. When oil and butter are hot and sizzling, add carrots and saute until soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Add scallions and sage leaves to carrots. Continue to saute until sage begins to crisp and scallions are brown, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and cover to keep warm and add salt and pepper to taste.

When pasta has been cooked al dente, drain and return to cooking pot. Add lemon juice and remaining 1/2 to 1 1/2 tablespoons butter (amount depends on personal preference). Toss lightly.

Divide pasta evenly among 3 serving bowls and top each serving with vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with cheese if desired.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Braised Fingerling Potato Coins

Mmmmmm, MMMMM! This is an easy side dish - just get them going in their pan and then leave 'em till 1/2 hour is up. No mess, no fuss and DELICIOUS. I really do recommend fingerling potatoes for this. I can 't make any guarantees for any other kind of potatoes. The recipe calls for 3/4 stick of butter, but I have reduced that to 1/2 stick with good result. Fabulous reheated for breakfast...if you have any left over...which we usually don't.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes

Finally something worth blogging about and a moment to do it! I hesitated before making this recipe for Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes because of the coconut milk since I don't like shredded coconut, but my, my am I glad I took the plunge. This was so delicious. I was full, but didn't want to stop eating. There wasn't as much to send with Steve this morning as I had planned. Despite the instructions I used Kroger brand curry powder and I cut the red pepper flakes down to about 1/2 tsp. Don't be afraid of the fish sauce. Yes it stinks and you can't believe anyone would put this in their food, but after it cooks it is an entirely different beast. It comes in small bottles (at a regular grocery store) and is not expensive. Don't be afraid of the lemongrass either. You can get it at any regular grocery store nicely packaged with the spices. Oh and make sure you buy a sweet potato and not a yam. I know - most people think these are the same thing, but they're not. Sweet potoates look like regular potatoes once they're peeled and cut up. Yams are much more orange and have a different texture. They will be properly labeled in the produce department. I served this with steamed rice - brown is healthier and you don't notice the different texture in this dish. Get the rice going before turning to the chicken as brown rice will need the whole time to cook.