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Posts from the ‘Sides’ Category

Corn Chowder

Summer doesn’t want to let go. It’s been hot, well really warm out and I long for crisp cool Autumn weather. My last hoorah for summer produce,( the only thing I will miss about summer is the produce) is corn chowder. I can’t believe I’ve never made it before and honestly have never even tasted it either, and now I know what I have been missing out on all these years. It’s so simple to make, sweet and savory at the same time, loaded with vegetables and a fitting tribute to delicious sweet corn. After removing the kernels from the cobs I used them to make a corn cob vegetable stock which I used to make this soup. Note: I used sweet bi color corn, if you want a soup that is a little less sweet use yellow corn, it is slightly less sweet IMHO, or mix the two types of corn.

I am bringing this soup to Fiesta Friday # 193, I am honored to be co hosting this week with the amazing Ginger and Bread.

Corn Chowder

Serves 6-8

The stock

6 ears of corn, kernels removed and set aside (see video)

3 stalks celery

3 carrots

1 large onion

10 cups water (or vegetable broth)

salt and pepper to taste

Place everything in a large pot and bring to a boil on high heat. Turn heat to medium and cook for approximately 2 hours. It will reduce to about 6-8 cups. Remove the vegetables and strain if necessary.

Making the chowder

1 onion chopped

1 stalk celery chopped

1 large carrot chopped

1 red bell pepper chopped

Corn

2 potatoes peeled and cut into bite size pieces

6-8 cups corn stock

pinch of turmeric

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tbs flour + 2 tbs water to make a slurry

2 tbs butter

salt and pepper to taste

Add a little olive oil to a dutch oven or soup pot, heat on medium high and add the celery, onion, carrot and bell pepper. Sauté until soft. Add the stock and cook for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.  Stir in the slurry and turmeric and continue to cook until it thickens a little, add the corn and potatoes and cook for another 20-30 minutes (until potato is tender). Scoop out about 3 cups of the corn and vegetables and puree in the blender until smooth. Add back to the pot along with the cream and butter, salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot or room temperature.

Watch this video on how to strip corn from Food52, I hate it when the kernels fly, this helps and there is very little flying kernels.

 

 

Basic Hummus And A Vegan Apple Tart

This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Jerusalem” it calls for dried chickpeas rather than canned. I always stayed away from recipes where you have to cook the beans/peas and rather opt for canned because it’s easy and I guess I am a bit lazy. Well, have to say there is a difference, a big difference in flavor and texture when you use freshly made chick peas. I love just about anything from any of the cookbooks by Ottolenghi or the team of Ottolenghi and Tamimi. The books are beautiful to look at, the ingredients they use are always fresh and the recipes are simple but creative and everything so far that I have made has been absolutely delicious. Like chocolate chip cookies there are thousands of recipes out there for hummus. It’s not rocket science and is made easily and quickly and has always been welcome as an appetizer or part of the main meal. It’s a wonderful recipe and if you are hesitant to use dried chickpeas, it takes a little more time and effort but the results are well worth the effort. The only change I made when making this recipe is that I use half the garlic indicated, I am not a big fan of raw garlic, the garlic is flavor is definitely there but is more subtle with 2 cloves, of course if your garlic cloves are very small use more.

I am bringing the hummus and tart to Fiesta Friday #191, this week, the co cohosts are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Antonia@ Zoale.com thank you ladies for co hosting and as always a big thank you to Angie for putting this party together every week!

Basic Hummus

Serves 6 or more

1 1/4 cup dried chickpeas

1 tsp baking soda

6 1/2 cups water

1 cup plus 2 tbs light tahini

4 tbs lemon juice freshly squeezed

4 cloves garlic crushed (I used 2 cloves)

6 1/2 tbs ice cold water

The night before put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight.

The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the chickpeas and baking soda, cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook between 20-40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.

Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 2/3 cups. Place the chickpeas in the food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then with the machine still running, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to process for 5 minutes until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.

Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes before serving, you can also refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. I drizzle the hummus with olive oil and sprinkle some sumac.

Delicious with fresh veggies and pita

I recently heard from friend I used to work with, it had been years since we have seen each other and I invited him over the other day to catch up, he is vegan and specifically requested pastry.  This tart is vegan,  has very little sugar, only about 2 tbs and is drizzled with apple cider cinnamon reduction. It couldn’t be simpler and it’s so beautiful. The pie crust is from the Crisco package and is one my Mother used for her pies, she didn’t even know her pie crust was vegan, I sliced the apples hasselback style, sprinkled with a little sugar, flour, cinnamon mixture, dotted a little earth balance and baked.

Simple, beautiful and delicious and it’s vegan

Flaky Pie Crust (Vegan)

Recipe on Crisco Shortening- makes single 9 inch pie crust

1 1/3 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

6-8 tbs ice cold water

Whisk flour and salt together, add the shortening and with a pastry cutter combine until it resembles moist crumbs. Add water and stir with a fork. Gather together into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk and refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll the dough on floured work surface and line your tart pan. Refrigerate.

While dough is chilling, cut the apples in half, skin on, core and slice thinly keeping each half together, it’s easier to lift the sliced apples and place in pie shell. Heat oven to 400 degree’s. Mix 2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a small ramekin and set aside. Arrange the apples in the cold pie shell and sprinkle with the sugar, flour, cinnamon mixture. Dot with butter or vegan butter. Line a baking sheet with parchment and bake the tart until golden brown approximately 40-45 minutes.

Apple Cider Reduction

1 cup apple cider

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs sugar

Place everything in a non reactive heavy bottom saucepan and boil on medium high until it reduces to a syrup. Approximately 30-40 minutes.

Served with Vegan salted caramel ice cream.

 

Caponata

I posted this recipe for Caponata years ago and I am afraid it’s been a long time since I have made it. This came about partly because I had gone a little overboard during my last visit to the farmers market, I tend to do that every time I go and I think I have mentioned this before but I hate to waste food. My Mom used to serve Caponata from time to time, usually it was purchased from the Italian supermarket commercially prepared. I liked it but thought it was too sweet, the basic idea is wonderful and it makes a delicious condiment slathered on some good bread. It really is so delicious. I think of Caponata as the Italian ratatouille. Its very easy to make, you can add what you like and subtract what you don’t.

I am going to bring this along with a loaf of homemade bread to Fiesta Friday #186 and this weeks co hosts are  Colleen @ Faith, Hope, Love & Luck and Alex @ Turks Who Eat

Farmers market haul

Caponata

Makes 1 quart

2 medium size eggplant stem end cut and sliced in half

2 cups chopped tomato or cherry tomatoes cut in half

1 small onion chopped

1 shallot chopped

2 stalks celery

3 cloves garlic minced

2 bell peppers medium size (I used a purple and red)

1/4 cup capers

pinch (or more) crushed red pepper flakes

pitted olives – didn’t measure but a generous handful cut in half if large

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 tsp sugar

Heat oven to 425 degree’s. Line baking sheet with parchment. Brush the eggplant with olive oil on both sides. Place on baking sheet cut side down and roast for 15 minutes. They should be browned on the cut side but not mushy.  Cut the eggplant into bite size pieces and set aside.

Nicely browned

Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, cook until softened, add the celery and pepper and cook until soft and fully cooked. Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, crushed red pepper and continue cooking until the tomatoes are cooked through, add the eggplant, vinegar and sugar and cook until thick and most of the liquid from the tomatoes is reduced. Spoon into storage containers let come to room temperature and then refrigerate. I find it’s always better served the next day and served at room temperature.

caponata and a egg fried in olive oil on homemade bread

 

Turkish Stuffed Eggplant

The other day I got an email from Saveur and there were 43 vegetarian recipes that celebrate Spring vegetables. Browsing through the recipes I was inspired to try 3 of them immediately, they were all so many appetizing and delicious it was hard to pick which ones to make but I decided on 3 for now.  The first recipe is Turkish Stuffed Eggplant, Imam Bayildi. It’s so simple to make and chock full of wonderful vegetables it makes a great meal or side, you decide how you would like to serve it, for me with some greens and greek yogurt with dried mint.

Choose small eggplants, I found some beautiful grafitti eggplant, small and slender, I knew they would be tender and cook quickly. The recipe calls for green pepper, cauliflower, leeks, garlic and tomato as the stuffing. Because I like to add my own spin on a recipe and frankly I am a bit tired of cauliflower (yes I finally had my fill) I chose zucchini and tri color mini peppers. They say to grate the tomatoes, ummm I don’t think so, I envisioned parts of my finger mixed with the tomatoes as all I had were small (cherry) tomatoes. I did a fine chop and drained them of their juices in a sieve. The eggplant is cut in half and roasted cut side down in the oven until soft and slightly caramelized. This is so easy to make it’s almost ridiculous and the results are delicious. The recipe calls for Aleppo or Marash pepper but I didn’t have, you can use that if happen to have it on hand instead of the sumac.

I am bringing these little gems with me to Fiesta Friday #171, egad, sweet Angie has been hosting 171 parties. She is amazing folks.  Happy Mothers Day Angie!!

Turkish Stuffed Eggplant- Imam Bayildi

Recipe from Saveur (adapted by me)

2 small eggplant, cut in half with stems on

6 small tri color bell peppers  or 1 medium bell pepper cleaned, seeds and veins removed and chopped

1 small zucchini chopped

1 leek, light and white parts only cleaned very well and cut in thin rounds

3 cloves garlic minced

1 cup chopped (or grated if you are brave) tomato drained of juices

salt and pepper

dried oregano (just a little)

Sumac small amount to garnish or if you have Aleppo or Marash pepper

crumbled feta (as much as you like)

olive oil

Heat oven to 375 degree’s put the eggplant cut side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment and brushed with olive oil, rub some olive oil on each eggplant half as well. Roast for approximately 25 minutes or until soft and the cut side is slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside.

Add a few tbs of olive oil to your sauté pan and cook the leeks until softened. Add the bell pepper, garlic and zucchini and sauté until tender and cooked through. Remove from heat and add the tomato, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn the eggplant over cut side up and spoon some of the filling on top about 1/2 cup for each half. Sprinkle a little dried oregano on top, drizzle with olive oil and put back in the oven for about 15 minutes until hot.

To serve, add the crumbled feta, sprinkle a little sumac and drizzle with a little olive oil.

 

 

 

 

 

Granny Phanny And The Giant Rabbit Some Turnip Soup For Womens History Month

Another delightful installment from the joint collaboration with writer/author extraordinaire Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, we planned this post to occur in March, Women’s History Month, we’ve come a long way baby and every month, week and day should celebrate women and their/our contribution to society, this country, our families and communities. I am woman hear me roar, well that is a little cliché I know but we are empowered and accomplished and strong and proud of how far we have come, it amazes me that at one time women didn’t even have the right to vote and in some countries women are still considered objects of disdain, almost subhuman and of less importance than their male counterparts.

I also am including a recipe that I posted years ago for a spring turnip soup, you may turn up your nose when you read turnips but honestly this soup is delicious, I use Hakurai turnips which appear late winter and early spring at the local green markets. They are crisp and sweet and mild and make an outstanding soup. The soup is topped with some crumbled bacon and the turnip greens which are sauteéd in the bacon fat. For vegan and vegetarian option all you do is eliminate the bacon and use vegetable broth or water. For vegan option of course you would not use the cream but you can sub a non dairy option of your choice.

Take it away Teagan…

Granny Phanny and the Giant Rabbit

suffragettes-in-white

Hi, Suzanne.  I’m delighted to be back in your kitchen!  Hello everyone, it’s great to see you.

When I asked Suzanne for an ingredient to use in a story for this collaborative post, right away she said turnips.  Every time I hear that word I think of the “Cinnamon Bun” character from my serial, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-1.  That’s a 1920s culinary mystery, which is in the works to be “book-ized” this spring.

Many of you are familiar with my flapper character, Pip.  This time the story is told from the point of view of Pip’s grandmother, Phanny Irene Peabody.  I thought that was appropriate since March is Women’s History Month.  Granny lived during the height of the suffragette era, and she was a woman to speak her mind.  It’s also something of a back-story for Cinnamon Bun.  I hope you enjoy the story as much as Suzanne’s recipe!  Although that’s a lot for me to live up to…

Granny Phanny and the Giant Rabbit

“The only true woman is a pious, submissive wife and mother, concerned exclusively with home and family!”

Even more irksome than the words themselves was the fact that they were uttered by a woman.  I was glad that I had already left the building.  Otherwise I might have lost my temper.  What business did anyone with that opinion have at a women’s meeting in the first place?

suffragettes-marching

In 1920, Georgia was the first state to “reject” the Nineteenth Amendment, which assured women the right to vote.  It was two years later before women actually got to vote in my home state.  Long after that, we were still suffragettes, working for equal rights.  We still wore suffragette white to our meetings.

That intolerable statement was immediately followed by the resounding crack of a slap across the speaker’s face.  I cringed, knowing full well who had likely delivered the smack.  I turned on my heel and hurried back inside.  Veronica Vale was no meek little lamb.  She was a force of nature when her righteous wrath was incurred.  I tried to make my way through the pandemonium to my friend.

1920s woman scientist-microscopeBy the time I got to Veronica, I could hear police sirens.  A quick look around told me several attendees had slipped quietly away, including the woman who spoke the words that started the trouble.

“It was all planned,” I muttered.  “That bunch wanted to make trouble from the minute they asked to join.”

Not much later a handful of us — enough to make an example, but not so many as to cause the coppers much trouble — were hauled down to the police station.  A group of men stood laughing and cat calling while we were hustled outside.  My cheeks heated in a blush.

Detective Dabney Daniels of the Savannah Police got a tip that something was going to happen.  By the time the paddy wagon reached the station, he was already diffusing the situation.

“Miss Phanny,” he began with a smirk and a shake of his head.  “I wish I could say I was surprised to see you,” he told me before turning to Veronica Vale.  “Mrs. Vale your husband is already here.  You’ll be released into his custody.”

I knew that “custody” statement wouldn’t sit well with Veronica.  She was a doctor and a scientist, not some man’s property.  No matter how good the man.  For years Veronica Vale had worked at a hospital in England called Clapham Common.  It had an all-female staff.  She retired and returned to Savannah.  Then she met the widowed Vincent and partnered with him in his veterinary practice.

Before she could complain, I blurted out my puzzlement.  “Dabney, how could you know…?”

“I’d like to claim powers as a mentalist, Miss Phanny.  However, Dr. Vale had just arrived to pick up someone else,” the handsome detective explained as chaos erupted elsewhere in the station.JCLeyndecker Arrow Collar ad

Detective Daniels quickly excused himself and walked toward the sounds of people shouting.

Veronica gave a downright evil chuckle.  I looked a question at her and she laughed out loud at the expression on my face.

“Phanny Irene Peabody,” she said.  “You are indeed a Pip.  I suppose you’ve never noticed the way that young man looks at you.  He probably doesn’t care a whit for the turnips  you’re always giving him, or the meals he gets in return for fixing one thing and another at your cottage.  Tsk-tsk.  Phanny, that young copper is smitten with you.”

“Veronica, don’t be ridiculous.  You couldn’t be more wrong.  Dabney is just a goodhearted young man,” I told my friend most emphatically.

Another crashing sound and men shouting prevented her from talking more of that nonsense.  How absurd.  I was old enough to be that boy’s mother.  We might enjoy one another’s company, but there was nothing more to it.

“Hi, Honey.  Are you hurt?” Vincent Vale asked his wife as he skidded to a stop.  As Veronica shook her head he turned to me.  “Mrs. Peabody, are you well?” he greeted me politely.Christopher Timothy as Vincent Vale

Veronica assured her husband that neither of us had come to any harm.  I noticed Vincent held some kind of harness.  There was more shouting, and then the veterinarian pelted away toward the commotion.

A moment later we heard Vincent shout.  “Got ‘em!”

However there was another crash.  I heard dull thumping noises.  The sound was quite rhythmic, and coming closer.  Veronica and I exchanged puzzled looks.

I stuck my head around the corner and gasped loudly.

“I must be seeing things.  Else I’m just plain zozzled,” I murmured.

Veronica craned her neck to see what had stunned me.

“Well horsefeathers!  In all my born days…” she began.  “A Flemish Giant.”

“Flemish?  Bushwa!” I exclaimed.  “You’re hallucinating too,” I mumbled.  “Somebody spiked our tea a little too much at the women’s meeting.  Or else I’m looking at a cinnamon colored rabbit that’s three feet tall, sitting on his haunches.”

I crouched down, befuddled.  The big bunny hopped over to me and nuzzled my hand.  I scratched between his impossibly long ears.  I helped hold the big bun still as Vincent got the harness around him.

“This big ole boy decimated Godfrey Gilley’s garden.  Dug up every turnip he had,” Vincent commented.  “When the big bun headed toward his grocery store, Godfrey was so upset that he called the police saying there was a bear in his yard!” the veterinarian laughed.  “Trouble is, I’m not sure what we can do with him.  We’ve taken on so many animals lately,” Vincent admitted, but cast a pleading look at his wife, who gave a resigned sigh.

My face ended up against the giant rabbit’s soft hair as Vincent adjusted the harness.  I found that I didn’t want to move.  My fingers sank into the plush fur.

“I’ll take him,” I spoke up, and questioned my own sobriety again.  “Oh good lord, but I need a hutch for him.”Vintage rabbit driving

I hadn’t noticed that Detective Dabney Daniels was standing beside us.

“Don’t worry, Miss Phanny.  I can take care of a rabbit hutch in a jiffy,” Dabney said.  “Even one big enough for this miscreant,” he added with a grin.

Veronica elbowed me sharply in the ribs.  She gave me an I told you so look and winked.

“He’s sweet on you,” she whispered into my ear.  “So what if he’s younger.  He’s a damn fine figure of a man!”

“Absolutely no!” I told her so fiercely that everyone looked askance.

Fortunately I was spared from an explanation because of Veronica’s loud bark of laughter.

The Vales offered to drive me home.  I got into the automobile with Vincent and Veronica, and of course the rabbit.  Dabney bent down and promised to come by to start on the rabbit hutch that evening.  Veronica wriggled her eyebrows at me.  I gave her a withering look, then turned and smiled at the detective as I thanked him.

“What was all that about?” Vincent wanted to know as we drove away.

Veronica had no inhibitions about sharing her embarrassing speculations to her husband, despite my denial. 

“It simply will not do!” I told her, my patience close to its end.

“She means that dear,” Vincent said.  “You might want to leave it alone before your sense of fun hurts your friendship.”

“You’re right,” she agreed with a sigh.  “I’m sorry Phanny.  I just want to see you happy.”

“I am perfectly happy as I am.  Besides, I told you that my granddaughter, Pip, is coming to live with me.  I’ll have my hands full, teaching her to cook,” I reminded my friends.  “I can’t wait for you to meet her.”

The End

***

Copyright © 2017 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

All rights reserved.

No part of this work may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

All images are either the property of the author or from Pinterest unless stated otherwise.

Creamy Spring Turnip Soup With Wilted Greens And Bacon

(Bacon is optional for my vegetarian friends)

Serves 4-6 depending on serving size

4 heaping cups turnips peeled and quartered (Use the small spring turnips if possible)

1 potato peeled and quartered (I used Yukon Gold and it’s Optional to use a potato)

2 cups leeks (cleaned well and sliced) or use a medium size onion or 2 shallots

4 1/2 cups broth (chicken, vegetable or water)

2 tbs butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg (optional)

4-6 slices bacon

Turnip greens cleaned VERY well

In heavy sauce pan heat a little olive oil, add the leeks or onion or shalot and sweat, cook just until tender don’t brown. Add the turnips and potato, now add the liquid (broth or water). Cover and cook until the turnip and potato are tender. Let cool for about 30 minutes and blend either in your blender or use the immersion blender. Note: If using an immersion blender remove some of the liquid you don’t want the soup too thin, you can always add it back in. Add the butter and cream and season with salt and pepper and nutmeg.

Fry the bacon until crisp, remove from the fry pan and add the greens to the bacon fat, season with salt and peppper and saute until the greens are tender and wilted.

To Serve: Garnish the soup with the wilted greens and crumbled bacon.

Soup

Thanksgiving

Photo by James Ransom

Photo by James Ransom

Every year I make the same meal for Thanksgiving, there is little to no variations year to year because everyone loves it that way. It makes things easier sort of, the only planning involves the shopping and of course the preparation. I try to make as much in advance as possible to save myself work on the big day. This will be Percy’s first Thanksgiving with me and I plan on giving him a plate of food along with the rest of my guests. I am excited that this year my two cousins will be joining me as well. My menu is very basic, nothing fancy but everything is homemade and has withstood the test of time. The dishes on the menu are linked to former posts so that you can see the recipes. Mashed potatoes, well, no recipe required, so my potatoes have not lumps I use the food mill and then simply add sour cream, butter and salt and pepper, thats all, the same goes for the pumpkin pie, I used canned pumpkin and follow the instructions on the back of the can, I’ve tried other methods and quite honestly the results are so similar it’s not worth the extra effort. The meal is always served with wine, this year a Cabernet Sauvignon, Lambrusco, Sparkling blanc de blanc and I am still undecided on whether to serve a Chardonnay or white bordeaux.

Thanksgiving Menu

butter and herb roast turkey

dressing

mashed potatoes

oven roasted brussells sprouts

corn

cranberry sauce

dinner rolls

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Dessert

Pecan Pie

Apple Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Guest Post- The Frugal Hausfrau

I am thrilled to introduce Mollie –The Frugal Hausfrau. One look at her delicious recipes and beautiful blog and you will be hooked. Her food is home style with an elegant twist, whether a main course, side or dessert you will be drooling. She is one of sweetest and kindest people I know and I have to mention that she is the force behind Throw Back Thursday. Allow me to introduce Mollie, if you don’t already know her I know you will love her as much as I do. Take it away Mollie. One more thing, she hit the nail on the head when she chose this recipe, it has my name written all over it.

cauliflower-steaks-21

I’m so happy to be here today with a guest post for Suzanne. When she put out the call, I jumped. Here’s a woman who does so much for everyone whether she’s just inspiring quietly in her own way, stopping by with lovely comments and encouragement, or working for fundraisers and charities.

I admire Suzanne and her cooking style and over the years I must have read nearly every post Suzanne has ever put out. I’d like to think I have a handle on her taste and I want to be mindful of the healthy direction she’s been moving toward.

So I found some inspiration in a recipe for a roasted cauliflower from Martha Stewart, changed it up a bit and added an Italian flair, just for Suzanne. I used my fave Fennel Spice Rub, and it’s worth making, even if it is and extra step. After your first taste you’ll want to sprinkle that magic on everything!

The nutty roasted cauliflower steaks in this dish are gorgeous with the mushrooms, and those mushrooms – oh my gosh, they’re golden brown and nutty and the flavor intensifies with the roasting. I used Baby Bellas, but just about any mushroom or a combination would be wonderful.

And oh, yeah, I can’t forget the cheese. Just a smidge…it’s wafer thin. If you’re not as old as I am, you might not get the joke…Google it! 🙂 l left a section of the cauliflower steaks “nude” so you could see what it looks like before the cheese.

Then to top it all off, I went a little crazy and added my rather loose interpretation of a Chermoula Sauce (optional) made from the last vestiges of my dying garden. That piquant green sauce, kind of like a Chimichurri, adds a bright counterpart to the earthy dish.

I hope you all like it! Be prepared to have a use for the extra cauliflower if you have any.

cauliflower-steaks

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks with Chermoula Sauce

1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into 4 inch thick slices
3/8ths cup of olive oil, approximately
8 ounces mushrooms, shiitake, cremini or a combination, cut into 3/8″ slices
2 slices rustic bread, or enough so stacked it will be about 1″ thick, crusts removed and torn into small pieces, about 1/2 inch across
1 teaspoon (or to taste) Fennel Spice rub (see below) or salt and pepper to taste
4 thin slices of Provolone
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Position racks, one each in the upper and lower third of oven.

cauliflower-steaks-3

Prepare the ingredients:

Rub the cauliflower on both sides with olive oil, season with the Fennel Spice Rub and place on a single layer of a rimmed baking sheet.
Toss the mushrooms with about 2 to 3 tablespoons oil and spread on a second baking sheet.
Toss the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil and set aside.
Place cauliflower on the upper rack and bake for about 10 minutes. When the time is up, add the mushrooms on the lower rack and roast for 12-15 minutes more, until the bottom of the cauliflower is golden brown.

Flip the cauliflower and mushrooms, sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the mushrooms and continue to roast both trays for another 10 minutes.

Remove the trays and combine the mushrooms and cauliflower. Spread into a single layer, top with cheese and place back in the oven for three to four minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

Serve immediately.

Fennel Spice Rub:

1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
3/4 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon sea salt
Toast seeds and peppercorns in a small skillet, tossing often until fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool before crushing. When cool, crush using a blender, mortar and pestle or pan. Mix with the salt. Store excess in small container or zip type bag.

chermoula

Chermoula Sauce, about 1/2 cup

3 tablespoons crushed nuts, hazelnut or pecans
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
3/4 cups of roughly chopped herbs and greens, lightly packed, parsley, cilantro, arugula are good choices
1 teaspoon orange zest, reserve 1/2 the orange if juice is needed
1/4 teaspoon garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
pinch or two of salt
Mix all ingredients together in blender, blend until a cohesive sauce is made. If necessary add a little orange juice to get the blender moving.

Shumai

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Sometimes I like to step outside of my comfort zone and make something that is not familiar to me. When eating at a Japanese restaurant there are two things I always order, Shumai and Gyoza, portable little bites of deliciousness with a tasty dipping sauce. Although Shumai is familiar food making it, not so much. The other day there was an email from Food and Wine with a recipe from Andrew Zimmern for Shumai, looking it over it seemed straightforward and simple to make, both of these are requisites when I tackle a food that I have not cooked before. I did not own a bamboo steamer so I had to buy one, no problem. The list of ingredients were very familiar except for the black vinegar for the dipping sauce, instead I used mirin and rice wine vinegar and it was delicious. I also didn’t have Shaoxing wine or dry sherry so instead I used dry white wine and it turned out just fine.  I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, did not carefully measure, instead I sort of ad libed and eyeballed the ingredients I don’t think it’s an exact science like baking. The Shumai turned out great except for one thing, I forgot to line the steamer with the cabbage, which I had bought but forgot to use. If you don’t line the steamer the shumai stick, most of the bottoms of the little dumplings were stuck and I had to carefully pry them off, there were some casualties but they were still ok. Thank you to Stefan for pointing out that these are actually Chinese, I should have done my homework but since I ordered in Japanese restaurants I assumed and well you know what happens when you assume. Sorry for the mistake.

These little dumplings are portable and delicious and I thought I would bring them with me to Fiesta Friday #131, Angie is back and the co hosts this week are Su @ Su’s Healthy Living and Laura @ Feast Wisely

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Shumai

 Food and Wine- Recipe by Andrew Zimmern

Made 22 dumplings

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce (used light- lower sodium soy sauce)

1/4 cup black vinegar (equal parts mirin and rice wine vinegar)

1 tsp Chili garlic sauce

In a small bowl whisk all the ingredients together.

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Shumai

12 oz ground pork (I used less probably closer to 8 oz)

6 oz shrimp minced (used less shrimp as well probably 4 oz)

4 scallions chopped – the white and light green parts only (used 3)

3 tbs minced peeled ginger (used 1 generous tbs)

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tbs toasted sesame oil

1 1/2 tbs Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (used dry white wine)

3/4 tsp salt (used scant 1/2 tsp)

all purpose flour for dusting (didn’t need it)

round won ton or gyoza skins

napa cabbage leaves for steaming (don’t forget the cabbage like me)

blanched peas to garnish (You could place the pea on the shumai before steaming also)

Mix all the ingredients together, hold a won ton skin in the palm of your hand and place a tbs of the filling in the center. Gently fold the wrapper around the filling, it will stick to the filling. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place about an inch of water in your wok or a skillet, bring to a boil. Line steamer with the cabbage leaves and place the shumai on top of the leaves leaving some space in between each. Steam them until the filling is no longer pink. It took about 15 minutes (Note: the recipe said 8-10 minutes to cook but I erred on the side of caution because there was raw pork). Garnish each with a pea and serve hot with the dipping sauce.

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A Non Traditional Panzanella, A Gooseberry Red Currant And Plum Crumble And Salsa

Salad

Salad

The first thing that I made with my Farmers Market finds is a salad. There is nothing like a salad made with fresh vegetables. There is no recipe for this, it’s a salad after all and everyone has their own favorite way of making and dressing them, this is sort of a panzanella,  sort of because it’s not traditional. A traditional Tuscan panzanella is made with tomatoes and stale bread dressed with olive oil and vinegar. I spread pesto on the bread and put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown. Saturday’s farmers market find included both cherry and regular size tomatoes, for a salad cherry tomatoes are so easy and I love how crisp and sweet they are.

Panzanella

tomato

cucumber

spring onion

bread

pesto

shaved pecorino romano

salt and pepper

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, slice the onion very thinly, cut the cucumber into small pieces and throw it all in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.  Spread some pesto on the bread and either broil or grill until lightly browned. Cut into bite size pieces. Dress the salad with vinegar and oil. I don’t measure starting out light and adding more as/if needed. Add the bread and toss it together. Shave pecorino romano cheese on top and enjoy.

crumble

crumble

Today I experimented with some of the gooseberries. Having never eaten them or cooked with them I didn’t really know what to expect,  For the first attempt I thought a crumble would be nice and only made two individual servings in my tiny cocotte pans. I chose purple gooseberries, red currants and a golden plum. The fruit when baked produced a lot of juice and was very tart, next time I would probably add another 2 tbs of sugar although the tart fruit when eaten with some vanilla ice cream was really nice. For the crumble top I used spelt, oat and AP flour in equal parts added some butter and brown sugar. Before baking I dotted with a little butter and sprinkled with demerara sugar.  I thought adding a plum would be nice with the gooseberries and currants, somewhere in my research I saw that the gooseberry is a member of the plum family or vice versa, not sure thats correct but they do go together nicely.

Gooseberry,red currant and plum crumble

serves 2

Crumble

1/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup oat flour or oats

1/4 cup AP flour

1/4 cup dark brown sugar (not packed)

4 tbs butter+ more to dot on top before baking

whisk the flour and brown sugar together add the butter and mix with your hands until it resembles pea size crumbs.

Fruit

red currants

purple gooseberries

1 golden plum

1/4-1/2 cup sugar

I didn’t measure the berries if I had to guess how much it was about 1/3 cup of each. Put all the fruit into a bowl and add the sugar, toss to combine. Spoon into baking dishes and top with the crumble topping. Dot with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 375 degree’s for approximately 20-25 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

Warm crumble with vanilla ice cream

There are a few more recipes I plan on making with the gooseberries and will post them very soon, it’s fun working with an ingredient you are not familiar with getting your sea legs so to speak. The crumble was delicious the combination of gooseberries, currants and plum created a lot of juice and some of the crumble sank creating what was more akin to a cobbler. It was really good this turned out to be a cobbler/crumble.

Salsa

Salsa

The green gooseberries are very tart, sour really and using them in a savory dish seemed like it would be delicious. I had a flounder filet earmarked for dinner the other night and thought instead of a heavy tartar sauce (love it) a light fruity salsa would be nice with the fish. I didn’t measure, don’t need to with this type of dish, the beauty of it is that it is tailored to suite the individual’s taste.

Salsa

makes approximate a cup of salsa

Green gooseberries (larger ones cut in half and quartered and small ones cut in half)]

1/2 mango- chopped

1 purple spring onion- chopped

approx a tbs of chopped fresh mint

1 jalapeno chopped and seeds removed

1 small orange bell pepper chopped

approx a tbs of chopped flat leaf parsley

juice of one whole lime

salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients, serve right away.

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Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet And Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah

 

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Recently while browsing in the neighborhood bookstore I broke down and bought “Plenty More” a brilliant and beautiful cookbook which really is an homage to vegetables by the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi. Everything in the book looks wonderful and I want to make it but the recipe that stuck out is the roasted carrots. Now it’s odd that this recipe attracted me since I really dislike cooked or roasted carrots, I only eat them raw.  There is something about this simple dish that I find so appealing.  The carrots are glazed with honey, olive oil, crushed toasted coriander and cumin and salt and pepper. They are then roasted in a hot oven until tender. I had some golden beets that I needed to use so I peeled and quartered them, slathered them with the same glaze and roasted them as well. The carrots were quite delicate and slim so I started with the beets roasting for 15 minutes then placed the carrots on the same pan and continued roasting for another 20 minutes.

The vegetables are wonderful on their own but I decided to make a savory tart filled with goat cheese and topped with the roasted vegetables. To add a little crunch and make the tart more interesting I made dukkah from nuts, seeds and spice and sprinkled on top. My photo’s are horrible so disregard,  it poured rain all day, and there was no sunlight. It makes it very difficult to get a decent photo in bad weather,

I used the rest of my saffron pastry dough that I had left over from the lamb pot pies.  I think it made the tart even more interesting . The carrots and beets are only slightly sweet from the honey and nicely spiced,  it goes perfectly with the tangy goat cheese and flaky pastry, the dukkah has the same spice as the carrots along with seeds and nuts. It’s a great combination, easy to put together and makes a lovely presentation. If you are a fan of roasted carrots, beets, goat cheese and Ottolenghi I think you will really enjoy this tart.

I am bringing this tart to Fiesta Friday #108. Angie is such a great hostess and this week the co hosts are me, yep I am co hosting and the lovely Zeba@Food For The Soul

Join in, you are all invited, bring something delicious, see you at the party!!

Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet, Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah

Makes one 9 inch rectangular or round tart

Roasted Carrots and beets

8 carrots peeled and cleaned and left whole (I used rainbow)

3 small golden beets peeled, cleaned and quartered

3 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp toasted coriander seeds crushed (use mortar and pestle)

2 tsp toasted cumin seeds crushed

1 tsp salt

several grinds of pepper

3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Pre heat oven to 425 degree’s. Line baking sheet with parchment. Toss the vegetables in the glaze. Place the beets on the baking sheet first with a sprig or two of thyme and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn the beets over place carrots and remaining thyme sprigs on the pan and roast for another 30 minutes gently turning them at least once while they are roasting. Set the vegetables aside.

Blind bake the pastry in a 400 degree oven weighted with pie weights until golden brown approximately 25-30 minutes.

Goat Cheese Filling

10.5 oz soft goat cheese softened and at room temperature

2-4 tbs whole fat buttermilk or créme fraîche

Mix the softened goat cheese with buttermilk or créme fraîche a tbs at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. I used the full 4 tbs.

Dukkah

1 tbs coriander seeds

1 tbs cumin seeds

1 tbs white sesame seeds

1/4 cup toasted pistachio’s

sea salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the spices and  seeds, first the coriander and cummin and then the sesame. I like to use a fry pan. Toast until you can smell them shaking the pan frequently. I used toasted pistachio’s if yours are not toast in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Add the spices, seeds and nuts to a spice grinder and pulse until broken up but not completely pulverized, alternately you can use a mortar and pestle. You want it to have some texture. Season with salt and pepper.

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Serving the tart

Spread the goat cheese in the baked pie shell, arrange the vegetables on top, brush with some of the leftover glaze and sprinkle with dukkah.

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