Enjoy our current and previous recipes of the month! We also have curry dip.

Cantelope, Jicama  And Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Jicama SaladHere’s a crisp cool salad for the dog days of August.  Not everyone loves cilantro so know your audience before you add this herb, and substitute mint if you think it will be a problem.  I served this on a bed of arugula with some papaya, which accounts for the orange you see in the photo.

Ingredients:

1/2 cantaloupe, cubed or made into melon balls
1/2 European Cucumber , thinly sliced
1/2 Jicama , thin slices
1 lime, zest and juice
1/4 cup chopped Mint OR Cilantro

Dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mild hot sauce ( I used “Feel the Bern” , an homage to Vt’s Bernie, Frank’s or Crystal will do )
4 tsp rice vinegar
4 tsp honey
kosher salt

Cut the fruit and cucumber. Toss with the lime zest and juice

Mix the dressing ingredients in a small jar until the honey is dissolved. Add salt to taste. Adjust the rice vinegar and honey to your taste.

You may not need all of the vinaigrette so pour on what you need and toss.

Serves 4

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Spring Into Summer Soup

Serves 8

Ingredients:

4 Tbs butter, unsalted
1 each leek, sliced and cleaned
3 scallions, sliced
2 head of lettuce, Bibb, Boston, or green leaf, chopped
2 bags of frozen peas
.25 tsp black pepper
5 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
2 Tbs. fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp fresh basil, minced
.5 tsp fresh thyme, minced
salt to taste
1 lemon, rind and juice
.5 cup light cream
dash of Tabasco sauce

Sour cream for garnish with whatever fresh herb you have.

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the leeks and scallions and cook gently until starting to brown.
Add the chopped lettuce and let steam until wilted with the lid on. Remove lid and add peas, stock of your choice and fresh herbs, black pepper and a little salt. Cook for about 15 minutes or until everything is wilted and soft. You may add more herbs to your taste.

Let the soup cool. Using an immersion blender, blend everything. Add the lemon rind and juice, cream, tabasco, more salt if needed. Let cool in the fridge. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, garnished with fresh herbs.

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Carrot Broccoli Salad With Crema

I was making a Mexican dish one night that called for Crema. Having made it and only used a tiny bit I started using it on other things. Salads, Grilled Fish, Potatoes. This is a simple no fuss salad with Crema. Nice and light for the current weather.

Ingredients:

Crema:
1 cup sour cream, full fat
1 cup heavy cream ( they say you can substitute buttermilk, I haven’t tried it yet )
1 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice

Salad:
1/2 lb peeled and grated raw organic carrots
1/2 bunch of raw broccoli, chopped into small pieces
1 small red onion, dice
1/3 cup of dried currents
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
juice of 1/2 lime or more to taste
Salt and Pepper
Crema, 1/2 to 3/4 cup or to your taste

To make the Crema, whisk together the sour cream and heavy cream in a bowl. Whisk in the salt and lime juice. Cover and let sit unrefrigerated for at least 4 hours. Preferably over night. Refrigerate until using. Store in the Frighted for a week.

Mix all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the Crema. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more Crema if desired.

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Mushroom Galette

Mushroom Galette PlatedThis rich and delicious cheese and mushroom tarte makes a perfect hors d’hoeuvre for virtual happy hour. Won’t the other guests be jealous.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

CRUST:

1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1.5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold and cubed
optional : 1 tsp dried thyme or tarragon
1/3 cup ice water

FILLING:

4 oz. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
3 Oz. cream cheese, full fat
3 Tbsp sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

TOPPING:

4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1.25 Tbsp assorted mushrooms, quartered and sliced
1 bunch of scallions white and green parts, sliced quarter inch
.5 tsp dried Thyme, more to taste
a Pinch of dried Fennel powder
.5 tsp dried Tarragon, more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup of grated Swiss cheese

CRUST:  This is a bit fussy but once you get the hang of it you can use it for many fillings.

Whisk the flour, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. If you are using the dried thyme add it now. Add the cubed butter and cut in with a pastry cuter until small flat irregular pieces.

Drizzle 1/3 cup of cold water over the flour mix and mix with a rubber spatula until it comes together. I then use my hand in the bowl to work it together very quickly so as not to heat the butter. It will be messy and uneven. Form into a mass.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and with your hands and a rolling pin roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick square. Fold in half into a rectangle and then fold that into a square.. Press down to make it hold together. Roll again to make a rough square  that is 1/2 inch thick. Repeat the folding process. Now gently flatten the dough rotating it into a 6 inch round disk.

Dust the surface with flour and roll out into an irregular 14inch circle. Fold in half and then again into a triangle. This makes it easier to move. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and refrigerate while you make the filling and topping.

FILLING: Cube the Mozzarella and cream cheese in a small bowl and mash with the sour cream. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

TOPPING:

Slice and quarter the mushrooms. Melt the 4 Tbsp of butter in a large sauté pan. When the butter has melted add the mushrooms, scallions and herbs. Saute until all the liquids have evaporated.

Season with salt and pepper.

ASSEMBLY:

Remove crust from the refrigerator and open up onto the parchment paper. Spread the filling mixture into the middle of the crust leaving the outside edge free of filling for about 1.5 inches.

Put the mushroom mixture on top of the filling. Now make cuts into the outside of the pastry crust about every 1.5 inches. Fold these over the mushrooms.

Bake in a preheated oven, 375,   for 30 minutes. Open the oven and sprinkle the Swiss cheese over the Mushrooms. Return to oven and bake another 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Serve with an extra dollop of sour cream and a salad.

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Marinated Tofu With Sautéed Chinese/Napa Cabbage

A unique vegetarian dish for early spring.

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

1 Lb Firm Tofu
Sesame Seeds

Marinade:

2 cloves garlic, grated or minced
thumb size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbs white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 Tbs honey
1 heaping tsp medium-hot Korean Gochujang paste

Cabbage:

2 lb Chinese/Napa Cabbage, sliced thinly
2 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs peanut oil ( or you could use all vegetable oil)
4 large cloves of garlic diced
1 large thumbs worth of Fresh Ginger. Peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
2 Tbs Mirin
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs Sesame Oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
2 tsp Oyster Sauce
Sesame seeds and Fresh Coriander for garnish

TOFU: Slice tofu into 8 pieces. Mix all of the Tofu marinade ingredients. These can be kept bottled in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. There is more than enough for this recipe so save it to use later on Chicken.

When ready to use place the marinade in a pyrex pan. Lay tofu slices on top. Turn to coat and let marinate for 30 – 60 minutes at room temp. Drain. When ready fry or grill in a pan.

CABBAGE:  Heat oils in a deep frying pan. Add the grated garlic, ginger and ground coriander and sauce for 20 seconds or just until the garlic starts to brown. Add the sliced cabbage and stir to coat and mix. Cook until the cabbage just starts to wilt.

Add the Mirin, Water, Soy Sauce, Sesame oil and Oyster Sauce and let cook another minute.

The cabbage should be wilted  but not soggy.  Plate and garnish with sesame seeds and fresh Cilantro. Place the tofu on top.

I served this two ways. For dinner with Brown rice and the cabbage itself  for lunch with a soft boiled egg.

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Lemon Ricotta Pancakes With Blueberry Sauce

Now that Spring is on the way, try these delicious pancakes with fresh lemon and berry sauce. Serves 4

Blueberry Ricotta PancakesIngredients:

SAUCE:
1 pint of blueberries
1/4 cup of sugar
grated rind of half a lemon
2 Tbl fresh lemon Juice

Place all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer until the sugar is melted and the berries soften but still hold their shape. Reserve for later.

PANCAKES:
1 cup whole milk Ricotta
3 each eggs, separated
3/4 cup of buttermilk
1 cup all purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice
.5 cup of blueberries
4 Tbl butter or more for frying

Whisk the Ricotta and egg yolks together in a large bowl. Next whisk in the buttermilk. 
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the egg/ricotta mixture. Fold in the lemon juice and rind. 

In a standing mixer bowl beat the egg whites until starting to form peaks.  Then slowly add the sugar and beat until stiff.  Fold these into the batter. Next fold in the half cup of blueberries.

Melt part of the butter in your pancake frying pan over medium heat. Lower and fry in small batches of 3 or 4 at a time. Fry for 2  or 3 minutes on each side and flip, cooking til golden brown and just cooked through. Repeat with more butter and pancake batter.

Serve with blueberry sauce on top and a dusting of 10 x sugar if desired. Lemon garnish.

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Mushroom Stew or Bourguignon

We are all familiar with Beef Bourguignon. I saw an article that suggested a  vegetarian version with mushrooms so here’s my take on it. As with all stews and soups it’s much better made a day ahead. To make this vegan substitute oil for the butter.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of mushrooms- a combination of the following

  • 8 oz baby bella
  • 8 oz. white button
  • 4 oz shitake
  • 4 oz assorted or whatever you can fine.

1 large onion quartered and sliced
1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
1 leek
1 carrot
5 Tb butter, divided
4 Tb olive oil, divided
2 cups of mushroom broth
1 cup of red wine
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tb Brandy or Cognac

Clean and slice the mushrooms. Heat 3 Tb butter and 2 Tb oil in a dutch oven on top of the stove. Sauté the mushroom in this until browned.  Remove from the pan.

Slice and dice the remaining vegetables — onion, leek, carrot, peppers

Add the remaining 2 Tb butter and 2 Tb oil to the pan. Sauté the onions and leek until starting to turn golden Add the peppers and carrot. Stir until coated.

Return the mushrooms to the pot. Add the broth, red wine, and thyme. Make certain that all the vegetables are covered. Cook for an hour, covered. Add liquid if necessary. When almost done add the Brandy, salt and pepper. Let sit overnight.

Serve over polenta or egg noodles.

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Irish Soda Bread

I’m making Gravlax for a party this week and love to serve this bread with it.  It’s also good with cream cheese and Nova.

Irish Soda BreadMakes two loaves.

Ingredients:

6 cups whole wheat flour
2 cup all purpose flour
2 scant  tsp salt
2 Tbl sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 cup currents ( optional)
2 Tbl Whole Fennel Seed ( chopped or crushed )
3 eggs
6 Tbl melted unsalted butter
3.5 cups of buttermilk

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter two long loaf pans.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl , including the fennel and currents if using. Stir until well combined.

NOTE:  For the fennel, I put it in a plastic bag and hit it with my food mallet until it is broken down.

In a large measuring cup measure the buttermilk. Add the eggs and whisk. Add the melted butter and whisk again. Add this to the flour mixture.  Stir until well combined using a rubber spatula and then your hands. Turn out onto a floured board.

Divide in half. Knead each piece until workable and shape into the form of the pan. Long ropes. Place in the buttered pans. Cut crosses on each loaf.

Bake at 375 for 30 – 40 minutes until lightly browned, depending on the heat of your oven. Let sit in the pan 20 minutes and then turn out. Let rest.

Slice thinly to serve with salmon of your choice, or other smoked fish.
Garnishes could include cream cheese, mustard sauce, dill, chopped red onion, capers.

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