May: Thai Sweet Potato Curry

We did an event recently where we did this curry as the vegetarian option. Everyone loved it. It has a hot element so don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

Ingredients:

2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 shallots, sliced
1 whole Thai red pepper, do not cut unless you really like HOT
Lemon Grass, half a stem, cut into thirds
Carrots, half a pound, peeled and sliced
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut up
3 cups of baby spinach
14 ounce can of coconut milk
half a cup of vegetable stock
1 – 2 tablespoon Thai curry paste, red or green, depending on your heat index
2 T. oil
1 T coconut oil
half a cup of chopped roasted peanuts
half a cup of chopped cilantro
1 lime cut into small pieces to squeeze

Heat both oils, add shallots, onion and garlic, saute. Add the coconut milk, Thai curry paste and vegetable stock. Stir until everything has mixed together. You may need more stock after adding the vegetables.

Add sweet potato, squash and carrots. Add thai chili and lemon grass.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are soft.

Add the spinach at the end and cook until wilted.

Serve over brown or basmati rice. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges.

Serves 6 – 10.

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Grilled Mexican Corn Salad

This summer salad makes great use of the bounty of sweet corn this time of year, and tastes great with most summer foods including grilled meat.

Ingredients:

10 ears of corn, peeled

1 red pepper, small dice
.5 cup of mayonnaise
1 lime: zest and 3 T. juice
1 lemon, .5 tsp zest and 1 T. juice
3 T olive oil
.5 tsp Dijon mustard
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1/8 tsp cayenne
4 oz. Queso Fresco cheese, small dice
4 oz Manchego cheese, small dice
.5 cup chopped Italian Parsley
.5 cup chopped Cilantro

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add corn , remove from the heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk the mayonnaise, lime and lemon zests and juice, 1 T olive oil, mustard, cayenne. Season with salt.

Heat the grill. Brush the corn with the 2 T. of olive oil. Grill over high heat until charred on all sides. Transfer to a plate and cool. Cut the kernels from the corn.

Toss the corn with the red pepper and the sauce. Add the two cheeses, parsley and cilantro. Toss again. Season with salt and pepper.

10 – 15 servings

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Shaved Vegetable Salad

A client asked me to make a shaved asparagus salad for her dinner party this summer. I thought that it might be more interesting with several vegetables, so here’s my updated version.

Shaved Vegetable SaladIngredients:

1 lb asparagus
1 lb zucchini
1 lb yellow summer squash
1 lb haricot vert, green beans
1 bunch radish
4 tablespoon chopped dill
4 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
4 tablespoon chopped chives
1 red onion sliced very thinly

Marinade:

juice of 2 lemons
.5 cup of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Garnish:

.5 cup pumpkin seeds, salted
saved asparagus tips

Wash and dry asparagus, beans, zucchini, and summer squash. Cut off the hard end of the asparagus and cut the tips to save as garnish. Using a vegetable peeler shave all of these vegetables to thin strips. Thinly slice the radish and red onion.

Marinade: Mix the lemon juice and oil with salt and pepper.

Save some of the marinade for the asparagus tips. Marinate the tips and save in a small container. Toss the rest of the vegetables in a bowl with the herbs, lemon, and oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit overnight to cook the vegetables. Know that the salad will reduce by half as it wilts.

Just before serving garnish with the asparagus tips and the pumpkin seeds.

Serves 12

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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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