Pasta with Fennel and Cherry Tomatoes

Every summer we’d have the option of getting fennel as part of our farm share and every year i tried to do different things with it but i never really liked anything i made. This recipe changed everything. (thank you Kathy)

ingredients:

  • Olive oil or butter for pan
  • 1 Fennel Bulb, chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced [i always opt for the sweet onions]
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, diced
  • 1/4 C White Wine
  • 1 Lemon (zest too)
  • A hand full of Sweet Cherry Tomatoes – whole
  • 1 lb of pasta [i like to use a rotini]
directions:
  1. Put your pasta water on and cook it how you like it. (use really salted water for the best flavor)
  2. In a large frying pan, saute the fennel and onion on med low heat in olive oil or butter until the onion becomes translucent and some of the onions start browning. (the browned stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan is what makes this dish soooo yummy)
  3. Add garlic and saute for a minute
  4. Add white Wine, making sure to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan into the wine and cook until the wine is almost gone.
  5. Add juice of one lemon, the zest of that lemon, as well as the tomatoes. (you can do 1/2 lemon if you’re not lemon crazy like me)
  6. Cook a minute or two.
  7. Turn off heat, Add pasta and season with salt and pepper. (you prob. wont use much salt if you used salted water to cook the pasta).
  8. Serve with parmesan cheese.
(Im told that shrimp is excellent in this recipe as well. )
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Grilled Corn on the Cobb with Sour Cream and Lime Sauce

[pic to come]

This is straight from Cooks Illustrated, September/October 2009.

ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup Mayo
  • 3T Sour Cream
  • 3T minced fresh Cilantro
  • 1 Garlic Clove, pressed (about 1 tsp)
  • 3/4 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 4 tsp Lime Juice
  • 1 ounce Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated (1/2 cup)
  • 4 tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt or 1/4 tsp Table Salt
  • 6 ears of corn

directions:

1. Turn Gas grill to high  and heat grill with lid down until very hot – about 15 minutes.

2. While Grill is heating, combine mayo, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 tsp chili powder, pepper, cayenne, lime juice, and cheese in large bowl; set aside. In second large bowl, combine oil, salt, and remaining 1/2 tsp chili powder; Add corn and toss until coated evenly.

3. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 7 – 12 minutes total. Remove from grill and top with sauce and toss to coat evenly. Serve immediately.

THE popcorn

DSC_0393 (1)

This recipe is going to ruin movie popcorn for you forever… and for that i am sorry…. kind of.

but microwaves and movie theaters have been doing you a disservice.

They’ve been tricking you with delicious popcorn smells and serving you dumbed down, burnt, bland, and greasy pieces of something that used to be popcorn. (Yea, it smells great but it never tastes as good as it smells.)

This is real popcorn.

This tastes really good.

(serves 2 or one very snackie individual)

ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup popcorn
  • 1 Tbsp. Grape seed oil
  • Salted Butter
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Salt

directions:

  1. Pour about 1 TBSP of grape seed oil (or another high heat oil)  in a sauce pan that has high sides and a handle. (or some pan that you can comfortably shake around when its cooking).
  2. Put a couple kernels of uncooked popcorn in the pan and put on the lid. Heat to med-high.
  3. When you hear one of those kernals pop, add the rest of your corn. Every 5 pops or so, give the pan a toss (so that no kernels get stuck on the bottom and burn)
  4. When the popping slows and there are 3-4 seconds in between pops, take it off the heat and pour in bowl.
  5.  Use hot pan lid to melt your butter and drip onto popcorn. Add your salt and sprinkle with nutritional yeast.
  6. YUM.
good to know
+ Nutritional yeast can be found at any health food store. Its super good for you but also SO yummy… especially with butter… which probably limits the health effects.

Curried Lentil Stew

…a nice warm soup for a cold rainy day…

(picture to come)

ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Stalks of celery (or some celeriac)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric (bit less)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (aleppo)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (kosher)
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree (14.5 stewed tomatoes)

 

Directions:

1. In a large skillet or saucepan, caramelize the onions in vegetable oil, (we had some celeriac from the farm so we added that to this step too)

2. While the onions are cooking, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Add uncooked lentils and stir for 1 minute, then add 3-4 cups of water.

4. Stir in the tomato puree and reduce heat and simmer till ready.

Brown Sugar Coconut Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Coconut Cupcakes ++ the pear and plum

made these for my little ones 1st birthday and will be making again whenever i have an excuse…

(makes 1 dozen cupcakes)

ingredients:

  • 1 cup Brown Sugar [I used 3/4 cup.. next time i may decrease even more]
  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • 2  Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ⅜ cups Coconut Milk
  • ¾ cups Shredded Coconut [if you are using sweetened coconut flakes, take that into consideration when deciding your brown sugar amounts]

directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line or spray a cupcake tray.
2. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
3. Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and add the coconut milk. Mix until combined.
5. Fold in the shredded coconut.
6. Scoop the batter into the cupcake tray. (mine came out really thick so i added more coconut milk)
7. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool.

NOTE: Per usual, this is my version of someone else’s recipe. The original recipe is from: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/brown-sugar-coconut-cupcakes/

How to cook EGGPLANT!

Oh eggplant… how i can love you and hate you.

Heres some great stuff about cooking with Eggplants that helped me to make an A-mazing and simple eggplant dinner tonight.  My recipe is after the how to. (Article from How To Cook Eggplant to Tender, Silky Perfection on finecooking.com)

1. Peel the eggplant in stripes (unless you’re using a tender-skinned variety) and then slice or cube it, depending on the recipe.

Because globe eggplant and other large varieties usually have tough skins, peeling it is a good idea, especially if you’re serving it in chunks or slices. But I don’t like to remove the skin entirely. Instead, I partially peel it in a striped fashion.

When you grill-roast the eggplant and then separate the flesh from the peel, keep the skin on during cooking to keep the eggplant intact.

2. Salt for the best flavor.

Globe eggplant works deliciously in just about any eggplant dish, provided you salt it first. Salting, also known as purging, accomplishes two goals: it pulls out juices that carry bitter flavors, and it collapses the air pockets in the eggplant’s sponge-like flesh, thus preveniting it from absorbing too much oil and getting greasy.

To salt eggplant, peel it and then slice, cube, or quarter it, depending on the recipe. Sprinkle the pieces generously with salt and let them sit in a colander for an hour (you’ll usually see a lot of liquid beading on the surface). Rinse the eggplant in plenty of water to remove the salt, firmly squeeze a few pieces at a time in the palm of your hand to draw out almost all the moisture, and then pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Thorough drying is important; squeezing out excess moisture will give you a less greasy result.

3. How to Fry and Stir-fry Eggplant

These cooking methods seem to throw people the most because of how much grease eggplant can soak up. If you’re using globe eggplant, salt it and squeeze it dry; other varieties don’t need salting. Be sure the oil is very hot and put the slices in the pan in one layer (if you crowd the pan, the eggplant will steam instead of fry and won’t cook evenly). Turn often and adjust the heat to avoid burning until the slices are a rich brown color, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Quick-cooking Japanese and Chinese eggplant are the best candidates for stir-frying. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. When the oil is very hot, toss the cubes into the pan with a little salt and stir-fry until the eggplant is a rich brown color.

4. How to Oven-Roast Eggplant

As an alternative to grill-roasting, pierce the eggplant in several places and roast it whole and unpeeled on a baking sheet at 350°F until it’s quite soft and starting to collapse, almost an hour. Peel and drain it as you would for grill-roasting.

=====================================

What I did:

[pics to come]

  1. I had three skinny eggplants (japanese?) so i peeled it in stripes (like the picture), cut them in half and cooked them, cut side down in an oiled pan for about 10 miutes.
  2. When they were browned on the bottom, I flipped them, added salt and pepper and a bit more oil and put them in the oven on 350 degrees for 15 minutes (or until super soft)
  3. Then i covered them with sliced tomatoes, basil from my garden and mozzarella cheese and put them back in the oven for 10 more minutes. (the picture is before this last melting step)

This meal was so good that i nearly ate all three eggplants by myself.

Creamy Cole Slaw

Just an easy and simple cole slaw from Bobby Flay… He bothers me, but he cooks well.

Ingredients

  • 1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 large carrots, finely shredded
  • 3/4 cup best-quality mayo
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated sweet or mild onion
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons celery salt
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions

Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise,sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.

 

(source: foodnetwork.com)

Bean Salsa (or salad)

 

 

This recipe has a ton of flexibility… use more or less of whatever ingredients you want. And as the name states, its excellent as a salsa with chips or eaten with a spoon as a bean salad. Sooooo just combine the following and devour:

 

  • 1-2 Cloves of Garlic
  • a squirt of Lemon Juice (to chill out the garlic)
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • 1/3 Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2-3 t. Tobasco Sauce
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t. Cumin
  • 1.5 Cups Frozen Sweet Corn
  • 2, 15oz cans of Beans (i’ve used black beans or canellini)
  • 1 1/2 Tomato, diced
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, diced
  • 1 Bunch Scallions (or a bit of a small sweet onion)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Fresh Cilantro to taste