Cranberry Orange Relish

[Pic to come]

ingredients:

  • 1 Bag Cranberries (12 oz), washed and patted dry
  • 1 Orange – no seeds
  • 1 Cup sugar (or to taste)

directions:

  1. Cut oranges (take out any and all seeds!) into quarters and chop roughly.
  2. Put cranberries in your food processor. Add oranges and process till mushy.
  3. Add sugar and pulse a couple times to combine.
  4. Transfer relish to tupperware and store in fridge for 24 hours before using. (This step really does help temper the bitterness of the cranberries)

Pumpkin Pie

[PIC to come]

This is it. Its perfect. Don’t bother making any other pie.

~makes one 9 inch pie~

ingredients:

  • One, 15oz can of fresh cooked pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 Cups Sugar (perfect amount)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Dash of ground Allspice
  • 1 T Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup cream
  • 1/2 Cup Milk
  • 1 T Flour
  • One, 9 inch pie shell – unbaked and not pricked with a fork.

directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Empty can of pumpkin in a saucepan and cook off some of the water. Cook on medium heat about 10 minutes until dry and slightly caramelized, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and pour pumpkin into large mixing bowl.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, salt, flour and spices. Pour into pumpkin.
  4. Now that the medium bowl is empty, beat your eggs, cream and milk in it until smooth and then pour that into the pumpkin bowl.
  5. Combine everything well and pour into the pie crust. Bake until the pastry is golden and only an inch circle in the center of the filling remains liquid. (This could take anywhere from 30 min to an hour. It’s really varied every time I’ve made it. Sometimes I think my oven is weird.) Cool thoroughly before cutting.

(based on original recipe from here: http://food52.com/recipes/15143-meta-given-s-pumpkin-pie)

Pickled Onions

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Gloriously pretty atop a taco… or black bean soup…. or anywhere you need a pickled thing, really. They’re super fast to put together too and ready in a matter of hours. (recipe based on this one)

Serving Size: Makes one large mason jar of pretty pink onions

ingredients:

  • 1 Really Large Red Onion, thin sliced
  • 1 Cup of a combo of the juice of 1 Lime and the rest Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water (optional –  I didn’t use last time)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 T Sugar
  • dash Aleppo Peppers (or other spice – optional)
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • 1 Star Anise

directions:

  1. Combine the Lime juice and Vinegar
  2. Add the Sugar and Salt and mix until everything dissolves.
  3. Slice Onion really thin and smoosh down in a large mason jar.
  4. Add Aleppo Peppers, Garlic and Star Anise and pour liquid over top.
  5. Cover with jar lid and and put in the fridge. They’re ready in a couple hours but way better the next day. They’ll last for a week or so.

Grilled Portobello Burgers

[PIC to come]

And by Burgers, I mean the giant portobello caps. Leave some time to marinate these but as far as the cooking, they are quick.

ingredients:

  • 4 Portobello Mushroom Caps, washed and dried
  • 2 T Fancy Mustard
  • 3 T really good Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 C Olive Oil
  • 1 – 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Cracked Pepper
  • Rosemary, finely chopped

directions:

  1. Wash the mushroom caps and leave out to dry while you prepare the marinade
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients and whisk together until well combined.
  3. Place the mushrooms in a shallow dish and cover with the marinade. You might have to flip them or baste them at some point in the marinating process.
  4. Marinate as short as 20 minutes (or I’ve gone as long as 4 hours) Both were delicious. But as always, the longer the marinade, the better the flavor.
  5. Grill for best flavor.

Fish Taco Sauce

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You’ve found it. The best sauce to use on fish tacos or any tacos, for that matter. Hands down. Don’t even look at another recipe.

[Original Recipe from here. I omitted a couple things from the original recipe and added Aleppos instead of jalapeno peppers for heat.]

~makes about 1 Cup of sauce~

ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream (Greek yogurt is delicious as a substitute if you’re not a fan of sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise (you can use full fat, but, the spices are so delicious, you won’t miss that particular flavor contribution)
  • 1 lime, cut in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed (or fresh to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo Chillies
  • 1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sea Salt and Cracked pepper to taste
  • The tiniest dash of smoked paprika
  • 1 hot pepper of your choice, seeded and minced  (optional – the dried Aleppos are hot enough for us)

directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk the sour cream and mayonnaise until well blended.
  2. Squeeze the juice from one lime half into the fish taco sauce mixture, then whisk thoroughly. You’ll want the consistency of a pourable, creamy salad dressing. If still too thick, add more lime juice from the other half. If too runny, add sour cream.
  3. Add all of the spices, whisking to mix thoroughly. Add cilantro and mix thoroughly.
  4. Cover the bowl with wrap and refrigerate the fish taco for at least one hour — the longer the better.
  5. Serve chilled. Spoon sauce over fish tacos, or add into taco salads or rice bowls.

Adria’s Pie Crust

Pie Crust ++ the pear and plum

A simple staple pie crust recipe from my friend Adria. It’s just the single crust so double it as needed.

(makes 1 crust)

ingredients:

  • 1.5 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 8T Unsalted Butter, chopped into pieces
  • 2 T Shortening (optional – makes for a flakier crust.)
  • 2-4 T Ice Water (for real – put a piece of ice in the water)

directions:

  1. Put all the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse the butter and shortening in until pea size balls appear.
  2. Add water a Tablespoon at a time until it starts to comes together. (If you let it roll into a ball in your machine, you’ve mixed too long.)
  3. Dump mixture out onto a pastry cloth (or clean surface) and press together into a ball, put it in a covered dish and put it in the fridge for 1 hour.
  4. After the hour is up, flour your surface, roll it out and commence with the pie making.

Fennel Citrus Salad

IMG_9984

A refreshing salad that is super quick to put together but still looks really fancy. A couple things are key with this salad:

1) The citrus has to be as sweet

2) The fennel has to be shaved thin.

If you’ve got both, perfection ensues. If not, its still worth making, just not as good as it can be .

(makes a small bowl of salad for 2-3 people.)

ingredients:

  • 1 Large Orange
  • 1 Large Grapefruit
  • 1 Bulb Fennel – Shaved on a mandolin – reserve some of the fronds for decoration
  • 1 Avocado, sliced in wedges
  • 1/8 C Olive Oil
  • 2 T Rice Vinegar
  • 1 T Honey (may need more depending on sweetness of citrus)
  • Fresh cracked Black Pepper

directions:

  1. Peel the orange and the grapefruit. Slice in rounds and then separate in to small pieces. Put in bowl
  2. Shave the Fennel and toss with citrus
  3. Cut Avocado into wedges and toss with citrus.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the Olive Oil, Rice Vinegar and Honey and mix until emulsified. Pour over salad. Add cracked pepper on top and toss lightly to coat.
  5. This one looks really pretty served on a platter, especially if you leave some of the citrus rounds whole for decoration. You may also want to use some of the Fennel fronds for color as well.

Shirin Polow (Iranian Rice Pilaf)

Shirin Polow ++ the pear and plum

I veered from the original recipe in a big way but I love this.  Like, love LOVE this. I’m still working out the kinks with the “golden rice crust on the bottom” thing but even without getting this absolutely correct, this rice was AMAZING. The sweetness of the oranges against the scallions and spices was…. well…. dreamy. And like i said, I veered. I changed major things. And maybe this doesn’t even fit in the Shirin Polow category anymore? I don’t know. But I do know you should now commence cooking the best rice ever.

[ Based on a recipe from here:  http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Shirin-Polow?cmpid=mobify ]

ingredients:

  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1/4 C thinly Sliced Orange Peel (make sure to scrape as much of the white stuff off as you can. It can be really bitter. Also, chop peel really small or it will overwhelm the dish)
  • Just enough water to dissolve sugar
  • 4 C Long-Grain White Rice [I used Jasmine]
  • 2 T Kosher Salt
  • ½ Cup Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Fenugreek
  • ½ C Canola Oil
  • 2 T Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo Chiles [Optional or use any spice here]
  • 1 T Dukkah [Optional but not nearly as good if you leave it out]
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
  • Raw Shredded Carrots
  • Roasted Vegetables [I used Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Red Peppers]
  • ½ Cup Slivered Almonds
  • ½ Cup Chopped Pistachios
  • A handful of Scallions
  • A handful of Cilantro

directions:

  1. Bring sugar and water to a boil in small pan [I used my tiny all clad fry pan] over high heat. Add orange peel and cook until tender, 8–10 minutes. Let cool and set aside.
  2. Cook your rice in salted water according to its directions about 5 minutes shy of being done. Put in colander to drain.
  3. While your rice cooks, shred the carrots and prep any other vegetables you plan on using.
  4. While rice drains, combine milk, fenugreek and oil in the pan you plan to use and turn on to medium heat [I’ve used my cast iron skillet as well as my All Clad Frying pan. The cast iron makes for easier removal of the crust as well as better flavor.]
  5. When rice is drained and milk pan is hot, add the rice to the milk mixture. Don’t stir it. Let it mound in the middle and using the back of a wooden spoon, make 5 holes for steam to escape. Cover and cook for about 10.
  6. While its cooking, get your butter, boiling water, and spices ready.
  7. After the ten minutes are up, pour the butter and boiling water over the rice, add the Scallions, Aleppo chiles, Dukkah, Cardamom  and lightly mix in (dont scrape up bottom yet). Cover and turn heat down to med-low and cook until the crust on the bottom is really brown; about 20 minutes. [You’ll want to check the progress at about 10 minutes, just to make sure its not burning]
  8. When done, scrape up crust from the bottom of the pan and mix into rice. Serve on a platter. Garnish with the orange peels, nuts, scallions, cilantro and the roasted vegetables on the side.

Quick Pancakes/Waffles

Quick Pancakes:Waffles ++ the pear and plum

Sometimes you want no fuss pancakes or waffles. These are ours. I’m pretty picky about waffles too and these really work. I based them on another recipe and then tweaked it. Original Recipe here

(serves 4 )

ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 T Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2  Cup Milk (I’ve used Cow milk or Coconut Milk – both are great)
  • 1/4 Cup Yogurt (We use full fat Greek yogurt but any kind will work)
  • 1/4 Cup Melted Butter (or 3 T Coconut Oil)

 

directions

  1. Get out two bowls. (The wet ingredients go in the large one and the dry ingredients in the other one.)
  2. Mix up the dry ingredients (Flour, Baking Powder, Salt, Sugar).
  3. Whisk together the wet ingredients (Eggs, Vanilla, Milk, Yogurt).
  4. Pour the dry into the wet and mix until the large lumps are mixed in.
  5. Gently mix in the butter.
  6. Cook on your favorite pancake making pan or waffle iron.

 

Kale Ceasar salad (with Lemon Yogurt Dressing)

Kale Ceasar, the pear and plum

 

 

January is the month of Kale for me. I don’t know why but I need it so much (smoothie, stirfry, etc)  Heres yet another way to obsessively consume it.

ingredients:

  • 1 clove raw Garlic, smashed in a garlic press
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • around 2 T Lemon Juice (add zest too if you want)
  • 2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fish Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • Crushed Black Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 Cup Yogurt
  • Parmesan to taste
  • 1 Bunch Kale

IMG_9101

directions:

  1. Put lemon juice and smashed garlic into a small bowl let sit for 5 min.
  2. In another small bowl, combine olive oil,  mustard, fish sauce, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add garlic and lemon juice when ready.
  3. Whisk in 1/4 cup yogurt and parmesan to taste. Combine well.
  4. In the mean time, wash kale and cut off stems and ribs. Cut up really small and put in salad bowl.
  5. Dress salad. Add more parmesan on top.