Google Analytic Tracking Code

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cottage Cooking Club July

We are now officially in our second year of the Cottage Cooking Club; a group of international blogger's cooking together and then posting our experiences along with the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's cookbook, "River Cottage Veg". Our group is meant to be a project aimed at incorporating more vegetable dishes in our everyday cooking, and is and has been inspired by our dedicated leader Andrea of The Kitchen Lioness. Andrea picks one recipe from each of the chapters. This month I prepared 3 of the 10 recipes and was again very pleased with each one.


The first dish I prepared was the summer couscous salad. For the grain I used quinoa which was one of the suggested main ingredients. In this dish sweet peas, zucchini that has been fried with a little olive oil and halved cherry tomatoes are dressed lightly. The dressing is made with the juice and zest of a lemon, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. I took this summer couscous salad to a celebratory trail party and it was a big hit. The hint of the fresh lemon made this dish sing with the other fresh vegetables, another big winner in my book.


The second dish was runner beans with tomatoes and garlic. In this recipe Hugh has you grating tomatoes which I quickly realized was an easy and functional way to peel them. In a large skillet chopped onion is sautéed until soft, garlic is added; then the green beans and tomato pulp. The beans are covered and simmered about 10 minutes or until tender. This dish can be served hot, warm or room temperature. For me the preparation of this dish was very unique as I usually always throw my beans in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes and then put them in an ice bath. My husband and I both enjoyed this dish and we had the green beans cold the next day as part of our lunch.


Summer stir fry with fried rice was the third and last dish. The veggies I used were chard, peas, edamame, zucchini, green onions, ginger and garlic. The recipe instructs you to prepare the veggies first. So I prepped the veggies, set them in separate dishes and in the meantime started the rice. Since the my wok is in Arizona I used a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat and sautéed all the veggies this way. After the rice is done it is cooked with a mixture of an beaten egg, soy sauce and sesame oil, delicious. Next time I will left the rice char to get a more rich flavor. Very happy with this dish.


Recipes adapted from the River Cottage Veg, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. First recipe; from the chapter "Hearty salads" Summer couscous salad" (page 89). Second dish from the chapter "Side dishes" Runner beans with tomatoes and garlic” (page 375). Third dish from the chapter “Pasta and rice” Summer stir-fry with fried rice (page 286).

To see what recipes the other members chose for this month, head over to the LYL post for the July 2015 on the CCC website, by clicking here.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Picking blueberries and Making A Shrub


We drove to our first u-pick berry farm in Siletz, Oregon. Together my husband and I picked 17 pounds of blueberries in an hour and a half. We each used 2 buckets, one to hang around the neck and the other to pour the berries into. The blueberry plants are planted in rows and on the day we were there the Jersey blueberries were available. They are dark blue, medium sized and very sweet.


The first thing I decided to make was a shrub. A shrub is a drinking vinegar that has been infused with fruit and mixed with soda water. It's an easy but time consuming process. The first step is to boil the vinegar and sugar together. When sugar is dissolved pour over crushed berries in a glass jar and let sit in a cool place for four days. The mixture is then strained and put into another clean glass jar and refrigerated.


It is suggested that you check the shrub about once a week until the flavor mellows and the drink is to your liking. Mine was drinkable after one week. This recipe has been slightly adapted from the Bon Appetit July 2015 magazine. The original recipe click here uses white wine vinegar but I used red wine vinegar and was very happy with the results.


Ingredients:

1 cup blueberries
1 quart heat proof glass jar (I used a ball jar)
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar

To prepare:

In a small saucepan bring sugar and wine vinegar to a boil. Remove from heat and stir sugar until dissolved. In a glass jar add blueberries and then sugar vinegar mixture. Crush berries gently with a fork to release more flavor. Seal jar and store in a cool dark place.


After four days strain shrub through a sieve lined with cheese cloth into another clean glass jar. (I used a pint sized ball jar). Cover and refrigerate checking the shrub about once a week until the flavor mellows and the drink is to your liking. I liked the taste of the drink after 1 week, and will wait one more week to see if the flavor changes much. Keep shrub chilled.


For each drink combine 3 tablespoons shrub with 1 cup of club soda in a glass filled with ice. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Zucchini Butter


I came upon this recipe on the sidebar of The Kitchn website on Monday July 13th. The next day it was not there, everything changed. I scrambled to think of the name, thank goodness their site is well organized and it’s easy to find what you want. The recipe is butter……….zucchini butter, by Jennie Cook, a caterer in Los Angeles, CA.

Here the zucchini is grated and sautéed with olive oil on medium-high heat. The grated bits break down and become soft and buttery and become a spreadable consistency. I added minced garlic a minute or so before I removed the zucchini off the heat. The instructions say to scrape the brown bits at the bottom of the skillet into the mix to deepen the flavor. What a revelation! It’s almost like it is caramelized. This what I love about cooking and blogging, the possibilities.

*The notes also say to enjoy on toast or as a side dish and the butter will last about a month in the fridge.


Ingredients:

2 pounds zucchini (grated)
1/4 cup olive oil or butter (I used olive oil)
2 minced shallot, garlic or a combination. (I used garlic)
Salt and pepper

To prepare:

Place grated zucchini in a clean dish towel and twist as much moisture out as you can.

In a large skillet on medium to medium-high heat add oil, then add zucchini and combine.


Keep cooking and stirring until zucchini reaches a spreadable consistency about 20 to 25 minutes. If pieces of zucchini turn a little brown on the bottom just scrape them into the mix. Add garlic and stir for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.


Even though 2 pounds seems like a lot of zucchini, notice how much it shrinks down in the cooking process and slowly caramelizes into a nice vegetable jam. Look at it's beautiful bright green color!





Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Blueberry Almond Galette



My sister sends our mail general delivery to us every 2 weeks. In the last package was my Bon Appetit magazine. On the front cover a rustic picture of a blueberry galette like a movie star is displayed. Inside the magazine, on page 75, following the title the intro reads “The great thing about a galette? The more rustic (read messed up) it looks, the better. Novice bakers, this one’s for you.” I knew right then and there that this would be the first recipe that I would make from this issue. This recipe was actually talking to me…….

I made this exactly as written except that I used almonds instead of pecans in the crust. At the end of the recipe you are instructed to brush the dough with milk and sprinkle with sugar. I found out later that milk makes the dough softer and water makes the crust more crispy. Next time I will make a mixed fruit one. Delicious topped with ice cream!

Recipe has been slightly adapted from Bon Appetit July 2015, click here for original.

Ingredients:

Dough

1/2 cup almond meal
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick chilled butter, cut into pieces
5 tablespoons ice water (divided)

Filling:

2 cups blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
all-purpose flour (for dough rolling surface)
2 tablespoons milk or half n half (for brushing top of dough)
Turbinado sugar (for sprinkling edges of dough)

To prepare dough:

Add almond meal, flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in food processor and pulse just to combine. Add butter pieces and pulse short quick pulses until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea slices remaining. Transfer to a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons water, add remaining tablespoon if needed. Pat mixture together to form a round 6 inch disc. Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour. (you will have small pieces of butter throughout).


To prepare filling:

Combine blueberries, cornstarch, lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a medium - sized bowl, set aside.



To assemble:

Preheat oven to 375F.

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to a round 12 inches. Transfer to a siltpat or a parchment lined baking sheet. Place berry mixture in the middle of the dough, leaving a 2 inch border all the way around. Fold edges over, overlapping slightly. Brush dough with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.


Bake galette until golden brown around the edges about 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool before serving. Serve plain or with ice cream. Enjoy!



Friday, July 10, 2015

Banana Oat Muffins


Hope you all had a great holiday. Our fourth was a busy one. The day started out with breakfast at the lions club, an ice cream social at the Ladies Club and then hot dogs and hamburgers from the local fire department. The La De Da parade was fun to watch and everyone had fun enjoying the event and being a little silly.


My daughter and her family came to visit from Tucson. We saw lighthouses, went to the beach, the pier and the Newport Aquarium. In between we relaxed, sat on the deck, and ate and ate. They all left yesterday morning and the house is way too quiet and I already miss them so.


I have been wanting to share these wonderful breakfast muffins with you. This recipe has been slightly adapted from the Robin hood Baking Collection. Here I swapped out Greek yogurt for the applesauce, reduced the amount of sugar and then topped with banana chips right before baking. They are just the right amount of sweetness without being too sweet. Perfect for a mornings on the go or a mid morning snack. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg (beaten)
2 cups ripe bananas (mashed)
1/3 cup butter (melted)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup applesauce (I used Greek plain yogurt)
1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
12 dried banana chips (to top muffins)

To prepare:

In a medium-sized bowl add the first 6 dry ingredients. Mix together until combined. In another separate bowl beat together the egg, banana and the melted butter. Then add cinnamon and yogurt. Add banana mixture to the dry mixture. Stir until just moistened. Add nuts.


Fill muffin cups until almost full. Top each muffin with a banana chip. Bake at 375° for 20 to 25 minutes. Done when a toothpick is inserted in the middle and comes out clean. Let cool.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thick and Robust Barbecue sauce and Happy Fourth to You!


When you live 25 miles from the closest grocery store you learn to make lists. Now I can make lists all day long but I always seem to leave them on the kitchen counter, or hidden in my purse (or whose knows where else they end up). Anyway, they are never to be found until we are on our return trip home.

My husband has been wanting to barbecue chicken on the grill, one of his summer dinnertime favorites. So when it came time to start the preparation for the chicken, he could not find the sauce. And since I seemed to have misplaced “the list” on the last particular trip it appears we did not have any. Uh-oh….. but it all worked out in the end, we found a great recipe on – line from Southern magazine. I never realized how easy and quick a condiment like this would be to make. The BBQ sauce was delicious and can keep up to a week refrigerated.

Recipe slightly adapted from Southern Living, click here for original recipe.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup Worcestershire
1 garlic clove (minced)
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

To prepare:

In a medium saucepan over medium heat add all the ingredients together and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes stirring occasionally. (your sauce will thicken as it cools).


This is a great sauce for grilling, Happy Fourth of July everybody! Picture below is from last year's La De Da parade. Always a little quirky but always loads of fun. A copy of the rules here.





Saturday, June 27, 2015

Cottage Cooking Club June

We are now officially in our second year of the Cottage Cooking Club; a group of international blogger's cooking together and then posting our experiences along with the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's cookbook, "River Cottage Veg". Our group is meant to be a project aimed at incorporating more vegetable dishes in our everyday cooking, and is and has been inspired by our dedicated leader Andrea of the The Kitchen Lioness. Andrea picks one recipe from each of the chapters. This month I prepared 3 of the 10 recipes and was again very pleased with each one.

The first recipe I prepared was the Macaroni peas. Cooking the pasta took the most time. Then a pea sauce was made in the food processor using pasta water along half of the peas, Parmesan and pepper. The sauce is then added to pasta and the other half of the peas and lightly garnished with fresh parsley. A delicious quick and light mid-week dinner that was enjoyed by all. I used frozen peas for this.


The next recipe I made was the New potato salad “tartare”. Tartare in this case represents a deconstructed version of a tartare sauce. Here I used small new potatoes. A cider vinegar was used in the vinaigrette, mustard, oil, salt and pepper. Herbs, capers and gherkins were added along with soft boiled eggs. My husband and I really enjoyed this salad, and the fact that no mayo was involved. The cider vinegar gave this salad a little twang and the herbs brought such wonderful flavor. I will definitely make this again.


Lastly I prepared the ribollita soup which literally means “reboiled”. Traditionally this Italian soup was made in large quantities so it could be reheated over and over. Just a few vegetables are added along with white beans kale and chopped tomatoes. When serving place a slice of toasted crusty bread on the bottom of each bowl and ladle soup over. This made a very satisfying lunch.


Recipes adapted from the River Cottage Veg, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. First recipe; from the chapter "Pasta and Rice" Macaroni Peas" (page 264). Second dish from the chapter "Hearty Salads" New Potato Salad “tartare” (page 79). Third dish from the chapter “Hefty Soups” Ribollita (page 151).

To see what recipes the other members chose for this month, head over to the LYL post for June 2015 on the CCC website, by clicking here.