Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring Veggies on Egg Tortilla


This time of year life can get a little hectic with taxes, birthdays, holidays and just plain keeping up with everyday work. I don't know about you but doesn't it seem like the days are going by faster and faster. As time slips by you start to prioritize and maybe even let some things go completely. Times like this bring about innovation and measure to our lives too.

Last Saturday after a particularly long hike I stood in the open door of the refrigerator. It was mid-morning and with only a granola bar under my belt I was fairly hungry. There was not much to look at, really just a couple of eggs and some veggies. Specifically, I had 2 eggs, 5 fingerling potatoes, 4 stalks of asparagus, a small wedge of cabbage, some fresh pea shoots and a couple of radishes. I was sweaty and tired and did not want to run out to the market. Knowing myself well enough, I knew that I would probably grab something quick and unhealthy first, and then be to full to fix something healthy next. So I decided to work with what I had, and this is how this particular meal came about.

Ingredients:

1 egg for each person
1 tablespoon milk or cream for each egg
2 or 3 different types of veggies (I used fingerling potatoes, asparagus and cabbage)
2 or 3 different types of toppings (I used raw pea shoots and radishes)
Salt and pepper to taste
Sriracha for some spice


To prepare:

In a small sauce pan bring water to a boil and steam fingerlings until just tender, about 5 minutes or so. Remove from pan with slotted spoon, add asparagus and cook 1-2 minutes, remove from pan. Cut both into 1/3 to 1/2 inches in length, whatever size you choose try and make them both the same. Set aside.

Cut cabbage into thin strips and saute with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until desired tenderness. Set aside.

Using 1 egg at a time, beat egg with 1 tablespoon milk. In a non-stick pan on medium heat add a teaspoon or so of olive oil then egg and swirl pan around to get a thin flat layer, like a tortilla. When the egg starts pulling away from the sides of the pan and looks almost done you want to flip. It's a little hard to turn at first but just be patient; with your spatula work around all sides of egg and then do one quick flip. Cook another minute or so and set the egg on it's own plate and repeat the process.

Top the egg tortilla with veggies and garnish with pea shoots and radish. Enjoy with a few pops of sriracha and it's done and ready to go. Enjoy!




Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Rosemary Butter Cookies

These delicate little cookies are delicious. They are savory, salty and sweet all at the same time. Perfect for holidays and parties!


When it comes to baking I have much to learn. Take these cookies for example, the first time I made them was last summer. I added extra rosemary because I just adore the flavor and thought they would taste even better. Well, sometimes too much of a good thing, is too much of a good thing. I also made them extra-large so the flavor ended up being overpowering and even tasted a little soapy. Sadly they were barely okay. So with those little memories etched in my mind I decided to try my hand again with a few small changes. This time I made them much smaller and used the amount of rosemary posted. And guess what, they turned out just perfect!

This recipe is slightly adapted from the Martha Stewart.com website.

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter (softened)
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 egg white, beaten (to brush on cookie roll to hold on sugar granules)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup sanding sugar (I used raw sugar)

To prepare:

Add butter and sugar to mixer, beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. On low speed mix in flour, rosemary and salt until combined.



Roll in parchment to 1 1/2 inch in diameter, about the size of a paper towel holder. Freeze until firm, at least an hour.


Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.

Brush egg whites on outside of log, roll in sanding sugar and then cut into 1/4 inch rounds. Place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake approximately 12 to 14 minutes turning baking sheet halfway. Recipe suggest baking 18 to 20 minutes but in my oven they would of burned.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Grilled Vegetables with Baby Lettuce and Dill


This salad came together in bits and pieces, really just a little of this and that. As the days become longer and the evenings much brighter our diet starts changing. At first it's very subtle as the availability of produce at the market is changing too. Also here in the southwest it's much warmer, we now try and keep the heat outside. This is the time of year I send my husband out to the grill with large platters of vegetables. Here is where the smokiness of the grill is brought to the dish.

I'm in the kitchen wheels turning in my head, this time I add pearl couscous to the salad to add a little texture. After coming off the grill the veggies are cut into bit sized pieces and placed on a bed of baby greens with a little bit of fresh dill throughout. I dress this salad with the pesto vinaigrette that I have ready made in the fridge (link below) and toss in a few slivered almonds. We sit at the table and eat our salads in quiet. This makes for a quick week-night meal.


Ingredients:

6 ounces baby lettuce
1 tablespoon dill (chopped)
2 medium zucchini (sliced length wise)
1/2 bunch asparagus
4 ounces mushrooms
1/4 cup pearl couscous (cooked according to package)
Hand full of slivered almonds


Pesto vinaigrette:

Recipe "here"

To prepare:

Grill veggies, then slice and add with couscous to bed of greens, add dill, dressing and almonds. *This would also be good with grilled chicken, flank steak or tofu*. Serve with a slice of crusty bread and a crisp glass of wine. Enjoy!


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Artichokes with Garlic and Anchovy Panko Topping


Sometime in the next month we will be heading to our home in Oregon. One of the first things I do after hastily unpacking is to start the garden. Last year I planted several different types of lettuces, kale, chard, zucchini and herbs. One plant we noticed growing in neighboring yards were artichokes. So last year we decided to buy a few of our own, and as you can see in the picture below they did pretty well. Hopefully when we arrive they will have made it through the winter.


In our household steamed artichokes are enjoyed several time a year. So when I saw this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis, in the May 2014 Food and Wine, magazine I headed straight to the market. In this recipe the artichokes are steamed until just tender, then cooked face down until lightly browned in olive oil that has been flavored with garlic and anchovy fillets. They are then placed in a ceramic baking dish and topped with panko and Parmesan cheese, then baked. We really enjoyed the flavor from these few extra steps and will be adding different ingredients to the mixture depending on what is on hand. Artichokes are perfect for appetizers or even as a side dish.

Ingredients:

1 lemon, halved
3 medium artichokes
Extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves
6 anchovy fillets
1/2 cup panko
Salt and pepper

To prepare:

Fill a medium size bowl half -way with water and add juice from 1/2 of lemon. Working with 1 artichoke at a time, discard some of the dark outer leaves, then cut about an inch of the top, peel and trim the bottom and stem. Halve the artichoke lenghwise and scoop out the furry choke. Rub artichoke with the other half of lemon. Repeat this process until all artichokes are done.

Preheat oven to 400F. In a large skillet, add water and when ready to boil add artichokes, cover and cook until barely tender, mine took a little longer than recipe stated as I kept most of the green outer leaves on. Drain well and pat dry.


In the same skillet on medium-high heat, add oil and garlic, and cook until golden in color about 4 minutes; discard the garlic. Add the anchovies and stir until dissolved. Add the artichokes cut side down and cook until lightly browned, flip and cook another 3 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled baking dish, cut side up.



Let oil cool a little and then pour remaining into a medium size bowl, add panko and Parmesan. Top artichokes with topping, bake in oven 12-15 minutes until topping is browned and crisp. Enjoy!


*Recipe has been slightly adapted from the 2014 May, Food and Wine Magazine.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

Everything Cookies


I usually stop by the cookie bin when I'm checking out of Whole Foods. They always have the best cookies and you can buy just one. Today's special was this everything cookie and it was amazing. It was chock full of white and dark chocolate chips, coconut flakes, pecans, rolled oats and cranberries. I naturally did what most people do after tasting a cookie like this, I went home and made my own. Three hours later, I'm pulling the first batch out of the oven and that's after letting the dough sit in the fridge for two hours.

This recipe is adapted from "The Sprouted Kitchen", website who adapted the recipe from "Small Plates and Sweet Treats" by Aran Goyoaga. I changed out the flours, and used walnuts and dried soft and juicy mandarin slices from Trader Joe's in place of pecans and coconut flakes.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, room temperature
3/4 cup regular all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cups walnuts
1/4 cup dried soft and juicy mandarin slices (cut into slivers)(dust lightly with flour)

To prepare:

In a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat for 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg, mix and scrape sides. Add in the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until dough comes together, do not over mix. Add chocolate, nuts and orange slivers, mix until combined. Pour out onto parchment paper and roll into a tight log. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.


Preheat oven to 350F.

Cut log into 1/2 inch rounds and place on a cookie sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Bake 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies should be slightly under baked. Cool on wire rack. Enjoy!

Makes 18 to 24 cookies, depending on the size.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Curried Egg Salad with Lentils and Raisins


This past month has flown by in record speed, and in a week or so another holiday will be upon us. This year we are hosting the meal and activities. They are always casual affairs. As our family has changed over the years so has our food tolerances. This year we have a few dietary restrictions to work with so I figure there are two ways to handle this. Many meals, one for each restriction or one meal that everyone can enjoy together. Still working on the menu, wish me luck!

In the meantime, the "The River Cottage Veg", cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has arrived and I have already bookmarked many recipes to try. For today's post I decided on this curried egg salad sandwich as it appealed to me in so many ways, one reason alone is the timing. The recipe calls for green lentils and plump golden raisins which transforms this simple egg salad into something pretty special. I added a couple of tablespoons of minced celery to the mix, but otherwise kept it pretty much the same.

Ingredients:

2 hard boiled eggs (coarsely chopped)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise plus extra for slathering on insides of bread
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
3 tablespoons cooked, cold green lentils
1 small hand full of golden raisins
2 tablespoons celery (minced)
4 slices of bread
Spinach (enough to top sandwiches with)

To prepare:

In a medium size bowl add eggs,2 tablespoons mayonnaise, curry powder, lentils, raisins and celery and mix, stirring gently. Taste and then season with salt and pepper. Then lightly spread mayonnaise on 1 side of each side of bread. Spread egg salad on bread, add spinach, close sandwich and cut in half.

Serves 2




Monday, April 7, 2014

Simple Pear and Almond Tart


Sometimes we all need a recipe that is quick on the go and that can never go wrong. Something steadfast in our time of need and easy to prepare. I started keeping puff pastry in the freezer a couple of years ago. I found that there are quite a few recipes that you can conjure up with what ingredients you have on hand in a pinch. You can go sweet or savory and puff pastry always has a way of looking so elegant.

Now this particular time I needed something fast and sweet. After eyeing what fruit I had available on the counter it was smooth sailing from there. I made a simple tart that was topped with sliced pears, almonds slivers and a lemon marmalade syrupy glaze. I started off with a sheet of frozen puff pastry that I had slightly defrosted and rolled out. I then cut the pastry into 6 squares. Topped with pears and a few different warming spices. Total baking time was 20 minutes and halfway through that time, almonds were added and the pan was rotated. After removing from the oven I brushed on a luscious sticky glaze and that was it. Easy enough right?

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry (slightly thawed)
2 pears (peeled, cored and thinly sliced)
2 tablespoons organic sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/3 cup honey roasted almonds (thinly sliced, I bought mine at Trader Joe's)
1 tablespoon lemon marmalade (you can use most any type of jam as well)
1 tablespoon maple syrup

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper.

Roll out pastry on a light floured work surface and roll out keeping a rectangle like shape. Cut into 6 even squares.

Place on baking sheet and add pear slices, keeping a small border free along the edges. Sprinkle sugar and spices over the pears.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes, rotating baking sheet half way and add almonds. Bake until golden brown.

In the meantime, in a small sauce pan add lemon marmalade and syrup and heat until mixture is warm and syrupy.

Remove pastry from oven and brush on glaze. Serve plain or with ice cream. Enjoy!