With the holidays fast apporaching, it’s time to start posting some great DIY ideas for holiday gifts and entertaining. Dukkah is one of my personal favorites. Delicious and very versitaile, dukkah tops the list. A web search brought me to The Lonely Radish blogspot where there were lots of great ideas of ways to use dukkah. For some other inspired blogs about dukkah, I recommend this one from The Kitchn and this one from The New York Times has more creative ideas of what to do with your finished dukkah. One of the more creative ideas I saw came from Ana Sortun who adds a hint of coconut to her dukkah and serves it a top of a carrot puree as an appetizer. Sounds perfect for a Thanksgiving nibble.
3 1/3 tbsp hazelnuts
4 tbsp pistachio nuts
10 tbsp white sesame seeds
5 tbsp ground coriander seeds
2 1/2 tbsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp salt, more or less to taste
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Roast the hazelnuts and pistachio nuts then chop them into small dices in a food processor. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until golden brown. The coriander and cumin seeds may be roasted whole and then ground, however I find the flavor is lighter when plain ground coriander and cumin are used. Blend all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
November 8th, 2013
With school starting accross the country over the next few weeks, there is a proliferation of peanut butter bars on Pinterest. Most of these recipe start with a box of cake mix. I have no idea why cake mix is viewed as easier as it surely can’t possibly be any easier than this recipe.
In any event, whether you have school aged kids or not, if you love peanut butter, you will really enjoy this recipe which I adapted from Maida Heatter’s wonderful book on Great Cookies published in 1995. I got my copy from my dear mother-in-law Diana Shafroth who had dozens of pages in the book marked for trying.
If you don’t know who Maida Heatter is, she is a legend in the baking world. This 2002 article from Saveur magazine sums up why she was so beloved. In any event, these chocolate chip peanut bars are delicious. Equally as wonderful is her recipe for Ethiopian Truffles.
Peanut Butter Bars a la Maida Heatter with a few changes a la Barr
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup of flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 stick butter (unsalted) (Maida’s called for 3/4 stick but I just used a whole one)
1 tsp. vanilla extract plus 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste of spent vanilla bean powder (what can I say, I love vanilla)
3/4 cup peanut butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups choclate chips, milk or semi sweet, your choice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 inch rectangular pan and line the bottom with parchment. In the bowl of a food processor pulse the peanuts and sugar into a crumbly mass. Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Beat the butter with the brown sugar, vanillas and peanut butter until smooth. Add the two eggs and then add the flour mixture. Add the chocolate chips and peanut/sugar mixture.
Press the dough into the prepared baking pan and place into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes then rotate the pan and bake for a final 13 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Remove from pan. Cut. Serve. Enjoy.
Notes on Pantry Items:
Vanilla Bean Powder
Vanilla Bean Paste
Mini Chocolate Chips from Enjoy Life
September 9th, 2013
If you’ve never used miso as an ingredient in your cooking, here are two good reasons to try. First, miso is a fermented food so it has those healthy probiotics that keep your gut healthy. Second, because of the fermentation process miso has a unique flavor that adds that special something, or umami – a depth and savory quality – that makes food taste better.
From Amanda Hesser’s The Essential New York Times Cook Book came the inspiration for what has become a weekly rotation at our house: Miso Butter with Green Beans or Asparagus. The original recipe is far more complex so I’ve brokem it down into 4 ingredients and it’s delicious. It also inspired me to start using miso in my cooking more.
Here are 3 of my favorite recipes using miso. You can use whichever miso you like. I happen to like red miso the best but there are some yellow misos that are quite good. My all time favorite miso is from the South River Miso Farm. While it’ very pricey, their selection of miso is exceptional and a little miso goes a long way. One I highly recommend is made from chick peas. They also offer a millet, aduki bean and brown rice miso.
If sodium is a concern then I recommend this brand of low sodium miso which I found in Fairway in New York City.
A Miso Primer: Basically there are 3 colors of miso, yellow being the mildest (least aged) of the 3, red miso is aged the longest, up to one year and as a result has much more umami, and brown miso which is a combination of the yellow and red. Not all prepared miso brands are the same.
For cooking I use the red Great Eastern Sun Miso Master. As a rule of thumb, red miso has a higher sodium level. Another crucial thing to remember about miso is that you never want to boil it – that kills the nutritional benefits of the fermentation.
Miso Butter for Green Beans or Asparagus
Ingredients For 1 lb of Steamed Asparagus or Green Beans:
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1/4 cup miso
1 1/2 tsp. sherry vinegar
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
With a fork, mash the miso into the softened butter. Add the sherry vinegar and mix well. Place cooked vegetables is a large bowl with the miso butter and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.
Red Miso Sauce for Grilled Vegetables
Eggplant and cauliflower are particularly good choices for this sauce.
In a bowl whisk together the following:
2 Tbsp. red miso
1 1/2 cups water, boiled but left to stand for 5 minutes in measuring cup
1 clove freshly chopped garlic
freshly chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp. tamari
Juice from 1 lime
Pour over grilled vegetables and serve.
Miso Salad Dressing
This no oil dressing couldn’t be easier to make. Not only is it wonderful on a simple green salad but it also pairs well with grated carrot, daikon radish and shredded Napa cabbage sprinkled with sesame seeds. If this dressing is too rich then just add some water or a touch of sesame or peanut oils.
Whisk together the following ingredients and pour over the salad of your choice.
1 Tbsp. Red Miso
1 Tbsp. freshly grated ginger
1 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Tamari Sauce
1 tsp. lime juice
tap water to thin out to your desired consistency
Whisk ingredients together adding the water last.
Kimberly’s miso soup post from February 2011 has our favorite Miso Soup recipe click here.
September 6th, 2013
From Kimberly Mayone
My dear friend and neighbor, Rachelle, works at Farmer’s Market and I am often the lucky recipient of vegetables that didn’t sell or were in especially high quantities. In additional to market, Ray also has her own large garden. These green lovelies arrived on my porch a few weeks back amidst a hectic deadline and back to school preparations.
One of these peppers was an Italian frying pepper, also known as a Cubanelle. They are not spicy and they are less sweet than a bell pepper. These sweet Italian sausages were from Whole Foods and they were very good (I had never had them before).
I take the easy route and fry everything up in a soup pot. Rolls are split and toasted in the oven.
Add a small amount of olive oil to a large frying pan or soup pot. Add sausages and cook until browned. Add the peppers and onions plus a sprinkling kosher salt and ground black pepper. Cook until the peppers are soft and the sausages are cooked through. The heat from the roll and sausage melt the cheese. Outstanding!
I hadn’t had a pepper and onion sausage sub in a very long time, I think I had one last fall at the Harvard/Cornell Football game with my dad. These are definitely not something I’d eat often but when we do enjoy them, they are oh so good.
September 1st, 2013
I love this cookie recipe from Maida Heatter‘s Book of Great Desserts, 1965. It’s one of my favorites for the simple reason that they have nothing to do with Ethiopia or with truffles. I no longer have a copy of this book but a quick Google search sent me right to the recipe! Incredible. So if you loose this recipe, know that it’s still out there. Click here to see it.
I save this recipe for special occasions as it does take time. So if you are looking for an unusual cookie for a cookie swap, this would be a great choice.
To read more about Maida Heatter this article from Savuer in 2002 is one of the best.
For 20 cookies
Ingredients for the Pastry:
1 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 Tsp. vanilla bean powder
1/2 confectioners sugar
2 cups flour
In large bowl of a mixer cream the butter with the sugar until smooth. Add the vanillas. On low speed add the flour a 1/2 cup at a time. Once all flour is in and dough is in a uniform ball shape. Place in a piece of wax papper and flatten into a large disk. Place in the refrigerator to chill and rest.
Ingredients for the Filling
1 2/3 cups blanced almonds
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
2 egg whites
In a bowl of a food processor finely grind the almonds and chocolate. Place into a bowl and mix in the egg whites.
Divide the dough in 20 similar sized balls. Flatten a piece in the palm of you hand that is big enough to a small 2 tsp. bit of the chocolate filling. Close the dough all around the filling and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If the the dough sticks, then dust your hands with a bit of confectioners sugar.
Place the cookies 1 inch apart on cookie sheet and refrigerate for about 20 minutes. During this time preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are lightly golden. Let cool completely then dust with confectioners sugar.
August 30th, 2013
Originally posted on Martha Stewart this recipe for the giant chocolate chip cookie is now a weekly item in our house. Why?
IT”S A GIANT COOKIE! Need we say more?
In all seriousness, this cookie is really good and it’s fun. Get a carton of your favorite ice cream and enjoy it a few minutes out of the oven.
Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie adapted from Martha Stewart
3/4 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda (sift into the flour)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugars. Add the vanilla and egg. Slowly add the flour and baking soda. Add the chocolate chips.
Press the dough into a greased cast iron skillet or oven-proof round pan. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool for about 10 minutes and then cut.
I love the dark brown sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners. It’s super moist and the molasses aroma intoxicating.
Mega Chunks from Enjoy Life are perfect for this recipe.
August 28th, 2013
Yet another recipe that has become a staple here that was inspired by a post of food52.
Fresno chilies are perfect for making homemade sriracha.
Five ingredients and 24 hours start the process.
Once they are mixed together, place into jars and allow to macerate for 24 hours at room temperature.
If your vinegar doesn’t cover the who lot of chilies, don’t fret, just make sure to turn the jar upside down for a few hours throughout the day.
Place the contents of the jars into a large heavy bottom pot and bring to a boil. Cook for about 5 minutes and yes your house will smell like vinegar.
Turn off stove and allow to cool. I keep the lid on the pot and let it sit for a few hours. Once it’s cool, puree it in batches in either a Vita Prep (I don’t have one) or a Cusinart.
Place into jars or freeze some. It last a VERY long time in the refrigerator. And then your done!
Below is the recipe for a smaller batch I usually purchase 2 times as much chilies and double the recipe.
Ingredients needed for Homemade Sriracha – Style Hot Sauce
Once you make it you’ll never purchase it again!
1/2 lb. Fresno chilies, washed, tops cut off, cut in half, seeded and placed into a large non-reactive jar
4 cloves of garlic
1 cup distilled white vinegar (I use cider vinegar too sometimes, but really you shouldn’t use anything with too much flavor)
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. palm sugar (or regular white I just used palm since I had some sitting around)
Follow the instructions above and enjoy!
August 18th, 2013
Being away for a few weeks gave our zucchini time to proliferate which reminded me that now is the time to post the best things to do with the plethora of zucchini and yellow squash!
My new favorite savory recipe was inspired by a post on food52. I made it recently and served it on a bed of Lundberg Family Farms Country Wild blend. It was simply delicious.
Grilled Zucchini Ribbons
The trick to these coming out perfectly ever time is using a mandoline (I have a Zyliss which is much more affordable than a true French mandoline) so that you get a consistent thickness on your squash. Salting the squash is also a must because it draws out the water and makes the vegetables pliable.
Ingredients and Technique for Grilled Zucchini Ribbons
3 to 6 zucchini and yellow squash
herbs and garlic I used fresh oregano) made into a paste in a mortar and pestle
freshly ground pepper
Once the squash are sliced, place them on a baking rack over a cookie sheet and salt liberally. The squash with will be done sweating in about 20 minutes. Pat them dry. Sprinkle you herb/garlic paste and thread onto soaked bamboo skewers or metal skewers.
Grill for about 5 to 10 minutes, turning, over a low heat. I took them off the skewer and laid them on top super ripe tomatoes with fresh basil and just a bit of excellent quality olive oil. Delicious!
Another go to dinner are these Zucchini and Yellow Squash Fritters
These fritters are good with a freshly made salsa (tomatillo and pico de gallo are the 2 I like best) as well as with a tzatziki so you can have 2 times a week and not get too bored.
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini and/or yellow squash
1 – 2 eggs (depending on their size)
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped chives or scallion greens
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese (optional)
Place the grated squash in a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. You can make your salsas or other things while this sits.
Using a towel, place the squash in and wrap the ends around and squeeze out the water. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the squash in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well.
Heat a large pan on the stove and add a knob of butter and some canola oil over medium heat. Form zucchini mixture into 2 to 3-inch size patties and fry. You want the patties to be flat so press down on them with the back of a spatula before flipping over. They should be golden brown on each side which should take about 5 minutes.
Place the cooked fritters on a pan and into the oven to keep warm while the others are cooking. Serve with salsas, fresh sour cream or creme fraiche.
Other zucchini recipes to consider:|
Chocolate Zucchini Cake from Saveur. Barr adds chocolate chips to the recipe and the kids devour it!
Hazelnut, Ginger and Zucchini Bread
Cafe Zuni Zucchini Pickles
August 15th, 2013
From Kimberly Mayone
It is that time of year when zucchini is very abundant. One of the many nice things about zucchini is its versatility. It can be made into cakes and cookies and it can be used in countless savory recipes.
Always trying to pump up the vegetable consumption in this house, I added some sauteed onion, zucchini and chickpeas to couscous and offered a vegetarian topping bar that included sauteed garlicky spinach, fire roasted tomatoes, olives and feta. I cut the zucchini into a very small dice thinking I could sneak it by my picky eaters. My success percentage was a not too shabby 80%. The single non-participant opted for cereal. This recipe isn’t really a recipe as much as an assembling of pantry items and some garden zukes.
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped onion (shallot, leek or scallion)
2 zucchinis, finely chopped
kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 boxes roasted garlic couscous
Crumbled Feta or Goat Cheese
Tomatoes (fresh, canned or slow roasted)
Toasted Sliced Almonds
Warm the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the zucchini starts to brown, about 8 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and broth. Increase the heat to high. When the broth starts to boil, add the couscous and the seasoning packet and stir well. Turn off the heat. Cover and let the couscous sit for 5 minutes.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and serve with any or all of the suggested toppings. Any leftover couscous can be turned into a quick and easy salad.
August 11th, 2013
From Kimberly Mayone
When it is too hot to cook, meal salads make are ideal. This is a recipe featured in Hannaford fresh article that I wrote about simple, seafood recipes. This Mexican-inspired salad takes advantage of pre-cooked cocktail shrimp, avocados seasoned with lime juice and cilantro and fresh vegetables are tossed with a tangy, cumin-scented dressing and crunchy tortilla chips. I am getting hungry, just typing.
This meal can be especially kid-friendly if you set up a taco salad bar and everyone can customize their bowls. It also works well for pot lucks, layered into a big serving bowl.
Shrimp Taco Salad
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. grated lime zest
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
2 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice, divided, or to taste
1 lb. large cocktail shrimp (41 to 50 ct.), tails removed
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 avocado, chopped
2 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
1 small head iceberg lettuce, cored, quartered, and chopped
1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn, thawed or fresh corn, blanched
1 tomato, chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
32 tortilla chips
1. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, milk, lime zest, chili powder, hot sauce, cumin, and salt. When evenly blended, whisk in 1 Tbsp. of the lime juice and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, gently stir together shrimp, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, and remaining 11/2 Tbsp. lime juice.
3. To serve, divide lettuce among 4 shallow bowls. Place an equal amount of shrimp mixture in each bowl. Divide beans, corn, tomato, and scallions among the bowls. Serve the dressing on the side or add an equal amount of dressing to each salad.
4. Garnish each salad with 8 tortilla chips.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, July – August 2013
July 30th, 2013