Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Roasted Salmon, Beets & Potatoes with Horseradish Cream

We got a ton of beets from the farm this past week and I wanted to find a nice way to showcase them without having to make a salad. There are seriously a bazillion recipes for salads with beets in them. Maybe when we get more beets in the future, but for now I wanted to try something new. This was actually a really yummy recipe. I didn't hate the salmon because I piled on the cream. The roasted potatoes and beets were so good that I might just make them on their own someday. Yum.

Instead of simmering the cream, all I did was mix it with the horseradish and let it sit to room temperature. When I stuck it on top of the salmon, it melted into a creamy sauce. No dirty pan, no effort, great result. Beautiful.

salmon

Roasted Salmon, Beets, and Potatoes with Horseradish Cream
Food & Wine, January 1997

Beets and potatoes roast alongside each other in the same pan. Wait until they're cooked to toss them together, though, or you'll end up with bright-pink potatoes. A fillet of salmon roasts at the same oven temperature, and a drizzle of creamy horseradish sauce tops them all.

1 1/2 pounds beets -- peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
Fresh-ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds baking potatoes -- (about 3) peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillets -- about 1-inch thick, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons drained bottled horseradish

1. Heat the oven to 450°. In a large roasting pan, toss the beets with 1 tablespoon of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the dill, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook in the upper third of the oven, stirring once, for 20 minutes.

2. Remove the pan from the oven and push the beets to one side. Add the potatoes to the pan, next to the beets, and toss them with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Return the pan to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Stir the potatoes and beets, keeping them separate; return the pan to the oven.

3. Meanwhile, oil a baking sheet. Put the salmon on the baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon dill, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Put the pan in the oven with the vegetables (after you stir them at the end of Step 2). Cook until just done, about 10 minutes for 1-inch fillets.

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the cream just to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the horseradish, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper.

5. Stir the beets and the potatoes together. Serve the vegetables topped with the salmon and the horseradish sauce.

Servings: 4

Black-Bottom Banana Cream Pie

Tomorrow is my birthday. I've been celebrating it pretty much the entire month of June. By over-celebrating, it's like it makes it suck less. I know I'm only turning 27, but I'm frustrated at the waste of time 25 and 26 were. I am hopeful that 27 will bring change and happiness. I guess we'll see. In the meantime, my celebration continued this weekend. I made some Baked Pasta with Roasted Vegetables (including squash and zucchini from the farm!) on Friday, prior to the Kefir Ice Cream. Last night, we barbecued and I baked this pie.

I guess it's instead of a birthday cake, but it's so half-assed I don't know if it even counts. It was delicious though. The biggest problem was that - yet again - the chocolate hardened so much that it was like a bar of chocolate. I don't know what my problem is and why this happens with every chocolate thing I ever make. Regardless, very tasty. I don't think I would make it again, but I enjoyed it very much. And considering there's only one slice left, I'd venture to say everyone else liked it too!

pie

Black Bottom-Banana Cream Pie
Kraft Foods

6 tablespoons butter or margarine -- divided
38 NILLA Wafers -- finely crushed (about 1-1/4 cups)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 squares BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2 large bananas -- sliced
1 package JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding -- (3.4 oz.)
1 cup cold milk -- (1-3/4)
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping

1. MELT 4 Tbsp. butter; pour into medium bowl. Stir in wafer crumbs and sugar. Reserve 2 Tbsp. for later use; press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate.

2. MICROWAVE chocolate and remaining butter in microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 min. or until butter is melted; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is well blended. Drizzle over bottom of crust; top with bananas.

3. BEAT pudding mix and milk with whisk 2 min.; pour over bananas. Refrigerate 4 hours. Top with COOL WHIP and reserved crumb mixture just before serving.

Servings: 8

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream

A friend has been talking up the virtues of kefir for, well, forever. I was told it is good for you but really weird and not so awesome-tasting. "Yeasty" was a word used to describe it. So: Fermented yeasty milk? Awesome. I finally got a homemade batch and pondered what to do with it. Make a smoothie with it, as recommended? Bake some sourdough bread, since it can be similar to a sourdough starter?

No. I'm Lauren, and I apparently can't do anything normal.

So I made ice cream. Of course. It was weird-smelling, so I found this recipe that incorporates a lot of sugar and vanilla extract. Should be good, right? I don't know. I'm very conflicted. It's... not horrible. It kind of tastes like a farm. But with a yeasty aftertaste. It's weird as hell. I hope I have an opportunity to make something with kefir again to see how it turns out, since this was probably not a purist way of being introduced to it. But at least it was fun!

kefir

Vanilla Kefir Ice Cream
Tammy's Recipes

2 cups kefir (may substitute plain yogurt)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. In a 4-cup measuring cup (or medium bowl) stir together the kefir and sugar, until sugar is dissolved.

2. Stir in the cream and vanilla. Pour mixture into your ice cream maker bowl and churn until thick and creamy! Enjoy fresh as a "soft serve" consistency, or freeze for later.

Yield: 6 cups

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Greek Pizzette

I find recipes in the weirdest places. This one apparently came from a free mini-magazine CVS was distributing some time ago. It's surprisingly classy and surprisingly good. I was worried it would be too many flavors at once, but it worked beautifully. I couldn't find fresh figs so I used some packaged ones I found - next to the halloumi, incidentally. It was delicious and enjoyable. I am surprised to say I would make this again!

Oh, I accidentally broiled them too long so they look a little toasty. Hush.

pizzette

Greek Pizzette
CVS magazine

I'll be honest with you, unless I have a party coming up, my refrigerator isn't exactly overflowing. Maybe you can relate? This is partly because I'm always at the restaurants, and I tend to wind up eating whatever the chefs can toss together while they're closing the kitchen. One night, with barely any effort, Michael Psilakis did what comes so naturally to him: He tapped into his Greek culinary roots and took off from there. These little pizzas are, honestly, to die for.

4 pocketless pitas
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fig jam
1/2 pound halloumi cheese, cut into 1/4" slices
2 cups baby arugula
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 fresh figs, halved lengthwise

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Brush both sides of the pitas with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes, until golden and crisp. Let cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, turn on the broiler and set the rack 6" from the heat source. Spread the pitas with the fig jam, then top each with some halloumi. Slide the pitas under the broiler for about 3 minutes, until the halloumi is melted.

4. Put the arugula in a large bowl, add the lemon juice and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and toss to thoroughly coat all the leaves. Season with the oregano, salt and pepper. Divide the arugula among the pitas. Top each with two fig halves. Arrange on a platter, and serve.

Servings: 4

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pantry Raid

Today I made a big batch of hummus and then some Halushki. Our friend Ben is in town on his way to Pittsburgh so I thought I would make something traditional Pennsylvanian. He said it was not terrible. That's good enough for me!

Since I have no new food to post about, and since someone recently mentioned that they enjoy seeing what people have in their refrigerators, I took some pictures. Come with me as we tour my kitchen:
fridge
OK, so this is the refrigerator as a whole. We have a ton of lemonade, water, and beer. Weird things: a giant tub of Wegmans potato salad (top right), hot dogs (ew meat, rarely in the house) (top right), kefir (middle shelf on the right), $1500 in fertility medication (hidden behind the salsa on the top left, most of it is expired but I can't bring myself to throw it away).

fridge
This is my eclectic side. It has all the Asian ingredients, like Sriracha and soy sauce, as well as middle-eastern stuff like harissa and chutney. Weird things: tahini, garbanzo bean flour, white miso paste.

fridge
This is the condiment door. All your basic stuff, from mayo to ketchup.

pantry
This is my pantry. It is disorganized but I try to keep it organized. The middle shelf has all my rice and dried beans and stuff. Gibby recently got a labelmaker for his job so I used it to label things like millet and quinoa. It was a fun time. The weirdest things in here: a jar of kaffir lime leaves, three different kinds of cornmeal.

spices
And just in case you ever doubted me when I said I only buy spices from Penzeys, here is the cabinet I had to buy specifically to hold my spices.

I encourage you to take pictures of your own kitchens! It would be fun.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fiery Tofu and Coconut Curry Soup

This is not the first time I have tried to make this recipe. I tried a couple of weeks ago, resulting in massive carnage. I let it simmer just like the recipe said, but all the liquid burned off over the hour and left a small, goopy amount of crap in the bottom of the pan. So stupid. So tonight I changed it and only simmered the soup for about 15 minutes before adding all the extras into it. This worked out much better. It was good, but not great. I don't think that has anything to do with my alteration of the cooking method. I would eat it again, but it's doubtful I would make it again.

soup

Fiery Tofu and Coconut Curry Soup
Cooking Light, September 2009

Inspired by similar soups from Thailand and Malaysia, this version balances fiery flavor with sweet and sour back notes. The crisp-tender vegetables offer a pleasant texture contrast to the custardlike tofu. Serve with a side of rice noodles drizzled with dark sesame oil and a cooling mango salad.

2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup red curry paste
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
27 ounces light coconut milk
2 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 cups thinly sliced carrot -- (about 4)
1 1/2 cups pieces green beans -- (1-inch) (8 ounces)
14 ounces water-packed soft tofu -- drained and cut into (1-inch) cubes
3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds or until lightly browned. Add curry paste; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add brown sugar; cook 1 minute. Stir in coconut milk, broth, juice, ginger, and soy sauce. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour. Add carrot; cook for 6 minutes. Add beans, and cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add tofu to pan, and cook 2 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Servings: 6

Corn & Zucchini Fritters

I've met such wonderful people through the internet. Truly, truly wonderful. One such lady is my Australian buddy Kate. She is a sweetpea who has been there for me through some very difficult times. She also has, joyously, shared with me this amazingly simple recipe for corn fritters. They are so freaking good. We had a huge zucchini from the farm this week, so I used that and it was great. I made some roasted broccoli to go with it. LOVE. We would definitely make this again.

fritters

Corn & Zucchini Fritters
from my friend Kate D.

1 zucchini, finely grated
1 large can corn kernels (or if you are feeling more motivated you can use fresh corn off the cob)
1 small purple onion, diced finely
1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
herbs (whatever you fancy..I put in coriander this time)
Oil for the pan

1. Put sifted flour, zucchini, onion, corn and beaten eggs into a bowl. Mix until well combined. Add salt and pepper and herbs to taste.

2. Heat oil in pan. Place spoonfuls of mixture in and cook each side until golden and cooked through.

3. I served with tomato relish and avocado. Enjoy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Jamaican-Style Black Bean and Coconut Cornbread Bake

Last night's dinner was not so good. It had so much potential and was just a big failure. The cornbread was not delicious or coconutty, and the beans were boring. I had really high hopes. I don't know what went wrong! I don't think anything went wrong. I think it was just not good.

cornbread

Jamaican-style Black Bean and Coconut Cornbread Bake
Vegetarian Times

The jerk seasoning used to flavor the filling of this main dish can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets or ordered online. Feel free to add more jerk seasoning to the black beans if you prefer your dishes spicier, or try the recipe with 1 Tbs. chili powder instead. For rich, smoky flavor, choose fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chiles, juices included
1 1/2 cups frozen yellow corn, thawed
1/2 teaspoon jerk seasoning, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup light coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 8-inch-square baking dish with olive oil.

2. Stir together beans, tomatoes and juices, corn, jerk seasoning, 1/4 tsp. salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Adjust seasonings with more jerk seasoning, if desired. Spread in prepared baking dish.

3. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt in separate bowl. Add coconut milk and 2 Tbs. oil, and stir until just combined—do not overmix. Spread batter over bean mixture with spatula. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned and toothpick inserted in center of topping comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Servings: 6

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Bibimbap

I occasionally wonder if I will ever get tired of Bibimbap. Considering it's one of our most-repeated meals, I doubt it. It's always delicious. How can you go wrong with rice and vegetables and fried eggs and sriracha? You can't. Today I used spinach and green onions from the farm, and I had some snow peas from last week's basket so I threw those in too. Along with the regular carrots and bean sprouts, the farm vegetables were very tasty. Yay!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions and Cream

When we got our bag from our CSA last week, we found this wondrous alien-like item:
kohlrabi

What is this, you ask? It is kohlrabi. What is kohlrabi? Well, it has the texture of a turnip and tastes kind like cabbage. Fun fact: When I looked it up on Wikipedia just now, I discovered that "kohlrabi" means "cabbage-turnip." HAHAHAHA. I win.

So. It is a bizarre vegetable. The kohlrabi we got did not have big leaves, like it typically does, so I wasn't sure what to do with it. So I searched on Martha Stewart, because she always comes through for me, and found this quick recipe. I had to alter it, obviously, since I didn't have the greens (or cream, so I used half and half) and I didn't want to use onions since I was making a pasta with onions. Plus this was a super-small version of the recipe since my kohlrabi was already really small. So basically I sauteed the kohlrabi in some butter and then poured half & half over it. And it was delicious. I certainly would make this again if we get more kohlrabi!

kohlrabi

Sauteed Kohlrabi with Onions and Cream
Martha Stewart

Cubed peeled kohlrabi
Thinly sliced white onion
Unsalted butter
Finely shredded kohlrabi leaves
Heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Grated nutmeg

Cook kohlrabi and onion in butter over medium-high heat until almost tender. Stir in kohlrabi leaves, and cook until wilted. Add a generous splash of heavy cream, and cook for a few seconds to reduce. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Serve with chicken, pork chops, or steak.

Cauliflower-Onion Linguine

In the Food Network Magazine, this was touted as being a super-simple, down-home kind of meal. And guess what? It was. While I'm slightly opposed to having used some French's Fried Onions in my pasta dish, the opposition seemed to decrease the more pasta I ate. It is really good. I would definitely make this again.

pasta

Cauliflower-Onion Linguine
Food Network Magazine, November 2010

Kosher salt
12 ounces linguine
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic -- minced
1/4 cup panko -- (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup fried onions -- chopped
4 cups cauliflower florets -- roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes -- (1/2 to 1)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese -- plus more for topping
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta. Return to the pot and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the panko and fried onions and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate; wipe out the skillet.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the edges brown, about 4 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and toast 30 seconds. Add the reserved pasta water and cook until the liquid is reduced by half and the cauliflower is crisp-tender, about 1 more minute.

4. Add the pasta, onion mixture and parmesan to the skillet and toss. Season with salt. Top with the basil, pine nuts and more parmesan.

Servings: 4

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Rainbow Cupcakes

Yesterday I threw myself a birthday party. The super-grown-up theme was rainbows and unicorns. I initially wanted to make this rainbow layer cake, but I just couldn't bring myself to use that much butter. Thus, I decided there must be a simpler way. I googled and found a recipe for rainbow cupcakes. My mom sent me all her gel food colorings, and I went to town. It was great. And they turned out amazingly beautiful. Obviously it's going to taste good since it's from a boxed mix (I feel like such a cheater) but it was totally worth it. Delicious and pretty, and a wonderful early birthday item.

I also made about a thousand pounds of Honey-Chipotle Baked Beans and a big tray of Possibly the Best Ever Lemon Squares.

rainbow

Taste a Rainbow
Family Fun Magazine

White cake mix -- (we used an 18-1/4-ounce box)
Food coloring -- (red, blue, green, and yellow)
Baking cups
Whipped cream -- (optional)

1. Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.

2. RAINBOW COLOR DROPS OF FOOD COLORING
Purple 9 red and 6 blue drops
Blue 12 drops
Green 12 drops
Yellow 12 drops
Orange 12 yellow and 4 red drops
Red 18 drops

3. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.

4. Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.

Carrie's Pesto Tortellini

My friend Carrie is amazing. I have known her for about 10 years and I love her to death. Once upon a time she spent a year living on a boat, and she was the cook. She made this recipe in mass quantities, and recently emailed it to me because she thought I might be interested in making it. Well, yes. I was interested. The huge amount of vegetables was intriguing. Though the recipe calls for chicken, omitting it does not change the quality of the meal.

So, obviously I significantly divided the recipe and made maybe 3-4 servings versus 20. Making this change forced me to actually practice eyeballing how much of an ingredient to add to things. Who knew I could make a roux without specifically being told how much flour to add? I surprise myself every day. Speaking of the roux, I used about 1 tablespoon of butter instead of a whole stick because it was only for the two of us.

This was delicious. We both really enjoyed it. Make sure you get a good pesto because it is definitely the strongest flavor in the dish. I would skip the salt next time because the pesto I bought was pretty high in the sodium department, so keep an eye on that as well. All in all, a make-again!

pasta

Chicken Pesto Tortellini
Recipe by my friend Carrie

My neighbor wanted this recipe because her kids loved it and I thought of you and your cooking as I was typing it up. It's made for a huge group (I got it from the boat I worked on :), but you can cut it down to serve less. You can obviously omit the chicken (that's what we did on the boat to save money) and substitute veggie broth for the chicken broth.

Tortellini for at least 15 people
1 stick butter
Flour (for roux)
1 can chicken broth
2 packs cream cheese
1 large half-and-half
chicken* if desired
1 package green pesto
Garlic (fresh or minced)
Mushrooms
Zucchini
Summer squash
Broccoli
Asparagus
Oregano
Parsley
Salt and pepper

1. Boil water for tortellini. Follow directions on package.

2. Dice all veggies and cook in a little oil in the following order: garlic, asparagus, brocolli, zucchinni/squash, mushrooms. (Asaparagus takes longer to cook than mushrooms, so dice asparagus, put in pan to cook while you dice brocolli, then add to pan while you dice squahes, etc.)

3. Drain liquid then season to taste with oregano, parsley, salt and pepper.

4. *If using chicken, dice and cook in separate pan. Season with a little salt and pepper.

5. In non-stick pan, melt 1 stick of butter. After melted, add flour until it turns into a paste. Let cook for a little bit, stirring constantly, so the floury taste goes away. Add can of chicken broth and heat until warm then add one package of cream cheese. Stir with a whisk until cheese is broken up then add half and half until the sauce is creamy. (If too thin, add more cream cheese. If too thick, add more half & half.) Stir constantly or it will burn. Add pesto at the end and stir.

6. Drain pasta then pour everything into one large pan and mix. YUMMY!

Yield: This recipe is made to serve 15-20 people.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Mango & Black Bean Salad

Tonight I made Mango & Black Bean Salad. It was very good, as always. I wish we'd had a better mango, but oh well.

This week's CSA bag had the following:
-Green onions
-Red leaf lettuce
-Snow peas
-Parsley
-Kohlrabi

It kind of makes me feel like we're on an episode of Chopped every time I get one of these, because then I have to figure out what to do with it all. I think Martha Stewart will help me with the kohlrabi, because I've never had it before. Should be interesting.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Feta and Green Onion Couscous Cakes Over Tomato-Olive Salad

Tonight I decided to make fancy grilled cheese sandwiches for myself. Taking a tip from Martha Stewart, I made pear and fontina on rye. Oh my gosh. This is amazing. I'm so happy.

Last night was pretty good too. We made these feta and green onion couscous cakes with green onions (and lettuce) from the farm. I can't wait to see what's in our bag of vegetables tomorrow because it makes me so happy! These were crazy easy to make and very good, but the tomato salad was ridiculous and didn't fit with the rest of the meal at all. It was like a stupid afterthought. I would make the cakes again, but not the stupid salad.

feta

Feta and Green Onion Couscous Cakes Over Tomato-Olive Salad
Cooking Light, May 2009

"This recipe came about when I wanted to use up leftovers I had around the kitchen. It's a great way to highlight the flavor of fresh summer tomatoes." —Kathleen Kanen, Birmingham, Ala.

Cakes:
1/3 cup uncooked whole-wheat couscous
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese -- (1 ounce)
3 tablespoons egg substitute
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
Cooking spray

Salad:
2/3 cup chopped seeded tomato
2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups gourmet salad greens

1. To prepare cakes, place couscous in a medium bowl; stir in 1/2 cup boiling water. Cover and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Cool slightly. Add cheese and the next 3 ingredients (through pepper). Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Spoon about 1/3 cup couscous mixture into 4 mounds in pan. Lightly press with a spatula to flatten to 1/2 inch. Cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Coat tops of cakes with cooking spray. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 2 minutes or until heated.

2. To prepare salad, combine tomato and next 5 ingredients (through 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Arrange 1 1/2 cups greens on each of 2 plates. Top each serving with 1/2 cup tomato mixture; arrange 2 cakes over tomato mixture.

Servings: 2

Sunday, June 05, 2011

A Bunch of Repeats

Today was a day of repeats! For dinner I made Southwest Pinto Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayonnaise and some Garlic-Roasted Kale, with kale from the CSA. It was a delicious dinner.

Since I had some rhubarb from this week's bounty, and after last week's unfortunate coffee cake I really wanted to make something that I knew would be good, so I made a Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie. Good, solid recipe.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta

This has a lot of cheese in it, which makes me question why it made it into Cooking Light. It is certainly not light. It is very cheesy. It is very good, but I actually still like our go-to macaroni recipe better. Yum, though!

pasta

Fontina and Mascarpone Baked Pasta
Cooking Light, November 2006

The nutty flavor of fontina and creaminess of mascarpone create a delicious updated version of mac and cheese. If your supermarket doesn't stock mascarpone cheese, substitute full-fat cream cheese. For a dinner party, bake the pasta in individual gratin dishes for 15 minutes.

1 pound uncooked penne
1/4 cup all-purpose flour -- (about 1 ounce)
3 cups fat-free milk
2 cups shredded fontina cheese -- (8 ounces)
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese -- (2 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
3 ounces white bread
1 tablespoon butter
1 small garlic clove -- minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.

2. Preheat oven to 350°.

3. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and milk in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook 10 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; add cheeses, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Stir in salt and black pepper. Add cooked pasta, stirring to coat. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Tear bread into several pieces. Place bread in a food processor; process until fine crumbs measure 1 1/2 cups.

5. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Remove from heat. Stir in breadcrumbs until well combined. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture evenly over pasta mixture. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley.

Servings: 8

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Grilled Eggplant Teriyaki

To go with our wasabi asparagus, I made this quick and easy grilled eggplant. It's the first thing we've grilled this season, hooray! I didn't think it was going to be well-received but it turned out to be really good. I don't think I would make it again, but it would be a really nice side dish. The marinade is delicious.

teriyaki

Grilled Eggplant Teriyaki
BBQ with Bobby Flay

2 medium eggplants
Kosher salt
Marinade -- recipe follows
Sesame seeds -- for garnish

Marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced

1. For marinade: Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium heat.

3. Slice eggplant into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and let stand in a colander set over a bowl or the sink for 20 minutes. Rinse briefly and pat dry.

4. Pour marinade over eggplant and let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Remove from marinade, reserving leftover marinade. Place eggplant on grill, cook until eggplant is cooked through and lightly browned on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from grill. Serve with reserved marinade and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Servings: 4

Asparagus with Wasabi Mayonnaise

I recently came across a folder on my computer of Really Old Recipes. These are like, recipes from when I was first learning to cook. I'd spent years reading cooking magazines and watching cooking shows (from before the Food Network, even! I've watched Bobby Flay forever!) so I thought I could just jump right in. So I did. My poor mom had to help for quite awhile, until I was at least a junior/senior in college and had a better grasp on things.

Anyway, so there are all these old recipes. I figure I should try them out and figure out if a) they're worth keeping, and b) they taste better now that I know what I'm doing in the kitchen.

Tonight's Really Old Recipe is this asparagus side dish. I remember making it my senior year of high school. I don't remember what I made it with but it was something stupid. I thought it was awesome back then. I made it tonight and it was so freaking fast and quick, I can't believe I thought it was hard once upon a time. Steaming asparagus? Really, self? Ugh. But the point is, it was pretty good. A little strong on the soy sauce so I'd probably reduce that by a lot. And I needed a stronger wasabi because mine disappeared into the ether and that was sad. This was good, but it is not in fact Worth Keeping.

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Asparagus with Wasabi Mayonnaise
Food Network: Sara Moulton

You can substitute wasabi powder for the wasabi paste in this recipe, but we find that the paste imparts a fresher flavor. Force the wasabi powder through a very fine sieve before using.

3 pounds thin to medium asparagus, trimmed
1 cup mayonnaise
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons wasabi paste

1. Blanch asparagus in 2 batches in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute. Transfer to a colander and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking. Drain well and pat dry.

2. Whisk together mayonnaise, soy sauce, sugar, lemon juice, and wasabi paste until sugar is dissolved.

3. Serve asparagus with dip.

Servings: 6