Monday, June 28, 2010

Kohlrabi Slaw

Asian Kohlrabi Slaw

This salad, tossed in a ginger dressing was everything I could have hoped for....zingy, bright and refreshing. If you can't find kohlrabi, try substituting cucumbers, and/or broccoli stems (slaw).

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: serves 4, with leftovers


1 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned and cut into 2-inch pieces (sliced into matchsticks)
1/2 pound of snap peas, de-stringed and julienned
4 scallions, julienned and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 jalapeno, seeded, de-veined and minced
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
1 thumb of ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons canola (or other plain tasting) oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
Chopped salted peanuts (a handful), optional


1. Toss kohlrabi, snap peas, scallions, jalapeno and cilantro in a large bowl. Set aside.

2. In a smaller bowl, whisk ginger, vinegar, oils, sugar and soy sauce until combined.

3. Drizzle dressing over the kohlrabi mixture and toss well to coat thoroughly. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to eat. Top with chopped peanuts (if using) just before serving.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Salad for Supper

Arugula Salad with Corn, Tomatoes, and Blue Cheese
adapted from Everyday Food

There are so many things going on in this salad, I feel it needs minimal dressing. But if you like your salads more heavily coated, you may want to double the lemon and olive oil. This would make for a fantastic lunch or light dinner.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Yield: serves 2ish


1 bag of baby arugula
2 large tomatoes, sliced
2 ears of corn, steamed for 2-3 minutes until tender and sliced off the cob *
1/2 cup sliced red onion
2 cooked chicken breast halves, sliced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
juice from one lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper


1. Place arugula in a large salad bowl. Add in tomatoes, corn, red onion, chicken breast, and blue cheese.

2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil until combined. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

3. Toss salad with dressing until lightly coated. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

*You can also try microwaving your shucked corn. Place it on a plate and cover it with a paper towel. Microwave it for about one minute per ear.

Summer Frittata

Farm Egg and Veggie Frittata

This simple yet elegant dish works well with just about any vegetable you have on hand. Try it with asparagus, or crook-neck squash, add crumbled cooked sausages or peppers...have fun and don't be afraid to experiment! Because eggs are the main ingredient, make sure they are the freshest possible.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: serves 6 as a main course


1 dozen eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
2 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large handfuls of arugula, spinach or chopped young chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
Minced parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Set aside.

2. Beat the eggs, with salt, pepper and cream in a large mixing bowl until combined. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add zucchini, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini becomes tender and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula (or whatever tender green you are using) and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until it just begins to wilt.

4. Spread the veggies evenly out in the prepared 9x13 inch dish. Sprinkle over the cheese and then pour over the egg mixture.

5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until puffed slightly and cooked though in the middle.

6. Garnish with minced parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

Chard is a mild green, and needs minimal cooking to become tender and delicious. With the exception of the bottom inch or so, the stem is edible.


1 large bunch of rainbow chard, washed well, and sliced into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, grated
Zest from one lemon
Pinch of salt and pepper


1. Drizzle olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and zest and heat over medium heat until garlic begins to color.

2. Add chard to the pan and using tongs, turn it so that it wilts evenly. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until wilted slightly throughout.

3. Remove from pan, and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Monday, June 7, 2010

At Market...Apricots

Apricot Jam

I always use my pasta cooker with strainer insert to water bathe smaller batches of jam because my large pot heats up my kitchen so much and takes forever to boil. I can fit about 6 jars at a time in my pasta cooker, so I need to boil the jars in two batches. Alternatively, you can simply invert the newly filled jars on your counter for about ten minutes to seal them. I have never tried this, but Chez Madelaine who wrote Gourmet Preserves recommends this easy method. Good canning tools to have on hand include jar tongs and a funnel which are usually available at your local hardware store.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: about 1 hour and 45 minutes
Yield: 8 half pint jars


4 pounds of apricots, pitted and quartered
7 cups of sugar
3 "bitter almonds" or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Juice from 1 lemon


1.Wash jam jars with hot, soapy water, dry carefully with a clean dishcloth, then place on a baking tray in a 180 degree oven to sterilize. Wash rings and jar tops and set aside.

2. Toss apricots with sugar in a large, heavy bottomed pot. Add lemon juice and bitter almonds or extract, and toss well to combine. To remove the bitter almonds from the pits of the apricots, simply crack the pits with a hammer (gently) and remove.

3. Turn stove to high and bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about one hour, or until jam sets when drizzled over a frozen plate. Make sure to skim the foam that rises to the it to drizzle over ice cream. When the jam is done, it will have reduced by about half in the pot, and be sputtering. You may even be able to see the bottom of the pot when you stir. You need to stir frequently during this hour to ensure that the bottom does not scorch.

4. While jam is simmering, fill your pasta pot or hot water canner with water and bring to a boil.

5. When jam is set, remove jars from the oven and wipe rims and lids with vodka. Remove the bitter almonds from the jam. Using the funnel, carefully fill jars with jam, leaving about 1/2 inch head space in each jar. Wipe rims with vodka again to clean off any drips and top with the lids.

6. Screw on the bands loosely and using the tongs, carefully place them in the insert of you pasta pot or water canner. The water in the pot should cover the lids by about 1 inch. Vigorously boil the jars for 12 minutes, remove from water using the tongs and set on a clean dishcloth to cool. Each lid should "ping" and have a tight seal. If a jar doesn't seal, refrigerate after it is cool and eat within 2 weeks. All the sealed jars will last at least a year in your pantry.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Burning Mandarin

The Burning Mandarin Martini
inspired by Katsuya Restaurant

In my humble opinion, this quite possibly the best martini ever. The first sip is an intriguing combination of bright citrus followed by a slow burn, brought on by the serrano chiles that are muddled in the bottom of the cocktail shaker.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 martini


2 slices of serrano chile
1 1/2 ounces Absolute Mandarin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce orange juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice


1. Muddle one slice of chile in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add vodka, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange juice, and cranberry juice, along with one large handful of ice.

2. Shake vigorously until well-chilled. Strain into a sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with remaining chile slice.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Makin' Whoopie!

Whoopie Pies
adapted from Epicurious

I measured out the cake dough using my regular ice cream scoop, but mini versions would be great too. Just make sure to adjust down the baking time by a few minutes.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: about 8 desserts


For cakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg

For filling
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
2 cups marshmallow cream such as Marshmallow Fluff (you will need 2 jars)
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg and beat until smooth.

4. Mix in the flour and buttermilk, alternating in batches, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the flour.

5. Spoon scant 1/4 cup mounds, 3 inches apart, on two greased cookie sheets. You should have 16 cakes. Bake for 11-13 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.

6. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Fill with frosting.

7. While cakes are baking, you can prepare frosting. Beat butter in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the marshmallow cream, vanilla and powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add enough powdered sugar so that the frosting isn't runny, but not overly stiff either. Cover with plastic and set aside until cakes are ready to fill.

Scrumptious Sopaipillas

adapted from Artisan Farming

Sopaipillas are New Mexican deep-fried pillows of pastry that you fill with jam or honey. You can also stuff savory fillings inside, like refried beans, stew meat or cheese. Make sure the oil is hot enough. You can drop a small bit of dough in the oil to test it. It should bubble up and begin to brown immediately, but the oil should not be smoking. If you have a thermometer, the ideal frying temperature is between 350 and 375 degrees F.

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 30 minute rest time
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: about 1 dozen


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 cup warm water
vegetable oil for frying
honey, powdered sugar and/or jam


1. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk until blended. Stir in the oil, cream and water and mix until shaggy.

2. Turn out onto a board and knead until a soft dough forms. Knead for a couple minutes more. Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

3. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3 inch squares using a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

4. Fill a medium saucepan with 3 inches of vegetable oil and heat over medium heat until a small piece of dough, dropped in the oil, sizzles and becomes golden brown (about 350 F). Carefully drop squares of dough, a couple at a time, into the hot oil. Fry on the first side for a minute or so, until golden brown, flip and fry for a minute or two more. Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to cool. Repeat with remaining dough.

5. Dust sopaipillas with powdered sugar if desired (we didn't ) and fill with honey or jam. Eat immediately.