Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Peach-Tomato Salad with an Herb Vinaigrette


Whenever we see peaches at the market, we grab them. The stone fruit season isn't very long here, but when the peaches, plums, and apricots are ripe, they are fantastic. I like to pair them with juicy tomatoes, baby greens, and an herb dressing that just screams 'summer.' I know it's not really summer yet...soon.


Ingredients
  • 2 C organic tomatoes (I used baby heirlooms this time)
  • 3 to 4 ripe organic peaches, sliced into wedges
  • 2 C baby greens
  • 1/4 C fresh herbs (I used a mixture of basil, parsley, oregano, and mint)
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C vinegar (I used a champagne vinegar)
  • 1 T local honey
  • 1 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and diced
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure
Combine the herbs, olive oil, vinegar, honey, Dijon, and shallots in a blender or food processor until the dressing emulsifies and the herbs are pureed. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Place the green in the bottom of your serving bowl and top with tomatoes and peaches. When ready, serve at room temperature. Toss with dressing at the table. Serve immediately.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb! Martini


I initially wanted planned to save this for National Martini Day in June. But, well, Jake was up for a cocktail, it's Monday, and all the ingredients were staring at me!


The boys and I have been groovin' to the soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy so this is my Ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb! Martini. Happy Monday. Cheers!


I love this cocktail, and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb! Martini

Ingredients makes 1 cocktail

  • 2 oz gin (yes, I'm a gin girl!)
  • 3/4 oz Lillet
  • 3/4 oz Luxardo liqueur
  • 6 dashes bitters (I used the Big Sur Citrus from Golden Bear Bitters)
  • Also needed: ice, cocktail shaker, grittones for garnish


Procedure
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake for 30 seconds, then strain into a martini glass.  Garnish with grittones spear.

Razor Clams a la Vizzini #FoodNFlix


I am so excited about this month's Food'N'Flix event hosted by my friend Deb over at Kahakai Kitchen. You can read her invitation: here. She asked us to watch The Princess Bride.* It is one of my favorite movies. Ever.

I was, admittedly, a little horrified that it came out 30 years ago. Really?!!? But...I did watch it for the first time when I was in high school and I graduated over 25 years ago, so the numbers make sense. Still...

On the Screen...
Based on the 1973 book by William Golden, the movie version includes an impressive list of actors - Peter Falk, Fred Savage, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Pantinkin, Andre the Giant, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, and others - who bring mirth and memorable quotes to the screen. Oh, and there's fencing, fighting, kissing, torture, death, true love, giants, pirates, and rodents of unusual size! If you've seen it, what's your favorite quote? If you haven't seen it, you're missing out!

On the Plate...
While this isn't a foodie movie per se, I found tons of inspiration! Given that I'm picking up my half-lamb share from a farmer friend this week, I considered a nice MLT! It, according to Miracle Max, rivals true love.

"Sonny, true love is the greatest thing, in the world-except for a nice MLT – mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean and the tomato is ripe. They’re so perky, I love that."

I thought about mixing up my own version of the Painkiller cocktail after this exchange between Westley and Humperdinck...

Westley: To the pain means the first thing you will lose will be your feet below the ankles. Then your hands at the wrists. Next your nose.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my tongue I suppose, I killed you too quickly the last time. A mistake I don’t mean to duplicate tonight.
Westley: I wasn’t finished. The next thing you will lose will be your left eye followed by your right.
Prince Humperdinck: And then my ears, I understand let’s get on with it.
Westley: Wrong! Your ears you keep and I’ll tell you why. So that every shriek of every child at seeing your hideousness will be yours to cherish. Every babe that weeps at your approach, every woman who cries out, “Dear God! What is that thing,” will echo in your perfect ears. That is what to the pain means. It means I leave you in anguish, wallowing in freakish misery forever.

I even drove out to an Asian market in hopes of finding some (shrieking!) eel. But they only had pre-cooked eel - in a can - and the sauce was not gluten-free. Boo.

So, I settled on fresh razor clams in honor of the repartee between Vizzini and Westley. Razor clams for razor sharp wit. Get it? 


Vizzini: Have you heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?
Westly: Yes.
Vizzini: Morons.

Westley has poisoned a goblet of wine and asks Vizzini to divine which is which. "The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink. We find out who is right and who is dead."

After awhile, Vizzini distracts Wesley, switches the goblet and they both drink. Chuckling, he claims, "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders—the most famous of which is, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”—but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line”! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha…." Then [spoiler alert!] he drops dead.

Razor Clams a la Vizzini 

Inspired by Sicilian penne all'arrabbiata, I decided to prepare a razor clam appetizer with that flavor profile - tomatoes, chiles, garlic, and cheese. Yum.

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 t red pepper chile flakes
  • 1 1⁄2 lb. razor clams, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1⁄4 C white wine
  • 2 C potatoes, cubed and boiled
  • freshly ground salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 C organic cherry tomatoes
  • pecorino cheese for grating

Procedure
But first you have to clean the razor clams...


Step One: Place razor clams in a large bowl and pour hot water over them. Let them soak till the shells open. Pull the meat from the shells.


Step Two: Trim off the dark end of the siphon tube and cut open the clam from one end to the other. Lay the clam flat and snip around the gills, mouth, and digger. It should look like this.


Step Three: Snip around the dark stomach and remove any other veins and grit you might find. Once you've cleaned the clam, chop it into bite-sized pieces. Now you're ready to cook it!


Heat oil, garlic, and chiles in a skillet over medium heat. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until garlic is pale golden brown, approximately 6 minutes.


Increase heat to high, add razor clams and wine, and cook, covered, until clams are just cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.


Add in the potatoes and tomatoes. Cook for a minute or two. Season to taste with salt and pepper; toss razor clams to coat with sauce. Fold in tomatoes. Transfer clams to a serving bowl and let each diner grate cheese over the top.

You still have a week or so if you want to join The Princess Bride fun. Or, next month, Evelyne from CulturEatz will be hosting Volver. Stay tuned for more information about that.

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef) + Asparagus with Gochujang Sauce #BBQWeek #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Michigan Asparagus
 in conjunction with #BBQweek. All opinions are my own.

Welcome to #BBQWeek. But, first, I need to offer many, many thanks to Ellen of  Family Around the Table for organizing this week. These events are fun, but they are also a ton of work for the folks on the back end. Kudos, Ellen.

Let’s fire up the grill, serve up some burgers or steaks or chicken and some delicious sides and desserts! Follow #BBQWeek on social media so you don’t miss one delicious recipe. There are more than 20 recipes planned this week from some amazing bloggers. So, please check back on Wednesday and Friday as well.

Today, our event kick-off, we also have a special treat as one of our sponsors - Michigan Asparagus - is giving one winner two grilling baskets and $50 gift card. Wowza! Enter at the end of this post.

Asparagus_PanPrize.png

Fresh asparagus is definitely a harbinger of Spring and Michigan is one of the largest domestic asparagus growers in the United States. Michigan Asparagus is available mid-May through June and is the only hand-snapped harvested asparagus which means more usable asparagus and less waste.

Local Michigan farmers produce approximately 25 million pounds of Michigan Asparagus during the state's 6-7 week harvest. Michigan Asparagus has excellent flavor and a long shelf life. It is a nutrient-dense, low-calorie vegetable with no fat, no cholesterol, and very little sodium.

The BBQWeek Creations with Asparagus!


My Offering...
When Ellen first pitched this week, I was excited to share some international BBQ recipes and wanted to start with a family favorite: Korean BBQ beef, called Bulgogi. When she added the proviso that our kick-off recipe needed to include asparagus, I decided to share a simple dish that showcases fresh asparagus and embraces the flavor profile from Korea.


I was first introduced to bulgogi when I was in college in Berkeley and my parents came to visit. We were looking for somewhere casual to eat and stumbled across a food court just a block away from campus. I was a vegetarian at the time, but my dad ordered bulgogi; my mom opted for the bibimbap; and I went for the jap chae. The restaurant became a family favorite and every time my parents visited, we went there. Eventually I was drawn back to being an omnivore and came to love bulgogi, too. Yum.

When I have time, I make my own. But there's a Korean restaurant in town that is my go-to with my own family when we need a delicious, filling dinner. When I walk in, the owner greets me and asks, "Bulgogi and Jap Chae?" Yes, please!

Bulgogi
Korean BBQ Beef

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds thinly sliced sirloin (here's a secret: I get the butcher to slice it for me!)
  • 1 T cooking oil for the grill (I used peanut oil)

Marinade
  • 6 T gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 3 T organic dark brown sugar
  • 2 T rice wine (mirin)
  • 1 T toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 organic onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
  • 1 organic apple, peeled and grated (I think that traditionally it's made with pears)
  • 1 t fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/8 t ground black pepper


Procedure
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade. Place the meat in a container (I used a flat, lidded glass container) and pour the sauce over the top. Hopefully the meat is completely submerged. If not, you'll need to turn the meat every couple of hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for, at least, 4 hours.

To cook, heat a grill - or grill pan on the stove - and swab with peanut oil so the meat doesn't stick. Cook the meat on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until meat is browned. Serve hot.


You can serve the bulgogi with some steamed rice and with other Korean side dishes. I offered it with gluten-free sesame noodles, kimchi, and asparagus with gochujang sauce.

Asparagus with Gochujang Sauce

Ingredients
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 T salt
  • water

Gochujang Sauce
  • 2 T gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 2 to 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 t gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 t sesame oil
  • 1/2 t sesame seeds


Procedure
Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus. Slice into 2" lengths. Blanch the asparagus in salted boiling water for 1 minute. Drain and shock with cold water. Drain again and set aside. 

Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Portion out the asparagus into serving bowls. Spoon the sauce over the asparagus. Serve immediately.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Giveaway is open to residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older. Prize will be sent after the close of the giveaway. Bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.

You may find Michigan Asparagus...
on the web

Friday, May 19, 2017

Chipped Abalone with Gochujang Dipping Sauce #CrazyIngredientChallenge


I love the idea behind the Crazy Ingredient Challenge (CIC). In the CIC, we are assigned two ingredients to cook and create. Kelly of Passion Kneaded is our fearless leader. So, here goes...
May's Crazy Ingredient Challenge = potato chips and soy sauce

Several years ago, I covered a cooking class for Edible Monterey Bay that Chef Justin Cogley led at Aubergine called 'Monterey Bay Abalone.' Click to read my piece - Abalone: Local, Delectable, and Not As Daunting as I Previously Imagined


So, when I saw that our CSF (community supported fishery) share was abalone this week, I decided to do an adaptation of our Meunière-Style Monterey Bay Abalone, adding a breading of crushed potato chips and serving it with an Asian-style dipping sauce. What a hit! Everyone asked for seconds. Ummm...sorry, we only got 6 abalone. Next time I'll order an extra package.


Ingredients serves 4
  • 6 to 8 small abalone (ours were vacuum-packed, pre-shucked and pre-tenderized)
  • 1/2 C gluten-free flour
  • 3/4 C crushed potato chips
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 T butter
  • splash of olive oil
Gochujang Sauce
  • 2 T gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste)
  • 2 to 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 2 t gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and diced
  • 1 t sesame oil

Procedure
Gochujang Sauce
Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Place the flour, beaten egg, and crushed chips in bowls. Coat each abalone in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg. Dredge in potato chips.

Melt butter in a splash of olive oil in a large, flat-bottom pan over medium-high heat. When the butter begins to foam, place the abalone in the pan.


Gently agitate the pan, allowing the butter to turn brown and give off a nutty aroma. After 2 minutes, turn the abalone and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat. 


Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.


Beetroot and Apple Soup #SoupSwappers


In January, Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm kicked off her new group: Soup Saturday Swappers. And I am hosting our May theme which is Fruit Soups.

I shared: "I am intrigued by soups made from fruits. In Iceland, they make Bláberjasúpa (blueberry soup); in Denmark, they make Abrikossuppe (Apricot Soup) and Rabarbersuppe Med Vin (Rhubarb Wine Soup). You could make gazpacho with watermelon! Would love to see what this group creates. If fruits seem too off-the-wall for you, I would consider tomatoes and squash fruit as well!"

When I first picked this, I had seen these ice bowls made with petals suspended in the frozen water and thought: Those would look beautiful with a magenta soup in them. Well, I still think that, but I ran out of time. So my "Beetroot and Apple Soup in Flowered Bowls" just became "Beetroot and Apple Soup." I'll try those bowls eventually...just not in the last month of school.


Ingredients

  • 3 large organic red beets
  • 1 large organic apple, cored, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 large organic white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
  • 3 C chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 C apple juice or apple cider
  • juice from 1 lemon (I used a Meyer lemon)
  • organic heavy whipping cream for drizzling
  • herbs for garnish (I used some fennel fronds from a salad I served with the soup)


Procedure
Scrub and trim beets. Place them in a large pot covered with water. Bring to a boil and cook until they are easily pierced with a fork.


Let cool until you can easily handle them and peel them. The peels should come off easily by just rubbing them. Cube the beets and set aside.

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Stir in the apples and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the chicken stock. Add in the beets. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Leave to cool slightly, then add the apple juice and process in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can serve it hot or chilled. I served it at room temperature.

To serve, ladle the soup into small bowls. Add a drizzle of cream and top with a small herb sprig. Serve immediately.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Miyagi Oysters with Cucumber Mignonette #FishFridayFoodies


It's time for Fish Friday Foodies' May event. We are a group of seafood-loving bloggers, rallied by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, to share fish and seafood recipes on the third Friday of the month. This is, easily, my favorite recipe sharing event of the month. I always come away with a list of recipes that I just have to try!

This month, I am hosting. Here was my challenge to the group: "Let's go raw! Share your favorite ways to eat fish raw. Think poke, ceviche, tartare!"

I had initially planned to make a raw Peruvian fish salad. But I received Miyagi oysters from our CSF, Real Good Fish this week and decided that those were perfect for a raw event!


The Miyagi oysters were fresh from Tomales Bay in Marin County just up the coast from us.  Miyagi oysters are also called Japanese oysters. These marvelous mollusks can each clean up to 50 gallons of water per day. Reefs also create habitats for hundreds of other sea creatures, such as mussels and clams that also help filter water. And these are on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch's Best Choice list.

Ingredients
  • 12 Miyagi oysters
  • breadcrumbs for plating
Cucumber Mignonette
  • 1/2 C  rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • One 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 organic Persian cucumber, peeled and minced
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • fresh cracked black pepper


Procedure
Oysters
Shuck the oysters. Steady the oysters in a dish cloth.


Insert the tip of a knife between the shell halves, and slide it around as you pry it open. Using the knife, pull the muscles away from the top, flat shell and bend the shell back. Discard it. Leave the oyster in its shell. Nestle the oysters in a bed of breadcrumbs to keep them steady. Serve immediately with cucumber mignonette.


Cucumber Mignonette
In a small mixing bowl, combine the vinegars, shallots, ginger, cucumber, maple syrup, and black pepper; whisk to combine. Serve with raw oysters.



Uganda: Chicken Luwombo and Bean Stew #CookingAroundtheWorldAdventure


May is a brutal month when I am constantly over-scheduled with the boys' schools and work. Needless to say, we haven't checked off one country per week as planned for our Cooking Around the World Adventure. But we can cross Uganda off our list! Slow and steady...we'll finish this project. Eventually.

from worldatlas.com

About Uganda...
Uganda is a landlocked country that lies just above the Equator in East Africa. Its landscape envelopes the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains as well as the immense Lake Victoria. D read that its wildlife includes chimpanzees, hippos, as well as rare birds. Just over 35 million people inhabit the country and the official languages are English and Swahili. 


On Our Plates...
I initially planned to make three dishes, but I was running late and didn't have time to stop for plantains. So, I only managed to serve two dishes from Uganda: Chicken Luwombo and a Bean Stew. Luwombo is a ubiquitous dish that is found at most traditional Ugandan ceremonies and, when it comes to Luwombo, the variations are practically limitless. All of the ingredients are simply combined and allowed to marinate in the banana leaves as they bake.


Chicken Luwombo

Ingredients serves 4, makes 8 packets
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken (cubed)
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cubed
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/4 C tomato sauce
  • 1/4 C peanut butter
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 1/4 t ground coriander
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • also needed: banana leaves and 100% cotton twine


Procedure
Place banana leaves and twine cut to 18" length on a cutting board. Set aside.

Melt butter in the olive oil and add in the onions. Cook until they are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Stir in the chicken and cook until no more pink remains. Add in the tomato sauce, peanut butter, and stock. Bring to a boil. Stir in the spices and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the sauce is thickened.

Place 1/3 C filling in the center of the banana leaf. Fold the edges of the banana leaf over the stuffing and roll the banana leaf to form a packet. Tie the packets with the twine.


Place the packets in a large pot, suspended over water. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot tightly and steam for 60 minutes. Each diner opens the banana leaf of his or her own before eating.


Serve the Luwombo hot with rice, matooke or any other side of your choice. We served it with a bean  stew and steamed brown rice.

Bean Stew

Ingredients
  • 2 C cooked beans (I used white beans)
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 C tomato sauce
  • 1/2 C stock (I used chicken stock)
  • 1/4 C fresh herbs, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Procedure
Heat oil in pan, then add the onions. Cook until the onions are softened and beginning to turn translucent. Pour in tomato sauce and stock. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Add in beans and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, adding more stock if it's too dry. Before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold in herbs.


Serve with rice.

Share Buttons