Saturday, June 4, 2016

Provençal Soupe au Pistou

Even thought this seems complicated at first glance, this recipe from Saveur is easy. If you can't find or don't like pancetta, you can substitute cubed chicken breast that's been sauteed in olive oil if desired.

For the Pistou
4 cups packed basil
1 cup grated parmesan
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 plum tomato, cored

For the Soup
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 oz. pancetta, minced
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1⁄2 medium zucchini, chopped
1⁄4 head Savoy cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
8 cups chicken stock
7 whole peeled canned tomatoes, chopped
1⁄3 cup broken dried spaghetti
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions
Make the pistou: Process basil, parmesan, oil, salt, garlic, and tomato in a food processor until finely ground. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside.

Heat oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; add pancetta and cook, stirring often, until fat has rendered, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onions, reduce heat to medium; cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, 12–15 minutes. Add zucchini and cabbage; cook, covered, until wilted, 3–5 minutes. Add stock and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Mash half the beans with a fork; add to soup along with whole beans—cook until warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls; serve with pistou dolloped on top.

Eli Zabar's Egg Salad

Great recipe from the New York Times! I have started getting recipes from the times in my Facebook feed and this one is a hit! I never really liked egg salad but something sounded good about this. It's so simple. I replaced the mayonnaise with greek yogurt and it was really, really good.

INGREDIENTS
8 large eggs
⅓ cup mayonnaise
 Salt
 pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
4 slices bread

PREPARATION
Put the eggs in a medium pan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Place pan in the sink under cold running water until the eggs are cool.

Peel the eggs. Remove the yolks from 4 of them (save the whites for another use). Chop the 4 yolks with the 4 remaining whole eggs.

In a medium bowl, gently and quickly mix the chopped eggs, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the dill, mix the egg salad once more, and make into sandwiches.



Monday, April 18, 2016

Beef Posole

I have decided that Hispanic Kitchen is a great website for recipes and here is another good one. There is a wide variety of recipes from all of the Central and South American countries.

If you don't have a slow cooker, you can use a dutch oven and simmer for 8 hours.

Ingredients:

1 medium sweet onion, diced
1½ pounds to 1¾ pounds of beef back ribs or short ribs (if the ribs are whole, I cut them down into individual portions)
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
3 large Roma tomatoes, diced
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 serrano peppers, minced
1 large poblano pepper, diced
1/3 to 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cups hominy, cooked
5 cups broth (I used half chicken and half beef, low sodium)
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Garnish:
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/3 cup diced onions
1 avocado sliced
1 lemon or lime, sliced into wedges
Chile limon seasoning or red pepper flakes, optional
*all garnishes are optional, according to what you like

Directions:

Layer all of the ingredients in the order listed in a 5 quart slow cooker. Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours. Stir well to combine all of the ingredients taste for salt, garnish with your favorite toppings.

POKE (poh-key)

I know this recipe from Bon Appetit seems like a lot, but really it's very straight forward and super yummy. You don't even have to make the mayonnaise and it still tastes great. I use regular brown rice instead of sushi rice and it comes out wonderful. If you are concerned about getting good quality raw fish at your local super market, buy tuna or sword fish or any other solid-flesh fish that will hold it's shape when cut into cubes and cook the fish on medium-high to high heat in sesame oil. 

To make this recipe gluten-free, use Tamari instead of regular soy sauce.

1. The Tuna

Use quality fish from a source you trust. To make four bowls, buy ¾ lb. tuna (avoid bluefin in favor of sustainably caught albacore or skipjack) and cut into ½” pieces. (If you don’t eat raw fish, use cooked salmon.)

You don’t have to take a food-service safety seminar to serve uncooked tuna at home. Just keep these tips in mind. First, when shopping, look for the term “Sushi Grade”: It either means that the fish is impeccably fresh, or that it’s been deep-frozen to kill bacteria. (Don’t balk at frozen; even fancy sushi spots in Tokyo serve it.) When in doubt, ask your fishmonger if he’d eat it raw. Once home, remove the fish from its packaging, pat it dry, wrap in plastic, then chill, ideally below 40°. (Try refrigerating the wrapped fish on a bed of ice.) Finally, when it comes to slicing, follow these steps:

a. On a clean cutting board—important, as fish picks up “off” flavors—use a sharp knife to slice your 1″-thick slab of tuna against the grain into ½”-thick pieces.

b. Stack three pieces on top of one another and slice lengthwise so that you have long, thin strips. Repeat with remaining pieces of tuna.

c. Align a few strips and carefully slice crosswise into a neat ½” dice. If not dressing for poké immediately, cover and chill until ready to serve.

2. The Seaweed

Plump strands of marinated seaweed add oceanic depth to every bite. Rehydrate 2 Tbsp. dried hijiki (seaweed) in ½ cup cold water until softened, 30–35 minutes. Drain and mix with 1 Tbsp. mirin, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, and ½ tsp. sesame seeds. Let sit 5 minutes, then drain.

3. The Pickles

Silky tuna needs a crunchy counterpart. Whisk ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 ½ tsp. salt, and 2 Tbsp. water in a bowl. Slice ¼ English cucumber into half-moons, toss with a pinch of salt, and squeeze to expel water. Add to brine with 1 sliced jalapeño. Let sit 10–60 minutes; drain.

4. The Rice

Warm, fluffy rice makes it a meal. Cook 2 cups sushi rice in lightly salted water according to directions. Serve warm.

5. The Dressing

A bright ponzu sauce is key to getting the ingredients to play nicely. Combine ¼ cup mixed citrus juice (such as lime, lemon, and grapefruit), 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. white (or more regular) soy sauce, 2 Tbsp. mirin, and 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil in a small bowl.

6. The Assembly

Toss together tuna, seaweed, pickles, and ponzu sauce. Divide rice and tuna mixture among bowls, then go topping crazy. We like thinly sliced scallion greens, diced avocado, sesame seeds, and a spoonful of tobiko. To get the spicy-tuna-roll effect, mix some sambal oelek into mayonnaise and add a dollop to each bowl.

Goat Cheese with Sumac and Mint

This recipe showed up in an rss feed. I'm not sure I did this correctly and it really didn't taste all that amazeballs. I don't know how to store it and how to let it "steep" so that the cheese absorbs the flavors of the mint and sumac. Every time I put it into the refrigerator it becomes a solid mass of unappetizing congealed oil with dots of mint and sumac powder. It's just odd. I guess I have to leave it on the counter but that seems counter-intuitive and I am not one to get overly concerned about germs. I will eventually try it again and I will remember to just leave the sealed jar out on the counter.

The recipe is approximate and indicative. Use as much mint and sumac as you like the taste of. I find that trying to slice a cold log of goat cheese resulted in crumbles rather than discs. So, let it warm on the counter for at least half hour until it has softened around the outside before slicing. But if you waited too long and it has thawed completely, then wait to firm it up a bit before slicing, so it does not get mushy on you.

8 oz fresh goat's cheese log, softened

3/4 - 1 cup light olive oil (extra virgin)

~ 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, julienned

~ 1 T sumac

Cut the log in to ~ 1 inch discs. In a jar pour some olive oil at the base. Add the first disc in. Sprinkle with sumac and fresh mint. Top with olive oil. Add the next disc. Repeat the process and finish with enough oil to reach the lip of the last cheese slice.

Snap Peas, Green Beans, Arugula Mint Pesto

This recipe is by Claire Saffitz and originally published in Bon Appetit.

This is a perfect spring/summer bbq side dish!

Ingredients

½ cup raw skin-on almonds
1 garlic clove, finely grated
2 cups (lightly packed) baby arugula
2 ounces Parmesan, shaved, divided
1 cup mint leaves, plus more for serving
⅓ cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 ounces sugar snap peas
12 ounces green and/or wax beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Lemon wedges (for serving)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until fragrant and slightly darkened in color, 8–10 minutes. Let cool, then coarsely chop half of almonds and set aside. Pulse remaining almonds with garlic, arugula, half of Parmesan, and 1 cup mint in a food processor to a smooth paste. With motor running, stream in oil; thin with 2 Tbsp. cold water to reach a pourable consistency. Season pesto with salt and pepper.

Cook peas and beans in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water and chill until cold. Drain peas and beans; pat dry with paper towels. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and 3 Tbsp. pesto; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange peas and beans in a large bowl or platter over remaining pesto. Top with more mint leaves, reserved almonds, and remaining Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Do Ahead: Peas and beans can be blanched 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Roast Turkey with Polenta Stuffing

This recipe comes from Food and Wine. It's a really good recipe and was a big hit for Thanksgiving. The polenta is also a great change from traditional stuffing. Be warned, it makes a lot of stuffing but it's really good so it's not such a hardship. ;)

INGREDIENTS

STUFFING

6 cups water
6 cups turkey or chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and meat crumbled
2 cups finely chopped onion (1 large onion)
1 cup finely diced carrot (2 medium carrots)
1 cup finely diced celery (3 celery ribs)
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, such as oyster and cremini, quartered
3 cups fine polenta (not instant)
6 thyme sprigs
4 sage sprigs
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

TURKEY
8 thyme sprigs
6 sage sprigs
One 14- to 16-pound turkey, butterflied
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt
Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

MAKE THE STUFFING In a medium saucepan, bring the water and stock just to a simmer over moderately 
high heat. Keep hot over very low heat.

In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and just cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl. 


Add the onion, carrot, celery and a generous pinch of salt to the pot and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.

Return the sausage to the pot, then stir in the polenta, thyme, sage and bay leaves. Very gradually stir in the hot stock and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring frequently, until the polenta is tender and thick, 45 to 50 minutes. Pick 
out and discard the thyme, sage and bay leaves. Stir in the cheese and season the polenta with salt and pepper.

Spoon 3 cups of the polenta into a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Scrape the remaining polenta dressing into a large baking dish, cover with foil and keep at room temperature.

PREPARE THE TURKEY Preheat the oven to 425°. Set a flat rack on a large rimmed baking sheet and spread the thyme and sage sprigs on it. Run your fingers under the turkey’s breast and thigh skin to loosen it, then stuff the pureed polenta under the skin. Brush the turkey with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the rack breast side up and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes. 


Roast the turkey for about 1 hour and 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast registers 155° and in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°. Transfer to a carving board and let rest in 
a warm place for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the oven, warm the polenta dressing in the baking dish for 20 minutes. Carve the turkey; serve with the dressing.

MAKE AHEAD
The recipe can be prepared through Step 5 and refrigerated overnight. Rewarm the pureed polenta before stuffing under the skin, adding water to thin it slightly if necessary. Reheat the polenta dressing before serving.