Posts tagged ‘oregano’

February 28, 2011

Purple and Sweet Potato Hash with Garlicky Kale and Soft Eggs – Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan, White Truffle Oil and Gremolata – Perfect Blueberry Scones

Purple and Sweet Potato Hash with Garlicky Kale and Soft Eggs

Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan, White Truffle Oil and Gremolata

Blueberry Scones

Blueberry Scones
Recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

It is important to work the dough as little as possible—work quickly and knead and fold the dough only the number of times called for. The butter should be frozen solid before grating. In hot or humid environments, chill the flour mixture and work bowls before use. While the recipe calls for 2 whole sticks of butter, only 10 tablespoons are actually used (see step 1). If fresh berries are unavailable, an equal amount of frozen berries (do not defrost) can be substituted. An equal amount of raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries can be used in place of the blueberries. Cut larger berries into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces before incorporating. Refrigerate or freeze leftover scones, wrapped in foil, in an airtight container. To serve, remove foil and place scones on a baking sheet in a 375-degree oven. Heat until warmed through and recrisped, 8 to 10 minutes if refrigerated, 16 to 20 minutes if frozen. See final step for information on making the scone dough in advance.

Ingredients
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), frozen whole (see note above)
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries (about 7 1/2 ounces), picked over (see note)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), plus additional for work surface
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces), plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Score and remove half of wrapper from each stick of frozen butter. Grate unwrapped ends on large holes of box grater (you should grate total of 8 tablespoons). Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tablespoons of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Save remaining 6 tablespoons butter for another use. Place blueberries in freezer until needed.
2. Whisk together milk and sour cream in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.
3. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.
4. Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Following illustrations, fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metal spatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.
5. Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.
6. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
To Make Ahead:
After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow directions in step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees, follow directions in step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes.

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Purple and Sweet Potato Hash- I don’t eat a lot of potatoes, but I love potato hash. You can use any type of potato or root vegetable and load it up with whatever is leftover in the fridge, the combinations are endless. If your feeling more carnivorous, this would also be great with braised short ribs or roasted chicken. I usually braise my greens, but by steaming them they hold more of their nutritional goodness (see here and here). This is one of those dishes that gets better the next day, I like to reheat it in a pan on the stove top to re-crisp the potatoes. The Roasted Spaghetti Squash is a perfect example of how amazing a dish can be by using only a few, quality ingredients. It’s so funny to see the look on Tom’s (the hubby) face when certain vegetables enter the house. First it’s the question of “is that a…..?” followed by “ohhh”, as I watch his body deflate as if to say “oh no, I hope that’s not for dinner?”. I’m happy to report he really liked this dish, maybe the cheese had a little to do with it. Blueberry Scones- If you’re not familiar with Cooks Illustrated, you should pick up a copy, I adore this magazine. I learn something new every time I read it (confession; I’m a bit of a food-geek). They’ll cook a dish hundreds of times if necessary, until they feel it’s perfect. I posted their recipe here in its entirety, there’s no room for improvement.

February 22, 2011

Two Salads and a Mandolin

Fresh Zucchini Salad with Avocado, Toasted Almonds and Feta

Fennel, Orange and Walnut Salad with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette

I haven’t always liked the mandolin; it scared me, for the obvious reason – it can seriously hurt you! One of my first positions out of culinary school was at an amazing restaurant in Los Angeles. I dreamed about working at this place. I started in the pantry station (salads, hot and cold appetizers, pretty much the bottom of the brigade, but boy was I happy to be there!). One of the first jobs the Chef gave me was to slice a case of Brussels Sprouts. That’s probably the equivalent of the entire display at the grocery store, and I was to use a mandolin, gulp.

But why couldn’t I have just used my knife? “No, they need to be shaved extremely thin, like only a mandolin can do.” Surely this must have been a test. She could have easily given the job to one of the more experienced Chefs, who could do the job in a fraction of the time, blindfolded. This was one of those defining kitchen moments that would determine my destiny. If I’d failed, I’d have been humiliated and sentenced to peeling potatoes and chopping mushrooms for the duration of my stay.

So there I was, the newbie, and the only female on the hot line, sweating, not from the extreme heat but because of all the eyes fixed on me, giggling to themselves. They probably had bets going to see how long it would take me to get rushed to the hospital, quit, throw something or even worse – cry! Did I mention this was a non-paying internship?

Well, failure wasn’t an option, so I put on a triple layer of latex gloves, took a deep breath, put my head down and shoveled through the case, one by one. I survived with only minor injuries, which I kept to myself.

I’m not big on kitchen gadgets, I use very few of them. But the ones I own, I use all the time, and the mandolin is one of them. It’s a time saver that makes beautiful, uniform slices and ribbons of any size, from paper thin radishes for salads to potatoes, perfect to scallop or fry into chips. Few of us can manage this with a knife, and for the rest, there’s a mandolin. If you’re not already using a mandolin, I encourage you to pick one up. You may consider getting a pair of cut resistant gloves, because you can never be too careful. In my opinion, the Japanese Benriner is the best, it’s scary sharp, lightweight and for $20, the price is right! (click here for more info)

I received this amazingly fresh Zucchini and Fennel in my CSA share this week, and immediately knew I wanted to use them in salads, uncooked. These are bright, summery salads, and judging by the horrific weather a lot of you are having this winter, I hope it brightens your day a bit.

Fresh Zucchini Salad with Avocado, Feta and Almonds:
I was so excited to unwrap the ginormus, New York Times Cook Book for Christmas. One of the first recipes I flipped to was called “Zucchini Carpaccio,” it sounded perfect. I’ve adapted it a bit. I didn’t have pistachios or the oil, but I did have slivered almonds and almond oil, and thought a firm salty feta would be a nice addition. I also added the Thyme to the Zucchini as it marinated, I wanted the Thyme to have a chance to marry with the rest of the flavors in the dish, instead of adding it at the end as the recipe suggests. I have to say, this is one of the best salads I’ve had in a long time.

Fennel and Orange Salad with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette:
I used the Tangelos and Lemons from my share, but any orange or tangerine will work great. If you don’t have a lemon, white wine or champagne vinegar will do the trick. I added the fennel fronds and fennel seeds to bring out the full flavor of the fennel. The smokiness of the Paprika plays well with the sweet tangelos and tart lemons.

February 13, 2011

Getting Comfy with Your CSA (Community Supported Agriculture)

Hi and welcome to my first post! I thought I’d kick things off with a series featuring my CSA shares (for more info. on all the great reasons to join a Community Supported Agriculture group click here).

If you already belong to a CSA, are thinking of joining one, or have shamefully quit due to defeat by the overwhelming amount of Brussels Sprouts that kept showing up in your box, this will be a fun series of posts to follow. I’ll chronicle my next several shares, writing recipes based on what I get. So, follow along with your shares, or pick up some seasonal veggies at your farmers market, local grocery store, or just check in to see that the heck I’m going to do with all the Brussels Sprouts. I promise I’ll figure out a way to make them taste great.

A peek inside box #1


(Local Florida Strawberries, Eggs, Blueberries, Local Minneola Tangelos, Fair Trade Bananas, Purple Potatoes, Lacinato Kale, Zucchini, Spaghetti Squash, Romaine Lettuce, Fennel, Garlic and Oregano)


Upcoming Menu, stay tuned.

Brown Butter Roasted Strawberries
Blueberry Scones
Fennel, Orange and Walnut Salad with Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette
Fresh Zucchini Salad with Avocado, Toasted Almonds and Feta
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Parmesan, White Truffle Oil and Gremolata
Purple and Sweet Potato Hash with Garlicky Kale and Soft Eggs

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