Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Roasted Peach Frozen Yogurt With Granola Crumble

I've been wanted to try my hand at frozen yogurt for a while. My mother has recently been making her own yogurt at home, from a culture she procured at a local Greek resturant. ever since I dipped my spoon into the homemade yogurt I've been itching to try so many things with it! I cannot describe how rich and tangy hers is compared to store bought versions. She recently got me a mini slow cooker so I can making the yogurt myself...1 cup at a time.

But back to the frozen yogurt. I toyed with starting by making a classic vanilla yogurt, but the ripe peaches I came across quickly changed my mind. Bringing in one of my other favorite peach desserts I opted to add a touch of cinnamon and bourbon to the mix. The granola crumble on top lets me enjoy the best of both

the recipe is my own

yields about 5 cups frozen yogurt and about 3/4 cup granola

The Ingredients:

for the Frozen Yogurt
3 ripe peaches, sliced in half and pit removed
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Bourbon
pinch of salt
1 cup plain yogurt

for the Granola Crumble
The Process:
1/2  cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp walnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 brown sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cinnamon
pinch nutmeg

The Process:
for the forzen yogurt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange the peach halves on a foil lined baking sheet, cut side up. Drizzle with honey.

Roast peaches for 20-25 minutes, or until peaches are tender. Allow to cool.

Once peaches are cool, transfer the fruit along with any pan juices to a blender or food processor. Process on high until puréed. Add the sugar, salt and yogurt and mix on low until well combined.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate over night.

for the granola crumble:
preheat oven to 350

Combine the oats, walnuts, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients and using your fingers combine until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Spread the mixture into an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the mixture is golden brown. 

Allow to cool slightly. Serve a top the frozen yogurt

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Slow Cooker Venison with Carrots

Last hunting season, a friend graciously gave us a venison roast. He openly admitted he had no idea what cut of meat he had just offered us. I love venison, but I have never had the opportunity to cook it myself. But I was up for the challenge. The meat was rich and dark and well marbled throughout. For fear of drying it out, I opted the slow cooker method. I'm hoping our friend has a successful season again this year. I'd love to try my hand at steaks on the grill. And the thought of helping him butcher the deer fascinates me as well.  When it comes to food and where what sustains us comes from, I'm really not that squeamish.

Not a game fan? This recipe will work equally as well with a beef roast. I served this up alongside oven roasted potatoes. I'm partial to the crispy skins. But if you'd rather, feel free to toss potatoes or any other root vegetable that strikes your fancy into the crock pot with the roast. It makes for a fabulous one pot dinner.

the recipe is my own

serves 4-6

The Ingredients:
2 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 to 3 lb venison roast
salt and pepper
1 lb carrots, sliced into 2-3 inch lengths
1 cup water
1 package (1.8 oz) leek or onion soup mix

The Process:
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Generously salt and pepper the roast. Sear the roast in the hot pan, 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned all over.

Transfer roast to a slow cooker along with and pan drippings. Arrange carrots around roast. Whisk soup mix into 1 cup of water and pour over the top of the roast.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Shred and serve.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pablano Polenta Stuffed Peppers

My usual course of action with several peppers on hand is to stuff them. Typically, fillings involve ground meat and rice, smothered in tomato sauce. On rare occasions an Indian inspired version comes about, using lentils or chickpeas and copious amounts of cumin and garam masala. This tex-mex corn-centric version is a first for me. I blame the endless sea of sweet corn we were blessed with late this summer.

adapted from Martha Stewart's Polenta Stuffed Peppers and Stuffed Poblano Peppers

serves 4-6

The Ingredients:
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 pablano pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup coarse cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
2 ears of corn
1 1/2 cup shredded monteray jack cheese
4 bell peppers, halved, stem and seeds removed

The Process:
In a large saucepan set over medium heat, melt 1 Tbsp of butter. Add the poblano, onion and garlic.  Sautee util tender, 2-3 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil.

Slowly whisk in the cornmeal, salt, pepper and cumin. Reduce to a simmer. Whisk frequently until the polenta thickens, about 5 minutes. Add additional water as needed. Remove from heat and fold in the remaining butter, corn kernel, and half of the cheese. Stir until cheese and butter has melted. Season with addition salt, pepper and cumin to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375

Arrange the pepper halves in a large shallow baking dish. Spoon the polenta into the peppers.  Add 1/2 of water to the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with foil.

Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle the peppers with remaining cheese. Return dish to oven and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the peppers are tender.

Serve garnished with salsa and cilantro.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Skillet Corn Cakes

Corn, corn and more corn. But this time, for breakfast!

These cakes, fritters or patties (what you will) are quite lovely served with fried or poached eggs...runny yolks soaking into the cornmeal...


adpated from Cookie Monster Cooking

serves 4

The Ingredients:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsps baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup milk
3 ears corn, shucked and and kernels removed
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil, divided

The Process:
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.

In a second bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Fold in the corn kernels and green onions.

Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches,  spoon 1/4 cup amounts of batter into the skillet, flatten each dollop slightly. Cook 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.

Serve hot, with salsa or garnish of your choice.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tomato Beet Salad with Balsamic Dressing

This dish is in the run for one of the most colorful salads of all time. Just look at it! What a perfect way to show of those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes! Sungolds, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Valencia...

And any number of vibrant beets.  Wouldn't chioggia beets be pretty on this platter?

This is why I love my CSA.

adapted from Martha Stewart

serves 2

The Ingredients:
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 
1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar  
3-4 small beets, scrubbed (about 1/2 lb)
2-3 large heirloom tomatoes (about 1 lb)
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
2-3 Tbsps crumbled feta
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

The Process:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

In a small jar, combine the oil and vinegar. Seal tightly and shake until well blended. 

Trim the tops and root tip off of the beets. Wrap beets in foil and bake, 50-60 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, rub beets with a paper towel to remove skins. Slice crosswise 1/4 inch thick. 

Slice the tomatoes, and halve cherry tomatoes.  Arrange with beets on a platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with feta, cilantro, and drizzle with balsamic dressing. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Zucchini Muffins with Feta

I have a slightly hard time calling these muffins. Zucchini muffins should be sweet and spiced, right? Like carrot cake and pumpkin bread and other vegetables parading around in baked good form. Yes, they are shaped like muffins. And certainly they fit the baked goods mold. But the savory factor throws me. Apparently cornmeal muffins are acceptable, but these? My brain is trying to tell me, no, these are biscuits. But they are far to moist and tender to be biscuits.

And I will make them again.

adapted from Chilly Frosting

yields 12 muffins

The Ingredients
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup milk
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 large or 2 small zucchini, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly oil a miffin tin, or line with paper liners.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper.

In a second bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.

Fold the zucchini and feta into the batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling about 2/3 full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tin to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Corn Dog Fritters

Corn dogs are a guilty pleasure of mine. With mustard. Always with mustard. This portable meal is not something I would consider making at home. Until now. This recipe is state fair food at its finest, in bite-size form! On-a-stick optional.

adapted from Mantitlement

yields 15-20 fritters

The Ingredients
canola or vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed
3 all beef hot dogs, diced

The Process:
Fill a large, heavy-bottomed deep-sided saucepan half way full of oil. Bring oil to 375 degrees.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk and melted butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined. Fold in the corn kernels and diced hot dog.

Working in batches, gently drop the batter by heaping tablespoon into the oil. Fry 2-3 minutes, turning once, until the batter is cooked through and golden brown.

Remove to a paper towel lined cooling rack and immedieately sprinkle with a touch of salt.

Serve hot, with condiments of your choice.