Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chioggia Beet Chips

Fewer vegetables are as pretty as chioggia beets. Those vibrant alternating stripes of white and red. Even baked to a crisp they keep their festive look. And in chip form, even the beet haters can't help but try one. I can't say these chips will convert them, but it is a step in the right direction.

adapted from Martha Strewart

yields 3-4 servings

The Ingredients:
3-4 medium beets
1 tsp olive oil
sea salt

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 350.

Thinnly slice the beets about 1/16" thick, using a sharp knife or mandoline.  Toss beets with olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. work in batches if necessary. Sprinkle generously with salt.

Bake, 5-7 minutes and flip. Bake an additional 5-7 minutes removing chips that are beginning crisp. Continue to cook remaining chips 2-3 minutes a time, flippine regularly, until all have begun to brown.  Allow to cool on a wire rack. The chips will continue to crisp up as they cool.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I always seem to have too many bananas on hand. So when I came across this recipe I had not choice but to give it a try. Not only did the muffins call for a whopping 5, FIVE! bananas, it also incorporated peanut butter. As a child I loved spreading peanut butter onto bananas. Why I never thought to bake with this combination until now is beyond me.

Of course, now I want to try this recipe out with a healthy dose of bacon. Viva Las Vegas!

adapted from American Heritage Cooking

yields 15 muffins

The Ingredients:
For the Muffins
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup Greek yogurt
½ cup chunky peanut butter
5 overripe bananas
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tps baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

For the Streusel
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp peanut butter

The Process:
Pre-heat the oven to 350°.

Line 15 standard muffin tins with liners.

For the Streusel:
In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar and cinnamon. Add the peanut butter and mix with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Refrigerate until ready to use.

for the Muffins:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the sugar with the butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the yogurt, bananas peanut butter and vanilla. Mix on medium until well combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Using a spatula fold the dry ingredients into the wet, , scraping the bottom with each fold, until just combined. Do not to over mix!

Fill each muffin tin to the upper edge of the liner. Crumble a generous portion of the streusel topping onto each muffin, pressing down slightly.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean

Allow the muffins to cool 5 minutes in pans before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Banana Pepper, Kale and Summer Squash Frittata

CSA veggies make for some of the best breakfasts! This recipe seems like a lot of produce. And it is. But most of the vegetables cook down quite a bit and are mixed up with just enough egg to hold the whole thing together.

A word of caution on using banana peppers...some a ridiculously hot, others are quite mild. You really won't know until you try a bite, so don't toss a whole pepper or two into the frittata willy-nilly. Wearing gloves is recommended when dealing with any spicy pepper. At the very least, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands prior to touching your face. Pepper spray is incredibly effective for a reason...

adapted from a recipe courtesy of Driftless Organics

serves 2

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, divided
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 summer squash, coarsely grated
1 banana pepper, coarsely chopped
2-3 leaves of kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

The Process:
Preheat the broiler and adjust the oven rack to about 4" below.

Melt 1 Tbsp of the butter in a 8" cast iron skillet set over medium heat. Add the garlic and squash and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the banana pepper and satuee an additional minute.  Add the kale and thyme, cook until the kale is just beginning to wilt. Add the remaining butter and swirl to coat the pan.

Pour in the eggs, swirling the pan to distrubute them evenly. Reduce heat to low and cook 2-3 minutes, or until the edges have begun to set. Sprinkle with feta and place under the broiler.

Broil until the top of the frittata is set and is begining to brown, 3-4 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Cucumber, Edamame and Tuna Salad with Garlic Thyme Vinaigrette

Sometimes it's the simple things in life that bring the most pleasure. Of course this salad had the added bonus of putting a dent in my ever growing crop of cucumbers.

the recipe is my own

serves 2

The Ingredients:
1 - 5 oz can tuna, drained
1/2 cup edamame, shelled
2 small cucumbers, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup feta, crumbled

The Process:
In a medium bowl, toss together the tuna, edamame, and cucumbers.

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme and salt. Adjust to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Drizzle vinaigrette over salad, and toss to coat. Top with feta.

Serve immediately

Friday, August 22, 2014

Garlic Butter Shrimp over Quinoa and Spinach

I'm pretending this is a healthy dish, paraded over a bed of quinoa. But it's really not. It's shrimp drenched in garlic butter. No, it does not compare to the wonder that is Giovanni's Shrimp Truck on the North Shore of Oahu. But few shrimp dishes are. I'll take what tasty seafood I can get in this land locked state.

adapted from Pinch of Yum

The Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
7-9 cloves of garlic, minced, divided
1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 tsp chili powder, divided
3 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
4 cups fresh spinach, torn
4 cups vegetable or shrimp stock (save those shells for just this purpose!)
6 Tbsp salted butter, divided
1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 Tbsp dry white wine
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley for serving
lemon wedges for serving

The Process:
Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cloves of the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes more, or until fragrant. Add the uncooked quinoa and ½ teaspoon chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently for another 1 minute until the quinoa is coated in chili and oil. Add the broth, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.  Add the spinach during the last 2-3 minutes cooking and steam until wilted. Fluff with a fork and toss with parsley.

While the quinoa is cooking, melt 1 Tbsp of the butter in a large skillet over medium high-heat.  Add the shrimp and remaining 1 tsp chili powder. Cook until the shrimp are opaque, 3-4 minutes. Add 2-3 minced cloves of garlic and swirl around in the pan until the garlic is fragrant.

In a small saucepan over medium-heat, melt the remaining 5 Tbsp butter.  Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Whisk in the dry white wine.

To serve, layer the quinoa mixture into the bottom of a casserole and top with a layer of the shrimp. Top with chopped parsley and drizzle with garlic butter. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Strawberry Banana Mini Muffins

Everyone has their "perfect" banana bread recipe. Mine fluctuates all of the time, though I too have settled on a favorite. But never will I claim to have the best, or most moist, or "to die for" recipe. Tastes are far too complex and too many wonderful variations exist for me attempt to exult a recipe.

However, one thing I do love to do is use previously frozen bananas. I never get  around to eating our bananas before they become over ripe. By the time I do notice, usually I'm in no mood to turn them into baked goods. So into the freezer the freckled fruits go, to be used at my leisure. When ready, I defrost them for an hour or so on the counter. Of course now the bananas are an unappealing brown mass. Peeled and plopped into the recipe they are oozing with sweet fragrant juice. I've heard some microwave their bananas to yield similar results. To each their own.

UN-frozen overripe bananas will work equally as well.

 The recipe is my own

Yields 36 mini muffins or 12 regular sized muffins

The Ingredients
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil   
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 over ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup strawberries, finely diced 

The Process
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly oil the mini muffins tins.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oil, sugar, flours, bananas, baking soda, salt and vanilla. Stir until just combined. Fold in the strawberries.

Spoon by heaping Tbsps into the prepared mini muffin tins.  Bake for 10-14 minutes,  or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer muffins from the tin to a wire rack to cool.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Snap Pea and Cucumber Salad with Radish and Dill

Veggies, veggies, everywhere! This salad is a nice change of pace from the usual mayo and pasta heavy side dishes at the summer's frequent potlucks and BBQs. And yet another wonderful excuse to use up the bounty of our CSA box!

This may be the last of the snap and sugar peas of the season. Which is truly a pity. Out of all of our farm's bounty, I love to snack on the sugar peas the most. They were plentiful this year, but we went through them before I had a change to blanche and freeze any for the winter. Ah well. Enjoy them while they are fresh!

The salad is sturdy enough to endure a day in the sun, unlike it's mayo laden brethren. However, after a day of so, the peas do begin to pickle and loose their vibrant green color. Do try to eat this salad up as quickly as possible!

adapted from Giada De Laurentiis' recipe on Food Network

serves 4-6

The Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 small cucumbers, quarted and cut into 1/2-inch bites
1 small bunch of radishes, trimmed, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup dill
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

The Process:
Prep a large bowl full of water and ice. Set aside. 
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the snap peas and cook until vibrant green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the peas into a colander and immediately transfer to the bowl of ice water. This stops the residual heat in the peas from continuing to cook them. Leave the peas in the ice water for 2 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a larger serving bowl. 

Quarter the cucumbers legthenwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices. Trim the tops and tips from the radishes. Cut each in half lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Add the cucumber, radish and dill to the salad bowl and toss with the peas to combine. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and zest with the oil until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Chill until ready to serve.