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 restaurant. 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 Tbsp Bourbon
pinch of salt
1 cup plain yogurt, NOT fat free

for the Granola Crumble
The Process:
1/2  cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp pecans, 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 frozen 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,cinnamon,  bourbon and yogurt and mix on low until well combined.

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

Using an ice cream maker, freeze the chilled base according to the manufacturer's directions. Serve immediately for a soft serve yogurt, or chill in the freezer for 2-3 hours for a firmer frozen yogurt.

for the granola crumble:
preheat oven to 350

Combine the oats, pecans, 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.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sweet Corn Risotto

I find something very soothing about making risotto. The slow additions of broth, the constant stirring. This dish has the added bonus of using up the last of the summers bounty of sweet corn.

I still have a few additional corn recipes in the works though...fritters, sweet corn cupcakes and chowder all come to mind.

adapted from Food and Wine

serves 2-3

The Ingredients:
1 ear of corn, shucked 
3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup Pilsner or saison (or dry white wine if you must)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

The Process:
Cut the corn from the cob: Place an ear of corn, base side down, on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, start at the top and cut downward with a gentle sawing motion, cutting corn from the cob at about two-thirds the depth of the kernels. Continue cutting until all of the corn is removed. Set the corn kernels aside.

In a medium sauce pan, add the stock along with the corn cob. Heat to a gentle simmer. Keep warm.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and sauté
until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir to coat evenly.

Slowly pour in the beer.  Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer, stirring continuously.  Once the beer has been absorbed, add the warm chicken stock, one ladle full at a time, allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next.  Patience is key.  Stir gently and continuously.

Once about half of the stack has been absorbed, add the corn kernels. Continue to add the stock as before. Discard the corn cob after the last of the stock has been added to the risotto.
Once the last of the stock has been absorbed, the rice should be creamy in texture and slightly al dente. Stir in the butter and the Parmesan cheese.  Remove the risotto from the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Thai Cucmuber Salad

This is the last of the Thai inspired recipes. At least for a little while. I really can't make any promises.

The search for this recipe was inspired by the continuous onslaught of cucumbers from our CSA farm. If only they sent us slightly smaller cucs...I'm itching to try a few fermented pickle recipes...

Ever notice the trends the circulate among food blogs? Paleo and vegan diets are dominating my news feed. And the spiral cutter was all the rage this summer. Zucchini pasta anyone?

I don't buy the hype. Just let me get to the tasty food...

adapted from She Knows

serves 4

The Ingredients:
2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
2-3 Tbsp cup toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

The Porcess:
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, cilantro and sesame seeds.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle the dressing over the cucumbers and toss to coat.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Kale and Carrot Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

CSA veggies, meet Thai. I have no apologies anymore.

Vegan and gluten-free. Dear lord this seems so unlike me...

The original recipe calls for creamy peanut butter. I used crunchy because it is what I had on hand. Personally, I enjoy the extra bit of texture. And the almond milk is unnecessary. The other ingredients pack so much flavor, you need only add a touch of water to thin it to your desired consistency. Adjust the heat level to your personal taste by using more or less Sriracha.

adapted from Running to the Kitchen

serves 4

The Ingredients:
3 cups carrot, shredded or julienned
2 cups thinly sliced kale
3 Tbsps peanut butter
1 -1 1/2 tsp sriracha
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ tsp olive oil
1 tsp lime juice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp freshly grated ginger
2-3 Tbsp water
salt to taste
1- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

The Process:
In a large bowl, combine the carrots and kale.

In a small bowl whisk together the peanut butter, sriracha, sesame oil, olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup and ginger. Add water 1 Tbsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Season with salt to taste.

Drizzle the peanut butter dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Curried Chickpea and Carrot Salad

The Thai food has returned. I warned you a string of these recipes was coming...

With the heat of summer at its apex, avoiding the heat of the kitchen is a must. But the need to prepare food calls. This recipe is prefect for those sweltering days. No hot ovens or stove tops. And it comes together in a flash

adapted from Vegan Yack Attack

serves 4

The Ingredients:
2 - 14.5 oz cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp curry powder
The Process
In a large bowl toss together the garbanzo beans, carrots, cabbage and raisins. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add additional water as necessary to thin. 

Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Chocolate Milk Stout BBQ Ribs with Mole Spice Rub

Chocolate, beer and barbecue don't seem like an obvious pairing, but trust me on this one. Do you like mole sauce? How about chocolate milk stout? dark roasty beers have an affinity for roasted and grilled meats. Stouts and Porters also love chocolate. See? The combination isn't so crazy after all.

These ribs are brilliant on the grill, if you are a master at the low and slow. They are equally as tasty slow roasted in the oven.

The recipe is my own

serves 4

The Ingredients:
1 rack (2 1/2-3 lbs) pork ribs

for the rub
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cocoa powder
pinch cayenne pepper

for the sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp oil
1 can tomato paste
1 cup chocolate milk stout
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T cocoa powder
2 tsp paprika
1 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
1 tsp salt

The Process:
For the rub
Combine the spices.

Rub the mixture on both sides of ribs. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

for the sauce
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Whisk the remaining ingredients into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until ready to use.

for the ribs
Preheat the oven to 250 

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the seasoned ribs on top. Brush with BBQ sauce and roast in the preheated oven, turning ribs and brushing with BBQ sauce every 30-45 minutes until fork tender, about 4 hours.

Allow to rest 10-15 minutes before serving

Serve with remaining Mole Stout BBQ sauce

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Thai Coconut Curry Lentil Bake

I must apologize in advance. I'm on a bit of a Thai kick. Between the flaked coconut, curry pastes, fish sauce, cilantro and lime juice I have on hand, Thai seems like an obvious choice.

adapted from Amuse You Bouche

serves 3-4

The Ingredients:
1 cup brown lentils
3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 de chili de abrol, crushed
2 slices of day old bread, torn into chunks
½ Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp Thai green curry paste

The Porcess
Add the lentils to a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.
Pour the 3/4 cup boiling water over the coconut. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a blender or food processor, combine the bread, garlic and chili. Pulse until an even crumb forms. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss to evenly coat.
Preheat the oven to 375.
Drain the lentils. In a casserole or baking dish, combine the lentils, coconut-water mixture, and curry paste. Sprinkle generously with seasoned bread crumbs. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the topping begins to brown.