Thursday, March 29, 2007

Dandelion Greens

From Tuttifoodie
When: March, for the best of the pick
How: Look for the smallest, most tender bunch of leaves.

Chop off the tough stems. Rinse the leaves well, in cold water, and shake off the excess. Then—to mellow their delectably bitter bite—sauté the leaves with a few handfuls of fresh spinach, a clove of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger and a tablespoon each of sesame oil and soy sauce.

Why: From the French word for lion's tooth (dent-de-lion), these craggy greens have a sharp, earthy, tangy flavor that'll wake up your mouth.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Sauteed Shrimp

It's better to do this in steps, get the ingredients together, mix the aromatics first, cook the shrimp, and assemble the salad.


1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (I got largish ones, 11-12 to a pound)
1 shallot chopped finely (reserve 1/2 tsp for aromatics)
2 cloves garlic smashed and minced (reserve 1/2 tsp for aromatics)
2 Tblsp avocado oil (I just got a bottle and am trying it out, you could also use Olive Oil)
1/4 cup chicken stock

1 chipotle pepper (I used the canned one with a little of the sauce)
3 Tblsp avocado oil
1 Tblsp chopped green onion
3 Tblsp sherry vinegar
1/2 tsp each garlic and shallots
2 Tblsp chopped cilantro


1/2 avocado, cubed
1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded, sliced
1/4 bellpepper, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups of mixed greens (I used Newman's Own Organics Herb Salad which included tatsoi, chard, mizuna, baby mustard, baby arugula and was crisp and peppery)
Splash of your favorite vinaigrette (I used Girards champagn vinaigrette with an extra splash of lemon)
toss everything together
salt and black pepper to taste
fresh lime juice to finish

To Cook the Shrimp

Heat the 2 Tblsp Olive in a saute pan on medium, add the shallots and cook until tender (3-5 minutes), lower heat slightly and add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Increase heat to med-high, add the shrimp and stock, cook 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium, mix the aromatics in, stirring well until the chipotle melts in and the shrimp are pink, probably another 2-3 minutes. Don't over cook! Add salt and pepper to taste

Get plates, arrange salad on plates, spoon shrimp on salad, squeeze lime juice on top.

Mr K wanted rice with his, so he made his own pilaf.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Grilled Escolar with asparagus and avocado

Mr. K was inspired and came up with a really standout dinner. It's a juicy piece of grilled escolar topped off with a salsa of avocado, jalapeno, grapefruit juice and cilantro and served with steamed asparagus.

The only problem with him, is that he has no measurements, just ingredients....

It was very good.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

ıspanaklı gözleme from steven on livejournal

Hmm, found this while blundering around on the tastespotting site. The picture caught my attention first, and it was posted by steven (who I don't know, but this looks yummy)

a sort of turkish pastry/tortilla/flatbread/thing with a spinach and cheese filling. not unlike spanakopita, really, but i really dislike phyllo (too greasy, too crackly). i got the recipe here, but my slightly revised and annotated version is behind the cut.

120 g flour (i guess there are metric measuring cups that measure in grams? i don't understand how that would work, but i guess that's how they do it in europe or the entire rest of the world or wherever. i happened to have a food scale, and it worked out just about exactly to 3/4 cup).
1/2 tsp salt
1 tb olive oil
~90 ml warm water (a liquid measure cup should have milliliters on it, but if yours doesn't or you only have solid measure cups, this is about 6 tbs).

1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
~1tb butter (the original recipe ask for a "knob of butter"--this is preferable terminology for many reasons, but not... informative).
.5 lb / 8 oz. / 500g frozen chopped spinach, thawed (microwaved on high for about 5 min, in my experience)
1.2 tsp. kırmızı biber (yeah, i know, what? the definition i found sounded suspiciously like chilli powder to me--if you can find the real turkish stuff, rock on, otherwise sub with 1 scant tsp. chilli powder)
1 pinch nutmeg
1 scant tb flour
100-125 ml milk (1/2 cup)
3 tb kaşar peyniri or parmesan (what i actually used was 1/4 c of freshly grated romano, but, whatever i was using, i would use at least 1/4 c, but that's just me)
salt and pepper to taste

combine flour and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl
make a well in the flour and add oil and water
mix with hands until you get a firm, elastic, and unsticky dough, adding a little more flour or water, if necessary.
divide into four balls and leave to rest 20 minutes under a damp towel

while dough is resting. melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.

add garlic and onions, cook until softened, about 5 minutes
add spinach, kırmızı biber/chilli powder, nutmeg and flour. stir until well combined.
add milk and stir until smooth.
add cheese and stir until melted and well mixed-in.

when dough is well-rested, turn each ball individually out onto a floured pastry board and roll into "12- to 15-inch rounds" (this seems overly ambitious to me, i didn't exceed 12" and was none the worse off for it). the rounds will be exceedingly thin and somewhat translucent. add more flour to board as necessary.

heat a large griddle or skillet (medium/medium-high). the dough isn't sticky, but if you don't have a nonstick or want a somewhat greasier, crispier result, you can add a little bit of olive oil. in my experience, the pan has reached temperature when it starts to smoke a little, but the first of any batch is always a bit of a crapshoot. usually i try and start before the pan is fully heated.
brush one side of the dough round with olive oil. place the dough oiled side up onto the pan. it should start to bubble up pretty dramatically.
when one side is browned nicely, flip the dough and spread 1/4 of the spinach mixture over it, almost all the way to the edges. if the dough slides around while you're spreading the spinach, hold it in place with a fork, not your hand. (it took awhile for this to occur to me. oops).
when the underside is browned (in a hot pan, this should take, like, 30 seconds, tops), fold the dough in half, and then in half once more (quarters). transfer to a plate, or, if desired, to a warm oven (200 degrees f or less) until all four are done.
serve hot.

these would probably be good with like a yogurt sauce, or something (do turkish people use yogurt sauce? i feel like it's very dangerous to confuse greek and turkish cuisine), but they were absolutely delightful plain.

i don't know how well they keep, and i may not find out, as i really am thinking about number three, and my brother will probably want the last one. i suspect they could be reheated in a toaster oven. how successfully, i don't know.

alternate fillings include goat cheese and fresh herbs, various meats, and so forth. there are two alternate fillings listed here (their dough recipe seems way too complicated. i don't do yeast.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Seasonal recipe: Mrs. Marshall’s Honeycomb & Blue Cheese Plate

I subscribe to the CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture). They always have interesting recipes and ideas in their newsletter.

This recipe comes from Helene Marshall of Marshall's Farm Natural Honey.

This is the simplest way to wow your guests or hosts. Serve as either an appetizer or dessert.

Buy some honeycomb from Marshall’s Farm. About one or two square inches of comb per guest should be enough. The plate can be prepared many different ways.

I like to put a chunk of blue cheese (we use Point Reyes Farmstead Blue) on a platter next to the chunk of honeycomb. I surround the cheese and honeycomb with an assortment of crackers, baguette slices, apple slices and pear slices when pears are in season. Let your guests serve themselves and make the combinations of their choice.

To make individual servings, arrange them on a plate surrounding a decorative hunk of honeycomb and a wedge of cheese.

Although this preparation works well with many cheeses strong and mild, I recommend the following cheeses for this dish:

Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese
Cowgirl Creamery's Mt. Tam
Spring Hill Cheddar
Spring Hill Dry Jack

Friday, March 09, 2007

Classic Shrimp Scampi

I love scampi, my favorite is a super rich buttery version that they serve at the exhibition cooking area at the Gilroy garlic festival... This sounds pretty good.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine or broth
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 3/4 pounds large or extra-large shrimp, shelled
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon
Cooked pasta or crusty bread.

1. In a large skillet, melt butter with olive oil. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper and bring to a simmer. Let wine reduce by half, about 2 minutes.

2. Add shrimp and sauté until they just turn pink, 2 to 4 minutes depending upon their size. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice and serve over pasta or accompanied by crusty bread.

Yield: 4 servings.

From the NY Times
Melissa Clark, March 7, 2007

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fruit with Cheese

from Life is Meals, a food lovers book of days, by James and Kay Salter.
Delightful reading

In the same way that fresh fruits and certain liquers go together, fresh fruits and certain cheeses go well with one another.

Apples - Camembert, Cheddar, Blue cheeses, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Brie
Bananas - Chevre
Cherries - Crema Danica
Figs - Stilton
Grapes - Camembert, Provolone, Pont l'Eveque, Appenzeller
Nectarines - Brie
Oranges - Gorgonzola
Peaches - Triple cremes, Gorgonzola
Pineapple - Camembert
Plums (red) - Appenzeller
Plums (purple) - Stilton
Strawberries - Triple cremes

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Chicken with Red Curry

I got this recipe from a coworker Thip Ark, it's quick, easy and delicious.

Blend well in blender or food processor: 1 stalk lemon grass, 4 cloves garlic, 2-3 keffir leaves*, 1/2 yellow onion, fresh hot pepper, 1 T. Thai red curry paste (or to taste)

2-3 T. cooking oil
1 can coconut milk
1/2 bunch basil
1/4 C. fish sauce
2 Tbl. sugar or to taste
1/2 chicken
zucchini or/and bamboo shoots or/and eggplant
juice of one lime

Heat oil, add blended stuff and curry paste. Cook for 5 min on low-med heat. Add solid part of coconut milk and continue to cook for 2-3 min. Add chicken and cook for 10-15 min. Add fish sauce, vegetables, basil, and sugar and cook for 5 min.

Add the remainder of coconut milk. Taste, if too sweet, add more fish sauce. If too salty, add more sugar (1/2 tsp at a time).

Serve over rice. This is improved with a liberal dose of Sriracha chili sauce...

* can replace with grated lime peel and 1/2 tsp fresh ginger

Monday, March 05, 2007

“Pici” Hand made old way spaghetti from Montepulciano with Porcini Sauce

I stopped by here when the Ferry Building was having an organic beer and wine festival, and sampled some of this pasta - it was so delicious, that I immediately bought porcini mushrooms, and pasta from Boriana. She promised to post the recipe on her website, and here it is... a little vague, but at least it has the ingredients...

Extra Olive Oil - Frantoio di Montepulciano
Porcini Mushrooms
Lamb Sausage - Potter Family Farms
Organic tomato, arlic, parsley, black pepper, sea salt
"Pici" - Boriana's Brand

Sauce Preparation:

Saute garlic in Extra Vergine Olive Oil. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the sausage and black pepper and keep cooking for 2 more minutes. Add the peeled tomatoes. Keep it cooking on low fire for another 10 minutes. Add parsley and take away from the fire.

Pasta Preparation:

Boil the Pici for 15 min in abundantly salted water and 2 soup spoons of olive oil. Remember: You must not stir the pasta at all times. Drain the pasta and add it to your sauce.