Mushroom-Walnut Paté

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Mushroom-Walnut Paté
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Ingredients
  1. • 2-1/2 tablespoons butter
  2. • 2/3 cup mushrooms(any combination), sliced
  3. • 1/4 cup chopped shallots or onions
  4. • 1 small clove fresh garlic, minced
  5. • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
  6. • 1 tablespoon walnut oil or olive oil
  7. • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Instructions
  1. 1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter.
  2. 2. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Sauté 7-10 minutes, stirring often, until mix is just browning and any liquids given off have evaporated.
  3. 3. Place walnuts, oil, salt and zest in a food processor and process until a paste has formed.
  4. 4. Add mushroom mix and blend until almost smooth.
  5. 5. Taste and add salt as needed.
http://www.fingerlakesfeasting.com/
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Stuffed Eggplant

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I have made this a few times using wheat berries.  This is a recipe I found online from the New York TImes Cooking section.  It is amazing.  And it’s vegetarian.  I didn’t use the parsley and didn’t miss it.  I used pesto I had in the freezer instead of basil and that worked great.  I copied this and pasted into this blog making a few changes which I highlighted in red.  If you like eggplant,  please try this.  

 

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Long-Simmered Eggplant Stuffed with Farro or Spelt

AUG. 25, 2014 From New York Times Cooking

By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

This is a riff on imam bayildi, the long-cooking eggplant dish bathed in tomatoes and onions that is one of the great achievements of Turkish cuisine. I added cooked farro to the tomato-onion mix, making this more like a stuffed eggplant dish. The active cooking time is minimal, but the smothered eggplant must simmer for about 1 1/2 hours to achieve the intense, syrupy sauce and deep, rich flavor that make this dish such a wonder. Make it a day ahead for best results, and serve at room temperature on a hot night.

Time: 2 hours, including 1 1/2 hours mostly unsupervised simmering ( Mine was done after an hour)

1

Long Simmering Stuffed Eggplant with Farro or Spelt
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 pounds eggplant (2 to 3 medium or 6 small eggplants), cut in half lengthwise
  2. 1/4 cup olive oil
  3. 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced very thin
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  6. 1 1/2 pounds (3 large or 6 medium) tomatoes, grated or peeled and chopped or small diced tomatoes or homemade tomato sauce
  7. 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  8. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  9. 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil ( I used frozen pesto instead of fresh basil)
  10. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  11. 1 cup cooked farro, spelt or wheat berries.
  12. 1/4 cup water
  13. 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar ( I used less)
  14. 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  15. Additional minced parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush with olive oil.
  3. Slit eggplants down the middle, being careful not to cut through the skin.
  4. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size, until outer skin begins to shrivel.
  5. Remove from oven and transfer, cut side down, to a colander set in the sink.
  6. Allow to drain for 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet and add onions.
  8. Cook, stirring often, until very tender, about 8 minutes, and add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant.
  9. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon of the sugar and the cooked farro or spelt. Transfer to a bowl. Taste and adjust salt.
  10. Turn eggplants over and place in the pan, cut side up.
  11. Season with salt.
  12. Gently pull apart at the slit and fill with the onion, tomato and farro mix. Spoon any mix that couldn’t fit inside the eggplant over the top.
  13. Mix remaining olive oil, remaining sugar, water and lemon juice. Drizzle over and around the eggplants. Cover the pan and place over low heat.
  14. Cook gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, basting from time to time with the liquid in the pan, and adding water to the pan if it becomes too dry (this shouldn’t happen; in my experience, the eggplant releases water as it simmers).By the end of cooking, the eggplants should have collapsed significantly and the liquid in the pan should be syrupy or even slightly caramelized.
  15. Spoon this over the eggplant.
  16. Allow to cool in pan, sprinkle with parsley and serve at room temperature.
http://www.fingerlakesfeasting.com/

Yield: Serves 6

Advance preparation: This is best if made a day ahead. You can roast the eggplant through Step 1 and make the filling through Step 2 several hours before stuffing and cooking the eggplant. Once cooked, the finished dish can sit for several hours, or refrigerate overnight and bring to room temperature before serving. Cooked farro and spelt keep for 3 days in the refrigerator and freeze well.

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Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

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Cucumbers and Carrots with Miso Dip

 Remember Kayuga Japanese Restaurant on Eddy Street?  We were frequent flyers there and I liked their miso dip so much that I asked for the recipe.  I was rewarded with a little piece of paper on which was written the ingredients but not the quantities.  In the true spirit of intuitive  cooking I’ll also pass along the basic ingredients and method and then leave it up to the reader to concoct their own version.  Start with 1/2 cup of Sake and 1/4 cup of mirin.  Boil together until reduced to about 1/2 cup.  Turn off the heat and add miso a little at a time starting with a heaping tablespoon.  The trick to miso is not to boil it.  I use white miso in this recipe, but you can experiment with different types of miso.  You’ll want the consistency to be like ketchup.  It will thicken once cooled.  Add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil and a few shakes of roasted sesame seeds.  Then taste.  If you want it sweeter, add a pinch of sugar.  This lasts for several days in the fridge. 

Miso can be found in many grocery stores.  Greenstar has it in bulk in the back of their store so you can buy small quantities  and  experiment with different types of miso.  Wegmans has tubs of miso in the cooler section which also containes seitan and tofu.

 

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Creamed Corn Filo Cups with Shitake Mushrooms and goat Cheese

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Creamed Corn Filo Cups

with Shitake Mushrooms and goat Cheese

 

5 oz.  sliced shitake mushrooms

1 small sweet onion,  small diced

Olive oil for frying

2 tbs. butter for frying

2 ears of corn cut off the cob

½ cup heavy cream

4 oz. cream cheese

2 oz. goat cheese

1/3 cup shredded swiss cheese

salt and pepper

2 packages mini filo shells (I like Athens brand that come 15 to a package and is in the freezer section near the pie doughs)

 

1.      Fry onions in a little olive oil and 1 Tbs. butter until slightly brown and set aside.

2.     Fry mushrooms in a little olive oil with remaining butter and set aside.

3.     Fry the corn kernels briefly in same frying pan over high heat so that it begins to release a great corn fragrance, stirring frequently.

4.     After you begin to smell the corn (about3-5 minutes) add the cream and simmer corn and cream together for another 5-6 minutes.

5.     Meanwhile, in a food process, process cream cheese and goat cheese until well missed. 

6.     Mix everything together and season for salt and pepper.  I like alot of pepper in this dish.

7.     You can prepare this ahead of time and refrigerate for a couple of days.  Right before you serve it, heat it up in the microwave and then fill about 1 Tbs in each cup and sprinkle with the grated swiss cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and beginning to brown.

 

 

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Corn and crab cakes with lemon caper butter sauce

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 There are some people who are mayo-phobes.  They hate anything even remotely associated with jarred mayo including any type of aioli.  I am happy to offer this recipe for a mayo-less crabcake and mayo-less sauce.

 

Corn and crab cakes with lemon caper butter sauce

Crab Cake

8 ounces crab meat (good quality, not canned or imitation)

2 green onions (scallions, finely chopped)

1/3 cup heavy cream

2 ears of corn, kernels removed

1 tsp old bay seasoning

cayenne pepper to taste

1 tsp dry mustard

2 egg yolks

bread crumbs

 

1.      Cook the corn in the heavy cream until the corn is cooked through but still crunchy (5-6 minutes) cool

2.     Mix egg yolks into corn and cream mixture

3.     Mix everything except bread crumbs together gently so as to keep the chunks of crabmeat intact.

4.     Gently make small (2 inch) patties and coat them with the bread crumbs. This is difficult since they are very crumbly

5.     Refrigerate until they are firm and easy to handle.

6.     Fry in vegetable oil until brown on each side.

7.     Serve with lemon caper sauce

 

Lemon Caper Sauce (hold the mayo)

 

Juice of one lemon

1 Tbs. capers

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. white wine or vermouth

1/4 heavy cream

 

1.     Boil lemon juice and vermouth until reduced to 1-2 Tbs.

2.  Add cream and reduce until thickened.

3.      Wisk in butter a little at a time while stirring. 

4.     Add capers and season with salt

4.     Refrigerate until ready to use.

5.     Heat gently in microwave

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Tortilla corn and black bean stack with pulled pork

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This is an experiment based on a wonderful dish we had at Café Bolud in NYC during their restaurant week.  This was served with a Southwestern style lamb dish and they were tiny 1 inch squares of layered beans and tortillas.  I thought it would be even better with a layer of corn as well.

Tortilla corn and black bean stack with pulled pork

 

Pulled Pork

Corn tortillas

Black beans

2 ears of corn

½ cup heavy cream

 

Bean layer:  I make my own black beans in a pressure cooker without needing to soak ahead of time.  To half a pound of beans that have been cleaned, I add ½ cup of soy sauce, ¼ cup orange juice, and a cup of water.  I then add salt, a couple of garlic cloves and a little cumin.  I pressure cook for 20 minutes and then reduce pressure and check for doneness.  They take between 20-30 minutes.  I then leave them to cool in their liquid and when you make the puree add only enough liquid to give it a smooth spreadable consistency.  You can also buy canned black beans and puree and season them to your liking or you can do this with refried beans.

Corn layer:  Take kernels off the cobs and fry this in a sauce pan until beginning to smell aromatic but not brown.  Add heavy cream and cook together for 5-6 minutes until the corn is cooked.  Then put in food process or blender and puree until very smooth.  If it’s too thick add some more milk or cream to think it out but you want it spreadable and not runny.

 

To make the stacks:  Toast the tortillas in a toaster oven until very lightly toasted but not brown.  On a tortilla spread a thin layer of beans, then layer another tortilla and then a layer of corn followed by another layer of tortilla.

Wrap them up and refrigerate them until ready to serve.  Right before serving fry them in a hot frying pan until lightly browned on each side.  

 

For main course serve one or two per person and for an appetizer serve a quarter of the stack alongside the pulled pork.

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Savory corn pudding

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Savory corn pudding

FOOD AND WINE magazine has a wonderful corn pudding recipe . I cut down on the butter; actually I just left it out.  And instead of 6 eggs, I used 4 because I wanted more corn flavor.  The corn is so sweet and tasty now…it’s the perfect time to try this recipe.  The cornmeal settles on the bottom so that it serves as a crust.  I loaded up with sweet Mayan onions. If you want a more elegant presentation try using muffin tins or individual pots as pictured above.  Another idea is to use a small cup as a cookie cutter and carved out single portions.  The picture below shows this single portion presentation using chervil as a garnish.

 

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CORN FRITTERS

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CORN FRITTERS:

Ingredients"

  • Kernals from 2-3 ears of leftover corn (cooked or raw)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Mix everything together and let sit a few minutes.  Add more water if too thick.  It should have a thick pancake batter consistency.  
  2. Heat a frying pan with some vegetable oil.  Fry a sample 1 tablespoon size fritter and taste for seasoning and adjust with more liquid if necessary.  You want to cook them hot and brown them on each side.  They should be nice and crispy.  Make them any size you like but I like them to be around 3 inches in diameter.
  3. Serve for breakfast with maple syrup or as a side dish to your dinner.  These go well with a pork barbecue.

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Turkish Eggplant Lentil Stew

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Turkish Lentil and Eggplant Stew with Pomegranate Molasses

turkish lentil stew 

This recipe is a little more time consuming, but quite unique and delicious. It uses an ingredient called Pomegranate Molasses which is a condiment used much like ketchup in some cultures. It can be found at Wegmans. I have adapted this recipe from Food and Wine magazine (July 2004) and used small French green lentils which hold their shape nicely. I also finish this in a crock-pot rather than on the stove. On these hot summer days I just leave the crock-pot cooking outside.

 

One 1 ½ pound long, narrow eggplant

½ cup lentils ( I use French green lentils: available at Wegmans)

Olive oil

I medium onion, finely chopped

4 minced garlic cloves

One  14.5 ounce canned diced tomatoes or 2 medium tomatoes peeled and chopped

2 Tbs. chopped mint leaves

1 Tbs. tomato paste

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)

¼ cup pomegranate molasses (available at Wegmans)

  1. In a saucepan cover the lentils with water and salt and boil over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes until barely cooked. Add more water if necessary to prevent burning.
  2. Cut eggplant into ¼ inch slices and fry in olive oil until lightly browned. IT does not have to be fully cooked. Salt and set aside.
  3. Fry onion until softened and beginning to brown, add garlic and fry together for another minute.
  4. Mix onions, garlic, tomato, tomato paste, mint and red pepper.
  5. In a crock pot layer the lentils, eggplant and onion-tomato mixture and salt to taste. Add 2 Tbs. olive oil and the pomegranate molasses. Put the crock pot on low for 5-6 hours or until the lentils and eggplant are fully cooked.  Check a few times and add water if necessary.  Refrigerate if possible and eat the next day. Garnish with more chopped mint leaves.

 

 

 

                    

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Polenta with Morels:

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Polenta with morels:  Yesterday we found some beautiful morels and I came up with this recipe to showcase them. If you don't have morels, you can use any mushrooms or combination of mushrooms including reconstituted dry mushrooms.


Mushroom mixture: Start with finely chopped onions that have been gently browned in a combination of butter and olive oil.  Set aside when soft and beginning to brown.  Set the onions aside. Fry the morels (that have been sliced in half or if larger, sliced in quarters and cleaned).  If you need more mushrooms, add some regular baby belas or any combination of wild or domestic sliced mushrooms, enough to feed your guests or family.  Cook the morels separately and set aside with the onions. The morels need to be cooked medium high so they get a little crispy.  Fry the rest of the mushrooms until cooked and then bring back the morels and onions to the frying pan.  Cook and mix together, taste for saltiness and add ¼ cup of Marsala wine and ¼ cup chicken or vegetable broth and cook together for 4-5 minutes until most of the liquid is gone.  Set aside and make the polenta.

Creamy polenta; Put one cup water and one cup corn meal in a saucepan and stir until mixed.  Then add two cups of hot chicken or vegetable stock and cook over medium heat until it thickens into a creamy texture (like a thin mashed potato). You need to be stirring pretty constantly so it doesn’t develop lumps. Add ¼ cup of parmesan or Romano cheese or a mix of the two and another1/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese and stir until melted and incorporated into the polenta.  Add salt to taste.


To serve, use a small plate and mound about a 1/3 cup of polenta covered by a big spoonful of mushrooms.  Sprinkle with parsley for garnish if desired.

 

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