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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Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad with Arugula

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Charlie Bird's Farro Salad
Serves 6
A beautiful salad with a flavorful mixture of arugula, basil and mint
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup farro
  2. 1 cup apple cider
  3. 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
  4. 2 bay leaves
  5. 8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  7. 70 grams Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (1/2 cup)
  8. 70 grams chopped pistachio nuts (1/2 cup)
  9. 2 cups arugula leaves
  10. 1 cup basil leaves, torn
  11. 1 cup mint leaves
  12. ¾ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  13. ⅓ cup thinly sliced radish
  14. Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring farro, apple cider, salt, bay leaves and 2 cups water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes.
  2. If all the liquid evaporates before the farro is done, add a little more water.
  3. Let farro cool, then discard bay leaves.
  4. In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  5. Add farro and mix well.
  6. This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving).
  7. Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, cheese and pistachio nuts and mix well. Add flaky salt to taste.
Adapted from Slightly adapted by Celia
http://www.fingerlakesfeasting.com/
This is one of the best salads to bring to a pot luck. It’s a winner and everyone wants the recipe. I usually adapt recipes but in this case I’ve followed Charlie Bird’s directions exactly (except that I don’t add the radishes). I usually cook the farro the day before and add the lemon juice and olive oil. Right before serving I fold in the rest of the ingredients. For a vegan offering I add the cheese separately. Thank you Charlie!

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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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Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

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Displaying photo 3.JPG

Curried Lentil, Kale and Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is my new favorite.  It combines smooth with crunch since the French lentils keep their firmness.  The red lentils and butternut dissolve into a lucious creaminess.  The sweet and spicy flavors meld together beautifully.  And I love the orange and green colors of this soup.  It improves after each reheating and MUST be made the day before.

Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-3  tsp curry powder ( I use a combination of Japanese and Indian curry blends)
  • 1-2  tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken broth or vegetarian broth or water or combination
  • 14 oz light coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup red lentils, also known as Lal Masoor Dal (Goya sells this)
  • 1/4 cup Spanish Pardina lentils (Goya sells this) or French Puy lentils
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 TBS brown sugar ( or to taste)
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped or about two cups after stemming and chopping

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook for about 5-8 minutes, or until onion becomes tender. Stir in the ginger, garlic, curry powder, and salt. Stir for about a minute, stirring frequently.
  2. Meanwhile, roast the squash for 15 minutes at 450 degrees until beginning to brown or fry over high heat.  This caramelizes the squash and heighten the flavor but if you are in a hurry just throw it in without browning.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to darken in color, stirring constantly. Add the water, coconut milk, red lentils, and squash (either quickly roasted or  fried in or just cut up and not roasted). Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Cook, partially covered, until the squash are falling apart and the lentils are cooked through, about 30 minutes. The red lentils will have dissolved and the French lentils will still have a little
  4. Stir in the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, or until wilted and tender.
  5. This soup is better refrigerated and warmed up and eaten the next day.

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Pressure Cooker WILD RICE BARLEY PILAF with MUSHROOMS

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wld rice and mushroom pilaf

WILD RICE BARLEY CASSEROLE with MUSHROOMS: 

1 medium onion, chopped

4 TBS butter

¾ cup wild rice

¾ cup barley (not quick cooking)

½cup dry sherry

1 ½ cups stock

1 ¼cups water

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

salt and pepper to taste

1.     Fry one chopped sweet onion in butter until softened and set aside. 

2.      Fry mushrooms and set aside.

3.  In Pressure Cooker add  rice and barley, sherry, broth and water and salt to taste.

4.     Cover pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 20 minutes.

5.      Release pressure and check to make sure the rice and barley are cooked.  The rice should be split open and tender but not mushy.  Cook longer if necessary.

6.    Add mushrooms and onions to rice mixture.

7.    Taste for  salt and pepper.

 

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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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Spanish Tortilla

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Spanish Tortilla

Start with a nonstick 12 inch skillet heated up and coated with olive oil. Fry one medium chopped sweet onion until soft and beginning to brown, remove to a large bowl.  Peel and cube 3-4 medium potatoes into ¼- 1/2    inch dice and fry them in olive oil until beginning to brown and almost cooked through.  Add to the onions.  Beat 5-6 eggs until well combined and add to the potato and onion mixture stirring well to distribute the onions and potato.  Salt to your taste.  Coat the skillet again with olive oil and add the egg mixture.  When the mixture has browned on the bottom, you are ready to turn it over to cook the other side. Carefully take the frying pan to a sink. Place a large dinner plate (12”) upside down over the frying pan. With one hand on the frying pan handle and the other on top of the plate to hold it steady, quickly turn the frying pan over and the omelet will “fall” onto the plate. Place the frying pan back on the range and put just enough oil to cover the bottom and sides of the pan – approximately 1.5 tsp. Let the pan warm for 30 seconds or so. Now slide the omelet (which is probably still a bit runny), into the frying pan, using a spatula to catch any egg mixture that runs out. Use the spatula to shape the sides of the omelet. Let the omelet cook for 3-4 minutes or until the tortilla is set and beginning to brown. Turn the heat off and let the tortilla sit in the pan for 2 minutes.


Carefully slide the omelet onto a plate! To serve as a main course, slice it into 6-8 pieces like a pie. Serve sliced French bread on the side.

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Ratatouille

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Ratatouille My Way
 
IMPORTANT TIPS FOR PERFECT RATATOUILLE;
  • I do not use spices. Fresh seasonal vegetables are so flavorful that you don’t want to mask the flavors in any way.
  •  Fry the vegetables separately since they all cook at different rates.
  • Try to keep the size of the pieces uniform (except for the onions which can be diced smaller).
  • Do not overcook.
  • Make it the day before so that the flavors can meld beautifully.
 
These amounts are VERY approximate. Work with the quantities that you have available.
 

 

RATATOUILLE MY WAY
 
  1. Chop and fry a nice sweet medium sized onion until lightly browned and soft in olive oil.
  1. 2 medium zucchinis (about a 1 ½ to 2 pounds) or use the small ones and then you only have to slice them. Cut the medium ones lengthwise into four pieces and then in nice bite size chunks (about an inch). Fry in olive oil until brown but not quite cooked.
  2. Same amount of eggplant. Peel if the skin seems tough, otherwise leave it on. Cut into same size as the zucchini and fry in olive oil until brown but not quite cooked.
  3. Now if you like bell peppers, then add one cubed the same size as the zucchini and eggplant and fry them until they are cooked and slightly brown. 
  4. Use a can of tomatoes either diced or whole. If the tomatoes are whole, then cut them into pieces. Strain out the liquid and fry the tomatoes on high in olive oil. Yes, I do fry the tomatoes but you don’t have to. I just think it gives them a sweeter, more caramelized flavor.
  5. Mix all the vegetables together, add salt if necessary and simmer together for 10 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Add the tomato juice if it needs liquid. Sometimes I add sugar if the flavor is too acidic.
  6. Finely mince or use a garlic press and stir in 2 large cloves of garlic. Then turn off the ratatouille and let it sit until it is cool enough to refrigerate.
  7. Always serve it the next day if you can. Taste if for seasoning and add a splash of really good olive oil if you like. Then serve it at room temperature, or reheated.
 [/recipe]

 

 

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