GOAT CHEESE AND TOMATO TART

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This recipe is adapted from a Gourmet recipe (September 1998).  It is beautiful and uses cherry tomatoes,garlic and basil, several crops that are prolific right now.  The changes I made were to cut out the stick of butter from the custard filling, add  more basil and also add some roasted garlic that is all pureed together in a food processor with the egg and goat cheese.  I also subsituted no-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.  This is elegant and really delicious.  It can also be eaten at room temperature or heated up.

GOAT CHEESE AND TOMATO TART IN A CORNMEAL CRUST 

 

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GREAT CORN PUDDING RECIPE

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FOOD AND WINE magazine has a wonderful corn pudding recipe that I tried tonight. It’s a “keeper”. 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 what I did which was quite simple was to use a small cup as a cookie cutter and carved out single portions.  The picture shows this single portion presentation using chervil as a garnish.
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SORREL SOUP

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GROWING SORREL

 

 

 
 
Sorrel is a perennial herb that has been used for centuries for cooking in Europe. I grew up eating sorrel soup that my mother prepared if she could find anyone growing sorrel. Now you can find plants at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market and also at Early Bird Farm on Elmira Road in Ithaca. You just plant it and that’s it. The leaves provide a wonderful base for this sour tasting soup. The next year you find a more established plant yielding as many leaves as you’ll need. Here is the basic recipe for SORREL SOUP:
 
 
 
 
 
 
½ lb sorrel leaves, washed
2 Tbs. butter
1 medium sweet onion chopped
1 small potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup ½ and ½
 
  1. Fry onion in soup pot until lightly browned and soft, set aside
  2. Melt butter and add sorrel leaves and stir them around until they are brown and wilted.
  3. Add broth and potato and cook for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
  4. Place in blender with onions and blend until a smooth consistency
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Reheat and add ½ and ½

Serves 4-6

 

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MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD

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 MARINATED VEGETABLE SALAD (Anita Devine)
 
1 head romaine lettuce, finely chopped
¼ head red cabbage, finely sliced
1 block marinate tofu (I use tofu kan), chopped
1 cup dry roasted organic peanuts, skin on
1 small jar marinated artichokes, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
½ cup sprouts ( I used mix sprouts)
 
Dressing
½ tsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbs. ume vinegar
1 Tbs shoyu (or regular soy sauce)
Juice of one orange
1 Tbs. rice syrup
1 ½ Tbs. mustard (I use whole grain Dijon)
 
  1. Mix together dressing ingredients and set aside.
  2. Place sliced red cabbage in a bowl, mix with ¼ tsp sea salt, place a place over it and weigh it down for one hour to extract some of the liquid. (I skip this step)
  3. Mix together all the vegetables, tofu, and peanuts and toss with dressing.
 
 

 

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QUINOA SALAD

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I’ve been finding some very unique and wonderful salad recipes. I was fortunate to get  this recipes from Anita Devine who teaches macrobiotic cooking at GreenStar Cooperative Market. This slightly adapted salad has become an  instant favorite of our family.  This is a great introduction dish for people new to quinoa.  I haven’t yet met someone who didn’t like it.  An extra benefit is that quinoa is a  very healthy "super grain" with high protein.
 
 
QUINOA WITH PECANS AND CRANBERRIES
 
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1/2  cup pecans (or I’ve had good luck substituting walnuts) coarsely chopped
3 scallions, cut into thin rounds
1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
OR 1 cup corn, frozen or canned (I use both!!!)
 
Dressing:
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup  lemon juice
1  tsp ume vinager 
2 Tbs rice vinegar
Dash of black pepper
 
1. Rinse quinoa and put it in  pot with water (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa) and bring to a boil.  Simmer until water has been absorbed.  Set aside.
 2. Lightly toast nuts and set aside
 3. Combine salad dressing ingredients
 4. When quinoa is cool to warm add dressing and scallions, parsley, cranberries, nuts and corn and mix together. Taste for seasoning.
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TURKISH RED LENTIL AND BULGUR SOUP FROM DANO’S

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 Karen Gilman,  of  Dano’s Heuriger on Seneca was kind enough to send me this recipe from the wonderful Turkish meal they served the other day.  This soup is incredible.  Trust me.  It is truly unique and these complex combination of flavors and textures really work.  Yes, the dried mint is just right.  The only thing I changed was that I used chicken broth instead of water or vegetable broth and I added about 1 Tbs. of pomegranate molasses.  This added just a subtle tang that I needed to make it perfect.  Both the pomegranate molasses and the red pepper paste (I used Marco Polo brand red pepper spread with eggplant and garlic) can be found in the international foods section at Wegmans.  And "yes" it’s worth it to get these products and make this soup. Thank you Karen and Dano!

Red Lentil, Bulgur and Mint Soup

serves 4-6

 
2 tbl virgin olive oil
a large spanish onion finely diced
2 clove garlic minced
2 tbl red pepper paste turkish
1 cup tomato juice
2 tbl paprika
1/2 tsp Turkish red pepper or ground red pepper
6 cups vegetable broth or water
1 1/2 cup red lentils
1/4 cup fine bulgur
1 tbl dried mint salt and pepper
 
topping
 4 tbl unsalted butter
1 tsp dried mint
1/2 tsp paprika
 
 
  • Heat olive oil; add onion and garlic cook gently over medium heat until soft not brown.
  • Stir in pepper paste, tomato juice, paprika and Turkish pepper. Add lentils and broth.
  • Cover pot bring to boil lower heat cook 30 minutes stir occasionally until lentils blend with broth. 
  • Add bulgur and mint season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes stir occasionally, if soup is too thick add more broth.
 
To make topping, melt butter over low heat,  add the mint and paprika and stir until mixture sizzles.
Ladle soup in bowl and drizzle topping on top to taste.
 

 

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ANOTHER WONDERFUL AND EASY WINTER SOUP

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CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP WITH STAR ANISE
(inspired by Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine)
 
 
I have been making this soup for years but with Suzanne’s inspiration I have added star anise to my recipe and it makes for a perfect marriage of flavor. This is one of the easiest recipes and one that everyone loves. It’s my favorite way to use butternut squash.
 
 
1 medium sized butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into large chunks (2-3 inches)
2 TBS butter
32 ounces chicken or vegetable broth
2 star anise pods
Salt and pepper
1 TBS brown sugar (to taste if necessary)
¼ cup milk or cream or ½ & ½  (optional)
 
 
  1. Fry the squash over high heat stirring frequently until the squash is slightly browned and very aromatic.
  2. Add salt and a lot of black pepper (to your taste) and fry a minute longer.
  3. Add broth and star anise and simmer for 20-30 minutes until squash is soft.
  4. Let cool, remove star anise, and puree in blender until very smooth.
  5. Adjust for seasoning and add sugar if needed.  Squash vary in their sweetness.
  6. Refrigerate a day or more for best flavor.
  7. Reheat and if you'd like,  add milk or cream before serving. I don't do think it needs milk or cream.

 
 
 
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CROP ABUNDANCE RECIPES: ZUCCHINI

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  ZUCCHINI RECIPES

Well the time has come for us all to be managing “crop abundance”. I don’t want to call it “overabundance” or any other term with negative connotation. We need to be happy, delighted, thankful for this time of abundance! My friend Beth was being extremely generous with her bounty of zucchini. I happily obliged her generosity and made some of my favorite zucchini dishes tonight. 

  Continue Reading…

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ABBY’S WILD MUSHROOM LASAGNA RECIPE

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Many of us Ithaca old timers remember Abby’s, a restaurant in the Motor Vehicles Plaza that was run by Abby Nash from 1984 to 1990.   It was a sad day for Ithaca diners when Abby’s closed its doors because it was a consistently wonderful place to eat and we all had our favorites.  My favorite dish was Abby’s mushroom lasagna and I was lucky enough to run into Abby the other day. He was hosting a cooking demonstration of his mushroom lasagna.  This is the original recipe for his mushroom lasagna and it really is a delicacy.   It takes a lot of time to make and you need a pasta maker.  But it really is worth the effort.  Abby uses freshly grated parmesan, the highest quality he can find such as Reggiano.  If you want to truly appreciate the different grades of parmesan, set up a blind tasting.  My hands down favorite is the Reggiano. When selecting the variety of mushrooms,; the more exotic the types of mushroom, the better.  You can re-hydrate dry mushrooms such as porcini.  I also like to use porcini powder.  Morels, shitake, oyster, and chanterelles are a great mixture along with some regular brown mushrooms.     If you’ve never made homemade pasta with a pasta maker before, the important thing is not to have the dough be too wet.  Have flour on hand and when you put the sheets of dough through the pasta maker dust them first with flour if needed.  The dough should be smooth so if it gets rough or has holes or is sticky, it probably needs more flour.  Making pasta from scratch does take practice.  ABBY’S MUSHROOM LASAGNA  yield 6 med. servings  Continue Reading…

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JAPANESE NOODLE SOUP

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Japanese Noodle Soup:  Serves 6   This soup is the ultimate comfort food.  If any of the ingredients are not on your “favorite food list”, you can omit them.  Once you have all the ingredients, this soup comes together easily and you only need a salad to have a wonderful meal.  It also has many healthy ingredients and can be entirely vegetarian if you use vegetable broth and omit the dashi.        

                                                                            Jpanese Noodle Soup

Ingredients                

 

   The dashi is in the center and the shichimi togarashi is to the right. *  Note about ingredients:  Dashi, wakame, napa cabbage, shichimi togarashi and edaname can all be purchased at Wegmans and other grocery stores with good Asian sections.  I have posted a picture of all these ingredients so you know what you’re looking for.  The edaname are often found in the frozen section in their pods.  But at the Asian grocers you can find them frozen and already out of the pods which is much more convenient.  The noodles are found fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian grocery store but you can use any noodle that you’d like including dry noodles such as soba or even spaghetti.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE INGREDIENTS CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE:  "FOOD THESAURUS"

Japanese Noodle Soup:  Serves 6

 

Ingredients: 

8 cups( 2-  32 ounce cartons) chicken or vegetable broth

3 tsp. instant dashi *

1 heaping Tbs. dried wakame (seaweed)*

5 dried shitake mushrooms

1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu, cut into one inch by one inch strips

1 small head napa cabbage, cut into slices*

5 scallions, chopped

1 16 oz. bag Pan fried noodle Hong Kong style or any dried noodle*

1 cup shelled edaname (soy beans)

1 Tbs. fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped

2 Tbs. miso

Shichimi Togarashi (red pepper and sesame seed spice blend)*

 Cooking Instructions

1.     Heat the broth to boiling in a large pot and add the dashi.

2.     Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms for 15 minutes in a bowl of ½ cup hot water placing a smaller bowl on top of the mushrooms, to make sure they are immersed.

3.     Soak the wakame also in a bowl of 1 cup hot water for 15 minutes. It will expand to about 1 cup.

4.     When the broth has come to a boil add the ginger, tofu,edamame and cabbage and simmer for 10-15 minutes until cabbage is just cooked.

5.     Once the mushrooms have soaked, slice them and add them to the broth along with the soaking liquid which has been strained of particles.  Also, add the reconstituted wakame which has been rinsed and coarsely chopped. Discard soaking liquid.

6.     Meanwhile, as the soup is cooking, either cook the noodles according to directions or, if you are using the pan fried noodles, fry them in a little oil and add ½ cup water and cover to allow them to steam for 5 minutes.  Then remove the lid and continue frying until lightly brown and crispy, stirring frequently. I do this in two batches.

7.     Mix the miso with a little hot broth until free of lumps and add to soup for the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Miso should not be boiled.

8.     To serve:  Ladle soup in a large bowls, sprinkle each serving with scallion and serve the noodles, and shichimi togarashi separately for people to serve themselves.

 

Feel free to use your culinary expression to add or omit any ingredients.  This is a very free form dish which you can tailor make to your taste.

 

 Note about ingredients:  Dashi, wakame, napa cabbage, shichimi togarashi and edaname can all be purchased at Wegmans and other grocery stores with good Asian sections.  I have posted a picture of all these ingredients so you know what you’re looking for.  The edaname are often found in the frozen section in their pods.  But at the Asian grocers you can find them frozen and already out of the pods which is much more convenient.  The noodles are found fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian grocery store but you can use any noodle that you’d like including dry noodles such as soba or even spaghetti.  FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE INGREDIENTS CLICK ON THE LINK AT THE LEFT SIDE OF THIS PAGE:  "FOOD THESAURUS"

 

 

 

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