Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Roasted Asparagus & Beet Salad with Spring Onions
This salad was adapted from "The New Vegetarian Epicure" (Alfred A. Knopf, 1996), by Anna Thomas.
INGREDIENTS:1 bunch red beets 1 bunch spring onions 1 bunch green garlic (or 2 cloves minced garlic) 1 bunch asparagus 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1/4 cup Salt to taste 3 tablespoons sherry wine or red wine vinegar Freshly ground black pepper to taste 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Wash and trim the beets, leaving an inch of stems. Place in a heavy roasting pan with 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly with foil and roast until they yield when poked through with a knife, about 50 minutes to 1 hour.
While the beets cook, trim the root ends from the spring onion and green garlic, and slice them both, including a few inches of greens. Bend the woody ends of the asparagus until they snap, then chop the asparagus into 2-inch lengths.
When the beets are done, let cool briefly, then peel by rubbing with a clean cloth and chop them into wedges. Place in a shallow bowl.
Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
Place the asparagus, onions and garlic on a baking pan and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for about 8 minutes. Stir, then continue roasting until cooked through, about 10-12 more minutes. Place the asparagus and other vegetables in a separate bowl from the beets.
Combine the 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the vinegar with a pinch of salt and pepper. Divide in half, and toss the asparagus with half of the vinaigrette. Add an extra tablespoon of vinegar to the remaining dressing, then add it to the beets.
Allow the vegetables to marinate, refrigerated, for several hours. Drain excess marinade from the beets, then toss them gently with the asparagus, orange juice and salt and pepper to taste.
PER SERVING: 150 calories, 2 g protein, 9 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 432 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
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Saturday, April 26, 2008
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup chopped mango (pureed)
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut lengthwise into halves
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
2 or 3 dried red chillies, crushed
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup vegetable oil
Wilted Greens and Assembly:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
i teaspoon sugar
8 to 10 cups loosely packed mixed spring greens and spinach
1/2 cup fresh basil or cilantro, chopped
1 mango sliced
For the sauce, combine the sugar, mango puree, soy sauce, rum and lime juice in a small bowl and mix well
For the shrimp, combine the flour, cornstarch and baking soda in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the egg and soy sauce. Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels. Add the shrimp to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Chill, covered, for one hour or longer.
Combine the green onions, gingerroot, red chillies and garlic in a bowl and mix well. Heat the oil in a wok or deep skillet. Add half the shrimp. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until the shrimp turns whitish pink. Remove the shrimp to paper towels to drain using a slotted spoon. Repeat the process with the remaining shrimp.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of the oil from the wok. Add the green onion mixture. Stir-fry over high heat until the mixture begins to color. Stir in the sauce ingredients. Cook until bubbly, stirring constantly. Return the shrimp to the wok and toss to coat with the sauce. Remove the shrimp mixture to a bowl. Cover to keep warm.
For the greens, heat the oil in a wok. Stir in the sherry, soy sauce and sugar. Cook until heated through, stirring constantly. Add the greens mixture. Stir-fry over high heat just until the greens wilt. Add the basil and toss to mix. Remove from the heat.
to serve, divide the greens equally among 4 serving plates. Arrange the shrimp mixture evenly over the greens. Top with sliced mango
Serves 4 as a main course, 6 to 8 as a first course.
Friday, April 25, 2008
makes 4 servings
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1–2 red Thai (or jalapeño) peppers, seeded and finely chopped (plus slices for garnish)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated lime zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon (or lime) juice
4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, divided
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced (3 cups)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each), cut into 2 1/2-inch-long by 1/4-inch-wide strips
1 cup light coconut milk
2 cups baby spinach
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (plus sprigs for garnish)
Place noodles in a bowl; add enough warm water to cover and let sit until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain. Combine broth, pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, lime zest, lemon juice and 3 tablespoon fish sauce in a medium saucepan. Season with salt.
Bring to a simmer, add noodles and cook 3 minutes more. Using tongs, transfer noodles to a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Add mushrooms to broth; season with salt, if desired; simmer 3 minutes more.
Add chicken and coconut milk and simmer, stirring, until chicken is just cooked, about 3 minutes. Stir in spinach until it begins to wilt, about 1 minute. Add chopped cilantro and season with remaining 1 tablespoon fish sauce.
Using tongs, divide noodles among 4 bowls. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with sprigs of cilantro and slices of pepper.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Poulet aux Quarante Gousses d'Ail
Active time: 15 min Start to finish: 50 min
Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic was a recipe that allowed us to be provocative without being downright offensive. It presents the softer side of garlic — the "stinking rose" — mellowed by long, slow cooking.
Servings: Makes 4 servings.
Chicken with 40 cloves of garlic
1 (4-lb) chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 scant cup olive oil
2 fresh parsley sprigs
1 fresh rosemary sprig
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 fresh sage sprig
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 celery rib
40 garlic cloves, peeled (from 3 to 4 heads of garlic)
Accompaniment: toasted baguette slicesSpecial equipment: kitchen string
PreparationPreheat oven to 350°F.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. Tie legs together with kitchen string and fold wings under chicken.
Heat oil in a 6- to 8-quart wide heavy ovenproof pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning it carefully, until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate.
Tie herbs and celery together with string to make a bouquet garni and add to pot along with garlic cloves. Put chicken, breast side up, on top of cloves and bake, covered tightly, in middle of oven, basting twice, until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted 2 inches into fleshy part of a thigh (avoid bone) registers 170°F, 30 to 40 minutes.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board, reserving pan juices, and let stand 10 minutes. Cut chicken into serving pieces and spread roasted garlic on toasts. Serve chicken drizzled with some of reserved pan juices.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
6 ounces rice vermicelli
2 red Thai chiles, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Asian fish sauce
2 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 pound bay scallops
1/2 pound small squid, bodies cut into 1/2-inch rings and tentacles halved
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup mint leaves
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts
6 lettuce leaves, for serving
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
In a medium bowl, cover the vermicelli in cold water and soak for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a mortar, pound the red Thai chiles and garlic cloves to a paste with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Add the lime juice, fish sauce, boiling water and the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and pound until the sugar is dissolved. Let the dressing stand for 30 minutes.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook until white throughout and curled, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to the ice water. Add the scallops to the boiling water and cook until white and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the scallops to the ice water. Add the squid to the boiling water and cook just until firm, about 45 seconds. Transfer the squid to the ice water. Drain all of the seafood and pat dry.
Bring a fresh saucepan of water to a boil and refill the bowl with ice water. Drain the vermicelli, add to the boiling water and cook just until al dente, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to the ice water. Drain again and pat dry. Cut the vermicelli into 3-inch lengths.
In a large bowl, toss the seafood with the vermicelli, tomatoes, bean sprouts, mint, red onion, peanuts and chile dressing. Line a platter with the lettuce leaves and top with the seafood salad. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
MAKE AHEAD All of the components can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated separately. Toss the salad just before serving.
WINE Because Thai recipes combine so many flavors, they tend to pair best with adaptable wines like Spanish Albariño, known for its perky acidity, medium body and depth of citrusy flavor. Two bottlings to look for are the minerally 2006 Bodegas Fillaboa and the citrusy 2006 Vionta.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
My fiance is lactose intolerant, which means that he is basically on a diet all the time and will never be overweight. He can not eat cream, milk, sour cream, ice cream, cream cheese or any cheese EXCEPT goat cheese. So my future step mother-in-law gave us a cookbook called "Goat Cheese" by Georgeanne and Ethel Brennan. This was a very welcome gift and contains many delicious recipes. So far from this book, I have tried only this recipe. It calls for deep purple Japanese eggplant, which is a smaller version of the eggplant we are all used to. It makes 16-20 rolls and serves 4-6 people as a tasty appetizer.
So, here is the recipe.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
4 Japanese eggplants, each 4 to 5 inches long
4 ounces of goat cheese
Preheat over to 450 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs.
To prepare the eggplants, trim off the stems and then cut lengthwise into slices 1/4 inch thick. Turn each slice in the olive oil, coating well, and place them on a baking sheet.
Bake, turning frequently, until tender and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. You may need to cook longer than 10 minutes. It should be a little be crispy, otherwise it will taste too soggy. Remove the eggplant slices from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
To form the rolls, evenly spread a generous teaspoonful of the goat cheese on one side of each eggplant slice. Starting at the stem end, cheese side facing upward, roll up the slice, then pierce with a toothpick so that the roll will hold its shape.
Arrange the rolls on a platter. Serve at room temperature.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Here are sample recipes from his blog:
Meyer Lemon Salt
500 gr Meyer lemon
100 gr lemon juice
100 gr sea salt
10 gr sugar
Method: Squeeze the lemon juice and pass through a fine chinois. Combine the salt with the sugar.Wash the Meyer lemon and cut into quarters. Place into a jar with a lid that can be sealed air-tight. Pour the lemon juice and the sugar/salt over the quarters.Seal the jar and let set for 4 weeks in the refrigerator before using. It will keep for 6 months stored in a cool place.
Codfish Over Sun Dried Fennel
1 pound codfish filets, skinless
1 Meyer lemon, finely sliced
6 ounces fresh fennel, finely sliced
Juice from 1 lemon
Sea salt, to taste
3 ounces sun dried fennel stalks
1 ounce olive oil, plus to taste
Season the codfish with sea salt on both sides and lay the Meyer lemon slices on top to cover it.
Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a bowl, season the sliced fresh fennel with salt and lemon juice to taste. Refrigerate.
In a baking pan, arrange the sun dried fennel in a single layer. Place the codfish on top and drizzle 1 ounce olive oil over the top.
Bake for 15 minutes for medium rare and 20 minutes for medium.
To serve, divide the fresh fennel amongst 4 plates. Place a piece of codfish on top of the fennel and drizzle with fresh olive oil to taste.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I know what you are thinking: blood oranges? I admit, I milked them this season and it's sad that you can still get your hands on them because that means (at least at my store) that spring is yet to come with its arrival of in-season fruits and veggies. I actually stole this recipe from Avec. They served this as a salad this winter over a larger bed of prosciutto. I scaled it all down and placed on a wonton crisp to make into an hors dourves. Only compliments when you serve this guy.
Wonton crisps with blood orange, prosciutto, pistachios and arugula tossed in citrus
1 blood orange, pealed, halved and sliced very thin
3/4 cup of arugula
1 teaspoon of olive oil
10 wonton skins, cut into 2x21/2 inch rectangles
3/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/8 cup of pistachios, shelled and chopped
1/4 pound prosciutto, slice thin
Salt and pepper
Heat oil in large skillet over high heat and fry wonton skins until a rich brown color, about 1-2 minutes flipping often to avoid burning. Drain on paper towel, set aside.
Peel and slice blood orange. Take arugula and add to bowl. Squeeze half of lemon and add olive oil and toss to coat lightly. Season with salt and pepper. Layer wonton skin with prosciutto, arugula and blood orange. Garnish with pistachio nuts.
As you can see, my friends were pretty excited when I served this winning dish on Friday.
I came up with this recipe by combining a couple that I have used before. I stole the garnish from my deviled eggs and subbed leak soup for the cauliflower and sea scallop recipe I hold so dear to my heart. The truth is that this was intended to be a ramp soup. I was so excited to showcase this spring gem. However, it's still cold here in Chicago and they are not available yet so I subbed with leaks and spring onions. A tear.
Leek Soup and Sea Scallops with creme fraiche, whitefish caviar and truffle oil
Trim roots from ramps and slip off outer skin on bupounds if loose. Cut green tops from ramps and coarsely chop enough greens to measure 3 cups (reserve remainder for another use). Thinly slice ramp bulbs, including pink stems.
For the side dish, I thought I'd try a recipe I found in this month's Bon Appetite that sounded like the perfect accompaniment. It took twice as long for them to cook so I would double the time and I doubled the cumin, too. Lastly, I drizzled honey on top just before serving.
Place carrots in pot large enough to hold carrots in double layer. Pour orange juice over; add cumin. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and simmer until carrots are just tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer carrots to plate. Boil liquid in pot until slightly reduced and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Stir in butter. Return carrots to pot and simmer just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season carrots to taste with salt and pepper.
Rhubarb and strawberry compote with fresh mint
3 cups 1/2-inch-wide pieces fresh rhubarb (cut from about 1 pound)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1-pint container fresh strawberries, hulled, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Combine rhubarb, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Simmer gently until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in strawberries. Transfer to bowl and stir in mint. Chill until cold, about 1 hour.
P.S. I served mine over angel food cake with whip cream and a sprig of mint.
“But we’ve got eight months,” Hall said. “We’ve got a list of things we want to do. We’ll celebrate some of our past beers.” Those will include pub only favorites such as Hop Scotch, Aviator Dopplebock and Lincoln Park Lager. The Clybourn pub will also host special dinners and bring back some past brewers to help celebrate. Hall also said the company has been looking at spaces over the past couple years, but it will take some time to find a new space and open another brew pub. Don’t espect anything before next year.
As for the Siebel Institute of Technology & World Brewing Academy target="new" classes taught at the Clybourn location, president Lyn Kruger says they will continue through the end of the year as well. In the meantime, Siebel, which has taught the intricacies of the craft to many local homebrewers and professionals alike, will look for space to relocate in 2009, she said.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Overall, the food is forgettable. And we were bummed about it.
We were off to a good start; we loved our server, my citron on the rocks with a splash of soda with lemon dangerously hit the spot and the staff was very attentive and on-point. Our server pushed the salmon civiche with citrus bubbles, chili, cucumber and wonton chips and the butter poached shrimp, black beans & chili with puffed rice & jalapeno noodle. We went for the shrimp and Simone ordered the soup of the day which was a smoked vegetable. Sounds good, right? Wrong.
Things came to a halt after I got my shrimp. They weren't clean. They made the incision to devain them but didn't actually devain them. Whoops. I immediately pointed this out to our server who was so-so-so apologetic but I had lost my appetite by then. I just told them I would wait for my entree, try Simone's soup and keep to my tasty cocktail. The soup was not a puree which we kind of expected/wished. Rather it was a hearty soup with lots of beans and the 'smokey' flavor in the title on the menu hardly came through.
The star of the night was Simone's vegetarian entree; roasted butternut squash & hon-shemedji mushrooms with seared tofu and freeze-dried peas. The peas added a whole new dimension to the dish and the dish itself was delicious. My order of the short rib ravioli with shallot & sage goat cheese & candied sweet potato and brown butter fell short but was still good.
Dessert was inventive, playful and fun. Cheers to the pastry chef. They also comped them to make nice for the shrimp dish. Overall, Simone and I had a blast. Good company will never ruin a dinner. But would we go back? Don't think so.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Check out this link that my friend shared with me: http://food.alltop.com/ Not only does Alltop aggregate all the top food blogs, it also tracks other topics like fashion, politics, technology and much more!
In other news, my best friend Simone comes on Friday (hooray!) and I will be cooking a nice dinner for 4 at home that will highlight some seasonal vegetables. Saturday night, we have reservations at OTOM (Moto's sister restaurant) so look for the review and posts from the dinner.
Lastly, we went to Avec (again) last night and they have added some new menu items (Do I dare say that spring is upon us in Chicago...?) Make sure to try the duck sausage with fresh basil...it's a home run!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008