Archive for the ‘Appetizer’ Category

Spiced Blueberry Soup

December 13th, 2017 2 Comments

. Beginning in Sälen and ending in Mora, Sweden, the 90 kilometer Swedish Vasaloppet is one of the largest ski races in the world.  Tens of thousands of skiers pilgrimage to Sälen in mid-March to ski, enjoy the spectacle, and some to winter camp along the race course in a good spot to cheer on the racers.  During the week prior to the Vasaloppet between 50,000 and 80,000 people ski the course as a fun family event leading up to

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Indian Cauliflower Pickle

December 6th, 2017 4 Comments

  Pickled cauliflower would be great in the summer heat but I’ve been enjoying the brightness of this veggie alongside my denser fall foods like squash, stews, and slow cooked meats.  There are countless versions of marinated brassicas, though many of us don’t have access to a wide variety of southeast Asian spices so this adaptation is relatively simple.     Here is a little video with two ways to cut cauliflower into florets.  We’ve also been frying and roasting

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Tamari Sesame Dipping Sauce

November 30th, 2017 2 Comments

  Are you in need of some simple meals during this season of heavy holiday feasting?  Rice and steamed vegetables with this sauce could be your dinner tonight.  Maybe add a little tofu or chicken for protein.  Then drink some tea, take a walk, breath good air.  Sleep well.  Get ready.     What a surprise to find local ginger at a Midwestern farmers market in November!  This is good news for locavores.  This bulb is fresh and uncured with beautifully thin skin, I

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Chermoula with Roasted Squash

November 16th, 2017 4 Comments

  Chermoula is one of my favorite flavor bombs of all times. To quote a comment from my friend Heather on my Chermoula post of years ago: “One word…MAGIC. This little gem creates magical alchemy with anything it touches. And I have been introducing it to everything I eat. It is indescribable on veggie tacos. As I was conjuring it, I thought ‘Oh, this doesn’t make very much.’ A mother of five, quantity is always lurking in my consciousness. Chermoula

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Root Veggie Latkes

November 8th, 2017 1 Comment

  Another Autumn treat from 2011 that needs rediscovering…   Pancakes aren’t just for potatoes anymore.  I love potatoes, but there is something endearing about supporting the Underdog.  The humble rutabaga, or ‘Swede’ as the Brits call it, can look huge and weird in the produce section, often ignored like an ugly duckling. Rediscover those Roots, that’s what I say!  Taste the Tubers..     “…Prior to the introduction of the potato to the Old World, latkes were, and in some places still are, made

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Pear Apple Chutney revisited

October 18th, 2017 No Comments

  I’m seeing so many of these ingredients at the Farmer’s Market it seemed like a good time to re-post this little chutney treat from November of 2011.  Enjoy!    Chutneys-–pungent enough to raise your eyebrows, but sweet and savory enough that you close your eyes and let out an involuntary groan of pleasure.  Eaten alone it should be almost too much flavor, and eaten as a condiment to chicken or beans or rice…it should make you glad to be

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Eggplant Fritters with Honey

September 19th, 2017 4 Comments

.   My boat!  We found this cutie resting near the shores of Lake Superior in Bayfield, Wisconsin.   There is not much downtime in the summer for Scott and me but we did manage a quick trip to hang out on Lake Superior, our midwestern ocean.  We stayed at a sweet little 50’s era place in Ashland called the Bayview Motel, right on the shores of big lake.  No online reservations—you’ll have to call or email to contact them,

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Tamarind Fig Butter

September 12th, 2017 No Comments

  Oh, just a few more flowers.   And butterflies.   It’s the time of year when summer has peaked and you can feel the pendulum heading the other direction, when sunlight and flowers feel finite.  At least that is what we’re feeling here in the north lands…away from the turmoil of the epic storms all across the south.  So here are a few moments of calm with flowers and sunlight, a breath before diving back into the realities and residuum of

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Shichimi Popcorn

August 7th, 2017 1 Comment

  I did say I would try this, did I not? Spice combinations on popcorn—there is a world of tasty additive ideas out there.  From Za’atar to Parmesan-Rosemary, Caraway-Mustard to Lemon-Curry, or Chipotle-Bacon-Drippings to Dill-Cumin, there are endless flavor variations to amend your puffed maize.  Not that there is anything needed!  Corn is lovely with just salt and an oil.   Shichimi is a Japanese blend of spices including chiles, citrus peel, sesame seeds, and nori, and often poppyseeds, Szechuan peppercorns, ginger and garlic are

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Tamari Eggplant

August 1st, 2017 2 Comments

  Need a bacon substitute for a BLT?    Oh my, the bacon lover in me says there is no substitute for the Fruit of the Pig…but these tamari drenched roasted eggplant pack a load of flavor that gives satisfaction to the Umami Itch.  I made this little sandwich with parmesan but I’m positive a fresh ripe tomato would be a perfect match on top. I often use a marinade with equal parts tamari and cider vinegar—Roasted Tofu Skewers is another example

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Black Bean Burgers

July 11th, 2017 2 Comments

  The Weavers were back! June is a full and demanding month for me but I get to end it by providing meals for a lovely group of basket weavers from around the world at the Willow Gathering.  This session I peeked in on traditional basket styles from the Catalan region of Spain, and I’ll post the photos from two other sessions later…         The fresh willow is soaked in water so it bends easily, then kept wrapped in plastic

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Rosemary Mixed Nuts

June 6th, 2017 No Comments

  Nuts! Always a handy item for snacks or an appetizer table.  The many crevices of walnuts and pecans hold the herbs and sugar nicely so very little of the good stuff falls away.  I tried these without the cayenne and they seemed a bit weak—the red pepper gives not only a background of warmth, but it’s amazing how it both builds the base flavor and brings a little brightness.  You can be creative with other herbs and spices as well.

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Jerk Guacamole

May 23rd, 2017 8 Comments

  A quick jaunt to Colorado on Amtrak helped me remember that trains are an awesome way to travel.  Everyone is relaxed, friendly, unparanoid, and relatively diverse.  The leg room in coach is luxurious and the small stations have free long term parking.  Perhaps it’s time you consider an Amtrak adventure?     A sun rising over Nebraska was enjoyed by a few of us in the observation lounge.  There wasn’t much talking in that pre-dawn reverie but the appreciation was palpable as we waited for the downstairs

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Pickled Cumin Carrots

May 16th, 2017 5 Comments

  I referred to this pickling recipe in the Carrot Flowers post a few years ago and the Quick-Pickled Vegetable Salad last year, but I thought these beauties deserve their own page.  These are one of my favorite stand-byes for antipasto trays—they’re surprisingly bright and zesty, and the cheery orange is great next to the often dull brown hues of olives, mushrooms and meat.   This recipe is also from one of my favorite cookbooks ever, Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  I made

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5-Spice Tofu

May 9th, 2017 3 Comments

  I used to make a similar tofu at the deli, crusted with ground pumpkin seeds, cornmeal and 5-spice.  I simplified it in this version but it still has that hint of exotic with the Big Five to add to your sandwich or stir fry. In the past I would often treat tofu like fish, it has a similar wetness and needs to be handled delicately.  At the Loring Café with we used to make Chef Lenny Russo’s 5-spice grilled trout served

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Socca

April 19th, 2017 2 Comments

  Every culture has their flatbread—tortillas, crepes, roti, pita, gözleme, mana’eesh, msemmen, naan—the list of edible wraps from around the world goes on and on.  This garbanzo flatbread, a.k.a. farinata, socca, torta di ceci or cecina, is common in Italy, France and northern Africa where garbanzos abound.  They’re gluten free, full of protein, and provide a great vehicle to get your favorite toppings into your mouth.     It takes a while for the garbanzo flour to be absorbed into the water so begin early in the

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Shichimi

April 12th, 2017 2 Comments

Also known as ‘Seven Flavor Chile” because there are usually seven ingredients (shichi = seven), shichimi is a Japanese dried-spice mixture that can be cooked into dishes or added at the end for a complex punch of flavor.  Though regions and families have their own ingredient combinations and proportions, most shichimi contains chiles, citrus peel, sesame seeds, and nori.  Other ingredients may include Szechuan peppercorn, black or white poppyseeds, hemp seeds, paprika, salt, ginger and garlic.   I recently picked up a bag of pre-mixed shichimi and was reminded how

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Pickled Deviled Eggs

March 21st, 2017 No Comments

  Sanskrit scriptures describe the universe as being birthed from an egg. The term Brahmanda is from two words: Brahm (ब्रह्म) = ‘cosmos’ or ‘expanding’, and ‘anda‘ (अण्ड) = ‘egg’.  The Brahmanda Purana, an ancient Indian text, explains this fascinating concept in great detail.  Good reading while you wait for the weather to warm as we muck through this season of mudliness.    Eggs and Spring.   Along with symbolizing life and new birth, in earlier times eggs were one of the few things available

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Black Bean Paste

March 7th, 2017 No Comments

  Black Bean paste is a Chinese condiment used in many a dish (hoisin sauce, stir fries, Asian BBQ, noodles), and a secret ingredient of those from Team Umami.  It’s bold and tangy and can bump the flavor factor of your sauces manyfold. It can be really difficult to tell if Chinese condiments are gluten free, especially if there is the possibility of soy sauce (containing wheat) and it certainly doesn’t help if the ingredient list seems vague or incomplete.  I’ve been searching for GF

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Herb Egg Butter

February 8th, 2017 4 Comments

  More wax!! For any of you partial to vintage ski paraphernalia here is Something Old and Something New in side-by-side Reds: years ago Swedish wax company Lind-Ex changed their name to SkiGo and here they are together. We bought the new SkiGo Red this year because of impending warm conditions, and Scott found a red Lind-Ex kick wax from the early 1980’s in his wax box. I love the SkiGo ski bag in the background of the SkiGo waxes, and next

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