Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Basil Salt

October 16th, 2013 No Comments

  It’s a drizzly overcast day with a chilly night coming on, and time for all of the basil to be dug out of the garden and processed.  I’ll be up to my elbows in pesto of course, but I’ve been wanting to try herb salts all summer so this will be the day.     I was amazed at how green it is even after drying in the oven.  That color will be especially appreciated in the winter days

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White Beans with Grilled Peppers, Rosemary and Oregano

October 10th, 2013 No Comments

  I recently made this dish for a wedding I catered, and as I have been known to do I included something on a menu that I hadn’t exactly done before but it sounded like a good combination of ingredients.  Fortunately for everyone this assumption turned out to be true…I have never before seen a party eat beans with such gusto! A recipe was requested so this is an attempt to recreate the magic.     For the wedding I

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Parsley Shallot Butter

October 2nd, 2013 3 Comments

  I was searching at the Farmers Market for shallots and unable to find any so I finally asked one of my favorite vendors.  He pointed to containers on the table filled with what appeared to be red onions. Shallots!  Shallots the size of baseballs!  It’s a cook’s dream…I only have to peel three shallots instead of thirty.  Either Gilligan’s Island radioactive vegetable seeds have been distributed, or they’re the result of using the incredible Cowsmo manure fertilizer from Wisconsin.

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Balsamic Maple Walnuts

September 24th, 2013 3 Comments

  It’s time for a little image-tribute to the last days of summer and the radiant color of its bounty.  These are two photos from my friend David Cavagnaro of Pepperfield Project.  I never tire of looking at his pictures.  He photographs using only natural light, calling himself “stubbornly anti-technological” but the results are brilliant.     “We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry.” .

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Homestyle Tomato Soup

September 17th, 2013 No Comments

  A pile of ripe tomatoes and a drizzly day remind me of another soup we used to make in the deli.  This creamy tomato soup is simple and homey, and if it doesn’t bring up good childhood memories hopefully it will create warm fuzzy new ones.     This year I planted climbing beans next to the tomatoes so the tomatoes would benefit from the nitrogen fixing wonders of the leggy legumes, and they completely merged and intermingled on

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Sumac Basil Tea

September 10th, 2013 1 Comment

    Tis the season of these fuzzy tart rubies. The cicadas are buzzing, the days are steamy, but the nearly-sharp chill of the early morning gives away that secret I’ve been aching to hear…that fall is knocking at the door.   Sumac is often used in shawarma seasonings or ground up and sprinkled over hummus and Mediterranean meats, but this year the warm days make me want a refreshing cool drink that’s like a Midwestern lemonade.   . Staghorn

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Savory Sweet Potato Pie

September 3rd, 2013 2 Comments

  Years ago we used to organize an all-day street festival called Live on Winnebago, and one of my roles was to feed the numerous bands that were playing during the day and night.  Many of them were on tour across the country or world, and that meant they depended on the venues to provide their meals.  Often the road food provided by venues is much less than amazing… so my goal was to give them road food d’bliss!  I served savory

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Scott’s Waldorf Slaw

August 20th, 2013 1 Comment

. Cabbage.  Magnificent.   This is an easy-to-make Waldorf-Coleslaw hybrid that Scott created and I love it.  The cabbage is already at Farmers Market and the early apples are coming in so it seemed like a perfect time to share this salad with you.   The dressing is sweet-tart and the curry powder is subtle but essential—-great for a warm summer’s day. Not bad for a fall day either.   . Such beauty!  I suppose summer does have a few

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Green Coriander Seed Paste

August 13th, 2013 No Comments

  If you’re growing cilantro in your garden it probably looks like this right now: a mass of beautiful little flowers and bulbous green seeds.  Usually I don’t have time to deal with them and just wait until they dry in the garden then harvest the coriander seeds for use in the winter, but sometimes I catch them at this perfect stage when they have flavors of both fresh cilantro AND coriander seed. I know that there is an ant-cilantro

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Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

August 6th, 2013 1 Comment

  Figs and Balsamic Vinegar…a match made in heaven! Rich, Deep Flavors with Sweet and Tangy, together they tango.   Balsamic Vinegar Balsamic originates from the word ‘balm’ and years ago this rich caramel liquid was used for medicinal purposes such as curing colds and aiding heart conditions, not for cooking as we use it today.   Traditionally it was aged for decades, sometimes up to 100 years, in a series of wooden barrels (mulberry, ash, cherry, chestnut, and oak)

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Marinated Potato Salad

July 23rd, 2013 2 Comments

  Potato salad you can take to a picnic and not worry about the mayo.   I recently made this for an outdoor meal with 340 people.  It held up well and tasted even better after it rested for a few hours.  Because of the rainy spring and late plantings there weren’t many local potatoes ready yet so I added zucchini to bulk it up to the 14 gallons that I needed to make.  We’re just beginning the season where

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Preserved Lemons (and Kumquats)

July 16th, 2013 No Comments

    YELLOW! With the summer sun blazing every day, it seems like the season of yellow.   Preserved lemons, a.k.a. lemon pickles, are known as a North African condiment but they appear in dishes all over the region. The entire lemon is preserved in a bed of salt and lemon juice to keep it usable for many months and the result is a distinct lemon flavor that adds a surprising sparkle… yet is also kind of mellow.  I’ve often

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Dairy Free Lasagna with Cannelini

July 5th, 2013 1 Comment

. The idea is not to just find ways to substitute dairy, but to have a dish be whole and delicious on its own.  To make good food.   The role of ricotta in lasagna is to give some creaminess, some protein, and a mild flavor that will take on the surrounding strong flavors of the sauce.  Here we replace the ricotta with a puree of cannelini beans, leeks and nutritional yeast.  The goal is a fluffy, creamy, salty blend

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Lime Butter

July 3rd, 2013 2 Comments

    There is no end to the mixture of seasonings and herbs that can be mixed with an oil to infuse it.  Flavored butters are no exception.  Herbs, citrus, garlic, paprika, cinnamon, nutmeg, spices….all of these are tasty in a whipped butter.   I have found the Pure Lime Oil by Boyajian to be an incredible product that I use both in desserts and in savory dishes.  I have the 5 ounce bottle that I’ll be using for years,

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Cajun Tofu

June 18th, 2013 1 Comment

  I used to cook with tofu like I might cook a fish.  Tofu is somewhat bland and fleshy but with a delicate texture…so I started using it as a blank slate for other flavors.  This concoction became a Deli sandwich, served with a Lemon Caper Aioli, tomatoes and lettuce.   . Let the tofu sit for a few minutes to let the liquids soak in, then sprinkle with the spices.   .. . I like my tofu crispy or chewy,

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Turkey Pinole Soup

June 11th, 2013 No Comments

  Last fall we bought an extra turkey —we love turkey and can’t figure out why we don’t eat it all year round.  This week we cooked it because it’s been so cold and rainy that the idea of a warm oven and turkey aromas sounded cozy and appealing.  The day after turkey-roasting came the stock-making ritual, and we awoke to another rainy chilly day so I was doubly glad to have a that flame and good smell in the

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Rhubarb Chutney

June 4th, 2013 2 Comments

  Mmm..more things to make with the rhubarb that is popping up all over. You can make almost anything into a chutney.  Chutneys are either raw or cooked, but since this one includes rhubarb it will definitely be cooked! . . . . . Last week’s post had lots of words, this week has very few! .  .   I made a version of this for a small wedding years ago, serving it alongside slices roasted pork loin.   Rhubarb

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Watercress Pepita Pesto

May 21st, 2013 No Comments

  Green green green—after numerous May snowfalls, finally Spring has erupted into GREEN around here!  And with it I want to eat more green.  I found watercress in a store recently and it seemed like the perfect addition to a Spring dinner.   Watercress grows in our local streams and in the past I have picked it from ones that I think (and hope) are clean (no ‘hot’ manure, no field runoff).  Commercial greens are usually grown hydroponically in alkaline

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Mini Spinach Frittatas

May 14th, 2013 No Comments

  These little buddies are great for parties (graduation season is approaching…) or you could make them as larger patties and serve them for supper.  They’re even good as leftovers and road food.  Because they have a medium-mild flavor I often serve them with a garlic aioli or a Middle Eastern lemon-garlic dip.  Vehicles for big flavor! . . . As spinach cooks it releases an enormous amount of water.  The spinach needs to be as dry as possible so

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Orange Quinoa Salad with Chicken

May 7th, 2013 1 Comment

  My sister made this dish for our sister’s weekend and we devoured it—she said that even her finicky teenage boys love it.  The chicken makes it a meal but I’ve also made it without the chicken and it was scrumptious.  When my sister started her new job she found in her office a pile of recipes that someone left behind so we have no idea where the recipe originated, we’re just grateful for this little gem that was in

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