Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Riced Cauliflower Salad

September 27th, 2017 6 Comments

  Cauliflower has been experiencing quite the celebrity status over the last few years because of its sturdiness and mild flavor that make it a decent grain-substitute when ‘riced’. Pizza crusts, pilafs, salads, as pasta—cauliflower has found its way into many low-carb experiments.     I wanted to make a saffron-cauliflower pilaf so I simmered the grated cauliflower with saffron, but after tasting it I was not excited. I don’t know if cauliflower and saffron have an inherent clash tendency,

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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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Gluten Free Carrot Cake and Muffins

August 23rd, 2017 No Comments

  Here was another moment where we leaped into producing a large amount (330 servings) of an untested recipe that had been Frankenstein-ed together from multiple other recipes.  Sometimes there just isn’t time and you have to rely on the lessons learned from all the other mistakes you’ve done in the past and go with what seems right. Fortunately for the diners, all went well!   We initially made this as a cake, then a few weeks later I needed muffins so I reduced

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New Mexico Chile Lime Slaw

August 15th, 2017 No Comments

  When creating a catering menu that highlights locally grown ingredients there is a certain amount of ambiguity that is necessary, especially if the menu must be decided upon months in advance.  No one can possibly know what will be available at an exact date so I cannot promise any particular vegetable in a dish.  Even with protective measures like hoop houses there are countless factors affecting crops–things like temperature, rain, no rain, early spring, late freeze, hail, floods, bugs, slugs, deer, raccoons—the list of variables

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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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Summer Salads

July 26th, 2017 No Comments

  More Willow!   Here are a few photos from two other sessions of the Willow Gathering that I catered, a “bird’s nest” technique giving some sculptural freedoms, and a traditional Danish rectangular basket technique.             I’m spending the week at Scattergood Friends School, my alma mater alternative high school and where I am spending more time these days.  This is the place where I fell in love with stainless steel and learned to cook on a large scale— each

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Cashew Horchata

July 18th, 2017 2 Comments

  Horchata The horchata we had in Mexico was made from rice, sugar, and cinnamon, and maybe rice milk added in.  Many a Mexican restaurant will have the churning white liquid in a countertop fountain dispenser, mesmerizing to watch as you wait for your tacos de asada.  Originating in Spain using tiger nuts, horchata can also be made with almonds, barley, sesame seeds, morro seeds, or peanuts depending where in the world you might be. I found an interesting recipe at oneingredientchef.com that includes

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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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Sesame Chicken Salad

July 4th, 2017 1 Comment

  I really didn’t intend to make a Chicken Salad, it just happened. It started because I wanted to make a chili-lime slaw as a trial run for something I might do for a catering event this summer.  I then saw the toasted sesame oil in the cupboard so I let it shift the flavors into that direction.  Rice vinegar, garlic chili paste, ginger—the dressing was tasty, but I shredded a hard green cabbage and it was not-quite-right, tasting almost bitter, and too intense for what I wanted. What to do?  Add noodles?

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Sparkling Jasmine Iced Tea

June 20th, 2017 2 Comments

  In honor of the first day of summer here is a refreshing green tea with a light sparkle.  Give yourself the gift of an afternoon to sit in the shade, sip this delicate treat, listen to the birds, and enjoy the day.   (and no, those are not jasmine flowers in the photo…)     For centuries jasmine tea has been made by infusing tea leaves with jasmine flower petals letting the tea leaves absorb the sweet flower scent.  The tea leaves

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Carrot Quinoa Salad

June 14th, 2017 No Comments

  Cute tiny grains.  Bright orange carrots.  Summer days.  Good.   Quinoa is a relatively forgiving grain to cook.  I loosely measure 2 parts liquid to 1 part quinoa, but if you rinse it well and pour a random large amount of water into the pot you can drain off whatever liquid is left when it is cooked to your liking, or you can add more water during the cooking process if needed.  Beautifully un-fussy and un-intimidating—but ONE EXCEPTION is that you

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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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Sonoran Tortillas Sobaqueras

May 30th, 2017 2 Comments

  In northern Mexico tortillas are commonly made with white flour instead of corn masa like most of Latin America.  In the state of Sonora the tortillas have taken on a life of their own and are made way, way, way bigger than your head, called tortillas sobaqueras.  “Sobaquera” (holster) is a slang term for armpit—these tortillas are made by slinging and stretching them over your arm like pizza dough resulting (if you’re good) in a tortilla the length of  your arm.  These delicate blankets are also referred

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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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Curried Spinach w/ Gluten Free Gnocchi

May 3rd, 2017 2 Comments

  Superpowers? I sometimes wish my superpowers were more exciting.  List-making is not terribly sexy or awe-inspiring.  I visualize what needs to happen then scribble (with .09 lead pencil and paper) the amounts then compile all the amounts into another list, then figure out the day and order in which things need to happen. It might take numerous drafts to achieve something understandable and useable.  I may even teeter into OCD moments of how a proper list should look and I

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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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