I made this to go along with our Pearl Barley Minestrone and it was perfection! When it first comes out of the oven the top is crunchy and the middle is soft. As the bread sits it softens up and becomes less crusty.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 bottle (12 ounce) your favorite beer (use a lighter ale - I used Blue Moon Belgian White)
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with baker's joy or butter. Set aside.
- In a mixer, blend together both kinds of flour, the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add in the honey and beer and mix on medium until just combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, it will be very sticky. Evenly pour half the melted butter over the top of the batter.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any butter that may drip from the pan. Bake for 50 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Brush the other half of the melted butter over the top of the bread after you've pulled it from the oven.
An astoundingly delicious vegetarian (or even vegan!) soup. My little one loved this and ate everything in her bowl.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped finely
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 big potato, diced
- 2 medium zucchinis, diced
- 100 grams cauliflower, chopped
- 1 (15 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 150 grams pearl barley
- 1 liter vegetable broth
- 1 handful parsley, chopped finely
- 12 leaves basil, chopped finely
- 150 grams chard, or kale, small shreds
- salt & pepper
- parmigiano reggiano (amount depends to your liking)
- Coat bottom of large pot with olive oil. Saute onion on medium heat for a few minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute for a minute.
- Add carrots and saute for couple of minutes.
- Add celery and saute for a couple of minutes.
- Add potato, zucchini, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Mix well.
- Add barley and broth.
- Turn heat up to medium high, bring to boil. Turn down heat to low simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes or until barley is al dente.
- Add parsley, basil, and chard or kale. Turn off heat and stir greens into soup until they are wilted.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve with parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil to top.
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This was the hit of the catering job I had today. At least for me it was.
- 2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons gelatin
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups greek yogurt
- 1 (15oz can) cream of coconut
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (8oz jar) Four Berry Jam
- Mix together Graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter, until crumbly. Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes until set. Let cool completely.
- Mix gelatin in lemon juice. Put over lowest heat setting on stove in order completely dissolve gelatin.
- Mix together yogurt, coconut cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Use stick blender or food processor to blend in lemon and gelatin mixture. Pour over completely cooled crust. Refrigerate overnight.
- Heat four berry jam over stove or in microwave until just barely warmed. Pour over top of cheesecake and put back in the refrigerator for at least two more hours.
- Cut the slices small, this is pretty rich. But it won't leave you feeling all piggy.
One of my long time fan crushes in the food world has been Dorie Greenspan. She’s an amazing cook, and an even better cookbook writer. In my head I always call her Dorie G, and we always have wonderful culinary adventures together. She just seems like a fun person to be around.
I am also an unmitigated superfan of all things pumpkin. I will NEVER apologize for my pumpkin lust every fall. One of the most followed boards on my Pinterest is the pumpkin themed one. I’ve tried pumpkin in so many different dishes…but this one probably takes the prize for best savory dish with pumpkin. At least thus far.
- 1 (3-pound) pumpkin
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 pound Pepperidge Farms stuffing mix
- 1/4 pound Smoked Gouda, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
- 4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped parlsey
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or spread on a bit of oil so the pumpkin won't stick.
- Cut off top of pumpkin, working around the top at an angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; set aside the top. Remove pumpkin guts. Season inside of pumpkin with kosher salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet.
- In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, parsley, and thyme until well combined. Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. Depending on the size of the pumpkin you use, and the thickness of it's flesh, you may need to add some bread and cheese, or some of the filling may not be necessary to use and you will have to cook it along side in a small casserole dish.
- In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream, you may need to adjust amount of liquid if you've used more or less stuffing in the pumpkin
- Place top on pumpkin and place in oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.
- Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving plate and serve.
Sounds fancy, don’t it?
Boy have I got you fooled! It’s totally not fancy at all. Just french.
We don’t eat our lentils around here nearly often enough. But I’ve been attempting to eat down our store of dried goods. These lentils had been hanging around much too long. Not that they ever go bad, but…well, I’d just like to go buy some fresher ones. But first I had to eat the old ones.
I found this amazing recipe from PBS Food, then I did my usual switch a few things around, and add stuff to it, routine. I hope you like this as much as we did. It was even loved by my five-year-old (except for the sausages, we had to fix her a hot dog to go with this. Must work on that tender tongue of hers!)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large parsnip (or two smaller ones), diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ cups dupuy lentils (or green lentils)
- 1 quart chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- splash red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large handfuls of kale, chopped
- 1 pound of andouille sausages
- Heat oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute parsnip, carrot, celery, and onion til slightly browned. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes longer. Add rosemary, thyme, bay and lentils and stir well to coat lentils in oil. Add stock. Cover and bring to a biol. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Add mustard, vinegar, paprika and salt. Then put all of kale on top of lentils and put on lid. Let kale wilt for 5 minutes, then stir into lentils.
- While lentils are cooking roast sausages in oven set to 425° til browned and crispy on the skin.
- Serve lentils in bowl with a sausage on top.
A few weeks ago I checked out the new cookbook by our local Food Coop. It’s a great little local to Oklahoma cookbook, and it has some great recipes in it. If you are one of those people that likes to collect local, regular people compiled, cookbooks, I highly recommend it. My only little gripe about it is the sideways layout of the book. The cover and chapters are laid out in portrait style, while the recipes are laid out landscape style. The makes it easy to lay the spiral bound book down on your counter to look at while cooking. But difficult to read through as you have to keep flipping the book back and forth in order to view it in order.
At any rate. There is a most excellent recipe for a Mushroom, Nut & Cheese Loaf in the The Oklahoma Food Cooperative Cookbook. I served it to a vegetarian friend of mine and she actually cried for love of it! My four-year-old inhaled it and asked for more. And my husband, the open-minded carnivore, loved it too! It’s now part of my permanent repertoire (and I’m even getting requests to have it made in bulk for people to purchase).
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 1 lb fresh crimini mushrooms, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp marjoram
- ½ tsp sage
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1 cup walnuts, roasted, minced
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, minced
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven and stone (or regular metal) loaf pan to 350°F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet, over medium heat and cook onion until translucent. Add garlic, saute for 1 minute; add mushrooms, dried herbs, and salt and pepper. Cook on medium-low heat until all juice evaporates from mushrooms, about 20 minutes. Place mushroom mixture in a large bowl, add rice, nuts, eggs, cottage cheese, and cheese and blend together well.
- Put the mixture into hot stoneware (or regular) loaf pan. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until firm. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from pan.
- Serve immediately, or wrap and freeze for up to 6 months.
In May I will be participating in the Warrior Dash in Oklahoma. I will also be collecting sponsorship donations for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Please, if you have the ability, consider donating to this wonderful hospital in my name!
Next up on the book review agenda, The Spice Bible by Jane Lawson.
Oh. My. This is like my dream cookbook about spices everyone. It’s encyclopedic, everything from Ajowan to Wasabi, all broken down by type – seeds and pods, berries and flowers, and roots and bark. It has great recipes, every single spice has at least one matching recipe, often it has two or three to try. It even covers spice pastes, and spice blends, all with recipes for those pastes and blends, as well as recipes using those spice pastes and blends. It’s A-may-zing. (You can tell I’m in love, I sound like a ten-year-old when I talk about it)
It’s on my wishlist. Please buy it for me?
Last night I threw together some Indian food from this book, as well as a side culled from several places online. Butter Chicken is a very common Indian food recipe. It’s relatively easy to make, and tastes very close to what you have in most Indian restaurants under the name Chicken Tikka Masala.
The side dishes were rice, and Saag Paneer. Typically restaurants have Palak Paneer, which is specifically spinach. But I was looking to finish up the kale we had on hand before it went all droopy. So, the word saag just means greens, and it can be any kind of greens – collards, mustard, kale, chard, beet. And this recipe could be used with just plain spinach if that is what you have on hand. Green and leafy? Give it a go in this dish. I ended up changing the dish a bit from most Saag Paneers, since I had used all my yogurt in the Butter Chicken, and didn’t really want to double down on the dairy in our meal anyway, I substituted coconut cream. It was a surprisingly awesome sub! Some vegan saag paneer recipes call for using it instead of yogurt, or cream. Sometimes those vegans are crafty and smart (don’t tell Anthony Bourdain I said that!). I used regular paneer (a type of cheese), since that is what I had on hand, but it could easily be switched out for lightly-fried extra firm tofu, and it would be a full-on vegan dish.
- 3/4" piece of fresh ginger roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds
- 2/3 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayanne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 2 lbs 4 oz skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into large pieces
- 5 tablespoons ghee (it's the butter in butter chicken, but I've been known to use olive oil also)
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 large handful of cilantro leaves
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- Place the ginger, garlic, and almonds into a food processor and turn into a paste. Blend paste with yogurt, spices, and tomato sauce in a bowl. Add chicken pieces and let marinate in sauce for four hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Heat ghee in a deep, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and fry for 10 minutes, until softened and brown. Remove onions to a dutch oven. Fry chicken pieces in batches for 5 minutes to brown a bit. Add to dutch oven. Deglaze frying pan with cream, let set for one minute, and then add to dutch oven with chicken and remainder of marinade. Put lid on dutch oven.
- Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and spoon off some of the excess oil.
- Optional: Remove lid on dutch oven and switch to low broiler. Allow chicken to brown for 5-10 minutes.
- 7 ounces paneer in half-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or ghee, or vegetable oil)
- 1 large bunch kale
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
- 1 large clove garlic peeled and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1 cup coconut cream
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 pinch Garam masala
- Melt the oil in a wide skillet over a medium flame until it shimmers. Add the cheese cubes in a single layer, turn the heat down to medium-low, and let the cheese brown on the first side, 3-5 minutes. It will spit and hiss, so be careful. Loosen the cheese with a thin, metal spatula, and flip each cube onto a second side. Let brown on the second side, 3-5 more minutes, then sprinkle with a bit of salt and remove the cheese to drain on a double layer of paper towels.
- If the oil in the pan burned or smoked, pour it out, wipe out the pan, and add another tablespoon of oil; otherwise, you can leave the oil in the pan for the next step.
- Use a sharp paring knife to slice the kale leaves off of the stems. Give the kale leaves a rough chop, then soak them in a large bowl of cool water, swishing occasionally to loosen any dirt or sand clinging to them. Drain and shake excess water off kale leaves.
- Heat the oil over a medium flame until it shimmers, then add the onion, ginger, cumin, garlic, chile flakes and turmeric. Saute, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, then add 1/4 cup water and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Steam the chard until the leaves are just wilted and bright green; this will only take a few minutes. Take lid off and continue to saute until most of the water is cooked away and kale is no longer wet.
- Stir in the coconut cream, and cheese cubes, gently heat through over a low flame, then remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Taste, adding more salt or lemon juice if needed to bring up the flavors.
- Serve the saag paneer over rice, garnished with cilantro, a pinch of garam masala, and lemon wedges to squeeze over the top.
I hawkishly watch the new cookbook releases feed for my local library system. I’ll admit it, I’m much more addicted to cookbooks than my income or shelf space will allow in new additions. So I borrow, I read, I cook with, I return – occasionally I return them in a fit of angst at not being able to purchase them. But at least they are there for me to peruse at will. I love our library system here. I’ve worked in it before and I hope to work in it again soon.
A couple of weeks ago I happened upon a new book in the system all about kale! The Book of Kale seemed like a great read for someone as fannish about kale as I am.
This is a slightly different cookbook than the usual. Not only does it have 80+ recipes, most involving kale in one way or another, but it also covers everything you could want to know about growing it. Grow it, then eat it. Talk about a well-rounded approach! Sharon Hanna the author goes into great depth in the first section. From the history of kale, to reasons why you should eat it, to growing, to how to get your kids to eat it and love it. She hits all the bases with this one topic cookbook. Ever wonder how many varieties of Brassica oleracea acephala there is? The answer is, a lot. Find out the difference between B. oleracea and the sub-type Brassica napus in the pages of this book. And then maybe you too can grow some dinosaur kale for your kid(s).
The second half of the book is comprised of the recipes. Broken down into seven categories: breakfast, starters & light meals, salads, soups & stews, vegetable dishes & sides, pasta, polenta & risotto, and main dishes. What, no kale ice cream?
Wondering what variety of kale makes the best kale chips? That would be Lactino (otherwise known as dinosaur) kale. Long broad leaves with minimally tough stems make for crunchy green nirvana when dried to a crisp in the oven (or even your food dehydrator, she covers that method also). Or maybe you’d like to make some crunchy crackers with kale? There’s a recipe for that too. Perfect with a smear of goat cheese. Yum.
For my first foray into the recipes in this book I decided to make something light for our Friday dinner. The Ligurian Kale and Potato Torta suited my mood. Simple, rustic, and stuffed full of kale (mostly because I left out the Chard that was in the original recipe). This northern Italian pie was a hit with my husband and my little girl.
- 2 pre-made pie crusts
- 3/4 cup mild feta, crumbled
- 3/4 cup Italian blend cheese, shredded
- 1 large potato, boiled, chopped, cooled
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cups kale leaves, chiffonade or chopped to smallish bits
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saute pan on medium heat. Saute onion til barely golden brown on edges. Add in kale and 3 tablespoons of water. Put on lid and let kale wilt. Remove lid and continue to stir and saute til most moisture is gone.
- Mix kale and onion, potato, cheeses, and a bit of salt and pepper in medium bowl. Pour beaten eggs over, mix thoroughly.
- Place first pie crust flat onto a sheet pan that’s been sprayed, or brushed down, with olive oil. Heap kale mixture onto middle of pie crust, leaving 1/2″ empty around edge. Place second crust on top, and crimp edges shut. Brush top and edges of torta with remaining olive oil. Slash a few holes in the top for steam venting.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Should be just golden brown.
- This recipe was adapted from The Book of Kale by Sharon Hanna.