Strata with Greens

 

Ai-Mei’s Strata with Greens, Bacon and Goat Cheese

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz mild goat cheese, crumbled (or substitute shredded fontina)
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cups packed 1-inch cubes bread (6 to 7 ounces) we used a Palladin loaf
  • 3 oz kale or Swiss chard leaves, tough stems removed, coarsely chopped, about 2 heaping cups

Preheat oven to 425°.

Beat eggs and milk together until thoroughly combined. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and the crumbled goat cheese.

Cook chopped bacon in a 9- or 10-inch cast iron pan over medium heat until crisp. Transfer bacon to a small dish, leaving the fat behind. Add the onion and cook until softened but not browned. Add the bread and stir into cooked onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat, add reserved bacon, and fold in the egg mixture. Add half of the greens and fold into the mixture until combined. Add remaining greens and fold again until combined. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until center of strata is puffed and set and edges have browned and pulled away slightly from the sides of the skillet, about 15 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking. May take an additional 5-10 minutes. Let strata cool for 5 minutes before serving.

4-6 servings

Adapted from a Food52 recipe

Accordion Potatoes

Photo of Accordion Potatoes

 

Ai-Mei’s Accordion Potatoes

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 Yukon Gold potatoes based on skillet size (ours were ~5″ in length)
  • 6 TBS butter, melted
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Asiago (optional)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Scrub the potatoes thoroughly, but do not peel. Slice one very thin layer off each potato, along the length, then set aside. This serves as a solid base to rest on while you slice them. Place a potato flat side-down and use a sharp knife to make slices that are about 1/8-inch apart; slice into the potato but not completely through it — the slices should stay connected at the bottom.

Our preferred way to keep the potato intact but evenly sliced is to run a metal skewer through the lower third of the potato lengthwise. This allows you make perfect slices without cutting all the way through.

Using a pastry brush, brush the bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet and each potato with the butter. Brush the potatoes generously reserving some butter for basting during cooking. Place potatoes in skillet Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 60 minutes — basting the potatoes every 15 minutes or so with the remaining butter. If using the grated cheese, sprinkle on the potatoes and cook an additional 15 minutes or until completely done and golden brown on top.

 

White Bean Soup

 

 

White Bean Soup with Quinoa and Greens

Ingredients:

  • 3 TBS Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste
  • 6-7 cups stock (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 (or more – see note) 15.5 oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, soaked for 5 minutes and thoroughly rinsed (do not skip this step)
  • 1 bunch kale, Swiss chard or spinach, washed and slivered
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Sherry vinegar (at table)

Heat oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté until just tender (5-8 minutes). Add garlic and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and combine with other ingredients. Add stock and simmer ~20 minutes. Add beans and quinoa, cover and simmer until quinoa is cooked (tiny threads are visible), approximately 20 minutes. Remove lid, stir in slivered greens and cook an additional 5-8 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a splash of sherry vinegar

Note: We found that this recipe could accommodate 1 1/2 – 2 cans of white beans which may also require some adjustment on the amount of stock. We started with 6 cups and when reheating leftovers, added 1/2 cup more.

 

 

Black Bean Tart

 

 

Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2-3 TBS ice water
  • Raw rice or beans for weighting shell

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained (2, 15.5 Oz cans)
  • 2 TBS sour cream
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack, coarsely grated (about 6 ounces)
  • 2 fresh jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped fine (wear rubber gloves)
  • 1 TBS ground coriander

Lime Sour Cream Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • Zest from one lime

Preheat oven to 350°.

Make crust: In a bowl with a pastry blender (or in a food processor) pulse together flour, spices, and salt until combined. Add butter and blend or pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water and pulse until incorporated, and mixture forms a ball.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable fluted rim and chill 15 minutes, or until firm. Line shell with foil and fill with rice or beans. Bake shell in middle of oven until edge is set, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove foil and rice and bake crust 10 minutes more, or until golden. Cool crust in pan on a rack. Crust may be made 1 day ahead and kept at room temperature, covered loosely with plastic wrap.

Make filling: In a food processor purée 1 cup canned beans with 2 TBS sour cream until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until warm but not smoking and sauté onion until soft. Add yellow bell pepper, and sauté additional 2 minutes. Cool.

In a large bowl stir together whole beans, bell pepper and onion mixture, Monterey Jack, jalapeños, and ground coriander, and season with salt and pepper.

Spread bean purée evenly onto crust. Mound with remaining filling, pressing gently.

Bake tart in middle of oven about 20 minutes, or until hot through and cheese is melted. Let tart cool in pan on a rack 15 minutes.

Make lime sour cream: In a bowl whisk sour cream, lime juice, and lime zest with salt and pepper to taste. Sauce may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Makes about 1 cup.

Remove rim of pan and serve tart warm or at room temperature with lime sour cream. Serves 6-8.

 

 

Lex’s Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

 

 

Lex’s Roast Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large onions, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 cups celery, sliced
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1 chicken (3-4 lbs)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 loaf crusty French bread, sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

 

 

Preheat oven to 375°. Sauté onions in 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add celery, and continue cooking for an additional 10 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Add lemon zest, garlic, pepper, and red pepper; continue to sauté an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, and set aside.

While vegetables are cooking, butterfly the chicken. Remove the backbone by cutting along both sides with kitchen shears. Turn the chicken over (breast side up) and press down on the breastbone to crack and flatten it. Rub chicken on both sides with 2 TBS olive oil; season with pepper and salt.

Lightly oil the skillet or baking dish, and place bread slices snugly against each other to fill the bottom of the pan. Spread the sautéed onion mixture over the bread slices to completely cover.

Place the chicken, breast side up (tucking the wings under the breast) over the bread and vegetable mixture. Pour the fresh lemon juice over the entire chicken, and place, uncovered, in the oven. Roast the chicken until golden brown, and it registers at least 165° on meat thermometer (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, begin checking for ‘doneness’ during the last 15 minutes of cooking time).

Remove from oven, and let stand for 10 minutes. Place chicken on cutting board, and cut the chicken into quarters, or smaller pieces for serving. Place slices of bread and vegetables on serving plates, and top with chicken. 4 servings.

From the October 2004 issue of Cuisine at Home.

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 medium-large butternut squash*
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 TBS fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 cups water (or milk)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 TBS fresh lime juice
  • Garnish: Toasted pumpkin seeds

 

 

*Heat oven to 350°. Halve washed squash, seed, and lightly coat cut side with olive oil. Place on jelly roll pan (use either Silpat or parchment paper) cut side down and roast for ~1 hour, or until completely soft. Remove from oven and cool just long enough to handle. Peel flesh from skin and add to soup in order listed.

Heat Dutch oven and add 1 TBS olive oil to pan. Add sliced onion and sauté until completely softened. Add ginger, sauté additional minute. Add 2 cups water (or milk), coconut milk, cayenne pepper, salt to taste, and squash. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.

Using stick blender, blend until completely smooth. If needed, thin with additional water. Stir in lime juice and serve with toasted pumpkin seed garnish.

4 servings

 

 

Broccoli and Breadcrumbs

 

 

Broccoli with Spiced Breadcrumbs

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb broccoli cut into flowerets
  • 3/4 cup fine bread crumbs (whole wheat)
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, drained

 

Steam the broccoli just until crisp-tender and immediately run under cold water. Drain and dry on paper towels.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and add the bread crumbs. Saute until golden brown. Combine the crumbs with the cardamom and salt.

To serve, put bread crumbs in one small bowl and yogurt in another. Dip broccoli in sour cream and then bread crumbs.

This is an incredible recipe and when we make our breadcrumbs, we prefer using whole wheat bread or a fresh baguette from Bread Furst.

 

 

Crispy Skillet Corn

 

Ai-Mei’s Crispy Skillet Corn

 

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears corn, shucked
  • 1/3 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place an 8-inch cast-iron skillet in a 425-degree oven to heat up for at least 10 minutes.

Cut the kernels off the corn cobs and place them in a large bowl. Use the blunt edge of your knife to scrape the milky liquid from the cobs into the same bowl. Add the cornmeal and salt to the bowl and stir well to combine.

Place the bacon fat (or olive oil) in the scorching-hot skillet and tilt the skillet so that the fat coats the bottom and sides. Add the corn mixture and pat down in an even layer. Roast (middle rack) in the oven for about 30 minutes.

Use a round-edged knife to loosen the edges of the corn, and a flexible spatula, as needed, and carefully invert the corn onto a serving platter. Serve right away.

 

Ai-Mei’s Green Bean Salad

 

Ai-Mei’s Green Bean, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb tender green beans, stem ends removed
  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 4 oz blue cheese or smoked blue cheese, crumbled

Vinaigrette:

  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 3 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • Black pepper to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add green beans, and cook just until tender (about 4 minutes). Drain, and immediately run under cold water. Put on paper towels to dry.

In a medium bowl, combine ingredients for the vinaigrette. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified.

Just prior to serving, toss green beans with vinaigrette. Plate dressed beans, and top with walnuts and crumbled blue cheese. 4 servings.

 

Redd’s new shirt

 

Redd needs a shirt to celebrate his upcoming birthday on September 12. So, Ai-Mei is pitching in to make sure everyone who wants to join the celebration can get their own shirt. If you are interested, choose a style/size (info is in the link below) and e-mail your preferences to reddtheorangutan@gmail.com by July 29. Once we know the size of the order, we can provide specific pricing and payment details as well as postage required for shirts being shipped from DC. We hope to keep the price at ~$15 before postage.

Here is the front and back of Redd’s shirt which will come in Ash (pale grey).

 
 

The description of the styles and sizes of shirts are found at the Gildan Shirt Specifications.

 

Cold Zucchini Soup

 

Ai-Mei’s Cold Zucchini Soup

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
  • 1 TBS parsley, finely chopped (Optional)
  • 1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped (Optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place zucchini, green pepper, onion and chicken stock in saucepan. Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Process with stick blender until smooth. Add sour cream (or yogurt, or a combination of both), mix well and chill. Serve garnished with sour cream and dill. Makes 4 servings.

 

Ai-Mei’s Burmese Melon Salad

 

Burmese Melon Salad with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette*
Recipe created by Susan Feniger, featured in O Magazine

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS unsweetened finely shredded coconut
  • 2 TBS white sesame seeds
  • 2 TBS finely chopped fresh ginger

  • 1/4 cup peanut or olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 TBS fish sauce
  • Kosher salt to taste

  • 3 cups melon (any combination of melons; we used watermelon), peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup chopped peanuts, toasted (optional)
  • 1/4 cup mixture of chopped basil, cilantro and mint (optional)

*Note: we made a few changes to this recipe. The original recipe can be found on the Oprah web site.

Heat large skillet over medium heat; add coconut and toast, stirring often, until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Heat the skillet over medium heat and add sesame seeds; toast, stirring constantly, until golden. Add to the coconut.

Add the ginger and a small amount of the oil to the pan; cook, stirring often until very fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add to the toasted coconut and sesame seeds.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the oil, lime juice, and fish sauce. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

To serve: Combine all of the ingredients, toss well, season to taste, and serve immediately.

 

Ai-Mei’s Temperature Chart

 

 

Ai-Mei is always having trouble deciding when to take the fish out of the oven and when her bread is actually done. So to keep things straight, she collected all of the internal temperatures she could find and put them into her internal temperature chart. She knows she isn’t the only one who is tired of putting a wooden skewer into the zucchini bread to see if the timing was correct.

 

 

 

Beef Internal Core Temperature   Pork Internal Core Temperature
Extra-rare or Blue (bleu) 80-100° F (26-38° C)   Pork – Medium 140-145° F
(60-63° C)
Rare 120-125° F
(49-51° C)
  Pork – Well Done 160° F and above
(71° C plus)
Medium Rare 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
  Pork ribs 180-200° F
(82-93° C)
Medium 140-145° F
(60-63° C)
  Pork shoulders 195-200° F
(90-93° C)
Medium Well 150-155° F
(65-69° C)
  Brisket 195-200° F
(90-93° C)
Well Done 160° F and above
(71° C plus)
  Sausage 160° F and above (71° C plus)
Brisket 165-175° F
(74-79° C)
  Ham 160° F and above
(71° C plus)
Pot Roast 180° F
(82° C)
   
Ground Meat 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
   

 

 

Poultry Internal Core Temperature   Fish Internal Core Temperature
Whole Chicken or Duck 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Salmon 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
Breast meat 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Halibut, Cod, Red Snapper, Sea Bass, Tilapia 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
Thighs, Wings, and Legs 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Trout 130-135° F
(55-57° C)
Whole Turkey – Oven Roasted Turkey 165° F
(74° C)
  Tuna – Swordfish – Marlin 125° F
(51° C)
Deep Fried or Cajun Fried Turkey 170° F
(in the breast) (76° C)
  Ahi Tuna (Sashimi grade) 115-120° F
(46-49° C)
Ground Poultry 160-165° F
(71-74° C)
  Scallops 120° F
(49° C)
Turkey Stuffing (Cooked alone or in turkey) 165° F
(74° C)
     
      Shrimp 120° F
(49° C)
      Medium-size boiling 3 to 4 minutes
      Large-size boiling 5 to 7 minutes
      Jumbo-size boiling 7 to 8 minutes
      Lobster 145° F
(62° C)
      Boiled or Steamed, Whole Lobster 145° F
(62° C)
      Grilled Lobster 145° F
(62° C)
      Lobster Tail 140° F
(60° C)
      Crab Cakes, Salmon Cakes 150-155° F
(65-68° C)

 

 

Breads Internal Core Temperature   Pies Internal Core Temperature
Quick Breads (Breads, Muffins and Cornbread) 200° F
(93° C)
  Chocolate Cream Pie 165° F
(74° C)
Yeast Breads 200-210° F
(93-99° C)
  Custard Pie – Cream Pies 170-175° F
(76-79° C)
Soft Breads/Dinner Rolls 180-190° F
(82-88° C)
  Fruit Pies (Blueberry, Blackberry, etc.) 175° F
(79° C)
Scones 200° F
(93° C)
  Pecan Pie 200° F
(93° C)
Sourdough Breads 200-210° F
(93-99° C)
  Pumpkin Pie 175° F
(79° C)
Cinnamon Rolls 190-200° F
(87-93° C)
  Sweet Potato Pie 175° F
(79° C)
Water temperature to add yeast 105-115° F
(41-46° C)
  Meringue Pies 160-165° F
(71-74° C)

 

 

Cakes Internal Core Temperature   Puddings and Custards Internal Core Temperature
Cakes 205-209° F
(93-98° C)
  Bread Pudding 160° F
(71° C)
Cupcakes 205-209° F
(93-98° C)
  Creme Brulee 170-175° F
(76-79° C)
Carrot Cake 205-209° F
(93-98° C)
  Baked Custard (Old Fashion) 160° F
(71° C)
Clafouti (with fruit) 160° F
(71° C)
  Flan 170-175° F
(76-79° C)
Devil’s Food Cake – Red Velvet Cake 205° F
(93° C)
     
Molton Chocolate Cakes 160° F
(71° C)
     
Pound Cake 200-210° F
(93-99° C)
     
Tres Leches Cake, Three-Milk Cake 200° F
(93° C)
     
Upside-Down Cakes 190-200° F
(87-93° C)
     
Cheesecake 150°
(66° C)
     

 

 

Potatoes Internal Core Temperature
Baked Potato 210-212° F
(98-100° C)
Boiled Whole Potato 200° F
(93° C)

 

 

Okonomiyaki

A Photo of Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki (Savory Japanese Pancakes)

Ingredients:

Pancake Batter

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2-3 TBS all purpose flour
  • 1 TBS fennel seeds, toasted and crushed

  • 2 cups shredded or finely chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 cup shredded or finely chopped carrots
  • 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and finely chopped

  • Olive oil for sautéing
  • Slivered speck

Sauce

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS Sambal Oelek

Place first five ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly with a stick blender. Stir cabbage, carrots and scallions into the batter by hand.

Warm oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat. For each pancake, ladle one heaping tablespoon of batter into skillet, top with some of the speck, pressing down lightly with spatula. Flip pancakes to cook the other side. Remove to paper towels when lightly browned on each side (about 3 minutes/side).

Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve pancakes with a side of the sauce.

Note: The batter can be refrigerated overnight. You also can save the cooked pancakes overnight and reheat them on parchment paper for 10 minutes at 400°

Bulgur Salad

Bulgur Salad with Asparagus, Feta and Toasted Walnuts (from www.food52.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coarse grind Bulgur
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup freshly toasted walnut halves
  • 1/3 cup freshly toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 ounces fresh Bulgarian Feta (chunk, about 1″ x 1 1/2″ x 2″), roughly crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup best olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Place Bulgur in medium bowl, add boiling water and let sit, covered, until water is absorbed. This will take an hour or more, depending on the grind of the bulgur.

While the bulgur is soaking, toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds (separately) in a heavy frying pan, watching and tossing over medium low heat, until lightly colored. Set aside to cool.

Next, cook the asparagus; steam or par-boil until just tender. Drain and cool in refrigerator on paper towel. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.

When bulgur has absorbed all the water (check and if necessary, discard excess water), toss it lightly, then add walnuts, pumpkin seeds, asparagus, parsley and feta in a gentle mound on top of the grain.

In a liquid measuring cup, add the lemon juice to the 1/4 cup mark, then fill to the 1/2 cup mark with olive oil. Whisk briefly with a fork and pour over the ingredients in the bowl. Toss everything together gently, mixing thoroughly, adding salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4-6

AiMei’s Granola

A Photo of AiMei's Granola

Ai-Mei’s Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut **
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  •  

    Preheat oven to 250°.

    In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Combine the vegetable oil, honey and vanilla in a small saucepan and heat just until warm. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture onto a jelly roll pan and place in oven. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before storing in airtight plastic bags. Makes 6 cups.

    **: We have recently found that unsweetened coconut is a good substitute. We used 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded and 1/4 cup unsweetened flakes to make a granola that is less ‘sweet’ and lower in fat.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Photo of Ai-Mei's Butternut Squash Soup

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 TBS fresh ginger, grated
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 TBS dry sherry
  • 3 cups broth (chicken or vegetable) plus more as needed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream

Garnish:

  • Toasted pumpkin seeds
  • Dry sherry

Preheat oven to 350°. Wash squash and cut in half. Remove all seeds and pith and place squash cut side down on a jelly roll pan covered with a Silpat or parchment paper. Roast squash for 1 hour, or until very tender (test with knife inserted into squash half). Cool just enough to handle and remove peel from squash and discard. Set aside.

In a 3 quart saucepan over low heat, melt butter and sauté diced onion just until soft. Add grated ginger, salt and pepper to taste. Add dry sherry and reduce for 5-8 minutes.

Stir in roasted squash until incorporated with onion mixture. Slowly add broth whisking until smooth. Add milk and cream and heat through. If soup is too thick, add more broth to reach desired consistency. Serve with toasted pumpkin seeds and dry sherry if desired.

Kale Salad with Chickpeas

 
 

Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 TBS water
  • 1 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic minced or slivered
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (zest from about 1/2 of a lemon)

Salad:

  • 1 large bunch Tuscan (Lacinato) kale

Chickpeas:

  • 1 can chickpeas rinsed, drained and dried on paper towels
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp hot smoked paprika*

Combine all ingredients for salad dressing and refrigerate. There will be enough dressing left for more salads.

Preheat oven to 450°. Once oven is heated, place the 1 TB olive oil in a cast iron skillet, heat and add chickpeas and hot smoked paprika. Toss over medium high heat until completely coated. Roast in oven for 20 minutes.

Wash and dry kale, remove stems and thinly sliver leaves. Place kale in large bowl, sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt and gently massage leaves for a couple of minutes. Add salad dressing just to coat. Add chickpeas and if needed, a bit more salad dressing, again just to coat all ingredients. Serve immediately.

*Heat may vary by brand, so perhaps start with ¼ tsp of hot smoked paprika the first time. This ingredient is crucial to the overall taste of the dish.

Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal

 
 

Morning Glory Baked Oatmeal
Recipe from Ellie Krieger

Ingredients:

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup pecan pieces, chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch salt, divided
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 medium golden delicious apples, unpeeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch piece (1 cup)*
  • 1 cup shredded carrot (2 medium carrots)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat the oven to 375°. Coat an 8-inch square baking dish or 9-inch deep dish pie plate with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup of the pecans, 2 tablespoons of the coconut, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, the brown sugar and a pinch of salt.

In a medium bowl stir together the oats, baking powder, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of the cinnamon and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. In another bowl whisk together the milk, maple syrup, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup pecans, remaining 2 tablespoons coconut, apple, carrot and raisins.

*Rather than cut up the apple, we shredded it along with the carrots.

Pour into the prepared baking dish. Top with the pecan-coconut mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until it is set and the top is golden.

Makes 8 servings
Serving size: about 1 cup

MAKE AHEAD: The baked oatmeal can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Cover with foil and reheat in a 350° oven for 20 minutes, or microwave individual portions on HIGH for 1 minute.

Ai-Mei’s Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

Photo of ingredients for Ai-Mei's  famous salad dressing

 
 

Ingredients:

2 TBS champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
6 TBS (1/3 cup) olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Combine vinegar and mustard in a small container; slowly add olive oil while mixing** to make an emulsion. Season to taste.

When a recipe calls for just a few ingredients, use the best quality available. My preferred champagne vinegar is “O” and when I am very fortunate, I have olive oil from Chile (thank you Marcelo and Gisela) to use in this recipe.

** A small battery-operated whisk by Bonjour (https://smile.amazon.com/BonJour-Stainless-Hand-Held-Battery-Operated-Beverage/dp/B001DJ0ZU2/ref=sr_1_sc_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483030563&sr=8-2-spell&keywords=bon+jour+battery+operated+whisk) is perfect to quickly mix the dressing.

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