Category Archives: recipes

A new staple

Warm Quinoa and Radicchio Salad

If I could rewrite Thanksgiving tradition to include something a little more convenient and versatile than stuffing—a more colorful, more nutritious mixture of ingredients that really did stay perky overnight—it might look something like this fallish grain salad. Spiked with lemon and rounded with olive oil, it’s a colorful hodgepodge that comes together in about 20 minutes and passes as almost anything in my kitchen: as lunch on its own, as a bed for grilled tuna or roasted chicken, or as a nest for a poached egg in the morning. It’s wonderful warm, but equally delicious at room temperature, when the more subtle flavors of the parsley and pecans shine a bit brighter.

Of course, if this were served in place of stuffing at Thanksgiving, there would be gravy, and while this salad is many things, I don’t imagine it making friends well with gravy. Which is why someday soon, I will make both.

Warm Quinoa and Radicchio Salad with Pecans, Parsley, and Goat Cheese (PDF)

Note: You can toast the pecans on a baking sheet at 350 degrees F until sizzling and a shade darker, about 10 minutes, but in a rush I toast them by simply cooking them in the microwave for a minute or two.

TIME: 20 minutes
MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
1 cup raw quinoa (any color)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Half of a medium (3/4-pound) head radicchio, chopped
Stripped zest and juice of 1 large lemon
1 cup toasted pecans
1 loosely packed cup Italian parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Freshly ground pepper (optional)

In a small saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir to blend, then reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring just once or twice during cooking. Set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then the chopped radicchio. Season the radicchio with salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the radicchio softens, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon zest and the juice of half the lemon and cook, stirring, for one minute more.

Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl or serving plate. Layer on the pecans, parsley, goat cheese, and cooked radicchio. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon, and additional salt (and pepper, if desired) to taste, and toss all the ingredients together a few times. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The salad keeps well, covered in the refrigerator, up to 3 days.

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Filed under gluten-free, grains, leftovers, Lunch, recipe, recipes, salad, snack, vegetables, vegetarian

Mirror, Mirror

Identical feet, give or take 50 years

I thought I was going to Portland to help my grandmother June heal. I’d planned to teach a doughnut-making class at Sur La Table there, with Mark Klebeck of Top Pot Doughnuts, and I thought staying with June the night before would give me a chance to pop in with some soup. She had massive abdominal surgery three weeks ago; perhaps I didn’t know what that meant. I expected to wash sheets, or fold laundry, or perhaps run errands for her. I arrived with a tub of cumin-scented carrot soup, a gentle, fragrant concoction I thought might be easiest on the most timid of tummies.

Of course, any woman with the name “June” who lives in the Northwest will have a strong constitution; I should have known that she’d answer the door in her usual singsong voice, and that by the time we’d shared the soup and her salad—tiny pink shrimp piled into avocado halves, adorned with her sister Mary’s famous dressing, made of mayonnaise and Cholula (and darn good, I might add)—I’d nearly forgotten that she’d accidentally carried around a ruptured appendix for three weeks. She’s from good stock, that one. She’s healing just fine.

And every time I visit her, I’m reminded how much we have in common, even though she’ll be 85 this summer. We have the same flushable cheeks, and the same strong, thin hands, and the exact same feet, size 7 1/2, with unusually pretty toes. (Someday, I’ll show you in person, if you want. I feel very good about my feet.)

I like to think I have her sense of humor, too. After dinner, it seemed perfectly normal that we ended up standing next to each other in the bathroom, shirts pulled up to our bra lines, complimenting her nicely-healing scar and comparing our bodies, mine an almost carbon copy of hers, give or take 50 years.

When we were done bragging to each other about skin that doesn’t seem prone to stretch marks and lamenting the inconvenience of the sub-bosom sag, we moved right along, as if a two-generation gap somehow makes it perfectly normal for two women to act like 16-year-olds in front of a bathroom mirror. I’m sort of surprised we didn’t go through her old lipsticks together.

Cover: Pike Place Market Recipes

But we didn’t. Instead, I dug out the copy of Pike Place Market Recipes
I’d brought to share with her—the one I’d begged my publisher for, before leaving for Portland, because I wanted to give her one in person. I showed her the recipe for the carrot soup, and she promised she’d lend the book to her friend Verna, who would certainly make it. (Grandma June doesn’t really love cooking, so she avoids it. I’m finally getting used to this.)

But June liked my carrot soup, people. In fact, she said it was the best one she’d ever had. Now, carrot soup isn’t a hamburger or a dish of macaroni and cheese; one only tastes so many carrot soups in a lifetime. (You’d never see “Best Carrot Soups” on the cover of a magazine.”) But she said it.

When I made it the first and second and third time, this soup was about the Market. It was about walking into World Spice and reaching for a Kleenex halfway into my journey through the paprika selection, and about tufts of carrot tops tickling my armpits as they poked out of a packed produce bag.

From now on, though, it’ll be about June. Carrot soup will be about sitting at her kitchen table, drinking water from fancy pink wine glasses, because neither of us felt like drinking wine, anyway. It’ll be about watching her hand flutter excitedly along the side of the stove while the soup warmed, because she was she was so nervous, telling me about her new boyfriend. It’ll be crawling into that pink metal-framed daybed (that wasn’t ever mine, was it?), realizing how much her pride and approval matters to me.

So here’s a carrot soup that tastes like looking in a bathroom mirror, and finding someone you wouldn’t mind being at 85. If that’s not entirely relatable for you, just make it. I can promise that at the very least, it will taste good.

Carrot Soup with Cumin and Honey

Carrot Soup with Cumin and Honey (printable PDF)
Excerpted from Pike Place Market Recipes: 130 Delicious Ways to Bring Home Seattle’s Famous Market

Sometimes, shopping for a small, simple dinner at the Pike Place Market can be overwhelming – there’s unavoidable temptation to buy, say, and entire salmon, and take it home for a holiday feast when you’re only two for dinner. When you just need something warm and satisfying, make this velvety carrot soup, spiced with cumin, cayenne, and pimenton de la vera – smoked paprika from Spain’s La Vera region. Look for the pimenton at World Spice Merchants, DeLaurenti, The Spanish Table, or in the spice aisle of a large supermarket, in a red box.

Time: 45 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 pounds carrots, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton de la vera)
Small pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons honey (or to taste)

Heat a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. When hot, add the oil, then the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft. Add the carrots, season to taste with salt and pepper, stir, and cook, covered, for another 10 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper, then add the broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook until carrots are completely soft, another 10 to 20 minutes.

Using a blender or food processor, carefully puree the hot soup in small batches and return to the pot. Stir in the honey, then check the seasonings, adding more cayenne or honey to taste. Serve hot.

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Filed under gluten-free, Pike Place Market Recipes, recipe, recipes, soup

A fall recipe redux

Ahhh. Fall. Seattle to Vermont is Fruit Loops to Cheerios, color-wise, but almost no matter where you are, there’s cool and clear, and that magical temperature known (in this house, anyway) as zero. (Definition: wearing jeans, flops, and a t-shirt, and maybe a scarf, there’s not even the start of a goosebump.) Here’s a little collection of past recipes that make me appreciate a good autumn day at the farmer’s market, or hibernating inside on a rainy one. Cook and enjoy.

BREAKFASTS
Kabocha-Maple Sour Cream Coffee Cake 1
Kabocha-Maple Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Maple-Vanilla Glaze
Honey-Nut-Vanilla Granola
Green Chile-Black Bean Pie
A New Morning Glory Muffin
Kabocha-Cranberry Bread

APPETIZERS
Brie with Sauteed Chanterelles 3
Brie with Sauteed Chanterelles
Balsamic-Cinnamon Pecans

SOUPS
Squash Soup2
Hubbard-Apple Soup
French Onion and Shallot Soup
Chicken, Olive, and Lemon Soup
Spicy Shellfish Soup with Coconut, Lime and Ginger
Carrot-Lemongrass Soup
(Some) Cream of Kale Soup
Mostly Root Vegetable Chowder

SALADS
Radicchio, Apple, and Pecan Slaw 2
Radicchio, Apple, and Pecan Slaw
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Vinegared Beet Salad
Warm Red Quinoa and Squash Salad

SIDES
Dijon potatoes 2
The Greatest Little Potato Recipe Ever
Paprika-Roasted Potatoes
Wild Mushroom Quinoa “Risotto”
Stir-Fried Kabocha with Ginger and Scallions
Sweet Potato-Beet Latkes
Soy-Glazed Carrots with Chili and Garlic

MAIN COURSES
Cider-Braised Pork 1
Cider-Braised Pork with Apple-Onion Dijon Pan Sauce
Mixed Seafood Roast with Fennel and Sorrel
Salt-and-Vinegar Pork Chops with Sauerkraut
Shellfish Stew with Kale and Guanciale
Simple Rosemary Roast Beef
Wet Turkey & Black Bean Burritos with Squash Sauce
Braised Rosemary Chicken with Red Wine and Root Vegetables
Roasted Rack of Lamb with Sage-Pecan Crust
Loaf Pan Lasagna
Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Squash, Black Beans, and Goat Cheese

COOKIES
Chocolate Chocolate Espresso Cookie Sandwiches 2
Chocolate-Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Cheryl’s Double-Chocolate Coconut Cookies
Whole-Wheat Double Chocolate-Orange Cookies
Whole Wheat Cranberry-Walnut Biscotti

DESSERTS
IMG_3794.JPG

Harvest Cake with Cider-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Butter-Titrated Brownies
Pumpkin-Ricotta Cheesecake
Heirloom Apple-Cranberry Pie
Chai-Scented Applesauce

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A Cookbook Snapshot: Pike Place Market Recipes

Photo by Clare Barboza

Last Thursday, I caught a Keta salmon. I don’t mean I caught it, as in I put a fishing line into the ocean and it bit down something fierce. I mean a large man threw a fish at me, and it didn’t hit the floor.

I probably should start by telling you that I’m not exactly known for my hand-eye coordination. But when you step behind the counter at Pike Place Fish, the purveyor at the heart of Pike Place Market that’s world-renowned for the fishmongers’ salmon-throwing antics, there’s not all that much to learn. Not at first blush, anyway: You put an apron on. You turn one shoulder toward the fish, as if you were a batter anticipating a pitch. A guy in orange guides your hands into position, placing the back hand higher than the front hand, so that when the fish swims through the air toward you, head high, it lands between the thumb and forefinger of each of your outstretched hands. You clamp down like your life depends on it.

So that’s what I did. Only, I have to tell you, I was sort of cheating. The salmon I caught was tiny, for starters, and since it was destined for an afterlife of tourist abuse, it didn’t matter if my fingers bruised its delicate flesh. The guys in orange, though? They’re not cheating. They catch those fish like they’re catching newborn humans, tender and gentle. I don’t know about you, but the difficulty seems to me like it might stretch beyond the coordination issue. I can’t imagine wrapping my brain around the combination of yelling at the top of my lungs and treating something with such intimate care.

Catching a fish at Pike Place Fish

Thursday was a good day. I also took my first Savor Seattle tour of Pike Place Market, and learned that initially, when MarketSpice (the market’s oldest vendor) opened, its tea was technically illegal because the cinnamon oil used to flavor it was banned; it’s too dangerous to touch in its purest form. I made a cake using milk spiked with the tea, and topped it with an orange tea glaze, so the whole cake smacked of orange, clove, and cinnamon. I bought a smoked ham hock from Bavarian Meats and braised it into an ever so gently smoky German split pea soup over the weekend. I bought the biggest white beans I’ve ever cooked, from The Spanish Table, to stir into an unusual but refreshingly simple Spanish paella. Then I tied my hands behind my back, because spring’s bounty is still coming.

This, friends, is what writing a cookbook looks like. It’s a life I could get used to: peruse one of the world’s best markets for food I’m crazy about, take it home, and make it more delicious. Occasionally, I get to gussy up my favorite things for a quick modeling stint (Clare Barboza is the book’s fabulous photographer), and things start to look more real.

"Public Market," by Kevin Belford

Only, like anything, it takes work. Today, I walked into a coffee shop, feeling overwhelmed by the whole wheat cinnamon pull-apart bread I’m not quite satisfied with, and by the organizational task ahead of me. I was stalling. The photo above, part of an exhibit at Fresh Flours by Kevin Belford, loomed over the only empty chair. Really?, I thought. You mock me so.

I love how the book is divided by provenance—so the chapters group recipes based on ingredients that come from Puget Sound, for example, or the mountains, or Pike Place Market’s specialty shops. But from a writers’ perspective, it’s sometimes difficult to maintain the balance intrinsic to a book with a more traditional course-by-course layout. I’m trying to decide what tips to throw into the book’s introduction, which purveyors to interview for little sidebars, and how to capture the magic of the market in relatively few words. And as I get closer and closer to its end (the book is due May 15th), the number of recipes left to test for the book dwindles, and I start getting weepy about the recipes I might have to leave behind, like a recipe for sweet-hot mango pickles that I make again and again because I simply can’t get enough. (That chapter’s full, my brain says.) There’s work to do, but when it comes right down to it, I’m not dragging my feet because I don’t want to do it. I’m procrastinating because I don’t want it to end.

But seriously. The world is in this state, and I walk out of my house thinking Oh God, how did I write 80% of a book with only two chicken recipes? Buck up, Jess. You’ve got a book to finish, because (shhh) there’s another one coming.

Pike Place Market Recipes is going to be gorgeous. It’s going to be delicious. It will taste like blackened salmon sandwiches and chickpea and chorizo stew and French-style apple custard cake. (Not all at once, of course.) It will smell like a good story, and fresh-baked sour cherry-oatmeal cookies with huge chocolate chunks.

And with any luck, it won’t bruise too easily. I’ll teach you how to catch it.

Sweet-Hot Mango Pickles (PDF)
Here’s an unusual snack, similar to the cucumber chips I posted before, but sweeter – and for Seattleites, a needed burst of sunshine. For another variation, try grating the mango in a food processor instead of cutting it into spears, soaking it in the marinade, then draining it and serving it as a sweet-and-sour slaw, over salmon tacos or grilled chicken.

Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

2 large almost-ripe mangos, peeled and sliced into 1/2” spears
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl just big enough to hold all the mangoes. Let sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes for flavors to blend, stirring occasionally, then serve.

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Filed under appetizers, fruit, gluten-free, Modern, recipes, snack, vegetables

Cherry Grump

Piece o' grump

I have a new favorite word: Grump. I like the verb best, as in to grump. It may look like a noun, but in my mouth it acts just like it sounds, like a bad mood coming to life. (Say it a few times. You’ll see.)

My friend Sarah said it first, when her dog was grumping around the house, pouting about being bullied by her cat. Then my dad’s knee started grumping, and before I knew what hit me, my pie crust started doing it, too.

Washington cherries will really start rolling into Seattle next week. (I can never wait. I bought two pounds from California. I consider it training for the cherry season.)

I wanted to make a big cherry galette, the kind whose folded, sugar-sprinkled edges are the high-end jeans of the dessert world. (You know the type: They’re supposed to be low-maintenance, but by the time you buy everything, trim the edges just right, and find the perfect thing to slip on top, you’ve spent just as much time as you might have spent on something “fancier.”) In the end, galettes look so perfectly unperfect, each pleat folded neatly over the one before, juice bubbling up and over one precisely unprecise undulation in the dough.

“Who, me?” says a galette. “I just threw on an old pair of jeans.”

Usually, though, like the jeans, galettes are worth it. More so than pie, if you ask me, which is why I’ve been making them recently.

(I just replaced those chocolaty jeans, by the way, because they also happened to have holes in unladylike places. It took me two whole months to find the ones, but they’ve been worth every penny.)

Bowl o' pits

This time, I started with a whole wheat crust, whipped about in the food processor with plenty of unsalted butter. I pitted a giant container of cherries, enough that by the end I wanted to toast and eat the actual pits, since I’d worked so hard for them. (Has anyone done this?)

fresh halved cherries

I mixed the little ruby halves up with lemon juice and a whisper of ginger, to satisfy my husband, who equates “ginger” with “dessert.” Just when I thought I was ready to pile the fruit into the crust, though, I noticed the cherries’ thin red liquid coating the cutting board and spilling out onto the counter, into the cracks between my granite tiles and down the facing on my kitchen cupboards (white, of course).

I’ll be honest: It’s hard to be in a bad mood when there are cherries in the kitchen, but I wasn’t having a very good day yesterday. My hands ached from typing (and then, stupidly, pitting), and this goshdarn notsummer weather Seattle’s been hanging onto wasn’t doing me any favors. (I’m wearing ski socks today.)

You could say I was grumping a bit myself.

I took one look at the juice, and self-doubt flooded in. I wondered whether I’d put enough cornstarch into the cherries to convince them to gel up together. I thought about the time I put too much fruit in my galette, and the edges simply unfolded like a flower. The dough relaxed under the weight of the berries and they all rolled right out in a blueberry stampede, so I ended up with a round of uncrusty dough, topped with a pool of blue goo.

I grumped that day, too.

Yesterday, my pie crust looked perfect, but I worried the edges weren’t up to their task. I didn’t want a cherry galette that would be, in Eloise’s words, ruined ruined ruined. Plus, I’ve been a little down on my luck recently. There were the cashew noodles that seized up into a delicious, but entirely too sticky mass five minutes after they hit the serving bowl. And those giant calzones, made with a sausage I somehow didn’t realize was chicken-based (and smoked, which I hate) until entirely too late. My ego wasn’t up for another failure.

I decided to hedge. I made my galette bloom-proof by cornering it in a cake pan.

Pie making seldom offers one a sigh of relief, at least not before it goes into the oven. But as I rolled the crust out and flopped it into the pan, I was more relaxed than ever, knowing that instead of patting and gently squishing and cutting and folding, I would only have to slop the edges over the cherries, easy as dropping a wet towel on the floor. It wouldn’t matter if there were a few microscopic holes in the crust, because the pan would hold any errant juices in.

That pie crust, I think she was a little relieved, too. I mean really, each and every time, she has to mind her manners. Not too hot, not too cold, not too hard, not too soft. This time, she could really let her guard down, and grump if she wanted to. I felt like I might have been doing her a favor, flipping her on top of the cherries like that, without a speck of pretention.

The galette turned into a deep-dish cherry galette, with straight, sturdy sides that stand up royally on a plate.

I’ll call it a grump, because from now on, it’s what I’ll make when I’m grumping. When I know I don’t have the attention span for pie, or the self-confidence for a pretty galette. When I need something that puts me in a good mood the instant it pops out of the oven. (I think its success is impervious to bad moods.)

Whoever started naming fruit desserts after one’s constitution was a genius. Take the grunt, for example. It’s a fruit dessert, topped with big plops of biscuit dough. On its way into the oven, it’s sloppy enough that you almost always emit some sort of unsatisfied grunt. It’s perfect for the days when nothing can impress you.

In my opinion, though, even with betties and slumps and cobblers, that person didn’t go far enough.

Think of those days you dawdle in the kitchen – when you really mean to make dessert, but one thing leads to another, and suddenly dinner’s on the table and the chosen fruit is still languishing on the counter, unattended – why not go for a Raspberry Dither?

I’d love to know what comes out of the oven on the crankiest days. Maybe a Blueberry Bitch?

Guess I’ll find out. The season’s just beginning.

cherry grump

Cherry Grump (PDF)
Made with a robust whole wheat flour (I buy Stone-Buhr , if you must know), the crust for this faintly gingered grump – just another variation on fruit pie, made in a cake pan without pinching, folding, latticing, or worrying – has a sweet, almost graham crackery flavor. Serve it warm, with vanilla, ginger, or coconut ice cream.

TIME: 45 minutes active time
MAKES: 6 to 8 servings

For the crust:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch salt
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2” pieces
1/4 to 1/3 cup ice water

For the filling:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
2 pounds Bing cherries, stemmed, halved, and pitted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on crust
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
Milk, for brushing crust

First, make the crust: Whirl the flours, sugar, and salt together in the work bowl of a food processor. Add the butter, and pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the water a little at a time, pulsing as you go, until the crust holds together when you press a handful into your palm. (You’ll need more water on a dry day, less on a humid one.) Transfer the dough to wax paper, form into a flat disc, wrap well, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and grease an 8” cake pan with butter. Cut the tablespoon of butter into small cubes, and set side.

Make the filling: Combine the cherries with the lemon juice in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, stir the sugar, cornstarch, and ginger together with a fork until no lumps remain. Add this dry mixture to the cherries, and stir until moist. Set aside.

mixing cherry grump

Remove the crust from the refrigerator, and let sit on a floured surface at room temperature for a few minutes, until soft enough to roll. Using a floured pin, roll the dough into a roughly 14” circle (no need to be too precise about the shape). Fold the dough into quarters, transfer it to the cake pan, and unfold it, centered on the pan. Gently fit the dough down into the sides of the cake pan, allowing the edges to flop over outward.

grump crust

Fill the dough with the cherry mixture, and dot the cherries with the reserved butter. Fold the dough’s edges inward, over the cherries, allowing them to land wherever they may. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle the crust with sugar.

grump headed ovenward

Bake the grump for 10 minutes. Decrease heat to 350 degrees, and bake for 60 minutes more, or until the crust is browned and the filling bubbles excitedly. Let the grump cool about an hour before slicing (the fruit will firm up as it sits). Serve warm.

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A little gift

Favorites? Of course I have favorites from this year. Lots of them.And for you, this Christmas Day, I’ll put them all in one place.

Breakfasts

Honey-Nut-Vanilla Granola 5


Whole Wheat Cinnamon-Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Spiced Quinoa Oatmeal with Figs and Cream
Honey-Nut-Vanilla Granola
Green Chile-Black Bean Pie

A New Morning Glory Muffin

Appetizers
Brie with Sauteed Chanterelles 3

Brie with Sauteed Chanterelles
Parmesan-Garlic Breadsticks
Apricots with Blue Cheese, Pistachios, and

Honey Balsamic-Cinnamon Pecans

Soups
Chicken, Olive, and Lemon Soup

Smoky Winter Tomato Soup
Chicken, Olive, and Lemon Soup
Spicy Shellfish Soup with Coconut, Lime and Ginger
Carrot-Lemongrass Soup

Salads

Wheat Berry Salad with Herbs, Tomatoes, and Olives

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Walnuts and Blue Cheese
Greek-Inspired Arugula and Chickpea Salad
Vinegared Beet Salad
Grilled Corn Salad
Salty Green Potato Salad
Radicchio, Apple, and Pecan Slaw
Warm Potato-Tomato Salad with Oregano, Olives, and Lemon
Wheat Berry Salad with Herbs, Tomatoes, and Olives

Sides
Dijon potatoes 2

Paprika-Roasted Potatoes
Hot Tangy Beans
A Different Kind of Guacamole
Hot Chipotle Corn Salsa
Bacon and Kale Gratin
Wild Mushroom Quinoa “Risotto”
The Greatest Little Potato Recipe Ever

Main Courses

Rosemary Roast Beef

Pan-Seared Chicken with Two-Olive Tapenade and Sundried Tomato Cream
Mixed Seafood Roast with Fennel and Sorrel
Salt-and-Vinegar Pork Chops with Sauerkraut
Shellfish Stew with Kale and Guanciale
Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Balsamic Cherries
Chorizo Burgers with Guapier and Tomato-Fig Sauce
Road Trip Pasta Salad
Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Tacos with Spicy Avocado Cream
Simple Rosemary Roast Beef
Wet Turkey & Black Bean Burritos with Squash Sauce
Cider-Braised Pork with Apple-Onion Dijon Pan Sauce
Caesar Spaghetti with Pine Nuts
Braised Rosemary Chicken with Red Wine and Root Vegetables

Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Espresso Cookie Sandwiches 2

Whole-Wheat Double Chocolate-Orange Cookies
Salty Marcona Almond Toffee
Whole Wheat Cardamom-Ginger Thumbprint Cookies
Whole Wheat Cranberry-Walnut Biscotti
Chocolate-Chocolate Espresso Cookies

Desserts

Flourless Chocolate-Basil Torte 1

Butter-Titrated Brownies
Olive Oil-Vanilla Cake
Rhubarb-Apple Crisp
Banana-Hazelnut Upside-Down Cake
Flourless Chocolate-Basil Torte

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Another cheer for cherries

by Jess and Laura
photo by Laura

We were looking to find the difference between a crumble and a crisp: we thought that crisps used oats and/or nuts, while crumbles were just a basic flour and sugar pastry. I looked on the web and couldn’t find an agreed-upon difference. Some websites said that crumble is the United Kingdom’s word for crisp, while others said that the two are identical. Anyway, call this delicious treat whatever you choose and get back to us if you know the real difference.

While we were walking around in Trader Joe’s shopping for ingredients, we noticed a frozen bag of mixed berries that included frozen cherries. This bag sparked our inspiration for this recipe. We knew we could find fresh cherries at the farmers market, so we decided to just get the mixed berries without the cherries.

Gingered Cherry-Berry Crumble 2

Gingered Cherry-Berry Crumble
Recipe 170 of 365

Mixing berries with fresh ginger and adding ground gingersnaps to the topping give this crumble a less traditional flavor. Serve with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or yogurt (for breakfast).

TIME: 30 minutes preparation, plus 35 to 40 minutes baking time
MAKES: 6 to 8 servings

For the topping:
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup crushed gingersnaps
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 pound cherries, halved and pitted
1 (16-ounce bag) frozen mixed berries, thawed overnight in the fridge, drained
1/2 cup white or whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

First, make the topping: mix the flour, gingersnaps, brown sugar and salt in a small bowl until well combined. Drizzle the melted butter over the dry ingredients and stir until all ingredients are moistened. Set aside.

Make the filling: heap the cherries and berries into a bowl and add the flour, sugar and fresh ginger. Mix until the fruit is evenly coated. Pile into an 11” X 7” (or similar) baking dish and spread evenly. Use your hands to transfer the topping from the bowl to the fruit, packing the topping slightly between your hands and dropping it onto the filling in thick clumps. Sprinkle any remaining smaller crumbs over any holes so you can’t see the fruit.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the topping is nicely browned and the fruit is bubbling. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

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Filed under Breakfast, dessert, farmer's market, fruit, recipe, recipes

Baby Carrots

IMG_8583

Recipe for Roasted Carrots with Cumin and Honey
Recipe 163 of 365

Use the fresh, baby carrots you find early in the summer at farmers’ markets, or the bagged, pre-washed kind available at gourmet grocers such as Whole Foods.

TIME: 5 minutes active time
MAKES: 2 servings

1/2 pound baby carrots (the kinds with the tops still on), scrubbed and trimmed
1 teaspoon honey
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the carrots in an ovenproof dish. Drizzle with the honey, sprinkle with the cumin and salt, and toss to coat. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the carrots are almost pliable but still al dente in the center. Serve immediately.

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Verboten

The guy from Sea Breeze Farm was talking up his buttermilk at the farmer’s market this weekend. He said it was real buttermilk, not the contrived kind the supermarket sells. According to the Food Lover’s Dictionary:

Buttermilk of times past was the liquid left after butter was churned. Today it is made commercially by adding special bacteria to nonfat or lowfat milk, giving it a slightly thickened texture and tangy flavor. Some manufacturers add flecks of butter to give it an authentic look.

So his was the real kind; he probably didn’t add extra flecks of butter. I bought some, hoping I could find a way to use it that actually highlighted the taste of the buttermilk.

I made rice pudding using the buttermilk and forbidden rice, which turns a lovely shade of deep royal purple when cooked. The pudding was lovely to look at, but it turns out I’m not a huge fan of buttermilk when its flavor is put on stage. But my husband (whose approach to any flavor is usually “the stronger, the better”) liked it much more than the coconut-scented black rice pudding I made a few years ago, which he found too sweet, even though I added tons of ginger. Anyway, see for yourself.

Buttermilk Rice Pudding 2

Recipe for Buttermilk Rice Pudding
Recipe 58 of 365

I first used forbidden rice to make rice pudding when I came across a recipe for Black Rice Pudding in Gourmet Magazine (December 2005). I followed their general guidelines for this recipe.

Look for forbidden rice in compact packages in the health food section of your local grocery store. If you can’t find it, you can substitute short-grained brown rice.

TIME: 10 minutes active time, plus 1 1/2 hours cooking time
MAKES: 8 (1/2 cup) servings

1 cup forbidden (black) rice
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the rice, water, and salt in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir in the sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla, and bring to a boil again over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer again (this time without the lid on) for another 30 minutes, stirring two or three times during cooking. The rice should be al dente and still a little liquidy.

Allow the pudding to cool for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Divide it between 8 (1/2 cup) ramekins or small bowls, and serve warm or room temperature. The pudding can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 5 days.

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Test Week

Here it is, folks: a test week. It’s months after I thought I’d write something like this up for mumzie for Mother’s Day this year, but better late than never, huh mom? A very, merry, un-Mother’s Day to you.

Menu:
DAY 1: Roasted Salade Niçoise with Caper Vinaigrette
DAY 2: Udon Vegetable “Pho” with Cashew-Chili Paste
DAY 3: Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Fig & Grainy Mustard Sauce
DAY 4: Sour Meyer Lemon Chicken Stir-Fry
DAY 5: Fusilli with Hearty Meat Sauce
DAY 6/Make-Ahead/Lunches: Wintry Beef Stew with Rosemary & Red Wine

Enjoy.

Click here for a test week of ShopCookEat (pdf format).

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Survey says . . .

Thanks so much to those of you who filled out the ShopCookEat survey. You were a diverse bunch, with a vast array of eating, cooking, and shopping habits, with one constant thing in common: me.

I will not be launching ShopCookEat in the format described in the survey, which was a weekly newsletter with Jess-written recipes, cooking tips, and a shopping list for the week’s dinners. However, I will be updating my blog on a regular basis with recipes that will hopefully inspire you to cook.

Here’s how I made my decision:

1. You’re all control freaks. No, really, you are (it’s okay, I am, too). About half of you have reservations about relying on someone else to pick your meals for you. There are a lot of things you don’t like, and although as a whole you’re willing to substitute the things you hate with things you like, you seem hesitant. Of those without reservations, almost all said they’d love to eat dinners JESS picked out and wrote recipes for. While this was flattering and ego-boosting for me, it underscored something important: according to you, people want to make their own dinner decisions.

2. It’s 2006. There was a direct correlation between respondents’ age and their willingness to pay good money for a newsletter (the older, the more willing). But I don’t think this was simply a matter of income. The younger and (I’ll blatantly stereotype here) more web-savvy voiced concern that paying for something like ShopCookEat sort of seems passé. Why would you pay for something that might eventually come your way for free? (Or, more to the point, if I create something that becomes popular, someone else will quickly provide similar online content on an ad-based site for free.)

3. You simply didn’t report the problems I thought a weekly grocery list might solve. In general, people don’t seem bothered by how much food they waste (if any at all), and although you often have to run out last-minute for missing ingredients, you don’t seem to mind going to the grocery store and you don’t really want to spend more OR less time in the kitchen each day.

The most ideal application of this idea would be a build-your-own-weekly-dinners website, whereby one could pick out recipes for an entire week (based on how long the ingredients for given recipes last), press a button, and presto! have a shopping list come out the other end. Those that want comfort food get comfort food, those that panic at words like udon and pho and sorrel can steer clear. Although I believe I could create recipe content targeting people who are vegetarians, want to cook for their kids, want to eat healthy foods, etc., the problem with this is obvious: I am a cook and a writer, not a software developer. And although I agree that it would be fairly straightforward to hire some IT folks and develop a website that could handle this, it’s not how I want to spend my time. At least, not now.

However, the goal of ShopCookEat, if you remember, was to get people to cook. And based on the survey responses, almost all of you want to cook more: more often, with more recipes, and with more creativity. Many said that inspiration, not organization, was the problem. To that end, I’m still a gamer.

And okay, I’ll admit, the other goal of ShopCookEat was to build a platform to stand on. I would love to write a cookbook someday. But without a restaurant or a Food Network show or a flashy retail business, I don’t have the kind of popularity that gets cookbook writers good deals with publishers. ShopCookEat is/was a way to build that platform, so that when my proposal-writing days come, I’m a more recognizable figure in the food world.

Here’s the plan: I will keep writing recipes. Lots of them. You can use them as a supplement to the cooking process, rather than a substitute for it, which is what many of you said you’d prefer to do anyway. Heck, I’m thinking of writing one recipe per day for all of 2007. (What do you think of that?) I’ll post them here, on my blog, and you can gather them up on a weekly basis when you’re in need of some inspiration, or else have them emailed to you as I post them. I might even make you a few grocery lists, if you’re lucky. (Hint: check back later this week, and check earlier posts for recipes.) On hogwash, you can write me with questions, tell others about your cooking experiences, and then spread the word about my blog and my recipes, so that I gain a little bit of a web presence outside the sphere of much-appreciated but not-quite-sufficient Jesslovers. Plus, you can subscribe (see upper right), which will undoubtedly make you feel web-savvy if you aren’t already (use the RSS feed for extra credit).

For vegetarians, I offer my apologies. I think you deserve great recipes, and I will sometimes write vegetarian recipes, but I cannot be all things to all people and, frankly, I’m a hard-core carnivore.

So for now, ShopCookEat is a no-go. I will most likely continue to pitch similar ideas to bigger kids on the block, like PCC (in Seattle) and/or Whole Foods. To those of you who were ecstatic about the idea, I thank you and I’m sorry. And to those of you want to write software for free in the future, and/or have nutritional information software to hand out, do call. Anytime.

Thanks.
Jess

If you missed the survey but still want to check it out, click here.

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