Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category
Food bloggers FLIP OUT about rhubarb season every year, but I never really understood why.
Tart red celery, in desserts… er… yum?
I tried rhubarb for the first time on our Europe trip last year… and absolutely hated it. -_-
At that point, I figured rhubarb to be one of those things that you’re *supposed* to be totally into, but is really kind of gross.
(Heh. Please don’t kick me out of California for that. )
Then we got to go to Gjelina with a client, and they decided to order the warm strawberry and rhubarb crisp with almond gelato. I was not even a little bit expecting to like it, and got my MIND. BLOWN.
Rhubarb! I totally get it now.
So now that I’m a new rhubarb convert, I decided this was the year to try actually cooking with it.
Since coming back from our Europe trip last year, I’ve been trying to reproduce all of the tasty things we ate on that trip. (This is also why it’s taken me so long to get around to blogging about the trip.)
I imagine the rhubarb dish we had shouldn’t have been *that* awful… so I ordered a little bit of rhubarb in one of my weekly Farm Fresh to You CSA boxes, with the intent of attempting a better version of it.
Turns out, I waaaaaaay mis-estimated the amount of rhubarb I should order… and ended up with a refrigerator chock full of rhubarb stalks.
However, in a wonderful coincidence, I also had about a quarter-flat of strawberries in the fridge that desperately needed to be used up.
Strawberries and rhubarb! Classic combination, right?
I thought about trying to reproduce the Gjelina crisp, but then realized I wanted something that would be easier to share.
These strawberry rhubarb crisp bars from Smitten Kitchen fit the bill perfectly.
I made a few changes, mostly because I wanted to use up all the leftover strawberries and rhubarb I had (so I upped the amount of filling, and doubled the recipe), and I am very pro-crumble (moar crumble!!!).
But these bars have put the strawberry-rhubarb flavor combination solidly in my list of favorites. Sweet strawberries mix with tart rhubarb to keep these from being so sweet your teeth hurt, and all the crumble (ALL the crumble!) adds a nice crunchy heartiness to it.
Plus, it’s fruit and oatmeal… so totally healthy, right?
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble bars, adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
- 2 cups (160g) rolled oats
- 1.5 cups (190g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (190g) light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 12 tbsp (170g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1.5 tsp cornstarch
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1.5 cups (190g) diced rhubarb (about 2-3 stalks)
- 1.5 cups (230g) diced strawberries
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line an 8×8″ square baking pan with parchment paper, so they’ll be easy to remove.
- Mix oats, flour, brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add melted butter, and stir until medium-sized clumps form. (Mine ranged from pea-sized to grape-sized, and that worked wonderfully.) Press half of the crumble mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan.
- Spread the fruit over the crust. Make sure both types of fruit are spread evenly, so every bite gets a bit of each. Sprinkle evenly with the cornstarch, lemon juice, and granulated sugar.
- Spread the remaining crumble evenly over the fruit, and bake bars for 30-40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbly and the crumble is golden and smells delicious.
- Let cool in pan; Deb recommends doing this in the fridge, so they’ll become crisp once chilled, and that worked out great for me. Cut into squares to serve. Store leftovers in fridge.
As you may have noticed, I’m blogging quite a bit more often these days.
(Pretty soon, you might even mistake me for *gasp*… a real blogger! But don’t let yourself be fooled. I don’t have nearly enough readers to be a “real” blogger. )
This means I’m slowly making my way through a several-year-old backlog of recipes that I’ve made, photographed, and just never quite got around to blogging about.
(And heck, that means I might even get around to blogging about the trip to Europe that Son and I took a year ago! … eventually!)
This egg salad recipe, for example, was something I made almost four years ago.
I have distinct memories of sitting on the edge of a counter during a break between ballet classes, eating the best egg salad sandwich I had ever made. It was wonderful.
(And before you ask, no I was not 12 years old four years ago, but I was still trying to be a ballerina when I grew up…)
So, yes. Egg salad. Four years later. With smoked salmon! Definitely a must-try, especially if you happen to have leftover Easter eggs that need to be used up.
(Or there’s always deviled eggs. Mmmm… deviled eggs.)
Recipe originally from Danny Ahern via The Washington Post.
- 8 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or mayonnaise)
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or more to taste
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp celery seed
- 3 oz smoked salmon, finely chopped
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Serving suggestions: with a fork, in a lettuce wrap, in a sandwich with your preferred bread and toppings.
I was the pickiest of children, growing up. There were only a few vegetables that I’d tolerate, and only under very specific circumstances:
- steamed broccoli liberally dipped in a mixture of mayonnaise and shoyu (which is far better than it sounds, and still my favorite way to eat steamed vegetables)
- corn on the cob with butter and salt (with those little yellow corn holders, of course)
- steamed artichokes, with plenty of butter to dip it in
- potatoes. In any form. Obviously.
I was not a fan of cauliflower, hated steamed carrots, and frozen peas were my arch nemesis. Don’t even get me started on all those weird, exotic vegetables like eggplant (heh), asparagus, or brussels sprouts. And tomatoes? Totally gross.
I’d like to say this all changed when I grew up and became a bit more mature in my tastes, but what really happened was that I discovered the joys of roasting.
Pretty much any vegetable will taste great if you toss them with a little salt and olive oil, roast them until they show their sweet side, and then stand in the kitchen eating them with your fingers straight from the hot baking sheet.
Not that I do that.
Nope, definitely not.
(Although if I did, I could tell you that that is when roasted vegetables are at their best – straight from the oven, when they’re nearly so hot they burn your fingers, and nice and crispy and caramelized.)
Should you roast asparagus? Do it.
Brussels sprouts? Totally.
Carrots and radishes, and then toss them in a yummy dill butter? Obviously, do you even have to ask?!
Recipe originally from Sweet Peas and Saffron, although I can no longer find the recipe on her blog.
- 1 bunch of radishes, trimmed and sliced in half
- 1 bunch of carrots, trimmed and sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp minced fresh dill
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss prepared carrots and radishes in olive oil, then arrange on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20 minutes, then toss and roast for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Melt butter, then stir in minced dill. Toss the roasted carrots and radishes in butter, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
For the longest time, I would have insisted that I despised eggplant.
Oddly enough, this wasn’t due to any adverse experience on my part. My family never ate eggplant growing up, and due to the aforementioned belief on my part, I never actually tried eggplant until just a few years ago. However, I once, long before I ever met Son, dated a guy who would eat just about anything… except for eggplant. Thusly, I was convinced it was a disgusting, vile vegetable that no person in their right mind would consume by choice.
Oh, what a poor, naive, misguided girl I was.
As with any vegetable (or food, really), it’s all in the preparation. And, to my good fortune, the first time I actually ever was presented with an opportunity to try eggplant, it was at a local Japanese restaurant – and it was fantastic.
(Also highly recommended, Chinese braised eggplant. This shall be my next eggplant project.)
Ever since then, I’ve wanted to replicate it at home. But I always get a little nervous when venturing into new recipes, with new ingredients I have no experience with. So… I procrastinated. For… er… almost exactly three years.
Quite often, a little push from an external source is the best way to get me to stop procrastinating on something. Such was the case here. As mentioned before, the newest addition to our family gatherings is my brother’s girlfriend, who is vegan – which has been an excellent excuse to expand my repertoire of delicious vegan dishes!
However, please promise me that you won’t procrastinate on making this for as long as I did! Because my goodness, this dish is so easy to make, and so delicious, it’s just plain embarrassing to admit that I was intimidated by it for so long. From start to finish it took less than half an hour to prepare, and it was such a success that there’s no doubt I’ll be cooking it again very soon.
Recipe slightly adapted from Daisy’s World.
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp sake
- 1/4 cup shiro miso
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 4 Japanese eggplants, stemmed and split in half lengthwise
- vegetable oil, as needed to coat eggplant
- 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- green onions, sliced
- Preheat broiler to high heat.
- Combine mirin, sake, miso, sugar, and sesame oil in a small bowl and mix until well-combined. Taste to adjust seasoning. Set aside.
- Score eggplant slices in a cross-hatch pattern. If desired, cut each eggplant slice into two or three smaller pieces, for easier serving. Brush each piece with vegetable oil until lightly coated all-over. Broil eggplant, cut-side down, for about 5 minutes. Turn over and continue to cook until almost tender, about 3–4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and brush the miso glaze on the cut surface of the eggplant, then place on a broiler pan, cut-side up. Broil until completely cooked and the glaze has caramelized. This could take anywhere from 3-10 minutes (mine took closer to 10 minutes), so keep an eye on it so it browns nicely but doesn’t burn.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I know you might be wondering… who abducted Allison and replaced her with someone who posts regular, timely blog posts?!?!
Well, if it makes you feel any better, I made this recipe, oh… about a year and a half ago. And it’s been sitting in my “to blog” backlog ever since then.
It may not have even occurred to me to blog about it this week, except that my family has randomly decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (for possibly the first time ever). I’ve been tasked with bringing a side dish that our vegan guest can eat, so I’m making this (without the bacon and butter, of course)!
If you’re not vegan, this dish is also fantastic with the addition of bacon and butter.
Recipe from Tastespotting.
- 3 lbs sweet potatoes, scrubbed, chopped into large chunks
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 large bunch of kale, ribs removed, sliced into thin ribbons
- butter, for serving (optional)
- bacon, cooked, crumbled (optional)
- Put sweet potatoes in large pot, and fill with enough cold water to cover them by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Reserve about 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain the sweet potatoes. Remove skins.
- In another pot, boil the sliced kale until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and reserve.
- Mash the sweet potatoes with olive oil, adding cooking water to get the desired consistency. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in cooked kale.
- For non-vegan guests, you can stir in butter, and/or top with cooked, crumbled bacon.