HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Side Dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Side Dishes. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Way Out West: Beautiful Beets


         My friend Ana didn’t stop with her suggestion that I serve Corn Pudding on my first-ever West Coast Thanksgiving.  She suggested that beets would be a great item to add to the menu.  And when Ana is right, she is right.  Not only do beets bring a shot of color to the amazingly 'brown' Thanksgiving table, it you use the recipe for salad that appears here, you beets will look positively stunning. But Beets not only make a beautiful appearance in any buffet or on your Thanksgiving plates, they are almost invaluable once you discover this simple method for making them.  That’s because flying in the face of all those who would roast their beets, thereby taking up valuable space in the already overworked oven, these beets are prepared on the stovetop.  For flavor and to keep the beets from bleeding, you can add any one of three things: Lemon Juice to give them great tang, Orange Juice to sweeten the already sweet beets or Vinegar which basically pickles the beets as they cook.  The skins slip off the finished beets and you can then refrigerate them until you’re ready to use them. And you’ll lose count of the ways you can serve them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ina Garten's Cauliflower Gratin Adapted for Thanksgiving Way Out West

        

         I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Of all Ina Garten’s cookbooks, “Barefoot in Paris” (Clarkson Potter 2004) was the least successful in terms of sales.  That came as a complete surprise to me because I find it one of the best “French” cookbooks I own.  Ina adapted every recipe for American kitchens. Since it is pure Ina, its recipes are easy to follow and don’t make you run out and buy pots or pans or molds or even ingredients that aren’t found in most American kitchens.  I’m willing to believe that “French” cooking just scares the bejesus out of most home cooks.  That’s the only reason I can come up with for Ina’s adoring fans not to have latched onto this volume they way they have every other.  And if you need further proof of just what a good idea it would be to get your hands on a copy, I would suggest we start right here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ina Garten's Ode to Marcella Hazan: Sicillian Grilled Swordfish and Ina's recipe for Confetti Corn

        
Victor and Marcella Hazan
There is a sad anniversary this week.  It’s been a year since the world lost Marcella Hazan, that wonderfully giving Italian food prophet with whom I struck up a friendship over the internet.  Fortunately, when you are as good as Marcella, your presence in the kitchen will not go with you.  And fortunately too, Marcella’s partner in life and in the kitchen, Victor Hazan, has kept Marcella's memory most alive for fans and friends on her Facebook
page. By complete coincidence, when I was poking around for a recipe for swordfish, what should appear before me but Ina Garten’s Sicillian Grilled Swordfish recipe which Ina said was inspired by Marcella. I found it in Ina’s “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof” (Clarkson Potter 2012).  This recipe certainly keeps up with the title of the book. It’s one of the easiest things I have cooked all summer.   It might take all of 15 minutes to put together.  And it delivers such fresh and full flavor that I wanted to share it with you.  And since we may be heading into the end of corn season, I wanted to also share an Ina recipe for Confetti Corn.  It’s appeared here before. But it is perfect with this dish.        

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Zucchini Corn and Parmesan Fritters




         I’ve always gotten a kick out of stories of massive Zucchini crops suddenly emerging in August and causing their growers to wonder what on earth to do with all of them.  When I was in Elementary School, I distinctly remember a classmate whose mother’s solution was to send her son armed with enormous bags of Zucchini to school each day.  He was quite systematic in his giving.  He would go to a different teacher’s classroom every day and deposit a bag on her desk, beaming.  The first teacher was overwhelmed with his mother’s largesse.  But by the end of the week the last teacher was simply overwhelmed, likely because Teachers #1, 2, 3 and 4 had already shared the bounty of Gordon’s mother’s garden with all their fellow teachers.  Did she go home and make Zucchini bread? Or Zucchini pickles? I can’t help but hope that she made Zucchini Fritters because undoubtedly Gordon and his well-intentioned mother would have been forgiven.   These wonderful cakes, fried to a crisp, are an American classic.  Did you know that Crab Cakes are actually fritters?   And while you can make them with everything from apples to pineapples to peas, the season’s bumper crop of Zucchini and Corn make an irresistible fritter.  Especially when freshly grated Parmesan cheese is added to the batter.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Smoked Prime Rib on the Grill, Roasted Tomatoes with Pesto and Tortini of Zucchini





       
The lovely and extremely
talented Elizabeth Karmel
T
he 4th of July is upon us and there's never a better time to fire up the grill and celebrate the joy of being an American.  And there's almost nothing more American than beef.  And today I am talking serious beef, not your hamburgers and sliders but a big beautiful rib roast.  And what could be more 4th of July than cooking this King of all Roasts on the grill. So today I repeat a post from our first year: It's a menu that celebrates the holiday with the beef served with some incredibly flavorful tomatoes and a zucchini recipe that turns every plate into a piece of art. What's exciting to me is that since I first wrote this post, I came to know the author of the Prime Rib recipe, Hill Country Barbecue's Executive Chef, Elizabeth Karmel.  Elizabeth may well be familiar to those of you who watch Chopped Chef where she's been regularly pressed into service as a judge.  It turns out that Elizabeth grew up with a great friend of ours. David has had the good sense to invite Elizabeth to the Hamptons for the weekend and with her arrival, his dinner parties have topped our list of most-appreciated invitations.  Her pimento cheese, her 7 layer salads and her artichoke and spinach dip are all ambrosial.  But even before I met Elizabeth, I fell in love with her grilled Prime Rib.
       Regular readers of Chewing the Fat have heard that I do not run outdoors on the first decent day and fire up the grill.  I have the grill pans to prove it.  As a matter of fact, it sometimes takes me a little while to bring the grill up to the deck from its winter storage place in the garage.  This is fundamentally because I do not feel in complete control of the Weber.  And to me, gas is out of the question because if you’re going to use a grill, surely half of the desired result is some smoky flavor to announce where whatever you’ve cooked has come from. But not too long ago, we were having quite a big group for dinner and I wanted to serve Prime Rib. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Heirloom Tomatoes with Creamy Corn Buttermilk Basil Dressing


         My friend Edward told me he’d recently had dinner in Manhattan and was served an unforgettable heirloom tomato salad.  Atop a stack of perfectly ripe tomatoes, a corn and cream dressing made the tomatoes even more irresistible.  Since both corn and tomatoes are still flooding farm stands and farmer’s markets, I wanted to share my version of this terrific salad.  But hurry. In no time, the tomatoes will disappear and with them, the sweet corn of summer.  So make this this weekend and I can almost guarantee, you’ll dream about it this winter.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Farmers' Market Salad with Buttermilk-Chive Dressing from "flour, too" by Joanne Chang


Our Farmers' Markets are brimming with more and more produce every week.  The carrots and beans, tomatoes and radishes are in and the Red Bliss potatoes are still baby-sized and beautiful.  So you can imagine my delight at opening Joanne Chang’s latest cookbook, “flour,too” (Chronicle Books 2013) and discovering the perfect recipe to put them all together.  Joanne Chang’s recipes are a regular feature on Chewing the Fat.  Pastry Chef Chang’s takes on classic American desserts from homemade Oreos http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2012/03/joanne-changs-recipe-for-homemade-oreo.html to the most recent post featuring Strawberry shortcakes http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2013/06/joanne-changs-balsamic-strawberry.html are extremely popular, not just with Andrew but with all our readers.  Now, in “flour, too” her recipe files have been expanded to include savories from her Flour Bakeries and Cafes in Boston.  This is huge boon to savory cooks like me.  But fear not.  Chef Chang's new cookbook includes enough sweetness to satisfy both the baker and the cook in our house. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A melange of Asparagus and any Green Spring Vegetable you'd like


        
Asparagus season is here and we can’t get enough of the stuff. I’ve already served it in last year’s spicy stir-fry with chiles. http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/05/spicy-pork-with-asparagus-and-chile.htmld. And then as a dinner salad that makes a meatless meal  http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/05/spicy-pork-with-asparagus-and-chile.html and then of course, there’s roasted asparagus which can be served as a side dish,an appetizer or, adding an egg, a light supper: 
http://www.chewingthefat.us.com/2011/06/roasted-asparagus-with-lardons-and.html.  Now to add to our collection of asparagus recipes, comes this symphony of green.  It combines not only tender asparagus spears but Spring’s green beans or haricots verts, Fava beans or Edaname, baby peas—even lettuce if you’d like.  It started off as a recipe in La Cucina Italiana magazine entitled “Primizie verdi con scamorza e olio picante” or Green Spring Salad with Scamorza and Spicy Olive Oil.  You’ll notice there’s not one word about Asparagus in the name of the recipe.  But on closer inspection,
Asparagus was a key ingredient among several others. At a recent dinner party we gave, instead of offering up steamed, boiled or roasted asparagus exactly like everyone’s been eating it since asparagus season began, this gave us the chance to introduce it with several other Spring vegetables. The result is a side dish that looks like you went to an inordinate amount of trouble to make.  In fact, it’s amazingly easy.  And what I also discovered was this is an incredibly adaptable recipe and that you can use virtually any green vegetable you’d like.

Monday, March 25, 2013

St. Barth's Easiest Recipe Ever....Salade des Haricots Verts avec Echalotes





       I posted this recipe last week and the response was terrific, particularly on www.sbhonline.com which is website completely given over to our favorite island.  When I did so, one of the most prolific contributors to the blog, AndyNap added something terrific to the recipe.  While I talked about using bottled Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette, AndyNap went to the trouble of giving us his recipe for the real thing: A perfect home made version.  Now I am a firm believer that home made trumps bottled in every way, so I thought I'd re-post and add AndyNap's  recipe.  It's further down the page, with the rest of the recipe. Bon Appetit!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving 101: Gratin of Sweet Potatoes and Leeks



        My friend Betty once told me a riotous story of being invited to a Thanksgiving dinner and being asked to "bring something".  When she arrived on the big day, there were 12, count 'em, sweet potato casseroles.  Lesson learned: If you're going 'potluck' on Turkey Day, assign the side dishes.  And you couldn't do much better than this deliciously rich gratin. It's a true example of  over-the-top Thanksgiving cooking. Fair warning…this is one of the richest things (aka fatty) I’ve made in a very long time.  But it was so delicious and really satisfying in tiny portions that I’d make again in a heartbeat…assuming I still had a pulse after consuming the pancetta and cream involved in the dish.
The other great thing about this dish is that it benefits from being made ahead. You can put the whole thing together a couple of days in advance and take it right up to the baking stage on the big day.  It also is very forgiving and can be cooked longer than the time given which is always a huge help when you're putting together your Thanksgiving dinner.  Another advantage to it's timing is that it's a lot easier to serve in beautiful little squares if it rests before serving.
All in all, it's a winner in every way.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The surprising story of Fried Green Tomatoes and Martha Stewart's recipe for Not Fried Green Tomatoes



            I love a little side of history when I am serving up a dish with roots as deep as Fried Green Tomatoes.  With the exception of grits and hominy, what's more southern than this all-over crunchy firm tomato that’s been battered into a deep-fried delicacy?  Even though deep-frying makes almost everything taste better, this dish stands out.  The tartness of the tomato and the sweet cornmeal of the crust are a perfect combination--especially for tomato lovers like me. 
         Of course, they’re southern to the core, aren't they?  There was that whole movie “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café”.  Set in Alabama, this feel good film from 1991 was among the first ‘chick flicks’ and a huge hit.  I wanted to read up on the origin of the dish itself.   There on the website of the Smithsonian Institution, of all places, a woman named Lisa Bramen described her first encounters with Fried Green Tomatoes.  She too remembered the movie. In the late 1990s, she tasted her first Fried Green Tomato in New Orleans. So impressed was she that, on a southern road trip, she asked for them everywhere she went. Strangely, only once, in Memphis TN, did she encounter a pale imitation of what she had tasted in New Orleans.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Tian of Summer Vegetables served two ways

One night it's a glorious side dish...
The next day it's a delicious lunch!  

            With our local farm stands brimming with the most beautiful vegetables, it’s a fun challenge to find ways to eat them every chance we get.  Last week I turned to a tian to make use of some glorious summer squash, zucchini and field tomatoes.  The word “Tian” is French and originally referred to the clay cooking casserole used to prepare this Provencal-style mix of vegetables roasted to perfection au gratin -- covered with a layer of cheese.  Interestingly, the French use the word ‘tian’ to describe not just the vegetable version of the dish but anything layered—even a dessert. And in a wonderful coincidence, “Tian” is also the Chinese word for “Heaven”.  And I have to concur: this is heaven especially when I discovered the leftover Tian created a second meal the next day.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Neal Hartman’s Baked Butter Beans



Neal Hartman. Summer 2010
         Neal Hartman was an exceptional man.  He was truly and dearly loved and when he was taken from us a year and a half ago, his loss was felt all over his community of Sag Harbor.  Neal was a pillar of Christ Episcopal Church, a stalwart of the Historical Society, the Sag Harbor Tree Fund, The Bay Street Theater and his bridge club.  On top of that, he grew the sweetest tomatoes, made the most extraordinary Strawberry jam, cooked and baked and pickled.  On the morning that he died of an aortic aneurysm, he was scheduled for an all-day canning session with his and our dear friend Michael.  We were all bereft at his loss, aged just 64, and our heartbreak for his partner of 40 years, David, was unimaginable.  Neal left us a legacy of community service, deep friendship and incredible sorrow that he is no longer here.  And he also left behind something that alone would keep him in our hearts forever, his amazing recipe for Baked Butter Beans.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year’s Day Black Eyed Peas, a delicious way to bring good luck and prosperity for 2012




When I was first learning my way around the kitchen, The New York Times Cookbook (Harper and Row, 1st published 1961) was my constant companion. Its editor was an immensely talented writer and cook named Craig Claiborne. So you can imagine my excitement when, quite a few years and many successful New York Times recipes later, I spied an open seat next to Mr. Claiborne on a Manhattan-bound Hampton Jitney, then my preferred way to get back and forth to the city. I took my seat and introduced myself.



Friday, December 23, 2011

Joe Beef’s Big Beautiful Roasted Mushrooms



         I’ve already waxed poetic over Joe Beef, that phenomenal Montreal restaurant where we craved everything we ate.  Almost everything we tried was truly over the top.  And Andrew and I were not the least bit surprised to see that “The World According to Joe Beef: A Cookbook of sorts” tops most Top Ten Cookbooks of 2011 lists.   The book is just a delight and just as delightful as Frederic Morin whom we were so pleased to meet when we ate there.  I literally bought the book the first day it came out in the US.  And of course, I couldn’t wait to try the recipes that he and his partner, David McMillan have put together for their readers.  But it may come as a surprise that the first recipe I tried was one for simple large white mushrooms. And I thought, “if we’re doing 12 days of Christmas recipes, why not include this one?”  It’s a perfect accompaniment to any holiday roast—beef, chicken, pork or lamb.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sauteed Shrimp with Coconut Oil, Ginger and Coriander with Confetti Corn adapted from Ina Garten


         Last weekend, we had close friends staying with us and this dinner really hit the spot.  It took no time at all to put together. In fact the whole thing took about 30 minutes.  The delicious and mildly coconut-flavored shrimp cooked took about 10 minutes and the only time-consuming thing about the Confetti corn was getting it off the cob.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops with Carrot Orzo



        Today, I wanted to share a very easily prepared Pork Chop main course that pairs beautifully with a side that’s appeared here before. Rather than just give you the link, I’ll include the whole recipe on this page to make it easier for you. 
Frenched Pork Chops from Trader Joe's
        The Pork Chops are from Saveur’s April 2010 issue which featured the food of Rome.  I lived in Rome eons ago but I have no memory of eating a single pork chop. This may have a lot to do with my student budget at the time which very often curtailed my eating anything beyond pasta and a “contorno”, the side dishes of vegetables and irresistible antipasti. We never actually got near the “Primi Piatti” where the meat courses were listed.  Since I have an enduring love of all things Pork, that seems like the most logical explanation.   My recent discovery of the beautifully Frenched Park Chops at Trader Joe’s were a call to action for this recipe.  “Frenching” just means cleaning the bone of gristle and leaving it as a kind of handle on the chop.  This of course will allow you to pick it up by the handle and savor every delicious morsel of meat clinging to the bone.  The “sweet” in the recipe comes from Honey, the “sour” comes from Balsamic Vinegar.  It very easy to accomplish in very little time and it’s very delicious.
        As a side dish, this Orzo dish is hard to beat.  It really is comparable to a risotto in many ways but far easier to deal with as it doesn’t require your constant presence at the stove.  There’s a certain sweetness to the carrots and a creaminess to the Orzo that makes this dish a wonderful counterpoint to the Sweet and Sour glaze on the pork chops.  Try it with some quickly sautéed spinach and you’ll have a wonderful dinner.  Here are the recipes:
Recipe for “Maiale in Agrodolce” or Sweet and Sour Glazed Pork Chops from Saveur Magazine:
4 10-ounce Frenched Pork Chops

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. honey
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1  sprig fresh rosemary, torn into 1" pieces 


1. Put pork chops on a plate; drizzle with oil; season generously with salt and pepper; let sit for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high heat. Combine vinegar and honey in a 1-qt. saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup. Stir in butter and rosemary and set aside.

3. Put pork chops on grill and cook, occasionally turning and basting with balsamic mixture, until browned and cooked through, 12–14 minutes. Transfer to a platter and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe for Carrot Orzo

6 ounces peeled baby carrots (about 1 

1/4 cups; from 16-ounce package)

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

1 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 8 ounces)

1 ½ cups water

1 ¼ cups low-salt chicken broth

1 large garlic clove, minced

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Place carrots in processor. Using on/off turns, finely chop carrots. Melt butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add orzo and carrots; sauté until orzo is golden, about 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups water, broth, and garlic; cook uncovered over medium heat until all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in cheese, green onions, and rosemary. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.  Serves 4.




 


Monday, November 22, 2010

Gratin of Sweet Potatoes and Leeks and other Thanksgiving delights



It's Thanksgiving and if ever there was a time to cook, this is it.  I love this holiday. Like many people who weren't born in this country, I see this day as a true celebration of America.  And in its inclusion of everyone-- regardless of what religion they do or do not practice --it is a celebration of us all.  And it doesn't hurt that the food we serve is some of the most delicious we make all year. And clearly the most bountiful. 

Today's post is truly an example of over-the-top Thanksgiving cooking.   Fair warning…this is one of the richest things (aka fatty) I’ve made in a very long time.  But it was so delicious and really satisfying in tiny portions that I’d make again in a heartbeat…assuming I still had a pulse after consuming the pancetta and cream involved in the dish.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wild Mushroom and Leek Tart



David Falkowski's  Oyster Mushrooms are beyond compare
Leeks from the Foster Family Farm
        One of the joys of being part of the Farmer’s Markets this fall has been getting first dibs on some incredible produce.  The market opens at 9 but everyone is generally in place before that.  I feel like an early bird at a Yard Sale because before we welcome our paying customers, I do a little shopping.  The bread from Blue Duck Bakery is superb.  You’ve read how good David Falkowski’s mushrooms are.  And right next to where I am, from the Foster Family farm in Sagaponack, there’s a beautiful array of vegetables every week.  That the farm still operates is a bit of a miracle:  The land is so valuable that mostly what has sprouted up in the neighboring fields are multi-million dollar houses.  At one point, Sagaponack was listed as the most expensive Zip code in the country.  But the Fosters carry on.  The soil in Sagaponack is said to be about the best on the East Coast.  Left behind millennia ago when the glaciers retreated, it’s six feet of loam in places!  So you can imagine how beautiful everything that’s grown there is.  Last week, I could not resist the leeks.  Putting them together with two of David’s mushroom varieties—dried porcinis and fresh Oyster Mushrooms— seemed the perfect thing to do.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tomato Bread Pudding



It's the height of tomato season on Long Island and this year's crop is incredibly good.  The heat and the sun have given us not only red beauties but all kinds of heirloom varieties and lots of choices in cherry tomatoes--from yellow to red to purple.  I really wait all year to make dishes that are meant for fresh tomatoes.  Sorry, not even those "tomatoes on the vine" can compete with the flavor and goodness of a summer tomato...although I have to admit, grape tomatoes really can hit the spot.  But of all the tomato dishes we've been gorging ourselves on, this recipe for a Tomato Bread Pudding is right at the top of our list.