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

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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Galette of Late Summer Vegetables with (or without) Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream

        



Melissa Clark is one of my all-time favorite recipe makers. I look forward to her weekly columns in the Times one of which is called
“A Good Appetite”.   I sometimes think it also be called “Playing with Your Food” because Melissa treats her readers to any number of machinations and generally allows her followers free reign with her recipes.   And that’s exactly what I did with a recent foray Melissa took us on into the world of the galette.  A galette and its Italian cousin the crostata are free-form pastries that require no pie plate or tart pan. Instead dough is rolled out flat in something approaching a round shape, the filling is loaded on top and the edges of the dough are folded over the filling.  It’s completely undemanding and if filling oozes out of the side that’s all chocked up to the rustic charms of this particular offering.   Real butter is must when making the pastry and using the best filling you can find will turn out a gloriously golden dish that even the most novice baker can be proud of.   Andrew has shared his share of galettes and a superb crostata which you can find using the search function on the left side of this page.  But this would be our first savory version of the dish.  But I seemed to remember that pleasure of these was greatly increased when topped with a scoop of ice cream.  So when he and I made this one, I couldn’t help but wonder if that wouldn’t also be true here.  So I made Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream to top off our dish.  But first we made the galette.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Mushroom "BLT"s with Basil Mayonnaise from Chef Rich Landau of Vedge Restaurant, Philadelphia



      Richard Landau is a chef in Philadelphia at a vegetarian restaurant called “Vedge”.  He and his wife, Katie Jacoby, are also authors of a cookbook by the same name (The Experiment 2013).  In the run up to the book’s publication, Rich contributed this recipe to Food and Wine magazine.  It's an incarnation of one of my favorite sandwiches, the BLT.  But instead of the B, he pressed Oyster Mushrooms into service.  The result is a stunning take on the original.  Meaty and full of flavor.  Pick the right bread and you'll be in heaven.  
      The firm, meaty texture of the mushroom takes the place of the Bacon.  Now anyone who has ever had
Really Good Bread makes
a really great sandwich.
the misfortune to taste what the vegan stand-in for bacon is, will give this substitution a standing O.   I made these for a light supper.  Andrew and I couldn’t get over how good they were.   I used the “tomatoes on the vine” and they passed muster. But I couldn’t help think how glorious this will taste once we are in tomato season.  I also opted for a really great loaf of seeded rye bread which I toasted and spread with the easy-to-make basil mayonnaise.  A couple of romaine lettuce leaves, the tomato slice and the sautéed mushrooms, lots of salt and pepper and voila, a meatless meal in no time. I made this for the two of us.  It could easily be doubled but beware, you will want to eat every one you can get your hands on. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Ribollita, the "Flexitarian" Stew adapted from Mark Bittman in The New York Times


Mark Bittman, "The Flexitarian"
Mark Bittman calls himself “The Flexitarian”.  He writes about his food philosophy in The New York Times Dining Out Section once a month.  I am happy to report that from the start Bittman promised that, first and foremost, his new column would be an ode to great-tasting food. What he offers too is food for those of us who are moderate in our eating habits—certainly not strict vegans or vegetarians--but omnivores making conscious choices about what we eat. His recipes are for all of us trying to incorporate more good-for-you plants and fewer animal proteins into our diets.  For all their hullabaloo, vegans and vegetarians make up a scant 5% of the population. But a lot of us are working hard to assimilate healthier grains, fish, legumes, fruits and vegetables into our diets more often.  And that’s where Bittman’s recipes come in.  They offer truly  flavorful food that I can only describe as even tasting healthy, a sensation I had as I dug into this Ribollita, a cheesy, vegetable-rich stew with its giant ‘crouton’ of whole grain bread.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Two from One: Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese and Roasted Cauliflower Soup




        

On a recent “Chopped”, the Food Network TV show that pits four chefs against a basket full of incongruous ingredients, a very sad fact was served up to the audience.  Americans throw away 40 percent of the food they buy!  The dollar amount is staggering:  According to Reuters, $165 billion worth or 90 billion pounds of food goes un-eaten. Apparently in this land of plenty, where millions of people are on government food programs and where a staggering 14 percent of children go to bed hungry, there are equal numbers who throw food away with abandon.  And I can’t say that in our house we’re completely guilt-free.  A recent refrigerator clean-out included a few half chopped onions, some very wilted carrots and lots of unidentified liquids and solids making penicillin in plastic food containers.  I am not about to offer excuses.  I grew up having “Waste Not, Want Not” etched into memory.  But the plain fact is that a lot of the recipes I work with are for more than just two people.  Andrew will very often ask “So how many people are coming to dinner?”.  Most of the time I can cut things back to a reasonable portion for two.  But there are ingredients that just don’t divvy up.  Take, for example, a head of Cauliflower.   It’s one of the last of the year’s fresh vegetables. Arrayed at the farm stand with its white center peeking out from its green housing, I find it irresistible.  This year, I was determined to cook one but not force us into involuntary vegetarianism.  The solution: make two dishes out of one head.  It turned out that one night’s meatless meal was another day’s creamed soup for lunch. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Thomas Keller's Ratatouille

         Thomas Keller, arguably the most influential chef in the country, recently wrote about Ratatouille in the Los Angeles Times.  He wasn’t talking about the 2008 movie of the same name, a fanciful food fable that won the Oscar that year for best Animated Feature.  He was referring to that summer classic that incorporates so many fresh vegetables your kitchen looks like you’ve robbed a farm stand.  What Chef Keller pointed out was how adaptable the dish is.  It starts out as a vegetable stew that’s an incomparable side dish or a vegetarian meal all by itself.
It is quite labor intensive so there’s no point in making a tiny batch of the stuff. Instead Chef Keller encourages making a recipe that yields 16 1 cup portions.  This, he points out, gives you the basis for any number of pasta sauces, a perfect soup base-- even a sandwich spread.  The one thing the dish requires, besides a cornucopia of fresh produce, is time.  The start to finish on the dish is 4 hours.  I’d say that actually errs on the short side. But a lot of that time is spent while the ratatouille sits in the oven reducing the liquid away until you’re left with beautifully tender vegetables in a thick, silken sauce.  So you can sit back and stir occasionally.  All that time is a perfect opportunity to re-view “Ratatouille”, the movie.  If you’re uninitiated to its charms, it’s the story of an ambitious young chef and, yes, a Rat who cook away in a Parisian restaurant.  And what foodie doesn’t want to revisit Paris?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A summer starter and a side: My Chilled Cucumber Soup and Marinated Summer Vegetables adapted from Bon Appetit



         A bowl of chilled soup can really start a summer meal off right.
Make enough of it, and anytime you want, there’s a bowl of cool comfort waiting in the fridge.   As to today’s side, it’s a terrific way to have vegetables on hand and at the ready.  You do a simple roast of the farm stand’s best, then while warm douse them with a marinade with just enough garlic and fresh oregano to give them some lift.  I wish I could say the Cucumber soup was farm stand material. The recipe calls for something from fairly far away. All the way from a greenhouse in California.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mushroom and Pepper Jack Tart with Long Island Mushrooms

         
Long Island Mushroom company is the brainchild of two Rhode Island natives who grew up in the same town, became High School Sweethearts, parted ways and re-kindled their romance thirty-two years later.  Jane Maguire and John Quigley are their names and Long Island Mushroom is their second act-–both personally and professionally.  The couple have taken to mushroom farming in a big way.  Their 6500 square foot growing space on the North Fork is packed with glorious
Left to Right: Shiitakes, Blue Oyster and
Miitake Mushrooms from
Long Island Mushroom
Shiitakes, Miitakes and Blue Oyster mushrooms, the perfect combination for creating “wild” mushroom dishes without foraging for them on your own.  You don’t even have to clean them.  That’s because they are grown without soil on pressed paper and sawdust logs that they couple brings in from ‘the mushroom capital of the US’, Kennett Square Pennsylvania.  They’re grown under strict temperature controls and in very high humidity.  Each log produces ‘blooms’ of mushrooms that are harvested simply by being snapped off.  Each log produces 3 crops of mushrooms in a 48 day period before being replaced.  With Jane manning sales and John keeping the farm growing, Long Island Mushroom has found its way into the top restaurant kitchens on the East End, including “The Topping Rose House” in Bridgehampton, Tom Collichio’s wildly successful foray into the Hamptons. 

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, May 13, 2013

Creamed Mushroom Bruschetta with Caramelized Onions From Chef Chris Pandel of Chicago's Balena via Sam Sifton in the New York Times Magazine


  
        
Balena
1633 N Halsted St  Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 867-3888
As Sam Sifton recalls, when the waitress at Chicago’s Balena restaurant approached the table with a steak knife, everyone’s eyebrows went up. No one had ordered steak.  The waitress explained the knife was for the mushrooms.  Someone had ordered a ravishing dish: Creamy-rich Creminis browned to perfection and very simply cooked with some shallots and fresh thyme before being turned into complete ambrosia with a beaker of heavy cream.  Not content to stop there, Chef Chris Pandel used them atop thick slices of toasted Sour Dough Rye Bread crowned with the sweetest of caramelized onions. They literally jumped off the page at me. I could not wait to try them. And neither apparently could Sam Sifton.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Perfect Patty Melt and it's most imperfect imitator, "The Midtown Melt"



        
Last week, I had the strongest craving for a Patty Melt.  I confess that the Patty Melt is far and away my absolute favorite chopped meat sandwich. You must never call a Patty Melt a hamburger because to purists, the Patty Melt is emphatically not one.  To those afficianados like me, it has just four non-negotiable elements that set it apart from any hamburger or cheeseburger: A beef patty, rye bread, sautéed onions and Swiss cheese.  There can be no deviation from this ingredient list.  Furthermore, the patty must be oval to match the shape of the rye bread. The rye bread must be griddled, never toasted.  The onions must be sliced very thin and cooked until caramelized.  The cheese offers a little flexibility: it can be Swiss or Gruyere or a mixture of the two, grated or sliced.   What emerges from this recipe is decadently rich; the cheese permeating the bread and meat and that crisp, buttered rye bread is essential to the character of the dish, its aroma inextricably linked to the pleasure of the Patty Melt.  It’s completely decadent, there’s no denying it.  And there’s also no denying that I tried to resist it all last week.  I even went vegan.

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Tale of Three Soups: Jim's Hurricane Survival Soup, Alice Waters' Spicy Cauliflower Soup and Cousin Bar's Pear and Parsnip Soup


Alice Waters' Spicy Cauliflower Soup 
Cousin Bar's Pear and Parsnip Soup with Red Pepper Puree

         This morning I got an email from an old friend and devoted reader of Chewing the Fat.  He lives in Weehawken, NJ, which is one of the areas hard hit by Hurricane Sandy.  He wrote: “I find myself cooking from my dried and canned/jarred goods tonight, over my stove burner.  Would you consider doing a post about how to mix the stuff you have after your fridge and freezer are out of order?  I'm sure lots of folks have tons of stuff that doesn't need to be refrigerated, but how to mix it all up?  Just a thought.” And a terrific one at that! So here’s what I hope will help all those struggling with power failures and cold and food that’s got to be used in a hurry if it can be used at all.  Here’s my suggestion: Make Soup!

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.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Daniel Boulud's Corn and Heirloom Tomato Tart



The Decor of Maison Boulud gets high marks too!

       Daniel Boulud is no stranger to these pages.  His recipes are as reliable as his restaurants, the latest of which just opened in Montreal’s newly renovated Ritz Carlton Hotel ( 1228 Sherbrooke St. Ouest, Montreal QC H3g 1H6 Tel: 514-842-4212 ) The place only opened at the end of May and there are currently 166 reviews of it on Open Table alone!  Almost all of them assign “Maison Boulud” 5 stars.  Since my parents spent years and years going to that same Ritz at every opportunity, I have great affection for the hotel.  It came as no real surprise that Chef Boulud has made magic there.  I just wish I could whip up and sample what is taking the town by storm.  However, I will have to content myself with his recipe made with food from closer to home.  In fact, the two mainstays of this dish came straight from the farm that’s right over the hill from our house.  And what a dish it is!  The burst of tomato flavor, the sweetness of the corn and the fluffiest of pastry crusts are a wonderful salute to the end of summer.  We’d give this one 5 stars and name the recipe one of our best finds this summer.

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, August 13, 2012

Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Pesto, Mozzarella and Red Peppers and a great recipe for Walnut Spinach Pesto from Daniel Holzman





         Our friend Stephen, the vegetarian, came to stay for a couple of days recently.  I always use Stephen’s visits as a chance to work on vegetarian recipes.  This particular stay, I had one triumph and one miserable fail.  I won’t go into the fail because it did produce a pesto that’s a great addition to any collection of recipes for that summer favorite.   And the triumph?  A Portobello Burger that even the most carnivorous among us can call his own.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas and Mint


         Alright, I am aware that many readers have come to believe we simply do not eat any meal that does not feature asparagus.  And to look at our most recent posts, you wouldn’t be that far off.  We just love the vegetable at this time of the year.  And we do live in a place where some of the country’s best asparagus grows.  So we take advantage of our geography and eat a lot of the stuff this time of year.
        But we can hardly keep up with the 10 recipes in the current issue of Fine Cooking magazine.  And to make that challenge even harder, the magazine says they all come to the table in 10 minutes.  The recipe for Fresh Tortellini came at a particularly good time since we were entertaining our friend Stephen on a weeknight and Stephen is a strict vegetarian.

Monday, March 12, 2012

He made, she made and then I made Ellie Krieger’s Pasta Puttanesca

Bobby Deen's Light Baked Spaghetti versus....
Pasta Puttanesca from Ellie Krieger
         Unless you live under some media-free rock, you have likely heard of the kerfuffle surrounding the announcement that Paula Deen, the Food Network’s Diva of Southern Cuisine, has contracted Type II diabetes.  The news came in a barrage of Deen-related press releases informing us that not only had Ms. Deen admitted to her much-rumoured diabetes, she had also signed on as the paid spokesperson for an insulin replacement therapy.  Coupled with this shocker was the introduction of Paula’s son Billy’s new television program “Not my Mama’s Meals” in which Ms. Deen’s son would re-create his mother’s high fat, high calorie dishes into something healthier.  All this was greeted with jeers from Ms. Deen’s harshest critic, Anthony Bourdain of “No Reservations” TV fame and the author of “Kitchen Confidential”. Mr Bourdain, who had earlier attacked Ms. Deen calling her “the most dangerous woman in American”, jumped into the fray with the following Twitter post: He said: 'Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.' My own take on Ms. Deen’s diabetes was similar to hearing the news that the Marlboro men of cigarette fame, carried oxygen tanks on the back of their horses.  Cause meet effect. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Braised Chickpeas with Spinach and Haloumi with Crisp Onions and Mojo Verde


         This dish really ought to come with a passport.  It has undercurrents of India with its cumin and coriander.  But the Haloumi cheese is pure Greek. The chickpeas could be Indian or Italian or German. And if we called them “Garbanzos”, they would be as Spanish as the incredibly delicious “Mojo Verde” that accompanies them.  To top off all this culinary globe-trotting, I found the recipe in Cuisine, a New Zealand food magazine.  So if you feel like singing “We are the World” while cooking this incredible vegetarian feast, go right ahead.

Monday, July 18, 2011

An authenthic Gazpacho recipe from David Rosengarten




         Whatever happened to David Rosengarten?  You may remember the marvelously low-key television chef who preceded the food network rampage that made stars out of everyone from Bobby Flay to Giada di Laurentis.  David’s show “Taste” was a wonderful learning experience as David deep-dived into his subject matter with such thoroughness and thoughtfulness that you came away feeling you had some expertise in whatever food David was extolling on that particular day.