Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Stir-Fried Fava Beans with Minced Pork

As fava bean season continues, I can't seem to resist them. I doubled the amount of the ground pork in the recipe below to make it more of a main dish and a quick and easy dinner. The slightly spicy fava beans made a great combination.

One year ago: Chickpea Salad

Stir-Fried Fava Beans with Minced Pork (from Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook)

1 1/2 cups shelled fava beans
2 long red chiles, cut crosswise into thin slices
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 ounces ground pork
1 tsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp peanut oil

1. Heat wok over high flame. Add 2 tbsp of peanut oil and swirl. Add beans and stir-fry for 1 - 2 minutes until tender. Set aside.
2. Return wok to heat with remaining tbsp of oil. Add red chiles and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant.
3. Add pork and stir-fry until it has changed color, splashing wine around edges and seasoning with soy sauce.
4. Add chili flakes.
5. Return beans to wok and stir-fry briefly.
6. Remove wok from heat, stir in sesame oil, and serve.

Rakhine Chile-Hot Meat and Potatoes

Considering this dish came from a Burmese cookbook, I was expecting something more exotic tasting. Instead, I got a rich, satisfying comfort meal. The beef and potatoes blend together to an almost creamy sauce with just a hint of heat and spice. I wasn't sure what to make of it at first, but found myself going back for more.

One year ago: Venison with Sour Cherry Sauce
Three years ago: Shaved Asparagus Pizza

Rakhine Chile-Hot Meat and Potatoes (from Burma)

1 lb ground beef
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp minced galangal
2 tbsp peanut oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 medium potatoes (1 lb), peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1 - 2 cups water
3 green cayenne chiles, slit lengthwise
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper

1. Mix meat with salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and galangal in bowl. Set aside for one hour for flavours to blend.
2. Place wok over medium heat. Add oil and toss in shallots and ginger. Cook until softened, 4 minutes.
3. Add potatoes and cook for 3 - 4 minutes or until lightly browned.
4. Increase heat to high, add 1 cup water and green chiles, cover, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add meat mixture and stir. Stir in tomatoes and cayenne powder. Simmer uncovered until meat is cooked, adding more water if you want it saucier.
6. Add black pepper and serve.

Mixed Berry-Almond Cobbler

In my fridge, I found a mixture of leftover raspberries and blackberries with some rhubarb hiding in the freezer. Although this recipe only calls for the berries, I decided that some rhubarb thrown in with a little extra sugar and cornstarch would be the perfect addition. The almond topping on this dessert is fantastically light, airy, and flavorful. You can also make this recipe with 1kg pitted cherries or even a mixture of cherries and apricots.

One year ago: Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
Two years ago: Rhubarb Custard Cake
Three years ago: Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Pots

Mixed Berry-Almond Cobbler (from Ready for Dessert)

6 cups (795g) mixed berries
2 tbsp (30g) sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup (140g) flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 ounces (200g) almond paste, crumbled
1/3 cup (65g) sugar
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. To make filling, in a shallow 2 quart baking dish, toss berries with 2 tbsp sugar and lemon juice.
3. To make topping, in small bowl whisk togeter flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In stand mixer, beat together almond paste and 1/3 cup sugar until paste is broken into fine pieces.
5. Beat in butter, then egg and extract.
6. Add half of flour mixture, followed by milk, and remaining flour mixture, mixing until combined.
7. Spoon batter evenly over berries in baking dish.
8. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 45 minutes.

Steamed Wild Salmon with Mustard Greens, Soy Sauce, and Ginger

It was the first salmon of the season in our seafood box last week. While my list of things to try with salmon is quite long, I thought I'd keep it nice and simple to start with. Dinner in 15 minutes? That works for me. This dish packs plenty of flavour with the ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. I also spent about as much time cleaning and tearing the greens as cooking. Not bad.

One year ago: Breast of Duck with Pomegranate Molasses
Two years ago: Cashew Chicken
Three years ago: Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Steamed Wild Salmon with Mustard Greens, Soy Sauce, and Ginger (from In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1" piece ginger, minced
1 very large bunch mustard greens, cleaned, stemmed, and torn into pieces
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp water
2 wild salmon fillets, 6 - 8 ounces each

1. Heat vegetable and sesame oils in large skillet. Add garlic and ginger and saute until fragrant and translucent, 2 minutes.
2. Add mustard greens, soy sauce, and water and saute until greens start to wilt, 2 minutes.
3. Spread greens in bottom of pan. Season salmon with salt and pepper and place on top of greens (you won't really need much salt thanks to the soy). Cover pan, reduce heat to medium, and let fish steam until cooked through, 6 minutes.
4. Transfer fish to serving plate. If greens are too wet, cook off excess moisture. Serve on top of fish.

Lemongrass-Grilled Beef with Noodles and Salad

As a general rule, I don't post recipes that August cooks, but this one was too good not to share. The seasoning on it was just right and reminded me of a Vietnamese restaurant I used to frequent for lunch when I lived in Austin. It requires a bit of planning ahead for the marinade, but the effort is well worth it.

One year ago: Chicken Stuffed with Garlic and Coriander
Two years ago: Asian-Inspired Porcini Risotto
Three years ago: Spring Time Risotto

Lemongrass-Grilled Beef with Noodles and Salad (from Planet Barbecue!)

Marinade and Beef
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
1" fresh ginger, coarsely chopped
2 small hot chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 1/2 lb beef, sliced paper-thin across grain
8 ounces rice vermicelli
Salad Plate
1 large head Boston lettuce, separated into whole leaves
1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
2 - 4 Thai chiles, thinly sliced
2 - 3 cups bean sprouts
1 bunch Thai basil, torn into sprigs
1 bunch fresh mint, torn into sprigs
1 bunch cilantro, torn into sprigs
1/2 cup finely chopped salted roasted peanuts
Vietnamese dipping sauce

1. Place garlic, lemongrass, shallot, ginger, chiles, sugar, pepper, and salt in a mortar and pound to a paste. Work in fish sauce, sesame oil, and citrus. Stir in sesame seeds.
2. Arrange beef in baking dish. Spoon marinade over beef, turning to coat. Marinate in refrigerator, covered, for 1 - 2 hours, turning one or twice.
3. Place rice vermicelli in large bowl and add hot water. Soak for 30 minutes or until pliable. Drain. Transfer to bowl and cover with damp towel to keep soft.
4. Prepare salad plate by arranging ingredients on platter. Cover with damp towel.
5. Drain beef, discarding marinade. Preheat grill to high.
6. Arrange beef on hot grate and grill until golden brown on both sides, 1 - 3 minutes. Transfer to platter.
7. To eat, spread vermicelli on top of lettuce leaf. Add cucumber, chiles, bean sprouts, and herbs. Top with grilled beef and sprinkle with peanuts. Roll into a tight cylinder. Dip in dipping sauce and eat.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Yogurt-Tart Chickpeas with Mustard Greens

It's always a wonderful thing when a last minute side dish addition steals the show, but this one did just that. The tart yogurt, bitter mustard greens, and chickpeas are a fantastic combination, not to mention the visual appeal of this dish with the reddish sauce and green flecks. This works well as a side dish, but could also serve as a satisfying meal on its own. Don't be intimidated by the two spice blends include in this dish. Neither one has many spices, so you could easily sub and they're spices that aren't that rare to have on hand.

One year ago: Slow-Cooked Pork Ribs with Mushrooms, Fino, and Rosemary
Two years ago: Macaroni and Cheese Pie
Three years ago: Asparagus Pesto Quinoa with Tomatoes

Yogurt-Tart Chickpeas with Mustard Greens (from 660 Curries)

1 small red onion, cut in half and coarsely chopped
6 - 8 fresh green chiles, stems removed
6 cloves garlic
3 slices garlic (2"x1"x1/8")
2 tbsp Ghee or canola oil
2 bay leaves
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 tsp Bangala garam masala (grind together: 1 tsp whole cloves, 1 tsp cardamom seeds from green or white pods, 4 cinnamon sticks ... you'll have leftovers)
2 tsp coarse salt
1 lb fresh mustard greens, finely chopped
4 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp Toasted Cumin-Coriander blend (2 to 1 blend on toasted coriander and cumin seeds, ground)

1. Combine onion, chiles, garlic, and ginger in food processor and mince.
2. Heat ghee in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion blend and bay leaves. Cook until starting to brown along edges, 3 - 5 minutes.
3. Pour in tomatoes, Bangala garam masala, and salt. Stir.
4. Add a couple of handfuls of mustard greens, stirring to coat. Let them wilt and repeat until all greens have been added.
5. Stir in chickpeas and simmer over medium-low heat, uncovered, until sauce has thickened, 12 - 15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, whisk yogurt and cream together in a small bowl.
7. Fold in yogurt mixture and stir in cumin-coriander blend.
8. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Roasted Pepper Salad with Butter Lettuce and Creamy Queso Anejo Dressing

While this salad doesn't scream Mexican to me, the roasted pepper and creamy dressing with crisp lettuce make a nice combination. Bayless also suggests using the pepper mix in tacos with a bit of chorizo which I think would work beautifully. The dressing proportions here makes a lot extra, so you may want to scale back if you don't want to keep it around for extra later.

One year ago: Cecina with Beets and Almond Sauce
Two years ago: Classic Key Lime Pie
Three years ago: Berry Pie Muffins

Roasted Pepper Salad with Butter Lettuce and Creamy Queso Anejo Dressing (from Mexican Everyday)

1 1/4 lbs large fresh peppers (mixture of poblano and red bell peppers)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 head Boston lettuce
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup light vinegar (rice or champagne)
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/3 cup grated queso anejo or Romano or Parmesan, divided

1. Roast peppers over an open flame or below broiler until blistered and blackened.
2. Place in bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and let cool.
3. Meanwhile, combine oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, and salt in blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour dressing into jar and stir in 2 - 3 tbsp of cheese.
5. Remove skin and pull out stems and seed pods from peppers. Cut into 1/4" strips.
6. Place onions and peppers in bowl. Drizzle with 1/3 cup of dressing. Season with salt to taste.
7. Arrange lettuce leaves on individual plates. Top with pepper mixture. Drizzle a little extra dressing over lettuce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and serve.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Roasted Mushroom Salad with Spinach and Chorizo

I wasn't sure what to think of this salad, but decided to give it a go since we had leftover mushrooms and chorizo. When I think of Mexican food, the sides that come to mind are usually refried beans or rice, so adding something a bit more vegetable heavy to taco night seemed like a good idea. This salad actually worked surprisingly well. The lime juice brightens up what had the potential to be too heavy of a dish. You could serve this as a main dish, but it also works well as a side. If you don't have chorizo, Bayless suggests bacon as an alternative.

One year ago: Carrot and Cumin Salad with Coriander
Two years ago: Key Lime Meringue Pie
Three years ago: Chocolate Orbit Cake with Blackberry Cassis Sauce

Roasted Mushroom Salad with Spinach and Chorizo (from Mexican Everyday)

8 ounces Mexican chorizo, casing removed OR 8 thick slices bacon cut crosswise into 1/4" pieces
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (shiitakes, oysters, chanterelles, etc)
1 large red onion, sliced about 1/4" thick
8 ounces salad spinach, long stems removed (we used baby)
3 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1. Heat oven to 425F.
2. Break chorizo into small clumps onto baking sheet with sides or scatter bacon.
3. Sprinkle mushrooms and onion onto meat and roast for 10 minutes.
4. Stir and resturn to oven until onion is browned and meat is fully cooked, 10 more minutes.
5. Meanwhile, place spinach in large bowl.
6. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp water. Heat in microwave if desired.
7. Sprinkle mushroom-meat mixture over spinach. Drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Serve.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ground Beef Tacos

I feel a bit odd posting such a simple recipe, but I think this one's an improvement over just using a taco seasoning mix. The flavours remind me of home.

One year ago: Pork Tenderloin Drenched with an Onion Sauce
Two years ago: Dan Dan Mian
Three years ago: Baked Ziti with Goat Cheese and Olives

Ground Beef Tacos (from The Tex-Mex Cookbook)

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 lb ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
1 serrano chile, stemmed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
For tacos
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar or monterey jack
1 1/2 cups chopped tomato
1 1/2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
6 fried taco shells (or soft corn tortillas)

1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook onion until it begins to wilt, 2 minutes.
2. Add meat and sear, chopping with spatula until pink color is gone.
3. Add garlic and chile and cook for 2 minutes or until garlic is soft.
4. Add salt, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, and 1 tbsp water. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes or until well blended.
5. Assemble tacos and eat.

Vietnamese Braised Scallops

When we had dinner in Carmel, we were served the most perfectly cooked steamed scallop with a hint of meyer lemon. While I don't think I can ever hope to perfectly cook a scallop like that, the dinner did remind me how much I enjoy scallops. Since I don't think we're ever going to get scallops in our seafood CSA, I decided to hunt them out at the farmer's market where $11.50 will buy you a pound of beautiful dry large sea scallops. Overall, this recipe is fairly simple, but it does require a bit of patience and trust that the caramel will turn out. That's the hardest part though and well worth the risk for slightly sweet scallops with just a touch of heat. I recommend serving with rice to soak up a bit of the sauce.

One year ago: Chicken Curry with Whole Spices, Cream, and Tomatoes
Two years ago: Beef Enchiladas with Chipotle-Pasilla Chili Gravy
Three years ago: Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Vietnamese Braised Scallops (from All About Braising)

1/2 cup water, divided
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 lb sea scallops, muscle removed
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated

1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and fish sauce.
2. Put sugar in a heavy-based skillet just large enough to hold scallops in a single layer. Pour remaining 1/4 cup water over it and let sit for a minute to soak in.
3. Heat skillet over medium heat until sugar liquefies. You can stir once or twice, but don't stir constantly and most importantly be patient! The sugar will liquefy and begin to darken. If it's boiling unevenly, you can swirl the pan, but for the most part, just leave it alone. Let it get very dark, but not black, 8 - 10 minutes. When it begins to smoke and smell toasty, it's done.
4. Carefully, pour water and fish sauce into the caramel. Stir and let it boil until you have a smooth, thick sauce, 4 minutes.
5. Add shallots, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 minutes.
6. Stir in red pepper flakes and white part of scallions.
7. Add scallops in a single layer, partially cover, and simmer for 4 - 5 minutes.
8. Turn scallops and simmer until cooked through, 3 - 5 minutes.
9. Transfer scallops to warm plate and spoon over some of the sauce. Garnish with scallion greens and serve.

Rigatoncini with Sausage, Fresh Ricotta, and Orange Zest

Fresh ricotta is a wonderful thing and it shines it this recipe with a little bit of orange zest to brighten it up. We used a nice lamb sausage from our CSA box with this and it worked beautifully. Although this recipe works great as is, I think there are two small changes that could push it over the edge into phenomenal. First, the sausage slices sometimes mean the meat gets lost in the dish. They could be cut up smaller OR even better, maybe crumbled and then you could skip the step of roasting the sausage in the oven. I also wanted a bit of green in the dish to make it more visually appealing. Next time, I would probably wilt some baby spinach on top.

One year ago: Cashew Cheese with a Bell Pepper Sauce
Two years ago: Thai-inspired Tacos
Three years ago: Vegetable Lasagna

Rigatoncini with Sausage, Fresh Ricotta, and Orange Zest (The Cheesemonger's Kitchen)

1 lb/455g whole Italian sweet sausages
1 lb/455g dried rigatoncini pasta
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 lb/455g fresh ricotta cheese
100g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 oranges, for zesting

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Place sausages on a baking sheet and roast for 25 - 30 minutes or until cooked through.
3. Let sausages cool and cut into 6 pieces each.
4. Bring plenty of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (9 - 12 minutes).
5. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large saute pan. Add sausages along with garlic and saute over medium-high heat for 4 - 5 minutes until crisp and garlic is golden.
6. Splash in a tablespoon of the pasta water to stop garlic from cooking. Remove from heat and ricotta to sausages.
7. Drain cooked pasta and add to pan.
8. Add half of pecorino and toss well.
9. Zest oranges into pasta and toss again. Season with salt and pepper.
10. Serve with remaining pecorino.

Sweet-and-Sour Fish Tiles

I'm a little embarrassed to see that we're two weeks into a new month and I haven't posted a single new recipe yet. Between travel for fun, travel for work, wedding planning, and a few not so amazing recipes, there just hasn't been enough time to post! We'll see how far I get into correcting that issue.

This recipe came mostly from needing to do something with our fish box and me not wanting to buy groceries right before we went out of town for the weekend. I was having a very hard time finding inspiration that night, so I had low expectations for this dish. It greatly exceeded my expectations though. The fried fish came out light and the sweet and sour sauce was excellent. This one's on the list for emergency dinners when I lack inspiration.

One year ago: Chili and Basil Scallops
Two years ago: Egg Drop Soup
Three years ago: Rosemary Parmesan Popovers

Sweet-and-Sour Fish Tiles (from Every Grain of Rice)

9 oz/250g white fish fillet, cut into slices 1/8" thick
2 spring onion whites, cut into very fine slivers
pinch of very fine slivers of fresh red chili
2 cups plus 2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped sliced spring onion greens
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
1/8 tsp salt
1 small egg, beaten
4 tbsp potato flour
1/2 tsp cooking oil
5 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinkiang vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 potato flour
5 tbsp chicken stock or water

1. Place fish slices in bowl and add wine and salt to marinate. Mix in egg and flour to evenly coat. Add cooking oil.
2. In a separate bowl, mix together sauce ingredients.
3. Set spring onion whites and chili slivers to soak in cold water (if you want them to curl nicely).
4. Heat 2 cups plus 2 tbsp oil in a wok over high flame to 350F. Use chopsticks to drop half fish slices into oil. Deep-fry until lightly golden. Remove with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining slices. Place fish on a serving dish.
5. Drain off all but 2 tbsp oil. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry until fragrant.
6. Pour sauce into wok, stirring as it thickens.
7. Add spring onion greens to sauce and pour over fish.
8. Sprinkle fish with drained slivered spring onion whites and chili and serve.