Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ground Turkey with Roasted Eggplant

Puncture a couple globe eggplants and roast until soft in a 450 degree oven (about 30 min). When cool enough to handle, peel and slice into strips lengthwise.

Saute sliced onion and shittake mushrooms. Add chopped garlic and diced serrano chile. Before garlic browns, add ground turkey, salt, pepper, 2 T soy sauce, 1 T dark soy sauce, 3 T fish sauce, 1 T sugar, the juice of 1 lime, and a splash of mirin. Saute, stirring, until turkey is cooked. Add eggplant and sliced ginger. Add garlic-chile sauce if desired. Cook until eggplant starts to break down, about 5-7 minutes. Serve over rice or quinoa.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Chicken with Mushrooms in an Eggplant Basil Cream Sauce

Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs (bone-in is ok). Remove all fat and cut into small pieces (about 3/4 in). Salt and pepper; dredge in flour. Heat oil until shimmering in a non-non-stick pan. Brown chicken pieces on one side. Flip and stir in one medium diced onion, 4-5 cloves sliced garlic, shittake mushrooms sliced in half, and one peeled and diced eggplant. Stir until chicken is brown on all sides. Deglaze pan with dry vermouth. When all brown bits are scraped off, add chicken stock to cover and 5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, cover, lower heat and cook at a gentle simmer for 20-30 minutes, until sauce thickens and chicken is tender. Remove lid, turn heat up, and reduce sauce by half. Stir in 1/2 bunch of julienned basil and a splash of cream. Turn off heat.

Serve with quinoa, cooked in mushroom broth (if using dried shittakes) or chicken broth.

Grilled Pastrami and Cheese with Tomato Confit

I use whole wheat bread because I like the bite. Layer sharp cheddar and pastrami; top with tomato confit (see recipe a few weeks ago). Spread stoneground mustard on top slice of bread. Grill in a griddle or in a pan with a heavy weight on top until crispy; flip and grill on the other side. Serve cut diagonally into triangles.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Zucchini-Stuffed Squash Blossoms

We ate these too fast to take a picture-- but if you find yourself in a garden with squash blossoms, this is worth all the work.

Filling: Grate zucchini and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let sit 20-30 minutes. Squeeze water out and pat dry. Taste to make sure it's not to salty (if it is, rinse and squeeze again). Mix with grated cheese and egg (we used about 4 small zucchini for 2 cups cheese and 2 eggs). Add (about 1/2 c) fresh bread crumbs until mix is sticky and holds together.

Batter: 1 c flour, 1/4 c cornstarch, 1 c cold beer or milk. Whisk together flour and cornstarch with paprika, salt and pepper. Whisk in milk in a bowl placed over an ice water bath. Refrigerate until ready to use. Batter should be thick, but if it's too thick, add a little water.

Pick squash blossoms, preferably right before cooking. If you have to pick them earlier, rinse gently and place in a tray of ice water in the fridge until ready to use.

Stuff blossoms with filling; pinch ends to close. Dip in batter, and fry gently in oil over medium-high heat.

For leftover filling: Form small patties (about silver-dollar sized). Coat with fresh bread crumbs and fry until crispy on both sides.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Potluck Pasta Salad with Whipped Ricotta, Roasted Tomatoes and Basil

I had to put together something quick for a wine and cheese party-- I wanted it to be light and not terribly cheesy. I used what I had lying around.

Toss quartered and cored heirloom tomatoes with a shallot (separate layers), olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven until soft and slightly browned around the edges.

Cook pasta (I used a combination of farfalle and fusilli) in salted water until al dente.

Whip whole milk ricotta, thinned out with a little milk, until creamy.

Mix pasta with ricotta, tomatoes, chopped olives, fresh chopped basil, and salt and pepper. Serve lukewarm (do not chill).

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pasta Bake

Roast heirloom tomatoes with olive oil and spices; remove skins. Saute 1 large diced onion; add 5 sliced cloves garlic and dry herbs (oregano, red pepper flakes), 1 package frozen chopped spinach. Saute until water from spinach boils off (don't overcook!), then add roasted tomatoes and their juices. Cook to combine; turn off heat.

Make a roux with 3 T butter and 3 T flour. Add 2 cups milk. Boil. Add a handful of grated parmesan. Mix bechamel sauce with whole-wheat penne cooked al dente.

In a casserole dish (I used the same one I roasted the tomatoes in), spread a layer of bechamel pasta and then spread the spinach-tomato ragout over it. Cover with remaining pasta. Top with basil and pearl fresh mozzarella. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and top pasta is slightly crispy.

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