Monday, September 30, 2013

Kale Salad with Grilled Corn and Feta

Kale seems to be our current favorite salad, with just about anything on it.
I prefer the dark leaf kale, as opposed to the curly kale but it is all good. If you are looking for a meatless Monday meal, a kale salad is a good start.

6 cups of kale, washed and chopped, put in a salad bowl with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt, then set aside.

Kale Salad with Grilled Corn and Feta
2 ears of corn, grilled and sliced off the cob
1 cup baby tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 large avocado, peeled and sliced
3 Tablespoon of Feta cheese, crumbled

Salad Dressing:
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh basil, thinly sliced
fresh pepper, to taste

Add the corn, tomatoes, and avocado to the kale that you have "massaged."
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, sea salt, lime juice, olive oil and basil.
Pour over the salad and toss well.
Add pepper to taste and sprinkle top of salad with Feta cheese.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Oven Garlic Fries with Sriracha Sauce

Garlic fries can be used as a side with a meal or alone with Sriracha sauce. This sauce is a little on the hot side, ketchup could be substituted.
Oven Garlic Fries with Sriracha Sauce

2-3 large baking potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 Tablespoon Alfies seasoning

 Heat oven to 425F.
 On a baking sheet, toss the potatoes and garlic with olive oil and Alfie's seasoning.
 Roast the potatoes until golden brown and crisp, turning once, about 35-40 minutes.
 Serve hot.

Sriracha Sauce:
1 Tablespoon mayo or Vegenaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
combine together in a small bowl
until smooth

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Favorite Chocolate Bars

Favorite Chocolate Bars
Whether at tea time with a cup of hot tea or coffee, or depending on the chocolate, a glass of red wine, chocolate is actually good for you. It is full of antioxidants and it takes only a small amount to feel satisfied. One little square is all I have in a day.
My current favorite is D54 Salt and Pepper. It is made by Chocolate Necessities. It is 54% Callebaut chocolate with smoked sea salt and green and black peppercorns, WOW.
Second place would go to Ginger Crystallized in Dark Chocolate by Chocolove. It is 65% dark chocolate with crystallized ginger that melts in your mouth with a hot cup of tea.
And third place, because I don't have it as often, is also by Chocolate Necessities and it is Semi Sweet Port Wine, a Dark Belgian chocolate with Port wine.
What is your current favorite??

Monday, September 23, 2013

Warm Chanterelles with Goat Cheese and Poached Eggs

The woodsy taste of the fresh Chanterelles, the creaminess of the goat cheese, the crispy prosciutto and the sauce of the poached egg create this finished dish.

4 cups fresh Chanterelles, cleaned and coarsely chopped
Warm Chanterelles with Goat Cheese and Poached Eggs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon Alfie's seasoning
1 Tablespoon dry sherry
2 slices prosciutto, diced
2 Tablespoon goat cheese, divided
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vinegar
sprinkle of coarse salt

Place mushrooms in a non stick saute pan over medium heat about six minutes, drain off water.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to a boil, add vinegar, reduce to simmer and add eggs until cooked.

Return mushrooms to stove top and add olive oil, shallot, and thyme. Sprinkle on seasoning and cook until shallot is softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in sherry and remove thyme stems.
Add prosciutto and cook until crispy. Divide mushroom mixture on two plates, dot each with 1 tablespoon goat cheese and top with 2 poached eggs. Sprinkle coarse salt over top of eggs and serve.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Butter over Grilled Salmon

In the northwest, we love our fresh caught, wild, Pacific salmon. To tell you the truth, it is great with very little seasoning but today we wanted to dress it up.

Sun Dried Tomato Basil Butter over Grilled Salmon
1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick) at room temp
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
8 basil leaves, torn
sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste

In a small food processor, blend together butter, tomatoes and basil until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in fridge until ready to use.
Take salmon off of grill and top with a tablespoon of butter.
Note: I have since used this butter on pasta and also on a sourdough baguette. It would work well on other types of fish and freezes well for future use.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chanterelle Pasta Sauce

We were so lucky to be given fresh picked, local Chanterelle mushrooms, so this is what was for dinner tonight. The only thing I would do differently is to top the sauce with fresh chopped parsley.

cooked pasta of choice, according to package directions (save 1/3 cup of pasta water)

4 cups Chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
Chanterelle Pasta Sauce
1 small red onion, diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup half and half
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a saute pan over medium heat, add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes, until a good amount of water is released. Drain water from pan and return mushrooms to pan with olive oil and onion. Saute until onions are softened and add garlic and oregano. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper.
Add stock to pan and reduce to about half. Add half and half, reserved pasta water, and simmer until heated throughout.
Pour over pasta, toss and sprinkle with parsley.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Caprese Salad

The highlight of the summer season is glorious, fresh, ripe heirloom tomatoes. We look forward to them all year and the time is here! I picked most of these from our garden and a couple are from the farmers market. This fresh and easy salad is summer at its best.

Summer Caprese Salad
several fresh heirloom tomatoes
1-2 bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls)
5 basil leaves
2 Tablespoons good olive oil
Balsamic vinegar reduction
finishing salt and fresh ground pepper

Slice the tomatoes and place on a platter. Slice the bocconcini and layer the slices in between tomatoes. Tear the basil leaves and strew over top of tomatoes.
Drizzle olive oil over all tomatoes and bocconcini. Top with Balsamic reduction ( I use a squirt bottle) and sprinkle with finishing salt and fresh ground pepper.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Natural Selections Glacier Lettuce and Beets

celeriac, dried figs, lemon, sunchoke chips

Natural Selections Haricot Verts with Tomatoes

watercress, sea beans, shallot, sherry vinegar

Natural Selections Carrot and Goat Cheese Flan

 (english peas, micro arugula, lemon oil)

Photos from Natural Selections Restaurant

In late July we took a trip to Portland Oregon and one evening, had dinner at a mainly vegetarian restaurant. It was called Natural Selections and the menu gives the option of ordering a 4 course fixed price option or a la carte. We ended up ordering a bottle of wine but next time we would try the wine pairings chosen for each course. All the items are labeled vegan or gluten free which we appreciated.
The restaurant features the best seasonal and locally grown produce and presents it beautifully, with a menu that changes weekly. So, although there is no recipe, I hope you are inspired by the creations of Natural Selections.
PS: reservations are a must.

chilled fennel and broccoli soup
this was probably my favorite (basil, lemon, sweet onion, peppers, parsnip)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Roasted Pepper Soup with Argan Oil Spritzed Goat Cheese

One of my best buddies recently spent a few weeks in Morocco and brought back some Argan cooking oil.
Argan oil comes from the pits of the Argan tree in south west Morocco. The trees are very hardy but there are limited numbers of them.
The Argan oil that is used for cooking has a nutty flavor due to the roasting of the Argan nuts.
Since I wanted to use it right away, I made a quick soup for two.
I am looking forward to using it on some hummus and over salads and to finish off some grilled fish.
Roasted Pepper Soup with Argan Oil Spritzed Goat Cheese

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small shallot, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 red peppers, roasted, skins removed
2 cups chicken stock
1 small can (5.5oz) tomato juice
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
2 slices goat cheese, chilled
several spritzes of Argan oil
Basil leaf for garnish

In a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil, shallot and onion and cook until softened.
Add peppers and cook for a minute. Pour in stock and tomato juice, stir and bring to a simmer.
Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Puree hot soup in a blender and check for seasonings.
Pour into two soup bowls and top each with a slice of goat cheese and several spritzes of Argan oil, and a basil leaf, with another spritz of oil!
Argan cooking oil
Note: this oil is delicious and worth seeking out to try.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Gluten Free Oven Fried Chicken

This recipe is an experiment that has not totally been refined, yet. I am still trying to figure out how to get it to be a little crunchy but in the meantime it gets 2 thumbs up from Bake.
For this amount of coating, I used 2 large bone in breasts and 6 drumsticks.
The chicken can be marinated in the buttermilk for 2 hours to overnight in the refrigerator.

Buttermilk marinade:
Gluten Free Oven Fried Chicken
2 cups buttermilk
5 cloves garlic, sliced
dash of hot sauce

Mix buttermilk, garlic and hot sauce in a large glass pan. Add chicken and marinate in the refrigerator.

Alfies seasoning (about 2 Tablespoons)

2 cups almond meal
1 Tablespoon dried sage
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

4 Tablespoons of melted butter or olive oil

Preheat oven to 425F.
Remove chicken from marinade and season liberally with Alfie's seasoning. Set aside.
In a pie plate, mix together almond meal, sage, garlic salt, paprika, basil, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, chipotle and nutmeg. Stir well.
Coat each chicken piece with this mixture, let stand while oven is preheating and then coat again.
Line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack on top. Spray the rack with cooking spray.
Place the coated chicken on the rack and drizzle with melted butter or olive oil.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes, lower the temp to 400F and continue to cook until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes more.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Roasted Baby Carrots with Smoked Paprika and Lime

Whether you pull these little gems from your garden or purchase fresh from the farmers market, just wash, season and roast, it is that easy.

1 pound of baby carrots, washed and green tops trimmed
Roasted Baby Carrots with Smoked Paprika and Lime
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 Tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cut fresh lime

Preheat oven to 400F.
Place carrots on a foil lined baking sheet and toss with olive oil.
Sprinkle carrots with smoked paprika and cumin, toss well.
Bake about 20 minutes until slightly softened.
Top warm carrots with cilantro, sprinkle with sea salt and squeeze fresh lime over all.