Monday, April 28, 2014

Sweet Potato and Parmesan Patties

I was going to mash sweet potatoes to go with a salad and protein but then got thinking of making patties instead. I tried using these patties like bread for a sandwich but they were not solid enough.
Still, with a arugula salad (from the post last week) and a protein, dinner is complete.

Sweet Potato and Parmesan Patties
1 1/2 pounds sweet potato, peeled and grated
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
2 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 Tablespoons canola oil

In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, eggs, flour, Parmesan, green onions, salt and pepper, stir well.
Sweet Potato and Parmesan Patties with Steak and Arugula 
In a large non stick skillet over medium heat, heat oil, spoon a large tablespoon loaded with potato mixture into pan and flatten with back of spoon. Spoon 2 more round into pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until patties are golden brown. Flip and cook on other side. Remove patties to wax paper; continue with the rest of mixture, adding more oil if needed.
Put a few patties on a plate, top with handful of arugula that is tossed with lemon juice and olive oil and top with sliced steak.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Mediterranean Asparagus Salad

I served this salad for Easter dinner, it is perfect for spring or summer.
This recipe can be doubled or tripled, as needed.
Mediterranean Asparagus Salad

1 pound of asparagus, cleaned and trimmed

4 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoon capers, drained
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 plum tomato, finely chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 hard boiled egg, cut into wedges

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, capers, lemon juice, tomato, shallot, and parsley. Add salt and pepper and check seasoning.

In a large pan of boiling water, add asparagus and cook until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
Drain asparagus well and place on a platter.
Spoon olive oil dressing over top of asparagus.
Garnish with egg wedges.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Arugula Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts

This vegetarian salad is great on its own.
The addition of sliced steak or grilled prawns, would make a nice lunch or dinner.
I would love this salad right now, to dress the top of pizza!
Arugula Salad with Toasted Pine Nuts

4-6 cups fresh Arugula, washed, dried, and torn
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Parmesan cheese, shaved

In a small dish whisk olive oil and lemon juice together.
In a large bowl combine Arugula and pine nuts. Spoon on dressing mixture to amount desired.
Season with salt and pepper, toss and check for seasoning.
Shave Parmesan over top of salad with vegetable peeler.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Roasted Carrot Coins

Trader Joe's had a bag of carrots that were called Organic Carrots of Many Colors. They were purple, yellow, and orange. I have already used the purple ones but used the other colors today.
This side dish will go with almost anything, colorful and the kids love them!

Roasted Carrot Coins
2 1/2 cups carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 Tablespoon honey
sprinkle of sea salt

Preheat oven to 400F.

In a baking dish, mix the carrots, olive oil and salt together and put in the to roast about 20 minutes.

Combine the orange juice, zest, and honey; mixing well and pour over the carrots. Cover the dish with foil and place back in the oven for about 25 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Sprinkle with sea salt and serve.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Lemon Olive Oil Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten by Kitchen Treaty. Instead of the glaze below, I used a cream cheese frosting and substituted gluten free flour, the Cup for Cup brand.
This cake has a luscious lemon flavor and the addition of yogurt makes it very moist.
The recipe calls for Meyer lemons which are sweeter than the regular lemons, so less sugar may be used. I only had the regular lemons on hand and the recipe turned great.

Lemon Olive Oil Loaf with Cream Cheese Frosting
2 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
3 eggs
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Glaze (if using)
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Frosting (if using)
2 ounces of butter (at room temp)
2 ounces cream cheese (at room temp)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F.
Oil a large loaf pan, 8x4x4 inches (I used a silpat loaf pan)
In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients. Stir with a whisk until incorporated and then fold in the oil. Stir until well blended.
Pour into baking loaf and cook about 50 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Remove from oven and and let cool for 10 minutes.
While the cake is cooling, make the syrup.
Place the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of sugar into a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
Set the lemon loaf on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Poke holes into top of loaf with a wooden skewer. While the loaf is still warm, spoon the syrup over the loaf allowing it to soak in.
Let cool for one hour.

To make the glaze, place the confectioner's sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir with a fork until combined. Spoon over the top of the cake. Let sit for several minutes until mostly hardened.

If making the frosting instead of the glaze:
In a large bowl, cream the butter and cream cheese together.
Whisk in the confectioners sugar until well blended.
Add the vanilla and mix well.
Spoon over top of chilled loaf.
Slice and serve.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Basil Lemonade

A little bit of a lemon theme this week, as I received lots of fat, juicy lemons fresh off Donna's tree. Thank you Donna!

Summer is coming, remember those hot, sunny days, that include picnics and barbecues and outdoor sports; thirsty days!

We love lemonade but decided to try basil lemonade and it was a hit. This summer I am also going to try rosemary and also a lavender lemonade. Additional fruit, especially berries would also bring another sweetness and flavor. Let me know what you have tried.
Basil Lemonade

Basil Syrup
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup sugar
2 cups water
In a small saucepan "muddle" basil leaves and sugar together. Add water and bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Let stand at room temperature for an hour to steep.
Strain syrup through sieve, pressing on basil to get all the syrup. Discard basil leaves.

2 cups basil syrup
2 cups cold water
2 cups ice cubes
1 1/2 cups fresh lemon juice

In a large pitcher mix basil syrup, water, ice and lemon juice. Stir well, check for sweetness, adding more syrup or lemon juice as desired.
Garnish with fresh basil and lemon slices.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Spicy Crispy Chickpeas

Spicy, toasty, from the pantry chickpeas.

Spicy Crispy Chickpeas
2 cans (14 ounces) chickpeas
drained, rinsed well, and dried
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
zest of a lemon

Preheat oven to 400F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment.

Drain and rinse the chickpeas well, dry with paper towels and remove skins.
Place in a bowl and mix in olive oil. Add turmeric, garlic salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper, stir well. Spoon onto baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake about 30-40 minutes, until crispy but not burned.

In a small bowl mix kosher salt and lemon zest together, stirring to release lemon oil.

Combine chickpeas and lemon salt together and serve.