Friday, August 29, 2014

Lemon Cucumber Salad

The dear ones signed me up for a CSA box to be delivered throughout the summer. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and supports local farmers and this particular one is all organic.
I live in anticipation of what fresh, local treats are going to be left at my doorstep!
This week Bartlett pears, Donut peaches, lots of vegetables, and something I had not used before, Lemon Cucumber.
The photo shows one in the background. They taste like cucumbers, and they do not taste like lemon, named just for the color. So, this is a Greek like salad, with lemon cucumber and basil.
Lemon Cucumber Salad
The cucumbers can be peeled or used with the peel, which I did, because they were small and tender.

2 small Lemon cucumbers, washed and sliced
1/4 cup sweet onion, sliced
1 small orange pepper, sliced
1 cup baby Heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
6 Kalamata olives, sliced
several small fresh basil leaves
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon olive oil
pinch of dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Combine cucumbers, onion, pepper, tomatoes, olive, and basil together in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, oregano, and salt.

Drizzle 2 Tablespoons dressing over salad and toss. Add pepper and more basil, if desired.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms

The farmers market featured these bright blossoms that I could not resist.
We stuffed them, baked them, ate them! They were accompanied by some lightly sauteed baby heirloom tomatoes, drizzled with reduced balsamic, and fresh basil.

Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
10-12 zucchini blossoms, washed
5 ounces goat cheese, softened
3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
2 teaspoons shallot, fined chopped
2 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoon olive oil
squeeze of lemon juice
a few flakes of red chili pepper (optional)
freshly ground pepper and salt, if needed

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a baking sheet with foil and grease olive oil.

In a medium bowl, mix the goat cheese, Parmesan, shallot, basil, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper until well combined.

Spoon or pipe about 1-2 Tablespoons of cheese mixture into base of each blossom. Twist the tops and tuck under. Place on greased baking sheet.

Bake about 10-12 minutes. Lift each blossom with a spatula and transfer to serving dish.
Note: for garnish or salad, quickly saute tomatoes in a little olive oil, top with a drizzle of reduced balsamic and basil leaves.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Carrot Soup topped with Dungeness Crab

Oh my goodness, another recipe with crab in it? Yes! Yes! Yes!
We are so fortunate to have an abundance of fresh caught crab, that Bake cleans, cooks and (bonus) takes the meat out.

This carrot soup make a pretty presentation, with a stack of crab in the middle of the bowl and carrot soup ladled around it.
Carrot Soup with Dungeness Crab

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 cup white onion, diced
1 pound carrots, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
3 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (optional)

In a large pot over medium heat, combine olive oil and butter. Add onion and cook until softened.
Add carrots to the pot, stir in salt and pepper; and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook until carrots are soft, about 20-30 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, and jalapeno (if using).

Pour soup into blender and puree.

Crab Topping:
for each bowl
3/4 cup crab
1 teaspoon chives, finely chopped
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Combine the crab, chives, and lemon juice.
Mold into a cup and center it in the soup bowl. Ladle carrot soup around the center and serve.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dungeness Crab Benedict

It is early Sunday morning and more fresh crab is in the house, so what could be more decadent than a Crab Benedict?
The lemony sauce is a perfect enhancement to the sweet crab.

Dungeness Crab Benedict
Allow a quarter of a cup of crab for each toasted english muffin and a poached egg with this Hollandaise Sauce.

For each Crab Benedict:
1 slice of an English Muffin, toasted
1/4 cup fresh Dungeness Crab
1 poached egg
2 Tablespoons Hollandaise Sauce
sprinkle of finely chopped fresh chives

Serve immediately.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Truffle Risotto

What to do when given a black truffle? At first I thought it deserved fresh pasta, or freshly scrambled, organic eggs. But in the end, truffle was grated over risotto dusted with Parmesan.
While my friend Melody was visiting the beautiful Orvieto in Umbria, one of the treasures she returned with, were black truffles. The truffle is a type of fungi, with a very distinct aroma and flavor, I swoon when I am near it!

This is a basic risotto, with Black Truffle, the star.

Truffle Risotto
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
plus extra to dust top
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
shaved truffle

In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the stock to a light simmer.

In a large saute pan, heat a tablespoon of butter and olive oil, add shallot and stir until softened.
Add rice to the pan, garlic, and salt.
When the rice has a little dot that comes out in the center, add the wine.
Add a ladle of chicken stock and stir. Keep adding stock after the previous amount of stock has been absorbed. This should take about 20-25 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon of butter.
Remove pan with risotto from heat.
Spoon risotto into two serving bowls. Top with a dusting of Parmesan, if desired. Sprinkle the parsley over each dish, and grate the truffle on top. Indulge.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dungeness Crab and Pasta

I love this time of year in the northwest. One of my favorite things is the beautiful Dungeness crab available to us.
The young one brought some fresh gluten free pasta and Bake caught some crab. This comes together for a quickly prepared dinner.
I want to give kudos to Maninis, as this is the best gluten free, fresh pasta I have ever tried. Thank you!

Dungeness Crab and Pasta
3/4 pound pasta
1/8 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoon shallots, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
pinch of red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup yellow squash, finely diced
3/4 cup Heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups fresh crab
1/2 cup pasta water, if needed
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
extra crab

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Remove 1/2 cup of water and drain pasta.

While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add shallots, garlic, and chili flakes and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
Add salt and squash, stirring until heated.
Quickly add in tomatoes, crab, lemon zest, lemon juice, and water; just to warm.
Add pasta to pan and stir well.

Place pasta into serving dish and sprinkle with basil and parsley.
Top with a few pieces of crab.