Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Ultimate Gazpacho


Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ pounds ripe red tomatoes (about 4 large or 9 small)
  • 1 small Vidalia onion (½ pound), peeled and cut into rough 1″ chunks
  • 1 small cucumber (½ pound), peeled and seeded
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  • To prepare your veggies, place your blender bowl, a medium serving bowl, and a small bowl on the counter. Core the tomatoes and cut them into rough 1″ chunks. Reserve about ¼ cup of the juicy tomato seeds and place them in your small bowl (we’ll use them as a garnish later). Add half of the tomato chunks to the blender, and the other half to your serving bowl. Add all of the onion chunks to the blender.
  • Cut off about one-fourth of the cucumber. Finely chop that piece and place it in the small bowl. Slice the rest of the cucumber into rough 1″ chunks, and divide them between the blender and the serving bowl. Cut off about one-fourth of the bell pepper, finely chop that piece, and add it to the small bowl. Slice the rest of the bell pepper into rough 1″ chunks and divide them between the blender and the serving bowl.
  • To the blender, add the basil, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, salt and about 10 twists of black pepper. Securely fasten the lid and blend, starting on low and increasing to high speed, until the mixture is completely smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Pour the contents of the serving bowl (the remaining chunks of tomato, cucumber and bell pepper) into the blender. Fasten the lid and blend for just 10 to 20 seconds, until the ingredients are broken up into small pieces. Stop there, or blend a little longer if you prefer smaller pieces.
  • Add a small pinch of salt to the small bowl of garnishes, stir, and store it in the fridge. Chill the soup for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
  • Before serving, taste, and add additional salt (I sometimes add another ¼ teaspoon) and/or black pepper if necessary. To serve, divide the soup into small bowls or cups, and top with the reserved cucumber and bell pepper. Top with a few tiny or torn basil leaves and a light sprinkle of pepper. Leftover servings keep well, covered and refrigerated, for 3 to 4 days.
  • NOTES
  • MAKE IT QUICK (SHORTCUT/SMOOTH SOUP METHOD): You can just cut the tomato, onion, cucumber and bell pepper into 1″ chunks, place them in the blender with the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Chill for at least 2 hours, add more salt or pepper if necessary, and garnish your soup with black pepper and a few tiny or torn basil leaves.

Kimchi


Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head (2 pounds) napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt (see Recipe Notes)
  • Water (see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons seafood flavor or water (optional, see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 to 5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 8 ounces Korean radish or daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Instructions:

  • Slice the cabbage: Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips.
  • Salt the cabbage: Place the cabbage and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Rinse and drain the cabbage: Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times and drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and set it aside to use in step 5.
  • Make the paste: Meanwhile, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, and seafood flavor (or 3 tablespoons water) in a small bowl and mix to form a smooth paste. Mix in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy (I like about 3 1/2 tablespoons).
  • Combine the vegetables and paste: Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and return it to the bowl along with the radish, scallions, and seasoning paste.
  • Mix thoroughly: Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells!
  • Pack the kimchi into the jar: Pack the kimchi into the jar, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace. Seal the jar with the lid.
  • Let it ferment: Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid; place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow.
  • Check it daily and refrigerate when ready: Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation.) Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it's best after another week or two.

Recipe Notes

  • Salt: Use salt that is free of iodine and anti-caking agents, which can inhibit fermentation.
  • Water: Chlorinated water can inhibit fermentation, so use spring, distilled, or filtered water if you can.
  • Seafood flavor and vegetarian alternatives: Seafood gives kimchi an umami flavor. Different regions and families may use fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, oysters, and other seafood. Use about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, or a combination of the two. For vegetarian kimchi, I like using 3/4 teaspoon kelp powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water, or simply 3 tablespoons of water.

Spicy Coconut-Salmon Curry


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (1 inch), peeled and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
  • 1 can (14 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch slices
  • 2 frozen wild-salmon fillets (each 6 ounces and 1 inch thick), thawed, skins removed

Instructions:

  • Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and a pinch of salt; cook, stirring, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add curry paste; cook 1 minute. Add coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a simmer. Add bell pepper and cover; cook 10 minutes. Add bok choy, cover, and simmer until vegetables are crisp-tender, 2 minutes more.
  • Season salmon with salt; add to curry. Remove pan from heat and cover. Let stand until salmon is just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Gently break up salmon into large pieces. Serve, with lime wedges.

Sautéed Dandelion Greens with Eggs


Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chopped dandelion greens, thick stems removed (about 1-2 large bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, clarified butter, or ghee
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chopped dandelion greens and blanch for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain the greens thoroughly, using a wooden spoon to drain and press out as much liquid as possible.
  • Melt the butter or ghee in a 10-inch sauté pan set over medium heat. Sauté the leeks until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained dandelion greens one handful at a time. Cook each handful until wilted, then add more.
  • When the greens are wilted, crack the eggs into the pan on top of the greens. Top with feta cheese and cook uncovered until the whites of the eggs are set, about 5 minutes.

Roasted Beets


Ingredients:

  • 12 beets
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • Juice of 1 large orange

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove the tops and the roots of the beets and peel each one with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets in 1 1/2-inch chunks. (Small beets can be halved, medium ones cut in quarters, and large beets cut in eighths.)
  • Place the cut beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula, until the beets are tender. Remove from the oven and immediately toss with the vinegar and orange juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve warm.

Ground Cherry Chutney

Ingredients

  • • 1 cup sugar
  • • 2 tablespoons water
  • • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • • ¼ cup Champagne vinegar
  • • 3 cups ground cherries
  • • 1 sprig of rosemary, chopped

Instructions:

  • Mix sugar and water together in a sauce pan and cook, stirring consistently so it does not burn. Add onion and stir until softened. Add the Dijon mustard, vinegar and ground cherries. Cook until it starts to thicken and the ground cherry skins start to crack. Remove pan from stove, add rosemary and transfer to a proper container to be stored in the refrigerator. Be sure to properly label with date prepared.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Carrot Pizza with Fontina and Red Onion

Ingredients:

  • For the carrot purée:
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
    • 1/2 pound carrots (about 3-4 medium carrots), peeled and thinly sliced
    • 1/2 cup white wine
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup mascarpone
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • For the pizza:
    • 1/2 pound prepared pizza dough, room temperature
    • All-purpose flour (for surface)
    • Olive oil (for brushing)
    • 8 ounces Fontina cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
    • 1/2 medium red onion, root intact and thinly sliced lengthwise into wedges
    • 1 cup (loosely packed) carrot fronds or baby arugula

Instructions:

  • For the carrot purée:
    1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes, then add wine and cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
    2. Reduce heat to medium-low, add salt and 1 cup water, and stir to combine. Cover and simmer until carrots are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.
    3. Transfer mixture to a blender. Add mascarpone, cayenne, and 1/4 cup water. Remove stopper from lid or leave lid slightly ajar, cover with a towel (hot liquids can splatter), and purée until smooth.
  • For the pizza:
    1. Place 2 overturned rimmed baking sheets in the upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat to 450°F.
    2. Divide dough in half on a lightly floured surface and form into 2 balls. Roll out balls into ovals about 6x10 inches in size (make sure they fit on baking sheets). Remove preheated sheets from oven and brush bottoms with oil. Carefully place dough on sheets and brush with more oil. Return to oven and bake until dough is beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
    3. Spread reserved carrot purée evenly on pizzas, then sprinkle with cheese and onion. Return to oven and bake pizzas, rotating the sheets and swapping their positions on the oven racks halfway through, until cheese is melted and bubbling, 10–12 minutes. Transfer pizzas to cutting boards, top with carrot fronds, and slice.
  • Do ahead:
    Carrot purée can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to assemble the pizza.