Posts tagged Vegetarian
Fattoush


The dressing and fresh herbs are the real stars of this dish. Simple ingredients are taken to new places with the addition of sumac, pomegranate molasses, and crunchy bits of pita.

You will not regret the trek to your local Middle Eastern market to find the pomegranate molasses. I want it on every salad from now on, and I’m excited to try it with fish, chicken dishes, or even just with a little lemon on some chickpeas or white beans, I’m pretty sure the possibilities will be endless.

Fattoush

Fattoush

Adapted from Bon Apetit

 Dressing
4 teaspoons ground sumac, soaked in 4 teaspoons warm water for 15 minutes
3 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons (or more) pomegranate molasses
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons (or more) white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Salad
2 8-inch-diameter pita breads, halved, toasted until golden brown, broken into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
3 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped, or 4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 pound Persian cucumbers, or one 1-pound English hothouse cucumber, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
6 scallions, thinly sliced
2 Little Gem or baby romaine lettuces, or 1 small head romaine lettuce, trimmed, cut crosswise
into 3/4-inch strips
2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 cups purslane leaves or additional 3/4-inch-strips romaine lettuce
1 cup fresh mint leaves
Ground sumac (optional)

1. Combine sumac with soaking liquid, 3 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses, garlic, 2 tsp. vinegar, and dried mint in a small bowl. Gradually add oil, whisking constantly, until well blended. Season with salt; add more lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, and vinegar to taste, if desired.

2. Place pita pieces in a medium bowl; pour oil over and toss to coat. Season pita to taste with salt.

3. Mix tomatoes and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add 3/4 of dressing; toss to coat, adding more dressing by tablespoonfuls as needed. Season with salt. Add pita; toss once. Sprinkle sumac over, if desired.

 

 

Brazilian side dishes: Hearts of Palm Salad, Deep-Fried Polenta, and Shredded Greens
Brazil dinner

This meal had so many flavors, textures, different tasty elements, it was hard to pick a favorite. I think if I was pressed to choose though, it would be the Hearts of Palm Salad, I loved the tangy palm hearts, crunchy onion, fresh tomatoes, bitter watercress, and just a slight drizzle of olive oil. Delicious, particularly as a side to rich steak and fried polenta!

Heart of Palm Salad

Palm Heart Salad

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 can heart of palm stalks, sliced into large diagonal slices
2 ripe tomatoes or 1 cup cherry or plum tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
1 medium red onion, sliced into rings, use only the middle perfect rings
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ - 1 cup watercress or arugula
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Arrange the tomatoes and hearts of palm in a serving bowl, top with rings of onion and watercress. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Deep-fried Polenta

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

 4 ¼ cups water
3 ¼ cups polenta
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain flour
vegetable oil for deep frying
salt

1. Add water, polenta, stock and oil to a large pot. Slowly bring to a boil, then simmer until it becomes a think puree, about 20 minutes. The mixture is ready when the bottom of the pot begins to show when you stir the polenta. Sprinkle in the plan flour and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Pour mixture into an oiled 11x11in pan, using a spatula spread into an even layer. Cool, then chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or until set.

3. Turn the chilled block of polenta out onto an oiled cutting board. Wet the blade of a long knife and cut into approximately 3/4in x 3/4in x 3 ½ in sticks.

4. Half-fill a deep pot with oil, heat to 375° F. Preheat oven to 200° F. Add about 5 pieces at a time and fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper-towel lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt.  Keep warm in a 200° F oven.

5. Fry remaining pieces. Serve right away or keep warm in oven until ready to serve.

Fried Polenta
Shredded Greens

Brazilian-style shredded greens

Adapted from ‘The Food and Cooking of Brazil’ by Fernando Farah

1 bunch collard greens or other dark green
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Clean and trim collard greens, removing the thick part of the stalk. Thinly slice by rolling a stack of leaves and slicing in narrow strips across the width of the leaves.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan, add garlic and let fry for just a moment, then add shredded greens. Cook 3-5 minutes until wilted and softened but still slightly al dente. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.

 I always forget how much greens cook down. I ran out of small bowls, so these greens looked so sad in the big serving bowl. But they made up for their lack of picture-perfectness in punchy flavor. We threw them in the cast-iron after cooking the steak for some extra rich meaty goodness, but if you prefer them vegetarian or don’t want all that au jus in your greens feel free to follow the recipe as is.

Fried Zucchini with Vinegar and Garlic
Fried Zucchini

This dish is much more delicious than the simplicity of the ingredients lets on. A kick of vinegar lightens up the fried zucchini and the quick coat of flour before frying gives it a crispy complex texture. 

The vinegar in this recipe was what intrigued me to try it and I was right to think it would be great with a simple roast chicken or just as a side to some hearty pasta. If you don't want to mess around with frying it would be almost as good pan sauteed with the garlic and then splashed with the vinegar right before serving. You'd lose a little crispness but keep the flavor balance. 

Fried Zucchini in Vinegar and Garlic

Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

1 pound fresh zucchini, cut into ¼ inch sticks
Salt
2 garlic cloves, smashed but still whole
Vegetable Oil, enough for frying
Flour
2-3 tablespoons good wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Sprinkle zucchini sticks with salt and let rest in a colander to shed some of their water.

2. Heat ¼ inch of oil in a wide pan. When the oil is quite hot, prepare zucchini sticks by sprinkling them with flour and shaking off excess. Add about half the zucchini sticks to the hot oil. Fry up just enough at a time that they do not crowd the pan. They should sizzle on contact when added to the oil.

3. Turn zucchini sticks when they begin to brown on one side. When they are brown all over use a spider or slotted spoon to transfer to a deep dish, shaking them to remove as much oil as possible.

4. Drizzle with some of the vinegar, they will crackle. Fry the remaining zucchini in batches.

5. Bury the smashed garlic cloves in amongst the fried zucchini sticks. Sprinkle with remaining vinegar and fresh pepper.

6. These can be served hot or at room temperature. Remove the garlic after 10 minutes if you want less garlic aroma. I leave it in…

Perfect Pasta Sauce

If you say "Marcella Hazan's pasta sauce" although she has many, this is the one everyone will immediately think of. Three ingredients. Perfection. Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter. The name is the recipe. 

I am not the first, nor the last I am sure, to share this recipe. It is a gem that should be in everyone's repertoire. Easy, homey, delicious. 

I tried my hand at homemade pasta this past weekend for the Italian Grand Prix. It was fun, but my kitchen was like an explosion of flour with tea towels everywhere, strips of dough, boiling water, a churning pasta machine, and me running around nervous and off balance. Having this sauce just simmering on the back burner wafting the smell of melting onion, simmering butter, and softening tomatoes for the 45 minutes of pasta induced stress was positively lovely. 

Although delicious, this sauce does not steal the show away from a delicate pasta, a flavorful gnocchi, or in this case a first crack at homemade pappardelle. 

Pasta Sauce

This picture doesn't do this dish justice. Homemade pasta, though tasty, is not very photogenic. And although the pasta was what took the time and energy to make, the sauce is what really pulled the meal together. 

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

From Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

2  cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt
1 to 1 ½ pounds pasta
Freshly grated parmesan

Put the tomatoes in a saucepan, add the butter, onion, and salt. Cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for 45 minutes. Stir from time to time, mashing any large pieces of tomato. Taste and correct for salt. Discard the onion before tossing the sauce with pasta.

Grate fresh parmesan over each individual bowl of pasta and sauce. 

 

 

 

Salad Ardennes
Salad Ardennes

This is a simple bright salad with the extra crunch of toasted croutons and a kick of garlic. I simplified the vinaigrette so that it is a bit lighter and could simply be made in a jar or bowl (the original recipe had eggs, an extra cup of oil, and used an immersion blender...)  

I almost always have bread cubes in my freezer because my go-to bread recipe makes two loaves and we can usually only get through one and a half before it starts to get on the stale side. I chop the rest up, pop it in the freezer, and use it for strata when the mood strikes. It worked perfectly here too! 

Salad from the Ardennes

Adapted from Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook by Ruth Van Waerebeek

1 medium head romaine lettuce
1 small head escarole or curly endive
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 recipe Shallot-Parsley Vinaigrette (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups large bread cubes (3 wide slices country-style bread)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Shallot-Parsley Vinaigrette
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons minced parsley
salt and fresh ground pepper

1. Make Shallot Parsley Vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in a mason jar with a tight lid and shaking vigorously. Alternatively, whisk first three ingredients until combined and then add remaining three.

2. Wash and dry salad greens. Combine them in a salad bowl with dressing. Top with tomatoes.

3. In a large skillet heat butter. Add bread cubes and pan fry until lightly browned on all sides. Remove onto a paper towel lined plate. Rub each side with cut side of a garlic clove.

4. Serve at once.

Mixed Greens with Horseradish Dressing

This recipe intrigued me as not only it sounded like a great foil to the richness of sausages and potatoes, but also as a great reason to buy fresh horseradish for the first time! I was surprised at not just the complexity of flavor in this dressing, but how versatile it felt. It was admittedly a bit of work grating fresh horseradish, I have my husband to thank for that tough bit of the job. But after that its as easy as shake, mix, eat. 

Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Mixed Green Salad with Horseradish Dressing

Adapted from Saveur

For the Dressing
1⁄2 cup freshly grated horseradish
1⁄3 cup canola oil
2 1⁄2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 small shallot, minced
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Salad
6 cups mixed salad greens
3⁄4 cup radishes, thinly sliced
1/2 English cucumber, sliced
1 avocado, peeled and cubed

1. Whisk together oil, juice, parsley, shallot, mustard, and salt and pepper. Add in horseradish in stages, start with half and combine well, taste. Add more as your taste allows. Set aside to allow flavors to meld.

2. Place salad greens in a large bowl, add dressing and toss gently to combine. Top with radishes, cucumber, and avocado.

German meal
2018 British GP: Afternoon Tea

I love a good tea sandwich. But being a resident of the United States and not Great Britain, I rarely get a chance to actually have one. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I have actually eaten a tea sandwich. I am thinking they should make a bigger appearance in my life, they pair so well with a nice tea cake or a scone for a proper afternoon break. I think I could use more tea time in my life. 

Researching afternoon tea brought up a lot of fun ideas, and I particularly like BBC's Good Food Guide on How to Throw an Afternoon Tea Party. If you are an avid watcher of the Great British Baking Show, as I am, I would definitely recommend you check it out. Some of the more ambitious bakes and showstoppers may have to make an appearance in future years!  

The race in Silverstone offered a lot for British fans to cheer for. At first it seemed pretty disastrous with Hamilton being tapped by Raikkonen, resulting in a spin, and ending up at the back of the field. But with that Mercedes power and Hamilton at the wheel, that didn't last long. Passing the entirety of the field but one, Hamilton made it all the way back to second place, but missed out on his home victory. It made for more drama to keep the fight as close as ever, and Vettel was heard at the end of the race saying “Grande vittoria, qui a casa loro.” “Great victory, here at their home”. Let's see if Hamilton can get him back in Germany and keep this Championship alive! 

Tea Party
Egg salad sandwiches

Curried Egg Salad Sandwich

Adapted from Food Network: 50 Tea Sandwiches

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
¼ small red onion, chopped, about three tablespoons
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ cup mayonnaise

6 slices white bread
3 tablespoons mango chutney

Mix all egg salad ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut crusts off white bread, spread with mango chutney. Add a third of the egg salad to each slice of bread and top with second piece. Cut in half into triangles or small rectangles.

Cucumber sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches

1 medium English cucumber, thinly sliced
½  cup Cream cheese
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
6 slices white bread

Mix dill into cream cheese, softening cream cheese as you mix. Cut crusts off white bread slices. Spread all slices with dill cream cheese mixture. Add 1-2 layers of sliced cucumbers on one slice and top with the second slice of white bread. Cut in half into triangles with a sharp knife.

Cranberry Cream Scones & Grapefruit Yogurt Cake Recipes as well! 

Endive, Roquefort, and Walnut Salad
endive salad

I need little persuasion to buy a nice hunk of cheese. Though I'm not sure my cheese monger (read: the lady behind the counter at Whole Foods) would appreciate me calling a perfectly beautiful wedge of Roquefort a "hunk of cheese". In the end though, it could look like anything as long as it tastes this good. 

I'm not sure when I became a stinky cheese fan. I'm sure as a little kid I did not enjoy the powerful smell much less the texture of a cheese like Roquefort or any blue cheese, brie, or even goat cheese for that matter. But like coffee, Brussels sprouts, and a seriously spicy curry, I'm a convert. 

This is a lovely composed salad with a perfect combination of crunchy, creamy, bright, bitter, and sweet. 

Endive, Roquefort, and Walnut Salad

Serves 4

Adapted from French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from A Village in the Vineyards by Mimi Thorisson

3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and fresh black pepper
3 endives, leaves separated, large leaves sliced in half
2 small apples, thinly sliced
10-20 walnut halves
4 ounces Roquefort cheese

In a mason jar combine walnut oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, shake to combine to make dressing.

In a large salad bowl toss together endives, apple slices, and walnuts. Drizzle dressing over salad. Crumble cheese over top. Serve immediately.

2018 Canadian GP: Montreal Style Bagels

If we have to talk about the race I would like to take the interview technique of sandwiching the bad within the good. Montreal is an awesome city, with amazing food, super cool people, and a fervor for F1 resulting in a sold out race! The race was utterly boring. The championship is still alive! 

Welp, that's that. Let's talk about bagels! I had never thought about making bagels, ever. I just assumed it was too hard, they'd be too complicated, or they couldn't possibly be as good as my local bagelry. Turns out I was wrong on all accounts. Yes, they took time and a bit of fiddly effort here and there, but if you have half a day and are willing to do a little trial and error it is totally worth it. These are Delicious. 

Montreal Style Bagels

We ate them fresh with whipped cream cheese, lox, a little onion and capers and then had them the next morning lightly toasted with a smear of butter. We took them to work with scrambled eggs and bacon slices for a simple lunch. They were delicious on all accounts. 

Bagel with lox

When it came to making these, as usual I found too many recipes and couldn’t decide which one to follow, and inevitably ended up choosing two and following both… Sometimes this totally ruins things, like when I ended up putting yogurt into a hot curry and curdling the whole thing. Oops. But, this time, it worked like magic and these bagels were amazing! The only thing I would change is to make 18 rather than 12 as they were rather large and my understanding is that Montreal Style Bagels are meant to be on the smaller side. 

Montreal Style Bagels

Adapted from The Spruce and My Second Breakfast with help from Lori McKinnon's Youtube video

4 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast (2 packages)
1 1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup honey, divided
1/4 cup canola oil or other neutral-flavored oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
About 4-5 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose)
1/2 to 1 cup poppy seeds or sesame seeds (optional)

1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

2. Add yeast and water to mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, add egg, and egg yolk, whisk until combined. Mix in ½ cup honey, the oil, and salt.

3. Add flour one cup at a time mixing until combined. Add flour until dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, this may be 4, 4 ½ or 5 cups of flour.

4. If using a stand mixer, change mixer to dough hook and knead for approximately 10 minutes. If kneading by hand, turn out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead until it becomes firmly elastic. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

5. Prepare 2 cookie sheets covered in parchment paper, sprayed with cooking spray, and have ready two sheets of parchment sprayed with cooking spray to lay on top of bagels.

6. Divide dough into 12-18 evenly sized pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-10 inch rope, then bring the ends together and press to shape into a circle. I found the Youtube video, mentioned above, helpful in seeing a good technique to bring the dough together.

7. Set each shaped bagel on prepared cookie sheets, let them rest of 30 minutes. In the meantime, about 10 minutes before they are done resting heat oven to 425 F and start a large pot of water boiling. Once water begins boiling add ½ cup honey and stir in to dissolve.

8. Prepare more baking sheets, lined with parchment paper (no spray this time). Make egg wash, by whisking one whole egg in a bowl. Set poppy seeds and/or sesame seeds in dishes ready to be sprinkled on bagels. (I like to use a spoon or my hands to sprinkle on, dipping is far too messy.)

9. Boil bagels for 45 seconds on each side. You can do this individually or in batches as many as at a time as your pot (and attention) will allow.

10. Remove from pot and set on paper-towel lined plate to remove excess water. Dip in egg wash on both sides, and sprinkle on poppy seeds or sesame seeds, set on parchment lined baking sheets.

11. Once you have a full sheet Bake at 425 F for 10-15 minutes until golden brown. You may flip them if you like, but they will bake through without flipping to preserve a fluffier top.  They can burn quickly due to the egg wash and seeds, so keep an eye on them after the 10 minute mark.

12. Cool on cooling racks, eat fresh or keep on counter for 2 days in airtight container. Freeze the remainder to keep fresh.

 

Bagels cooling
2018 Monaco GP: Gnocchi with Mushroom Ragu & French Country Salad

Monaco always gives me a feeling of flighty, effervescent, indescribable excitement. The race is set amongst a weekend filled with sparkling locations, yachts in one of the most famous and beautiful harbors in the world, celebrity faces, smiling drivers, and excitable teams. This is a race weekend when qualifications are almost more important than the Sunday race. The drivers put it all on the line, just them against the clock, against the world. Coming so close to barriers you can barely watch sometimes as they fly around the track. Ricciardo showed the world just what he was made of this weekend. Fastest lap - ever - at Monaco in qualifications and he managed the race handily.  And as the consummate racer he is, he showed his humor and grit throughout. From "I got this buddy" in response to his Engineer near the end of a tough race, to a quick bow to the Prince and Princess before doing his now requisite shoey, he made the day for more than just his fans. He showed the world who he is. 

I always know what I am watching over this weekend, but what to eat is a whole other story. Searching for Monagasque Cuisine has not been the easiest venture. Even the Wikipedia page is sad and practically empty save for two dishes I see time and again: Barbajuan and Socca. In fact the only people apparently searching for specifically Monaco inspired food are other people cooking for F1 races! I found this blog in my search: Race Day Recipes ! I knew I couldn't be the only one with this hobby... Over time, I have also found some fellow enthusiasts on Instagram who I am always inspired by. 

I suppose the challenge may come from the fact that "Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, nestled on the east coast of France near Italy on the Mediterranean. Given its location, the cuisine of Monaco is heavily influenced by French and Italian styles. " Vagabond Journeys

Instead of fighting against the influences, I looked to French and Italian cuisines and Monagasque chefs and restaurants to build a menu for the Monaco GP. Inspired by recipes of Chef Alain Ducasse (of Restaurants Paris, and  Le Louis XV - à l'Hôtel de Paris in Monaco, fame) I decided to make Gnocchi with a Mushroom Ragu. Served with a French Country Salad and simple French Vinaigrette. For starters we decided to just go for it and have caviar and champagne cocktails. Alongside I found some delectable cheeses from France and Italy. All in all, it turned out positively lovely. 

Monaco Dinner

 

Gnocchi with Mushroom Ragu

Adapted from Food & Wine, Serious Eats and Smitten Kitchen

Gnocchi
3 pounds russet potatoes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Mushroom Ragu
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ pounds mixed mushrooms, such as porcini, oyster and hen-of-the-woods, quartered if large (cremini work equally well and are more widely available)
Salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth, plus more if making sauce ahead of time

To make the Gnocchi

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Set on a wire rack over a baking tray. Bake for 45 minutes – one hour until tender throughout. Rotate halfway through for even cooking. In the meantime, prepare the mushroom ragu.

2. Remove the potatoes from the oven once tender, let cool slightly. Using tongs or a kitchen towel to hold potatoes, peel them, being cautious of the steam they will release.

3. If you have a potato ricer, that is the right tool for the job. If you don’t… try Smitten Kitchen’s solution and use a box grater. Or my solution and use a food processor with the grater attachment. (Honestly, it is not perfect, but it’s also not a mono-tasker!) Rice or grate potatoes onto a clean work surface, let cool for a few more minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl using a bench scraper.

4. Gently stir in egg, egg yolk, salt, pepper, nutmeg and ½ cup cheese.

5. Add flour a little at a time to the potato mixture, mixing with your hands. Use only as much as you need so that dough does not stick to your hands.  Bring dough together with your fingertips and transfer dough, and bits in the bowl, to a cleaned and well floured work surface. Using a fold and press motion, gently knead until smooth. (Serious Eats cautions against using the smearing motion commonly used when kneading bread.) Once the dough is a uniform texture separate it into four balls.

6. Clean work surface well, and dust with fresh flour. Roll out one of the four pieces using your fingertips into a long rope about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces using a bench scraper. Transfer to a floured baking tray.

If you want the traditional gnocchi shape, press each piece of dough against the tines of a fork. With your finger, gently roll the dough over the back of the fork creating indents.

7. To cook the gnocchi, place them into a pot of boiling and well-salted water. Stir once very gently with a spider or slotted spoon to prevent sticking. After a few minutes the gnocchi will float to the top. Continue to cook for one minute then remove with a spider or slotted spoon, shaking gently to drain before placing in serving bowl.

8. Serve topped with mushroom ragu and a healthy sprinkle of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

To make the Mushroom Ragu

1. In a very large skillet, cook mushrooms in batches by melting 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add half of the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until tender and just browned, about 7 minutes. Add half each of the shallots, garlic, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. In the skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and repeat with the remaining mushrooms, shallots, garlic and thyme.

2. Return all of the mushrooms to the skillet. Stir in the wine and cook until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the broth and season the ragù with salt and pepper; keep warm over low heat.

4. When ready to serve stir in extra broth to get to desired consistency and warm through.

Notes on the Ragu:

Ragu can be made ahead and set on low on a back burner or even refrigerated for up to a day, before serving add just enough chicken broth to rewet ingredients and create a sauce to your preferred consistency.

It may seem finicky to cook the mushrooms in batches, but this is important to promote browning and prevent them from just getting mushy from steaming them in their own juices when they are crowded in a pan. Take the time to cook the mushrooms in batches, and you will be rewarded with delicious browned rich flavor.

 

French Country Salad

French Country Salad

Adapted from Mon Petit Four and Recipe Tin Eats

5 oz arugula, approximately 5 cups
1/2 pound asparagus tough ends trimmed
1/2 cup sliced cooked beets canned
1/4 cup walnuts halves, toasted
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

French Vinaigrette

1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
2-4 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake until emulsified. Set aside.

2. Steam asparagus until just tender, rinse under cold water to stop cooking process. Set aside.

3. Combine arugula and cooled asparagus in a bowl, top with desired amount of vinaigrette, mix until well coated. Transfer to serving bowl. Top with sliced beets, walnuts, and goat cheese. Drizzle on a little more vinaigrette as desired.

2018 Chinese GP: Chicken Wings, Noodles, and Cabbage a la All Under Heaven

Hoorah for a proper exciting race! The first half seemed to be a repeat of 2017, Mercedes, Ferrari, blah blah blah, until bam! A safety car and the Red Bull boys with excellent timing and guts to spare come up the field and mix it up!

I love seeing Ricciardo on top of the podium, that grin just makes my day. We kept an eye on Alonso throughout the race as well, as per usual he was driving that car beyond its abilities, even passing Championship leader Vettel in the final laps. Hopefully this race is a sign of things to come. I was literally on the edge of my seat wondering who Verstappen was going pass at the last second into a corner never made for passing... despite all the controversy, and possibly losing himself a podium, I still say 'Go Max!' because god its so much fun to watch! 

Chinese meal

I hope you enjoyed the race as much as we did. It was made even better with the meal of authentic Chinese dishes from All Under Heaven, a fantastic tome of traditional Chinese cooking. It was so hard to choose which dishes to make, but these turned out to be just challenging enough to learn a little but not get overwhelmed, and they were properly delicious. 

A few new techniques were added to my repertoire with these dishes and new ingredients too! Dry-frying chicken, just coated in corn starch, was a revelation. It turned out so crispy and soaked the sweet and spicy sauce up perfectly. This was also my first introduction to Sichuan peppercorns which are a total kick, they are floral and pungent and have a numbing quality that make them really unique (we even made a cocktail with them!). Honestly, that might be my favorite part of cooking for the races, trying completely new things, both in cooking and eating. Hope you try out a few too!

Dry fried chicken wings

DRY-FRIED CHICKEN WINGS
GĀNPĒNG JĪCHÌ 乾烹雞翅 _

Adapted from All Under Heaven: Recipes from the 35 Cuisines of China by Carolyn Phillips

Serves 4 as an appetizer or part of a meal

12 chicken wing pieces (wings and drummetes)
¼ cup cornstarch
2 cups (or so) peanut or vegetable oil for frying
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ inch fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 green onions, trimmed and finely chopped
10 dried Thai chilies, or to taste, broken in half and seeds discarded, and/or smoked paprika
¾ cup pale rice vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon toasted Sichuan peppercorn salt, or to taste (recipe below)
2 teaspoons regular soy sauce

1. Start this recipe at least 6 hours before you want to serve it. Place wing pieces in a work bowl and sprinkle the cornstarch over them. Toss the wings in the bowl until thoroughly coated. 

2. Place a cooling rack on a baking sheet, arrange corn starch covered wings, not touching, on the rack. Refrigerate uncovered so the cool air slightly dries out the wings. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

3. Pour the oil into a wok or heavy bottomed pan (I use my dutch oven for most frying),  heat over high heat until it reaches 350F. Use a splatter screen to prevent oil splashes. Carefully add 4-6 wing pieces to the hot oil.  As soon as the wings are golden on one side, approximately 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the wings, flip to brown other side. (If you have an instant read thermometer, chicken should reach 165F.) Remove the wings to a large work bowl once they are nicely browned and cooked through. Repeat with remaining wings in batches.

4. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a separate saucepan, place it over medium-high heat, and add the garlic, ginger, onions, and chilies, toss in the hot oil to release their fragrance, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Turn the heat to high and quickly boil down the sauce. Boil until it reaches the consistency of syrup, remove from the heat. Toss the wings in the sauce to coat them completely. Arrange the wings on a serving platter and eat while hot. 

To make peppercorn salt:  combine 1/2 cup whole Sichuan peppercorns and 1/2 cup salt in a dry wok, cook over medium heat until salt browns and peppercorns start to pop, let mixture cool. Pulverize in a spice grinder, shake through a fine mesh sieve, and store in a tightly sealed jar.

 

green onion noodles

 

FRIED GREEN ONION NOODLES
CONG YOU BAN MIAN, 葱油拌面

Barely adapted from: All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips

Serves 4-6

Fried Onions
12 green onions
1 ½ cups peanut or vegetable oil

Sauce
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock

Noodles
4 quarts  water
2 tablespoons sea salt
12 ounces thin dried noodles of any kind

1.  Clean and trim green onions, pat them dry (to avoid oil splatter), slice them on an angle into long, thin ovals.

2. Line a plate with a paper towel and place it next to the stove along with a slotted spoon. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When the oil just begins to shimmer, add a few pieces of onion. What you want is for the onions to gently bubble, so adjust the heat as needed and then add the rest of the onions. Stir the onions every minute or so and let them slowly cook, giving them a chance to release their fragrance and gradually dry out, approximately 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on the onions (don't walk away!), as soon as they start to smell toasty and a few begin to brown, stir them almost constantly so they toast evenly.

Once almost all of them are brown, remove them from the oil with the slotted spoon and place them on the paper towel lined plate.  Set the wok with the hot oil aside. If you’re going to continue the recipe immediately simply allow to cool as you continue. Otherwise, let the seasoned oil cool, then pour it into a clean glass jar and store in the refrigerator. 

4. Pour ¼ cup of the soy sauce and ¼ cup of the stock into a large work bowl and stir in about ¼ cup of the flavored oil. After adding the noodles, add each of more as needed. I used all of it as my noodles absorbed a lot of liquid. 

5. Put the water in a large pot, add the salt, and bring to a boil. About 5 to 10 minutes before you want to serve this dish, stir the noodles into the water and gently swish them often so they don’t stick together. As soon as the water starts to boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook the noodles until they are barely done (check package for time). Place a colander in the sink and drain the pasta into it, but don’t rinse it, as the starch on the noodles will help to thicken the sauce and allow it to evenly coat each strand.

6. Put the cooked noodles into your work bowl with the sauce and toss them well. You want the noodles slightly soupy since they’ll absorb some of the sauce, so add more stock if needed. Taste and add a bit of soy sauce or green onion oil, if you want.

7. Serve noodles garnished with all of the fried onions.

 

GOLDEN-EDGED CABBAGE
JĪNBIĀN BÁICÀI 金邊白菜

From: All Under Heaven by Carolyn Phillips (also on her blog!)

Serves 4

1½ pounds napa cabbage (about ½ large head or 1 small head)
5 dried Thai chilies
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1½ teaspoons regular soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1. Rinse the cabbage carefully, removing any damaged leaves. Shake the cabbage dry and then cut out the core. Separate the leaves into stacks of 3 or 4 and place them curved-side down on a cutting board. Use the side of a cleaver, or the bottom of a small pan, to lightly whack the stems; this will serve to gently break them open, and then cut them into pieces approximately 2 x 1 inches in size.

2. Break the chilies open and discard both the seeds and the stem ends. Cut them into smallish pieces. Heat a wok over high heat and then pour in the oil. Immediately add the chilies and fry them quickly until they have crisped up. Toss in the ginger and the cabbage and stir-fry the cabbage over high heat. As soon as the cabbage has wilted, add the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Taste and adjust seasoning. Continue to toss the cabbage until all of the edges are a golden brown. Serve hot.

 

Hummus and Mezze Platter Tidbits
Hummus platter

I know, I know, hummus is so easy to get in any store and why would you make your own? Let me say, there are plenty of delicious hummus brands out there... but homemade it also SO easy! And you can control the spiciness, garlickiness, saltiness, creaminess, deliciousness! 

 

Ambitious hummus maker: cook up your own garbanzo beans and test different flavors and combos. 

Want it easy: can of garbanzo beans, tahini optional, garlic level of your choice.

Ready? Set, Go!

HUMMUS

Recipe adapted from Inspired Taste and Serious Eats

1 1/2 cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas or 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon) plus more to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini
3-5 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water (if you cooked your own, use the cooking water)

Olive oil, for serving
Dash ground paprika, for serving

If you choose to cook your own chickpeas (which I highly recommend) use the following instructions:

1/2 pound chickpeas
2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
1 small onion, split in half
1 small carrot
1 stalk celery
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves

The night before combine beans, 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tbsp salt in a bowl, cover with 6 cups cold water, cover with a towel and let rest overnight. 
Drain and rinse beans thoroughly. 
Place beans in a large dutch oven or saucepan. Add 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp salt, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid slightly cracked. Cook until completely tender, to a point of falling apart, about 1-2 hours. Remove vegetables and bay leaves. Drain and reserve some liquid, approximately 1/4 cup. 

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process for 30 seconds more. This extra time helps “whip” or “cream” the tahini, making the hummus smooth and creamy.

2. Add the garlic cloves and blend until garlic is mixed thoroughly. 

3.Add the olive oil, cumin, and a 1 teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Process for 30 seconds, scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl then process another 30 seconds or until well blended.

4. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then add remaining chickpeas and process until thick and quite smooth; 1 to 2 minutes.

Most likely the hummus will be too thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water (or cooking water if you cooked your own chickpeas) until you reach the perfect consistency.

5. Taste for salt and adjust as needed. Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika. Store homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate up to one week.

Serve with sliced vegetables or pita bread. We love broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, and cucumber. 

Feta and Herbs

Feta, Herbs, and Onions

Soft Feta
White onion, sliced
Various Herbs (Parsely, Tarragon, Basil, Cilantro, Mint)
Pita bread, lavash, or other flat bread

Layer bread with feta and herbs and slices of white onion

We learned this combo of yummy flavors and textures of fresh feta and herbs from one of my best friends and her husband who like experimenting with Persian and Middle Eastern dishes from her Iranian heritage. Many thanks to their many nights of hospitality and for introducing us to this fabulous appetizer and addition to a perfect Mezze Platter. 

2018 Bahrain GP: Falafel with homemade Pita

Bahrain is one of those enigmatic places that you just can't place your finger on. It is a clash and mix of cultures that make it lovely, full of life, and fantastical. On top of it all, the race is a night race which shines bright and adds that element of sparkle to the race calendar. This race tends to include plenty of passing opportunities and makes for exciting racing and lots of drama. This year did not disappoint! 

As for dinner, it also did not disappoint. I found some amazing recipes for some Bahraini favorites: Falafel, Pita Bread, and Tzatziki. As mentioned previously, these tasty Middle Eastern bites are not indigenous to Bahrain but favorites nonetheless. We also made some fabulous hummus and finished it off with Baklava, so yummy! (Recipes to come.)

Falafel

FALAFEL

From Epicurious

1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon baking powder
4-6 tablespoons flour
Soybean or vegetable oil for frying
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 red and  1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt to taste

1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. 

2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, cilantro, salt, hot pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.

3. Sprinkle in the baking powder and 4 tablespoons of the flour, and pulse. You want to add enough flour so that the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the food processor. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.

4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts. (Before rolling all the balls you may want to test one to check that it stays in the formed ball when fried.)

5. Heat 3 inches of oil to 375ºF in a deep pot or wok and fry 1 ball to test. If it falls apart, add a little flour. Then fry about 5 balls at once for a few minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

6. Mix tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and bell peppers with lemon juice and olive oil, salt to taste. 

7. Serve with tzatziki and chopped vegetable salad. Serve in pitas or simply with a fork and knife!

 

Pita

PITA BREAD

From Serious Eats

1 cup (8 ounces) water, 105–110°F
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the bowl
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) whole wheat flour
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

1. Mix water, oil, sugar, yeast, salt, and whole wheat flour with a wooden spoon until combined and smooth. Stir in all-purpose flour until the mixture comes together into a shaggy mass.

2. Using clean hands, knead the dough in the bowl for 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and very elastic, adding only very small amounts of extra flour if dough is extremely sticky (see note). Alternatively, knead dough at low speed in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment until dough is very elastic and smooth, about 8 minutes.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a smooth ball. Lightly oil a clean mixing bowl and place the dough inside, then rub oiled hands over the top of the dough. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

4. Meanwhile, place a baking stone on the top oven rack and preheat oven to 500°F. Line a plate with a large, clean kitchen towel and set aside.

5. Punch down the dough, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, and cut into 6 even pieces. Form each dough piece into an even ball. Cover with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

6. Roll each piece of dough into a 7-inch circle, no more than 1/4 inch thick, taking care not to tear dough and keeping the thickness even all around. Place dough disks on a lightly floured surface, cover with a damp towel, and let proof until slightly puffy, about 20 minutes.

7. Working with as many pitas as will fit on the stone at once, pick up each pita and place onto the stone top side down. Immediately close the oven door and bake until pitas have puffed and are slightly golden around the edges, about 3 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake. Place baked pitas onto towel-lined plate and wrap with the overhanging towel. Repeat with any remaining pitas.

8. Heat a cast iron skillet on high heat until smoking. Working with one pita at a time, briefly heat each side until charred in a few spots, about 30 seconds. Return pita to towel and cover. Repeat with remaining pitas and serve immediately. Alternatively if you have a gas stove simply toast pita over flame being careful to be quick so as not to burn the pitas on either side. 

 

Tzatziki

Tzatziki

½ medium cucumber
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1clove garlic minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt to taste

Partially peel  and grate half a cucumber. Squeeze grated cucumber to remove excess water. In a small bowl combine grated cucumber, yogurt,  juice and zest of  the lemon, grated or minced garlic, and a pinch of salt.

Spanish Tapas - Pre-Season Testing
Tapas

Tapas are well loved in Spain. And really, why not? Late afternoon or late evening with a glass of wine or sherry, these make the perfect accompaniment to good friends, a good drink, and a good time. In addition to the recipes below we added some olives, jamon iberico, and some hard and soft cheeses to the spread. Oh, and a few bottles of Spanish wine to wash it all down! 

Given that Pre-Season testing lasts two weeks I thought you might like a few more recipes to round out the menu. And perhaps an excuse to eat some tapas!

The first week of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya looked mighty cold, it even snowed on track on the last day! Mercedes made a snowman, people made lots of Iceman jokes at Kimi's expense, and reporters shivered while trying to interview reserve-driver and celebrity du jour Robert Kubica. We enjoyed getting back into the nitty gritty with Ted Kravitz and his eponymous "Notebook". IMHO, he really is the best commentator out there because he gets his nose in everyone's business and notices all the tiny details that make the sport so interesting. His Development Corner at the end of week one highlights many of the changes coming this year and gives you little deep dive into the sport! (note: if the videos don't work in your part of the world, you can check out his twitter feed @tedkravitz) 

tomato bread

PA AMB TOMAQUET (TOASTED BREAD RUBBED WITH TOMATO AND OLIVE OIL)

6 slices white country-style bread
Extra virgin olive oil
3 tomatoes, halved cross-wise
Salt

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Place bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in oven for 5-8 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with olive oil on both sides.
3. Rub each slice with the cut side of the tomato half, pressing to squeeze some of the pulp and seeds on the bread. Sprinkle the tomato with salt. Serve while the bread is still warm and crisp. 

edited-0130.jpg

Smoked Paprika Almonds

Adapted from Devour Blog

This recipe is easy to double or triple so I am providing the measurements per 1 cup almonds, you can decide how much you need depending on the size of your crowd!

1 cup raw almonds
1/3  tablespoon coarse sea salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked Parpika
1/3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the almonds onto an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until almonds are golden brown and giving off a toasted aroma. Watch carefully because they can burn quickly.

2. While the nuts are toasting, combine the sea salt and the smoked paprika in a small bowl.

3. Once the almonds are out of the oven, drizzle with olive oil and toss to combine. Add extra oil if not all the nuts are coated. Sprinkle with the salt and paprika mixture and stir again. Allow to cool. Transfer to serving bowl and serve at room temperature.

patatas

Baked Patatas Bravas with Smoked Paprika Dipping Sauce

Inspired by Food & Wine 

For the Patatas Bravas
3 medium yellow potatoes, sliced into wedges
salt
1 Tblsp olive oil

For the Smoked Paprika Dipping Sauce
2 Tblsp mayonnaise
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1-2 Tblsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. In a pot, cover the potatoes with water. Generously season with kosher salt and bring to a boil. Simmer the potatoes until nearly tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and let the potatoes dry on paper or kitchen towels.
3. Lay potatoes out on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, toss potatoes until lightly covered with olive oil. Sprinkle salt on potatoes. Roast in oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping once or twice, until nicely browned.
4. Meanwhile make the dipping sauce. Add mayonnaise and spices to a small bowl and whip with a fork until combined. Add lemon juice slowly until you reach desired consistency/ tanginess.

fennel salad

SPANISH CHARRED FENNEL, ORANGE AND OLIVE SALAD

 Adapted from Genius Kitchen

2-3 small fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 large orange, peeled and cut into segments (supremed)
1 Tblsp white wine vinegar
¼ red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
6  black  or kalamata olives
4 cups lettuce, romaine or green leaf, torn into bite size pieces (optional)
salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 Tblsp fresh mint, roughly chopped (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
2. Place fennel on a well-oiled baking tray, drizzle with ½ Tblsp olive oil, roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender and charred on the edges. Turn them once or twice during cooking. Allow to cool.
3. Whisk the remaining oil with white wine vinegar.
4.  In a large bowl mix lettuce with ½ the dressing. Remove and place into serving bowl.
5. In same large bowl, gently mix fennel with orange slices, onion, olives and add remaining dressing. Add ½ the mint, salt and pepper, and stir once more.
6. Add fennel mixture on top of lettuce in the serving bowl. Top with remaining mint, and optional fennel fronds for garnish.

2018 Winter Olympics - Bibimbap

It has been so fun to watch the Olympics this year, for some reason it has just warmed my soul. Seeing all the international competitors, such respect and collegiality all around. Despite any political melodrama, countries race side by side and people cheer for the 5-time winner and underdog alike. We even began to understand curling and cheered like crazy for the mixed doubles gold medal match between Canada and Switzerland! (Who knew there was so much strategy involved??)

Korea has hosted large international sporting events before, including F1. From 2010-2013, F1 raced at Korea International Circuit. DailyMail has a great article showing some of the memorable races and shares a number of amusing stories. I remember in 2012 the ever-memorable Psy teaching the RedBull boys how to dance some Gangnam style moves!

Back to present, as the closing ceremonies draw near I figured it was time to try my hand at a few Korean dishes! Bibimbap is the clear contender for most popular dish to come out of Korea. You'll see it atop every Korean restaurant menu, and really it is the quintessential "bowl" meal, which seems to be a Pinterest favorite these days. Along with the Bibimbap bowl I made some Korean Beef and finished it off with a Korean tea inspired cocktail.

Bibimbap, directly translated, means "mixed rice", it is a delicious melange of hot rice, just cooked veggies, crunchy fresh veg, tangy kimchi and runny-yolked egg served with spicy gochujong. Yum! In case you're wondering how to eat it (white girl talking here) I found an amusing and surprisingly informative video from Zagat which I'll include below :) 

Hope you have enjoyed the Olympic festivities and that they have tided you over before the start of Formula 1 Pre-Season Testing next week and the real deal on March 25th!

bibimbap

 

A note on ingredients: Finding gochujong (Korean hot pepper paste) turned out to be an adventure of sorts. After driving around during rush hour to two different Asian markets and pulling up pictures on our phones and scouring aisles, and still not finding it... we were at the end of our rope. I was planning to just throw on some Sriracha and call it a day. But at the urging of my husband (who had driven through all the traffic to multiple Ranch 99s) I ended up reaching out to my good friend who told me, what I had suspected, that bibimbap just wouldn't taste the same without gochujong. 

She did suggest that if we really couldn't find it we could make a combination of sesame /soy/ fish/ sauce/ oil with some red pepper flakes "but it wouldn't be the same", she even suggested if all else fails just to use some of the juice from kimchee! 

Turns out we didn't need to resort to patchwork chili sauce... because she is also an expert Googler and found that Whole Foods highlighted gochujong as a "hot right now" ingredient.  All I can say is thank goodness for my friend and her quick texting and googling, and Whole Foods, because honestly gochujong is DELICIOUS and totally did make the dish. If you haven't had it before it is spicy, tangy, a bit sweet, and has a completely unique taste.

Bibimbap

Adapted from Budget Bytes

Rice
4 cups Jasmine rice (cooked)

Sautéed Vegetables
2 tsp canola oil
2 bunches spinach, roughly chopped
1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
pinch of salt

2 tsp canola oil
4 cups mushrooms, sliced
pinch of salt

Fresh Vegetables
2-4 carrots, shredded
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
salt to taste

Additional Toppings
4 large eggs
1 cup kimchi
 sesame seeds (optional)
gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste), to taste


1. If not already cooked, begin by cooking rice in rice cooker or on stovetop. Prepare the rest of the bowl ingredients as the rice cooks.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium flame and add the cooking oil. Add the fresh spinach. Sauté the spinach for a few minutes, or just until it is wilted. Drizzle the sesame oil over top and season lightly with a pinch of salt. Remove the spinach from the skillet and set aside.

3. In another skillet (or same pan as spinach after you have finished preparing spinach), heat oil. Add sliced mushrooms and sauté on high heat until browned and tender. Lightly salt and set aside.

4. Prepare the fresh vegetables. Peel and grate the carrot. Thinly slice the cucumber – lightly salt. Slice the green onions. Set all ingredients aside.

6. Fry or soft boil 4 large eggs.

7. Build the bowls by adding 1 cup cooked rice to the bowl, followed by 1/4 of the cooked spinach, some sliced cucumber, shredded carrots, a cooked egg, and kimchi. Sprinkle sliced green onions and sesame seeds over top. Add gochujang paste to your spiciness preference.

korean beef

Slow Cooker Korean Beef

From Damn Delicious

1 cup beef or chicken broth
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon Sriracha or gochujang, or more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 pound boneless beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced

1. In a large bowl, whisk together beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, ginger, Sriracha or gochujang, onion powder and white pepper.

2. Place chuck roast into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in beef broth mixture until well combined.

3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water. Stir in mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high heat for an additional 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

5. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions and sesame seeds, if desired.

mixed rice
24 Hours of Daytona - Shrimp and Pepper Skewers

The Winter Break is long and dull, with no races to watch, drivers to cheer on, or countries to cook for. 

But lo, our drivers have not abandoned us to lay low the entirety of the Winter with no entertainment or drama. One of our favorite personalities in F1, Fernando Alonso, did what he does best and added a little excitement to the doldrums, by racing in the 24 Hours of Daytona over the weekend. Although admittedly we did not watch all 24 hours it was fun to see another type of racing and to cook some fun food for the race. 

In looking for Florida recipes I came across an excellent piece of terminology: Floribbean, any guesses? You got it: Floridian and Caribbean. It seems like most foods in Florida have a few things in common: seafood, bright bold flavors, rice and beans are ever present, and most were washed down with a libation (or two).

Daytona

In the mood for something bright and summery to battle the 'meh' feeling of it being dark at 5:00 and consistently blustery outside, we made grilled Shrimp and Pepper Skewers (we even pulled the cover of the grill and brought it out of dormancy for the occasion), Black Bean and Rice Salad, Fresh Pineapple Salsa, Mojitos, and Key Lime Pie! 

Shrimp Skewers

Shrimp and Sweet Pepper Skewers

Adapted from: Fresh from Florida

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined with tail on
2 large bell peppers, cut into 1-inch squares
2 large onions cut into 1-inch squares
Fresh pineapple chunks
10-16 bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 1 hour) or metal skewers
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Skewer Marinade

1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Skewer Marinade

1. Combine olive oil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cilantro and lime juice in a blender and puree until smooth.
2. Taste marinade and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Skewers

1. Mix shrimp with ¼ of marinade in a medium bowl until coated.
2. Make skewers by alternating shrimp, peppers, onions, and pineapple chunks.
3. Season the completed skewers with salt and pepper and brush on additional marinade.
4. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
5. Add skewers to grill and cook for approximately 4-5 minute each side, brushing on more marinade when flipping.

Black bean and rice salad

Black Bean and Rice Salad

From: The Spruce

1 -15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups long-grain rice, cooked and chilled
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tomato (or ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes), chopped
2 to 3 green onions, sliced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Garnish: fresh chopped cilantro     

1. In a large bowl, combine the black beans with the cold cooked rice, green and red bell peppers, chopped tomato, and chopped green onion.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, cumin, and pepper. I like to do this in a mason jar – just add all ingredients put the lid on and shake.
3. Add the dressing mixture to beans and rice and stir gently to blend ingredients.
4. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
5. Toss again before serving and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

Pineapple Boat

Fresh Pineapple Salsa 

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
1 bell pepper (any color or combo of colors), finely chopped
1 jalapeño, stemmed and minced
1/2 small red onion, minced
1⁄4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. kosher salt

Mix together all ingredients, serve. 

If you're feeling extra ridiculous you can serve this in... a pineapple boat. To make a pineapple boat, err, bowl, cut 1/3-1/2 of pineapple (vertically) off. Cut up and scoop out inner part of pineapple (use chopped up in recipe and for shrimp skewers), and fill with salsa. Top with cilantro for extra style points. 

 

For desserts and drinks... Mojitos and Key Lime Pie (posts coming soon!).

Roasted Eggplant Salad
Roasted Eggplant Salad

 

Eggplant Salad

Olives, Lemons, & Za'atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking by Rawia Bishara

2 large eggplants, peel on, cut into large dice
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
1 tsp sea salt
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 2 lemons
½ tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste

1.     Preheat oven to 500F
2.     Prepare rimmed baking sheet with light coat of olive oil. Spread chopped eggplant onto rimmed baking sheet and dress with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and bake until eggplants are lightly browned and softened, 15-25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3.     In a large mixing bowl, combine remaining ingredients, mix well, add lemon juice or salt to taste.
4.     Gently fold in cooled eggplant, taking care not to crush it.

 

This salad is fabulous. My non-eggplant loving husband even loved it, though he said it would be much better... without eggplant. 

I tend to disagree and think it is better just as it is. The dressing is bright and acidic and the mix of ingredients is just the right amount of crunch. Lovely. 

Mexican Sides - Zucchini and Onions, Refried Beans, Pineapple Salsa
Mexican Sides

Mexican GP dinner was definitely a few of my favorite things. Tacos, fresh fruit salsa, veggies, and of course margaritas. 

Zucchini and Onions
Zucchini

Zucchini and Onions

1 Tblsp light olive oil
4-6 small zucchini and/or crookneck summer squash, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/2 - 1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cumin
2 sprigs fresh oregano finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Freshly cracked pepper (optional)

Heat cast iron or heavy bottomed frying pan on medium high. Add olive oil until shimmering. 

Add chopped onion, stir to lightly cover in oil, then let cook undisturbed until lightly browned, flip and continue to cook 2-4 minutes. 

Add garlic, zucchini and squash, sprinkle salt, cumin, and oregano on top. Continue to let vegetables brown on pan slipping occasionally. 

Cook until desired texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

 

Black Beans

Refried Beans

From Serious Eats - for other options including pinto beans and different herbs/ fats check out the recipe and article

1/2 pound dried black beans
Water
2 sprigs fresh oregano
1 medium yellow onion, 1/2 minced, 1/2 left whole
2 medium cloves garlic
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons bacon drippings (or vegetable oil for vegetarian version)

1. In a large pot, cover the beans with cold water by at least 2 inches. Add herb sprigs, the whole onion half, and garlic cloves and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until beans are very tender, about 1 to 2 hours.

2. Season with salt. Drain beans, reserving bean-cooking liquid. Discard herb sprigs, onion, and garlic.

3. In a large skillet, heat bacon drippings or vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add minced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly golden, about 7 minutes.

4. Stir in beans and cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add 1 cup of reserved bean-cooking liquid. Using bean masher, potato masher, or back of a wooden spoon, smash the beans to form a chunky purée; alternatively, use a stick blender to make a smoother purée.

6. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until desired consistency is reached; if refried beans are too dry, add more bean-cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed.

7. Season with salt and serve.

 

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

Adapted from Saveur

1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
1⁄4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 jalapeños, stemmed and minced
1/2 small red onion, minced

Mix together all ingredients, serve. 

One of my favorite go-to throw together recipes is a fruit salsa. If you have fruit, onion, any kind of pepper, almost any kind of fresh herb, and a sharp knife, you are set. It fixes almost any boring meal: chicken, fish, pork, tacos, quesadillas, beans, you name it. 

Fresh Fruit Salsa "Recipe"

Chopped fruit: Mango, Pineapple, Strawberries, Plums, Nectarines, finely chopped
Onion: red or white, diced
Pepper: bell pepper, jalapeno, habanero, diced
Herb: Cilantro, Mint, Parsley, Oregano, finely chopped
Salt
Lime juice (or orange or lemon)
Olive oil (optional)

Chop, Toss, Eat
 

Tangy Cabbage and Collard Slaw
Slaw

I found this slaw for one summer barbecue two or three years ago and it has been in constant rotation ever since. It is bright and tangy, it doubles easily, it rests well, it can be vegetarian or for a more robust side and if your party is omnivorous you can add a few slices crisp bacon to kick up the umami. Either way, it is a perfect side for most occasions! 

Tangy Cabbage and Collard Slaw

From: Country Living

1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1 1/2 tbsp. honey
1/3-1/2 c. olive oil
pinch kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch collard greens, stems discarded and leaves shredded
1/2 small head green cabbage, shredded
6 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

1. Combine onion, vinegar, mustard, honey, and oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand, tossing occasionally until onion is wilted, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Add collard greens and cabbage, and toss to coat. Chill 15 minutes. Toss in bacon (if using).

American Slaw
Japanese GP- Yakisoba
Japanese GP F1Cookbook

The Japanese Grand Prix is always a favorite, for so many reasons. Here are my top 5: 

1. The Fans are fantastic, fanatical, and know how to have fun
2. The track is a figure 8 and has some great corners
3. The drivers love it and you can see the excitement free practice all the way through the race weekend
4. Unpredictable weather, always a game-changer
5. At this point in the championship things can start to be decided, so every point, and mistake, and unreliability, and battle, seem so much more important

I gathered a small collection of examples of the awesome fandom in Japan:

Sources:
Alonso super fan: WTF1
DRS hat duo: check out the video of the working DRS hats on Reddit from 2015
Ferrari Samurai and Race track hat: Apex Online Racing
Honda fan crew: Honda Racing F1 Twitter

Who can resist such spirit and love of racing??

For this race we made Japanese stir fry noodles (Yakisoba) and started the meal with Blistered Shishito Peppers which we serendipitously got from our Imperfect Produce delivery this week! I love all things noodles, and this dish is no exception. With a nice umami-savory sauce and lots of veggies it hits all the right buttons. Served with two excellent Japanese micro-brews (Thank you Luiz!), the tiniest most adorable bottle of Suntory Whiskey hand-delivered from Japan (Thanks Chris and Natalie!) and an exciting race (Thank you Max Verstappen adn Fernando Alonso)! 

We finished off the meal with Fluffy Japanese style Cheesecake and some of that whiskey. 

Yakisoba

 

Yakisoba (Japanese Stir Fry Noodles)

Adapted from: Just One Cookbook

Serve 6

Yakisoba Sauce:

2 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp oyster sauce
4 tsp ketchup
4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Yakisoba:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
¾ lb sliced pork belly (or chicken thigh or shrimp)
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, julienned
10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 green onions/scallions, chopped into 2 inch pieces, plus more for topping (optional)
½ cabbage head, leaves peeled and cut into bite size pieces
½ lb fried tofu cubes (optional)
Pickled red ginger (optional for topping)

Yakisoba Noodles (1 package - 16 oz)

Pretty Prep Yakisoba

 

1. Make Yakisoba sauce: Whisk all the ingredients  in a small bowl and set aside.

2. In a skillet or large wok, heat oil on medium high heat. Cook meat until just browned.

3. Add onion and carrots and cook for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add the cabbage and cook until almost tender.

5. Add green onions, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu and cook for 1 minute or until tofu is just heated through.

6. Rinse yakisoba noodles in hot water to warm and aid in separating noodles. Use tongs to separate the noodles (pour over more hot water if they are sticking).

7. Add the noodles to the wok, and lower the heat to medium. Stir all ingredients over medium heat, being careful not to let the noodles stay too long on the pan to prevent sticking.

8. Add Yakisoba Sauce, mix all ingredients together and warm up sauce. Serve topped with more chopped green onions, pickled red ginger (optional).

Note: my medium sized wok barely fit all of these ingredients, as a matter of fact when I added the noodles I couldn’t even stir to combine them, I had to transfer half to a bowl, etc. etc. So I recommend if you have a large wok to use that, or alternatively a large skillet or even a dutch over could work well. Alternatively you could halve the recipe for 2 generous servings, or 4 small servings to go alongside something else delicious!

 

Shishito Peppers

Blistered Shishito Peppers

Shisito Peppers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Flaky salt (sea salt or kosher salt)

1. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat until the pan is hot. Add the peppers to the hot skillet and cook the peppers, turning occasionally, until blistered on multiple sides and hot. 

2. Transfer to serving plate and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with generous pinch of salt. 

For a good time, make it Suntory time
— Bill Murray

And last but not least, Ferrari's Japanese GP Poster for 2017