Saturday, October 12, 2019

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette


Take advantage of these crips fall days to visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm on Sunday on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave. You'll find plenty of fall fruits and vegetables from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm


Who can resist these brussels sprout stalks, that look like the tail of a mesozoic monster? One of my favorite recipes for brussels sprouts is a simplified version of Momofuku's famous brussels sprouts with fish sauce vinaigrette. With plenty of lime juice, fresh mint, and cilantro, these sprouts have a zing that savors the flavors of summer well into the fall.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
adapted from Momofuku
brussels sprouts from 1 stalk (about 1 lb)
2 Tbsp neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
3 Tbsp cilantro leaves and tender stems
3 Tbsp mint leaves

fish sauce vinaigrette
juice of one lime (anout 2 Tbsp)
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
red chili flakes to taste

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel away any loose or discolored outer leaves, trim the dry end of the stems with a knife, and cut the sprouts in half. Cut any especially large ones in quarters. On a sheet pan, toss the brussels sprouts with neutral oil. Arrange cut face side down and roast for about 15 minutes. Use a spatula to turn and continue roasting until all of the sprouts have some dark color. 

Fish Sauce Vinaigrette
Combine the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, and chili flakes and stir to dissolve the sugar.

When ready to serve the brussels sprouts, toss them with the vinaigrette and the cilantro and mint leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Instant Pot Baked Apple Oatmeal


Tomorrow promises to be a glorious fall day, and while outside enjoying the sunshine you should plan to stop by the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave. You'll find plenty of fall fruits and vegetables from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm



Be sure to stock up on fall apples, which are in abundance this mast year. One of my favorite fall breakfasts is a cinnamon apple version of Heidi Swanson's baked oatmeal, which is a delicious hybrid of a porridge and a muffin. The only downside is that it requires early rising to get onto the table. This inspired me to create a version for my Instant Pot, which I could set up the night before so that it cooks in the early morning and need just a minute under the broiler before serving. This can make a nice weekday breakfast treat for rainy days ahead.   




Instant Pot Baked Apple Oatmeal

serves four
1 large or 2 small apples
2 Tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
2 cups milk
1 egg
2 to 4 Tbsp brown sugar (depending on sweetness of apples)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp brown sugar

1. Core the apple and cut into 1 inch cubes. Turn the Instant Pot to sautee, add the butter to the inner pot and sautee the apple pieces with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon until they are soft and start to brown. Hit cancel and transfer the apples to the bottom of a 7 inch diameter, 1.5 quart ceramic or metal baking dish that can fit into the Instant Pot. Add 1/2 cup water to the liner pot, swirl to get up all the butter, and pour over the apples. Replace the liner pot, fill it with one cup water, and put in the metal stand.

2. Whisk together the wet ingredients of 2 cups milk, 1 egg, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix together the dry ingredients of steel cut oats, old fashioned oats, baking powder, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Dump the dry ingredients over the apples in the baking dish and then pour over the wet ingredients, making sure that all of the oatmeal is submerged. Place the baking pan into the Instant Pot on top of the metal stand. Seal the lid and set to cook at high pressure for 40 minutes with a delayed start time so that it will start up about 80 minutes before you plan to wake up.

3. The next morning, turn on your broiler. Turn off the Instant Pot and carefully remove the oatmeal pan. Top the oatmeal with 1/2 cup chopped walnut pieces and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Broil for about 1 minute, being careful not to let the nits burn. Remove and serve with a drizzle of milk or cream.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Kale and Leek Buckwheat Crepes


UPDATE: The Market will be closed this Sunday September 22. Come visit next Sunday September 29 for all your fall produce.

At the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday, held between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., you'll find fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm


The brilliant green kale and leeks inspired a quick post-market brunch of buckwheat crepes along side pan seared potatoes, onions, and peppers. If you prepare the batter ahead of time, this meal can come together as quickly as omelettes for a weeknight dinner. 




Kale and Leek Buckwheat Crepes
for the batter
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
3 large eggs
2 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
a pinch of salt

for the filling
1 bunch kale
1 leek
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
several handfuls of grated cheese such as aged cheddar or gruyere.
butter

1. Prepare the batter. Combine the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. The batter should have the consistency of thick cream; add a little more milk if needed. It's best to let the batter rest for an hour or so before you use it. You can make it in the morning or even the night before your crepe dinner and if the butter separates out, just give it a quick mix.

2. Prepare the kale and leek filling. Rinse the kale leaves, strip the leaves from the stems, and roughly chop the leaves into 1/2 inch pieces. Cut the green part from the leeks (save for stock), trim off the root end, and slice the white part lengthwise. Rinse the white parts while separating the leaves to remove any dirt. Cut widthwise into 1/2 inch half moons. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and when the heat radiates to two inches above the pan, add the olive oil, the leeks, and a pinch of salt. Saute until glassy. Add the kale, season with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the kale starts to soften and becomes bright green. Add the tomato paste and saute for a minute while it starts to caramelize. Remove from the heat and add the balsamic vinegar. Taste and season as needed.

3. Make the crepes. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat, melt a thin slice of butter and swirl to coat the pan. Pour in the crepe batter slowly while you swirl the pan so that it is just coated with batter. Cook until the batter loses its pale color and develops permanent bubbles. Secure a spatula under the crepe and flip with confidence. As the second side cooks, spoon a thin layer of the kale filling over half of the crepe and sprinkle over a thin layer of cheese. Flip the naked half over the filling half and slide onto a plate. Eat while hot.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Instant Pot Tomatillo Pork and Bean Stew


This Sunday, come visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave. for fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm



Camas Swale has gorgeous tomatillos on offering. I love searing them in a cast iron skillet to make a delicious roasted salsa with layers of flavor that belie the ease of preparation. The drizzly weather reminded me of another favorite tomatillo dish of pork and white bean stew, based on a Rick Bayless recipe and made in a slow cooker. Here I adapted it for an instant pot pressure cooker and incorporated a step of searing the tomatillos for extra flavor. I also incorporated some roasted Hatch green chiles that Market of Choice sold every Friday in August, but other roasted chiles would work fine. I served the stew over rice with corn tortillas and seared summer squash on the side and it was a huge hit with hungry kids after a long day of school and sports practice.




Instant Pot Tomatillo Pork and Bean Stew
serves eight and freezes well
1 lb tomatillos
6 garlic cloves
several green chiles of desired heat (e.g. 2 poblano, 1 hatch)
1 bunch cilantro
~3 lb pork shoulder
1 Tbsp canola oil
salt
2 cups white navy beans, soaked overnight in salted water
lime

1. Husk and rinse the tortillas. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high and sear the tomatillos whole until they are well charred. Transfer the tortillas to the insert pot of a pressure cooker. In the same skillet, sear the green chiles until charred, then remove to a bowl, cover with a plate, and allow to steam and cool. At the same time you can throw in the unpeeled garlic cloves and roast them until they start to blacken, then remove and cool. Peel the charred skin from the peppers, remove the seeds and membranes from the inside, and add to the pot. Peel the garlic and add to the pot. Rinse and roughly chop the cilantro and add to the pot. Use an immersion blender to blend the contents of the pot until smooth. Taste and season with salt and chile pepper if you would like more heat (or sear and blend in more green chiles). 

2. Cut the pork into 1 1/2 inch chunks and season well with salt. In the same skillet, add a little neutral oil to coat the pan and then sear the cubes of meat well on each side, working in batches so as not to overcrowd them. Transfer them to the pot and immerse in the tomatillo sauce. Turn on the pressure cooker and cook the meat in the tomatillo sauce for 30 minutes on high. Allow the pressure to release naturally. 

3. Drain the soaked beans and add them to the pot. Make sure they are completely submerged in liquid, and if not, add a cup or two of water (or reserved bean broth from a previous batch of beans). Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes and allow the the pressure to release naturally. Taste the sauce and add more salt and chile pepper as needed. Brighten with fresh lime juice. Serve with rice and tortillas.

This can also be cooked slow in a slow cooker or in low oven in a Dutch oven.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Easy Apple Oatmeal Scones


This Sunday, come visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave. With the start of the school year, be sure to pick up ingredients for easy weeknight dinners and lunchbox lunches, with fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm


Camas Swale has rosy red Akane apples that are perfect for lunchboxes or teacher gifts to start off the year on the right foot. I used a couple in some easy oatmeal scones inspired by this recipe from Bon Appetite, but I dialed back the sugar to that of my favorite yogurt scones. These scones use only heavy cream, similar to these King Arthur flour never fail biscuits (which are genius). They have a lighter texture than butter-based scones and none of the associated butter-incorporating anxieties. They were easy to bake up as a Saturday breakfast treat to celebrate surviving the first day of school.


Easy Apple Oatmeal Scones
makes 8
2 small or one large apple
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp. sugar 
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1⅓ cups chilled heavy cream
topping
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp chilled heavy cream
2 Tbsp old fashioned oats
2 Tbsp raw sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Core the apples and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Put the into a small baking pan with a pad of butter and the cinnamon and transfer to the warming oven while you prepare the scone batter. After a couple minutes, stir the apples to coat with the melted butter and return to the oven.

2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, oats, baking powder, and salt and mix well with a fork.

3. Measure out your cream in a measuring cup and slowly drizzle it into the flour mixture, tossing with a fork to disperse liquid and hydrate flour. Stop mixing when you still have a few dry spots.

4. In the same measuring cup, add 1 Tbsp cream and one egg yoke and whisk together.

5. Prepare a baking sheet by covering it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Dust the surface with flour.

6. Check on the apples, which should be softened and cooked through (takes about 10-15 minutes). Add them to the bowl of dough, making sure to transfer all of the melted butter from the pan. Fold in the apple pieces with a rubber spatula, taking care only to mix they are distributed throughout and you have a sticky dough.  

7. Transfer the dough to the floured silicone mat or parchment paper and shape into a 1 inch thick square. Brush the surface with the egg and cream mixture. Sprinkle over 2 Tbsp oats and 2 Tbsp raw sugar. Use a pastry knife to bisect the square lengthwise and widthwise and then cut each of the resulting smaller squares along the diagonal to make 8 scones (if working on a silicone mat, be careful not to cut the mat). Gently move the scones apart from each other on the mat so that they each have a couple of free inches around them.

7. Bake scones on upper rack until tops are lightly golden all over and bottoms are golden brown, 15–20 minutes (mine took the full 20). Let cool on baking sheet. Serve warm.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Zucchini Bread


This Labor Day weekend, come visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, held on Sundays between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave. You can pick up ingredients for an end of the summer feast with summer produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm


Don't let the summer slip away without making yourself a loaf of zucchini bread, either with Camas Swale Farm's tender baby zukes or perhaps a monster like this one from a volunteer plant that appeared in our garden. This year I made Deb Perelman's ultimate zucchini bread recipe and it did not disappoint. Especially delicious was the turbinado sugar crust on top. She makes the excellent suggestion/non negotiable ultimatum that the bread must be allowed to sit and cure for 24 hours before eating, so make it on Sunday to enjoy on Labor Day.


Ultimate Zucchini Bread
2 cups (13 ounces or 370 grams) grated, packed zucchini, not wrung out, grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (160 ml) of a neutral oil (I use safflower), olive oil, or melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup (95 grams) packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) raw or turbinado sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 6-cup or 9×5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Place grated zucchini in a large bowl and add oil, eggs, sugars, vanilla, and salt. Use a fork to mix until combined. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and baking powder over surface of batter and mix until combined — and then, for extra security that the ingredients are well-dispersed, give it 10 extra stirs. Add flour and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the raw or turbinado sugar — don’t skimp. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick or tester inserted into the middle cake but also into the top of the cake, closer to the dome, comes out batter-free.


Let cool completely in the pan. Leave in pan, unwrapped, overnight or 24 hours, until removing (carefully, so not to ruin flaky lid) and serving in slices. Zucchini bread keeps for 4 to 5 days at room temperature. I wrap only the cut end of the cake in foil, and return it to the baking pan, leaving the top exposed so that it stays crunchy.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Fresh Green Beans with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes


This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, held between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., you'll find plenty of summer produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm. Looks for plenty of cherry tomatoes and late summer green beans.


When they are small and tender, I love eating green beans unadulterated. But I'm also fond of the flavor of heartier bean varieties such as Romanos stewed in tomatoes (similar to this braised celery recipe). Last week I made a side dish for mac and cheese that was a perfect marriage of the two: fresh green beans drizzled with cherry tomatoes roasted with fresh herbs. The collapsed sweetness of roasted tomatoes was the perfect complement to green beans with a hint of a fresh crunch.



Fresh Green Beans with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
serves four
1 pint cherry tomatoes
several springs of fresh thyme, marjoram, or oregano
drizzle of olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb green beans

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a small baking pan that will hold the tomatoes in a single layer, combine all of the ingredients and swirl to mix. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the tomatoes have completely collapsed and their juices have started to caramelize. This can also be done in a toaster oven. 

2. Meanwhile set a medium pot of salted water to boil. Trim off the stem ends of the green beans. When the water is boiling, add the green beans and cook for 4 minutes for small beans or 5 minutes for large beans. Drain and put on a serving platter. When the tomatoes are done roasting, drizzle them over the green beans and serve. 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Pad Thai for a Crowd


This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, held between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., you'll find plenty of summer produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm. Along with summer favorites of tomatoes and eggplants, you can pick up all your ingredients for a big batch of pad Thai, including scallions, leeks, carrots, and cabbage.



Here is our market haul before chopping (fortunately our cat is not easily scared by vegetables) and below is the resulting tasty plate of stir fried noodles, based loosely on this Bon Appetite recipe but with fried tofu and many more vegetables. I started with a whole head of chopped cabbage that filled a huge serving bowl, which miraculously as it always does cooked down to be contained in a wok. With all the noodles and additional vegetables, the resulting pad Thai filled back up the serving bowl, but miraculously as it always does, was mostly gone by the end of the meal.




Pad Thai for a Crowd
serves eight
vegetables
1 head cabbage
4 small leeks
4 large carrots
1 bunch scallions
2 Tbsp neutral oil like canola

tofu
14 ounce package of firm tofu
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Sriracha
2 Tbsp neutral oil like canola

noodles 
12 ounces wide rice noodles
3 Tbsp tamarind paste
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce such as sambal oelek (or more to taste)
4 eggs
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
lime wedges

1. Prepare the vegetables and soak the noodles. Core and chop the cabbage. Halve the leeks lengthwise, cut into 1/2 inch slices, and rinse. Cut the carrots into thin ovals. Cut the scallions into thin rounds. Soak the noodles submerged in boiling water until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the noodles.

2. Prepare the tofu. Cut the tofu block into 8 1/2 inch thick slabs. In a large skillet, combine the soy sauce and Sriracha and mix well. Add the tofu and turn several times, then arrange flat in the skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and when the sauce starts to bubble, in about two minutes, use a spatula to flip the tofu. Continue cooking to allow the seasonings to concentrate and stick to the tofu. When little liquid remains in the pan, drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over the tofu, shake the pan and flip the tofu again. Let the tofu sizzle for 3 to 4 minutes to dry out and brown.  Drizzle on the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and flip again. The finished tofu will have be orange-brown with some dark brown spots. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sizzling subside. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

3. Prepare the sauce. Mix together the tamarind paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, and sambal oelek.

4. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil and stir fry the carrots until they start to soften. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and continue to cook until charred in parts. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add another Tbsp oil to the pan and stir fry the cabbage until most pieces have acquired some charred edges and it has reduce in volume by about half. Add the scallions and the return the carrots and leeks to the pan. Add 1/3 of the pad Thai sauce and toss to coat the vegetables. Transfer back to the serving bowl. 

5. Turn the temperature of the pan to medium. Whisk the eggs together with a pinch of salt. Add the remaining 1 Tbp oil to the pan and pour in the eggs. Use a fork or spatula to mix and scramble them. When they are still a bit runny, add the strained noodles to the pan and toss. Add the remaining pad Thai sauce to the pan and toss the noodles until well coated. Add the cubed tofu and toss to heat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the serving bowl and toss well to mix with the vegetables. Serve with roasted peanuts and lime wedges. 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Char Siu Tofu with Soba Noodles and Summer Vegetables


This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, held between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., stock up on summer produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm.


A favorite summer meal in our household is bibim guksu, where lightly seasoned soba noodles serve as a palette for your choice of vegetables and protein. Last Sunday I used Camas Swale produce to make sides of crunchy cucumbers, seared padrone peppers, a smokey eggplant salad, and sweet and sour summer squash. For a protein I made these seared char siu tofu slabs from Andrea Nguyen's Vietnamese Food Any Day. It's a great recipe because you don't have to bother with pressing moisture out of the tofu, but rather you mix up your marinade in an unheated skillet, let the tofu absorb the flavors as you heat and evaporate the liquid, and then end by searing the slabs in a little oil in the same pan. If you spend Sunday afternoon prepping your fresh market produce into these delicious sides, your Monday and Tuesday self will thank you for the multitude of mix and match dinners you can put together in a flash.


Char Siu Tofu with Soba Noodles and Summer Vegetables
noodles
300 g (3 circular packets) of soba noodles
Cook in salted boiling water until barely cooked through (about 5 minutes), then immediately rinse under cold water until entirely cooled. Toss with a drizzle of sesame oil to help prevent the strands from congealing. 

sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Korean gochujang paste for a mild, kid-friendly sauce, or more as desired 
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Mix together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust flavorings as desired.

Char Siu Tofu (adapted from Andrea Nguyen's Vietnamese Food Any Day)
14 ounces extra-firm tofu
1 Tbsp soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp canola or other neutral oil

Cut the tofu block into 8 1/2 inch thick slabs. In a large skillet, combine the ingredients except the tofu and mix well. Add the tofu and turn several times, then arrange flat in the skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and when the sauce starts to bubble, in about two minutes, use a spatula to flip the tofu. Continue cooking to allow the seasonings to concentrate and stick to the tofu. When little liquid remains in the pan, drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over the tofu, shake the pan and flip the tofu again. Let the tofu sizzle for 3 to 4 minutes to dry out and brown.  Drizzle on the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and flip again. The finished tofu will have be orange-brown with some dark brown spots. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sizzling subside.  

Chinese smokey eggplant with garlic (adapted from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice)
2 large eggplants
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tsp Chinkiang vinegar
2 Tbsp chili oil with its sediment (or use a diced fresh hot pepper and 2 Tbsp sesame oil)
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp finely sliced scallions (green part only) 
cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)

Char the eggplants on a grill, under a broiler, or using the broiler of a toaster oven, for about 30 minutes, or over gas flames for about 10 minutes, turning with tongs, until they are completely soft and collapsed. At the same time, roast a couple of cloves of garlic in a small cast iron pan on the grill, under the broiler, or on the stove, until soft (if you don't mind raw garlic, you can skip this step). Cool the eggplant until you can handle them and then peel off the charred skin with a pairing knife or your fingers. Place the softened pulp in a strainer for about 15 minutes to drain out some of the liquid. Mince the garlic and chop the eggplant pulp. Combine in a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients. Garnish with cilantro leaves if you like and serve.

Sweet and sour summer squash (from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice)
2 zucchini
salt
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Chinkiang vinegar

Quarter the summer squash lengthwise, and slice thinly. Toss with 1/2 tsp salt, mix well and set aside for 30 minutes or so to sweat. When you are ready to cook, squeeze the slices to get rid of excess water. Heat a wok over a high flame. Add the oil, then the garlic, and stir-fry for a few seconds until you smell its fragrance. Add the squash and stir-fry until they are hot and just cooked, but still a little crisp. Add the sugar and vinegar, with salt to taste, stir a couple of times, then tip on to a dish and serve.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Chickpea Pasta with Roasted Fennel, Carrots, and Corn


This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, held between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., you'll find bountiful summer produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm.


This past week we had a work potluck picnic. I took inspiration from the Camas Swale farm stand and decided to combine roasted corn and fennel into a pasta dish for a crowd that could be eaten warm or at room temperature.


One of my favorite pasta dishes is with chickpeas, so I riffed on this (as I did last year), cooking the pasta in the chickpea broth for extra flavor. This version, with caramelized fennel and shallots for sweetness and feta cheese for a salty kick, was especially delicious.


Chickpea Pasta with Roasted Fennel, Carrots, and Corn
serves a crowd (about 12)
1 pound dried chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
bay leaf
1 pound small pasta such as shells
1 lemon
2 ears corn
1 fennel bulb 
2 large shallots or small onions
6 carrots
olive oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
aleppo pepper to taste
3 ounces feta cheese, diced
fennel fronds and basil leaves for garnish

1. Cook the chickpeas. I've been cooking mine in a pressure cooker, but you can also do it on the stove top. Soak the chickpeas overnight in the pressure cooker insert pot in 6 cups water and 2 tsp Kosher salt. The next day, add 2 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced, 1 bay leaf, and a drizzle of olive oil. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes, allowing the pressure to release naturally when done. If you haven't presoaked the chickpeas, cook on high pressure for 45 minutes and test if they are done (this time mine needed to go another 5 minutes). Place a strainer over a large bowl and drain the chickpeas, collecting the broth (you should have about 4 cups). Discard the bay leaf. Reserve 3 cups of cooked chickpeas for this dish and save the rest for other uses. 

2. Cook the pasta in the reserved chickpea broth. I do this in a pressure cooker as well. Taste the broth and add more salt if needed and add more water if needed to achieve a volume of 4 cups. Add the pasta to the pressure cooker insert pot and pour in the broth. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. When the cooking is complete, hit cancel and carefully release the pressure. Remove the lid and stir the pasta into the remaining broth. Cover and allow the pasta to completely absorb the broth for about 5 minutes. Zest and juice the lemon and stir both the zest and juice into the pasta.

3. Meanwhile, set the oven to 450 degrees and start roasting the pasta components. On a sheet pan, combine the 3 cups drained chickpeas with 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, salt, aleppo pepper, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Mix to coat and roast the chickpeas until the become golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes. Mix the roasted chickpeas in with the pasta.

4. Shuck the ears of corn and place them in a cast iron skillet in the oven. Roast, rotating, until they become slightly charred in places. Remove to a cutting board to cool and then cut the kernels from the ears and reserve. 

5. Thinly slice the fennel bulb and shallots. Toss with olive oil and salt on a sheet pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and toss with the corn kernels.

6. Slice the carrots on the diagonal into ovals. On the chickpea sheet, toss the carrots with the remaining cumin and fennel seeds, salt, aleppo pepper, and olive oil. Roast, flipping occasionally until soft and browned at the edges, about 10 minutes. Combine with the roasted fennel, shallots, and corn.

7. To serve, spread the pasta and chickpeas on a large serving platter. Layer over the roasted vegetables and all of their flavored olive oil. Top with diced feta cheese and garnish with torn fennel fronds and basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Pesto Pasta with Seared Corn and Padrón Peppers


Visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday between 10 am - 2 pm, on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., for beautiful summer produce from Camas Swale Farmincluding fresh tomatoes, corm, and padrón peppers, and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm.


We are delirious with excitement when the padróns are available, and want to sear them and eat them on everything. This pasta dish was especially delicious and packed with summer flavors. Starting with pesto pasta, I layered on seared corn, seared padróns, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese.


Pesto Pasta with Seared Corn and Padrón Peppers
pesto
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup whole almonds
2 ounces pecorino romano or parmesan cheese
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
salt to taste

1 pint padrón peppers
2 ears corn
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup cubed feta cheese
olive oil
1 lb pasta

1. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.

2. Make the pesto. In a dry skillet, heat the unpeeled garlic clove until it is soft and blackened in spots. Transfer to a cutting board to cool before peeling. Put the whole almonds in the hot skillet and toast until they are fragrant, but don't let them burn. You can also toast the garlic and nuts in a toaster oven. Combine the almonds, peeled garlic cloves, cheese, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and chop coarsely. Wash the basil leaves and add to the food processor. Blend while pouring in the olive oil until it is a fairly smooth paste. Taste and add salt or more olive oil to taste.

3. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Peel the corn and when the pan is hot, place in the ears. Rotate to sear the kernels on multiple sides. When they have some nice char in places, transfer them to a plate. When the ears are cool enough to handle, use a knife to cut the kernels off the corn and reserve.

4. Adjust the heat to medium high. Add about 1 Tbsp olive oil, swirl to coat, and then add in the rinsed padrón peppers. Spread into a single layer and allow them to char a bit. Then start turning them to char on multiple sides. When they are nicely seared, transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt.

5. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions. Reserve a small amount of starchy pasta water, then drain and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the pesto, using a little pasta water to thin if necessary. Toss in the corn, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese (or keep on the side and let people help themselves to their preferred toppings). Enjoy.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Marinated Seared Zucchini


This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm, on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., you'll find a plethora of summer produce from Camas Swale Farmincluding fresh tomatoes, and you can stock up on pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm.



Next to the eye popping tomatoes, summer squash may not seem so glamorous, but be sure to pick up a few zukes for their infinite versatility when throwing together a dinner on a hot summer night. My new favorite preparation comes from this simple food52 genius recipe that sears slabs of zucchini on a hot skillet until nicely browned and then finishes them with basil and vinaigrette.



Once you've prepared a platter of these zucchini you are halfway to dinner. I served them with other Camas Swale produce -- boil potatoes, sweet cucumbers, and tender lettuce leaves -- along with some hard boil eggs and tinned smoked trout for an impromptu self-assemble salad spread that everyone enjoyed.




Canal House's Marinated Zucchini
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 pound very small zucchini, trimmed and halved lengthwise
Salt
1/2 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Pepper
A small handful fresh basil leaves, sliced

1. Working in batches as needed, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the zucchini cut side down in one layer in the hot skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Use a fork or tongs to turn the zucchini over, then cook them until tender, about 2 minutes, reducing the heat if the zucchini get too dark. Transfer the zucchini to a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt.


2. Whisk together the garlic, vinegar, and remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the zucchini and add the basil. Gently toss everything together and adjust the seasonings. Let the zucchini marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving. Alternately, let marinate longer in the refrigerator. Tightly covered, marinated zucchini will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Yogurt Basted Roast Chicken with Turnips and Onions


This Sunday come to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market between 10 am - 2 pm at the corner of Agate and 19th Ave for all your summer produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm.


Last weekend I made an Indian-inspired feast with our farmers market bounty. I marinated four Fog Hollow Farm chicken legs in a spiced yogurt baste and then roasted them above a layer of magenta and white baby turnips and green onions.  


The turnips and onions were extra rich and flavorful from their long dousing in chicken juices and yogurt sauce. We devoured them along with saffron rice, this Instant Pot lentil dal, cucumber raita, and homemade naan


Yogurt Basted Roast Chicken with Turnips and Onions
4 chicken legs (thighs and drumsticks) on 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
1 bunch green onions, root ends trimmed
~18 baby turnips, stem and root ends trimmed

marinade
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 inch nob ginger root, peeled and minced
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp garam masala

1. Mix together all of the ingredients of the marinade. In a large bowl, coat the chicken pieces in the marinade and allow to sit for at least two hours or overnight, refrigerated.

2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a large baking pan with the green onions and baby turnips. Place a baking rack over the vegetables and place the chicken pieces on top. Bake for about 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (with an internal temperature of 165 degrees). Baste the chicken pieces with some of the remaining marinade in the bowl halfway through the cooking.

3. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and turn on the broiler. Set the chicken and the roasting rack off to the side and remove the roasted vegetables to a serving bowl. Return the roasting rack and chicken to the pan and baste the chicken with the remaining yogurt marinade. Transfer under the broiler and cook for a few minutes until the skin becomes nicely charred. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and serve with the roasted vegetables.