Friday, May 29, 2015

Salmon with Sorrel Sauce

The start of the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market is just a week away, starting Sunday June 7, 10 AM-2 PM on the corner of Agate St. and 19th Ave., with fresh produce from Good Food Easy at Sweetwater Farm, pastured meat from Fair Valley Farm, and beautiful fresh cut flower bouquets from Tiger Lily Art Company. We've been enjoying our weekly Good Food Easy CSA throughout the year, and I especially appreciate how it brings new ingredients into our kitchen, like this lovely bunch of sorrel. 

With a new member of the family keeping us very busy, I was happy to discover a rapid and tasty salmon with sorrel sauce recipe on food52 from Mrs. Wheelbarrow. 

The original recipe prepares salmon medallions, but we kept it simple and broiled a whole filet. The creamy sauce was incredibly decadent, but the lemony freshness of the sorrel kept it bright. We feasted on our fish along with baby potatoes and salad, also from our CSA. You can look forward to all of this produce and more at the Farmer Market next weekend.

Salmon with Sorrel Sauce
adapted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow's recipe on food52serves 4
1 pound wild caught salmon filet
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups fresh sorrel leaves, chopped rough
1/2 cup chives
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper

1. Adjust an oven rack to be at the very top of the oven. Preheat the broiler. 

2. Prepare all ingredients and stage. This dish comes together quickly and you don't want to be scrambling. 

3. Place the salmon on a sheet pan lined with parchment. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the fish.

4. When the oven is ready, put the salmon under the broiler. It will take about 3-5 minutes. You can make a small incision with a paring knife to check if it is cooked to your taste.

5. While the salmon is broiling, prepare the sauce. In a large, wide skillet, melt the butter until it starts to toast. It should be golden brown. Add the sorrel, chervil and chives to the butter and coat quickly. Allow them to wilt a little, and then pour in the cream. Bring to a boil and reduce just until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve with the salmon.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Radishes in Chili Oil

Mark your calendars for Sunday June 7th, which will be the first day of the sixth season of the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, 10 AM - 2 PM on the corner of Agate St. and 19th Ave. Last year I marked the announcement of the market start date with a number of radish recipe ideas, and here's an addition to that list from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice: radishes in chili oil.

In the same spirit of the French dish of radishes and salted butter, this recipe uses soy sauce and oil to both brighten and temper the radishes' bite, but in this case their mild spiciness is enhanced with fiery chiles. First, to release some of the radishes' liquid, you need to pummel them a bit (I tapped them with a meat tenderizer) and give them a coating of salt. While they sweat, mix up sugar, soy sauce, sesame and chili oils, then drain and toss them in this rich coating. For a root to shoot approach to our radishes, I blanched the greens and tossed them with a sesame sauce Dunlop uses for spinach, similar to this gomae recipe. These made delicious vegetable sides for Eric's famous Ma Po Doufo and our child labor-enabled cabbage and pork dumplings. You can look forward to lots more delicious spring vegetables at the start of the Fairmount Market June 7th.

Radishes in Chili Oil
from Fuchsia Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice
2 bunches small red radishes, trimmed, rinsed, and patted dry
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons chilli oil with its sediments
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1. Lightly smack the radishes with the side of a cleaver, a rolling pin, or a meat tenderizer; the idea is to crack them open, not to smash them to smithereens.

2. Pile the cracked radishes in a bowl, add the salt, and toss well. Set aside for 30 minutes.

3. Combine the sugar and soy sauce in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chili and sesame oils.

4. When you’re ready to eat, drain the radishes—they will have released a fair amount of water—and shake them dry. Pour the chile oil mixture over the radishes and toss to mix well and serve.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kohlrabi Green Tart with Polenta Crust

A recent Good Food Easy CSA installment came with a hefty stack of kohlrabi leaves, an ingredient uncommon enough to render the internet at rather a loss for recipe recommendations. I decided to treat them like greens, but respect their cabbage-ness by pairing them with sweet cooked onions (like this favorite cabbage dish), and to nestle the whole mixture into a tart.

And because we have plenty of polenta from our Lonesome Whistle Farm CSA, I decided to make a polenta crust from this recipe from Maria Speck's Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. The tart crust is basically cooked polenta, with some grated parmesan cheese and an egg for extra integrity. The recipe calls for cooking the polenta in broth, so I made a quick broth with some leek greens and the kohlrabi leaf stems, but I think water would be fine as well. 

I made a couple of mini tarts for the kohlrabi leaf doubters in the house, one of whom opted for a parsley pesto topping while the other went with a take on the classic tomato and cheese pizza. For the rest of us, the kohlrabi green tart was a big hit, and I'm certain I will be making variants with other greens throughout the spring.

Kohlrabi Green Tart with Polenta Crust
Make one 10-inch tart

Crust from 
Maria Speck's Artichoke Tart with Polenta Crust
1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/4 cups polenta
1/2 cup (about 2.5 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese 
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring the broth and water to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the salt. Slowly add the polenta in a thin stream, whisking constantly, and continue whisking for 30 seconds. Decrease the heat to low and cover. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon every few minutes to keep the polenta from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Stir in the cheese, egg and pepper.

2. Grease a 10-inch tart pan or cake pan with olive oil. Have a glass of cold water ready. Spoon the polenta into the pan and press it out, pushing it up the sides. Dip a wooden spoon or your hands in the cold water to help the polenta along. Set aside for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 F. Then form an even rim about 3/4 of an inch thick with moist fingers, pressing firmly. Don't worry if the crust looks rustic.

3. Prebake the crust for 20 minutes until it has started to brown on the edges. Meanwhile, prepare the filling

Kohlrabi green filling

6-8 kohlrabi leaves (or substitute collard greens or chard)
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup ricotta (or use Greek yogurt like Maria Speck's original recipe)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese
salt to taste and plenty of freshly ground pepper

1. Cut the center rib from each kohlrabi leaf and cut the leaves into 1 inch ribbons. Peel and dice the onion. Heat a large skillet over medium low heat, then heat the oil and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt, until they are very soft and glassy, about 10 minutes. Add the kohlrabi greens and sauté with another pinch of salt for about 5 minutes until they have turned a darker green and started to soften. Remove from heat.

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, a good pinch of salt and pepper until well-combined. Fold in the sautéed greens. Pour the filling into the prepared polenta tart and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the swiss cheese.

2. Bake the tart until the top turns golden brown and the filling is set, about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes. The tart can be prepared up to one day ahead.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Goodbye Bakery and Yogurt Scones

Sad news in the neighborhood: the much beloved Eugene City Bakery will be closing this Sunday May 3, having been evicted by a new owner of the building. DeeAnn Hall's bakery has been a cornerstone of the community and her neighborhood commitment was instrumental in launching the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market five years ago. The loss of this welcoming haven for morning rendezvous and afternoon pick me ups will leave a deep void in the neighborhood. And nowhere on earth could one find a better marionberry scone.

This Mother's Day, we'll be left baking our own scones, and so I'm sharing this recipe for yogurt scones that I tried recently from Clotilde Dusoulier of Chocolate and Zucchini (an authority on baking with yogurt). The dough is quite easy to work with, and I slipped in some Lonesome Whistle Farm corn flour for a bit of extra flavor. We made them plain, served with creme fraiche and jam. Maybe next weekend we'll try layering in some frozen berries, but it won't be the same as ECB's. Their departure is a sad loss for the neighborhood.

makes eight scones
220 grams (1 2/3 cup) flour (I used 1/3 cup corn flour)
25 grams (2 tablespoons) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
55 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
125 ml (1/2 cup) plain yogurt (not fat-free)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk (not fat-free)
Your choice of flavoring (optional)
2 teaspoons homemade vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground spice of your choice
1 teaspoon finely grated citrus zest
2 to 3 tablespoons finely diced dried fruits
2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped nuts
2 teaspoons orange flower water
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped or grated chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. If you're using vanilla extract, spices, or citrus zest, add them in now.

3. Dice the butter and blend it into the dry ingredients using a fork or pastry cutter, until no visible lump of butter remains.

4. Stir in the yogurt, 2 tablespoons milk, and any dried fruits, nuts, orange flower water, or chopped chocolate you want to use.

5. Turn the dough out onto the counter and knead gently just a few times to form a ball. Handle the dough as lightly as you can and avoid overmixing, or the scones will be tough.

6. Pat the dough into a round, about 12 cm in width and 3 cm in thickness (about 5 inches in width and 1 inch in thickness). Brush the top with the remaining teaspoon milk and sprinkle with sugar.

7. Slice into 8 wedges with a knife or dough cutter.

8. Place the wedges on the prepared baking sheet, giving them a little space to expand.

9. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the scones are set and nicely golden.

10. Serve warm, with an assortment of spreads, such as butter, clotted cream, jam, or honey.