Friday, June 29, 2018

Chicken with Cardamom Rice and Blistered Purple Beans

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market you'll find plenty of summer produce from Camas Swale Farm as well as pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm.

Fog Hollow offers chicken parts, which is convenient if you don't have the time to break down a whole bird. I was happy to pick up a pack of legs to try out a chicken and rice dish that I've long been eyeing from the cookbook Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I had always stalled at the second ingredient of barberries, however, which seemed unattainable until I happened to run across them at Sunrise Market. The dish was well worth the wait, especially with Fog Hollow's fresh chicken legs. The rice is enhanced with plenty of caramelized onions, similar to a family favorite, mujaddara, and the barberries add tart bursts of flavor.

To accompany the chicken and rice, I'd picked up some beautiful purple beans. Because I wanted to preserve some of their deep color, with fades with cooking, I decided to blister them quickly in a hot griddle pan. And because I think beans go well with mustard, and mustard reminded me of other brassica family members, and I had a bunch of turnips with fresh leaves, I made a bright green garnish of blanched and chopped turnip greens in a mustard vinaigrette. It was another Farmers Market summer feast. 

Chicken with Caramelized Onion and Cardamom Rice
from Jerusalem A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

3  tablespoons sugar (40 grams)
2 ½  tablespoons barberries, or use currants (25 grams)
4  tablespoons olive oil
2  medium onions, thinly sliced (2 cups, or 250 grams)
2 ¼  pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs (1 kilogram), or 1 whole chicken, quartered
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10  cardamom pods
 Rounded 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
2  long cinnamon sticks, broken in two
1 ⅔  cups basmati rice (300 grams)
2 ¼  cups boiling water (550 milliliters)
1 ½  tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves (5 grams), chopped
½  cup dill leaves (5 grams), chopped
¼  cup cilantro leaves (5 grams), chopped

⅓  cup Greek yogurt (100 grams), mixed with 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

1. Put the sugar and scant 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat, add the barberries, and set aside to soak. If using currants, you do not need to soak them in this way.

2. Meanwhile, heat half the olive oil in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has turned a deep golden brown. Transfer the onion to a small bowl and wipe the pan clean.

3. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and season with 1½ teaspoons each salt and black pepper. Add the remaining olive oil, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon and use your hands to mix everything together well. Heat the frying pan again and place the chicken and spices in it. Sear chicken for 5 minutes on each side and remove from the pan (this is important as it part-cooks the chicken). The spices can stay in the pan, but don’t worry if they stick to the chicken. Remove most of the remaining oil as well, leaving just a thin film at the bottom. Add the rice, caramelized onion, 1 teaspoon salt and plenty of black pepper. Drain the barberries and add them as well. Stir well and return the seared chicken to the pan, pushing it into the rice.

4. Pour the boiling water over the rice and chicken, cover the pan, and cook over very low heat for 30 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, remove the lid, quickly place a clean tea towel over the pan, and seal again with the lid. Leave the dish undisturbed for another 10 minutes. Finally, add the herbs and use a fork to stir them in and fluff up the rice. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve hot or warm with yogurt mixture if you like.

Blistered Purple Beans with Mustardy Turnip Greens
blistered purple beans
4 handfuls of purple beans
1 Tbsp olive oil

Wash and trim the beans. Toss the beans in a bowl with olive oil and a generous pinch of salt. Heat a grill pan or skillet over high heat. When the pan is very hot, put on the beans. Allow them to blister, flipping occasionally, for about 4 minutes until they start to lose some of their purple color but are still quite crunch. Remove to a serving plate.

turnip greens with mustard vinaigrette
1 bunch turnip greens
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp honey
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar

Set a medium pot of well salted water to boil. Wash the turnip greens and trim off the bare stems. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and sherry vinegar. When the water is boiling, throw in the turnip greens and blanch for 45 seconds. Drain and run under cold water to stop them from cooking. Squeeze out the water and chop the leaves into 1/2 inch slices. Toss in the vinaigrette. Taste and add more salt, honey, or vinegar as needed.  Serve along side the blistered beans.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Baked Zucchini with Mozzarella and Breadcrumbs

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market stock up on pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm.

Now that summer is in full swing, we've been having a lot of salads for dinner, inspired by our farmers market finds. For this meal, I made a quick pan of baked zucchini topped with mozzarella and a sprinkle of scallion-spiked bread crumbs. We ate this gratin alongside butter lettuce, snap peas, roasted broccoli, buttery radishes, lentils, and hard boiled eggs. Not only are dinner salads a great way to enjoy fresh farm produce, but they lend themselves to relaxed summer meals when everyone can compose a personalized dinner plate masterpiece.

Baked Zucchini with Mozzarella and Breadcrumbs
4 small zucchini
1 punch green onions
1 ball mozzarella
1/2 cup breadcrumbs from stale bread
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place in a baking pan. Trim the zucchini ends and then slice lengthwise into 1/4 inch wide strips. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and let sweat in a colander for a few minutes. Trim the roots of the green onions. Cut the white parts of the onions into 1/4 inch rounds and reserve. Cut the green parts of the onions into 1 inch lengths and reserve. Slice the mozzarella.

2. When the oven is hot, remove the baking pan, drizzle in some olive oil and spread with a brush to coat the bottom. Pat the zucchini strips dry and spread them over the bottom of the pan in a single layer. Sprinkle on the onion whites and a generous grinding of fresh pepper. Bake for about 7 minutes until the bottoms of the zucchinis start to brown. 

3. In the meantime, heat a skillet over high heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil and sear the green onions, stirring occasionally until they start to char. Add the breadcrumbs and a little more olive oil if needed and cook another minute until the breads smell toasted. 

4. Remove the zucchini from the oven and turn on the broiler. Flip the zucchini strips. Layer on the mozzarella and sprinkle over the green onion breadcrumbs. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Serve.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Radish Leaf Chimichurri Sauce

Make this Sunday a special Fathers Day with a trip to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market. You'll find all the fixings for a Fathers Day feast including pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm, cut flowers from Tiger Lily Art Company, and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm.

With Camas Swale's produce fresh from the fields, you can use all parts of the vegetables. Last week I used this gorgeous rosy radishes for some quick pickles as a side for white bean and carnitas tacos (here's a carnitas recipe for slow cooking in the oven and a faster one for a pressure cooker).

The greens from the radish bunch were so fresh that I decided to make them into a quick chimichurri sauce, incorporating some seared Camas Swale green onions. The sharp radish greens, charred onions, and kick of red wine vinegar were a perfect pairing for the mild white beans and crispy pork. Try some out on a dad tomorrow.

Radish Leaf Chimichurri
greens from 1 bunch radishes
6 green onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 pinch salt
red pepper flakes to taste
1 Tbsp vinegar

1. Rinse leaves from 1 bunch radish and reserve. Rinse the green onions, trim off the root ends, and cut the whites from the greens. Cut the whites into 1/4 inch rings. Separately cut the greens into 1/2 inch rings. 

2. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. When the skillet is very hot, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, swirl to coat, and then add the white onion pieces, a pinch of salt, and red pepper flakes to taste, and let them sear for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally. When some of the onions are charred, add the green onion pieces and sear for one more minute. 

3. Transfer the seared green onions to a bowl. Stir in one tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Chop the radish leaves finely and stir into bowl. Taste and add more salt, pepper or vinegar as desired. Serve with meat such as carnitas. 

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Around the Corner

Come down to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday June 10. The stand is around the corner along Agate today. Don't miss out on lots of greens, radishes, summer squash, strawberries, and the first pickling cucumbers of the season. 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Hazelnut Biscotti

This Sunday at the Fairmount Farmers Market, you'll find pastured meats and eggs from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm and fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm including:
berries (serve with biscotti, recipe below)
radishes (make some smashed radishes in chili oil)
snap peas (try some springtime spaghetti carbonara)

The first of the spring strawberries are such a treat, that I prefer to savor them plain rather than hiding them in pillows of sweet toppings. A refined hazelnut biscotti makes the perfect accompaniment to naturally sweet berries. My daughter made biscotti for my husband's birthday and we've been nibbling them with fresh strawberries all week.

Hazelnut Biscotti
2 cups (265 g) unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (135 g) vanilla sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup (125 g) hazelnuts, toasted and cooled

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, slowly add the liquids, and mix well with you hands or a dough whisk. If necessary, add additional flour to form a firm and workable dough. Add the hazelnuts and work them evenly into the dough.

4. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Flour your hands and carefully roll each piece into and oval cylinder about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long. Carefully transfer each cylinder to the parchment-lined baking sheet. 

5. Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven and bake until the dough is slightly risen and an even golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove and transfer the cylinders to a cooling rack for 10 minutes.

6. Transfer each cylinder to a cutting board and slice the biscotti on a sharp diagonal (45-degree angle) at 1/2 inch intervals. Stand the biscotti upright on the baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart. Return the baking sheet to the center of the oven and bake until the biscotti are a deep golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Remove from the oven and transfer the biscotti to a rack to cool thoroughly. The cookies should be dry and crisp. Once cooled they can be store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.