Friday, June 28, 2019

Spring Salad with Creamy Lemon Fennel Dressing

Visit the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market this Sunday from 10 am - 2 pm at the corner of Agate and 19th Ave for a wide selection of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm. 

Camas Swale has a eye popping selection of crunchy spring vegetables -- cucumbers, snap peas, fennel bulb, and turnips -- to layer on a bed of their purple tipped butterhead lettuce. For salad dressing, I usually make a miso vinaigrette, sometimes with tahini for more creaminess. But for an extra decadent treat I decided to whip up a creamy lemon and fennel frond dressing based on this recipe.

This creamy salad was the perfect accompaniment to Turkish stuffed flatbreads called pide, made with Fair Valley Farm ground lamb. And once people started drizzling the dressing on their plates, they found it also went well with roasted cauliflower, garlic scapes, and chickpeas, or just eaten with a spoon.

Creamy Lemon Fennel Dressing
1 lemon
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
Fine sea salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon mild honey
1-2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Grate the lemon with a zester and set zest aside. Halve lemon and juice one of the halves.

Whisk crème fraîche or sour cream, lemon juice, zest, salt, and honey together until smooth.

While whisking, add olive oil in a thin stream until blended.

Add fennel fronds and whisk again to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasoning (salt, lemon juice, honey) as needed.

Serve the dressing over a salad of crunchy spring vegetables and butterhead lettuce.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Turkey and Zucchini Burgers

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

With our haul of Camas Swale zucchini and green onions I finally tried a recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Jerusalem that I'd heard has a cult following. I'd avoided it until now because of my kids' lukewarm feelings about zucchinis. Miraculously this summer they have suddenly become zucchini enthusiasts, for example eating zucchini flatbreads with gusto. These burgers were a similar hit, especially with the spiced yogurt sauce that doubled as a creamy dressing for a salad with lentils and roasted baby turnips.

Turkey and Zucchini Burgers with Green Onions and Cumin
from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Jerusalem
makes about 18 small burgers  
for the burgers
1 lb ground turkey
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, grated (2 cups grated)
3 green onions, sliced
1 large egg, beaten
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
oil for browning

for the sour cream and sumac sauce
2/3 cup yogurt
1/2 cup sour cream
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sumac
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Make the sumac sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well. Refrigerate until needed. 
3. Put all the burger ingredients, except the oil, in a large bowl. Mix well, using your hands, making sure to get all the ingredients are well incorporated, and shape into about 18 burgers.
4. Coat the bottom of a skillet lightly with oil and heat until it is nice and hot. You should hear a good sizzle when the patties hit the pan, If not, let the oil heat more. Working in batches, brown the patties on both sides, for about 2 minutes per side, and add more oil as needed.
5. Carefully transfer the burgers to a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet and bake for about 7 to 10 minutes, just until done inside.
6. Serve the burgers warm or room temperature with the sauce.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Marinated Chicken Breast with Soba Noodles

The Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, held on Sundays from Sunday 10 am - 2 pm at the corner of Agate and 19th Ave, offers a wide selection of fresh produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm. 

Last week we picked up chicken breasts from Fog Hollow Farm for Sunday's dinner. I thawed them in a fish sauce marinade inspired by one from Andrea Nguyen's Vietnamese Food Any Day and then roasted them along with some sliced carrots, to soak up the extra marinade and chicken juices.

From Camas Swale Farm, we'd purchased a bunch of bok choy rabe that I stir fried with a bit of plum sauce, some summer squash that got a splash of Chinese vinegar, and some broccoli that roasted along with the chicken. Then I served everything with room temperature dressed soba noodles in a bibim guksu. This is the perfect meal for a warm summer evening when you have lots of fresh summer produce to enjoy.

Marinated Chicken Bread with Soba Noodles
2 bone in chicken breasts
4 carrots or other root vegetables of your choosing

3 garlic cloves
4 green onions
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
Mince the garlic and green onions and combine with all of the other marinade ingredients. Marinade the chicken breast for at least one hour (if you purchase frozen breasts from Fog Hollow Farm, you can let them thaw in the marinade).
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the chicken with the marinade in a small baking dish. Cut the carrots or other root vegetables into thick slices or chunks and spread over the remaining space in the baking pan. Bake for about 30 minutes until the chicken breast is cooked through, basting occasionally with the marinade. Allow the cooked chicken to rest and then cut into slices. 

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 the noodle sauce (recipe immediately below) 

noodle 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. Use to coat the cooked soba noodles

sweet and sour zucchini
2 zucchini
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.

bok choy rabe with plum sauce
1 bunch bok choy rabe
1 Tbsp canola oil
salt to taste
1 tsp plum sauce
Slice the rabe into 1 1/2 inch long sections. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the canola oil and sear the rabe, with a generous pinch of salt, for a couple of minutes until it turns bright green and is your desired level of cooked. Stir in the plum sauce and serve.

For the bibim guksu, serve the soba noodles at room temperature with the chicken slices, roasted carrots, zucchini, bok choy rabe, and kimchi. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Instant Pot Miso Glazed Turnips and Macaroni and Cheese

On this beautiful spring weekend, plan a visit to the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, Sunday 10 am - 2 pm at 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. 

Last weekend Camas Swale had a stunning selection of turnips, both creamy white and bright magenta. Lately I've been using my Instant Pot to cook root vegetables. I'll start them in some butter, add a tiny splash of water and baking soda (to create an alkaline pH that encourages caramelization as described here). After the pressure cooking is done I'll simmer the vegetables for a little to reduce the liquid into a glaze and stir in some miso for extra flavor. For this dinner I also used the Instant Pot to make my new favorite macaroni and cheese using whey from strained yogurt, also made in the Instant Pot. Some roasted Camas Swale broccoli rounded out the meal.

Instant Pot Miso Glazed Turnips
1 lb baby turnips
2 Tbsp butter
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp water
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp white miso

1. Rinse and trim the turnips and cut them into halves if they are very small or quarters or eighths for bigger ones. Turn on the Instant Pot saute function and melt the butter. Add the turnip pieces and a pinch of salt and cook, tossing, for a couple of minutes, until all of the turnip pieces are coated. Press cancel.

2. Mix the baking soda with the water. Pour over the turnip pieces, seal the lid, and pressure cook for 2 minutes on high. Press cancel and release the pressure by carefully opening the vent. Turn back on the saute function on high and cook for a couple of minutes to reduce the liquid in the pot to a glaze. Press cancel. Stir in 1 tsp of miso to coat the turnips. Taste and add more salt or miso as you desire. Serve warm.

Note: if you don't have an Instant Pot, cook the turnips on the stove top in butter and then simmer in a little water until soft, and finish with miso.

Whey Good Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese
2 Tbsp butter (divided use)
1 lb elbow noodles
4 cups whey from strained yogurt (or use broth or water)
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder or more to taste
6 ounces gruyere or other pungent Swiss cheese, grated
4 ounces aged sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup bread crumbs or panko
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

1. Use 1 tsp butter to grease a 9 x 9 inch baking dish. Turn on the saute function of the Instant Pot and melt the remaining butter in the pot. Press cancel. Add the elbow noodles to the pot. Stir the mustard powder and a pinch of salt into the 4 cups of whey or other liquid and pour that into the pot. 

2. Seal the lid and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, preheat your broiler. When the cooking finishes, press cancel and release the pressure by carefully opening the vent. Stir in the grated Swiss and cheddar cheese. Taste a noodle and add more salt if needed.

3. Transfer the noodles to the greased baking dish. Sprinkle over the bread crumbs and Pecorino Romano cheese. Bake under the broiler for one or two minutes until the top is browned, keeping a close watch so that the bread crumbs don't burn. Serve warm.

Note: if you don't have an Instant Pot, cook the noodles in a pot on the stovetop with whey and some additional water as needed, then mix in the cheese and follow the rest of the recipe.