Sunday, June 30, 2013

Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto

Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto

Garlic scapes are the curly tops of garlic plants, often found at local farmers markets.  They can be sauteed, but I find them a bit to fibrous and the garlic flavor a bit aggressive for that preparation.  Where I think they really shine is in pesto.  By blending the scapes into a sauce, it breaks down the fibers, and by adding olive oil and Parmesan cheese, their richness along with some acid from lemon juice can tame the strong garlic flavor.

Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto
1 Cup Chopped Garlic Scapes
1 Cup Fresh Chopped Basil
1 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Olive Oil
Juice Of 1 Lemon
Salt and Pepper
Put the garlic scapes, basil, pine nuts, Parmesan, and lemon juice to your food processor and process until smooth.  While the food processor is running drizzle the olive oil in until the the sauce comes together.  Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over your favorite pasta.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Grown Up Mac N' Cheese

Grown Up Mac N' Cheese
Everyone loves mac n' cheese.  It is a comfort food that instantly transports people back to their childhood.  This version takes that classic dish and gives it an adult twist with the addition of Parmesan and goat cheese.

1 lb Cooked Pasta (I used bow ties)
4 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Stick Butter
2 Cups 2% Milk
8 1/4" Rounds of Goat Cheese
3 Cups Shredded Mozzarella
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a saucepan on a low heat melt the butter and add the flour to make a roux.  Add the milk, 2 cups of the mozzarella, and 2 rounds of the goat cheese to the saucepan.  Stir until the sauce comes together and cook until no longer runny.  Add the pasta to the sauce and stir until the pasta is coated.  Pour the pasta and sauce into a greased baking pan.  Top with the other 6 goat cheese rounds, the last cup of mozzarella, the Parmesan, and the bread crumbs.  Bake until golden on top.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Watermelon Strawberry Soup With Fresh Mint And Feta Cheese

Watermelon Strawberry Soup With Fresh Mint And Feta
With summer here I know I am often looking for a cool refreshing alternative to hot soups and heavy stews.  This fruit soup will quench your thirst on the warmest of days and plays equally well as an appetizer or a dessert. 

I am taking part in a link up for the Kosher Connection.  The Kosher Connection is an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, who proudly present a monthly kosher recipe challenge.  This month's theme is croutons.  Check out the links at the bottom of my post to see some of the other awesome blogs that are participating.

Watermelon Strawberry Soup 
With Fresh Mint And Feta Cheese

1/4 of a large seedless watermelon cup into chunks
12 large strawberries, with tops cut off and quartered
a handful of fresh mint leaves plus more for garnish
Crumbled feta for garnish (optional)

Combine the watermelon, strawberries, and mint in a large bowl and blend with an immersion blender.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer if a smoother consistency is desired.  Chill and serve garnished with more mint and crumbled feta cheese.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

Baking Bread Ruhlman Style

Baking Bread Ruhlman Style

I made some great bread on Sunday.  It is a recipe from Micheal Ruhlman's cookbook  Twenty.  I highly recommend anything by Mr. Ruhlman.  He breaks things down into their essential parts and is able to communicate not just a recipe, but craft, art and science in his books.

This recipe uses an awesome technique of baking the bread in a dutch oven to create steam, which is essential for good crust formation.  The crust was excellent and the crumb had a great texture, not dense at all, and just the right amount of airiness.  The bottom was a little darker then I would like, so I think I'll put a sheet pan on the lower rack next time I make this to see if it helps.
As for the exact recipe, for that you will have to buy the book.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Burger of the Week

Burger of the Week

Top of a Toasted Sesame Bun
Sweet Chili BBQ Sauce
Crispy Shallots
Home-made Garlic Pickles
1/2 lb. Beef Patty Seasoned with Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Smoked Spanish Paprika
Sautéed Portobello Mushrooms
Romaine Lettuce

Bottom of a Toasted Sesame Bun

Served with a side roasted eggplant

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Stuffed Poblano Peppers With Fresh Pineapple, Cactus Paddle, and Habanero Salsa

Stuffed Poblano Peppers 
With Fresh Pineapple, Cactus Paddle, and Habenero Salsa
Poblanos are fruity pepper with a touch of heat.  They are like a cross between a bell pepper and a jalapeno. Cactus paddle, also known as nopales, can be found in many Mexican groceries and green grocers.  Nopales often come with the cactus needles still attached, and they need to be scraped off.
Stuffed Poblano Peppers 
With Fresh Pineapple, Cactus Paddle, and Habanero Salsa
Serves 4

Fresh Salsa
1 Cup Fresh Pineapple Diced
1/2 Cup Red Onion Diced
1 Large Cactus Paddle Needles Removed and Diced
1 Habanero Pepper Diced (optional)
Juice Of 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper To Taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and refrigerate for 1 hour to let the flavors come together.

Stuffed Peppers
2 Poblano Peppers, Cut in Half From Stem To Point, with ribs and seeds removed
1 lb Ground Beef
1 Large Red Spanish Onion, Diced
1/2 Cup of Corn Kernels
4 Cloves Garlic, Smashed and Chopped
1 Cup Jarred Salsa
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 350F.  In a skillet (cast iron if you have it) over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the corn, onions, and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Once the onions are translucent, crumble the meat into the pan, and cook until browned, then add the salsa and cook until everything comes together.  Fill the pepper halves with the meat mixture, and bake on an oiled cookie sheet until until the peppers are soft.  Top with homemade salsa and enjoy!