Monday, May 31, 2010

Farmers Market Finds and the Weekly Menu 5/31 - 6/5/10

The Kingfield Farmers Market definitely picked up this week in terms of the produce that is starting to become available.
Kingfield Farmers MarketIMG_3633IMG_3628
We picked up our purchases & then sat down for a bacon brat & chocolate brownie ice cream from Chef Shack with an ice coffee from Cafe Palmira while being entertained by the Roe Family Singers. Now how is that for a breakfast?!
Bacon Brat for BreakfastChocolate Brownie Ice Cream for Breakfast
Here's what we got this week...
Farmers Market Finds 5/30
Davidson's Local Honey - I finally used up my jar from last fall
Brats & Semolina, Potato, Flax bread from Sun Street Breads - The bread was so good last week we couldn't resist another loaf.
Baby Beets - These are destined to be ice cream
Pea Tendrils
Lamb Stew Meat & Beef Short Ribs from Sunshine Harvest Farm
Sugar Snap Peas
Baby Broccoli - We had this broccoli from Tiny Planet Produce last week & it is so tender & sweet.

There was gorgeous spinach & lettuce too but look at my salad garden!
Salad Garden
No need to be buying any for a little bit. Sadly our spinach bolted again this year before it was big enough to eat. Since its $2 for a huge bag at the market we won't be growing it again.

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Cherry Bomb Brat on Sun Street Buns with grilled asparagus (leftover from last week's market)
Beet Green Pizza
Linguine with Sugar Snap Peas & Pea Tendrils
Lamb Kabobs with a Mint & Pea Yogurt Sauce
Broccoli Stir-Fry
If there is enough beets leftover a pink risotto

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pork Chops with Rhubarb Honey Sauce

It's a long weekend here in the States & like most people we'll be spending it outdoors with many meals cooked on the grill. We got an early start on it last night with these grilled pork chops topped with a sweet & tangy rhubarb sauce.
Pork Chop with Rhubarb Honey Sauce
Pork is such a good match with fruit & rhubarb is in season so I wanted to find a way to use them together. I just winged it with the sauce, almost making a rhubarb jam with the tartness of the rhubarb & balsamic vinegar offset by sweet honey. I really enjoyed the cinnamon in it, you could smell as the pork came off the grill & its flavor went really well with the pork.
Grilling Pork Chops
We'd almost given up on cooking pork chops after too many dry ones, then we discovered bringing. It's an extra step but truly makes a difference. You can make your brine as simple as water, sugar & salt but, I like to try to bring a little flavor in with it too. I used pineapple orange juice in this brine because citrus goes so well with rhubarb. Matt suggested the addition of fresh mint since it goes with both rhubarb & citrus. Oh, we had wonderfully juicy chops! Unfortunately, we didn't really taste any of the flavor from the brine, most likely because the sauce was so flavorful. I'd like to try it again without the sauce to see if a more citrus taste comes through.

Pork Chops with Rhubarb Honey Sauce

4 bone-in pork chops, about 1 inch thick

Citrus Mint Pork Brine

6 oz pineapple orange juice
6 oz water
1 1/2 T kosher salt
1 t fresh mint, chopped

Put everything in a small ziploc bag. Seal & shake until the salt has dissolved. Open the bag & put in the pork chops. Place in a bowl just large enough to hold them. Seal the bag getting out as much air as possible. Massage the meat a little. Refrigerate for 3 - 4 hours. Rinse & dry chops.

Rhubarb Honey Sauce

1 c chopped rhubarb
1 c water
1/4 c honey
1/2 T balsamic vinegar
1/4 t ground cinnamon
1/8 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cardamom
salt & pepper

Put everything in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a rolling simmer. Let simmer until reduce by at least half & the rhubarb has completely softened. It should be quite thick.

Put the pork chops on a medium grill. Cook on first side for about 6 minutes. Flip. Spread Rhubarb Honey Sauce on top of the chops. Grill another 5 - 6 minutes until the chops are done.

Any extra sauce can be warmed & served on the side.

Makes 4 chops

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Three Lilies Pizza

Doesn't that sound like something special, a pizza made with lilies?
Three Lilies Pizza
In this case the lilies are garlic, leeks & onions, all members of the lily family, & together they make for one tasty white pizza.
Three Lilies Pizza
Like the risotto yesterday, I had hoped to use ramps on this but since I couldn't find them I used a leek instead. If you can still get ramps by all means use them. The onions I used were spring onions which are larger & have a slightly stronger flavor than scallions though, scallions or even yellow onion will work here as well. The garlic is roasted to give it a milder flavor & then mixed into the dough for the crust. Speaking of the crust, I decided to play with the flour in it a little & added 1/4 cup quinoa flour. I was hoping it would add a little nutty flavor. I don't think I really tasted it so next time I'll try a little more.

Three Lilies Pizza

Roasted Garlic Pizza Crust

5 - 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 T olive oil plus extra for the garlic & the bowl
1/2 c warm water
1/2 t dry yeast
1 t kosher salt
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Put the garlic cloves on two squares of tin foil. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Wrap the garlic cloves with the tin foil. Place in the oven & let roast for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown & soft. Set aside.

Mix the 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the warm water. Stir in the yeast then the salt. Stir in the flour until you can't stir anymore with a spoon. Knead the dough until it is smooth & elastic, about 10 minutes. If the dough is sticky add more flour a little at a time.

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the bowl. Put the dough in & turn it to coat with the oil. Cover & let sit until double in size, about 2 hours.

Making the Pizza

olive oil
4 oz Tilsit Danish style cheese, grated (Fontina would work nicely too)
2 leeks, white & light green parts sliced
2 spring onions, green & white parts sliced
1 t fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Press the risen dough out on it to create approximately 12" x 18" rectangle. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with cheese. Top with sliced leeks & onions. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.

Bake for 13 minutes until the cheese is melted & the crust is golden brown.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Risotto with Leeks, Broccoli and Black Beans

Last weekend we went to one of our favorite restaurants, Broders' Pasta Bar, for dinner. I always have a hard time choosing what to order from their amazing menu, this is not your pasta & red sauce kind of pasta bar (though you can get that if you really want it). This time I was intrigued by the risotto of the day with ramps, broccoli & turtle beans. Now at first black beans in risotto sounded a little odd to me but when I thought more about it I realized it's just an Italian version of beans & rice. It was so good I told Matt I'd try to replicate it for him at home this week.
Risotto with Leeks, Broccoli & Black Beans
Unfortunately, I couldn't find ramps at either of the farmers markets we went to over the weekend. I substituted a leeks since ramps are, after all, wild leeks. The flavor wasn't exactly the same but it was pretty close. We were lucky to find the first of the baby broccoli of the year though, which had a wonderful flavor. (You could even use frozen broccoli florets in this dish if you can't find fresh yet.)

The sauce in this risotto is relatively simple without any added cheese or cream, I think that actually makes it a little lighter than a lot of risottos. But that means the flavor of the chicken broth is really important so use either homemade or the best store-bought one you can find.

Risotto with Leeks, Broccoli & Black Beans

1/3 c dry black beans (or 2/3 c canned beans, rinsed & drained)
4 c chicken broth
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T unsalted butter
1 leek, white & light green parts sliced
3/4 c arborio rice
1/4 c white wine
3/4 - 1 c broccoli florets
salt & pepper
fresh Italian parsley, chopped (optional)
grated Parmesan

Simmer the dry black beans in 1 cup of water until tender but not mushy, 2 - 3 hours. Drain & set aside.

Heat the chicken broth to simmering & keep it simmering while cooking.

In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil & butter over medium-heat. Add the leeks & cook for about a minute until starting to get soft. Stir in the rice & cook for another minute. Add the wine & cook, stirring from time to time, until completely absorbed. Start adding the broth about 1/4 - 1/2 cup at a time, stir often & don't add the next addition of broth until the one before it has been completely absorbed. When it looks like you have about 2 additions of broth left, stir in the broccoli with the second to last addition of broth. Stir in the black beans with the last addition of broth. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Serve topped with parsley & grated parmesan

2 servings

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spicy Asian Salmon

In the span of two weeks, Minneapolis has gone from frost warnings to record high temps & humidity, gotta love the midwest. We made the most of it though & had friends over for a couple barbecues. The highlight was this Spicy Asian Salmon Matt grilled up Sunday night.
Spicy Asian Salmon
Matt had picked up some beautiful sides of wild Alaskan salmon from Wild Run Salmon at the Mill City Farmers Market last weekend with this preparation in mind. (By the way, I have never seen a vendor so proud of what he sells then the salmon vendor at the market. He's so happy to show you pictures of his family out catching the salmon & give you ideas on how to cook it.)

When we were in New Orleans we stopped by the Tabasco Country Store. We tried a few things & really fell in love with this sweet & spicy version.

Tabasco* says with its Asian flavors, this sauce is perfect for dipping & I bet it would be wonderful in a stir-fry but Matt instantly saw it as a glaze for grilled foods. He kept things simple & just mixed a little soy sauce into the TABASCO SWEET & Spicy to thin it out & add a little salt. When I tasted the glaze on its own, I was afraid it would be to spicy for wimpy me but, once on the food, there was just a pleasant heat. And just look at the beautiful color it gives that salmon! It was a huge hit with everyone at our bbq. I want to try it next on some chicken wings, perhaps with a little ginger added in as well. I haven't seen this particular version of Tabasco at any of our local grocery stores but it is available on their website & Amazon. Ok, here's the simplest recipe ever...

Spicy Asian Salmon

1/2 T soy sauce
4 skin- on salmon fillets

Mix the Tabasco & soy sauce together. Place on the grill meat side down for a minute or two to get nice grill marks. Flip over to cook on the skin side, and brush glaze on the salmon fillets. Continue cooking until the meat is flaky & cooked through.

4 servings

Have any of the glaze left mix it into some veggies to throw on the grill, yum!

*Tabasco didn't reimburse us in any way for this review.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, May 24, 2010

Farmers Market Finds and the Weekly Menu 5/24 - 5/30

Our local farmers market, the Kingfield Market, opened this weekend. Despite the fact is was a steamy morning & looked like it was threatening to rain on us, it was great to see our favorite venders back, check out the new meat vendor & grab some mini-donuts at the Chef Shack.
IMG_3508IMG_3507IMG_3509
(Love the fact they have lots of tables to sit & drink a cup of good coffee & eat your mini-donuts)
Farmers Market Finds 5/23
Between the Kingfield Market & the Minneapolis Market, we made a pretty good haul this week...
Spinach - This young spring spinach is just so perfect for salads
Ancient Red Peppers - A large sweet Italian pepper plant for the garden from Swede Lake Farm. We grew their heirloom jalapenos last year & have their garlic in our garden right now.
Rhubarb - To make a glaze for pork chops
Mint - For a coconut mojito on the patio
Fresh Eggs
Cherry Bomb & Gigawatt Brats - from Bar 5
Potato & Semolina Bread
Baby Broccoli - for a risotto dish
Asparagus - Which we'll wrap in pork & grill
Spring Onions - To use on pizza & in other dishes

On to Menu Planning Monday...

Risotto with Broccoli, Leeks & Black Beans

Sweet & Tangy Rhubarb Glazed Pork Chops

Soft Tacos

Guanciale Wrapped Grilled Asparagus

Cherry Bomb Brats

Three Lilies Pizza

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, May 21, 2010

German Potato Salad

We were grilling up some beer brats this week & Matt requested a German potato salad to go with them. It is, after all, pretty much the perfect paring.
German Potato Salad
Of all the potato salads I've ever made, this one is definitely in the running to be my favorite. It's really all about the sweet & tangy dressing with that touch of bacon. I particularly like the flavor it gets from the celery seeds. Our version of the dressing was a little more sweet than tangy. Since everyone's tastes are a little different, I suggest tasting it before dressing the potatoes & adjusting the vinegar to sugar as needed.

This salad is really best warm or at room temperature. If you make it ahead of time & refrigerate it, make sure to let it warm up before serving or microwave it for a little bit.

German Potato Salad

16 (about 1 lb) baby waxy potatoes, quartered (we used Yukon Golds)
4 oz yellow onion, chopped
2 spring onion or scallions, chopped
2 sliced bacon, chopped
1/2 t mustard seed
1/4 t celery seed
3 T champagne vinegar (you could use white wine vinegar, cider vinegar or just plan white vinegar)
3 T sugar
salt & pepper

Put the potatoes & onion in a pot of cold salted water & bring to a boil. Let boil for 10 - 15 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. Drain. Set aside.

Crush the mustard & celery seeds a little with a mortar & pestle.

Cook the bacon over medium-high heat in a skillet until it is starting to crisp & has rendered its fat. Add the crushed seeds & cook while stirring for about 30 seconds. Stir in the vinegar & sugar. Season generously with salt & pepper. Let bubble for a minute. Taste for seasoning & adjust as necessary.

Mix the warm potatoes & onion with the spring onions in a bowl. Pour the hot dressing over the top & stir to coat.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

It's going to be hot & steamy in Minneapolis this weekend which calls for lots of grilling. We are planning on cooking up some beautiful Alaskan salmon fillets we got at the farmers market last weekend. What are you grilling up?

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ramp and Potato Tart

Ramps are wild leeks. What goes great with leeks? Potatoes. Thus my choice of fillings for this rustic tart.
Ramp & Potato Tart
Flavor-wise this tart was a success, creamy potatoes & zesty ramps in a flaky butter crust. The method though, not so much a success. I went with a rustic tart because they are just so easy to make. The problem was the egg & milk binder for the filling just spilled out through holes in the crust where I folded it over, making the tart a little drier & messier than I would have liked. It would have been better if I had done it in individual tart pans instead & that is how I've written the recipe below. Lesson learned.

Ramp & Potato Tart

Crust

2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/8 t kosher salt
4 T (2 oz) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks (if you use salted butter leave out the salt)
1 T + 1 t cold water

Put the flour & salt into a food processor & pulse a few times to blend. Add the butter & pulse until the mixture is the texture of a course meal. Sprinkle in the water & pulse. Test the dough to see if it holds together by pinching it. If it is too dry add more water 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches the right texture. Form the dough into two balls. Flatten the balls into discs. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 1/2 hour

Filling

2 T olive oil
4 baby yukon potatoes, sliced about 1/8-1/4 inch thick
10 ramps, sliced. Separate the white & stems from the leaves.
salt
1/4 c milk
1 egg
3 T grated gruyere
pepper
melted butter
grated parmesan

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the potatoes plus the whites & stems of the ramps. Sprinkle with a little salt. Cook, stirring from time to time, for about 4 minutes. Add the ramp leaves and cook for another minute. Drain on a paper towel covered plate.

Beat the milk, egg & gruyere together. Season generously with salt & pepper.

Press the chilled crust dough into two individual tart pans. Layer in the potato & ramps. Pour the milk mixture over the top (you may not use all the milk mixture). Brush the edges of the crust with the melted butter. Sprinkle a little grated parmesan over everything.

Bake for 10 minutes. Turn heat down to 375 F and bake another 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown & the filling is set.

Makes 2 individual tarts.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Wild Things Pasta

There may not be a lot to harvest from vegetable gardens in Minnesota this time of year but, there are plenty of tasty things available right now in the wild to help curb our cravings for fresh foods. We were lucky enough to pick up some of those wild things this weekend at the farmers market. According to the vendors at the market the ramps & morels we bought were foraged just the day before we bought them.
Pasta with Morels & Ramps
We decided to use the two together to make a simple creamy pasta. The end result was a tasty, comforting dish that was super easy to make. Unfortunately, I think the ramps overpowered the morels just a little bit (a real shame when you consider how much morels cost!). There was a mushroomy flavor to the sauce but I think one that we could have easily gotten from just some common brown mushrooms.

WIld Things Pasta

4 oz penne pasta
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T butter
5 - 6 morels, chopped
8 ramps, sliced including leaves, separate the whites & the stems from the green leaves
1 T all-purpose flour
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 c chicken stock
1 T sherry
1/2 c milk
1 T grated parmesan + extra for sprinkling on top
salt & pepper

Cook pasta according to directions. When done save 1/2 c of the cooking water. Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil & butter in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the morels plus the whites & stems of the ramps. Sauté until tender.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Sprinkle the flour everything then stir while cooking for 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper flakes. Add the chicken stock & stir until thick & creamy. Stir in the sherry. Add the milk & stir until thick & creamy. Add the cheese & stir until melted. Season with salt & pepper.

Add the cooked pasta & cook until heated through. Add cooking water as needed to thin out the sauce.

Serve topped with grated parmesan.

2 servings.

Now if I can only find some nettles, they make one heck of a pizza!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Monday, May 17, 2010

Farmers Market Finds and the Weekly Menu 5/17 - 5/22

Now that we are back from vacations & business trips & over colds we can finally start getting into a weekly visit to the farmer's market routine. Our favorite local market, The Kingfield Market, doesn't open until the 23rd so this week we visited the Mill City Market.
Mill City Farmers' Market
The Mill City Market has a great location along the Mississippi between the Mill City Museum & the Guthrie Theater. People were out in force celebrating the warm sunny weather after a week of cold rainy days.
5/16 Farmer's Market Finds
Here's what we picked up this week...
Little Rhubarb Pies - The perfect size for two. So tart & tasty.
Spring Lettuce - I love how delicate the leaf lettuce is in the spring. We ate this all in one big salad
Spring Onions - We grilled one bunch of these with some potatoes Sunday night. The remaining bunch will get used in a morel tart & in a soufflé.
Morels - Oh, they are dear at $45 a pound but such a treat. We'll have some in pasta tonight & some in a tart later in the week.
Ramps - Freshly picked the day before. I'll use some of these leeks in the pasta with the morels & some in scrambled eggs.
IMG_3440
I also got this bag of wild rice flour. It made to be used for breading or thickening soups & stews. I want to experiment with using it in bread. I think it should add a wonderful nutty flavor. We also picked up some pork chops (we've actually eaten through all the one's from our pig purchase!) & 4 lbs of wild Alaskan salmon. I had hoped to get strawberries & asparagus but maybe next week.

On to Menu Planning Monday....

Pasta with Ramps & Morels
Grilled Salmon with Spicy Asian Glaze
Morel & Onion Tarts
Grilled Brats
Still deciding on the rest of the week...

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mastering the Art of French Cooking...For One

I was writing out a grocery list yesterday morning & trying to figure what I wanted to have for dinner, when suddenly, the idea of making my first cheese soufflé popped into my head. No idea where that thought came from but, I was immediately looking forward to getting back into the kitchen & trying something new. And I knew there was only one person to go to for instructions on making my first soufflé, Julia Child.
My First Cheese Soufflé
(This pretty little brown puff of egg & cheese had me doing a little happy dance around the kitchen when I pulled it from the oven.)

Is is just me, or are soufflés one of those dishes that are always made to seem very difficult to make? I just followed the steps in Mastering the Art of French Cooking & it was pretty darn simple. The hardest part was adapting the ingredients to make 1 serving instead of 4. Now, that I've had success with my first soufflé, I wonder why I've never made a one before & I can't wait to impress Matt with one for lunch next week.
My First Cheese Soufflé
(A little flatter after a picture or two but still as tasty!)

Soufflé Au Fromage Pour Un
Cheese Souffle for One
(adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking)

2 1/4 t unsalted butter + extra for greasing the ramekin
3/4 oz grated cheese (Swiss is suggested, I used Fol Epi)
2 1/4 t all-purpose flour
1/4 c hot milk
salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of cayenne
pinch of nutmeg
2 eggs, at room temperature
pinch of cream of tarter

Put a rack in the center of your oven & preheat to 400 F.

Grease a small ramekin, one that holds about 1 1/4 cups, with butter. Sprinkle a little cheese around the bottom & sides & set aside.
Guided by Julia
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes , do not let brown. Remove from the heat & add the hot milk. Use a whisk & beat to blend together. Beat in a pinch of salt, the pepper, cayenne & nutmeg. Return to the heat & turn it up to medium-high. Cook while stirring for 1 minute until very thick. Remove from heat.

Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a clean bowl & ONE egg yolk into the sauce (you will not be using one of the egg yolks). Whisk the sauce & egg yolk together.

Spoon out about 2 teaspoons of the egg whites & throw them out (Ok, I did this to make it closer to the right amount of egg white for one serving per the recipe but, I think I actually could have just used them all.) Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites. Beginning beating with a clean whisk or an electric hand beater. When the eggs whites are foamy add the cream of tarter. Continue beating until the egg whites are stiff.
Hand Beaten Eggs(I went old school & beat them by hand)
Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the sauce. Stir in all but about 1/2 t of the remaining cheese. Finally, gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

Pour the soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekin, it should fill the ramekin about 3/4 full. Tap lightly on the counter & use a knife to smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Use a cloth to to wipe the top edges of the ramekin clean. Place in the oven & turn the heat down to 375 F. Let cook for 20 minutes without opening the oven door. The soufflé should have risen over the top of the ramekin & be golden brown. Let cook for 5 more minutes to firm up. Eat immediately.

1 serving.
Fluffy inside
Voila! Fluffy, cheesy, eggy goodness!

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Creamed Peas on Toast

It's been raining & cold for three days straight here in Minneapolis, Matt is in California on a business trip & I've been down with a nasty cold since Sunday. Basically, I'd been living on chicken noodle soup & pasta from the deli but, last night I finally felt up to cooking myself something. It needed to be something really warm & comforting plus not too much work to make. Then I read about creamed peas on toast in a review of the new restaurant HauteDish on Heavy Table. I've never had creamed peas on toast before (though as a kid I was a big fan of creamed chipped beef on toast) but, it sounded like the exact thing I was looking for.
Creamed Peas on Toast
Originally, I was just going to go really basic & just make a cream sauce with peas in it. Then, I started thinking ham would make a perfect addition but, since I didn't have any around, I used bacon instead. You can't really go wrong with bacon can you? While looking through the freezer for the frozen peas, I noticed half a bag of pearl onions & thought they would add some good flavor as well. Finally, I decided to add a little fresh thyme from the garden as a seasoning. Oh, did it ever come out fantastic! Creamy, crunchy, sweet, salty; a perfect comfort food.

I used frozen onions & peas for this because that's what I had on hand but you could easily substitute either with fresh. I prefer frozen peas over canned because they aren't as mushy. I made the cream sauce with half chicken broth & half milk just to give it even more flavor, you could use all milk if you wanted.

Creamed Peas on Toast

1 slice good bacon, chopped
butter
8 pearl onions, sliced in half (if you are using frozen, let them thaw a little)
1/2 c peas
leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 T all-purpose flour
1/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c milk + more if needed (I used 2%)
salt & pepper
1 or 2 slices of bread

Cook the bacon in a small saucepan over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper towel, leaving as as much fat as possible in the pan, & set aside.

Add enough butter to the pan to make about 1/2 tablespoon of fat. Once the butter has melted add the onions. When the onions start to soften, add the peas. Cook for a minute or so until the onions start to get a little brown. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the thyme & flour. Cook while stirring for one minute. Stir in the chicken stock, the sauce should thicken almost right away. Add the milk a little at a time allowing to thicken between each addition. If you feel the sauce is too thick add a tablespoon or more milk. Stir in the bacon. Season generously with salt & pepper. Keep warm over low heat while you toast the bread. Serve the sauce over the toast (I like to butter my toast but that's your choice).

1 serving (can easily be increased to serve more)

So, when the weather is bad & you're not feeling your best what favorite comfort food do you cook up?

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Eating Our Way Through NOLA

We just got back from a really glorious trip to New Orleans. I used to go every summer for work but hadn't been back since the year before the hurricane, Matt on the other hand has never been. It was a little more humid & hotter then we had hoped for in early May but that didn't stop us from eating & drinking our days away.
Matt's Diet LunchSaints Special
It was lunchtime when we arrived on Sunday so we wandered the French Quarter & ended up at The Alpine where we split a Shrimp Po' Boy for lunch. Your very typical po'boy with the nice soft roll & mayo. Our waiter was very nice & actually bought us two Abita's to go to say sorry for the Saints beating the Vikings during the championship game.
Sazerac BarSazerac
We stayed at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans. The hotel is the home to the Sazerac Bar where the Sazerac cocktail was created. Matt couldn't resist trying one before dinner. After a sip I decided rye is not my thing & I was happy with my pear vodka cocktail.
NOLA's KitchenDuck Breast over Sweet Potato SpetzleShrimp & Grits#122 - Banana Pudding Layer CakeChocolate Bourbon Pecan Tart
For dinner that night I had chosen Emeril's NOLA in the French Quarter. My boss used to take us there for dinner every year & I knew Matt would enjoy the contemporary Creole cuisine. We started dinner by sharing & amazing crab cake then I had duck breast over sweet potato spaetzle while Matt had shrimp & grits. Dessert was so good! I had a Banana Pudding Layer Cake but Matt had the star of the show the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Pie with Sweet Potato Ice Cream. I think he would have been happy with just the ice cream & we'll be trying to copy it this summer for sure.
Pimm's Cup at Napoleon House#123 - Matt tackles a muffalettaMuffaletta
Lunch on was supposed to be a muffuletta at the Central Grocery but they were closed on Monday so we ended up getting one at the Napoleon House instead. That was fine with me because it was a perfect excuse to also have a Pimm's cup...or two.

#123 - Charcuterie PlatterIMG_3216IMG_3217IMG_3218
For Monday night's dinner Matt chose John Besh's Lüke, a Franco-German brasserie. We couldn't resist the charcuterie patter for a starter, it was really wonderful & I highly recommend it. I had the pasta with crispy pork belly & clams for my main dish. The pork belly was wonderful, I just wish there had been more of it & less of the pulled pork. Matt had the crab ravioli. We were disappointed to hear our waiter tell the next table not to order it because it wasn't very good after he'd just served it to us! Luckily Matt liked it though we both thought the pasta, which was obviously homemade, was a little too thick & chewy. For dessert we shared a classic bread pudding.
Oyster ShuckersCrawfish & Charbroiled Oysters#124 - Crawfish
Tuesday night we ended up at the Acme Oyster House for dinner. We waited in the line that snakes out front every night for a table but were able to get seated quickly by agreeing to sit at the bar. We started with boiled crawfish & charbroiled oysters. The crawfish were spicy & juicy (perfect for sucking out the heads) though I was disappointed by how many were missing their meaty tails. Matt loved the oysters calling them creamy & delicious. We followed that up with a bowl of crawfish etouffee and shrimp gumbo. Both were good but overshadowed by the starters.
#124 - Café du MondeBeignets
For dessert we went for a New Orleans classic, beignets at Cafe du Monde. I love going there in the evening when you have less crowds fighting for a table & you can just sit & enjoy your coffee with chicory & those hot sugary donuts.

Southern Baked Apple in Double CreamEggs PortugueseEggs Owen#125 - Banana's Foster#125 - FlambéCrepes Fitzgerald
For our last morning we splurged with breakfast at Brennan's & I mean splurge, if you eat here plan to spend as much on breakfast as you would on a fancy dinner out with wine. We went for the three course breakfasts & mimosas. Matt started with onion soup & I had the Southern baked apple in double cream (it was like dessert for a starter!). For the main course Matt had Eggs Owen which were poached eggs over roasted beef hash, though it was more like pulled beef than a hash. I had the Eggs Portuguese, which was eggs & a sweet tomato sauce in puffed pastry with hollandaise, wonderful! Brennan's is known for Banana's Foster so that is what I had for dessert & Matt had the Crepes Fitzgerald. Both are flambéed for you to watch. It was so good but hard to finish after the other two courses. The Food Network was there filming while we were there eating for a special about the ten best dessert so it'll be fun to see that when it airs.

We really had a great trip. The people of New Orleans were just so welcoming & friendly everywhere we went from waiters to shopkeepers to the New Orleans police.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.© 2007-2010 Kathy Lewinski
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