Sunday, June 23, 2013

SKC: Broccoli slaw

DSCN9687No, no, it's not the image you get from the bags labelled "broccoli slaw" at the store, which consist mostly of julienned broccoli stems with a little carrot for color. No, this is made mostly with broccoli florets, but sliced very thin and tossed with dried cranberries and toasted sliced almonds, and dressed with a mayo/buttermilk dressing in which I soaked the red onion as suggested to reduce the onion bite. The result is undoubtedly a "slaw", but much better than cabbage-based coleslaw. This is the last post from last weekend's efforts.

I had leftover lemon aioli from the chicken-and-egg salad, and thought "why not?" A little garlic and lemon flavor in the mayo certainly won't hurt a broccoli dish. The slicing of the broccoli was tedious and messy (lots of little broccoli buds scattered all over the counter) as I tried to get the slices pretty thin to avoid chunks of raw broccoli that I dislike in raw veggie salads of other types. Julienning the stalks was best done with a knife, or maybe my mandoline skills still need work.

The results were worth it--there's enough dressing to coat the broccoli bits, but it's thin enough to not swamp the salad. I might up the cranberry and almond amounts on another try if I'm feeling indulgent--there were enough, but not lots.

I didn't take a picture of the slaw alone, so this is my plate of grilled Thai-style pork, broccoli slaw, and cheddar swirl buns. Very nice dinner!

SKC: Chicken and egg salad toasts with lemon aioli and fennel

DSCN9677 Still on cooking done last weekend--I was on a kitchen frenzy. There was leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge, and I bought some read-to-eat hard-boiled eggs. I'm not a big fan of fennel, but I did get a bulb and add some to the dish--enough to get a little hint of it, but no big anise-y bites. With the shortcuts on the chicken and egg, I spent the effort on the aioli.

Homemade mayo is a trip down memory lane for me--growing up, my mother always made our mayonnaise, which she blamed on my father not tolerating the store-bought stuff. I have a memory of my elementary school cafeteria with these bowls of a stiff, almost jellied white substance that smelled a little like pickles, and having to be told that it was mayo.

Mother used a blender to make mayonnaise, and that's how I learned--egg, lemon juice, and salt in the container with a little oil (no vinegar), then start the blender and pour the rest of the oil in slowly. Voila, mayo! I think she moved to the food processor for a while, or maybe the household mayonnaise consumption dropped to the point that she went to the long-lived commercial stuff before the Cuisinart came into the house.

With that background, I wasn't up for making aioli by hand. I have a blender (not much used), and a Cuisinart, but this was just a half cup of I decided to try my stick blender. It was a snap--much faster than a big blender, and the only drawback was a film of oil that was on the top of the blade housing that didn't get emulsified. I think perhaps I'll quit keeping a jar of mayo around and just make small batches fresh when i need some--which isn't often these days.

Back to the salad: with the aioli made (with all lemon juice, no vinegar), it was just a matter of mixing the chopped chicken and egg, some fennel bulb and greens, chives from the garden, seasoning, and some aioli to bind it all together. Typo alert: the recipe fails to tell you to add the chopped hard-boiled egg to the chicken and fennel mixture, but that's easily figured out. I skipped the toast and put a mound on some nice crisp leaf lettuce to serve.

PSM and SK: Thai-style pork tenderloin

DSCN9683In this month's Pine Street Market box was a pork tenderloin--just one, making a good size for my one-person household for a dinner and leftovers. Pork tenderloin needs help, though--it's not particularly flavorful. I turned to Smitten Kitchen for a recipe I found a while back for Thai-style chicken legs, made, and sort-of lost to my sister-in-law--she makes it so often, there's no point in my proposing it for a joint meal. It's easy and good, and excellent on the grill--equal parts fish sauce, vegetable oil, and hoisin sauce, lots of garlic, some ground coriander, and salt and pepper. SK called for cilantro (yuck!), which I just omit.

Grilled Thai-style pork tenderloin was excellent--the sugar in the hoison will char a little, but the flavors go really well with the pork. I had some of the jar of organic peach chow-chow (also from the PSM box) on the side for an extra sweet-spicy kick.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

SKC: Cheddar swirl breakfast buns

DSCN9680 Another Smitten Kitchen Cookbook catch-up post, starting on the three recipes I made last weekend. All three were good, but this one tops my list--it's bread (yay, carbs!), cheese, and onion to make it interesting. I messed around with this recipe some: substituted 100 g. of whole-wheat flour for AP (about 1/4-1/3 of the total), scanted the sugar by maybe half (it's a savory bread dough, why use sugar?), used almond milk (that's what I had), and added the instant yeast to the dry ingredients the way I do with the weekly challah instead of dissolving it in the milk as if it were active dry. I had to add a couple of extra tablespoons of milk, probably to compensate for the whole-wheat flout, to get that point where the dough ball is sticking to the dimple in the bottom of the KitchenAid bowl. It was a very well-behaved dough--easy to roll out on a baking mat with no flour, rolled up easily with the filling in a tight spiral.

In the filling, I omitted the dill (yuck!) and added the suggested parsley as a substitute. I was surprised that the recipe called for no warm liquids besides the lukewarm melted butter--I'm used to the very-warm temps used for most instant yeast recipes. I therefore expected a slow rise (the recipe says 2 hours) and left to run errands. I was back in 2 hours, and found the dough had tripled or more--very enthusiastic rise, there. Which might have taken most of the yeast oomph, because the made-up buns didn't rise as well and ended a little flatter that I'd like. Next time, I'll use 8" round pans and see if I can get a smaller diameter, higher bun.

DSCN9671 DSCN9672 DSCN9678

Excellent breakfast bun. I'll definitely repeat this one.

SKC: Blueberry cornmeal butter cake

Blueberry cornmeal butter cake--SKC I've got some catch-up posts to make on my Smitten Kitchen Cookbook cook-through--this one I baked on June 1. I forgot to take any notes on either the baking or the eating, and in retrospect (on the eating bit) it was good, not great. There was just a little cornmeal taste and texture (it's 2/3 flour, 1/3 cornmeal), the blueberries were good, but overall the cake wasn't a standout. One note on the baking side was to make this in a pan with a removable bottom or just serve it from the pan, instead of turning it out as the recipe directs. The copious amount of crumb topping will make something of a mess if you flip it to get it onto a cooling rack. Or mine did, anyway

Sunday, June 16, 2013

SKC: Shaved asparagus pizza

DSCN9655 We made the topping from SKC, but niece used the pizza dough recipe from a class she took while in Italy. This was excellent, and so simple: thin pizza dough sprinkled with parmesan and mozzarella, then piled with shaved asparagus that had been tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper. We forgot to sprinkle on scallions after it came out of the oven, but didn't miss them.

SKC: Pancetta, white bean, and Swiss chard pot pies

Pancetta, white bean, and Swiss chard pot pieFirst post from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, and almost cheating: I made these last Thanksgiving, which was after the book release but before I bought my copy. This recipe is on the SK blog. I'll be making it again (it's on younger niece's "must have" list) and hopefully will take pictures of what's inside the pie next time...

Pine Street Market CSA, June 2013


DSCN9667Here's the haul for the PSM CSA this month, accompanied (yay!) by the best listing yet of what is included:
Gum Creek Farms ground beef
PSM Applewood smoked bacon
Slow roasted pork belly (heat and eat)
Smoked beef brisket (heat and eat)
Peach chow-chow
Lamb bacon burger
Spicy Italian sausage (bulk)
Mild Italian sausage
Head cheese
Pork tenderloin

The mild Italian sausage became Friday's dinner, along with a couple of PSM Mettwurst sausages I had left over from earlier in the week. Sister-in-law grilled the Italian, then put the Mettwurst on the grill for a few minutes to reheat. I was a little disappointed in the Italian--it was rather crumbly-textured when I would have liked it a little firmer/more cohesive. Tasted good, though!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Smitten Kitchen Cookbook bake-through

While she was in Italy last year, younger niece and I emailed back and forth about food a good bit. We share a love for Deb Perelman's blog Smitten Kitchen, and when The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook came out, niece emailed that we needed to try to cook everything in it. She's back (sort of--she's gone for a month right now between camp and some other travel), so I'm getting started. I went with her and sister-in-law to drop her off at camp, and had her go through the list of recipes and mark those that I could make while she was away, those that she had to try, and the ones in the middle.

This post will be my master list, and I'll keep editing it to link to posts on the various recipes. Most of these will probably be just notes: any changes I made, how the cooking went, and how well I liked the results. For the recipes, turn to the cookbook (highly recommended, even before I have cooked much from it) or to the Smitten Kitchen blog for some of them. I may skip a few, for containing so many items I won't eat that any adaptation would be a completely different dish. To wit, "Pork chops with cider, horseradish, and dill"--I dislike horseradish and despise dillweed, so that one won't get made. Unless younger niece does it.

Smitten Kitchen Cookbook recipe list
(Bolded recipes have been made but not blogged...yet)

Peach and sour cream pancakes
Cinnamon toast French toast
Gingerbread spice Dutch baby
Plum poppy seed muffins
Whole-wheat raspberry ricotta scones
Chocolate chip brioche pretzels
Almond date breakfast bars
Apricot breakfast crisp
Big cluster maple granola
Maple bacon biscuits

Big breakfast latkes
Greens, eggs, and hollandaise
Baked ranchero eggs with blistered jack cheese and lime crema
Potato fritatta with feta and scallions
New York breakfast casserole
Fig, olive oil, and sea salt challah
Cheddar swirl breakfast buns

Vinegar slaw with cucumbers and dill
Zucchini ribbons with almond pesto
Fingerlings vinaigrette with sieved eggs and pickled celery
Iceberg stack with blue cheese and radishes
Tomato scallion shortcakes with whipped goat cheese
Kale salad with cherries and pecans
Sugar snap salad with miso dressing
Broccoli slaw
Cranberry bean salad with walnuts and feta
Roasted baby roots with sherry-shallot vinaigrette
Honey and harissa farro salad

Sandwiches, Tarts, and Pizzas
Avocado tartine with cucumber and sesame seeds
Chicken and egg salad toasts with lemon aioli and fennel
Emmentaler on rye with sweet and sour red onions
Ratatouille sub
Broccoli rabe panini with mozzarella
Wild mushroom tart
Butternut squash and caramelized onion galette
Pizza dough
  • Rushed pizza dough
  • Leisurely pizza dough
Everyday Margarita pizza
Shaved asparagus pizza
Eggplant and three cheese calzone

The Main Dish: Vegetarian
Gnocchi in tomato broth
Sweet peas and shells Alfredo
Linguine with cauliflower pesto
Heart-stuffed shells in lemon ricotta Bèchamel
Leek fritters with garlic and lemon
Jacob's blintzes, or sweet potato blintzes with farmer's cheese
Corn risotto-stuffed poblanos
Slow-cooker black bean ragout
Roasted tomatoes and cipollini onions with white beans
Spaghetti squash and black bean tacos with queso fresco
Roasted eggplant with yogurt-tahini sauce and cumin-crisped chickpeas
Wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions, and baby Swiss
Mushroom Bourguignon

The Main Dish: Seafood, Poultry, and Meat
Vermouth mussels with tarragon oven fries
Seared halibut and gazpacho salsa with tomato vinaigrette
Pancetta, white bean, and Swiss chard pot pies
Sesame-spiced turkey meatballs
Smashed chickpea salad with lemon and sumac
Mustard Milanese with an arugula fennel salad
Flat roasted chicken with tiny potatoes
Harvest roast chicken with grapes, olives, and rosemary
Pork chops with cider, horseradish, and dill
Balsamic and beer-braised short ribs
Parsnip purèe
Maya's sweet and sour holiday brisket
Roasted fingerling and carrot coins
Tomato-glazed meatloaves
Brown butter mashed potatoes
Pistachio masala lamb chops with cucumber mint raita

Sweets: Cookies
Buttered popcorn cookies
Rhubarb hamantaschen
Salted brown butter crispy treats
Chocolate peanut butter cookies
Cranberry crumb bars with mulling spices
Gooey cinnamon squares
Brownie roll-out cookies
Alex's chocolate raspberry rugelach

Sweets: Pies and Tarts
Whole lemon bars
Butterscotch banana tarte Tatin
Chocolate silk pie
Marbled pumpkin gingersnap tart
All butter, really flaky pie dough
Almond and sweet cherry galette
Deepest dish apple pie
Peach dumplings with bourbon hard sauce

Sweets: Cakes
Mom's apple cake
Grapefruit olive oil pound cake
Blueberry cornmeal butter cake
Olive oil ricotta cake with Concord grape coulis
Tiny but intense chocolate cake
Golden sheet cake with berry buttercream
Berry buttercream
Chocolate hazelnut crepe cake
S'more layer cake
Red wine velvet cake with whipped mascarpone

Sweets: Puddings and Candy
Strawberry cheesecake fools
White chocolate pudding with blackberry curd
Tres leches rice pudding
Apple cider caramels
Coffee toffee

Party Snacks and Drinks
Spicy brittled peanuts
Pumpernickel grissini with horseradish crème fraîche dip
Smoky deviled eggs with crisped jamòn and crushed Marconas
Blue cheese and black pepper gougères
Rosemary Gruyère and sea salt crisps
Baked potato crisps with the works
French onion toasts
Broiled clams with chorizo breadcrumbs
Spritzy ginger lemonade
Muddle puddle battle