Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu 2011

After much thought, and even more shopping, I've figured out what I'm making for Thanksgiving. It's pretty traditional this year, flavor wise, but there's no turkey and the focus is definitely on autumn vegetables. I'm excited to cook it all and eat with my family.


Roasted ginger-squash soup

Salad with pears and blue cheese

Mashed celery root and potatoes with chives

Roast sweet potato purée with bourbon

Green Beans with breadcrumbs and lemon

Mushroom walnut bread stuffing

Roast chicken with sage


Cranberry sauce

Julia's Dessert (via four and twenty blackbirds):
Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Pretty delicious sounding, right? I'm also going to brine the chicken for the first time. Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

First Fall Soup: chickpea, leek and potato

This is a delicious, hearty soup, and endlessly adaptable. I used what I had on hand, but you can use all sorts of different vegetables, and even replace the spelt with barley if you like. It's really all about the pressure cooker and building up a base of flavor with onions, leeks, garlic and chickpeas. Don't get freaked out by the long ingredient list, it's pretty easy and doesn't require much chopping, plus you cook it all in one pot. Perfect for when it starts getting cold, and it improves overnight in the fridge.


Olive oil
1 large leek, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
1 cup dried chickpeas
1/2 cup spelt
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried dill
2 bay leaves
10 fingerling potatoes, in small equal pieces
4-5 stalks bok choy, leaves separated from stems and chopped
Zest and juice of one lemon
Chopped parsley
Grated asiago or parmesan


Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in pressure cooker. Add onion, leek and garlic and sauté until translucent and fragrant.

Add all spices and chickpeas. Stir for 1 minute add salt and pepper.

Add 8 cups water. Bring pressure cooker to full pressure and cook for 15 minutes.

Quick-release open cooker, add spelt, stir, and season with salt.

Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.

Quick-release open cooker, add potatoes and bok choy stems.

Cook at high pressure for 5 minutes.

Quick-release open cooker. Add zest, parsley, lemon juice, bok choy greens, and a bit more salt and pepper.

Cook for 5-10 minutes more.

Serve with additional chopped parsley and grated cheese.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Zucchini Overload!

This weekend, I finally found a way to use all the squash and zucchini we've been getting from our CSA. I sauté some onion and garlic, then thin slices of the aforementioned bounty, and bind it all together in a simple, delicious egg wrapper. It's amazingly good, especially when you've got some fresh corn and squash blossoms to round it all out. Most importantly, you'll avoid the bane of all summer cooks: soggy, waterlogged zucchini. This Frittata is both crisp and creamy, and the addition of corn gives it a sweet pudding-like aftertaste.

Olive oil for sautéing
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
4-6 medium sized squash and zucchini, sliced into 1/8" rounds
2 ears corn
12 squash blossoms
7 large eggs
1/8 cup milk
Freshly grated parmesan or grana padano
Salt and pepper

1) Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat in a large pan or small wok until it starts to brown slightly, about 10 mins. I add a little salt at each step, which vastly improves the flavor.

2) Add squash and/or zucchini. Sauté for another 5 minutes, until it just begins to brown. Remove garlic cloves.

3) Add corn and sauté for another few minutes.

4) Beat eggs and milk in a large bowl. Add salt and pepper. Add vegetable mixture and fold in gently.

5) Sauté squash blossoms briefly in pan to reduce moisture. Add to egg mixture, reserving 4-5 to top Frittata.

6) Add a little olive oil to pan and return to heat. Add egg mixture, flattening into a pancake shape. Add reserved blossoms to top of eggs, then cover with a thin layer of parmesan.

7) Preheat broiler.

8) Cook on medium heat until the edges solidify. Slide a thin, flexible spatula around the bottom of the Frittata to release from the pan (it should come off quite easily).

9) Transfer to the broiler and cook until golden brown and bubbly on top. Allow to cool in pan for several minutes. In the meantime, I usually prepare a quick salad with a lemon dressing.

10) Enjoy. This makes a really big Frittata, so there will leftovers if you have fewer than 3 people eating with you.