May 2011

spring salad with snap peas and radishes

Posted on May 10, 2011

This recipe is borrowed from our friends Matt and Alexa. We went over to their place for dinner on Friday and loved this salad. Lucky for us, they are generous with the recipes and also belong to the same CSA so we already had the ingredients in our fridge. We liked it so much, we had it for lunch the next day.

Spring Salad with Snap Peas, Radishes and Mint
1 basket of snap peas, or about two handfuls, sliced
1 bunch radishes, sliced
1 T mint, sliced thinly
1/4 cup almonds, quickly browned in a saute pan and chopped

For the dressing
1 T lemon juice
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper

Slice the veggies and combine in a bowl. Roast the almonds in a dry saute pan over low heat until browned, 5 – 10 minutes. Slice the almonds and toss with the salad. Dress lightly with the lemon and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

All of these ingredients marry so well. Jordan and I may not have paired them (the credit all goes to Matt and Alexa on this one), but we sure will make it again if we get another week of snap peas – a short season on those little guys! The salad is perfect and so spring. I loved it (like almost anything spring-y right now)!

-Emily

our csa from eatwell farms

Posted on May 10, 2011

We’ve been a member of the Eatwell Farms Community Supported Agriculture program for several months now and we couldn’t be happier! The produce is amazing, the variety inspiring and we’ve been forced to experiment. So many great recipes have been born out of “tricky” ingredients. Another awesome thing about eating with the seasons is how excited we get about new produce as it comes into season. We haven’t had strawberries since last July and that makes the first spring strawberries absolutely amazing! Perfectly sweet-tart, a deep red all the way through, and they go bad in about a day – that’s how you know they’re the real deal.

In this week’s box we received: strawberries, navel oranges, marjoram, parsley, lemons, sugar snap peas, green garlic, spring onions, stir-fry mix, radishes and carrots. Yum!

If you are interested in joining a CSA, please visit Local Harvest to find one in your area.

Happy Spring!

-Emily

easy noodle soup

Posted on May 4, 2011

This soup is satisfying and only takes about 30 minutes to make. If you have homemade stock, use it. The flavor of the broth is important to this soup since all the other ingredients take on that flavor. If you don’t have homemade stock, buy a flavorful chicken stock. Swanson’s Natural Goodness and Kitchen Basics are good bets.

Easy Noodle Soup

1 quart chicken stock, we used Jordan’s homemade stock. Lucky us!
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
1 cup broccoli floretts
1/2 cup baby carrots
8 oz udon noodles, or spaghetti if you don’t have udon
ginger, garlic, soy sauce, chili flake
Trader Joe’s pork dumplings, optional

Pour the stock into a large pot. Boil the stock. Add some grated ginger, sliced garlic and a pinch of chili flakes. Season the broth with soy sauce. Add the carrots.  Once the carrots have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the mushrooms and the pasta. Cook for another 5 – 7 minutes. Add the broccoli. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add the dumplings. Cook for another 2 – 3 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and siracha if you like extra heat.

-Emily

baking therapy: buttermilk corn muffins

Posted on May 2, 2011

These muffins were an experiment. I had some extra buttermilk left over from last week’s chicken and waffles and figured I should use it before it went bad. I’m sure glad I decided to experiment. The muffins were fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside and perfectly corn-y. We paired them with a grilled pork chop and a salad of arugula, radish and goat cheese.

Buttermilk Corn Muffins
1/2 cup corn meal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 T butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour 6 cups in a muffin tin or line with paper liners. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix the wet ingredients in a small bowl. Combine the wet with the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Mix just to combine. Spoon into the prepared muffin tin. Dust the tops with a additional cornmeal for an extra crunchy crust. Bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Enjoy hot from the oven with butter or honey.

-Emily

baking therapy: sourdough soft pretzels

Posted on May 1, 2011

These pretzels are wonderful! Super easy (just one rise!) and added bonus: they make use of the cup of sourdough starter that you usually discard after feeding.

Sourdough Soft Pretzels, from King Arthur Flour 

For the Pretzels
1 cup sourdough starter, straight from the fridge
3/4 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup non-fat dried milk
1 T sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T oil or butter
2 t yeast

In a kitchen aid, mix all of the ingredients together. Knead on low speed for 3 – 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Cover and let the dough rise for about an hour. Heat an oven to 350 degrees. Cut the dough into twelve pieces and shape into pretzels.  Place on a lined baking sheet. 

For the Topping
1 T sugar
2 T hot water
coarse salt or sea salt
1 T butter, melted

Mix the sugar with the water until dissolved. Brush the sugar water onto the shaped dough and then sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown.

After they come out of the oven, brush the hot pretzels with melted butter. Not like this will surprise you coming from me, but the butter makes these pretzels.

-Emily

the holy grail of comfort food … chicken and waffles

Posted on May 1, 2011

Just when you think that you can’t take anymore and it’s only Monday, comfort food steps in to save the day. It wraps you in a blanket of sweet, salty, fatty goodness and magically you feel like yourself again. Despite my love for many other dishes from the comfort food category that have saved my life in the past like spaghetti and meatballs or macaroni and cheese, chicken and waffles may just be the pinnacle of comfort food.

Before Monday, I’d never eaten chicken and waffles. To be honest, I was a bit worried about the co-mingleing of syrup and gravy – worried that maybe syrup plus gravy might just push the symbiosis between sweet and salty over the edge. Well, I was dead wrong. Sticky, sweet syrup, and salty, meaty gravy both poured over crunchy chicken and waffles is beyond amazing. I was floored by how well each piece of this dish worked with the other components. A-MAZ-ING. So wonderful you probably should make this for dinner tonight. Your happy mind and belly will thank you for it.

Chicken and Waffles

For the chicken
I used the buttermilk baked chicken recipe that I describe a week or so ago. It worked perfectly and since it is oven baked you don’t have to worry about dealing with frying and waffle-making at once. The chicken will take about 20 minutes to bake, so put it in the oven after you’ve made the gravy.

For the gravy
2 T butter
2 T flour
1 1/4 cup – 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, lemon peel

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and continue whisking until it is a blonde color. Slowly add the broth, whisking furiously to make sure that there aren’t any lumps. Reduce the heat to low. Season with salt and pepper. Add a sprig of rosemary, thyme and a sliver of lemon peel to the mixture. Turn off the heat. Get to waffle making.

For the waffles
I used a buttermilk pancake recipe for these waffles. The taste was wonderful, but they did not rise as much as I had hoped in the waffle iron. If you have a no-fail waffle recipe, use that instead (and email it to me).

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Mix the dry ingredients to combine. Add the buttermik, eggs and melted butter. Mix just to combine. There will be lumps in the batter. This is good and makes for a fluffy pancake or waffle. Make your waffles. As they come off the waffle iron, put them on a baking sheet and store in the oven to keep warm.

For the syrup
We buy Whole Foods 365 brand pure maple syrup. It is delicious, affordable and free of high-fructose corn syrup.

To serve

As you are finishing with the waffles, turn the heat below the gravy on to low. Warm the gravy and remove the herbs and lemon.

Place a waffle on a plate. Top with a piece of buttermilk chicken. Drizzle everything with gravy and syrup.

To fully maximize your chicken and waffle experience, I recommend you eat as many bites as possible with all four components. Admittedly, this method is more work, but it is worth it.

-Emily

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