kale blackberry salad with Rosemary Almonds

 

Blackberry Kale Salad with Rosemary Almonds

4 cups baby kale or any type of salad greens you like
1 cup blackberries
1 avocado, sliced

Rosemary Almonds

Dressing:
4 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Add 1 teaspoon honey to dressing if desired

Rosemary Almonds

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced almonds
pinch of Himalayan salt
pinch of  fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, chopped very finely
2 teaspoons honey

In a heavy cast iron pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil and the almonds. Keep the pan moving as the almonds begin to get toasted. As the nuts start to brown, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss for one more second then add the honey. Stir until all of the almonds are coated. Continue for just a few more seconds, remove from the heat and allow the nuts to cool in the pan for just a few minutes. If you take off the heat too early the honey will be sticky so let it caramelize just a couple seconds.

Check this recipe out I posted for rhubarb muffins. Was a good one!

556c7eb5463db.image

http://www.crowrivermedia.com/hutchinsonleader/news/lifestyle/what-a-dish-crunchy-rhubarb-muffins/article_b3a8f7f0-b483-5d5c-89bb-42799773e84e.html

Watermelon and Feta

IMG_3141

What a wonderful combination. If you have not tried this you certainly must. When you combine the saltiness of the feta cheese and watermelon and add a bit of fresh spearmint with some good quality aged Balsamic then you have a great salad or skewer them for an appetizer. Such a great flavor combination.

It is as easy as that!!

 

Pasta with Basil Pesto, Chicken and Olives

pesto pasta

I made this dish in one skillet and used leftover olives, chicken and ramps (the best tasting onion/garlic found in the woods)

Ingredients:

Your favorite pasta (about 1-1/2 to 2 cups)

4 frozen basil pesto cubes

Sliced green or black olives (I prefer Castelvetrano)

Cheddar cheese

Parmesan cheese

salt, fresh ground pepper

ramps (or you can substitute a clove of fresh garlic)

leftover chicken cut into chunks

a dash of pepper flakes or cayenne pepper

Instructions:

In large skillet, bring 4 -5 cups water and 2 teaspoons or more of salt to a boil. When Al dente, and still some water in pan, add the chicken frozen basil cubes and olives. Add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper and bit of garlic powder, add chopped ramps and pepper flakes.

Stir until all is well combined.  Taste for seasoning. Add cheeses and serve.

               MZ_ProductImage_Castelvetrano_1Ramps and Olives                                images

*This also makes a good cold pasta salad!

Refrigerator Salad

Sometimes you just have to eat leftovers. But they do not have to taste like leftovers!

This was a very quick salad, mixed with a lemon olive oil dressing in a flash. If you have left over vegetables in your fridge- quick make this salad before they go to waste!

refrigerator salad 2

Ingredients: 

Refrigerator leftovers I had on hand:

green beans

corn

shredded carrots

fresh parsley

I added one can each of chickpeas and black beans. Mix in a large bowl.

Make Dressing:

1/4 to 1/3 cup lemon infused olive oil (available at Crow River Winery)

1 tablespoon of your favorite vinegar- try one of these:

Balsamic, pear, champagne, or red wine.

Salt and pepper to taste

fresh lemon zest if you have some

 

Coconut Milk with Spices

coconut milk drink

Turmeric and ginger, both rich in antioxidants, also work well together with the butter. There are many recipes available for this drink. Many names are also given to this drink. It is a healthy drink to warm you up.

Ingredients:

1 ½ to 2 teaspoons fresh preferably organic turmeric

1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

1 cup fat coconut milk (not light)

1 cup coconut water

1 tablespoon honey (divided amongst cups)

Dash of cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon clarified butter

Instructions:

In small sauce pan add turmeric and ginger, stir until mixed well. Add the butter and mix well with whisk. Pour the coconut milk and coconut water into a saucepan, whisk until well mixed, have pan on low until all mixed. Turn the heat up to medium-high and warm the ingredients together until little bubbles just begin to be seen. Turn off the heat and cover the saucepan, allowing the turmeric and ginger to steep about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer or tea strainer into cups. Stir in the honey and continue stirring until it dissolves. Serve warm.

Making clarified butter or otherwise called Ghee:

Place the butter in a heavy saucepan and melt slowly over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Skim the foam from the top, and slowly pour into a container, discarding the milky solids in the bottom of pan. What makes clarified butter so great is its higher smoke point. It is also wonderful to cook and saute with.

 

Healthful benefits of Turmeric include relief of arthritis, controls diabetes, reduces cholesterol levels, an immunity booster, heals wounds to name a few.

Ginger relieves the stomach of gases and also has inflammatory effects along with settling the stomach.

Fats & Oils — The Basics!

What is what and how important is it to know about fats and oils in your diet? A lot. I think Nourished Kitchen (http://nourishedkitchen.com/where-to-buy/#fats)  says it best below. Yes, I use lard in some cookies and pie crusts, and it is not hard to render it yourself. My mother-in-law and grandmother did it most of their lives and always had the best tasting pie crusts!

 

Olive Oil. Olive oil is one of the most highly adulterated foods in the world, and often cut with less-expensive vegetable oils.  I recommend purchasing your olive oil producer-direct, from companies who take pride in not only the quality of the oil, but how the groves are cared for, and how the oil is produced.  You can find good olive oil here.

Ghee.  Ghee is clarified butter prepared according to Indian and South Asian traditions.  Pure butterfat, ghee is free from milk solids and is shelf-stable.  It is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins, and conjugated linoleic acid.   Pure Indian Foods produces traditionally prepared ghee from grass-fed cows as well as spiced ghees.  You can purchase it directly from Pure Indian Foods here.

Lard, Tallow, Schmaltz and Rendered Duck Fat. We recommend cooking with lard from pasture-raised pigs (find it here).  We also frequently use the rendered fat of ducks, chickens and geese which is high in monounsaturated fat, the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil and avocados.  You can find rendered duck fat online, as well as schmaltz (chicken fat), and goose fat.

Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is well-suited to baking and higher heat applications due to its high concentrations of fatty acids.  Coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid, thought to support immune system health.  We purchase organic, virgin coconut oil online in bulk.

Cold-pressed Nut Oils. In addition to animal fats, coconut and olive oil, I also serve cold-pressed, unrefined nut and seed oils as finishing oils over salads and vegetables, including pumpkin seed oil, sunflower seed oil,  avocado oil, and walnut oil.

Oven Roast Beef

I have come to really like roast beef in the oven instead of a crockpot, perfect for a snowy afternoon. Put some whole carrots, potatoes and onions in the roaster to make it a meal. The whole house warms up with a scent and warmth that is so comforting.

roast beef

Ingredients

1 3-4 pound roast

thinly sliced fresh garlic – 2- cloves

extra virgin olive oil

salt and fresh cracked pepper

enough garlic powder to sprinkle both sides of roast

a few drops of Worcestershire sauce

2 cups beef stock (beef broth) (and more to make gravy)

3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 bay leaf

fresh carrots, baby red potatoes

1-2 onions sliced

 

Sauce:

1/4 cup sour cream

1-2 teaspoons horseradish

2-3 teaspoons of stone ground mustard

Mix all together with fork or whisk. Adjust ingredients to your taste.

Serve on top of the roast beef.

 

How to:

Rub roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder

Cut slits all over roast with a sharp paring knife, insert fresh garlic slices into slits

Prehheat oven 3o 350 degrees.  a cast iron skillet or skillet large enough for roast beef. Sear both sides of roast. It should be a golden brown on each side.

In roasting pan pour beef broth. Set roast into pan.  Add dashes of Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf. Add sliced carrots, potatoes, onions. Cover pan with cover or tin foil.

Set pan into oven. Cook for at least 2 hours. Check for liquid periodically add water if needed. Liquid should be about one-inch. Turn oven down to 300 and keep roasting until the meat falls off the bone, baste a couple times with the juices.

When ready to serve. Take liquid out of pan and pour into a skillet. Add more broth to make about 2 cups. mix Cornstarch and a bit of cold water to make a paste about the thickness of chocolate syrup. Heat broth until almost bubbling. Whisk in cornstarch and stir until thickened. Take off heat. Let sit a couple minutes. while you make the mustard sauce.

Use the gravy on the potatoes that are smashed slightly with a potato masher. Coat the carrots with more butter and sprinkle generously with fresh or dried parsley.

 

 

 

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs

With the grilling season here, and able to enjoy being outside into the evening you will need some ideas to cook up. Try this one,  it is very easy to prep but does take a while to grill as you use a low temperature. It is worth the wait as these are so moist.

bacon wrapped thigs 2

Ingredients:

Chicken Thighs

Bacon – you will need 1-2 pieces for each thigh

chili powder

salt and fresh ground pepper

Make sure chicken is at room temperature.  Preheat grill to about 300 degrees.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and chili powder. Carefully wrap one to 2 pieces of bacon around the chicken. Secure deeply with toothpick.

Sprinkle with some more freshly cracked black pepper.

Using indirect heat, (flame only one side of grill) lay all chicken pieces on the grill and cook slowly, turn down temperature if bacon flares up. By using indirect heat and keeping the temperature low you should not have very many flare-ups.

Cook until 165 degrees, take off grill, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

The chicken will be very juicy. The amount of time varies as to the thickness of the meat, take temperature every so often as not to overcook.  Serve with a simple fruit salad and some fresh carrots cooked flavored with maple syrup.

bacon chicken salad

Pupusas

PUPASAS OUTSIDE

A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of a thick handmade corn tortilla that is usually filled with a blend of any of the following: cheese, cooked pork, meat ground to a paste texture, refried beans.

This is usually served with curtido, an type of pickled, fermented cabbage and a thin tomato sauce.

Here is my first attempt at trying this out.  I found the trick to forming the discs is to after adding the filling and then reform the ball, and pinch off some dough so the cakes are not overwhelmed by masa.

Moisture is also a key. The dough must have the consistency of Play-Doh and make sure it is not too dry or too wet. Keep sprinkling some of the masa and continue to rework the dough until you get it to the right consistency. I found if it is a little sticky, put some of the masa on your work surface after you have reworked the balls with filling inside and flatten out a bit. Keep practicing until it works. You have to use Masa harina to make this work well.  It is a really easy dough to work with and so easy!

Ingredients:

2 cups Masa harina

Warm water, 1 cup

A bit of salt if desired but not necessary

In a large bowl, mix together the masa harina and water and knead well. If dough it too sticky you can add more masa about tablespoon at a time, on the opposite if the dough is too dry add warm water one tablespoon at a time.  Cover and let dough rest for 5-10 minutes, as it will thicken.

On a clean and flat surface, roll the dough into a log and cut into equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.

Press an indentation with your thumb or a bit larger to accommodate your filling. Put about 1 tablespoon of filling of your choice in or just cheese. Press the ball out with your palms on a floured surface to form a disc, being sure that no filling falls out. Make the disc about ½ inch thick. To make this easier,  you can place the dough between two pieces of plastic or wax paper and roll out with a rolling pin.

Heat a well-greased skillet (cast iron is best). Cook each pupusa for 1-3 minutes or until golden brown with slight bubbles. Try to turn the disc only once. Set aside on a paper towel, then put on a plate and keep warm until all of the discs are done. They can also be frozen if you make a larger batch to keep on hand for a quick meal. Freeze on a baking sheet in a single layer, then transfer to a bag.

I filled with cheese and made it like a flat tostado, and topped with warmed refried beans, cheese, lettuce, avocados with squeezed lime juice and sour cream as that was all I had on hand for a quick meal. I also mixed some of the refried beans and cheese together and stuffed into the ball, to make a disc. Very good! Add some hot sauce for an extra punch.

I will definitely try to make the curtido next time.  A pulled pork filling would be wonderful. You could use a ground pork and mix with a little tomato sauce that has some bacon pulsed in with a food processor. If you make it a kind of paste it will work well when you enclose the ball.

Look for Masa harina in the ethnic aisle or an authentic Mexican food store.

 

Coconut Coffee Cake from Grandma Schlueter

This is a recipe that came from Grandma and we all really like it.  You can make it in a 9×9, 8×8 or round cake pan. This recipe is one that will get handed down.

grandma s side view coffee cake

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup flour

1/2 cup pecans or sliced almonds

Mix together in separate small bowl.

Cream 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter  then add 1 cup sugar in larger bowl.

Beat in 1 cup sour cream and 1 egg.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the egg mixture.

Spray nonstick shortening in pan of your choice. Cover with 1 full cup of coconut, the large unsweetened flakes look great for this.

Pour the batter over the coconut. Sprinkle the batter with a mixture of  2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon or enough to make a thick coating across the pan.

Bake at 350 for 34 -40 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Check it at 30 minutes to be sure.

Don’t overbake or it will get dry.

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