Thursday, October 17, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Poblano-Tomato Soup

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches got a serious upgrade at our house last night.  The soup was fun to make and had great flavor - translated to “just the right amount of heat”.  The sandwiches look classy and have a marvelous combination of flavors.


Wednesday Menu – Poblano-Tomato Soup, Parmesan CrustedGrilled Cheese
Farm Share Food – Tomatoes, Garlic, Carmen Pepper, Poblano Peppers, Arugula
Poblano-Tomato Soup
Most of this soup is made by broiling vegetables in the oven.  It was actually quick and easy.  I used my immersion blender to puree the vegetables.  I found it much easier.  I pureed in batches and then poured the puree into a pan.  To the pan I added the spices and stock.  I decided to add lime juice to the soup instead of serving with lime wedges.
This soup could easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock or water instead of chicken stock.

Recipe Reviewed: Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwiches got a serious upgrade at our house last night.  The soup was fun to make and had great flavor - translated to “just the right amount of heat”.  The sandwiches look classy and have a marvelous combination of flavors.

Wednesday Menu – Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese, Poblano-Tomato Soup
Farm Share Food – Arugula, Tomatoes, Garlic, Carmen Pepper, Poblano Peppers
Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese
I have a recommendation on how to build these sandwiches.
My husband’s grandfather taught him to eat his toast butter side down.  The theory is that if you have the butter side touch your tongue you will enjoy the flavor more.  The first time I made these sandwiches my husband suggested that only one side needed to be crusted with Parmesan for the same reason his grandfather believed you should eat toast butter side down.  Makes sense to me and it made sandwich construction easier.
I suggest brushing one side of each piece of bread with olive oil.  Then one the opposite side spread one piece of bread with mustard and one piece with jam.  Then put one piece on heated pan and top with cheese and arugula.  The other piece of bread should be pressed into Parmesan to coat.  Then finish sandwich with Parmesan crusted piece of bread.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sesame Noodles with Japanese Vegetables

My husband has suggested we explore Japanese cooking more in our household.  After a busy weekend I have yet to go to the grocery store for the week.  So here is the start to our Japanese culinary journey with a meal I made from ingredients I had in the pantry.

Monday Menu – Sesame Noodles with Japanese Vegetables, Salad
Farm Share Food – Tatsoi, Carmen Peppers, Jalapeno, Garlic
Sesame Noodle with Japanese Vegetables
Printable Version
12 oz. Udon Noodles
1 T olive oil
1 Jalapeno , seeded and cut into strips
2-3 Carmen Peppers, seeded and cut into strips
1 onion, sliced
1 lb. Tatsoi
For Vegetables:
2 T sesame seeds
1 t sugar
4 ½ t soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
½ t sesame oil
Sauce for Sesame Noodles:
½ cup peanut butter
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 T sugar
1 T sesame oil
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup water
3 T cilantro, roughly chopped
Cook Udon Noodles according to package directions.
Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add peppers and onion.  Cook until vegetables begin to caramelize.  Add Tatsoi and cook until wilted.  Set vegetables aside.
In spice grinder combine sesame seeds and sugar.  Mix sesame mixture with soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil in a small bowl.  Combine mixture with cooked vegetables.
Mix Sesame Noodles Sauce ingredients together until well combined.
To serve add noodles to a pasta bowl, add vegetables, and ladle on several tablespoons of Sesame Noodle Sauce.  Garnish with cilantro and serve.
NOTE: to add heat to this dish you can add hot sauce to the Sesame Noodle Sauce.

This recipe is based on:
Peanut Saucy Sesame Noodles – a video from The Cooking Channel
Japanese Spinach with Sesame and Soy

Recipe Reviewed: Crushed Tomatoes

I adore Crushed Tomatoes and the many recipes you can make with them.  I was getting a little overwhelmed with tomatoes piling up on the counter and set out to find a way to make my own Crushed Tomatoes.
Homemade Crushed Tomatoes
I felt confident reading this recipe that this method would work well.  I’m always nervous about activities like taking the peel off a tomato.  The recipe will say something like, “the peel will easily slide off” and that NEVER happens in my kitchen.  This time it slid right off!  This blog also debates to seed or not to seed.  The blogger seeded, I kept mine in.

The picture is the tomatoes after I crushed them.  They are in this awesome kitchen gadget I have that holds a bag open for you while you fill it up.  They are currently in the freezer waiting for me to get creative.
Bag Holder
Here is a link to a gadget similar to mine.

Week Nineteen of 2013

I couldn’t resist this funny tomato at pick up yesterday.  Someone remarked on how much dirt was on the Head Lettuce – I just love that dirt!  During the off season I’m sometimes saddened by how delicate and perfect my scallions are or how uniform the carrots are in their packages.  So here is to imperfect, tasty vegetables!
We got...

Arugula, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Fennel, Garlic, Head Lettuce, Jalapeno, Pepper (Bell), Potato (Fingerling), Radish, Tatsoi, Tomato (Slicing)

Fruit: Apples
My ideas....
Arugula – See the post Readers Request: Arugula Suggestions
Broccoli – I’m always on the lookout for a pizza for adults on pizza night.  This Broccoli Pecorino Tart looks tasty and easy.
Butternut Squash – I just need a potluck or gathering so I can share these Butternut Squash Crostini.  They are slices of bread with roasted squash, wrapped in bacon, with fresh sage.
Fennel and Garlic- I’m thinking this Garlic Braised Fennel will be melt in your mouth delicious.
Jalapeno – Jalapenos will give a nice kick to the vinaigrette in Grilled Shrimp with Vietnamese Vinaigrette.
Fingerling Potatoes – I’ve been waiting for these to show up so we can make Balsamic Roasted Fingerling Potato Wedges again.
Radish – I want to try the cooking method and flavor combination in Stir Fried Chicken with Radishes, Chipotles, and Lime.  The recipe includes use of the radish greens.
Tatsoi – I’m trying to find a method to make Sesame Noodles with Japanese Vegetables.  I’ll keep you posted.

Readers Request: Arugula Suggestions

At pick up yesterday I had a couple requests for Arugula suggestions.

Here are favorites from over the years at The Purple Cook...
All Time FavoritePasta with Lentils and Arugula
SaladArugula Mustard Salad
Loved by ManyFried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches
Weeknight SupperLinguine with Chickpeas and Arugula
Here are three new recipes to try.
Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese – Fontina Cheese, Arugula, and Apricot Jam are the ingredients that fill the sandwich.
Chicken, Arugula, and Radish Pizza
Lentil Salad with Soft-Cooked Eggs – Arugula is a major component of this salad.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fall Fest: Turnip and Tomato Curry, Recipe Reviewed

Looking around for something to do with Turnips that caught my interest, I found a blog called CSA Girl – someone else sharing ideas about how to enjoy the adventures of a CSA.  She had a recipe for Turnip and Tomato Curry.  Since you get what you get in a CSA, my dish was more of a Potato and Turnip Curry due to the amount of Potatoes and Turnips we got in the share.

Monday Menu – Potato and Turnip Curry, Rice, Naan
Farm Share Food – Onion, Garlic, Turnips, Potatoes
Turnip and Tomato Curry
It is always a pleasant surprise to read a recipe that is of interest because it focuses on one ingredient I want to highlight from the CSA and then I notice I will also get to use many of the other items I have from the share.  This recipe was such a delight – in addition to Turnips, I put to good use my Onion, Garlic, and Potatoes.  I said my recipe was more of a Potato and Turnip Curry – the recipe calls for 1 ½ cups of diced turnips and ½ cup diced Potatoes.  We got a bunch of Turnips and a quart of Potatoes, so I just reversed these to be ½ cup of Turnips and 1 ½ cups of Potatoes.  I could have stretched the abundance further if I would have had time to roast my own Tomatoes and still had some Cilantro frozen. 
This dish was melt in your mouth yummy.  You could easily tell the difference between the tang of the Turnip and the comfort of the Potato.  An excellent pairing – Turnip and Potato.  I thought the dish could use a little heat.  I’ve been debating how to add this heat.  I’ve considered adding cayenne to the spices, a different curry, or serving with a little Sriracha.  Thoughts?
For more Turnip inspired dishes, check out all these great sites participating in Fall Fest this week...

Monday, October 7, 2013

Recipe Reviewed: Green Beans with Tomato-Garlic Vinaigrette

A quick and interesting side dish for a Friday night meal when I didn’t feel much like cooking after a long week.

Friday MenuMeatloaf, Green Beans with Tomato-Garlic Vinaigrette, Dinner Rolls
Farm Share Food – Onions, Green Beans, Garlic, Tomato
Steamed Green Beans with Tomato-Garlic Vinaigrette
This recipe is very straight forward and easy to put together.  I used 1 t of dried thyme instead of 2 t of fresh thyme.
NOTE: The link for the Meatloaf recipe is above.  It used CSA share onions and had a great sauce that bakes on the top of the meatloaf.

Chai Cider

Read this recipe and had to make it!  When my youngest asked to go apple picking I was excited to go so that I could get the green, tart apples and the apple cider needed to make this recipe.  Then I needed to find some friends to drink it and I did just that Saturday night.  Chai Cider is a keeper for cool fall evenings and parties.

Chai Cider
from Masala Farm by Suvir Saran
Printable Version
1-2 small or medium Pippin or Granny Smith Apple
2 quarts apple cider or apple juice
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ t ground ginger
1-2 small or medium Oranges
2 Cinnamon sticks
1 t whole cloves
½ black peppercorns
2 Darjeeling tea bags or Trader Joe’s Ruby Red Chai tea bags
Fresh Cranberries or Craisins (optional)
Thinly slice apples and cut crosswise into bite size pieces.
Combine cider, brown sugar, ginger, apples, and oranges in a slow cooker.  Wrap cinnamon sticks, cloves, and peppercorns in a cheese cloth.  Tie to prevent from opening.  Add the cheese cloth package to the slow cooker.  Cook on low for 2 ½ - 3 hours until apples are tender.
Add tea bags and Craisins.  Steep tea bags for 10 minutes.  Remove tea bags and cheese cloth package.  Serve and Enjoy!
Note: The original recipe also suggests kumquats to be added with the apples and oranges.