Baked Farro and Butternut Squash

I picked up a beautiful butternut squash at Highland Orchards, big enough for 2 meals.  For the first, I made Ina Garten’s Baked Farro & Butternut Squash.  Of course, I was out of farro, so it was really red wheat berries and butternut squash, but that didn’t matter, it was delicious!

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The taste, the texture, it was perfect.  It is a definite keeper!

Baked Farro and Butternut Squash

Ina Garten

6 slices smoked beef bacon (she used applewood smoked bacon)

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups pearled farro (or red wheat berries)

3 cups good chicken stock

3 cups (3/4-to-1-inch-diced) peeled butternut squash (from Highland Orchards)

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Place the bacon on a baking rack set on a sheet pan and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes, until browned. Cut the bacon in very large dice.

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Meanwhile, in a 9-inch Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until tender and starting to brown. Add the thyme, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook for 1 minute.

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Add the farro and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Place the squash on top of the farro mixture, cover, and bake in the same oven with the bacon for 30 minutes, until the squash and farro are tender. Check once during cooking and add a little chicken stock if it’s dry. Sprinkle the bacon and parmesan on the squash and farro.

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Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the liquid evaporates, the farro and butternut squash are tender, and the cheese has melted.

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Serve hot directly from the pot. Enjoy!

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Serves 4 as a main dish.

Categories: Butternut Squash, Main Dish, Recipe | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Spring has finally arrived in Delaware! And with it, the ability to get my garden tilled and ready for the main spring planing. My husband spent the afternoon enjoying the sunshine while the tiller shook his arm so much that his fitbit thought he did 27,000 steps!

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While he was busy in my garden (ok, our garden), I accompanied Cam to his first official race, a 1/4 mile race for kindergarteners and 1st graders.  Part of the Healthy Kids Running Series – what a great event this was.  He absolutely loved it. And announced that he would practice running in our neighborhood so he can get faster.

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Spring also means that my local farm market is now open, so I now had green beans and asparagus from Fifer Orchards.  I decided to combine them with some edamame I had in the freezer and baby spinach as a side dish to have with our dinner.

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Quick Braised Asparagus, Green Beans, Edamame and Spinach

Adapted from Curtis Stone’s Quick-Braised Spring Vegetables

4 scallions, trimmed and sliced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (from my garden)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth

8 ounces asparagus, woody ends trimmed, stalks cut into 1 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 cup green beans trimmed and halved crosswise (from Fifer Orchards)

1 cup shelled frozen edamame

4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Freshly ground citrus pepper (or black pepper)

Kosher salt

Directions

In a large heavy skillet, combine the scallions, garlic, oil, and broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook for about
2 minutes, or until the scallion softens.

Add the asparagus, green beans, and edamame, cover for one minute, then uncover and sauté for about
2 minutes, or until the beans and peas are heated through.

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Add the spinach and sauté for about 2 minutes, or until the spinach wilts and the asparagus is crisp-tender.

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Stir in the lemon zest and juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving platter. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Serves 3 – 6.

Categories: Asparagus, Edamame, Green Beans, Kosher, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Microwave Potato Chips

While Cam and I were home on our spring “staycation”, I decided to try making a treat I had recently seen – microwave potato chips.  No matter how many times I heard that they tasted just like chips out of the bag, I was skeptical.  And my first few batches confirmed my skepticism – they were just not crisping up right.  I tried a variety of different recipes, then decided to follow my own instincts, and…wow! It was snacking time!

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Is that a perfect chip or not?! They were crispy and full of flavor.  In fact, Cam took the bowl and basically threatened me if I ate any of “his” chips.  The best part – these are healthy (another plus – Kosher for Passover).

Microwave Potato Chips

1 russet potato (or as many as you want to make, a medium russet makes about 60 chips)

Bowl of cold water

Olive oil mister (if you do not have one use an olive oil cooking spray)

Kosher salt

Directions

Scrub the potato and slice very thin using a mandoline (I did about 1/16th inch thick). It works easiest if you cut the potato in half and slice one-half, place them in a bowl of cold water, then do the same with the other half.

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Rinse the potatoes until the water runs clear, typically 3 water changes in the bowl.  Dry the potatoes using a salad spinner (or in a single layer between 2 clean dish towels).

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Line a microwave dinner plate with paper towels.  Lay the potatoes out in 1 layer, not touching each other.  Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. One potato will take about 4 batches to make.

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Microwave for 4 minutes. Flip and microwave for another 3 minutes – checking after 2 minutes to remove any chips that have crisped up and browned. Lay out on another plate to cool.

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Enjoy!

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Categories: Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cabbage Leek Latkes topped with Asparagus and Eggs

It is always fun when leftovers turn into a tasty new meal.  I had planned on a Passover meatloaf for dinner, but the meat was not yet defrosted, so I checked my vegetable bin – half a cabbage and 1 leek unclaimed for any other meal. Add an egg and some matzoh meal, and I’d have cabbage leek latkes.

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We had also stopped at Fifer Orchards for some fresh asparagus (one of my favorite foods they grow) and added local eggs for a tasty dinner stack.

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Cabbage Leek Latkes topped with Asparagus and Eggs

3 cups of finely shredded cabbage

1 leek, white and light green parts, cut into matchsticks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 eggs, locally raised

1/4 cup matzoh meal

Canola oil

1 lb asparagus (from Fifer Orchards)

6 – 8 eggs

Directions

Place the cabbage and leek in a bowl. Mix in matzoh meal and eggs and season with salt and pepper.  The mixing is really best done with your hands.

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Heat 1 – 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

For each latke, pile about 1/3 cup of the mixture onto the skillet.  Press down to form patties.

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Cook until browned, about 4 minutes.  Turn and cook until the other side is browned – between 2 – 4 minutes. Drain on paper towel and keep warm in the oven.

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Meanwhile, steam the asparagus for about 4 minutes.  Then pan sear in the same skillet used to cook the latkes.  Remove from skillet and add to the tray with the latkes to keep warm in the oven.

Cook the eggs to your liking, I did fried eggs, but poached, sunny-side up, or over easy all would work well.  Season to taste.

To serve, place a latke on the plate, top with asparagus and then the egg or eggs.  Enjoy!IMG_9669

Serves 4.

 

 

Categories: Asparagus, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Joan Nathan’s Almond Cake with Figs, Orange and Honey for Passover

Passover desserts have never been one of my strengths, but since I was heading to upstate New York for the holiday, I needed something easy to transport.  So, a cake it would be. And I would trust the ultimate Jewish cookbook writer to guide me…Joan Nathan.

There would be no wheat flour in this cake, only almond flour and a little matzoh meal. But there would be lots of nuts…in addition to the almonds, there are hazelnuts, pistachios and pine nuts.

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I was really worried when I brought the cake to the Seder, I had no idea how it would taste, whether it cooked correctly, etc. But my worries were unfounded, it was delicious and a big hit.

The cake is  supposed to be served with fig jam; it is hard to go wrong with fig jam. But honestly, it did not need it, it was so luscious and moist and flavorful on its own.

Now, that wasn’t the only cake I made.  My daughter’s birthday is during Passover this year and she loves carrot cake.  So, I used the carrot cake recipe from Leahcookskosher.com. She was skeptical about a passover birthday cake, but this was a winner; it was delicious. (the colors on top are remnants from the birthday greeting)

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Joan Nathan’s Almond Cake with Figs, Orange and Honey for Passover

7 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons matzo meal

2 cups almond flour

1 cup sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

6 large eggs, whites and yolks separated

2 tablespoons orange juice and zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt plus a pinch

½ cup honey

3 tablespoons Manischewitz wine

¼ cup roasted pistachios

¼ cup roasted hazelnuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup sugar

zest of 1 orange

¼ cup roasted pine nuts

2 cups fig jam

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and brush the inside of a 10-inch Bundt pan with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and dust the inside with 1 tablespoon of the matzo meal.

Whisk the remaining matzo meal, the almond flour, ¼ cup of the white sugar, and the brown sugar in a mixing bowl.

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Put the egg yolks and ¼ cup more sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until thick and fluffy, approximately 6 minutes.  Then drizzle in the remaining 6 tablespoons of the olive oil, the orange juice with its zest and the lemon juice.

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Fold the dry ingredients into the egg yolk mixture.

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In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and 1/2 teaspoon of salt until the whisks form soft peaks.  Slowly add ¼ cup sugar and keep beating until stiff peaks form.

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Then fold the whipped egg whites into the egg yolk mixture. It should be a thick batter.  Spoon the batter into the prepared pan ½ way up the sides and bake for 30 minutes.

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While the cake is baking, mix the honey, wine and a pinch of each salt and pepper in a small saucepan and heat until the honey begins to bubble up. Remove this honey syrup from the heat and set aside to cool.

Put the pistachios, hazelnuts, cinnamon, zest of another orange and the remaining ¼ cup of sugar in a food processor equipped with a steel blade and pulse several times until the nuts are coarsely chopped.  Add the pine nuts and pulse once or twice so they get mixed in but are not pulverized.

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Remove the cake from the oven and place on a cooling rack. While it is still hot, brush the cake with honey syrup and then sprinkle with the nut mixture all over the top. Enjoy!!

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Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Recipe | 4 Comments

Passover Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Cam has been in the mood for chocolate chip cookies, so why should he have to skip them on Passover.  It was tough to find Kosher for Passover chocolate chips in Delaware, so I ordered some online. Once I had the chips, these were so simple, just 5 ingredients:  almond butter, chips, brown sugar, eggs and salt.

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About 20 minutes later…chewy cookies!

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Best of all, they met Cam’s approval!

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Passover Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Marthastewart.com Five Ingredient Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup almond butter (kosher for passover)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (kosher for passover)

1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

2 large eggs (locally raised)

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl, stir together all the ingredients.

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Place dough in 1-Tbsp mounds 1 inch apart on the cookie sheets.

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Bake until puffed and tops are set, about 10-12 minutes.

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Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

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Enjoy!

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Store in an airtight container up to 3 days (or, if you made them ahead like I did, freeze them until ready to eat).

 

 

Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Recipe | 1 Comment

Homemade Horseradish

My Uncle Heshey used to bring freshly grated horseradish to our Seder each year. Of course, as a child, I dreaded the dipping of the matzoh into the horseradish.  But as I grew older, I grew to appreciate he sinus clearing properties of horseradish.  It “hurt so good.”

This year, I was inspired to make my own horseradish.

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It was actually quite simple, and turned out very well. It all starts with a simple root…

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And it all happens in the food processor – horseradish, vinegar, sugar, salt and a little white wine.

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Gefilte fish, here we come!

Homemade Horseradish

1 horseradish root (about 1/2 lb)

1/3 cup white vinegar

2 Tbsp white wine (optional)

1 tsp sugar

Kosher salt

Directions

Peel the horseradish.

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Cut it into small pieces.

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Process the horseradish until it is fine. You will be processing it more, so it doesn’t need to be superfine at this point.

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Add the vinegar, wine, sugar and salt and process until combined.

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Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Press it down so that the horseradish is in the liquid, so the top does not dry. “Enjoy.”

 

 

 

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Makes about 1  cup.

Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Smoked Salmon Salad Sandwich on Challah

I finally accepted that I am fated to not have a dry weekend for my husband to till my garden for me.  I have an irrational fear of the using roto-tiller, so I picked a dry weekday and decided to hand till (yes, using the hoe) the area I needed to get my early plants and seeds in.  I had already set up a trellis for sugar snap peas outside the garden, so they have a few days head-start.  In the garden proper are now parsnips, spinach, kale, cauliflower, bok choy and carrots alongside the garlic and strawberries from last year. It feels good getting the plants and seeds in, but I am not looking forward to all the weeding I will have to do – hand tilling is just not as effective a way to start off.

Of course, after the garden work, I was not in the mood to cook, so it was a simple dinner.  I decided to create my own version of the sandwich I had the night I left for Norway. A salmon salad with tarragon and marinated tomatoes on a brioche roll.

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My version used a good smoked salmon, tarragon mayonnaise and marinated tomatoes on challah.

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Smoked Salmon Salad Sandwich on Challah

4 roma tomatoes, sliced

1 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

Challah, sliced

1 lb smoked salmon

3/4 cup mayonnaise

3 Tbsp chopped fresh tarragon

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions

The night before, slice the tomatoes about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick. In a small bowl, toss with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use (you can take them out a little earlier to come to room temperature).

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In another small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, tarragon and vinegar.  Set aside.

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Break the salmon into bite sized pieces and place in a medium bowl.

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Add enough of the mayonnaise mixture to the salmon to the taste and texture you want.

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Spread the salmon on the challah, top with tomatoes and season to taste.

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Serve and Enjoy!

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Serves 4.

 

 

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Spice-Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes and Cauliflower

If you have been wondering what the picture in the header of the blog is, here is the post to answer the question… Jerusalem artichokes I dug out of the garden last week.

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When I went out to the garden to check the plants, expecting that the crop would be a failure due to really soggy ground all winter.  To my surprise, I dug out 4 1/2 lbs of very dirty, but very nice tubers.

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After some intense hose work, I had a tray of beautiful Jerusalem artichokes.

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First dish…Anne Burrell’s Spice-Roasted Cauliflower and Jerusalem Artichokes, spiced with cumin and cayenne.

 

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Totally delicious!

Spice-Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes and Cauliflower

By Anne Burrell

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes, cut into 1-inch dice (from the garden)

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Finely chopped fresh chives, for sprinkling (I did not have any in the house)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower and Jerusalem artichokes; toss them generously with olive oil and salt.

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In a small bowl, combine the cumin and cayenne and add to the vegetables. Toss well to thoroughly combine.

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Spread the veggies on a baking sheet in one even layer-use two baking sheets, if necessary.Roast 20 minutes, then stir the veggies so they have the chance to brown all over and rotate the pan to ensure even cooking.

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Roast another 20 minutes, then stir and rotate again. Roast the vegetables for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are brown, tender and smell wonderful-almost like popcorn! If they aren’t lovely and brown, let them continue to roast for another few minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

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Remove the veggies from the oven, sprinkle with chives and transfer to a serving dish. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Serves 2 – 4.

Categories: Cauliflower, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Cashew Sesame Energy Bars

It is that time of year again.  I am training for my next half marathon – the Delaware half on Mothers Day.

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I have been fighting tendon pain in my left leg, so I have been training on the Nordic Trak, which does not irritate it the way running does.  I even did 8 miles on the Nordic Trak a couple of weeks ago (talk about tedium, but I watched a movie while I did it). Today I will be hitting the road again for the first time for a 9.5 mile run.  I am a bit nervous.

To help me get in the mood, I made some new energy bars. I got the recipe from Runners World magazine, but it appears the recipe is also from Bon Appetit magazine. Either way – it’s a winner.  I am not sure if it is one I will bring running, if I do I will cut it into nugget size.  But it is great for either before or after… or both.

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They are very healthy, and the crunchiness is a textural change from my typical almond date energy bars.  The main ingredients… raw cashews and sesame seeds that you roast to kick things off.

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from Runners World & Bon Appetit “Crunchy Cashew Sesame Bars”

Nonstick vegetable oil spray

cups cashews

6 tablespoons raw sesame seeds

5 tablespoons flaxseed (I used milled flaxseed, so I did not roast it, if you use whole flaxseed, also roast them)

¼ cup wheat bran

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon coconut oil

Process cashews and remaining seeds with wheat bran, salt, and cardamom in a food processor until mostly finely chopped. Place in a medium bowl.

Bring maple syrup and coconut oil to a boil in a small saucepan; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour over cashew mixture and stir to coat.

Press mixture firmly into prepared pan with wet hands (it will be sticky). Top with reserved seeds; press to adhere. Bake until golden brown, 25–30 minutes. Let cool, then cut into bars. Enjoy!
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Do Ahead: Bars can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

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