Monthly Archives: August 2013

Tah Chin Booghalamoon ba Sabzi (Persian Rice with Turkey and Green Herbs)

Let me start this post by saying that this is the first time I made this and it was so tasty I have to share it! This was also my husband’s and my attempt at naming the dish in Farsi, so please forgive us if there i a better description.

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I saw the recipe for Persian Rice with Turkey – Aromatic on JitterCook.com and was intrigued. It was similar to a chicken dish I make – Tah Chin (I have yet to do a post on this, but I will) – but also called for green herbs, so I could use the Qormeh Sabzi vegetables I had in my freezer.

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If you want to try this and do not have Qormeh Sabzi vegetables, you can start with the original recipe. My technique for this is a bit different from hers, use whichever approach you are more comfortable with.

This dish was also special to me because it was my first use of our own garlic!

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It is a very local dish – the green veggies and garlic are from my garden, the potatoes are from Farmer Kim, and the turkey is from TA Farms, about 7 miles from my house.

Tah Chin Booghalamoon ba Sabzi (Persian Rice with Turkey and Green Herbs)

(adapted from JitteryCook.com)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 recipe Qormeh Sabzi vegetables (from the garden)

4 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (from TA Farms)

3 cups basmati rice, rinsed and soaked in water for 1 hour, then drained)

8 cups water

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 Tbsp sea salt (I used Himalayan pink)

Olive oil – enough to coat the bottom of the sauce pan to 1/4-inch deep

4 small yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/4-inch thick (keep in water until ready to use) (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 tsp saffron, ground and steeped in 2 Tbsp hot water (or 1/4 tsp turmeric and 2 Tbsp water)

Directions

Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick skillet. Add the Qormeh Sabzi vegetables and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute.

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Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring, until the turkey is cooked. Season with salt and set aside.

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Cook the rice:

In a 5 quart, non-stick pot, bring the water, 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt to a brisk boil. Add the rice and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. After about 3 minutes, check a few grains of rice, it should be al dente. Pour the rice into a colander to drain. Set aside.

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Assemble and cook:

Using the same pot, just cover the bottom with olive oil. Add the saffron or turmeric and water. Stir together. Add the potato slices in a flat layer on the bottom of the pan.

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Add 1/2 the rice, then a layer of the turkey mixture, then the rest of the rice. Press down.

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Cover the pot with a clean dish towel and lid or a covered lid.

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Cook on medium-high for 7 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 minutes. Turn off he heat and tilt the lid to let steam escape until ready to serve.

Invert the pot to turn the rice out onto a flat surface.

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Enjoy!

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Serves 6.

Categories: Main Dish, Persian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Chesapeake Crab Cakes!!!

One of the benefits of living in Delaware is our proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and access to blue crabs. Chesapeake crab cakes are a treat; and they are a treat we make just as tasty at home as you can get at a crab shack. The key is good crab and using a minimum of filler; when you bite into a crab cake you should taste crab and seasoning.

I found this recipe twenty-some-odd years ago, right after moving to Delaware. I no longer have the cookbook it was from, only the ripped out page with the recipe. Luckily, it gives the attribution for the recipe, so here it is…

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As it states in the recipe, it is very simple. Rip the bread, moisten it, then put all the ingredients in a bowl.  Mix them together (I use my hands).

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Shape into 4 cakes. I chill them for about an hour.

Cook them in a thin layer of oil over medium-high heat for about 3 to 4 minutes per side.

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Serve on a bun with tarter sauce (ours is homemade), tomatoes (from the garden) and pickles. You can also add lettuce if you’d like.

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Enjoy!

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Serves 4.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Sandwich | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Almond Date Energy Nuggets – Back in Training

My distance training break has ended and I am back to building up for the Amsterdam Half Marathon.  While I was on “break” I decided to have some “fun” and do speed drills.  If I wasn’t going long, I would go fast.  I was focused on increasing speed without injury – the two often had gone hand in hand for me in the past.

Aside from fartleks, my favorite drills are a 90 second jog, 10 second sprint combo that I repeat anywhere from 10 to 18 times and a 30 second jog, 30 second run combo that also get repeated 10 to 15 times.  They help me with both speed bursts and recovery.  While I am increasing my distance now, I am continuing to do one of these two during one of my shorter, mid-week runs.  It also helps keep things interesting.

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My favorite post-run decadence!

I am also throwing in occasional 5k races to vary the focus of my running.  I want my head to be able to switch between the pace I need for a longer run and the push I need for a timed 5k.  I have not yet broken 27 minutes for a 5k; I am close, 27:01 at the last one.  So, that is my next barrier to break.

When I started doing longer runs, I went on the search for the energy food to take with me on my run. First I tried energy gels, but I found them pretty disgusting and they upset my stomach. And they made me thirstier, which was not a good thing when I was trying to make my water last for the run. Then I tried energy chews and blocks, the gummy-like squares. Aside from being really annoying in that they stuck to my teeth, they also upset my stomach. I was getting frustrated and concerned; I needed something to give me energy on long runs.

I decided to try to make an energy bar of my own with simple ingredients: almonds, almond butter, dates.

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I made them into nugget-size chunks, that would be about the right amount for when I needed an energy infusion. I was initially nervous that the almond butter would make me thirsty, but I really hasn’t. They have been working great for me both before and during runs, no stomach upset and just enough energy boost. And, they taste really good.

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I store them in ziploc bags in the freezer, and just take out as many as I need for the run. Pre-run I eat them right from the freezer – 1 for a morning 5K, 2 for a 10K or longer run.

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The only problem – they are so tasty, I have to keep myself from eating too many!

Almond Date Energy Nuggets

1 cup dates, pitted

1 cup raw almonds, or unsalted roasted almonds

1/2- 1 cup almond butter

1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Place the dates, almonds, 1/2 cup almond butter and vanilla in a food processor. Process until the dates and nuts are well chopped and the mixture is well combined. If the mixture isn’t sticking together enough, add more almond butter.

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Line an 8 x 8 pan with waxed paper. Press the mixture into the pan, it should be about 3/4inch thick (it may not fill the entire pan, that is ok).

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Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Cut into chunks. Enjoy!

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Store in plastic bags in the freezer.

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Makes about 2 – 3 cups of nuggets.

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

Khoresh Karafs – Celery Stew

The first time I went to Iran, my sister-in-law made a wonderful celery stew – Khoresh Karafs. I had never tasted anything like it. Who knew celery could be so tasty as a star ingredient? Since then I had tried to find a recipe for it, but none were quite right. So, during our visit this year, I made a special request that she show me how to make her Khoresh Karafs.

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She shared with me a secret to the great flavor of her stew – adding qormeh sabzi vegetables! Remember, when I last made Qormeh Sabzi, I made extra vegetables and froze them…this is why.

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While I watched all the steps of  cooking this using the traditional method, my mind was going over how to convert this to a slow-cooker recipe, it seemed to be a perfect candidate. All I had to do was wait until the celery in my garden was ready for harvest.

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My initial try ended up too watery with the celery saying a bit too crisp. So I made some adjustments, and below is the result of combining Nastaran’s recipe with my celery and a slow cooker.

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As with many stews, this is even better as a leftover.  I put our leftovers in the freezer and a few weeks later we enjoyed  a great leftover dinner of Khoresh Kalafs and Khoresh Bademjun (eggplant stew).

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Thank you Nastaran!

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Khoresh Karafs – Celery Stew

1 tbsp oil

1 lb stew beef or chicken, cut bite-sized

1 onion, chopped

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp advieh or cinnamon or advieh

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 lb celery, cut into 1-inch slices (from the garden)

2 tbsp dried mint

1/2 lb qormeh sabzi, fried and water

1 quart water

1/2 cup celery tops, chopped (from the garden)

1/2 tsp salt

2 dried limes, pierced

Splash of lemon.

Directions

Brown the meat in the oil. Add the onion and celery and fry on medium-low for 15 minutes.

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Place all the ingredients in a large slow-cooker. Sitr to combine. Cook on low for 8 – 10 hours.

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Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a splash of lemon. Serve with basmati rice. Enjoy!

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Serves 6.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Tomato Galette

The tomatoes in my garden are ripe and delicious. The purple cherokees, in particular, are abundant and as tasty as ever, even if they never are very pretty.

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I have been waiting until this point to make some tomato-centric dishes, such as this adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Tomato Galette. It is a fresh tomato, pizza-like tart using puff pastry. Tonight’s version is chock-full of my garden’s delights – this year’s tomatoes, last year’s tomatoes, garlic, oregano and thyme. And it has the flavor complexity I can always count on from Ottolenghi.

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It uses a  sun-dried tomato paste as its base; a great use for the sun-dried tomatoes still in my pantry from last fall.  I will definitely be making other versions of this paste for a variety of uses.

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Tomato Galette

Adapted from Yotam Ottalenghi

375g puff pastry

8 stalks fresh oregano, leaves picked and roughly chopped (from the garden)

100g feta cheese, crumbled

500g heirloom tomatoes, sliced 2mm thick (from the garden)

8 stalks fresh thyme (from the garden)

Olive oil

Sun-dried Tomato Paste

10 sun-dried tomatoes soaked in olive oil (made from the garden)

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 garlic cloves (from the garden)

1/2 tsp sugar

3/4 tsp salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Roll out the pastry to 3mm thick. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sun-dried tomato paste. Put all the ingredients in a small food processor and process into a rough paste. If necessary, add some oil from the tomatoes to help the processing (it should be paste-like, however).

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Spread a thin layer of the paste over the chilled pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.

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Sprinkle with oregano and feta.

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Arrange tomatoes on top, slightly overlapping. Make sure the tomato paste is covered by fresh tomatoes because it tends to burn. Drop the thyme stalks on top and drizzle with a little olive oil.

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Bake for 15 minutes, until crust is golden. Check the base to make sure the pastry is brown and fully cooked.

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Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

Cabbage & Kidney Bean Salad

I love cabbage. I always have. When I was a child, my father would make his own cole slaw; although I did not like cole slaw, I would hover around while he shredded the cabbage so he would give me a chunk of the head for me to eat. It was a great treat to me!

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I like cabbage cooked, fermented and, of course, fresh. So when Farmer Kim told me he had picked cabbage, I jumped on it! This cabbage and kidney bean salad was inspired by one I found on Allrecipes.com. We ate it as a main dish for a refreshing lunch, but it can also be used as a side salad.

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It as also time for other salads from our garden. Below is a salad based on tomatoes, cukes, thyme and parsley from the garden along with other local funds, some feta, chickpeas, and olives. Tasty!

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Cabbage and Kidney Bean Salad

1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced (from Farmer Kim)

2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 large red pepper, chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp kosher salt

Freshly ground back pepper

1 Tbsp dried parsley or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (from the garden)

3 to 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

Mix together the cabbage, kidney beans, red pepper in a large bowl.

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In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir into the cabbage mixture. Add the feta and mix well. Serve and enjoy!

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Makes 4 to 6 main dish servings or 8 to 10 salad servings.

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

Zucchini Parmesan Grinders

We still had a large chunk of the huge zucchini left; I wanted to use it for dinner, but I was in a finicky mood. None of my zucchini pastas or casseroles were what I was looking for. But I had this big pile of chopped zucchini to deal with.

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I love eggplant parmesan grinders, so why not an adaptation using zucchini? This made for a really fun dinner, quite healthy but it felt and tasted like it was really unhealthy – that is always fun!

We added a salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and basil from our garden, and our dinner was complete.

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As for my garden, things are finally starting to pick up steam, with nice daily harvests such as these.

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Zucchini Parmesan Grinders

adapted from Fabulous Zucchini Grinders on Allrecipes.Com

Marinara Sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil (from the garden)

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp white sugar

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes

Kosher salt & pepper to taste

Grinders

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cups zucchini, cubed (from Tori’s garden)

1 pinch red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, shredded

2 petite Italian breads or 4 6-inch French, Italian or hoagie rolls, split

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Heat the butter and oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat (I used a cast iron skillet which takes longer to cook. If you use a regular non-stick skillet, make the sauce first). Cook the zucchini until lightly browned and tender, about 10 – 20 minutes (if it takes too long, you can cover the skillet for a few minutes). Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

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Make marinara sauce: heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil and red pepper flakes. Cook for a minute to two until fragrant. Add the sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

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Remove from heat and puree using a hand blender, blender or food processor. I like to leave the sauce a little chunky.

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Assemble the grinders: Spoon the zucchini evenly among the rolls.

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Top with about 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce per serving.

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Top with a handful of mozzarella and a touch of the Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Close the rolls, wrap in aluminum foil, then bake for 15 minutes or until the bread is heated through, rolls are soft and cheese is melted.

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If you used the petite Italian loaves, cut in half and serve one half to each person. Enjoy!

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Serves 4

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sandwich, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Leave a comment

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

What do you do when you have a huge zucchini and have made enough zucchini bread (although, really, is there ever enough zucchini bread)? You make zucchini bread pancakes!

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Arielle was given a zucchini from her friend Tori’s garden. It was huge. She made 4 loaves of zucchini bread and there was still two and a half pounds of zucchini left! I cut off a chunk to use in the pancakes and still have plenty to build a dinner around tomorrow!

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I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen last year and we fell in love with it! I use the same recipe and include it below, but if you want to read the original, here is the link.

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

from The Smitten Kitchen

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons light brown, dark brown or granulated sugar

1/4 cup buttermilk or 2 tablespoons each of milk and plain yogurt, whisked until smooth

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini (from about 9 ounces whole, or 1 1/2 medium zucchini), heaping cups are fine (from Tori’s garden)

1 cup all-purpose flour (half can seamlessly be swapped with a whole wheat flour)

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

Butter or oil, for coating skillet

Directions

In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth.

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Stir in zucchini.

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In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

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Preheat oven to 200°F and place a tray on a middle rack.

Heat a large, heavy skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Once hot, melt a pat of butter in pan and swirl it around until it sizzles. Scoop scant 1/4-cup dollops of batter in pan so the puddles do not touch. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes.

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Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath.

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Transfer pancakes to prepared pan to keep warm as well as ensure that they’re all cooked through when they’re served. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.

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Makes 10 to 12 pancakes

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Categories: Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 2 Comments

Turkey and String Bean Stir-Fry

One of the only vegetables that grew at my parents’ house was string beans. They pretty much grew wild along the fence by our picnic table; no one ever planted them. My guess is that they started as a volunteer from our neighbor’s yard and then became quite established. Wherever they came from, I loved having them, they were sweet like candy and I ate them directly from the vine; none ever made it into the house.

The first year I grew my garden at this house, I planted bush beans. What a pain! I hated all the bending down to harvest them, and they produced prolifically! The next year I tried purple pole string beans, Trionfo Violetto, and I have grown them every year since. Of course I was a little disappointed, although amazed, that first year when they turned from deep purple to green when I cooked them. I still love them fresh off the vine, but now I try to find different ways to use them to keep us interested during their typically long growing season.

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The go-to recipe is always Pasta with Potatoes, Green Beans and Pesto, but even though we love anything pesto, we cannot eat every week. There is also Green Bean Polou, which I will probably be making again next week. But tonight we lean towards Chinese cooking with a Turkey & String Bean Stir-Fry adapted from Food Network Magazine’s Spicy Turkey and Green Bean Stir-Fry.

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Turkey and String Bean Stir-Fry

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

1 1/2 cups basmati rice

1 1/2 lbs string beans, trimmed (from the garden)

3 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 tsp sugar

1 lb lean ground turkey

1 clove garlic, minced (from the garden)

1 small half sour or dill pickle, finely chopped

2 tsp Asian chile bean paste

1 cup chicken broth

2 Tbsps soy sauce

1 Tbsp rice or white wine vinegar

2 tsps cornstarch

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover and boil until tender, about 18 minutes, drain and keep warm.

Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Toss the string beans, 1 1/2 Tbsp oil, and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil, stirring once, until the beans are tender and charred, about 8 minutes.

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Heat the remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add the turkey and cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, about 3 – 5 minutes. Add the garlic, pickle and chile bean paste and stir-fry about 3 minutes.

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In a small bowl, whisk the chicken broth, soy sauce, vinegar and cornstarch.

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Add the green beans and soy sauce mixture to the turkey mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes.

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Serve with the rice. Enjoy!

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Serves 4.

Categories: Green Beans, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Peach Time in Delaware – Peach Tart

Delaware used to be one of the top peach growing states in the US – back in the 1800’s that is. Hundreds of thousands of acres of peach trees were harvested in the county I live in. Sadly, in the 1920’s a disease devastated the peach trees and now there are only a handful of orchards still growing peaches. But, luckily for me, they are near my house!

I picked up a bag of white peaches from one of my favorites, Paradise Orchards in Felton, DE. They only sell their peaches from a little stand along the main road. If they are out there with peaches, I can’t resist stopping to buy some. These were destined for a peach tart.

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Now, just because we no longer are peach empire doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate the peach. We spent a pleasant morning at the Wyoming Peach Festival before I made my tart. The star of the festival is always the peach ice cream! (Of course Arielle had to make a goofy face at me whenI wanted to take a picture)

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After the festival, it was time to make the peach tart.

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Warm tart and ice cream go particularly well, but we did not have ice cream.  So, while the tart was baking, Arielle made some ziploc bag vanilla ice cream.  It may not have been much to look at, but the flavor was spot on!  The tart was nice and warm, it immediately started melting the ice cream.  What a great treat!

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Peach Tart

from Joyofbaking.com

Short Crust Pastry:

1 1/4 cups (175 grams) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 tablespoon (14 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.54 cm) pieces

1/8 to 1/4 cup (30 – 60 ml) ice water

Peach Filling:

1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) fresh ripe peaches (from Paradise Orchards)

2-3 tablespoons (30-40 grams) granulated white sugar

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Pastry:

In a food processor, using the pastry blade, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds).

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Pour 1/8 cup (30 ml) water in a slow, steady stream through the feed tube until the pastry just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary. Do not process more than about 30 seconds.

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Turn the pastry out onto your work surface, gather it into a ball,cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour to chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.

Once the pastry has chilled, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 14 inch (35 cm) square.To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness).

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Transfer the pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the refrigerator while you slice the peaches.

Peach Filling:

Wash and rub the peaches to remove any fuzz. Cut the peach following the suture from stem to blossom end and then up the opposite side. Gently twist the two halves of the peach and it should easily separate. Remove the seed and cut into 3/4 – 1 inch (2.5 cm) slices. You will need about 4 cups (1 pound) (454 grams) of sliced peaches.

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Place the peach slices in a large bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Then add about 3 to 4 tablespoons (30 – 40 grams) of granulated white sugar, or to taste.

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Arrange peach slices randomly on the pastry, leaving about a two inch (5 cm) wide border. Scrape any remaining sugar from the bowl and sprinkle over the peaches.

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Gently fold the edges of the pastry up and over the peaches, pleating as necessary. Make sure to seal any cracks in the pastry.

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Bake the tart in a preheated 425 degree F (220 degree C) oven for about 35 -45 minutesor until the pastry is golden brown. Reduce heat by 25 degrees (4 degree C) if the pastry starts to burn. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

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Best served warm, within an hour of baking. Enjoy!!

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Makes one – 12 inch (30 cm) tart.

Read more:http://www.joyofbaking.com/PeachTart.html

Categories: Dessert, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

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