Author Archives: andreasgardencooking

About andreasgardencooking

I have been a sustainability professional for over 20 years and vegetable gardener for nearly as many. We rely on our garden to provide almost all our produce and what we don't get from the garden we try to source from local farmers. With children ranging from 3 years to 22 years old, I have a wide variety of taste buds to make happy. Cooking from the garden means needing to find variety in how we use whatever vegetable or fruit is in peak to keep my family interested and excited.

Persian Cookbook

You may have noticed that I have not been posting many new recipes lately. I am taking some time to focus on the cookbook I am writing.  I have gathered the Persian recipes from my husband’s family and others I have found and adapted them to an American kitchen.  My sisters-in-law spend many hours in the kitchen making their dishes.  With my husband’s help, I have found techniques to make them better suited to an American style of cooking.  Slow cookers, alternative ways to prep vegetables, and other techniques make these wonderful flavors accessible to American families, even for weeknight meals.

I will be including updated versions of many of the dishes I have already shared with you, plus some new ones just for the cookbook.

Of course there will be some favorites, such as Chicken Fesenjun

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and Khoresh Bademjun.

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But there will also be some new recipes and new twists on old standards, such as Mast-o Khiar

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Zeresht Polo,

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and Boogalamoon Polo.

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So, please be patient with me as I dive into finishing this.

Til later, enjoy!

 

 

 

Categories: Recipe | Leave a comment

Eggplant Parmigiana Sub

At 90, my mom is aging rapidly. Here she was a couple of years ago after the slide began but while she was still fairly alert (at least she still knew who I was).

Before she got sick, one of the foods she loved, but rarely treated herself to, was eggplant parmigiana subs. She especially liked the subs at our local pizza shop here in Dover. It was a major treat when she would visit and we would go out for our eggplant parmigiana subs. So when I picked up a whole bunch of eggplants on the farm in the Catskills, I decided to use some to make eggplant parmigiana subs in her honor.

Oh, she would have loved these. The hoagie rolls were the perfect texture to meld with the sauce and create just the right amount of bread to eggplant to sauce in each bite.

My words of advice, make sure the eggplant is really cooked through and soft. Over-cooked is better than undercooked.

Eggplant Parmigiana Sub

from FoodNetwork.com

1 large firm eggplant

3 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/2 cup olive oil, approximately

6 Italian style hoagie rolls, warmed in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 5 minutes before serving

1 cup part-skim Mozzarella, shredded

2 cups prepared marinara sauce, warm

Directions

Slice the eggplant crosswise about 1/4 to 3/8-inch thick – make slices as consistent as possible. If the base of the eggplant is very large, cut it in half lengthwise. Soak the sliced eggplant in a large bowl of warm, salted water for 1 to 2 hours. Make sure the eggplant is completely submerged in the salt water.

Scramble the 3 eggs with salt and pepper to make an egg wash. Remove eggplant slices from the salt bath, shake off excess moisture, and dip into egg wash. Then dip the eggplant slices, 1 at a time, into a flat plate filled with seasoned bread crumbs, covering all surfaces, and set aside. Continue breading the eggplant until all slices are done. Discard excess egg wash and bread crumbs.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan and allow it to heat up. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.)

Add the breaded eggplant slices to the pan, cover and cook until you begin to see the eggplant become translucent, about 5 minutes. If it begins to burn, lower heat and allow it to cook slowly. Using a large spatula, turn eggplant onto the other side and cook 1 to 2 more minutes with the lid on until eggplant is completely tender.

When eggplant is completely cooked, remove from frying pan and place onto paper towels to blot any excess oil.

Place 2 or 3 eggplant slices onto warmed Italian roll, top with shredded mozzarella cheese, then warm marinara sauce.

Enjoy! Makes 6.

Makes 6.

Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

Salad Shirazi

Salad Shirazi is a classic Persian salad. Fresh vegetables, mint and lime. Perfect for when garden tomatoes are plentiful.

The tomatoes share center stage with cucumbers, but you can’t beat the tomatoes for colorful lushness.

The result is a light, refreshing salad. Enjoy!

Salad Shirazi

2 medium cucumbers, diced (~2 cups) (from the garden)

2 large tomatoes, diced (~2 cups) (from the garden)

1/2 onion, diced

2 Tbsp dried mint

Juice of 1 lime

Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Mix the vegetable is a bowl.

Sprinkle the mint on top by rubbing it between your hands over the bowl. Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) Vegetarian Version

Not only did we pick berries in the Catskills, we also picked eggplants (yes, pick-you-own eggplants!). What a happy thing!

So we are “eggplanting” it out this week.  My vegetarian daughter is home so, I created this version of khoresh bademjun for her. Needless to say, she was thrilled.

Khoresh Bademjun (Persian Eggplant Stew) Vegetarian Version

1 large eggplant, 2 medium eggplants, or the equivalent amount of small eggplants

3 Tbsp canola oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 oz soy granules

1 onion chopped

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 can diced tomatoes or the equivalent amount of fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped, about 2 large (the tomatoes were from my garden)

1 to 1 1/2 cups hot water

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.

Peel and slice the eggplant lengthwise, about 1/2” thick.  Place on the baking sheet and drizzle with 1 Tbsp oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, turning every 10 minutes until browned. Remove from oven.

In a large skillet, heat the other 1 Tbsp oil. Add the soy granules and onions and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add a layer of tomatoes. Add the water then cover with a layer of eggplants, covering the tomatoes and soy mixture as completely as possible.

Cover and cook over very low heat for about 2 hours, check after 1 hour to see if more water is needed.

Serve with rice and pickled vegetables.   Enjoy!

Serves 4.

Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Cincinnati Chili – Turkey Version

I have written before about how I love Cincinnati Chili.  I really do love it, the flavor just makes me very happy.

I previously shared a beef version made a little healthier by pairing it with spaghetti squash.

Tonight’s version used ground turkey. We didn’t miss the beef at all.

Cincinnati Chili – Turkey Version

From Taste of Home

2 pounds extra-lean ground turkey2 medium onions, finely chopped4 garlic cloves, minced

15 ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce

14-1/2 ounces reduced-sodium beef broth

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

1/2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3Tbsp chili powder

1 bay leaf

2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp ground cumin

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground allspice

1/8 tsp ground cloves

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 pound spaghetti

TOPPINGS:

16 ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1-1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 medium onion, chopped

DIRECTIONS

In a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook turkey, onions and garlic until turkey is no longer pink. Transfer to a slow cooker.
In a large bowl, combine tomato sauce, broth, vinegar, chocolate and seasonings.
Pour over turkey mixture. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours.
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Remove bay leaf from chili. For each serving, place 3/4 cup spaghetti in a bowl. Top with about 2/3 cup chili, 3 tablespoons kidney beans, 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 tablespoon chopped onion. 

Serves 8

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe | Leave a comment

Blueberry Cake Waffles

We picked 4 quarts of blueberries over the weekend. That’s a lot of blueberries. And we have thoroughly been enjoying eating them every time we open the fridge. But there are enough to make some fun dishes with them as well.  The first was a celebration breakfast for our daughter when she returned from her backpacking trip – Blueberry Cake Waffles!

These really do feel like you are eating cake for breakfast, but with the fun of being waffles. My only complaint with these is that the blueberries make them stick to the waffle pan, so you need to re-spray the pan after each waffle. But, overall, that is not such a big hassle.

Blueberry Cake Waffles

from thebakermama.com

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup granulated sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

¾ cup buttermilk

¼ cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries (that we picked)

Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

¼ cup milk

Directions

Preheat a waffle iron.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and add ½-cup waffle batter to each waffle side. Close and let bake for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Remove to a wire rack set on a baking sheet.

Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar and milk together in a shallow bowl until smooth. Take one cooked waffle at a time and dip it into the glaze. Place back on the baking rack, glazed side up, and let the glaze drip down the sides and set slightly.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Makes 6.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, place on a lightly greased baking sheet in a 350°F oven or toaster oven for 5-7 minutes.

Categories: Blueberries, Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Dressing

It truly is summer in my garden; my kitchen counter is once again filled with beautiful heirloom tomatoes from my garden.


In working my way through the Monday Morning Cooking Club’s It’s always about the food cookbook (yes, the one my recipe is in), I came across this recipe for Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Dressing by Michele Wise.  How perfect does that sound?! Well, about as perfect as it tastes!

I had to adapt it a little – there were only 2 of us and our avocado was bad (I am not including it here, but avocado would be great in this salad.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Feta Dressing

adapted from Monday Morning Cooking Club’s It’s always about the food 

3 assorted heirloom tomatoes (from the garden)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 – 2 ounces feta cheese crumbled

1/4 cup olive oil

3/4 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 cup red onion, diced

Directions

Slice the larger tomatoes into thick slices and cut the smaller ones into wedges. Place them on a serving plate, alternating color and sizes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the feta, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano and onion until just combined. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

To serve: Pour the dressing on top of the tomatoes. Enjoy!


Serves 2 – 4

 

 

 

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

Raspberry Smoothie

We went berry picking this weekend in the New York Catskills. We came home with copious amounts of blueberries and a sizable amount of raspberries (about a quart).

I have plans for all the berries we don’t devour fresh (which we are doing a very good job of). If I have enough raspberries in a few days I will make my raspberry nutella challah.

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But today, I just wanted a sweet treat as part of my lunch, so it was rasberry smoothie time! Yummy AND healthy!

Raspberry Smoothie

1/2 cup raspberries (fresh picked)

1/2 banana

1 ounce lemon juice

2 ounces almond milk

2 ounces plain yogurt

2 tsp local honey

1 cup of ice

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process til smooth (if your blender has a smoothie function, you can use that).

Pour into a large glass and enjoy!

Serves 1

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

Blackberry Cheesecake Galette

Earlier in the week, I went for a walk at a township park in Pennsylvania. While there, I saw a woman picking blackberries for a pie. So during my walk I scoped it out, the park was filled with blackberry bushes! So I returned with containers, and filled a quart jar.

What to do with these beautiful berries. I thought about a bread, but that seems a better use for frozen berries.  My husband wanted something more like a pie; so I chose a galette, even better, a cheesecake galette.

It’s a dessert or a breakfast, tasting very much like a cheese danish. The pistachios add a nice crunch and flavor.

 

Blackberry Cheesecake Galette

Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Pastry

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup yogurt

3 to 4 tablespoons cold water

Filling

1 1/2 cups blackberries (locally picked)

1/2 cup sugar, divided

Juice from 1/2 lime

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 large egg plus 1 large egg white (from Farmer Kim)

A few scrapings (from about 1/4 lime) lime zest

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Final Assembly

1 egg yolk beaten (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 teaspoon water

1 heaped teaspoon turbinado or coarse sugar for sprinkling

1 tablespoon chopped pistachios

Directions

Make the pastry:

Place the flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor.  Pulse until the butter is worked in and the combination is granular. Add yogurt and  3 tablespoons water over mixture process until it forms large clumps.

Transfer clumps of dough onto a piece of plastic or waxed paper and pat into a ball. Wrap into a packet and refrigerate for 1 hour, or up to 2 days, or you can hasten the firming process along in the freezer, for about 20 minutes.

Make the filling:

While the dough chills, In a small bowl, combine blackberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, a squeeze of lime juice and cornstarch. Stir and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with whole egg and egg white until light and fluffy. Beat in 7 tablespoons remaining sugar, zest, vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Assemble the galette:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch cake pan (springform or standard), standard pie dish or 9-inch removable-bottom tart pan with nonstick spray and place on a baking sheet. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

On a floured counter, roll chilled dough into a large (12- to 14-inch) circle. If  the dough is softening too quickly, stick it in the freezer for a couple minutes at any point to make it easier to work with.

Carefully drape the dough in the prepared pan, let the edges hang down the sides. Pour in cream cheese batter then spoon blackberry mixture and any juices that have puddled in the bowl over the cream cheese in dollops. Gently lift the dough’s overhang and pinch it into loose creases. Gently, loosely lay the creases down over the filling; repeat all around.

Combine egg yolk and water in a small dish and gently dab over outside of crust with a brush. Sprinkle crust with coarse sugar. Sprinkle the whole tart with chopped pistachios.

Bake galette for 35 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the cheesecake portion comes out batter-free.

Let cool in pan on a rack and move it right to the fridge because cheesecake is best cold. Once fully cold, if it can be un-molded and transfered it to a serving plate.

Cut into wedges and enjoy!
Serves 8

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

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

One last dinner before our trip and we needed to use up the rest of the zucchini (until I picked more the next day, that is)

This was a surprise treat. Although my family likened it more to a lasagna than a pizza, but whatever you call it, it went over really well.

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I had planned on having leftovers to freeze for when we came home, but no, any leftovers were claimed for lunch the next day before we left.

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Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home

4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini (from the garden)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

1 pound ground beef (locally raised)

1/2 cup chopped onion

15 ounce can Italian tomato sauce

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. Place zucchini in colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then squeeze out moisture.

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Combine zucchini with eggs, Parmesan and half of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into a greased 13″x9″baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes.

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Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook beef and onion over medium heat, crumbling beef, until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce and cook about 5 minutes.

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Spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes longer.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 8

Freeze option: Cool baked casserole; cover and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap casserole; reheat on a lower oven rack until heated through and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.

Categories: Main Dish, Recipe, Zucchini | Tags: | 1 Comment

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