Sunday, September 29, 2013

Seaweed Dinner

Seaweed or rather, sea vegetables, and the many varieties have always been a bit of an oddity in The RQ's kitchen pantry. Many are familiar with Nori or roasted seaweed that is used in sushi rolls. P< is famous for whipping together delicious sushi rolls with Nori which has a mild aroma. But sea vegetables in general give off a smell that some consider disconcerting if not overwhelming. I know vegans who won't touch the stuff due to the nature that some dishes made with seaweed emit a more than subtle scent of fish! That said, this veggie shouldn't be overlooked! In the right amounts and with the right balance of seasonings, foodies can partake in the nuance of the dish and benefit from the many nutritious jewels!

The RQ served this dish over Jasmine rice. The subtle flavors of rice wine (Mirin) and soy sauce (Tamari) tempered the intensity of the Hiziki seaweed. And notice, a modest  amount of Hiziki seaweed was used as an accent to the dish! In addition, delicata squash, daikon (asian radish), rehydrated Shiitake mushrooms and sweet onions gave this meal a nice balance. And don't forget to shake a healthy dash of black & tan sesame seeds with sea salt (Gomasio) over top.

Recipe inspired by Terry Walters' CLEAN FOOD cooking

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apple Walnut Cobbler

Just another afternoon in the kitchen. Cream Puff rang The Red Queen raving about Peach-Pear Cobbler that she'd whipped up the previous evening. CP used local fruit from a friend's backyard trees! The RQ was inspired and adapted CP's recipe using local heirloom apples!
The RQ used a combination of all purpose and whole wheat flour for the topping. And almond milk instead of dairy to combine the wet and dry ingredients.
This hearty treat whipped-up and baked-up in no time. Portman and The RQ found themselves enjoying a lazy autumn afternoon, sipping Finger Lake Pinot Noir and savoring this seasonal dessert fresh from the oven!

Fruit Filling
Sliced Apples*, Pears, or Peaches and Blueberries (4-5 cups total)
1/4-1/3 cup water______________________________
cinnamon, nutmeg (1/4-1/2 teaspoon each)
1 Tblsp all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar_________________________________
Scant Tblsp lemon juice 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tblsp Maple or Brown Sugar
Dash of salt__________________________________
3 Tblsp butter_________________________________
2 Tblsp walnuts_______________________________
1 egg, slightly beaten
2-3 Tblsp milk

Coarse Sugar to sprinkle on top of topping before baking (i.e. raw cane sugar.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake in an ungreased 8/8/2 baking pan. 

The filling is prepared stove top. Add fruit* and water to a skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and stir frequently. When the fruit begins to break down (5-8 minutes) stir in dry mixture. Don't overcook or you will have applesauce. Once it begins to thicken stir in chopped walnuts and lemon juice. Turn off heat and spoon into baking pan. Top with prepared topping (below).

While fruit cooks down prepare topping. Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Next cut in butter and then toss in walnuts. Combine wet and dry topping mixtures just till they come together (don't over mix). Drop mixture on top of fruit like cookies onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of coarse sugar and bake for 20-25 minutes.

*If using apples, peel and core.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Greens & Beans

for Kathy
Greens & Beans is a dish food connoisseurs may not get too excited about when dining out. But for those who know, this is a hearty and flavorful dish, pure comfort food. When done well, this dish stands up to many a savory dish! Many cuisines and professional chef's present their own twist. The RQ's recipe is closest to the Italian or Mediterranean style of cooking. The home chef can be as creative as she'd like as this dish can handle many a twist or turn. If you don't want butter use olive or coconut oil. If you don't want a brothy dish, simply sauté. Garlic and lemon juice/rind are classic elements which The RQ recommends. Even so, if you don't have garlic use a shallot or onion. 

Greens & Beans

Shopping List-
Swiss Chard, Kale, or other dark cooking green
Garlic (or shallot)
Lemon (juice & rind)
White Beans, canned (cannellini, great northern, or navy)
Red Pepper Flakes
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Chicken/Vegetable Broth
Salt & Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

Rinse and drain beans; the amount of beans added at the end of cooking is chef's preference. Next zest and juice the lemon, set aside. If broth is desired simmer one cup in a small pan to add later. 

In a skillet sauté garlic or caramelize shallots in olive oil over medium heat. Red pepper flakes added to the oil as it heats provides a little kick to this dish. Once the shallots begin to caramelize add greens with stems removed and cut in strips. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and add pats of butter to the skillet. Don't overcook these greens; especially if you decide to finish with a little broth. When greens are near done add beans, lemon rind, and juice. For those that like this dish with broth, add now. As always ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Salsa Verde


Anyone lucky enough to find some late harvest tomatillos must give this sauce a try. The blend makes a  refreshing alternative to traditional red salsa. And the flavors boost any meal!
Salsa Verde
(recipe and shopping list)

Tomatillo, husked and cleaned (check out local farmer's stands), 1 pint
Hot Pepper (med-hot, to preference)
Red Onion, half of a small
Garlic, 1 or 2 cloves
cilantro, fresh, healthy handful
lime, juice (fresh), half
salt, to taste

Boil husked tomatillos and pepper in salted water on stove (10-12 minutes). When skins just begin to crack, drain. Add tomatillos to food processor. Next remove and discard the stem and seeds from the pepper, chop flesh coarsely and add to processor. In addition, add coarsely chop garlic and red onion. Blend/pulse in processor until just combined (you don't want soup)!

Place mixture in small pot on stove to heat through (medium setting, simmer). After about 5-7 minutes, turn off heat, add lime juice, freshly chopped cilantro and salt to taste. ENJOY!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Banana Bread

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for their Jacked-Up Banana Bread recipe!

The cooler days of autumn have taken western New York by surprise demanding a delicious warm delight to satisfy the senses! So of course The Red Queen remembered that Cream Puff did find the PERFECT banana bread recipe!

Friday, September 6, 2013

White Bean Salad w/ Roasted Tomatoes & Arugula

How many cookbooks can a home chef own? Not enough! Portman would say The Red Queen is a cookbook junkie. Truth is they are ALL unique! This week's find and must have for anyone who wants to improve their health and still enjoy eating, is Terry Walter's CLEAN FOOD! The  following was created from a recipe in her CLEAN FOOD cookbook.

This salad allowed The Red Queen to use up the remainder of roasted plums from an earlier weekday meal. The cook can toss her favorite root vegetables with a little oil, salt, & pepper to taste and then roast them (400 degrees F for 20 min should suffice). Prepared/Canned beans and tomatoes can be added toward the end of roasting. When placed delicately over a bed of pungent greens (arugula), you have a healthy, delicious, and filling meal! For diners who like a little dressing, a sprinkle of balsamic and extra virgin olive oil will not overpower the flavors.