Saturday, June 30, 2012

#FoodiePenPals


My #FoodiePenPal this month went way over the spending limit, spoiling me with yummy treats.  How lucky I was to be paired up with Dawn. The highlights:
  1. Lemon Creme Wafers: If you asked me what my favorite cookie is, I'd probably tell you I prefer cheese to any sweet.  But if I really think about it, it's absolutely a wafer.  Airy, crunchy, layered, a little savory.  Yum.  These lasted only two days. Oops. 
  2. Savi Seeds: A first for me, and such an interesting flavor. I wish I knew about this Amazon Inca Peanut while I was pregnant, as the seeds are the richest source of Omega 3 on earth! 
  3. Kale Chips: I don't think Dawn knew about my obsession with kale.  These were spot on, calling my name. 
  4. Lavender: An ADORABLE little tea bag full of lavender which I promptly tucked into my underwear drawer :-)
The protein drink mix is in my gym bag and I'm saving the lollipops for a rainy day.  Thanks, Dawn for an overflowingly fun box.  Join the #FoodiePenPal movement here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lauren Lately: Fritattas & Chicken


"Lauren Lately" is a series featuring the latest quick meals in my rotation when I cook but don't necessarily create a blog-worthy meal. 

1. CSA Veggie Frittata:  We receive a dozen divine fresh eggs each week and love frittatas.  Last night's mix… sauté diced garlic scapes and zucchini in olive oil until browned. Top with 2 cups of chopped kale and 1.5 cups of stock. Cook until the stock is almost gone, remove from the pan and drain. While any CSA veggies will do, the trick is to add flavor with chicken or veggie stock. 
 
For a three person frittata, whisk 6 egg yolks with ½ teaspoon of salt in one bowl, and vigorously whisk 8 egg whites with 2 tablespoons of stock for 2-3 minutes in another. Combine, melt a pad of butter in the same sauté pan and pour in eggs. Cook over medium heat until the eggs just start to set. Spread the cooked veggies out evenly and top with a few disks of mozzarella cheese. Pop the whole pan in the oven and broil on high until cooked through.   

2. Quick & Easy Dijon Grilled Chicken:  As part of my mission to spend less time in the kitchen mid week, a friend shared this delicious recipe.  I double it and pre-make 4 dinners worth, freezing individually so I can pop them frozen on the grill in Montauk or in a glass dish at home. Combine 1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon, 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 1/4 cup dry white wine, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon honey.  Toss in four chicken breasts. If using right away, let marinate at least an hour at room temperature. Grill or cook for 25 - 35 minutes @ 400 degrees. 

3. Steamed Veggie’s For Lunch:  Line your steamer basket with bite size garlic scapes. Continue to layer the basket working from hard to soft, meaning radishes or turnips first, then boy choy and finally kale or other soft greens. Steam over hot water for 3-4 minutes, toss with a squirt of lemon juice or sesame oil and a chopped hard boiled egg.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Zucchini Turkey Burgers


While devouring turkey burgers the other night my husband said, (and I quote!), "At this point, I like your turkey burgers better than a regular burger." And by regular, he meant red meat.  Oh did my heart sing! I love when a healthier alternative becomes a preferred one, and I admit to putting a lot of effort into getting my turkey burgers just right.

The lower fat content in turkey means the burgers can dry out during the cooking process if you are not careful. To combat that, I add all sorts of liquid rich ingredients. I will saute apples, leeks, celery or even pears to add to the patties. I borrow liberally from the Mar-a-lago playbook and toss in chutney. I love sticking a disc of goat cheese in the middle for a goey surprise.  When a friend sent me this recipe for zucchini turkey burgers, I couldn't wait to give it a try with a local zucchini.

This is the simplest recipe, perfect for mid-week. I topped ours off with some of my quick pickled radishes, and wow were they good. Enjoy!

Zucchini Turkey Burgers
Ingredients
  • 1 small zucchini, grated on the smallest holes of a box grater
  • 1 lb of ground turkey meat
  • 1/4 cup of panko or Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon 
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil
Directions 
  • Mix all the ingrediants together
  • Form 4 patties
  • Saute in a little olive over medium high heat, for 6-7 minutes per side
  • Serve with the condiments of your choice (though I highly recommend pickled radishes / pickles of some kind!)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pickled Radishes


Radishes were the first farm-fresh vegetable to stop me in my tracks.  The taste was so totally different, so totally better than the supermarket variety that my love affair with CSA's and farmers markets began.

There are so many great ways to eat radishes.  Raw with salt, sliced in a salad, roasted, just the green tops sauteed in olive oil, and now, pickled.

Pickled radishes make a great addition to sandwiches, sit pretty on a plate next to grilled protein and are a nice snack when you are craving something with a bit of a bite.  They *might* stink up the kitchen, but it is well worth it, I promise.  Best of all, they only take moments to prepare.

In the June #FoodiePenPals exchange, I was paired up with a local penpal and decided to fill my box with only homemade treats.  I included a jar of these pickled radishes, and hope they are as enjoyed by Andie as they are by me!


Pickled Radishes

Ingredients
  • 6-8 summer radishes, thinly sliced on a mandoline or by hand
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
Directions
  • Thinly slice the radishes by hand or on a mandoline (a.k.a. the finger shredder 2000 as my husband refers to it)
  • Place the radishes in seal-able container, cover with the water, vinegar, mustard and coriander seeds
  • Mix well, and let refrigerate for 3-5 days before enjoying

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Poached Egg & Braised Asparagus


Local spring asparagus have been hard to come by in my neck of the woods.  After speaking with my favorite Montauk fish monger (who stocks great local produce), I learned that the rainy weather diminished the supply and many farmers barely have enough to supply their own farm stands. If you see any stalks, snap them up.  And while you are at it, grab eggs and Parmesan cheese to whip up this elegant little lunch. 

The simplicity of today's recipe is spot-on, because the nuttiness of the asparagus really shines through. Equally as nice for a dish-washing detester like me, is re-using the same pan to poach the eggs. There is no such thing as too many poached eggs in my book, so I am certain to be exploiting the technique for years.

My summer CSA delivery starts tomorrow which means I'll be blogging regularly again soon. Yippee! Until then, enjoy a few shots taken with my fancy new SLR lens. I have heaps to learn, but am really hoping to up the quality of my #foodphotography. 

Braised Asparagus with a Poached Egg
Courtesy of Food & Wine and Gwyneth Paltrow 

Ingredients  
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends snapped off*
  • 1 tablespoon of butter 
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese 
  • 2 eggs
  • Water 
  • Salt & pepper  
*There is a "to snap or not" asparagus debate out there, but I'm partial to the snapping simply because it is fun! 

Directions
  • Preheat the broiler on high.
  • Fill a large deep skillet with salted water, bring to a boil and blanch the asparagus until tender, about 3 minutes. Leaving the water in the skillet, transfer the asparagus to a paper towel–lined plate and pat dry.
  • Arrange the asparagus in single layer in a pan, brush with butter, season with salt and pepper, and top with the cheese.
  • Broil 6 inches from the heat until golden, about 1 minute.
  • Meanwhile, bring the asparagus blanching liquid to a simmer. Crack the eggs into a glass, then, after swirling the water into a circle, swiftly pour them into the simmering water.
  • Cook until whites set, but the yolks are runny (3 ~ 4 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, remove each egg and blot dry.  Top with a sprinkle of salt & pepper, and serve on top of the asparagus. 


About Asparagus 
High in fiber, vitamin B and calcium, Asparagus are a flowering and hearty perennial plant.  If you are considering a home garden (more on that later!), these nutrient-dense fellows are known to re-produce for up to 15 years without replanting. 


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