Monday, July 26, 2010

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

I serve it with yogurt mousse.  It's good with tea.  And that's all I have to say since there's one piece left calling my name.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

6th Avenue: Round Four - Squash Blossom Quesadillas

Super simple, tasty, quick, great for kids, kids could even make them themselves... All common ways to describe a quesadilla, right? Well, we stepped it up a notch at the Tacoma Farmers Market demo this week.  I think this goes to show that quesadillas can be elevated to the adult level.

Last night I used an awesome semi-soft goat cheese from Blue Rose Dairy called Grande Rosa.  It has the texture and properties of mozzarella with a distinct goaty tone and it just melts beautifully.  This is the second cheese I've sampled from this dairy, and overall I'm very happy with their products.  I paired this cheese with some early corn, spring onions, and squash blossoms.

To start, I thinly sliced and then sauteed the onion in olive oil.  Once it was translucent, I added in the corn kernels, then the squash blossoms, coarsely chopped, right at the end.  I seasoned this mix with a little salt, and realized that I should have brought some ground cumin as well...

In another pan, I heated a bit of oil and started some corn tortillas toasting.  Once the tortillas were warmed through, I covered each one with slices of the goat cheese then perhaps a quarter cup of the corn mixture, and then a second tortilla.  As the bottom tortilla became crisp and lightly browned, I turned it just to finish cooking the second tortilla.

Sorry to say, I don't have a photo since the samples were devoured faster than I could imagine.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Spaghettini with Basil, Clams, and Squash Blossoms

Squash blossoms and basil signal summer for me.  We have perfect delicate basil leaves and every indication of a huge zucchini harvest to come.  With so many squash in our future, I have no regrets sacrificing a few blossoms for this dish:
I started out with about a cup of fresh basil chiffonade, eight coarsely shredded squash blossoms, two cloves of garlic, two thirds of a cup of grated parmesan, and some cream.  Once I had my mise en place ready, I steamed one pound of manila clams in some sauvignon blanc, picked them out of their shells, and reserved the cooking liquid.  While they were steaming, I cooked about half a pound of spaghettini no. 11 (De Cecco is a good brand).  After draining the pasta, I added the garlic, reserved clam liquor, and cream to the saucepot and let it reduce to a nice thick consistency.  I added the pasta back in with the basil, blossoms, clam meat and parmesan.  With a quick toss and a sprinkle of sea salt, this quick pasta made four great first course servings.  Is your mouth watering?  Mine certainly is.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Grilled Lamb Chops

Summer has finally started in the northwest!  I'm kicking off the season with a great recipe that appeared in the spring issue of Art Culinaire.  It's a plate composed of rosemary grilled lamb chops and mint-almond pesto over a sort of ragout of chickpeas with chard and roasted grape tomatoes.  I've been waiting for a sunny day to give this recipe a try.  Here's how it turned out:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

6th Avenue: Round 3 - Crostini with Fava Beans, Chevre, Mint, and Lemon

After I finished the farmers market demo today, I did a mock up of the entire process for all of you that couldn't make it tonight.  The audience was very interested in many of the little steps so I thought I'd share them with you.

For this recipe you will need:

Fava beans
Fresh goat cheese
One lemon
A few leaves of mint
A baguette
One clove of garlic
Olive oil
salt and pepper
a pot of boiling water and an ice bath

Step 1:
Remove the beans from their pods:

Blanch the beans in rapidly boiling salted water for two or three minutes, until they are tender and their jackets split.  Immediately drain and shock in ice water.  They should look like this:

Step 2:
Make some crostini by slicing the baguette on a slight bias, then fry them in olive oil over a medium flame until they look like this:

Sprinkle with some salt, and rub with the garlic clove, then set aside to cool.

Step 3:
Take the beans out of their jackets and place on the cutting board.  Add a little bit of salt and pepper, a bit of lemon zest, and some thinly sliced mint.

Now, mince it up:

Step 4:
Assemble the crostini by spreading a bit of the chevre on each crostini (add a little bit of milk or cream to the cheese if it is too dry to spread easily), then spoon on some fava mixture.  Press lightly to help the topping stick to the crostini.

And you're done!  Serve with a crisp white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or sancerre, or a dry sparkling wine.