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Archive for March, 2012

Iranian Lima Beans with Eggs

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Medjool Dates

We’ve fallen in love with this lima bean dish. I made it last night for me and Adam with little ground lamb added. It’s good, really good. It definitely takes some effort and A LOT of dill, but dill is cheap and, well, grows like a weed so I say go for it.

I wanted to go crazy and make all kinds of pictures of these this morning (I mean look at it!), but I’m serving what you see to some friend for lunch in just a bit, and it just didn’t seem prudent (or very nice) to keep sticking my fingers in the beans and moving them around. I know they love me, but still.

Cheers!

Iranian Lima Bean with Eggs

Another great recipe from Saveur. Have you read the current issue? You really should.
I also added a bit crushed red pepper and some
smoked Paprika to offer a touch of heat.
Also, I may be doing something wrong but their recipe says it takes three minutes to cook the eggs.
More like 10 minutes for me. With a lid on the pan.

Ingredients:

6 tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp. ground turmeric
Pinch or two crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups finely chopped dill
2 cup dried baby lima beans, soaked overnight, drained
¼ tsp. crushed saffron
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 eggs
Saffron threads, to garnish

~

Warm butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add turmeric,crushed red pepper, paprika and garlic and cook until fragrant. About 3 minutes.

Add 3 cups of the dill and the lima beans.

Cook for about two minutes until your dill begins to wilt.

Crush a bit a of saffron and add enough water to cover the beans by about an inch and a half.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.

Cook, covered, until beans are tender, about 2 hours.

Season with salt and pepper and stir in all but 1 tablespoon remaining dill.

Using a spoon, form 4 shallow wells in the beans and crack an egg into each.

Cook until eggs are cooked over-easy.

Sprinkle with saffron and fresh dill before serving.

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Medjool Dates

 Adapted from Food and Wine

Ingredients:

2 Cara oranges, 1 juiced and zested (or navels if you’ve got them)
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tablespoon of honey, slightly warmed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt
1/2 pound carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/4 medjool dates, pitted and sliced lengthwise

~

Whisk the orange and lemon juice with the zests, sugar, cinnamon, cumin in a medium bowl.

Whisk in the olive oil, while pouring in a slow stream and season with salt.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots with all but 2 tablespoons of the dressing and let stand at room temperature for 40 minutes.

Using a very sharp knife, peel the remaining orange. Be sure to remove all of the bitter white pith.

Cut the or separate the wedges with your fingers and toss in the bowl with the dressing.

Add the dates and toss.

Arrange the carrot salad on a serving dish and spoon the oranges and dates around it.

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In the alley next to our apartment…

Portland Graffiti

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Cardamom Butter Milk Pie

Cardamom Butter Milk Pie

This pie is ugly. It’s also kind of a pain in the ass and takes much longer to make than you would anticipate. But is it delicious? Oh my, yes.

About a week ago, I suddenly had the urge to make pie. Just came over me like a wave. Felt the need to bust out my rolling-pin and work a chunk of dough into a disk. And boy did this dough require some work. See, first you freeze 14 tablespoons of butter, along with flour and sugar and salt, in a plastic baggie over night. Then you break it all apart in your food processor, form the dough into a disk, and refrigerate it for an hour or overnight. Then you roll that bad boy (14 tablespoons of very cold butter, mind you) out. If you’re short, with high counters, and not a lot of upper body strength? It’s a challenge. But man, is it worth it. Flakey, buttery crust. Bright lemony and cardomom infused curd. Definitely consider having a glass of port with this dessert. You won’t be sorry.

Cheers!

Cardamom Buttermilk Pie

We have Saveur.com to thank for this incredibly unique recipe.
I altered theirs a bit based on some of the comments with the recipe on their site. I doubled
the cardamom and decreased the lemon just a hair.
I also used greek yogurt instead of the listed sour cream because I have an
aversion to sour cream. Think it’s pretty gross. But that’s just me.

~

Ingredients:

1 1⁄2 cups plus 3 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. plus 1 cup sugar
1⁄2 tsp. fine salt
14 tbsp. butter (10 tbsp. cold,
4 tbsp. melted and cooled slightly)
2 tsp. white distilled vinegar
2 tsp. ground cardamom
3 egg yolks
1 cup Greek whole milk yogurt
2 cups buttermilk
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2-1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

~

Combine 1 1⁄2 cups flour, 1 tbsp. sugar, 1⁄4 tsp. salt, and cold butter in a plastic ziplock baggie and freeze overnight.

Add vinegar and 1⁄2 cup ice water in a bowl.

Turn the freezer bag’s contents out into a food processor and pulse until chunks of the butter are about the size of chickpeas.

Add vinegar mixture to flour mixture and pulse once or twice to bring things together.

Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.

On a well-floured surface, roll dough out to a circle. About 13 inches in diameter.

Fit into a 9-10 inch pie pan. Cut away the extra dough, leaving a 1 1⁄2 inch border.

Tuck the overhanging dough underneath itself to form a thick edge.

Pinch the edge to create a wavy pattern.

Cover and chill for 1 hour.

Warm your oven to 400°.

Prick bottom of dough with a fork then line with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.

Bake the pie shell for 10 minutes.

Remove the beans and foil and bake for another 10 minutes. You want the crust to be a golden brown.

Remove pie from oven and let cool on a rack.

In the meantime, whisk together remaining flour and salt with the melted butter, cardamom, egg yolks, and Greek yogurt.

Beat in remaining sugar, buttermilk, zest, and lemon juice.

Pour into your cooled pie shell and place it in the oven.

Lower the heat to 325° and bake until the outer edges of the curd is set, but the center is still a bit wiggly. About 1 hour.

Let your pie cool completely on a rack and refrigerate.

Serve the pie cool with juicy glasses of port.

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Sprouted Lentil Salad with Golden Beets and Fuji Apples

Sprouted Lentils

Golden Beets

There was a time in my life I soaked and sprouted just about anything I could possibly soak and sprout. Beans, nuts, seeds, grains and flours. My kitchen counters were cluttered with mason jars filled with a rainbow of beans and nuts soaking and germinating their little selves to digestibility. For whatever reason, that phase ended years ago only to be re-inspired by this months Food and Wine Magazine.

The reasons why one would soak and sprout various beans and grains may not be obvious. It’s simply a matter of initiating the sprouting process, causing the beans or seeds to germinate, thus releasing the necessary enzymes for optimal digestion. In other words, you soak your nuts and seeds so you can digest them. Simple as that. It’s an age-old practice that went out of style with the industrialization of our culture. If you’re curious about reading more on the subject, I highly recommend visiting this blog.

In the meantime, follow this link to Food and Wine’s super simple process for soaking and sprouting beans. It’s the one I used.

Cheers!

Sprouted Lentil Salad with Golden Beets and Fuji Apples

Feel free to dress this salad with whatever turns you on. I kept it simple with

a light drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. The possibilities are endless.

~

Ingredients:

1-2 cups sprouted lentils

1 golden beet, baked and thinly sliced

1/2 fuji apple, thinly sliced

Handful of spicy pepitas, optional

~

Toss all of the ingredients together and enjoy!

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Black Sesame Soba Noodles with Crispy Kale

Black Sesame Soba Noodles with Crispy Kale

Black Sesame Soba Noodles with Crispy Kale

Whenever I find I’m feeling heavy with the richness of winter eating, I turn towards one of Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks. Turning the pages of Super Natural Everyday is like fanning myself with a warm summer’s breeze straight off the San Francisco Bay, golden with California sunshine. Something many of us Oregonians need right about now. As I write, a crazy winter storm passes over our apartment thick with slush, ice, snow and soaking drops of rain. I can’t think of a better way to counter the cold damp than with a steaming bowl of soba noodles.

I adapted her recipe just a bit, working with what I found it our pantry rather than making another run to the store, but the essence of it is the same. Rich black sesame paste, nutty with a pinch of heat. I suggest you brew yourself a big mug of steamy tea, cozy up to a bowl of these noodles, and dream of spring.

Cheers!

Black Sesame Soba Noodles with Crispy Kale

Adapted from Super Natural Every Day

The Crispy Kale is not in the original recipe, but it sounded like a pleasant addition.

Heidi’s recipe also calls for mirin, which I didn’t have on hand so I substituted with Marsala

and an extra pinch of sugar.

~

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon sunflower seeds

1 teaspoon white sesame seeds

1/2 cup black sesame seeds

1 tablespoon plus one pinch natural cane sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons shoyu

1 1/2 teaspoons Marsala, or mirin if you have it on hand

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

Large pinch of red pepper flakes

Sea salt

12 oz soba noodles

One leek, thinly sliced

For the Kale:

One bunch kale, dried throughly, torn into bite-sized pieces, thick stems removed

Sesame oil

~

Toast the sunflower seeds and sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant. About 5 minutes.

Pour toasted seeds into your food processor and pulse until gritty and sand like.

Add the sugar, shoyu, Marsala, sesame oil, brown rice vinegar, chili powder and red pepper flakes. Pulse until blended.

Scoop out into a bowl or jar and set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add soba noodles. Cook according to package directions.

Drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of the noodle water and rinse the noodles under cool water.

Add all but about 1 tablespoon of the sesame paste to the hot noodle water.

Stir in the noodles and about half of the sliced leeks.

Serve hot with a dollop of sesame paste and a sprinkle of sliced leeks and crispy kale.

For the Kale:

Preheat your oven to 350.

Toss very dry kale with about a tablespoon of sesame oil and a few pinches of sea salt.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until kale is crisp and its edges are just beginning to char.

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The rain was coming down in sheets. It was cold and blustery and the threat of snow was looming, but no one really seemed to notice. We were blissfully cozy in the warm arms of The Gilt Club’s red leather booths. Welcome to another amazing Portland Food Adventures. A Moscow Mule made with house made ginger beer in our hands delivered with a history of the cocktail, by owner Jamie Dunn, we were in a constant state of anticipation of what alchemy was happening in the kitchen at the hands Chefs Chris Carriker of The Gilt Club and Rick Gencarelli of Lardo.

We had no idea what amazing delicacies our palates were in for.

The first time I met Chris was last June in The Gilt Club’s kitchen. I had the honor of photographing him for Eater while he swiftly broke down and entire pig’s head and then promptly served me pig face tacos. I was smitten. Adam was with me that day and we’ve been talking about those tacos ever since. In fact, I’m pretty sure when ever we happen to bump into Chris at an event, those tacos likely come up. So when Chris Angelus, the master mind behind Portland Food Adventures mentioned the line up for a Leap Year PFA that included the great Rick Gencarelli of Lardo, Adam and I were chomping at the bit. Oh boy, these guys are masters at what they do.

It went down like this: Seven plates, three courses on each. Chris and Rick took a protein and reinvented it three times, essentially making 21 courses for about 32 people. Yep. And when I say reinvent, I mean they meticulously crafted each course on each plate uniquely and exquisitely. Mind blowing.

Oh and what a night! The founders of the Portland Foodie Meetup Group were in attendance plus many new faces making the night electric and exciting. Folks were mingling, making pictures, socializing and laughing. It was a blast! The Gilt Club generously shared pour after pour of two beautiful wines from Cayalla Vineyards, we snacked on fried pig’s ears (that appeared as if from nowhere) and didn’t notice the soaking wet windows and awnings billowing in the wintry wind.

If you’re new to Portland Food Adventures, the fun doesn’t stop here. Included with your purchase is a stack of gift certificates for haunts around town that our gracious chefs like to eat and imbibe in. And if you were at this event the other night, you know you’re in for a treat! Gilt Club, Lardo, The Bent Brick, Euro Trash, Sushi Mazi, The Lion’s Eye and The Cheese Bar gift certificates printed by Chris Angelus in convenient little wallet sized adventure cards. So cool!

Cheers!

Hold on to your hats for the lineup for the next three Portland Food Adventures! You won’t want to miss these!

First Day of Spring Bounty Celebration on 3/20 with Pascal Sauton & Courtney Sproule at Milwaukie Kitchen and Wine

First Ever Dinner at OX! 4/12 with none other than the greats Greg and Gabrielle Denton

Private Dining with an incredible view with Chef Gregory Gourdet at Departure

Scallops escabeche with pickled vegetables, creme fraiche avocado purée
Roasted scallops, Silvie’s valley sous vide shortribs, shallots and red wine sauce

Fried rabbit legs with cipolinni onion agrodolche
Bacon wrapped rabbit loins with compressed butter leaf lettuce, lemon-pecorino dressing and boqerones anchovies

Confit lamb belly with berlotti beans, face bacon, and Noble bourbon aged maple syrup
Braised lamb tongue with frisee, fried shallots, fried egg dressing

Squid ink chitarra with braised octopus, and calabrian pepper buerre monte
Nettle cavatelli with nettle pesto, braised bacon, lemon zest, and pecorino

Sous vide ribeye with beets, bone marrow ‘tater tots’, and bordelaise
Grilled Bresaola spiced beef, chickpea fritter, and salsa verde

Chris holding court

Chris Angelus gets the kid's plate

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