Saturday, September 20, 2014

End-of-Summer Bounty

This morning I went to the 61st Street farmers market, as I typically do on Saturdays. The produce at this market is always gorgeous. Today I got kale, peaches, cherry tomatoes, various peppers, and some organic pork steaks.



The kale will be cooked tonight in a sort of bougie version of Hoppin' John. I'll use bacon instead of ham hocks and the kale instead of collard greens. One of the booths today had collards but they didn't look very fresh. It's my own fault for sleeping in late and not getting there until things had been pretty much picked over. Anyway, I already have some black-eyed peas and rice on hand, so it's all good to go.

The pork steak and peppers will be cooked together with balsamic vinegar. Pork and peppers is a traditional dish that I've come to love over the years. I'll probably throw the cherry tomatoes in with the peppers. Those golden tomatoes are so sweet, like candy.

Fresh peaches are glorious this time of year, so these peaches most likely will be eaten out of hand. I also like to put them in yogurt and use them for peach pancakes. They're also good cooked in the morning oatmeal.

The only disappointment about the market today is that the flower guy wasn't there. I love buying myself a fresh bouquet every week, so I was not happy that he was gone. I hope he's back next week.

I hope you're enjoying this last weekend of summer. As much as I hate to see the farmers markets end, I also look forward to the hearty fall and winter cooking ahead of us.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Sourdough Popovers

About a month ago a friend gave me some sourdough starter. I've been feeding it (off and on) but hadn't actually baked with it until yesterday. I found a recipe for sourdough popovers on the King Arther Flour website. It said you could use fed or unfed starter and you don't need to make a sponge hours ahead of time, so I decided to give it a whirl.



The recipe was extremely easy, and I think they turned out beautifully. They have a great texture and just a hint of tang from the sourdough starter. This recipe is going in the regular rotation. I definitely will be making these popovers again.

Monday, June 09, 2014

Lentil-Tomato-Vegetable Soup Recipe

This is a very easy and quick soup you can pull together in 45 minutes. And it's extremely tasty.



1 minced shallot
1 T olive oil
1 T tomato paste
1 C lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 quart vegetable broth
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1-2 tsp dried oregano (I really like oregano with lentils, so I add a lot)
1 tsp sugar (optional, but it really helps tone down the harshness of canned tomatoes)
1/2 to 1 C water (needed only if the lentils are too dry and you want a thinner soup)
frozen vegetables
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-to-large pot, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the minced shallot and cook until fragrant, not brown. Add the tomato paste and cook until smooth and mixed in well with the oil. Add the lentils and stir to coat them with the oil. Pour in the vegetable broth and tomatoes. Add the sugar, dried oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, checking to see whether you need to add more water. Add the frozen veggies (I used a mix of cauliflower and broccoli) and cook another 10-15 minutes until the veggies are heated through and the lentils are soft. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Quinoa Corn Cakes

This is yet another recipe from The Heart of the Plate: quinoa-corn pancakes. I'm actually not a huge fan of quinoa, but these pancakes are really good.



I will probably eat the leftovers for breakfast with eggs tomorrow. I also made some tofu with a mushroom ragout. It's a variation of a dish I've made before with chicken. I sauteed the mushrooms, some scallions, and some cherry tomatoes until wilted. Then I deglazed the pan with red wine and seasoned it. It was very simple but tasty. I recently told a friend: every vegetarian should own this book. I'm not a vegetarian and I love it. Every recipe I've tried so far has been a winner.