Adventures with Edible

30 Aug When work feels like play!

It’s not that I haven’t been cooking! But I have been working a lot with the Edible publications this summer in addition to traveling and neglecting my garden, so let me share a couple of items with you.

This shrimp fra diavolo was out of this world!

This shrimp fra diavolo was out of this world!

Last week, a whole Edible team headed to Amagansett in the Hamptons to spend some time with food and wine personality and writer David Rosengarten. That was loads of fun. You can see the advance outtakes here and get a great recipe for a stacked Italian salad.

Alici salati...salted anchovies

Alici salati…salted anchovies

Eileen, my editor, stopped in before a wine class she was teaching! Pre-gaming with style

Eileen, my editor, stopped in before a wine class she was teaching! Pre-gaming with style

Yesterday the little man and I blanched, pureeed and froze five pounds of tomatoes. If you haven’t seen how on Hot, Cheap & Easy yet, click to see it on Edible Long Island.

Little hands, big help

Little hands, big help

2014-08-29 10.03.18

And here are a couple of pictures from stories for the Edible Long Island Travel issue; my lucky task is to cover some of Long Island’s most delicious international restaurants!

 

The Ellas: A Taste of Africa

The Ellas: A Taste of Africa – Deer Park

FADO, Huntington: Croquetas de bacalhao (I know they are not called croquetas in Portuguese, but don't have my notes at the moment!)

FADO, Huntington: Croquetas de bacalhao (I know they are not called croquetas in Portuguese, but don’t have my notes at the moment!)

FADO: Flan

FADO: Flan

Linguine with Spicy Scallop Marinara

28 Aug Outstanding spice and flavor
Whew! What a summer! Four weeks in Puerto Rico, another week in Chincoteague, VA, plus wall-to-wall activities, nonstop writing for the Edible publications…it’s been great, but I am afraid I have not posted here as often as I would have liked.
 
More garlic, cause that's how we roll.

More garlic, cause that’s how we roll.

If you think I have neglected this, you should see the #GardenofNeglect in my raised beds. Once again, the champion of zucchini failure failed to get even one lousy zucchini, bringing my three-year grand total to ONE. Ah well, fall plantings are in and I see a few radish greens popping up, so maybe we’ll get something going there now that we are home.

Sweet, tender Chincoteague scallops are a treat

Sweet, tender Chincoteague scallops are a treat

 
Anyhoo, this recipe is something my brother and sister-in-law put together while we were in Chincoteague to take advantage of the superb sea scallops available there. Apparently this is a new go-to for them in their home in Canada, warming without being heavy.
 
Hard at work in the kitchen

Hard at work in the kitchen

They based it on a Food Network recipe that uses spaghetti, parmesan rind and much less garlic than my brother bungs in. Why you would want to use less garlic is beyond my comprehension, but to each his/her own! You can use less than the amount called for in my brother’s version, but for my money, he has the right idea using a lot.

 
Look at that color...

Look at that color…

It was truly delicious, with bright clear flavors and not difficult at all to put together. I think it will become a go-to here in New York too!

 
Let's eat!

Let’s eat!

Linguine with Spicy Scallop Marinara

(serves four to six)

Kosher/coarse salt
1lb linguine
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  6cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1 28 -ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, sliced, plus more for topping

grated Parmesan to taste
3/4 pound bay scallops or sea scallops cut into 1″ chunks

Cook pasta according to package direction. Before draining, reserve 1/4 Cup cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until the garlic softens, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, 1/2 cup water and half of the basil. Bring the sauce to a boil, then stir and reduce the heat to medium low; simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt.

Increase the heat under the sauce to medium high, add the scallops and cook, stirring occasionally, until opaque, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining basil, stir in the parmesan and season with salt and more red pepper flakes.

Drain the pasta and add to the skillet with the sauce; toss. If you need more liquid, use the reserved cooking liquid. Divide the pasta among bowls, drizzle with olive oil and top with more basil.

A view from the kitchen

A view from the kitchen

I sooooo shouldn’t be eating this but….

26 Aug Oh the horror. Oh the secret guilty pleasure of a handful of salty crunch.

Yes, I really did send my seven-year-old son to bed with a banana, saying he’d eaten quite enough for one day and he couldn’t possibly still be hungry and then turned around and snacked on not one but both of these decidedly not-healthy items. I like to think that inconsistency is part of my charm.

I could try to excuse myself by saying how long it has taken me to eat the whole tub, but I won't bother.

I could try to excuse myself by saying how long it has taken me to eat the whole tub, but I won’t bother.

 

Oh the horror. Oh the secret guilty pleasure of a handful of salty crunch.

Oh the horror. Oh the secret guilty pleasure of a handful of salty greasy crunch.

‘Nuff said. Back later in the week with something I can be more proud of.

 

New Favorite Nosh: Tomato and Cucumber Sandwich!

19 Aug simple, seasonal and speedy!

This is barely a recipe, but it’s what I have been eating for breakfast and lunch (and sometimes in between with a cup of tea).

 

I like it with rye toast (shown here), but it reaches its apex with white bread....

I like it with rye toast (shown here), but it reaches its apex with white bread….

Toast and butter two slices of bread. Layer thinly-sliced cucumber (peeling is optional) and tomato – preferably fresh from the garden – on the bottom slice. Sprinkle with salt and top with the second slice. Cut in half and eat!

 

 

Garbanzo (Chick Pea) Salad with Tahini, Black Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

13 Aug rustic and robust chick peas!

I love garbanzos (chick peas, ceci) in all different ways, but especially as a salad or salad topper. They add meatiness and texture to everything and taste great with loads of garlic and onions.

Also, very versatile...

Also, very versatile…

Here is a quick and easy salad that uses up the bits and bobs you have in your fridge. When I make this kind of salad, I feel as though I am just giving it everything I’ve got; you’ll notice that the quantities of each ingredient can vary to your taste and availability. We’ll be having this one tonight with cold leftover chicken, perhaps some marinated artichoke hearts, an olive assortment, some pistachios and clementines. Delicious light dinner!

A worthy accompaniment to summer meals

A worthy accompaniment to summer meals

Garbanzo Salad with Tahini, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

2-3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil

½ – 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Juice of half a lemon

1-1 Tbs tahini

Pinch salt

1 Tbs garlic, minced

2 Cup garbanzos (soaked or from a can)

¼ Cup onion, chopped fine        

¼ Cup green pepper, chopped fine

2 Tbs sun-dried tomatoes, diced

1-2 Tbs pitted black olives, sliced

1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

In a serving bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, and lemon juice, until smooth. Stir in tahini until smooth, then a bit of salt. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, adding additional salt if desired. Serve over salad greens or rice.

Georgia Kalamidas’ Purslane Salad (Another weed made useful!)

12 Aug I haven't yet met Georgia, but her last name suggests that the Greeks know how to manage this bad boy right

We were a bit bemused to find this thick-leaved rubbery-stemmed plant called purslane (Portulaca oleracea) in our pick-up and completely unsure of how to use it. It seemed to be the exception to the CSA rule of thumb: “When in doubt, saute in garlic and oil.” What to do?

Purslane is a succulent. those fat leaves hold water during drought.

Purslane is a succulent. those fat leaves hold water during drought.

Fortunately, our Restoration Farm grower Caroline Fanning provided a recipe from someone I think is another another member, Georgia Kalamidas (duly credited here) and the Internet provided more info on what this thing is. Apparently, some folks think it is a beautiful edible ornamental. Others think it is a weedy, resilient pain the gardener’s ass.

University of Illinois Extenson educator, Sandra Mason in a very funny and informative piece called “Purslane: Weed it or Eat it?”  discusses the relative merits of purslane in the garden. For example: “Purslane is an annual reproducing from seeds and from stem pieces. Seeds of purslane have been known to stay viable for 40 years in the soil. You may find that fact either depressing or exciting.”

Use it or lose it. One day after pick-up this needed using

Use it or lose it. One day after pick-up this needed using

The edible nature of this useful weed is another story. In young plants you can use the stem. My pick-up partners, Lori and John, and I tasted the stems and were not impressed. So we removed the leaves (it takes a while, so factor in time for that), rinsed thoroughly (purslane generally grows close to the ground) and followed Georgia’s recipe. The purslane is a bit like watercress without the nuttiness, and a bit like parsley but milder. In fact, you could substitute either in this salad, which was absolutely refreshing and delicious, with a lot of brightness and crunch. And by the way, you can apparently saute it in garlic (the rule stands!), and also in soups, but don’t cook it too long or it will become mucilaginous (slimy, like okra). Also, next time I might substitute oregano for the mint and add feta. Click for basic recipe! Continue reading

Awesome Black Bean, Black Olive, and Couscous Burgers (baked, freezeable)

10 Aug Had to put the burger on hot dog buns for the boy cause I didn't have hamburger buns!

We love a good Black Bean Burger around here, seven-year-old boy included. I make many variations and make bigger batches than I need so I can freeze them. Usually I bake first then freeze, but with this one I am experimenting with freezing uncooked. So far so good; I took two out today and baked them and we loved them!

Froze them on wax paper and then when set, I put them in a freezer bag with was paper separating them

Froze them on wax paper and then when set, I put them in a freezer bag with wax paper separating them

I haven’t yet told the little man that there were olives in his burger. Maybe I won’t tell him at all; kids are funny and he might decide he didn’t like them after all, or become suspicious of everything I put in front of him. Hmmm. Anyhoo, these were really delicious and filling and I am glad to have another six in the freezer for a rainy day!

Oh yes! Black Bean Burliness!

Oh yes! Black Bean Burliness!

Black Bean Burgers with Couscous and Black Olives

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/2 Cup onion, chopped fine

¼ Cup green cubanelle (Italian cooking) pepper, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 Tbs cumin powder

1 Tbs Adobo powder

20 pitted black olives, chopped

2 Cups beans (soaked) or 2- 15 oz. cans, rinsed and drained

½ tsp salt

1/2 Cup fine (not Israeli) couscous (you could use two Cups prepared quinoa instead)

2 eggs

(optional ¼ Cup white flour)

Preheat oven to 375°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease lightly.

Warm oil in a large skillet at medium-high until rippling. Add onion and coat, then lower heat to medium, add green pepper, and sauté until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute, followed by cumin and cook another minute.

You may want to add beans to skillet for further cooking and softening (add ¼ Cup water at a time for greater tenderness).

In a bowl, mash beans into a thick paste (use a fork, potato masher or ricer). Add cooked vegetables, egg, couscous, and olives and season with salt (and pepper if desired). Shape into four generous burgers (or eight small ones) with your hands (don’t mess with it too much). If you find it much too wet, mix in the optional flour and then place on baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes on one side, 10 on the other and then a five on the first side. Serve with thinly sliced red onion, sliced avocado, sliced tomato and Sweet Roasted Red Pepper Dipping Sauce,  and Hot, Cheap & Easy’s number one post ever: Sauteed Onions and Mushrooms Burger Topper Extraordinaire if desired.

Natalia’s Refrigerator Pickles (prep in 30 minutes, eat in 24 hours)

9 Aug Featured Image -- 6290

Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy:

Note to readers on REBLOG: Since I will be making these today with my friends Lori and John, I thought it was worth a reblog! Easy and delicious…will go well well with some local craft beer at a family and neighbor BBQ reunion this coming week!

Originally posted on Hot, Cheap & Easy:

Refrigerator pickles are kind of like entry-level preserving for those of us who aspire to be like Martha Stewart, but don’t have the time, patience or domestic staff.

I started making them last year with a bumper crop of CSA pickles and zucchini and had so much fun, instant gratification and praise that I have kept going. I actually entered them in the Long Island Fair last fall, but the jar cracked and put me out of the running (wardrobe malfunction of the foodista variety). I will try again next year (so don’t even think about trying to enter this recipe on your own!).

These are a really popular item at BBQs and nice hostess gifts for wherever you are going to have dinner. By all means play around with the ingredients; I think turmeric is crucial, but leave it out for a more pure dill flavor.

And really, they…

View original 215 more words

Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea Lemonade

7 Aug So refreshing!

I am so glad to be back!

There she is! Will find that contact info soon!

There she is! Will find that contact info soon!

We were just in Puerto Rico for a month, which was fantastic and wonderful (especially for my son’s Spanish; he spent his days at a summer camp fending for himself  and emerging victorious!). But for those of us sitting home with nothing but fans blowing hot air around while he frolicked in the pool, it was ridiculously hot.

Putting it together was easy!

Putting it together was easy!

We headed for Rincón’s Famer’s Market a couple of Sundays (Rincón is higher elevation where it is not beachfront, so it is cooler), and we found a young lady selling iced teas…with a twist (now I can’t find her card or I would tell you who she is…).

How pretty is that?

How pretty is that?

Leandro fell in love with the Hibiscus-Mint Iced Tea Lemonade which she said is very popular for kids’ parties. So, of course I had to recreate it at home and I too emerged victorious. This stuff is super-refreshing and delicious, has no caffeine and looks beautiful. I used agave nectar, so I didn’t even have to fuss with sugar syrup….You could try honey too!

 

So refreshing!

So refreshing!

Hibiscus Mint Iced Tea Lemonade

6 Cups hibiscus tea, cooled (I used Tazo’s Passion – 5 teabags to 6 Cups hot water, then steeped for ten minutes)

½ generous Cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice (strained to remove seeds and pulp)

¾ Cup agave nectar (you could also make a simple sugar syrup and start with 1/2 Cup)

Several sprigs mint and 1 Tbs chopped mint

Mix all the ingredients in a large pitcher until blended. Remove mint sprigs, stir in chopped mint and serve over ice, with additional sprigs of mint for garnish, if desired.

 

20 Summer Tomato Recipes and Techniques (including rescuing and freezing!)

31 Jul I serve these as a starter in margarita glasses

Here it is finally, a round-up of recipes for using summer tomatoes, including rescuing tomatoes past their prime and processing for freezing (without the trouble of canning!). Bookmark this one….

1. The Easiest of All: Chopped Tomato Sauce

Light and beautiful, any kind of tomatoes will do, as long as they are garden fresh!

Light and beautiful, any kind of tomatoes will do, as long as they are garden fresh!

2. Speedy Bruschetta (great for using up tomatoes past their prime salad days)

A lovely way to start a meal (or grate some cheese over and call it a movie snack)

A lovely way to start a meal (or grate some cheese over and call it a movie snack)

3. Pan-Roasted Cherry, Grape or Sungold Tomatoes (Oil-Free options and another way to use up those minis gone soft)

4. Grilled Cherry Tomato Salad or Burger Topper

This recipe has terrible photos so I am not using them here, but great flavor.

This recipe has terrible photos so I am not using them here, but great flavor. Try it!

5. Roasted Plum Tomatoes with Garlic and Basil

Bung these in the oven while roasting other veggies!

Bung these in the oven while roasting other veggies!

6. Spanish-style Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Tomatoes!

Stuffed Tomatoes!

7. Provencal Vegetable Tian (baked layered summer veggies with olives)

Assembly is easy on this vegetable tian

Assembly is easy on this vegetable tian

By the time it came out of the oven, my natural light was gone...but you get the idea.

By the time it came out of the oven, my natural light was gone…but you get the idea.

 

8. Marinated Mini-Mozzarella Balls

Perfect for a summer BBQ or buffet (and big savings over the pre-marinated from the Italian deli

Perfect for a summer BBQ or buffet (and big savings over the pre-marinated from the Italian deli

 9. Classic Criollo Tomato and Avocado Salad

The go-to side for spicy, salty, strong-flavored creole cooking

The go-to side for spicy, salty, strong-flavored creole cooking

 10. Cannellini and Tomato Salad (no cook)

Add crusty bread and you've got yourself a no-cook hearty cool meal!

Add crusty bread and you’ve got yourself a no-cook hearty cool meal!

11. Pan-Roasted Tomato and Tomatillo Salsa (fat-free)

Pretty all the way from start to finish

Pretty all the way from start to finish

2012-08-26 04.56.47 tomato tomatillo

12. Oven Charred Tomatillo and Tomato Salsa

Oven Charred...Yum

Oven Charred…Yum

Next page: Bisque; Watermelon Feta and Tomato Salad, AND several ways to preserve tomatoes by freezing!

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