Posts filed under ‘Veggies w/ Protein’

Spring Greens Tortilla

Before and After

Dear me!  Forgive me for leaving you without a new recipe for so long.  I’m finding myself a bit overwhelmed with getting all my gardening done, managing business stuff, and tackling a few other major tasks.  I guess spring really does have a way of flinging you forward.  This year we’re having a particularly sunny and warm one here in Philadelphia.  Normally I wouldn’t have anything ready in the garden for harvesting yet, but the first glorious greens were ready for picking last week!   I have lemony sorrel and fresh earthy oregano a-plenty.   Aren’t they beautiful with their fresh green color after a long snowy winter? 

Oregano and egg shells

Speaking of green things, my onions in storage have started sprouting little green shoots out their papery skins.  I find this growth fascinating because somehow even though they have been kept in a dark basement where the temperature hasn’t changed at all, they somehow still know that it’s springtime and can still grow without any of the usual accoutrements of soil, sun, and water.   Now, if you have some sprouting onions that are still firm when you squeeze them, don’t toss them.  Just cut out the green shoots from the core and use the rest.

Eggs and herbs

The potatoes had not fared quite so well in storage, getting shriveled and wrinkly.  But these small fingerlings were the last of my stash, lasting more than six months since they were harvested, so I wanted to do justice by them, putting together a tasty dish that would use them up rather than tossing them in the compost bin.   A classic tortilla with the punch of the new sorrel and oregano seemed ideal since the potatoes needn’t be perfect when blanketed with farm fresh egg. 

Mixing

Now  I didn’t try this myself because I was too lazy to go to the grocery store the other day when I was making it, but I am pretty sure a few crumbles of blue cheese or gouda would really elevate this dish from “very good” to “OMG”.   While the recipe below makes a fairly modest sized tortilla, you could serve a lovely brunch {perhaps for Easter tomorrow?} for several diners by doubling it.  Makes tasty leftovers too!

Spring Greens Tortilla

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April 3, 2010 at 2:25 pm 8 comments

The Pioneer Woman Cooks & A Recipe

Book & Skins

There are many benefits to being a food blogger.  You meet a lot of awesome people for starters.  You also occasionally get asked to review a cookbook that you’d already been anxious to get your hands on because it’s written by a fellow food blogger whose work you adore.   Bou-YA! 

I’ve been a fan of The Pioneer Woman blog just about since Ree Drummond started it in 2007 to document her zany life as the “accidental country girl” wife of a cattle rancher.  When I heard tell she was working on a cookbook, I was thrilled to see yet another food blogger join the ranks of “real” (i.e., the kind that make money at it) food writers.  I especially love Ree’s honest and sometimes unexpected viewpoint on life and food and how she ties it all together.  Her photos of her ranch always take my breath away and make me dream of meeting my own steely-eyed cowboy and saddling up a mustang.  Or something like that.  It’s escapism at its best, folks.  Trust me.  Or, better yet, visit her blog and find out for yourself.

Before and After

Now, to get back to business.  I got her cookbook, appropriately titled The Pioneer Woman Cooks,  the other day and I promptly sat down to read it from cover to cover.  I’ve never seen a cookbook so stuffed full of photos.  There are glorious photos of Ree’s ranch, family, and food. It’s evident that Ree, who shot all her own photos, has a serious artist’s eye for nature.  In addition, each recipe has a photo for every single step!!   That’s right, every single step!   And there’s a parade of cute country sketches of butterflies and roosters and such across the pages.   Cover to cover, it’s a stunner.

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November 11, 2009 at 10:23 pm 13 comments

Big Sur & Breakfast Pizza

Book and a pizza

There are many perks to being a food blogger.  Good food, great readers, and a comfy space in which to share my passions, among other things.  One of those “other things” is occasionally being asked to review a hot-off-the-presses cookbook.   I’m repeatedly blown away by how beautiful and savvy cookbooks have become in recent years, and The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook is certainly a stand-out among a worthy field of competitors.  Any time I crack a new cookbook, I always flip the pages to look at the photos first.  Big Sur’s certainly got stunning captures of both the recipes and the natural landscapes surrounding the restaurant’s tiny town that clings to the edge of California’s coast. 

The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook

Once I finished my visual indulgence, I got down to business reading the text and choosing a recipe to test.  After all, the prettiest of cookbooks is just a glorified paperweight if it’s recipe collection is a dud, isn’t it?  I really loved reading the producer profiles that are peppered throughout the book – beekeeper, butcher, poke pole fisherman, hunter/forager, even porch farmers (a young couple that produces microgreens from their deck).  All of these folks sell directly to Big Sur Bakery, and their products are featured in the book’s wholesome recipes.  Reading these profiles reminds me of how different life is out on the west coast.  I’m really rather certain there aren’t too many people here on the east coast making a living spearing fish in the surf to sell to local restaurants.  If you know of someone doing this, please let me know as I’d love to tag along with them for a day! 

In the raw

Usually when I crack the cover of a new cookbook, I have a hard time deciding where to start with the actual cooking from its pages. Like a kid in a candy shop, everything I see is so tantalizing.  Not that the recipes in Big Sur didn’t all read like the chalkboard menu of my dreams, but picking the first dish out of this book turned out to be very easy.  I was immediately captivated by the photo of Breakfast Pizza and found myself brooding on the ingredient list (eggs and bacon on a pizza crust?!?) until I was able to find time to make the pizza for myself last weekend. 

Big Sur Breakfast Pizza

The concoction of a hungry and hurried chef right before a Saturday brunch service, this pizza proved incredibly tasty and satisfying.  I have to admit that I’ve had my fair share of cold pizza for breakfast (mostly back in college, but once or twice since) and always felt a tad ashamed for eating this doughy dish so early in the day.  Not so with Breakfast Pizza.  It seems perfectly natural to chow down on this – morning, noon and night.   In fact, after having it for dinner Sunday night, I happily had the (cold) leftovers for breakfast while driving to work on Monday. 

Slices

This one is a definite repeat and earns The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook a spot on the top of the stack.   I’m already thumbing through it, looking for the next recipe to try.  I have to say, I’m very tempted to hop on a plane bound for California to visit the Big Sur Bakery in person.  These folks seem like kindred spirits for sure, and I’d love to sit down at their long family-style table and chat about the food.  

Do you have a cookbook from a restaurant that makes you want to go eat there, even if it’s on the other side of the country? 

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August 8, 2009 at 9:28 pm 17 comments

Curried Broccoli Chicken Casserole

Broccoli

I’m sure you’ve all had some version of a chicken and broccoli casserole in your day.  Usually it’s a tad ho-hum, isn’t it?  Comfort food though, I’d venture to say in its defense.  Well, today’s recipe – a spin on this homemaker’s favorite weeknight go-to meal – is anything but ho-hum, thanks to an infusion of warm Moroccan flavors.

Bread cubes 

Awhile ago, one of my roommates made this casserole, sharing with me that it was a long-standing treat in her house growing up.  I could certainly see why just from the aroma alone that flooded the house as it baked.  I had a few nibbles of it and asked for the recipe, but alas never did get the specifics in the end.   The flavors stuck in my mind though.  Hints of curry, lemon, thyme and lots of broccoli goodness!

Chicken and broccoli in the dish 

I had one of those moments the other night where I stood with a glazed-over stare, holding the freezer door open in a horrifyingly energy inefficient way, wondering what the heck to have for dinner.  There were some vegetarian chicken strips in there which are definitely a staple in our house’s dinners, but I didn’t want to do the same ol’ thing, ya know?  

Curried Broccoli Chicken Cassarole 

Then I shook my head, closed the freezer door, and opened the fridge door, prepared to impart upon it the same zombie stare.   I was jolted out of my haze when I saw the heads of fresh broccoli I’d just picked from my garden and remembered this delicious Curried Broccoli Chicken Casserole.

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July 4, 2009 at 11:29 pm 12 comments

Scrambled Pasta & Spring Greens

Mache and lettuce seedlings

Finally!  The first edible greens of spring have arrived.  My withering culinary palette couldn’t be happier.  Outside my kitchen door on the deck that will be jammed full of containerized vegetables this summer, a lone container is holding down the fort here in springtime.  It’s the container I had a yellow pear tomato, swiss chard and sorrel in last summer.  After cleaning up the containers last fall, including pulling out the tomato from this one, I kept it for the swiss chard, figuring there was a chance I could keep it going a little longer into the winter with the container sheltered up against the south side of the house.  Wouldn’t you know it; the swiss chard petered out rather quickly but the container stayed put nonetheless since I had no interest in going outside in January.  

Sorrel

Over the past three weeks, I’ve watched in delight as the sorrel, awesome zesty green that it is, began poking up green shoots between last year’s dead “stumps”.  I could barely restrain myself from snipping them off and munching them right away, but I knew the plants needed to get a little growth on those baby leaves so they could capture the sun’s energy and fuel their resurrection.  Good things come to those that wait. 

Pasta and eggs

And indeed my patience was rewarded more than I thought.  While I waited for the sorrel, a dear friend gifted me with a big bag of mache, or lamb’s lettuce, that she received through her fabulous winter CSA via Jack’s Farm in Pottstown, PA.  Mache is still rather uncommon in the States, but it’s a favorite in France due to its nutty flavor and more robust texture than traditional lettuce.  It’s tender enough for fresh salad, but it also withstands light cooking, much like arugala.  I’ve become such a fan, I plan on growing it in my garden this summer. 

Scrambled Pasta and Spring Greens

So now I had two wonderful spring greens on hand as well as some garlic and a dozen beautiful brown eggs that were also part of my friend’s CSA box from Jack’s (see why she’s the best friend ever?).  I remembered seeing an episode on the Food Network some time ago where Giada (I think) made a pasta and egg dish that looked so rustically old-world, it stuck in my head over the years.  Looking at all the fresh local goodies on my counter, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to give such a dish a try. 

A bite with mache

Hearty and filling, Scrambled Pasta & Spring Greens is all that I hoped it would be.  The mache really handled the cooking process well and the flavors were incredibly fresh thanks to the sorrel and basil.  If you are worried about the cholesteral of the eggs, I’m sure using just the whites would work too.  And if you don’t have these exact local greens on hand, try experimenting with others that are available in your area.  I’m sure when asparagus season begins, this dish will make its rounds again in my kitchen. 

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April 3, 2009 at 10:08 am 21 comments

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