Posts from the ‘america’ Category

black garlic hummus !!!

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we have an awesome outdoor market called green city market that i LOVE to hang out & shop at first thing in the morning-7am-before the massive crowds show up. i can only hit a few stalls per visit because it’s SO overwhelming. yesterday i saw little virgin bloody marys that had a piece of black stuff on a pick. i pulled one out & quietly sipped. i was being watched by the vendors. i sniffed the black thing, so interesting, & chomped down. i heard a chorus of angels in my head. it was my first taste of black garlic ! and i HAD to have more. it’s not cheap-around $3/bulb, but i bought 2 & a jar of the puree, which sells out fast. i have never tasted anything like it. it completely blew my head off.

i couldn’t wait to run home & make the most obvious dish with it-hummus. i used a basic recipe & increased the garlic from 2 cloves to an entire bulb of the black garlic. i wanted tons of that incredible flavor which is nothing like regular garlic. i can’t even describe what it reminds me of because it’s totally in a league of it’s own.

the hawks playoff game against the kings would be on in the evening & black garlic hummus was the PERFECT game nosh. it turned out totally amazing! seriously the very best hummus i have ever had! i used plentils-little lentil chips instead of pita. it worked perfectly.

i will never be the same again.

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thomas keller’s insane avocado louie recipe

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served at the oscars last night.
that is just insane. i mainly had to post this so i can try to remember to make it when i’m feeling very creative. what is super cool about him is that he shares it all! i use his simple roast chicken recipe in many of my recipes.

he encourages you to pickle your own, which is very intriguing.
who’s in?

Avocado Louie
½ avocado, pitted
5 hearts of palms, cut into rings
4 petite radishes, chopped
5 celery stalks, shaved
3 cucumber parisiennes (pickled cucumbers)
3 pickled mushrooms (Keller used pickled hon shimeju)
2 asparagus tips
1 sugar snap pea
2 romanesco cauliflower
1 cherry tomato (Keller used Sweet 100)
2 pearl onions, sliced
1 tbsp. lemon vinaigrette
1 tbsp. green goddess puree
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Fleur de sel, to taste

1. If you can, do your own pickling. Add cucumber parisiennes, hon shimeji mushrooms in a large bowl or jar with 1 part champagne vinegar, 1 part water, 1 part sugar. Let sit.

2. In a pot of boiling water, blanch hearts of palm, green asparagus, snap pea and romanesco cauliflower until tender.

3. Cut avocado in half. Trim the base so there is a flat surface. Trim the top and cut off any blemishes on the flesh. Brush the outside with lemon vinaigrette.

4. Spoon green goddess puree (recipe below) onto plate and place avocado on top. Add the rest of the ingredients—have fun with it! Drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Season with fleur de sel.

Green Goddess Puree

1 ¾ cups mayonnaise
¾ cup crème fraiche
⅓ cup roasted garlic, pureed
2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
2⅔ cups herb puree (below)
Salt, to taste

Incorporate all ingredients in a food processor or blender, and combine well. Adjust to desired consistency and season to taste.

Herb Puree
3 cups pickled parsley
2 cups baby spinach
1 cups pickled tarragon
1 cups dill

1. In a pot of salted, boiling water, add all ingredients and stir well. Allow the herbs to cook until tender: they should disintegrate when pressed.

2. Remove the cooked herbs with a slotted spoon place in a colander lined with cheese cloth or paper towel. (Ring out excess liquid to avoid the puree becoming too salty.)
Place ingredients in a blender and blend on high (you might need to add a small amount of cold water to help it spin) to a smooth thick puree. Scrape the sides of the blender and pulse again. Let chill.

roasted chicken matzo ball soup with quinoa

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when i crave matzo ball soup, i make it myself because i can’t get it in the city anymore. seems all the jewish places have moved out of town. i usually can’t get it to taste as good but this time i did it different & it blew away any chicken soup i have ever had or made.

the process is tedious but well worth it.

roast an entire chicken thomas keller style. i coated the entire bird with

-coarse salt
-white pepper
-togarashi
-italian seasoning
-adobo
-valentina fruit seasoning or some kind of chili lime salt – important

let cool. separate the skin & bones from the meat. make stock. i did a double stock-a previous stock was used to simmer the new bird bones. this added more richness. i also used a pressure cooker which speeds it all up. tossed in 2 bunches of green onion tops, several garlic cloves & above spices.

while the stock is cooking, take a large skillet & fry 5 pieces of chopped bacon till crisp. remove bacon, drain some fat & set aside. chop one large onion & fry 10 minutes. add 3 chopped carrots & 2 chopped celery stalks. add salt, cover & cook 10 more minutes. add 6 chopped garlic cloves, the chicken meat & bacon. add all the spices used on the bird. cook covered on low until the stock is done-about an hour. the pressure cooker is my friend.

drain the stock & combine with skillet. it will be ready almost immediately.

cook the quinoa separate. matzo balls are also separate & very easy. whip 2 eggs with 2 T oil whipping them with electric mixer. stir in one pack matzo meal, chill 15 minutes. cook covered in simmering water 20 minutes. i have made them many times & it seems this is the best way. i used to cook it all together and the flavor is much better cooked separately. you DO want to use the bacon.

i topped it with togarashi. a little romano, but it’s really fine without it.

chicago is having it’s 4th polar vortex- minus 30 degrees w/wind chills. soup is not a luxury. it’s a necessity.

pecan brittle & world’s best strawberry butter cookies

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a friend gave me sweet pecans from his mother. so i made pecan brittle. i’ve never made candy before & was surprised how good it turned out despite substituting some of the corn syrup with molasses, which is probably a better idea anyhow.

i would have to say the hardest thing about making this is it that it is physically demanding. you have to constantly stir it & it gets like caramel, which takes strength to handle. i’m looking forward to doing this again with variations. i have tons of pecans left. hand made candy is the best xmas gift.

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i continued my baking roll & made worlds best butter cookies & topped a fraction of them with my home made strawberry preserves.

i swear there’s nothing sweeter than spending all day in the kitchen.

tee’s smothered okra

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i bought the treme cookbook a few months ago & just got around to using it yesterday. it’s hard to pick just one recipe but since my husband’s favorite food is okra, i decided to make “tee’s smothered okra,” which is antoine batiste’s “last meal,” request.

the book is cool because each of the characters on the show “treme” offer family recipes & stories behind them. this one was passed on to his mother by his auntie tee. it’s super easy! AND totally delish! VERY similar to gumbo but without a roux & served atop rice-fork eaten rather than spoon. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

1/2 c. canola or olive oil
2 lbs okra (i used fresh) chopped 1/2 inch slices
1 yellow onion chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
1 garlic clove chopped (i used 6)
15 oz can chopped tomatoes with juice
1 lb. smoked pork sausage chopped (i used andoullie which is a great flavor enhancer)
1 lb. raw shrimp shelled whole
salt & pepper to taste

i used a cast iron pot-it cooks different than a regular one & is recommended-or a dutch oven. heat your oil over medium heat & add okra, onion, pepper, celery & garlic. cover & cook 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to coat with the oil. add salt & pepper. then add tomatoes & sausage & cook 15 minutes. add he shrimp & cook 15 minutes more. add salt & pepper to taste & serve over steamed rice.

i was surprised that salt & pepper were the only seasonings you need. i added file’ as well. the sausage was responsible for flavoring this unbelievably tasty dish. i highly recommend using the best andoullie sausage you can find & fresh jumbo shrimp.

PERFECT winter dish & great if you are missing new orleans.

tomato/avocado/corn salad w/roasted garlic olivada

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this blog is really for me. when i make something, i want to remember it. this recipe was made with what i had on hand & caters to my current olive/avocado fetish. it is utterly delish-SO good i ate almost the entire batch on my own.

the salad

2 ears corn painted w/olive oil
2 ripe avocados
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
1/2 lg cucumber peeled
1/4 cup small diced red onion soaked in ice water
1/4 cup nicoise olives
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the dressing

1/2 head roasted garlic
3 T. olive tapenade (ground olives w/olive oil)
3 T. olive oil
3 T. balsamic vinegar
maldon salt to taste
fresh ground pepper
bunch fine chopped basil
2 T. anchovy paste
3 T. shredded parm/asiago/romano cheese

-roast the corn in 350 oven till browned. cut off kernels & put in large bowl. chop avocados & tomatoes & add. i used 3 kinds of my garden cherry tomatoes-white cherry, black cherry & fig. peel, de-seed & chop the cucumber. add olives. add onions after soaking 30 minutes. this makes a big difference to people who are sensitive to raw onions. you need the flavor but it can be too harsh if you don’t soak. toss this together.

-roast garlic painted in oil in foil oven 350 for 35 minutes. squeeze into mini chopper/processor with olive tapenade, balsamic, anchovy paste, salt, & pepper. add olive oil gradually. mix in the basil (i used my purple basil from the garden which is stronger in flavor than regular green basil) & the cheese. add to veggies, toss gently & serve with a sprinkle of cheese on top.

SO good! all of these ingredients are in season so take advantage!

*easily can be made vegan by omitting the anchovy paste because the olives are flavorful enough & cheese is not necessary either because of this. olives are your flavor friend 🙂

strawberry jam

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i went shopping at a local produce store stanleys-over the weekend. a worker shoved an entire box-8 lbs-of strawberries in my arms & said, “you take. 98 cents.” i guess they needed to get rid of the ripe berries that day. what do i do with 8 lbs of ripe berries besides freeze them for smoothies? then i remembered someone at the store said, “jam.” so i looked up some recipes & went for it.

SO easy!

take 1 lb strawberries quartered. put in sauce pan with 2/3 cup sugar & 1 peeled & grated granny smith apple. simmer till strawberries fall apart-around 30 minutes. add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. let sit in fridge at least 2 hours.

delish! i plan on making buttermilk biscuits this weekend. there’s plenty to give away as i made 2 lbs of this stuff! you can probably use this in a dessert-such as a crepe or donut.

jam out!