Category Archives: Winter

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt and Pomegranate

About six months ago I switched to a new CSA/Farm Shipment service–Eatwell Farms. I’ve been fantastically happy with them, and lately I’ve given a few of their suggested recipes a try. Most CSA services give recipes with their products, which I’d assume is mostly to help those who have never eaten kohlrabi, or don’t know what to do with an eggplant. That said, the recipes from Eatwell have been especially tasty ideas and have been great at combining multiple things from the shipment into one dish.

This romesco recipe is adapted from one of their more recent blog entries.

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate Recipe

1 head romanesco, green cauliflower, or cauliflower, chopped smartly and evenly
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp Balti seasoning or a bit of garam masala; if you can’t get either, use more cumin and maybe a bit of paprika
1/2-1tsp kosher salt
1/2 C whole milk yogurt (I used the thin, Russian style Pavel’s)
2-3 tsp Turkish Seasoning or a mixture of oregano, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, sumac and a pinch of cayenne
1/2 a pomegranate’s seeds (about 1/3rd cup)
2 T white truffle butter or 1 tsp truffle oil
olive oil

Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet to medium high. Add the romanesco or cauliflower and the salt. Cook until some brown bits occur and the cauliflower is mostly soft. Add the cumin, balti, and caraway seeds and toss. Add the truffle butter and turn off the heat, stirring to melt.

Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and either keep warm for up to 1 hour or place immediately under the broiler for 1 minute to carmelize the top and make it crispy. Mix the Turkish seasoning with the yogurt and add salt to taste. Upon serving, pour the yogurt over the dish and add pomegranate seeds on top.

I like to share this one as an appetizer over wine and a block of good sheep or goat’s cheese.

Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate
Truffled Romanesco with Yogurt Sauce & Pomegranate
by
A fresh, easy, and impressive way to use romanesco or cauliflower, served family style, with a mediterranean edge.
Ingredients:
  • 1 head romanesco or other variety of cauliflower, chopped in nice size slices
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp balti seasoning or garam masal
  • 1/2-1tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 C whole milk yogurt
  • 2-3 tsp Turkish seasoning
  • 1/2 a pomegranate's seeds (about 1/3 C)
  • 2 T white truffle butter or 1 tsp truffle oil
  • olive oil
Instructions:
Heat a bit of olive oil in a large skillet to medium high. Add the romanesco or cauliflower and the salt. Cook until some brown bits occur and the cauliflower is mostly soft. Add the cumin, balti, and caraway seeds and toss. Add the truffle butter and turn off the heat, stirring to melt.</p> <p>Transfer to an oven-safe serving dish and either keep warm for up to 1 hour or place immediately under the broiler for 1 minute to carmelize the top and make it crispy. Mix the Turkish seasoning with the yogurt and add salt to taste. Upon serving, pour the yogurt over the dish and add pomegranate seeds on top.

Heirloom Beans with Spinach & Pork Belly

An easy weeknight meal, greens and beans make a healthy, nicely balanced snack or meal. You can always add more meat or greens to suit your taste & dietary needs.

Vallarta Beans from Rancho Gordo (or other small-medium size firm bean)

2 Cups spinach per serving

1 inch cube smoked pancetta per serving, diced (can use regular pancetta too)

Prep the beans by soaking for 6-8 hours in room temperature water. Strain and put the beans in a large pot, cover with 3 inches of water and simmer for 1-2 hours; do not boil, do not let the pot run dry. Strain and you can reserve for up to a week in the refrigerator.  Use 1/2 cup cooked beans per serving.

Fry the pancetta in a medium hot pan; when beginning to brown add the beans and cook until hot. Add the spinach and cook until wilted; serve.

Whole Lemon Bars Using Whole Meyer Lemons

lemon bars with whole meyer lemons

A very lovely coworker surprised me a few days ago with a gigantic bag of meyer lemons from a family tree in Napa. I sent about 1/3rd of them to my mom, used several in smoothies (which are not so blog worthy and are certainly very ugly looking with all the chard and other hippie hoo-da I’ve been drinking up, thus, the blog has been rather neglected lately for my newfound need to eat more vegetables in very boring forms), and the rest are either in these lemon bars or waiting to be devoured in the coming days.

This recipe is only slightly modified from David Lebovitz’s Whole Lemon Bars recipe, with my notes and adjustments below. My favorite frequent visitor to Paris (who has on several occasions rubbed shoulders with Mr. Labovitz at certain company events!)  is coming for dinner Sunday and I imagine I’ll find some new, delightful way to use the lemons in our meal. You, reader, can look forward to that!

I did make these by weight and recommend you do the same if possible.

Crust
1 C flour (140g)
1/4 C sugar (50g)
1 stick butter, melted (113-115g)
1/2 tsp vanilla

Topping
2.5 small organic meyer lemons
3/4 C sugar (150g)
3 large eggs
4 tsp corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
3 T melted butter (45g)

Powdered sugar for top

Oven to 350–line a 8×8 inch pan in foil as smoothly as possible, matte side of the foil touching the bars/filling. Get the foil crisply into the corners.

Mix the flour, 1/4C sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, stick melted butter and vanilla until just smoothly combined. Distribute the dough into the bottom of the pan evenly using hands or a spatula.  Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.

While crust is cooking, cut lemons in half and remove seeds. In a blender (I used my wonderful vitamix, but if you have a regular blender you may want to chop the lemons a bit), pulverize two lemons and the juice of 1/2 a lemon with the sugar until mostly smooth, a few chunks are good. Add the eggs, corn starch, salt and the rest of the butter, blending until smooth.

Pour the lemon topping onto the crust when it’s done cooking, reduce the heat to 300 and return the dish to the oven for 25 more minutes, or until it stops jiggling and is set.

Remove from oven, let it cool COMPLETELY before messing with it, then cut with a very heavy sharp knife into squares! Consider topping with powdered sugar and serving with tea.

I recommend NOT leaving these in an air-tight container as I foudn it to make them go very soggy very quickly. Foil wrapped in bunches works much better, at least in SF climate!

“Moon Viewing Noodles” – Udon with Pork & Sweet Potatoes

udon noodles with pork tenderloin and sweet potatoes "moon viewing noodles"

The hiatus was not entirely my fault. We had an issue with the kitchen sink’s piping, which, once we went in to fix what seemed simple, turned into quite a mess of replacing one part after another, the crescendo being when the disposal decided to actually fall out.

I was not very motivated to create more messes with no great way to clean them, and shortly after that was fixed the hot water decided to turn a lovely rusty brown. Anyway, we are all back in action and, I’m happy to say, fully functional again!

About this time last year I began cooking lots of Japanese food, mainly from a great cook book I own called Washoku Kitchen ($24.50 at the time of this post)– “recipes for Japanese home cooking.” I picked it back up yesterday and started cooking, with a few modifications.

The thing about good Japanese cooking is that the most delicious items seem to take many steps–5 ingredients, but each one you must create. A soy concentrate. A dashi. A miso mixture. It takes time, and works best if you start cooking a LOT of Japanese food, so you can make these things and use them more than once without duplicating efforts.

Udon noodles with pork & sweet potatoes/yams

For 3-4 people as a main course
12 oz fresh udon noodles, cooked*
8 cups dashi with shitake**
4 T seasoned soy concentrate***
1/2 large sweet potato, peeled & cubed
1/2 lb pork tenderloin, sliced thinly
2 green onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal

Bring the dashi to a light simmer, adding the soy concentrate. Place the cooked udon noodles in heated bowls. Using a large skillet and a lightly flavored oil such as avocado, cook the sweet potato on medium high heat until color is deepened, adding a touch of salt.

Add 1 T sake and 2 T water, and cover to steam 3-4 minutes. Push potatoes to side of pan and add pork, trying not to pile the pieces on top of each other. When pork is cooked, pour broth over noodles, add potatoes & pork to one side of bowl and sprinkle green onion over the top.

*cooked in a wide, not too deep pot with plenty of water for 2 minutes boiling, then drained and rinsed in cool water

**combine cold water with strip of kombu (thick kelp) and two dried shitake mushrooms. After 10 minutes, bring to just under a boil and then turn off. Add 1 cup unpacked bonito flakes (large tuna flakes). Let steep 2 minutes, then strain and return to clean pot

***Combine 2/3 cup soy, 1/3 cup sake, 1 dried shitake mushroom & 1/4 cup bonito or other tuna flakes, let steep 1hour-12 hours. Add 2T mirin, 3T water, 3T sugar. Bring to a simmer and reduce by 1/4. Strain and reserve.

Creamy winter citrus & crab salad

Winter salad with citrus and creamy yogurt dressing

Creamy winter citrus salad with Crab

For four:
1 dungeness crab, picked for meat (or about 8 legs/1.25 lbs in-shell)
2 small, tasty oranges
2 grapefruit
1 ripe avocado
1/2 C pepitas (pumpkin seeds, raw preferably)
3T plain greek yogurt
1 shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T good, mild olive oil
bunch watercress
bunch frisee

Pick the crab meat and mince the shallot. Toast the pepitas in a hot pan, moving constantly for a few minutes. Zest the oranges and grapefruit a bit to get about 1-2 tsp of zest into a small bowl. Section the fruits by slicing the stem/flower ends off and cutting the pith away. Hold the fruit in your hand and cut* along the membranes to section the fruit out.

Drain the excess juice into the zest bowl, and add the yogurt, shallot, lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of salt. Whisk together and let stand. Slice your avocado thinly and portion 1/4 for each serving. Dress the frisee and watercress in the creamy citrus dressing, and assemble the citrus segments, crab, avocado and pepitas on top.

*If you’re afraid of doing this, watch a youtube video; if you’re still afraid, cut them in rounds instead.