Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Deep Fried Green Beans

Tis the season for getting great food from the Farmers' Market while you're waiting for the stuff in your own garden to get ripe. Around here, it's sweet corn that's the talk of the town, but anyone who knows me knows I love me some green beans. Now I do really love them just parboiled in a little water and then sprinkled with some salt, dotted with some butter, and if I'm feelin' fancy, tossed around with a little lemon pepper. That to me is a perfectly satisfactory dinner. However, I wanted to do something a little different with the fresh green beans I got from the Farmers' Market (Farmer Fred's to be exact--got to go to a place called Farmer Fred's!) since the salt/lemon pepper/butter trick works fine on frozen green beans. I recalled that while in a TGI Fridays I once ordered a fried green bean appetizer that was served with a wasabi ranch. I decided if TGIF's could do it, so then could I. I hit the internet and found greenbeansnmore.com and was intrigued by Fried Green Beans (that uses only 2 TBSP oil and 2 cups fresh green beans so you know it's not deep fried). I may still try that one, but I was determined and kept looking and found the recipe for Deep Fried Green Beans. I made them and found them to be super easy (which is a lot coming from me since I'm not much of a deep frying kind of gal) and served them at dinner with some plain ranch (I'm not a huge wasabi fan). If you're looking for something a little different to do with your green beans, I'd say try this out!

Deep Fried Green Beans

1 pound fresh green beans, washed and trimmed to preferred length.
1 cup buttermilk (I just soured some milk with lemon juice, which also works)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP salt
1/2 TBSP pepper
1/2 TBSP garlic powder
Oil for deep frying

Pat your beans dry.  Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a bowl.  Dip your beans in the buttermilk and then roll them in the flour mixture.  Deep fry these until they are golden brown and then drain on paper towels. 

Serve warm with your choice of dipping sauce.

For the oil, I used a combo of shortening and vegetable oil, but the recipe just said "oil for deep frying" so use whatever you think works best.  I'd say something with neutral flavor (vegetable, canola, shortening) and a high smoke point.  I don't have a fryer so I used a 2 quart saucepan and maybe (maybe) a pint of oil.  I didn't fry a lot at a time, but I got it done.  They are better sooner than they are later.

And 1/2 TBSP?  That's 1 and 1/2 tsp.  I have to look that up every time because I can never seem to remember if it's 3 or 4 tsp/TBSP.  It's 3.  If you've got a 1/2 TBSP measuring spoon, use it, but if you're like me and have to make due with eyeballing the TBSP or figuring out the tsp conversion, go with the 1 1/2 tsp.  You're welcome! :)

Butter-Braised Kohlrabi

Our kohlrabi did GREAT in the garden this year. Maybe it was a little too great: we had quite a few of the little buggars and it's hard to know what to do with them. I understand you can serve them raw with dip (which does sound tasty) and I know from experience that you can cut it up and parboil it with carrots, but there are only so many meals you can serve carrots & kohlrabi before it gets old. Because of that, I decided to trawl the internet to see if there were any other ideas and viola!: I found Butter-Braised Kohlrabi. Easy and delicious! Thank you saveur.com for this recipe!

Butter-Braised Kohlrabi

2 lbs kohlrabi, trimmed but unpeeled and cut into 1" cubes (I trimmed and peeled mine--I had let them get a little big)
1 cup chicken stock
4 TBSP butter, cubed
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (another thing doing well in my garden, gratefully)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put the kohlrabi, stock, 2 TBSP butter, and thyme into a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Season with S&P and cover with parchment-paper circle cut to fit inside rim of skillet. (I did not do this: I used a splatter guard because I didn't feel like digging out the parchment, but your choice.)

Cook, stirring occasionally, until kohlrabi is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, remove pan from heat, and add the remaining 2 TBSP butter, swirling skillet until butter melts. Serve warm.

The slight carmelization I got on the kohlrabi (I didn't stir it enough) really was delicious and provided a nice counterpoint to the salt and papper vegetable-ness of the dish. If you're wondering what to do with a kohlrabi, this is it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Last night for dinner we had Spanikopita. Since I couldn't find a recipe in my cookbooks, I did some online research. I found two, one from Rachel Ray on foodnetwork.com and one from SnappySpoons on Allrecipes.com. Each had about half of what I wanted, so I combined them into one recipe. It came out pretty good, but in future I think I will omit the mozzarella cheese. Much as I love mozzarella, I thought it gave the filling a slightly rubbery texture. Here's my cobbled-together spanikopita recipe:

4 sheets phyllo dough
melted butter
1 (10-oz) package frozen spinach
1 egg
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (again, I think I'd omit this next time)
1/2 cup gratred Parmesan
1 clove garlic, minched
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 TBSP olive oil

In the olive oil, saute the garlic and onion until soft. Thaw and squeeze the spinach. Then mix the cheeses, sauteed veggies, and spinach together with the spices. Beat the egg separately and then stir that in.

Paint melted butter onto half of your sheet of phyllo, paying special attention to the borders. Fold it in half. Put 1/4 of the spinach mixture in a log shape on one end of the phyllo, leaving about 2" from the top and sides. Fold this over and then roll the spanikopita up like an egg roll. Paint the seam and ends with more melted butter and place seam-side down on a baking sheet (no need to grease). Repeat with remaining 3 sheets of phyllo and spinach mixture.

Bake in (preheated) 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until lightly golden all over and serve warm.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cilantro Mojo

Today, while digging through some recipes looking for my apple butter guidelines (I should probably consolidate those into a single written-down formula at some point, but today is not that day), I came across a recipe I wrote down last year with the intention of trying...and promptly forgot I had it. Fortunately, being able to read came to the rescue and today I got to try Cilantro Mojo and can therefore recommend it to you! Right now mine is sitting in the fridge, but soon it will be served over tortilla chips and queso fresco for a nice easy dinner on a warm day. I may also serve it to myself with crackers and cream cheese. It really is a beautiful sauce and I think I may need to begin finding uses for it. I suspect it would be delectable on chicken too. Hmmm....possibilities!

The recipe comes from Cool Kitchen: No Oven, No Stove, No Sweat! 125 Delicious, No-Work Recipes for Summertime or Anytime by Lauren Chattman. There are some good recipes in that book and I would recommend looking through it to anyone who has the fortune to happen upon it. As always, enjoy! - D

Cilantro Mojo
"This garlicky, emerald-green sauce is a favorite condiment in Spain. It's good, simple party food, scooped onto chips instead of, or along with, tomato salsa. It invigorates plain grilled chicken or fish and can also be served with goat cheese. (I drizzle it on bread spread with cheese.)"

4 large cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into a few pieces
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves (one bunch yielded a cup of leaves)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
1 TBSP lemon juice

Place all the ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor. (Actually, I used a Magic Bullet since I wanted to try out one of the wedding gifts. It works well I'm happy to report.) Proces suntil smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice as necessary. The sauce, covered in plastic, can be refrigerated for up to 6 hours before serving.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Grilled Chicken with Tangerine Honey and Chipotle Glaze

This recipe comes from http://www.californiaoliveranch.com/recipes/Entrees-Main-Dishes/Grilled-Chicken-Breast-Tangerine-Honey-and-Chipotl.aspx. There are many good looking recipes at the California Olive Ranch website. I would suggest chcking it out.

For the glaze:
2 cups fresh tangerine juice
5 TBSP honey
2 TBSP finely-grated tangerine peel or Mandarin orange peel
2 TBSP minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce

For the Chicken:
1 cup fresh tangerine juice or orange juice
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
1 TBSP minced garlic
2 TBSP Olive Oil
2 TBSP finely-grated Mandarine orange or tangerine peel
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
4 6-oz boneless Chicken breasts

For the Glaze:
Combine the juice and honey in a heavy medium saucepan and simmer until reduced to 2/3 cup. Mix in the grated peel and the chipotle chiles.

For the Chicken:
Combine the juice, herbs, garlic, oil, and orange peel in a bowl and blend. Add chicken and coat with marmalade. Cover and chill at least 4 hours and up to 1 day, turning occasionally as necessary.
Prepare teh barbecue grill to medium heat. Remove the chicken from the arinade and discard marinade. Sprinkle chicken lightly with salt. Grill until cooked through, turning and repositioning chicken occasionally for even cooking (about 15-18 minutes). Brush chicken all over with glaze, grill 2 minutes more on each side.

Serve with glaze.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Toothache Tomato Soup

I recently had a wisdom tooth removed and thus have found myself on a liquid diet (it hurts too much to open my jaw). Not a huge fan of the canned soup options and not wanting to take my puffy face to the store, I concocted some soup out of ingredients on hand. If you're looking for something with a little zing, this may be for you.

Toothache Tomato Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
olive oil (3-4 TBSP)
one quart canned tomatoes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry marjoram
1/2 tsp dry basil

Cook the onion in the olive oil until it just begins to take on a little bit of brown. Remove the pan from heat and spoon the onion out of the pan and into your blender. Put the dry spices in the warm oil left in the pan and go puree the onions. If it doesn't move around enough, pour in some of the tomatoes to give it some liquid. Put the onion puree back into the pan. Puree the remaining tomatoes until smooth and return to the pan. Stir everything together and warm until it's the temperature you prefer. Serve.

I will say that I think this would be lovely with some fresh sauteed garlic (didn't have any fresh: hence, the powdered) and that fresh spices would be superior goes without saying. If I had some cream onhand I might have tried some of that as well. This would be good with a loaf of crusty bread turned into a cheesy garlic toast or garnished with some toasted pinenuts too I suspect, but if you can't open your jaw for the pain, the plain version above was good and the leftovers kept really well in the fridge.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Apple Dip

Happy New Year Gang!

At work we had a potluck, and one of my coworkers brought this. Her description was, "it's like crack." After hearing what was in it, I was anxious to try it, and once I had, understood the analogy because it was so addicting. My advice is try this BEFORE starting the new year diet because it is hard to quit. I am not sure I agree that Granny Smiths are bitter: I do think they're more tart, but not necessarily bitter. This will probably work with any apple (or spoon) you choose to employ, but I would say it's particularly suited to a more tart apple as this is sweet enough to make your teeth fall right out of your head (but you'll enjoy every minute of it). Enjoy - Devon

Apple Dip

2 8-oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 container of caramel apple dip (in produce section, by apples)
3 Heath bars, crushed (Skor bars are more dense and don’t crumble as easily)
6-8 Granny Smith apples, sliced (it may be easier to buy the pre-sliced in the bag so they don’t brown)

Mix together softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and ¼ of the container of apple dip. Put in a shallow pan and put in the fridge to firm up. (Can do this the night before.) Use the rest of the apple dip to make a layer on top of the cream cheese layer. Top with crushed Heath Bars. Serve with apple slices. Use the Granny Smith apples because they are bitter and make a good combo for the sweet dip. After cutting the apple slices, soak them in an uncola (like Sprite or 7-Up for a minute or two so they will not get brown.