Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spiced Black Lentils with Yogurt & Mint

I'm not sure if our neighbors appreciate our homemade Halloween decorations or if they think we are going a little crazy. Dylan is really into a spooky holiday so we have that awful fake spiderweb batting all over our front steps, old t-shirt ghosts floating from the porch, and construction paper skulls, bats, and spiders taped randomly (with bright blue painters tape!) all over the walls. It's a look. Nick grew up in Sleepy Hollow so we are reading, on repeat, the tale of the headless horseman. To say we are excited for Friday is an understatement.

We tried this simple lentil dinner last week and really enjoyed it. It's easy to individually tailor for each family member. You can toss on an egg, leftover roasted vegetables, or shredded chicken on top.

Spiced Black Lentils with Yogurt & Mint
slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon mustard seeds 
2 tablespoons olive oil plus more 
1 small onion, finely chopped 
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
1 cup black beluga lentils 
3 cups (or more) low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth 
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
 Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper 
1 cup plain Greek yogurt 
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced

1. First, stir coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, and two tablespoons of oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 5 minutes. 

2. Next, add the lentils and 3 cups broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, adding broth as needed to keep lentils covered, until lentils are soft, 30–40 minutes. Stir in vinegar; season with salt and pepper.

3. To serve, transfer the lentils to a large bowl and top with yogurt. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil, and top with mint. 

Do Ahead: Lentils can be cooked 2 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Lemon Buttermilk Pie

I made this pie Sunday afternoon to celebrate the recognition of Nick's hard work in designing and building our kitchen addition. Vineyard Style Magazine is running a story on his ideas behind and execution of our small addition - read it here and see it here. He is a pretty crafty guy and we are so lucky to call him ours.

A few friends have mentioned how nice it is to see a small scale, thoughtful, self built project published in an Island magazine. I couldn't agree more. Typically, the pages are filled with sprawling, impersonal homes that are empty most of the year. Yes, most year-round residents depend on the owners of those sprawling homes for many things but still...does anyone need 23,000 square feet?! Martha's Vineyard is a funny place sometimes but I love it anyways.

Lemon Buttermilk Pie
Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit

Buttermilk Pie Dough
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
Whipped cream (for serving)

Buttermilk Pie Dough:

1. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. Transfer to a large bowl and add buttermilk. Mix with a fork, adding more buttermilk by the tablespoon if needed, just until a shaggy dough comes together.

2. Knead very lightly until no dry spots remain. Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or in the freezer for 1 hour.

Filling and Assembly:

1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface to 14" round. Transfer to a 9" pie dish, allowing dough to slump down into dish. Trim dough, leaving about 1" overhang. Fold overhang under and crimp edge. Prick bottom all over with a fork.

2. Line crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until crust is dry around the edge, 20-25 minutes. Remove parchment and weights; bake until surface looks dry, 10-12 minutes longer.

3. Meanwhile, blend egg yolks, eggs, buttermilk, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a blender until smooth. With motor running, add flour then butter. Fill into warm crust.

4. Bake pie, rotating halfway through, until filling is set around edge but center jiggles slightly, 55-65 minutes. Transfer pie dish to a wire rack and let pie cool. Serve with whipped cream.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata

Can we play the top 5 cookbook game? Like the food nerd I am, I always love hearing about favorite cookbooks. I request new titles from the library every couple of weeks then bring them into bed at night to read like a novel. I would love some suggestions to add to my list. Comment below with the handful of books that you use the most (rather then think are the most beautiful - we can play that game another time).

Okay, here are mine:

-The Fresh & Green Table
-Super Natural Cooking
-The Nourished Kitchen
-Bon Appetit Magazine

Ones I have my eye on but haven't checked out yet - At Home in the Whole Foods Kitchen, One Pot, My New Roots, and The Kitchn Cookbook.

Part of this request comes from the fact that I'm officially cooking for a family of four. This little one year old of ours loves to eat. I don't think he's every turned anything down (once puckered at sour yogurt). It's so interesting to see how different our boys' tastes are. Last night, we had BLTs for dinner with the last stock of farm fresh beefsteak tomatoes (which you should do by the way) and Dylan wanted nothing to do with the bacon while Gray had four slices. 

Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata
Slightly adapted from The Fresh & Green Table

1/2 pound unpeeled small potatoes, I used a mix of purple and red
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 broccoli crown, cut into small florets (about 3 cups)
7 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 cups extra-sharp cheddar, coarsely grated
Kosher salt and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375F and position a rack in the center.

2. Put the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool.

3. In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (a cast-iron skillet is perfect), melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the scallions, broccoli, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook for 2 minutes (the florets will be bright green and starting to brown on the bottom). Uncover and cook, stirring, until the florets are mostly brown on all sides and have lost much (but not all) of their stiffness, 3 to 4 minutes more. Add the broccoli mix to the potatoes and set aside to cool. Wipe out the skillet.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, cream, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Stir in the cheese then fold in the vegetables.

5. Return the skillet to medium-high and toss in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. When the butter has melted, pour all the frittata mixture into the hot pan. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir once or twice to move the mix around so that everything is even. Let the pan sit on the heat until the custard begins to set - 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer pan to the preheated oven and bake until frittata is puffed and golden, about 25 minutes (I like mine with crisp cheesy edges).

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut & Sesame Oil

I have been staying up too late lately (which means slightly past 10) working on projects and somewhat obsessively watching House of Cards. We are fully sucked in to the world of The Underwoods and I hate to think of what will happen when we finish up season 2. I was dragging this past Sunday so we decided to take an adventure to soak up the fresh sunny air which always gives me energy. Happily, that along with a couple cups of coffee did the trick. We rode The Chappy Ferry 527 feet to go crabbing off the bridge for the day. Dylan caught 25 crabs and may have had the best day of his life.

I have made this salad two times in the past few weeks and gobbled it down quickly each time. I almost always have the ingredients on hand so it's easy to pull together. The first time I used farro (as is called for) and the second time pearl barley (because I had it) and both were good but I prefer the farro version.

Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut & Sesame Oil
serves 4

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons shoyu, tamari, or soy sauce
3 1/2 lightly packed cups chopped kale, stems trimmed, large ribs removed
1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut
2 cups cooked farro or other whole grain

1. Preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the top third of the oven.

2. In a small bowl or jar, whisk or shake together the olive oil, sesame oil, and shoyu. Put the kale and coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about two-thirds of the olive oil mixture.

3. Spread the kale evenly across a baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way. If it begins to get too browned, move it to a lower rack.

4. Remove from the oven and transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl. Taste. If you feel it needs a bit more dressing, and some and toss. Place the farro on a serving platter and top with the tossed kale. Serve warm.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

Maybe it's the change of seasons and weather (today is chilly and rainy after a long stretch of Indian summer) but my mind is filled with big questions - everything from weighing the pros and cons of another round of house renovations to considering new professional projects and how to work adventurous travel into our lives. I'm curious to see where they all take us.

We made these sandwiches for Gray's birthday party and have enjoyed them again since. They are good on buttered and toasted sprouted muffins as well as filled into warm pita pockets. I slice up tomatoes, cucumbers, thin red onion, and toss in arugula.

Chickpea Salad Sandwiches
Serves 4
From Super Natural Every Day

3 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
2/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more if needed
1 lemon juiced and a bit of grated zest
Whole wheat rolls or pita bread
Vegetables for stuffing

(How sweet is Gray learning to talk with my mom's help. The Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby is underway so a few gated beaches are unlocked. We'll take it.)

1. Pulse two-thirds of the chickpeas in a food processor a few times, just enough to break them up. Transfer them to a large mixing bowl along with the remaining whole chickpeas. Stir in the shallot, celery, and dill.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, yogurt, and salt. Toss the chickpeas with about two-thirds of the yogurt mixture. Add the lemon juice and zest and toss again. Have a taste and add more salt or lemon juice, if needed.

3. Spread a bit of the remaining yogurt across each piece of bread. Layer in sliced vegetables and chickpea salad. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kale & White Bean Soup with Croutons

I hope I don't give the false impression that my kids eat everything. They most certainly do not. As a matter of fact, preschool pick up yesterday reminded me of this fact. The question of the day was "There are pea shoot growing in our garden. Will you try one?" and I noticed Dylan placed his name tag in the very sparsely populated "No"column. I smiled seeing this.

Our kids have tastes all their own and it's fun to see what they like. Recently, Gray dove for a spicy pork taco (literally dove and completely enjoyed it) while Dylan has never had a bite of pork in his 4 years. No interest. Of course, I want to make sure they are both eating a balanced diet so I've found ways to make food work for them. For example soup - total winner at our house. They will both eat most any soup if the vegetables are chopped very small. Right. So, I've come to depend on the food processor to do the soup chopping for me. It's a great tool to whiz up onion, carrot, greens, broccoli, cauliflower, or whatever before sauteing it in the soup pot.

Kale & White Bean Soup with Croutons
Inspired by The Fresh and Green Table
serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
1 carrot
2 garlic cloves
2 bunches kale, stemmed
3 cups chicken stock (sub vegetable if you'd like)
1 (15-ounce) can white beans
2 lemons
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups of of 1" bread cubes
salt and pepper

1. First whiz the onion, carrot, and garlic in a food processor until it is finely chopped. Remove and whiz the kale leaves until they are a size you like.

2. In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion/carrot/garlic mixture and a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover and let the vegetables brown up. This usually takes another 5 minutes.

3. Add the kale, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Stir around for a couple of minutes then add in the stock and 2 cups of water. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Add the beans and the juice of 1 lemon. Turn off heat and taste for salt, pepper, and lemon - add more if you like.

4. While the soup cooks make the croutons. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in the bread cubes and sprinkle with salt. When they crisp up on one side, toss again and allow to crisp up a second time.

5. Serve soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, lemon wedge, and croutons.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Creamed Collard Greens

I made these Creamed Collard Greens about a month ago on the first day it "dipped" into the 60s. I know I'll curse myself later for feeling this way but buttoning up jeans and slipping on socks for the first time in four months feels nice. We're in the midst of unpacking our fall clothes and putting away our summer shorts and t-shirts. I always have fun revisiting my stuff but pulling Dylan's old 12 month clothes out for Gray is a trip back to a different city and life - but I swear he just wore this shirt.

New cozy clothes need new cozy food, right?

Creamed Collard Greens
serves 4 to 6
from The Nourished Kitchen

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 bunches collard greens, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When it froths, decrease the heat to medium, stir in the onion, and fry until fragrant and a bit caramelized at the edges, 6 to 8 minutes.

Toss the chopped collards into the skillet and cook, stirring until slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium-low, stir in the heavy cream, and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, until the cream is reduced by half and thickened (this took me longer then 6 minutes). Sprinkle with the nutmeg and serve (I also sprinkled with salt at this stage).

PS. These are great whizzed in a food processor or chopped up for a little eater. 

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