Friday, June 10, 2011

Birthday Party Fun

Our daughter celebrated her first birthday last weekend! We whipped up some of our favorite foods for the occasion.

The Menu:
Ina Garten's Panzanella
Food Should Good Sweet Potato Chips
Grandma's Baked Beans (super secret recipe)
Sausages from Kramarczuk's: Curried Wild Rice Brat, Cherry Bomb Brat, and Mediterranean Lamb
Rainbow Cupcakes

Kramarczuk's Sausages


Happy Birthday Jillian!


We enjoyed a few favorites in the past week: steak fajitas with greens, spring turnip salad, and radish sandwich. If we have a bunch of greens or peppers to use, we often turn to fajitas. The turnip salad is one of my favorite things and the radish sandwich is all about good butter (we used Hope butter this time). Yum!

Steak Fajitas with Green Garlic, Radish Greens, Onion, Spinach

Steak Fajitas with Green Garlic, Radish Greens, Onion, Spinach

Spring Turnip Salad

Spring Turnip Salad

1 fresh, young bunch of turnips, stems discarded, greens well washed and sliced into thin ribbons (1/3 inch or less), roots trimmed, peeled, and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, and chives
1 cup cooked white beans
3 hard cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled
3 pieces of cornbread (your favorite recipe), cut into small cubes

At least a few hours in advance, toss the raw turnip greens with 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and a big pinch of salt. Cover and refrigerate.

Put the turnip roots in a medium saucepan with an inch of water, a pinch of salt, and a splash of olive oil. Cover, bring to a boil, and boil hard, covered, until turning tender, about 5 minutes. Then remove the lid and continue to boil until tender enough to eat, a minute or two more. Drain if necessary and allow to cool.

Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon honey in 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and the lime juice. Whisk in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in 1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk and the chopped herbs. Taste and add salt, vinegar, or oil if necessary.

Dress the beans with 2 tablespoons of the yogurt dressing. Spread some greens on each plate and top with egg, beans, bacon, steamed turnips, and cornbread. Serve extra yogurt dressing on the side.

Radish Sandwich

Radish Sandwiches and Spinach Salad


Mike visited Hawaii with his family as a child (teenager?) and always talks about the delicious ono fish he had there. Coastal Seafood had ono on special last week so he had to get some. I agreed with him that's it's like fish steak. Delicious!

Grilled Ono with Tamarind Glaze and Grilled Yukina Savoy

Grilled Ono with Tamarind Glaze and Grilled Yukina Savoy

Chives, chives and more chives.

We've been trying to find recipes that use a ton of chives because we have SO many this year! This recipe for Broccoli salad put them to good use.

Broccoli & Chive Salad

Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Chives, and Tomato
Adapted from

2 heads of broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds
4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into matchsticks
2 roma tomatoes, halved, seeded and finely chopped
1 bunch fresh chives (15 to 20), finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salty water to boil. In the meantime, trim the woody end from the broccoli heads and break it up into small florets. Slice them into 1/4-inch thick pieces so they cook quickly and evenly. When the water comes to a boil, blanch the broccoli for 1-2 minutes, until they are starting to get tender but still have bite in the middle. Drain in a colander and spread out on a kitchen towel to steam dry, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, cook the bacon in a large skillet with a splash of olive oil over medium-low heat until the fat renders into the pan and the bacon is crisp but still slightly chewy.

Drain the fat collected in the bacon pan into a bowl and add the garlic, dijon, and vinegar. Whisk well to combine into an emulsion, then add the olive oil slowly in a stream, whisking constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and taste also for acidity, adding more vinegar or oil if needed.

Toss the broccoli with the tomatos, bacon, and dressing. Top with chives and serve.

Pasta with Asparagus, Carrots and Broccoli

This pasta was so delicious - I think using high quality parmigiano-reggiano had something to do with it. Oh, and the cream and butter!

Pasta with Asparagus, Carrots, Broccoli

Adapted from Bottega Favorita by Frank Stitt.

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 heaping cup sliced spring onions
12 slender asparagus spears, tough bottoms discarded and cut into 2-inch pieces
Sliced carrots or other spring vegetables
Broccoli florets (or other vegetable... peas, etc.)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 pound pasta
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or pecorino romano
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until very soft.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of generously salted to a boil for the pasta. Bring a large sauce pan of water to a boil, add the asparagus, and cook for 1 minute. Add the broccoli and cook for 30 seconds, then drain. Add the asparagus and other vegetables to the onions, then stir in the cream. Set the pan aside while you cook the pasta.

3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and transfer to the pan with the onions.

4. Place the pan over high heat and cook, tossing, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the vegetables are hot. Add the chives abd 1/2 cup of the cheese, the lemon zest, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and toss well to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Serve in warm bowls, garnished with more mint and the remaining grated cheese

Friday Night Pizza

Friday Night Pizza is back! I typically use the pizza dough recipe from Baking Illustrated but one night we were out of bread flour so I ended up using this Emeril Lagasse recipe. I was impressed with how soft and chewy the dough was! I may switch over permanently to this recipe.

Here are some recent pizza creations:

Hon Tsai Tai, Olive, Egyptian Walking Onion, Green Garlic & Mozzarella Pizz
Hon Tsai Tai, Olive, Egyptian Walking Onion, Green Garlic & Mozzarella Pizza

Broccoli, Green Garlic, and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Broccoli, Green Garlic, and Fresh Mozzarella Pizza

Pepperoni, Olive and Cheese Pizza

Pepperoni, Olive and Cheese Pizza