Friday, June 15, 2012

Oh summer, you taste so good.

We've been hoarding our rhubarb.  Okay, not really, but we had quite a bit to use up.  I've always been a little underwhelmed by my rhubarb creations so I hunted around for a new recipe and came across Smitten Kitchen's Rhubarb Snacking Cake.  First off, I just have to say that I don't think I've disliked anything I've made from that blog - she has amazing recipes!  And this rhubarb cake was no different.  Amazingly delicious, especially with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Rhubarb Snacking Cake (Smitten Kitchen)

Rhubarb Snacking Cake
via Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 pound (565 grams) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch lengths on the diagonal
1 1/3 cup (265 grams) granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice (psst, skip ahead and zest it for the cake before you cut it)
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces or 115 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 large eggs
1 1/3 cups (165 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup (80 grams) sour cream

1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50 grams) light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces, or 55 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Make the cake: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or a nonstick cooking spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper, extending the lengths up two sides. (It will look like a sling). Stir together rhubarb, lemon juice and 2/3 cup sugar and set aside. Beat butter, remaining sugar and lemon zest with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at at time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Whisk together flour, baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon table salt and ground ginger together in a small bowl. Add one-third of this mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined. Continue, adding half the sour cream, the second third of the flour mixture, the remaining sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture, mixing between each addition until just combined.

Dollop batter over prepared pan, then use a spatula — offset, if you have one, makes this easiest — to spread the cake into an even, thin layer. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the cake, spreading it into an even layer (most pieces should fit in a tight, single layer).

Stir together the crumb mixture, first whisking the flour, brown sugar, table salt and cinnamon together, then stirring in the melted butter with a spoon or fork. Scatter evenly over rhubarb layer.

Bake cake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. The cake is done when a tester comes out free of the wet cake batter below. It will be golden on top. Cool completely in the pan on a rack.

Cut the two exposed sides of the cake free of the pan, if needed, then use the parchment “sling” to remove the cake from the pan.

It's Friday Night

Tonight is Friday which means... ?  Pizza Night!  I made a new pizza tonight - the BLT pizza.  Super easy and very tasty.  I used my stand-by crust recipe, topped it with a very thin layer of mayo, scattered tomato slices, chopped cooked bacon, cubed fresh mozzarella and baked it for about 15 minutes.  After taking it out of the oven, I threw some torn arugula (from our backyard garden!) on top.  We polished off two pints of farm strawberries and most of the sugar snap peas, too.  Yum yum.  This pizza will be going in our rotation and I can only imagine the taste with garden fresh tomatoes!

BLT Pizza with Sugar Snap Peas, and Strawberries

Thursday, June 7, 2012

From Mibuna to Pea Vine

We've cooked up a few noteworthy dishes in the past week or so.  Here's the scoop!

Baked Eggs with Collards and Cheddar Garlic Grits
From Asparagus to Zucchini, Madison Area CSA cookbook
also found recipe online here

First of all, I'd change the to Cheddar Garlic Grits with Collards and Egg because otherwise, I'm thinking of a fritta or an egg bake (apparently different than baked eggs!) when I read that title.  Anywho!  We substituted mibuna for the collards and it worked really well.  Owen didn't eat the greens but Jillian did (yay!) and everyone enjoyed the grits and egg.  I'd make this again!

Baked Eggs with Mibuna and Grits

1 large bunch collards or other greens
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 slivered garlic clove
1 cup quick cooking grits
1-1 ½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
4-6 eggs
Salt and pepper

Wash, stem, chop greens, steam until just wilted, season with vinegar and salt and pepper. Gently cook grits in 3 ¼ cups water with garlic, over low heat after water comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Stir in cheese and half of the greens. Place grits in greased baking dish, spread remaining greens on top, make slight indentations and crack an egg in each. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, bake 15-20 minutes or until eggs are set.

Grilled Skirt Steak With Vietnamese ‘Chimichurri’
Mark Bittman via New York Times

We decided to try out lettuce cup recipes this season with our baby lettuce heads.  This time, we tried Mark Bittman's (our go-to man) recipe for these steak and chimichurri cups.  The co-op was out of skirt steak so we used tri-tip at the butcher's suggestion.  These were good and I'd make them again but I'll be trying some other lettuce cup recipes out, too.

Grilled Skirt Steak With Vietnamese ‘chimichurri’

Skirt steak, a long slender muscle of near-uniform thickness (it's actually the diaphragm), has intensely rich flavor. It's also just about the easiest piece of meat to cook: four minutes a side over high heat and you've got medium-rare.
1 tablespoon nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 teaspoon cracked or coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 small Thai chili, stemmed and seeded, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes, or to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons chopped garlic, or to taste
2 medium-to-large shallots, chopped
1/2 cup washed, dried and chopped mint or Thai basil
1/2 cup washed, dried and chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
12 or 16 leaves Boston, red-leaf or green-leaf lettuce, washed and dried.
Start a charcoal or wood fire, or heat a gas grill. Fire should be moderately hot. Grill rack should be no more than 4 inches from heat source. Combine first 7 ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée; add herbs and pulse to chop finely, but not quite purée. Taste and adjust seasonings as you like. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper and grill 4 minutes a side. Cut into 4 steaks, arrange over lettuce, and serve with sauce. Or cut into strips, wrap each strip in a lettuce leaf, top with a bit of sauce and roll up.
Warm Crab Salad with Garlic Pea Vine

Oh crab, how I love you!  This was a great way to use pea vine.  We often saute the pea vine and serve it with eggs but it seems like we have so much this year!  This recipe is a keeper - as long as I can find money in the budget for the lump crab.

Warm Crab Salad with Garlic Pea Vine

1 pound fresh lump crab meat
1 pound pea shoots (we used one big bunch but 2 would have been better)
1 tablespoon canola oil

3 tablespoons minced scallion greens (we used garlic scapes in place of the scallions and garlic)
1-1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1-1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
3-1/2 tablespoons clear rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake (we used some sweet white wine we had around)
2 red bell peppers, diced

Remove any shells or cartilage from crab meat. Cut pea shoots into 4-inch long sections. Mix Seasoning ingredients together. Prepare Dressing.

Heat a wok or skillet, add 1 teaspoon of the oil, heat. Add pea shoots, toss for 30 seconds, then add 1 tablespoon of rice wine. Cook 30 seconds more until leaves are slightly wilted. Remove, drain and arrange on serving plate.

Reheat pan, add remaining oil and heat. Add Seasonings and toss 15 seconds. Add red peppers and remaining rice wine and toss about 1 minute.

Add Dressing and heat to boiling, then add crab meat and toss lightly over high heat for 1 minute. Arrange crab mixture over pea shoots and serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 6.