Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata

Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Frittata
Servings: 6
Calories per serving: 179

8 eggs
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 bunch green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced - white and green parts
1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese

Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.

Whisk eggs, oregano, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large, ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and green onions and cook, stirring constantly, until the green onions are just wilted, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook, lifting the edges of the frittata to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath, until the bottom is light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Dot the top of the frittata with goat cheese, transfer the pan to the oven and broil until puffy and lightly golden on top, 2 to 3 minutes. Let rest for about 3 minutes before serving. Serve hot or cold.

NOTES: Easy, delicious. Serve with a salad.

Burgers with Beet Relish and Cucumber Raita

Burgers with Beet Relish and Cucumber Raita
Servings: 4

For the burgers:
1 1/3 lb. lean ground beef
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
4 whole-wheat hamburger buns

For the beet relish:

8 oz cooked beet
3 Tbsp. capers, drained and rinsed
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil

For the cucumber raita:
1 large cucumber
Handful of mint leaves, chopped
3 - 4 Tbsp. plain yogurt
Lemon juice, to taste

Put the ground beef into a large bowl and add the paprika, cayenne, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Mix with your hands, then shape into 4 patties. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes to set the shape.

Make the beet relish. Roughly chop the beet and place in a food processor along with the capers, parsley, vinegar and olive oil. Pulse until the mixture is roughly chopped - you don't want to puree the beet. Season to taste and transfer to a bowl.

For the cucumber raita, peel the cucumber and quarter lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Roughly chop the flesh and place in a bowl. Add the chopped mint and toss with enough yogurt to bind. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a grill. Brush the burgers with olive oil and cook until medium, about 3 1/2 to 4 minutes per side. Remove and let rest for a few minutes.

Serve the burgers on buns with beet relish and cucumber raita.

NOTES: We were looking for a different way to have burgers, and this was a home run. The beet relish is particularly excellent.

Marinated Halibut with Spiced Eggplant

Marinated Halibut with Spiced Eggplant
Servings: 4

For the fish:
4 skinless halibut fillets, about 6 ounces each
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper
3/4 tsp. ground turmeric

For the eggplant:
3 large eggplants
5 Tbsp. olive oil
3 large onions, peeled and finely sliced
3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 c. golden raisins, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes
2 -3 Tbsp. lemon juice, to taste
Handful of torn basil leaves

Lay the fish in a shallow dish and drizzle over the olive oil. Sprinkle pepper and turmeric, and rub all over to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the fridge for a few hours or at least 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the eggplants into 1 1/4-inch chunks, sprinkle with salt and let stand in a colander set over a bowl for 20 minutes.

Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt, drain well, and pat dry with paper towels. Toss the chunks on a baking sheet with some black pepper and 2 - 3 Tbsp. olive oil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the eggplant chunks are soft.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a pan. Add the onions with a little salt and pepper and sweat over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes until soft. Add the cumin and cook for a few more minutes until the onions are lightly caramelized. Take off the heat. When the eggplant is ready, add to the onions with the tomatoes, raisins, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

To cook the fish, heat a large nonstick skillet and pan-sear the fish for 2 minutes on each side - they should feel just firm when lightly pressed. Let rest for a minute or two while you make sure the eggplant is hot. Pile the eggplant onto plates and top with halibut fillets. Scatter the basil around each plate before serving.

NOTES: We haven't tried this recipe yet.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bluestem Gazpacho

Bluestem Gazpacho
Servings: 4

For the gazpacho:
4 red bell peppers, cored and finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 large cucumbers, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
6 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Juice of one lemon
3/4 c. olive oil
1 c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp. salt
Fresh ground pepper

For the foam:
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 c. white grapes
1 c. blanched almonds
1/4 c. Champagne vinegar
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. heavy cream
Salt and pepper

To serve:
8 cherry tomatoes
8 seedless white grapes
1 radish, thinly sliced
Basil blossoms

For the gazpacho:
Line a colander with eight layers of cheesecloth (one sheet folded over 8 times) and set it over a large, deep bowl.

Combine all of the gazpacho ingredients in a blender and puree until the contents are liquefied.

Strain the puree through the cheesecloth-lined colander. A clear gazpacho liquid should strain to the bowl underneath. When most of the liquid is through, use the back of a ladle to push the pulp down to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the pulp.

Stored tightly covered in the fridge, the gazpacho will keep for 3 days.

For the foam:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until liquefied.

To serve:
Serve the gazpacho chilled with a dollop of foam and garnishes.

NOTES: We haven't tried this recipe yet.

Bluestem Dijon Vinaigrette

Bluestem Dijon Vinaigrette
Servings: 1 1/2 c. of dressing

1/2 c. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. truffle oil
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. This will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about a month.

NOTES: We haven't tired this recipe yet.

Raw Beet, Dill and Mustard Seed Salad

Raw Beet, Dill and Mustard Seed Salad
Servings: about 6

6 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
18 oz. raw beets, grated in food processor
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. mustard seeds, toasted for a couple of minutes
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Mix beets and dill together in a bowl. Add lemon juice and olive oil, then mustard seeds and stir. Add in fresh parsley just before serving.

NOTES: We haven't tried this recipe yet.