Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday Market, 6/17

From this week's market: two types of tomatoes from Rob at Whitted Bowers Farm, a big bunch of string beans, a head of lettuce, and lemon cucumbers from Elysian Fields Farm.

I sat and ate some of the tomatoes and string beans as well as an heirloom melon (which tasted more like a pear and less like a melon) from Rob out in the grass next to the market while chatting with my friend Sarah. Buying treats from the market with the sole objective of eating them right there and then? Yes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday 6/10 Market and Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping

From today's farmer's market adventure (attended with Hilary and Stella the dog): cauliflower, broccoli, basil, blueberries (first of the season!), 3 adorable tomatoes (one early girl, one purple cherokee, one yellow variety I can't remember the name of), and two zucchini.

I'm headed to my mom's house tonight for dinner. My dad is out of town, so I promised my mom a dinner full of items he dislikes. We'll make pasta with roasted broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini. I'll make little crostini or a salad with the tomatoes, basil, and some goat cheese I purchased a few days ago.

I'm headed to the beach tomorrow for two days, and I'll be staying with Erin's family in Duck. Since I'm crashing family beach week, I figured I ought to bring along some baked goods. Always a good way to prove one's worth. For some reason I was inspired to make lemon poppyseed muffins, but Weaver Street was out of poppy seeds, so I changed plans to include the blueberries I purchased from the market today. Mollie Katzen and Deborah Madison to the rescue, as always! The muffins are from Mollie, and the streusel topping is from Deborah. (I like to think of them as old pals. We're on a first name basis.)

Blueberry Muffins from Mollie Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest
Makes 12 muffins.

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, clean and set aside
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh lemon or lime rind (I had lime, so I used lime)
1/3 cup light honey
1/4 cup butter [melt the honey and butter together]
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
2 Tbs fresh lemon or lime juice (lime again here for me)

Sift together the 4 dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Beat together the remaining ingredients (except the berries). Pour this into the well and stir gently until just-blender, gradually adding the berries.

Fill the greased muffin cups 2/3 full.

Bake 30-35 minutes at 350F. Cool in pans 5-10 minutes before removing and devouring.

Deborah Madison's Basic Streusel Topping for Muffins from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Makes enough streusel for 12 muffins (though I had plenty extra, probably enough for 4 more)

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour or 1/4 cup each flour and rolled oats
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg or cinnamon
4 Tbsp cold butter

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl with your fingers or in a food processor until crumbly. Sprinkle over the batter, pressing them lightly into it, just before they go into the oven.

Yum! Check out the blueberry goodness.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Zucchini Bread from CookShop

Hilary and Erin moved into their delightfully mini and adorable new house this week, so of course I wanted to present them with a homemade baked good to welcome them. Summer squash just showed up at the market last Saturday, so it's finally time for zucchini bread! This is my go-to recipe, gleaned from the CookShop program I ran a few years ago at CASES in New York. Easy, quick, makes two loaves at once (I usually halve the recipe and do a single loaf at a time). This page in my CookShop recipe binder is splattered and dripped on and wrinkled more than any other page. Good stuff for a housewarming treat.

CookShop Zucchini Bread

3 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups shredded raw zucchini
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp baking poweder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Beat together the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add the zucchini and set aside.

In another bowl mix the flour, baking powder, soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the zucchini mixture and mix well.

Pour into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour at 350F. Remove the breads from the oven. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Also, to make muffins:: Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into each cup of a 12 count greased muffin tin. Bake 20 minutes, or until muffins are risen and golden, and a tester inserted into center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Everyday Yellow Dal

Another Smitten Kitchen delight: yellow dal. I'd already made the black eyed pea curry on this page, and went back for more with this recipe. I also made the quick cabbage slaw on this page, but neglected to photograph it. Also good stuff, though I hate working with hot peppers -- as hard as I try, I always get it on my fingers and eventually in my eyes. Grrr. I need special cooking gloves, perhaps?

Everyday Yellow Dal

Serves 4

1 cup yellow split peas, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
1 large tomato (about 8 ounces), cut into 8 wedges
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium red onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, finely ground
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup minced cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt

Instructions: Drain the dal (split peas) and place in a large saucepan. Add the tomato and 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until peas are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Pick out any tomato skins (this was tedious and I chose not to do it -- not a problem) and whisk dal to emulsify it. Keep warm over very low heat.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the cumin seeds, covering the pan with a lid or splatter screen. After the seeds have stopped sputtering, add the onion and saute over medium heat. About 3 minutes later, add the garlic and saute until most of the onion has turned dark brown, about 5 minutes altogether.

Add the coriander, turmeric and cayenne, stir and pour mixture over the dal. Add the cilantro, butter and salt to the dal and simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

It turned out soupier than I expected -- maybe I cooked my peas too long? -- but delicious nonetheless, served with some brown rice to help sop up the liquidy broth.

Cabbage with Rice and Currants

Since there's been so much cabbage at the market recently, and it always looks so cute and healthy and appealing, I've gone on a bit of a cabbage kick. This recipe seemed like quite the adventure (layering ingredients! inverted dishes! dried fruit in a main course! dill, which usually I don't like, but decided to give a try!) and a good way to use a bunch of cabbage up. I also want to cook more out of this cookbook, World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey.

Cabbage with Rice and Currants

1/2 large head of fresh cabbage (1 pound in all), cored and shredded
3 Tbsp canola or peanut oil
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine half rings
2 Tbsp pine nuts
1 1/2 cups long-grain rice (I used jasmine rice, which the author recommends)
2 Tbsp dried red currants (Weaver Street didn't have any in stock; I used chopped craisins instead)
1/2 well-packed cup finely chopped fresh dill
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp sugar

Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp salt and stir. Now put in the cabbage and bring to a boil again. Boil for 1 minute, or just until cabbage wilts. Drain immediately and run under cold water. Drain again and leave in a strainer.

Put the oil in a large frying pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the onion. Stir and fry for about four minutes, or until the onion has browned a bit. Put in the pine nuts. Stir and fry for 30 seconds. Turn the heat to medium low and put in the rice, currants, dill, cinnamon, black pepper to taste, and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Stir and saute for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Divide the cabbage into 3 portions and the rice into 2. Put one portion of the cabbage in the bottom of a heavy, medium pan, spreading it out evenly. Cover with a layer of seasoned rice. Cover the rice with a second layer of cabbage, then another layer of rice, and a final layer of cabbage. Add 3 cups of water and the sugar. Find a plate that you can fit upturned on top of the cabbage. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the pot to a boil. Cover tightly, turn the heat down to low, and cook for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat. Leave the pot undisturbed ina warm place for another 30 minutes or a bit longer.

Just before eating, remove the lid and the plate inside the pan. take a knife and go around the edges of the pan. Now upturn a large serving plate and place it on top of the pan. Invert the pan so that the plate is now under it. The rice should just slide out. Serve hot.

At first these instructions confused me -- did I put the plate inside the pan for the whole time? (Yes, you're supposed to, though I got freaked out and took my plate out part of the way through, reread the instructions, and put it back in a few minutes later). The dish came out great though -- it's a ton of food! Jen and Hilary and I each had a big portion, and each of them took some for lunch the next day as I was getting ready to go out of town. It is pretty cool to invert the dish, and the spices mix together really well. Even though I don't love dill, as I suspected, it worked out really well in this combination.