Thursday, June 18, 2009

Miso Braised Bok Choi & Shiitake Mushrooms

CSA season means lots of Asian greens. I have a feeling this isn't the last ginormous head of bok choi I'll be seeing this month. Using some dried shiitake mushrooms, I doctored the below recipe by substituting the reserved mushroom juices for the chicken stock. I also used those juices to cook up some quinoa to serve on the side:

3/4 pound large shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
3 small heads bok choy, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon red miso paste
2 tablespoons low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup water
freshly ground black pepper

1. Brush or wipe away any dirt from the shiitakes. Remove and discard the stems. Cut the mushrooms into thick slices (in half for smaller mushrooms, thirds for larger mushrooms). Cut the leaves of the bok choy away from the stems. Wash both well.

2. Heat the butter and peanut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the miso paste and chicken broth together until smooth. When the butter melts and browns slightly, add the mushrooms. Leave them alone to brown on the first side, 2-4 minutes.

3. Add the miso and broth mixture to the mushrooms and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms absorb the miso and most of the liquid evaporates, 3-5 minutes.

4. Add the bok choy and 1/2 cup water and stir. Cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the mushrooms are soft and the bok choy is tender but still bright green, 4-6 minutes. Remove the cover to let any remaining liquid evaporate. Season generously with fresh ground black pepper.
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Herring Festival @ Grand Central's Oyster Bar

It's an annual tradition at the lovely Grand Central Oyster Bar: the arrival of tasty Dutch herring. A twenty-spot buys you the above herring filet with all the trimmings, a glass of Dutch gin (which drinks more like a grappa), and tax/tip. It's too late to go to the festival, but the herring (at the above prices) will continue to be on the menu for awhile. While you're there, be sure to try a few tattamagouche ersters--my fave!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elk Chili with Macaroni

Recipe stolen from a user at All Recipes: (all I added was tomato paste, smoked paprika, and macaroni. Oh, and the photo is of my own version!)

1 1/2 pounds ground elk meat
2 large yellow onions, diced
2 (10 ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup brown sugar

In a large deep skillet over medium heat, cook the ground elk with the onion until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
Pour the tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, kidney beans and green chilies into the skillet with the meat, and stir to blend. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, oregano and brown sugar. Cover, and simmer over low heat for at least one hour.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sweet & Spicy Salad

Ah, the first veggie delivery from my CSA! Along with some rhubarb that I transformed into Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp and some sage that became Gnocchi with Brown Butter, Fried Sage, and Morels, this week's delivery featured quite a few items with bite: arugula, mizuna (a fern-like spicy green), and radishes. I figured that they would pair nicely with some sweetness, so I chopped these spicy veggies into a salad together, roasted up some pears (oven at 450 for 30 min), caramelized some onions (oven at 450 for 10) and walnuts (toasted in my cast iron with some white sugar), shaved some parmesan, shook up a pistachio honey vinaigrette (with pistachio oil, honey, lemon juice, cider vinegar, shallots, dijon, salt, and black pepper), and garnished with the purple sage flowers.

Chilled Spicy Watermelon Soup with Crab Meat

Sweet, simple, spicy, and delicious. K came home with a watermelon the other day and, after tasting some delectable watermelon dishes which paired the sweet fruit with savory fare, I concocted a chilled summer shellfish soup. Here's the (non)recipe:
  • Cut up enough watermelon to fit in a normal sized food processor. Process.
  • Sweat some garlic, shallots, lemongrass, jalepenos, and ginger (I use my microplane with frozen ginger to keep things simple).
  • Dump the pureed watermelon into the pot. Throw in some salt, black pepper, and cilantro, with some extra jalapeno to taste.
  • Whip out your immersion blender. Immerse. Blend.
  • Chill the new puree (or, if you like, strain it first)
  • Form a mound of lump crabmeat (I use high quality canned claw meat) in the center of the bowl, slice some more jalepenos on top, and gently pour the chilled soup around the shellfish.