Tag Archives | Fall 2011 Recipes

INFUSED VINEGAR and SHRUB

courtesy of Sherri Brooks Vinton

vinegars

INFUSED VINEGAR

You want to use a light or neutrally flavored vinegar that won’t overpower your flavoring agent—distilled white or apple cider vinegar make nice blank slates. Berries and herbs are popular and make versatile vinegars but don’t stop there—try peach, pear, chili, plum and more.

1 quart glass jar with lid
1-2 cups berries or chopped fruit,
3-4 sprigs fresh herbs or a combination
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon whole dried spices (optional)
1 pint vinegar (preferably distilled white or cider)

Sterilize the jar by submerging it in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Add flavorings. Bring vinegar just to a boil and pour into jar. Cover jar with a piece of waxed or parchment paper to prevent lid corrosion.

Screw on lid. Give the jar a good shake and set it in a cool, dark place for at least a few days and up to one week, shaking daily.

Strain vinegar through a fine mesh sieve. Return vinegar to the cleaned, re-sterilized jar or other decorative food-grade bottle.

Vinegar keeps in a cool, dark place for 3-4 months or refrigerate for 6-8 months.

SHRUB

A tasty, refreshing way to enjoy your infused vinegars.

1 cup infused vinegar
1/2-1 cup sugar
seltzer

In a small saucepan warm vinegar and sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Add two tablespoons of syrup to a tall glass filled with ice and top with seltzer. (Makes 8 drinks.)

Editor’s note: Infusions also add delicious flavor to spirits, allowing you to claim a little corner of the craft cocktail movement for your very own.

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CREAMY POLENTA MARBLED WITH GOAT CHEESE

By Carol Murphy Clyne, Chef/Co-Owner, Pairings

4 cups whole milk
1½ cups water
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to adjust seasoning
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more to adjust seasoning
1 cup white cornmeal, stone ground, also known as grits
1/2 cup (approx.) grated Pecorino-Romano
1 cup goat cheese (approx.), crumbled (or Gorgonzola cheese)

In a 4-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, bring milk, water, salt and pepper to a simmer.

While whisking the liquid, slowly sprinkle in the cornmeal.

Continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, switch to a wooden spoon and stir polenta for 2 minutes more, being careful of lava-like bubbles. Adjust the heat to low, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until thick, shiny and smooth to taste, 5 to 20 minutes depending on cornmeal’s grind. Stir often, as the bottom can burn easily. Remove from heat and stir in Pecorino-Romano until evenly incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Fold in goat-cheese crumbles so that the polenta looks marbled with cheese. Garnish top with more cheese. (Serves 6.)

Editor’s note: Chef Clyne’s recipe will be featured in her upcoming book Modern Buffet Presentation, to be published by the Culinary Institute of America in 2012.

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BROCCOLI RABE MINESTE

Carol Murphy Clyne and Vincent Clyne are no neophytes to the New Jersey food scene. Fans will remember them as the husband and wife team behind the Westfield-based catering service, Clyne & Murphy. Upon selling the company a few years ago, the couple took the opportunity to pursue new culinary interests. She became a cooking instructor at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park; he became a Certified Wine Professional. Earlier this year, the couple opened their new full service restaurant, Pairings in Cranford. The recipe below is just one example of their culinary heart and made-from-scratch approach to food.

PAIRINGS
palate + plate
Walnut & South, Cranford
908.276.4026
pairingscranford.com

BROCCOLI RABE MINESTE

By Carol Murphy Clyne, Chef/Co-Owner, Pairings

Handed down from Grandma’s unwritten pinch of this and smidgen of that is this recipe for mineste, a greens and beans stew. This staple of Grandma’s crowded house was made with whatever was available from her New Jersey (Fanwood) garden and always served with polenta. Now, broccoli rabe mineste is one of the most requested dishes at Pairings where it is offered as both an entrée and appetizer.

This recipe is exceptionally versatile: It can be meat hearty or vegetarian/ vegan, it can be made with different greens like kale, collards or spinach, and it can be jazzed up with any potato, bean or squash.

1/4 cup (approx.) extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
(or pancetta, bacon, etc.)
1 onion, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt (approx.), plus extra for blanching broccoli rabe
Small pinch crushed red pepper flakes
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size ½-inch pieces
(about 3 cups chopped) (or russet, Yukon gold, etc.)
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup cooked cannellini beans
3 large bunches broccoli rabe (about 9 cups chopped)
(or trimmed kale, collard greens, spinach, etc.)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup (approx.) shredded Pecorino-Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon (approx.) ground black pepper

Heat a large 12-inch sauté pan over medium until you feel heat, about 1 minute. Add a drizzle of olive oil, then sausage, breaking it into very small pieces. Adjust heat to medium-low, and cook, tossing occasionally until well browned, about 15 minutes. Set sausage aside. Leave about 2 tablespoons fat in bottom of pan, adjusting amount with another drizzle of olive oil, if necessary.

Add onion, a big pinch of salt, and crushed red pepper flakes to the same sauté pan, scraping up all of the brown bits. Cook over medium-low, tossing occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Place sweet potatoes on top, add stock, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and add beans and sausage, combine, and cook until liquid is almost all reduced, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large 8-quart saucepan filled three quarters with cold water to a boil. Roughly chop the broccoli rabe into 1- inch bite-size pieces, discarding about 1 inch of the tough stem on the bottom and any yellow or browned leaves. Add 1 tablespoon salt and broccoli rabe and blanch until tender, testing it after about 4 minutes. Drain and add broccoli rabe to the potato mixture.

Finish the dish with a dollop of butter (optional). Remove from heat and add cheese, black pepper and a big olive oil drizzle. Toss, taste and adjust all seasonings. Garnish with more olive oil and cheese. (Serves 6.)

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WILD MUSHROOM, POTATO AND TURNIP CAKES WITH SAGE SAUCE

mushroom cakes
Photograph: Bob Hosh

By Bob Hosh, past president of the New Jersey Mycological Association (NJMA)

This recipe was first created for the cooking demonstration at Fungus Fest 2008. Mr. Hosh teaches cooking and preservation of wild mushrooms at NJMA.

BASIC MIXTURE:

1 pound mushrooms, minced*
½ cup minced shallots
3 tablespoons butter
2 cups mashed potatoes (about 3 medium potatoes)
1 cup cooked mashed turnips
(1 large purple-top white globe type)
¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon black pepper
3 teaspoons salt (one teaspoon each for the potatoes, the turnips and the mushroom mixture)
1 large egg, beaten
oil for sautéing

*Fall mushrooms are especially good in this recipe. Select one of the wild mushrooms such as horse mushrooms, shaggy manes, oyster mushrooms, porcini or blewits. If hen-of-the-woods (maitake) is used, it needs to be sautéed longer to make it tender.

COATING MIXTURE:

1½ cup dry breadcrumbs, well seasoned with 1 teaspoon each
of fresh herbs: thyme, marjoram, parsley
2 eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon milk

Clean and mince the mushrooms by hand or in a food processor.

Melt the butter in a skillet and add the minced mushrooms. Sauté over medium-high heat until the mushrooms release their liquid and it has cooked away. Lower heat to medium and add the minced shallots. Sauté until shallots are wilted and lightly browned. Add 1 teaspoon each of salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside to cool.

Peel and cube the potatoes, cover with water, add 1 teaspoon salt and boil until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain. Peel and cube the turnip, cover with water, add 1 teaspoon salt and boil until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Combine drained potatoes and turnip in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon butter and mash. Set aside. Mix together the mashed potatoes and turnips, breadcrumbs, mushroom mixture, nutmeg, salt and pepper with the beaten egg. Form small 3-inch patties out of the mixture and chill in the refrigerator about 1 hour to help firm them.

Heat about ¼ inch vegetable oil in a skillet to medium high.

To fry the patties dip them in the egg-and-milk mixture and then gently roll them in the seasoned breadcrumbs. Fry them in the oil, turning once, until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve.

FRESH SAGE SAUCE

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
½ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
juice of half a lemon

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the minced shallots and sauté until wilted and golden. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth and white wine and stir until smooth. Add the minced sage, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve the cakes with a small amount of sauce.

(Makes eight 3-inch cakes.)

WORDS OF WARNING

Do not eat any mushroom unless you are absolutely sure it is safe! Mushrooms and false morels can contain toxins that are highly poisonous. If you have any uncertainty about the edibility of a mushroom, don’t try it.

If in doubt, throw it out!

While information about edible and poisonous mushroom is widely available in books and field guides and on the Internet, experienced foragers are the best resource. Forage with experts who can show you how to identify the important characteristics of edible and poisonous mushrooms.

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BRAISED CALABAZA WITH CUBAN SOFRITO AND ALMOND–RAW CHOCOLATE PICADA

(Calabaza con Sofrito Cubano y Picada de Almendras y Chocolate Crudo)

Braised Calabaza

By Maricel Presilla

What makes this dish special is the contrasting combination of meaty, sweet Caribbean calabaza, a Cuban staple, and my savory and tangy tomato sofrito scented with cumin, allspice and smoked paprika. The final touch of a Catalan picada (a mixture of lightly toasted almonds, with Pacari raw Ecuadorian chocolate, parsley and garlic crushed with mortar and pestle that I learned from my Catalan side of the family) is a final textural enrichment that lends depth and backbone to the dish and rounds up all flavors. Pair with a floral Susana Balbo Crios Torrontes from Mendoza, Argentina, or with a richer malbec.

(Serves 4.)

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, mashed with mortar and pestle or finely chopped
1 medium yellow or red onion, finely chopped
1 pound ripe plum tomatoes (about 6), coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika, preferably pimentón de La Vera
Pinch of allspice
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 pounds Caribbean calabaza or kabocha squash,
peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
12 toasted almonds
2 ounces raw Pacari chocolate (70%),
or any good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70%), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons cacao nibs (available at specialty stores), optional
2 whole garlic cloves
¼ cup flat parsley leaves
1½ cups warm water or chicken broth
Sea salt to finish

Place the oil in a 12-inch skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 10 seconds. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the tomato and hot pepper and sauté, stirring for 5 minutes with the cumin, paprika, allspice and salt. Add the calabaza and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the broth or water and let simmer, covered, until tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally; add more water or broth, a bit at a time, if the mixture dries out. While the vegetables simmer, place the almonds, chocolate, optional nibs, garlic and parsley in a mortar and crush lightly together to make a coarse paste. Stir into the skillet and let warm for about 3 minutes to blend flavors. Taste for seasoning and add additional sea salt and hot pepper if needed. Serve hot as a side dish with grilled meats or as a vegetarian entrée with rice and beans if using water instead of broth.

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HEATHER’S LIMA BEAN STEW

courtesy of Heather Jones

My love of lima beans came a little late in life. I turned my nose up at them as a child, but now will patiently await their autumn arrival in Grandpop’s garden, daydreaming about the many delicious dishes to be made. Used in dishes from succotash to a hummus-inspired dip, the humble lima is this soup-loving girl’s legume of choice.

2 cups lima beans, shelled
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 dried serrano chili, seeded and chopped
2 ounces dry-cured pork meat
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup fresh goat cheese or cheddar for garnish

Put the olive oil and the onions in a separate pan. Cook over medium heat until the onions begin to soften. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking until the onions begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add the onions, garlic, beans, vegetable broth (if using fresh beans*), and tomatoes to large saucepan or dutch oven and cook until the beans begin to break down and become tender which will thicken the soup. This takes approximately 45 minutes. Add the vinegar, chili, and pork; cook for an additional 15 minutes.

If the soup doesn’t have that stew like texture, use an immersion blender to mash up the beans a little more, or take one cup of the soup puree in a blender and add it back in. Before serving garnish with cheese.

*Author’s note: If fresh limas beans are unavailable, dried limas can be substituted. Before making soup, rinse dried beans and place in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Cover beans with 4 cups water and the vegetable broth. Simmer partially covered over medium-low heat until tender, about 1 ½ hours. Proceed with preparation above.

(Serves 4-6)

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