Monthly Archives: February 2013

andwhatiate.com

 My birthday was on Monday, and my little sister bought my domain name for a present!  So we are now…

ANDWHATIATE.COM

Such a great gift – I was so excited.  All the old links will still work, but now it’ll be easier to access the site instead of typing in the longer address I used to have. I feel so official now. Thanks Colly Doll!

So B and I decided to head down to Philly for a late birthday dinner at Amada, one of our all-time favorite restaurants.  The space somehow manages to be enormous but cozy, the tapas they serve is out of this world, their sangria tastes like Christmas morning, and the “little plates” give you an excuse to eat a LOT of some of the best food I’ve ever had:

A ridiculous meat & cheese plate: chorizo pamplona,  serrano ham,  & salchichon; then aged manchego with truffled lavender honey (!!!), ersmesenda with chocolate hazelnut puree, and a garrotxa with a garlic dulce de leche

Ensalada Verde with avocado, asparagus, favas, and green beans/  a spanish flatbread with artichokes, wild mushrooms, black truffles and manchego
parmesan artichokes and lamb meatballs
Grilled calamari with spanish pesto
“Mother and child”: chicken breast, fried egg, mojama & truffles

Combine that with a delicious “breakfast” (yes I know that’s a reuben) at the Downtown Deli, then lunch at Carl Von Luger’s with my Mom, and it was one of the best dining days I’ve had in a while.


And February itself has been pretty great in general: 

Yoga Dance party in one of the rooms at the gorgeous Scranton Cultural Center, hosted by Mission Yoga; The Dinner of Love at The Colonnade to benefit the Sant’ Andrea Society; a weekend yoga workshop with the amazing Pradeep Teotia at Balance (during the Northeast’s biggest snowstorm in decades, which ended up making it an even more incredible experience); a weekend at Moosic Lake with my girlfriends; Philly for my birthday; and a great yoga mat carrier from Green Being Scranton, among other things, to cap it all off.

34 and 2 days…

The Kitchen’s Tomato Soup

The Kitchen, one of my very favorite restaurants in Boulder, is everything that’s right with the world.  The space is warm and welcoming.  Their food is outrageously, ridiculously delicious.  They highlight local & organic farms, farmers, and Colorado ranchers. They’re committed to sustainability, financially generous to their community, and environmentally conscious to the point where the restaurant’s leftover cooking oil is used to fuel the car of one the servers.

And.

They make the world’s greatest tomato soup. Enjoy.

THE KITCHEN’S TOMATO SOUP (serves 8-10, or 2 very lucky people who will eat this for lunch & dinner for 2 days straight.  Ahem.)
– 1 & 1/3 sticks unsalted butter. 
– 1 large vidalia onion, sliced into half-moons
– 3 16-oz. cans whole peeled organic tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
– 1/3 cup heavy cream
– Good quality EVOO or Basil Oil, for finishing
– Kosher salt

1. In a large saucepan (or, better, a Le Creuset dutch oven, which I use for just about everything), melt butter over low heat.  Add the half-moons of onions and stir to coat with the butter.  Add a good pinch of salt to help them “sweat”, not brown, and stir to incorporate that.  Reduce heat to lowest possible setting, cover, and cook for approx. 30 minutes or so, until the onions are translucent. Stir occasionally during the 30 minutes these are cooking.


2. When onions are soft, add the tomatoes & their juices.  Increase heat a little bit – to a simmer – and gently cook these for another 30 minutes.


3. Add cream, stir to combine.  Then, with an Immersion Blender – I’m amazed by how much I use this in cooking – puree the soup until the texture is smooth but still has a little texture to it.  Taste, adjust seasonings, and taste again.

pre-stirred, pre-blended
 4. Pour yourself a bowl, drizzle a little EVOO or basil oil over the top, serve alongside a grilled cheese sandwich, and add The Kitchen to your list of places to eat at the next time you’re in Colorado. 

Oscars tonight!!!

Sauteed Zucchini Ribbons with Shallots & Garlic

I’m really looking forward to zucchini season coming around again.  I use it in so many recipes that it makes me sad to see the miniature little organic zucchinis that are available this time of year.  That said, grab a bunch of them, because this is one of the tastiest, most delicate side dishes you can make.


SAUTEED ZUCCHINI RIBBONS WITH SHALLOTS & GARLIC (serves 2-3)
– 5 small or 3 large zucchini
– 2 shallots, sliced into thin moons
– 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
– 1 Tbsp. butter
– Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Wash the zucchini, then peel it.  Even though the skin will be removed, they’ve still grown in the ground and are dirty – so wash them to get rid of anything that’s lingering. With a vegetable peeler, remove the outside layer of the zucchini – the greenest part – and discard.  Then, continue to peel the zucchini into ribbons until you get to the seeds in the middle.  Throw away the “core” of the zucchini, and set aside the ribbons.

2. In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  When melted, add the garlic and shallots, and saute, stirring frequently, approx. 3 minutes.

3. Add the zucchini, then saute until wilted and beginning to color, approx. 5-7 minutes.  If too much brown starts to appear on the bottom of the pan, add 1 tbsp. of water and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bits and incorporate them back into the zucchini. Add kosher salt & pepper to taste at the end, so that the zucchini gains some color and doesn’t “sweat” as much.

4. Serve alongside your favorite “main” – I love this with steak, but it works with just about anything.

Cauliflower Mashed “Potatoes”

These were, in my opinion, the recipe standout during the South Beach Diet craze.  With the inclusion of (small amounts, but still) butter, heavy cream, and a dollop of Boursin cheese, a little richness gets added, but  these still stay much more on the side of “healthy” than traditional mashed potatoes ever would.  I actually think these are better than mashed potatoes – see if you can sneak them in as a substitute and see if anybody notices the difference.

CAULIFLOWER MASHED “POTATOES” – serves 3-4
– 1 large head cauliflower (organic, preferably)
– 1/4 c. heavy cream or half & half
– 1 tbsp. butter
– 2 tbsp Boursin – we use shallot & chive, but any flavor you like will work
– Kosher salt & pepper to taste
– 2-3 bay leaves

1. In a deep pot, boil about 3 inches of water & add a couple of bay leaves.  The bay leaves will infuse the water, and consequently the cauliflower as it steams, with more of a “potato” sort of flavor.


2.  Wash a cauliflower, then cut it into chunky florets.  The easiest way to do this is to cut the cauliflower in quarters, then cut out the middle stem.  The florets should naturally fall away, and you won’t get tons of chopped up pieces of cauliflower all over the counter.

  


3. Throw the florets in a Colander, then place over (not in) the boiling water, and put a lid over the top of it to keep in the steam.  I’m sure there are (much) fancier ways to steam things, but this is what we’re working with here.

4. Let cauliflower steam for approx. 10 minutes until fork-tender.  Remove the colander from the heat, turn off heat completely, and drain the water.

5. Put the cauliflower back in the drained pot on the same burner you previously used, which is now turned off.  This is my Dad’s trick for getting rid of excess water for mashed potatoes, and it works just as well here.  The leftover heat will kind of zap out any remaining water, which will give you fluffy “potatoes” instead of soggy, watery ones.  Stir the cauliflower pretty well to make sure it doesn’t burn.

6. Add the “extras”.  Heavy cream, butter, boursin.  The remaining heat of the burner will help break these down and combine them.  Mix this all together, then remove from the burner.

7. With an Immersion Blender – I’m amazed by how often I use this in cooking – blend this all together, really really well to achieve your desired consistency.  Taste, then add seasonings – I typically start with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and a couple of grinds of black pepper,  stir & taste, then adjust again.

8. Serve immediately, or refrigerate leftovers up to 2 days.

Whole-Grain Sour Cream Pancakes with Caramelized Peaches

I like to say that I’m not much of a “traditional” Valentine’s Day kind of girl. But between the delicious breakfast this morning (the first one I’ve made all year), the beautiful flowers, Veuve Clicquot & a ridiculous bottle of Pinot Noir from B, 2 very sweet cards and a fantastic steak dinner at home planned for tonight, I might have to rethink that.

I got the gorgeous Smitten Kitchen cookbook for Christmas this year, and the recipe for sour cream pancakes with peaches almost leapt off the page and bit me. They seemed so rich but so light, sweet but not overly so, and with the option of making them from scratch instead of a mix, I was able to edit them to incorporate whole-grain flour and make them a little healthier (ha).

By the way, I also like to say I’m not much of a breakfast person.  So after making these for our Valentine’s Day breakfast, I’m rethinking two things about myself today. These were amazing.

WHOLE-GRAIN SOUR CREAM PANCAKES WITH CARAMELIZED PEACHES (makes approx. 7 medium size, but completely filling, pancakes) – recipe taken almost exactly from Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
– 1 tsp. baking powder
– 1/2 tsp. baking soda
– 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
– pinch nutmeg
– 1/4 tsp. table salt
– 2 tbsp. sugar (organic, preferably)
– 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
– 1 large egg
– 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
– 2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced 
– Butter

1. Whisk together the sugar, vanilla, egg, & sour cream in a large bowl.  
pre-whisked
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt. 

My Mom got me these awesome “odd-measure” cups for Christmas this year
pre-whisked
3. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated (don’t over-mix this, or the pancakes will be tough).

4. Melt 1.5 tbsp butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  When sizzling, add batter – enough to fill a large skillet with 4 pancakes with enough room between each.  Top the batter with peach slices.


5. Let pancakes cook until the edges start to brown, then flip the pancake/peach slice like a pro. Let the pancake & peach slices cook & caramelize for approx. 3-4 minutes on the other side.

6. Keep pancakes warm in the oven (low heat – approx. 250) while you make the second batch.  For the second batch, add another pat of butter, the pancake mixture & peach slices, & cook exactly as the first batch.  For the second batch, I also added a couple of slices of peaches to the pan & topped them with a tiny bit of sugar, then flipped them when I flipped the pancakes. The peach slices were so delicious I wish I made even more of them.  Serve with syrup & butter, & wish your tastebuds a happy Valentine’s Day!
Valentine’s Day breakfast table
Lilies, Hydrangea, Orchids, & Twisted Willow…gorgeous flowers from a man who knows me well!
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all.  <3

Greek Turkey Meatloaf “Roll-Up”

I love making Spanakopita, even though all those delicate layers of pastry dough are my nemesis (nemeses??).  That said, all those Greek flavors – spinach, feta, a little lemon, and dill – are some of my very favorites.  Could we take those and incorporate them into a turkey meatloaf?  Yes.  Yes we could.  This was delicious, and I didn’t tell B what I had added, but he noticed the light lemon and dill flavor after a couple of bites.  They definitely add a different dimension to your typical turkey meatloaf, but in an awesome way. Rolling this up makes it so pretty, too!
 
GREEK TURKEY MEATLOAF “ROLL-UP” (serves 4-6)
Ingredients:
– 2 lbs ground turkey
– 1 Vidalia onion, diced
– 5-6 packed cups fresh baby spinach (approx. a 10-oz. bag), wilted, drained, and chopped
– 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
– 1 egg & 1 egg white, slightly beaten
– 1 cup panko bread crumbs
– 2 tbspns olive oil (or 1 tbspn olive oil and 1 tbspn butter)
– salt and pepper
– dried dill (1.5 tbsps)
– juice of 3/4 of a lemon  (approx. 1.5 tbsp)
 
1. Preheat the oven to 400. 
 
2. Heat 2 tbspns olive oil (or 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter) in a large saute pan over medium heat.
 
3. Dice the vidalia onion like this:
Half an onion, slice off the top part (but keep the “root” part intact) and then make slits along the ridges of the onion, almost down to the root. You can kind of follow the natural lines of the onion.  Then flip it on its side, and slice it horizontally. The onion will “dice” itself naturally.
 
4. Saute the onion in the oil or oil/butter combo until soft, add salt/pepper to taste.
 
5. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine turkey, dill, breadcrumbs, the lemon juice, the egg, 1/2 a teaspoon salt, and 1/2 a teaspoon pepper.
 
6. When onion is soft, remove from the pan and put on a plate to cool slightly.
 
7. Put pan that previously contained onions back on the heat, and add spinach to it.  Lower heat and stir until just wilted, then remove spinach and drain by either pressing spinach against the sides of a sieve, using a cheesecloth to wring it out in bunches, or squeezing most of the liquid out with your hands (but let it cool first, obviously). When the spinach is drained, roughly chop. Set aside.
 
8. Add cooled onions to the turkey mixture, stir everything to combine. You can really get your hands in there to mix it up, which is probably easiest. Form turkey mixture into a ball, and then press into an oblong shape on a piece of wax paper, and flatten minimally.
 
9. Top turkey mixture with chopped spinach, and then top with the crumbled feta:
10. Using the wax paper to help get things moving, roll the turkey meatloaf, beginning at either short end of the roll. It should look like this when you’re finished:
12. Put the meatloaf in a foil-lined baking pan, and bake in the oven at 400 for approx. an hour, or when the internal temperature reaches 160 Degrees 160 degrees.  About 45 minutes into this, I took it out of the oven and drained off the fat/liquid that had pooled in the foil. You don’t have to, but it probably helps.
 
This is really pretty, so tasty, and is even better for lunch the next day, hot or cold.

Linguini with White Clam Sauce

This recipe has been my simplest go-to meal to cook for company since I got my first apartment. It’s comfort food that seems fancier than it really is, it takes almost no time at all to throw together (minus the simmering), and if you make it with fresh pasta (please do) it’ll be immediately added to the rotation.  I have never known anyone who didn’t completely love this recipe.  Thanks Mom!


LINGUINI WITH WHITE CLAM SAUCE (serves 3-4)

– 3 cans whole baby clams (& juice of 2 of those cans)
– 1 vidalia onion, sliced into thick half moons
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– handful fresh parsley, chopped
– 3/4 cup good white wine (optional, but lends a nice dimension of flavor)
– 1 tbsp. butter
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
– pasta, approx. 1/4 lb., or 3-4oz. for each guest 

1. In a large pan, melt the butter and EVOO over medium heat until combined. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, approx. 60 seconds.  Add the onions and saute until soft, approx. 5-7 minutes.

2. Add the wine and let the alcohol burn off, approx. 3-5 minutes. 

3. Add juice of 1 can and all the baby clams.  Take 1 can of juice and discard. In the remaining can with the juice, add 1/4 c. grated parm, combine, and add to the pan.

3. Stir to combine, then turn heat down to low.  Cover and simmer for about an hour, stirring every now and then.


4. At the very end, throw in the chopped parsley and stir to combine.  Cook the pasta, then top with the white clam sauce.  There will be quite a bit of juice, which is delicious, so keep the pasta separate so it doesn’t soak it up (if you’re going to have leftovers).

5. Serve, per my Mom’s instructions: “with a salad & of course a good bottle of white wine.  Invite a friend over for a real treat!”

That’s a well-used recipe card from my Mom, right there!

In other news, I am super psyched for a weekend yoga workshop with the amazing Pradeep at Balance Yoga  despite this snowstorm that’s meant to be bombarding the Northeast this weekend.  Also, snowstorm “Nemo”?  Seriously??

Shaved Cauliflower & Radicchio Salad with Honey-Toasted Walnuts & a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Did you need something super healthy and fresh to kind of ease you back into a week following the over-indulgence of Super Bowl weekend?  I did.  I also got to use one of B’s Christmas gifts to me for the first time, this ridiculous Cuisinart Food Processor, which made making this salad a 10 minute process instead of maybe a 20 minute one.  Shaving the cauliflower and radicchio into paper-thin slices really “takes this salad from a meal to an event” (we do the same thing with the radishes and avocado for our Favorite Salad Ever), so a julienne will work just as well if you don’t have a food processor that will accomplish this.  You can also just shave these into thin slices with a really sharp knife.  This salad is so pretty and crunchy, the dressing gives it a little lift of sweetness, and the honey-kosher salt toasted walnuts finish it perfectly.  It also makes a ton of it (this would be great for parties), so I just kept the salad and the dressing separate so we could combine them when we were ready to have this over the next day or so.  A paper towel in the bowl with your salad will keep the ingredients from getting soggy.


SHAVED CAULIFLOWER & RADICCHIO SALAD WITH HONEY-TOASTED WALNUTS & A MEYER LEMON VINAIGRETTE (makes a really big bowl of salad – adapted almost exactly from the lovely Happy Yolks)
– 1/2 a head of cauliflower (not cored)
– 1 head radicchio, cored
– 4-5 celery stalks, with leaves
– 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
– 1/2 c. honey-toasted walnuts
– 1-2 tbsp honey
– 3 meyer lemons, juiced
– 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
– 1/4 c. EVOO
– kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper

1. Cut a head of cauliflower in half, then shave it either with a julienne, a food processor, or a very sharp knife. Include the stem of the cauliflower. Throw this all into a big bowl.

 


2. Core a head of radicchio, and shave that as well. Do the same with the celery sticks, and also roughly tear  the celery leaves.  Add to the bowl. Chop the chives and the parsley, add to the ingredients, and stir everything to combine.


3. For the meyer lemon vinaigrette, juice the lemons, then add (in this order, to help it all blend together) kosher salt, pepper, dijon mustard.  Whisk together (or shake it up, if you’re using a little mason jar), then add the olive oil. Whisk or shake it to combine, then add to the salad (or keep separate if you’re planning to eat this over the next day or so, too).

3. To make the walnuts, drizzle them with honey and then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.  Bake for approx. ten minutes at 350.  Remove, let cool slightly, then top the salad with these.  Serve and enjoy.

 

Family = Love

I went to a bridal show in the Poconos with my mom and little sister this weekend, which was so much fun. Collyn and I have lived away from home (in Boston, Western Massachusetts, Paris, NYC, Philly, Colorado, & Montana, between the two of us) for so long, & being back in the same place as our parents for the first time in a long time is something I really treasure. Wedding planning has been really fun, but one of my favorite parts about it has been, hands down, the quality time I’ve been able to spend with my mom and my sister.

Four-Ingredient Fruit Snacks

There have been a bunch of recipes for fruit snacks on Pinterest popping up in my news feed lately, and blueberries were on sale at Wegman’s, and we’re always looking for snack alternatives to our beloved hummus and Pretzel Chips. So….fruit snacks it is! As someone who likes to know what we’re consuming, and where it comes from, the fact that there were 4 ingredients in this, total, was really appealing. Organic blueberries, local organic honey, and lovely Meyer Lemons make up for the fact that these include gelatin.  Let’s just think of the detoxifying benefits of the lemons cancelling that right out, though!

HOMEMADE FRUIT SNACKS (makes approx. 2.5 cups)
– 1.5 cups blueberries (or your choice of berry)
– 3/4 cup meyer lemon juice (approx. 4-5 meyer lemons) These are a cross between a clementine & a lemon (a friend of mine calls them “lemontines”), which makes the recipe sweeter, and better, than the sourness of traditional lemons
– 2 tbsp. honey
– 2 tbsp. gelatin

1. Wash the blueberries, juice the lemons, then combine in a saucepan over medium heat until the berries start to soften.



2. Remove from heat and let cool approx. 5 minutes.


3. Puree – ideally with an Immersion Blender – or in a blender.  Strain to remove the blueberry skins.  A lot of these will just come up with the immersion blender, so if that’s good enough for you it’s good enough for me (it was).

4. Add honey, stir to combine.  Taste at this point – what it tastes like now is what it’ll taste like when it sets, so modify the recipe as needed.  More honey, more juice, etc. 

5. Whisk in gelatin a tiny bit at a time, until fully incorporated.

6.  Pour mixture into an ungreased shallow glass dish, and refrigerate for approx. 45 minutes until set.  


7. Cut them into whatever shapes you like, remove from the glass dish, dust with a tiny bit of cornstarch to prevent them from sticking together, and store in a tupperware container (in the fridge) to enjoy.  These had kind of a jello jiggler texture, which we liked, but if you want them to be more of a traditional “fruit snack” texture, I’d add maybe 2 more tbsps. of gelatin.