Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sound Focus on 94.9 KUOW

I spoke to Megan Suky's from 94.9 KUOW on Tuesday about farmer's markets and shared two recipes from EAT & DRINK in the Northwest, the Christmas Cioppino and the Butternut Squash, Parsnip Quesadilla with Ginger Lime Beet Salsa. The interview was played on Wednesday Dec. 17 on Sound Focus. A link to the show is found here: Sound Focus to hear my little piece, you have to listen or skip ahead almost to the end of the show, although the previous stories before mine are lovely as well.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cioppino

One more sample recipe from EAT & DRINK in the Northwest, Winter edition! Cioppino is one of my all time favorite dishes and it seems fitting to include it as a sample recipe, just in time for Christmas. My family likes to make cioppino for Christmas. Shellfish is at its peak in the fall and winter. You can ask each guest you invite to dinner to bring a ½ pound of seafood to add to the pot. It’s fun as well as cost effective for a large group. This soup is packed with a variety of seafood in a rich tomato, basil and rosemary broth. Served with warmed sour dough bread and you may just reconsider making turkey or ham for Christmas dinner.

Christmas Cioppino
Makes 6 servings

¼ c. plus 2 T. olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
½ head of fennel, cored, sliced and roughly chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 T. fresh oregano
2 T. tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can chopped tomatoes
4 c. fish stock, (or else sub chicken or vegetable stock)
1(8 oz.) bottle clam juice
1 c. white wine
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley leaves
3 T. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 rosemary sprig
¼ tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 pound littleneck clams
1 pound mussels, debearded
1 pound cooked crab legs, divided into equal portions
¾ pound baby sea scallops, foot removed
¾ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tail removed
10 oz. snapper sliced into 6 even pieces
Sourdough bread

Preheat oven to 200°F
Place 6 large serving bowls into the oven.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add onions, fennel, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened and fragrant for about 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and cook another minute, stirring constantly. Add bay leaf and oregano. Stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and stir for 3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and stir for 4 minutes. Add white wine, clam juice and stock and bring to a boil. Add parsley, basil and rosemary sprig. Reduce to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add clams and mussels and simmer until they open, about 3 minutes. Add shrimp and scallops and stir.
Next, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season snapper fillets with salt and pepper and add them to the heated pan. Cook for 2 minutes, flip and cook another minute. Fish will be slightly underdone.

Remove serving bowls from oven. Place a seared snapper fillet into each heated bowl.
Add crab pieces to the soup and heat through approximately 2 minutes. With a pair of tongs, remove crab legs to serving bowls.

Remove bay leaf and rosemary stem from cioppino and discard. Cover fish and crab with a couple of ladles of soup in each bowl. Serve with sourdough bread. Discard any unopened clams or mussels.

Christmas Cioppino on Foodista

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Quesadilla with Ginger-Lime Beet Salsa

Here is a sample recipe from the newest EAT & DRINK in the Northwest, Winter edition and on Butternut Squash, Parsnip Quesadilla With Ginger-lime Beet Salsa on Foodista
A new idea for two fall and winter favorites-butternut squash and beets! For the salsa lover who wants to eat locally, you can get inspired with this beet salsa that not only tastes sweet, fresh and tangy- it looks like a bowl of ruby jewels just waiting to be sprinkled on a quesadilla, topped on a salad or scooped up with chips.

Butternut Squash and Parsnip Quesadilla with Ginger-Lime Beet Salsa
Makes 2 quesadillas

2 parsnips
2 T. butter
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
Olive oil
½ small butternut squash
½ garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. ground cumin
2 large (burrito sized) flour tortillas
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
*Optional sour cream

Preheat oven to 375°F

Peel and chop parsnips into similar size pieces. Place in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil. Let parsnips boil for a while, check for doneness with a fork (parsnips are tough, let them get very soft). Drain water and cool for 5 minutes. Use a paddle whip or hand mixer to mash parsnips; add 1 tablespoon of butter, a pinch of salt and pepper and nutmeg and set aside.

While parsnips are boiling, slice butternut squash in half again. (Reserve the rest of butternut squash for another recipe). Drizzle the quarter of butternut squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and place flesh side down onto a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until fork-tender. Meanwhile, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and minced garlic to a small sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté for only 30 seconds stirring constantly, until garlic is fragrant, but not burned. Set aside.

Once squash is done, remove from the oven and cool for several minutes. Then scoop out the flesh, discard seeds and place roasted squash into a mixing bowl. Add cumin, a pinch of salt and pepper and garlic butter to the bowl. Use a mixer with a paddle whip or a hand mixer to mash until just combined. Set aside.

Adjust oven to broil.
Lay out two tortillas on a baking sheet. Spread about a 1/2 cup of roasted parsnip and 1/2 cup of butternut squash over each tortilla. Divide mozzarella on top of each tortilla and fold the tortillas in half. Place baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for 1 minute, flip quesadillas and cook for 1 more minute- watch so they don't burn! Remove from oven. Use a knife or pizza slicer to cut quesadillas. Top with Ginger-Lime Beet Salsa and optional sour cream and serve.

Ginger-Lime Beet Salsa
Makes approx. 1 ½ cups

1 medium golden beet
1 medium red beet
1 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. lime juice
1 T. basil, rolled and sliced thin
¼ c. roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp. minced fresh red chili pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced
¼ c. minced sweet onion
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper
1 ½ T. olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F

After removing stems, rinse beets well and place in a small baking pan. Cover securely with foil. Place into the oven and let cook for approximately 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes- they will be done when a knife can be easily inserted into each one.

While beets are cooking, add ginger, lime juice, basil, cilantro, chili pepper, garlic, sweet onion, a pinch of salt and pepper and olive oil to a medium sized mixing bowl. Once beets are done, remove from the oven and cool slightly. Use a paper towel to easily remove the beet skins. Keep golden beets separate from the red beets (to preserve their golden color). Cut both beets into small dice and place only the red beets into the mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper. Just before serving, sprinkle diced golden beets on top of the salsa. Serve on the side of the Butternut Squash and Parsnip Quesadillas.

Cook’s tip: Add grilled chicken, steak or pork inside the quesadilla for a delicious addition.

Butternut Squash, Parsnip Quesadilla With Ginger-lime Beet Salsa on Foodista

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Homemade Applesauce

Possibly the most nostalgic smell from my childhood would have to be homemade applesauce.
Every fall, my mother made homemade applesauce. The apples usually came from apple trees in our yard or from my grandparents yard. A large bowl of multicolored red, pink and golden apples flecked with pocks and sometimes worm holes was common place in my mother's kitchen. Then the sound of the 1970's red-handled apple peeler and corer would grind, spraying sweet and sticky apple juice on the counter and floor. Chopping and stirring and then the heavenly smell of sauteed apples with cinnamon and brown sugar would coat the air. It would stretch and swell throughout the kitchen, creep into the hallways, living areas and even spread itself out onto the couch and weave its way into the fabric of our clothes. And before my dad would reach the front door of the house, the scent was already welcoming him home.
As the end of fall draws near, what better way to remember it then with long lasting flavors. My ultra simple homemade applesauce.
Homemade Applesauce
5 apples from a local tree if possible
1 c. water (more if necessary)
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
Peel and core apples. Thinly slice and rough chop them. Add them to a medium-to large pot over medium-high heat on the stove. Add water and stir. Once the water starts to simmer, reduce heat to med-low and stir. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and stir. Cook over medium low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Depending on how you like the consistency of your applesauce, cook another hour for softer sauce.
Serving suggestions: Eat warm or cold either by itself or on vanilla ice cream or served on the side of stuffed pork chops.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

EAT & DRINK in the Northwest on Ideal Bite Seattle

Today Marcus and I were featured on Ideal Bite Seattle! A green newsletter for sustainably conscious people on the go. The Roasted Cauliflower and Butternut Squash Pizza was mentioned and it's glamour shot can be found in the article. Here is a link to the story called "Every Trick in the Cookbook" by Amy Pennington, a fantastic writer, gardener and epicurean living in the Seattle area.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tom Douglas Cook Book Social

Last night, Marcus and I were honored to be invited to attend the 3rd Annual Tom Douglas Northwest Cook Book Social. I felt both humbled and excited to be around such incredible chefs. The event sold out quick at 400 people. Each chef brought with them a little taste to share- be it Thierry from Rover's soy-glazed pork belly or Karen Jurgenson and Lora Lee from Quillisascut Farm's hand-made goat cheese on homemade crackers, each chef brought something delicious. I made Red Wine and Fig Spread with Caramelized Pear on Sea Salt Pita Chips with Gorgonzola Cheese and Arugula, a modified sandwich recipe from the first book. It makes me so happy to see so many people as passionate about food and cooking as I am, or at least interested enough to come downtown on a rainy Monday and meet some hardworking chefs and taste some of their inspiration. If nothing else, a great excuse to drink a little vino, meet some great people and cross off some gifts off their lists.