Sunday, August 30, 2009

Recipe: Roasted Beet + Fennel Salad

This is what I will be making at the State Fair's Eco Experience kitchen today at noon! Come by + see us....

Roasted Beet + Fennel Salad
serves 1-2, but easily doubles

2 beets, washed and peeled, cut into cubes

2 small fennel bulbs, sliced thinly
olive oil salt + pepper
1-2 oz. bleu cheese of choice

1/4 c toasted walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 425˚
-toss beets and fennel separately* with olive oil, salt + pepper (just enough oil to coat)
*tossing the beets with the fennel may color the fennel pink

-place on baking sheet, divided or on two separate sheets

-place in oven to roast about 20 minutes or until vegetables are just tender and fragrant, stirring once or twice to ensure even cooking

-allow to cool slightly, then toss with bleu cheese and walnuts, if desired

-taste and re-season with salt + pepper as needed

Copyright 2008, Molly L. Herrmann

Friday, August 28, 2009

Food Find: Minnesota State Fair!

It's the time of year when everyone gorges on such local delicacies as cheese curds and pronto pups at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. I always go for the hush puppies. They take me back to my Southern roots. What's you favorite fair food?

Well, a few healthy food choices do await you this year....

On Sunday, August 30th at the Eco-Experience Pavilion, I will be giving a demo on local, helathy food at noon! Stop by to see me and get a little sample. My kitchen-mate, Jenny Breen of Good Life Catering, will be demo-ing a little earlier on the same day at 10:30AM.
Lots of other local chefs will be sharing tips for healthy, local eating, so be sure to visit. They also have loads of kid's activities!

The Midtown Global Market has several vendors att he fair this year at the International Bazaar! Enjoy some delish peaches from the Produce Exchange, or grab one of my favorite Macaroons from the Salty Tart.
Anyway you eat it, the fair is always lots o' fun. Enjoy!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ingredient: Rosemary

n. [rosmarinus officialnus] native Mediterranean perennial herb with evergreen type leaves; used in cooking, aromatics and medicines; member of the mint family

While you may think that Rosemary is such a commonly used herb I shouldn't bother writing about it, I contend that Rosemary is one of the most under-utilized herbs. Sure, sure everyone uses it in potatoes and marinades for pork, but where is the imagination? This herb is one of the most fragrant and long-lasting around. So, I'd like to challenge folks to use more rosemary in different ways. A few of my favorites? Why, I'm happy you asked....

Rosemary is a terrific addition to:
-tomato sauce
-cream sauce
-tomato-cream sauce (ha!)
-pie crusts
-pizza toppings
-roasted veggies of any sort

-mixed drinks
-sweet or savory scones or shortbread (really!)

Here's a quick tomato sauce recipe, perfect for time starved parents:

Molly' Quick Tomato Sauce

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (prefer organic roasted, such as Muir Glen)
3-4 fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 small red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed with skins removed

4T olive oil
1t crushed red pepper

1T fresh rosemary, chopped
1T fresh basil or oregano, chopped

1T real maple syrup
1T balsamic vinegar
S+P to taste

-saute onion in oil until translucent
-add garlic and spices, stir and saute for about another minute
-add tomatoes, stir to incorporate
-reduce heat to low + simmer covered for 30 min, stirring occasionally
-adjust to taste with maple syrup, s+p and balsamic vinegar
-remove garlic to serve

Great on pizza, pasta or as a dipping sauce.

Copyright 2007, Molly L. Herrmann

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Recipe: Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins

Wow. Sorry for not posting a whole week. This summer is going by way too fast!

So, yesterday I experimented with some Zucchini-Chocolate Chip muffins, and they turned out pretty darn tasty! This is a perfect way to use up all that garden and CSA zucchini when you're tired of stir-frying or pickling. I used this recipe to make mini-muffins (about 3 dozen!), but you could make regular size ones, too. Just adjust the cooking time by about 10 minutes. Oh, and these work great to freeze and pull out for later use!

Zucchini-Chocolate Chip Muffins
yields 3 dozen mini muffins

3C organic all purpose flour
2t baking soda
2t cinnamon
1t salt
1C honey
3/4c canola oil
2 eggs, beaten
3/4c buttermilk
2t vanilla
2T lemon juice
1 1/2-2C zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
1C semi-sweet chocolate chips

-whisk all dry ingredients together until blended
-make a well in center
-add eggs and the rest of the wet ingredients
-stir until combined
-stir in zucchini + chocolate chips
-spoon into mini-muffin tin (2oz scoop)
-bake at 350˚ for 25 minutes or until top springs back when touched

Copyright 2009, Molly L. Herrmann

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Food Find: Good Bite

Have you found Good Bite, yet? Well get on it. A new and wonderful foodie site that brings together some of the webs most admired food writers and bloggers.

Good information, good recipes, and good tips from good folks... all in one place.

(That's not really their slogan, but it was fun to write!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Method: Pickling Update!

I have tasted my pickles. And they are good. Damn good. And I urge each and everyone of you to pickle some of summer's bounty. Truly incredible.

To recap, I pickled some of our CSA veggies: green beans, zucchini, cucumbers and red cabbage.

The zucchini was actually a ridged variety that I thought would make beautiful star-like pickle slices. The upside of this particular variety is that it not only looks pretty, it holds its firm texture well in pickling. Absolutely lovely to look at and snack on. Perfect for setting out with cheeses, olive and nuts for summer and fall entertaining. Or even as a hostess gift!

The red cabbage turns a lovely shade of pink when pickled, and I've been adding it to salads and sauteed veggies for bright color and an extra punch of flavor.

The pickling cucumbers turned out...just like dill pickles! Not as ooooh-aaaah inducing as the other veggies, but nice to know I can make a pretty darn good dill pickle on my own.

By far, our family favorite is the green beans. My son almost ate the whole jar himself! I had added a pierced jalapeno for a little heat, and it was just right. If the jar had made it past a week (like say a couple of months) the heat would have been more intense. Which also would be nice, but not necessarily a 3 year old's dream pickle.

So, needless to say I am a home pickling convert. I can't wait to do another batch. Perhaps we will have more restraint now and allow them to carry us into fall. Or not.

In case you missed the previous pickling post, here is the
brine recipe I used as recommended by some fellow CSAers!