Saturday, September 29, 2012
Saturdays in the kitchen
"Not Quite Fig Butter" - This recipe was inspired by a recent post on 5 Second Rule. A blog written by a friend of mine, award winning food blogger, book author, and writer extraordinaire Cheryl Sternman Rule. Cheryl posted this incredible recipe for fig butter made with dried figs. I used fresh figs that had started to naturally dry out because I kind of let them sit in the fridge for too long. Basically I used Cheryl's re-hydration method with the boiling water, then I took the figs and put them in the food processor with the pistachios, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, pinch of lemon zest and about a 1/4 cup of olive oil. The end result was the deliciously creamy spread that you see above.
"Crunchy Curried Chickpeas" - For the past few years I've been seeing recipes for roasted chickpeas pop up in various places (blogs and magazines) but until Saturday hadn't taken the time to try them for myself. This recipe comes from the The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook, a recent release that I am enjoying so much. I'm a true omnivore but like many in our current food climate tend to lean more towards "whole foods" eating choices. This beautiful cookbook and subsequent blog of the same name exemplify my favorite way of cooking and eating. Click here for the recipe...
"Fava Bean Soup" - This recipe is just slightly adapted from the one found on the blog of the beautiful Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks. I had the great fortune of meeting Heidi at a food writers conference last year and she even took the time to let me pick her brain a bit about blogging, etc. She is one of the most gracious and genuine individuals that I've met in the food writing world and I look forward to our paths crossing again. In the meantime, her books and blog are ones that I refer to often for a fresh take on cooking good food. As for the recipe adaptation, read through the original recipe first than take a look at the changes that are listed here. I used frozen fava beans that I thawed and skinned which cuts out the step of soaking and pre-cooking the beans. Once you've finished prepping the beans add them in a pot with the water or stock and set aside until you are ready to add the additional ingredients (onions, garlic, and tomatoes). I used a combination of fresh tomatoes and good quality canned ones, I added in a parmesan cheese rind in the pot with the beans at the beginning of the simmering stage (a trick I picked up from Mark Bittman I think, it gives pots of soups and stews another level of flavor) I threw in two hefty handfuls of spinach during the last 5 minutes of simmering. I substituted about 3 dried smoked serrano chiles for the guajillo chiles and finally because of the parmesan cheese rind I didn't garnish with any additional cheese.
"Lemon Yogurt Cake" - A day in the kitchen would not be complete without making something a little sweet. And for this I turned to another food writer friend, Megan Gordon from "A Sweet Spoonful". I met Megan at the same conference where I met Heidi Swanson and Megan is just as lovely. I remember seeing her and giving her a big hug like we'd known each other for years instead of through a few brief email exchanges shortly before the conference. She is an entrepreneur (order her granola today!), soon to be published book author, and has a handsome gentleman in her life with some serious South Jersey roots (Love that!). I have made quite a few things from her blog and everything has been spot on. Perfect for those of us with a little sweet tooth and for us Moms that like to keep healthier sweet treats around the house for the kids. The only change that I made in her recipe was swapping out the whole wheat flour for all-purpose and the barley flour for whole-wheat pastry.
Well that's it for now, but I'd say that's quite a spread so until next Saturday...Happy Cooking!