Tag Archives: goat cheese

Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa

I’ve been changing up where I’m getting recipe inspirations from.  During the summer there are so many fresh ingredients that I want to use and try, so I tend to look into magazines rather than cookbooks.  At the beginning of this summer I decided to subscribe to Food & Wine and Bon Appetit.  Both provide great food articles, recipes and restaurant recommendations for when you travel.  Where do you get your recipe inspirations from?  I’d love to hear some new ideas!  (cookbooks, magazines, blogs, etc)

Below is one of the recipes which I found in Food & Wine, and I’m so glad I saw it.  At first it was a bit intimidating since I’ve never made a crêpe!  I worried that it would come out super thick- like a pancake and not be edible.  But I tried- and by the 3rd one I got the hang of it.  And if I can do it, so can you!

This made a perfect lunch and dinner- fantastic for leftovers!  I’ll definitely make more of these in the future, but just change up the filling to do something different.  These are a lighter and tastier alternative to a tortilla.  You can make them a day or two ahead- they keep well in the fridge!

Buckwheat Crêpes with Corn Salsa
Adapted from: Food and Wine (August 2012)

Crepes:
2 cups skim milk
2 large eggs
1 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Salsa:
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 leeks, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 ears of corn, corn kernels sliced off
1/4 cup chopped parsley
cooking spray or melted butter
about 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped chives

To make the crepe batter mix together, in a blender or food processor, the milk, eggs, butter, buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt.  Keep the batter to the side until you are ready to make the crepes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  On a baking sheet toss the tomatoes and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast for 25 minutes, or until the tomatoes are slightly drained.

In a skillet, melt the butter and then add the leeks.  Cook them over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Then add in the jalapeño and corn kernels, cook for about 2 minutes.  Next add in the tomatoes and parsley, cook for 2-3 minutes.

Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet, and spray it with cooking spray or brush it with melted butter.  For each crepe use about 1/4 cup of batter, pour it into the skillet and swirling it around to coat the pan.  Cook over medium heat, until the top is dry and the bottom is lightly golden, about 2 minutes.  Then flip the crepe over and cook for 1 more minute.  Transfer the crepe to a plate to cool off.  Repeat with the remaining batter, which should make about 10-12 crepes.

To serve, spread the crepe onto a plate.  Then spoon the salsa onto the center of the crepe.  Sprinkle the goat cheese and chives on top, and then roll each crepe into a cylinder.

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Food Matters Project #21: Beet Chips with Pistachio Dip

It’s another Food Matters Project post!  This weeks recipe was chosen by Meg, of My Wholefood Romance.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Beet “Sandwiches” from his Food Matters Cookbook.

I was a bit hesitant to make this recipe.  Beets are not my favorite food, which may sound weird since I’m Polish- and beets are pretty popular.  But a couple of Thursday ago I was walking around the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market and I saw the beets and the greens, and they looked so pretty so I had to bring some home.  Since I had no other plans for these veggies, I decided to try out Mark Bittman’s recipe!  I was very surprised how well it tasted, and this would be a perfect healthy snack to keep around.

Beet Chips and Pistachio Dip
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 83)

Rather than sandwiches, as Bittman refers to them, I used mine as chips.  Part of it was that the beets I had bought were fairly small.  Remember to wear plastic gloves when dealing with beets, since they will stain your hands a bit!

10 small beets
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp + 1 pinch of salt
3 oz goat cheese
1 cup shelled pistachios
pinch of pepper
2 cups arugula

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Peel and slice the beets about 1/4 inch thick.  Put them all into a bowl, add some 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tsp salt.  Shake the bowl (or use your hands, but they might get a little beet color on them!) to coat all of the pieces with the olive oil and salt.  Spread all of the beets onto a cookie sheet, and bake them for 20-25 minutes.  Once they are baked, allow them to cool before eating.

Meanwhile, add the goat cheese, pistachios, 2 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper and arugula into a food processor  Blend until the mixture is smooth.  Refrigerate until you are ready to eat it with the beet chips.

Squash Blossom & Bacon Frittata

Over the last couple of years, I noticed many squash blossom recipes, but I could never find any.  This year when I spotted them at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, and finally bought some!

Squash blossoms grow at the end of the bud that turns into a squash.  They tend to be unavailable in stores since they are very perishable, so a farmer’s market is the best place to find them.  They can be eaten raw, or incorporated into recipes.

About the time I bought the squash blossoms, we had a significant amount of bacon in our fridge.  Days before, my friends and I went blueberry picking, and stopped over at the Lancaster County Dutch Market in Germantown, MD.  There are a number of different vendors that sell desserts, salads, meats and veggies.  Everything that I bought was delicious, including that bacon!

So rather than just frying the squash blossoms, I decided on a breakfast frittata.  It’d be a perfect place for the bacon and squash blossoms to join together.  I ended up making it the day before, and it was enjoyed on a beautiful Saturday morning with some coffee!

Squash Blossom & Bacon Frittata
Inspired by: Sweet Sugar Bean

If you don’t have bacon, or don’t want to use it, feel free to use olive oil when sauteing all the veggies.  Also, if you don’t have bacon or squash blossoms- change up the ingredients to what’s in your fridge.  Frittatas are perfect for “cleaning on the fridge”!

8 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tbsp chopped chives
9 pieces of bacon
3/4 cup chopped leeks
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 squash blossoms
10 grape tomatoes, halved
2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a medium-sized bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and chives.

In a cast iron, cook the bacon over medium heat.  When all of the pieces are done to your liking, remove and put them aside on a paper towel, leaving the bacon fat in the cast iron.  Once the bacon has cooled off, chop up into smaller pieces.

Next, add the onion and leeks into the cast iron (that has the bacon fat).  Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.  Add in the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.  Remove from pan, and set aside.

In the hot cast iron, set the squash blossoms, and cook them on each side for approximately 30 seconds.  Then remove them from the pan.

Next sprinkle the onions, leeks and bacon into the cast iron.  Over those ingredients, pour the egg mixture.  Arrange the squash blossoms and tomatoes on top.  Quickly, scatter the goat cheese around the cast iron.

Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the egg begins to set on the edges.  Then transfer the cast iron into the preheated oven, bake for 10 minutes.

Mushroom Israeli Couscous Risotto

I think there are two kinds of food shoppers.  Sam falls into the group which goes into the store, for exactly what he needs, and escapes as soon as he can.  I, on the other hand, love to browse the aisles.  What if I miss some new and exciting product?

Last year I was searching for Israeli couscous, but I could never find it.  Who decides which aisle holds certain products?  I have a feeling that me and that individual are not on the same wavelength.  There are times where I’ll circle around searching for something in particular, and never end up finding it.

One day, when I was alone in the store, I stumbled upon Israeli couscous.  Finally!  Of course once I find the product, I couldn’t find a recipe which I wanted to try.  I recently organized my food magazine basket (growing every month), and finally came across a recipe which sounded delicious.

What is Israeli couscous?  Other names it is known as are: ptitim, Jerusalem couscous or pearl couscous.  In the 1950’s food rationing in Israel was enforced, and during this time rice was scarce.  The prime minister asked Osem (the largest food manufacturer and distributor in Israel) to make a wheat-based substitute.  The company then made ptitim, made of hard wheat flour roasted in the oven.

These days, Israeli couscous is marketed towards children in Israel.  Just like pastas in the US- they are made in various shapes to cater to a younger crowd.  Many eat ptitim plain, fried with onions, or topped with tomato sauce.  Meanwhile, in the US you can find it in trendy, upscale restaurants.


Mushroom Israeli Couscous Risotto
Adapted from: Cooking Light (March 2009)

We basically made a risotto, but rather than using arborio rice- I tried out Israeli couscous.  Both of us really enjoyed it, it was a bit lighter and more filling.  If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, feel free to swap it out for asparagus and green peas, or use whatever mushrooms you have in your fridge.
 

2 1/2 cups of vegetable broth (or chicken)
1 cup of water
2 cups of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 shallots, chopped finely
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups uncooked Israeli couscous
1/2 cup dry white wine (ex: Bogle Chardonnay)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 oz goat cheese
4 tbsp chives, chopped

Combine the broth and water in a saucepan over medium heat, bring it to a simmer.  Continue to simmer this broth until you use it all up.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan, then toss in the mushrooms.  Allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates.  Add in the shallots and garlic, cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Then add the Israeli couscous, stir constantly for about 1 minute.  Finally pour in the wine, cook for another minute or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stir constantly.

Add a ladle (about 1/4 cup) of broth into the couscous mixture.  Stir constantly until the broth is absorbed.  Then add another ladle of the broth, continue until all of the broth has been used.

Stir in salt and pepper.  Finally, add in the goat cheese and keep stirring until it has dissolved into the couscous mixture.

Divide the couscous onto 4 plates, and sprinkle with the chives.

Barley with Stuffed Portobellos

This past weekend Sam and I drove into Virginia, it was beautiful to see the rolling hills- especially with the leaves beginning to change colors.  Absolutely breathtaking.  This means fall is here, summer has officially ended.

While living in the midwest I noticed that fall tends to come and go quickly.  School starts, football games begin…and winter abruptly begins.  Here, in Virginia, fall lingers.  I’ve learned to love it- it gives us more than enough time to try out many warm, filling and familiar dishes.

Whenever I’m in the mood for a natural, earthy flavor when cooking dinner I tend to add mushrooms into the dish.  Sometimes we’ll make a portobello mushroom burger- there are so many flavors in each bite.  So when I saw this dish in Vegetarian Times– I knew we had to try it.  Each bite has the perfect blend of leeks, pine nuts and portobello mushroom; the barley allows this dish to be a very filling dinner.

Barley with Stuffed Portobellos
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times (Oct 2011)

cooking spray
4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, thinly sliced
8 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
1 lb fresh spinach
4 oz goat cheese, chopped and softened
3 tbsp pine nuts

Cook 1 cup of barley in about 2 cups of water until it is tender.  Drain, and divide between 4 plates.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Brush mushrooms, on both sides, with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Also, sprinkle the mushroom caps with 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper.  Arrange the mushroom caps on the baking sheet and roast for 5 minutes.  Turn the mushrooms over and roast for another 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms begin to soften.  Once the mushrooms are done, plate them on top of the barley.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Then add onions, leeks, garlic and thyme.  Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the leeks are tender.  Then, add spinach and cook for another 10 minutes until the spinach has wilted.  Finally, stir in goat cheese and pine nuts.  Keep stirring until all of the cheese has melted and has been incorporated into the mixture.  Remove from heat and add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of pepper.

Finally, fill each portobello mushroom with the leek-spinach mixture until it is spilling out.