Archive for ‘Citrus’

August 10, 2012

Local Foods Week | Whey Crepes with Ricotta and Zucchini

It’s the time of year where just about anything your heart desires is available fresh and local here in Ohio.  Farmer’s market tables groan under the weight of melons, zucchini, tomatoes, peaches.  Oh the loveliness.

Local Matters (whose mission is to transform the food system in central Ohio to be more secure, prosperous, just and delicious) hosts Local Foods Week every year.  This year they have so many events from tastings to picnics to special local foods week tours.   It’s kind of a party with produce all week.  Which is awesome.

Cooking with local produce is my personal favorite thing to do this week.

But it’s summer, too, and if you ask me, that means cooking should be just barely above a simmer.  If you’re in the house, lightly sauteed or not cooked at all are methods I can stand behind.

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June 4, 2012

Two Light and Easy Nights | Summer Miso Soup

This past weekend the most recent Top Chef winner Paul Qui was in town at Market District to do a demo and answer questions.  Honestly, I don’t think there has been a nicer, more unassuming winner of that crazy show.   He’s just such a humble, talented guy.  His dishes were lovely light versions of chicken rice (his with lots and lots of a lemony ponzu) and a summer miso soup.  Things, he says, are his comfort foods.  I can completely see why.

His cooking got me thinking about dishes I had made in the past but could bring together for the perfect, almost no effort summer dinner.  Granted, you’ll have Asian food a couple of days in a row, but I don’t think that ever hurt anyone.  Plus, this is the time of year that you can gather just about everything locally, aside from the kombu, katsuobushi and a couple of pantry items.

But perhaps the thing that makes me happiest about this kind of dinner is that since everybody gets to choose what to include in their bowls, it’s lots of fun for Cherub.  She amazed even me tonight by her choice of tofu, zucchini, carrots, green onion, bean sprouts and snap peas.  But she passed on the fresh sweet corn.  (What kid does that?)  And she even had seconds.

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March 20, 2012

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Texas Savvy Firefly

Even a cocktail can be local and seasonal.  Especially if it has lovely ruby red grapefruit juice in it along with a super smooth locally distilled vodka, in this case Savvy, out of Austin.  The recipe: grapefruit juice and vodka in a two to one ratio.  A splash of grenadine.  Stir.  Pour over ice.  Superb.

Playlist included Look at Miss Ohio, covered by Miranda Lambert.

April 18, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | The Rhubarb Middleton

Playing in the backyard with Cherub this afternoon, I couldn’t help but admire the rhubarb plant that’s seriously taken off.

I’ve watched it daily from my kitchen window, but from that vantage point, I had no idea just how much was ready for harvesting.  Cherub and I picked four large stalks (for a total of about 3/4 of a pound) this afternoon.  There must be another 40, at least.

My favorite way to use rhubarb is in cocktails.   I simmered the rhubarb down to a syrup (straining and reserving the remaining pulp for a dessert to be determined).  It’s a perfect early-spring combination of rhubarb, orange, vanilla and vodka.  It’s creamy, tart and appropriate for any get together.

I thank Jamie Oliver for the original inspiration, but cheekily name this version after Kate who will be bidding farewell to her “common” life.  And if you’re NFI, this cocktail might be the perfect thing to toast the newly married couple.

The Rhubarb Middleton, Makes 2

For the syrup:

3/4 pound rhubarb stalks, sliced

Juice from 1/2 orange

1/2 c sugar

1/2 vanilla bean sliced lengthwise (or add in a 1/2 t vanilla extract after the syrup has cooled if you haven’t the bean)

Simmer together over medium low heat for eight to ten minutes or until it becomes a pulp.  Strain, reserving the solids for another purpose if desired.  Allow syrup to cool.

For the cocktail:

Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice:

2 shots rhubarb syrup

2 shots vodka

1 shot Grand Marnier

1 shot half and half, Snowville, of course

Playlist included Common People, by Pulp.

When it was just a wee sprout a few weeks ago.The four stalks harvested this afternoon.

April 5, 2011

Moroccan Mystique | Orange and Olive Salad

This is one of those things I just wasn’t sure how it would all work.  Oranges and olives?  My goodness, yes.

I will always be impressed that onions, cumin and chili powder lend a North African vibe to this orange salad, but combine the same three flavors with pinto beans and you’ve got yourself the makings of some good beans for a Texas barbecue.  The cooking world is smaller than you think.

This late winter, early spring salad is a blissful marriage of briny, fatty olives with sweet oranges, spicy red onion and crisp mint.  It’s a cinch to put together and uses spices (chili powder, cumin, paprika) that lots of folks already have in the pantry.   It’s a fantastic side for falafels, or spicy chicken and it makes a great lunch on its own.

(Ooo!) Orange, Olive and Onion Salad, serves 6

Inspired by Claudia Rosen’s Arabesque cookbook

4 oranges, supremed or cut into chunks

20 olives, black, green, or a mix, sliced in half or left whole

1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced and then chopped a bit

Juice from 1/2 lemon

3 T olive oil

1/2 t ground cumin

1/2 t paprika

Pinch of ground chili powder

2 T chopped mint, parsley or coriander, or some combination thereof

Salt to taste

Combine the orange, olives and onion in a medium bowl.  Combine the lemon, olive oil and spices in a smaller bowl, whisk to combine.  Pour over the orange mixture, taste for seasoning.  Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and serve.

Playlist included There is a Light That Never Goes Out, covered by Noel Gallagher.

 

 

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