Posts tagged ‘lunch’

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.



March 29, 2011

A Classic Revisited | Sea Bass Salad

The birth of this post comes from a piece of bony fish.

I had a lovely piece of sea bass that would have made a gorgeous steak all seared off and pretty, ready for it’s close up.  But darn it if I couldn’t pry loose some stubborn pin bones.  Many people wouldn’t bother with such a thing,  but as it turns out, I have a thing.  I really can’t stand bones in a fish.  I know.  Hush.

So, I poached it instead.

And after its warm bath, the fish easily gave up all those bones just with a bit of light flaking into a bowl.  This salad is wonderful in its traditional forms: on a croissant (from Pistacia Vera?), over a salad of spring greens, on toast (from Omega Bakery?) or, as I did, in lettuce leaves that rolled up into little roulades.  Add in a few strong, non-traditional ingredients (olives, capers, a brunoise of red bell pepper) and you’ve got something that a lady who lunches or a fish phobic person (I’m not fish phobic, I’m bone phobic) will really enjoy.

Sea Bass Salad Roulades, serves 2

2/3 pound sea bass (although salmon would also be just marvelous in this, come to think of it)

6 olives, sliced

1 T red bell pepper, minced

1 T capers, drained

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 T parsley, finely chopped

2 T olive oil, plus more to taste

1/2 lime, juice and zest

Salt, pepper

4 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried

In a small pot of simmering water add in the fish and cook at a gentle bubble for 10 to 12 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.  Drain and let rest on a paper towel.  While the fish is cooking, combine all other ingredients in a small bowl, except for the lettuce leaves.  Flake in the fish with the dressing, gently stir to incorporate.  Taste for seasoning and add additional salt and pepper or olive oil to taste.  Divide the salad amongst the four lettuce leaves.

Playlist included Second Chance, by PB&J (Peter, Bjorn and John).

March 14, 2011

Irish Cooking | Quick Scallop Soup

In addition to being in love with Indian cuisine, English cuisine, Spanish cuisine, Mexican cuisine, Japanese cuisine and – I’m sensing a pattern here – all manner of cuisines, I figured it’d be a kindness to share a few Irish recipes that I love as well, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

This cream of scallop soup took nearly no time to cook (easy enough for lunch), had just a few ingredients (many already in the pantry and fridge) and tasted deliciously complex.  I’m banking on that it was the anchovies.

Yes, I know, you told me last time, you don’t like anchovies.  But here I am again, giving you another recipe that uses them and telling you, you’ll like it.  It’s delicious.  As my bowl was being licked clean, it occurred to me, that this soup base is fantastic for all manner of seafood; lobster would be equally at home here.  It would also serve as a perfect broth for a few potatoes and clams for a clam chowder.

Cream of Scallop Soup, Serves 3, Inspired by The Scottish-Irish Pub and Hearth Cookbook

1/2 pound small bay scallops

2 T butter

2 T onions, minced

1 1/2 T flour

3 c whole milk (I used Snowville, since the milk is crucial in this recipe)

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December 29, 2010

Soup of the Week | Chicken, Leek and Beech Mushroom

How do you make this soup?

Well, first you take a leek…

What can I say?  It’s a favorite around here.

Let me know if you want the recipe for this week’s lunch.



October 12, 2010

Leek Pie


When I was at Pearl Alley Farmers Market, I picked up two of the last three bundles of leeks at a stall (how awful that I don’t remember which farm it was!).  I have been lovingly obsessing over them and plotting what to do that would be a proper homage to one of my most favorite of vegetables.  Flavors of Tuscany does it again with la Porrata or leek pie.  And it’s in keeping with my Italian mood: just a few humble ingredients transform into somthing luscious.  It is a bit of work as you’ve got to make a yeast dough (fun with a kid!) and let it rise for an hour, but the flavor makes it so very well worth it.  It would be a lovely addition to a Sunday brunch, but also makes a great lunch with a few delicate greens dressed with a fenugreek vinaigrette (i.e., standard vinaigrette with 1/2 teaspoon of ground fenugreek whisked in).  This is a bit like a Quiche, only much lighter (no cream at all and just a little bit of parmesan) and it properly showcases that beautiful Allium

la Porrata, Leek Pie, inspired from Flavors of Tuscany

For the dough:

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October 4, 2010

Weekday Apple Salad

I couldn’t help myself.  In light of Saturday’s article in the WSJ, saying bacon is singing its swan song, I defiantly made a tasty fall salad with bacon ends from Curly Tail Farm.  I can’t help it if it goes so well with fall apples from Gillogly Orchards and sharp cheddar from Ohio Farm Direct and a few spicy mustard greens from Honeyrun Farm.  I. just. can’t. help it.

Combine those ingredients in the quantities you like (I like lots of greens, lots of apples, a little bit of cheddar and a little bit more bacon).  Then dress it in a vinaigrette made from apple cider vinegar, Hays apple cider, olive oil, salt, pepper, and just a drop or two of sriracha.

Cherub ate a local version of mac and cheese: some of the leftover Mrs. Miller’s Homemade noodles from last night’s chicken, along with a quick bechamel (equal parts flour and butter in a small saucepan, heated until bubbly for a minute or two, then whisk in Snowville milk to make a sauce) then add in a few ounces of cheese mixing to melt.  Add noodles to sauce and voila!  Scratch mac and cheese in under ten minutes.

See the Farms and Producers page for complete sourcing.

September 20, 2010

Lunch in Antibes | Celeriac Remoulade

Celeriac is just starting to look great again.  I found a fabulous bulb with all the lovely green stalks still on top.  You’ll often find ones with no green on them later in the winter season.  Don’t worry, they’re still great, you just won’t have the celery-like straws off the top for your Bloody Marys (genius!).  But just about now is the time to start thinking about adding this versatile vegetable into your cooking rotation.

It’s lovely as a puree, either on its own or with potatoes (just cube it and cook it along with the potatoes).  It’s great as a vegetable in soups.  The trimmings can make a nice addition to a stock.  It can be shredded and used as a raw vegetable in coleslaw.   Plus, it’s pretty great for you.

Today, I took a tip from the super-knowledgeable Patricia Wells and made like the French and shredded it and tossed it with a mustard-y vinaigrette.  This is my take on Celery Remoulade.  The traditional recipe for Céleri Rémoulade calls for a homemade egg mayonnaise, but I substituted a simple olive oil, mustard and vinegar dressing with a teaspoon of jarred mayo (shock! horror!)  to bind it nicely.  Don’t forget to season well with salt and pepper.

To prepare this strange-looking vegetable into something edible, slice off the tops (keep them! make a batch of Bloody Marys!), then quarter the rest of the bulb.  Use a vegetable peeler (my preference) or a small knife to cut off all of the brown fibrous parts.    You’ll be left with the pristine white inside.  Using your food processor with the shredding blade (or a box grater) shred the chunks and then mix with the vinaigrette.

Serve this with a few more crudités and you’ve got what’s essentially a salad, but a lot less boring and a lot more refined.

Playlist from deep within the iPod included Kim and Jessie , one of my favorites by very French M83.  Dreamy.

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