Monday, November 24, 2014

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

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Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Serves: 4-6
Difficulty: Easy
Avocado and Grapefruit Salad 
I know, it sounds so weird…but really, intriguing. Right? I thought so…and especially terrific in the winter when the pink grapefruit are at their prime. I'm releasing this recipe right around Thanksgiving and just know you are feeling oh so tummy happy but a bit guilty too.  This should keep the tum so happy but really lessen the guilt. It is so very simple and clean - wonderful palate cleanser between courses. The hardest part is releasing the grapefruit segments. For that, there is Larue to the rescue with instructions and pictures!
The stars of the show! Unlikely pairing, but very tasty.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Caviar & Crème Fraiche


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Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Caviar & Crème Fraiche 
Serves 8-10
Difficulty: Easy
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Caviar & Crème Fraiche 
Presentation of Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Caviar & Crème Fraiche  
This is a great appetizer or a side dish. It is really a go-to dish for most any occasion.  Easy to make, even easier to eat – and always to rave reviews. Fingerling potatoes are small, stubby, slightly knobby, finger-shaped type of potato which may be any heritage potato cultivars. They grow naturally small and narrow. Some people confuse this family with new potatoes, which are young potatoes harvested before they fully mature. Just as is the case with regular potatoes, fingerling farmers (love that name!) allow the green upper portion of the plant to die back before harvesting the tubers. When selecting fingerlings in the store, shoppers should look for specimens without obvious soft spots or mold. The unusual looking, flavorful potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes. They have a nutty, buttery, earthy taste. If you have not had them before, you are in for a treat!
Fingerling potatoes

Monday, November 10, 2014

Roasted Fennel with Olives & Garlic

Roasted Fennel with Olives & Garlic
Serves: 8
Difficulty: Easy
 
Roasted Fennel with Olives & Garlic
Like so many vegetables, fennel is another that only improves with roasting. This recipe takes almost no time to prepare; yet the overall effect is complex. I have made this about a half dozen times. Preparation is minimal and the results are incredible. Elegant enough for a dinner party but perfect anytime. It is a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. The flavors are superb. Even better the next day......if you are lucky enough to have any left over. Fennel's unique aromatic taste is reminiscent of licorice and anise, especially in the raw state. However, roasting the fennel totally changes the taste, nothing at all like licorice. Once cooked, it becomes very sweet….surprisingly so.
Fresh fennel

Monday, November 3, 2014

Persian Green Herb, Chicken & Bean Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi)

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Persian Green Herb, Chicken & Bean Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi)
Includes Vegetarian options
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Moderate
Persian Green Herb, Chicken & Bean Stew (Ghormeh Sabzi) 

This green stew studded with beans is one of the most famous in Persian cuisine. It can be made with chicken, lamb, beef or works surprisingly well with tofu which is frozen, thawed and baked to give it a meaty texture. The bulk of the stew is, indeed, chopped parsley, cilantro, spinach and scallions, and the mixture is delicious. The grassy greens cook down and mellow, turning into a fragrant, earthy mélange served alone or atop fluffy rice or stuffed into a pita. It might not be your first inclination to cook down a huge pile of chopped herbs, but the gentle slow heat works magic on the greenery transforming them into flavorful spoonful with each bite. I used Rancho Gordo red beans once again – making them from their dried form. However one could use canned, rinsed kidney or red beans if time does not allow use of heritage beans. Once again, we can use our dried limes for the citrusy boost often found in Persian cooking. If you cannot find dried limes, you can add several strips of lime zest to the stew.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Grilled Broccoli with Chipotle-Lime Butter



Grilled Broccoli with Chipotle-Lime Butter

Serves: 8
Difficulty: Easy
Grilled Broccoli with Chipotle-Lime Butter

It should come as no surprise that any vegetable is better when roasted. If you have never tried grilling broccoli, you are missing out on a treat. My wonderful hubby never eats his broccoli. I mean push-it-around-on-a-plate-never. He had three – and I mean THREE!! helpings when I served this.  Try it immediately on your nearest broccoli hater. The vegetable chars, becomes tender and smoky at the same time. Tossing the warmed broccoli with lime butter, honey and chipotle Tabasco…just sublime.
  • 6 Tb unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lime – remove all zest & chop, save juice
  • 1 Tb Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 heads of broccoli, stems trimmed, cut into large florets
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 C crumbled queso fresco, or farmers’ cheese

In a bowl, stir the softened butter with lime zest, lime juice, Tabasco, honey and garlic. Season lightly with kosher salt.  Keep at room temperature if using soon. It can be made ahead, refrigerated overnight, and soften at room temperature before using.
 
Broccoli and seasoning
Light a grill. Preheat. Drizzle broccoli florets with olive oil and season with salt. Grill over moderately high heat, turning the florets occasionally, until crisp-tender and lightly charred, about 8 minutes.
 
On the grill. Note the gizmo to keep broccoli from falling through the cracks.
Transfer broccoli to a platter and toss with lime butter. Garnish with queso fresco, a light dash of olive oil, and serve.

Give this a try soon….you and others will love it.

Larue