Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Poblano Peppers

These are called anchos when they are dried. The are the mildest of spicy peppers - like a spicy green pepper. They can be roasted and added into anything or cooked like the recipe below which is what I am going to make today - with the roasted corn variation. I can not wait!

Green Poblano Rice
1 2/3 cups chicken broth or water
2 fresh poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed, and roughly chopped
12 sprigs cilantro, plus extra for garnish
Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon if using salted broth, 1 teaspoon if using unsalted or water
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 cup rice, preferably medium grain
1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

The flavoring: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the broth and chiles, bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the chiles are very soft. Pour the chile
mixture into a food processor, add the cilantro (stems and all), and
process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a
bowl and stir in the salt.

The rice: Wipe the pan clean, add the
oil and heat over medium. Add the rice and onion, and cook, stirring
regularly, until the rice is chalky looking and the onion is soft,
about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.

Add the warm (or reheated) chile
liquid to the hot rice pan, stir once, scrape down any rice kernels
clinging to the side of the pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat
for 15 minutes. Uncover and check a grain of rice: It should be nearly
cooked through. If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat,
re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the
cooking. If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5
minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand a few
minutes longer. Fluff with a fork, scoop into a warm serving dish,
decorate with cilantro sprigs and it's ready to serve.

preparation: The rice can be made several days ahead; turn out the
fluffed rice onto a baking sheet to cool, transfer to a storage
container, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat the rice in a steamer
basket set over boiling water.

Variations and improvisations: An obvious variation is to use 3 or 4 long green (Anaheim) chiles, or to mix poblanos and long greens with hotter chiles like jalapeño, manzano or habanero.
Grilled corn cut from 1 cob or 1 large grilled zucchini (cubed) are
tasty vegetable add-ins. About 1 cup coarsely shredded roast (or
barbecued) pork or smoked salmon, mixed in toward the end of cooking,
will make green rice a full meal.Makes 4 servings.

from: http://poblanorecipes.blogspot.com/

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Koz's Black Bean Dal

Here's an easy & different recipe for black beans that my family loves. Serve w/warm tandoori bread or jasmine rice or pita bread.

1 pound black beans (or 2 cans, rinsed)
6 cups water
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 small garlic clove, chopped
2 tsps cumin seed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and ground red pepper
1 cup whipping cream

I boil the dry beans for 2 min. & let sit for 1 hr, then rinse.
Transfer to 6-8 quart pot. Add water and bring to boil over high heat, skimming foam as it accumulates on surface. Add butter, garlic, spices, salt and red pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans are tender, adding cream near end of cooking time (mixture should be consistency of thick soup). (Can be prepared ahead and refrigerated 5 to 6 days. Reheat before serving.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Faith in Action

I am so excited to announce that we will be donating our surplus fruits and veggies to Faith in Action each week. This food will go to seniors who need food and rarely get fresh. I will let you know how it goes and might offer some donation opportunities along the way (canned food drive, money to buy more fresh stuff).

My mom has offered to donate $10 a week to buy extra (which can go a LONG way at the market because I can buy what is a good deal and not be worried about trying to make a balanced bag).

This just makes me so happy because it is super easy and is nothing for me to do - but according to the director will have a BIG impact.



Tuesday, July 24, 2007


I usually eat escarole as a bitter raw lettuce but found this recipe on Allrecipes.com to cook it with beans that sounds super! I might try it tonight as a side with my roasted lamb! If anyone else gives it a whirl - let us know your results. You can easily cut it in half.
"This is a creamy concoction of escarole and beans. It's rich, and it's divine! It's also best served with a warm crusty Italian bread and Chianti."


* 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
* 2 large heads escarole
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, undrained
* 3 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped


1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toss in escarole, turning to coat with oil. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until tender.
2. In a separate skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. Pour in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in escarole and parsley; simmer 10 minutes more.

Calaloo or Amaranth leaf

This is leaf that is used in Caribbean cooking as well as African. The woman I bought it from suggested to saute with a bit of onion, tomato and hot pepper (jalapeno or scotch bonnet). There are many involved recipes for stews that contain the ingredient too. But for the first try I would keep it simple. And how fun to call the family to the table to eat their calaloo! Try this:

Braised Calaloo

* 2 tbsp olive oil (30 ml)
* 3 shallots, sliced
* 2 pounds calaloo, chopped
* 1 cup chicken stock (250 ml)
* Juice of half a lemon
* Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Braised Calaloo

1. Heat olive oil in a wok or large skillet. Add shallots and sauté until they begin to caramelize. Add calaloo and stir fry for a few minutes,until it begins to wilt. Pour in chicken stock, bring to a boil and cover. Let braise until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with lemon juice and adjust seasoning.

Seared Red Chard

Here is a simple way to prepare your chard tonight. Seared greens are so yummy! And good for you too!

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
10 to 12 cups red chard (2 bunches trimmed and coarsely chopped)
Grated nutmeg, to your taste
Coarse salt and pepper
2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar

Make sure your greens are very dry before preparing recipe. Also, wash and chop them when you come in from market, then they are ready for you to cook up even quicker.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and toss 2 minutes, then add chard in bunches and keep it moving as it wilts up a bit - you are just searing it up. The greens should remain crisp and crunchy. Wilting them all and searing them up should take no more than 3 to 4 minutes. Season the greens with nutmeg and salt and pepper, to taste. Douse the pan with a little vinegar and remove from heat. Toss to cook off vinegar and serve the greens hot.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mango Sorbet

The texture of mangoes make this sorbet so creamy and sublime. This is wonderful with a little scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream (like a grown up creamsicle). I would imagine if you don’t have an ice cream maker you could just freeze it and it might have a different texture. After you master this sorbet you can start having fun with it! Try infusing your simple syrup with herbs (lavender, basil, mint…)

2 large ripe mangoes (or 3 smaller ones)
6 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup of light corn syrup (we use simple syrup)

Peel mango and remove flesh. Put the flesh with other ingredients into the blender until very smooth. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour and then transfer into your ice cream machine and follow the manufacturers directions. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours and up to 3 days.

cucumber recipe from Scotty and Erin

here's our basic cucumber recipe that we love, love, love. it's wonderful along with hot freshly made dumplings with lots of butter and salt!

2 medium cucumbers
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
chopped fresh dill
sour cream

peel and slice the cucumbers very very thinly and place in a glass bowl. mix vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper and pour over cucumbers. stir well. cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours - more is better! drain most of the liquid off the cucumbers. add dill and sour cream. stir it up and enjoy. you can also omit the sour cream if you prefer it not to be creamy.

scotty and erin

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Erin's Zuchinni Recipe

The following is from Erin and is easy and tasty! We had to cook ours longer than 30 minutes - depends on your oven.

Erin's Zuchinni Boats
cut a slit out of zucchini (like a long diamond shape - and pop out the zucchini - making a sort of "boat")

brush olive oil and garlic all over the zucchini - especially in the carved out part
stuff the "boat" with your favorite cheese and herbs - we usually use Parmesan or asiago and
long stems of rosemary

brush with olive oil again

brush a square of tin foil with olive oil / garlic and roll the zucchini up in it

place wrapped up zucchini on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until very tender.

unwrap and enjoy!