Saturday, August 8, 2009

Clo's Zucchini

This quintessentially French dish (take something healthy and sauce it 'til it's unrecognizable) was taught to me in high school by a foreign exchange student who's been a friend ever since. It's very general -- all the amounts can be varied depending on how thick/cheesy/saucy you want the dish to be. Bon appetit!

Yield: 1 8-inch casserole dish

6 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1/2 cup flour
1 2/3 cups milk
Salt and white pepper to taste
4 oz. Swiss cheese, grated

Cook the zucchini in boiling water until fork-tender. Drain in a colander. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and let it cook about two minutes, then add the milk all at once, whisking vigorously until all the lumps are gone. Continue to whisk while it cooks. When the sauce thickens, remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper and about three-fourths of the grated Swiss. Pour the zucchini into an 8-inch casserole dish and cover with the cheese sauce. Stir just until the zucchini is covered. Top with the remaining cheese. Broil until the top browns and bubbles. (Or you can refrigerate the dish for several hours, then bake it at 325 until warmed through, about 45 minutes. Broil the top before serving.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I can claim no credit for these cookies; the recipe comes directly from the L.A. Times. Well, I can claim to have cut it out, and I did substitute gluten-free baking mix for the all-purpose flour, but other than that ...

Recipe: Buckwheat sugar cookies

October 29, 2008
Total time: 35 minutes, plus chilling and cooling time
Servings: Makes 2 dozen cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup flour (or gluten-free baking mix)

1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar, salt and cinnamon, using the back of a large spoon. Stir in the vanilla extract and nuts.

2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, then add these to the butter mixture, beating the butter into the flour with the spoon to form a dough. Turn out the dough onto a work surface and roll into a 2-inch-diameter log. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 3 to 4 hours until chilled and firm.

3. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Slice the log crosswise into one-quarter-inch-thick cookies. Arrange on a nonstick, buttered or parchment-lined cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

4. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until the cookies begin to turn golden brown at the edges. Rotate the sheet halfway through for even baking. Using a metal spatula, immediately remove the warm cookies and cool on a wire rack. The cookies will keep, tightly wrapped, for 2 weeks at room temperature.

Each serving: 73 calories; 1 gram protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 5 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 10 mg. cholesterol; 25 mg. sodium.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Licking the Platter Clean, Tinkles & Potty in the Chocolatti?

Last night's celebration topped them all! Thanks again to all for dealing with my undying laughter. That was truly the hardest I had chuckled in YEARS. My mom would be so proud :)
Just in case you haven't picked up the newest edition of Sauce Magazine (may), here is the farmer-inspired recipe that I used for last night's dish. I am pretty sure it was liked by all b/c it was the largest plate of food on the table and was licked clean (yes, I did the honors on that
one :)

Spring Vegetable Salad With White Chocolate Vinaigrette
Courtesy of Niche Restaurant's Gerard Craft
4 Salads or One Huge One

16 Claverach Farm baby carrots, divided (I used about 22 from WFM, these aren't out yet)
32 peeled fava beans
Good olive oil for drizzling & coloring puree
salt to taste
4 Claverach radishes (I used Berger farms)
3 shallots, sliced
2 springs of thyme (or more if you are like me)
2 cups white chocolate chips
2 T. water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup (or more) Claverach (or other) pea shoots - I used Berger Farms sunflower shoots
4 oz. goat cheese

*Blanch 1/2 of the carrots in heavily salted boiling water. When tender, place them in bowl of ice water.
*In the same pot, boil the fava beans until they are tender. (Remember the only way to know if a vegetable is cooked is to taste it). Place the beans in the ice water. Cut the blanched carrots in half lengthwise and reserve cold.
*Place remaining carrots in a pan just large enough to hold them and cover with water. Cook, covered, on high until the carrots are tender. Then place in a blender with enough water to make them move. Puree until very smooth.
*At this point, add enough olive oil until the puree turns bright orange. Season with salt, chill and reserve cold.
*Thinly slice the radishes and reserve.
*For the white chocolate vinaigrette, sweat the shallots and thyme in a small pan until transluscent. In a seperate pan, combine the white chocolate and water and cook on medium heat. Stir until completely melted. Come the white chocolate with shallots and thyme in a blender and slowly drizzle in your vinegar. Season with salt to taste.
*Toss the carrots, radishes and favas with juice of half a lemon in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in olive oil til your heart desires and add salt to taste.
*To assemble, place a few dollops of carrot puree in random spots on a salad plate. Scatter carrots, radishes and favas equally around the plate.
*In a seperate bowl, toss the shoots with white chocolate vinaigrette and a little salt. Scatter the shoots (and handfuls of the vinaigrette) equally around the plate.
*Crumble the goat cheese around the plate and finish salad with a drizzle of olive oil.

***NOTE: Becky, I just noticed at the bottom of the recipe: The favas are better if the skin is removed before they are cooked! I didn't do this and I loved the beans... but who knows!

Finally... The Recipes!

As promised, here are the 2 recipes from the Slow Food Trivia Night. Thanks for inviting me in "Amy" to post!

Thick Tomato Spread
2 cups Tomatoes, fresh, chopped
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes (i bought these off the olive bar at whole foods market and soaked them in water to hydrate a bit more)
2 T. Ginger, chopped
1 T. Garlic, minced (Um, I NEVER use what a recipe calls for on garlic - USE MORE!)
1 T. Miso (or soy sauce if you wish)
1 T. Onion, chopped (again, I am sure I used more...)
1/2 cup Basil leaves
4-6 Dates, pitted (I used 4 large Medjool dates from bulk bins at Whole Foods Market)
My special add-ins:
handful of olives
splash of apple cider vinegar
fresh cracked pepper
pinch of cayenne

Directions: Throw all ingredients into a food processor and puree!!!

Served with...
Buckwheat Pancakes/Flatbread
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water, or a little more (I ended up using quite a bit more as the batter thickened)
1 Tablespoon oil (or more)

Combine ingredients using enough water to make a medium-thin batter. Let it stand a few minutes while the griddle preheats. Spoon tablespoonsful onto a hot griddle. As batter thickens, add a little more water, so cakes stay thin.
**I ended up thinning out the batter a few times with more water and oil.
**You can make these as big or small as you like depending on how you want to use them.
**Enjoy them morning, noon, or night! Top with fruit or make them into sandwiches. They freeze well too!
**Options: Replace up to 1/3 of the flour with ground nuts or seeds; Add cinnamon to the batter; Use other flours such as quinoa or amaranth!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Friends & fellow feasters:

Please join us Saturday May 9 at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate our triumphant second place victory at the Slow Foods Trivia night.

The theme is Cicchetti (Italian tapas) so please bring a small dish to share. We'll purchase our wine for the evening with the trivia winnings.

A few ciccheti dishes that I'll make are:

  • Aroncini
  • Piccola torta del polenta e del fungo
  • Anchovy toasts

I'm looking forward to seeing you all there!

5419 Clifton
St. Louis, MO 63109

My cell is 314-249-9983.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Mardi Gras recipes

Sour Cream Overnight Coffee Cake
This is an old North Dakota from my dad's cousin.

3/4 c. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 8-oz. carton lite sour cream
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. nutmeg
For topping:
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Lightly grease a 9x13-inch pan. In a mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs and sour cream. Stir the dry ingredients together, then add them to the mixer and beat well. Pour the batter into the pan. You may add fruit toppings of your choice (frozen berries work well, as do apples, peaches or other stone fruits, etc.). Stir together the topping ingredients and sprinkle over the cake. Refrigerate, covered, overnight. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

New Orleans Mardi Gras King Cake with Pecans
Recipe at CHOW

Cheesy Polenta and Egg Casserole
Recipe at Eating Well

Salmon-stuffed Eggs with Herb Dressing
This recipe is from the Bosnian owner of Kaya's Imports wine shop in South County. This time of year I use dried herbs and it's still pretty good.

Salmon-stuffed Eggs with Herb Dressing

6 jumbo hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

1/4 cup finely chopped smoked salmon

1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh dill

1 Tbsp. chopped capers

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. mayonnaise, preferably homemade

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Work egg yolks through a sieve into a mixing bowl, then add the smoked salmon, dill and capers; stir well. Add the other ingredients and stir until well blended. Fill the egg cavities with the mixture. Spoon herb dressing over the eggs. Chill until serving.

Herb Dressing

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh tarragon

2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chervil

2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

2 Tbsp. finely chopped watercress

1/2 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade

1 tsp. lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the herbs and garlic in a mixing bowl. Add the sour cream, mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly. This makes enough dressing for a dozen eggs (a double batch of the recipe above).

Blueberry trifle
I love to make parfaits and I'm always tinkering with combinations; this is part my own and part two other recipes.

8 to 12 ladyfingers
Raspberry liqueur
4 oz. Neufchatel cheese (reduced-fat cream cheese), softened
3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt (or plain), drained of any liquid
1 tsp. honey (or more if using plain yogurt)
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 pints fresh blueberries

Place the ladyfingers in a small, flat dish and drizzle them with a few tablespoons of liqueur. Let them soak it up, turning them occasionally, until the ladyfingers are soft but not soggy, adding more liqueur if needed. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, blend the cream cheese, yogurt and honey until there are no lumps, then beat it on high speed until it's light and creamy. Stir in the lemon zest.

Layer the ladyfingers, blueberries and yogurt mixture in parfait glasses, using whatever order and amounts you prefer. For generously filled glasses, this recipe makes about four servings.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mardi Gras!

After debating the merits of a themed menu, and then considering which country to base my theme upon, I opted for a whole separate path, toward ease of preparation (this event will be taking place around 9 a.m., after all!) Here's what I have planned:

Sour cream coffeecake with berry-streusel topping

Polenta and egg bake with Match sausage

Salmon-stuffed eggs

Yogurt-crunch-fruit parfaits

There may be more, depending on how the morning goes! But this should get us off to a good start for the parade; we'll leave around 11 a.m.

Thanks to everyone who volunteered a dish. I'd like to give you the option of bringing a morning beverage (wine, sparkling wine, juice, etc.) or a post-parade snack. However, you're more than welcome to just bring yourselves -- we'll even supply a few beads to get you in the mood!

The address is 3230 S. 9th St. We're just off the Arsenal exit from Interstate 55, but it's sometimes closed to eastbound traffic on parade day. To circumnavigate, turn right onto Arsenal, then take the first left (onto Lemp), proceed south about two blocks and turn left again (onto Utah). You'll cross the interstate overpass and see our house ahead on the left, directly across from the church, at the corner of Utah and Ninth. If the exit is open, you can just drive toward the brewery and turn right at Ninth; we're two blocks ahead on the left. If you get lost, call 314.771.6322.