Three onion soup

1 teaspoon olive oil
4 medium leeks (white and pale green parts, about 2 cups), chopped
1 small onion (1/4 pound), thinly sliced
2 large shallots (1/4 pound), thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups water
1 large potato (6 ounces) such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup grated Gruyère (2 ounces)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking; add leeks, onion, and shallots and season to taste. Cook about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until edges are golden brown. Add 1/2 cup water and deglaze skillet, scraping up brown bits. Add potato, broth, and remaining cup water to onions. Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are very tender.

Pour about 1 cup of soup into blender, puree, and return to pot. Adjust seasonings and serve sprinkled with cheese and drizzled with vinegar.

Makes about 4 cups.

Adapted from Gourmet (via the Epicurious website).

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Zucchini & Corn Souffle

2 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 1/2 tsp. salt
6 eggs, separated
2 medium ears corn, shucked
2 green onions, chopped
6 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Shred zucchini and place in a colander over a plate or in the sink; toss with 1 tsp. salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse, drain, and blot dry. Separate eggs and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Boil corn, covered, 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Let cool slightly and cut corn from cobs. Cook onions and zucchini in butter, stirring, until tender. Stir in flour, pepper, and remaining salt until blended. Gradually stir in milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook 1-2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Add to corn and stir in cheese. Stir a small amount of zucchini mixture into egg yolks to temper; return all to bowl, stirring constantly. Allow to cool slightly. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently stir a fourth of the egg whites into zucchini mixture, then fold in remaining egg whites. Transfer to a greased and floured 2 1/2-qt. souffle dish. Bake at 350F 45-50 minutes, until top is puffed and center appears set.

Adapted from Taste of Home, June/July 2014 via Taste of Home.com

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Fresh Cranberry Beans with Olive Oil & Garlic

1 lb fresh cranberry beans, shelled (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt, to taste

Cook garlic in olive oil over medium heat, tilting the pan so the oil is deep enough to cook the garlic evenly. When garlic starts to turn slightly golden, add red pepper flakes and thyme; cook another 2-3 minutes, until golden. Add shelled beans, mixing well to coat evenly, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add water, bay leaves, and salt. Boil about 5 minutes uncovered, then turn down the heat, cover, and simmer until beans are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Serve over rice or with nice crusty bread.

From Locally Famous Cook Colleen Smith, who plans to try it again this week with fresh black beans. She found it at May I Have That Recipe

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Poached Cod with Fennel and Cauliflower

1 1/2 lbs. cod, checked for bones and cut into 8 pieces
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp + 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, in 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1 fennel bulb, in medium slices
5 cloves garlic, pressed
chopped fennel tops, for garnish, optional

Rub cod with lemon juice and a little salt and pepper. Set aside. Saute onion in 1 Tbsp. broth over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth and carrots. Cover and simmer over medium heat about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, fennel, and garlic. Place cod on top and continue to cook, covered, until done, about 6 minutes more. Adjust seasonings and sprinkle with chopped fennel greens.

Adapted from World’s Healthiest Foods

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Newsletters: 28 Sept. 2011

Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 28 Sept. 2011. View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

In the belly
This seems like a good time to look at stress. Stress is, at heart, the feeling that things are out of control. It can be counteracted to a certain extent just by taking charge of your life — if not of the events themselves, then at least of your reactions to those events. This is at the heart of stress management. Nothing can really stress you out without your permission, but of course just not worrying about it isn’t that easy. There are all kinds of techniques out there for dealing with stress, and we all have our own methods as well — some healthy, some not so good. Some popular methods of stress management are over-eating, smoking, and excessive drinking; healthier options include meditation and relaxation in many forms, exercise, laughter, gratitude, altruism, various sorts of social activity, improved time management, counseling, journaling, and various sorts of “me-time” or self-care (I was going to say self-indulgence but that has negative connotations; that’s what we’re really talking about here, though). Stress has a bad reputation these days, but a certain amount of stress is actually good for you, and keeps life from being boring. Too little stress can lead to depression. The trick is finding the right balance.
Standard disclaimer: I’m a librarian, not a doctor. Make up your own mind and don’t believe anything just because I put it in this newsletter.

In the kitchen
A friend of mine just bought 30 lbs. of onions for the winter. I can’t imagine what she’s going to do with them all. She says she puts them in everything.

Cabbage with red onion and apple
1 large apple, cored but not peeled, shredded
2 med. carrots, scraped and shredded
10 oz shredded cabbage
6 oz shredded red onion
1 t cumin
3/4 t ground coriander
pepper
Place all ingredients in a pot over med-low heat. Stir, cover, cook 6-8 min. until soft.
From: 20-minute menus / Marian Burros. 1st Fireside ed. Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Caramelized onion and parsnip soup
2 T butter
3 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 T light brown sugar
1 c dry white wine
3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped
5 c vegetable stock
1/4 c cream
fresh thyme leaves, to garnish
Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onions and sugar and cook over low heat for 10 min. Add the wine and parsnips and simmer, covered, for 20 min. or until the onions and parsnips are golden and tender. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 min. Cool slightly, then place in a blender or food processor and blend in batches until smooth. Season. Drizzle with a little cream and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.
From: Bowl food / edited by Kay Scarlett.

Pickled onions
16 white boiling onions (about 1 lb.)
2 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 c white wine vinegar
1 c water
3 Tbsp. sugar
Bring all ingredients to a gentle simmer in a non-reactive saucepan; simmer, covered, 10 min. Remove from heat and let cool, still covered. Pour into a 1-quart jar and refrigerate at least 12 hours; keeps up to two weeks.
From: Vegetables / James Peterson. William Morrow and Co., c1998.

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Newsletters: 29 Sept. 2010

Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 29 Sept. 2010. View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

Cooking, and reading about cooking
Your market manager, Connie, asked me about veggie burgers, which she was sure could be made at home at a considerable savings. I was surprised to find that neither of my good vegetable cookbooks had anything at all to say about vegetable patties, while my two favorite recipe sites had all kinds of variations. Here are the two most interesting, and I’ll put some of the others up on the Market recipe pages sometime in the next couple of weeks.

>Veggie Burgers
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 carrots, shredded
1 small summer squash, shredded
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Cook onion and garlic in olive oil over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Mix in the carrots, squash, and zucchini; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in oats, cheese, and egg. Stir in soy sauce, transfer the mixture to a bowl, and refrigerate 1 hour. Form the vegetable mixture into eight 3-inch-round patties and dredge in flour to lightly coat both sides. Grill on an oiled grate 5 minutes on each side, or until heated through and nicely browned.
From: AllRecipes.com

Indian Vegetable Patties
1.25 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen, thawed
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium russet potato, peeled, grated
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach leaves
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, minced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 tablespoon (or more) vegetable oil
Mix corn, carrot, potato, onion, spinach, flour, peas, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, ginger, and cumin; season to taste and stir in egg. Form patties (3 tablespoons make a 3-inch-diameter patty) and place on large baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Cook in oil over medium heat in batches until golden, about 4 min. per side, adding more oil as necessary. Serve with yogurt and chutney if desired.

From: Epicurious

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Newsletters: 21 Sept. 2011

Excerpt from the Market Newsletter originally published on 21 Sept. 2011. View the full newsletter for all the photos and links.

In the belly
It’s pickling season, so I thought I’d do a little research on vinegar. I know vinegar as an old thirst-quencher; Roman legionaries added it to their water both to kill whatever might be in there and for its rehydrating properties. You can make your own old-fashioned sports drink by mixing 1 c sugar, 1 Tbsp. ginger, and 6 Tbsp. vinegar into 2 quarts of water, but I’ve heard it’s only drinkable if you really need it. It is also widely used as a mild antiseptic, deodorizer, and cleaner — adding a dollop of white vinegar to your laundry helps eliminate that winter mistiness; a dab on insect bites keeps them from itching. Dilute cider vinegar is said to be good for the skin and is sometimes used as a sunburn remedy. Whatever your health problem, you can probably find someone to tell you vinegar is the cure, and someone else to tell you that’s nonsense. Until a lot more research is done, all that can be said for sure is that, while it doesn’t offer any great nutritional surprises, its acetic acid helps with digestion and the absorption of important minerals.

In the kitchen
Here we are with corn in season again, but last year when I looked for corn recipes they mostly involved cutting it off the cob, which I think is a waste. I suppose you could go all ’50s and put it (cob and all) into a casserole, pour condensed cream-of-mushroom soup over it, and bake it, but that sounds like a waste as well. I’ll leave you to boil or roast it, and give you some interesting fruit recipes instead.

Fruit pizza
Crust:
1 c. shortening/margarine
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 3/4 c. flour
2 eggs
2 t. cream of tartar
1/4 t. salt (optional)
1 t. baking soda
Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs until fluffy. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Spread dough in 10-inch pizza pan (or larger; it’s pretty thick at 10″ dia.). Bake 10-15 min. at 350. Let cool.

Topping:
16 oz. cream cheese
6 T. sugar
fruit (whatever you like, sliced in most cases, fresh is best but canned is OK too; I tend to use bananas, kiwis, peaches, strawberries (all sliced) and sometimes canned mandarin orange segments)
Cream cream cheese and sugar; spread on cooled crust. Top with fruit (you can make decorative designs if you want. You want to end up with a single layer of fruit, closely spaced but not overlapping).

Glaze:
2-3 c. fruit juice, sweetened if necessary
4 T corn starch
Cook, stirring, until thick (this step is very important; failure to cook the glaze will require sponging down the inside of the fridge). Spoon glaze over fruit, making sure air-sensitive fruit such as bananas and apples are covered entirely. Glaze should set on its own; if it seems reluctant, refrigerate.
From: Dorothy Huffman’s collection

Peach milk shake
3 sm. peaches, skinned, pitted, and roughly chopped
1.25 c milk
1 T superfine sugar
1 T apricot or peach brandy (optional)
grated chocolate for garnish
Place all ingredients except grated chocolate in a blender and process until smooth. Chill, garnish, and serve.
From: Fruit fandango / Moya Clarke. Chartwell Books, c1994.

Peach duff
1/4 c butter
1 c flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c sugar
2/3 c milk
1.5 lb peaches (4-6), peeled and thickly sliced
Melt butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, sugar together; gradually add milk and stir just until moistened. Spoon batter evenly onto melted butter and arrange peach slices on top. Bake 35 min. at 375F. Serve warm.
From: Cooking with fruit : the complete guide to using fruit throughout the meal, the day, the year / Rolce Redard Payne and Dorrit Speyer Senior. Wings Books, 1995.

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