While I’ve previously expressed some weakness for greasy cheesy junk food, you also already know about my love for all things spicy. This homemade treat offers both the cheesy and the spicy, but healthier and without all the processed additives. There aren’t many tricks, but it helps to leave the stem on the jalapeno if you can and use it to assist in breading.
Jalapenos, slit from top to bottom on one side.
– gently scoop out the seeds with a sharp tipped spoon
– remove from the fridge about 20 min. before using and allow it to soften
Egg or egg white
– beat in a small bowl
Finely ground corn meal
– mix with a generous pinch of salt in a small bowl
I like to take a large pinch of goat cheese and roll it into a “tube” with my fingers, and then tuck it into the jalapeno. Dip the stuffed pepper in the egg, then roll in the cornmeal. Place on a greased cookie sheet and, if you like, spray with oil for extra crunch. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
I love mushrooms in everything, especially pasta. Some days it just seems so easy to throw some sauteed baby bellas in a good quality pasta with sea salt and grated Parmigiano, that I can get stuck in a rut. While I often combine mushrooms with black beans, I was looking for a lighter dish, so I made this quick, flavorful burrito.
Sauteed Mushroom Burrito serves 4
1 Tbs. butter or olive oil
one large clove garlic, sliced
one small onion, chopped
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
large pinch cumin
4 whole wheat flour tortillas
red leaf romaine lettuce
sliced hot peppers
3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sautee until slightly brown. Add the sliced mushrooms, turning often, until softened. Add the generous pinch of cumin and raise the heat to medium-high and allow the mushrooms to brown at the edges.
Warm the flour tortillas. Lay the lettuce leaves on the tortillas. Top with the sauteed mushrooms, divided between the four tortillas. Add the tomatoes, peppers, crumbled goat cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Sorry loves. It been a long long holiday season, with a lot of travel and spotty internet service, but I plan to make it up to you with some tasty comfort food and a heap of foreign foods.
As I mentioned before the holiday, I’ve been slowly working through the easy, healthy and so far, delicious recipes in “Super Natural Cooking.” As the recipe mentions, this dish is incredibly easy of you have extra cooked sweet potatoes hanging around, but it’s tasty enough to make from scratch. For those of you unfamiliar with spoon bread, its very soft, almost a pudding, so don’t be upset if it seems too “jiggly.” And while the recipe tells you to layer the goat cheese under another layer of potato “dough,” you could skip this step and just put the cheese on top of you like your goat cheese on the brown and toasty side. A light lunch or dinner, even a brunch with a good salad, I served mine with some reheated spicy curried sweet potato soup with greens.
I started out thinking that I would make an easy pasta dinner. But then I realized that I had a jar of sungold tomato sauce, made the week before, that I needed to use. And some cherry tomatoes that needed roasted, and a big handful of collard greens, and a log of goat cheese and a hung of pecorino. AND half a box of lasagna noodles that wanted banishing from my cupboard.
And so I made this late-summer white lasagna. The filling is a mixtures of an easy rice milk bachemel combined with 6 oz. of goat cheese. Sun gold tomatoes lie between the layers, along with a fried collards, garlic, onion and baby portabello mushrooms. Another two onces of goat cheese dot the top, some sliced sundried tomatoes to give a little kick to the mellow sweetness of the dish, fresh basil leaves and a healthy sprinkle of pecorino. And there you go. Not fast, but certainly delicious.
Often I miss Gourmet magazine, and sometimes I plan enough in advance to contribute to Gourmet Unbounds’ website celebrating the recipes of the former magazine. I prepared this recipe on hot evening and served it with homemade goat cheese, fresh that day, and some olive oil crustinis. At first I wasn’t so sure about the mint, but I’m telling you it was delicious, and even better as a cold, straight from the fridge snack over the next few days. These marinated eggplant strips would also be delicious in a cold vegetable picnic sandwich, which I’m trying this weekend.
Goat Cheese and Basil Ravioli with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
The September issue of GRID is hitting the stands today with a special, larger than ever, “Back to School” issue.
Ever conscious of in-season produce (both me and GRID!), I contributed a recipe using September’s still-bountiful crop of bell peppers. The fresh basil and goat cheese ravioli with roasted red pepper sauce, pictured above, may seem complicated, but it’s really just all about multi-tasking. If you’re in a big rush, just use wonton wrappers instead of making your own pasta!
I love jalapeno poppers, but when I suddenly had a surfeit of peppers at home, I just couldn’t bring myself to deep fat fry them. In fact, I can almost never bring myself to deep fat fry anything. But these ended up to be just as delicious, if not more so, because I used fresh, organic jalapenos and quality ingredients. Instead of trying to keep the peppers intact, I just sliced them down the center (the longways) and scraped out the majority of the seeds and vein. In a small bowl I mixed together about 3 ounces of goat cheese, and added to it another ounce of crumbled blue cheese. After dipping the stuffed peppers (carefully) in a beaten egg, I rolled them in breadcrumbs that were almost entirely cornbread, with just a little wheat thrown in. Straight onto a greased cookie sheet and into a 375 degree oven for a half an hour. I even made them in my giant toaster oven, so that I didn’t have the heat up the kitchen! Honestly, delicious.
Bulgar Salad with Baby Heirloom Tomatoes, Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese
Perhaps you’ve noticed that it’s too hot to cook. But I wasn’t going to let my beautiful swiss chard, soon to wilt, go to waste. I made this quick salad with bulgar (or cracked wheat) that is an easy-to-cook whole grain. Much like couscous, you just have to cover it with hot water and let it soak until it gets soft (between 15 and 30 minutes). I lightly fried the chard stems with garlic and olive oil, then add thinly sliced chard leaves and a little white white to soften them. Baby heirloom tomatoes sliced in half, a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar, half a handful of fresh chopped parsley, and a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese, sea salt and fresh ground pepper and I was ready to eat. I suspect the salad will be even better for lunch tomorrow, after it has had time to chill in the refrigerator.
With the exception of our recent humid weather, it’s been a pretty cool, wet summer. Cool enough to turn on the stove, and even to make soup! I just couldn’t get tortilla soup out of my mind, but I wanted to use my fresh local vegetables. This soup was born, and let me tell you, it’s fantastic. It has a very rich flavor, but it full of good-for-you vegetables. As soon as we get another cool evening, give it a try. Replacing the traditional fried tortilla strips with low-fat corn chips makes the recipe healthier. Add good-fat avocado and goat cheese for added creaminess.
Summer Tortilla Soup Serves 4
1 large onion
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. cardamom
1 small zucchini
2 ears of corn, kernels removed
2 heirloom tomatoes
3 sundried tomatoes
1 red habenero pepper, thinly sliced.
6 cups of vegetable broth
garnish with avocado, goat cheese, and corn chips
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot of saucepan. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook over medium-high heat until the onions soften and garlic becomes golden. Add the spices and stir to coat. Add the zucchini and corn and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and the sliced habenero pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the vegetables from the heat. In a large blender or food processor, combine the vegetables with 2 cups of the broth. Blend until smooth, then return to the pan. Add the remaining 4 cups of broth, stirring well. Cover and heat through. Ladle in large bowls and garnish with slices of fresh avocado, crumbled goat cheese, and corn chips or fried tortilla strips.
The folks from Farm to Philly were asked to contribute a local menu for the June issue of Grid magazine. I contributed a spring greens salad with raspberries and goat cheese. Enjoy, and pick up the issue of Grid!
Spring Greens Salad with Raspberries and Goat Cheese serves 4
Salad 6 cups Green Meadow Farm baby greens
4 oz. Shelbrook Farms Sharp Chevre
4 oz. local raspberries
Fresh mint leaves, torn
Vinaigrette 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
4 Tbs. white balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. Lancaster Farms fresh mint
3 Lancaster Farm Fresh young garlic bulbs (or one small garlic clove)
5 local raspberries (take from your 4 oz. container)
Salt and pepper to taste
Blend all vinaigrette ingredients, except the raspberries, in a small food processor or blender until smooth. Choose a few raspberries and add to the mix, pulsing until the vinaigrette turns a deep, rosy pink.
Place the salad greens in a large bowl and add the vinaigrette, a few tablespoons at a time, blending between additions, until the greens are lightly coated. Add the remaining raspberries and the crumbled goat cheese to the dressed greens. Lightly toss, and serve.