Asparagus

0413-BA-SARS.01So it seems as though spring has come and gone, and now we’re back in a weird winter… in an attempt to lure the warm weather back we’re cooking up some tasty asparagus recipes this week! Last year we made lemony farfalle with asparagus and a delicious shaved asparagus & new potato salad. Check back at the end of the week for even more asparagus goodness! (yummy asparagus pic courtesy of Bon Appetit’s April issue!)

Posted in Asparagus | 1 Comment

Spaghetti with Swiss Chard and Ramp Butter

As Hillary mentioned – ramp season is fleeting.  So I decided to preserve their goodness in what else, but butter.  Oh, and if you were wondering who first ramped up the ramp here’s a great Grub Street article on the subject…

I originally found this amazing compound butter recipe while thumbing through April Bloomfield’s A Girl and Her Goat (I am lusting after this beautiful cookbook!).  April slathered the butter on baguette toasts and topped them with fried quail eggs – I opted for a satisfying pasta with bacon, Swiss chard and a good amount of the butter mixed in at the end.

What you’ll need:

5 bunches of ramps (about 25 ramps)
1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Crushed Red Pepper
4 anchovy fillets, mashed & chopped finely
2 + lemons – zest and juice1 T olive oil
1 lb. thick spaghetti
½ cup minced shallots
½ lb. bacon, thinly sliced
1 bunch swiss Chard, thinly sliced

First for the ramp butter – the butter should be soft – truly room temperature.  Prep the ramps – clean them well (mine were chocked full of dirt).  Line up the bottoms and thinly slice them from the white bulbs all the way to the top of the leaves.
DSC_0134In a non stick skillet heat 2 T of butter.  When it starts to foam sauté half of the sliced ramps.  Cook until they begin to brown.  Place the cooked ramps in a large bowl along with the rest of the butter, a good couple pinches of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, red pepper flake, the zest from 2 lemons, and the juice of one.  Add the finely chopped anchovy filets (and a little of the oil from the packed anchovies) and vigorously stir to combine.DSC_0133Taste the butter and make sure it’s seasoned well.  (Spread it on a piece of bread and see how you like it – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it) Keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator or roll it into a log using parchment paper – whatever you do – keep it on hand to add a flavorful Spring-time kick to whatever dish you decide to make over the next couple weeks.
DSC_0136I thoroughly enjoyed it mixed in with bacon, Swiss chard and spaghetti the other night – simply cook the thinly sliced bacon until almost crispy, sauté the shallots in the bacon fat until translucent, add the Swiss chard and a little salt.  Stir and cook until the chard is wilted.  Meanwhile cook spaghetti to al dente.  Drain the pasta and add to the sauté pan of goodness with a little of the pasta water.  Mix, twirl and toss in the pan and then add a large spoonful (or 2) of the ramp butter to coat.  Mix in well and top each serving with more lemon juice, zest and crushed red pepper.  It’s. Divine.

 

Posted in Ramps | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ShRamp Tacos

Ahh ramp season. Such a short period of time, and these little guys are popping up in every restaurant in town. I got really excited about the #rampstagram hashtag on Instagram… until I realized that it was mostly used by discount ramp (as in let’s take the ramp, not the stairs) companies… oh well.

Since I’ve been on a major taco kick recently (maybe because I have a mild obsession with Salvation Taco‘s tasty bites), I wanted to find some way to make a ramp taco, and what better protein to add than shrimp!

As some of you may know, I’m not really a seafood expert, but I’m definitely improving! I didn’t even have to sit these shrimp down for a chat like last time.

So here you have a delightful recipe for shrimp tacos with lime mayo, blackened ramps, and ramp chimichurri. What could be better!

For 4 small tacos you will need:

1/2 lb shrimp, shelled & deveined (mine were about 26pp)
4 corn tortillas
Lime mayo (easy recipe from Bon Appetit here!)
3 bunches ramps (about 10-12 ramps per bunch), washed & roots removed
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Juice of one lime
1 clove garlic
Salt + pepper to taste

Get your broiler going (or grill!).

Next, get your shrimp soaking in some deliciousness. Melt the butter in a large bowl, add the adobo sauce, lime juice and some s+p and toss in the shrimp. Set aside.

IMG_8503

Make the ramp chimichurri — blend together 1 bunch of ramps (sliced into smaller pieces) 1/4 cup olive oil, one clove of garlic, 1 tbsp red wine vinegar in the food processor or in a small bowl with an immersion blender. Add salt & pepper to taste and set aside.

IMG_8505

Now for the blackened ramps! lay the two remaining bunches of ramps out on a small sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with a bit of salt & pepper. Broil them for about 3-4 minutes or until thoroughly blackened.

IMG_8507

IMG_8509

Next for the shrimp! Pop them on long skewers (or just lay them out on a small sheet pan) and broil for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through.

IMG_8508

IMG_8511

Now to assemble! Heat up the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds so they are nice and pliable, spread each with some lime mayo, top with ramps, then 3-4 shrimp, and a drizzle of ramp chimichurri.

IMG_8513

Mmmm tastes like springtime!

Posted in Ramps, Shrimp | Leave a comment

Ramps! (Part III)

ramps

It’s not the budding trees, the rising temps or April showers we look for to tell us that Spring has really sprung – it’s the arrival of these earthy green onions popping up on menus and farmers market stands.

If you couldn’t tell we’re totally hooked.  Obsessed even.  So here we go, ramps round 3.  Check back later this week for our recipes!

Posted in Ramps | Tagged | Leave a comment

Crispy Chicken Sandwich

To tell you the truth I never really eat chicken.  I’m super persnickety about where it comes from and apart from the occasional roast bird or late night chicken wings (gross, I know – the cocktails cloud my good judgment) I really never partake.
But every once in awhile the kid in me yearns for a chicken sandwich just like my high school’s dining hall used to make – simple. crunchy. buttery.

So here it is – perhaps even a slightly healthier version than the lunch ladies made – since it’s baked not fried.  The sandwich may not be gourmet, but it sure is satisfying.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups panko bread crumbs
½ cup greated parmesan cheese
1 T paprika
1 t cayenne pepper
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
½ t ground mustard
S&P
1 cup mayonnaise (+ more for spreading on the sandwich)
½ cup milk
Soft Potato Buns
butter
lettuce, hot sauce, dill pickle chips (or your other favorite condiments!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with foil, lightly oil and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl join the ¾ cup of mayo, milk and a good amount of S&P – whisk to combine.  In another medium sized bowl whisk together the panko, parmesan and spices (season the mixture well with S&P!).
In between 2 sheets of plastic wrap gently pound the breasts to flatten to a uniform thickness using a mallet or a frying pan.
DSC_0158Dunk the chicken breasts in the milk/mayo mixture followed by the panko mixture – making sure to thoroughly cover the meat.  Press the panko mixture into the chicken just to be sure it’s really stuck on there. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake until cooked through – about 30 minutes.
DSC_0161Meanwhile butter the potato buns and heat them in a non stick pan.
DSC_0170And then build the ultimate sandwich: buttered bun, iceberg lettuce, hot sauce, pickles, a touch more mayo and a chicken cutlet – get ready to take a walk down memory lane.DSC_0172

Posted in Chicken | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curried Chicken Salad

For the first time in quite a while, I haven’t been putting on my enormous down jacket (it looks more like a comforter than a coat…stylish) in the morning. These are very exciting times — the thermostat will even be hitting the mid 70s (!!) in NYC this week. So, it seemed like a cold chicken dish was in order. And what better way to (literally) spice up a classic chicken salad recipe than with some curry… and a healthy twist! I was inspired by Ina Garten’s curried chicken salad recipe, but swapped out the majority of the mayonnaise for non-fat Greek yogurt (for those of us realizing a bit too late that we will have to wear shorts & skirts in the very near future). You are also welcome to add celery and/or raisins to this recipe, I happen to think raisins are absolutely disgusting but that is just my opinion!

So, for 2 servings of yummy chicken salad you will need:

2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp non-fat greek yogurt
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 1/2 tbsp mango chutney
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/3 cup whole cashews, toasted
1 scallion, chopped
Olive oil
Salt + pepper

Preheat your oven to 350, drizzle some olive oil over the chicken breasts and season with salt & pepper. Roast them for 35-50 minutes until they are fully cooked (cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken).

IMG_8496

While the chicken is roasting, make the sauce. Combine the yogurt, mayo, chutney, curry powder, white wine vinegar, and 1/2 tsp salt in the bowl of a food processor OR in a small bowl/immersion blender mixing cup (if you have an immersion blender). Blend until uniform and set aside.

IMG_8499

As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and dice into nice chicken salad sized pieces, about 1/2″ squares but you don’t have to be exact.

Combine the chicken, sauce (it may look like a little bit too much, but the chicken will absorb some of it!), scallions & cashews and mix well. Ideally let this refrigerate for a few hours before serving to the flavors have time to get to know each other! Enjoy!

IMG_8502

Posted in Chicken, Yogurt | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicken

chicChicken. That ol’ domesticated foul we know and love (to eat).  Whether you dress it up or dress it down, the beauty of this protein is its virtually endless versatility.  Check back a little later and see just how we like to enjoy it…

Posted in Chicken | Tagged | Leave a comment

Oatmeal Raisin (Chocolate Chip) Cookies

I simply could not see anything other than oatmeal raisin cookies as I peered into my cupboard at the large cardboard cylinder of oats.  Not to mention I way over bought on eggs and butter for my Easter feast so I mean…there really was only one thing TO do.

I adapted this particular recipe from Smitten Kitchen…here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup (125 grams) brown sugar(light or dark), packed
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together. Stir this into the butter and sugar mixture.

Next, stir in the oats, raisins and chocolate chips.  Aren’t cookies the best – such an easy batter!

Scoop onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets, squish them down a bit (they won’t spread out on their own) and bake for about 15-18 minutes or until they begin to brown.  1 030Even though I completely over did it this past weekend on festive food and drink and I shouldn’t have made these…I’m really glad I did… the dark chocolate is a great addition to the classic oatmeal raisin cookie.

Posted in Chocolate, Comfort Food, Oats | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Best granola bars EVER

I’ve been getting myself addicted to Kind bars lately — they are delicious, nutritious, and come in so many fun flavors! But at about $2 a bar, they really add up over time… So what better way to keep up my granola bar habit AND be fiscally responsible than to make my own!

For about 12-16 bars you will need:

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
2/3 cup honey
2 tbsp butter (optional, for a little added richness)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup dried cranberries (or fruit of your choice!)
Optional: dark chocolate & sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350, combine the oats, flax seeds & coconut on a sheet pan and toast for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally. Pour the oat/flax/coconut combo into a large bowl and set aside. Turn the oven down to 300.

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, butter (if using), almond butter, vanilla & salt, bring to a boil and cook for a minute, stirring frequently.

IMG_8477

Pour this mixture immediately over the oats and stir until combined. Add the cranberries (or other dried fruit) and mix lightly until incorporated.

IMG_8478

Pour everything into a 8″ by 12″ pan, greased and lined with parchment paper. Wet your fingers and press the mixture down in the pan until it is in one even layer. Be careful, it is VERY HOT!

IMG_8479

Bake the granola mixture for about 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

If you are feeling like a little added deliciousness, chop up 3.5 oz of good dark chocolate, and sprinkle it evenly over the bars when they have about 5 minutes to go. When they come out of the oven, use the back of a spoon to smear the chocolate into a uniform layer. Then sprinkle with a bit of sea salt!

Allow the block of granola to cool for at least 3 hours (or overnight!) before slicing into bars.

IMG_8483

Store them in an airtight container at room temperature and they will keep for at least a few days. These are perfect for breakfast on the go, or a mid afternoon snack!

IMG_8485

Posted in Oats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oats

oatsWe hope you are feeling great after our week of smoothies, we sure are! We’ll be cooking with oats this week to keep our health kick going, come back soon for our odes to oats!

Posted in Oats | Leave a comment