Dara Bunjon, Dining Dish, diningdish.net
Asian Cucumber Salad
Adapted from About.com video Thai Cucumber Salad
- 1/3 cup Roasted Peanuts
- 1 English Cucumber (sometimes called seedless cucumbers)
- 1 Shallot, peeled
- 1 Thai Bird Chili
- 2 Green Onion, washed and any old outer skin removed
- ¼ to 1/3 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 small carrot cut in thin strips
- 1 1/2 T Asian Fish Sauce
- 1 teas sugar
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 Tablespoons Water
Toasted roasted peanuts in a pan the heat through and lightly color. Remove from heat
Peel the cucumber, cut into quarters lengthwise and cut into ¼ inch slices. Add to a medium bowl.
Cut the shallot in half through the root and slice very thinly
Stem the chili and slice open down the length of the chili. Remove the seeds and membrane the seeds are on. Slice the chili into thin slivers. Be sure to wash your hands after working with the chili.
Trim the root end and top third off the green onions. Slice thinly.
Coarsely chop the roasted peanuts - reserve a small amount for garnish
Add the cilantro
Combine the fish sauce, sugar, limejuice and quarter cup of water and whisk. Taste for flavor adjustment. Add dressing to the salad bowl with cucumber toss and then garnish with reserved peanuts.
Lychee Mango Dessert
- 1 can of Lychee Nuts or Logan Nuts
- 1 Mango, peeled and cut into cubes
- ¼ cup fresh mint
- Crushed ice or ice cubes
In a bowl combine the lychee nuts and their liquid, cubed mango and chill. Just before service cut the mint in a chiffonade cut, if cut too soon the mint will turn dark. Fill the serving container with crush or cubed ice. Top with the lychee mango mixture and syrup. Top with the chiffonade of mint.
Optional: Serve a fortune cookie on the side.
Quinoa, Cranberry, and Edamame Salad on Kale
- 2 C. cooked quinoa
- 1 C. reconstituted cranberries
- 1/2 lb. shelled edamame beans
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp. lime, lemon, grapefruit or yuzu juice
- 10 leaves kale (of your favorite variety)
- 1 cup dried quinoa
- 2 cups water
Toast quinoa in a dry saucepan, stirring constantly until the faint smell of toasted nuts wafts into the air.
Add 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt.
Cover with lid while allowing steam to vent slightly.
Cook about 10 minutes, or until water is completely absorbed.
Allow quinoa to cool before adding ingredients (spread on a cooking sheet to cool rapidly).
Reconstituting Dried Cranberries:
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 1/2 cup orange juice
Simmer cranberries in orange juice until all liquid is absorbed. Cranberries should be plump and flavorful. Allow Cranberries to cool before adding to quinoa (spread on a cooking sheet to cool rapidly).
Thawing Edamame Beans:
Place 1/2 pound of shelled edamame beans in colander and thaw under running water.
Fold into quinoa, and cranberry mixture.
Cleaning Kale leaves:
Rinse each leave well to ensure no dirt is hiding in the curls and folds of the leaves.
Stack leaves on top of each other and slice into ribbons.
Lay kale down onto two plates. Add a generous amount of the salad. Enjoy!
Shrimp Ball Soup
- 1 egg white, slightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 8 ounces shrimp, peeled, de-veined, finely chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons rice wine or 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup fresh snow pea, halved crosswise
- 3/4 cup carrot, thinly sliced
- 4 ounces tofu, cubed
- 3 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
For shrimp balls, in a mixing bowl combine egg white, cornstarch, and ginger.
Add shrimp and mix well.
In a Dutch oven combine broth, rice wine, pepper and garlic.
Bring to a boil and add shrimp mixture by rounded teaspoons; return to boiling; reduce heat.
Cover and simmer for 1 minute.
Add pea pods, carrots, tofu, and green onion.
Return to boiling; reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes more until vegetables are crisp-tender.
Eggplant Slap-down with Ginger Plum Sauce (vegan)
From The Heart of the Plate by Molly Katzen
- 2 heaping tablespoons plum, peach, or apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger or minced pickled ginger with its juice
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed or peanut oil
- 2 4-ounce eggplants, trimmed and halved lengthwise Salt
- 1⁄4 cup dry white wine or dry sherry
- Crushed red pepper
In a small bowl, combine the jam, ginger, vinegar, and garlic and mix with a fork or small whisk to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
Place a medium skillet over medium heat for about a minute, then add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the eggplant halves to the pan with their cut sides facing down. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook undisturbed for about 8 minutes, until each eggplant half becomes tender. (Peek underneath a few times to be sure the cut surfaces are not becoming too dark. If they are, lower the heat and/or turn the eggplants over.) The eggplants are cooked when the stem ends can easily be pierced with a fork.
Flip the eggplants onto their backs if you haven’t already done so; sprinkle them lightly with salt, and spoon a little plum sauce onto each cut surface, spreading it to cover. Reserve the remaining sauce.
Flip the eggplants back onto their now-sauced cut sides and cook for a minute or less, just so the flavor can be cooked on. Loosen the eggplants with a thin-bladed spatula (including whatever might have stuck) and transfer them to a plate.
Reduce the heat to low and pour the wine or sherry into the pan. Scrape up any remaining specks and tidbits, mixing them in.
Let the wine bubble and reduce for a minute or so, adding another touch of garlic, if you like, then spoon in a generous tablespoon of the plum sauce and stir to combine.
Simmer for just a few seconds, and then return the eggplants to the pan, skin side down, and let them bathe in the sauce for a minute or so. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, with the remaining sauce and a light scattering of crushed red pepper over the top.
Wild Rice Pancakes with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese
from The Heart of the Plate by Molly Katzen
Put on the wild rice at least an hour ahead of time and get everything else ready while it cooks. Use 1⁄2 cup wild rice and cook it as you would pasta, in plenty of simmering water, until tender (40 or more minutes). Drain thoroughly and shake dry. You will have more than enough for this recipe.
Mushroom it up further: Sauté a handful of thinly sliced (extra) shiitakes first in a little oil or butter, then spread them in a single layer and spoon the batter directly onto the mushrooms. This will create a delightful mushroom coating for what will become the top of the pancake after you flip it.
The batter can be assembled well ahead of time. It keeps for up to 2 days in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.
To keep the pancakes warm, transfer them to a wire rack on a baking sheet in a 200°F oven until serving time. (The rack keeps them crisp.)
Unlike most other pancakes, these are sturdy enough to reheat in a microwave or a toaster oven. They also taste good at room temperature, so try packing a few in your lunch bag for a late morning breakfast break or for lunch.
- About 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 medium domestic mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed if tough, and sliced
- 6 medium (2-inch cap) shiitake mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and sliced thin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 large eggs
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour or brown rice flour
- 4 scallions, minced
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 cup (about 5 ounces) crumbled, soft, fresh goat cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Up to 3 tablespoons butter (optional)
Place a medium skillet over medium heat for about a minute, then add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the mushrooms and cook, stirring, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Sprinkle in 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and sauté for 5 minutes longer. Stir in the garlic and lemon juice and cook for 1 minute longer to soften the garlic before removing the pan from the heat.
Beat the eggs in a medium-large bowl. Whisk in the flour and the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. When this mixture is uniform, stir in the cooked mushrooms, including all their juices (there’s no need to wash the pan). Add the scallions, wild rice, goat cheese, and black pepper and stir until well combined.
Wipe out the skillet and heat over medium heat for about a minute, then add about 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Melt in about a teaspoon of butter, if desired, and tilt the pan to distribute the butter. When it’s hot enough to instantly sizzle a crumb, use a nonstick-sprayed 1⁄4-cup measure with a handle to scoop as many cakes as will fit in a single layer into the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden. Continue to cook in batches, using additional oil and/or butter as needed until all the batter has been used. Serve hot or warm.
Amy Langrehr, Charm City Cook, Charmcitycook.com
Preheat oven to 350.
Thinly slice a thin baguette. Place slices on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
Place in airtight container for up to a week.
- 10 large eggs (use less fresh eggs...easier to peel)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Prepare an ice-water bath. Place eggs in a medium saucepan; add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring gently, as water begins to boil, 2 minutes. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Transfer eggs to ice-water bath to cool.
Peel eggs and halve lengthwise and/or crosswise. Remove yolks and transfer to the bowl of a food processor along with mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, and cayenne pepper; season with salt and pepper and process until smooth.
Transfer yolk mixture to a pastry bag fitted with an open-star tip - or just use a plastic storage bag and cut a small hole in one of the corners. Pipe mixture into egg white halves, filling to about 1/2 inch over surface.
Add toppings like salmon roe, bacon, chives, kalamata olives - or whatever you like.
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces walnuts (about one cup)
Preheat the oven to 350.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, cayenne and salt.
Bring a small saucepan of water to boil. Add the walnuts and blanch them for 3 minutes. Drain well and then immediately roll the walnuts in the sugar mixture until thoroughly coated. The sugar will melt slightly. Transfer the walnuts to a baking sheet or pan and bake, stirring occasionally, until they are a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully because the sugar can burn easily. Let cool completely before serving.
Christopher Vaeth, Chasing Umami, Inpursuitofumami.blogspot.com
- 4 Fennel bulbs
- ½ cup olive oil
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Cut fennel stems off just where they change from white to green
Cut bulbs in half, and carefully remove the fibrous heart, then cut lengthwise (top to bottom) creating ¼” thick “slices” or fries. Break up with your fingers.
Place in a large bowl and add olive oil, you want avoid soaking the fennel as this will prolong cooking time and make it soggy, just use your judgment as this is for a little color and flavor, add salt and pepper to taste.
Spread evenly on lined baking sheet to avoid touching and bake for 45 mins until golden and crispy, toss at intervals to achieve consistent color.
Serve with your favorite grassy cows milk cheese, like Bra Duro.
Makes snacks for 4-6 guests.
Harissa Mackerels & Grilled Bread
- 6 head-on small mackerels (anchovies, sardines, any oily fish of this variety)
- 1 loaf crusty white bread (I used the crusty white boule from Bonaparte Breads in Fells Point, but fougasse or baguette are other great options)
- ½ cup + ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons harissa + more to taste
- 1 tablespoon sea salt + more to taste
- Crushed red pepper, garlic pepper, and parsley can be added to your liking when served.
The night before: combine ¼ cup olive oil, salt, and harrisa, place fish in bag and pour evenly so as to ensure consistent coating, marinate overnight.
Day of: Heat grill to 500 degrees F, grill mackerels for 5 mins per side depending on size, being careful not to damage the skin when turning.
While fish are grilling, slice bread (one per fish), and using a brush, lightly coat each side with the remaining olive oil. Grill just long enough to toast and achieve grill marks.
Serve fish room temp, one per slice of bread as an appetizer and drizzle with more olive oil to taste
Warm Treviso & Cayenne-Candied Walnuts Salad w/ Gorgonzola Piccante & Citrus Vinaigrette
- 3 heads Treviso (radicchio)
- 6 oz Gorgonzola Piccante (or other salty, strong blue cheese)
- ¼ cup + ¼ cup olive oil
- Juice of 1 orange
- Juice of 2 lemons
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 cup raw chopped walnuts
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Combine fruit juices, vinegar, and olive oil using a whisk, beating until emulsified.
Cayenne Candied Walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Roast walnuts on parchment lined baking sheet for about 10 mins or until toasted.
In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, then add sugar and cook until it turns to liquid and begins to turn a golden brown, do not burn (timing will vary, use your instincts).
Add salt and cayenne, then remove from heat add roasted walnuts and stir quickly to coat evenly.
Immediately, and carefully, remove from the pan, and spread on fresh parchment paper to cool. Do your best to separate clusters as this recipe yields something close to brittle which had a tendency to clump.
Once cool, break them apart further to prepare as a topping for the salad.
Cut Treviso heads in half, then chop lengthwise (top to bottom) to achieve long slices of the lettuce leaves.
Warm a nonstick pan over low heat, combine Treviso and ¼ cup olive oil just coating the leaves, add to pan and gently stir allowing Treviso to warm slightly but not brown, remove from heat.
Immediately toss with dressing, top with walnuts and crumbled cheese, and serve.
Roasted Red Chile Carrots w/ Toasted Pine Nuts
- 1 ½ lbs whole carrots, not peeled, tops removed
- If not similar sizes whole, then cut into uniform pieces to ensure even cooking
- If available, use rainbow carrots for a more vibrantly hued dish
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup New Mexican Red Chile powder
- The best are from Hatch, and Bueno is a great brand. Whatever you do, make sure it is actually from New Mexico. Heat and color will vary, use what you like.
- ½ cup raw pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, and place carrots in a large baking dish.
Combine chile powder and olive oil in a small bowl. Using a brush, glaze the top sides of the carrots generously, allowing the oil to cover each one.
Roast for 30-40 mins until browned and tender, turning and brushing on more chile oil throughout.
Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until they just begin to char and their essence is released, remove from heat and set aside
Once carrots are tender, remove from baking pan and allow to cool slightly. Plate and serve warm, topped with toasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of sugar to taste.
Salted Caramel & Spiced Rum Custard
- ½ cup + 2 ½ cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup water
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
- 2 teaspoons dark rum + more to taste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Whisk 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch until combined. Set aside.
In a sauce pan, heat the remaining 2 1/2 cups of milk until simmering. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, whisk egg yolks on medium speed for about 3 minutes (time yourself!).
To make the caramel, stir the brown sugar and water in medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. At that point, increase the heat, and cook without stirring until an instant read thermometer reads 210 – 220 degrees F, it will start to darken. Be careful not to scorch. Remove from heat.
With mixer at low speed (you may prefer to do this by hand), gradually whisk in the hot milk, then the cornstarch mixture into the eggs.
Slowly whisk in the caramel. You will have a foamy mess of sweet hot milk at this point, don’t panic!
Return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat, until the mixture thickens (coats back of a spoon) and a thermometer registers 175 degrees F, about 7 to 10 minutes. Honestly, at minute 7, I almost gave up, sure that this foamy mess was my fate and I had failed, but I pressed on, and all of a sudden it came together, so have patience, this will work!
Remove from heat; whisk in the butter, rum, and salt
Once whipped smooth and chilled slightly, serve with whipped cream and sea salt. I made my own whipped cream and used black sea salt…just because I’m fancy.