Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Recipes for a Happy Pumpkin Day!

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Cashew Curry

Hot Halloween Stew

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Just in case you have some leftover pumpkin to cook with.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Zucchini & Tomato Salad with Basil-Kale Pesto

This surprising tasty salad was inspired by raw dishes that use zucchini in place of pasta. I've never done much with zucchini. It's always seemed too bland to be the center piece of a dish. Baked and stuffed with a tangy cheese is the biggest nod I've given this vegetable. But here, raw, and very thinly sliced, combined with chopped heirloom tomatoes and a tasty basil-kale pesto, it works as a magically fresh and light pasta substitute.

A very simple and attractive dish, this salad packs hearty flavor without weighing you down. Definitely, a salad I'd make for company!

Zucchini & Tomato Salad with Basil-Kale Pesto:

2 medium zucchini, very thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 orange and 1 red heirloom tomato, finely chopped
12-15 basil leaves
I large leaf of dinosaur kale, stem removed
olive oil
sea salt
pine nuts
lemon juice
pinch of sugar if needed

Combine the thinly sliced zucchini and chopped tomatoes in a bowl.

In a mini-prep, combine basil leaves, kale leaf, a generous pinch of pine nuts, olive oil and salt. Puree. Add lemon juice to taste and if the kale gives it a bitter taste, add a little sugar. Puree adjusting oil, lemon juice, and salt until desired texture.

Combine pesto with the zucchini and tomato mix and add a few pine nuts if desired.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Millennium Chile Class Oct 2009

What the heck! Let's start this post with dessert first, just as we do in cooking classes at Millennium. On the decadent dessert menu this time, Peanut-Chocolate Torte, Sweet Potato Ice Cream with sugared jalapenos, and two "Bacon" -Chile Caramel sauces (smoked apples provide the "bacon" flavor).

I worked on the sugared jalapenos - aren't they lovely?

Sugar and water boiled together, sliced jalapenos added, cooked for 5 minutes, then pulled the jalapenos and rolled them in sugar. Saved the liquid and used it for the thick unstrained "bacon"-chili caramel. Yum!

A selection of chiles from the ingredients tray:

A gorgeous cauliflower mushroom:

which was one of the ingredients to the Mushroom- Corn filling:

for amazing Plantain Empanadas:

Yes, the dough was made of roasted, processed plantains and salt.

Lunch was Steamed Buns with Tea-Smoked tofu and Yuba Pancake with hoisin sauce, chile sambal and blackened arbol-shallot salsa:

Close-up of the Yuba pancake (yuba from Hodo Soy):

The buns were made with pastry flour, yeast, scallions, baking powder, and sesame seeds:

A persimmon salad with a scotch bonnet kick:

Dinner was peppers stuffed with a potato-pea curry and chard saag (made two ways, with cashew cream and coconut milk):

Cooking buddy C & I managed to ruin our potato-pea curry beyond salvation by adding fenugreek towards the end of the dish. was supposed to be ground fenugreek. Here's a lesson I'll never forget. We added the grainy fenugreek near the end and those grains just stick in the pits of your teeth and make a previously delicious curry, a mouthful of bitterness. Well, it was my 13th class!

We had a mass of chile sauces to enjoy of varying degrees:

And beer-drunken beans with smoked onions made an additional side:

So vote in the comments for the recipe from this class you'd most like to have!

Many thanks to Eric Tucker, Chef and Teacher Extraordinaire, my enthusiastic classmates, and Thomas, Veronica, Jason and Ann for making this another fab Sunday class at Millennium.

Look at classmate Kate's flicker for more photos at:

Here's links to the previous 12 classes:
  • July Cooking Class 2009

  • June Cooking Class 2009

  • Spring Cooking Class 2009

  • Mushroom Cooking Class

  • Holiday Cooking Class

  • Fall Harvest 2008

  • Indian Summer

  • Southern Comfort Cooking Class

  • Spring Cooking Class

  • Fall Harvest Cooking Class

  • Chiles Class

  • Tomato Class
  • Thursday, October 08, 2009

    Potato & Lentil Salad

    Ever made a recipe because you couldn't imagine how it would taste? That was part of the impetus behind making this potato and lentil salad from a book called Detox by Sara Rose.

    A friend and colleague is doing a special 3 week Cleanse recommended by Gwyneth Paltrow and is bringing in all sorts of tasty detox salads. So I shared the recipes from Roses' book with her and decided to try this very simple potato salad with lentils, scallions, olive oil and balsamic. I added a sprig of rosemary to the Lentils du Puy, and peeled the potatoes, but was pleasantly surprised by how tasty and satisfying this dish was.

    It may not be beautiful to look at, but for a low-fat, high protein potato salad, this is a winner. I would definitely make this for a picnic/potluck or as a tasty packed lunch treat. The recipe below is for two servings.

    Potato & Lentil Salad:

    8 oz baby potatoes
    1/4 cup Lentils du Puy
    sprig of rosemary
    3 scallions
    high quality olive oil
    balsamic vinegar
    sea salt
    Black pepper

    Boil the potatoes until soft all the way through. Drain, peel, and cut into quarters lengthwise.

    Boil water and add the lentils. Turn to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes then add small rosemary sprig. Cook 10-15 minutes more. Drain and rinse.

    Chop 3 scallions, roots and green tops removed.

    Combine potatoes, lentils, and scallions with a little high quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add sea salt and black pepper and serve.