Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied Walnuts

June 1st, 2017

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied Walnuts

Tweaking familiar recipes keeps my enthusiasm for cooking on point.  A while back I changed up my decades old meatloaf recipe for this one and I haven’t gone back.  This update of Waldorf Salad is another change that is good.  The addition of fennel to the standard ingredients of apples and celery gives a nice slightly licorice flavor.  The candied walnuts add a boost in flavor too. Next time I may add the usual grapes back in the mix.

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied WalnutsThe recipe came from my new cookbook by Erin French, {the} Lost Kitchen.  I have been enjoying cooking from her book.  You can read about her in one of my previous posts here.

Waldorf Salad with Fennel and Candied WalnutsThe fennel fronds and soft lettuce add to the visual appeal of this common salad gone wild.  Actually that is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get my meaning.  Changing things up is sometimes a good thing.  Give it a try.

WALDORF SALAD WITH FENNEL AND CANDIED WALNUTS

2 crisp apples, cut into cubes
1 small fennel bulb, cored and sliced, fronds reserved for garnish
2 celery stalks, sliced, leaves reserved for garnish
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup candied walnuts (See below)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup parsley leaves
Salt and Pepper
1 heaping handful of radicchio or good-looking greens such as Bibb lettuce or arugula

In a large bowl, combine the apples, fennel, celery, and lemon zest and juice.  Toss to coat.  Add the walnuts, mayo, and parsley and toss again.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make a bed of lettuce on individual plates or a platter, top with the dr3essed mixture, and garnish with fennel fronds and celery leaves.

CANDIED NUTS

1/2 cup sugar
2 cups nuts, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, or almonds
Maldon salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the sugar with 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Toss in the nuts, stir to coat, then, with a slotted spoon, spread them out on the baking sheet.  Bake until toasty, 8 to 10 minutes. (Watch carefully so that they do not burn).  Sprinkle with Maldon salt to taste.  Set aside to cool.

Store any leftovers in a sealed container in your pantry for up to a month.

Printable Recipe 

 

Crispy Kale and Garlic Cream Tartlets

May 18th, 2017

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

Tartlets and quiches are some of my favorite foods.  Add crispy kale and bacon and I am in heaven. While scrolling the internet, I found a blogger who had attended one of Mimi Thorisson’s pop-up dinners in France.  Mimi, of the blog Manger, has served dinner to many people in her home in Saint-Yzans-de-Médoc in the Bordeaux region of France.  The blogger showed a picture of the appetizer that was offered that night.  It was this tartlet.  I knew that I had to make it, so I searched Mimi’s blog and found it here.

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

I kept the concept of the dish but changed it up to suit my taste.  I wanted more custard and used heavy cream instead of crème fraîche.  The kale is indeed crispy.  It is added near the end of the cooking time.  It provides a surprise element to a simple tartlet.

Southern Chicks MarketPenny of Enjoying the Simple Things and I found a new shop in Hendersonville for all of you who love the “Fixer Upper” look of Joanna Gaines.  The shop is called Southern Chicks Market.  It is full of tempting merchandise.

Crispy Kale Garlic Cream Tartletts

I think you will also find these delicious tartlets tempting.

CRISPY KALE AND GARLIC CREAM TARTLETS (Adapted from Mimi Thorisson)

1 1/2 cups Kale, torn into small pieces, washed and dried
6 slices of bacon, fried and crispy
1 cup of heavy cream
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 egg yolks
Pinch of nutmeg

Pastry – Enough for a single 9 inch pie pan cut into 6 rounds large enough to fill 6 tartlet pans.  You will have to roll, cut, gather scrapes and roll again (probably twice).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prick bottoms of pastry in tartlet pans.  Place on cookie sheet and top each with parchment paper and pie weights. (I use dried lima beans). Bake until lightly browned.  Remove weights and parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix the cream and the egg yolks along with a pinch of nutmeg and the minced garlic.  Season with Salt and pepper.  Whisk all together.

Divide the mixture among the tartlets and bake until set, Approximately 15 minutes.  Add the kale, drizzle with a little olive oil and cook for a further 10 minutes or until crispy and the pastry is golden.

Place a slice of bacon on each tartlet and serve.

Printable Recipe

 

 

Pizza Bites

May 4th, 2017

Pizza Bites 1

This is an adaptation of a recipe from The Pioneer Woman that I saw on The Food Network the other day.  I am planning an hors d’oeuvres get together for some time in early summer and thought these bite size pizzas would be a good addition.  Ree’s recipe is made with puff pastry.  I had a round of my favorite pizza dough in the freezer and decided to use that instead.

Pizza Bites

It was quite easy to roll out the pizza dough, cut it into small circles and top it with basil pesto, Roma tomato rounds, and Parmesan cheese.  I baked the rounds on a pizza stone in a hot (400 – 450 degree) oven for about 20 minutes.  Or you can follow The Pioneer Woman’s Recipe using puff pastry.

Paris Apartment

We are excited about an upcoming trip to Paris in the Fall.  I have found this charming apartment in The Latin Quarter to rent for a week.  Will let you know more as plans come together.  If anyone has recommendations for restaurants in the 5th Arrondissement I would appreciate it.

 

Beets and Blood Orange Salad

February 21st, 2017

 

Beet and Blood Orange Salad

I love experiencing the Farmers’ Markets in new areas.  Local beets and blood oranges are in season right now in Florida.

Beets

The New Smyrna Beach Farmers’ Market has several vendors carrying organic local produce. They have several varieties of beets including chioggia, golden and a lovely pink specimen.

Beet and Blood Orange Salad

I put this salad together using the standard dark red beets and the golden and pink beets combined with the blood oranges that I had found at the supermarket.  I love the colors.  Plus the salad was delicious.

BEETS AND BLOOD ORANGE SALAD

4 Red Beets, trimmed
2 Pink Beets, trimmed
2 Golden Beets, trimmed
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
2 blood oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
3 scallions chopped, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Wash beets and place in foil packets separated by color.  Roast in oven until beets are tender, about 40 minutes.

Unwrap cooked beets and let cool slightly.  Peel and slice cooked beets.

Mix oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

In 3 quart size bags place the different colored sliced beets.  Divide the oil and vinegar between the bags and allow the beets to marinate for a few hours.  Can place in refrigerator if you will not use right away.

Arrange the beet rounds and orange rounds on a platter. Scatter scallions over the top.

Printable Recipe

NSB House

While we were at the Farmers’ Market, I spotted this bungalow across the street.  This would make a perfect Fixer Upper for Johanna Gaines or anyone with the skills.  It has good bones and I think it is charming.

Taiwanese Beef Soup: From Sumos to Oxtails

February 4th, 2017

Taiwanese Beef Soup

Before I get to this delightful soup recipe, I have to share some fun I had last week.  I have a dear friend who has moved just over the mountain from me.  Barbara has built a lovely home on acreage with a barn.  She raises goats for their wool and milk.  She prefers a vegetarian diet.  The two of us went to Whole Foods together on a shopping outing.  It is obvious what each of us bought.

Sumos

 

 

Oxtails
Sumo oranges are in season right now.  They are a cross between mandarin oranges and navel oranges.  Barb bought these.  Because I was making the beef soup, I needed both beef shanks with marrow bone and oxtail.  I asked the butcher for oxtail and he went into the walk-in refrigerator and brought out a whole cow’s tail and flashed it about.  “Do you want me to cut this up for you?” he said. The look of horror on Barb’s face was priceless.  He cut it up and we left the store giggling at our incongruent tastes. Barb said, “If you invite me to dinner I would prefer quiche and a salad.”

Taiwanese Vegetable Soup

The heady combination of beef with bones and marrow, plus soy sauce, chilies, star anise and ginger makes for a rich broth and tender meat that cooks slowly for hours.  A meat lover’s delight.  Ladle the soup into bowls and add cooked Chinese noodles and broccolini.  Adjust the amount of chilies to your taste.  I used 2 Thai chilies in the soup and garnished it with slices of Habanero chilies.  I will omit the too hot Habaneros next time, even though they looked pretty.  This was slightly adapted from Hélène Dujardin on her blog Tartelette.  It is best to make this a day ahead of time so you can skim the fat from the top after refrigerating.

TAIWANESE BEEF SOUP

Make this ahead of time so you can refrigerate and remove the fat before reheating

3 pounds bone-in beef shanks with marrow bones still on
1 pound beef oxtails
3 tablespoons canola oil
10 garlic cloves, bruised
one 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices,
5 scallions, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 star anise
1 teaspoons peppercorns
2 Thai chili, split lengthwise
1/4 cup roasted red chili paste
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
8 tablespoons light soy sauce
10 cups water
1 pound broccolini, stems halved
1/2 pound Udon noodles
cilantro
extra freshly sliced Habanero red chili (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat half the oil over high heat. Sear half of the beef shanks and oxtails on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and repeat with the remaining oil and beef pieces.
Add  all the remaining soup ingredients, except the broccolini, noodles and cilantro.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low, cover with the lid askew and cook for about 3 hours or until the beef is tender and falls off the bone.
Turn off the heat, and remove the beef pieces with a slotted spoon. Let the beef cool then shred it off the bones. Discard the bones. Strain the soup into another pot and put the meat into that pot. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim the fat that has risen to the top then reheat the soup on low heat.
In the meantime, blanch the broccolini in boiling water for about a minute. Set aside. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Divide the noodles and broccolini among 6 bowls, ladle soup over noodles and garnish with cilantro and extra chili if desired.

Printable Recipe 

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.