Saturday, July 23, 2016

Corn, Chard and Green Onion Flat Bread



One of the best things about cooking foods in the season (in this case, in the summer) is that basic ingredients can be put together very simply and turn out incredibly delicious. 

This is just a quick pizza crust, corn, onions and chard tossed together, but the fact that each of the ingredients is fresh and at the peak of their season makes them taste amazing together. 



About 1 1/2 pounds pizza dough (Here is my recipe that makes amazing crust!) But I have a local bakery that sells pizza crust for 1.50$ each, and I bought these. 


Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large bunch green onions, sliced - both white and all the way to the top of the green stems (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 12-ounce bundle chard or about 6 cups (6 ounces) of leaves, cut into 1/2-inch ribbons
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels (cut from 1 to 2 medium ears corn)
1/2 cup feta cheese, cold
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese mix



Trim the ends off your onions and wash them well.  Cut them crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.

Husk your corn and remove the silk, then take the ears and cut the kernels off the cob. 

Do the same with your chard ribbons, but you can leave the leaves on towels until they’re nearly fully dry, while you cook the corn and onions.



Heat your oven to 450 degrees.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add the onion slices. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook onions for 1 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Raise heat back to medium, add the chard ribbons and cook until they wilt, about 4 minutes. Season mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more if needed. 

Finally, add your corn kernels, cooking them with the corn and chard for just another minute.



Roll or stretch half your dough into a rectangle shape, my circle is a dead give away that I bought my crust. and arrange it on the prepared sheet. 

Divide the cheese amounts evenly and sprinkle half of the mozzarella cheese onto each of the crusts. 

Spread half the char-corn-chard mixture on it. 

Then sprinkle it with half the feta cheese, crumbled into small bits.


 Bake flatbread in oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the edges of the bread begin to brown slightly.

To serve, slide each flatbread onto a cutting board and cut into pieces. Serve immediately.





Friday, July 22, 2016

Brown Sugar and Butter Apricots



I was typing the title for this blog post and I wrote Brown Sugar and Butter WITH Apricots and I'll be honest with you, that is a much more correct title.  We've got apricots coming out of the walls right now, we have so many, sadly, they aren't all perfect for just eating fresh - some just aren't quite as delicious. What's a girl to do, but add some butter and sugar to the things... and then put them on top of everything! 

Yogurt, Waffles, Ice Cream, Pie Crusts, .....   If it will sit still on a plate long enough, You can put these apricots on it - and it will be delicious! 


Ingredients:

1½ tbsp. unsalted butter
5 fresh apricots, pitted and cut into quarters
3 tbsp. brown sugar (plus 1 additional tbsp. if apricots are tart)
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
⅛ tsp. ground nutmeg

Instructions:

Heat sauté pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and heat until melted.




In a medium mixing bowl, combine apricots with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, vanilla extract and nutmeg. Toss to combine.

Add apricot mixture to pan and cook until sauce thickens and apricots just slightly start to fall apart, about 8-10 minutes.

Serve warm or chilled.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Warm Chard Salad with Bacon Dressing and Pickled Cherries


This salad uses the swiss chard in with dressing that you make. It is an easy introduction and doesn't make the whole salad wilted chard.  The texture of the greens being both wilted and fresh is amazing. 


Warm Chard Salad with Bacon Dressing and Pickled Cherries

2-3 chicken legs, bone-in, skin-on (I used meat I picked off a rotisserie chicken that I bought at the store)
1 big bunch of Swiss chard, washed well, stems and center veins removed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
(I used a small bunch of swiss chard and a medium bunch of spinach)
3 slices of thick center-cut bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 purple onion, sliced
2 1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar works well too)
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. mustard
salt and pepper
pickled cherries or dried cherries (or dried cranberries or other fruit)
3 Tbs. chopped, toasted pecans
2-3 eggs, optional


Instructions:

cooking the chicken:
Preheat your oven to 425F.  Put your chicken legs into a roasting pan and sprinkle well with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven until completely cooked through (40-45 min. – you can cut into one to test for doneness).  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, and in the meantime you can prep the chard.  Alternatively, you can grill the chicken until cooked through.

As soon as the chicken is cool enough to handle (you want it still to be warm) remove it from the bones and shred it into generously bite sized pieces.  Put in a bowl and set aside in a warm place.

making the dressing:
Heat a very large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and transfer them to a paper towel lined plate.  

Keep the drippings in the pan and add the olive oil, the purple onion, and a generous pinch of salt.
Cook the onions until softened, about 3 minutes.  Then, turn the heat down to low and stir in the vinegar, the maple syrup, and mustard, mixing well to combine.  Add in the chard and cook for one to two minutes, until just wilted, tossing it all the while to coat it well with the dressing.  Taste and toss with more salt and some pepper to taste.




assemble the salad:
Depending on how many people you’re serving, divide the spinach / chard between 2 or 3 plates.  

Divide the chicken and the bacon bits between the plates, then arrange a small handful of pickled cherries (or dried fruit) on each plate.  Finally, sprinkle with chopped pecans.

If desired, poach or fry one egg per person until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny (generally 3-4 minutes).  Place an egg on top of each salad.  Serve!




Monday, July 18, 2016

Quick Pickled Cherries



Ingredients:

1 heaping pint bing cherries
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup water
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
zest of one lemon
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cloves



Instructions:

Wash your cherries really well, and remove the stems. Pit them and pack them into a quart jar. 

In a medium saucepan combine the vinegars and water, zest, sugar, and spices, over medium high heat. Bring to boil and then turn down to a simmer until everything is dissolved and the brine is steamy. 

Remove from heat and set aside while the liquid cools for ten minutes. 

Then pour the liquid over the cherries and set aside until the jar is cool to the touch. 

Screw on the lid and refrigerate for several hours.



Saturday, July 16, 2016

Swiss Chard Scrambled Eggs



If you are looking to make some painless healthy changes to your life, a really easy and delicious (which are two Really Good things) way to do it is to add vegetables to breakfast. 

I can't tell you which is more impressive, that this breakfast was so easy to make, so darn good for me, or the fact that it looks beautiful and fancy enough to be on a brunch menu at a luxury hotel. 


I am very quickly falling in love with chard. The flavor is amazing and the fact that it delicate like spinach makes me a huge fan since I am still trying to convince myself that kale isn't like chewing the bark of a tree. (Just kidding Kale, I'm trying... really I am)

But with all the nutrients and vitamins in Chard, I may not have to keep working so hard at liking kale. 


Ingredients: 

1tablespoon olive oil
1small sweet onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
4 to 6 leaves Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup grated cheese, I used my shredded cheddar jack mix
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


I had my chard prepped ahead of time. When I brought home my CSA box, I prepped the whole box, including separating the chard stems from the leaves.  Prepping in a huge key for us to eating our fruits and veggies and I am much more likely to toss a handful of greens into a dish if they are already washed and chopped and literally all that I have to do is toss a handful out of the bag into the dish.



 Instructions:

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes.

Add chard and sauté until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until eggs are set.