Sweet Pickled Pepper Slices

This recipe is heavily adapted from The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich and is orginally for sweet peppers. I like to use cherry peppers.

Makes 4 pints.

4 garlic cloves
2 tsp. pickling salt
2 pounds cherry peppers sliced in half or generous rings
1 carrot thinly sliced (optional)
2 cups white vinegar or cider vinegar
2 cups water
3/4 cup sugar

Put 1 garlic clove and 1/2 tsp. pickling salt into each of 4 pint size mason jars. Pack the peppers and carrots snugly into the jars.

In a nonreactive saucepan, bring the vinegar, water and sugar to a boil. Stir to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the hot liquid over the peppers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Close the jars with hot two-piece caps. Process jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.

Store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 weeks before eating the peppers.


Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

1 head of cauliflower (about 2 lbs)
8 Tbsp. butter
1 leek (or just onion if you don’t have a leek)
1 small onion
Salt & Pepper
4 ½ – 5 cups water
½ tsp. sherry vinegar
3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives

Trim of outer leaves of cauliflower.
Cut heaping 1 cup of ½-inch florets, set aside.

Cut up remaining cauliflower into ½-inch thick slices

Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in large saucepan. Add leek, onion & salt. Cook, stirring until onion is softened but not brown, about 7 minutes.

Add 4/12 cups of water & half the sliced cauliflower and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add remaining cauliflower and simmer until cauliflower is tender and crumbles easily, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt remaining 5 Tbsp. butter in an 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add reserved florets and cook, stirring often, until golden and the butter is browned, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and using a slotted spoon, transfer cauliflower to a small bowl. Toss with sherry vinegar and season with salt to taste. Pour butter into a separate bowl to be used as garnish.

Process soup until smooth, using a blender or immersion blender. Return to simmer, adjust consistency with remaining water if needed. Season with salt to taste “Soup should have a thick, velvety texture but should be thin enough to settle with flat surface after being stirred.”

Serve, garnish each bowl with some browned florets, a drizzle of butter, chives and pepper.

Butternut Squash Coins with Cilantro Salsa

This recipe is from an ancient copy (1995 to be exact) of Food & Wine. And truthfully it’s all about the salsa. This salsa is great over lots of other vegetables, like grilled eggplant as well as chickpeas and white beans.

For the butternut squash:
Use only the neck.
Peel and slice into 1/4-inch thick “coins”

Work in batches. Heat 3 Tbsp. of olive oil in a wide skillet over medium high heat. Put in a single layer of squash. Cook about 5 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned.

makes about 1 1/3 cups

1 large bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, peeled
Fresh ginger, 2-inch piece, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup water

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lime juice
1 Tbsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. salt

In a food processor, combine the cilantro, mint, garlic, ginger, chile and 1/4 cup water and puree until a smooth sauce forms. Add remaining ingredients and pulse to combine.

The salsa can be prepared up to 4 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temp.

Autumn Chopped Salad

Gail found this recipe. I reprint it to be able to find it. Please visit Iowa Girl Eats for a fantastic list of recipes and stunning pictures.

And I am NOT going to list instructions, this is a salad! Put it in a big bowl and mix it up.

6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
3 slices bacon, cooked to crisp and chopped (optional)
1 pear, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup Poppy Seed Dressing
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

Serves 2, generously

Well maybe a little direction – Serve immediately after adding the dressing. If you want the bacon to remain crisp don’t add it until you are ready to serve.

Korean Mung Bean Salad

This is a mix of a couple different recipes that I found on the web. A fairly flexible salad, although my mix may have lost a bit of authenticity.

350g mung bean sprouts (about 3 cups)
6 cups water
1 tsp. fine sea salt

Bring water & salt to a boil. Cook sprouts about 5 minutes. Drain & rinse well with cold water.

Toss with:
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1-3 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. chili flakes (optional)
1 fresh red chili, sliced (optional)

Arugula Pesto

Spring is here and the new planting of arugula is ready!

In the bowl of a food processor put:
±3 cups arugula
3 small garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-2 Tbsp. Kosciusko mustard (spicy mustard)
2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Pulse until coarsely chopped.
With the motor running add enough olive oil to make a spreadable pesto.

I made an appetizer of grilled zucchini rounds topped with a spoonful of this pesto, a thin slice of filet mignon (leftover) and some diced tomato mixed with balsamic vinegar.

I also added some as a pizza topping.

Baked Sweet Potato Fritters

This is adapted from the blog The Farm Girl Gabs

I did not believe this would work. I started to add some flour to the mixture, then stopped and just followed the recipe. It not only worked but was delicious. Make the dipping sauce first, it needs an hour for the flavors to blend. We ate these with a side of pinto beans and a green salad (with pecans of course).

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup eggs (about 2)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 425F

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, coat lightly with oil (cooking spray).

Mix all ingredients. Place scoops of potato mixture onto the baking sheet. Coat the top of each with oil/spray.

Bake 20-25 minutes until crisp & golden.

Serve with
Smoky Garlic Dipping Sauce
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp. scallions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir together. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.

Masoor Dal

I have been on the hunt for a Dal that will make Mike happy. This one is worth repeating. I found this recipe at: Spice up the Curry at http://www.spiceupthecurry.com/whole-masoor-dal-recipe/

It was delicious. Mine turned out very hot, but it may have been that I got carried away with the hot peppers. I used sliced peppers that I had frozen from my garden, so it was probably more than one. The list of ingredients is frightening, I recommend measuring all the spices out ahead of time. Our local IndoPak grocery store sells ginger and garlic paste in jars. They are delicious but I don’t ever remember to buy them so I use what I have on hand.

Whole Masoor Dal Recipe | Sabut masoor dal | Masoor dal recipe

Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 30 mins
Total time 1 hour

3/4 cup Whole Masoor dal (brown lentils)
3-4 cups Water – enough to cover lentils

1 Tbsp. Oil
1 tsp. Cumin seeds
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Green chili, chopped finely
3/4 cup Tomato, finely chopped (I used canned, whole tomato)
1 tsp. Cumin powder
1 tsp. Coriander powder
1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. Red chili powder
1/2 tsp. Garam masala
Salt – to taste
2 tsp. Lemon juice
2 Tbsp. finely chopped Cilantro or coriander leaves

Wash masoor dal and soak for 30-45 minutes.
Discard the soaking water. Place the lentils and enough water to cover by 1 inch in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer partially covered until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 10-inch skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds. Allow to sizzle and darken slightly, then add the ginger, garlic paste and green chili.

Add chopped onions and sprinkle a of salt, cook till softened.
Add tomatoes and cook till soft.
Add spice powders and cook for 1 minute.
Mix in boiled masoor, add extra water if needed to make gravy.
Simmer for 5-7 minutes.

Lastly add lemon juice and cilantro. Stir well and serve.

Cranberry Chutney

It is time for the cranberry harvest in NJ. A few buckets of cranberries have made their way into my kitchen. I made this for the first time this year. It is good, but very sweet. If I make it next year, I think I would like to add some mustard seeds & cumin seeds or maybe curry powder.

4 medium to large green tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup salt
1 quart cider vinegar
3 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar (3 would be better)
8 large tart apples, peeled, cored & chopped (used kieran pears because that is what I had, they are hard & crunchy like an asian pear)
4 cups cranberries
2 red onions, peeled & chopped
2 cups dried currants
1/2 cup finely chopped, peeled ginger root

In a medium bowl toss chopped tomatoes with 2 Tbsp. salt, cover, and let stand for about 12 hours or overnight.

Drain tomatoes well and soak in fresh cold water for 15 minutes. Drain again.

In a large pot combine vinegar, brown sugar, and the remaining salt. Add apples, cranberries, onions, currants, ginger and drained tomatoes. Bring just a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat and cool, let stand 1-2 hours so the raisins plump and the flavors blend.

Bring back to a simmer and cook uncovered, over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until apples & onions are very tender and chutney has thickened slightly.

Pack into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2-inch head space. Wipe rims, and cap with 2-piece caps.

Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.**

Makes about 7 pints.

**Please see a reliable website, like the Ball website or your local extension service, for directions on canning.

Curried Rice & Vegetable Pilaf

Adapted from Jeanne Lemlin’s Vegetarian Classics

This is one of Kelsey’s favorites. Serve it with some chutney and a salad of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers & sliced red onions dressed with lemon juice and maybe a drizzle of olive oil for your Meatless Monday vegan meal.

2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, minced
1 large boiling potato, peeled (optionally) and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 cups basmati rice
2 carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups water (approximately)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds (or cashews)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 Tbsp. finely chopped cilantro (or mint)

This makes a very large amount of rice so use a large, heavy bottomed pot. I have a clay tagine that works well, and a 12-inch Le Creuset covered skillet that also works nicely. But a stockpot would be great.

Heat the oil in the pot over medium heat. Saute onion, potato and carrots, about 10 minutes, stirring often.

Stir in the rice and all of the spices. Mix well, saute 2 minutes, until toasted and aromatic.

Whisk the coconut milk if necessary and pour into a large measuring cup. Mix the coconut milk with enough water to make 3 cups. Pour over the rice, add the salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Cook undisturbed, 25 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Turn off the heat & gently stir in the peas and almonds. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Serve sprinkled with mint or cilantro.