Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Yam and Black Bean Soup with Lemon Pistou in a Sweet Broth

This was served with the lavash sandwiches for my lunch group at work, so I called this "clean-out-the-fridge" soup. If you need to clean our your refrigerator of vegetables in a hurry make a vegetable soup with homemade broth!! There are essentially three recipes involved in making this soup. I'm hoping I can remember what I did!

Yam and Black Bean Soup with Lemon Pistou

Sweet Broth
Makes 2 quarts (8 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 coarsely chopped sweet onion
1 bunch turnips, coarsely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups green beans
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
5 stalks parsley
9 cups water

Heat olive oil in a stock pot and add onion and turnips and saute until onions are soft. Add red pepper and green beans and cover pot. Sweat the veggies for 10-15 minutes. Add water and herbs and bring to a boil. Simmer for 25 minutes.

Yam and Black Bean Soup
Serves 10

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 bag of yams from Eatwell Farm (about 5 medium yams), peeled and cubed
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
8 cups sweet broth

Heat oil in a stock pot and add herbs. Saute for about a minute. Add vegetables and saute over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add sweet broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon pistou.

Lemon Pistou
Makes 2/3 cup

1 cup parsley, minced
1 cup basil, minced
1 tablespoon lemon zest
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Serve over soup.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tomato, Lettuce, Provolone, and Arugula Pesto Lavash Sandwiches

I called these "clean-out-the-fridge" sandwiches because I needed to make lunch for my vegetarian lunch group at work, but I didn't want to buy anything new because of our upcoming vacation a few days later. This was a sandwich that took advantage of our leftovers and ended up being surprisingly tasty. It's a sandwich I don't want to forget!!


Tomato, Lettuce, Provolone, and Arugula Pesto Lavash Sandwiches
2 Servings

1 piece lavash bread
arugula pesto
4 slices provolone
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
1 cup ripped lettuce

Lay lavash bread flat and spread pesto over entire bread. Top with provolone, tomato, and lettuce and roll tightly from the short side of the bread. Cut in half with a sharp knife. Each half fills the belly as a main course sandwich with other sides.

Arugula Pesto

This is a twist on the traditional basil pesto and can be used in similar ways, over pasta, as a spread in sandwiches, as a dip, etc. I personally used this as a spread in lavash sandwiches. Some of my coworkers suggested making a larger quantity of the pesto and freezing it in ice cube trays. You then need to be sure that you remove the frozen cubes from the tray and store them in a freezer bag to avoid freezer burn.

When I made this pesto, I had pecans and pine nuts on hand. Feel free to experiment with different kinds of nuts for various flavors. I also didn't indicate an specific amount of olive oil. I personally prefer less olive oil than store-bought varieties of pesto, so add as much as you like.

Arugula Pesto

Arugula Pesto
Makes about 2 cups

1/2 bunch arugula (or 4 cups)
olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pecans, walnuts and/or pine nuts
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper

Place washed and coursely chopped arugula in a food processor with a drizzle of olive oil and whirl, adding more and more olive oil until the arugula is chopped finely and starts to stick together. Add nuts and garlic and continue to chop, adding more olive oil to the desired constitency. Add parmesan, salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.

Apple Crisp with Streusel Topping

My husband and I had a good friend over for dinner the other night. The goal was to make a very American meal so that our Korean friend could get a taste of what we eat here, and her favorite dish was the dessert, Apple Crisp. We served it warm with hand-whipped vanilla cream instead of ice cream, and it was delicious. Of course, we ate it so fast, I didn't have a chance to take a picture!! This is based on another recipe from my favorite cookbook, Heaven's Banquet. This recipe is for Jin Young, who is now back in Korea. We miss you!

Apple Crisp with Streusel Topping

Serves 6

5 1/2 cups thinly sliced and peeled apples
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup unbleached white flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and butter a round 9-inch casserole dish. Mix all ingredients for the filling and spread evenly into the casserole dish. Combine all topping ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles course meal. Crumble the topping over the fruit. Bake until the topping is lightly browned and the apples are tender, about 45 minutes. Serve warm and top with vanilla ice cream or vanilla whipped cream.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lemon Balm Tea

It's been quite a while since I last posted. Life has been hectic at work and at home, which has included attending a conference and enteraining my folks and my husband's friends, and playing in concerts. Things may finally wind down, but then we're off again to Ohio next week. During this in-between week, I have too many things to wrap up at work and at home, so I've been needing to find a way to relax myself. Besides yoga, I've discovered that this tea is fantastic for making one feel cozy and pampered. We received a bunch of lemon balm from Eatwell Farm last week, and they suggested making tea with it. What a great idea! I don't have any pictures, but it really is simple. Boil some water, place two sprigs of washed lemon balm in an 8oz. cup, and steep for 10 minutes. The tea tastes fantastic hot or cooled. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Escolar Steaks with Soy-Green Garlic Marinade

While this dish was very yummy, I do have to warn you against eating escolar. My husband had no adverse reactions, but I did, for about 24 hours. If you're interested to know more about what can happen, read here. I'd rather not get into further detail here.

This is a marinade that will work well on any steaky type of fish, including sea bass, tuna, swordfish, or salmon. With the escolar, the meat was tender and white, and the green garlic gathered the pungent flavors, which combined beautifully with the fish. The picture below is of the fish before baking. We baked the fish because we didn't have a grill handy, but I think this marinade would lend itself nicely to grilling.

Escolar Steaks with Soy-Green Garlic Marinade

Soy Sauce and Green Garlic Marinade
For 2 small fish steaks

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 stalk green garlic, thinly sliced

Whisk all ingredients in a small bowl and pour over fish steaks. Be sure to coat the steaks on all sides. Marinade for at least 10 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes, depending on the type and size of the fish steaks.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Eggless Pancakes with Strawberries and Kiwi

These pancakes can be served with anything, but I prefer mine with fruit and maple syrup. The strawberries and kiwi are from our CSA basket this week from Eatwell Farm. Who thought that we grew kiwi in California? It was a surprise to me, and an even greater surprise was how yummy they are!!

Because the pancake batter contains no eggs, it is important that the batter sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the gluten in the flour to relax. This keeps the batter together when frying.

Eggless Pancakes with Strawberries and Kiwi

Eggless Pancakes
Serves 4

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons light oil
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 cup water

Beat all ingredients together, except of baking powder and baking soda, until there are no lumps (this can also be done in the food processor). Allow the batter to rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight. Beat in the leavenings just before cooking.

Heat a heavy, non-stick griddle on medium heat until hot. This type of pan will eliminate the use for oil to cook the pancakes. Pour batter onto the pan into the desired size and cook until the batter bubbles and the underside is golden. Flip the pancakes and cook for about half the time used for the first side. Do not stack pancakes before serving. Serve hot with butter, fruit, syrup, jam, or whipped cream.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Salmon, Asparagus, and Dill Potato Crepes with Sauce Mornay

While walking through the farmer's market this weekend, we saw a new stand, which was preparing fresh crepes. I'm always astounded by the amount of money vendors can charge for crepes since they are so easy to make and with very cheap ingredients. My practical and cheap side immediately turned to the idea of making them myself. My husband then mentioned that he had a craving for smoked salmon. The ingredients started to fall in place in my mind and became a whole new craving. I hope you have a chance to try these. They were great!


Salmon, Asparagus, and Dill Potato Crepes with Sauce Mornay

Makes 6 or 7 crepes

1/3 pound smoked salmon
Dill Potatoes
asparagus, cut diagonally and steamed

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup low fat milk
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt (I actually omitted this and it tasted fine)

Sauce Mornay

Combine crepe ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Let batter site for at least 30 minutes while preparing filling and sauce. The batter may be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

When ready to cook crepes, heat a crepe pan on medium heat until water droplets flicked onto the pan bubble and evaporate. Add 2 tablespoons of the batter to the pan and swirl quickly to coat the pan in an even and thin layer. I don't actually coat the pan with any butter because I use a non-stick Calphalon pan which handles the crepe batter just fine.Cook until lightly browned on the underside and until the edges of the crepe begin to pull away from the pan. Flip the crepe with a spatula or your fingers and cook until the other side is also browned. Stack crepes on a plate until ready to use. These crepes may be frozen if layered with wax paper between them and tightly sealed.

To fill crepes, place potatoes down the middle of the crepe, topped with asparagus and salmon. Roll the crepe, seam-side down and top with Sauce Mornay and fresh dill.

Sauce Mornay

This is the sauce I used to top our crepes for dinner tonight. For a part last week, we bought a huge block of Gruyere, so I have been finding every opportunity to use it. this recipe is adapted from the recipe in the Joy of Cooking. The only thing I omitted was the Parmesan cheese., and I substituted a spring onion from our CSA for the 1/4 onion. I also didn't strain it before using it, but it still tasted fantastic.


Sauce Mornay
About 1 cup

1 1/4 cups low fat milk
1 spring onion
1 bay leaf
1 whole cloves
1 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup grated Gruyere

Simmer the the first four ingredients in a saucepan for 15 minutes, uncovered. Discard the onion, bay leaf and cloves. Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add flour and cook uncovered until darkened and fragrant. Add mixture to milk and heat for about 10 minutes until thickened and the consistency of thick soup. Take off of heat and add cheese. Stir until melted.

Dill Potatoes

These potatoes can be used as a side dish or inside of other dishes, such as crepes (which I will post soon). Instead of salt, I used Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids for more protein and less sodium. I find that the flavoring works well, and it colors the potatoes nicely as they cook.


Dill Potatoes
Serves 4
olive oil
1 pound baby red potatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
Bragg's Liquid Amino Acids

Cut potatoes into uniform-sized pieces by leaving the smallest pieces intact, cutting the medium ones in half, and the larger ones into quarters. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add potatoes, liquid seasoning to taste, and lemon juice. Cover and cook potatoes on medium high until they are beginning to brown. Add dill. Cook further until dark brown and crusty.
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