Friday, July 23, 2021
ChezCindy: Fresh Strawberry Meringue Pie
Sunday, July 18, 2021
ChezCindy: Italian-style Giardiniera Vegetables
Once again with my CSA, I have a variety of vegetables and way too many for immediate use. Especially peppers. (I need to research more ways to use peppers.) I decided to use a mix of the vegetables to make giardiniera. The funny face on the sliced cucumbers is just a happy bonus.
Giardiniera is Italian pickled vegetables. The translation roughly means "from the garden". It is a mix of vegetables preserved in a spicy seasoned vinegar. Long preserving is shelf-stable and can stay on a shelf for a year. This version is a quick-pickle meant to stay in the refrigerator for a few weeks. The quick-pickle still preserves the vegetables, extending their freshness and adding great flavor. It is just not fully sealed for long shelf life.
Traditional giardiniera includes olive oil as a marinade for the vegetables. I like to add the olive oil after pickling and once I serve the vegetables. The marinated vegetables are great added to sandwiches and salads or just simply on a anti-pasta plate with some crackers and cheese.
I used sliced cucumbers, sliced pepper rings, thinly sliced carrots, spring onions and garlic, seasoned with fennel seeds. These are common vegetables found in giardiniera. The seasoning can be spicy hot by adding crushed red pepper flakes, or using hot peppers. Use what you have and have fun with the added spices.
Saturday, July 10, 2021
ChezCindy: Capellini Pasta "Omelet" with Parmesan
This is one of the coolest new recipes I have tried in years. Every ingredient is cooked in the same pan, layering in one after the other. At one point I was thinking, this cannot be right as I poured the raw whisked eggs into the super hot pan with partially cooked pasta and pasta water. But it came together to create a delicate egg and pasta omelet, much to my pleasant surprise.
The key to success for this recipe is using a quick-cooking pasta like capellini or angel hair that cooks in 4 minutes. And, also using a good non-stick skillet that is oven safe up to 400 degrees.
The recipe is from a new cookbook Cookish by Christopher Kimball of Milk Street. The book offers recipes that are seemingly "thrown together" for quick cooking. I like the way the book is organized, offering 3-4 different recipes using the same main ingredients, just changing up the seasoning and spices, and adding one or two additional ingredients. I highly recommend this book for new cooks and also for experienced cooks. It is full of fresh ideas for delicious dishes.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
ChezCindy: Grilled Broccoli with Soy Balsamic Dressing
My CSA farmer, Knife & Fork Farms , has been having a good season with broccoli. She has been adding broccoli to our CSA bags for the last 4 weeks. And these are not tiny supermarket broccoli crowns. She is giving us the entire broccoli plant, with leaves and all. I've learned that the broccoli leaves are really delicious when steamed and tossed together with quinoa.
As much as I like broccoli, I needed to find an interesting new way to cook it. For quick cooking, I have been steaming it in the microwave as posted here. And I love this updated broccoli salad. For something new, I decided to try grilled broccoli.
This grilled broccoli recipe calls for the broccoli to be tossed in a simple dressing of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. The broccoli is placed in a grill basket and grilled over high heat for 12-15 minutes. The dressing imparts an interesting flavor, almost Asian because of the soy sauce but not quite. The seasoned broccoli would pair nicely with a grilled skirt steak and a side of steamed rice.
Recipe adapted from New York Times Food
Sunday, July 4, 2021
ChezCindy: Chocolate Brownie Buttons
The more than half missing brownie buttons shown in the photograph above is evidence of how delicious they are. I made a tray of 24 "buttons" allowing them to cool before finishing. I was elsewhere in the house when my chocolate-loving husband came up to me offering confession. He stated that I might be alarmed by how many brownie buttons were gone from the cooling tray. This is what I found, 14 of 24 eaten! I was not alarmed, but simply amused.
Good thing this recipe is easy and comes together quickly. The recipe is from a Dorie Greenspan cookbook titled Baking From My Home to Yours. The book offers great recipes and insight for every home baker. It has beautiful photos of the baked items and is clearly written with tips for success.
The brownie buttons are a rich "one-bite" sweet treat. They are quite good on their own, but I like to top them with melted chocolate to take them up to the next level.