Monday, May 30, 2011

Tri Colour Corn Salad

Here is the perfect side dish to surprise your friends at your next barbeque (Happy Memorial Day by the way!).  It's also great with grilled fish and could even be spooned on top of some chicken breast.  Use the freshest corn available and toast your success with this new side that will become a summer staple!


3 ears of corn (husked and corn cut off of the cob while raw)
Two roasted red peppers (from a jar)
One medium Anaheim chili
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Green onions
juice of a lime

1.  Heat a saute pan with two tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.  When oil is hot, add corn and stir to coat with oil.
2.  Chop roasted red peppers and anaheim chili pepper (remove the seeds from the anaheim pepper)
3.  Add to the corn mixture
4.  Add sugar and stir into the veggies (you could easily omit this step if you want)
5.  Let veggies cook until they start to carmlize and brown (about 7-8 minutes)
6.  Add green onions, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
7.  Let cook for another two minutes and remove from heat and serve!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rhubarb Applesauce

Somehow this recipe evolved from rhubarb frozen yogurt to applesauce.  I will blame the sunshine for my inability to finish this recipe as originally intended but the rhubarbsauce turned out great so no complaints here!  Homemade sauce is a much healthier (and better tasting alternative) and easier way to consume fruit.  You could mix any type of fresh fruit in with this recipe (except bananas!).


2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 apple cored and chopped (skin on)
1/2 cup honey
boiling water

1. In a heavy deep bottom pot, combine chopped rhubarb, apple, honey and cover the fruit with boiling water.
2.  Let sit about 30 minutes
3.  Drain off 3/4 cup or so of excess water, the rest can remain.
4.  Use blender or immersion blender to puree the fruit.
5.  Let cool before transferring to tupperware.
6.  Store in the fridge in an airtight container up to a week, store in the freezer up to a year!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Roasted Asparagus Risotto

At the local farmer's market Bluebird Grain Farms are now selling a Washington grown split farro grain and it is really delicious and versatile.  I decided to swap it for arborio rice in this risotto after seeing a similar recipe on  Enjoy the full flavor of spring in this surprisingly filling dinner dish.

Serves 4 as a first course or 2 for dinner (with some leftovers for lunch)


3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
1 cup of chopped onion or leek
1 cup of farro (arborio rice if you prefer)
15 asparagus spears, chopped in inch pieces up to the tough parts
Parmesan cheese

1. Put vegetable broth in a saucepan on the pot and let warm on medium heat
2. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a heavy deep pot
3. When oil is hot, add chopped leaks or onions to the pan and stir to coat.
4. When onions are soft, add farro and stir to coat with oil
5. One minute later add one or two ladles filled with warmed vegetable broth to farro mixture
6. Stir farro frequently to avoid having it stick to the bottom of the pan, as broth is absorbed into the farro, add more broth a bit at a time
7. The broth process will take about 20 minutes
8. While farro is cooking, add chopped asparagus spears to a pan and coat with some olive oil spray and salt.
9. Place under the broiler for about 6 minutes or until roasted
10. Remove from the broiler and grate some parmesan cheese on top of the spears and return them to the oven for 1 minute more
11. When farro is ready (it will taste cooked almost like steal cut oatmeal) serve in bowls and top with asparagus spears.
12. Serve with salt and pepper on the table

Friday, May 20, 2011

Two chicks stir fry

I know I wrote a post a while back stating that I rarely make stir fry, but this recipe is just too delicious and embodies spring in all of it's glory so I have to share it with you!  I call it "two chicks" stir fry because the recipe has chickpeas and chick weed (a lettuce similar to spinach).  The flavor combination is unbeatable and is best served with a side of brown rice.

Serves 2 hungry people


16oz organic tofu cubed (and drained as much as possible)
1/4 cup sesame oil
2 tablespoons sesame flakes
Olive oil spray
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 onion thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
1 can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained
Juice of a lime
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 large handfuls of chickweed (spinach can be used as an alternative)
1 large handful of broccoli rabe (also called rapini, broccoli can be used as an alternative)

1) Preheat the broiler
2) Toss tofu cubes with sesame oil and place on rimmed cookie sheet and sprinkle with sesame seeds
3) Cook under the broiler 5-6 minutes and then use a spatula to move around before putting back under the broiler for another 5-6 minutes.  You want the tofu to be a little bit brown so when you add it to the stir fry it doesn't break up.
4) Meanwhile heat a wok on high heat
5) Add vegetable oil and thinly sliced onions and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes
6) Add chickpeas and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat the oil and the onion and garlic.
7) While pan is still on high add lime juice, soy sauce, dijon mustard and red pepper flakes.  Stir and coat the beans and onions.
8) Add the tofu and stir to coat
9) Reduce heat to medium and add in chickweed and broccoli rabe.  You will need to use tongs to mix the greens in with the other ingredients.  Chickweed and broccoli rabe need about 5 minutes to cook down.
10) Remove from heat and serve stir fry on top of rice or noodles, or even eat by itself.  Enjoy with some hoisin sauce or garlic chili sauce!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Anderson Meat sauce (Ragu) and Homemade bread!

David and I have been talking about having a "sauce" dinner for a while now so here is one of our trial runs for said dinner.  We paired this ragu with a loaf of hearty homemade bread and it was such a simple but delicious and fulfilling meal.  WOW.

Bread Ingredients

3 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water

1. Mix flour, salt and yeast together in a food processor
2. Add water while food processor is running.  You might need an extra 1/3 cup of water so make sure you have a little extra
3. When water is combined in flour and dough has formed into a ball (about 1 or 2 minutes) remove from the processor and put in an oil lined bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  Let sit in a warm-ish area for 4-5 hours until dough rises.
4. When dough is risen, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Form dough into desired bread shape (a round boule is our preference but you could easily split this into two baguette styles).  Place dough on oiled cookie sheet.  Cut crosshairs on the top of the dough and sprinkle with sea salt.
5. Place in pre-heated oven and cook until kitchen thermometer reads 210 degrees fahrenheit.  This should take about 25 minutes but you want to watch and make sure your bread doesn't burn.  If it is starting to turn really dark brown you need to turn the heat down and put the bread on a lower rack.
6. Remove when inner temp reaches 210 and let rest a few minutes before cutting and serving.
7. Serve with butter sprinkled with sea salt.

Anderson Ragu Ingredients

1/4 pound diced pancetta
1 small onion finely chopped
1 carrot (peeled) and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 pound good quality ground beef
2 cups tomato sauce

1. Heat saute pan on medium high heat.  When hot, add swirl of olive oil, onion, pancetta, carrot and garlic.  Saute for about 5 minutes to blend the flavors.
2. Add ground beef and break up with spatula or wooden spoon.  Brown for about 2-3 minutes before proceeding to next step.
3. Reduce heat to medium low and add tomato sauce and sprinkles of salt and pepper (you can add more when the meat is cooked at the end).
4. Cover the pan and let the sauce cook on low for about 30 minutes (this can be perfectly timed while the bread is cooking).
5. Give a final seasoning (here would be a great time to add red pepper flakes for some spice!)
6. Spoon sauce into a bowl and top with parmesan cheese and sides of bread.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sage-butter Grilled Cheese

How much easier could this possibly be?  Combine softened butter, sage and a sprinkling of cheese, spread on the outside of bread and place more cheese in between the bread  slices.  Cook in a hot pan (or even a panini press pan) and et voila, you have this delicious dish!  You can even experiment with different herbs depending on what you have on hand (basil would be great with some tomato soup on the side).

Makes two sandwiches


2 tablespoons softened butter
2 tablespoons chopped up sage (or other herb)
2 tablespoons grated cheese
Thinly sliced cheese
Bread of your choice

1) Combine butter, sage and grated cheese
2) "Butter" the bread with this mixture
3) Place remaining cheese slices in between the non buttered pieces of bread
4) Cook in a hot pan on the stove, turning when the bottom side is brown.
5) Lay a cover over the pan and let finish cooking until brown on the other side
6) Remove and serve with soup of your choice!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pepper and Garlic White Pizza

In my fantasy world I eat pizza every night of the week, but in my real world it is more like once a week.   Regardless, I'm always trying new types of pizza, like this pepper and garlic white pizza (aka no tomato sauce).  I didn't follow the normal "white" pizza recipe and use a sauce, but rather I just lightly spread olive oil on the dough and sprinkled with some delicious farmer's market cheese.  Try this with feta or goat cheese or cheese curds if they are available.

Pizza dough (prepare at least two hours before you are ready to make the pizza)

2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons rapid rise yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup olive oil

Mix dry ingredients in the food processor.  While food processor is running add 1/2 cup of warm water in a slow stream.  Next add olive oil.  If dough still has not formed a ball, add remaining water plus a few extra teaspoons if necessary until dough forms a ball.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and over with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.  Allow to rest for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 425

Pizza toppings

1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves of garlic minced
3-4 peppers of your choice
1 cup of cheese of your choice

1. To prepare, add garlic to olive oil and let marinate.
2, Gently stretch dough by hand until it is formed into a nice medium thin pizza crust about 12 or 14 inches across.  Place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
3. Lightly brush with olive oil mixture
4. Sprinkle cheese and peppers across your pizza canvas
5. Bake until cheese is golden and crust is golden, about 12-15 minutes depending on if you could wait for your oven to heat up.

Remove and let rest a minute before serving and enjoying!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easiest beef short ribs

I've never cooked short ribs until this last week and it was surprisingly easy to whip up a delicious tasting comfort food for not too much money.  I hope this is the last "winter" post for a while but the latest forecasts for Seattle are still not that optimistic.  If you start this dinner three hours before you will be pleased with the results when the meat literally falls off the bone.

Serves 4


1 1/2 pound beef short ribs
1 medium onion finely diced
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 1/2 cups water
4 large yukon gold potatoes
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
A swig of red wine (like pinot noir)

1) Heat neutral oil or olive oil in a large dutch oven, when oil is hot add meat and brown on each side (about 15 minutes total).  Generously sprinkle with salt and pepper
2) Remove the meat and let rest on a plate.
3) Add onions and brown for about 5-7 minutes.
4) Add tomato paste, water and stir to break up paste.
5) Return meat to the pot and cook on low for 2 hours
6) Add diced and peeled yukon potatoes to the stew pot and turn heat up to medium.
7) Let potatoes cook until tender or about 45 minutes then add mustard and red wine and stir just before serving.

This is great with some crusty bread and a light salad!