Archive for ‘Summer’

November 17, 2013

Strawberry and Peach Crisp

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Apologies for the long hiatus! Life has gotten super hectic this past year. I will try to post more regularly from now on.

I’ll start where I left off: with a crisp featuring seasonal fruits! Here is a wonderful recipe featuring strawberries from our Fall CSA Share from Red Fire Farms. We went to Red Fire Farms and picked these strawberries ourselves, 2 gallons of them! I loved that experience. They grow many varieties of strawberries so we got to try them all.

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Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Serves 6-8

3 cups strawberries, quartered
3 cups peaches, sliced (about 2 large peaches)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon or apple pie spice
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits, plus some for the pan
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for juicy fruit
Dash salt

1. Heat the oven to 400 F. Toss the fruit with half the cinnamon or apple pie spice, the lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon brown sugar (and a tablespoon of flour if your fruit is juicy) and spread it in a lightly buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round baking pan.

2. Combine all the other ingredients, including the remaining cinnamon/apple pie spice and brown sugar, in a food processor and pulse a few times, then process a few seconds more, until everything is well incorporated but not uniform. To mix the ingredients by hand, soften the butter slightly, toss together the dry ingredients, then work in the butter with your fingertips, a pastry blender, or a fork.

3. Crumble the topping over the fruit and bake until the topping is browned and the fruit is tender and bubbling, 30-40 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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September 2, 2012

Summer White Peach and Blueberry Crisp

It’s the end of summer, but what better way to celebrate this season’s end than with a delicious crisp that honors late summer’s ripest fruits? You can use any kind of peach you want, as long as it’s fresh and ripe. Same goes for the blueberries. This is an easy and versatile recipe: instead of peaches, try other stone fruits (plums, pluots, nectarines, apricots, cherries) and instead of blueberries, try other berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, white raspberries). Mix and match, have fun! Taste this last bit of summer.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Serves 5-6

For the fruit:

  • 2 pounds firm, ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)

For the crumble:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (plain white sugar)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (optional, if you like oats!)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. (Optional step if don’t want peach skins in your crisp): Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches.

3. Slice the peaches into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, line a baking pan with foil. Spoon the mixture into the baking pan.

5. For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in a large mixing bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. If you have an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas.

6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm.

If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles in the refrigerator and bake before dinner.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 9, 2012

Artichoke, Goat Cheese, Sweet Pea, and Mint Ravioli with Lemon Chive Butter Sauce

More ravioli from Eastern Market! Again, the sauce is versatile: you can use any type of pasta you want!

Tip: If you don’t have a grater, you can shave the Parmigiano-Reggiano with a peeler.

Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

  • Pasta, of choice
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • small bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Cook the pasta.

2. While your pasta cooks, melt butter over medium-high heat; cook until golden brown.

3. Add chives and remove from heat. Add lemon juice and set aside.

4. Drain the pasta, but leaving some cooking water, and gently pour into saute pan and return to heat.

5. Add the cheese, toss to coat, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 9, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Stacks with Pesto and Feta

This is a delicious Greek-Mediterranean fusion recipe that features the beautiful produce of summer. Since there are so few ingredients in this recipe, make sure that each ingredient is the freshest and best quality you can find! Be careful not to over-season, since the feta is naturally salty. Although this is best eaten right away, you can make a big batch and store in the fridge for about a week. This would be great in a sandwich or wrap for a weekday lunch or as a quick snack.

 

Time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Adapted from Gluten-Free Veggie Gourmet

  • Olive oil
  • Basil Pesto
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 3 oz feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup), more if you desire
  • Garnish: finely shredded fresh basil leaves

 

1. Preheat oven to 450F and line a baking pan with foil.

2. Cut off bottoms of eggplants, then cut 1/4″ thick crosswise rounds. Cut 1/3” thick rounds from the tomatoes.

Gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from DC’s Eastern Market

3. On baking pan, arrange the eggplant rounds side by side. Lightly brush eggplant rounds on both sides with olive oil to keep the eggplant moist and to prevent it from sticking to the foil. Season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8 minutes.


4. Spread each eggplant round with pesto, then top each with the largest tomato rounds. Top the tomato rounds with feta. Make another layer with eggplant rounds, pesto, tomato rounds, and feta, then top with remaining eggplant and feta.

Roasted eggplant

Stacks on stacks on stacks!

5. Roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, until heated through and cheese on top is softened. Transfer stacks to 4 plates and drizzle plates with olive oil, salt, and pepper, to taste.

Happy Eating!

 

Love,

Yang

August 9, 2012

Basil Pesto

Basil pesto is a staple everyone should know how to make: it’s versatile (put it on eggs, pasta, risotto, fresh vegetables, chicken, sandwiches, wraps, stir it in a soup, etc.), it’s delicious, and it’s EASY!

Tip: Fresh pesto will keep in the refrigerator for a week or two. You can also make a big batch and freeze it for several months in ice cube trays. Use the pesto “cubes” as needed. If freezing, don’t stir in the cheese; stir in the cheese by hand just before serving.

Time: 5-15 minutes

Makes about 1 cup

Adapted from Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything

  • 2 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves, big stems discarded, rinsed and dried
  • ½ to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, or more
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese (optional)
  • salt, to taste

1. Combine the basil, salt, garlic, nuts and about half the oil in a food processor or blender (or mortar and pestle).

Pine nuts

Toasted pine nuts

Quality extra virgin olive oil

2. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container occasionally, and adding the rest of the oil gradually. Add additional oil if you prefer a thinner mixture.

Pesto!

3. Stir in the parmesan by hand just before serving.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 2, 2012

Raspberry Mint Limeade

I like lemonade, but I LOVE limeade. This drink is refreshing, good for you, gorgeous, and perfect for summer. Use fresh limes! To extract the juice more easily, cut the limes in half and microwave them for 30 seconds. Use more or less honey or sugar depending on how sweet you like it.

Adapted from An Hour In The Kitchen

Time: 20 minutes

Makes 1 quart

  • 1 cup lime juice (6-10 limes)
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ½ cup honey or sugar
  • 2 cups water

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

2. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve to remove seeds.

3. Serve over ice and garnish with mint and lime slice.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 2, 2012

White Peach and Basil Salad with Orange Honey Champagne Vinaigrette

This is another quick summer salad recipe. White peaches are my favorite: they’re sweeter than regular peaches and have a firmer texture.  You can substitute the delicate champagne vinegar with a little bit of white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, raspberry vinegar, or apple cider vinegar (all of which are not as mild as champagne vinegar, so use less).

 

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 1

 

Salad

  • 1 white peach, diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 bunch of salad greens

 ORANGE HONEY CHAMPAGNE VINAIGRETTE

  • Juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

 

1. Whisk the vinaigrette.

2. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

August 2, 2012

Peach and Basil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is a beautiful summer salad, showcasing the fragrant sweet peaches and herbaceous basil in peak season at this time of year. Lemon brightens up the flavors. Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil, as well. Enjoy!

Time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

Salad

  • 4 peaches, diced
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped

Lemon Vinaigrette

  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
1. Whisk the lemon vinaigrette
2. Toss peaches with basil and lemon vinaigrette.
Happy Eating!
Love, Yang
July 15, 2012

Dan Dan Noodles (擔擔麵)

A Sichuan favorite! Sichuan peppercorns are necessary in this dish and give it the characteristic “ma la” flavor. If you get the whole peppercorns, toast them slightly in a dry wok or frying pan before grinding them in a spice grinder. Ya cai or Sichuan preserved greens, which can be found in Chinatown markets, is also an important component of this dish, but they can be omitted if you can’t find them. The dish will still taste amazing!

Adapted from Red Cook

Total time: 40 minutes

Prep: 30 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

1 lb. fresh Shanghai style noodles (if you can’t find fresh noodles, boxed spaghetti/noodles will suffice)

4 tablespoons light soy sauce (生抽)

4 teaspoons Chinkiang black vinegar

Chopped cilantro and scallion for garnish

Pork Topping

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 oz. ground pork

2 tablespoons Shaoxing cooking wine

a pinch of salt

4 oz. Sichuan preserved greens (芽菜 ya cai) or pickled mustard (optional, only if you can find them)

Sesame Sauce

4 tablespoons sesame paste

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon sugar

Chili Oil

5 tablespoons chili oil

1 tablespoon dried chili flakes

2 teaspoons ground Sichuan peppercorns (花椒)

1. Mix all the ingredients for the sesame sauce and set aside.

2. Mix all the ingredients for the chili oil and set aside.

3. In a wok, heat the vegetable oil until just beginning to smoke then add the ground pork. Stir-fry the pork until just cooked then add the rest of the topping ingredients and continue to stir-fry until the liquid completely evaporate. Set the topping aside.

4. Divide the sauce by putting one quarter of the sesame sauce mixture and chili oil into each of four bowls. Add one tablespoon of soy sauce and one teaspoon of Chinkiang black vinegar to each bowl.

5. In a large 8-quart stockpot bring four quarts of water to boil. Cook the noodles in the boiling water for about three minutes or until the noodles are just al dente. Divide the noodles into four portions and put them in each of the bowls. Top the noodles with one quarter of the pork and Sichuan preserved greens topping, and garnish with chopped cilantro and scallion. Serve immediately.

July 15, 2012

Poached Eggs with Rosemary Tomato Sauce

This is a great brunch recipe and very versatile. Other herbs and seasonings can be substituted for rosemary. Instead of tomato sauce, you can put poached eggs over toast, a salad, beans, pasta, rice, etc. Once you get the hang of poaching eggs, you’ll want to do it again and again! It’s a simple process and the result is beautiful. If you want to poach more than 2 eggs at once, use a bigger pan to avoid crowding or have 2 pots/pans going on at once.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Serves 4

Rosemary Tomato Sauce

2 tbsp of olive oil

4 large tomatoes, chopped

½ onion, diced

2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

salt and pepper, to taste

Poached Eggs

8 eggs (2 for each person)

2 tbsp white vinegar

1 tsp salt

1. Heat up a large sauté pan to medium heat.

2. Add the olive oil and heat. Add the onions and stir occasionally until they become translucent, 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes. When the tomatoes have cooked down, add the rosemary. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer.

4. Make the poached eggs: Bring about an inch of water to a boil in a small deep skillet or a pot. Add the salt and vinegar, and lower the heat to the point where it barely bubbles. One at a time, break the eggs into a shallow bowl or cup and slip them into the water.

5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, just until the white is set and the yolk has filmed over. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow the water to drain off for a couple seconds.

6. Season the rosemary tomato sauce with salt and pepper. When it’s the way you like it, spoon ¼ of it on a plate. Add 2 poached eggs on top. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with crusty bread.

Happy Eating!

Love,

Yang

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