Monday, April 30, 2018

Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Omelette) #BrunchWeek #Sponsored

 This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Eggland's Best.
I received complimentary product for the purpose of review and recipe development for #BrunchWeek,
but all opinions are honest and they are my own. This page may contain affiliate links.
Many, many thanks to Terri of Love and Confections for wrangling all of us bloggers and courting the wonderful, generous event sponsors who are supporting the event. You can follow along as I'll be posting every day this week.

And you can also join in the fun by entering the massive giveaway Terri lined up for us. Click for more information and to enter: here.

Before I get to my eggy offering, please take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!



BrunchWeek Beverages:


BrunchWeek Appetizers:


BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:


BrunchWeek Breads, Grains, and Pastries:


BrunchWeek Main Dishes:


BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:


BrunchWeek Desserts:



Kuku Sabzi (Persian Herb Omelette)
Kuku Sabzi is a traditional Persian omelet typically served at Nowruz (Persian New Year), but I love serving it anytime during the Spring. The herbs symbolize rebirth; the eggs symbolize fertility. It's the perfect Spring brunch dish.


And, given that Eggland's Best* is one of the #BrunchWeek event sponsors, I knew I wanted to showcase their eggs with this delicious, savory offering.


You can read a bit more about Eggland's in my pre-event post -  HOW TO: Make Fluffy Scrambled Eggs.


My kuku sabzi is not wholly traditional in that I use whatever herbs I have available and I substitute cashews and pistachios for walnuts. But I do use the traditional barberries because I love their tang. If you can't find any, dried cranberries make a reasonable substitute...just see if you can get them unsweetened.

Ingredients
  • 2 T olive oil + more for greasing parchment paper
  • 5 C fresh herbs and greens (I used a combination of parsley, arugula, dill, and mint)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 C nuts (I used a combination of raw cashews and pistachios)
  • 1/3 C dried barberries 

Procedure

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking dish with a greased piece of parchment paper.

In the bowl of a food processor, place the herbs, greens, garlic, and nuts. Process until desired texture, drizzling in olive oil as you would make a pesto. I like my herbs less fine, so I keep the herbs fairly chunky.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with the cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, salt, and pepper until well-blended. Fold in the herb-greens mixture and barberries.


Pour into the prepared pan and gently push the mixture to the edge of the pan with a spatula.

Bake until the center of the egg is firm, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Note that the egg mixture will rise in the oven, but will deflate as it cools.


Let the kuku sabzi cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then lift the parchment paper and move the kuku sabzi to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice into wedges and serve at room temperature.

You may find Eggland's Best on the web
on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, LorAnn Oils and Flavors, Cento Fine Foods, Michigan Asparagus, Cal-Organic and Eggland’s Best for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #BrunchWeek posts or entry.

Roasted Tomatillo-Corn Salsa #KitchenMatrixCookingProject


Today is our first May post for our Kitchen Matrix Project, named after Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook. You can read about the year-long project: here. This month, I chose the recipes and went with a Latin theme. So, this week, we're making salsas. Next week, we're working with masa. And so on...you get the idea.

For this week, you can read Bittman's salsa ideas online if you don't have a copy of the cookbook.

The #KitchenMatrixCookingProject Salsa Bar


This recipe definitely isn't one of his, but I haven't made salsa in a long time and this is one of my family's favorites: Roasted Tomatillo Salsa with roasted corn to go with it. So easy. So tasty. But I am looking forward to digging in to all twelve of Bittman's salsas as we move into summer and grilling season. I think I'll start with the pulsed radish and jicama. I can see that going really well with some grilled fish tacos.

Roasted Tomatillo-Corn Salsa

Ingredients
  • 10 tomatillos
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 whole onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 ear of corn
  • freshly ground salt, to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice, if needed


Procedure
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, and corn on a parchment or silicone-lined baking sheet.

Roast until the tomatillos are soft, the onions beginning to caramelize, and the pepper is wilted, approximately 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool slightly.


Place all of the ingredients - except the corn - into a blender or food processor.


Blend until smooth. Cut kernels off the cob and fold into the tomatillo salsa. Season to taste with salt. If your salsa needs some tang, squeeze in the lemon juice.

Quick Pickled Blueberries



I have been pickling blueberries for years. I love that it's unexpected and a delightful mix of sweet and sour! So, for an upcoming blogging event, I decided to do a quick pickle to use on a grilled dish. Oh, my stars...this was heavenly!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 organic red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer)
  • 1 C apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T organic granulated sugar
  • 1 t sea salt
  • 1 t yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 t dill seeds
  • 1 pint organic blueberries
  • also needed: mason jar with lid




Procedure

Place blueberries and sliced red onions in a medium mixing bowl. In a medium saucepan place the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and swirl until the sugar and salt have dissolved completely.

Place mustard seeds and dill seeds in the bottom of your mason jar. Scoop the blueberries and onions into the jar and gently press down to compress.  Pour the hot brine over the blueberries until they are completely submerged and cover with lid. 


Invert the jar a few times to move the spiced around. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before using. You'll see this recipe later in May. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hazelnut Milk Punch #BrunchWeek #Sponsored

This recipe is intended for readers 21 years and older. Please drink responsibly. 
This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek and may contain affiliate links. I received product samples
from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone. 

Cheers to the kick off of the 2018 edition of #BrunchWeek!! Many, many thanks to Terri of Love and Confections for wrangling all of us bloggers and courting the wonderful, generous event sponsors who are supporting the event. You can follow along as I'll be posting every day this week. And you can also join in the fun by entering the massive giveaway Terri lined up for us. Click for more information and to enter: here.

Before I get to my celebratory libation, please take a look at what the #BrunchWeek Bloggers are creating today!

BrunchWeek Beverages:

BrunchWeek Appetizers:

BrunchWeek Egg Dishes:

BrunchWeek Breads, Grains, and Pastries:

BrunchWeek Main Dishes:

BrunchWeek Fruits, Vegetables and Sides:

BrunchWeek Desserts:


Hazelnut Milk Punch

I first encountered milk punch on a trip to New Orleans. And there are a few things I love about it: first, it's super easy to make; second, it's fairly flexible as you can use whatever syrup you have on-hand or can even use maple syrup or honey if you wish; and third, it's a kicked, but simple, no-egg eggnog. And we love eggnog.


You might remember we did an eggnog tasting during the holidays. So, it's no surprise that this cocktail is one of my favorites. Enjoy and cheers! Just beware, it's deceptively smooth and goes down a little too easily.


Ingredients makes 2 cocktails
  • 1-1/2 ounces whiskey or bourbon (you can also use rum, if you like, but I'm a whiskey girl)
  • 1 t hazelnut syrup (my Homemade Hazelnut Syrup)
  • 4 to 6 ounces milk (you can use non-dairy milk, if you like, but we use whole fat cow's milk)
  • fresh nutmeg for serving
  • also needed: ice; large tumbler, cocktail shaker, or measuring cup

Procedure
Place whiskey, hazelnut syrup, and milk into large tumbler, cocktail shaker, or measuring cup.


Stir well to combine. Place ice in serving glasses. Pour milk mixture over the ice. Grate nutmeg over the top for garnish.


#BrunchWeek Sponsor products 
included in this recipe...

You may find Dixie Crystals on the web
on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

You may find LorAnn Oils on the web
on Twitter, on Pinterest, on Instagram, and on Facebook.

This recipe is intended for individuals ages 21 & up. Please drink responsibly. Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, LorAnn Oils and Flavors, Cento Fine Foods, Michigan Asparagus, Cal-Organic and Eggland’s Best for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

Kicking off #BrunchWeek 2018 with a #Giveaway #sponsored

This post is sponsored in conjunction with #BrunchWeek. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the #Brunchweek recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

Welcome to #BrunchWeek 2018 hosted by Love and Confections and A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures! This year is even bigger and better than ever! Thirty-eight bloggers from around the country are showcasing their best brunch dishes. We have so many delicious recipes for you to enjoy throughout the week (over 150!!) including cocktails, appetizers, pastries, tarts, main courses, and plenty of desserts! Our BrunchWeek Sponsors are helping us give away some great prizes. Thank you so much, Sponsors, for your generosity. We have an incredible giveaway below and we’d love if you would take a moment to read about it and what you can win!


Prize #1 Dixie Crystals is giving one winner a 6-Quart Instant Pot 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer and a case of Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar

Since 1917, Dixie Crystals® has been the South's choice for high-quality sugar and sweeteners. For generations, Dixie Crystals has been at the heart of family traditions and celebrations. Our pure cane, non-GMO sugar products guarantee that treasured family recipes will turn out right every time. Bake with love and Dixie Crystals.



Prize #2 Cabot Creamery Co-operative is giving one winner a Cheese Board Set, including a slate cheese board, Boska cheese knife, Legacy Collection Cabot Cheddars, Founders 1919 Collection Cheddars, Waxed Private Stock, Waxed Vintage Choice, and 3 Year Artisan cheeses.

Cabot Creamery Co-operative, makers of naturally aged, award-winning cheeses and dairy products is owned by 1,000 dairy farm families in New England and New York.



Prize #3 LorAnn Oils and Flavors is giving one winner A Baking and Candy Making Prize package. The package includes: ceramic serving platter, a collection of 5 LorAnn Bakery Emulsions, one each of LorAnn Madagascar vanilla extract and Madagascar vanilla bean paste, Lollipop cookbook along with re-usable candy mold, candy packaging accessories, candy thermometer, and a pack of 3 LorAnn super-strength candy oils.

Our flavors. Your creations. For over 50 years, LorAnn Oils has been supplying professionals and home chefs with the finest quality candy and baking flavors, essential oils, and specialty ingredients. Visit us at www.LorAnnOils.com to shop, learn, and discover new recipe ideas.



Prize #4 Cal-Organic Farms is giving one winner a Cal-Organic prize package complete with kitchen supplies, a portable cooler bag and branded apparel—everything you need to take your delicious #BrunchWeek recipes on-the-go! The package includes a custom-made Tilit apron, cooler bag, kitchen knife, vegetable peeler, t-shirt, hat, notepad and pen.

Cal-Organic Farms is the largest organic vegetable producer in the United States. Supplying more than 65 year-round and seasonal varieties, we are proud to grow 100% of our produce on family-owned acreage in California.


Prize #5 Michigan Asparagus is giving one winner $100 cash gift card.

Michigan Asparagus is known for its hand snapped fresh asparagus. It is available May – June and grown mostly in Oceana County along the shores of Lake Michigan. Remember to buy U.S. for the freshest of the fresh.



Prize #6 Eggland's Best is giving one winner an Eggland's Best Kitchen Essential Prize Package that included 1 month of free Eggland's Best Eggs along with Hard-Cooked Peeled Egg coupons, a freezer bag to carry your groceries, kitchen essentials, (whisk, spatula, pot holders, cutting board, frying pan), Eggland’s Best brand new cookbook, and a plush Eggland's Best egg.

Eggland’s Best eggs have more of the delicious, farm fresh taste you and your family love – anyway you cook them. Plus, Eggland’s Best provides superior nutrition such as 6x more vitamin D, 10x more vitamin E, and double the omega 3s compared to ordinary eggs so why settle for less?



Prize #7 Cento Fine Foods is giving one winner a Cento Classico gift basket, which contains imported products from Cento and their family of brands.

Cento Fine Foods, the premier Italian food distributor, importer and producer in the United States, presents a distinctive line of more than 1,000 authentic Italian style products produced from only the finest ingredients. A family owned and operated company spanning three generations, Cento continues to provide premium quality, exceptional products at the best consumer value. Taste the difference quality makes and see why you can “Trust Your Family With Our Family Ò”.




Enter to win...

a Rafflecopter giveaway Disclaimer: Thank you to #BrunchWeek Sponsors: Dixie Crystals, Cabot Cheese, LorAnn Oils and Flavors, Cento Fine Foods, Michigan Asparagus, Cal-Organic and Eggland’s Best for providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for #BrunchWeek recipes. All opinions are my own. The #BrunchWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Seven (7) winners will be selected. The prize packages will be sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. The #BrunchWeek Bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household cannot enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #Brunchweek posts or entry.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Hedgerow Clams #FoodieReads


One of the most dangerous aspects of Amazon - for me anyway - is the "customers who bought this item also bought..." section. Their suggestions never fail to lure me into just one more book purchase! And that's how I ended up with Eating Vit Nam: Dispatches from a Blue Plastic Table by Graham Holliday* on my to-read pile.

I wasn't familiar with Graham before reading this book, but I am now avidly following his blog noddlepie. You can also find him on Twitter and on InstagramIn this entertaining memoir, Holliday takes you on a colorful, gastronomic tour between north and south Vit Nam. You almost feel your elbows getting sticky right alongside his.


On the Page
Best opening line of a book ever...and it set the stage for the tales of culinary adventure that awaited me in the book. "As the pig's uterus landed on the blue plastic table in front of me, I knew I'd made a mistake" (pg 1).

Down the back alleys where vendors set up grills on the sidewalks, he shares every bite with the reader and makes you long to explore the Vietnamese culture and cuisine.

A few fun passages...

"There was a breath of kimchi on the breeze. It fermented its way across town from the fetid alleyway market a block or two up the road. Shopfronts were plastered in garish signs whose language was utterly impenetrable to me. Loudspeakers sat out front and inflicted synthetic, screaming schoolgirl pop tunes on the ears of passersby as a ruse to entice them to come spend some won" (pg. 27).

"Blobs of potent purple shrimp paste - mm tôm - sat in tiny bowls, awaiting each order of bún đu. Vit Nam's mm tôm has muscle enough to beat any other cuisine's pungency, plus it has the ability to transport food to another dimension" (pg. 45).

"At the heart of Vietnamese food are herbs, not fish sauce, not offal, not the freak show menu items. The single thing that alters, distinguishes, and sets Vietnamese apart from Thai, Cambodian, Lao, or any other Southeast Asian cuisine is the presence and abundance of herbs. Simple, beautiful, freshly cut herbs, from the swamps, hedgerows, gardens, bushes, woods, and jungles of this incredible, food-filled country" (pg. 237).


On the Plate
"...Take away the herbs and it's not Vietnamese food anymore. Everything that goes with this dish makes the dish. The meat is secondary. It's all about the herbs. Vietnamese food is nothing without the herbs" (pg. 237). 

I was intrigued by his list of different herbs for twelve distinct herbs in a single dish (pg. 235). I was familiar with one of these before I read the book!

  • He - Chinese chives filled with oniony, garlicky, leeky flavor.
  • Cóc non - sour, often used in canh chua, a kind of fish soup
  • Rau sng - general term for green leaves found along the riverbed.
  • Tía Tô - perilla. Strong aromatic flavor.
  • Diep Cá - fish mint

This is a Southeast Asian dish that feature so many pungent flavors, but it's the herbs that make this the dish I am offering for the book. So many fresh tastes...

Ingredients

Spice Paste
  • 6 shallots, peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and pressed
  • 1" knob galangal, peeled and grated
  • 3 to 4" piece fresh lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ t shrimp paste (mm tôm)
  • 3 makrut lime leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 t white peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 T hot water

Clam Curry
  • 1 to 2 T oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced (I used a red onion)
  • 2 pounds clams, scrubbed (I used littleneck)
  • 2 links spiced, sweet sausages (I used Filipino longanisa), cut into this coins
  • 2 C fish stock
  • 2 small red chiles
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 4 makrut lime leaves
  • 1" knob ginger, peeled and cut into thin slivers
  • 1 T organic dark brown sugar
  • 3 to 4 C fresh herbs, torn into large pieces
  • steamed rice for serving

Procedure

Spice Paste
For the paste, either place all the ingredients in a the bowl of a food processor or grind, by hand, with a mortar and pestle. 

Clam Curry
For the curry, place a large skillet over a medium heat. Add 1 T oil and then add the spice paste. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. Add another T oil and stir in the onions and sausages. Cook for until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent.

Stir in the chiles, fish sauce, lime leaves, ginger, and brown sugar. Pour in the fish stock and bring to a boil. Gently drop the clams into the liquid. And sprinkle with 1-1/2 to 2 C fresh herbs. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the clams, stirring or shaking the pan gently until all of the clams have opened. Once all of the clams have opened, stir in the remaining herbs.

Serve immediately with steamed rice.

 *This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

Here's what everyone else read in April 2018: here.

The Coco-Inspired Dishes for #FoodNFlix


This month for Food'n'Flix, I asked the bloggers to join me in watching and cooking from Coco.* Read my invitation: here. My family and I had seen the movie in the theatre and I couldn't wait to own the DVD. As soon as it was released, we were at the store. I think these bloggers enjoyed this month's assignment. I know that I did.


Kelley from Simply Inspired Meals shared Coco Inspired Slow Cooker Baked Flautas. She writes, "This movie is full of color and music and has a few scenes full of wonderful looking food. The one that stands out is tamales, but in that same scene there is a big plate of flautas. I love flautas so was inspired to make Slow Cooker Baked Flautas."


Evelyne from CulturEatz baked Mexican Conchas, a Mexican Sweet Bread. She shares, "...did you know that the concha pastry has French influences? France is known for crispy bread rolls, baguettes, and sweet pastries. And the Mexican concha bread rolls was the result of a revamped recipe during Mexico’s French occupation in the 1800s. Think baguette, now think Mexican bread rolls with a  crunchy sweet crust. And that is how the Mexican conchas recipe was born."


Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm stirred together some Agua de Jamaica. An article about the Day of the Dead in Mexico told her - a glass of water is also essential because, after the journey here, the souls are thirsty and pretty tired. So, she was inspired to make a pitcher of water made with hibiscus known as Agua de Jamaica. "It is sure to quench the thirst of the living and the dead," she writes.


Debra from Eliot's Eats went with Churros. She writes, "This recipe made a very airy and light dough, very different from what we purchase at Pancho Anaya. But, they did make for a relatively quick breakfast and were delicious with my coffee (even if they were a bit ugly)." I think they look amazing! Debra also shared that she found herself laughing out loud but found the funniest line to be: "I have no nose, yet here we are…."


Amy from Amy's Cooking Adventures was also inspired to make churros in the form of Churro Cookies! Amy loved the movie and talked about her Frida Kahlo obsession. And to tie in with Dia de los Muertos, she made a little altar for her little Sarah Catherine - her little girl who will never be forgotten.


And I whipped up some Habanero Salted Grapefruit Margaritas. I shared, "There was so many visual images that stood out - the film was truly beautiful - but the recurrence of marigolds stuck with me. The dead have to cross back to the land of the living over a marigold-covered bridge; and marigold petals play a key part in sending Miguel back to the land of the living. You just have to watch it."

Next month Kimberly at Coffee and Casseroles is hosting as we watch Bram Stoker's Dracula. I'll admit: I've never seen it! It's next on my shipping list from Netflix. So, I'm looking forward to watching it with some foodie goggles on...maybe it will make it less scary. Here's to hoping..

*This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through a link on my blog. It doesn't cost you anything more. If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the item of your choice.

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