Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Polenta and Furikake Crusted Vidalia Onion Rings

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imageIt is that magical time of year when Vidalia onions appear in the markets. Yes, even here in Hawaii, home of the Maui Onion (which is almost as sweet) we get Vidalias. I have been making cornmeal crusted onion rings for a long time, but I decided to change it up a little by using Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk to soak my onion rings in and to add Furikake  to the Polenta. In this recipe I used a course ground Polenta which added a lot of texture. You could also use stone ground grits for this. Furikake is a Japanese seasoning used to spice up plain rice. I use it for lots of things and love adding it to the panko crumbs when making fish. My favorite Furikake is wasabi, sesame and nori. It ads little pops of flavor in the crust.

Ingredients: 

2 cups of Greek Yogurt, thinned with 1/2 cup of milk

4 large Vidalia onions

2 cups coarse polenta

1/2 cup all purpose flour (or rice flour if you are gluten free)

1/4 cup Firikake

plenty of fresh cracked pepper

1 teaspoon of salt

Peanut oil for frying

 

Method:

  • Slice onions into thick slices, place the slices in the bowl of yogurt and milk and allow to rest for 30 minutes
  • Mix all other ingredients except oil in a shallow container
  • Heat oil to 350
  • Pull out slices of onion and shake off excess yogurt but allow a bit to remain
  • Dredge the onion slices in the breading, making sure it adheres to the onion slices
  • Fry the onions, 6 or so slices at a time for about 3 minutes, draining on a grid.
  • Serve immediately

I like to make a chipotle mayo for dipping. In a small blender mix 1 cup of mayonnaise with half a can of  chipotles. (freeze remaining peppers for another use) Blend till they are combined.

 

Soda Bread and Irish Cheddar Bread Pudding

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Soda Bread and Irish Cheddar Bread Pudding

This bread pudding is a sort of a “two fer”, as it also includes a recipe for really great Irish Soda Bread. Soda Bread does not use yeast, it somewhat resembles a very large biscuit. It is easy to make and you will only use about half of the loaf for this recipe. Try toasting the leftovers with butter and jam.

It is March and we did an Irish Fine Dining Dinner for St. Patrick’s Day. I was not the host, so I only did three dishes, the first of which I am sharing with you today.

Ingredients:

For the Soda Bread:

2 Cups all-purpose flour + 2 tablespoons for dusting

1 teaspoon baking soda (be sure it is fresh)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

2 Tablespoons fresh dill chopped

1 tablespoon Caraway seeds

1 Cup of buttermilk (shake before pouring)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Pudding:

4 large fresh eggs

2 cups whole milk

½ cup of heavy cream

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 cups grated Irish Cheddar Cheese

¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Paprika

6 6 ounce ramekins or a 2 quart baking dish

Method

FOR THE SODA BREAD:

Preheat oven to 350°

In a food processor add the flour, baking soda and salt. Pulse a few times. Add the caraway, pepper and dill, pulse a few more times. Add the buttermilk and butter. Pulse again till it just begins to form a ball.

Place on a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth ball and flatten into a 6 inch flattened round. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet.

With a very sharp knife, cut an X in the top of the dough about ½ inch deep. This assures even cooking.

Use a small sieve to dust the top with additional flour.

Bake on middle shelf (I also use a baking stone for even heat) for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and a hollow sound is made when tapped.

Cool on a rack. This can be done one day ahead.

FOR THE PUDDINGS:

Preheat oven to 350°

Spray the ramekins with olive oil

Cut ½ of the bread into cubes and place them in the ramekins about half way up. Reserve remaining cubes.

Make the custard by whisking the eggs, milk, cream, salt & pepper. Stir in the cheeses. Pour into a pitcher.

Place the ramekins in a hotel pan or 9 X 13 baking dish, cover the bread with custard, making sure some cheese goes in. Then add additional cubes to the top of the ramekin 3/4 of the way from the top. Pour all of the mixture into the ramekins, filling them to the top. Sprinkle with a little paprika. Add about 2 inches of water to the hotel pan and bake 35-40 minutes. They are finished when a knife is inserted and comes out clean.

Remove from the water and place on a towel or rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes or more.

Spanakopita

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Spanakopita! Fun little hand pies filled with nutritious spinach and feta.

Ingredients

  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, I squeeze out the excess juice using a potato ricer.
  • 1 cup Greek or Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon dried Greek oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 (16-ounce) package frozen phyllo pastry, thawed1/2 cup butter melted

Method

  1. Combine first 9 ingredients, stir well and allow to rest
  2. Unfold phyllo, and cut into 4″ strips width wise, cover with damp cloth towels to prevent drying out
  3. Using a pastry bush apply a thin coating of butter to a strip and repeat with 3 more strips. Add a dollop of the filling in one corner and fold over and over in triangle shape.
  4. Place on a Silpat sheet and brush with a tiny bit more butter
  5. Repeat this process until you run out of filling or phyllo.

Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

*note: These are best served fresh while the phyllo is still crispy. If you have leftovers, heat them in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes to crisp up before serving. These go great with my Greek Lemon, Egg and Rice Soup 

Avgolemono Soup (Greek Egg and Meyer Lemon Soup with Rice)

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In just 30 minutes you can whip this amazingly flavorful soup up. It is good hot or chilled. I served it with Spanakopita (click for the recipe).

INGREDIENTS 

3 cups chicken stock (homemade preferred) if you are using box stock or broth, simmer it down and reduce it by half (this means you need twice as much)

1/4 cup rice or orzo (optional, but I like it)

4 egg yolks

2 egg whites

Freshly squeezed juice of 4 Meyer lemons (if using another type of lemon, use one less)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons minced dill, mint, chives or fennel

Lemon zest from one lemon

One thin lemon slice for each serving

METHOD

  • Add rice or orzo to the chicken stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer till rice (20 minutes) or pasta (10 minutes) is cooked once cooked add 1/2 of the lemon juice
  • Put egg whites in a container to be whipped (I use a stick blender with a whip attachment, but you can use a food processor or hand mixer to whip the whites)
  • Place yolks in a mixing bowl
  • Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot chicken stock/rice into yolks until well blended, then add the remaining stock/rice mixture stirring till blended
  • Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form
  • Marry 1/2 cup of the stock/rice/yolk mixture to the egg whites, then fold that mixture into the stock/rice/yolk being careful not to deflate.
  • Taste for salt and lemon juice, adding more as needed. Ladle into warm bowls (or allow to chill and serve in stemmed glasses), sprinkle with herbs and lemon zest and add one lemon slice.

    Yield: 4 to 6 servings. This does keep well in a covered container, but should be used in 1-2 days and be very careful when re-heating not to allow it to boil.

Celery Salad: easy, healthy & vegan

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This fresh clean salad is vegan and gluten free. It is easy to make and has some really interesting flavors. I sometimes add pomegranate during the holidays. The recipe is adapted by one on Epicurious.com. I first tasted it when my friend Janet Montrose brought some to a party at our house. I love the light crispy fresh salad so much that I make it often. It is best eaten immediately after making.

Here is the very easy recipe:

Celery Salad

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (I use Meyer because we can get them all year here)

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

5 teaspoons local honey (I use macadamia honey)

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

lots of freshly ground smoked black pepper

a generous pinch of sea salt ( I use applewood smoked salt here)

1 large bunch celery with leaves

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, cored; each quarter cut into 2 wedges, then thinly sliced crosswise into triangle shapes

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

Whisk first 3 ingredients in small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Trim celery leaves and chop. Thinly slice stalks on deep diagonal. Place celery pieces in bowl of cold water. (Vinaigrette, celery leaves, and celery pieces can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover separately and refrigerate.)

Drain celery; pat dry with paper towels. Combine celery, celery leaves, apples, and walnuts in large bowl. Add vinaigrette and toss to coat. Taste and season salad to taste with salt and pepper if needed.