Browsed by
Month: January 2017

Penne with Burrata, Peas, and Preserved Lemons

Penne with Burrata, Peas, and Preserved Lemons

Sometimes, the only thing that helps is comfort food, like penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons.  We’ve had another epic cold weekend here in the PNW with snow and ice throughout most of the Oregon and Washington again.  We’ve becoming more accustomed to the concept of snowpocalypse: in other words, it’s best to get all shopping down before the first flakes because there’s no salt on the roads and everyone panics.  On the plus side, there was very little traffic in the Trader Joe’s parking lot.  It’s the little things that make life enjoyable.

Penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemon is also a dish I like to make when I start longing for spring.  It’s got all the right spring notes: peas, lemon, and lush burrata cheese.  I have just a very few daffodils poking their first sprouts out already, though I swear every time it gets icy, they retreat.  I can’t say I blame them – I retreat, too.

I used frozen peas for this, though am so eager for fresh peas to be available.  Bookmark or Pinterest this one and make it with fresh peas and pea shoots – trust me, you won’t regret it.  Grind a bit of fresh pepper over the penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons and dream about the sunshine.  It has to be right around the corner.

penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons

penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons

penne with burrata, peas, and preserved lemons

Penne with Burrata, Peas, and Preserved Lemons

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package dried penne pasta or similar pasta
  • 1 ball burrata cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, sliced into thin slices

Instructions

  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions. At the end of cooking time for the pasta, add the frozen peas. Drain the pasta and peas. Distribute among four serving dishes. Garnish each dish with some of the preserved lemon. Tear the buratta cheese into pieces and add 1/4 of the buratta to each dish. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/penne-burrata-peas-preserved-lemons/

This recipe is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes: Meatless Monday.  If you are looking for great vegetarian recipes, check it out!

Blood Orange Citrus Sangria

Blood Orange Citrus Sangria

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you may have seen my posts about my recent blood orange windfall, which led to me making blood orange citrus sangria.  A good friend of mine from Phoenix has a blood orange tree in her backyard (yep – I’m envious) that produced enthusiastically this year.  She asked me if I wanted some of the blood oranges.  My answer was an unequivocal yes.  When the actual box showed up, I realized she wasn’t kidding around: some oranges was around 40 pounds of oranges.  It was the best present, ever.

I spent all of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (and the day after New Years), making recipes with blood oranges.  I love to can, preserve, and infuse.  I made several blood orange marmalades (one of which uses blood orange citrus sangria as a key ingredient), multiple pints of blood oranges canned in a light syrup, orange-cello (limoncello, but with blood oranges), and blood oranges preserved in salt.  Our kitchen smells like blood oranges and that’s ok with me.  I’m already literally salivating over the thought of the preserved oranges with strawberries over shortcake (and whip cream and I’ve just gone to foodie heaven).

Blood orange citrus sangria also let me use up some of the other citrus I already had on hand.  It’s still Meyer lemon season, and I’m definitely not done with the sweet fragrance of these lovely lemons.  I also discovered mandarinquats at one of our local organic groceries.  Mandarinquats are a hybrid of mandarin oranges and kumquats.  They look like large kumquats and can be eaten whole – peel and all.  They do have seeds, though, so be forewarned.

Blood Orange Citrus Sangria

blood orange citrus sangria

The fruit in the foreground is the mandarinquat.  I think these are an adorable fruit.

blood orange citrus sangria

I love the many hues of citrus.  The blood oranges are at the top.

blood orange citrus sangria

blood orange citrus sangria

 

Blood Orange Sangria

Ingredients

  • 2 blood oranges
  • 2 mandarinquats or 4 kumquats
  • 1 Meyer lemon
  • 1/4 cup Triple Sec
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 bottle fruity red wine

Instructions

  1. Slice the fruit and place in a carafe or pitcher. Add the Triple Sec, brandy and wine. Chill for at least two hours. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/blood-orange-citrus-sangria/

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

The first week back to work after a long break feels like the perfect time for a blood orange, walnut, and bitter greens salad.  I think about food a lot (no surprise from a food blogger).  I thought about food a lot before I started blogging.  One of the things that I’m always curious about is the first time a human being thought to eat something.  This always comes to mind for me, for example, when I eat an artichoke or some other food that seems otherwise inedible until it is transformed into something we eat.  I also think a lot about food trends and how some foods aren’t regularly eaten anymore.

One of those foods features prominently in my blood orange, walnut, and bitter greens salad.  The bitter greens category includes arugula, chard, and endive, but also includes dandelion greens.  When I was growing up, dandelions were a weed.  My grandparents, my mother, neighbors all spent a lot of gardening time trying to eradicate dandelions from the lawn and the garden.  I did the same with my first house, digging them up and tossing them into the trash.  At some point along the way, however, I learned that dandelions are edible.  I would occasionally cultivate a few plants in my garden, harvesting the greens and sautéing them to toss over pasta.  As it turns out, all the parts of a dandelion are edible, but that’s a story for another blog post.

Knowing that dandelions are edible and were, in fact, first brought to the US as a food and that dandelions evolved 30 million years ago (Wikipedia), makes me sad to think that we have relegated them to the status of a noxious weed in our gardens.  Dandelion greens can be eaten raw in salads. The taste is a bit bitter, but also has a hint of taste that reminds me of the smell of a dandelion flower in the sun.  The greens evoke some pretty serious nostalgia for me of lying in the grass as a kid in the summer.  That memory makes this a perfect salad for a frigidly cold January day here in the PNW.  It raises my hope level that spring really is right around the corner.

For now, dandelion greens feature prominently in this blood orange, walnut, and bitter greens salad. I found my dandelion greens at Whole Foods.  Many natural grocers carry these greens in the winter.  You can also substitute other bitter greens for this salad – finely chopped chard would be lovely, as would arugula.  I also threw in a few strips of preserved lemon to brighten the salad and to add a bit of salt to cut the bitterness.

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

I prepared my salads for the week ahead of time.  Instead of drizzling the dressing over the whole salad, I put a couple of tablespoons at the bottom of each jar and then added the salad on top.  All I have to do is pour the salad out into a bowl once I’m at work.

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 peeled and segmented blood oranges
  • 1 bunch bitter greens (dandelion greens, kale, or arugula or some combination of some or all)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 10 thin slices of preserved lemon
  • Blood Orange Dressing
  • Juice of one blood orange
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss gently. Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small jar and close tightly. Shake to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/blood-orange-walnut-and-bitter-greens-salad/

This post is linked up to No Croutons Required.  Check out the hosts’ pages at Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa’s Kitchen.

And is also linked to Kahakai Kitchen: Souper Sunday.  Check out all the great soups, sandwiches and salads!

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

I had a lovely and very foodie indulgent vacation, so it’s definitely time to go back to healthy little lunches, including Kale Spinach Saag Paneer.  Saag Paneer is one of my favorite dishes.  I love using a blend of both spinach and kale.  I found a beautiful bunch of Redbor kale, which is a spectacular shade of purple and threw that in with a large handful of spinach.  The result is a spicy, fragrant mixture of greens.  I’m also feeling ahead of the game on the 2017 food trend for purple vegetables, since I cooked this on New Year’s Day.

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer is a fairly quick dish to put together.  The kale and spinach can be cooked while the rice is cooking.

Making Paneer

You can definitely substitute store bought paneer for the home made paneer in this recipe.  Fresh paneer takes just two ingredients, but is best made the day before and refrigerated overnight, so takes a little bit of planning.  That said, how impressive is it to be able to tell your workmates that you made your own cheese?

Homemade Paneer

I love how the paneer takes on the waffled texture of the cheesecloth.  I also am a big fan of the transformation of milk into whey and curds when an acid is added.  In this case, I use white vinegar to make my paneer.  I’ve tried lemon juice, but haven’t had the same success.  I also don’t salt it when I’m making this recipe, as the kale and spinach saag paneer is well salted from the kale and spinach.  I do, however, take the extra time to lightly brown the paneer.

The lightly browned paneer goes right into the kale and spinach.  This recipe freezes really well, so it’s a great candidate for lunch.  Kale spinach saag paneer is also a light meal and pairs well with a salad or some naan bread.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!  Hope everyone is having a great start to 2017!

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

 

Kale Saag Paneer

 

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • Paneer cheese, chopped into squares
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • For the Paneer
  • 1/2 gallon milk - whole milk works best, but you can also make this with 1% or 2%
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions

  1. If you are making paneer, start with this first. Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir constantly so that the milk doesn't burn. When the milk reaches a full boil, take it off the heat and pour in the vinegar. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes so that the whey and curds have time to separate.
  2. When the curds and whey have separated, strain out the curds into a cheesecloth lined strainer. You can keep the whey and use it in place of water for other recipes. Let the curds drain for at least an hour, pressing them by putting a bowl over them with a heavy can in the bowl. Refrigerate the paneer overnight.
  3. Making the Kale Spinach Saag Paneer
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a non-stick saute pan or a cast iron skillet. Add the onions, and cook until they are soft and fragrant. Add in the kale and cook for 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 7 - 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are wilted. Add the spices from the turmeric to the salt and stir well. Add the half and half and simmer for 7 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in another non-stick skillet. Add the paneer and cook for a few minute on each side until it is browned.
  6. Serve the kale spinach saag paneer over the rice, with the paneer evenly divided between each serving.
  7. Serves 3 - 4
  8. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/kale-spinach-saag-paneer/

This post has been linked to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays.  Check out each week’s list of great recipes!

Show
Hide