Vegan Fingerling Potato, Avocado, Fennel and Watercress Salad

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

5-26-15 (192)

5-26-15 (174)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

Full disclosure – I saw this recipe on Foodness Gracious & had to try it.  I made it for my Memorial Day BBQ & was under great time pressure to cook everything & photograph things & still get the house prepped for guests etc – and I never got photographs of this salad that looked as appetizing as this salad actually is.  Even the edible flowers just look messy – so please forgive the sub-par images – but this salad is clean & light & different. Watercress is spicy & fennel has that mild licorice flavor (shave or slice the fennel very thinly to avoid pieces that might be overpoweringly flavorful) & the avocado & potatoes add a creamy mellowness that balances it all out.  Truly a delightful salad.  The original recipe had pancetta in it but I eliminated that.

5-26-15 (146)

Vegan Fingerling Potato, Avocado, Fennel and Watercress Salad

Serves 6

INGREDIENTS

1 pound very small potatoes

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup finely sliced (shaved) fennel

1 teaspoon chopped fresh lemon thyme (or regular thyme)

1 large ripe avocado

Salt and cracked black pepper

1 large bunch watercress leaves

Edible flowers as garnish (optional)

5-26-15 (145)

DIRECTIONS

Bring 1½ quarts of water to a boil.

Add the potatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until you can pierce them easily with a sharp knife.

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and fill the pot with cold water and ice to. Set aside to cool.

Combine the lemon juice and olive oil and whisk well.

Drain the potatoes once more from the cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Transfer to a large bowl, chopping any large sized potatoes in half.

Add the fennel and thyme.

Peel the avocado and cut into dice. add to the bowl.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add the watercress leaves and gently pour in the oil and lemon mixture.

Toss well and serve at once.

5-26-15 (148)

Mixed Vegetable Risotto with Fennel and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Vegan – Vegetarian)

Leave a comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

3-2-15 (46)

3-2-15 (86)

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

Risotto gets a bad rap for being hard to make.  If standing at the stove, stirring, for 20-30 minutes is hard – then I guess risotto is hard but really, how hard is casual stirring?  The main mistake people make with risotto is over-cooking so – as soon as it seems al dente – add the final ingredients & serve immediately because it will keep cooking as long as it is warm.

You can use any vegetables you like or lose anything from this recipe that displeases you.  The roasted Brussels sprouts are not necessary but they add a nice depth.  I suppose you could just chop them raw & stir them in with the carrots – if roasting is a pain in your arse.

This can be made vegan (obviously) by subbing out the dairy with vegan alternatives.

3-2-15 (78)

3-2-15 (98)

3-2-15 (121)

Mixed Vegetable Risotto with Fennel and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Vegan – Vegetarian)

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice

5-6 cups vegetable stock

1 cup grated Parmesan (or vegan alternative) – optional

3 TBS butter (or vegan alternative – even olive oil)

1/2 cup dry white wine (not strictly necessary – so – you could sub out with more stock & a squeeze of lemon juice)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 onion – diced

1 cup peas

2 carrots – diced

1 bulb fennel – sliced very thin

12 large Brussels sprouts – trimmed & halved

1 TBS olive oil

1 tsp white balsamic vinegar (optional)

S&P

3-2-15 (31)

3-2-15 (34)

3-2-15 (33)

3-2-15 (94)

3-2-15 (110)

DIRECTIONS

If roasting the Brussels sprouts (rather than just tossing them into the mix raw when you throw the carrots in – a viable option) – heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the halved sprouts with olive oil & balsamic & salt & pepper.  Lay on a cooking sheet face down (I always use parchment paper because it makes clean-up easy & nothing sticks to it).  Roast about 15-20 minutes & then turn them & roast another 10-15 – until they are browned a bit.

3-2-15 (30)

3-2-15 (35)

3-2-15 (36)

3-2-15 (41)

Chop them up a bit if you want – but you don’t have to.  I did.  Set aside.

While those guys are roasting – bring the stock to a boil & then reduce to a simmer.

In another heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the carrots & onions (and raw Brussels sprouts – if you are not roasting them) – and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add the fennel & saute another 2 minutes.

3-2-15 (38)

3-2-15 (39)

3-2-15 (42)

Add the garlic & rice & stir to coat.   Add the wine (or extra stock & lemon) & cook off the moisture.   Then add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time & not adding more until the last was absorbed.  Stir as much as possible as the motion breaks down the starches more & makes the risotto creamier – and keeps it from burning.  When you are about 1 cup away from going through all the stock – test the firmness of the risotto.  It should still have a bit of a bite but, if it is very hard still, add more water or stock to your stock pot & bring it to a boil & then a simmer again.  Add the stock until the risotto is just al dente.  Stir in the peas & cheese.  If it is too thick – add yet more stock.  If it is too wet – cook it down a bit.

Serve immediately, garnished with the roasted Brussels sprouts, extra cheese & lots of fresh cracked pepper.

3-2-15 (90)

3-2-15 (106)

3-2-15 (62)

Baked Rigatoni with Spicy Slow Cooker Fennel and Grilled Eggplant Sauce and Smoked Mozzarella (Scamorza)

Leave a comment

 

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

11-5-14 (61)

11-5-14 (70)

 

Working a long day & coming home to a house filled with dogs is lovely but it would be even more lovely if they fucking cooked once in a while.  It would be really nice – for once – to come home to a homemade meal filling the house with tempting aromas & a nice glass of wine already poured & waiting for me.

The fact is – I am NEVER too tired to pour my own glass of wine but the home-cooked meal can really be a daunting pain in the ass and, as a result, I have been living largely on tortilla pizzas.  I complained to the badass, Miles Miller, that I really needed to get myself a little wife action – a little “Honey, you’re home!”  A little bit of someone slaving away in the kitchen for me prepping a warm & delicious meal – as I toiled elsewhere.

And then I remembered my slow cooker!  Slow cookers have always appealed to me but never more than now.  With my trusty crock pot chugging away in my absence – I COULD come home to a house filled with yummy smells & a warm dinner waiting for me.

And so – I dug through my fridge & pantry yesterday to see what I could throw together.

This is not the most basic slow cooker recipe as it requires prepping a few things before slow cooking and assembling a few things & throwing them in the oven after the slow cooker has worked its magic but it is still pretty easy & my house DID smell amazing when I walked in last night.  It was very welcoming.

I had a random collection of ingredients handy but they worked incredibly well together.  I grilled my eggplant first but this is not necessary.  I used fennel because I had it.  You could use these things or make your sauce with other stuff you like – sausage, for example.  The real key to this was the smoked mozzarella.  Smoked mozzarella adds a meaty richness to dishes and it made my baked rigatoni feel comforting & seem autumnal.  Try it.  I actually used Scamorza – which is basically mozzarella.  I had two little balls that were smaller than a pool ball and just one of them added enough oomph to make this dish incredible.

DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED by the ingredients list.  Look at it.  It is mostly spices & other crap you likely have around already.

11-5-14 (36)

 

11-5-14 (49) 11-5-14 (54)

 

Baked Rigatoni with Spicy Slow Cooker Fennel and Grilled Eggplant Sauce and Smoked Mozzarella (Scamorza)

INGREDIENTS

About 12 oz pasta – cooked, drained & tossed with a bit of olive oil

Olive oil

4 oz smoked mozzarella (or more)

Parsley – chopped (as garnish)

1-2 cups grated mozzarella (regular not smoked)

for the sauce (this makes about 10 cups of sauce but the baked pasta only requires HALF of that – so either be prepared to freeze some or cut the recipe in half)

2 (10 oz) cans of Rotel (or other fire roasted tomatoes)

2 (26 oz) cans or boxes of crushed and/or strained tomatoes (I used one of each)

1 cup tomato juice (I used a spicy V8 but any will do – or just add a cup of tomato sauce)

1 cup water

1/2 cup dry white wine (or  water)

1 eggplant – sliced & grilled or simply cubed without grilling (I dredged my eggplant in Newman’s Own Lite Italian dressing before grilling but olive oil is fine)

2 fennel bulbs – sliced very thin

1 red onion – diced

4-10 garlic cloves (I used 10)

1-3 TBS crushed red pepper (I used 3 and the sauce was genuinely spicy)

2 tsp salt

1 TBS black pepper

2 TBS dry oregano

1 TBS onion powder

1 TBS garlic powder

Fresh herbs (I used a big handful of basil, a large sprig of fresh rosemary, a few sprigs of fresh thyme & a small sprig of fresh oregano but any combo you have will do – basil being most important)

11-5-14 (8)

11-5-14 (9)

11-5-14 (10)

11-5-14 (19)

 

11-5-14 (17)

11-5-14 (50)

 

11-5-14 (22)

DIRECTIONS

Prep:

Cook the pasta & toss with olive oil & put it in the fridge until assembly time.

Grill the eggplant – if you are if you are doing that – and chop it.  I dipped mine in Italian dressing & grilled on my stove but a grill pan will do.  Or – just cube it & cook it a bit with the fennel & onion.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan & saute the WHOLE garlic cloves & fennel & onion (and eggplant – if you are not grilling it) & cook (stirring frequently) – over medium heat – until the vegetables are soft & beginning to brown a bit.

11-5-14 (11)

11-5-14 (13)

11-5-14 (14)

11-5-14 (15)

11-5-14 (16)

11-5-14 (18)

 

11-5-14 (23)

11-5-14 (24)

11-5-14 (27)

 

 

Now, put all the sauce ingredients (don’t forget the water!!!) into your slow cooker & set it on low.  I left mine for ten hours.

Go away.  Come home.  Smell the yummy smells!!!

Assembly time!  Half an hour or so before you want to eat – continue with the recipe.

Heat the oven to 350.

11-5-14 (31)

11-5-14 (32)

11-5-14 (34)

11-5-14 (35)

11-5-14 (37)

 

Remove any hard stems that might be in your sauce (most of mine had broken down – with the exception of the rosemary stems).

Treat a casserole pan with some cooking spray.  Put the pasta in there & toss with about a cup of grated regular mozzarella & about 5 cups of the sauce.

Top with more sauce if you want to & maybe about a cup of grated mozzarella.  Top with sliced or grated smoked mozzarella (Scamorza) & bake, uncovered, for about 30 minutes or until it is bubbling at the edges & the cheese is just turning golden a bit.

Serve that shit up with some chopped parsley & congratulate yourself on what a good little wife you got when you bought that slow cooker!

11-5-14 (38)

11-5-14 (43)

11-5-14 (56)

11-5-14 (64)

11-5-14 (68)

 

 

 

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Brussels Sprouts, Carrots & Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~~~~~~

This is another creation inspired by existing ingredients, my own laziness & the reality of produce & its shelf life.  That doesn’t mean it is not DELICIOUS.  Delightful.  And even – dare I say it?  Delovely!

I have expressed some frustration recently with my photography but I bought a new $17 toy (a light) & the world has opened up just a bit.  I was beginning to feel a tad sorry for myself as I cannot really compete with folks that are getting paid to blog.  I know they had to work their way there from where I am – but – it is still a bit like me trying to compete for roles with Diane Lane or Julia Roberts.  These folks have their shit together & skills, experience, equipment, financing, maybe even a team – etc.  Here I am – trying to keep my monthly grocery bill down & think of new, affordable things to make and then photograph them using my i-phone & a $4 clamp light.  And I have to photograph them alone – as in – with nobody to hold the fork just “that way” or assist me at all.  Framing a photo & trying to hit the screen (on my i-phone, remember) to focus the image where I want the focus & then adjust to hit the shutter without effecting the focus, all with my NON-dominant left hand while I try to hold the subject matter in place with my right hand – can get really frustrating, lemme tell you!   Then I have to eat the food.  All of it.  I cannot afford to waste it – as it COSTS.  And I live alone & eat 99% of my meals alone.  Then I end up eating some Goddamn lasagna for 6 days & letting the blog lag behind – while my Super King produce wilts & guilts me from the confines of the fridge.  It has begun to feel oppressive & I have been comparing myself very unkindly to the vastly superior food bloggers out there (you know who you are – THUG KITCHEN).

Then – I met Piglet.  I didn’t actually meet her.  I saw her on my friend, Nikki Dogfather’s, Facebook page.  Nikki is a full-time rescuer & she posted Piglet – immediately after she’d been pulled from the shelter – looking like this (photos stolen from Nikki):

ImageImageImageImage

She had terribly advanced mange – which is not contagious & HIGHLY curable – and the cure is not expensive.   But these victims of mange look so scary – it is a rare person that dares even investigate.  Nikki is practically a mange fetishist!  I jest, of course, but she is the go-to gal in LA if someone spots a mangy baby in a local shelter.  No case of mange will scare Nikki away!  So – after a single mange dip & twice-daily garlic water baths (and some antibiotics)  – Piglet began to recover.  I am currently fostering her while she completes her recovery.  Here she is two days ago in my house.

ImageImage

Just for some reference – here are two pugs I adopted from Nikki a few years ago.

ImageImage

That is Ella & Grisbi.  Here is how they looked a few months later.

ImageImage

See?  CRAZY transformation.  Tragically, Ella died of a bee sting at 11 months old & Grisbi died last August 16th 2012 – in his sleep – at four years, old for no known reason.  Great, big, gaping scars on my heart.  😦

So, anyway, I fell in love with Piglet ON SIGHT.  I look at lots of rescues – every day.  Facebook is rife with them.  They all give me heart twinges but Piglet was special to me.  I don’t know why.  It was like a recognized her from somewhere.  And now – I am care-taking gorgeous Piglet.  And she is a gift & an amazing example of gratitude & resilience & of living in the moment.  One can never have too many examples of THAT around.

So – a new $17 light for my photography & a new little sprite jumping around the house & a much needed PROFESSIONAL hair salon appointment on Friday (a gal can only self-Feria her color so many times in a row) – and I am feeling rather hopeful.  Plus – the greatest loss I endured last week – RIGHTED itself!  Yay!  No longer broken & sad & no longer riding the scary pot-truffle train I got on last week (read about that HERE) and nice hair right around the corner?  That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!

And the $17 light?  It is so great – I want to buy 5 more.  That is irrational – because I only NEED the one.  But it has improved my life SO much and for so little.  It reminds me of the time my plumber told me I needed a whole new kitchen tap set thing (and nice ones cost a lot) because the drip was not fixable.  I used a fucking ShamWow for two years behind the sink, under the tap, to catch the dripping & water STILL leaked out – warping my cabinets & damaging the finish.  Then a new plumber suggested I go buy a cheap washer (that the first plumber had declared no longer available) at a local hardware store.  “You might need to buy a whole box – but they shouldn’t cost much,” he said.  I went to my local mom & pop True Value & inquired.  Yes.  They had them.  They were a dollar seventy each.  A FUCKING DOLLAR SEVENTY!  I bought ten – even though I only needed one.  I was so fucking excited that this $1.70 thing was gonna change my life.  I had to have enough to roll around on the bed with – as if they were thousand dollar bills.  And THAT is how I feel about by $17 lamp.

Whew!

Now – onto food.   I have long made the Sunday’s at Moosewood version of veggie shepherd’s pie – and it is very good.  In fact, I am going to suggest their tofu version of “meat” in this recipe as I cannot begin to tell you (other than Super King!) where you might find the faux meat I used.   Here it is.

ImageImage

It is like weightless Grapenuts.  I am not sure if they are just re-purposing some failed attempt at a new packing material – but I took the bait.  While it says who distributes this shit, it does not say what is in it.  No ingredients list at all.  No calorie count.  Nada.  Could be the scabs from accident-prone paper dolls or the stuffing from padded toilet seats.  I don’t know.  I bought it.  I cooked it.  And I ate it.  And I am here to tell you about it so – well – there.

If you can find it, I recommend using it.  I used half that container in this decent-sized recipe so it is worth its weight in Hamburger Helper.  If you cannot – or would rather not eat mystery food – substitute any faux meat thing of your choice – whether seitan or some pre-made soy version of meat or soyrizo or the stuffing from an old padded toilet seat.  Or – EGADS!  Use ground beef!   Just know that I added over a cup of water to the 4 oz of cardboard scabs to reconstitute them into something more substantial.  So – use closer to 10-12 ounces of your fake meat selection – or more.

OR – use the Sundays at Moosewood version – which is pretty great.  It requires that you freeze tofu (I use two blocks), thaw it, squeeze it completely dry & then shred it into a crumble.

Copied & pasted from elsewhere – I present –

Sundays at Moosewood Shepherd’s Pie Filling

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu that has been frozen, then thawed, and shredded to the appearance of ground meat
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander seeds
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup of walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

Sauté the chopped onion in oil with thyme, coriander, and black pepper until onions are translucent.  Add chopped walnuts and shredded tofu.  When heated through, stir in lemon juice and soy sauce.  Remove from heat.

Image

I used Brussels sprouts & carrots and, unexpectedly, a fennel bulb because – yes, you guessed it – I had them.  You could use corn or peas or any other vegetables you like.  I know this one screams out for corn because I made the mashed potatoes with roasted jalapenos – but – am I the only one that gets tired of the traditional pairings?  Like anything pumpkin has to have butter & sage on it?  Or – redheads must wear green?  Or anything with jalapeno needs corn and/or black beans?  This wasn’t a Mexican-themed shepherd’s pie.  It was a “what’s-in-my-fridge-inspired” shepherd’s pie.  You can do it, too!  Do not be intimidated.

Hey!  Did you notice all my photos of this look WAY alike?  Me, too.  Shepherd’s pie can be hard to photograph because it tends to fall apart.  I got a good angle & exploited it.  Apologies for the lack of imagination.  I told you I was a hack.   🙂

One last note – this is genuinely spicy – so keep that in mind when you decide how much jalapeno to add!  And yes – there are several steps to assemble this but all are EASY & this is worth the effort.  DO NOT BE SCARED!

Image

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Brussels Sprouts, Carrots & Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

INGREDIENTS

For the jalapeno mashed potatoes

2 large Russet potatoes

3 jalapeno peppers (or to taste)

4 TBS butter

4 oz cream cheese

S&P to taste

More butter for browning

Parsley – chopped as grnish

For the “meat” filling

4 oz of freeze dried soy protein plus 1 1/3 cup water (or 8-10 oz or more of another meat substitute)

1 small onion – diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 cup walnuts – chopped

olive oil

S&P to taste

OR use the Sundays at Moosewood tofu version noted above for the “meat” filling.

For the vegetable layer

3 carrots – diced

10 Brussels sprouts – chopped

1 fennel bulb – chopped (very optional)

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (very optional)

olive oil

S&P to taste

For the gravy

3 TBS butter

1/4 cup flour

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

2 TBS soy sauce

1/2 tsp peper

Image

Image

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the roasted jalapeno mashed potatoes

Char the outside of the jalapenos until they blacken.  You can do this directly on the burners or by broiling in the oven.  Once blackened, seal them in Tupperware or wrap them in foil for about 15 minutes.  This will sweat the skin off.  Then, under cool running water, roll the blackened skin away & squeeze off the tops & remove the seeds.  Then – chop the jalapenos finely.

Image

ImageImage

Chop & boil the potatoes.  When tender, drain & puree (I used an immersion blender but any mashing or pureeing device would work) with the roasted jalapeno, butter, cream cheese & some salt & pepper.

I added water to thin mine a bit.  I didn’t want them to dry out in the oven.  Set aside.

Image

ImageImageImage

For the “meat” filling

See the Sundays at Moosewood tofu recipe in the body of text above.  OR-

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large frying pan.  Saute the onions until softened.  If using REAL meat – add it here & cook it through.  Add the garlic, walnuts & soy sauce & stir to bend.  Add your faux meat.  If using the kooky stuff I used (freeze dried mystery flakes) – add about one to one & a half cups water.  Heat through.  Add S& P to taste.  Set aside.

Image

For the vegetable layer

Use the faux meat pan & add 1 TBS olive oil.  Saute the fennel (if using), Brussels sprouts & carrots & saute 5 minutes or so – or until tender.  No science here as they will cook more in the oven.

ImageImageImageFor the gravy

Melt the butter over med-high heat & add the flour.  Whisk for about 30 seconds.  The butter should absorb that flour very quickly & become a paste.  Add the soy sauce & then whisk in the stock in increments until you have a gravy.  Thin with water if it gets too thick.  Add pepper.  Set aside.

Image

ASSEMBLY!

Spray a casserole pan with cooking spray – or grease it with butter or olive oil.  Layer your “meat” then gravy then veggies & then potatoes.   Apologies – but I actually forgot to get a shot of the veggie layer.  I think you will manage.

ImageImageImage

Then bake that sucker for a while.  I baked this at 350 for 30 minutes – COVERED.  It came out like this.

Image

As you can see – the back of my oven is far hotter than the front.  At any rate – I did not like the look of this.  So – I swirled the potato all up & added some butter and chopped parsley & baked it at 400 for another 10-15 minutes.  It came out like this.

ImageImageImage

That is a vast improvement – no?  Despite my unevenly heated oven.

Then just bust out the wine, get a pot holder, use it as a placemat & sit right in front of this casserole dish – hotter than fuck – and eat as much as you possibly can.  Drink too much, too.  Life is short.  And so are hangovers.  Relative to life, that is.

Image

Fig, Fennel, Blackberry & Goat Cheese Pizza

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

If you live even remotely near Glendale, California – you simply MUST check out Super King – the grocery store near there on San Fernando Road by the 2 freeway.  It is so friggin’ CHEAP to buy produce there AND they have lots of unusual seasonal items like squash blossoms & sour grapes & grape leaves etc.  I bought kale there this week – 3 for .99 cents.  Kale costs $2.50 a bunch at my local Gelson’s.

Anyway – on my last trip to Super King – I got a litle container of blackberries for about .79 cents and I bought a container of green figs.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with either (as I find blackberries always to be disappointingly sour and I have never purchased a fig before) but they were practically free & offered new culinary avenues to explore.  As it turned but, I didn’t explore very far – in that – I just made another pizza but it was a delicious & uniquely flavored pizza with a lot going on.  As it turned out, I again found all but a few of the blackberries to be sour & I found myself picking them off of this pizza as I ate it.  And I did eat it.  ALL of it.  But not the blackberries.  So – if you make this pizza – be sure to use very ripe berries or eighty-six them entirely.  They add a pretty color but there are so many other flavors vying for attention here – you won’t miss the berries.

7-28-13 (13)

Fig, Fennel, Blackberry & Goat Cheese Pizza

INGREDIENTS

(I won’t list quantities here because that is a matter of taste)

Pizza dough of choice (mine is HERE)

1 fennel bulb – shaved very thinly

Blackberries

Goat cheese

Walnuts – crushed a bit

Figs – cut thin

Honey

Fresh rosemary – chopped finely

olive oil

S&P to taste

Crushed red pepper (optional)

7-28-13 (22)

DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 450-500 degrees & be sure it reaches temperature before putting your pizza in there.

Roll out your dough & put it on the cooking sheet.  Brush some olive oil on there & maybe lightly salt it.  (I went a little heavy with the olive oil.  Oops!)

ImageImageImage

Set the walnuts aside for now.  Then, simply layer the fennel & some rosemary & figs & berries & goat cheese & on your crust.  Top with more rosemary.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Bake the pizza for 12-18 minutes or until the crust is browned & the cheese melted a bit.   When you think the pizza is about 3 minutes from being done – add the walnuts.  Finish baking.

When the pizza is done – drizzle all over with honey.

ImageImage

Slice it up & eat it.  I added some crushed red pepper because that is how I roll.  Enjoy!

Image

7-28-13 (34)

Golden Beet Carpaccio & Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Leave a comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

vromans front

vromans back

Salads are very forgiving.  I sometimes feel like a cheat or a fraud when posting recipes for them but then I remember that lots of folks are intimidated by cooking at all and that they like the security of instruction.  So – I post this delicious salad today.  But – except for the vinaigrette – I won’t really post quantities.  I trust you to use the ratio of beet to arugula to fennel to cheese to suit your own tastes.

I used pomegranate wine vinegar & hazelnut oil because I have them & I want to use them before they spoil.  Plus it makes my recipe sound really fancy.  You could use olive oil & any nice wine vinegar – flavored or not.  I used walnuts but you could use almonds or pecans – or whatever.  Even hazelnuts!  Maybe add pomegranate seeds or a squeeze of fresh orange juice to the dressing.  The sky is the limit.  Hate fennel?  Lose it.  Use another fancy green other than arugula.  Get it?  Got it.  Good.

Oh!  And now all my posts have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

Image

Golden Beet Carpaccio & Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

Beets – I used golden AND red.  You can use one or the other or both.

Fennel

Walnuts – or other nut

Arugula – other green

Feta cheese – or goat or cotija or other flavorful cheese

2 TBS pomegranate wine vinegar – or other nice wine vinegar

4 TBS hazelnut oil – or other nice oil (even olive oil)

1 tsp honey

S&P

ImageImage

DIRECTIONS

Wrap your beets in foil & roast at 450 for about 30-45 minutes, depending on their size.  When tender, cool & peel them.

Toast your nuts in a dry pan for about 3 minutes.

Blend your oil, vinegar, honey & some S&P for the vinaigrette.

Slice the beets & fennel very thin with a mandolin or by hand – the thinner the better.

LIGHTLY dress the arugula with a small amount of vinaigrette.

Create a fan on a plate with the sliced beets.  Top with some shaved fennel.  Put some dressed arugula in the center & top with the toasted nuts & cheese & maybe some fresh ground pepper. I added a little garnish of red beets.  You could do a fan of red beets & top with golden – or use one color for all of it.

Shove it in your face while watching The Voice & scream, scandalized, every time the Swon Brothers get saved by America.  🙂

ImageImage

Vegan Fennel, Leek & Corn Chowder

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

~

At the risk of sounding like a repetitive dullard – this chowder was born of ingredients that needed using.  I am a fan of spicy food & I made this chowder very spicy.  It is really easy to make & really yummy!  It makes a lot of soup, too, so don’t be freaked out by the coconut milk – if the calorie content of coconut milk freaks you out.  There is nothing else bad for you in this soup & you are only eating a tiny fraction of the coconut milk in each bowl…so indulge in its faux decadence!

That said – today is Valentine’s Day.  For the first time in a really long time – I have a serious boyfriend on this day & hence – for the first time in a really long time – I got a surprise delivery of flowers!!!!  YAY!!!  Look at these guys!  JUST GARGANTUAN!

Image

So pretty!!!

Image

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Vegan Fennel, Leek & Corn Chowder

INGREDIENTS

3 TBS olive oil

2 large onions – diced

4 leeks – white part cut into rings

2 fennel bulbs – sliced thinly – dilly tops saved for garnish

3 corn cobs – kernels cut off – a handful of kernels set aside for garnish

3 (or less) serrano (or jalapeno) peppers – seeded & diced

4 garlic cloves – diced

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 13.5 oz coconut milk (lite – if you prefer)

6 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp (or more) crushed red pepper

1 cup – fresh cilantro – chopped – and extra for garnish

Sriracha – as garnish (optional)

S&P to taste

Image

DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil & saute the onion, leeks, fennel & garlic until they soften – about 5 minutes.

Image

Just as they begin to brown a touch – add the vegetable stock, serranos, lemon zest & corn.  Bring to a boil.

ImageImage

Reduce heat to low and add the coconut milk & crushed red pepper.  Simmer about 15 minutes.  Add some chopped cilantro and &P to taste.

Image

Image

In batches in a blender, puree the soup.  I left about 1-2 cups of it as is (chunky) – to add some texture to the chowder.

Serve with cilantro, raw corn & the dilly parts of the fennel & plenty of cracked pepper.   Drizzle with sriracha – if using.

PRINT THIS RECIPE

Image