Notes from Debbie's Kitchen
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Click here to go to the recipe database.This week a little more on fava beans, and then the usual pile o' recipes from my clippings stash! As always, my two cents, when within the recipes themselves, is in square brackets [like this]. :-) - Debbie Another way to ID whether to cook whole fava pods or shell them and only use the beans
It can still be difficult, sometimes, to judge whether the pods are still good for chopping and eating, or if they should be shelled and only the beans inside used. It's not always a thing that can be determined by pod size alone. If the pods are still bright green (i.e. not getting warty), and if they still have a kind of squishy-give to them when squeezed, they're still good to eat pods and all. There's no rule that says you have to eat the pods, of course; some people just don't like the pods. It's up to you. But once the beans' shapes inside the pod are clearly big and visible and the pod is firmer, it's usually time to shell them. The skin of the beans inside should be light green, and the beans themselves, when cooked and skinned, a bright vibrant green. When the skins start to go pale yellow-white and the beans inside similarly, they're past their prime.Alice Waters' fava puree is already in the recipe database, but I found this to be an interesting variation. I noticed that the recipe actually called for green garlic (!) although I suspect they may mean simply fresh garlic as opposed to dried or powder, as they call it a 'head' of garlic, and our green garlic, as you know, is more like a leek stalk!A different fava bean puree (Middle Eastern)from "Five Seasons", by Delphino Cornali
recipe lead-in: "Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice made of ground dried thyme and sumac seeds. Egyptians mix za'atar with olive oil and spread it on bread [yum!]. In this recipe, the pique of the za'atar sets off the buttery flavor of the fresh fava beans. Find za'atar in a Middle Eastern grocery [y'know, that one just down the street from you!]."
1 C fresh fava beans
¼ head green garlic [I think they mean regular garlic; I'd chop up one small stalk, or half a big one]
½ tsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. za'atar [well, if you can't find this, hm, what'd be an acceptable substitute? Dried thyme alone would probably be okay... or you could add a little lemon or lime juice for the sour? I might try mixing some lime zest and thyme into a paste in a mortar and pestle... If anyone knows about za'atar or sumac seeds, I'd love to hear!]
Remove beans from their pods and place into a pot of salted water. Simmer for 10 minutes with the garlic and cumin seeds. Drain the beans, soak in cold water for 5 minutes (this sets the beans inside the seed coat) and drain again. Remove the seed coats, then mash with a fork. Stir in the olive oil and enough water to give the puree a soupy consistency. Season with salt and pepper and beat well. Heat just before serving with a little more olive oil and a sprinkling of za'atar. To serve in the Egyptian tradition, serve with bread and a hard-boiled brown egg.Wilted Mizuna with Walnutsmodified from a book called "Side Dishes, Soups and Salads"
1 bunch fresh mizuna, washed and coarsely chopped
1 small red onion, sliced [any onion will do; red is nice for color]
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced [a stalk or two of green garlic, thinly sliced and chopped fine]
1 tbsp. rice vinegar [a generous splash will do]
¼ C walnuts chopped [I'd toast them first]
[The original recipe called for adding in sauteed green beans and red cabbage, but we have neither of those right now, and I think it'd be tasty simply with the mizuna, alliums, vinegar and walnuts! I reduced the quantity of vinegar accordingly.]
Heat oil in a pan and saute onion and garlic a few minutes, until translucent and fragrant. Add the mizuna and saute another minute or two, just until wilted but still bright. Stir in vinegar, remove from heat, toss with walnuts and serve.I'd use the kale/collards stir-fry mix for either of the next two recipes, and you could throw in the chard too, if you wanted!Pasta with Greensadapted from 'The Best Vegetarian Recipes' by Martha Rose Shulman
Serves 4 to 6
2 lbs. greens, such as chard, broccoli rabe, beet greens, kale, escarole, dandelion greens, collard greens, alone or in combination [don't worry about the '2 lbs' part too much; just use whatcha got]
½ C cottage cheese
2 tbsp. milk
¼ C grated pecorino cheese (1 oz.)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced [1 big stalk?]
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 lb. spaghetti [or your fave, maybe it's linguini?]
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Wash greens thoroughly, and add to boiling water. Cook until tender, 2 to 5 minutes. Drain well* (squeeze out excess water) and chop. [If you want to keep the green brighter, have a bowl of cold water standing by and put the cooked greens in here after draining but before chopping to cool quickly. Then squeeze out the water good and chop.] Set aside.
[*Drain the water into another pot and save it; and you can use this pre-heated water to cook your pasta! Save water, save energy. Heck, scoop the greens out of the boiling water and use one less pot!]
Blend cottage cheese and milk in a blender until smooth and creamy.
In a large, non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until garlic begins to color, about 30 seconds [with green garlic it'll take a few minutes]. Add greens, stirring about 1 minute. Stir in ½ C cooking liquid reserved from greens [ha! good thing we kept it!]. Add salt to taste and remove from heat but keep warm.
Cook pasta in boiling water until done [follow package instructions]. Drain well, then transfer to pan with greens. Add creamy cheese mixture and pecorino; toss and serve. [with more cheese!]Now the interesting thing about this next recipe is that it is very similar... just uses different cheeses, a little ginger and lemon, and... raisins! It's still a base of greens, cheese and pasta, just with a different twist. Starting to see how I think?Pasta with Greens, Goat Cheese and Raisinsfrom an undated Bon Appetit clipping
serves 4 to 6
1/3 C golden raisins
1/3 C fresh lemon juice [one small lemon, or half a large one]
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ C finely chopped red onion [again, it's nice for color, but use whatever onion you have]
3 garlic cloves, minced [another big stalk]
1 bunch each chard and beet greens, leaves only, washed and coarsely chopped [use your stir-fry mix and/or the chard]
2 tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 ½ tbsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
1 lb. orchiette (little ear-shaped pasta) [or penne or pennette or something]
5 oz. soft fresh goat cheese
Combine raisins and lemon juice in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute [if using green garlic, cook together with the onions; it takes longer to cook than minced garlic from a clove]. Add greens and raisin mixture, cover and cook until greens wilt, about 5 minutes. Mix in ginger and lemon peel. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large post of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain and return to pot. Toss pasta with remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add greens and goat cheese. Toss to combine. Season to taste [again] with salt and pepper. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.Ah, cauliflower... my favorite way to prepare cauliflower, hands down, is to roast it. If you haven't done this before TRY IT FIRST. There are several roasted cauliflower recipes in the recipe database, but my favorite is the North African Roasted Cauliflower. But I am also always interested in new and different flavor combinations, ways to cook stuff, so this next recipe caught my eye (it's how it ended up in my clippings file!).Cauliflower Soup with Curried Appleanother undated Bon Appetit clipping, credited to a restaurant in San Francisco called "Campton Place"
serves 4 to 6
6 tbsp. (3/4 stick) butter, divided
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (about 5 C)
1 C coarsely chopped onion
1 C coarsely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 bay leaf
½ C dry white wine
4 C vegetable broth
1 C whipping cream [avoid 'ultra-pasteurized' at all costs!]
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ (scant) tsp. cayenne pepper
1 large unpeeled Fuji apple [or two small ones]
½ tsp. curry powder, plus more for garnish
Melt 4 tbsp. butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add cauliflower, onion, leek, and bay leaf; saute until onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add wine; simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add broth and cream. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until cauliflower is tender, stirring often, about 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaf and, working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in lemon juice and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut apple into matchstick-sized strips. Melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add apple and curry powder; saute until apple is tender, about 2 minutes.
Bring soup to a simmer; ladle into bowls. Spoon warm apple mixture over and sprinkle with additional curry powder.Lastly, since we're still getting apples...Baked Apples, Seven Waysadapted from another undated BA clipping
Before adding any filling, cut off the top third of each apple. [I think I'd take off a little less, but there you go.] Using a small melon baller, scoop out the stem and core, leaving the bottom intact. After you've chosen one of the fillings here, place apples in a baking dish containing about half an inch of liquid - sweet or dry wine (boiled for 3 minutes before using [if you want to boil off the alcohol, I'm guessing; seems silly as you're going to bake it for an hour!]), fruit juice, apple cider or water. The apples should bake for an hour at 350 degrees; to test for doneness, squeeze the sides of one apple; it should yield gently.
<> Finely process fresh cranberries, dried cherries, sugar and grated orange peel.
<> Ground walnuts with a little cardamom and honey. Fill apples, dot with butter and bake.
<> Combine crushed amaretti cookies, boiled Marsala and softened butter to make a paste.
<> Mix ground gingersnap cookies and chutney. Sprinkle filled apples with more cookie crumbs and bake. Serve warm with a sauce of melted vanilla ice cream. [Or just dollop ice cream on top; it'll melt by itself!]
<> Fill cavities with apple butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. After baking, reduce juices until syrupy [and presumably pour back over apples!]
<> Fill with chopped raisins, brown sugar and boiled Sherry [what's with this boiling business?]. Dot with butter, dust with freshly ground nutmeg and bake.
<> Fill apples with marzipan, mounding a little on top, and bake. [Mmmmmm.]
[I think that after perusing this list, you can come up with additional filling ideas of your own...!]