Archive for May 2013


Almond Cinnamon Frappé

May 31st, 2013 — 7:45am

May 2013 434This recipe was my best find last weekend. The original recipe calls for homemade almond butter and almond milk, but who has the time? I just used store bought almond milk and almond butter that I already had in the fridge. I threw all of the ingredients in a giant mason jar and used an immersion blender to make it frothy. It’s a deliciously refreshing drink that I’ve been enjoying non-stop ever since. As a side note, I enjoy calling it a frappy instead of frappé (frap-pay). Sometimes it makes Larry laugh, but it always makes me laugh. You know you want a frappy…

Almond Cinnamon Frappé (slightly adapted from Martha Stewart Living, June 2013; makes one drink)

2 tablespoons almond butter
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling on top
Ice, for serving

Place all ingredients except ice in a blender and blend until frothy (or use an immersion blender). Fill a glass with ice, add frappé, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

2 comments » | Kristin's Kitchen

Rhubarb in Review

May 30th, 2013 — 8:47am

A selection of my favorite rhubarb recipes from the last several years (top to bottom, left to right): Rhubarb Bread, Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie, Rhubarb Chutney, Mini Rhubarb and Raspberry Galettes, Almond Rhubarb Tart, Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding, Rhubarb Hamantaschen, Rhubarb Buckle, and Strawberry Rhubarb Pistachio Tart.

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Pork and Ramp Dumplings

May 29th, 2013 — 9:01am

May 2013 387I’ve had some good kitchen mishaps lately. One of them involved this recipe. I spent, oh I don’t know, maybe an hour, hand-rolling 40, 4-inch dumpling wrappers. The recipe recommends stacking the wrappers under plastic until all of them are rolled out. When I finally finished the job and was ready to form and fill the dumplings, I realized the wrappers had all stuck together and now formed a giant pile of dough—exactly what I had started with. Luckily, you can buy dumpling wrappers (which I’ve suggested below). If you decide to go the route of handmade dumpling wrappers, good luck, and take it from me—don’t stack them on top of one another.

Pork and Ramp Dumplings (slightly adapted from Serious Eats, serves 4)

For the filling:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 pound ramps, whites finely sliced, greens roughly chopped
2 cups roughly chopped fresh napa cabbage
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces bacon, roughly chopped
4 ounces fatty ground pork
1/4-inch disk fresh ginger, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon dry sherry

40, 4-inch store bought dumpling wrappers. If you prefer to make them yourself, good luck. Here’s the recipe.

To Serve:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinkiang vinegar (or rice vinegar)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
Vegetable oil for frying

For the Filling: Heat vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until smoking. Add ramps and cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until lightly browned and fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out wok. Place cabbage and salt in food processor and pulse until finely chopped, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer to a fine-meshed strainer set over a bowl. Allow to rest for 30 minutes to drain.

Combine ramps, drained cabbage, bacon, pork, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and rice wine in a food processor and pulse until a paste-like mixture is formed, about 15 short pulses, scraping down sides as necessary.

Microwave a small ball of the filling in a bowl for 10 seconds and eat it to taste for seasoning. Add more salt, soy sauce, or sugar as necessary and repeat tasting/seasoning step until the filling tastes like you want it to. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To Make the Dumplings: Divide dough into 4 sections, and each section into 10 small tablespoon-sized balls, making 40 balls total. On a well-floured work surface, roll each ball into a round 3 1/2- to 4-inches in diameter. Stack wrappers and keep under plastic until all of them are rolled out.

To form dumplings, place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a wet fingertip or a pastry brush. Fold in half and pinch the bottom-right corner closed. Pleat the front edge of the wrapper repeatedly, pinching the edge closed after each pleat until the entire dumpling is sealed. Transfer sealed dumplings to a lightly floured wooden or parchment-lined board.

To Serve: Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and ginger in a small bowl and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a 6 to 12 dumplings and boil until they float (about 1 minute). Continue boiling for 2 minutes longer, then transfer to a plate with a wire-mesh spider or slotted spoon. Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet or the bottom of a well-seasoned cast wok over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add dumplings flat-side down and cook, swirling occasionally, until bottom of dumplings are golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately with dipping sauce. Repeat step 7 with remaining dumplings, working in batches.

2 comments » | Kristin's Kitchen

Sassy Cow Creamery Ride

May 28th, 2013 — 10:08am

There’s not much I love more than riding my bike. But with Ironman training, sometimes I find I need a little extra motivation to get on my bike for hours at a time, week after week. Yesterday that extra motivation came in the form of ice cream. Despite cold temperatures, drizzling rain, a wicked head wind and the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms, I saddled up for a 55-mile ride to Sassy Cow Creamery in Columbus with my friends Stephanie, Zak and Kate. It was both the farthest and fastest ride I’ve done so far this season. It was also my very first visit to Sassy Cow Creamery, where I enjoyed a bowl of salted caramel and peach ginger ice cream, and a couple beef sticks that Zak generously shared with the group. Mmm…ice cream and beef sticks. It was tough to get back on the bike to face the wind and cold after eating ice cream, but our stop provided all the fuel needed to power back to Madison.

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Bacon Chard Quesadillas

May 28th, 2013 — 5:31am

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This recipe for Bacon Chard Quesadillas from Eating Well Magazine has become a weeknight standby for me in recent weeks. I was lured in by the recipe’s accompanying catch phrases like “healthy in a hurry weeknights” and “one-pan.” I also love Swiss Chard. And bacon. And I know black beans are good for me. There are obviously also many ways to adapt the recipe to your own tastes—leave out the bacon, swap the Swiss Chard for kale, etc.

Bacon Chard Quesadillas (from Eating Well, March/April 2013; makes 8 quesadillas)

4 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
4 cups chopped chard leaves (from 1 bunch)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
8 6-inch whole-wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese

Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add chard and pepper; cook, stirring, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add beans and coarsely mash; stir to combine. Remove from heat.

Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread a generous 1/4 cup filling and 2 tablespoons cheese on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.

Wipe out the pan and return to medium heat. Add 4 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the remaining quesadillas.May 2013 439

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Rhubarb Hamantaschen

May 25th, 2013 — 6:08am

May 2013 379The picture of Rhubarb Hamantaschen in Deb Perelman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook sang to me. I have a co-worker who occasionally brings in Hamantaschen, which are triangular-shaped cookies with fruit filling traditionally made during the Jewish holiday of Purim. With bundles of rhubarb on hand, I decided to try my hand at Deb’s rhubarb version.

As it turns out, Hamantaschen are not the easiest cookies to tackle. Making the filling went great—just as Deb explained, this particular rhubarb cooking technique (from Good to Grain) results in a consistency ideal for Hamantaschen—and would also be great served over oatmeal, ice cream, etc. The dough, on the other hand, was a headache. As I rolled it out and attempted to form the Hamantaschen walls, the dough easily cracked, resulting in sprung leaks during baking. In the end, I had a decent batch of Hamantaschen to bring to the office, but I can’t say they all looked like the one I photographed above. I would make these again (they were quite delicious), but next time I might experiment with alternative dough options.

Rhubarb Hamantaschen (from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, makes 30 cookies)

Filling
1 pound rhubarb stalks (3 cups)
2/3 cup sugar

Cookie
1/2 cup finely ground almonds or almond meal
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt
4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1/8 teaspoon almond extract

Make Filling
Trim rhubarb ends. For thick stalks, cut in half lengthwise. Cut rhubarb into 1/2-inch segments. Place the rhubarb in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat with sugar. Stir to combine, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, increase the heat to medium, remove cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes, until rhubarb is broken down and mixture is thick enough so that running a spoon across the bottom of the pot briefly leaves a clear line. Pour filling into a small bowl and cool.

Make dough with food processor
If using sliced almonds, first grind them in the work bowl of your food processor until nearly powdery. Use only 1/2 cup of what you ground, returning it to the work bowl. Add flour, sugar, and salt, and pulse for another minute. Add chunks of butter, and pulse the machine in short bursts until the mixture resembles small pebbles. Add egg and extract, and pulse until the dough starts to come together. Turn dough out onto counter, knead once or twice, and divide into quarters.

Make dough by hand
Mix ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, two forks, or your fingertips, work butter into flour until it resembles cornmeal. Add eggs and extract, and combine the dough with a wooden spoon. Turn dough out onto counter, and knead until mixture is uniform. Divide into quarters.

Shape Cookies
Place one-quarter of the dough on a well-floured counter, and flour the top of it generously. Roll the dough to a 1/8-inch thickness, and cut out circles with a 2 1/2- to 3-inch round cutter or drinking glass. Using a measuring spoon, dollop 1 teaspoon of the cooled rhubarb filling in the center of each circle. Fold edges up in three places to form a triangular cookie and gently pinch seams together to form corners. Transfer cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet, and place entire tray in freezer for 30 minutes before baking. Repeat with remaining dough.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Bake cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, until golden at edges. Transfer to racks to cool.

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Honey Rhubarb Fool

May 23rd, 2013 — 11:33am

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I made my first fool this past weekend.  A fool is an English dessert that originated in the 1500’s and consists of folding stewed pureed fruit into custard or cream. It seemed like a great way to use one of the several bundles of rhubarb stalks I had on hand. I relied on a recipe for Honey Rhubarb Fool that I had saved from the spring 2012 issue of Edible Madison. I liked the convenience of preparing the dessert earlier in the day, and chilling it in wine glasses in the refrigerator until dessert time. It was a nice, light and creamy dessert; elegant, but not too fussy.

Honey Rhubarb Fool (recipe from Terese Allen via Edible Madison, Spring 2012; serves 6)

1 pound rhubarb stalks, ends trimmed off
1/2 cup honey or more to taste
Finely grated peel and juice of 1 orange
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Chill a large, deep bowl and electric beater in the freezer.

Chop rhubarb and place in a saucepan with honey, orange peel and juice. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is very tender, about 10 minutes. You can puree it at this point or leave it “textured.” Let it cool, then cover and chill thoroughly.

Whip the cream with the chilled beaters in the chilled bowl, first on medium speed for 1-2 minutes, then on high, until mixture begins to thicken. Keep beating as you gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar. Add vanilla; continue beating until the cream stands up in soft peaks when you lift out the beaters.

Stir a large dollop of whipped cream into the chilled rhubarb sauce. Use a spatula to fold in remaining whipped cream, but not thoroughly; leave large streaks of cream intact.

Serve immediately (or refrigerate until dessert time) in see-through glasses or dessert cups.

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Seven Minute Workout

May 22nd, 2013 — 10:44am

12well_physed-tmagArticleEarlier this month I read a popular post on the New York Times Well Blog titled “The Scientific Seven Minute Workout.” The post describes a  fitness routine put forth in a recent article in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal. After learning about the routine’s benefits, and what little time and equipment are needed, I decided to give it a try.

I’ll admit I was a little cocky. A seven minute workout? Please. I’ve worked out for 24 hours straight. Even before doing the workout for the first time, I was tacking on time to each of the intervals—30 seconds, pshh. I’ll do 60 seconds.

But let me tell you, that first 7 minute workout was a humbling experience. Even the jumping jacks were hard. I couldn’t stop looking at my watch—has it been 30 seconds yet? Only 10. What?! And the wall sit? Let’s not even talk about the wall sit. I’m still having nightmares.

I did my first 7 minute workout on Saturday. Parts of my body were still sore on Tuesday.

Although I spend a lot of time running and biking, and incorporate some strength training, there are clearly parts of my body that aren’t reaping the benefits of those activities. I’m going to try to keep it up with this 7 minute workout routine, maybe every other day or so. It’s unpleasant for sure. But in this case, that seems like a good thing.

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Squid Ink Pasta with Asparagus

May 22nd, 2013 — 7:19am

May 2013 281I’ve always been intrigued by squid ink pasta. At RP’s pasta at the farmers’ market, the black strands of linguine stand out like a black sheep among other varieties of dull-colored fettuccine, angel hair, and campanelli. When I discovered a recipe in a recent issue of Food and Wine that called for both squid ink pasta and seasonal asparagus, I couldn’t resist. Surprisingly, the flavor of squid ink pasta isn’t much different than any other pasta—but its impact on the presentation of a dish is undeniable.

Squid Ink Pasta with Asparagus (from Food and Wine, April 2013; serves 6)

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus—tips reserved, spears cut into pieces
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 pound squid ink linguine (I used RP’s)
1/2 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons snipped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped terragon
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs (I used Panko)
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Add the asparagus spears, garlic, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt, and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and cook until nearly evaporated.

Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta, water, crème fraîche, chives, parsley and tarragon to the skillet and keep warm.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the asparagus tips, season with salt and cook over high heat until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Add the asparagus tips to the pasta and toss.

In the skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the bread crumbs and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden. Sprinkle the bread crumbs and grated Parmigiano over the pasta and serve.

1 comment » | Kristin's Kitchen

Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding

May 21st, 2013 — 5:53am

May 2013 334Last year I focused on experimenting with rhubarb recipes beyond the standard, sugar-loaded  breads, crisps and bars. Don’t get me wrong, I love those, but I also wanted to find some new uses for rhubarb. Last year I tried Vanilla Bean Rhubarb Oatmeal, Poached Rhubarb with Elderflower Sabayon, and a Rhubarb Buckle. In previous years, I’ve made a boatload of other rhubarb recipes (I’ll do a “best of” post soon) and we even did a Rhubarb Iron Chef Dinner in June 2011.

Here’s my attempt at a more “healthy” rhubarb recipe—complete with protein-packed quinoa and Greek yogurt. I cut the sugar by more than half from the original recipe featured in Eating Well Magazine. The resulting dish is great for breakfast or dessert. The taste and consistency remind me of apple sauce.

Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding (adapted from Eating Well, March/April 2013, serves 4)

2 1/4 cups water, divided
1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen
1 cup chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine 2 cups water in a medium saucepan with rhubarb, strawberries, quinoa, cinnamon and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and lemon zest. Whisk cornstarch with the remaining 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Stir into the quinoa mixture, return to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Remove from heat and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour. Just before serving, combine the yogurt and vanilla in a small bowl. Top each serving with a generous dollop of the vanilla yogurt and fresh strawberries, if desired.May 2013 329

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