Monthly Archives: March 2016

Kale Salad with Oranges and Feta

This is a hit, every time I bring it to a function. Even people who don’t like kale love this salad. I prefer halos to oranges, as they are sweeter and easier to peel, but either will be delicious. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 large oranges or 3-4 halos (sweet tangerines)
1 large bunch Tuscan kale (about 1 pound), stems removed and leaves washed, spun dry, and torn into bite-size pieces
1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup crumbled feta
1½ tablespoons milk, or more if necessary
Salt and black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

Finely grate 2 teaspoons zest from 1 of the oranges and set aside. Cut the peel and pith off the oranges and, working over a strainer set in a bowl, cut the segments free of the membranes and reserve; discard the membranes. Place the kale in a large salad bowl and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, process the orange zest, vinegar, garlic, red pepper flakes, cup feta, milk, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper to a smooth puree. With the motor running, very slowly add the oil and process briefly until dressing is thick and emulsified; you should have about 2/3 cup. (If the dressing seems too thick to coat the kale leaves, add more milk about 1½ teaspoons at a time to adjust consistency.)

Add the dressing to the kale and, with your hands, mix the salad thoroughly until all the kale is coated. Rest the salad to allow the kale to soften slightly, about 30 minutes.

Add the currants, most of the remaining feta, and most of the orange segments to the kale and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper, if necessary. Sprinkle with the remaining feta and orange segments and serve.

Cynthia’s Spicy Shredded Pork

I don’t know who Cynthia is, but I am eternally grateful for this aMAZing version of carnitas. Oh my, it’s the best thing I’ve put in my mouth in a very long time. Many thanks to Ree Drummond, of Pioneer Woman fame, who first posted this. I like to serve it with warm corn tortillas, a good south-of-the-border slaw and sliced avocados. Be prepared to fend off hungry passersby, as the aromas wafting from the kitchen are to die for!

Ingredients:

4 lbs (up to 7 lbs) pork shoulder or pork butt
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp salt
Black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cups brown sugar (or less)
1 whole onion, quartered
lime wedges

Directions:

Rinse and pat dry the pork.

To begin, just throw the dried oregano, cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, olive oil, white wine vinegar and brown sugar into a food processor or blender. (Leave out the brown sugar if you like, I agree with Ree that it adds to the dish.)

Cut the onion into quarters and put in the food processor with the spices. Blend mixture until totally combined and then pour over the pork.

Now rub it into every nook and cranny of the meat, (I love this part) tucking it under folds and in crevices. Let no sone go unturned.

Then place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add a couple of cups of water. Cover tightly and toast pork at 300 degrees for several hours, turning once every hour.

When it it fork tender, crank up the heat, remove the lid and roast it, skin side up for another 15-20 minutes to get the skin crispy. When it’s done, let it rest for 15 minutes before shredding. (An alternative way to crisp pieces of it and give it that nice “burnt ends” texture is to shred it roughly and brown the pieces in a skillet until it’s as done as you like. This gives you a little more control over that and more crispness, in my opinion.)

Shred the pork with two forks. When it’s all shredded, be sure to pour the juices all over the meat. Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, slaw, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocados or guacamole… whatever makes your skirt fly up!

Adapted from http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/spicy-shredded-pork/

Asian Slaw

This is an irresistible side dish that I could (and have) easily make into a meal.  It’s delicious and healthy as is, but you could up the ante with a few handfuls of kale or chard substituted in the mix.  Makes a large bowl of slaw, good for a family or a crowd. Thanks to my daughter Amy for finding this one and introducing us to it!

Ingredients:

2 (3 oz) pkgs ramen noodle soup mix (either chicken or beef)
2 (8.5 oz) pkgs slaw mix
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 cup sunflower kernels
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1/3 cup white vinegar

Directions:

Before opening ramen noodles, gently crush the packets to break them up. Open and remove flavor packets from soup mix and set aside. Pour noodles into a large bowl and continue crushing.

Top with slaw mix; sprinkle with almonds, sunflower kernels and green onions.

Whisk together contents from flavor packets, sugar, oil and vinegar; pour over slaw and toss to coat. Cover and chill 24 hours to allow noodles to soften. Toss again before serving.

 

Asparagus and Gruyere Tart

02edf08_e_vertThis is a super easy appetizer or springy brunch item, but it looks and tastes like it came from a Parisian bakery. I made it today for our choir Easter brunch and it was amazing! I predict we will be seeing more of this. Happy Spring!

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 cups grated gruyere cheese
  • 1-1/2 pounds asparagus, medium size
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour for work surface
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the puff pastry on floured work surface into a 16-by-10-inch rectangle. Place pastry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove pastry shell from oven, and sprinkle with Gruyere. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell; arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.    Recipe from Martha Stewart.

Pasta with Spinach and Preserved Lemon

Ingredients

SERVINGS: 4 

  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, divided
  • ¾ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 oz. fresh strozzapreti (see Fresh Pasta) or other fresh or dried pasta
  • 2 bunches flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, large leaves torn in half (about 8 cups), divided
  • 1 Tbsp. (or more) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. (or more) thinly sliced preserved lemon peel
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Preparation

  • Heat oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat until butter is foaming. Add garlic and ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add panko and cook, stirring often, until panko is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Mix in lemon zest and transfer panko to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt and pepper. Let cool; set aside. Wipe out skillet.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente (about 5 minutes for fresh pasta). Drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat remaining 6 Tbsp. butter in same skillet over medium heat. Cook, swirling skillet occasionally, until butter is brown, about 3 minutes. Add 1 bunch spinach; cook, tossing, until wilted, about 1 minute.
  • Add pasta to skillet and toss to coat. Add lemon juice, preserved lemon peel, and remaining ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes and toss to combine; season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice and preserved lemon peel, if desired. Add remaining spinach and toss until slightly wilted, about 1 minute.
  • Serve pasta topped with reserved panko.
  • DO AHEAD: Panko can be toasted 1 day ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.