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Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘Ivy Manning

Muhammara (Another Great Red Pepper Dip!)

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Paula Wolfert's Muhammara.

How I’ve missed blogging, but somehow haven’t been up it. I’m halfway through my first pregnancy, pregnant with a boy(!) we just learned. That might explain why I didn’t have too much morning sickness and always felt like eating first trimester? Unfortunately, second trimester has surprisingly so far been more of a slog.

But I wanted to write to sing the praises of muhammara, another great roasted red pepper (with walnuts and pomegranate) dip that apparently hails from Syria. I fell in love with this recipe we just had from Paula Wolfert’s The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean. Dan’s former department chair prepared it as part of a delicious Middle Eastern spread she put together for a visiting economist from Turkey. Shawna and her husband, Rolf, sure know how to entertain. They’re especially known for their Scandinavian delicacies–gravalax, pickled herring, fresh currant-infused aquavit, home-smoked duck. Rolf is from Sweden. He even grows pinot noir grapes, which he bottles into a coveted “Grapes of Rolf” vintage. A case or two of his wine has been known to woo job candidates here.

Back to muhammara. Like avjar, it has an addictive tang that pairs so well with pita and goat cheese or feta. If you, like me, try to avoid imported bell peppers this time of year (apart from the carbon footprint, they have that off, less-than-fresh taste), just substitute jarred roasted red peppers instead. Why bother roasting peppers out of season anyway? For another muhammara variation, check out this one from Ivy Manning in the current issue of Portland’s MIX. Pomegranate molasses is a key ingredient that you’ll enjoy having around for salad dressings. I believe Corvallis cookbook author Jan Roberts-Dominguez also has a muhammara recipe (with hazelnuts instead of walnuts) in her new Oregon Hazelnut Country cookbook.

Written by baltimoregon

February 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm

Kale and White Kidney Beans Two Easy Ways

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Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup in a Vegetarian Tomato Broth.

But first, earlier in the week, enjoy a hearty appetizer of kale and cannellini beans on garlicky bruschetta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had forgotten to blog about these two¬† delicious, easy, economical and healthy (vegetarian) kale and cannellini bean recipes. You won’t be surprised to learn the recipes come from my friend Ivy Manning, cookbook author extraordinaire who is known to work wonders with kale.

First, make Ivy’s soul-satisfying kale and cannellini beans bruschetta. You’ll be asking yourself why you don’t make bruschetta, on fresh garlic-rubbed sliced baguette more often. It’s easy. For this recipe, I used local Lacinato kale from Beene Farm in Southtown Corvallis and beans from Matt-Cyn Farm in Albany.

Just be sure to reserve the cooking liquid and leftovers for this Italian kale and white bean soup you can then make later in the week. It’s a simple formula that easy allows for improvisation. I went heavy on the tomatoes and stirred in Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Israeli couscous-and-quinoa blend before serving. Effortless weeknight dinner!

Speaking of kale, check out Ivy’s slightly more indulgent recipe for colcannon-like Twice-Baked Irish Potatoes with Stout Onions and, of course, Kale.

Written by baltimoregon

December 29, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Chinese-Thai Chanterelle Stir-Fry

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Improvised stir-fry with chanterelles, carrots, tomato, beet greens and fresh banana peppers, with Thai basil, Shaoxing wine, soy, honey, a splash of fish sauce--surprisingly good. Lots of minced garlic and ginger sauteed in oiled wok first.

 

 

It's prime chanterelle season! The wet weather yielded a good harvest. One of the bright spots of fall!

 

We’ve got such meaty fresh chanterelles at markets this season, I can’t find enough ways to use them. My default recipe is Ivy Manning’s whole wheat pasta with chanterelles, which always appeals. I’ll have to also check out this salad recipe of hers. Then we’ve topped pizza with sauteed chanterelles and slip them into tomato pasta sauce. But I’d never tried them in an Asian stir-fry, until tonight.

Sauteed chanterelles cook down into velvety morsels with concentrated flavor. They’re so much more dense and complex than the shiitakes I usually use in stir-fry. For this impromptu dish, we began with hot peanut oil in the wok, in which we quick-fried some minced ginger in garlic. Then in went the cleaned and sliced chanterelles, then the carrots, then some salt, then after they fried a bit, some Shaoxing wine to deglaze the pan. Then we added chunks of a whole fresh tomato, which cooked down into a sauce, and fresh banana pepper and finally some wilted beet and turnip greens long neglected in the fridge. And pieces torn from a bunch of browning Thai basil, which reminded me to later add a splash of fish sauce. As it cooked, I splashed on a drop of sesame oil, light soy sauce and honey. Just before turning off the wok, we mixed in some day-old Basmatic rice. It was a Chinese-Thai fusion dish, which isn’t uncommon. At our local Thai restaurant, Dan likes to order “drunken noodles,” which is basically stir-fried broad-cut Chinese noodles or chao fan.

Any other suggestions of what to do with chanterelles before this fleeting season runs out? I’d love to go foraging again sometime. But I’ve lost some motivation since they’ve been relatively inexpensive at the market, often less than $10 a pound.

 

Ivy Manning's whole wheat pasta with chanterelles, from her beautiful Farm to Table cookbook.

 

Written by baltimoregon

October 14, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Chinese Take-Out Made at Home

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Sweet-and-Sour Tofu: Our New Guilty Pleasure.

Greasy fried sweet-and-sour Chinese dishes have never appealed to me. The closest I get is repeat ordering our beloved sesame tempeh at our local China Delight (though even that was too battered and heavy last time we brought some in). So I don’t know why Ivy Manning’s Sweet-and-Sour Tofu recipe intrigued me. Some perverse fascination with the 50s housewife-type ingredients–ketchup, distilled white vinegar, canned pineapple, ground ginger instead of fresh?

But there’s something so fun and addictive about this easy recipe. And Manning’s recipe, with its bell peppers, pineapple juice instead of syrup, and only lightly fried nuggets, is infinitely healthier than take-out, not to mention you won’t have to worry about MSG. We’ve made it twice now. Let’s just say it’s a winner with my husband, known to still have the appetite and tastes of a 10-year-boy. Instead of reconstituting Asian store fried tofu cubes I use more healthful soy-marinated (but still fried) ones from our First Alternative Co-op (10 percent off as today was member day). The sweet-and-sour sauce lacquers but doesn’t inundate the chewy, spongy squares.

Written by baltimoregon

January 13, 2010 at 12:11 am

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Luscious Liver Pate and Banh Mih

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Chicken liver pate.

Chicken liver pate.

Scrapped the black gills of the portabellos for the banh mi.

Scrapped the black gills of the portabellos for the banh mi.

This is the story of how the random ingredients I assembled beforehand transformed themselves into a marvelous sandwich tonight. A luscious chicken liver pate and a pickled daikon (white radish)-carrot salad were the condiments I piled onto banh mi Vietnamese-style baguette sandwiches. What serendipity to glance upon Ivy Manning’s “Mushroom Banh Mi” recipe in this week’s FOODday section of The Oregonian. It just so happens I had made up some of her daikon salad (from her Farm to Table cookbook) last week.

Then there was the pate I made up for my parents, with velvety, foie gras-like livers from Kookoolan Farms. When defrosted, they were as good as fresh. It didn’t hurt that we amped up the recipe with chanterelles and leeks from the garden instead.

So I corrupted Ivy’s vegetarian sandwich, spreading pate on the baguette under the ‘shrooms. But that’s the way we like to eat: with meat as a condiment. Thomas Jefferson would be proud.

Luscious livers.

Luscious livers.

Bahn Mi with Mark Bittman's Soba Salad (go easy on the mirin in the dressing).

Bahn Mi with Mark Bittman's Soba Salad (go easy on the mirin in the dressing).

Herbaceous and fragrant, this syncretic sandwich is sweeping the Pacific Northwest and country-at-large. We love our little Baguette cafe here. And wild, hybrid versions of banh mi have surfaced in Washington and New York. But making your own isn’t difficult. It’s a great way to pay homage to two great culinary traditions, Vietamese and French. This is one edible positive to emerge from the scourge of colonialism.

Written by baltimoregon

September 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Foraging Again, through Brambles of Blackberries

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Fresh from the woods.

Fresh from the woods.

Lots of treacherous thorns to dodge.

Lots of treacherous thorns to dodge.

Blackberries were about the last thing I should have bought upon my return to the Corvallis Farmer’s Market Saturday. Not because I don’t like them. Oregonians love to forage for and eat those wild blackberries so abundant here. But they loathe those same thorny canes that can become some of the most invasive plants, suffocating all other life out of your garden and yard with those looming, downward-seeking vines. Luckily, wild blackberry plants line the trails where I run, just minutes from our home. I didn’t realize they were already blackening (ripening) until I stumbled upon them in Bald Hill Park yesterday. Why buy blackberries when nature gives them up, generously, for free?

I set out to collect two cups more today for dessert. This time, I came prepared, pulling thick rubber boots over my jeans and bringing yard gloves to protect my hands from thorns. Blackberry gathering is like bee-keeping I suppose: the threat of pricks and stings somehow makes the fruit and honey gathered that much more sweet. I’m sure Novella Carpenter would agree. In 30 minutes (including my bike ride down the road and back), I had gathered what I needed.

Ivy Manning’s cookbook once again inspired me: this time, to make her uber-local Peach and Blackberry Hazelnut Crisp. Unfortunately, peaches are just barely in season here, but I still managed to snag some at the food co-op. Though ripe, the peaches sure didn’t seem freestone, clinging as they did to their pit. The blackberries: foraged. The ground hazelnuts, from nearby Hazelnut Hill farm. The Quaker rolled oats didn’t quite belong. Add chopped crystallized ginger to the fruit mixture if you have some lying around. Top with vanilla ice cream. I used vanilla coconut milk cream, because the pricey concoction was $2 off. Now if I could only forage for peaches.

Written by baltimoregon

August 11, 2009 at 12:48 am

Lamb Stew with Baby Spring Vegetables

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Navarin D'Agneau Printanier

Navarin D'Agneau Printanier

Ivy Manning‘s fabulous farmers-market friendly recipes keep tempting me! This French stew adapted from Chef Pascal Sauton of Portland’s Carafe (which I have yet to try) also called for several ingredients we needed to get rid of: frozen lamb stew meat, beef broth, and we already had the tomato paste, the white wine and the herbs on hand.

Granted it’s not spring anymore, but baby carrots and cute little baby turnips (I used both white and pink ones) are still in season at the market. Had to go non-local with the white pearl onions –something I’ve never purchased before — but they were sweet when caramelized in brown butter. And of course, this tangy stew tasted even better the second day.

Written by baltimoregon

June 30, 2009 at 1:33 am

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Dandelions…On Pizza and Overtaking the Yard

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weeder

Dandelion Greens, Italian Sausage and Fontina Cheese Pizza

Dandelion Greens, Italian Sausage and Fontina Cheese Pizza

Normally, dandelions, and the numerous other weeds that flourish in our yard, are my nemeses. But red cultivated dandelions, sauteed first in olive oil and garlic, sure do taste nice on pizza. And the ones in the yard will be easier to uproot now, with this trusty weeder my father-in-law just sent me. I’d like to forage wild dandelions but I hear they’re too bitter and tough unless picked when newly sprouted.

So I bought dandelions instead from local Denison Farms. Ivy Manning’s beautiful book was once again my inspiration: specifically, her recipe for Dandelion Greens, Italian Sausage and Fontina Cheese Pizza. EatingWell gave it their stamp of approval. Using the dough hook on your KitchenAid mixer, preparing the pizza dough is a cinch. No kneading necessary. I like her half whole wheat blend. Using a cornmeal-dusted backside of a baking sheet, we finally also successfully thrust the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven.

The sharp yet gooey fontina cheese (from Willamette Valley Cheese Co.) stood its own against the garlicky bitter greens. The anise and grease in the Italian sausage sweetened the deal, binding the flavors together. The sausage was supposedly ground from Carlton Farms pork, though the staff at old-school Emmons Meat Market looked at me strangely when I asked if the pig, beef and salmon were local. The pork yes, but the beef was from the Midwest and sadly, the salmon was farmed.

But the pizza was delish! We didn’t even miss the tomato sauce. Now if we only had the truffle oil for drizzling on top (which Ivy said was optional). Ah, the power of suggestion. I did miss it.

Pizza boy

Pizza boy

Written by baltimoregon

June 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm

Cured Scallops and Green Sputniks

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Cured Bay Scallop Salad

Cured Bay Scallop Salad

Kohlrabi (green Sputniks)

Kohlrabi (Green Sputniks)

There’s nothing like raw, simple, vegetal foods once the weather warms. Simple dishes, though they’re never quite that easy to prepare. But ceviche-style is my new favorite way to prepare scallops and the fact that the dish doesn’t require cooking is a plus. I tried this Cured Bay Scallop Salad recipe from Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, one of Portland’s hottest (yet relatively unpretentious) restaurants. Sliced paper thin, the crisp radish, cucumber, apple and red onion slices accented the mellow lemon juice-marinated sea flesh. Red paper flakes and fresh mint slivers really made the plate jump.

And Ivy Manning inspired the other two courses I made (and I say courses because I never seem to have my dishes ready at one time). I want to cook my way through her book. On our radio show she referred to kohlrabi as a vegetable that even intimidates classically-trained chefs and tends to “die a lonely death in the crisper.” But these green Sputnik-shaped vegetables (in the broccoli and cabbage family) are delicious and versatile if you know how to prepare them. We made Ivy’s Kohlrabi Slaw, which is adapted from The Farm Cafe in Portland. Peeling the kohlrabi is key to get at the bulb’s sweet flesh, a crispy cross between broccoli stalk and sweet young cabbage. The rice vinegar and fennel seeds are key ingredients here. Still, I substituted toasted anise seeds and got the same deliciously spciy licorice accent.

And don’t throw out those collards-like kohlrabi greens. They’re an added gift. Again, I followed Ivy’s simple recipe that pairs the greens with toasted sesame oil and soy sauce. Just be sure not to overcook them! And it’s the fresh local ingredients that really make these dishes shine.

Written by baltimoregon

May 28, 2009 at 12:33 am

Dining Al Fresco

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Our yard

Our yard and cut flowers from the garden

We finally dined al fresco at home tonight, on our new recyclable resin (ie. cheap) table and chairs from Bi-Mart. Don’t let its small Wal-Mart appearance deceive you. This worker-owned store is a wonder of the Pacific Northwest. Bi-Mart is where I purchased my shellfish digging license, got waterproof boots, the lawn furniture and supplies with which to preserve food.

After my recent interview with Ivy Manning, I keep turning to her Farm to Table cookbook for inspiration. We made her refreshingly zesty Watercress, Snow Pea and Shitake Mushroom Stir-Fry. I substituted peppery mustard greens for the watercress (since they both have bite) and added tofu to make for a more substantial meal. We also had a springy salad and served the brothy dish over short-grain rice studded with millet, a trick I learned from Chef Naoko. Our friends brought a growler of oatmeal stout from local microbrewery Block 15 to chase down the meal. (Note to self: take advantage of Block 15’s special Sunday $7 growler refill rate). Then rhubarb bread, coconut ice cream and “blueberry teas” for dessert (a McMenamin’s-inspired concoction of Amaretto, Grand Marnier and hot Earl Grey tea…which is surprisingly evocative of the fruit). Ah, spring.

Mustard Greens, Shitake, Snap Pea and Tofu Stir-Fry

Mustard Greens, Shitake, Snap Pea and Tofu Stir-Fry

Written by baltimoregon

May 25, 2009 at 12:40 am

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