Sharing meals with friends and family is one of life's greatest pleasures. Featured here are some of the simple, yet wonderful, celebrations that take place in our home on Any Given Sunday throughout the year.
Sometimes, the very best desserts are those you leave alone, get out of the way of, and just eat. That is certainly the "recipe" for tonight's figs — we'll drizzle a few tiny drops of balsamic and will slice off a few chards of parm - maybe...
I owe the inspiration for this recipe to Heidi Swanson, who adapted it from the River Cottage Preserves Handbook by Pam Corbin (the US version of which, just came out last week). We make a lot of soups in our house and usually make and freeze a lot of stock but now are in love with the idea of making homemade bouillon. It is very easy to make and each batch makes a lot, so feel free freeze what you won't use right away (and, of course, to give some away). Thanks Heidi and Pam!
Homemade Bouillon from 101cookbooks.com by Heidi Swanson
This recipe requires a food processor. I have a 8-cup / 2 liter / 2 quart model, and needed every cubic inch of it. I found the best approach if you are tight for space in your food processor is to add a few of the ingredients, then pulse a few times. The ingredients collapse and free up more space for the next few ingredients. If you don't find yourself using much bouillon, I will suggest making a half batch of this. And for those of you wanting to do a version with no salt, freeze the pureed vegetables in small amounts - say, ice cube trays, just after pureeing them. Introduce salt in whatever amount you like later in the cooking process.
5 ounces / 150 g leeks, sliced and well-washed
7 ounces / 200g fennel bulb, chopped
7 ounces / 200g carrot, well scrubbed and chopped
3.5 ounces / 100 g celery
3.5 ounces / 100g celery root (celeriac), peeled and chopped
1 ounce / 30g sun-dried tomatoes
3.5 ounces / 100g shallots, peeled
3 medium garlic cloves
9 ounces / 250g fine grain sea salt
1.5 ounces / 40 g flat-leaf parsley, loosely chopped
Place the first four ingredients in your food processor and pulse about twenty times. Add the next four ingredients, and pulse again. Add the salt, pulse some more. Then add the parsley and cilantro. You may need to scoop some of the chopped vegetables on top of the herbs, so they get chopped. Mine tended to want to stay on top of everything else, initially escaping the blades.
You should end up with a moist, loose paste of sorts. Keep 1/4th of it in a jar in the refrigerator for easy access in the coming days, and freeze the remaining 3/4 for use in the next month. Because of all the salt it barely solidifies making it easy to spoon directly from the freezer into the pot before boiling.
Start by using 1 teaspoon of bouillon per 1 cup (250 ml), and adjust from there based on your personal preference.
Makes roughly 3 1/2 cups.
Inspired by Pam Corbin, The River Cottage Preserves Handbook.
Even in late spring, peas and asparagus are still abundant at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Will cook some semi-pearled farro, then will add some chopped herbs, some feta and these lovely vegetables. A simple, healthy meal that is also hearty and satisfying.
I've posted this recipe before but it bears repeating, especially now that I've discovered the locally grown and ground white corn polenta from Talon de Gato Farm in Dixon, NM (just a little north of Santa Fe), and that is available at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.
A hot creamy bowl of polenta with good chorizo is one of our all-time favorite breakfast meals. The polenta takes 25-30 minutes to cook but it's worth the wait.
1/2 lb. chorizo sausage
4 cups water
1 cup polenta or grits (preferably the white corn polenta that is local to the Santa Fe area if you live around here)
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese (or parmesan - see note below)
1 tablespoon butter
salt & pepper to taste
sour cream for garnish
cilantro for garnish
hot sauce to add heat (optional)
Cook chorizo sausage in a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat until done, approximately 10 -15 minutes. Keep warm.
Cook polenta in a medium-sized, heavy bottom sauce pan by bringing 4 cups of lightly salted water to a boil, then slowly pouring in polenta while stirring constantly so that it doesn't lump. Once all the polenta in stirred into the water and the mixture has returned to the boil, turn temperature down to medium-low and let cook for 25 minutes longer, stirring occasionally throughout the cooking process so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of your pan. Cook until polenta is the consistency of a thick custard. Turn off heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoons of mascarpone cheese. This will make the polenta quite creamy in texture. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.
Note: if you don't have mascarpone cheese on hand, you can use a good quality parmesan instead - just finely grate it and stir it into the polenta after it's cooked, just like you would the mascarpone.
Serve immediately by placing polenta into warmed soup bowls. Spoon cooked chorizo on top of polenta, then garish with sour cream, cilantro and hot sauce to taste.
When half of your household is Armenian, you get the benefit of these delicious sandwiches all summer long: Baljan Garmisa (egg and flour dipped fried eggplant slices with bell pepper, red onion, cucumber, and tomato. Best vegetarian sandwich ever!