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Grape Sorbet

As the air turns crisp, mornings darken, and the sun starts to take on an amber glow, my thoughts invariably turn to the flavors of fall. Our local farmer’s market is still active, but flip flops and sun glasses are quickly being replaced by sneakers and stocking caps. I find myself clinging to the last bits of summer, resisting the urge to pull on a sweater and trying to devour as much produce as a person can eat.

Fresh grapes are one of summer’s final gifts. Fruity and sweet, they carry the brightness of summer while also gently bringing the cold refreshing side of fall. Last summer on the final day of our farmer’s market I purchased a basket of concord grapes. The deep purple color and heady fragrance were irresistible. With far too many seeds to eat straight up, I knew that the grapes would require special treatment. In typical fashion we decided that dessert was in order and used the grapes to make a sorbet.

Making Grape Sorbet

The simple mixture of water, sugar and grapes was a revelation. Almost magically, making sorbet concentrated the grape flavor to a level I had never before experienced. Each spoonful had a fluffy, almost snowcone-like texture that dissolved instantly in my mouth leaving behind the intense taste of juicy, floral grapes. I was hooked.

Making Grape Sorbet

This year as soon as I spotted grapes at the market I jumped on them! We rushed home and immediately made sorbet. The grapes were a mix of varieties, and as a result had a slightly less intense flavor than concord grapes. However the texture and taste of a fresh grape sorbet was just as delightful and delicious as I remembered.

Grape Sorbet (Printable Recipe)
Serves 6-8

If you don’t have an ice cream maker I think this recipe could easily be adapted to make grape granitas instead of sorbet. (However if you stop by my site on a regular basis, you really should get an ice cream maker. There is no end in sight to our ice cream making!)

Ingredients:

3 cups of Grapes, all stems removed
1 1/2 cups of Water
1/2 – 1 cup Sugar (adjust to taste since the sweetness of grapes will vary)
3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

Directions:

Rinse the grapes, and place them in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the water and 1/2 cup of sugar and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture gently simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and see if the liquid needs additional sugar. If it does, add in the remaining sugar and stir until it is dissolved. Turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid, and let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.

Next, strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on the solids with the back of a spatula to extract any leftover liquid. Discard the solids. Stir lemon juice into the liquid, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in the fridge and chill for four hours or overnight. After the liquid is thoroughly chilled, freeze according to the ice cream manufacturer’s suggestions. (Mine takes about 20 minutes.) Transfer the sorbet to a freezer safe container and freeze it for 3-4 hours before serving (to firm up).

 

 

Chipotle Chicken Soup

As promised, here is my recipe for a delicious chipotle chicken tortilla soup. There really is not much of a story to go along with this, other than it is a beautiful way to use up leftover chicken from the chipotle beer BBQ chicken. The bold flavors in the soup are all at once spicy, comforting, and quite satisfying.

Making the Chipotle Chicken Stock

Making the Stock

Making the Chicken Chipotle Soup

Making the Soup

You can dress up individual bowls with chopped avocado, fresh lime juice, crushed tortilla chips, or whatever else strikes your fancy. As usual, I seem to be incapable of making a small amount of soup, so this makes a very large pot!

Chipotle Chicken Soup

Is it possible to have too much soup? I don’t think I’ve found my limit yet!


Chipotle Chicken Tortilla Soup (Printable Recipe)
Serves 6-8

If you don’t have a roasted chicken and still want to make this recipe, simply use a whole uncooked 3-4lb chicken when making the stock. Once the stock has cooked, shred the meat off of the chicken and discard the remaining carcass. You will need to taste the soup as you make it and determine if it needs additional spices, such as cumin and garlic.

Ingredients:

Stock
1 Chipolte Beer BBQ Chicken Carcass (or a 3-4 lb. chicken carcass)
2 carrots
1/2 large yellow onion
1/2 head of garlic, smashed but not peeled (don’t bother)
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 small handful of cilantro
1 small handful of parsley
4 stalks of celery with leaves

10-12 cups of water (enough to cover the contents in a large soup pot)

Soup
10-12 cups of stock (recipe above), divided

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup of short grain white rice
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded

2 ears of corn, kernels removed
Kosher salt, to taste (I used about 3 Tablespoons)

Toppings
1 lime, cut into quarters
1 avocado, diced
1 tomato, diced
fresh cilantro, chopped
Mexican crema (or sour cream)
Crushed corn chips

Directions:

Make the Stock
Place a large stockpot with lid over medium heat. Add in the chicken carcass, carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, cilantro, parsley, and celery. Next add in enough water to cover the contents of the pot by a few inches (approximately 10-12 cups). Bring the liquid to a strong simmer, and then reduce the heat to maintain a very low simmer. Cover the pot and cook the stock for 2 hours. Once the stock has cooked, carefully strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a very large bowl. Rinse out the stockpot, and set it aside in a heatproof location.

Make the Soup
Place 1 cup of the stock in a blender along with the jalapenos, serrano pepper, and chipotle peppers. Blend the mixture until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Set aside.

Return the large stockpot to the stove, over medium heat. Add grapeseed oil to the pot, and then add in the onion and green bell peppers. Saute the vegetables until they are just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add in the rice and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. Next, add the strained stock to the pot along with shredded chicken and the blended pepper mixture.

Cook the soup at a moderate simmer for 20-30 minutes until the rice is cooked. Add in the corn and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and taste the soup. Add in as much salt as desired, tasting as you go. (I added about 3 Tablespoons.)

Serve in individual bowls, topped with any combination of lime juice, avocado, tomato, cilantro, crema, and tortilla chips.

 

 

Chipolte BBQ Beer Chicken

I am not an impulse shopper. In fact Mr. B and I both take so long to research purchasing decisions that we once went over three months without a TV just to be certain we would get the right one. (Painfully true!) Yet every now and then I see something and know instantly that it is for me. This vertical chicken roaster from Williams-Sonomoa was one of those things. Basically a fancy way to make beer-can chicken or other variations on that theme- when it appeared in the summer magazine I knew I had to have it.

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Now I’m all for just sticking a beer can up a chicken and calling it good, however the ingenious design of this roaster has a wide base allowing ample space for vegetables to hang out and soak up all of the delicious chicken juices- it was love at first sight. Once the roaster arrived I eagerly put it to use.*

With chipotle chilies leftover from our addictive peach salsa adventures, we both decided that a chipotle infused chicken should be on the menu. I was particularly thrilled with this idea because it gave me a chance to use my one of my all time favorite cooking beers, Rogue Chipotle Ale.

Rogue Chipotle Ale

If you aren’t familiar with the Rogue line of beers I encourage you to check them out. They are very different from your normal beer as they brew things such as soba noodles, chipotle chilies, and juniper with their hops. Now the chipotle ale is a bit strong to drink by itself (unless you are having a very spicy meal) but I have found that it is an excellent beer to use when making chili, spicy stews, or in this case beer-can chicken.

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Placing the Rub Under the Chicken Skin

Chipolte BBQ Beer Chicken

Ready to Roast

Using chipotle as my base flavor I improvised from there, creating a wet rub full of garlic, honey, and cumin to season the chicken. Mr. B fired up the grill and within about two hours we had a beautifully roasted chicken. Honey turned the chicken skin a deep golden brown and the moist meat had a subtle heat from the chipotle peppers and beer. The roasted vegetables were deliciously caramelized and with a hint of smoke flavor turned into a fantastic accompaniment. In fact, they were so irresistible that I almost burned my fingers snatching them out of the roaster before they were cool!

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Now by all means, DON’T THROW OUT THE CHICKEN. Instead save the bones and any leftover meat to make a marvelous Mexican-style chipotle chicken tortilla soup.


*One drawback to the roaster is that once you use it, it will take on a black “patina”- meaning it is nearly impossible to scrub clean. Now I don’t get my knickers in a bunch over pans that aren’t out-of-the-package shiny so this really doesn’t bother me. However if you are one of those people buy a lot of SOS pads and good luck!

Chipotle Beer BBQ Chicken (Printable Recipe)
Serves 4-6


If you don’t have this fun roaster, you could easily substitute a sanitized tin can filled with the beer and grill the vegetables on the side. When you are finished cooking the chicken, save the juice in the can and pour it over the vegetables for added flavor.

Ingredients:

1 (3-4 lbs) Whole Chicken

Rub
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon honey (I used a delicious Guajillo honey)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons worth)
2 Tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Bottom of Roaster
4 small potatoes, cut into 1″ thick slices
6 small carrots, cut on a bias into 2″ long pieces
1 sweet onion, cut length wise into eighths

Roaster Well
~ 1 cup Chipotle Ale (Rouge Brewery)

Directions:

Pre-heat the grill to 450 degrees (medium-high). Mix all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Gently place the rub underneath the chicken skin, spreading it around as much as possible. Pour 1 cup of the Chipotle ale into the roaster “well” and place the chicken on top. Scatter the vegetables around the chicken in the bottom of the roaster. Place chicken and vegetables on the grill, and cook at 400 degrees for about 1 hour 30 min. or until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reaches 165 degrees and the chicken juices run clear.

Remove the roaster from the grill and take the chicken off the vertical well. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Save any leftover juice/beer in the well and serve it as a sauce on top of the meat and vegetables.

 

 

Wild Plum Tart

This is a tart I will likely never forget. Will I remember the shortbread-like crust which crumbled beneath my fork with every bite? Perhaps. Will I reminisce about the soft silky filling that tasted of barely sweetened fragrant plums? Possibly. Will I recall how perfectly the flavors mingled together with homemade vanilla ice cream? Maybe.

Making the Crust

Making the Crust

Making the Wild Plum Tart

Making the Tart
Despite the delectable flavor and eye-pleasing presentation of this wild plum tart, what will keep it foremost in my memory is this:

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Yes, that is a second degree burn just beginning to blister, and yes it hurt like crazy! In fact I was so mad at myself for accidentally resting my forearm on the oven door that I hollered for about five minutes straight. Poor Mr. B didn’t know whether to help out or run for cover! (The dog ran for cover.)

I was particularly mad at myself because I have a long history of cooking scars. (In fact almost all of my scars are from cooking. Hmmm…) It began when I was about 11 and burned my wrist on the oven element while baking muffins. Then it continued when I was 13 with my first (and last) attempt at homemade tortillas, leaving scars on my other forearm. And most recently I learned that browning meat in hot oil while in the buff, is a very bad idea. (Why hasn’t anyone invented a bathrobe that doubles as an apron?) You would think after all of that I would have the foresight to wear mitts when placing a tart in the oven. My father always loves to say, “Stupidity is self-curing.” I’m beginning to wonder…

At times like this I can be a bit of a drama queen, and I woefully moaned to Mr. B “If this leaves a big scar, I’m going to have to get a tattoo to cover it up.” He takes my drama in stride and replied, “Yeah, you could get one of those cool dragon tattoos all up your arm!” That shut me up. Good grief. What is it with men and dragon tattoos? (No Mom, I’m not considering it, put the phone down!)

So back to the wild plum tart. After the drama subsided and my arm was bandaged up we sat down to eat the tart. It was incredible. In fact Mr. B looked over at me and tentatively said, “This is so good, it was almost worth it.” Despite my bandaged state, I had to agree.

Wild Plum Tart

Wild Plum Tart (Printable Recipe)
Modified from the charming blog,
The Italian Dish who adapted a recipe from the book “Chez Panisse Fruit”
Serves 10

This tart begs to be served with vanilla ice cream. My plums were on the tart side and without ice cream to add a touch of sweetness the flavor would simply be incomplete!

Pâte Sucrée (The tart shell)

Ingredients:

1 stick quality butter, room temperature (I used

Plugra)
1/3 cup Sugar
1/4 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 Egg yolk
1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in the vanilla and egg yolk and mix until the ingredients are well combined. Next add in the flour and continue to mix until no dry bits remain. Scrape the ball of dough out of the bowl and onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Gently press the dough into a flat disk, about 4″ across, and wrap it completely with the plastic wrap. Place the dough in the fridge for several hours or overnight until it is firm.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the dough from the fridge and let warm up for about 5-10 minutes until it is just barely pliable. (If the dough is too stiff to roll out and is just crumbling, let it sit for a few more minutes to warm up slightly.) Lightly flour both sides of the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or two silpats. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a large 12 inch circle. Place the dough (still sandwiched between the parchment) in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up again.

Gently peel the top sheet of parchment off of the dough. Ready a 10″ tart pan, and then invert the dough into the pan. Remove the remaining sheet of parchment and gently press the dough down into the pan. Pinch off any dough that hangs over the edges of the tart pan, and use it to patch any tears. Next place the tart pan in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up again before baking. (If you don’t do this the dough will shrink in the pan and you will be sorry!)

Take the tart pan straight from the freezer and place it in the center of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tart shell is slightly golden. Check on the tart shell about halfway through baking and if you notice any bubbles, use the back of a spoon to press them down. Transfer the tart to a rack and let it cool completely before filling.

Wild Plum Filling

Ingredients:

15-20 wild plums (Wild plums are small. Reduce this to 8-10 if you are using regular plums!)
1 prebaked 10-inch pâte sucrée tart shell (recipe above)
1 stick salted butter (again I used
Plugra)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons plum brandy, grappa or kirsch (or just plain brandy if you have nothing else)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons heavy cream (I used whole milk because we were out of cream)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut the plums in half, remove the pits, and slice into 1/2 inch wedges. As you cut the plums, arrange the wedges in concentric circles in the prebaked tart shell. This will help you determine exactly how many plums are needed to fill the tart.

Place a small saucepan over low heat. Add the stick of butter and let it melt and bubble. Keeping an eye on it so it doesn’t burn, continue to cook the butter, giving the pan an occasional swirl, until it has turned a toasty light brown color. Immediately take the pan off the heat and add in the lemon juice to stop the cooking. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar until it forms a mixture that drops thickly from the beaters (about 5 minutes of mixing). Add the browned butter, brandy, vanilla, flour, and cream into the bowl. Gently beat the mixture until it is just combined (about 1 minute).

Pour the batter over the top of the plums, jiggling the tart pan gently to evenly distribute the batter. Cover the edge of the tart crust with a pie crust shield or a ring of foil (careful I scorched myself adjusting the foil in the oven!). Place the tart in the top third of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is a golden brown. Transfer the tart to a rack and remove the foil or pie shield. Let the tart cool for 15-30 minutes and then remove the outer tart ring (if the ring sticks in places, gently insert the tip of a knife between the ring and the crust to remove it). Serve the tart warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

 

 

Indian Dosa Pancakes

This month’s Daring Kitchen challenge was put forth by Debyi of The Healthy Vegan Kitchen. Her challenge came in two forms- the first to make everything in a vegan manner and the second to successfully create paper thin pancakes (similar to crepes). The recipe was broken into three parts: filling, sauce, and pancakes. In the interest of maintaining full disclosure- I must admit I failed both challenges. (However the results were still delicious so I decided not to let it get me down!) Let’s take a look at what happened.

First, I made the sauce. A simmering mixture of garlic, onion, fresh tomatoes, a medley of spices, and coconut milk. The fragrance floating off the pan was intoxicating and I made a mental note to track down more Indian recipes very soon. Too often I lean toward Latin American flavors for inspiration and I think I’ve been missing out!

Making the Sauce

Next I made the chickpea filling. As the mixture of more onion, garlic, spices, banana peppers (from the garden!), and mashed chickpeas melded together I couldn’t stop sneaking “tastes”. I really love chickpeas. They are such a happy little bean.

Making the Filling

Finally, feeling good about life and getting hungry for dinner I assembled the dosa pancakes. As I reached in the fridge for soy milk, I took a look at the carton and stopped in my tracks. It read, “Vanilla Soy Milk”. Oh shoot. It was far too late to run to the store and Mr. B was already sniffing the bubbling sauce on the stove with an eager look. So I caved and substituted regular milk. There went the vegan part of the challenge. Then came the second hurdle- managing to create paper-thin pancakes on a hot griddle with enough batter to only make 8. Well, you can see below how well that went.

Making the Dosa Pancakes

I only managed to salvage 2 out of the 8 pancakes.
Despite failing both of the challenges issued, we loved the spicy combination of flavors in this dish. Accompanied by saffron rice and fresh tomatoes, the dosas were a fun departure from our typical dinners. When I asked Mr. B what he thought of the recipe, he replied “It would be good with chicken.” I have to agree. The next time I make this I will simmer chicken thighs in the sauce and skip the dosa pancakes as they didn’t add much flavor (just frustration!). It may not be traditional but it will definitely be tasty!

If you are interested in the recipe it is available in printable form here.

 

 

100_2223

Today marks the 1 year birthday of Phoo-D. Wow. When I sat down exactly one year ago and wrote my first post about falling in love and pecans, I had no idea what lay ahead.

You see, I was in a rather difficult place when I started this blog. My life lacked a creative outlet and I had few friends who shared my passion for fantastic food. This, when combined with other day to day details, was causing me to feel unproductive and generally depressed. I knew something had to be done but I felt trapped in routine and circumstance.

I enjoyed reading blogs and one morning it dawned on me that perhaps I could start a blog too. Now I did not have any grand visions of achieving fame or fortune (which is good because that still hasn’t happened!) but the thought of contributing something to the world, no matter how small, really appealed to me.

So I sat down and started to write. In the beginning I was all alone. No comments. No readers. I even waited a few months before telling my mother. And then, after quite a while, a comment appeared. Holy cow- someone was reading! A few days later, amazingly enough, they came back and read some more. As my interaction with other food bloggers and readers grew, I discovered the creative outlet and community I craved. My pursuits in the kitchen and love of fantastic food took on new meaning as all of a sudden, I had people to share it with!

As weeks flew by, the blog began to snowball and take on a life of its own. I pushed myself to continually improve the writing, the recipes, and the photographs- wanting to create something excellent. In the process I discovered that I truly love blogging about food. It has led to the best meals of my life, challenged my creative skills on a daily basis, and most of all introduced me to a wonderful group of people.

Thank you. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for bringing me happiness every day.

I owe a special thanks to Kristin (Going Country), Allie (Screwed Up Texan), Catherine (Unconfidential Cook), Debby (A Feast for the Eyes), and Dana (TheKitchWitch). Your encouragement and comments since the very beginning have meant the world to me. ‘Thank you’ just isn’t enough.

 

 

Smoky Peach Salsa

It is time for me to come clean with you. Like Mr. B and his Triple Ginger cookies, I have a bit of an addiction. It is a rather strange addiction, containing none of the typical substances such as chocolate, caffeine, or alcohol. You see, I am addicted to peach salsa. And not just any peach salsa. Oh no. Quite specifically Trader Joe’s Smoky Peach Salsa.

Smoky Peach Salsa

Now I’ve tried just about every brand of peach salsa out there, because, as you may recall, the nearest Trader Joe’s is over 300 miles away. Sadly no other peach salsa has satisfied my craving, and I’ve resorted to begging my mother for regular shipments. If you work at a Trader Joe’s and wonder why that nice red haired woman is buying enough Triple Ginger cookies and Smoky Peach salsa to feed a small village, well now you know.

Mr. B shares my love for this peach salsa and whenever we open a jar it quickly turns into a feeding frenzy with each of us trying ensure we get our “half” of the salsa. On the rare occasion that I cannot wait for him to get home from work before popping one open, it takes every ounce of restraint to keep from eating the entire jar and hiding the evidence at the bottom of the trash can. I’ve only failed once or twice- sorry honey!

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When we purchased a big box of the perfect peaches I wrote about last year, I knew it was time to see if I could figure out how to duplicate the salsa at home. Using the ingredient listing on the back of the salsa jar as my guide, I set forth to replicate the taste and texture of the salsa. This has to be one of my favorite recipe recreations to date. A jar of the Trader Joe’s salsa sat open on the counter while a big pan of salsa bubbled on the stove, and we happily tested and tasted our way through the recipe, completely ruining any appetite for dinner!

Making the Peach Salsa

The final result was a large batch of mouth watering peach salsa. The combination of sweet peaches, smoky chipotle, and tangy lemon juice is very satisfying. While we came very close to replicating the Trader Joe’s salsa, I think a few more batches are needed to achieve perfection. (Oh darn!) If you enjoy a sweet and spicy salsa please give this a try. And if you find it addictive, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Smoky Peach Salsa (Printable Recipe)
Makes Approximately 6 cups (This is a lot of salsa and the recipe could be halved)

This recipe is very close to the Trader Joe’s version. It creates a sweet, mildly spicy salsa with a delicious tang. The next time we make it I may try adding a few jalapeno peppers or another chipotle pepper into the mix to give a bit more heat. Please feel free to play around with the recipe and tweak it to meet your personal salsa cravings!

Ingredients:
11-12 peaches, peeled and pitted
3 1/4 cups water (from peeling peaches)
2 6-ounce cans of tomato paste
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/2 cup cilantro, leaves and stems
1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 green bell pepper
1 1/2 lemons, juiced
2 Tablespoons + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 habanero peppers
1 lime, juiced
2 small tomatoes, finely diced (about 1 cup)

Directions:
Place water and five pitted peaches into a blender. Add tomato paste, chipotle peppers, and cilantro. Blend until mixture is smooth.

In a large saucepan, saute onion and bell pepper until softened. Add in blended mixture. Add in lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, granulated garlic and salt. Cut a small slit into the habenero peppers and add them to the pot. Cook for 30-40 minutes on a very low simmer. Dice remaining peaches into 1/4 inch cubes, and add them to the pot along with the lime juice and tomatoes.

 

 

Wedding

Almost four years ago, I said “I do” and married my favorite person- Mr. B. At the time I anticipated a lifetime of shared experiences and mutual affection. Yet years later what has surprised me about marriage, what I didn’t know to expect, is that when two people go through life as a team it is a beautiful thing. If you approach the world with a united front, encouraging and challenging each other to reach shared goals, suddenly it seems as if anything is possible. No matter what successes or failures appear on the horizon, together you can make it through to the other side.

Our partnership also carries through to the kitchen. Together we have fought battles with pasta, celebrated with cheesecake, and nearly fainted from happiness over a slow cooked BBQ pork shoulder. We have found a rhthym in our cooking that keeps both of us engaged and happy to cook another meal. Usually I do the shopping, chopping, and cooking while Mr. B tackles the beverage pairing, taste testing, and dishes. He likes to call himself the “Consulting Chef” (which makes me giggle since don’t chef’s usually know how to cook?) and takes an active role in helping me set the menu each week. Often this means a general discussion of what dish strikes our fancy, what produce is in season, or what item is sitting in the fridge threatening to spoil. After our discussions I’ll get rolling and then ask him to taste and offer tweaks along the way.

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When I asked Mr. B for his thoughts about endives this week, I was quite surprised to get a very specific answer. He replied, “We should brush them with olive oil, grill them, then add sun dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and chevre cheese.” Startled I looked at him, wondering how the heck a specific recipe had sprung forth so quickly. He looked over at my raised eyebrows and simply said, “I like endives.” Still quite surprised I decided to not mess with creative genius and made the salad as directed. And what do you know? It was absolutely delicious. Warm endives caused the chevre to melt slightly while pine nuts gave it a contrasting crunch. Sun dried tomatoes provided deep little bursts of flavor to round out the salad perfectly. I’m beginning to think there might be something behind this “Consulting Chef” title after all…

Grilled Endive Salad (Printable Recipe)
Sprung forth from the mind of Mr. B (Or some secret recipe he claims doesn’t exist)
Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
4 Belgian Endives, split in half lengthwise
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Scant 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Scant 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
2 oz Chevre cheese, cut into small pieces
Avocado oil
White balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
Lemon juice

Directions:
Pre-heat a grill to 400 degrees.

Rub endive halves with the olive oil until all sides are lightly coated. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the cut side of the endives. Place endives on the grill, and cook for about five minutes on each side, or until the endives are tender (but not limp).

Transfer endives to a platter (or individual plates), trim the tough end off of each endive, and distribute the pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes, and chevre cheese evenly across the endives. Next lightly drizzle avocado oil and white balsamic vinegar across the endives. Finally finish the salad with a squeeze of lemon juice and serve.

 

 

 

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