Category Archives: 52Weeks

Break of Dawn

Sweet Potato Corn Stew

 Sweet Potato Corn Stew

I mentioned in a post last week that I recently received a LARGE amount of tomatoes from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm.  Today’s post shows were the vast majority of those tomatoes wound up – in a delicious stew perfect for /52weeksofcooking’s stew theme.  Since the tomatoes were all seconds I knew that I had very limited time to use them, and while the sauce took care of a fair amount, I still had a few pounds left.  With the clock ticking I decided to improvise and figure out what I could make with the little produce left in my fridge.  A sweet potato, the last of our Eastern Shore Corn, and a bunch of fresh herbs – perfect for a hardy soup.  Plus the weather has taken a clear turn for the cold so no worries of overheating the kitchen!  I debated roasting the tomatoes before hand, but decided that one-pot clean up was the right answer.

 

Sweet Potato Corn Stew

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 lbs tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups fresh corn off the cob
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 2 cups no salt added vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes, or until golden. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to help break down the tomatoes.
  2. Add the corn along with the diced potatoes and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes, still stirring the tomatoes but allowing the sweet potato to slightly roast.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a quick boil. Stir, then cover, and turn heat to low. Simmer the stew for 20 minutes, then use a hand immersion to blend the ingredients until desired thickness. For those with a stand blender, move the soup a 1/4 at a time, leaving at least 1/4 of the soup unblended.
  4. Cook for a final 10 minutes, adding pepper if needed. Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/break_of_dawn.html

I served this stew with some French Honey bread, which is staple this time of year – along with my favorite Apple Cider Bread.   This stew also included a variety of tomatoes, including the green zebra variety I mentioned the other day!

Note: For all my Jewish friends (and family), L’shannah Tovah! 

Counting Seconds

Plov: Vegetarian Style

Plov

Sometimes I make a dish with no idea what is going to happen at the end – to include if it will even be edible.  I had heard of Plov before, thanks to Silk Road Bistro, but wanted to make it more of a main dish without the standard lamb.   Lots of googling gave me a good list of vegetables to start with: carrots, onions, and garlic  - along with the addition of some variety of currant.  When it came to the main protein all I knew is that I didn’t want to go with tofu, I wanted something with a firm bite to it as a contrast to the soft vegetables.  I decided to go with chickpeas since their origins in Turkey led me to believe they would have easily spread to the Central Asia region that I was focusing on for this dish.

Counting Seconds

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 1 minute before adding the onion and garlic.
  2. Continue cooking the onion and garlic for 15 minutes, the onion should start to caramelize and the garlic should be a rich golden color. Add the rice and stir, until coated in the oil then add the water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil then cover and turn heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then add the chickpeas and recover.
  4. Cook for a final 5 minutes then stir in the cranberries and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/counting-seconds.html

Another thanks to /r/52weeksofcooking for sending me on another delicious food journey – I’ve learned so much in doing these weekly challenges and can’t wait til the next one! Though of all the dishes I’ve made for this challenge, this one is easily in the top 5 as the ingredients are all standard ones making it super easy to prepare.  Ever since Wegmans added cranberries to their bulk food section I’ve had a fresh supply in my pantry – and while they aren’t burberries they are delicious.

We are the

Watermelon Feta Salad

watermelon_feta_salad

Getting back in to the swing of things and also getting back in to the swing of /r/52weeksofcooking.  One of the weeks I missed was a tribute to melons, no other rules or restrictions just all about the melon.  I knew from the start I wanted to do something with watermelon, it’s hard to pass by a stand on the Eastern Shore and not be amazed by the size and number of watermelons they have for sale.  As an added bonus, I inherited half a watermelon a few weekends ago when Joe and I went out to the shore.  After a quick internal debate of gazpacho vs. salad, I decided to go with the salad since there was only half left and I wanted something edible at the end of the adventure. The first time I heard of a watermelon salad, outside of the typical fruit salad, was on Top Chef back when Richard Blais made his first appearance. I then had it for the first time a number of years after, at a friend’s baby shower. Recently I’ve seen it popping up on seasonal menus around the Baltimore area, including a rooftop BBQ hosted by a friend! There are a few different versions with the variation normally in the herb choice. Some use basil, others use mint, and some use both, because why not? I went with basil alone, but as with any recipe there is no one way to make it.

We are the

Serves 6-8, as a side

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed or balled
  • 1 cup Feta, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the watermelon and Feta. Place in the fridge until 10 minutes before serving.
  2. Meanwhile stir together the basil and balsamic vinegar. 10 minutes before serving pour the dressing over the watermelon and gently toss.
  3. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then toss again, and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/we-are-the.html

This salad was fantastic!  I served it alongside my SRC recipe and it provided the perfect light and sweet contrast to the spicetastic dish.   I still had some watermelon left over, even after making another round of salad – and looking forward to sharing that sweet treat sometime next week!!!

In the Way

Black Eyed Pea Cakes

black_eyed_peas_cake

I have to admit that some of my favorite challenges are ones where I’m forced to use things already on hand – such as the Cook from your Pantry challenge on /52weeksofcooking.  Not only do they force me to clean out things that might have been hiding in a back corner, but they also cause me to take stock of what all I’ve got – and what I might need.  In this case I had purchased a few cans of black eyes peas with the intent to make Texas Caviar, which never happened.  So I pulled those out and modified a recipe a coworker had given me a few weeks earlier for Black Eyed Pea Cakes.  The original recipe came with some delicious Vidalia Onions (straight from Georgia!) and featured a few ingredients that weren’t exactly vegetarian friendly (again, recipe is straight from Georgia).

 

Black Eyed Peas Cake

Serves: Makes 10 4inch patties

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 2 cans black eyed peas, drain with 1/2 tbsp of liquid reserved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 basil leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor of blender and blend until mashed but not quite pureed. Slowly add more olive oil if needed.
  2. Form 4x2 inch patties on a cooking sheet lined with parchment paper then place in the fridge for at last one hour
  3. Cover a deep frying pan with at least 1/2 inch of oil and heat. Oil is ready when water flicked water "dances" across the pan. Add the patties one at a time, being careful not to crowd the pan, and cook for 5 minutes before flipping. Cook the other side for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Remove cooked patty to another cookie sheet, this one lined with paper towels and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/07/in_the_way.html

These cakes weren’t the most stable when it came time to cook them, even after chilling in the fridge, but they were delicious!  I served them with some coleslaw which added a nice crunch to the dinner.  A green salad would also work – just need to have something with a bit of a bite so that the jaw doesn’t get bored!  They would also make a great appetizer, just shrink the size to 2 inches and enjoy!  With that the cakes could also be prepped the night before, or the morning of, depending on free time.

Paradigm Shift

Buddha Bowls

 buddha_bowl

Summer time and the vegetables are going crazy! Perfect time for a Clean Eating challenge thanks to /52weeksofcooking.   For the most part I try to avoid highly processed foods, including fake meats, but there is something to be said about the convenience that comes with those items.  However, this week I wanted to go all out, so I decided to all incorporate elements of raw eating in my recipe which is what lead me to making a buddha bowl.  A budha bowl is a (traditionally) vegan dish featuring raw fruits and veggies with a whole grain.  I decided to use brown rice, but quinoa and barley were also debated.

 

Buddha Bowl

Serves: Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups chickpeas, presoaked
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 ear corn, kernels sliced off

Instructions

  1. Toss the rice with the olive oil, vinegar and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Allow to chill for at least 30 minutes, then toss again and add more oil if needed.
  2. Place in a bowl and layer the vegetables on top
  3. Top with cheese (optional) or nuts (optional)
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/07/paradigm-shift.html

I was lucky enough to have tomatoes from my garden, along with all the herbs, while the corn comes from the Eastern Shore.  I tried to use all local ingredients but I couldn’t pass by the avocados at the store without grabbing a few.  I could easily eat one, or more, of those each day – they are simply fantastic!  At some point I want to try the fried egg in an avocado dish but a bit terrified of having raw egg and overcooked avocado.  Anyone ever tried it before? Any tips???

In gardening news – I have no idea where I am tomato wise!  Every day I go out I grab another handful and they are amazing.  I’ve also harvested four jalapenos, with another 4 on the vine.  However no eggplants yet – three stopped growing while a few more of showing some promise.  They are a smaller variety so not expecting massive veggies but thought they would be a bit bigger than their current state.  Fingers crossed the random chilly weather last week didn’t stunt them or something.