Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a yellowtail praise & carrots 3 ways

One disadvantage of living solo is the perpetual problem of rotting produce that wastes away.

A few ways I stretch my dollar and elongate produce life spans:

I buy berries on sale,
bag and freeze them
to quickly add to muffins, desserts and make milk icy cold in a bowl of cereal.

I keep ginger in
a jar of inexpensive vodka
in my refrigerator (culinary school trick that preserves ginger).

Before garlic goes bad,
I roast and jar caramelized cloves
for a handy flavor enhancer to add pastas and hors d'oeuvres.

I "arrange" fresh herbs in water
like a bouquet of flowers
and chill them to keep herbs lively and green.

I will also take advantage of my very last carrot and have three diverse recipes to prove it!

Carrots Three Ways:


& slaw

to appeal to one and all!

1. Shaved Carrot & Blood Orange Salad with Marcona Almonds, Almond-Scented Vinaigrette & Bite-Sized Rosemary Biscuits
Salads with lettuce bore me. I was never one of those,

"Oh, I'll have a salad with grilled chicken and dressing on the side" gals.
In fact, I envied those self controlled waifs. Much animosity, no?
In an effort to trick myself, I integrate as many unexpected flavors, textures and colors as I possibly can when crafting salads. I received crazy looks when adding almond extract to this vinaigrette.

Odd? Yes.
Delicious? Oh, hell yes.

Yields 4 appetizer salad portions.

Bite-Sized Rosemary Buttermilk Biscuits:

1.5 c AP flour
1 T sugar
1.5 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t fresh rosemary, minced
1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3/4 buttermilk plus additional to brush atop biscuits

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and rosemary. Blend in butter with hands until butter is combined and pea-shaped. Slowly add buttermilk in portions until a sticky dough is formed.

Flour hands, surface and rolling pin. Transfer dough ball to surface and form into a uniform disk with hands. Roll into a circle, approximately 1/2 inch thick. With a small circle cutter (about 1 inch in diameter), cut out biscuits and place on an ungreased baking sheet.

Brush tops with buttermilk and top with a sprinkle of fresh-cracked pepper. Bake approximately 6-8 minutes then transfer to cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature with salad.

Carrot Orange Salad:

2 carrots, shaved with a peeler
2 blood oranges, segmented
1/2 c marcona almonds

Combine carrots, blood oranges and almonds. Toss with almond vinaigrette and serve with buttermilk biscuits.

Almond Vinaigrette:

2 t pure almond extract
juice of 1 lime
1 t lime zest
1/2 t fresh rosemary, minced
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
salt to taste

Combine almond extract, lime juice, lime zest, rosemary and red pepper flakes. Slowly whisk in olive oil until an emulsification develops. Season with desired salt. Toss with carrot orange salad to lightly coat.

2. Curried Banana Carrot Bread

Curry in banana bread?!
Oh yes I did.

The pumpkin-hued spice isn't completely obvious,
(back off, curry haters)
and the ending taste is subtle and soft.

Carrots are the moisture-carrier in this low-fat bread. Although I like my mashed bananas to be chunky, I didn't want to bite into coarse carrot grates.

Instead, I grated my carrot on the microplane in an attempt to "melt" the valiant vegetable into the delicate bread.

Yields 1 large loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans.

2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
3 ripe bananas, coarsely smashed
1/4 c shredded carrots
1/3 c buttermilk
1 T vegetable oil
1 T vanilla bean paste
1 and 3/4 c AP flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t curry powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a flour a loaf pan or mini loaf pans. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and curry powder. Set aside. Combine carrots, bananas, vegetable oil, buttermilk and vanilla bean paste. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a stand mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy- about 5 minutes. To bowl, mix in wet banana mixture then slowly fold in dry mixture until just combined.

Fill loaf pan(s) about 3/4 full and bake approximately 1 hour for a full loaf pan or 35-40 minutes for mini loaves. Cool on rack and invert to serve.

3. Radicchio, Edamame and Carrot Slaw

Talk about a 3 minute recipe! While your edamame is defrosting for several minutes, you will have plenty of time to peel carrots, slice radicchio and measure soy sauce. This slaw would be fabulous served atop fish tacos!

Serves 2.

1/2 c radicchio, julienned
1/2 c frozen shelled edamame, prepared
1/2 c carrots, shaved with a peeler
1 T soy sauce
splash of rice wine vinegar
1/8 t red pepper flakes

Combine ingredients and refrigerate to slightly break down vegetables and meld flavors. Serve cool, warm or room temperature. Let the laziness ensue!

I'm sure you've heard...
I'm a sushi snob.

I'm from Austin, ok? Home of some of the best sushi in the country and this:

tempurashrimpavocadomayonnaise roll

ain't gonna cut it.

Alas, my sushi experiences have been very limited the past few years here in good ole' Fort Worth.

Recently, I was left delightfully content with my sushi craving satisfied after lunch at Tokyo Cafe. I dined with my meat and 'taters lovin' boyfriend who was equally impressed.
Our late afternoon dine included:

seaweed salad
pork gyoza with warm, ginger broth

spicy beef bowl with white rice and scallions

yuzu yellowtail roll

Fresh, simple and delicious-- all I could ask for. I still miss you,
Uchi. See you in my dreams...

This past whirlwind Sunday was spent in Dallas celebrating a birthday and engagement fiesta with dear friends from TCU. In a swift 12 hours, we enjoyed:

breakfast quesadillas with pepperjack, black beans and guacamole
& bottomless mimosas

bloody mary's and white sangria

sombreros, frozen margarita machine
quesadillas, queso, guacamole and flautas
at a quaint, outdoor engagement party

and finally,
a juicy relished hot dog,
sweet potato fries and pop
back in Fort Worth at Billy Miner's Saloon.

After a gluttonous, yet pleasant day,
it was off-to-bed immediately with
sweet dreams & old friends
dancing in my head.


1 comment:

L A C E Y said...

loved spending time with you on sunday! it was nice to meet your tater lovin guy, too! :)