emeraldowl

Posts Tagged ‘Garlic’

Green Crostini

In Cooking on August 31, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Since our trip to the Dallas Farmers Market dishes have been clean, simple and fresh. It’s been all about utilizing and enjoying the produce in season and not burying those fresh flavors we crave so much in the winter.  This last week has also been about headaches. I have only escape a skull smashing, eye squinting, bed-stricken state twice this week. My husband luckily has been kind, patient and self-sufficient. I have awoken with ice-water at my bedside and never a cross word about lack of cooking or chores undone. I think I’ll keep him!

via Instagram

Two things I have really enjoyed this last week were a simple Bread Salad and this Green Crostini.  The Bread Salad is simple, sweet and a delicious way to use up leftover bread, or bread ends. I coarsely chopped up two large slices of a loaf of artisan garlic baguette, chopped up 4-5 small tomatoes, tossed in a Tbsp of olive oil, dash of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and some coarsely chopped cilantro (any fresh herb will do); toss the bread in the mix letting it absorb the juices and oil and enjoy. It’s so so very good. Plus zip, zero, zelch cooking – on these hundred degree days that is a blessing!

GREEN CROSTINI

makes 2 servings, four slices 
 
4 – inch thick slices of baguette (we used our artisan garlic bread) 
butter or oil for toasting bread
 
1 – large avocado
1 – Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 – Tbsp fresh jalapeno, finely chopped
1 – Tbsp fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
*plus more for serving – if you love it like we do!
2 – Tbsp pistachios, roughly chopped
 

Directions: Slice baguette; spread oil or butter and toast over medium heat in a skillet. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare topping. Combine all the ingredients, except the pistachios, and gently mash. Salt and Pepper mixture to taste and then spread on prepared toast; sprinkle with pistachios and extra cilantro if desired.  Enjoy!

This topping is beautiful with all the different shades of green. It is mildly reminiscent of guacamole, but with a salty crunch from the pistachios.  The garlic bread really brought out the flavors of several ingredients, if you were using a plain baguette I would break the “green” theme and add a little garlic to the mix! Hope you enjoy and for tonight I am headache free – hallelujah!

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Bruschetta

In Cooking, Uncategorized on August 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

We have been enjoying the August bounty of the Farmer’s Market. Tomatoes being at the top of the list! I love fresh grown tomatoes; especially straight from the farm, where they remain untainted by waxes.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy a good tomato is Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”). 

Bruschetta

  • 6 or 8 ripe Roma tomatoes (or any small sweet tomato will do!)
  • 1 large clove of garlic, cleaned and cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or substitute balsamic vinegar)
  • zest of half lemon, optional if using lemon juice
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar crusty bread
  • melted butter, for toasting bread

Directions: Wash tomatoes; cut them in halves or quarters; remove the seeds and stems from their centers.  Cut them into smaller pieces if desired. Add the tomatoes to a bowl; stir in 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and zest/vinegar, chopped basil and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside or in refrigerator while you prepare bread – this resting time allows the flavors to bloom.

 Cut the bread on the diagonal, about 1/2 inch slices. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Apply melted butter to both sides, with a pastry brush; add buttered slices to skillet. Cook on each side until brown and toasted. Remove and  rub both sides of the warm bread with the cut garlic; set aside on serving tray. Top warm buttered garlic toast with chilled tomato mixture. Serve with additional small basil leaves, for those like me who enjoy a lil’ extra basil. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!

We enjoyed ours with some fresh fruit and good cheese. I love the touch of lemon, instead of the much more common balsamic vinegar. It adds a brightness to the taste and smell of the dish.  Also, I love rubbing the warm toast with the garlic, instead of having minced garlic in the tomato mixture.  It adds amazing flavor and is still aromatic, while allowing you to control the garlic content and focus on the beautiful tomatoes!! Simple. Lovely. Summer.

Everyday Salsa

In Cooking, Cupboard Keepers, Uncategorized on August 8, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Right now I am having a hard time thinking about salsa. We made the Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce from the Pioneer Woman‘s website click here. Sigh. It was a treat. It’s really all I can think about at this moment.

But, alas I will share my thoughts on salsa. Love it. Eat tons of it. Picky about it. Seriously, my Aunt Teresa ruined us on the salsa topic at a very young age. She always makes it for any family meal we eat. She makes extra and sends it home with you. Store bought just can’t compete! Trust me I have literally tried hundreds of bottled salsas – it does nothing for me. So in my early years of cooking, years ago – wow, I called, and emailed, and called, asked again, and again making her walk me through her recipe dozen of times. Now I make my own, just as you should adapt the recipe to your own tastes and standards, but believe me it’s easy and worth the short effort!!

Everyday Salsa

  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Diced Tomatoes, drained (can use whole, petite, etc.)
  • 1 cans (10 Ounce) Rotel (Hot, or Regular, or Mild)
  • 1 clove Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 – 2 whole Jalapeno, roughly chopped (or Serrano)
  • 1/4 cup to whole jar pickled Jalapeno, drained (hot, or regular…)
  • 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder (or 1/4 cup fresh chopped onion)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin, optional
  • handful of  Cilantro (more to taste)
  • juice of half a lime

*Note: I make this in my large food processor, but it can be processed in a smaller unit (4-cup, blender, etc.) in batches and combined in a larger vessel.

Directions: Combine fresh and pickled jalapeno, garlic, roughly chopped onion (if using fresh), and cilantro. Process until ingredients are finely chopped, if you like chunkier salsa – you can dice ingredients and skip this step.  Now add drained can of diced tomatoes, onion powder (if not using fresh onion – I don’t),  salt, pepper, cumin, and lime juice in a blender or food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency.  I like mine to be a fairly even texture. Taste and add more salt or other ingredients until you love it. Remember this stuff gets better with time.

Transfer to your storage container (I use a large pickle jar I washed out 😉 ) and refrigerate salsa for at least one hour, but it is best if made a day ahead. (The flavor will bloom as the mixture rests.)

I keep this salsa on hand in my fridge for everyday eats. Sometimes I make it mild and other times I add more fresh chiles and get it really hot.  My Aunt’s is very similar – though she doesn’t use Rotel. If you use spicy peppers the heat will also bloom as you let the salsa rest . Another way we love to eat it is with fire-roasted tomatoes, extra garlic, sometimes we use shallots or don’t use lime.  My favorite thing about this is that I have most of these things on hand everyday and it taste so much better than the vinegary mess that is pumped full of preservatives.  Chips and salsa is one of the best things on Earth. Hope you enjoy it, adapt it, and share it! – EO

Chinese Carrot Salad

In Cooking, Uncategorized on June 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I call this Chinese Carrot Salad, because it is something I came up with to serve alongside stir-fry and fried rice.  Nothing ever really seems to go. Especially with stir-fry, because well you put most everything in it. This salad is super crunchy, sweet, savory and very refreshing. It would go well with fish or any number of dishes… but I always serve it with Chinese – hence the name.

Chinese Carrot Salad

12 oz carrots, cleaned and cut into fine matchsticks
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp garlic and ginger infused olive oil (recipe below)
 

Directions: Prep carrots and place in a bowl with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh ginger. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so flavors can meld. Stir in the poppy seeds just before serving. Enjoy.

Garlic & Ginger Infused Oil: Method 1: Add several smashed garlic cloves and about 1 inch of chopped fresh ginger to a bottle of olive oil and leave to infuse about 2-3 weeks before using. Strain the oil after allotted time and store in a cool-dark place. Method 2: Bring oil, smashed garlic and fresh ginger to a simmer in a pan. Stir so the garlic and ginger do not stick or burn and turn to a very low heat for about 20 minutes. Let cool, strain and use. If you make more than needed store in the fridge covered for up to 1 week. 

I could eat the whole batch – it is that tasty. I hope you will make it, even if it is not with Chinese! 😉 P.S. I love poppy seeds.