Posts from May 2015

Quinoa & Beans Bowl with Peppers & Chicken




I copied this recipe from our friend Ryan, who copied it from a good restaurant downtown. I recommend you copy it from me!

I used our banana peppers which just became ripe, but you can throw anything or omit anything your taste buds tell you to.


1 lb chicken thighs
1 T paprika
1 T cumin
1 t ground coriander
Olive oil
Peppers (I used 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, and 2 banana peppers), chopped in strips
1 head broccoli, cut in florets
onion, chopped in strips
1 can beans
1 c uncooked quinoa

pickled jalapeños


Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Put your chicken on a baking pan, and drizzle olive oil on top. Mix all dry spices in a bowl, and put the rub on both sides of the chicken. Next, chop your peppers and onion into strips, and broccoli into florets. Put onto a different baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and S&P. Cook both side by side in the oven for 30-40 minutes.

While cooking, start your quinoa. First, rinse your grains. Next, put them in a pot, and cook 1 c quinoa in 2 cups of water (I used 1 c water, 1 c chicken stock, actually. But to make it easier, just use water). Cook it like rice: bring to a boil, then simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the grains are fluffy. Heat the beans in a different pot.

To serve, put the beans and quinoa on bottom, and layer with everything else on top.

Sweet-Corn Chowder with Tomato Salsa





Gary and I attended a Potluck Heaven party at our friends Lauren and Jason’s this past weekend to honor Forage, our community seed-saving garden. We had slow-cooked pork, jambalaya with local sausage and shrimp, chocolate tortes, and so many vegetables from everyone’s garden: beets, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, you name it. (To these events, our Forage friends bring their A-game.)

I made cold corn chowder from good Iowa sweet-corn grown and brought from home. Since sweet-corn season is around the corner, I figured it’s okay to eat the last of it from the freezer. Our tomatoes in our Florida garden are just becoming ripe; they accompanied the salsa well. I added our pickled jalapeños as a garnish along with the bacon.

I amended this recipe from Summer Miller’s New Prairie Kitchen which I found out about when I heard her interviewed on NPR. Believe me when I say this Midwestern girl knows how to make sweet-corn shine; Ms. Miller’s recipe below is good enough to bathe in.


Salsa ingredients:
1 poblano chile
1 jalapeño, chopped
2 large ears fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from the cob
1 large heirloom tomato, seeded and chopped
3 T olive oil
1/2 chopped red onion
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
2 t kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

Chowder ingredients:
4 c chicken stock or vegetable stock
2 T olive oil
8 large ears sweet-corn, kernels cut from cob
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 ½ c heavy cream
5 T cornstarch
5 T cold water
10 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled


To make the salsa:
First, preheat the broiler. Place the poblano on a baking sheet and roast under the broiler for about 15 to 20 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, rotate the chile once the skin starts to blacken, about every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer to a bowl, cover with a dishtowel, and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, add the corn kernels, tomato, olive oil, onion, cilantro, S&P, garlic, lemon juice, and jalapeño.

Once the poblano is cool to the touch, the blistered and blackened skin should pull off easily. Remove and discard the skin, seeds, and stem. Chop the poblano and add it to the bowl with the corn mixture. Stir, then refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.

To make the chowder:
In a large pot, add the oil and heat to medium-high. Saute the onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped corn and rosemary, and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add the stock, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Purée approximately ½ of the chowder using an immersion blender, or in batches if using a blender, returning the puréed portion to the pot. Add the cream and bring the chowder to a simmer over low heat.

Mix the cornstarch and cold water together in a small cup, then add this mixture to the chowder while it is simmering. Stir to thicken. Season to taste with the S&P. To serve, divide the chowder among bowls. Top each bowl with some of the corn salsa, pickled jalapeños, and crumbled bacon. It can be served hot, room temperature, or cold.

Pickled Dilled Carrots




This past weekend I helped my friend Anna can her carrots. This week I decided to do the same to mine. My carrots are at their prime right night, but I can’t bring myself to pull them all. After having 4 months of fresh garden carrots, it’s hard to go back to buying them in bags from the store. Well, I suppose, given a month or two, my canned carrots will be ready for devouring. This proves the beauty of preserving food: your garden goodness lasts far longer than the season allows.

Ingredients (makes about 7 pints):

6 c cider vinegar
2 c water
1/2 c pickling or canning salt
Garlic cloves
Fresh dill
Hot pepper flakes
5 lbs carrots


First, in a large pot, boil your mason pint jars and lids for at least 10 minutes (do not discard the water). In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water, and salt. Boil for at least 10 minutes. While these are boiling, peel and slice your carrots into sticks.

Once the jars have sterilized, remove carefully from the hot water (it works best if you have canning tongs). In each of the sterilized jars, put a clove of peeled garlic, a sprig of dill, 1/2 t coriander, and 1/8 t hot pepper flakes. Put as many carrot sticks as will fit, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom at the top. Ladle the hot pickling liquid into the jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom at the top. Wipe the rim, and place a sterilized lid on the top. Add the screw ring, and tighten.

Place the jars in the boiling water, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil, and process for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, remove from the water and make sure the screw ring is as tight as possible. Let cool completely before storing. Store for at least a month before eating.

Sea Trout with Kumquats




I scored a big bag of ripe kumquats from a client of mine this past week! I’m an art appraiser by day, which leads me out to people’s houses to see their art. Her front tree was loaded, and we went out together after I finished to pick them off her tree.

Native to China, kumquats are small oranges (although some botanists claim they’re not in the citrus family) but you eat the skin along with the fruit. They’re incredibly tart, but pack a wonderful pop of flavor. I wasn’t quite sure about these kumquats at first bite when we were picking them off the tree, but after I’ve used every last one in recipes and meals, I confess that I am now a true kumquat devotee.

I made a sauce with them over the sea trout Gary caught in the Gulf over the weekend. The glaze would work great, too, on chicken or pork.


For the fish:
1 lb sea-trout (or other flaky white fish)
1 T paprika
2 t cumin
1 t coriander
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 T butter

For the sauce
20-30 kumquats
2 shallots
2 T sugar
1 1/2 T rice vinegar
1 c water
1 T butter with 1 T olive oil


For the fish, combine all the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Pat dry the fish. Coat the fish on both sides with the spice rub and set aside.

Next, chop the kumquats. Chop them in little rounds, and pick out the seeds if you can with a knife. Chop the shallots. On the stove, get a sauce pan hot to medium-high heat. Put in the oil and butter. Next, sauté the shallots for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Next, add the kumquats, sugar, vinegar, and water. Once the water begins to simmer, turn the heat to low, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, in a separate pan on medium-high, heat the butter. Once melted and hot, add the fish. Cook about 3-4 minutes for each side, or until it’s cooked through. Once finished, add the sauce, and serve with rice or polenta.

Kale Enchiladas with Salsa Verde




In honor of Cinco de Mayo this week, of course we had to have something Mexican. I used our kale, but bought these amazing tomatillos to make the salsa. To end this post, I thought I’d impress you with my Spanish:

Hola, me llamo Burrito! Yo soy fiesta! Chimichanga chihuahua!

(Maybe it’s best I stick to the kitchen in my spare time.)

The recipe was amended from the NYTimes.


1 lb kale
1/2 lb cooked chicken
1 lb fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
2 jalapeños
½ white onion, coarsely chopped
4 large peeled garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro
2 ½ c chicken or vegetable stock
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 t Mexican oregano
corn tortillas
1/2 cup crumbled feta


First, de-vein the kale, chop, and set aside. Then, make the salsa verde: combine tomatillos, jalapeños and onion in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until tomatillos have gone from pale green to olive and have softened. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos, onion and one of the jalapeños to a blender. Do not drain water from pot. Let vegetables cool in blender while you blanch the kale.

Add more water to the pot so it is about 2/3 full. Return to a boil, salt generously, and add leaves. Blanch until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer leaves to a bowl of cold water to quickly shock, then drain and dry. Chop coarsely and set aside.

Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and half of the cilantro to ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste for heat and add remaining jalapeño if desired. Heat 1 T oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add tomatillo purée and partly cover to protect from splattering. Cook, stirring often, until it thickens and begins to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes. Stir in stock, add salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thick and coats the front and back of a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.

In another pan, heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 cloves of minced garlic. When fragrant, after about 30 seconds, stir in oregano, blanched kale, and cooked chicken. Cook, stirring for about 3 minutes, until tender, fragrant and coated with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in 1 cup salsa verde and set aside.

Heat the corn tortillas either on a skillet or in a foil packet in the oven. To serve, put the kale/chicken mixture on the tortilla, and top with the tomatillo salsa, feta cheese, and garnish with cilantro.

Rhubarb Custard Pie




Spring in the Midwest is beautiful. The slightest bit of warmth and sunshine causes everything outside to erupt. In just a blink of an eye, asparagus is two inches tall, daffodils and tulips color yards, and trees explode in blooms. In my short time there, I ate asparagus for nearly every meal, and smelled every lilac bush we walked past.


Rhubarb is another fabulous spring food that is hard to find in the south. My sweet grandma made not one, but two delicious deserts from her home grown rhubarb. Her pie crust is legendary; I don’t know how make that according to her specifications yet, but I plan to schedule a pie-crust making tutorial from Grandma Eldora one of these times home. So the crust isn’t her recipe, but the delectable custard filling is.


For the pie crust (From Ina Garten):

12 T (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 c all-purpose flour
1 t kosher salt
1 T sugar
1/3 c very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 T (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

For the filling:

3 eggs
2 2/3 T half-and-half
1 3/4 c sugar
4 T flour
1/2 t nutmeg
4 c rhubarb stems, chopped
1 T butter


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, slightly beet the eggs. Add the half-and-half. Add the sugar, flour, and nutmeg. Mix in the chopped rhubarb. Pour in the pastry lined pie pan. Chop the 1 T into small chunks, and spread across the filling. Add the lattice top. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Serve slightly warm with ice cream. Enjoy!


All rights reserved © Pitchforks & Butter Knives · Theme by Blogmilk + Coded by Brandi Bernoskie


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: