Tag Archives: summer

potted herbs > packaged herbs

mintI’ve come to a revelation– I hope to never buy herbs again in the grocery store!  This reality goes far beyond any sort of farm-to-table philosophy and straight into my pocket, I decided I will grow all the herbs in my own garden from now on, so they will be more natural and healthy, I even get the best trimmer from http://thegardeninghub.com/reviews/top-hedge-trimmers/ just for this. So take note:

herbs

Each of these plants cost no more than 3 bucks.  In the grocery store where the herbs will probably die in like 3 days anyways?  One buck less.  And they don’t keep having little herb babies.

Buy your own herb pots!  Even if you have no garden (I surely do not have enough moolaw to afford a garden in this urban landscape) simply keep a few pots of choice in your kitchen next to the window.  These lovelies reproduce more quickly than rabbits.  …which is why I don’t feel bad using the baby leaves to top my tartines with my teff bread.

plated tartine herb

fruit salad with basil

fruit-salad-with-basil-far-awayWEBThe jackets are stowed and the tank tops aplenty.  Give your fruit salad some peps by adding fresh basil. 

To really infuse the flavors, mix all ingredients 30 minutes before serving.  Today I enjoyed a combination of peach, banana, apple, and blueberry.  The banana adds a luscious creaminess and juxtaposition of texture from the firmness of the blueberries and apple.  The peach is a flavor complement to both blueberries and bananas.  Basil ties this together into something curiously savory and herbaceous.

 

honey oregano basil marinade

marinadeIt’s like a six-year-old girl dressing herself: I am going to put together all of the fabulous things I like and it will work.

Sometimes six-year-olds are surprisingly stylish.  This marinade of everything-I-like would be one of those kids, I like to think.

minced-ginger-cutting-board-marinadechicken-plus-marinating-ingredients

Finally having a full day to play in the kitchen, I went a little nuts.  I coated peas in wasabi and buckwheat flour and fried them, I homemade sushi, crackers, and chicken liver mousse.  I made a lemon meringue pie from scratch.  I sang while doing all of this, just to make sure that if the neighbors weren’t already disturbed from the sound of blenders and smells of garlic that they had a sure idea of my presence.

I also discovered a marinade.  It’s easy, gluten-free, and has a really nice tang with the combination of wasabi with honey and oregano.  I used it on pork, but it would work on chicken or beef or tofu or seitan.

marinated-meat

honey oregano basil marinade

Serves 4
Prep time 8 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Vegetarian
Meal type Condiment
Misc Pre-preparable

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 shallot (finely diced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil (cut into thin ribbons)
  • 1 cm cubed fresh ginger (minced or grated)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon tamari (gluten-free soy sauce, can substitute fish sauce if you'd like or just salt and water)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey, agave nectar, or omit
  • 1/8 teaspoon wasabi powder (optional, but gives a fun kick!)

Note

This marinade can keep in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks without losing flavor. Use for whatever protein you'd like... tofu, chicken, pork, beef... name your flavor!

Directions

Step 1 Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
Step 2 Marinade your protein of choice in sauce in the fridge for up to overnight, minimum 2 hours, covered.  Turn protein half way through marinating to disperse flavors equally.
Step 3 To cook protein after marinating, either fire up the grill or a sauté pan with a thin layer of high heat oil. Sear both sides over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until inside is prepared to your liking. You shouldn't need to add any extra salt, but do so if you feel!

 

 

 

 

 

dehydrated? hello melon

For those of you allergic to coconut water (like yours truly) or don’t want the unnatural sugars in sports drinks and are looking for some hydration, try slicing up a melon!  Full with water, potassium, and vitamins, this is a natural source of electrolytes.

off with its head1. Cut off the top and bottom to have a stable platform.

melon edges2. Slide a serrated knife around the edges, following the natural contour of the fruit.

cut along the top3. Cut in half along the flat top.

scoop out seeds4. Scoop out the seeds.  (In Nigeria they use these to make soup!)

sliced melon5. Cut into slices of desired thickness.

Magique!  And doesn’t require screwing off any plastic tops.

buckwheat herb focaccia loaf

herb-buckwheat-loaf

Having an hour commute each way to my day of cooking in Paris has been enlightening in many ways: I have a daily moving catalogue of a variety of fashion blogs, intense lessons in how not to make eye contact, and the opportunity to catch up on some reading.  A favorite and relevant find has been this little number by New Yorker Rosecrans Baldwin “Paris I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down”.

paris-i-love-you-but

Now that LCD Soundsystem is probably stuck in your head (my apologies), and the reason this brings me to bread is that the gluten-free loafs here simply do not compare to the marvels that are created daily back in the States.  (Happy Campers in Portland Oregon, Mariposa Baking Company in San Francisco, Risotteria NYC, New Cascadia Portland, and even Food For Life in plastic bags nationwide, to name a few.)  Paris, I do love you, but when it comes to GF bread, you really do bring me down.

buckwheat-herb-bread-doughunbaked-herbed-buckwheat-loaf

Fortunately the flour in the bread in France is naturally lower in gluten, so if you just have a sensitivity, you can “push your luck” sometimes and end up with a four-leaf clover.  However, for those who have overdosed on that luck pushing, or just want a really tasty loaf of bread, this experiment proved so fruitful it would be a shame to keep in my tiny studio kitchen alone.

half-baked-herb-loaf

buckwheat herb loaf

Serves 1 loaf
Prep time 2 hours, 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 45 minutes
Dietary Corn Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Lactose Free, Nut Free, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Bread, Breakfast, Lunch, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

  • 1 cup + 3 tbs. buckwheat flour (plus a few more tablespoons for dusting the pan)
  • 1/3 cup arrowroot flour
  • 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
  • 9g dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (not boiling, or it will kill the yeast, but not cold, or it will not activate the yeast!)
  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary (chopped)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • a few pinch flaked sea salt for the top of the loaf

Directions

Step 1 In large bowl, mix flours, yeast, and sugar with a whisk.  Add water, and stir with a spoon or paddle attachment of electronic mixer on low speed for 2 minutes.  Add honey, salt, thyme, sage, and rosemary.  Mix for another 8 minutes, until dough starts to hold.  Set aside as you gently oil and dust a deep 8”x8” bread pan, or any other size loaf you want.  Fill no more than half way full, as this dough will rise.
Step 2 Spatula the dough into the prepared mold, cover the pan with a damp cloth not touching the dough, and let rise 1 1/2 hours room temperature.

Step 3 Pre-heat oven to 410 degrees Fahrenheit (210 Celcius). Very gently brush the bread with oil, and sprinkle with oregano and sea salt. Cover again, and set the bread to rise next to a hot surface for 20-30 minutes.
Step 4 Bake for 5 minutes, rotate, and bake for another 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celcius) and bake another 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 C) to finish bread, cooking for another 10 minutes or so, until inserted pairing knife or wooden skewer comes out basically clean (some moist crumbs, but nothing sticky).
Step 5 Remove, let cool 2 minutes before running a knife along the edges of the pan to loosen the bread.  Remove the base by sticking a spatula under the loaf, let sit a few minutes before serving.