16 September 2014

The Zucchini Project: Veggie-loaded Pork Burgers

Zucchini really does come through in this confetti-colored burger recipe, so I'm including it in my Zucchini Project collection. Substitute ground chicken, lamb, or beef if you don't like pork.  (PS--Why don't you like pork? It's delicious!)

Veggie-Loaded Pork Burgers

Makes 4-5 patties

1 lb. ground pork (or meat of your choice)
1 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen corn, thawed and drained
½ medium red bell pepper, finely diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup fine bread crumbs (panko works well)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form into patties and either cook on the grill over medium-high heat (turning carefully to avoid losing vegetables) or sear in some olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat on the stove.

12 September 2014

Recipe for roasted spiced apples and weekend favorites

Thanks to an odd spring season that seemed to zap pests while sparing the blossoms, our apple tree is more prolific than it has been in the decade we've lived here. And so, we are burdened with the delicious problem of figuring out what to do with the results.  In lieu of starting up an "apple project" to mimic my zucchini project (which I hope you're not sick of yet), I'll just share my favorite universal recipe for apples along with clever ideas from some of my favorite blogs.  These roasted apples will keep, frozen or in the refrigerator, and can be stirred into oatmeal or your morning yogurt and granola, eaten on their own or as an ice cream topping, or even used as pie filling.

Happy weekend!

Roasted Spiced Apples

2 pounds apples, cored and chopped into approx. 1-inch cubes
¼ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Prepare two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

Combine apples and all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to coat.  Spread out evenly in single layers onto the prepared baking sheets and place in the oven.  Roast, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning, for 25 minutes or until golden.

Some other great apple ideas from around the web...

These apple and cheddar scones from Smitten Kitchen are to die for...

Heidi Swanson's Black Pepper Cauliflower Salad over at 101 Cookbooks combines cauliflower florets with a warm black pepper and red onion vinaigrette, and tossed with nuts, apples, olives, and a bit of feta. Amazing.

These Caramelized Apple German Pancakes over at I Heart Eating (hey, so do I!) are the best excuse ever to stop everything you're doing and stage a big, piggy brunch. And they're so beautiful I swiped their photo:

09 September 2014

The Zucchini Project: Peanut Butter Zucchini Bread

I told myself I wasn't going to resort to hiding my zucchini in baked goods for this project, but this recipe is just too good to pass up.  Heavily adapted from http://www.tastesoflizzyt.com/.  Lizzy, you are a genius.

Peanut Butter Zucchini Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel

Serves 12

3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
2 cups grated zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons softened butter

Mix together the peanut butter, oil, sugar, eggs, vanilla, zucchini and peanut butter chips in a bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir thoroughly to combine into a smooth batter.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and softened butter. Mix until the streusel is crumbly.

Grease and flour two loaf pans. Split the batter between the two pans. Divide the streusel topping between the two loaf pans, sprinkling the streusel on top. Conversely, you could grease two medium muffin pans (to make 24 muffins) and top with equal amounts of streusel. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 5 minutes, or start checking after 45 minutes if making muffins.

05 September 2014

Kimchi Rice "Hash" with a Fried Egg on Top

I'm fascinated by different hangover foods from around the world. I often don't earn the hangover first; I just love how comforting most of them are.  Like an American brunch, most of the hangover foods I have been introduced to have just the right mix of carbs, protein, and grease to make me happy any time of day.  And they often involve eggs, which is always a plus in my book.

In that spirit, I came up with this recipe one day when I had no idea what to do with the slightly overripe asparagus sitting in my fridge. You could swap out green beans, broccoli florets, or any other green something if that's what you have on hand, though. I often keep extra cooked rice in the freezer for when I'm in the mood for it and don't want to wait, and I always have a jar of kimchi opened, so for me this was a no-brainer. If you have any of these ingredients already made, this is a delicious and simple way to use up leftovers when you're tired, hungry, and possibly hung over.

Kimchi Rice “Hash” with Fried Egg

Serves 4

2 cups jasmine rice
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1” pieces
1 cup dry shitake mushrooms
Salt and black pepper to taste

For compound butter:
¼ stick butter
1 teaspoon miso
1/3 cup kimchi, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon grated ginger

Four fresh eggs and little butter for the pan

Cover the mushrooms in boiling water and allow to sit 30 minutes or until tender.

Cook the rice according package directions in a saucepan or rice cooker.  If you have a steamer insert, you can steam the asparagus at the same time.  Otherwise, steam asparagus in lightly salted water in a small saucepan. When mushrooms are tender, drain and thinly slice; add to asparagus.

Combine all ingredients for the compound butter in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

When rice, asparagus, and mushrooms are done, add to the bowl with the compound butter and stir thoroughly to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.

In a large frying pan, heat about a tablespoon of butter over medium high heat.  Crack the eggs, one at a time, into the pan and lower to medium-low heat.  Cover and cook until the whites are set and the yolks are done to your liking., between 2 and 4 minutes.

To assemble, place equal amounts of the rice on each of four plates and place one egg on top of each.  Serve immediately with soy sauce on the side.