Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lamb Burgers with a Feta Yogurt Dill Sauce served with Just Picked Roasted Carrots and Potatoes (Dinner From a Few Nights Back)

During a recent visit to Citarella in East Hampton, I noticed a poster for Lava Lake Lamb. After reading the poster I decided to give it a try. Knowing my husband loves a good lamb burger, I asked the butcher to take the deboned leg and grind it up for me. A little surprised that someone would make such a request for such a nice piece of lamb, he finally agreed.

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What caught my eye is that the lamb is 100% Grass-Fed - never placed in feed lots, never given hormones, never given antibiotics.

Lamb Burger:
Serves 4
1.5 Pounds of Lamb Ground
Handful of Mint
1 Egg
2 Tablespoons of Plain Yogurt
Splash of Soy Sauce
1 Squirt of Ketchup
Half a Red Onion chopped

Take everything above (except for the lamb) and add to a blender or food processor and blend till combined. Stir mixture into lamb and form patties.

Heat grill or broiler and grill for about 5 minutes on each side.

While burgers are grilling make the sauce.

Feta Yogurt Dill Sauce
1 Small Plain Yogurt
Splash of White Wine Vinegar
Small handful of Dill Chopped
Splash of Olive Oil
about 3 Tablespoons of Feta
Juice of 1 Lemon

Combine the above into a small 1 cup food processor or blender and pulse till combined.

Assemble the burgers on a toasted bun or pita bread and add sliced tomatoes and sauce. Serve with roasted carrots, potatoes or in this case both.

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Sesame Crusted Tofu and Salmon over Local Just Picked Kale and Soba Noodles in a Peanut Sauce

We have been packing for our upcoming move for the past several days - and even though we are trying to be super organized for this move and start early - it seems we still have a lot to do. Hence the recent lack of posts.

Needing inspiration, I turned to a fellow Quail Hill Farm Member / local food blogger - Sag Harbor Days. This recipe was really intriguing to me. I have never been a huge peanut sauce fan, maybe because I am very picky about my peanut butter. A few weeks back a friend brought me some fresh ground peanut butter from the city, so tonight I decided to give this recipe a try.

In her recipe she only used tofu, but hungry from packing, I decided to add salmon as well. They worked very well together.

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What you need:
Serves 4
Salmon (1 small fillet for each person)
1 Package of Extra Firm Tofu Sliced into 3/4 inch rectangles
6 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter
a Large Handful of Kale Chopped
3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
Splash of Sesame oil
1 Teaspoon Asian Chili Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Ginger Minced
1 Package of Soba Noodles
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Lemon Slices

Boil the water for the noodles. Add to water when boiling.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper and steam (in bamboo steamer if you have) on top of the lemon slices. When cooked through remove from steamer and add toasted sesame seeds to the top of each fillet.

Make your sauce by adding the peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, chili sauce, and sesame oil to a small bowl and stir. Add water if the sauce is very thick. If you happen to have red pepper paste in your fridge or freezer (I made some last week) then you can add a spoonful as well.

Season each tofu rectangle and sear in a small sauté pan until golden. Remove from heat and add toasted sesame seeds to the top of each rectangle.

Add oil to the pan and add kale stir until wilted add sauce and noodles, toss and then remove from heat and plate.

Top with salmon and tofu.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Dessert - Just Picked Raspberries featured in a Tarte Amandes et Framboises

My daughter Chloe and I picked so many beautiful raspberries on Tuesday that they deserved a place in a delicious dessert. Excited to try a recipe from a new cookbook I received as a gift at this year's Common Table event at our CSA Quail Hill Farm, Chloe and I decided to make Tarte Amandes et Framboises.

The below recipes are from French Fridays at the Farm, by Sydney Albertini who is also a member at Quail Hill Farm.

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Tarte Amandes et Framboises
What you need:
1 Pie Crust (I made a classic Pate Sucree)
3/4 cup of Blanched Almonds
1/4 Cup Sugar
5 Tablespoons of soft Butter
1 Egg and 1 Egg White
a few drops of Almond Extract
1 to 2 cups of Raspberries

Preheat oven to 375. Roll out dough and line tart pan.

Make almond filling by pulsing almonds and sugar in a food processor until finely ground, but not pasty. Add butter and process until creamy. Mix in egg and egg white and almond extract.

Pour almond cream into pie shell. Scatter raspberries pushing them in gently.

Bake for 55 minutes until golden and let cool on rack.

Slice and serve.

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Pate Sucree Recipe:
3 cups of Flour
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
3/4 Cup Cold Vegetable Shortening cut into small pieces
3 Tablespoons of Butter cut into small pieces
4 or more Tablespoons of Ice Water

Blend flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in food processor. Add in shortening and butter and blend until a course meal forms. Add water gradually until a ball forms. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Grass Fed Steak Tacos Topped with Just Picked Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

As the tomatoes are on their way out, the tomatillos are on their way in! This season's have been so delicious (very sweet and a slight bit tangy) ideal for a fresh salsa. Luckily we also have amazing peppers (both hot and sweet) at the farm as well as heaps of beautiful cilantro that move so nicely together in the gentle breeze.

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Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
What you need:
20 Tomatillos Papery Skins Removed (mine were purple)
2 Red Onions Halved
2 Cloves of Garlic
2 Green or Red Peppers Halved and Seeds Removed
1 Jalapeño or other Hot Pepper Halved and Seeds Removed (You can leave the seeds in if you want a spicier salsa)
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tablespoons of Honey
Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with foil (don't use a flat sheet without sides as juices will escape from the tomatillos while baking). Take the first 5 ingredients above and add to the baking sheet with a bit of olive oil drizzled over the top. Roast for 25 minutes or so.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Add to a food processor (if juices have spilled onto the sheet add then to the processor as well) along with the lime juice and honey.

Pulse until blended to desired consistency. Add salt to taste.

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Grass Fed Steak Tacos
Sirloin or Strip Steak (you will need about 2 to 3 ounces per person)

Steak Dry Rub
2 Teaspoons of Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons of Ground Coriander Root (Cilantro)
Sprinkle of Red Pepper Flakes
Black Pepper

Combine the above in a spice grinder or small bowl and mix. Rub the steak (I used sirloin) with the spice mixture and set aside for 10 minutes before grilling.

Heat grill (or grill pan) and grill steak to desired doneness (about 3 minutes per side for medium rare). Allow to rest for about 5 minutes. While the steak is resting heat the tortillas on the grill. Slice the steak thinly and add to warmed tortillas and top with tomatilla salsa and grilled red onions. Add a spoonful of sour cream and chopped grilled scallions on top.

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Serve with beans and rice.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Local Zucchini, Kale and Tomato Lasagne with a Sweet Fennel Sausage

I had one last zucchini from the summer left in my fridge today, but was in the mood for a lasagne, so I decided that the zucchini could replace one of the noodle layers in this fresh vegetable lasagne. Because I make my lasagne with fresh vegetables (which have a high water count) I do not pre-boil my lasagne noodles. I have found they are always cooked through and actually hold up much better when added to the lasagne uncooked - and there is no need to buy the "no boil" noodles.

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What you need:
Serves 6
1 Fresh Mozzarella Sliced
1 Package of Hard Mozzarella Grated
1 Pint of Fresh Whole Milk Ricotta
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 lb of your favorite Sausage (I used a sweet fennel sausage from my local Italian specialty store)
1 jar of Rao's Marinara Sauce or use your own
2 large Garlic cloves - minced
Half a box of Whole Wheat Lasagne Noodles (Dont cook them)
2 large handfuls of kale chopped
4 large tomatoes sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
1 Large Zucchini sliced in 1/2 inch rounds
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (convection if you have it).

Brown the sausage in a small sauté pan (squeeze it out of the casing into the pan) and then add in the minced garlic and let that cook for a few minutes, just enough to brown (as it will cook through in the oven while baking). Then remove from heat and set aside.

Next sauté the chopped kale in a bit of olive oil until it cooks down a bit, but still retains its color. Then remove from heat, add salt and pepper and set aside.

Take the ricotta and put it into a strainer with a bowl underneath so that the liquid would drain for about 5 minutes. Then stir the lemon juice and black pepper into the fresh ricotta and set aside.

Then begin to assemble the lasagne in this order. A layer of sauce on the bottom, lasagna noodles, ricotta, fresh tomatoes, kale, zucchini, red sauce, grated mozzarella, ricotta, kale and then a final layer of tomatoes, top with the browned sausage, and any remaining red sauce. Cover with foil and bake on convection for about 35 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove the foil and turn the oven to broil and top with the fresh mozzarella and return to the oven until the mozzarella is slightly browned and bubbling. Let sit for 10 minutes then slice and serve.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Today's Lunch - Local Cucumber Soup

I recently had a version of this soup at a dinner party (thanks Sydney) and it was excellent. It is so fresh and light and makes a fabulous starter or light lunch with a slice of freshly baked bread. Next time I make it I plan to serve it alongside a lamb burger in a tall skinny shot glass.

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Local Cucumber Soup
Serves 4
3 Large Cucumbers peeled and cut into large pieces
1 Clove of Garlic minced
3/4 Cup of Sour Cream
Juice of Half a Lemon
Handful of Basil
Handful of Dill
Splash of Olive Oil

Combine all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Stuffed Local Peppers, Grilled Sausage and Slow Roasted Local Eggplant

Honestly I am not big on sausage and peppers... at least I wasn't until I made this version of the dish. Now that peppers are the new zucchini (meaning I have more than I know what to do with) tonight I made it my mission to get through as many as I could.

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Stuffed Peppers
Serves 4
5 Peppers (or 9 if they are small) 1 diced and the rest left whole but tops cut out and middles removed
4 Tomatoes Diced
2 Cloves of Garlic Minced
1 Red Onion cut into a Small Dice
Olive Oil
Slices of fresh Mozzarella (1 for each pepper)
Handful of Basil Minced
2 cups of Brown Rice cooked according to package (2 cups yield after cooking)

Preheat over to 375 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place peppers on sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until cooked through but not turning brown, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add olive oil, garlic, onions and peppers to a medium sauce pan and stir for about 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes so that water from tomatoes begins to reduce and a sauce has formed.

Stir in cooked rice and remove from heat.

Fill each cooked pepper with the rice mixture. Top with fresh mozzarella and basil. Serve with grilled sausage and slow roasted eggplant wheels.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Tonight's Appetizer - Local Fried Green Tomatoes topped with an Iacono Farm Fried Egg

Recently when walking through the tomato plants at the farm I spotted several green tomatoes that had not yet stared to ripen. Immediately I thought of making fried green tomatoes.

Instead of making a sauce to dip the tomatoes into, I decided to top them with a fried egg.

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Fried Green Tomatoes
What you need:
Serves 4
2 unripe large green tomatoes cut into thick slices
1 cup of Homemade breadcrumbs (I always save the little pieces and ends of the bread we don't finish before it goes bad. I put it in the refrigerator in a bag in the back and about once every month or so I get the bag of rock hard bread out of the fridge and throw it into the food processor until its finely ground. I then just store it in a ziploc in the cabinet.)
a Handful of grated Parmesan
Cayenne Pepper
Oil for Frying
4 eggs
1 cup of buttermilk

Combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper - stir and transfer to a plate.

Add buttermilk to a shallow bowl.

Heat sauté pan over medium high heat. Add oil to pan when you are just about to begin the frying process. Take each tomato slice and dunk it into the buttermilk and then into the breadcrumbs. Add each tomato to the pan and sauté until golden brown. While they are cooking heat another sauté pan and begin to fry the eggs. Transfer the tomatoes to a plate lined with a paper towel while the egg is cooking. Then plate the tomato and top it with egg.

**These are so good that it is very possible you will make another batch and forgo dinner altogether.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Local Asian Style Striped Bass in Bamboo Steamer over Coconut Green Rice and Toasted Coconut Flakes

A local fisherman told me that the reason his striped bass looks so appetizing at the market is because he bleeds the fish immediately after catching them. By cutting them behind the gills he is able to drain the blood and the result is a flesh that is beautifully clean and translucent. Tonight I decided to make an asian inspired sauce that would top this striped bass in the bamboo steamer.

Asian Sauce

What you need:
Serves 4
1 Small Red Onion cut into a Small Dice
1 Green Pepper cut into a Small Dice
Handful of Cilantro
3 Long and Skinny Sweet Red Peppers cut into a Small Dice
Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ginger Minced
1 Tablespoon Honey
Asian Chili Paste (to taste)
Olive Oil

In a small sauce pan heat olive oil and add ginger, onion, and peppers. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes stirring every minute or so. Remove from heat. Add in soy, asian chili paste, cilantro and honey then stir. Transfer to a 1 cup (or regular sized) food processor and pulse until mixed well but not fully ground. Set aside.

Steamed Local Striped Bass
What you need:

4 Striped Bass Fillets
1 Lemon Sliced
Salt and Pepper

If you have a bamboo steamer I would recommend using it for this recipe as the bamboo helps to absorb excess moisture and retains heat.

Add 2 cups of water to a large sauté pan or wok and fit steamer on top over high heat. Add in lemon slices. Season fish with salt and pepper.
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Add fish and top with Asian sauce and steam for about 10 minutes (time will vary depending on the thickness of the fish).

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Served over green, or sushi rice with toasted coconut flakes. For extra coconut flavor, add in a can of coconut milk once rice is cooked and stir.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Grilled Rosemary Crusted Lamb Chops over Local Roasted Tomato and White Bean Quinoa Stew

Tonight when I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner he answered, "lamb chops." Unable to head up to hudson valley for a local chop, I turned to the Amagansett Farmers Market. After bringing the chops home I lightly salted, peppered, and covered them in fresh rosemary and put them in the fridge wrapped in plastic wrap. When the grill was hot (about 500 degrees) I grilled for 2.5 minutes on each side and served over this concoction I am calling:

Local Roasted Tomato and White Bean Quinoa Stew
What you need:
Serves 4
1 onion diced
1 green pepper diced
2 garlic cloves minced
8 medium tomatoes diced (I used all different types and colors of tomatoes because I happen to have so many right now)
1 can of organic white beans
1 cup of Quinoa
olive oil

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium sauce pan and add in onions. Stir until translucent. Add in garlic, tomatoes and green pepper and continue stirring. Add in quinoa and water according to package (you can use 1/3 less water as the tomatoes have a lot of water.) Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and slowly cook for about 30 to 40 minutes. Add in drained white beans a few minutes before serving.

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My husband said this was his favorite meal of the summer.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Today's Local Beverage - Montauk Beverage Works Teas

This line of local bottled teas from neighboring Montauk are lightly sweetened, very flavorful and produced in small batches.

Check out their website to learn more about their teas and to read their story.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Today's Salad - Warm Just Picked Kale and Beet Salad

So far this season we have only harvested baby beets at the farm. Today I decided to scrub them clean with a brush, half them (skins on) and then throw them down the shoot of the food processor fitted with a grater attachment so that they could be included in this tasty warm kale salad.

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What you need:
1 Bunch of Kale (washed and cut into thin strips – like coleslaw)
8 Baby Beets washed and halved with skins on then grated (use a food processor if you have one)
1 White Onion Sliced into Half Moons
Balsamic Vinegar
Spoonful of Honey
Olive Oil

Heat a large sauté pan and drizzle in the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté over medium until caramelized – about 10 minutes. Add in beets and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes.

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Then add in the kale and stir until the kale is wilted (but not yet brown). Remove from heat.

Stir in honey.
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Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Optional components: Dried Currants, Cherries, Rasins, or Cranberries, Toasted Pine nuts (or other nut chopped) and / or Goat Cheese.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tonight's Dinner - Whole Wheat Penne tossed in a Homemade Tomato Sauce topped with Boquerones

I can’t stop talking about the sweetness of this season’s tomatoes - so prevalent in this homemade tomato sauce.

Making this sauce was especially exciting for me since all of the ingredients were from our local CSA – Quail Hill – and were harvested by me.

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What you need (Serves 6):
30 ripe tomatoes diced
3 garlic cloves minced
a Handful of basil chopped
Half a handful of Fresh Oregano leaves
Olive Oil
*Boquerones (Marinated white anchovies preserved in oil and vinegar)

In a large sauce pan heat olive oil over medium low and stir in minced garlic. After 30 seconds add in tomatoes and stir. Bring to a boil and add in basil and oregano. Reduce heat to a simmer and leave uncovered over a low heat for 2 or 3 hours stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta to your liking and toss with the fresh sauce. Top with Boquerones.

*Boquerones can be purchased at most specialty stores or here.