Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Week 27

Summer around here is time for grilling and easy meals. I rarely have the oven on in the summertime (I think my recipes this week will call for one oven meal) and I like to make a lot of big salads for dinner. So, you might find that my entries this summer are shorter or less complicated or not really recipes at all, just a list of ingredients that get thrown together. I hope you will still follow along and try to be a little free-spirited this summer.

Taco Salad
Brown about 1/2 lb ground beef with onions and garlic. Add seasonings to taste such as cumin, coriander, oregano, chili powder. Make your salad with chopped romaine lettuce, tomatoes, and any other veggies you like (zucchini spears, corn, whatever). Top with some crispy tortilla strips, cilantro, olives, and avocado and a lime vinaigrette dressing.

Spinach Quiche
1 cup all purpose flour (unbleached)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp fine kosher or sea salt
3 Tbs cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup grapeseed oil

Mix flours and salt in food processor. Add butter and pulse. Add oil, pulsing. Add buttermilk in thin stream, pulsing, until dough comes together in a ball. Roll out, fit into deep-dish pie plate and blind bake for about 10 mins or just until beginning to turn golden.

1 lb fresh spinach, sauteed in EVOO + butter
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp salt
a few turns of the pepper mill
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups grated cheese of choice (I used a mushroom jack I had on hand)

Place spinach in bottom of blind-baked crust. In bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper and ricotta. Pour over spinach. Top with grated cheese. Bake at 375 F for about 45 mins or until set. Let cool and serve warm or cold.

Weekend Grilled Chicken with Za'atar (from Bon Appetit. This requires overnight marinating. Serves 2-4.)
2 heads of garlic, top third cut off
6 Tbs EVOO, divided
1 (3-4 lb) chicken, cut in half lengthwise, backbone removed
1/4 cup za'atar (see below)
1 1/2 tsp lemon zest and 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 small serrano chile, seeded, minced
2 tsp dried marjoram
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
cumin aioli (see below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put garlic on foil and drizzle w/1 Tbs EVOO. Wrap garlic up in foil and roast until tender and golden brown, about 45 mins. Let cool.

Put chicken in glass dish big enough to marinate in. Sprinkle 2 1/2 Tbs za'atar over chicken. Squeeze roasted garlic out of skin and mash into paste in small bowl. Add 4 Tbs EVOO and remaining ingredients through marjoram. Whisk to blend and pour over chicken. Turn to coat and marinate in the fridge overnight. Before grilling, season chicken w/salt and pepper and let stand at room temp for 30 mins. Brush grill rack with remaining EVOO and cook chicken over med-high heat until it reaches 160 F (about 30 mins). Transfer chicken to cutting board, sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 Tbs za'atar and let rest 10 mins before cutting and serving. Serve with cumin aioli.

Za'atar: combine 1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano, 1 Tbs sumac, 1 Tbs ground cumin, 1 Tbs sesame seed, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper.

Cumin Aioli: toast 1 tsp cumin seeds and coarsely grind. Whisk 2 large egg yolks (from organic, free range eggs) with 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice and 1 minced garlic clove. While whisking, slowly stream in 1/2 cup grapeseed oil and 1/4 cup EVOO, whisk to emulsify. Season with kosher salt, cover and chill.

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