Greens can be fun! Deborah Madison at her best.

Marcus and I love the restaurant Greens in San Francisco.  The vegetarian restaurant was started by famed vegetarian chef Deborah Madison. She has authored many veggie cookbooks that I own and adore. Many people get hung up about anything labeled vegetarian. But I look at it this way…pancakes are vegetarian, so is cake.  Vegetarian is DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!  Here is one of my favorite examples…leek and goat cheese galette.  The lovely subtleness of leeks and the creaminess of goat cheese. Serve this will a great chilled Rose (my favorite is Crios Malbec Rose or Mulderbosch Rose) and a lightly dressed green salad.  Enjoy – Alise

Leek and Goat Cheese Galette 

From Vegetarian for Everyone by Deborah Madison

Galette Dough

2 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 to ½ cup ice water, as needed

Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Cut in the butter by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attachment, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the ice water over the top by the tablespoon and toss with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together into a ball. Press into a disk and refrigerate for fifteen minutes if the butter feels soft.

Filling Ingredients

6 large leeks, including an inch of the green
3 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper
1 egg beaten
3 tablespoons chopped parsley or chopped tarragon
Galette Dough
1/2 cup soft goat cheese (feta is a fine substitute)

Directions

Slice leeks in thin strips (I cut them them in circles about an inch thick).  You should have about six cups.

Melt the butter in a medium skillet.  Add the leeks, thyme, and 1/2 cup water.  Stew over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks are tender, about twelve minutes.  Add the wine and continue cooking until it’s reduced, then add the cream and cook until it just coast the leeks and little liquid remains.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cook for 10 minutes, then stir in all but 1 tablespoon of the beaten egg and 2 tablespoons of the parsley.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Roll out dough for one large galette.  Spread the leek mixture on top, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge.  Crumble the cheese on the top and then fold the dough over the filling. Brush with the reserved egg and bake until the crust is browned, 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove, scatter remaining parsley over the top, and serve.

Feeling the Heat: Chicken Stir Fry with Cashews Thai Recipe

Alise decided to share her cold with me. So I am overdosing on vitamin C and heating all the hot food I can find. When I say hot… I mean spicy hot! Fevers are the natural heating system to kill off those nasty little organisms that are trying to make us feel the worst. I use food to induce my own form of fever and open up my sinus with eye watering dishes.

I grabbed the cookbook Real Thai by Nancie McDermontt. We have made a number of dishes from this, and always with great success and enjoyment. Today, the recipe is Gai Paht Meht Mamuang Himapahn (Chicken Stir Fry with Cashews). If it is not hot enough, I have Sriracha at the ready to add.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
15 Small Dried Chilies
3/4 Pound Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless, and thinly sliced)
1 Small Onion (peeled and sliced into thick wedges)
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 Cup Roasted, Salted Cashews

How to Make:

Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Add oil and move skillet to coat bottom of pan with oil. When oil is hot and not smoking, add chilies and stir fry for 1 minute. They will darken, but remove before blackened and burnt. Remove chilies and set aside.

Increase stove to medium high and add chicken. Stir fry until it is cooked through (2 minutes). Add onion and stir fry until onion begins to wilt ( about 1 minute). Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Continue to stir fry for about another minute. Add cashews, chilies, and stir well. Serve hot and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy with using it as a medicine like me. It really is a great and simple dish for anytime.

Eat well and share with someone you care about.

Soup for Breakfast: Chilled Banana Almond Soup Recipe

As I continue to explore through Alise’s extensive cookbook collection… I realize she obviously doesn’t have these on the shelves using the Dewey Decimal System. It would help, but for entertainment and variety… we may find that bouncing all over makes this cookbook exploration more interesting.

Today’s cookbook is Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread Cookbook. Dairy Hollow House was an Inn in the Ozarks of Arkansas. There are a handful of cookbooks from this inn, and this is the one that Alise goes to from time to time for soup ideas. Alise mentioned a few good ones to share, but they were hot so I didn’t think would work for summer. I chose Chilled Banana Almond Soup because it is cool, and unusual. I had never heard of a soup like this. I think it would be good for breakfast or maybe if thickened used as a substitute for custard in some recipes like trifle.

Ingredients:

2 Cups Plain Yogurt
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
3 Bananas (peeled, frozen, and cut into chunks)
1 Tablespoon Raw Almonds
Honey (to taste)

How to Make:

In a food processor, put all the ingredients except honey and almonds. Process until smooth. While running add almonds keeping in mind the texture you want from the almonds in your soup. Also while running, add the honey since this is the best way to incorporate the honey into the mixture. Serve the chilled soup. You can garnish with banana chips if you want to add a little flair. Do  you think this would be good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Let us know if you have ever made a fruit soup and what it was like.

Eat well, and share with someone you care about.

Collard Green Pesto Recipe

Alise has her southern roots and food influences, but what happens when she is trying to satisfy my Italian heritage? Pesto – Collard Green Pesto! It is a great spin on a classic. If you like pesto, try this recipe. We have also made Parsley Pesto and Cilantro Pesto. So no matter your family tree, there is a pesto to make you feel like home. Another cookbook that gets used around here is Southern Living’s 1001 Ways To Cook Southern. This is where this recipe is from, and a great source of ideas from appetizers, main courses, and more.

Ingredients:

5 Cups packaged fresh collard greens (washed, trimmed, and chopped)
3 Garlic Cloves
1/4 Cup Pecans
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Instructions:

Cook the greens in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until tender. Drain greens and place in ice water to stop cooking process. Drain again well. Put garlic and pecans in food processor and grind until finely ground. Add greens, oil, cheese, salt, and 1/4 water into food processor. Run processor for 2-3 seconds or until smooth. Stop every once in a while to scrape down the sides making sure the whole mixture is smooth. The final product should be smooth and thick.

Use on top of pasta or vegetables. A little can go a long way so add it to your taste. Please share you favorite pesto combination. Let us know if you make it and what you thought. Eat well and share with someone you care about.

“Rileyhouse Beef Stew” Recipe

When I married Alise, I knew a couple basic things beyond her general personality. She is an excellent cook, and she loves her cats. Regardless of my allergies, I married her, the cats, and couldn’t wait for her cooking. What I didn’t know was where this talent for the culinary arts came from. Well, her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother were influences on her cooking. Also, the extensive collection of cooking books helped her out. When I say extensive, I mean, she has a collection of cookbooks that make the Library of Congress jealous. I will do my best to not only share recipes that her and I have developed, but some of our favorites from this vast collection.

Since her roots are Southern, Alise has a number of southern cookbooks. So my first recipe to share with you is Bob’s Blue Ribbon Favorite, “Rileyhouse Beef Stew” from The Blue Willow Inn Bible of Southern Cooking. It is a simple recipe so don’t be afraid to try it.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Vegetable Oil
2 lbs. Sirloin Tips
1/2 Cup Worcestershire or Steak Sauce
1 Package Stew Seasoning (French’s)
6 Cups Water
1 Can Tomato Sauce (15 oz)
1 Can Stewed Tomatoes (14 oz)
10 Small Potatoes
1/2 Package Baby Carrots (16 oz)
1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Butter
10 Small Whole Onions

In a large skillet on medium, heat the oil and brown the beef tips. Add Worcestershire/Steak sauce and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the stew seasoning and water. Stir. Add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, sugar, butter, and onions. Cook on low heat for 1 hour or longer. More water can be used if you want a thinner stew. Serve with corn bread.

Please send us a note and share your favorite stew recipe and tell us what you think of this one. Eat well and share with people you care about.