Monday, August 29, 2011

Updates & Events

Today's post was going to be a recap of my olympic distance tri.  Hurricane Irene had other ideas, and Sunday's race was cancelled.  Boo.  Moving on.

A few small updates in case you hadn't already noticed:
  • Tri to Cook now has a facebook page!!  It's still in its infancy, but show me the love and like me :)   Come say hi and let's chat about recipes you've tried, what's cooking in your kitchen, or recipes you'd like to see me make!
  • You can also subscribe to Tri to Cook by email (see the box in the right sidebar), getting new posts directly in your inbox so you don't miss a thing!
  • There are also now sharing buttons now at the bottom of each post, so you can tweet/email/share your favorite recipe with...  the rest of the world ;)

Some upcoming events for Boston-area folk...

Want to support the Breast Cancer Fund and meet some new folks on a fun run/walk?  You can do both Sept 8th in Cambridge Common, 6:30pm with the Boston LUNA Chix!!  Check it out and register here.

Think your pickles/preserves/baked goods reign supreme?  Put them to the test at the Urban Ag Fair Sept 18 in Harvard Square!  More info on the fair and how to enter the contest, click here.  You have until Sept 8th to submit an entry from!! 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tomato Corn Pie (CSA Week 10)

With the appearance of native beefsteak tomatoes and corn in my CSA, I knew exactly what was going to be on my menu this week...  tomato corn pie!

This recipe has been on my radar for awhile, and I'm glad I finally got around to making it.  Frankly I don't know what took me so long ;)  Combining two of summer's best with a biscuit crust, this is certainly a winner.  

Tomato Corn Pie
adpated from Gourmet
Serves 4-6

The lemon "mayo" (I swapped greek yogurt for most of the mayo) was a delightful surprise, although I'm going to suggest you put it in between layers instead of on top of all of the tomato and corn.  Even after draining the tomato slices a bit my pie was still juicy when I cut into it, just pour off the liquid if this happens to you.

For the biscuit crust:
2c white whole wheat flour
1T baking powder
3/4t salt
6T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4c greek yogurt whisked with 1/2c milk (or 3/4c buttermilk)

For the filling:
1/3c greek yogurt
2T olive oil mayo
zest and juice of 1/2 lemon (could double this if you have it)
1 3/4lb beefsteak tomatoes, peeled* and sliced crosswise 1/4" thick and drained on paper towels
corn kernals from 3 ears (~1 1/2c)
3 scallions, sliced (~1/2c)
2-3T thinly sliced basil
salt & freshly grated black pepper
5oz grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 400deg.

In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients for the crust (flour through salt).  Cut in butter with a pastry blender (or your fingers), until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  Add milk, stirring just until a dough forms.  Gather into a ball and divide dough in half.

Roll out each half of the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a size that's bigger than your pie plate.  With one circle, remove one sheet of parchment, invert into pie plate.  Use your fingers to pat the crust into the plate and discard the other sheet of parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together greek yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and mayo.

Arrange half of the tomatoes on the bottom of the pie crust.  Top with half the corn, scallions and basil.  Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Pour lemon-yogurt mixture over the filling and top with half the cheese.  Repeat layering with the rest of the ingredients.

Place the other half of the dough on top of the pie and then pinch the edges together with the bottom crust to seal.  Cut 4 vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape.  You can brush the top with melted butter, milk or an egg wash...  but I chose not to.

Bake for 30-35min, until crust is golden and filling is bubbling.  Cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

*To peel the tomatoes, slice a shallow X on the bottom and drop in boiling water for 10sec.  Plunge into ice cold water to cool, then drain and the peel should easily slip off!

Hang onto summer and go make this pie!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Corn & Caramelized Onion Salad

Cake, cake and pie, oh my!  Time's been short, and those recipes were just easier to type up :)  Anyways...  this recipe was a surprise hit at a BBQ I went to recently, so I figured you'd want to know about it!  I saw it on food52 earlier in the week and instantly knew what dish I'd be bringing.

Corn & Caramelized Onion Salad
adapted slightly from food52
serves a crowd

I used a mix of cooked and fresh corn kernals here because I didn't have enough corn the night I was preparing this, but liked the combination.  Feel free to use one or the other entirely!

7 ears of corn, divided
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
1-2T extra virgin olive oil
2T balsamic vinegar
scant 2t evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
2oz diced pancetta (I bought mine pre-diced at trader joe's)
3-4T chopped cilantro (I used ~3T fresh frozen cilantro

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook 4 ears of corn in boiling water for 3-4min, then plunge into an ice water bath to cool.  Drain and then cut off kernals from both the cooked and raw corn cobs into a large bowl.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add diced onions, balsamic, sugar and a dash of salt, stir to coat the onions.  Cook for 2-3min, stirring occasionally, and then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 20-25min, until the onions are nice and caramelized.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.

Add pancetta to the pan and cook on medium heat until brown and crispy.  Drain pancetta on paper towel-lined plates.

Add caramelized onions, pancetta and cilantro to the corn.  Mix well, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.  Garnish with cilantro or parsley, if desired.

What was the last dish you made that was a surprising hit?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Healthy Cake

At some point this summer, you're bound to have carrots, zucchini and summer squash ready and waiting to jump into your next dish.  I wanted to try a play on zucchini bread and carrot cake, and this was what I came up with...  it's neither of those things, but it was tasty.

I brought it to work to get some opinions and everyone enjoyed it without knowing what it was.  When I inquired about what it tasted like, I think the best response was "healthy".  They know me so well ;)  I'm going with it, as I think it's rather appropriate!

Healthy Cake
adapted from my kitchen addiction
yield:  two 8-9" cake layers

1c shredded zucchini
1c shredded summer squash
1c shredded carrots
4 eggs, beaten
1/4c mild flavored oil
1/4c greek yogurt
1/4c milk (dairy or nondairy)
1/2c applesauce
1t vanilla extract
2 1/2c white whole wheat flour (or AP or WW pastry)
1/2c sucanat (or brown sugar)
3/4c evaporated cane juice (granulated sugar)
2t baking powder
1/2t baking soda

Preheat oven to 350deg.

In a large bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (eggs through vanilla).  Add squash and carrots and mix well.

In a separate bowl, add dry ingredients and mix until well combined.  Add to the wet ingredients and fold in just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Try not to overmix!

Pour into 2 cake pans sprayed with Pam for baking (or butter and flour your pans).  Bake in preheated oven for 25-30min, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely, then frost with your favorite icing, cream cheese frosting anyone?

It might not be quite what I intended, but still seemed to be a hit.  Not the most indlugent cake, and full of vegetables, you can totally feel good about eating a slice!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Salads & Cake (CSA Week 9)

Week 9 goods

Weeks are disappearing before I have a chance to catch up...  I really don't know how we're already halfway through August?!  Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

This week I've got a couple salads that I've had the please of enjoying recently.  No real recipes, just some fresh pictures and ingredients :)

Green beans, blanched
Fresh corn kernals, raw
Yogurt-marinated chicken, diced
Croutons, made from cubed wheat baguette, rubbed with olive oil and garlic
Leftover dressing

Baby spinach
Fresh corn kernals, raw
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Feta, crumbled

To balance out the carrots, how about some cake?  (I know, you just had pie)  This one is totally worth it, too, everyone at work was a fan-- especially my birthday buddy :)  Unfortunately I didn't get good pictures...  check out Jen's!!

Please excuse the mess and out-of-focus picture, it ended up looking great!!

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake
slightly adapted from Jen

I followed her instructions, but used slightly different recipes, which I'll note below.  The cake was nicely spiced and not too sweet.  The cheesecake, well,

Carrot Cake Layers
adaptations to the CI recipe:

Mix of all purpose and white whole wheat flour
Reduced sugar to 7oz
Reduced oil to 3/4c
Added 3/4c applesauce

adapted from Louis

2 pkg reduced-fat cream cheese, RT
1c evaporated cane juice (or granulated sugar)
3 eggs, RT
8oz greek yogurt, RT
1t vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 330deg.
Cream together cream cheese and sugar.  Add eggs and beat until incorporated.  Add greek yogurt and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Pour mixture into a springform pan, give the pan a tap to unsettle any bubbles.

Bake at 330deg for 30min, then lower temperature to 300deg for 15min.  Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in oven for 1hr.  Then remove and let cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe by Shannon

8oz reduced fat cream cheese, RT
4T butter, RT
1 3/4c powdered sugar, sifted
1t vanilla extract

Add cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy, a few minutes.  Add butter and continue mixing until well combined.  Gradually add in powdered sugar until frosting has reached your desired consistency (might be more or less than what I used depending on temperature/humidity/personal preference).  Add in vanilla, mix well and then refrigerate for a bit before frosting the cake.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie

It's been a busy summer.

Three weddings and a wedding cake (and cupcakes) all within 5 weeks.  A fabulous holiday weekend at the Cape.  Training for my first OLY tri (T minus 2ish weeks).  Some Hugo-sitting and trips to visit family.  A continuous stream of veggies thanks to my CSA.  And who knows what else I've forgotten.  Oh, right, I turned 30 last week.

Bake a pie to celebrate with me!

Luckily my aunt knows me well, so when she showed up at camp, she came with a large bucket of blueberries in tow-- fresh from the farmers market that morning!  We plowed through half the bucket in 3 days, but I was determined to save enough to make a pie.  And not just any pie.  A blueberry goat cheese pie that first caught my eye watching and episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with my parents.  I've been dreaming of it ever since, waiting anxiously for blueberry season!

There's another secret ingredient in the pie, can you spot it?

hint:  it's green!

Basil!  I was intrigued by its addition in the pie, and it added an interesting dimension to this delicious pie.  To keep this pie suitable for a friend who can't do cow's milk, I used coconut oil in the crumb topping.  One taster picked up on this and commented that she would almost like more coconut, so think about adding a little shredded coconut to the crumb topping if you like!


Blueberry Goat Cheese Pie
adapted from this recipe
Yield:  1 9" pie

I tried this pie crust, which worked out fine, but I don't think was my favorite.  Clearly I need to make more pie to come up with a go-to crust recipe ;)

1 pie crust (use your favorite recipe, or even one from the store)

For the filling:
4oz goat cheese, RT
1/2c almond milk (dairy would be fine)
1 large egg
scant 1/4c sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/4c white whole wheat flour (AP or whole wheat pastry would also work)
1/4t salt
loose 1/4c chopped basil
5c fresh blueberries

For the topping:
1/2c rolled oats
1/4c white whole wheat flour (see note about flours above)
1/4c sliced almonds
1/4c evaporated cane juice (sugar)
pinch of salt
3-4T coconut oil, melted  (or melted butter or a mild-flavored oil)

Prepare your pie crust and lay into 9"pie plate.  Flue or pinch the edges if you like.  Refrigerate the crust while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 350deg.

In a large bowl, whisk together goat cheese, milk and egg until the goat cheese is broken up well.  Add flour, salt and basil and mix together well.  Add blueberries and toss until coated.  Taste and adjust as you

In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (oats through salt).  Add coconut oil, starting with 3T, and mix.  Add more oil if necessary, until moistened (there should be no dry ingredients, and the mixture will be crumbly in appearance).

Remove the pie crust from the fridge and pour in blueberry mixture.  Cover with the crumb topping and bake in preheated oven for 50-60min, until it has set and started to brown on top/edges.  Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight, or at least a few hours before serving.

I will be making this again, for sure.  Perhaps even increasing the goat cheese, since I can't get enough ;)  What's your favorite type of pie??

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Massaged Kale & Corn Salad (CSA Week 8)

My first blueberries from Marshalls Fenway Farm CSA didn't last long-- a day, tops ;)  Luckily I was able to make the other ingredients last a bit longer to pull together a dinner or two!

That sweet onion hanging out in near the blueberries got grilled up to top some simply seasoned grass-fed beef burgers.

Courtesy of my droid

The corn got shucked and added (raw) to some massaged kale (1 large head of kale, 1/2-1 avocado, juice of 1 lemon, coarse sea salt) and halved cherry tomatoes.  Absolutely delicious.

Ah, summer.   Please don't go.

What is your favorite thing to grill?  Mine is probably onions...  although I'll never complain about anything off the grill ;)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


Wild berry foraging

Who put the freakin palm tree in the middle of the lake??

Little piggy

Blueberries were also found!

Misadventures while hiking

What exciting things have you been up to this past week?
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