03.16.2017

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This week on Food52 I shared my favorite way to cook dried beans and how to stretch a pot of humble beans into a week of family dinners.

I was always intimidated by cooking dried beans. I would either forget to soak them ahead of time (ahhhh!) or keep them simmering in a pot, only to find them undercooked at the end of the day. After a while, I began to shy away from recipes that suggested I try it again.

Discovering the simplicity of preparing dried beans in the slow cooker has thrown my trepidation out the window. You just combine a few ingredients and turn on the machine! A few hours later you have a perfect pot of beans. Life-changing. (But if you don’t have a slow cooker, fear not: I recommend the method outlined in this recipe.)

Click here to read the full story and get four recipes from Feeding a Family including: Slow Cooker Black Beans, Buckwheat Crepes with Delicata Squash, Black Beans & Avocado, Kale & Sweet Potato Tacos on Homemade Corn Tortillas, and Black Bean Quinoa Burgers.

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All photography by Elizabeth Cecil.

12.01.2016

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As you may have gathered from my instagram I am thoroughly enjoying Genius Recipe’s Kale Salad this fall. The recipe originates from Northern Spy Food Co., a little NYC cafe that is now closed, and is the perfect thing to make at the beginning of the week, stored in the fridge for last minute lunches or snacks.

I’ve eaten this salad warm, at room temperatures, topped with a friend egg, and pressed onto avocado slathered toast – all are good.

Here is the salad’s recipe introduction in Genius Recipes “Raw kale is like any other green we’ve ever put to dressing-just a little more resilient. And that’s a very helpful trait, making it an ideal leafy salad to make ahead for company or tomorrow’s lunch. This particular kale salad is at once substantial and spry. It’s dressed with just lemon and olive oil, making it a bit like a raw version at a health store salad bar-but filled out with roasted kabocha squash, almonds, and two kinds of cheese. Depending on the season, Northern Spy trades out the kabocha for fresh apricots, kohlrabi, or pattypan squash. I sometimes go with slices of apple or persimmon. Kale’s amendable.”

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Kale Salad from Genius Recipes

Serves 2

1/2 cup peeled, cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bunch kale (preferably laminator or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and leaves finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups

1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half

1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot Clothbound Cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar-if you can’t find aged cheddar, use Parmesan)

Fresh lemon juice

Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)

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1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Toss the squash cubes in just enough oil to coat and season with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet, leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10 to 15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar, and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (using about 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Divide the salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved Pecorino cheese and serve.

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11.14.2016

 

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In the November issue of Bon Appetite, Anna Jones shares a few “healthy-ish holiday survival” recipes. If you’re not familiar with Anna Jones this is what the magazine has to say about her: “The former food stylist to Jamie Oliver, Jones has a refreshing food sensibility that we can’t get enough of. Her recipes are practical yet creative, and they’re packed with feel-good ingredients that make the finished dishes more-not less-delicious. And guess what? They’re all vegetarian.”

Anna suggests making this Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese for dinner on the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. That’s some good advice although we enjoyed it very much as a Sunday dinner last weekend. The recipe is highly adaptable. Try it with Swiss chard or spinach in place of kale. Any squash or root vegetable will work in place of the butternut.

We also made a tray of her Seedy Oat Crackers or “the guiltless cracker” which can be made ahead of the holiday craziness (they’ll keep for up to ten days). Seedy Oat Crackers are gluten-free, and have very little fat. Packed with nutrient-dense seeds and oats, these special crackers leave you feeling satisfied.

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Skillet Phyllo Pie with Butternut Squash, Kale & Goat Cheese from Bon Appetite November 2016

Serves 4 to 6

3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing

2 medium red onions, finely chopped

1/2 small butternut squash (about 1 lb.) peeled, cut into 3/4″ pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 bunch Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise

2 large eggs, beaten to blend

3 ounces Parmesan, grated

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

8 ounces frozen phyllo pastry, thawed

4 ounces fresh goat cheese or feta, crumbled

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Place a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 400 F. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost tender, 8-10 minutes. Mix in thyme and red pepper flakes and transfer to a medium bowl; let cool. Wipe out and reserve skillet.

Add kale, eggs, Parmesan, and lemon zest to squash mixture and gently mix to combine; season with salt and pepper. Layer phyllo sheets inside reserved skillet. Spoon kale-and-squash mixture into phyllo and dot top with goat cheese. Brush edges of phyllo lightly with oil and fold over filling, overlapping slightly, leaving center exposed.

Cook pie over medium heat until bottom of pastry is just golden (carefully lift up on side with a heatproof rubber spatula so that you can take a peek), about 3 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake pie until kale is wilted and tender and phyllo is golden brown and crispy, 20-25 minutes. Let pie cool in skillet at least 15 minutes before slicing into wedges.

Do Ahead: Pie can be baked 6 hours ahead. Let cool; store uncovered at room temperature.

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Seedy Oat Crackers “the guiltless cracker” from Bon Appetite November 2016

Makes 8 servings

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sesame seeds

3 tablespoons chia seeds

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

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Preheat oven to 375 F. Mix oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds, and salt in a large bowl to combine. In a separate bowl, stir oil, maple syrup, and 3/4 cup room-temperature water together. Pour over oat mixture; toss until soaked. Let sit 10 minutes to allow mixture to thicken. From into a ball. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, press another sheet of parchment on top, and roll out to 1/8″ thick (the shape doesn’t matter). Remove top layer of parchment. Bake cracker until golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully turn over cracker; remove parchment. Bake cracker on same sheet until firm and the other side is golden brown around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet, then break into pieces.

09.26.2016

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How to Build an Entire Meal on a Humble Sheet Pan by me is up on Food52 and because it’s Monday morning I’m hoping this article will provide some dinner direction for the week.

Whether you are searching for a way to cook an unusual CSA vegetable, prepare fish for a crowd, or assemble a meal ahead of time, sheet pan dinners are your answer. And once you start crafting your own combinations of protein, vegetable, herbs, and sauce, you will be hooked on this foolproof technique.

Here, I’ll share 12 tips for getting started, some basic time and temperature guidelines to abide by, a few time-saving ideas, and two simple roast chicken sheet pan recipes. (If a roast chicken dinner two-ways isn’t a good place to start, then I don’t know what is.)…click here to read the whole story.

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Photos by Elizabeth Cecil.

11.25.2014

There is a storm a brewin’ and this island is full of panic. Because we have a ticket to get our car on the ferry I received an email warning of major ferry cancellations tomorrow due to stormy weather. Everyone I’ve run into since reading the news is trying to figure out how to make it out of here (or get their families here) safely. I have my fingers crossed we’ll sail away tomorrow morning before the winds pick up.

We are heading to Truro for all seven cousins to takeover two houses for five days. Menu talk is in full swing at our house but if you have yet to finalize your Thanksgiving sides I highly recommend this White Bean & Butternut Squash Mash (with Garlic & Sage). Here are snapshots of the leftovers eaten on toast with baby arugula but it is the perfect creamy and rich puree on its own.

White Bean & Butternut Squash Mash (with Garlic & Sage)
Slightly adapted from The Nourished Kitchen

1 cup cooked white beans
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
4 large cloves garlic, in their skins
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1/2 cup chicken stock (sub vegetable stock if you’d like)
1/2 cup heavy cream

PS. This is a great puree for babies as well – full of protein, fat, and veggies.

(The daily wild turkey chase).

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Split the squash in half lengthwise and scrape out its seeds. Stuff the cavity of each squash half with 2 cloves of garlic, then carefully invert them onto the baking sheet. Brush a bit of oil over the squash’s skin to help loosen the skin from the flesh as the squash roasts. Roast the squash in the oven to 45 minutes, or until the flesh yields easily when pressed with a fork. Remove the squash from the oven and allow it to cool until it becomes comfortable to handle.

3. Take each clove of garlic from the squash’s cavity and press it gently between your thumb and forefinger to remove the garlic from its papery skin. Discard the skin. Add the garlic to a food processor. Scoop the flesh of the squash from the skins and drop it into the food processor.

4. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, stir in the sage, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the cooked beans and chicken broth and simmer until the broth reduces by half, 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Pour the beans and cream into the food processor with the squash and puree until smooth. Serve warm.