Sunday, June 26, 2011

Tuscan Lemon Muffins

On Sunday afternoons, Matt and I head to Manasquan Beach.  I bring food magazines, which I resist reading earlier in the week, and Matt brings his Kindle.  I love summer!  I don't bake that often but these lovely lemon muffins from Cooking Light just called to me.  The use of olive oil really appealed to me.  I have been experimenting with replacing olive oil for vegetable oil where possible.  I made Swiss chard lasagna a few days ago and had just enough ricotta left over for the recipe (full disclosure: not part-skim as called for in the recipe).  These muffins had a wonderful texture, were moist, and lightly lemony.  The turbinado sugar (raw sugar) on top was also a nice touch.  I imagine that this recipe could be easily adapted with other citrus fruits (meyer lemons, oranges, etc.) or complemented with fresh berries. Perfect! 

Tuscan Lemon Muffins
Maurren Callahan, Cooking Light - May 2011

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour  (7 9/10 ounces)
  •  3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (I used whole milk ricotta)
  • 1/2 cup water
  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  •  1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  •  2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt); make a well in center. Combine ricotta and next 5 ingredients (through egg). Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over batter. Bake at 375° for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mustard Greens in the Box

Mustard Greens - oh how I love this cholesterol-lowering cruciferous vegetable!
Red Beet Risotto with Mustard Greens and Goat Cheese
I was lucky to get nice big bunches of mustard greens in my CSA box over the last two weeks.  Thanks to inspiration from Bon Appetit, I made these tasty mustard green creations.  If you haven't had mustard greens in a while (or ever) don't be afraid to pick some up.  They are super healthy and really delicious with a little spicy kick. 

Well aesthetically this dish is a little odd and kind of screams Christmas (not what I was going for in June!)  The taste, however, was phenomenal - sweet, creamy, salty, tangy and even a little bitter.  I added a few shrimp because; well, just because I like shrimp!  The risotto recipe is quick with little fuss.  I stirred the mustard greens in at the end just to wilt them.  I will be making this again!  Bon Appetit Recipe Link

Goat Cheese Pizzas with Indian-Spiced Tomatoes and Mustard Greens
The recipe is for topping and flatbreads.  I shortcut it by using store bought naan for the crust.  Well, I love pizza!  This Indian style pizza was no exception!  The topping is amazing and I can't wait to make this again.  Seriously good! 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 large shallots, finely chopped
3 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes with added puree
2 cups chopped mustard greens

For topping:

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and next 5 ingredients; sauté 3 minutes. Add tomatoes; reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Add greens; stir until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place breads on baking sheet. Spread 1/4 of topping over each. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake until heated through, about 8 minutes.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mizuna in the Box

My CSA box is back and so am I!  I survived (sort of) our biggest deadline date of June 15th.  It was quite a taxing season - pardon the pun!  Cooking is now all about what's in the box.  This week we received beets, French breakfast radishes, kale, mustard greens and mizuna.  Great box!  Oh but mizuna, that's a tough one and Matt claims that he hates it.   I was determined to cook every bit of these lovely vegetables!  Well, I am proud to say that we ate all of the mizuna and loved it!  So this is what I made:
Mizuna and Goat Cheese Quiche with an Olive Oil Crust

My daughter Cailyn found an olive oil crust recipe that she wanted to try.  We didn't want all of the butter or God forbid lard found in most pastry recipes.  We need to reserve our butter consumption for the radishes!    The crust recipe couldn't have been any easier and it was tasty - who knew?! 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ice water
Mix flour and salt together.  Whisk the water and olive oil together.  Combine the flour and oil/water with a fork.  Press into a pie plate.  Crust in minutes! 

I used my go-to quiche recipe found here and substituted sauteed mizuna for the asparagus.  (Wash the mizuna thoroughly, remove stems and chop).  I baked the quiche at 400 until set (35 - 40 minutes).  Fabulous!

Soba Noodles with Mizuna
I was inspired by this recipe from the lovely blog Clean & Delicious with Dani Spies.  I changed up the recipe a bit by stir frying the carrots, using about 2 inches of minced fresh ginger instead of dried and cooking the garlic for about 30 seconds (with the ginger).  The carrots were sweet and still had a bit of crunch to them -yummy.  What a delicious and healthy lunch!