Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blueberry Clafouti

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

Yes, clafouti which is pronounced cla foo' tee. Translation: yum! I first discovered clatoutis about 10 years ago and the first one I made was with fresh peaches. A clafouti is a custard like dessert dish with just enough flour added to give it different texture than custard.

You can use any kind of fruit with a clafouti but we have fresh blueberries right now so I used them in this dessert last night. We love any kind of clafoutis. They are meant to be served right out of the oven as the mixture rises a bit. But once it cools and falls a bit, stick it in the fridge for a completely different version the next day as a cold dessert.

The hot version is somewhat light while the cold version is thicker, more custard like. I don't have a preference; I love them both. And a clafouti is not just for dessert. They can be for breakfast which is how I had it today--fruit, milk, eggs--breakfast!

The total hands-on time for a clafouti is about 10 minutes, less if an easy to use fruit like blueberries are used, a bit more if you have to peel and slice peaches, or pit fresh tart cherries (which are in season right now in Michigan!).

Blueberry Clafouti
3 cups blueberries--enough to create a single layer of fruit on the bottom of a greased 9" baking pan
4 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 c milk
1 1/2 t vanilla
1 t grated lemon peel (I used the dried version from Penzey's)
3/4 flour
powdered sugar for dusting

Beat the eggs until well blended then add the sugar and beat until light and frothy. Mix in milk, vanilla, and lemon peel. Then add flour and beat until smooth.

Place the fruit in a greased 9" pan. Pour the batter over the fruit. Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until the top is browned and the dessert begins to pull away from the edge of the pan. Dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Beet Risotto

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

The farmer's markets are the place to find small beets with the attached beet greens this time of year--although I went out to my garden to harvest them. Small beets, those around 2" in diameter, are incredibly tender and sweet. This risotto dish turns a brilliant red color and is stunning on the plate. We had it tonight with fresh lake trout (the fish just appeared in our backyard--in a cooler--this week) and it was a tremendous meal.

Roast at 350 degrees F for 30-40 min. in aluminum foil:

8 2-inch beets (or whatever size you have!), with 1" of stem attached, saving remaining greens, beets unpeeled
4 cloves of garlic
3 sprigs of thyme

Once the beets are out of the oven, cool, peel, and dice. Toss in a bowl with the roasted garlic (squeeze the soften garlic cloves out of the peel into the beets).

2 T olive oil
3 green onions, sliced
1 c arborio rice
3 c chicken stock

In olive oil, saute green onions. Add arborio rice, saute quickly until golden brown. In 1/2 c increments, add chicken stock, stirring, cooking over medium heat, for about 25 min until the rice is softened.

Beet greens, wash, cut into 1 x 3" strips
1 T olive oil
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 t balsamic vinegar

Saute beet greens in olive oil, stirring constantly, until the greens are wilted.

To the cooked rice, now called risotto, add the diced beets, sauteed greens, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and grated parmesan cheese. Cover and let rest for 2-3 minutes to let cheese melt.

Serve this dish and I guarantee you that people who think they don't love beets will devour it!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mango Salad

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

We went to a potluck dinner last night and on my kitchen counter were the last of a large quantity of mangoes sent to me by David for my birthday. So guess what I used in my potluck dish? Mangoes! My mango salad was a huge hit and not the normal northern Michigan salad--but then who has lots of mangoes in northern Michigan? I do!

I created this based on what I had in the kitchen so here's how it went together:

3 large mangoes, peeled, diced
3 medium sized green onions, chopped--pulled from my garden, one green, one yellow, one red
3 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 hot pepper, your choice, I used jalapeno, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 T lime juice
salt and pepper

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Stir Fried Bok Choy

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

I have bok choy and green onions in the garden right now so I put them together into a tasty dish. Ginger is something I usually have in my refrigerator. I love the combination of the smell and slight heat as well as the almost sweet taste it adds to foods.

8 cups chopped bok choy
4 green onions, minced, greens included
1 T ginger, minced
2 T olive oil

I used about 8 cups of bok choy and since it is really new, fresh bok choy, I have mostly the leafy parts and not much of the stalks. I trimmed the huge leaves into strips about 1" wide and 6-8" long and chopped the stalks separately.

Saute the ginger in the olive oil for about a minute. Add to it the stalks and green onions and quickly stir for another minute and then add the greens. Stir fry until all the greens begin to soften, 3-4 minutes.

Then add:
2T soy sauce
1 1/2 t sugar
salt, pepper, and a dash of cayenne pepper

Stir another minute and then add 3-4 T of water, cover, and cook for another 2-3 minutes until all the liquid is cooked off. Add 1 1/2 t of sesame oil and toss before serving.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pea Pods and Fresh Corn

By Perry Washburn

I created this specifically for the Des Moines Register's new EAT! publication. Now is the time of year you can get fresh, high quality pea pods and fresh corn.

2 cups fresh corn, cut off the ears
2 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
2 cups pea pods, trimmed and cut on an angle (for fun and presentation)
1/2 cup red bell pepper cut in 1-inch strips
2 Tbs fresh chives, chopped
2 Tbs sliced almonds (much preferred over slivered)
2 Tbs green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet or wok melt the butter and add the oil. Over medium high heat, brown the corn in the butter and oil, turning occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the pea pods, bell pepper and chives. Fry, turning frequently, for 2-3 minutes more, until pea pods are bright green. Add salt and pepper. Remove to platter and sprinkle with green onions and then almonds. Serves 6.

Photo in my kitchen by Vickie Ashwill for Eat!