Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Working on Cookbooks Two and Now Three

It's official, I have a signed contract in my hand. Which means I can finally tell you the big news—I've got a THIRD cookbook in the works! It'll be all about marinades, and it's slated for publication in the spring of 2014. I've already begun recipe development and testing—15 down out of 200. At the same time, I'm still in the midst of working on Flavored Butters. Every meal at my house involves something that's soaked in a marinade and then topped with a compound butter, and I can tell you things have been very tasty lately. This is such an exciting time. I've never been so inspired as I am at this very moment!

So here's a recipe for a side that I served with one of my many marinated, butter-topped creations. Of course, it was inspired by the goodness at the farmers market. Substituting chard for the traditional spinach yields a dish with more flavor and texture.

Creamed Chard
Printable Recipe

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, diced
1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, preferably rainbow chard, stems and ribs diced and leaves cut into 1-inch strips, blanched, and squeezed dry
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup heavy cream
Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Generously butter 4 individual baking dishes. Heat a medium, heavy sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the remaining butter and the onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, or until soft. Add the chard stems and ribs and sauté another 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 to 2 minutes more, or until fragrant. Remove from the heat, stir in the chard leaves, cream, and nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among the baking dishes and sprinkle evenly with the Parmegiano. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately.

Serves 4. It’s important to squeeze all of the liquid from the blanched chard leaves or the dish will be soupy. The recipe can be prepared up to a day in advance, covered, and refrigerated and baked right before serving.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Colorful Carrots and Other Exciting Things

Exciting things are happening around here. Exciting things like…

The summer issue of Cooking Club magazine just arrived! I'm super excited to see it because it contains four recipes by yours truly. If Asian Pork Tenderloin with Sriracha Dipping Sauce, Chicken Salad with Pine Nuts and Feta, Ratatouille Pasta, and Chipotle Macaroni Salad with Chicken and Corn sound good to you, then you've got to check out the "Weeknight Cook" column (on page 44). All of the recipes can be prepared in under half an hour, and they're absolutely delicious, even if I do say so myself.

Also, the summer Clark College class schedule just came out. I'll be teaching Fabulous Frozen Desserts and Seafood Primer. Please join me in the kitchen! Current class listings can always be found in the Cooking Classes, Book Signings & Appearances sidebar on the right.

Then there's the farmers market. After endless months of Pacific Northwest rain and gloom, the early season farmers market is as exciting as anything can be around here. Just have a look at what I discovered on a recent trip.

The most stunning carrots. Purple Haze, White Satin, Jet Black, and Creme de Lite carrots.

Every year, I look forward to this season and the abundance of local produce it brings with the greatest anticipation, and now it's finally here. Exciting and inspiring!

And there's even more exciting news coming. BIG news. News I hope to share very soon, so stay tuned!

Spicy Carrot Salad
Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons sugar
Generous pinch cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
Kosher salt
4 large carrots, julienned

Whisk together the rice vinegar, garlic, sugar, cayenne, and oil in a small bowl. Toss together the carrots and dressing in a large bowl and season to taste with salt. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.
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