A Great Appetizer & Healthy Snack – MARINATED MUSHROOMS
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
Juice of 2 lemons (4 tablespoons)
2 bay leaves
4 large garlic cloves (crushed and peeled)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 whole black peppercorns
1 pound button mushrooms (small or cut to same bite size)
In an enamel or stainless saucepan, combine ingredients except mushrooms & bring to a boil. Cover & simmer 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms & simmer 5 minutes, stirring gently.
Let the mushrooms cool in the marinade. Serve at room temperature. Store in a Ball jar, or other glass container, in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Delicious snack! You can also add them to other dishes for texture & zing.
Dash of fresh ground black pepper (or one peppercorn)
Blend until creamy smooth. Enjoy on the spot or freeze in heart shaped molds or make popsicles. The hearts make a delightful little surprise – just set them out about 20 minutes before serving. Add whatever makes you smile.
1/2 c scallion, white to about 1″ of green, minced
1 T melted ghee
1 T pumpkin puree (or applesauce or potato or sweet potato puree)
1T Avocado oil & 1 t ghee for frying
Prepare dipping sauce (recipe follows) so the flavors meld.
Combine the dry ingredients & scallions in one bowl & combine the wet ingredients in another — excluding the avocado oil & ghee for frying. Add the wet combo to the dry & stir well. The batter should be relatively moist & hold its shape in a teaspoon.
In a flat pan or griddle, heat the avocado oil & ghee to medium (375°F). Drop the batter by teaspoonfuls onto the heated surface, shaping them a bit with the back of a small spoon dipped in water. When the blini looses its gloss, flip it and cook the other side until brown.
Place cooked blinis on a paper towel lined wire rack for a bit. Serve immediately; keep them warm in a 200°F oven; or serve at room temperature. They reheat very well after refrigerated by pan frying again. Makes about 24 blinis.
Asian Dipping Sauce
1/4 c soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
2 T toasted sesame oil
1 T mirin
1 T agave or honey or maple syrup
1 garlic clove (pressed or hyper-minced)
1 t ginger hyper-minced
Heat – your choice – a dash cayenne or a bit of chili garlic paste
2 T very thinly sliced scallion (green part)
Mix all ingredients & let stand for an hour. Serve. Refrigerate to store.
Cooper & Thief Caramelized Onions & Scallions
1 c yellow onion cut into crescents
6 scallions, white part only, cut into 1/4 inch diagonal slices
1 t butter
1 t avocado oil
1/4 c Cooper & Thief red wine blend
1/4 t sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a small skillet heat the butter & oil. Add the onions & scallions & salt & pepper. Cook stirring constantly until the alliums are translucent & start to turn golden. Add wine, salt & pepper. Cook until all liquids evaporate.
Top blinis with caramelized onions & bits of triple cream (or brie). Serve warm or at room temperature.
1/4 avocado or smashed great northern beans or refried beans
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t Greek herbs (or your favorite herb/spice blend or salt & pepper)
1 pattypan (scallop) squash or other summer squash, sliced
1 large green onion, white & a bit of green cut in long strips. Green tops: chopped & saved for garnish
1 carrot (enough for 8 diagonal carrot slices or more)
1 French radish sliced
1 handful of Russian Kale torn
Fresh micro sprouts (garnish & health!)
1 t balsamic vinegar
1 T pickled onions or your favorite zing (capers, sauerkraut, olives, pickles, lemon peel, sriracha, salsa)
1 t (or more) hemp seeds (so healthy)
Fresh coarsely ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F (convection speeds roasting time). Hand rub the veggies with 1 T (more if needed) olive oil & herbs. Place in specific vegetable type groups on roasting pan in case one cooks faster than another so they’re easy to take out. Bake about 10 minutes, checking after 5 (removing kale) until the veggies are done to your preference.
Meanwhile toast the bread & smash the avocado on it. Drizzle with oil. Layer the veggies on the toast. Drizzle with olive oil & balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with pickled onions, hemp hearts & black pepper.
Garnish with sprouts.
TRIPLE THE ROASTED VEGES — They’ll be delicious later!
Heat oven to 375°F. Parchment line a 9″ springform or cake pan, using 1 t butter to stick paper to pan sides & to lightly butter the batter side of the paper. Sprinkle a bit of the almond flower in the cake pan bottom over the buttered parchment.
Mix the almond flour, lemon zest & 2 T sugar in. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder & salt.
In an electric mixer, whip the eggs on high for about 2 minutes. Add the 3/4 c sugar & whip until pale, thick & creamy, about 5 minutes.
Reduce speed to low. Add extracts, almond flour mixture & carrots. Mix until well combined. Add butter & mix until just combined. Fold in flour mixture, combining gently until the dry mixture is just incorporated.
Pour batter into baking pan. (I pull the batter a bit from the center so it bakes more evenly.) Bake 30 minutes until lightly browned & the center springs back. It will most likely have a couple of cracks in the top when it’s done. Remove from oven to a cooling rack. Let the cake cool completely in the pan.
Remove the cake from the pan & display on a cake stand with a glass dome so you can walk by & easily eat it. Hence the name “disappearing.”
P.S. Sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar before serving, if you like. I never made it to this step.
Preheat oven to 400°F (convection setting preferred). Mix kale with all ingredients. Spread the kale in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 12-20 minutes, checking every 5 minutes or so until kale is crispy. That might mean pulling out leaves as they are done. They are delicious with or without the yeast sprinkles.
NUTRITIONAL YEAST SPRINKLES
2 T nutritional yeast
1 T olive or avocado oil
4 drops Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t dry oregano
Mix all together with a fork until the mixture forms crumbs. Sprinkle over warm kale chips.
3 C diced kale (think smaller pieces for a tender bite)
1 C diced red cabbage
1/2 C grated carrot
1/4 C minced parsley
2 T each pumpkin, hemp & sunflower seeds
1/2 C fresh blueberries
DIJON GARLIC SPLASH
3 T olive oil (I used the very best – which has a kick to it)
2 t Dijon mustard – the real thing from Dijon, France
2 t Braggs vinegar
1 clove very finely minced garlic
1 t honey (taste the dressing before you add)
Sea salt & fresh black pepper
In a small bowl mix the splash. In a larger bowl add slaw ingredients, and toss with the splash. Serve at room temperature. Top with blueberries to serve. (Sans blueberries, I like this as a sandwich relish too.)
Preheat oven to 400° F. I use a convection setting.
Wash your radishes. Wash your radishes again. And one more time. In the commercial kitchen we wash anything with greens at least 3 times to clear the grit. Drain on a clean tea towel. BTW your towels should be washed in non scented, natural detergent.
Radishes are really pretty so try to serve them close to their original design. Carefully remove the green tops. Slice the radishes in half, keeping the roots intact. I’ve tried to keep the greens attached & roast them whole but the greens usually cook so much faster than the roots so separating them works better.
Toss the greens with olive oil & seasoning in one bowl & the roots in another. Place roots on one side of a parchment lined pan. Roast for about 10 minutes. Add greens to pan spread in one layer. Roast for 5 minutes. You want the greens just crisp not burnt so watch them.
Serve. Drizzle with fresh EVOO. If you like, mix the EVOO with a bit of Dijon mustard or Balsamic vinegar. Great cold too.
Greek Spice Blend *3x for fresh herbs
1 T dry oregano*
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1 T dry marjoram*
1 T dill weed*
1 t parsley*
1 T lemon pepper seasoning
1 t sea salt
1/2 t black pepper
MUSINGS about radishes. Radishes can be spicy hot. Roasting mellows the heat, as does steaming or blanching. You can parboil & then quickly ice & add to your salads to calm their dominant bite. Or enjoy a crunchy fresh one.
3/4 t vanilla 1/2 t almond extract or vice versa depending on your taste or traditional = 3/4 t vanilla 1 T lemon zest
1/2 c unsalted butter melted set aside to cool + 2 T butter melted to oil tin
1 c flour
1/4 t salt (or less)
1/2 t baking powder
Tendre, s’il vous plaît. Whisk flour, salt & baking powder in small bowl. In mixer with wire whip, beat eggs & sugar 6-8 minutes until light & thick. Add flavorings. Fold in flour mixture, gently. Take 1/4 c of the batter & mix with the 1/2 c melted butter until the butter is incorporated. Then thoroughly fold this butter batter into the egg, sugar, flour batter, gently. Cover & refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile oil molds VERY WELL. EVEN if you have non stick molds, oil them well. The butter helps the petit cakes brown too. Preheat oven to 350° F.
Organize your tea ingredients: Begamot (Earl Grey) Tea, almond or milk of choice, vanilla or vanilla syrup, sugar. Make your tea while your cakes bake.
Place 1 tablespoon of batter in the center of each of 22* VERY WELL oiled 3″ x 1.75″ mold. Bake 10 to 14 minutes. (Ovens and atmospheres vary.) They are done when the edges are just brown. You can test with your finger by pressing gently. If it’s done it’ll resist a bit & spring back. Remove from oven. Wait 1 minute (no longer) & with a table knife coax your madeleines onto a wire rack to cool. (OR DON’T WAIT – I like one warm from the oven.) Store in air tight container or freeze.
Eat within a few minutes. (Did I say that?) I meant days. (I am a glutton for anything French or cake like or filled with glorious memories.) I am pretty sure the benefits of bergamot & black tea totally counteract the sugar sins.
Some folks like them sprinkled with (more) sugar. I like mine naked with Earl Grey tea. ENJOY!
Bouquet Garni: 3 thyme sprigs, 8 peppercorns, 2 large bay leaves, parley sprig (Chef puts these in cheesecloth.)
2 cups water with juice of 2 lemons to keep artichokes from browning. (I strained this “lemonade” after use and am drinking it.)
4-6 large artichokes, leaves, stem & thistle removed. Keep in lemon juice & water as you work as they quickly oxidize. Clean the heart that’s left so all of it is edible. (I added the stems that I had trimmed as well but I did compost all of the leaves.)
4+ T Kerry Gold butter, clarified
2 garlic cloves, smashed
Maldon Salt flakes
In a sauté or saucepan large enough to hold the hearts & liquid to cover them, add oil and sauté the shallots, fennel & carrots with salt until just limp. Add garlic, cook 1 minute. Add bouquet garni, liquids & simmer for about 10 minutes while you prepare the artichokes.
Place the artichoke hearts in the pan. Adjust liquid so it just covers the hearts. Submerge a clean (all natural with no dyes) tea towel over the hearts to keep them moist. Cover.
Simmer on low. Cook until the hearts just yield to a sharp point. I use a toothpick or skewer. It’s easy to overcook these so check frequently. It will take at least 10 minutes but maybe up to 30 depending on your artichokes.
When almost done, remove the hearts & keep warm. (I had a waiting saucepan on low heat & recovered them with the tea towel.)
Add the oysters to the vegetables, cover. Simmer about 2 minutes until the oysters are barely heated. They’ll continue to cook as you shell them. Open the oysters & set aside. (Clams or mussels would be great too!)
Heat the clarified butter. Add the 2 garlic cloves & cook for 1 minute.
Place your veggies on a service plate. Add the artichoke hearts, cut into cubes. Arrange oysters on the side. Drizzle the entire plate with the garlic butter. VERY lightly sprinkle with a bit of Maldon Salt.
I drank the broth. Ate all the garlic & licked the pan.
Hmmmm, maybe a crusty baguette would be a nice addition.
YOU CAN USE ALL FRESH or MIX FRESH & DRY HERBS IN THIS BLEND AND FREEZE. Allow 3 times the dry amount for fresh and of course you’ll have to grind your dry herbs, mince your fresh ones & blend. Storage info follows.
To mix, you can use a suribachi (I love this Japanese grinding bowl bowl with a rough unglazed center that I learned about from Alice Waters.); mortar and pestle; or an electric spice grinder. (I have a Cuisinart SG10 which holds all of this mix.) You can also use ANY BOWL and a wooden spoon.
When mixing spices grind the largest ones first…ie. peppercorns and bay leaves. When these are relatively small, add the all the remaining herbs & blend to your preference, coarse to very fine. Try to have consistent particle sizes of all the herbs so you have true blend of flavors for your recipe.
Store AIRTIGHT in a dark/tinted GLASS container for up to 6 months. Beyond that your flavors and nutrients will dim. You can freeze your blend (IN FREEZER PROOF AIR TIGHT GLASS NOT METAL OR PLASTIC) and maybe get 12 months. (PLASTIC is toxic next to any food! It is NOT airtight. I love Ball straight-sided freezer safe jars! Here’s Dr. Weil’s view about SILICONE which might be an option…https://www.drweil.com/diet-nutrition/cooking-cookware/cooking-with-silicone/
I have also mixed my blend with olive oil, plopped teaspoonfuls on a parchment lined tray, frozen and popped out into my BALL jars and returned to freezer. Pre-measured with an extra boost of EVOO. 12 months maximum storage but I use within 6 months.
This is just a teeny bit about the health gifts.
As a nutritional chef, I have learned that this blend is loaded with LIFE — phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, etc. Remember more is not necessarily better. Taste your foods as you cook to see what is your spice preference.
Fennel – Carminative (antiflatulent), galactagogue (increases breast milk supply), expectorant/antitussive (relieves chronic cough), anti-colic, stomachic (aids digestion), anti-inflammatory (supports overall wellness). I LOVE FENNEL!
Savory – Anti-oxidant (see oregano blog https://chamberslife.com/?s=oregano for information about antioxidants), anti-septic, anti-fungal, expectorant, stomachic, aphrodisiac, thirst quencher.
Bay Leaf – Anti-carcinogen, antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic, calmative, antiflatulent, sedative, sodium replacement for taste. DO NOT EAT WHOLE BAY LEAVES AS THEY MAY CAUSE CHOKING/GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS!
Lavender Flowers – Antibacterial, digestive, cholagogue (promotes bile flow), carminative, nervine (Lavender is amazing, helping with sleep, depression, fatigue, anxiety, etc.), insect repellent. Suggested lavender varieties include Provence, Melissa, Royal Velvet, Buena Vista and English.
Tarragon – Digestive, antiflatulent, cholagogue, nervine, appetite stimulant, metabolism booster. *Tarragon has very distinctive flavor can overpower other herbs, so you may want to start with less to see if your taste buds agree. If your tongue feels a little numb when you eat Tarragon, I am told that’s part of it’s magic.
Black Peppercorns – Digestive, enhances bioavailability, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, improves cognition, expectorant, antitussive. EAT ON EVERYTHING!
And last but not least — I love this podcast because Dr. Gundry has a plethora of health professionals as guests whether he agrees with their views or not. So if you are a sponge for health info this is your go to… …https://drgundry.com/the-dr-gundry-podcast/