Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dutch Baby Pancake - Cathy

This is a guest recipe today by Kevin's brother, Mike and his wife, Jodi Walsh.  They did a wonderful job of photographing and presenting an old favorite family recipe that my sister-in-law Jodi recently pulled out of her files.  She says that she got it many years ago from Mike and Kevin's sister, Marsha Albano, who called it a Popover pancake.  Mike and Jodi note that it can also be called a German pancake.  Whatever you call it, it's beautiful, delicious, and simple to make.

  The pancake puffs up delightfully golden brown in the oven and is so good with a variety of toppings.  You can use whatever fresh fruit you have on hand with or without syrup, or serve it as my sister Karen does with a similar recipe, with just the powdered sugar and a squeeze of citrus. The pancake will deflate a bit as it cools, but it's still gorgeous, and so, so good!

Here's a copy of the original recipe from Jodi's files. I always love to see handwritten recipes.

Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad
Three years ago: Corn Risotto Dip

Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad - Caity

As the summer produce slows down, I am starting to panic. Despite the fact that I am excited for fall and love anything pumpkin flavored, I also love walking outside to the garden and coming inside with everything I need for dinner. My mom is especially good at creating special dishes with what is available in the garden and the refrigerator which is how this special dish was born. 

My mom flew up to Portland for a day so she could drive back to Utah with me (now THAT is love!). I had to work that night so while I slept all day, she weeded my garden, picked the produce, watered everything, cleaned the kitchen and packed my lunch for work. It was amazing. She made me ratatouille with polenta and this Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad. 

Squeeze in this last little bit of summer flavors before the big autumn switch!  

Serves 3-4

Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Roasted Fairytale Eggplants with Chili Lime Yogurt Sauce - Caity

 I have been waiting eagerly all summer for my two little eggplant plants to give me enough produce to make this recipe. The day finally arrived and my little plants gave me 6 baby eggplants all at once! Who knew eggplant could make a person so happy??? A 15-year-younger version of myself never would have thought that an eggplant would make me happy. Then I tried two life changing eggplant recipes: this recipe and also a recipe from Otto Lenghi's "Plenty". Now I am an avid eggplant supporter and an eager eggplant farmer. Who knew I had it in me? 

If you haven't ever seen them, fairytale eggplants are these beautiful miniature eggplants that are tiger striped with white and light purple. They are gorgeous and perfectly bite sized. I have found them occasionally at the farmer's market. If you can't locate them, use the smallest Japanese eggplants you can find which are smaller and narrower than a regular eggplant. Just slice them into 3-4 inch sections prior to roasting them. 

This recipe is uh-maz-ing. It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks by Melia Marden, "Modern Mediterranean". This is the same cookbook that the Balsamic Roasted Chicken comes from. If you ever come across it, I highly suggest picking up a copy! This eggplant recipe is great as an appetizer or a side dish. It is also perfect for a pot luck because it tastes great hot, room temperature or cold. Become an avid eggplant supporter like me and try this recipe today! 

Serves 4 as a side dish

Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad

Friday, September 5, 2014

Salmon with Blackberry Chimichurri--Cathy

Is there anything better than blackberry season?  When I was little, we lived on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii.  We would make excursions up to the mountains during blackberry season armed with long-sleeved shirts and long pants and lots of buckets to go pick as many blackberries as we possibly could. My mom would make jam, and legendary cobbler, and freeze a bunch so we could savor them for a long, long time.

But my very favorite way to eat it was in a bowl with milk and a spoonful of the sparkly raw sugar that sat in a burlap sack in the corner that my Uncle Masayuki would bring us from the sugar factory.  If you carefully squish just a few of the berries against the side of your bowl, it colors and flavors the milk just right and it's oh, so good! Best if eaten while buried in a really good book from the library--like "Flight to the Mushroom Planet", or "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler",  sitting at the old Formica table in the kitchen...

This fabulous recipe was discovered while on a visit to Portland to see Caity and Brendan.  Caity and I found this beautiful Chimichurri recipe in Portland Monthly magazine.  The recipe comes from Ox restaurant--a to-die-for place in Portland (which is saying a lot in that city!).  It is originally meant for beef short ribs, but we had to feed a crowd that night with not much time, so we decided to try it with salmon and absolutely love it that way. 

The salmon is just very simply grilled, and the Chimichurri is so easy and so gorgeous!  You can make it ahead up to two days and really requires very little effort. Give it a try before blackberry season is over.  

One year ago: Summer Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme 
Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad 
Three years ago: Corn Risotto Dip