Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Potato Primavera Ensalta

You have been so patient, waiting for my Episode 2 of Grand Lake Farmers Market Interviews. Well...the footage is still in the editing room. Coming soon!

In the meantime, thought I'd share one of my favorite creations. It started as a left over salad, but now, one of my regular warm side dish. Whenever possible I support local and organic farm fresh produce. You can too!

4 russet style potatoes (or any variety of equal quantity)
2 handfuls of green beans
1 green onion
4 leaves of fresh basil
4 marinated artichoke heart pieces cut
2 handfuls of cheery tomatoes

2 table spoons of olive oil.
2 table spoons of lemon juice fresh squeezed
dashes of oregano,rosemary, and garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
1 table spoon of capers optional

First, I like to boil my potatoes, removing from stove before skins start to fall off, and one can stick a fork in with some slight resistance. Cut into bite size cubes. Lightly steam green beans so that they are still crispy, then cut into bite size pieces, cutting off ends (those hurt to eat). Next, cut onion into very small pieces using mostly the green end. Chop basil leaves somewhat fine. Cut artichoke hearts, and slice cheery tomatoes in halves. Place all items in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, and spices. Might take your a few tries before you get the combo of seasoning right. Just remember that salt neutralizes the acidity of the lemon and therefore a good balance is advised.

Here is one variation before I added potatoes using cherry tomatoes .

Here is an other version with whole tomatoes cut into small pieces, that serves 4 people. Enjoy your sharing!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Devil in the Eggs

Happy Easter!
We could safely say one of humanities oldest celebrations lands now, if one searches far back into pagan celebrations of the Spring Equinox. It was the New Year for the pagans! Originally New Year/Spring celebrations coincided with the rebirth of so many living things, from the darkness of the winter cold. Today we are left with a swirled mix of our past: hot cross buns, chocolate eggs, Christ resurrection, and a Rabbit goddess named Oester.

Let's focus on those eggs. Mmmm, how we love our eggs. The exchange of eggs has been an ancient custom for many cultures. Today not only do we eat chocolate eggs, we color our eggs, and eat the devil out of them after. Deviled eggs have an interesting history coming to us from Europe. Deviled eggs originated out of Rome, Italy, according to 'The Secret Life of...' show hosted by George Duran. The French call them oeuf mimosa. In Belgium, and Germany they are filled with caviar and served with remoulade sauce - Wow! "Deviled" referred, in the 18th century, to food that was spicy or zesty. In America, these devilish eggs, were renamed: Dressed Eggs, for God might not approve of such a diabolic name at the church functions where they were often served. Sometimes known with the gentler name of Picnic Eggs too. Americans have even taken to serving them in special designed trays, favored for showing off the eggs in all their open splendor.

Deviled eggs are hard-boiled, peeled, and sliced lengthwise. Yolks are removed and made into a paste, mixed with a variety of other ingredients. Perhaps mayonnaise, mustard, tarter sauce, diced pickles, salt, ground black pepper. The mixture is then scooped into each egg cup. Sometimes sprinkled with cayenne pepper, poppy seeds, minced onion, or paprika. In Germany anchovy and capers are included. In the French kitchens, the other ingredients are most likely to be pepper and parsley.

More contemporary versions include wide variety of seasonings: wasabi, cheese, capers, salsa, mushrooms, spinach, sour cream, smoked salmon, or other seafood, and may not always be spicy. Interesting how the Deviled Eggs keep evolving.

Deviled Eggs are usually served cold an as appetizers, and commonly for holiday or party food. Who will you give your eggs to this Easter? Share your eggs and be fruitful! Happy Easter, may you celebrate all that's new and everything that keeps renewing itself!