Arugula-Fennel-Fig Salad with Lemon Zest

IMG_1048 - Version 3This is a refreshing and beautiful side salad I like to pair with my Fennel, Purple Potato, & Oyster Mushroom Filo Purses.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh Arugula with minimal stems
  • 1/2 bulb of Fennel
  • 3-5 ripe, raw Figs
  • zest from 1 Organic Lemon
  • Olive Oil & Salt

Mandolin the Fennel Bulb into fine slices and soak in a bowl with ice water (ice cubes and water to cover the slices).  Let this sit until slices are chilled (1/2 hour)

Slice the figs into disks of pink and set aside.

Pour the water off of the Fennel and dab dry with a towel.  Toss with equal parts arugula and place onto the plate. Place slices of fig atop the greens and then sprinkle with lemon zest, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.

Simple, unique flavors are perfect to cleanse the palate of a rich, cooked meal.

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Fennel, Purple Potato, & Oyster Mushroom Filo Purses

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Filo Purses served with a fennel-arugula-fig salad and grilled radicchio, asparagus, and peaches!   This recipe looks super gourmet & is easy to do!

Ingredients:

- 1 fresh fennel bulb (mandolined into thin strips)
– 6 small-medium sized purple potatoes (steamed or boiled)
– 3 cups of oyster mushrooms (separated into small pieces)

- Olive Oil
– White Balsamic Vinegar
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– Thyme (1-2 teaspoons)
– Sage (2-3 teaspoons)

Filo Dough (1 package should be more than enough)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Filling:

  • Mash the potatoes (peeled if you prefer) with generous amounts of Olive oil until smooth. Leave to cool in a large mixing bowl.
  • Sauté the fennel bulb in olive oil over medium heat until golden/caramelized. They should look similar to onions caramelizing in the pan.
  • Add a small amount of white balsamic and olive oil as needed.
  • When the fennel looks almost done, toss in the oyster mushrooms and continue to sauté.
  • Season with finely ground thyme and sage to taste.
  • When the mushrooms and fennel are done, pour into the purple mashed potatoes and stir them together. Salt and pepper to taste.

Filo Dough:
This is usually sold frozen, so allow time for it to come to around room temperature.

  • Delicately peel one square sheet (about 8″x8″) of filo dough onto a dry cutting board. With a pastrIMG_1038y brush, coat the filo with olive oil, then layer another piece of filo on top. Repeat until you have 3-4 layers of filo.
  • Grab an small fist/ice cream scoop amount of filling and place in the middle of the filo.
  • Gently pick up the sides and twist into a small package/purse (as pictured).  Repeat for the rest of your filling.IMG_1039

 

 

 

On a cookie sheet, place a layer of cooking parchment paper down and lightly oil with olive oil.  Distribute these filo packages on the cookie sheet and bake until the filo turns golden brown.

Remove and serve with grilled vegetables and arugula-fennel-fig salad. YUM!

Posted in Fusion ~ Gourmet, Mains, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

Wild Rice Stuffing

IMG_2152This is one of my favorite meals!  I make this vegetarian family recipe every Thanksgiving- each year, a little different!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Wild Rice (~4 cups cooked)
  • 1 medium yellow Onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Wild Mushrooms (I prefer chanterelles)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)
  • 1 red or yellow pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1/2 cup parsley (or you can use the tops of the celery)
  • 1 cup baked tofu cubed (optional)
  • Olive Oil, sage, salt & pepper to tasteImage

Rice:  Cook the wild rice in a separate pot- 2 cups of water to every cup of rice.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to low until done.

Tofu:

  • Cube tofu into 1cm cubes.  Marinate in lots of Olive oil and powdered sage, salt, and pepper.
  • Spread out on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (makes it not stick!) and bake at 350 degrees- flip them every 5-10 min until crispy.  Add to the stir fried vegetables at the end.

Veggies: 

  • While the rice is cooking, stir fry the onions, spices, and mushrooms first, then add the dried fruit and nuts.
  • Once the wild mushrooms are done (Chanterelles need about 15 min) add the other veggies and cook until tender and to your liking.

Here is mine in the pan:

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Once the rice is done, combine the tofu, veggies, and rice with more olive oil and spices to taste.

Serve with cranberry sauce and all your other Thanksgiving favorites!  Yum!

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Cool Cucumber Cocktail

Cool Cucumber Cocktail

This deliciously refreshing drink goes perfectly with spicy food or on a hot day!  The one trick is you need a juicer and some yummy organic cucumbers to juice fresh for it.  Some people do more of a Martini style drink with cucumber infused vodka instead, but this concoction is something unique!

For 2 Martini glasses:
4 oz. Vodka (high quality)
3 oz. Cucumber Juice (freshly juiced!)
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup (or dissolve raw sugar into the vodka)

Serve in a sugar rimmed Martini glass with thinly sliced cucumber and mint.

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Golden Tomato & Chanterelle Sauce over Ravioli

Golden Tomato & Chanterelle Sauce over Ravioli

My mom gave me a bunch of delicious GOLDEN tomatoes from her garden this summer! This is what I did with some of the super ripe ones! The color of the meal is just beautiful!

Ingredients:
3 large Golden Tomatoes (heirloom!)
1 cup Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms
Olive Oil
2 teaspoons White Balsamic Vinegar or white wine (don’t want to mess up the color!)
Salt, Pepper
Pasta of choice- I like some yummy cheese or pumpkin ravioli)
Parmesan, Feta, or Chèvre

Heat a deep pan with a generous amount of Olive Oil.
Fry up the mushrooms until they are golden brown (they need about 15 min)
Add the golden tomatoes and cook them down to sauce.
Add splashes of White Balsamic and Olive Oil for liquid to the pan and for flavor.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Serve over pasta with cheese! A truly GOLDEN meal!

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Almond New York Cheesecake

This cheesecake recipe is a deliciously dangerous.   I fell in love with cheesecake when I lived in Germany.  I would sit in a cafe and split a slice with a friend over a cup of hot espresso!   This is my adaptation for my almond obsession!

INGREDIENTS:exps441_CM2406672B06_29_6b

  • ~ 15 graham crackers or German spice cookies, ground/crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract (or for a twist, substitute your favorite flavor!)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced blanched almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker/spice cookie crumbs with melted butter. Press firmly onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with raw cane sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, almond extract and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking.
  5. Sprinkle top with blanched almonds and chill in refrigerator until serving.
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Obatzda- Bavarian Cheese Spread

This is a delicious and fat-filled delight usually served with fresh veggies and warm pretzels (Brez’n). For a party, do the whole recipe, otherwise you can half it! :) Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of Camembert
  • 8 oz of Brie
  • 6 oz of Cream Cheese
  • 4 oz of Butter
  • 1/4 cup sweet yellow onion minced finely
  • 2-3 Teaspoons Paprika (add enough until it is a nice orange)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Caraway seeds
  • 4-6 Tablespoons dark Weissebier (wheat beer)
  • 1 bunch of chives/green onion tops finely chopped

Mash cheeses, butter, and beer together in a large bowl. When thoroughly mixed together, add in the onion, then slowly add in the caraway seeds and paprika until it is a light orange/pink.  At the end, mix in the majority of the chives.  Chill.  Serve with garnish of fresh chives on top and fresh pretzels and veggies.   Yum!

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