Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet potato and red pepper quinoa

I can't believe I haven't shared this recipe yet. I've long since lost the original so I can't cite the source of inspiration, but this is how I make it. The combination of cumin, cayenne, and maple syrup is divine. Yams and red pepper provide earthiness and sweetness, and quinoa, as we all know by now, is one of the healthiest things you can possibly consume. The dish scales up easily for a crowd, is best eaten around room temperature, and would certainly travel well. It's absolutely delicious and goes with just about anything; I've served it with everything from steak to salmon to chicken, salmon being our favorite. Sold? Yay! Let's make it!

I've used all manner of sweet potato in this recipe, garnet yams being my favorite, but any will do. Just don't use a regular potato here, it won't be nearly as interesting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Carrot Mac and Cheese

The objective of this dish is not to sneak vegetables into fussy, unsuspecting children. Nay, you will taste the carrot. You will also taste zingy orange and lovely distinctive tarragon. These are not bad things; you should taste them, or you're doing it wrong. So while the caption of the original recipe touts the benefits of adding carrots for vitamin A and reducing the overall fat of the dish, I say the actual benefit is that carrots are delicious and go fabulously with the sharp cheddar and citrus.

This is mac and cheese elevated; not meant to replace the original, but a sophisticated dish to stand on its own. I don't want to mislead that it's complicated, because it isn't at all; in fact, there are only five ingredients. It's just mac and cheese all growns up.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Red flannel hash

Over brunch in San Francisco the other month, a dear old friend asked me what was currently in my garden. When I mentioned beets, she exclaimed that I had to make this recipe from one of her favorite breakfast spots in Berkeley, emailing the link to me from her phone on the spot. I quickly skimmed the ingredients and could hardly wait for my beets to mature.

And mature they finally did! I pulled the first few beautiful red globes from the garden last weekend and this breakfast hash from Rick and Ann's was first in the (long) beet recipe queue. I realize there are people out there who dislike beets, and if I had only eaten them from a can, I would probably be among them... but there is absolutely nothing like a fresh beet. They smell like clean soil after a rain, the embodiment of earth and nature itself. Used raw in salads (like this one I am making later this week with the cutest freakin' little pink and purple Easter Egg radishes I found), they are refreshingly crunchy and go well with all kinds of vinegar and citrus. Roasted (in my favorite beet dish ever), they become soft, buttery, and musky. What's not to love?