CSA Delivery #3 – June 16, 2009

June 17, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: CSA Delivery

Our weekly delivery did not include asparagus this week. I was getting used to having this spring treat. I really hope the asparagus crop isn’t over.

However, we received a really nice fluffy head of lettuce, a cute little basil plant, sweet strawberries, more green onions and some great looking broccoli.

Marinated Goat Cheese

May 18, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Snacks/Appetizers

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This is another yet another recipe from the Cafe Flora cookbook. Their description is dead-on that this goat cheese is “irresistibly delicious” and “tastes like you put much more time into it than you did.” It just takes a few minutes to cut up the tomatoes, basil and garlic, throw the stuff into a bowl, and marinate. Best of all, you don’t have to tell anyone that it’s that quick and easy to make.

Marinated Goat Cheese
Cafe Flora Cookbook

4 large fresh basil leaves, plus a spring for garnish
4 Roma tomatoes, most of the seeds removed, diced
2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained, or 6 kalamata olives, pitted and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4-oz log goat cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut the basil in a chiffonade. Stack the basil leaves on top of each other. Roll them up tightly, starting at the stem, and slice thinly across the rolled-up leaves. This will give you long thing strips of basil.

Marinated Goat Cheese

Marinated Goat Cheese

Marinated Goat Cheese

Mix the marinade. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except the goat cheese, salt and pepper. Put the log of goat cheese in the center of a shallow serving bowl, and pour the tomato mixture over it.

Marinated Goat Cheese

Marinate the goat cheese for about an hour. (If you’re going to marinate the cheese longer than that, refrigerate it and then take it out half an hour or so before serving to return it to room tempurature.)

Marinated Goat Cheese

Serve the goat cheese. Just before serving, taste it, add salt if you think it needs it, and grind pepper over all. Garnish with a sprig of basil. Serve with a knife to cut the goat cheese and a spoon to scoop up the flavorful tomato mixture.

English Pea Pancakes with Colorful Vegetable Saute and Basil Butter

May 12, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

I am so in love with the Cafe Flora Cookbook. It’s written in a style that feels like a friend giving you advice in the kitchen. Each recipe comes with an excellent description, suggestions for garnishes, complimentary side dishes and instructions on what order to prep things so that the dish is completed at it’s ultimate peak of deliciousness.

The English Pea Pancake recipe is no exception. These pancakes came out perfectly fluffy and not overly filling. It was suggested that they be served with a Colorful Vegetable Saute and topped with Basil Butter.

If making the meal together, the cookbook suggests that you start on the basil butter well ahead of time. Then prep all the vegetables for the saute. Then cook the pancakes, keeping them warm in the oven while you finish up the vegetable saute because it only takes a few minutes and should be served as soon as possible because they “lose their sparkle” if held too long.

English Pea Pancakes
Cafe Flora Cookbook

(Note: I reduced this recipe so that I made only 2/3 of the pancakes. The full recipe is outlined below. Be forewarned, you will end up with about 18 5-inch pancakes if you make the full amount.)

3 cups shelled English (or shelling) peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted
1 shallot, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
2 T finely chopped fresh basil
2 2/1 cups milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
Vegetable oil for the griddle (I used cooking spray)

english peas

Make the pancake batter. In a blender, puree the peas with the shallot, mint, basil, and milk.

english peas

english pea pancakes

Add the eggs and butter to the blender, and blend until combined.

english pea pancakes

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pepper, and sugar into a medium bowl. Add the pea mixture to these dry ingredients, and stir just until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Be careful not to overbeat.

english pea pancakes

Cook the pancakes. Heat a lightly greased driddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, drop 3 tablespoons batter per pancake onto the hot skillet. Cook until bubbles form, about 3 minutes, and then flip to brown the other side, about 1 minute.

english pea pancakes

english pea pancakes

Stack the pancakes on a plate, cover with a damp towel, and keep warm in a 200-degree oven until all the pancakes are done. (Note: I set my toaster oven to “warm”, then stacked the pancakes on the little baking pan, covering them with a damp paper towel.)

english pea pancakes

To serve individually, place 3 pancakes overlapping in a circle on a warm plate. Put 2 slices basil butter on them, and top with some of the sauteed vegetables.

Basil Butter

May 10, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Other

The basil butter recipe comes from the Cafe Flora Restaurant cookbook.  It was very easy to make and so good that I think it would make cardboard taste delectable.

You can spread this butter over some fresh bread or, as suggested in the cookbook, over some hot corn on the cob. Or, make it for a colorful vegetable saute or English Pea pancakes.

Basil Butter
Cafe Flora Cookbook

Note: The amounts below reflect the recipe cut in half. I have a small food processor and really didn’t need to have the equivalent of two sticks of butter. One stick is plenty for my uses.

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small shallot, minced
2 T finely chopped Italian parsley
5 big basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
A few cranks of freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

Basil Herb Butter

Process until compeltely mixed, scraping down the sides of the bowl if neccessary.

Basil Herb Butter

Shape the butter. Roll the butter into a log about 2 inches in diameter using plastic wrap or parchment paper to help you roll it. Twist each end tightly, and refrigerate until firm. (About one hour.)

Basil Herb Butter


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