Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mesclun Greens with Black Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salad

In Bar Harbor, a new store opened this month: Fiore LLC. I had seen this type of store in Paris a few years back, a store that lets you taste a large variety of extra-virgin olive oil so that you can selected exactly the one flavor you like best (think wine tasting!). I must admit I've been a extra-virgin olive oil collector ever since.

Fiore has a selection of mild, fruity olive oils, from Greece, Italy and Spain, and I especially liked the one with Persian Lime and Chipotle. Accompanying the olive oil, a selection of balsamic vinegars is offered. The blueberry balsamic vinegar must be the crowd favorite, because it doubles as a gift from the vacation in Maine. My favorite is the black cherry balsamic vinegar, and the white peach balsamic vinegar.

So, with my new goods of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a raw wooden salad bowl from the raw woods store on Main street in Bar Harbor I made this salad today.

Black Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1 garlic clove, grated
1 TB black cherry balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar)
1 ts Dijon mustard
1/4 ts soy sauce (thanks, for the tip, Melissa D'Arabian!)
a few drop of liquid sweetener (such as Fiberfit)
1/2 TB extra virgin olive oil
fresh crush pepper and Mrs. Dash garlic and herb

2 handfuls fresh greens, from the garden, Farmers market or store
some arugula salad
1/3 red bell pepper, diced

Use a wooden salad bowl (or another large, flat bowl) and whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients in the bottom of the bowl. Place the salad on top, and when ready to serve mix the salad and vinaigrette. Serve with a few slices of mozzarella!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The summer favorite: ratatouille

Ratatouille

A timeless summer favorite when the zucchini, beans, tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs are plentiful in the garden and at the Farmers market. It does not need much more then a TB of good olive oil, and it will steam away to a tender bite in its own juices, caramelizing it to a sweet flavorful dish (or, short cooked, with some original vegetable crunch). A meal in itself, a side, a pasta sauce, great with goat cheese or mozzarella and a glass of cabernet. Summer!

1 zucchini, cut into thick cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/2 green bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/3 red onion, diced
1/2 summer squash, cut into thick cubes
a handful cherry tomatoes, halved
handful yellow beans, ends cut off
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil with persian lime
salt, pepper, 2 springs of fresh rosemary (chopped), fresh basil (chiffonade)
1-2 large garlic cloves, grated
Mrs. Dash garlic and herbs
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Prepare all the vegetables (wash and cut them). In a heavy dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent and then add all the vegetables, and close the lid (important! ---- the purpose is to saute the veggies in their own steam and not add additional liquid). After 5 min, stir, and add the salt, pepper and fresh herbs and the garlic. Saute for another 5-10min, depending on how much crunch you like in your veggies. Serve with some fresh grated parmesan cheese!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sauerkraut with Pineapple

Pineapple Sauerkraut

A flavorful, slightly exotic variety of sauerkraut: infused with pineapple and apple. I usually make a big batch, and it works well as side to pork roast, ribs, on a hot dog, or just as a snack.

1/2 pound of sauerkraut (I like Hengstenberg or Morse Sauerkraut)
1/2 tart apple, finely diced
8 oz fresh or canned pineapple (sugarfree, if canned), cut into chunks
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/4 cup white wine
a few juniper berries
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper (easy on the salt, since sauerkraut is salty)
1/4 cup of pineapple juice (optional)
1 TB brown sugar or 1/2 TB brown splenda

This works best baked in the oven (using a heavy dutch oven with a lid, a tagine, or a clay baker, anyhow it need to be closed with a lid so that it can steam to cook). Mix all ingredients, and place into a tightly covered baking dish. Bake in oven for 35-45 min at 400F.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fettucini with Ratatouille

Fettucini with Ratatouille

A great leftover lunch or light dinner --- a big pot of ratatouille with fresh zucchini, beans, red bell pepper, fresh corn, cherry tomatoes and garlic, rosemary and basil, and using leftovers with a serving of lemon pepper FG fettucini, some porcini mushroom, pine nuts and fresh mozzarella. Satisfying, flavorful and healthy.

Ratatouille:
1 zucchini, cut into thick cubes
1 red bell pepper, cut into stripes
1/3 red onion, diced
1 summer squash, cut into thick cubes
a handful cherry tomatoes, halved
shaved kernels of 1 cob of fresh corn
possible additional veggies: eggplant, edamame, french beans, eggplant, .......
1 TB extra-virgin olive oil
salt, pepper, 2 springs of fresh rosemary (chopped), fresh basil (chiffonade)
1-2 large garlic cloves, microplaned
fresh grated parmesan cheese


Prepare all the vegetables (wash and cut them). In a heavy dutch oven, heat the olive oil and saute the onion until translucent and then add all the vegetables, and close the lid (important! ---- the purpose is to saute the veggies in their own steam and not add additional liquid). After 5 min, stir, and add the salt, pepper and fresh herbs and the garlic. Saute for another 5-10min, depending on how much crunch you like in your veggies. Serve with some fresh grated parmesan cheese and pine nuts!

Pasta:
2 oz FiberGourmet lemon pepper fettucini
1 oz dried porcini mushroom, reconstituted in hot low-sodium, ff chicken broth
1 cup of ratatouille
1 ts pine nuts
1 slice of fresh mozzarella, cubed.

Cook the fettucini in hot water for 12 min. Meanwhile, rehydrate the porcini mushroom in hot chicken broth. In a saute pan, heat a cup of ratatouille and add the rehydrated porcini mushroom. Once the fettucini is cooked al dente, drain them and add them to the vegetable mix. Mix and heat for 1 min. Serve with pine nuts and the mozzarella! Enjoy!

1 lunch + 1 veggie + 1 fat serving

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Apple Pecan Cranberry Salad at Jordan Pond House

Apple Pecan Cranberry Salad at Jordan Pond House

This is the time of the year to go hiking, in the nearby beautiful Acadia National Park with its beautiful hikes and views, and, of course, some well-deserved early dinner somewhere in Bar Harbor or the roadside lobster houses. This is a crunchy fresh salad at the Jordan Pond House, served on the lawn, with a side of good weather (and dressing!).

greens
dried cranberries
pecans
feta
apple
with balsamic vinaigrette

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pasta della Isola d'Elba

pasta della  Isla d' elba

I found this recipe on one of my favorite Swiss food blogs, la cucina mia. It sounded like a great light summer pasta dish, and it is: incredible flavorful and great texture. And, how much better can it get than a Isle of Elba inspired summer pasta dish?

2 oz Fiber Gourmet long fettucini
cook according to instructions

1 ts extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 of a small red onion, small dice
1/3 red bell pepper, small dice
about 10 Kalamata olive halves (in brine, not oil)
1 generous TB capers
1 garlic clove, minced
about 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
5 sundried tomatoes, cut into thin stripes with a scissors
4-5 large basil leaves, rolled like a cigar, and cut into fine slices
1 TB pine nuts
salt, pepper

In a saute pan, heat the olive oil and fry the onions and bell pepper. After ca. 5 min, add the olives, capers and garlic clove. Saute and mix well. Add a ladle of starchy pasta water to loosen the sauce. Add cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil leaves and pine nuts as well as salt and pepper. Once the pasta is cooked al dente, preserve a laddle of pasta water, drain the pasta, and add the pasta back to the sauce in the pan. Mix all ingredients, and heat again until the pasta water more or less is evaporated. Serve with 2 small slices of fresh mozzarella. Enjoy!

1 dinner entree

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Onion Chutney

onion chutney

Onion chutney requires only a few ingredients - onions, vinegar - sherry, red wine, raspberry or balsamic are all ideal, and brown sugar, and a few spices. Great with roast beef, or sandwiches.

6 large red or sweet onions, chopped
1 TB canola oil
1 cup of vinegar (can be red wine, sherry, raspberry, balsamic or a mix of them)
1 cup brown sugar
2 bay leaves
15-20 crushed pepper corns
5 juniper berries

Put onions into freezer for 10 min, and then chop them as coarsely or finely as you like. Heat the onions with a small amount of canola oil in a stainless steel pan until they are soft. Add vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, crushed black peppercorns and juniper berries. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the onions are translucent and all the liquid has evaporated.

Pour the hot chutney into small (8oz) sterilized jars, seal, and store in the fridge. The chutney should keep for at least 6 months. To ensure the chutney can keep even longer (1 year plus), put the sealed jars in boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Line metal jar lids with greaseproof paper to protect them from the vinegar in the chutney.