Favourite Chefs

This week the FND crew took over Jamison Square for a dinner using recipes from our favourite chefs. The weather in Portland has been beautiful recently and it was so nice to be able to have dinner outside and watch kids run around in the fountain. We even watched a couple get their engagement pictures taken!

As always, dinner was delicious 🙂 Taylor made a beet salad inspired by a local Portland chef (she used 5 POUNDS of beets!), Annie put together a great pasta dish from one of her favourite food websites, and I made chocolate-covered honeycomb from my trusty Jamie Oliver cookbook!

Next week we’re having our Food Revolution dinner and I’m so excited!!  Last year’s dinner was great and this year is going to be even bigger and better. We’ll be hitting up local farmer’s markets to get the ingredients for our dinner then we’ll all get together and cook. It’s going to be amazing. You can read more about the Food Revolution movement here. I highly recommend that you get involved — it’s so much fun and cooking is such a great skill to have. If you’re interested in joining us for our dinner, contact us and we’ll give you the details!

Now for this week’s recipes!

Beet Salad: 

(Original recipe from Ottolenghi: the cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2008.)

Ingredients:

  • 500g golden beetroot
  • 500g red beetroot
  • 80g sunflower seeds
  • 90ml maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 20g chervil leaves
  • 60g baby chard, baby spinach or rocket
  • Coarse sea salt and black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas Mark 6. Wash the beetroot and wrap them individually in foil. Bake for anything between 40 and 90 minutes. Ours came in a bag of all different sizes so we gradually took them out of the oven as they felt tender when pierced with a sharp knife.
  2. Spread the sunflower seeds out in an ovenproof dish and toast along with the beetroot for 8 minutes or until lightly coloured.
  3. Let the beetroot cool a little before peeling with a sharp knife (gloves are highly recommended!). Cut them into halves, quarters or dice. Mix with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Toss well and then taste: Yotam advises that you should get a clear sweetness balanced by enough salt. Adjust the seasoning as required and serve
Beet Salad

Beet Salad

Asparagus Pesto with Pasta: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. asparagus spears, trimmed and halved crosswise
  • 3 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for topping
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 8oz. dried pasta

Directions:

  1. Bring 2 pots of water to a rolling boil, one large for the pasta and one medium sized for the asparagus.
  2. While the water is heating, put the pine nuts in a single layer in a large skillet. Heat on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove pine nuts from pan and set aside. You will use 3/4 cup of the pine nuts for the pesto paste and 1/4 cup to mix in whole.
  3. Salt the asparagus water and drop the spears into the pan. Cook for only 2 or 3 minutes, until the spears are bright green and barely tender. Drain under cool water to stop the cooking. Cut the tips off, and set aside, several of the asparagus (diagonal cut about an inch from the end) to use for garnish.
  4. Add the asparagus, spinach, garlic, Parmesan, and 3/4 cup of the pine nuts to a food processor. Purée and, with the motor running, drizzle in the 1/4 cup of olive oil until a paste forms. If too thick, thin it with a bit of the pasta water. Add the lemon juice and salt, taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Salt the pasta water well and cook the pasta until just tender. Check the directions on the pasta package. You’ll need more time for dried pasta and less for fresh. Drain and toss immediately with 1 cup of the asparagus pesto.
  6. Serve sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, a dusting of Parmesan, and a light drizzle of olive oil.
Asparagus Pesto with Pasta

Asparagus Pesto with Pasta

Smashed Honeycomb: 

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaped tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 heaped tbsp. runny honey
  • 3 1/2 oz. dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

  1. Line a shallow baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Measure out your baking soda so that it’s ready to go — you’ll need to work quickly once the sugar reaches the right temperature.
  2. Put the sugar, honey and 1/4 cup water into a medium sized, deep, heavy-bottomed pan. Stir together and heat to 300°F on a sugar thermometer. Whatever you do, do NOT touch or taste the caramel, as it will burn.
  3. As soon as the caramel reaches the right temperature, turn the heat off and add the baking soda, whisking quickly and carefully to combine it. It will froth up.
  4. Carefully pour the mixture out onto your lined tray right away, then gently tilt the tay a little from side to side to get the mixture to spread out into a fairly even layer. Leave to one side to cool, the crack it into bite-sized pieces. Dip into melted chocolate and place in fridge to set.
Smashed Honeycomb

Smashed Honeycomb

photo

Chocolate covered honeycomb

Adorable

Adorable

Happy eating, everyone!!

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