Nettles Galore, April in Whidbey Island, Neah Bay Halibut with Creamed Nettles and Morels from 'Lark'

After Elegance for Dessert with Lacquered Peaches from Lark' Cooking Wild in the Northwest' Cookbook  (Sasquatch Books, August 2016) by chef John Sundstrom, here's a helping of fish as secomd recipe from the book

Nettles Galore, April in Whidbey Island,

Neah Bay Halibut with Creamed Nettles and Morels

For a few weeks in April, we have a lovely convergence of spring delights: fresh halibut, young and tender stinging nettles, and the first true morels of the season. I bring them together in this bright, earthy, and creamy dish. After months of root vegetables and cabbage we Northwesterners are craving something green, and usually the first stinging nettles fill the void. At Lark I have a network of hard-working foragers who bring them right to me, but nettles grow wild all over. Whidbey Island’s bucolic setting is known for having nettles galore, and many a part-time forager takes revenge on this weed. They do sting, so use tongs to move them from the storage container to the pan for cooking. Cooking removes the stinging properties. Nettles are highly nutritious, full of vitamins and minerals, and delicious. And if this is all just too much, spinach is a great substitute.

MAKES 4 SERVINGS

1½ pounds halibut fillets (or cheeks), cut into 6-ounce portions

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

¼ pound morels, trimmed, washed, dried, and sliced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

½ pound stinging nettles, picked and washed

2 tablespoons dry white wine

¾ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon minced chives, for finishing

Neah Bay Halibut by Zack Bent (1)

1- Season the halibut on both sides with salt and pepper. 


        2-Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the halibut fillets and cook on one side until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn them over gently and use a spoon to baste the fillets. Continue cooking until they are just cooked through and translucent in the center, 2 to 3 more minutes. Transfer the halibut to a warm plate until ready to serve.

         3-In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add the morels with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook them until just soft and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until softened but not browned. Using tongs, add the nettles to the pan and stir them into the morels and garlic. Add the wine to deglaze the pan and let it reduce slightly. Stir in the cream and adjust seasoning to taste. Simmer until the cream has reduced to a slightly thickened sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste.

         4-To serve, spoon the creamed nettles and morels onto a serving platter. Place the halibut on top and garnish with the chives.

        CHEF’S NOTE: When cleaning morels, it is best to use a brush or towel to gently remove the dirt. Sometimes they can be especially dirty and hard to clean completely with a brush and need to be washed in water.It is important not to soak them; dunk them in the water, toss them around briefly and then dry immediately in a salad spinner before laying them out on paper towels.

        Be very careful when handling the stinging nettles. At Lark we double up on latex gloves when cleaning them.

(* Recipe (c)2016 by Johnathan Sundstrom. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Lark: Cooking Wild in the Northwest by permission of Sasquatch Books, Photography by Zack Bent)


No Tiles Needed for this Mosaic, Mosaico Greek Cake from 'Cooking with Loula'

As a bonus while cake is in the oven, you can read 10 Do's and Don'ts of Athens by the author of 'Cooking with Loula'.

No Tiles Needed for this Mosaic, Mosaico Greek Cake from Cooking with Loula  Greek Recipes from My Family to Yours by Alexandra Stratou (Artisan Books-May 3, 2016).

Mosaico

Serves • 8 to 10 

Time • Under 3 hours

I have loved this dessert ever since I was young. I remember sneaking slices off the roll we had wrapped up in the freezer throughout the day. It is something that can either be served as an easy dessert for guests, or made and kept in the freezer to satisfy a sweet craving at any time of the day.

1 cup (2 sticks / 225 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar

3 large eggs

41/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

14 ounces (400 grams) butter cookies, such as petit beurre or animal crackers, broken up into small pieces

Tip: Make sure to put the batter in the freezer immediately once it is ready, as it contains raw egg. Once all your guests are served, wrap any leftovers with parchment paper and put them back in the freezer.

Tip: If you have left the mosaico in the freezer for much more than 2 hours, make sure you take it out of the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving.

78_Mosaico

  1. Beat together the butter and sugar. While beating, add the eggs one at a time, followed by the cocoa and vanilla.
  1. Add the cookie pieces and mix with a spoon until all the pieces seem to be surrounded evenly by chocolate—you may think the chocolate is not enough but trust me, it is!
  1. Spoon into a cake pan or 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-centimeter) loaf pan that’s been lined with parchment paper. Press the mixture down into the pan to compact it and make it even, then fold the excess parchment paper over the top to cover the chocolate mixture completely.
  1. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. To serve, take out of the pan and slice into thick pieces. Arrange on a cutting board or on a fancy plate.

(* Excerpted from Cooking with Loula  by Alexandra Stratou -Artisan Books-Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Ioanna Roufopoulou)


Not Just for Cancer Patients, Bull's Eye Skillet Avocado Eggs from Susan Bratton 'The Meals to Heal' Cookbook

Not just for cancer patients to get their strength back in The Meals to Heal Cookbook150 Easy, Nutritionally Balanced Recipes to Nourish You During Your Fight with Cancer ( Da Capo Lifelong Books, April 2016) by Susan Bratton of Savor Health and Jessica Iannotta.

Bull’s-Eye Skillet Avocado Eggs

Time: Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 30 minutes

Serves 2

This dish uses avocado halves as an appealing, edible “cup” for eggs. These can also be served as a lighter lunch or dinner meal because of their nutrient density. For someone with a compromised immune system, cook longer, until the yolk is fully cooked.

Ingredients:

1 large ripe avocado

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bull's-Eye Skillet

Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit, and scoop out enough of the flesh to accommodate an entire egg in each hollowed-out peel.

Remove a small portion of the outer peel of each avocado half so it sits straight when you set it on a cutting board.

Crack and separate the eggs, placing the yolks in two individual ramekins or small cups and both whites together in a small bowl.

Heat the olive oil in a lidded skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the avocado shells, flesh side down, and sear them, uncovered, for about 30 seconds, or until slightly golden.

Flip the avocado shells over and fill the cavities almost to the top with the egg whites.

Lower the heat to medium-low, put the lid on, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the egg whites have turned from clear to white and are almost set.

Carefully slide the yolks over the whites and continue cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the yolks are cooked all the way through.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutritional Analysis: Calories 251, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 4 g,

Cholesterol 215 mg, Sodium 132 mg, Carbohydrates 10 g, Dietary Fiber 7 g,

Protein 8 g

Stretch and Save: After you scoop out the flesh to make room for the egg, any leftover avocado can be used to make Classic Avocado Toast (page 46).

(Excerpt from The Meals to Heal Cookbook: 150 Easy, Nutritionally Balanced Recipes to Nourish You During Your Fight with Cancer by Susan Bratton and Jessica Iannotta. Copyright © 2016. Available from Da Capo Press, an imprint of Perseus Books, a division of PBG Publishing, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc.)


Berries and Cream Mojito or Peppermint Chocolate Mojito, You Pick thanks to Dreyer Farms

Berries and Cream Mojito or Peppermint Chocolate Mojito, Your Pick

IMAG2783 (3)

That's what I was pondering after reviewing mint offerings from Dreyer Farms....

Plantings are a start

Emerald and gold, pineapple and orange were other options


12 Ways To Pop Open Wine, A Small Sample of Vivanco Wine Museum 'Corkscrew Collection'

12 ways to pop open Wine with small sample of Vivanco Wine Museum 'Corkscrew Collection'

Cocrkscrews vivanca

Caught my eye thanks to Rioja Wine USA who notes that full collection has no less than 3,000 pieces.

(* Photo courtesy of 'Rioja Wine USA')


Why Juice When You Can Soup, Perks of Being Purple Cauliflower Soup from Soupelina Soup Cleanse

Why juice when you can soup?

Start with 'Perks of Being Purple Cauliflower Soup' from Soupelina's Soup Cleanse, Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life (Da Capo Lifelong Books, February 2016) by Elina Fuhrman.

The Perks of Being a Purple Cauliflower Soup

Sometimes I wonder how people eat all the fake stuff when Mother Nature gives us such beautiful organic flavors and colors. Walking through the farmers market is inspiring and makes me feel alive. There is a reason for that: Pretty much everything I buy there has a direct impact on my body, mind, and spirit. Purple cauliflower is not just stunning looking; it also helps you look stunning. The purple color is a perk, a sign of flavonoid compounds called anthocyanins, instrumental in regulating blood sugar levels and body weight, and glucoraphanin, known for lowering your cancer risk.

Serves 4–6

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 medium-size onion, sliced
  • 1 head purple cauliflower, cut into large chunks
  • 2 or 3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Boiling filtered water
  • 1 tablespoon sweet white miso
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Himalayan pink salt

Perks of Being a Purple Cauliflower soup

+ Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat, add the celery and onion, and sauté until the onion is translucent.

+ Lower the heat to medium and add the cauliflower, reserving a few florets for garnish.

+ Add the potato and enough boiling filtered water to cover the veggies; cook until the cauliflower is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes.

+ Add the miso and garlic and cook for another few minutes.

+ Transfer to a Vitamix and puree until smooth.

+ Add the lime juice.

+ Taste and adjust the flavors with salt and seasonings.

+ Garnish with the reserved cauliflower florets.

Note:

If you are not cleansing, serve the soup with ½ teaspoon of truffle oil for extra flavor pop.

(* Recipe reproduced with permission from 'Soupelina's Soup Cleanse, Plant-Based Soups and Broths to Heal Your Body, Calm Your Mind, and Transform Your Life' by Elina Fuhrman -Da Capo Lifelong Books- February 2016) 


Very Berry Breakfast, or Brunch, Raspberry Quinoa Pancakes from 'The Quinoa Cookbook'

Very berry breakfast or brunch with this recipe from The Quinoa [Keen-Wah] CookBook (Harper Wave, July 2015) by Maria del Mar Sacasa...

FRESH RASPBERRY–QUINOA PANCAKES

Yields 10 (5- to 6-INCH/12.5- to 15-Centimeter) Pancakes

These pancakes are lighter than those in your standard stack: slender and slightly crisp on the outside, light and lacy with assertive raspberry flavor. The raspberries are blended into the milk before being added to the batter----a solution to having pockmarks of berry flavor only here and there. You’ll want a mile-high pile.

1 cup (4 ounces/120 grams) quinoa flour

¼ cup (1¾ ounces/50 grams) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (6 ounces/180 milliliters) milk

8 tablespoons (4 ounces/120 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for greasing the skillet

2 large eggs

1 cup (5 ounces/150 grams) fresh raspberries, plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup (3 ounces/90 grams) Basic Quinoa (pages 12–13)

Suggested toppings:

Salted butter, at room temperature

Maple syrup or honey

Greek yogurt

006_RaspberryPancakes

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a blender, purée the milk, butter, eggs, raspberries, and vanilla until the raspberries are broken down.
  3. Whisk the raspberry mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir in the quinoa. Heat a medium nonstick skillet or a nonstick griddle over medium heat. Lightly grease it with butter. Use a ¼ cup measure to scoop the batter onto the skillet. Cook until the batter begins to bubble and the edges of the pancakes look opaque and set, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes over and cook until steam begins to escape through the pores in the pancakes, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.
  4. Top with butter and honey or a dollop of Greek yogurt and syrup or honey.


Note: If making these or Pumpkin-Spice Pancakes (p. 40) in multiple batches, keep finished pancakes warm in an oven heated to 200°F/95°C.

(* Reproduced with permission from 'The Quinoa [Keen-Wah] CookBook' by Maria del Mar Sacasa - Published by Harper Wave, July 2015- All rights reserved- Photography by Zach deSart