Are you ready for a true confession? I rarely cook from a recipe. The first time I made this Pumpkin + Homemade Chicken Sausage Pasta there was no script. I tell you this so you understand my process of getting a recipe from my brain to your screen– one that I know will work for you at home and that you can trust. A recipe that will hopefully make it onto your table. How an Idea Becomes a Recipe A new recipe concept starts with thinking and dreaming about the flavors, colors, scents, and textures of ingredients. This work happens when I’m asleep and when I’m awake– all the time! All that I have learned in over 50 years of cooking and eating informs how a new recipe idea comes together. Step One Intuition led the way when I first made this marigold Pumpkin + Homemade Chicken Sausage Pasta, like with most things I cook. I found it warm and comforting. It was delicious enough to share, and didn’t take a fortnight to make, and …
Turkey Meatball + Roasted Lemon Zucchini Pasta is one of the tastiest recipes you can have in your weeknight toolbox. Pop these juicy meatballs into the oven and they’ll be done in twenty minutes– as long as it takes to get the rest of the dinner together. This fun and exciting weeknight meal is ready in under an hour, but is definitely company-worthy. Lemon slices roast alongside the meatballs, then are chopped and added to the sauce with briny chopped olives to give this simple dish huge flavor for the amount of effort it takes. Our household is not yet ready to make the shift to an entirely plant-based diet, but we make incremental steps in that direction. This turkey meatball and roasted lemon pasta is chock full of zucchini. The turkey meatballs hold a lot of zucchini which lightens the meatballs. Reduce and replace the volume of turkey with even more zucchini if that’s where your dietary choices are taking you. In the future I’ll be experimenting with replacing the turkey with mashed beans …
The first cake on 101-Mile Kitchen is like a country summer day on a plate. It is rustic in nature– meaning it has textural interest and isn’t overly sweet or elaborate. It is unfussy. It is flourless, therefore can be served to our gluten-sensitive beloveds. And most of all it uses fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. A decade ago I played with and wrote about the magical flavor triad of sweet corn, blueberries, and buttermilk. I had two inspirations at the time. First by Claudia Fleming’s sweet corn ice cream recipe from her famous out-of-print book, The Last Course, from her time as the innovative pastry chef at Grammercy Tavern in the 1990’s. Tim Mazurak of the delicious blog Lottie + Doof created a blueberry galette in a cornmeal crust and served it with the same sweet corn ice cream. Swoon. My addition of buttermilk to the corn and blueberries brought bucolic thoughts of summer full circle. I promptly forgot about this happy flavor song until now. The Sweet Corn Buttermilk Cake The Sweet Corn Buttermilk …
Scorching record-breaking heat is promised across much of the U.S. this week, and you need cooling solutions, right? You’re going to need this– the best simple yet fancy cooling salad I can think of– light, fresh and hydrating, and ever so tasty. When you eat it, try to imagine someone nearby fanning you with a palm leaf. Can you feel it? This refreshing salad was made to serve with an equally refreshing chilled rosé. I love the 2020 Quady North Rogue Valley/Southern Oregon GSM Rosé for it’s South-of-France typicity we don’t often find in an Oregon rosé.
Oregonians are rightfully proud of our home-grown hazelnuts, with 99% of U. S. hazelnuts grown right here in the Willamette Valley. This fast and simple four-ingredient recipe (five if you use the optional almond extract) features them like the heroes they are.
Nutty meringue cookies have been around for decades. The difference here is that I’ve developed this recipe to feature as much hazelnut flavor and texture as the egg white meringue will hold. Don’t let this quiet beige cookie fool you– they pack in a lot of hazelnut along with their very pleasant crispy and chewy texture.
Do you have a show-stopping dish in your cooking bag of tricks?
You’ll know the recipe. People lean forward over their plates to inhale its aroma and turn their focus to their fork or spoon. A hush falls over the table. An eater’s brow becomes furrowed in concentrated curiosity, quiet little sighs or hums bubble up as a delicate soundtrack to the moment. Time becomes momentarily suspended.
All of a sudden . . ..
Part two of the Ode to the Bean trilogy recipe is an asparagus-bean salad with lemon vinaigrette. Its crispy lemon-panko topping is pretty special, if I don’t say so myself. It makes a great side dish, but we ate it as our main course and loved it.To bring you up to speed, last week I cooked up one pound of Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans. My objective was to create three unique recipes that wouldn’t having us hating beans by the end of the week. The three recipes– today’s lemony asparagus-bean salad, along with pasta with beans and mushrooms, and brothy beans-and-greens bowl– resulted in three distinct, tasty success stories.
No other food radiates humble simplicity quite like the bean. Beans are easy to cook, fit most dietary lifestyles, and make a hearty winter stew or a tangy chilled summery salad with equal aplomb. Last week I cooked up one pound of Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans, and made a little game of seeing what I could do with them throughout the week that wouldn’t grow wearisome. The pasta with beans and mushrooms, lemony asparagus-bean salad, and brothy beans-and-greens bowl were each distinct, and each a success.
Artichokes are another of the short-season wonders, and we try to eat as many as we can while they are available. This terrific recipe is super easy, and makes the most succulent, juicy, and rich-tasting artichokes ever. It’s nice to have a new addition to the ‘choke repertoire.
Have you noticed what happens when a crowd of people eat with their fingers? It’s a magical way to drop barriers and bring people together. Put a bowl on the table for guests to toss their tooth-scraped outer leaves into.
Farmers markets have a way reflecting the culture of the places they are in. Bustling and noisy or tranquil, hippies or white shirts, rural or urban, farmers markets also have a way of improving the health of their communities in so many ways. The market in my area is a really good example of that.
Lane County Farmers Market is straight-up one of the reasons I live where I do. If the circumstances of my life were to require a move, having a robust farmers market would be top-of-the-list relocation criteria.
No matter where the market sets up, it is a place where the community gathers not just to purchase farm-fresh produce, locally grown meats, seafood caught 60 miles away as the crow flies, honey, baked goods, and other delicious foodstuff. The market is a place where social and community ties are made, and where our economy is made stronger.