Category Archives: Snacks

Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters With Thai Dipping Sauce

I’m really excited to be hosting The Food Matters Project this week.  It’s been such a wonderful habit to get into, cooking a new recipe every week for this project.  There have been some real surprises as the weeks have rolled by.  I have a tendency to buy cookbooks that have gorgeous color photography but Bittman’s cookbook has nary a photo in sight.  Though at first I wished for some photos, there is something to be said about being able to create something to look like you think it ought to, rather than mimicking what you’ve seen.  My choice of recipe for this week, chosen after thumbing through the entire cookbook (again), was another tasty surprise.

I made the fritters following the recipe to the letter.  For the sauce, I modified slightly, adding carrots and some Habanero hot sauce for a truly spicy dipping sauce.  Hot out of the pan, these fritters are amazing and I recommend eating them as soon as possible.

Head here to check out the other FMP member’s tasty creations.  And stop by the newly updated Pinterest board for visual inspiration.

Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters With Thai Dipping Sauce; from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook

“Crazy good, crazy simple–and not to mention pretty–these pan-fried fritters are best with peak summer corn, but frozen works all right too.  Or, since fresh sweet potatoes are available all year, you can just skip the corn and increase the quantity to 3 cups.”

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon nam pla (fish sauce) or soy sauce, or to taste*
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Pinch of red chile flakes
  • Pinch of sugar, optional**
  • 2 cups grated sweet potato, squeezed dry if necessary
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen are fine)
  • 1 fresh hot chile (like Thai), minced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 egg or 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  1. Combine the lime juice, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, chile flakes, and sugar if you’re using it in a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water.
  2. Heat the oven to 275° F.  Put the sweet potato, corn, chile, scallions, cilantro, egg, and flour in a bowl and mix well; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  (You can do this ahead of time and refrigerate the batter for a couple of hours before cooking.)
  3. Put about 1/8 inch oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When it’s hot, drop spoonfuls of the sweet potato mixture into the oil and spread them out a bit.  (Work in batches to prevent overcrowding and transfer the finished fritters to the oven until all are finished.)  Cook, turning once, until golden on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Serve hot or at room temperature with the dipping sauce.
  4. Fancier Fritters:  When dropped fritters aren’t quite elegant enough for the occasion, you can dust your hands with flour and shape the fritter batter into small patties, cylinders, or other shapes.  Cook immediately or refrigerate, loosely covered, for up to a couple hours before cooking.  To make croquettes–which are essentially breaded fritters–set up 3 bowls:  one with flour, one with an egg beaten with a splash of milk, and another with bread crumbs (preferably made from whole grain bread).  Carefully dredge each shaped fritter in the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally the bread crumbs.  Fry until crisp and golden.

*I used fish sauce because I love it…but this recipe won’t be vegetarian if you use it.  If you are vegetarian, use soy sauce instead.

**I did include the pinch of sugar.

Advertisements

Roasted Garlic and Siracha Tofu Mayo With Sweet Potato Fries

My best friend came with her cousin and baby to spend the day with me at Artprize 2012 yesterday.  As we sat down to tuck into some addictive seasoned fries at Stella’s Lounge, we turned to a conversation of condiments for fries.  Gobs of ketchup, mayonnaise, vanilla ice cream (!), malt vinegar, siracha-mayo.  When I returned home and looked at the Food Matters Schedule for this week’s recipe and found that it was tofu mayo (chosen by Sopie at Biographie de ma faim), I knew what had to be done!  The good old fry was about to get a makeover in my kitchen…and it was about to be served up Amsterdam-style with some mayo (albeit a vegan version)!

I roasted up some hand cut sweet potato fries and some teeny fingerling potatoes.  Then whipped up some tofu mayo from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  A couple of dips later…I wasn’t really feeling it.  The tofu mayo wasn’t really doing it for me.  Maybe it was because I used Nasoya tofu and it turned out kind of runny…maybe the color was a little too non-mayo for me.  Whatever it was, I knew I needed to make some changes a la Aura.  I roasted a head of garlic (wrap a head of garlic in some tin foil and pop into the oven at 350° until the garlic is smushy on the inside, about 1/2 hour) and pureed it with the tofu-mayo.  Better.  Still not satisfied, I reached for one of my tried-and-true kitchen weapons–Siracha, aka Rooster Hot Sauce.  A generous squeeze went into the mayo and voila!  A perfect, guilt-free vegan dipping sauce/mayo.  For the original recipe, head to Sophie’s blog, where she has also posted a bread-and-nut mayo recipe.  To see what the other Food Matters Project bloggers came up with, head here.  For my Roasted Garlic-Siracha Tofu Mayo recipe, read on!

Roasted Garlic Siracha Tofu Mayo adapted from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Project; Makes about 1 cup

  • 6 ounces soft silken tofu (about 3/4 cup) *
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar, optionnal
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender. Turn the machine to a medium speed that keeps things moving without splattering. Let it run for a minute or 2, then turn it off.
  2. Scrape the sides of the container with a rubber spatula, turn the blender back on, and repeat the process two more times. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Serve immediately (or store in a jar for up to several days).

*I used Nasoya silken tofu and found my mayo to be a little on the runny side.  I would use Mori-Nu for better results.

Bruschetta with Pistachio Goat Cheese, Apricot, and Honey

Take two on the pistachio goat cheese.  I made this delicious spread a week ago and served it on top of roasted beet and sweet potato medallions.  I was so enamored that I wanted to try it again, on a different platform.  Enter bruschetta.  I’ve discussed this before, but bruschetta is simply toasted or grilled bread drizzled with olive oil.  You can top it with anything you see fit.  This weekend I topped it with pistachio goat cheese, apricots, and honey.

Bruschetta with Pistachio Goat Cheese, Apricot, and Honey

  • 1/2 loaf of french bread, sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • olive oil in a bottle for drizzling
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 apricots, pit removed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  1. Combine the goat cheese and pistachios in a food processor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and, with the machine running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If the mixture doesn’t come together, add more oil until the filling is smooth and fluffy. Taste and adjust with seasoning, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the bruschetta.
  2. Heat a grill or a broiler.  Drizzle slices of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on grill or under broiler until just toasted.  Turn, and toast second side.  Remove from oven.
  3. Transfer the goat cheese mixture to a pastry bag or a zip-lock bag with the corner cut off (or you can just use a teaspoon for this). Squeeze or spoon dabs of the filling onto the bruschetta.  Repeat until either the bruschetta or the filling runs out, top with two slices of apricot per toast and a light drizzle of honey, then serve straight away.

Vanilla Yogurt with Cherries, Pistachio, and Balsamic-Honey Glaze

Alright, I know what you are thinking…I’ve met many a balsamic/fruit doubter in my day.  I thought the same thing when I saw this recipe from Kate, which was featured in the summer issue of Foodie Crush magazine.  I encourage everyone to check it out-it is a free online magazine featuring some of the best food bloggers out there.  I’ve had a lot of fun cooking along with Kate through The Food Matters Project.  I always look forward to seeing her variations and excellent photography so was thrilled to see her featured in the Whole Foodies section of the magazine.

Because I have faith in Kate’s food choices, because it just looked so pretty in Foodie Crush, and because I had just made homemade yogurt the night before, I simply had to make this dish.  And I’m so glad I did.  This was like a party in my mouth.  Crazy good.  And I made extra balsamic-honey glaze and have already used it on grilled flatbread with peaches, arugula, and goat cheese.  Can’t wait to come up with a zillion other uses for it!  See below for my variation on the recipe and head over to Kate’s page for the original!

Vanilla Yogurt with Cherries, Pistachio, and Balsamic-Honey Glaze

Adapted from Cookie + Kate; serves 4

  • 2 and 1/2 cups homemade plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar (I used sucanat but you can use turbinado), optional
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar (I used cherry infused balsamic vinegar from Cherry Republic)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachios, crumbled
  1. Strain yogurt:  Line a fine mesh sieve or colander with cheese cloth.  Spoon yogurt into it and let sit for 1 hour to drain.  The consistency will be thicker and creamier.  If the yogurt is too thin for your liking, you may strain longer until the consistency is what you like.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the yogurt and the vanilla extract.  In another bowl sprinkle cherries with sugar (optional).
  3. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the balsamic vinegar and honey.  Simmer, stirring constantly, until the liquid is reduced by half.  Pour the liquid into a small bowl and allow it to cool.
  4. Spoon yogurt into individual serving bowls, swirl in a spoonful of sauce, and top with cherries and crumbled pistachios.

Beet and Sweet Potato Medallions With Pistachio-Goat Cheese Filling

The beet is the most intense of vegetables. The radish, admittedly, is more feverish, but the fire of the radish is a cold fire, the fire of discontent not of passion. Tomatoes are lusty enough, yet there runs through tomatoes an undercurrent of frivolity. Beets are deadly serious.  The beet is the murderer returned to the scene of the crime. The beet is the ancient ancestor of the autumn moon, bearded, buried, all but fossilized; the dark green sails of the grounded moon-boat stitched with veins of primordial plasma; the kite string that once connected the moon to the Earth now a muddy whisker drilling desperately for rubies.  The beet was Rasputin’s favorite vegetable. You could see it in his eyes.”  ―  Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Week 23 of the Food Matters Project!  Wowee!  This week was a GREAT pick, chosen by Meg, from My Whole Food Romance.  Head on over to her site to check out Mark Bittman’s original recipe for Beet “Sandwiches”.  I decided to do a more “open-faced” type of beet sandwich.  I also went ahead and made some sweet potato medallions–also very delicious!

Head on over to The Food Matters Project website to see what everyone else came up with too!  There is something very fun about finding out what 25 + other foodies did with the same recipe.  I’m endlessly inspired.  Likely the easiest way to check out everyone’s culinary genious is Pinterest–in a few days every version of our beet “sandwiches” will be up on the FMP Pinterest Board for your viewing pleasure.  Check it out!  Now onto the recipe…

Beet and Sweet Potato Medallions with Pistachio-Goat Cheese Filling

  • 2 large beets, peeled
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • Salt
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • 1 cup shelled pistachios
  • Pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheight. Slice the beets and sweet potatoes about 1/8 inch thick, using a mandoline, food processor, or sharp knife. Grease a couple of baking sheets with some of the oil. Spread the beet and sweet potato slices out in a single layer and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake, turning as needed, until they are crisp and lightly browned, 10-15 minutes in total. Remove from the oven and cool on wire racks.
  2. Combine the goat cheese and pistachios in a food processor. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and, with the machine running, drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If the mixture doesn’t come together, add more oil until the filling is smooth and fluffy. Taste and adjust with seasoning, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the medallions.
  3. Transfer the goat cheese mixture to a pastry bag or a zip-lock bag with the corner cut off (or you can just use a teaspoon for this). Squeeze or spoon dabs of the filling onto the sweet potato and beet medallions.  Repeat until either the medallions or the filling runs out, top with shredded basil or arugula, then serve straight away.

Simply Springtime

Ahhh….springtime  We are well into spring (and moving into summer quickly) here in Michigan.  What a perfect time of year.  Everyone is coming out of hibernation.  Neighbors reappear and porches fill up with people talking and laughing, enjoying happy hours and snacks.  I love the bonus day Memorial weekend gives…rather than crunching everything into 2 days, I have an extra day to use to relax and be spontaneous.  Today my meanderings took me to the newly renovated Fulton Farmer’s Market for the first time this year.  I ran into my favorite farmers, Devon and Chad, from Green Wagon Farm in Ada (They have shares and half shares!  Check them out at:  http://www.greenwagonfarm.com/) and came home with some lovely sunflower sprouts, which turned into a quick lunch of thin crisps, goat cheese, and sprouts.

 I also came home with some delicious raw milk cheddar, blue and brown eggs, some Michigan asparagus, and a recommendation to check out a new documentary, Urban Roots (http://urbanrootsamerica.com).  Urban Roots is a documentary about the urban farming experimentation going on in Detroit.  Looks very interesting and very inspiring.

Today’s lunch reflected the spirit of my day:  simple and carefree.  It was a great reminder that the months ahead will be full of life and simple tastes.

Salsa Five Ways–The Food Matters Project

Four of the Five Salsas I made this weekend–photo of the fifth (and best!) salsa is below…

Week 14 of the Food Matters Project was very appropriately timed–salsas for Cinco de Mayo!  Abby made fajitas for Sunday Dinner and I was feeling inspired (and shut-in due to the rain) so I was thrilled to add five different salsas to the table.  I made Bittman’s pico de gallo recipe, a peach-mango chutney, a green apple-cucumber salsa, a tomatillo-black bean salsa, and a corn salsa.  I made several changes to Bittman’s recipes, which I have posted below.  My favorite of the five?  My black bean and tomatillo salsa that had a deep smoky flavor due to using dried black beans.  The great thing about salsa is that it is so easy and so versatile–many ingredients can be swapped out for whatever you have in your fridge.  If you haven’t made your own salsa before–please do try.  I’m sure you’ll be making it all summer long once you give it a go!

Head on over to Alissa‘s blog to see her spin on salsa (pureed and also a rhubarb salsa!).  For everyone else’s take check out the comments on the Food Matters Project website.

Pico de Gallo from The Food Matters Project Cookbook

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 large white or red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1 fresh hot chili (like habanero or jalapeno), seeded and minced, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • salt and black pepper
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  2. Let the mixture rest for 15 to 30 minutes if possible to allow the flavors to meld.
  3. Note:  If you like smoother salsa, puree it to your liking.

Peach-Mango Chutney

  • 2 cups of peach and mango, peeled and chopped (or use frozen chunks, as I did this time–turned out fine and save a ton of time)
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 fresh, hot chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • Small pinch of salt.
  1. For this chutney, toss everything into a saucepan and cook on low until the bell peppers and the fruits are nice and soft and the juices have reduced, leaving a jam-like consistency.

Tomatillo-Black Bean Salsa

  • 2 cups chopped tomatillos
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 cup black beans, cooked or canned
  • 1 tsp minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1 fresh, hot chile, seeded and minced, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. You can leave the tomatillos raw if you like (they have a tangy, slightly sour taste) or cook them.  I enjoy them cooked in a salsa more than raw and so I always cook mine after popping a few pieces of them raw into my mouth!
  2. Place tomatillos in a saucepan with water to cover.  Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes.  Drain the water and let cool.  Mash tomatillos (I like them to be chunky) and add the remaining ingredients.  Let rest for half an hour to let the flavors meld.

Green Apple-Cucumber-Avocado Salsa

  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp champagne or pear vinegar
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  1. I took some cues from this month’s Bon Appetit and macerated the apple and cucumber.  To macerate, put garlic, chili, cilantro, mint, sugar, and salt into a large plastic baggie with zipper seal.  Crush everything inside by pounding on the baggie with a rolling pin.  Add cucumber and apple and let sit for 35-40 minutes, allowing the juices form at the bottom of the baggie.  Empty everything into a bowl and add lime juice and vinegar to taste.  Add avocado and serve immediately.

Corn and Black Bean Salsa

  • 2 cups corn kernels (can use thawed frozen corn)
  • 1/2 large white or red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic, or to taste
  • 1 fresh hot chile, seeded and minced, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper
  1. If you have the time, I strongly suggest grilling the corn–my corn salsa was good ungrilled but a little lacking in flavor.
  2. Mix all ingredients together and let rest to allow flavors to meld.