Tag Archives: Olive oil

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Aioli

20 Jun

Barbecue fare is the epitome of summer nostalgia. One of my childhood favorites, the corn on the cob, never quite gets old. Mine is a twist on the elote sold from carts on the streets of Mexico City and Los Angeles alike. Oh, and why not add that French je ne sais quoi to the mix? Corn, cotija, paprika, and tangy aioli make for quite an irresistible side. Enjoy!

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

(Aioli)
2 egg yolks
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 cloves garlic
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
½tsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. sea salt
1 C olive oil

(other dressings)
4 T crumbled Cotija cheese
1 T paprika

4-6 ears fresh corn, husks on

To prepare the aioli combine yolks, mustard, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire and salt in a blender or food processor. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil—drop by drop at first, and then more quickly once you see the mixture begin to emulsify.
Chill until ready to use.
(Will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)

Prepare your grill, gas or charcoal, with direct, high heat, about 550°F.

Place the corn in their husks on the hot grill. Cover. Turn the corn occasionally, until the husks are charred on all sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove corn from grill. Let sit for 5 minutes. Use a hand towel to protect your hands while removing the silks and charred husks from the corn.

Spread aioli on the corn, sprinkle with crumbled cheese, and dust lightly with paprika.

Happy eating!

Quinoa, Feta, and Ham Lettuce Wraps

10 Apr

As I glanced into the Svendsen kitchen, it seemed that our party of 20 had barely put a dent into the delicious Easter ham prepared by Christopher’s great-cook-of-an aunt, Gail. Atticus had gobbled the slices up without protest (that’s always a wonderful sight for parents who are constantly coaxing and enticing their toddler to take ‘just one more bite’), so Christopher and I jumped at the chance to take home some of the leftovers.

I overheard someone mention a Denver omelette as a favorite way to use up the ham, and began to wonder how many families in the United States might be in a similar predicament– what to do with the leftover ham.

Recently, as many other foodies everywhere, I’ve been caught with the quinoa bug. Not only is quinoa a superfood, it’s also very easy and quick to prepare.

I used tri-color quinoa for this one, but any variety will do.

So, I’ve been using quinoa in everything from veggie patties to green salads. I’m even going to try using it instead of granola in the near future. One of my favorite things to make is a risotto-like dish. And, here’s what I came up with yesterday:

Quinoa, Feta, and Ham Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:
2 c quinoa, prepared in vegetable broth (1 c quinoa and 2 c liquid)
1 c roasted corn
3-4 slices roasted ham
1 large carrot, shredded
2 T goat feta, cubed
1 T olive oil
4-6 cloves garlic, roasted (brushed with olive oil) and sliced
1 tsp Spike seasoning (found in natural food stores)
1/3 c Curtido (El Salvadoran Slaw), optional

4-6 T hummus

6-8 red or green-leaf lettuce leaves, whole, washed, and dried

Heat oven or toaster oven to broil. Prepare quinoa as directed in a medium-large shallow pan. Add the roasted corn kernels after the first 5 minutes that the quinoa is on a low boil. Meanwhile, set the garlic on a baking sheet and broil for about 7 minutes, or when garlic reaches desired golden brown. Turn the garlic over once about halfway through.

Keep quinoa and corn on low heat, making sure that the bottom does not stick to the pan. Add roasted garlic.
Remove from heat. Add ham, carrot, feta, and slaw. Mix in olive oil and sprinkle with Spike seasoning to taste.

Serve with a side of hummus and leaf lettuce.

Spread hummus on each leaf and fill with quinoa mixture.

Next time I have a ripe avocado at hand, I might try to use smashed avocado instead of hummus for the spread.

Happy eating!

Pesto Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Parmesan Linguine

10 Feb

Consider the carrot.
Humble? Maybe.

Now, coat it with little of that pesto and roast it for a few minutes.
Okay, now turn it over and roast it for  a few more.
What do you think?
Well, I happen to think that the result is sort of glamorous.

I’m always amazed at how incredible any vegetable tastes when it’s prepared this way. Dense, sweet, and, if done to my taste, a little smoky.

Last night, when my co-worker and friend, Joy Ahn, mentioned her dinner plans at home, she planted the seed.

When I opened the front door, Chris had a pot of boiling water going for pasta. But, I was on a mission. We shut the burner off for a while as I washed and prepared the squash and carrots. I quickly skimmed my trusty Betty Crocker and saw the simplest recipe for pesto roasted vegetables. We always keep a jar of the green paste handy. Also, a little more carb intake didn’t sound so unappealing either! So, linguine and roasted vegetables it was.

Pesto Roasted Vegetables and Linguine

Ingredients:

1/4 C pesto, prepared
2-3 medium summer squash, cut lengthwise (1/2″ thick)*
6-8 small/medium carrots, cut lengthwise (1/2″ thick)**
12 oz. package linguine pasta
water for pasta
2 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1-2 T Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Bring water for pasta to a rolling boil.

Set oven to Broil.
Toss pesto and veggies in a medium bowl.
Place veggies, cut sides down, on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
Broil with tops 4 to 6 inches from heat about 5 minutes or until skins begins to blister.

Meanwhile, prepare pasta as directed.

Turn vegetables; brush with any remaining pesto from mixing bowl.
Broil an additional 6 to 7 minutes, until vegetables are light brown.
Cool slightly.

Toss olive oil and pasta. Add Parmesan and lemon juice. Sprinkle pepper and salt if desired.
Cut vegetables into 2-inch pieces and add to pasta. Serve warm.

*I find that summer squash has too much water content to really do well when roasted. An easy trick (that also works with eggplant) is to cut the vegetable as directed, salt generously, and let sit for 20 minutes. You will start to see water come to the surface after only 5 minutes. Rinse to remove salt with cool water. Pat dry. Now continue as directed in the recipe above.

** I specify that the vegetables should be cut to a 1/2″ thickness, so that all vegetables are evenly roasted and done at the same time. Experiment with bell peppers, eggplant, and more. I even made Brussels sprouts with pesto for lunch. Have fun!

Roasted Brussels sprouts cut in half and coated in pesto


See You at the Market

8 Feb

“The market is fun, isn’t it?”
Atticus’ nod was barely perceptible. Perhaps he would have answered the nice lady, but he was seriously concentrating on eating that delicious, juicy tangelo without getting any of it on his mustard-colored shirt– a task that proved unsuccessful.

Saturday morning was the first time I felt like going out in almost a week.
I coaxed Christopher into making my first outing a trip to the farmer’s market. Atticus didn’t need much convincing. The little guy was quarantined just as long as I had been, and he certainly wasn’t about to protest going anywhere on a sunny February day.

If you have concerns about pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, go ahead and ask the vendors about them. These strawberries are grown in Fountain Valley and are a variety that gives fruit year round in So Cal.

After our first trip to the Irvine Farmer’s Market nearly two weeks ago, Chris and I agreed that we just had to head back for a closer inspection. It’s one of the best we have visited, and the other plus is that it’s in our new neighborhood! Okay, so maybe I get a little more excited about the market than other people, but maybe the images below can help put things in perspective. I’ve included a few tips that I hope you’ll find helpful.

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Did you notice the picture of the beets? I am always on the hunt for beets at farmer’s markets because that’s where I tend to find ones with the firm, green leaves and bright red stems. Although Swiss chard still remains dear to my tummy, last year  a college friend of mine and founder of Cuatro Caminos Collective, Eddie Casarez, introduced me to a new world of nutritious and delicious possibilities with beet greens. That’s right, that part of the beet that your mom threw away before steaming those red roots is not really meant to end up in the compost pile.

A favorite: beet greens!

Beet greens pack quite a nutritional punch. They are delicious simply sautéed in a little olive oil. Throw in a sliced garlic clove and a dash of black pepper, and you’ve got yourself a perfect side dish. Sometimes, I’ll even add ribbons of beet greens to a pasta sauce, quinoa, or even a Quiche.

Another stand-out was the tangelo. And, it’s not all about that sensational color either. The citrus-sampling station was packed with an impressive variety of grapefruit, blood oranges, clementines, and the like, but it was hard not to notice the three-year old take bite after bite of tangelos.

A twenty- or thirty- something blond in a ball cap called out to his lady companion, “He really seems to like those. What are they?”

I wonder just how many pounds Atticus helped sell that day.
In what I took to be either an act of kindness or gratitude, the vendor suggested that we pick out the firm and cool tangelos. He assured those would be sweeter and juicier than others. Sufficed to say, we will be back this Saturday. Our supply at home didn’t make it past Wednesday morning.

I hope to see you at the market!

Irvine Farmer’s Market at the University Center
Campus Drive and Bridge Road
Irvine, CA 92612
Saturdays 8am – 12pm

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