Recipes and Cooking Ideas

Chili de Agua and Other Peppers

Simple Homemade Hot Sauce
(also see Salsa recipe below for more ways to enjoy chiles!)

Ingredients
Chili de Agua (or other chile pepper) - 2-4 ea, about 1/4 pound
Fresh garlic - 1 clove, chopped
Wine or cider vinegar - 2-4 Tbsp (start with less and add more to taste)
Salt -  1/4-1/2 tsp, to taste

Directions - Wear gloves when handling chile peppers. Use caution and do not touch your eyes.

1. (Optional, and slightly more complicated) For a smoky-flavored, sweeter hot sauce, roast the peppers prior to blending. See roasting instructions below this recipe.

2. (If you are not roasting) Rinse the peppers, then remove the stem, seeds, and ribs. (Leave the seeds in if you like your sauce extra hot.). Slice the peppers in half lengthwise.

3. Place the peppers, seeds (if using), vinegar, garlic, and salt together in a saucepan over medium heat and gently bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until peppers are tender, about 10 minutes. (You can skip this cooking step if you have pre-roasted the peppers, and simply place ingredients in blender.)

4. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender, and blend until liquefied. Hot sauce is now ready to eat!

Serving Suggestions
Use this homemade hot sauce the way you would hot sauce in a bottle: on burritos, tacos, meat, eggs, etc. Be aware that homemade hot sauce is perishable and should be eaten within one week, or you can freeze it for up to three months. Flavors will continue to mingle and develop after preparing. Try it 1-2 days later!

*Roasted Peppers (MycoLogical Version)

To roast any kind of pepper: Place the whole peppers straight onto the grill or on a cookie sheet in a 425 degree oven. Check every 5 minutes or so, turning until the skin blisters and the pepper is soft when you press it with a fork. Put the peppers in a bowl and enclose the whole bowl in a plastic bag, sealing the bag so steam doesn’t get out. This steams the peppers in their own juice and loosens the skin making them easy to peel.

After about 5-10 minutes remove the bag and begin to peel the peppers. I use my fingers to seed and peel the peppers. I wish I could say this isn’t messy, but luckily it is delicious. Do this over a bowl to catch the juice that comes off the peppers. Pull the stem of the grilled pepper gently straight up. If you are lucky it will come out in one long piece with all or most of the seeds attached. Pull gently on the skin and that should also come off in large pieces. If a few seeds and pieces of skin stay on it is not a big deal. It still tastes good.

Basil

Pesto

Ingredients
Fresh basil - 3 cups packed
Fresh garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
Olive oil - 1/2 cup (possibly more)
Toasted pine nuts or walnuts - 1/4 cup
Grated parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp, optional (recommended if leaving out cheese)

Directions
Blend ingredients together in a food processor or blender. You may need extra olive oil if processing in a blender. Refrigerate or freeze until serving.

Options
For a vegan or nut-free version, you can leave out the cheese or nuts, or both, and add a little salt instead. You may want to make and freeze it without the cheese or nuts for greater flexibility, because you can always add cheese and nuts at a later time.

Heirloom Tomatoes and Peppers

Tomato Salsa

Ingredients
Large tomatoes - 2-3 (depending on size), diced
Red bell pepper - 1/3 cup, diced
Red onion - 1/3 cup, minced
Fresh Chile de Agua, jalapeno or other spicy pepper* - 1-3 tsp (depending on your heat preference), minced (seeds are extra spicy, so decide whether you want them in or not)
Cilantro - 2-4 Tbsp, chopped
Garlic - 1-2 cloves, minced
Optional - for extra zing, you can add a tablespoon or two of wine vinegar, or lemon or lime juice

Directions
Mix ingredients together and adjust flavors to taste.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with tortilla chips, on tacos or burritos, put a dollop on a bowl of chile, or use as a sauce on top of grilled fish such as halibut or snapper.

*Hot peppers can be painful to mucous membranes. Wash hands thoroughly after preparing. Use caution and avoid touching your eyes. 

Romano Beans

Romano Beans with Walnut Vinaigrette

Ingredients
Romano beans - 1 pound
Red wine vinegar - 1 Tbsp
Dijon mustard - 1 Tbsp
Lemon juice - 1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed if possible
Lemon zest - 1/2 tsp, grated
Garlic - 1 clove, pressed
Olive oil - 3-4 Tbsp
Fresh tarragon, thyme, basil, or other fresh herb - 1 heaping Tbsp
Salt and pepper - to taste
Chopped walnuts - 2 Tbsp, gently toasted (max 2-3 minutes on medium heat in an oven, toaster oven, or skillet; they burn easily)

Directions
Boil 1 lb romanos until tender and drain. Cut into pieces that are reasonable on the end of a fork. Mix together red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest, and fresh herbs. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Gently toss the beans with the dressing, top with chopped toasted walnuts, and serve.

Cooking Ideas
For a substantial summer salad, double the vinaigrette and add a can of white beans (drained) plus a generous number of halved cherry tomatoes and mix gently.

Porcini Mushrooms

Porcini Risotto (Adapted from Food & Wine)

Ingredients
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 1/2 cups boiling water
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp minced fresh onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup arborio rice (7 ounces)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 small bay leaf
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (3 ounces)
1 pound fresh porcini or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 thyme sprig

Directions
Reconstitute the Dried Porcini
In a heatproof bowl, soak the dried porcini in the boiling water until softened, 10 minutes. Drain and save the soaking liquid, allowing any sediment to settle to the bottom. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any grit. Finely chop the porcini and reserve in a small bowl.

Pour one cup of the soaking liquid into a medium saucepan (save any of the remaining porcini flavored liquid, storing refrigerated, for a future soup, broth, or gravy). Stir in the chicken or vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper. Warm the stock over low heat.

Prepare the Risotto
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. Add the rice and dried porcini and stir to coat. Add the wine and bay leaf and cook until the wine has evaporated.

Add about one-fourth of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock in batches, stirring constantly until the rice is al dente and suspended in a creamy sauce, about 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the butter and cheese; season with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Adorn with Sauteed Fresh Mushrooms
In a skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the fresh porcini or cremini and thyme and cook over high heat, stirring, until softened and golden. Discard the thyme. Season the porcini with salt and pepper, spoon over the risotto and serve.

Fresh Fennel

Fennel Cucumber Salad (Adapted from The New York Times Recipes)

Ingredients
small head fennel (about 1/2 pound)
2 medium-size cucumbers
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Directions
Trim the fennel, leaving only the white bulb at the bottom. Cut the bulb in half and cut into thin slices.

Split the cucumbers in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice them crosswise.

Place the slices of fennel and cucumber in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to blend. Check the seasoning and serve.

Morel Mushrooms

To prepare morels before cooking: Immediately before cooking trim any bits of morel stem that have clumps of dirt on them. Rinse the morels under running water, or fill a bowl with water and gently swish them around to dislodge any grit. Drain in a colander. Slice the large and medium sized morels in half from peak through the stem.

Sauteed Morels with Snap Peas (or Asparagus)

Enjoy the flavors of spring! Earthy morel mushrooms paired with fresh spring snap peas is a classic and amazing combination. Another great way to do this recipe is to replace the snap peas with asparagus. This recipe is about right for two people, so double it for four.

Ingredients
About 1/2 pound of fresh morels
About one cup fresh green snap peas (or asparagus), cut into bite-size pieces
About 1 Tbsp of butter or olive oil for cooking (use more if needed to prevent sticking)
Salt to taste, about 1/4 tsp
Pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan or other hard cheese
Cooked noodles (we love making this with buckwheat noodles, but spaghetti or other noodles are also great)

Directions
Saute cleaned, halved morels in butter over medium heat and stir occasionally until they begin to brown. Add snap peas (or asparagus) and saute until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix with cooked noodles and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.

 

Delightful Dill! Featured Item for 6/5/20 Delivery

Popular in Scandinavian and Eastern European cooking, dill is useful for much more than pickles. Its delicate, feathery leaves belie its stately role as a bold, aromatic accompaniment to fish and vegetables.

Add dill to your potato salad, or simply dress up boiled or roasted potatoes or other root vegetables with butter or olive oil (or even sour cream or yogurt) and chopped fresh dill. It also makes a wonderful dill-lemon vinaigrette for sliced cucumbers or on a fresh green salad. Don’t forget to use it as a tasty garnish for vegetables or meat. Of course, if you are inclined to make your own pickles, they are great for that too. :-)

Simple Lemon Dill Sauce for Fish, Chicken, or Veggies

Ingredients
Juice of 1/2 Lemon (preferably fresh squeezed)
Olive Oil - About 4 Tbsp
Chopped Fresh Dill - About 4 Tbsp
Salt to Taste - About 1/4 tsp
Optional - Lemon Zest - about 1 tsp

Directions
Combine olive oil and lemon juice with fresh dill. Add 1 tsp lemon zest if you wish, and salt to taste. Whisk ingredients together and drizzle over fish or chicken after cooking, or add to cooked veggies and toss.

This sauce is perfect for boiled, steamed, or roasted potatoes, beets, carrots, or snap peas. It is also great for fresh vegetables like chopped cucumbers or green salad.

Dill Potato Salad

Ingredients
About 3 pounds fresh new potatoes
About 2 stalks of chopped celery
About 1/2 cup chopped red or green onion
Mayonnaise to taste (about 1/4 cup)
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon (preferably fresh squeezed)
About 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh green dill
Salt to taste

Directions
Chop potatoes into desired size and boil until just tender. Drain and cool the potatoes, and toss with the remaining ingredients. 

Citrus Ideas

Citrus Dressing (adaptable to taste and what you have on hand)

Ingredients
Lemon Juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
Olive Oil
Salt
Optional Additions:
Mustard
Mayonnaise
Any Fresh Herbs
Other Citrus Fruit, A Squeeze from Fresh Fruit

Directions
1. Start with a dressing base that is one part lemon to 2-3 parts olive oil.
2. Add a little salt, mustard, mayonnaise, and/or herbs to taste.
3. If you have it, add an extra squeeze or two of other kinds of citrus, such as lime or orange (our blood oranges or meyer lemons are great for this).
4. Shake well.

Delicious on salad or cooked greens. We also like to slice some avocado, sweet bell pepper (red, yellow, or orange) and cucumber, and toss with the dressing. Yum!

Mushroom Ideas

Roasted Mushrooms

Ingredients
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, any variety
2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
Fresh or Dried Herbs (Such as thyme, paprika, minced garlic, etc.)

Directions
1. Toss 1/2 pound of mushrooms with 2-3 Tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp of
salt.
2. Add any other herbs or flavorings that you fancy.
3. Spread the seasoned mushrooms in a baking pan with raised edges, making sure to not to crowd them.
4. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes until the mushrooms are juicy and
fragrant.
5. Check often to make sure they don’t over-roast and dry out.

Bonus Cooking Tip: You can also prepare spring garlic this way and roast it whole at the same time, either together or on a separate pan and toss together after roasting and chopping the fresh garlic and greens.

Toss your roasted mushrooms (and garlic if using) onto pasta or soft polenta with shaves of parmesan and eat. Warm and comforting.