Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FPP post1 April Foodie Penpals Reveal Day

Key points of the program:
-On the 5th of the month, you  receive your penpal pairing via email. You contact  your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You  have to mail your box of goodies by the 15th of the month. On the last day of the month, you post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are  filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  
This is my first month being part of the Foodie Pen Pal Program.
On the 5th of April my journey began.
I received the name and email address of the person that I would send a goody box of food items to. I emailed her and got the basics of what types of foods she likes , eats most often and things she would like to try. We emailed back and forth and  chatted about foods in our local areas and my pen pals experience in the program.
My pen pal was from Dover , Delaware. She talked about enjoying spicy items and had an interest in sauces. My Foodie Pen Pal is a reader  (which means she does not have a food blog). 

Ok , so enough about my  duties as a the Foodie Pen Pal sender , I was also going to get a box of goodies from a different  Foodie Pen Pal .I received an email from Erin the Person who was going to be sending me a goody box. We emailed back and forth and she gathered information on my likes and dislikes. My Foodie Pen Pal Erin lives across the country from my home in Coastal North Carolina and I was very excited about chatting with her.

She has a  food blog that  has many amazing looking recipes. http://divatasticgladiator.com/
I was like a kid on Christmas when I received my box of goodies in the mail. Erin had listened when I said I loved anything spicy , she sent me a jar of roasted pickled jalapenos. They were wonderful , I have used them on tacos, in scrambled eggs and in Jalapeno corn bread

(sorry the picture was not so great, they were hard to see in the jar)
Other treats in my box were Homemade Vanilla Extract and Spearmint Tincture (That one was new to me, but smelled amazing and was great in hot tea)

 Last but far from least were a little bit of heaven. Fluffy , lite amazingly good......, no Great Homemade Bourbon Vanilla Marshmallows. Each square of goodness melted in my mouth , and no you can't eat just one. I am going to have to learn to make Marshmallows, these are nothing like the things that come in big plastic bags. 

I was very pleased with my first experience with Foodie Pen Pals and can not wait until May 5th for my next match up. I will soon have two more foodie friends from some where across the country.

Usually I would not post about the items I sent my Foodie Pen Pal but since she does not have a blog and didn't ask to post on my page I will post.
I meant to take pictures of the items I sent my pen pal but I was so excited about getting my goody box in the mail that I forgot to get pictures.
I will list what I sent to Delaware and links to the products .

 I sent :

 A loaf of Jalapeno Cheddar Bread from the Great Harvest Bread 
Company (only baked on Friday and sold out by the end of the day)
Great Harvest Bread Co.

A box of  chocolate , lemon and key lime Macarons from one of my favorite places the Shuga Shak 
shuga shak mocha macarons and crème de menthe macarons

A bottle of Cranberry Pear Vinegar from Taste the Olivehttp://www.tastetheolive.com/
Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar 375ml

Cranberry Pear White Balsamic Vinegar 375ml

It is clean, crisp and tart and boasts a lovely deep rose blush.  It has an amazingly fruity, complex bouquet that shines in a multitude of culinary applications. Use to dressfruit salad, with gelatin for a gorgeous fruit aspic, in dressings, marinades, a glaze for poultry or in a mixed drink.

A bottle of Carolina BBQ sauce : This eastern NC BBQ sauce is made from a hundred-year-old family recipe consisting primarily of vinegar and plenty of hot pepper, making it the choice of Carolina barbecue purists who like their pulled pork SPICY.BBQ Sauce is made in eastern NC according to a traditional vinegar recipe (no tomatoes), for a thin & tangy sauce that's best enjoyed with pulled pork BBQ and also as a marinade for chicken.

and some mini chocolate bars by Chuao 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Crispy Skin Baked Chicken with a Lemon Caper Pan Sauce , garnished with a Pea Shoot and Radish Salad

4 Boneless Chicken Thighs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt & Pepper
2 tablespoons Capers
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of butter

Salad Garnish:
Pea shoots 
2 Radish thinly sliced
lemon zest 
1 teaspoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon of olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat a cast iron skillet or other oven safe skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot add the oil , Salt and Pepper the skin of the chicken and place in the skillet and cook until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Turn chicken over and place the skillet in a preheated 400 degree oven and cook for 10-12 mins. Remove skillet from the oven , place chicken on a plate and add capers to the hot skillet , then add lemon juice and butter. 

Sweet Pea Soup with Radish Chips dusted with Cinnamon  and cayenne pepper & fresh pea tendrils

1 head of cauliflower
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups of Pea Tendrils or Fresh Peas (sweet green peas/English peas)
2 green onions
2 cloves of garlic
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

For Garnish:
2 Radish
Pea shoots from the tendrils
 dash of cinnamon 
dash of cayenne pepper 
dash of sugar in the raw
a splash of cream or olive oil (optional)
fresh ground black pepper

In a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot add olive oil and turn to medium high heat, Add in cauliflower, green onion and garlic  that was cut into pieces and cook for about 4-5 mins until they start to brown. Then add in stock and bring to a boil then reduce to simmer and cook until cauliflower is tender. Once cauliflower is tender add in cleaned pea tendrils or fresh peas and cook for 3 mins over medium heat. Pour soup into a Vita Mix or other heat safe mixer and blend until smooth, add salt and pepper to taste.

For the garnish thinly slice radish , heat vegetable oil in a pot and fry radish until crisp , remove from oil and drain on a paper towel sprinkle with cinnamon, sugar and cayenne pepper mixture. From the pea tendrils remove the tender shoots and garnish soup

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Week Two of Feast Down East Rent - A - Farmer 
I picked up my second box of vegetables today. There was some really nice produce in my box.

Cottle Organics Farms Green Onions
 Thomas Produce Hydroponic Cucumbers
Thomas Produce Hydroponic Tomatoes
Cottle Organics Farms Red Radish
Cottle Organics Farm Sweet Potatoes

Lewis Farms Strawberries

Black River Organics Dill

Triple J Lettuce Mix

Cottle Organics Farm Mesclun Greens

 Triple J Pea Tendrils

Cottle Organics Farm Baby Dino Kale

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Earlier this week I received some beautiful Kale and radish  in my Rent a Farm vegetable box so I decided to make some dishes with these fresh vegetables.   

With the Radish I made braised Radish and Radish Sandwiches

With the Kale I  made some Kale Chips, then Braised Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms & Kale

Radish Sandwiches:
2 Pink Radish and 2 Purple Radish sliced thin
1 Tbsp soften butter
2 slices of Pumpernickel bread
Sea Salt

Spread soften butter on pumpernickel bread layer sliced radish on top of the butter and sprinkle with salt

 Braised Radish:

10 radish halved or quartered
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1 tbsp sugar in the raw
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tbsp butter
Place all ingredients except for butter in a cast iron skillet or other heavy pan and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until the water has evaporated, then add butter and stir, served warm as a side dish

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale stems removed, washed and dried
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 ½  tbsp olive oil

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl then spread out in a single layer on two backing sheets
Place in a 325 degree oven and bake until crisp, about 20-25 minuets
Best eaten within a day

 Braised Chicken Thighs With Mushrooms & Kale

4 bone-in chicken thighs
1 tbsp paprika
Pink Himalayan sea salt & ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooking white wine
1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 green onions, diced
1 bunch kale, stems removed 
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp skim milk

Wash & pat the chicken dry then coat with paprika, salt, pepper. Place Chicken with skin side down in a large skillet and turn heat up to medium and cook until fat is rendered off and skin is crisp.  When skin is crisp turn chicken over and cook until the other side is brown remove from skillet.

 Pour the rendered chicken fat out of the skillet and add the olive oil, turn the heat up to medium high then add onion, garlic and mushrooms to the skillet. 

Cook until mushrooms start to brown,

 Add in the 1 cup of white wine and cook until reduced by half, then add in the chicken broth and bring to a rapid boil then reduce to simmer. 

Add chicken back to the skillet and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Prior to serving remove chicken from skillet and add in kale, honey and skim milk and increase heat until kale wilts and sauce is reduced. Then add chicken back in. 

Add salt and pepper as needed. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Butter Poached Swordfish with Rosemary Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus with a Lite Hollandaise 

Melt good quality butter over low heat

Skim the white solids from the pot
Add Thyme to the melting butter and then place the Sword Fish into the Herb Butter

Mince Rosemary , black pepper and pink sea salt together and then  Zest a lemon ,  add half of the mixture to the fish reserve the other half for the potatoes

When the portion of the Swordfish in the butter turns white and begins to flake, gently turn fish and continue to poach until fish is cooked  and flaky

Quarter the New Potatoes toss with olive oil and reserved herb lemon zest mixture and minced garlic
Roast until tender and starting to brown

Trim Asparagus and place into a pot of salted boiling water to blanch
While still Green remove from pot and run cold water over Asparagus to stop the cooking process
Once cooled pat dry 

Temper Egg Yolks, Lemon Juice and butter over boiling water. whisking  until mixture is warmed and thickens into a sauce that coats the back of a spoon

Assemble the dish and serve with crusty french bread