Corn Flour, Yogurt + Cheddar Pancakes with Skillet Greens and Apricot Peach Preserves

IMG_1362These pancakes are all of the important things: sweet, savory, salty and simple. I love pancakes loaded with fruit and maple syrup, but they are a dessert food and often give me headaches if I eat them first thing in the morning. I’ve made these with fresh mozzarella, and I think any melty cheese would be great. You can use any greens you have on hand and these are delicious paired with quality sausage or bacon (the first time I made them I had maple blueberry sausage from the market on hand). These pancakes and my parents visit made my new cabin in the woods feel like a home. It was filled with the smells of good food and filled with the sounds of good company all week and it is good to remember how to settle into a place and make it your own. 

Corn Flour, Yogurt + Cheddar Pancakes
with Skillet Greens and Apricot Peach Preserves

 ½ cup Bob’s Red Mill Cornflour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
¼ cup butter, melted
1 egg
2 tbsp cheddar cheese, sliced
2 handfuls arugula (or kale, or whatever greens you have)
1 handful basil
1 squash, chopped
Apricot-peach preserves
Maple syrup
Butter
Sea salt & pepper
Lemon juice 

Method:

 Heat a skillet to medium/high and add a tbsp of butter. Add the squash and cook until slightly softened and browned. Add the arugula and the basil. Sauté until the greens are wilted. Squeeze a little lemon juice on the mix and cover to keep warm.

 In a large bowl, combine the two flours and salt. In another bowl whisk the yogurt, butter and egg together. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and add the cheese. Heat a skillet to medium/high and spoon in little circles of batter.

Cook until the pancakes are crispy on both sides. Serve on a plate, topped with the vegetable mix, a spoonful of preserves and maple syrup on the side.

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Skillet Mac and Cheese + Sauteed Kale + Basil Broccoli

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Rainy days cause macaroni and cheese. This particular recipe seems to have a lot of steps and ingredients, but it comes together quickly and is my favorite mac and cheese creation. There are endless places this recipe could differ, depending on your cheese, vegetable and pasta collection you may end up with a totally different dish. Wherever you take this, remember the lemon juice and the chili pepper flakes because of the dimension of flavor they bring to the dish. This recipe made enough to fill two small cast iron skillets.

Skillet Mac and Cheese + Sauteed Kale + Basil Broccoli
3 cups brown rice penne pasta
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 leaves cavolo nero, or dinosaur kale, stems removed and chopped
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes
8 small broccoli heads, diced
2 tsp dried basil
A pinch of thyme
1/2 cup stale or oven dried bread made into crumbs (I used oat molasses bread my roommate made a few days ago and dried it out in the oven)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 cup good cheddar cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp paprika
sea salt
pepper
lemon juice
olive oil + butter
Goat cheese and queso fresco or cheese of your choice

Method:

Heat 5 cups of salted water in a large pot and cook until al dente.

In a separate skillet, heat a tbsp of butter and a drizzle of olive oil together. Add the shallots, saute for a few moments, then add the garlic and the chili pepper flakes. Finally add the kale. Sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt. Cook on medium, covered, until the kale is wilted and the shallots and garlic are slightly crisped and golden.

In another pan heat the milk, heavy cream, cheese, paprika, sea salt, pepper and butter. Watch this carefully and remove when the cheese is mostly melted. Mix this cheese mixture with the cooked pasta.

Drizzle another skillet with olive oil and add the broccoli, drizzle with lemon juice, and then add the basil, bread crumbs and thyme.

To assemble to macaroni and cheese, lightly butter a cast iron skillet, spoon in some pasta, mix in some of the kale, then top with the broccoli, basil bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle a little bit of goat cheese and queso fresco on top and finish with a grind of sea salt and pepper. Broil on high heat until the cheese is browned and crisped.

Portabella filled with Farmer’s Market Vegetables topped with Cucumber-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

This dish is just exciting to me. I mean it combines a lot of my favorite things; it combines my life and food philosophies. It is simple, diverse, local and colorful. It is beautiful and each bite is a new and different combination. You have the umami richness from the mushroom giving the dish this grounded fullness and then you’ll get a crunch of the cucumber and lightness from cilantro and then a crisp piece of kale or the chewiness of eggplant. And then there is the roasted tomatoes and arugula offering sweetness and bitterness. And there is cheese, of course there is cheese, adding that richness, that depth of flavor and decadence. Oh, and corn, there is corn, and peppers and all kinds of different ingredients I picked up on the farmer’s market on Saturday. If you don’t have all of these ingredients, just modify, if you do, or have even more, incorporate them.

 Portabella filled with Farmer’s Market Vegetables and a Cucumber-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

1 portabella mushroom
1 small red onion, diced
2 small peppers, sliced
1 small Japanese eggplant, sliced
1 ear of corn taken off the cob
A few stems, or about a cup of kale, stems removed
½ cup cooked quinoa
1 handful cilantro
1 handful arugula
1 lemon
sea salt & pepper
olive oil
Good, spicy salsa
cheese: I used jack and goat cheese

Cucumber-Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

¼ cup cucumber, sliced into small pieces
1 big handful of cilantro, stems removed
¼ cup whole milk yogurt, I used Straus.
Sea salt & pepper
Lemon

Method:

First just prep all of the ingredients and turn the oven to 425.

Then heat up a cast iron on medium-high heat, sauté the onions and eggplant for a minute or two in olive oil, then add the peppers, corn, kale and quinoa. Add a drizzle of oil, salt & pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice, cover and cook for several minutes.

Meanwhile wash the portabella, remove the middle stem, and drizzle the mushroom with olive oil, salt & pepper, and some lemon juice. Place the mushroom in a mini cast iron, or other small baking pan, and put it in the oven.

When the veggies are slightly browned, turn the heat off. Take the mushroom out of the oven and fill it with the veggies, not all of mine fit so I saved them as leftovers. Next, add a few dollops of salsa on top of the veggies, then add the diced cheese on top of the salsa. Finally, season with salt & pepper, add some tomatoes to the cast iron, and bake for about seven or so minutes.

While the mushroom bakes, make the cucumber-cilantro sauce. Just mix together the cucumber, cilantro, yogurt, salt & pepper and lemon juice.

During the last few minutes of baking, set the oven to broil. Add a handful of cilantro to the pan, and cook for just a minute or so, until the cheese is browned and the arugula is a little crispy and wilted.

I ate mine right out of the cast iron, topped with the yogurt sauce and plenty of extra cilantro for seasoning. I also added a few slices of avocado and a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice.

Millet-Quinoa Patties with Kale, Spinach and Heirloom Tomatoes

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This dish is a result of having just a little bit of quinoa left, lots of millet, tomatoes that needed to be used and plentiful greens. You can really do endless variations with patties using panko, other grains, rice, etc. The tomato’s I have are so flavorful and sweet they taste like candy and pairing them with the patties was complementary and complex, sweet and savory. The sweet balsamic is really essential, if you don’t have any on hand just mix some honey with some regular balsamic and you will have a similar tasty, thick syrup.

Millet-Quinoa Patties with Kale, Spinach and Heirloom Tomatoes

½ cup quinoa, cooked
1 ½ cups millet, cooked
1 small red onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup kale, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
¼ cheese: mozzarella and a flavorful goat cheese, like Midnight Moon; grated, or in small pieces
3 eggs
3 tbsp milk
Salt & pepper
Butter
Olive oil
Sweet and thick balsamic vinegar
1 heirloom tomato, sliced

Method:

Mix the cooked quinoa, millet, onion, garlic, kale, spinach, cheese, eggs, milk and salt & pepper together in a bowl. The mix won’t hold together until it’s cooked so it’s okay if it seems crumbly. In a cast iron heat about ½ tbsp of butter on medium high heat. Place round spoonfuls of the mix into the pan and fry them in the butter until they’re crisp and browned. Carefully flip the patties and repeat on the other side.

Continue adding butter and frying the patties. I made about 12 patties from the recipe.

To serve, slice a ripe heirloom tomato. Place two patties on top of the tomato and drizzle with a sweet balsamic vinegar.