Shave the cheese into any size that lives your truth
Fava beans are best served raw, tossed in good olive oil, black pepper and grated romano. They can be eaten whole as long as the outside skin has not grown tough enough to require removal. Pick pods once they reach 3-4″ maximum. To get them at this early stage will require growing the beans yourself, since most farmers wait to pick them until the beans have gotten at least 5-6″ long.
To grow fava beans, plant seeds in the fall and over winter the crop for spring. This works for any region where the winters are somewhat mild. The plants can withstand a couple heavy snow storms as long as it does not last more than a couple weeks at a time. If winter is colder, the plants can be covered with a simple tarp and cage system to protect them. The plants will flower in early spring and it is imperative that they are pollenated before the average temperature is above 80 degrees. If it gets to hot the bean pods will not set. The plants grow about 6′ tall so they will need to be tied back and supported to keep them from falling over once the weight of the beans sets.
Finally a use for rhubarb aside from pie
This is a great way to use leftover rhubarb sitting around after a pie. It also makes use of fresh pea shoots and chestnut mushrooms, all of which come in season at the same time.
Strain and keep the boiling liquid from the rhubarb for cocktails.
Baked Chicken with Pea Shoots, Chestnut Mushrooms and Rhubarb Sauce
For Rhubarb Sauce
- 1 cup roughly chopped rhubarb
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil roughly
- 2 chicken breasts butterflied into 2 halves
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp fresh sage chopped fine
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 4-6 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 bunch pea shoots separated
- 1/2 lb chestnut mushrooms cleaned and cut into 1″ long pieces
Boil rhubarb in 2 cups water until soft, strain and place in a blender. Add other sauce ingredients except oil and blend until smooth. With motor running add enough oil to create sauce. Season with salt and pepper and chill 1 hour. Mix breadcrumbs, sage, 1 tbsp parsley, salt and pepper together and coat chicken. Place in a well oiled baking dish and drizzle with more olive oil on top. Bake at 350 degrees until done, about 45 minutes. In a large frying pan melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant then add mushrooms and saute until browned. Quickly add pea shoots and remaining parsley stir to coat and remove from heat. Do not over cook pea shoots. On a plate layer rhubarb sauce, chicken, pea shoot mixture and drizzle with a little more sauce.
It’s a salad so it is healthy by default
This is a perfect light dinner or first course. Make sure to use fresh scallops that are all roughly the same size. Four to five are good per person as a main or two as a starter course. This recipe will make enough for 20 medium scallops
Cornmeal Crusted Scallop Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
- 1 cup shredded kale
- 1 cup shredded spinach
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 tsp Old Bay
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt
- 1-1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2-3 garlic minced
- 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
In a bowl mix yogurt, lime juice, garlic and finely chopped cilantro. Add enough buttermilk to bring to a dressing consistency and season with salt and pepper. Place dressing in refrigerator for 1 hour before serving. Mic shredded kale, spinach and roughly chopped cilantro together and divide equally among however many plates are being served. Mix cornmeal, paprika, black pepper and Old Bay. Toss scallops in breading until well coated. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a large frying pan over medium hear and cook until butter just starts to brown. Add scallops and fry for 5-7 minutes per side flipping once. Remove scallops to plates and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
So many fishy combinations
This soup can use an assortment of whatever seafood is available, just make sure to have some shellfish and some fillets.
- 1 lb scallops
- 1/2 lb cleaned crab meat
- 1 lb red snapper fillets
- 3 ribs celery diced fine
- 2 leeks diced fine
- 2 carrots diced fine
- 4-6 potatoes diced medium small
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 28 oz can whole tomatoes crushed by hand
- 2 tbsp tomato paste mixed with 1 cup water
- 8 cups shellfish stock
- 3 lavender pods
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano
- Old bay
- 2 tbsp bacon fat
In a large stock pot melt bacon fat over medium heat and saute leeks, celery and carrots until softened. Add garlic and saute until fragrant then turn heat to high and add tomato paste. Fry until most of liquid is evaporated, add potatoes and turn heat to low. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes then add tomatoes, spices and stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Add raw fish and cook for 10-15 minutes then add remaining fish and cook for 5 minutes more. Serve with toasted bread.
Look at the layers
This is a fun cheesecake for Saint Patrick’s day. Make sure to use homemade Irish cream. You may need to use food coloring for the espresso layer if it does not get dark enough.
Layered Irish Cheescake
- 9 oz chocolate graham crackers
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 6 tbsp melted butter
For espresso layer
- 16 oz cream cheese warm
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 cup fresh espresso
- 1 tsp espresso grounds
- 2 eggs
For Irish cream layer
- 16 oz cream cheese warm
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup Irish cream
Grease a 9″ springform pan with butter, flip the bottom upside down and cover with parchment paper. Crush cookies and mix with butter. Pour butter over and pack into base of pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes then remove from oven and let cool. Meanwhile mix the espresso cheese layer. Start by whipping the sugar and cheese together until smooth, then add 1 egg at a time and mix well, then the vanilla and grounds and finally the espresso. If it does not get dark enough add food coloring to desired tone. Pour into pan and let set for 15 minutes. Make the Irish cream layer and pour carefully on top so that it sits on the layer below without mixing. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour, then turn off stove and let sit another hour without opening the oven. Then let it cool completely before refrigerating at least 4 hours or up to 24.
it cooks in the cavity
This is a different way to stuff cornish hens.
Cornish Hens Stuffed with Raw Spinach
- 2 cornish hens
- 4 cups fresh spinach leaves
- 6-8 cremini mushrooms sliced in half and then sliced very thin
- 3 cloves garlic minced
Clean cornish hens and pat dry. Saute mushrooms in butter until browned then add garlic and saute until fragrant. Let cool then mix with spinach leaves. Rub some pesto inside each hen cavity then stuff with spinach mixture. Tie legs together and place in a roasting pan. Rub pesto into and under skin and surround hens with chunks of carrot. Roast at 375 degrees for 15 minutes then turn heat down to 350 and cook until done, about 1 hour. Split and serve halves.
bring a touch of spring early
It has been awhile since there was a new cocktail.
Juice and Stormy
- 1 1/2 oz black strap rum
- 1/2 oz fresh orange juice
- 1/2 oz fresh lime juice
- Ginger beer
In a juice glass filled with ice add rum and juices. Top with ginger beer and garnish with fruit slices.