Monday, June 22, 2009

Horchata




This sweet and creamy beverage originated in Spain, though it is more often associated with Mexican food. It is the perfect compliment to a spicy meal! Although most recipes call for almonds, it was originally made with tigernuts, the tubers of a sedge, Cyperus esculentus (see photo). You can try adding peanuts or cashews instead. It can be made dairy-free, using only rice, nuts and water, or you can add some cow’s milk, too. The recipe below is the one that I use most often, but can be adjusted to taste!

Horchata

2/3 C uncooked long-grain white rice
1 1/4 C raw almonds nuts
1 toasted cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
1 star anise
2 1/2 C hot water
1 C sugar
2 C water or 1 cup each milk and water

1. Soak rice and almonds with 2 1/2 cups of hot water, cinnamon, vanilla bean and star anise. Toasting the cinnamon releases the flavorful oils and will enhance the drink. Soak for at least 3 hours, or preferably, overnight.

2. Remove vanilla bean and star anise. Pour the water, almonds, rice and cinnamon into a blender along with sugar and blend for a few minutes until it is very smooth.

3. Pour the mixture through a fine sieve, or a layer of cheesecloth into a bowl. Use a spoon to stir the solids around, which will help the liquid pass through. Sometime I even squeeze the cheesecloth to remove liquid. Strain horchata again if necessary.

If you want to serve it right away, add 2 cups of water or water/milk mix and serve over crushed ice. If you’re going to store it, add the remaining liquid and refrigerate.

Salud!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pepita Frittata with Winter Squash and Cilantro-Chile Sauce


Eggs are a great source of protein, and so versatile. This simple frittata recipe can be adapted in many ways. Try it with different vegetables and cheeses on top, such as zucchini and asiago, or fresh tomato, basil and mozzarella with pine nuts.

Pepita Frittata with Winter Squash and Cilantro-Chile Sauce

Cilanto-Chile Sauce

2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 small bunch cilantro
1 green (serrano) chile, seeds removed, or 1/3 jalapeno, seeds removed
2 pinches ground cumin
¼ tsp salt

Make the cilantro-chile sauce by pureeing the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, chile, cumin, and salt until very smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Set aside.

Frittata

6-8 large organic eggs
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
½-1 cup winter squash such as butternut, or acorn, sliced thin
¼ tsp dried crushed sage
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled (I used Dreamfarm's goat cheese - a local company and the goat cheese is so delicious!)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
a couple pinches of salt

1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with milk and a small pinch of salt. Set aside. Steam winter squash for 2-3 minutes, or microwave for 2-3 minutes until tender. In a (small) 8 1/2-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, and another pinch of salt. Sautee, stirring often, until the onion starts to soften, 5 - 7 minutes. Add the cooked squash and sautee for another 7 minutes or so, until squash begins to brown. Add in sage and stir. Slide everything out of the skillet onto a plate and set aside.

Turn down the heat a bit. Using the same skillet, add the eggs and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until the eggs are just set and there isn't a lot of liquid running around the pan. Run a spatula underneath the sides of the frittata and tilt the pan so the uncooked eggs run to the underside and cook. Sprinkle the squash/onion mixture over the eggs and drizzle a bit of the cilantro sauce over. Place in oven for about 3-5 minutes until top is almost set and puffy.
Add chunks of goat cheese and the pumpkin seeds across the top of the frittata and bake another 2 minutes or so. Remove from oven, cut into wedges and serve. Drizzle with extra cilantro sauce if desired.

Recipe adapted from Heidi Swanson at http://www.101cookbooks.com/ingredient/pepita