Monday, September 26, 2011

Ginger Crinkles

"The most requested Fiddlehead recipe...pleases both those who prefer their ginger cookies soft in the center and those who want them crisp (FH)."

Crinkle dough dipped in sugar, shown before baking. No photos were taken after baking.

Orange-Mace-Raisin Bread

Here's yet another spice I'm not familiar with: mace. I came about acquiring it in a roundabout way, and it lent a complimentary flavor to the orange and molasses in this wholewheat Orange-Mace-Raisin Bread.

Whole mace

The Red Onion Spice & Tea Company is owned by Kathy and Gareth Jones, who live and do business right here in Juneau. I had failed to locate mace at local stores when a friend found it at Red Onion's table at the farmers market. She bought the organic, whole pieces of leathery tissue (shown above) which I ground into a powder for use in this Fiddlehead bread recipe. Related to nutmeg, and also derived from the nutmeg tree, mace is not the most common spice. Read more about mace--including its origins, medicinal uses, and mild hallucinogenic properties--here.

Dissolve molasses in warm water and add yeast to activate. Once bubbly, add spice, zest, raisins, and flour, and beat for ten minutes. Let rise.

After 1 1/2 hours, punch the dough down and let rise until doubled in bulk.

Bake and serve fresh out of the oven--the Fiddlehead recommends spreading with cream cheese.

Salad Seeds

Need to dress up a salad? If your garden greens have any oriental flavor leanings, this Salad Seeds recipe will be the perfect topping. Sunflower and sesame seeds are mixed with just a hint of soy sauce, then roasted for a delightfully nutty finish.

Hot Spiced Cider

What a gorgeous fall weekend. Fresh snow dusted the mountains, and colorful leaves blanketed the ground. It's the kind of weather that inspires you to wrap a scarf around your neck when you head out into the crisp, cold air. It's also the time of year that a hot, spicy beverage like Hot Spiced Cider feels calming and cozy.

I highly recommend using a high-quality juice as your base. This organic Knudsen variety was cloudy with sediment on the bottom--the closest in liquid you can probably come to the fruit form. I also used organic orange and lemon.

The spicing is simple--whole cloves, cardamom seed and allspice seed. I forget allspice is a seed all its own--a berry, in fact, from a tree grown in warm climates--and not a mixture of pumpkin pie spices as the English thought back in the 1600s when they named it).

Simmered with citrus, the cider is at once stimulating and soothing.

Drink up!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seafood Fettuccine

This was the perfect weeknight meal on the first official fall day, while outside 70mph wind whipped the rain horizontal. Creamy and nourishing, this seafood fettuccine dish cooks up in about 1/2 an hour. Just using simple S&P spicing, the flavors blend well together with chunks of tomato and salmon. I recommend having a glass of that white wine you're pouring into the dish.

I used fresh coho for the occasion:

Saute salmon (or other seafood of your choice) in a pan with butter and garlic.

Add white wine and tomatoes and cook until salmon is cooked through. I used cherry tomatoes that I had lying around (though the recipe calls for regular) and enjoyed the sweetness.

Remove the salmon and add cream to the juices left in the pan. Simmer until the sauce thickens. Add cooked noodles, salt and pepper, green onions, parmesan cheese, and salmon into pan. Stir, and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fiddlehead Cookbook's 20th Anniversary Celebration


The Fiddlehead Cookbook is celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, and throwing a party!

It's Sunday, September 25th from 4-6pm at the Juneau Arts & Cultural Center featuring live music, a dessert auction to benefit the JACC, and a no-host beer and wine bar.

You can starting bidding ahead of time on the Fiddlehead Dessert Auction's website.

Come out and celebrate!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Salmon Wellington

Here's a decadent way to eat salmon. Salmon Wellington is a filet topped with wine-infused mushroom duxelles and wrapped in phyllo dough. It's so delicious. And perfectly fancy for a gourmet occasion.

Saute onion, mushrooms, and garlic in butter. Add wine and spices and cook off liquid. This mixture is called duxelles.

Generously brush a sheet of phyllo with butter.

Place your salmon filet (pre-baked for 10 minutes) in the center and top with the duxelles.

Fold the dough over the filet, brushing with butter between each layer.

Bake until the phyllo puffs and browns.

Bon appetit!

Fiddlehead Omelets with R&H Cheese Spread

The Fiddlehead's R & H Cheese Spread is quick and easy to make. Use it to spread on a bagel, or in this case, as filling in a Fiddlehead Omelet.

Chop chives.
Blend them into cream cheese and mayo, and you've got R&H spread!

Making omelets requires speedy work. So get your speedy work face on.

First, melt butter in your omelet pan.

The pan is ripe just as the foaming subsides, but before the butter browns. Beware: it's a tiny timing window!
Add scrambled eggs to the hot pan. Maneuver the pan and manipulate your spatula in order to cook the eggs just right* (*omelete finesse simply requires practice. I will not go into a thorough explanation here, though the Fiddlehead does a good job of describing the twists and turns involved).

When cooked, remove from the heat and add your filling. I used that R & H cheese spread.
Sprinkle with grated cheese and melt briefly under the broiler. The result is a rich and tasty omelete to get your morning started right.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Salmon Veronique

Ooh la la! This is a fun and fancy salmon recipe. Veronique means the dish is made using white grapes. It has a really tantalizing sauce of cream, white wine, a hint of dijon, a bit of vinegar, and of course, the grapes.

Begin by dusting the salmon filets and browning them in a fry pan. Cook the wine, dijon, and vinegar briefly, and add them to the baking pan with the fish.

When the salmon has baked, pour the leftover juices back into the sauce pan with the cream...

Add grapes and bring to a boil.

Spread the sauce over the salmon and serve.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad

Rum, lime, and soy-drenched chicken.

Chili-cumin dressing.

Served with avocado, red onion, and tomato atop a bed of greens, these flavors really pop for a refreshing salad dinner. Served with a tortilla on the side, they can be eaten as a wrap as well.

Burn the alcohol off rum by warming rum in a small pan, then lighting it on fire with a match! Notice the blue flame in this picture...

Marinate chicken in rum, soy sauce, and lime juice.

Make the dressing in a blender. Oil and vinegar are emulsified, by initially pulsing an egg with the vinegar, then slowly adding the oil while the motor is turning.

The result is a thick and creamy base. The zesty spices infused throughout--including chili, cumin, garlic, and cayenne--create a most stellar dressing.

Broil the chicken 5 minutes on each side.

Arrange slices of chicken, tomato, avocado, and red onion over a bed of greens and drizzle with salad dressing. Bon appetit!

French Onion Soup

Chop up 6 large onions. Get them frying in a pan with some oil.

Later, add some sherry (I used white wine). Once they're cooked down a bit, add broth, tomato paste, and garlic. Cook a little longer.

Chop old sourdough bread into chunks for croutons. Lay the croutons out on a cookie sheet and dry in a warm oven 5-10 minutes.

Ladle soup into oven-proof bowls (I forgot to add the miso, so our soup had a reddish tint where usually French Onion has a brownish broth).

Arrange croutons over soup.

Layer slices of mozzarella and swiss cheeses, then sprinkle with parmesan.

Broil for just a few minutes to melt the cheese.

Soup's on! Melty cheeses, hot brothy onion soup, flavorful sourdough bread. Pretty darn good.

Shrimp Quesadillas

It's a quesadilla with shrimp! A creative take--and Southeast twist--on the classic appetizer.

Shelling shrimp

Prepping the quesadillas

Garnished with guacamole
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