Monday, October 24, 2011

The Factory Worker

I used Silverbow garlic-rosemary bread for the base of this delicious vegetarian sandwich. First, spread each slice with guacamole, then layer with cheddar and jack cheeses (I used a sharp white cheddar and pepperjack), and broil. Top with tomato slices, sunflower seeds, and sprouts. Healthy & delicious. A gourmet sandwich for the factory worker in each of us. (Apparently, Fiddlehead author Deborah Marshall worked at the Bread Factory in Anchorage where this was her favorite sandwich.)


Each slice spread with guac. Half get (white) cheddar, the other (pepper) jack.

After broiling

Served open-face

Crunchy, cheesy vegetarian delight


Just before you reach the index, you'll find a section called "From the Pantry." This collection of recipes includes pie crust, marinades, beverages, sauces, and stocks. Here's a sampling of some of those condiments...

Garlic Butter
Mm. Very garlicy. This butter would be great spread on a hot, hearty loaf of bread. Yes, there's a splash of sherry in it! I also want to try the bourbon butter, and the basil-mustard butter. In case you forgot or maybe didn't realize, the Fiddlehead offers a myriad of flavored butter recipes, all with serving suggestions: there's garlic, anchovy, basil-mustard, bourbon, lemon-caper, lemon-garlic, and tarrgon butter.

A cooked salsa goes great atop fried eggs, chicken, or in a burrito. It's simply tomatoes, onion, and green pepper, spiced with crushed ancho chili pepper, and simmered for 45 mins.

Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
Creamy, potently stinky, this is a great recipe to have on hand for a salad that needs a little love. Combine mayo, sour cream (I used Greek yogurt), orange juice, grated onion, and some good ol' S&P to crumbled blue. Blend it until its smooth, or leave it chunky--whatever's your pleasure.

Oriental Vinaigrette
Minced garlic and ginger in a sesame oil, soy sauce & rice vinegar base. Making Chinese cabbage salad? Toss this Oriental dressing on!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tofu Stir-fry

Breakfast for dinner, anyone? Tofu-stir fry can go either way. I don't typically crave sesame, soy sauce, ginger or tofu in the morning, so I made a weeknight meal out of the dish. It's so healthy. The tofu soaks up savory flavor, the eggs are buttery, and it's all served on a bed of chopped vegetables and brown rice.


Add chopped veggies to hot sesame and vegetable oil.

Add the ginger, soy sauce, and and tofu.

Softly scramble your eggs in butter.

Finished. Eating time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Sourdough French Bread

Saturday morning. Sleep 'til eight. Brew coffee. Cup in hand, head out the door for a little garage sale-ing. Then home for some Fiddlehead Sourdough French Bread. Comfort food on a sleepy, rainy day.

The older and drier your bread is, the more egg it will soak up. Slice in 1/2 inch pieces.

Whisk together egg, half-and-half, cinnamon (or cardamom), and vanilla. Soak your slices in the mixture.

Grilled to perfection!

Served with maple syrup, orange slices, and love!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Turkey Scaloppine with Cranberries

Mm, mm. The flavors of fall. This creamy, wine-infused cranberry turkey recipe is a simple and delicious dish, perfect for the season. Look out for these fresh cranberries! They're so darn sour. Biting into one, you get an burst of intense flavor. Little explosive flavor pockets. What is it in sour foods that makes your jaw cramp? Anyway, there's enough cream and wine to balance out the intensity of the cranberry.

First, slice the turkey breast into thin steaks, a.k.a. scaloppine. Then douse in flour with salt and pepper. Fry those in butter until browned on both sides. Remove from pan and add wine and cream. Add turkey back in a finish cooking.

The result is a pink and exciting fall meal. Enjoy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Linzer Torte

Oi! Boasting an array of flavors, the Linzer Torte tastes a little like Christmas. Into the dough splashes a mixture of spices typical of the holiday season--clove, cinnamon--along with orange and lemon zest. It's a party of flavors backed up by a buttery and nutty (1 cup finely ground walnut) base.

Zesting the lemon (this is not an optical illusion; it's a giant lemon with a mini grater)

Zesting station!

The dough is very soft, and in our case, we needed to chill it for about an hour before we could remotely begin working it. Even then, it was very soft and sticky to hand and counter surfaces. You'll get a feel for the lattice top from the pictures included here. Start by pressing a bit more than half the dough into the bottom of a cake pan (preferable with removable bottom). Then cut the remaining dough into two pieces, forming half into long strips to form the lattice, and rolling the other half into a rope to pinch off into balls for the sides.

Shaping the dough

With the soft dough, this step was easier said than done--the lattice strips lay crosswise atop the jam, and the balls of dough are placed around the circumference of the torte and pressed together to join all the dough together.

Before baking

The Fiddlehead says the Linzer Torte recipe, is "a great way to show off jams and jellies." Indeed! The shortbread is a great vehicle for a sweet preserve. I used a sour cherry jam and was pleased with how it blended with the flavors of the dough.

\We served our torte with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. At once, delightfully spicy, nutty, buttery, and zesty! Quite a treat! Perhaps I'll cook up the cookie variety toward December.

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Fiddlehead Cookbook Turns 20

The Fiddlehead Cookbook is "dedicated to that spirit of adventure known as hospitality, which draws people together and brings well-being and harmony to the planet."

The Fiddlehead Cookbook turned 20 this year, and there was a party to celebrate! Friends, family, and former employees of the Fiddlehead turned out for drinks & freshly baked carolyn's cookies, ginger crinkles, fantasy and reality cookies. Mm... Jazz music filled the hall and silent and outcry auctions raised money for the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. The Ann's Lemon Cake that was donated was fit for a queen. Seriously, did someone get a photo?

I had to the chance to meet all the Fiddlehead authors at the celebration: Nancy and John DeCherney, Susan Brook. and Deborah Marshall. They were all very friendly and gracious, not like in Julie & Julia when Julia Child disses Julie the blogger. You guys are great! What a legacy you've created.

The spirit is still alive! It was obvious there's some serious love surrounding this book. Heck, the "Most Loved Cookbook" contest said it all--grease-spackled pages barely left threaded to the book's spine.

The introduction of the cookbook, penned by Deborah Marshall, is beautifully written. In her concluding paragraph, she writes:

"Remember what Alaska teaches--that it is possible to do what you don't know how to do. If you don't have all the ingredients, substitute. If you lack self-confidence, face the stove and pray. Most important, let your home-cooked meal celebrate your time together and the creativity in your soul. Enjoy your repast."

Amen. Happy birthday dear Fiddlehead.

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