Posts Tagged ‘Spring’

Chicory month continues with another take on stuffed endive!

From Dish Nicole:

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Endive is a curious veggie.  One would think that is a lettuce when in fact it is part of the chicory family which includes bitter leafed vegetables such as radicchio or escarole.  Endive, not just for salads, takes on various forms of deliciousness and can be prepared in a multitude of ways.  I have had Belgian endive au gratin, in salads, soups and even stir-fry’s, all delicious.  Perhaps one of the best characteristics of endive is the way the leaves, when separated, create perfect cups for stuffing.  Stuffed endive seems to be a staple passed hors d’oeuvres at events.  Recently my pals were hosting a house warming party and I decided to stuff some endive and bring it over to share.  They were mess free and tasty if I do say so myself.

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4 Belgian Endive Heads (there are about 8-10 leaves per head)

½ cup of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

½ cup of dried cranberries chopped

½ cup chopped chives

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper


Wash and dry your endive and set aside.  Next you will want to dice up all of your other ingredients and mix in a large bowl adding the olive oil a little at a time while mixing.

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Taste and add the salt and pepper as needed.  You can prepare this mixture several hours before serving.  When you are ready to serve, separate the endive leaves and place on a platter, stuff and devour.

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While being an extremely easy recipe to make, the presentation is beautiful with all colors and textures and your friends will LOVE it!  At least mine did.



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Chicory month continues here at SLD.  Check out this tasty bite From Dish Deanna:


When I came home for Passover this past week, my mom and I got so wrapped up in cooking for the holiday, we forgot that at some point we needed to take a break and eat. In the midst of making the matzo ball soup, brisket, fish, and other yummy Passover dishes, we had to figure out something that would be tasty for us to munch on, but easy enough to make so that our main focus could be on the other dishes.

It is truly amazing what your mind can think up when you’re feeling creative. We looked in the fridge and had crabmeat and endive. That seemed workable for us. We decided to make little endive boats, filled with crabmeat, red cabbage, and a special sauce we whipped up on the spot!



1 endive: 6 small endive leaves, peeled off

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

1 teaspoon of ketchup

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ cup chopped red cabbage

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In a small bowl, mix the mayo, ketchup, and Dijon. Feel free to play around with the ingredients depending on which flavors you like best. I happen to enjoy Dijon mustard so I may have added a little more than I listed here. Next chop the red cabbage. At this time you can lay your leaves out for stuffing!

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This recipe is really all about preference. Some may prefer to toss the crabmeat in the sauce, whereas I drizzled it on top and then sprinkled some red cabbage over it to layer. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, and quadrupled depending on how many leaves you want to make! It makes for a great appetizer or even a healthy main. So one night when you’re feeling adventurous, play around with the proportions and find what you like best!


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Saucy Little Dish is trying something new!  Each month we will be working with a different ingredient and each Dish will create a dish using that ingredient.  We are excited to start the Spring 2013 off with Endive/Chicory.

In addition to our new theme months, SLD would like to introduce our newest dish, Beth Harrell.  Beth is originally from Florida and we met this saucy thing in Williamburg, Brooklyn and she now lives in Chicago.  Not only has she lived in all sorts of culinary hubs, she studied the art of baking and pastry at Le Cordon Bleu Paris.  I don’t know about you, but I know we are excited to see what Beth whips up!

From Dish Beth:

(inspired by El Almacen’s Ensalada de Palmito) Yields 6 servings


I’ve always thought of endive as the stuck up, snooty little finger food of fancy pants ladies luncheons. Other than an elegant vehicle for stuffing cheesy, mayonnaisey dips down my gullet, I didn’t really know what else it was good for. That is, until, I had this delightful truffled endive and heart of palm salad at El Almacen, an awesome Argentinian restaurant in my old neighborhood, Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Since I live in Chicago now, I decided I’d try and make this thing at home.

Slightly bitter endive, its chicory sister radicchio, and tangy heart of palm, are tossed with large flakes of buttery, salty parmesan and a simple truffle vinaigrette. Since it’s spring, I’ve also added some white asparagus to the mix. Earthy and decadent, this would be a perfect start to a romantic dinner with your hunny bunny. But I wouldn’t know anything about that. Guh.

Here goes…

2 endives (the whiter the leaf, the less bitter the taste)

White asparagus (about 6-8 stalks)

Small head of radicchio

8 oz jar of heart of palm, drained

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Big handful of salt

Truffle Vinaigrette (recipe below)

Parmesan cheese (not the powdery pizza kind. Get a wedge and shave flakes off with a vegetable peeler. This is a CLASSY salad, dammit!)


Slice the endive, radicchio, asparagus and heart of palm into long, thin strips. Make sure to cut the top and base off of the endive and asparagus. Place all but the heart of palm into large bowl with the apple cider vinegar and salt. Toss to coat and let sit for 30 minutes or so (you want to slightly pickle them). Place in colander to drain. Rinse with cold water (don’t have to totally wash all vinegar away, just give it a quick rinse), return to bowl

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Add heart of palm. Toss with Truffle Vinaigrette and sprinkle with parmesan before serving.

Truffle Vinaigrette

Shallot (or small onion, shallots are just expensive onions anyway)

2-3 T white truffle oil (If you’re on a specialty oil budget, you can sometimes find this shit for cheap at TJ Maxx)

2 T extra virgin olive oil

1-2 T champagne vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Grate the onion/shallot right into the bowl and then pour/sprinkle in remaining ingredients. Whisk and taste and  whisk and taste, adding more as needed until it’s to your liking.

Oh yeah! And for the record, it’s pronounced on-DEEV, not N-dive. Enjoy lovers!


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From Dish Amelia:
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I was casting about for what I would post this month for my SLD, and the topic ended up finding me in the most natural and planetary of ways. There were so many signs in fact, that I had to list the indicators just to look at because everything seemed so connected and clear. (Cycle, Spring, oval, egg, Easter eggs, Easter…)

I decided to try making the kolache. The kolache are a Czech pastry, but it is so much more. I know what these are because both of my parents are from Texas and we would visit sometimes when I was growing up. There is a solid old Czech community near my dad’s hometown, and he impressed on me the importance and specialness of getting the good kolaches in the tiny town of Snook when passing through. (Mom, Dad, kolaches, fruit, wildflowers, jewel tone colors…) It happened that my mom just went on a little road trip to see the wildflowers, and she sent a few pics. And, I just happened to work a catering job at Lincoln Center for the new play “Ann”, abut Ann Richards, the former governor of Texas. To add to the Texan reminders, large swaths of Brooklyn were just looking towards or went to Austin for the South by Southwest music festival. (Ann Richards gig, SXSW, Texas, New York, Brooklyn, Greenpoint, Poland, Eastern Europe, Czech Republic…)

I figured that the Tall Pole might have some awareness of this pastry, because many eastern European traditions carry a level of crossover, like poppy seeds. (Traditions, poppy seeds…) The Pole was not really sure, but was not opposed to my investigation, sweet-toothed as he is. I turned to the Eastern European Food section of About.com, an excellent resource, and found the related Polish kolaczki, which was interesting. But this was not the type I was going for, which led me to the obvious next stop: awesome food blog Homesick Texan written by Lisa Fain (who also has a great cookbook). Of course she did a post on kolaches. And weirdly enough she had posted in March of 2007, leading me to wonder about kolaches and springtime. (…food blogs, springtime, traditions, New York…) Her post is wonderful, and I can only add a slightly different angle, and also a bit more sugar, as the kolaches I remember are a bit sweeter than her recipe. I also left off the sprinkled topping. (Hers is adapted from Texas Monthly and the Houston Chronicle, mine is adapted from hers.)

1 packet active dry yeast

1 cup warm milk

1.2 cup sugar

3 cups AP flour

2 large eggs

3/4 cups melted butter

1 tsp salt

fillings at your discretion


Photo from mom.

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Prepare your starter. Combine sugar, yeast, 1 cup of flour (whisk) and then milk

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Cover and let it double in size and get foamy.

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Mix together melted butter, salt and eggs

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The starter has become foamy! Mix the butter/egg mixture into this.

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Then mix in flour, a 1/2 cup at a time.

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Knead ten minutes. So fun. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise one hour.

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Look at that! I’m always impressed by yeast.

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Pull off pieces and roll into egg-sized balls…

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Flatten into disks and brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise another half hour.

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Prepare your fillings. I chose mine based on tradition and color variety. There are several Polish pastries I’ve seen in Greenpoint that utilize this chocolaty looking (not chocolate) paste. With some investigation and many questions directed at the Tall Pole (who probably never imagined he would field so many) I found that this ingredient in Polish is called masa makowa, or poppy seed butter, and usually contains almonds and sugar. One can make this easily, but to save time, and invest in some authenticity, I braved the crazy Easter line of the Polish deli to grab some. It’s quite good. I also got some crumbly farmer’s cheese

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The fillings: strawberry, sour cherry, orange ginger, farmer’s cheese (with maple syrup drizzle, my one liberty), and poppy seed paste. Obviously you could (should?) make these too, but for maximum variety I used high quality, few ingredient jams. In the future I think I would just make my favorite or be more experimental, but I wanted to tap into tradition, not expand on it just yet.

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Make a decent indentation with your fingers and spoon in the filling.

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Bake at 375 for 13 minutes. Brush them with melted butter (why not?) when they come out. Let them cool a bit and savor this new rite of spring.


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From Dish Erin:

Though it’s mid-May, a time of year in NYC that should be marked by balmy temps, it looks and feels more like October in London. No matter, I refuse to pay any attention to the crappy weather. I choose Spring and some of the best fruits the season has to offer. Rhubarb is a quirky and ephemeral fruit. There’s a very quick window of opportunity to try it, in fact it’s usually only available for a few weeks in May/June, so I’m happy if I manage to get my hands on some once per season. If you get the chance to grab some (it looks like smooth, pink celery stalks), it’s got a distinct, tangy flavor that pairs really nicely with strawberries (another herald of Springtime) and makes a delicious crumble, which just so happens to be my-go dessert. I’m a cook, not a baker. Crumble manages to skirt past the technicalities and laboriousness of baking. Score! Plus, because it’s fruit based, it’s relatively healthy.

3 cups diced rhubarb
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled, and halved
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest + juice of 1/2 orange
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces + 1 extra tablespoon
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
1 cup plain oats
1/4 cup light brown sugar
Pinch salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, 3/4 cup of the granulated sugar, orange zest, cornstarch, cinnamon, vanilla, and orange juice, and toss to thoroughly combine. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with +1 extra tablespoon of the butter and pour the fruit mixture in the dish.

3. In another mixing bowl, combine the stick of butter, flour, remaining 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, oats, the brown sugar and salt and cut together with fork or pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and bake until the topping is golden brown and crispy and fruit is bubbly, about 45 minutes.

4. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

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From Dish Nicole:

What’s better than a springtime BBQ with loads of food, friends and wine?? Not a whole heck of a lot in my book. My most recent excuse to have a barbeque/dinner party was to say farewell to a dear friend. Tim is leaving this lovely city to head to the west coast and I wanted to honor him with a proper meal before he goes. San Francisco is definitely one of the bigger culinary hubs in the world, but for tonight, SF ain’t got nothing on me. I decided to make grilled lamb meatballs with yogurt sauce and left out the wheat from Tim’s portion because he doesn’t eat gluten.

For the meatballs you will need:
1 lb ground lamb
2tbs dried bulgur wheat (soak in 1 cup water until soft) and drain
2 garlic cloves minced
1 small onion grated
1tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
1 egg
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp paprika
2tbs chopped parsley
2tbs chopped cilantro
2tbs olive oil

Before preparing the meatballs, I suggest making the yogurt sauce and letting it cool in the fridge while you do the rest. Many of the same ingredients are used in the sauce so it makes your prepping easier:

1c Greek yogurt
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
Generous pinch of chopped parsley and cilantro
½ tsp cumin
1 or 2 cloves minced garlic (optional but I think garlic enhances EVERYTHING)
Salt to taste
Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

For the meatball portion of the meal, mix all the ingredients together, except the oil, using your hands. You will want to have a large plate handy so you can start forming the patties into flattened meatballs. If you are grilling, use skewers to make the grilling easier. Once the meatballs are skewered, brush with olive oil. (You can also place the meatballs in a casserole dish and bake.) Preheat your grill to high and cook each skewer 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Mmmm time to eat. Both the gluten and gluten free meatballs came out great.

They say food brings people together, but I am just hoping this meal is at least worth a visit to SF and a spot on Tim’s couch. We will miss you Tim, good luck- xo

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From Dish Jodi:

The husband was out of town this weekend, so I hosted a handful of ladies at our house. I’m a dinner party addict and have gotten the routine pretty well down. Don’t make anything that needs active attention as guests arrive, clean up the cooking and prep dishes and start the night with as spotless kitchen as possible (because it will be filled with dirty dishes and wine-glasses in a few hours), put away leftovers, but tackle the real cleaning the next morning, while hungover.

Further taking advantage of my day alone, I tried out new LA butcher shop Lindy & Grundy and though I’d called the day before to reserve my leg of lamb, they’d been so busy they hadn’t had time to prep it for me. Owners/butchers/bad-ass chicks Amelia and Erika were so attentive, they said they’d butcher it for me right then and there…so out of the walk-in came a whole lamb, and one of their apprentices hacked it up special for me, even cutting it exactly to the size that would fit in my pot. What a great way to kick off a meal.

I served the lamb with a spread of dips, grape leaves, olives and other middle-eastern inspired fare. I kept the flavors in the lamb within the same theme, but you can use rosemary, thyme, etc…any profile you want.

This dish will totally impress your friends, but is so easy – it’s the perfect dinner party trick.

1 5 or 6 lb leg of lamb (you will probably have to have the shank cut depending on the size of your pot.
Olive Oil
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 head of garlic
4 or 5 sprigs of thyme
4 or 5 sprigs of oregano
a dozen or so cardamom pods
1 T cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Smear leg of lamb with olive oil and salt and pepper all over generously.

Sear the entire leg on all sides until brown and crispy. Remove to plate.

Pour entire bottle of wine into pot and scrape up all the yummy brown bits. Break up the head of garlic and put it and the rest of the ingredients into wine.

Bring to simmer then put lamb back in, cover and put in oven for FOUR HOURS, basting occasionally.

When your guests arrive, remove lamb to platter and pull apart with spoon and fork to serve in melty piles. If you’re feeling industrious, you can strain the cooking liquid and reduce it into a sauce, but I’d rather chat with friends and eat appetizers.
Note – also makes good leftovers…

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