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Wednesday
Jun192013

VEGGIE NAAN'WICH WITH FETA CHICKPEA MASH

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen

I worked at a deli for a short season during college. I suppose it was my first job making food for people, though I'd had a number of other jobs prior. I would go between classes and on the weekends, I liked people and the hustle of the lunch hour, and how hard could it be to whip together a sandwich? The deli was known for having these perfectly soft baguettes for sandwiches, a few of the specials were made on sliced bread, but those baguettes were why people came in. None of the sandwiches were particularly ecentric or creative, but the simple art of a good sandwich is getting the ratio of fillings correct. Here in also lies personal preference. I like lots of mustard or sauce, if there is mayo, I don't really want to see it, but I can appreciate it's moisture contribution. The owner of the deli taught me to take the rib out of the lettuce so the lettuce layer is even and consistent, and also that more filling is not always better. I agree with that. You've got to be able to get your mouth around it without a gigantic mess, especially since a number of sandwich eaters are on the go or sitting on a bench. I don't remember a lot of details about that job, or what exactly I took from it, but getting your sandwich just right is like how someone takes their coffee. Little tweaks but usually you know what you like.

This is a recent veggie sandwich that pushes beyond the sprouts, avocado, lettuce, tomato limits. It folds over like a taco, but we're going to call it a sandwich anyway. I would consider it pretty simple, especially if you opt to purchase the naan instead of make your own. There is a creamy component, almost like a rustic hummus of sorts, a crunchy, raw vegetable, a hint of acid from the onions and the bits of feta that are bold enough to make the whole naan'wich a real treat. It's tough to give exact amounts here, but the fun of a sandwich is to make it as you wish. Hugh likes his with extra sriracha, I like easy onions, triple greens. Here's to a little something different for lunch either way.

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen

VEGGIE NAAN'WICH WITH FETA CHICKPEA MASH // makes 4 sammys with a few extra naan

The chickpea mixture could be made in advance and kept covered in the fridge. If you need a GF option, I would stuff these items in a charred brown rice tortilla and just fold it in half.

// Naan //

Naan recipe adapted from Indian Simmer

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup of warm milk
1/2 cup of yogurt

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

ghee or coconut oil

Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well of flour.
Mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together.
Add the liquid slowly and combine it all together slowly until a soft dough is made. The dough should be soft and tender. If dough sticks to your hand, use little bit of oil.
Cover with damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Preheat a heavy bottomed, seasoned skillet or cast iron. Flour your work surface and knead the dough a few times, working in the minced garlic. Divide the dough into 6 to 8 pieces depending how large you'd like your sandwiches. Roll them out into a thin, oblong shape. Brush one side with water and add it to the pan, damp side down. Cook for about one minute until it browns, flip and cook the other side for another minute or two. Once lightly browned, run it over an open flame on the stove to get a few char marks. Brush the warm bread with a thin layer of ghee or coconut oil and a pinch of salt. Repeat with remaing dough. Keep covered with a dish cloth until ready to prepare the sandwiches.

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen

  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • giant handful of chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • zest and juice of one small lemon
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled sheep's milk feta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 carrots, thinly peeled with a peeler
  • 3 cups sprouts of greens of choice
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sriracha for spice, if needed

Rinse and drain the chickpeas. In a food processor, give the beans and cilantro a few quick pulses JUST to rough them up, you don't want a paste. I'm talking like 2 to 3 pulses. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the tahini, lemon juice and zest, pinch of red pepper flakes, feta, olive oil and lots of fresh ground pepper. Stir to blend. Add a tiny splash of water if it looks too dry.

Combine the onion and vinegar in a bowl with a pinch of salt and toss with your fingers to coat just to soften them a bit. Set up your space with the carrots ribbons, vinegared onions and greens. Make each sandwich with a hearty swipe of the chickpea mash, a generous layer of onions, carrots, greens. Drizzle the vegetables with a bit of olive oil and your hot sauce on the side as needed.

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen

naan sammiches . sprouted kitchen

Sunday
Jun092013

CHERRY ALMOND GALETTE

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

"Are you ready?" I asked Matt. He and I have intermittent conversations about his life. I feel like he trusts me, or at least respects me enough to tell me what's going on in his life despite us only seeing each other one or two days a week at work. As jobs go, I am the girl who goes in super shy - like, this girl is creepy-quiet shy. I observe and perceive, pick out the people I feel are reliable, good people, no drama and only then do I open up and show my colors. The sass comes through, I'll bust out my moves to Michael Jackson's Thriller when it pipes through the speakers, because I know you'll laugh (you = my trusted people). I am pleasant to everyone, but to the handful that I see will give back to me in conversation, I try to communicate that I care about them and want to hear about their story. Matt tells me about his life. Or as much as you can tell in the ten minutes here or there while we're working beside each other in a given shift. He's told me that he found the "little lady" (his words) he'd like to spend his life with, and how he now needs to figure out how to buy a ring. We talked rings, he worried a bit when someone told him the cliche, "It should be four months of your income." I told him that doesn't mean anything. Because I'm a ring whisperer? No. Because it doesn't mean anything. All I asked was if he was ready. "What?! What do I need to be ready for?!" he panicked.

I don't know that anyone can warn you for how complicated and humbling and broken and outrageously fun and sometimes dark and sharpening marriage is. Our struggles are different than what Matt and the little ladys' will be, but there will be some. It's built to be that way, the refining of ourselves by exposing weakness, building the other up, being torn down and doing it again to become better, truer, finer versions of us. Like a knife against stone, friction that yields a better product. Iron sharpening iron. Being known and loved... is it my place to prompt him of this? So, I just asked if he was ready, because really, I haven't figured it all out, but being ready or not is all you need to know. You say yes to fighting for this person. Everyday. Not how many thousands of dollars you have for a ring, my friend.

I appreciate new people, new perspective, new stories. It makes me intentional and aware about the things going on in my own life that sometimes fly by in routine.

On a completely unrelated note, this was my first time with a galette. I don't love pie crust - as a treat or making it. It's a little stressy to me. Keep all the ingredients super cold! Don't touch it too much! But I have had this on the brain for other crust loving people in my life. And because I think they look rustically gorgeous. I like the cherry and almond pairing and tried to pull that through with the extract, but it is quite subtle. Even still, I wouldn't add more because too much extract doesn't really make it taste more almond-y, it just gets sort of bitter. The crust has a gentle yield to it from the bit of yogurt but there is still a nice crunch to the edge. The vanilla ice cream is not an optional ingredient here - I can't imagine this not a la mode, then again you're getting your report from an ice cream girl, not a crust girl so I'll leave that up to you.

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

CHERRY ALMOND GALETTE // Serves 6

A dough adaptation from Smitten Kitchen 

I know the tool is only useful for a short season, but owning a cherry pitter for situations like this, fruit salad or cherry cocktails has been well worth it. I can't find the brand I own but this one has pretty good reviews. 

  • 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 Tbsp. natural cane sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 4 oz. / 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. yogurt (I used goat yogurt, use what you have)
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 3 Tbsp. ice water
  • 3 cups pitted cherries, about 1ish lbs.
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. orange juice
  • 1 Tbsp. unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup muscavado or natural cane sugar
  • 1 egg
  • splash of water
  • turbinado sugar, optional
  • 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • vanilla bean ice cream, for serving

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

In a chilled bowl, combine the all purpose flour, spelt flour, salt and sugar and stir to combine. Working quickly, work the cold butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or tips of your fingers. Smush it until the butter is the size of small peas. In a small ramekin, mix the lemon juice, yogurt, extract and water and give it a stir to combine. Add it to the flour-butter bowl with your hands or a wooden spoon until just combined, being careful not to overmix. Pat it into a bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400'. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. Halve about three quarters of the cherries, leaving some whole. Put them in a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt, orange juice, flour, nutmeg and muscavado and stir to combine.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the galette dough to a roughly 12'' circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet. Pile the cherry mixture in the center leaving a 2'' border around the circle. Fold the border towards the center, don't be afraid to pull in tight, it will settle. Pleating the dough to make it stick to each other. You don't want thick folds of dough, think more pinching. If it starts to feel room temperature, pop it back in the fridge or freezer for ten minutes.

Mix the egg and water together and brush it on the outer edges of the dough. Sprinkle it with turbinado sugar, if using. Bake the galette on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes until the edges are nice and brown. Time may vary depending on oven. Remove the galette (and parchment too if need be) to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle half of the almonds on top of the cherries. Serve each wedge with a scoop of ice cream and another sprinkle of the almonds on top.

cherry galette . sprouted kitchen

Tuesday
May282013

SALMON SKEWERS WITH CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

A bit late to the party (as I often am with these things), I'm finally reading Cheryl Strayed's Tiny Beautiful Things. It is a collection of some of her letters and responses as a then-anonymous advice columnist. This won't be the last you'll hear me mention it - I'm in love with how she writes. So frank and forward but not the least bit insensitive. Hugh refers to it as a self-help book because he sees me passionately underlining particular lines. It is not a self-help book, but somehow you feel empowered and encouraged after some of the entries, which I suppose is helping oneself. There is this one entry where she is responding to a young, struggling writer. She talks about overriding limitiations by simply producing. You must continue to work. "You will feel insecure... How much power you give those feelings is entirely up to you." I am not at home pecking away at the next great work of fiction, but giving power to feelings of insecurity, is something anyone who does anything even the least bit challenging can relate to. I think what I love about these stories, is even though none of them are mine, they make me think. My other favorite, "There is no why. You don't have a right to the cards you believe you should have been dealt. You have an obligation to play the hell out of the ones you're holding." Seriously! So good. Between not giving power to insecurity and playing your own cards, I'm repeating these lines to every friend I've been talking to lately about troubleshooting life. We're all hurting and struggling and experiencing joy and intimacy and tenderness in the scope of our days - sharing our stories makes the whole of it pretty incredible. 

So this salmon. That deep, rich, ruby color is Copper River Sockeye. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is considered one of your "best choices" as far as sustainable fish from the Marine Stewardship Council. It actually has a season which runs late spring through summer, depending on the species in particular. I've been holding onto a few salmon recipes waiting for the good stuff. I'm intrigued to try slow roasting a large filet for a dinner party and would like to do some blackened in a taco. It's rich as far as fish goes, and I know salmon isn't for everyone, but if you can get your hands on some fresh stuff this time of year, you may be persuaded. I put some chunks on a skewer and drenched it in a cool cucumber sauce. Next time I think I'll add more veggies, maybe some onion and bell pepper, to stretch them even further. I know there are only a couple salmon recipes in the archives here, so I hope this adds an idea to your healthy/easy week night dinner repetoire.

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

SALMON SKEWERS WITH CUCUMBER YOGURT SAUCE // Serves 4

I served these with a bit of quinoa that I mixed with a splash of oil, vinegar, a few chopped scallions and a basic green salad. Didn't feel a recipe was needed for those. Some rice would be nice, or even some warm toasty pita. For the sake of time, I put these under the broiler. They would be excellent on the grill, but I would just suggest using one of those top grates and oil it well as fish seems to stick to the BBQ annoyingly easily. 

I am still getting Meyer lemons from my mom's tree. If you can find them, use them here. The pith is much more pleasant to eat and they are sweeter in general. Add more vegetables or change them up according to your taste. 

  • 8 skewers
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Wild Alaskan Salmon, skinned and deboned
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 lemons, sliced very thin and seeded 
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 
  • // yogurt sauce //
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 of a large english cucumber, roughly chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup full fat greek yogurt

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

Preheat your grill or broiler. Soak the skewers in water if using wooden/bamboo ones. Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet. 

Cut the salmon into 2'' chunks, you want them similar in size to cook evenly. Slice the zucchini into thin coins. Layer your skewers with a piece of salmon, a slice of lemon (folded in half), and a chunk of zucchini. Repeat three times, depending on the size of your skewers, and lay them on the baking sheet. Repeat the process with remaining ingredients. 

In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, maple, salt, paprika, Italian herbs and red pepper flakes. Give it a little mix and brush the oil mixture liberally onto all sides of the skewered goodies. Move a rack to the upper third of the oven and broil the skewers on the sheet for about 8 minutes until the edges just begin to brown and the salmon feels barely firm. Salmon is best under opposed to overdone, so keep an eye. 

To prepare the sauce, whirl the garlic in a food processor. Add the salt, pepper, cucumber, zest and give it a few pulses to chop. Add the dill, mint and yogurt and give a few more pulses to combine. The texture should be a bit chunky. Transfer to a small bowl and serve along with the skewers and grain of choice. 

salmon kebabs . sprouted kitchen

Thursday
May232013

CORN + GOAT CHEESE PIZZA

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

With all the traveling lately, I haven't really had the chance to get excited about the produce bounty as the warm weather rolls in. I think fresh produce is just incredible. The taste, nutrition, cullinary possibilities... it fascinates me. All the berries and cherries and asparagus and big leeks have me anxious to be in kitchen. Fruits and vegetables that are delicious on their own, make the quickest of meals with a few more little steps.

We ate arepas in New York last week at this awesome little spot called Caracas. Their dough was like this corn tortilla-pita-type thing, and I attempted to mimic it in a pizza crust. I wasn't going to replicate it exactly, as some things are best left wonderful in your memory, but it turns out cornmeal adds a nice little texture difference to your everyday pizza crust. The only suggestion I'll make based on experience, is roll the dough out as thin as you possibly can. The cornmeal makes for a denser crust (maybe better with corn four? haven't tried), so paper thin helps it from overpowering the toppings. If you are playing with spring/summer vegetables that pair well with sweet corn, it's worth a shot.

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

SOUTHWEST GOAT CHEESE PIZZA // Makes one pizza

I make half of this dough recipe. For this pizza, I replaced one of the cups of flour with a whole grain cornmeal. The corn taste is pretty mild, but it makes for little crunchy nibs in the dough. You could use your favorite recipe or purchase dough from your local pizza shop. Because corn is gluten free, don't swap out any more than 1/3 of the flour quantity to ensure elasticity. 

I'm giving amounts for topping one pizza, simply double it if you're making two. 

  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche, room temperature
  • sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 charred poblano pepper*
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 packed cup baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • pinch of salt and pepper

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 500'. Prepare the dough according to instructions and set up your pizza stone or parchment line a baking sheet.

Collect all of your topppings together. Roll the dough out super thin, about 1/8'' (if you use corn meal, thin as you possibly can!). Transfer the dough to your parchment lined sheet.

Spread the creme fraiche across the top. Sprinkle a bit of smoked paprika on top (chipotle powder works too if you like it spicy). Distribute half the goat cheese, the poblanos, shallots, corn and the rest of the goat cheese. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 12-15 minutes until the top browns in parts. Turn the oven to broil and cook another minute.

Remove the pizza to cool. In a bowl, combine the baby arugula, cilantro, oil, lime juice, and pinch of salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat. Top the pizza with the greens and cut as you wish.

* To char the peppers, set them over an open flame on the stove, or a grill. Char all sides well. Remove the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow them to steam for at least ten minutes, this makes the skin easier to peel. Once they are cool enough to touch, rub off the charred skin. Discard the stem and seeds and chop into small pieces.

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

southwest goat cheese pizza . sprouted kitchen

Tuesday
May142013

MAPLED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

It was my birthday earlier this week. It was smushed in between two trips to New York (Hugh has a wedding in Brooklyn this weekend), just after Mother's Day, the same week as my nieces birthday and nearly every female on my mom's side. I worked at Trader's most of the day and we had an excellent dinner in LA at Baco Mercat. I didn't need a bunch of celebration this year, there has been plenty going on and I just wanted to take account for the last 29 years. It kind of snuck up on me. My "twenties" have been abundant in experience - so many milestones and lessons and challenges and rewards and love and growth have been a part of this decade. I know I still have a year left, and not for a second do I believe my life is dramatically changing at the turn of a number, but still, there's only one year left! It has been so quick - but not - and somehow completely sufficient. I probably say this every birthday, but time fascinates me. How change is so sweeping in retrospect, but most of the time, you don't even notice the evolution of it.

These cookies actually don't have the slightest thing to do with my birthday but they need to be shared and we are celebrating. Ashley makes incredible cookies, and when I want to play around with a cookie combination or in this case, add something for my maple-loving husband, I use her recipe as a base and go from there. You really must try the original, but with the little bits of oats, tenderness from almond meal and the gentlest nudge of maple, I think I am calling this the "house cookie." I picked up some Valrhona feves, saving them for cooking glory, and they make the most gorgeous streaks through the cookies once baked. If you do try them, and even if you make a change of your own, just stay close to the oven. There is a time and place for a crispy cookie, but these babes are best consumed warm and just barely underdone.

PS. If you are in New York City this weekend, we will be at Posman Books in Chelsea Market on Sunday around 1pm signing cookbooks. It isn't an organized event, but we're signing their stock while in town so stop by and say hi if you'd like!

MAPLED CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES // Makes 18 small cookies

An adaptation of Not Without Salt's Almond Chocolate Chip Flax Cookies

Don't going searching high and low for chocolate feves, but I will say that they melt gorgeously in the dough. A chopped up bar of good-quality chocolate should work too.

If you need the cookies to be free of the glutens, a GF blend will work in place of the ww flour. Ashley's original gives you the option without the egg. I know maple extract isn't a pantry staple, but it's pretty fantastic and makes these cookies have a carmely-maple hint. This batch was made with maple flakes as well if you prefer a crunchy bit along with or instead of extract.

  • 1 stick/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. maple extract
  • 3 T. maple flakes (optional)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal
  • heaping 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips/chopped chocolate

Heat the oven to 350'.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg, sea salt, vanilla and maple extracts and mix again to combine well.

In another bowl, mix the almond meal, oats, white whole wheat flour, pinch of cinnamon and baking soda together. Add the dry to the wet mixture and stir until almost combined, being careful not to overmix. Add the chopped chocolate and give it one more stir to combine. Allow the mixture to chill for at least 20 minutes, or covered overnight. 

Place your cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet or silpat, leaving space between for them to spread. Bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating pan halfway through, until the centers are barely set. They will appear underdone, this is good. Allow them to cool and enjoy. 

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