Thursday, October 28, 2010

Radish Quiche and Cider-Glazed Potatoes

Fall in the city can feel just a little less magical than fall in the mountains. But cooking with in season goodies like radishes, apple cider, and potatoes will bring fall to your dinner table, no matter where you are.

Radish Quiche with a side of glazed potatoes and a glass of Village White from Bet the Farm Winery.
Quiche: an elegant dish usually reserved for brunch. But why not serve it for dinner? There's no reason. The base ingredients are inexpensive just eggs, milk, and the ingredients for a pie crust. Add in whatever you have on hand that sounds good (I recommend cheese in any quiche) and you're on your way to dinner! Serve it with a salad or other side (like my cider-glazed spuds) and you've got a treat that won't ruin your weekly grocery budget. Plus, you can eat the leftovers for breakfast.

Radish Quiche
Adapted from Joy of Cooking

1 bunch cherry belle radishes
8 ounces Ivory lace cheese (can substitute havarti), cubed
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1 small yellow onion, chopped small
pinch salt
9-inch pie crust

Chop radishes, both the roots and greens, and steam for 2 or 3 minutes. Place radishes in bottom of pie crust with cheese. Whisk together other ingredients and then pour over radishes and cheese. Bake 30-40 minutes, until quiche is set and knife comes out clean.

I've been inundated with potatoes in my CSA boxes - every week I get a couple more pounds!!  It's a good thing they last awhile because even someone that loves potatoes as much as I do can't keep up with them. These potatoes taste sweet, but there's only one teaspoon of sugar in them. Other root vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes would probably do well with this glaze, too.

Cider-Glazed Potatoes
Adapted from Glazed Root Vegetables in Joy of Cooking

2 cups fingerling potatoes, cut into thick rounds
2/3 cup vegetable or light chicken stock
1/3 cup Dawson's apple cider
2 T butter
1 tsp. sugar
pinch salt

Simmer all ingredients, covered, until potatoes are tender. Uncover and stir mixture until liquid thickens to a glaze.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Pear White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pears, cinnamon, walnuts, oatmeal, and white chocolate - tastes like fall!  I adapted this recipe from my favorite parts of recipes for apple cinnamon cookies, oatmeal cookies, and chocolate chip cookies, and they're a new favorite on the first shot!

There are no pictures of these cookies because I got excited while I was making them and then forgot. And then they got eaten before I photographed the finished product. Oops. When I make them again, I'll put up pictures. Because I'm definitely making them again.

I created these for the Penn's Corner CSA Potluck a few weeks ago to celebrate the harvest and the fabulous bounty we've been receiving for weeks and weeks now and will continue to receive for about another month.

These are chewy, chunky, everything but the kitchen sink type cookies. Serve them with some mulled apple cider or a light and sweet cup of coffee for dessert, a midafternoon snack, or an accompaniment to a good book on a cool, rainy afternoon. (If you'd like a book suggestion, I recently enjoyed Liar's Club by Mary Karr who also spoke in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago. Excellent writer.)

But back to the's how you make them. :)

1 ½ c. peeled, sliced small or grated fresh pears
½ c. butter, softened
1/3 c. honey
1/3 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 c. rolled oats
½ c. walnuts, crushed into small pieces
½ c. white chocolate chips

Cream butter, sugar, and honey. Stir in egg, vanilla, and pears. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt gradually. Stir in oats, walnuts, and white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10-11 minutes. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Celebrating the 10/10/10 Global Work Party

 Today, for 10/10/10, I’m offering something a little different. Today is the Global Work Party in a collective effort to face climate change. The event is sponsored by with millions of participants worldwide. In honor of this day, I’m going to highlight ten examples of what’s in season here in the Pittsburgh, PA area along with a round-up list of recipes from around the world featuring the same foods. Maybe some of these are also in season where you’re from. If not, find out what is, cook with it, and share your results with us!

  1. Apples - My favorite food this time of year and a fantastic place to start with dessert and on home turf…after all, what could be more classically American (or maybe cliché by now) than Apple Pie? If you’re a visual learner, take a few cues from Alton Brown in his video on making a Super Apple Pie complete with Applejack in the crust. Not that ambitious? Don't worry, I don't have time either. Here's a simpler recipe from the NY Apple Association.
  1. Beets - Okay. I'll admit it. I don't love beets. But some people do and they're a nutritious superfood, so I'm going to keep trying them. Perhaps with a culinary jaunt to Eastern Europe. Pickled, pureed into soup, roasted, or raw beets are popular throughout this region. I hope to someday discover a beet soup that I like if only for the fabulous pink color that you'll get from recipes like this one for Barszcz Zabielany.
  2. Garlic - While I'm content to make batch upon batch of garlic bread, some of you might want to try something new. How about a versatile, Middle Eastern Garlic Yogurt Sauce? I'm thinking of putting it on toast to approximate garlic bread...but I hear it goes better with pita chips, as a sandwich spread, in kebabs, or as a dipping sauce for veggies and chicken.
  3. Green Beans - These Asian Green Beans will supposedly convert the vegetable-reluctant.
  4. Onions - African sweet potato pancakes get double points for using onions and another in-season ingredient (the sweet potato).
  5. Pears - While I'll be featuring my own pear cookie recipe later this week, it's not about that today. So how about trying a taste of France with Pear and Blue Cheese Tarts?
  6. Potatoes - Get a last taste of summer with Argentinian Potato Salad.
  7. Pumpkin - South African Pumpkin Fritters can be a dessert or savory side dish depending on your final adjustments.
  8. Tomatoes - It doesn't get simpler (or more delicious) than an Italian Tomato and Mozzarella Salad.
  9. Butternut squash - I'd never thought of pairing butternut squash with vanilla ice cream until I read this recipe...and now I'm desperate to find out if the compote would go well on some. Read the recipe for Doce de Abobora and share what you might serve this dish with.