Beef Burgers with Cabernet Onion Jam

image

Serving Size  : 4    
 
1         tablespoon  butter
3         cups  very thinly sliced red onion (from 2 medium red onions)
2         tablespoons  coconut date sugar
3/4     teaspoon  salt — divided
2/3     cup  Cabernet Sauvignon wine
1         tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
2         pounds  lean ground beef
1/2     teaspoon  salt
1/4     teaspoon  black pepper

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft, about 15 minutes. Add the wine and vinegar and cook until the liquid is nearly gone, 12 to 14 minutes longer (25 to 30 minutes total). Cover and set aside

Mix the beef, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper with a fork; form into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Press your thumb in the center of each burger to form an indentation. Grill the patties 4 to 5 minutes, turn and grill another 4 minutes, and top with the cheese. Cook until the cheese is melted and the burger is cooked to desired degree of doneness (160° for medium).

Top burger with the onion jam.


The Spiralizer: Why Your Next Bowl of Pasta Just Might Not Be Pasta at All

The Spiralizer: Why Your Next Bowl of Pasta Just Might Not Be Pasta at All photoimage

Credit: Nick Hopper

I rarely advertise, but I LOVE this product!  I have been cutting zucchini “noodles’ by hand with a knife for years, this makes it SO quick and easy!

A knife, with a little practice can do all the things a mandoline can do- 

$29.97 on Amazon- Spiralizer

From Bon Appetit

MARCH 2, 2015 /

WRITTEN BY ROCHELLE BILOW

We love traditional pasta, but lately we’ve noticed a new breed of noodles. We’re not talking about rice, corn, or quinoa spaghetti—we’re talking about spiralized vegetables. The spiralizer is an inexpensive tool (one of the most popular brands retails for $39.95) that turns fresh veggies into faux-noodles (zoodles, if you will, but we won’t). It isn’t just for the carb-averse; everyone from home cooks to restaurant chefs are spiralizing.

Most models are about the size of a large toaster and function like a giant pencil sharpener. A firm, peeled veggie is held in place with a clamp over the grinder, and as the vegetable disappears into the hold, the cook uses a hand crank to make the gears work. The result is a pile of extra-long, gently curled ribbons. Interesting, but what makes this tool so great?

The Spiralizer Is a Chef’s Best Friend
Restaurant chefs, who have mountains of chopping and slicing to slog through, have a lot to love in the spiralizer. Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of the vegetarian restaurant Dirt Candy in New York City, first encountered the tool when working at an all-raw restaurant. “It made some boring jobs a lot easier,” she explains. Dirt Candy now frequently serves spiralized vegetables (using the Benriner and Kaiten models). Chef Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene‘s in Portland, first began using aTsumakirikun spiralizer because, “I wanted a way to make perfect consistent cuts of pumpkin for a salad.” The more commonplace mandoline slicer performs the same task, but the spiralizer produces prettier results.

Jonah Miller, chef and owner of Huertas, also in NYC, just may be the tool’s biggest fan. “I think we use it more than any other restaurant in the city,” he says, adding that they used their spiralizer so much, they added a drill function to cut down on the manual cranking.

But it’s not just about the functionality. Says Cohen: ”People are conditioned to be dismissive about vegetables so you kind of have to sneak up on them and surprise them…in ways they aren’t anticipating.” For a culture of eaters who grew up with meat as the star of the show and vegetables playing second fiddle, eating a veggie-forward meal can be a radical change.

The most spiralized vegetable at Huertas is the potato in huevos rotos, a dish that’s typically prepared with hunks of potato fried in olive oil. It’s delicious but, according to Miller, too greasy to be texturally great. Instead, at Huertas, long strands of potato get flash-fried for 8 to 10 seconds. They have the texture of al dente pasta with no excessive grease. Also, Miller explains, “The experience of twirling a vegetable around your fork, and taking a big bite is so much more enjoyable than a small mouthful.”

Produce ‘Pasta’ Is Gluten-Free, Carb-Free, and Grain-Free (But Not Flavor-Free)
If you don’t eat grains you’re inevitably going to run into a frustrating dilemma: What to cook when you miss pasta? Ali Maffucci, the author of the blog Inspiralized and the cookbook Inspiralized, began sharing spiralized recipes on her blog in June 2013. Her Italian-American heritage and love of pasta clashed with her quest for a healthier, slimmer lifestyle. She began by substituting spiralized vegetables for noodles, and now uses them for salads, casseroles, and even “rice” (she uses a food processor to pulverize the spiralized veggies).

Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, of the UK-based blog and clean-eating lifestyle brand Hemsley + Hemsley avoid all grains. Bored with the texture of peeled vegetables, they purchased a spiralizer and began experimenting. It’s now a main feature of their blog and cookbook.

It’s a Sneaky Way to Eat More Veggies
Spiralizing advocates argue that the technique makes it easier to get your daily fill of vegetables. But if you’re going to eat a sweet potato, why spiralize it when you could just as easily chop it? In an email toBA, Melissa Hemsley explains, “It’s a way to eat some vegetables…that you may not have tried beforehand.”

Maffucci likes her spiralizer because it creates volume seemingly out of thin air. One carrot can turn out cups of spiralized ribbons, tricking the eater into thinking they’re consuming more without the penalty of added calories. Says Maffucci, “You’re like ‘I’m eating something pretty and twirly, and there’s so much of it!” She adds that veggie noodles don’t feel like diet food. “[Eating spiralized vegetables] is a better experience than saying, ‘I have to eat a salad.’”

…Okay, But How Does It Taste?
“I still love pasta,” says Maffucci, who doesn’t keep grain-based noodles in the house. And, “No, [spiralized vegetables] don’t taste ‘the same’ as pasta.” But, she continues, a bowl of plain pasta is nothing spectacular on its own, either: What makes it shine are the toppings: Add meat, cheese, and a sauce to anything, and you’ve got a tasty dinner. Delicious as they are, vegetables are so texturally different from grains that you’ll never really trick yourself into thinking they’re pasta.

But maybe, suggest the Hemsley sisters, that’s not the point: Because they don’t eat any grains, they’re not trying to replace or mimic them. “For us, noodle and pasta dishes are all about the sauces, and spiralized vegetables provide a tasty, nourishing base.”

Says Maffucci, “Look, nothing will ever be as delicious as a buttery bowl of pasta. But this is pretty great.”


How to Make Rice Vinegar

I make many fermented products;  Kombucha tea, coconut milk yogurt, beet kvass.  They are very inexpensive to make from ingredients most of us have in our kitchens.  And I am not buying packaging!

Rice Vinegar

4 cups organic long grain white rice
10 cups water
6 cups white sugar
½ teaspoon yeast
2 egg whites

1) Place white rice in a mixing bowl and soak them in water for about 4 hours. Cover the mixing bowl. After 4 hours, strain the rice using the clean cloth and leave the water in the mixing bowl. Refrigerate the water overnight to let it set.

2) Prepare the mixture. The next day, measure the rice water that you prepared. For every cup that you have, add ¾ cup of the white sugar to the rice water. Mix the sugar in the water well until the granules have completely dissolved.

3) Cook the mixture. Prepare your double boiler and cook the rice water and sugar mixture. This should take only about 20 minutes. Afterward, let the mixture cool. When it is cool enough, transfer the mixture into a glass container.

4) Add the yeast. For every 4 cups of the mixture that you have, add a quarter of a tablespoon of yeast. Mix it well with the other ingredients.

5) Ferment the mixture. Now you have to allow the mixture to ferment so that you can have rice vinegar. This takes about a 5 days to a week. Check the mixture to see if there are still bubbles. When the bubbles are gone, the mixture is ready.

6) Finish fermentation. You need to ferment the mixture for a second time. Before doing this, transfer the mixture into another glass container and allow it to ferment for another 4 weeks. The time for the second fermentation varies according to your taste.

7) Store the rice vinegar. When the rice vinegar is ready, strain the contents using a clean cloth and then allow it to boil again in your double boiler. The mixture may be a bit cloudy. If you want the mixture to be clear, beat in 2 egg whites for every 4 cups of the mixture before you reheat it in the double boiler.


Spinach Timbales

                     
Serves 4

3        tablespoons  butter
1        pound  tightly packed spinach leaves
          Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2        cups  chopped leeks
2        whole  eggs
1/3    cup  coconut cream
1/4    teaspoon  freshly grated nutmeg

1)  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2)  Steam spinach until well wilted but still bright green.   Drain and push moisture out of spinach.  Cut up with scissors well.

3) Saute leeks, salt and pepper, and cook, in butter, stirring for 3 or 4 minutes. the leeks, and cook over high heat, stirring, until the leeks are wilted.

4)  In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, cream and nutmeg, and beat well with a whisk.

Grease four aluminum molds ( 1/3-cup capacity) with the remaining butter. Distribute the leak, spinach and mushroom mixture evenly in the molds. Place them in a deep skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the molds. Add warm water around the molds to about 1/2-inch depth; then, cover them with aluminum foil.

Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and keep warm. To serve, unmold onto the plates holding the roast duck.