Monday, April 30, 2012

Beet Burgers!

Beet, Rice and Goat Cheese Burgers!

This recipe is from Martha Rose Shulman.

Click HERE for the original recipe from the NY Times.

We made a huge batch of these at my work place.  About 144 total.  Make sure to finely grate the beets and we had to add rice flour because the mix was too wet.  We also grilled both sides of the burgers and then put them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes to finish off cooking.  The grilling of both sides helps with the flavor.  We got a note from one of the eaters that we had a sense of humor in our vegetarian kitchen to make these meat-like red burgers.  If you look at the ones on the grill, they kind of look like raw beef.  Also, using gloves helps to keep the hands from completely turning red.  If you don't use gloves, you can remove some of the red on your hands with a slurry of salt and lemon juice.

Happy Cooking!

Max Swanger

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Leek and Potato Tart

Here is a recipe from my cooking mentor Chef Denis Lambert:

And a picture of us playing around, or at least I was...

Leek and Potato Tart


1 1/4 lb butter, cut in chunks
3 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup cornmeal
2 tsp salt
3 oz (about 1/3 cup) parmesan
2 tsp dried thyme leaves


6 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup half-n-half
2 cup ricotta cheese
1 2/3 lb yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8th" thick
1 2/3 lb leeks
1/3 bunch fresh thyme
2/3 lb swiss cheese, grated 

For the Crust:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

2. Using the Food Processor, prepare the crust by adding all ingredients (except for parmesan cheese). Process just until the mixture resembles coarse sand. Be careful not to over process as this will make the mixture difficult to spread. Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture and set aside.

3. Spread the mixture evenly onto a 12"x18" rimmed half-sheet pan. Using an offset spatula, press down on the mixture to create a compact crust. Using the spatula, bevel the edges.

4. Pre-bake the crust in the oven for 10-15 minutes until it is a light golden color.

For the Filling:

1. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, the ricotta cheese, the half-n-half and the swiss cheese.

2. Steam the potatoes until just soft and spread evenly on the crust, overlapping the slices if necessary.

3. Saute the leeks until they are soft but not  browned, then add to the egg/ricotta  mixture.

4. Roughly chop the fresh thyme and add to the mixture.

Completing the tart:

1. Combine the  parmesan with the reserved 3/4 cup of crust to make the topping.

2. Spread the filling evenly onto the half-sheet pan/crust. Leave a small edge of crust showing all around.

3. Sprinkle with topping and bake in pre-heated oven for 35-45 minutes, filling should have puffed up nicely and the top should be golden brown.

4. Allow the tart to rest for a few minutes then cut  into 12 generous portions (3x4) or 20 smaller portions (4x5).

Servings: 12

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

These days many people are gluten-free, so I'm very happy to present this recipe from Dianne Kerwin.  She and I worked together at a Meditation Center.  Here is a picture of us mucking about with cabbage:

From Dianne:

I like finding gluten-free dessert recipes that use simple ingredients. These cookies can be made with different kinds of nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew,...) and with different types of sugars (white or brown cane, palm, maple...). I think the cookies would be fun with chocolate chips in them (though I have not tried it yet)!

Gluten-free peanut butter cookies
Makes 20 small cookies

1 cup natural creamy peanut butter, or other nut butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla, optional
extra sugar for rolling, optional

Preheat the oven to 350°.
Cream the peanut butter and sugar in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Beat in the baking soda. Beat in the egg, and vanilla if using. Mix until it is all well combined.
Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball. Roll the ball in sugar and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press a fork into the top of the cookies and flatten slightly. 
Bake for about 10 minutes. The cookies are done when they look more matte and slightly cracked, but still a little soft. Treat them gently.

Dianne freelances as a bicycle-powered chef in Berkeley, CA.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Blog Title and URL changed

Hi everyone.  I've changed the blog to be my own cooking blog and not be associated with any organization.  Thank you.  Max

Monday, April 9, 2012

Roasted Beets, Fennel, Orange and Rocket Salad

Here is our first recipe.  It is a Roasted Beet Salad with Sliced Fennel, Oranges and Rocket (Arugula). I've scaled it down to serve 4-6, but I haven't tested it at this quantity, but I'm pretty sure it will work.  Thank you, and happy cooking.  Love, Max

Roasted Beets, Fennel, Orange and Rocket Salad

garlic, chopped 
lemon juice
red-wine vinegar
parsley chopped, reserve 1 tsp. for garnish
Dijon mustard
olive oil
beets, roasted, peeled and large dice
fennel, save some fronds for garnish
fennel seeds. toasted
oranges or tangerines, pealed in sections
a few
rocket, (arugula)

1    Roast beets in a tightly foil covered pan with a 1/2 inch water at 350 degrees until done. Time   varies depending on size.  Check with a fork after half an hour.  May take an hour.

2    Meanwhile make dressing by blending first seven ingredients and slowly pour in olive oil in blender on high speed to emulsify.

3    When beets are done (soft in center), peel with a dish towel and chop into a large dice.

4    Remove tops and cores of Fennel and then cut thin, cross-wise. You can use a mandoline if you want really thin slices.

5    Toss beets and fennel separately in some dressing. This can be done an hour in advance. Reserve some for rocket.

6    20 minutes before eating, lightly dress rocket and make an outer ring on a platter. Next ring in will be fennel, and then scoop beets in very middle. Decorate with orange slices.

7    Sprinkle beets with toasted fennel seeds. Sprinkle parsley on sliced fennel.  Season with salt and pepper.

-Max Swanger, April 2012