A fine pickle

Today’s milestone was our first Facebook Live cooking class, and I made pickles! The late summer bounty has farmers markets bursting at the seams. For a foodie like me, August is a little like Christmas. I look forward to fresh local produce all year, and then BOOM – it’s here and gone in a swallow.

Pickling can extend that feeling at least a month or a year, if you want to go all out and preserve your pickles. But today, we went the quick, easy and delicious in the blink of an eye route. Pickling is easy and flexible. When I was testing my recipes, I didn’t have enough of one vinegar – so I used four different ones to make the first batch of dill pickle chips, and they were delicious. You can also use either one of these brines to pickle onions, squash, beans – really any kind of veggie, and even fruits!

Ingredients

Cucumbers, thickly sliced, enough to fill two pint jars

1 C. water

¾ C. vomFASS White Balsamic

¼ C. vomFASS Sherry Reserva Vinegar

1 T. kosher salt

1 T. vomFASS Game Mix/Pickling seasoning

1 sliced jalapeno pepper

2 medium cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

2-4 heads of fresh dill

Directions

Add dill, garlic and cucumber slices in a bowl that just fits them or two pint jars. Heat water, vinegar, salt, and seasoning in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Immediately pour brine over cucumbers. Cover bowl or jars. Wait at least 30 minutes before serving. Pickles can be stored in their brine in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Cauliflower Pickles

Ingredients

1 T. vomFASS Game Mix/Pickling Spice

1/2 tsp. Viola’s cumin seeds

1 C vomFASS Apple Balsamic Vinegar

1 C. vomFASS Ginger Grape Lemon Balsamic Vinegar

1 C. water

5 medium cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled

One-half small yellow onion, julienned

1 T. Sugar or Stevia crystals

2 T. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. Viola’s ground turmeric

One-half head cauliflower, cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch florets (about 4 cups)

5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick on the diagonal (about 2 cups)

One-half red bell pepper, cut into strips (about 1 cup)

2 fresh jalapeno peppers, cut into strips

Directions

Pack the cauliflower, carrots, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers and onions in a 2-qt. heat-resistant glass bowl with lid or in clean canning jar(s).

Put the pickling spice and cumin in a saucepan and toast the spices over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 2 minutes. Add the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, salt, and turmeric to the toasted spices. Bring to a boil.

Pour the hot brine over the vegetables. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to a month.

For canned pickles:

Pack the vegetables into clean pint jars. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. If you have extra brine, strain it and distribute the solids among the jars. Wipe the jars’ lids with a damp cloth before putting on the lids. Secure the lids with screw bands tightened by hand.  Process for 10 minutes, following the instructions in this “Canning Basics” guide. Store the pickles for at least 2 but preferably 7 days or longer before opening. Refrigerate after opening.

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Mediterranean Lifestyle: Whole Grains Cooking Class Recipes

Farro Arugula Salad

6 servings

Ingredientsminnesota-food-vom-fass-mall-of-america-cooking-class-1.jpg

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Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Add farro and broth to a pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to Farro and arugula saladmedium and simmer for 30 minutes. When farro is al dente, drain and rinse with cold water, then drain well. While farro is cooking, toast hazelnuts on a sheet pan for about 10 minutes, or until brown skins start cracking. Watch carefully to prevent over-toasting. Cool, then rub hazelnuts between your hands to remove brown skins. Chop slightly. Mix vinegar, olive oil and maple syrup with salt and pepper. Whisk or shake until combined. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.

Greek Quinoa Saladminnesota-food-vom-fass-mall-of-america-cooking-class-2.jpg

6 servings

Ingredients

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DirectionsMinnesota Food vom Fass Mall of America Cooking Class Quinoa Salad

Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. Let quinoa cool to room temperature or refrigerate to use later. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, and feta cheese.

To make the dressing, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, and Greek Mix in a small bowl. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Mango Sorbet with Pineapple Curry Oatmeal Topping

Serves 8

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, combine oats, butter, olive oil, sugar, salt and curry. Spread on a sheet pan and toast for a few minutes in oven. Remove from oven and cool. Scoop ¼ cup servings of sorbet into serving dishes. Top with cooled crumble and drizzle with Plum Balsamic.

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Easy, Delicious, Healthy Meals

One of our most popular classes is when we feature exciting new pizza / flatbread recipes. We create new recipes for each class that explore different cultures, healthy ingredients and surprising flavors. For example:

Spanish Coca Serves 2 – 4IMG_1521

Ingredients
1 C. boiling water              ½ C. raisins
½ C. walnut halves            1 small bunch Swiss chard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large pizza crust (gluten free, if desired)
4 T. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste
vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Famiglia, Red Pepper EVOO, or Truffle EVOO for drizzling

Directions
Pour water over raisins and let stand 15 minutes. Drain. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant and lightly golden, about 7 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove stems from chard, wash, and spin dry. Heat half of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add garlic and stir for 5 seconds. Add the Swiss chard and raisins. Sauté, tossing occasionally with tongs, until wilted, about 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Place greens on crust. Top with the walnuts and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Slide pizza onto stone and bake until toppings are hot and crust is browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove coca from oven and cut into wedges. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Drizzle with balsamic or olive oil, to taste.

Pear and Pomegranate Salad Serves 6Minnesota Food Salad vomFASS Mall of America

Ingredients
1 lb mixed salad greens or baby spinach
2 ripe pears, sliced
4 T. chopped walnuts
½ C. gorgonzola, goat or feta cheese, crumbled
4 T. vomFASS Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
4 T. vomFASS Walnut Oil
vomFASS Sea Salt and Pepper

Directions
Divide salad greens onto individual serving plates.  Arrange a pear slices on greens.  Sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.  Drizzle over salads.  Serve immediately.

Chili Mango Shrimp Cilantro Pesto Pizza Serves 2 – 4Minnesota Food Cooking Class vomFASS Mall of America image

Ingredients
Mango Shrimp
8 – 12 medium sized raw shrimp, skins, tails and veins removed
2 T. vomFASS Chili Sunflower Oil (may substitute Lemon EVOO for all or part of Chili Oil for less spicy)
1 T. vomFASS Mango Balsamic Star
1 clove minced garlic
½ t. vomFASS Chili con Carne spice blend
vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste

Cilantro Pesto
3/4 C. fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 C. parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped           2 T. pine nuts
¼ C. Cheese Bros. Parmesan, grated      ½ C. vomFASS Don Carlos Extra Virgin Olive Oil
½ t. vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt      vomFASS Peppercorn Mix

Directions
Mango Shrimp
Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper in a glass bowl or zip top bag. Add shrimp and marinate 15 – 20 minutes; no longer, as shrimp will break down in acidity. Empty shrimp and marinade into hot pan. Toss just until cooked through. Finish with additional sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Cilantro Pesto
Add greens, garlic and nuts to food processor. Process until chopped. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Stir in Parmesan.

Pizza
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spread pesto mixture onto crust. Top with Shrimp. Bake until toppings are hot and crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes.

 

 

 

It’s Chili Season!

When the temperature drops below freezing, I turn to one of my favorite types of meals – soup. This classic Chili con Carne recipe is so simple and quick – not to mention delicious! Easy to convert to vegetarian/vegan – just eliminate or replace the meat with a vegan substitute and leave off the cheese garnish or use a vegan cheese. And if you’re cooking for only two, the leftovers are even better the next day! Enjoy!

Classic Chili – Serves 4

1/2 pound ground beef or turkeychili.jpg
1 medium onion, diced
1 can red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
3 C. tomato juice (I used 3 cups of a jarred spaghetti sauce that I deemed too thin to use as a pasta sauce)
1 T vomFASS Chili con Carne spice blend (or more, to taste)
vomFASS Sea Salt and Peppercorn Mix, ground, to taste
Shredded cheese, sour cream or other toppings for garnish and flavor.

Brown the meat over medium heat, breaking up into crumbles with spoon as you stir. If using turkey or very lean beef, coat the pan with chili sunflower oil and preheat pan before adding meat.  If there is a lot of excess fat in the pan after browning meat, drain it off. Add the remaining ingredients (I did not drain and rinse the beans). Heat over medium-high heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes to bloom flavors. Dish up and enjoy!