Summer Harvest Menu #1

My favorite foodie time of year has arrived – summer harvest! It’s the perfect time to explore new easy, delicious and healthy veggie dishes. It’s also a great time to host a laid-back, al fresco dinner party for all the friends you’ve been meaning to connect with this summer. The recipes from our EDH Meals cooking class this week are great additions to a late summer party menu!

Baba Ghannooj Serves 8eggplant
(Inspired by Barbara Stafford’s Eclectic Entertaining cookbook.) 

Ingredients 

2 large eggplants
1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
4 t. minced roasted garlic
2 T. vomFASS Sesame Oil
¼ C. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
2 t. vomFASS Asia Tandoori spice blend
1 t. vomFASS Himalayan Sea Salt
Parsley, cilantro or diced tomatoes for garnish
Pita bread, corn chips and/or veggies for dipping, such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, cucumber, zucchini, bell peppers.

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake eggplant about 40 minutes until soft. Cool, peel, cube. Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Taste and adjust salt, as needed. Serve at room temp with crackers, pita bread or veggies.

Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette Serves 6 – 8
(Inspired by Kelly Nixon’s recipe on The Cooking Channel

Ingredients

Charred corn salad Minnesota Food vomFASS Mall of America
Photo credit: The Cooking Channel

6 – 8 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
1 small red onion, diced
1 ½ C. packed fresh basil leaves
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. vomFASS Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil
vomFASS Danish Smoked Sea Salt
and Peppercorn Mix
¼ C. vomFASS Apple Balsamic Vinegar
¼ C. vomFASS Pepone Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 (10-ounce) container small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions

Preheat grill to 450 degrees. Brush or rub each cob with Sunflower Oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the corn on the hot grill and char each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set corn aside until cool enough to handle. Stand each ear up, stalk end down, in a wide, shallow bowl and, using your knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. In a food processor, add the basil and garlic and pulse until the basil starts to break down. Add the vinegar. Continue pulsing while adding the oil in a steady stream and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, combine corn, tomatoes and onion. Drizzle the vinaigrette over salad and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Roasted Vegetable Medley Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

5 cups assorted vegetables, cut into bite sized pieces, such as:
Broccoli, Cauliflower and carrots OR
Zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper and onion
vomFASS Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
vomFASS Argentina BBQ spice blend, to taste
vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Famiglia

Directions

Place vegetables in large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Spread onto baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with seasonings.  Roast at 450 degrees until tender-crisp (10 minutes for porous veggies, up to 20 minutes for more dense veggies). Add more salt and pepper to taste.

Tapas – vomFASS style Serves 6 – 8

Ingredients

Corn tortillas
vomFASS Porcini Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or your choice)
1 – 2 Avocados
Cheese of choice, shredded or crumbled (optional)
Baba Ghannooj or hummus, roasted veggies, charred corn salad, shredded pork or chicken, or steak strips (ask about marinating ideas!)tapas Minnesota food vomFASS Mall of America

Directions

Heat corn tortillas on grill or in oven or microwave. Keep warm bet ween two plates or other covered dish. Top with Baba Ghannooj, roasted veggies, Charred Corn Salad, cheese and/or toppings of choice. Add seasonings to taste: Sea Salt, Pepper, Asia Tandoori, Argentina BBQ, etc.

Honey Balsamic Pears with Walnut Oil and Gorgonzola Serves 4

Ingredients

2 pears, halved and cored
¼ C. vomFASS Pepone EVOO
¼ C. vomFASS Honey Balsamic Star
¼ C. vomFASS Walnut Oil
2 T. Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles
1 t. vomFASS Chai Masala

Directions

Place pears and Chai Masala on a pan, brush with olive oil. Grill, cut side down, for 4 – 5honey balsamic pears recipe Minnesota food vomFASS Mall of America minutes. Turn and grill another 3 – 4 minutes. Remove pears from heat and place on serving dishes. Add gorgonzola, drizzle with Honey Balsamic Star and Walnut Oil.

Alternative for a crowd: cut pears into large cubes. Combine pears, olive oil, vinegar and Chai Masala in bowl. Place on a pan and grill or roast until tender crisp. Transfer pears and juices to serving bowl and toss with Walnut Oil and Gorgonzola. Dish up in dessert bowls or cups.

Wine pairing recommendations: Tempranillo, Chianti or Lambrusco, all available at vomFASS at Mall of America.

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!

Squash – Autumn’s Culinary Star

Pick the orange squash most readily available to you, and make it the center of your fall and winter menu planning! Acorn, butternut, pumpkin – all relatively inexpensive, plentiful, loaded with Vitamins A & C, and delicious in so many different ways. You can buy it whole, at the farmer’s market or grocery store to peel and cube yourself, or take a shortcut and buy it already cubed.

We loved this pasta dish I threw together yesterday for a potluck with friends.img_9598

Fall Pasta

Ingredients
2 lbs cubed squash (butternut, acorn or pumpkin)
2 T. vomFASS Herb Garlic Sunflower Oil
2 t. vomFASS Bruschetta alla Toscana spice blend
1/2 t. vomFASS Peppercorn Mix
1 Box pasta (I used gluten free rotini)
1 T. vomFASS Rosemary Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 T. toasted pine nuts
Finely grated parmesan cheese

Directions
Toss squash in sunflower oil and spices. Roast in a 400 degree oven on a baking sheet for 20 – 30 minutes, stirring about halfway through roasting time.  Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta and toss with Rosemary EVOO. Add roasted squash, pine nuts and adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with parmesan.

Lots of easy flavor variations, simply using different vomFASS spice blends and oils.

Vegetarian, as described. Easy to make gluten free by using GF pasta. Easy to make vegan by using egg-free pasta and deleting or replacing parmesan with a vegan substitute.

 

 

Fall party recipes

Thanks to my friend and vomFASS colleague Melissa B, owner of vomFASS Des Moines, for the inspiration for these fun recipes for witches, goblins and scary clowns. Well maybe not scary clowns! I think they were axed from the season this year. I won’t miss them at my party, will you? 🙂

Morgue-a-rita – 1 serving

1/2 oz vomFASS Mango Balsam Vinegar
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz vomFASS Passion Fruit simple syrup
1 oz Tequila
1 oz vomFASS Blood Orangecello
vomFASS Basil Citrus Sea Salt, for rimming glass.
vomFASS Grenadine for goulish garnish.

Mix ingredients in a shaker and serve on the rocks, in a salt rimmed glass, and garnish by dripping grenadine down sides of glass. This recipe is easy to multiple in a batch for a crowd.

Ghostly Guacamole! Serves 4 – 6 mango_guacamole_rs

2 ripe avocados
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 Tbsp fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Tomato, diced
1 Jalapeno Pepper, finely minced
2 Tbsp vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
1/8 tsp cumin
vomFASS sea salt and Peppercorn Mix, to taste

Slice avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop avocado into medium bowl and coarsely smash with a fork, leaving some chunks. Add remaining ingredients to bowl, stirring gently to incorporate.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately or chill for up to 1 hour with plastic wrap placed directly on top to seal out air.

Deadly Delicious Pumpkin Soup Serves 4 – 6pumpkinOilonSoup.png

1/2 Medium Onion, diced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
3 slices Bacon, minced
3  Anchovies (optional)
2 T vomFASS Chili Oil
1 small Pie Pumpkin (3-4#)
2 Mangoes
1/4 cup vomFASS Mango Balsam Vinegar
4 cup Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 T. vomFASS African Rub Seasoning
vomFASS Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T vomFASS Styrian Pumpkin Seed Oil

Halve and seed the pumpkin. Place cut side down on a baking sheet with 1/4c water and place into a preheated 400° F oven. Cook the pumpkin for 40 -45 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. In a 2 qt pot over medium heat add the chili oil, anchovies, bacon, garlic, and onion. Sautee until the onions are translucent. Peel, seed and dice the mangoes. Add the mangoes and African Rub seasoning to the pot. Continue to cook stirring occasionally until the bacon gets slightly crisp. Remove from the heat and add the Mango Balsam Vinegar. In a food processor place the peeled roasted pumpkin, the contents of the 2 qt pot, and 1 cup of stock. Puree until smooth., add more stock as needed. Return the mixture to the pot and place over medium heat. Adjust the consistency to taste with the stock, then season with salt and pepper. When serving the soup, drizzle a small amount of Styrian Pumpkin Seed oil over the top.

Calamansi Fish Tacos

Serves 4 (2 tacos each)

Salsa Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh orange, peeled and segmentedfish-taco
  • 1/2 pound avocados, peeled, pitted
  • 1 T. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • crushed red pepper flakes to taste
  • vomFASS Basil Citrus Salt, to taste

Fish ingredients

  • 4 cod fillets (or other mild, firm white fish)
  • 4 tablespoons vomFASS olive oil
  • ½ t. vomFASS Orange-Pepper seasoning, or to taste
  • 1 T. vomFASS Calamansi Balsam Vinegar
  • ¼ t. vomFASS Basil Citrus Salt, or to taste

Condiment ingredients

  • ½ C. plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
  • 2 T. vomFASS Fig Balsamic Star

Other ingredients

  • 16 Corn tortillas (6 inch)

Directions

  1. Prepare salsa: cut oranges and avocados into 1/2 inch chunks. Combine with Calamansi Balsam Vinegar, onions and cilantro in bowl. Add pepper flakes and salt to taste. Set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Prepare condiment: Stir Fig Balsamic Star into yogurt or sour cream. Set aside.
  3. Season fish with olive oil and orange-pepper. Saute, broil or grill. Sprinkle fillets with Calamansi Balsam Vinegar and Basic Citrus Sea Salt. Break fish into chunks and stir.
  4. Warm tortillas in aluminum foil on grill or oven, or between two plates in a microwave.
  5. Spread corn tortilla with a light layer of condiment. Spoon fish and salsa onto a double layer of tortillas. Fold over and serve.

Wine pairing suggestion: Riesling, Moscato,  Gewurztraminer if you like a lightly sweet wine with your spicy citrus flavor profile. Otherwise a nice Pinot Gris would be great. 

Simply sophisticated basil pesto

Pesto pasta always seemed so much more exotic to me than a red sauce, or even Alfredo. When I finally decided to make it myself, I was amazed at how easy it is! If you have a mountain of basil to use or freeze before Mother Nature nips it with frost – or if you have a great farmer’s market or local grocery that can supply it, I encourage you to make a batch to eat immediately, and another one or two for freezing.

Pesto pasta is one of my granddaughter Olivia’s favorite meals, and she’s asked me to img_9206make it for her birthday the past few years. Now she knows how to make it too!

Basil Pesto

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts or walnuts
2/3 cup vomFASS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
vomFASS Pyramid Sea Salt and freshly ground Peppecorn Mix, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Very briefly blanch the fresh basil in very hot water to set the bright green color (thanks for the tip, Splendid Table!) Dry the basil in a salad spinner or on paper towels. Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the olive oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese. If you are using it on pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of hot pasta water and add to pesto to melt cheese and liquify enough to easily coat the pasta. Add pasta and toss to coat. I like also like to marinate chicken or shrimp in pesto before grilling.

If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Stir in cheese after thawing.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this pesto as much as Olivia and I did!