Currently viewing the tag: "saute"

It seems the majority of people I tell about sautéing cucumbers balk at the idea, yet never think twice about eating sautéed zucchini. Bearing in mind that summer squash are a New World import, all those Chinese dishes with zucchini in them probably used cucumber originally. When cooked well, cucumber has a pleasantly mild flavor that plays well with other flavors, and can retain its pleasing crunch while softening up at the same time. Some partners to consider are King Oyster and regular oyster mushrooms, snap and snow peas, chicken, sweet carrots, fish or scallops, or mild soft greens such as spinach. The version here is kept very simple to showcase the cucumber flavor and lovely marriage with the basil. Consider this as a bed for poached or baked chicken, or fish or sautéed scallops, or gently sautéed pork chops.

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The root of this dish would be a stir-fry with daikon and mei-quin, but the flavors are more European. This would qualify as a California “fusion” dish. This dish is quite simple, but the looks are elegant with the cool jade and pale reddish pink.

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Yes, yes, it sounds weird. Everyone tells me so. And then they try it. And really, really like it. Sautéed cucumber is milder than zucchini with deeper flavor. If watched carefully, it maintains a crunchiness that is wonderful. The trick is to cook it just until it heats through and is turning translucent. This dish is a wonderful combination that goes well with fish or chicken, or as a foil to something richer like brisket braised in porcini stock.

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All these vegetables come from the earthy funky side of the taste palette, so the orange juice adds a little sweet to act as a foil, and the soy sauce helps pull all the elements together. The fushimi and manganji peppers are Japanese heirloom chilies, and like shishito are not spicy. They taste like amplified versions of shishito, with the long and thin fushimi having a slight sweetness to it, while the fatter and all around bigger manganji has thicker walls give meatiness along with a full flavor that has subtle sweetness along with umami that I can only characterize as “green-ness”.

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Turnips and apples are a great combination, with flavors that echo one another as well as flavors acting as foils to one another. Serve as a side to light meats or with a sauté of earthy mushrooms or grains such as kasha, farrow, or brown rice.

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This dish can be made with Scotch or Lacinato kale, but the more delicate Russian kale would not work as well. Use a good cooking apple that is firm and sweet with an edge of tartness.

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This dish makes for an earthy and sweet mélange that is colorful as well. You could blanch the carrots a day before and the beets are roasted and can be done days ahead, so this is good do-ahead party dish. If you don’t mind the beets coloring the carrots, you could even sauté them all at once in the same pan.

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Grappa is a poor man’s liquor made from leftover seeds and skins from winemaking that became chic a few years ago. No matter what you label it, it is still a powerful and raw spirit. Soaking currants or raisins in it is a traditional Italian use for it that can be found in many dishes. Here it is again. If you do not have grappa, use a good vodka.

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A sort of culinary pun on the theme of peas and carrots. Usually the peas carry a sweetness that matches the carrots, but here the favas act as a foil to that inherent sweetness with their almost cheesy nutty flavor and slight bitterness. The basil bridges the sweetness and earthiness of the carrots and the earthy and sharp notes of favas with sweetness and the slight edge that basil has. If you do not have basil, oregano would be great here, or even mint.

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Very simple, but lots of flavor. Watching the broccoli blanch so it does not overcook, and cutting it to the right size, is key here. Don’t overdo the mint or it will overwhelm the dish. Use just enough to taste as an accent. Also, try to use as little oil as you can get away with for this dish as it helps the broccoli to stay firm and bright.

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This was a quick dish thrown together with what happened to be at the front of refrigerator, and it was a big hit.

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This is one of those really simple dishes that surprises with how much flavor it packs. The kale acts as a foil with its earthy flavor to the fennels sweet, but it has a sweetness of its own that adds depth to the dish. Adding fennel seed and pastis adds even more dimension. Cooking the kale a shorter time gives it a toothsome quality that is a welcome texture with the fennel. Crushing the fennel with your hands seems to make it sweeter and also tenderizes it.

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You want lean bacon for this without too much smoke on it. You could use pancetta as well. The bacon should be fairly thickly sliced. If it is really smoky, cut it and drop it into boiling water for 10 seconds, then pat dry.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch Tokyo turnips*, washed well and cut into ½-inch wedges
2-3 firm apples, sweet-tart, cut into ½-inch wedges, seeds removed
1 small white or yellow onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
½ cup apple cider
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more as needed
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste

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This a colorful and aromatic dish that has plenty of crunch due to just cooking the vegetables lightly and quickly. The recipe lists shiso, which is a Japanese herb that usually shows up in sushi. If you do not have it, don’t worry, carry on without it. I used as it was in the garden, and it adds depth to the dish, but you won’t miss it if it is not there. Leftovers make a good cold salad as is, or you could lightly dress it with a little white balsamic vinaigrette.

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There is almost always a jar of tapenade in the refrigerator, just as there should be one in yours. It is like a magic wand in the kitchen, able to take disparate ingredients and turn them into a trip to far off lands. To get the right kind of sear on this dish, you want to use your biggest pan, like a 14-incher. If the vegetables are too close they will just steam and get mushy, so if you do not have a big pan, do this in a couple pans or batches.

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Part of the appeal of this dish is the gentle seasoning so the flavors of the ingredients stand on their own. Blanching the garlic mitigates the heat, but leaves behind the wonderful garlic flavor. If you have green garlic, that would be great in lieu of the garlic. Simply cut it into ribbons as wide as the leeks and cook it the same. For the stock, you want a very light vegetable stock, preferably homemade.

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The briny capers, sweet nutty pistachio oil, and crunchy nuts all play off one another and make a great foil for the earthy chard.

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“Graced” with fennel? There is enough so you can taste it, but not so much that it dominates. It lends sweetness that is a nice counterpoint to the earthy quality of chard. And so, I feel it adds grace to the dish.

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This recipe involves cooking tomatoes, onions, and garlic down to a jam-like consistency and tossing blanched broccoli in the sauce to coat. The recipe may make more than you need for the broccoli, and if that is the case, just freeze the remainder and use it on pasta, other vegetables or use it coat roasted chicken, fish, or shrimp.

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This is a simple dish with satisfying flavors. The center of the tomato is grated and used to form a glaze for cabbage. Depending on the tomato, a pinch of sugar or a dash of vinegar might be called for to create balance in the flavors.

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Sweet carrots contrast with the earthy spinach, while the pine nuts add a nutty contrast to the silky texture of the carrots and spinach.

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This could be eaten as a side dish, used to bed grilled steak or chicken, or serve on rafts of grilled toast as a tapa. As a tapa, have some olives, cubes of cheese, and chilled sherry, white wine, or beer handy. For this dish, use a milder Spanish for French style olive oil for best results.

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This is a dish to be served as an appetizer or tapa would be, before the meal or as part of a series of small plates. It goes well with sherry, wines, or ice cold beer. Remember, since it is the sort of dish that can scatter easily, toast the bread so it is still soft and doesn’t crack and fall apart at the first bite. If you have leftovers, try them on a sandwich with fresh mozzarella and tomato.

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This dish plays up the sweetness of the cabbage, while the fennel and tarragon work in harmony to perfume the dish. The lemon adds a brightness to the dish that lightens the whole thing.

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You can do this without grilling the apricots, but the grilling just gives a little something “more”. This is the sort of recipe that happens when you have a LOT of apricots around.

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INGREDIENTS:

4-6 medium potatoes such as Desiree, Romanze, Sangre, or other firm starchy potato, cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes (size should be similar to the cauliflower pieces)
1 head cauliflower, florets only, trimmed to around 1 inch (halve in needed)
Olive oil as needed
Salt and pepper to taste

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A quick dish with summer staples, this dish is brightly flavored with nice contrasting textures. 

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INGREDIENTS:

1 bunch spinach, stems removed and washed
1 small onion, diced finely
1 large clove garlic, minced
Light flavored olive oil as needed

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A quick sauté using a dressing originally used for a Strawberry Spinach salad.

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