The E.V T.V Show

…the food I make, the plants I grow, and the items I create.


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Green Bean and Tomato Salad with Tarragon Dressing

I have a revolving front door. People come and go regularly. And when they come, they come hungry. To stay ahead of the game, I prepare a few salads that can either be eaten as a side dish or by themselves.

tarragon tomato salad with fields of fire

Preparing these salads in the beginning of the week, gives me versatility when it comes to feeding others as well as myself. As I dash around the house in the morning, it takes only a few additional moments to pack my lunch.

tarragon tomato salad with new jersey blush wine

This salad uses tarragon, an herb that I rarely cook with. Tarragon tastes similar to anise or black licorice with the essence of sweetness. I enjoyed this for lunch and then decided to take it on a picnic – what a hit!

tarragon tomato salad with new jersey blush wine

GREEN BEAN AND TOMATO SALAD WITH TARRAGON DRESSING

total time: 30 minutes    yield: 4 servings

ingredients

  • 2 lbs green beans (mixed colors if you can) trimmed and cut diagonally into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

 directions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain the beans and spread them on a large baking sheet to cool. Pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the shallots and tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Place the beans and tomatoes in a large bowl, add the dressing and toss well. Transfer to a platter and serve.
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Chocolate Lava Cake: My Go-To Dessert Recipe

plated cake

Chocolate Lava Cake

This past weekend, we had a few big celebrations in our house. As I felt the tingling urge to indulge in good cheer – I realized I had only a a few moments to whip something up.

I am not always the best at planning ahead.

So I defaulted, as usual, to my go-to dessert recipe – Chocolate Lava Cake.

This recipe calls for ingredients I generally keep on hand and is delicious.

Doll them up with fresh fruit, fruit compote, or home-made whipped cream. For an extra special treat, pair this dessert with a delicious local Port.

ingredients

Yield: 2-3 cakes      Time: ~35 min
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for muffin tin
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for muffin tin and serving
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • 1 ounce semisweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 ounce bittersweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • nonstick spray

directions

  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray your muffin tin with a nonstick spray, such as PAM.
  • Dust the muffin tin with confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder.
  • Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20-second increments. Use a whisk or fork to stir after each increment.
  • While the butter and chocolate is melting, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, sugar, espresso powder, and salt. Once the chocolate mixture is melted whisk it into the egg mixture to combine. Add flour, and whisk just until combined – take care to not overmix.
  • Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. Make sure you fill the empty muffin tins with water so that your lava cakes cook evenly.
  • Bake until the top has just set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out wet, 5-6 minutes. It is better to under-bake than over-bake!
  • Cool cakes for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Use a knife to loosen the cakes and serve inverted immediately top with Raspberry Mint Compote.


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A REVOLUTIONARY RECIPE FOR MULLED WINE

A little cheeky humor for this damp Columbus day. Brrr. My house is cold. I am too stubborn to acknowledge that fall is in fact here and that the heat – only occasionally – needs to be turned on. Sometimes I can get away with alternative heating, whether it is baking a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies or filling the house with the scent of mulled wine.

I love mulled wine. It brings together a few of my favorite things; deep earthy spices like cloves and star anise, warmth, and wine! I have found the best wine to use is a soft-bodied red, such as Unionville Vineyard’s Revolutionary Red, which has subtle fruity notes that are enhanced with the added mulled wine ingredients.

If you do not have a slow cooker at home, heat up ingredients in a pot on the stove. Just before it starts to simmer turn it down to low. As low as you can go. Put the lid on and let the flavors infuse for approximately 30 minutes or until you just can’t wait any longer. If you do have a slow cooker – that is the way to go. Just follow the directions below. Set to warm and soon your house will be filled with rich warm aromas.
 

Mulled Wine

total time ~40 minutes yield: 4 servings

ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Revolutionary Red
  • 1 orange
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of star anise
  • ¼ cup honey whiskey*
  • 2 cups apple cider*

 

* I do not add additional sugar to my mulled wine. Instead, I use the sweetness from the apple cider and honey whiskey to balance the spices.

 

directions

  • Add wine, whiskey, apple cider, star anise, and cinnamon sticks to slow cooker or pot.
  • Cut orange in half. Add juice of 1 orange half to slow cooker or pot
  • Slice the other orange half into disks. Stud orange circles with cloves and star anise. This will save you from having to find them again
  • Turn stove top on low OR turn slow cooker onto warm. Wait about 30 minutes and enjoy!

Another great thing about mulled wine is you can play with the flavors. Maybe you do want to add a little brown sugar, or better yet maple syrup. Have ginger laying around – grate some in for an added kick. Share with us your favorite mulled wine recipe!


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SWEET POTATO CURRY

It is that time of year!

The oven is on and soup pots are simmering.You feel warm and cozy as sweet aromas fill the air.

This recipe is my favorite. It pulls in fall flavors but still has a few elements of the summer harvest.

Even though the recipe has several steps associated with it, it is a fairy simple.

Provided are a few options depending on your personal preferences. You can either combine them or eliminate all of them. It is up to you! I always say you should cook what you would want to eat.

 SWEET POTATO CURRY

total time ~ 1 hour  yield: 4 servings

ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1 quart of stock (chicken or veggie is fine)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 large or 3 small zucchinis
  • 1 eggplant
  • 3 tablespoons of red curry
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • ½ tablespoon chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsps salt – divided
  • 1 bunch of thai basil
  • 3 scallions
 
Option 1: Protein
  • 1 lb of ground meat – I used pork
  • 1 lb of shrimp – I would used cleaned and peeled shrimp
  • 1 container of tofu – prepare the tofu in your favorite fashion
  • 1 lb cooked shredded chicken breast

Option 2: Grain

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 cups of quinoa

Step 1: The Broth

  • Fill a medium stock pot with salted water and set over high heat
  • Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 1 inch cubes
  • Boil the potatoes until soft **While potatoes are cooking skip ahead to step 2**
  • Drain potatoes and return back to pot
  • Add 1 quart of stock
  • Bring back to boil
  • Turn off and cool slightly. Blend until smooth

Step 2: The veggies

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  • Cube zucchini into ½ inch cubes
  • Peel eggplant and cube into ½ inch cubes
  • toss with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tsp salt
  • Place vegetables on roasting pan and place in heated oven until cooked or approximately 30-40 minutes **While veggies are roasting complete step 1 or skip ahead to step 3**

Step 3: The Protein

  • Mince or finely chop onion and garlic and set aside
  • Place skillet or cast iron over medium heat.
  • Once it is heated – add a little butter, margarine, or cooking oil and begin to slowly add your protein
  • If you are using shrimp they will cook fairly quickly – 3 to 4 minutes – so be watchful. They are done once they are firm and a pretty pink color.
  • If you are using ground meat – then begin to saute until cooked approximately 10 minutes
  • Remove protein from skillet and set aside
  • In the same skillet add the onion and garlic and saute until brown.
  • Remove onion and garlic and set aside

Step 4: Bringing it all Together

  • Into the broth add the roasted vegetables, cooked protein, and the sauted onions and garlic
  • Add the can of coconut milk
  • Add all of the remaining spices and sugar
  • Bring to a boil and allow to cook for a about 10 minutes to combine flavors

Plate this hearty curry over a grain of your choice. Garnish with thai basil and/or scallions. Serve with a glass of Unionville Vineyard’s Dry Riesling.