Ribs & Biscuits

Photos by Meghan Horvath

Photos by Meghan Horvath

By Amelia Chen

Sometimes the satisfying thing about eating is not just the food itself but the primal nature of eating with your hands, gnawing on bones and just making a huge mess. Wings and drumsticks are perfect meat lollipops for casual Friday nights around the television. Chops are meant to be licked clean at the end of a comforting dinner. But what really satisfies that primal urge for me is a sticky, juicy and tender rack of ribs.

Barbeque can mean different things for different people and, hailing from North Carolina, that usually means pork for me, whether it’s just the shoulder or the entire hog. Or a sticky, juicy and tender rack of ribs.

Like any low and slow meat dish, ribs are incredibly low maintenance. They require a watchful eye once they go in the oven, but the next time you have big plans to study while doing laundry, maybe make some ribs instead. Somehow, I think taking down a rack of ribs is the perfect reward after a couple hours of productive work.

And if you’re a scavenger like myself, save and freeze the bones for a good homemade stock down the road.

Spicy Date Dr Pepper Ribs adapted from Pioneer Woman

6 ounces dates
½ cup sugar
1 can Dr Pepper
5 ounces chipotle peppers in adobo
⅓ cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon distilled vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 packages baby back ribs

Bring all ingredients except ribs to a gentle boil for about 20 minutes or until dates break down and sauce is reduced and thick. Allow to cool completely before blending sauce until smooth. Divide into two portions.

Brush half the sauce on ribs, wrap with foil and refrigerate for eight hours or overnight to marinate.

Preheat oven to 275°F. Place covered ribs on pan and roast for two hours. Remove foil and brush more sauce onto ribs. Increase temperature to 300°F to finish cooking another 30 to 40 minutes. Remove when fork tender and ready to fall off the bone. Serve as with pear walnut biscuits.

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Pear Walnut Biscuits

1 ½ cup milk
1 ½ tablespoon distilled vinegar
1 large pear, peeled and cubed
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup shortening
1 cup roasted walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 475 °F.

Simmer milk with pear chunks until softened. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Add vinegar and let sit a couple minutes to curdle.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in shortening until coarse crumbs form. Add in walnuts. Slowly pour in milk until it comes together.

Turn out dough on floured surface and lightly knead before rolling out into a rectangle. Cut out rounds with biscuit cutter, being careful not the twist cutter. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Honey Trout Gravalax

Photo by Libby Geboy

Photo by Libby Geboy

By Libby Geboy

Gravlax is a salty, sweet way to prepare fish, specifically salmon or trout. Originally from Sweden, the traditional way to prepare a whole side of fish involves wrapping the fillet in dill or pine needles (neither of which I used in this recipe out of personal preference). Feel free to wrap the fish with them and let it marinate in the greenery.

This recipe can be modified in many ways, using whatever spices you have on hand, like bay leaves, coriander, dill, caraway, fennel seeds (add about one tablespoon per filet of each spice) and brown or white sugar.

Only use the freshest of fish, as the fillet isn’t fully “cooked” but rather it is cured. I find my fish at the local farmer’s market, where I can count on the fish being clean and healthy up to its harvest. The vendor had told me that the fish I was purchasing had been swimming in fresh water until the day before it was caught, so I bought it!

The fish can marinate for up to 48 hours, but needs to be marinating for at least eight. It can be stored for a few days, but if it starts to smell funny before then, just get rid of it. It’s easy to eat on toast with sour cream, dill sprigs and a squeeze of lemon, so I bet it’ll be gone in no time!

1 medium-large filet of trout (or salmon)
1/3 cup natural honey
1/3 cup coarse grain salt
2 tablespoons cracked black or white pepper
1 tablespoon white sugar

Remove any pin bones that are along the thick side of the fish, careful not to disrupt the flesh as much as possible. Trim any fins or excess skin that might be on the sides of the filet. Place into a sheet of plastic wrap that will be big enough to wrap the fish in.

In a bowl, mix together the honey, salt, pepper, sugar and any other spices you are using. Rub onto the fish, massaging it gently. Place the fish onto the plastic wrap, skin side down. If using dill/pine, place a mass of it on top of the fish flesh. Tightly wrap the fish in plastic wrap, using another layer to fully wrap the fish. Put the wrapped fish into a shallow baking pan (I used a bread pan, as it fit the length of my fish), or a plate. This is so any liquid that escapes is caught in your drip pan.

Let the fish marinate for at least eight hours (but up to 48) in your refrigerator. When ready, open the wrapping, and remove the fillet. If desired, wash off the fillet to remove excess honey/salt. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the fish, avoiding the skin.

Serve chilled, on top of toast with sour cream, more dill, a squeeze of lemon, with chives, or with oranges in a salad.

Sweet Potato Corn Cake Tamales

Photos by Ashley Truttschel

Photos by Ashley Truttschel

By Ashley Truttschel

Spring is the most inspiring time for me. New Year’s may be a fresh start for many, but to me, spring signifies new beginnings and opportunities. More sunshine, vibrant colors and shedding layers of clothes make me feel like a new person. I am always in a happier mood come spring and that happiness is reflected in the food I eat. These Sweet Potato Corn Cake Tamales are perfect for the transition from winter to spring. They are not only colorful and light, but they also offer a little bit of warmth for those days where winter just does not want to go away.

Adapted from Fools, Folks and Fun and Budget Bytes

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes
4 large sweet potatoes
1 cup corn
2 green onions
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable oil

Salsa Verde
2 small tomatoes
4 ounces diced green chilies
1 green onion
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro (chopped)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Pico De Gallo
1 large Roma tomato
1 tablespoon red onion
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Southwest Sauce
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder


Prick each sweet potato and wrap in a paper towel. Microwave individually for 6 minutes or until soft in the middle. Once cool, remove skins and place into a large bowl.

Slice green onions and chop cilantro. Add green onions, cilantro, corn, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt and egg into the bowl. Stir until well combined.

Stir in cornmeal and breadcrumbs.

Cover and refrigerate for a half hour.

Add all of the Salsa Verde ingredients into a food processor and pulse until combined. Refrigerate.

Chop all of the ingredients for the Pico de Gallo. Mix with lime juice, salt and pepper.

Mix mayonnaise, white wine, water, sugar, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper and garlic powder for Southwest Sauce. Refrigerate.

Once the sweet potatoes are chilled, heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Form the sweet potatoes into small patties and cook about two minutes or until golden brown. Place on paper towel to drain.

Spread Salsa Verde evenly on each plate. Place sweet potato and corn cakes on top of the salsa. Top with Pico de Gallo and Southwest sauce. Add optional toppings such as avocado, sour cream or cheese.

Makes 12-18 cakes depending on size.

Homemade Pesto Pizza

Photos by Thomas Yonash

Photos by Thomas Yonash

By Emma Doenier

Ironically, I’ve never enjoyed following recipes. At most, I’ve always thought they should be considered “guidelines,” not steadfast rules. However, I do appreciate recipes, not for their instructions, but for the ideas they inspire; cooking is my form of artistic expression.

Due to my penchant for breaking recipes, I’ve avoided baking for the most part (although my roommate could tell you a few horror stories about some monstrous microwave concoctions I’ve made in our apartment).

When my dad, an avid baker and follower-of-recipes, gave me a baking stone for Christmas, I was both ecstatic and skeptical of my ability to:
1) not break the board
2) not burn down the apartment
3) not accidentally poison my roommate.

However, I think I’ve since learned how to skirt the recipe within reason, at least when baking bread. Now, my dad says my bread looks better than his. This testament to my progress has spurred me to experiment with my baking skills, and so, the baking novice has become the mad baking scientist. My baked goods are edible though, even delicious.

The following recipe calls for both a little recipe following – though by all means, please experiment – and creativity. I encourage everyone to make this recipe his or her own!

Photos by Thomas Yonash

Photos by Thomas Yonash

Pizza crust:
*makes two 13-15 inch pizzas

1 cup warm water (~110°F)
1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoon olive oil
extra flour

Dissolve the yeast in water. Let stand for five to 10 minutes; you should see a little fizzing/ bubbling. Add salt to water/yeast mixture and swirl.

Put flour into a bowl. Make a well in the flour and add half of the yeast mixture.

Work in the yeast mixture with your fingers, then add the olive oil and work in. Add the rest of the yeast mixture and knead vigorously for approximately 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

If you have a food processor, add half of the flour to the processor. Add the yeast mixture and pulse until homogenous. Add olive oil and pulse. Keep adding remaining flour to food processor and pulsing (five to seven minutes), until dough is smooth and elastic.

*Add some chopped rosemary to dough (one to two tablespoons. to taste) and knead in for more flavorful dough; depends on type of toppings you want later though, so choose wisely!

Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Place a damp cloth over the bowl and cover with a plastic bag. Let the dough rise for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500°F with a baking stone inside. If you don’t have a baking stone, an alternative could be a large cookie sheet.

Lightly flour a work surface. Divide dough into two equal halves. Roll each half into a 13 to 15 inch circle (~1/8-inch thick). Liberally flour/cornmeal a pizza peel (or whatever you have on hand to get the pizza easily into the oven – I use a plastic cookie sheet).

Fold the dough in half, then in half again, and transfer onto the floured pizza peel. Unfold.

Now rub a thin layer of olive oil (approximately one tablespoon) over the dough surface and top each shell with you favorite pizza toppings, leaving some space around the edge for the crust! You can also freeze one of the dough halves for a later date.

Photos by Thomas Yonash

Photos by Thomas Yonash

White Cheddar Pesto:
1 1/2 to 2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup olive oil (add more if needed)
1/3 cup walnuts
2 to 3 garlic cloves
½ cup sharp white cheddar and/or parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in food processor and blend. Add more olive oil if needed.

 

Toppings for pesto pizza:
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved
5 to 10 sun-dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces (to taste)
~½-1 teaspoon oregano
1/3 red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup mushrooms
meat of choice (I like Italian seasoned turkey meat, or Italian chicken sausage)
salt to taste
1 package goat cheese or feta

Sauté all the ingredients, except the cheese.

Scoop pesto onto pizza shell and spread evenly, leaving about one inch edges for the crust. Spread the sautéed ingredients over the pesto. Dollop goat cheese onto pizza evenly.

Ease decorated pizza off of pizza peel and into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes and then check the pizza. Keep checking it every couple minutes if not done until the pizza has a golden brown crust.

Enjoy!

Maple Carrots, Burnt

Photo by Libby Geboy

Photo by Libby Geboy

By Libby Geboy

Warm, roasted carrots get sweetness from the maple syrup, which pairs well with the crispy burnt edges of the carrots. An easy dish to make any time of the year; serve hot in cold weather with other winter vegetables or chilled in the summer with a green salad. The salty sweetness is a great flavor, and the simplicity of the recipe will satisfy cravings.

4-5 large carrots
4 tablespoons of maple syrup
olive oil
salt
pepper

Place oven racks in the middle and top of the oven, then preheat the oven to 400°F.

Quarter the carrots the long way, and put them in a bowl big enough to toss in.

Splash olive oil, salt, pepper and the maple syrup onto the carrots; toss the carrots to cover. Drizzle olive oil on a large sheet pan, spread out the carrots onto the pan.

Roast the carrots for half an hour.

Remove the pan, and move it up to the top rack to broil. Watch carefully (broiling happens quickly) until the excess syrup is bubbling and the edges of the carrots are burnt.

Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy.

 

Green Bean Pea Salad with Mint

Photo by Libby Geboy

Photo by Libby Geboy

By Libby Geboy

Inspired by the new flower shoots and bright spring sun, this salad is so many shades of green. Based from a recipe in Yotam Ottlenghi’s all-vegetable cookbook, Plenty, I made some adjustments. Being the college student I am, I don’t have access to all the little spices and specialties that I might need. That’s okay, I make do, and it makes good food regardless. This crisp bean salad can be eaten as a main or a side, best chilled (but room temperature is good too!).

Two handfuls of fresh green beans (about 4 cups)
1 Cup frozen or fresh green peas
1-2 cups greens (I used kale, but sorrel, beet greens, spinach, or any soft young greens would work)
A handful of mint, torn to pieces
Splash of olive oil
1-2 tbsp whole mustard seeds
Salt
Pepper
Trim the stalk ends off all the green beans, and start a medium pot with water to boil. Add the green beans, and boil for 4 minutes. Take them out of the hot water, either with a slotted spoon or by pouring the beans through a colander. Rinse them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process, dry and set aside in a large bowl. Start another pot of water to boil for the peas, only cooking them for about 30 seconds. Ice water rinse them too, then dry and add to the beans. Add your greens, and toss to combine the vegetables.
Drizzle everything with olive oil, sprinkle on salt, pepper and the mustard seeds. Mix it all again. Add on all the torn mint, and set the table. Enjoy the salad with your dinner, everyone.

Cheesy, Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower

Photos by Amelia Chen

Photos by Amelia Chen

By Amelia Chen

I’m probably all alone in this, but I have an aversion towards mashed potatoes. I still haven’t figured out why – call it a repressed childhood memory. But that just means I’ve had to get creative with the mashed root vegetables. Carrots, parsnips and celery root all make great purees and mashes. But why stop there? I’m talking about cruciferous vegetables. Cauliflower in particular.cc

My excitement for this bland albino tree vegetable started when I came across a recipe for cauliflower pizza crust for the low-carb inclined. Then I saw cauliflower fried rice and cauliflower steaks if you’ve had one too many portobello steaks. Cauliflower is incredibly versatile.

So now, whether you are obsessed with mashed potatoes, could really do without them and or are anywhere in between, you’re going to want to try this easy mashed cauliflower. Feel healthy and spring-ready doing so.

Mashed cauliflowerccc
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 head garlic, roasted*
⅓ cup parmesan
¼ cup chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss cauliflower florets in olive oil and roast for 20-25 minutes at 400F until softened.

Put roasted cauliflower, garlic, parmesan, and stock in processor or blender and blend until smooth.

Serve as a side for beef, lamb, or in this case, pork chops.

*Cut off heads of whole head garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Roast 350F for 30 minutes.cccc

 

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Photos by Ashley Truttschel

Photos by Ashley Truttschel

Article by Ashley Truttschel

Eating healthy and indulging in comfort food usually contradict each other. Finding nutritious foods that you actually want to eat can seem like an impossible challenge, especially in college.

This Butternut Squash Enchilada recipe comes in handy when you want to sneak a healthy dish past your family and friends. These enchiladas not only look like the real deal, but they also fit into vegetarian and vegan diets.

The beauty of the dish is that you can tweak the sauce to be sweet, savory or spicy. Whether you are looking for a healthy option or are just in it for the flavor, these Butternut Squash Enchiladas meet the mark.

Adapted from the Minimalist Baker

Enchiladas
1 butternut squash, cubed
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained
7-9 corn tortillas
Salt, pepper and cumin to taste

Sauce
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
½ can green chilis
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
½ cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Maple syrup (optional for sweeter sauce)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tender, and set aside.

Heat oil and garlic in a saucepan. Add tomato sauce, green chilis, Sriracha and water. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Let cool and blend until smooth. Add maple syrup for sweetness, salt for savoriness or more Sriracha for spiciness. Set aside.

Heat black beans in a separate saucepan. Add salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Once warm, add butternut squash and ¼ of the sauce.

Wrap tortillas in damp towels and microwave for 30 seconds.

Cover baking dish in another ¼ of the sauce. Wrap bean and squash mixture in each tortilla and place in dish. Cover with remaining sauce.

Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until heated throughout.

Photos by Ashley Truttschel

Photos by Ashley Truttschel

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Black Pepper and Leek Tofu

By Libby Geboy

Photo by Libby Geboy

Photo by Libby Geboy

This spicy dish is surprisingly easy to make, and can be altered for your level of liking for spicy food. Though the whole idea is to keep it fiery, so keep it sharp! The recipe is deliciously vegetarian, and can be made gluten-free by the use of gluten-free soy sauce.

Recipe adapted from London’s Ottolenghi chef Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 3-4

1 block organic, extra firm tofu
cornstarch to dust the tofu
olive oil
1 medium leek
knob chopped fresh ginger
7 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 teaspoons chopped fresh or dried red chili
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
Steamed white or brown rice

Pour enough oil to cover the bottom of a large saute pan and have a depth of about a 1/4 inch. Cut tofu into 1 x 1 inch blocks, and toss them in cornstarch; shake off the excess. Add the tofu to the hot oil, turning when they get crispy on a side. (Chances are you’ll need to fry in batches, so the tofu gets crispy and doesn’t just stew in the oil.) When golden on all sides, transfer to paper towel to cool.

Turn the heat down to medium low. Thinly slice all of the white of the leek, and add to the oil in the pan, dropping in the ginger and chilies, too. Saute until all the leeks are soft and cooked down. Add the soy sauce and the sugar, then the black pepper. Stir until the sauce gently bubbles around the edges.

Add the tofu back to the pan, tossing in the the sauce to coat and rewarm. Serve hot, over steamed rice.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

By Amelia Chen

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I’m such a sucker for pumpkin season. And judging by the amount of foods and drinks that highlight pumpkin as the leaves change, so is everyone else. No other fruit masquerading as a vegetable is more iconic than the pumpkin. It can represent fall. It can represent the holidays. It can be sweet. It can be savory. And if you’re like me, who stocks up on canned pumpkin when it’s on sale, then it can really be a year-round treat.

By now people have discarded their Halloween jack-o’-lanterns and all the Thanksgiving pumpkin pies have been made and devoured, but that doesn’t mean you can’t snuggle up by the fireplace (or an electric heater) with a slice of comfort in the form of pumpkin. And what better comfort is there than a creamy, dense, sweet pumpkin cheesecake.

I have a soft spot for cheesecake because it’s the first dessert that didn’t come out of my oven a disaster. It’s deceptively easy for such a luxurious crowd-pleaser, and after several dozen variations, it’s the only dessert I can throw together without the help of Google. Now, making a pumpkin cheesecake every year is the only holiday tradition I strictly adhere to.

Perfect after a dinner of mac and cheese and beer, of course.
It’s winter; you deserve to indulge a little.

 

Gingersnap cookie crust adapted from King Arthur Flour
¾ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup sugar (split)
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 large egg
⅓ cup dark corn syrup (or molasses)
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons cinnamon (split)

Preheat oven to 375F.
Beat the shortening, ½ cup sugar, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda together until smooth. Add the egg and syrup. Mix thoroughly. Fold in flours and spices until uniform, forming a stiff dough.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine ¼ cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon to making coating.
Form one-inch balls and roll in cinnamon sugar to coat.  Place cookies on sheet with 1 ½ inches between them. Keep the cinnamon sugar coating for finishing garnish.
Bake for 13 minutes for crispy cookies.  Allow to cool completely.pc2

 

Pumpkin cheesecake
A dozen or so gingersnap cookies
3 tablespoons butter, melted
16 oz of cream cheese (two 8 oz packs)
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
⅓ cup sour cream
½ cup pureed pumpkin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350F.
Place a dish of water on the bottom rack – this will prevent cracking in the cheesecake.
To form the crust, crumble and smash cookies in freezer bag or food processor. Mix with melted butter and
press into base of cheesecake pan. Bake for 10 minutes to set.
For cheesecake base, beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in sour cream and pumpkin puree. Mix in spices. Pour base over crust. The batter is on the thicker side, so smooth it out with a spatula or lightly shake the pan.
Bake for 40-45 minutes. Let cool completely. Dust with reserved cinnamon sugar and serve.

Nontraditional Thanksgiving

By Amelia Chen

It seems blasphemous to celebrate Thanksgiving without a stuffed and roasted turkey centerpiece, but growing up, turkey was sort of an afterthought for my family during the holidays. Unless someone’s ambitious parents were hosting a fusion celebration where the turkey and cornbread stuffing ends up surrounded by colorful plates of braised meats and stir-fried veggies, I never saw turkey meat on my plate. One year my uncle tried his hand at brining and roasting one.  He even brought along a giant soup pot and roasting pan.  And as if we were a sitcom family for just one night, dinner ended with my dog pulling down the pan with the turkey carcass. That was the last time we cared to prepare a turkey.

What I look forward to most when I’m home for the entire holiday centered around food indulgence is the one night we squeeze extra chairs around the dining room table so my entire visiting family can sit down together to Hot Pot.

Almost like fondue without the cheese, Hot Pot is the quintessential Chinese family dinner.  Everyone is shouting over the continuously bubbling broth. Parents are fervently spooning their catch of tangled meat and veggies onto the plates of the most precious children who are also the most picky eaters. It’s a communal meal where everyone cooks the raw ingredients together and then fishes them out of the pot, which usually features two different flavors of broth. It’s a “DIY” meal experience where there are no limitations to what can be dunked into the broth—my favorite things being all the greens, enoki mushrooms, cellophane noodles, fish balls, tripe, sliced beef, tofu puffs and bean curd sticks. For more ideas for the raw ingredients, Serious Eats has a great, comprehensive guide that also includes equipment and set up.

Where houses probably differ the most is in the broth. For my family, we favor a spicier Sichuan-style soup base. Pre-prepared packages can be found at any Asian grocer, but just like stocks, there’s no comparison to homemade.

Sichuan Hot Pot Broth

Ingredients:
Several pork neck bones (can also use chicken, beef or combination)
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
2 scallions, sectioned
1 small piece ginger, sliced, divided
2 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
Half a head garlic cloves, sliced
*1 tablespoon Doubanjiang (optional, found at any Asian grocer)
*1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
*1 tablespoon dried chili peppers
*4-5 star anise

 

Directions:
In large pot, bring water to a boil. Add in bones, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes to remove any impurities. Transfer bones out and rinse with warm water. Clean and fill pot with fresh water.

Return bones to pot with tomato, scallions, and half the ginger slices. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.**

In wok, heat oil. Add remaining ginger slices and garlic to stir fry a couple minutes. Add Doubanjiang if using and stir fry until fragrant. Add in peppercorns, chili peppers, and star anise. Pour soup base over spices and simmer for 30-40 minutes.

*These ingredients can be omitted if not preparing a spicy broth.

**If not preparing a spicy broth, then it’s ready to go at this point.

FDN recipes

Farro with Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Cranberries
Jenni Wolf, adapted from milkfreemom.com and vegetariantimes.com.21832303969_cf4ea126e8_o

1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into one-inch cubes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 cups pearled farro, rinsed and drained
1 bunch fresh kale, tough stems removed, finely chopped
½ cup of dried cranberries (can substitute chopped, dried apricot or golden raisins)
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan (optional)
½ cup sliced or slivered almonds toasted (optional)

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubed butternut squash with one teaspoon of oil, season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast squash for 30 minutes, or until tender.
-While the squash is roasting, heat the remaining one teaspoon of oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until soft and translucent. Next, add the garlic, thyme and black pepper to the pot. -Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or just until fragrant.
-Add the farro and vegetable or chicken stock to the pot, cover and bring to a boil.
-Lower heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the farro is soft and chewy. Drain out excess stock if desired.
-Stir in the kale and cranberries, cooking only another minute or two, or until the kale is wilted.
-Gently fold in the roasted butternut squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
-Garnish with grated parmesan and toasted almonds if desired.
-Serve and enjoy!

 

Mixed green salad with candied pecans and fresh apples (Serves 4)
Liz Schnee and 2015 FDN Slow Food Interns21377380993_e5ddc4f4fa_o

2 apples
4 cups mixed greens
2 cups spinach
1 cup candied pecans (homemade or purchased)

For balsamic vinaigrette:
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
salt and pepper

Combine olive oil, dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, honey and salt and pepper for dressing. Mix mixed greens and fresh spinach. Add chopped apples and candied pecans. Toss with dressing.

 

Chocolate dipped crackers with fennel, ginger and dried cranberries
Liz Schnee, Adapted from Greg Johnson21831053310_42b185e478_o

2 cups melted dark chocolate chips
1 package water table crackers
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
½ cup fresh ginger
½ cup dried cranberries

Directions:
-Melt dark chocolate chips until smooth in double boiler or in microwave, stopping to stir frequently. You may need to add vegetable oil if chocolate becomes too solid.
-Dip crackers ¾ of the way into chocolate mixture.
-Place on parchment paper on baking sheet.
-Sprinkle 4-6 fennel seeds, 2-3 cranberries, and 2-3 small chunks of ginger onto crackers.
-Place in fridge, or let set in room temperature for a few hours.
-Finished crackers last in fridge or freezer for up to 1 week.