28 May 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Pandemic Provisions

Shopping for groceries has changed and it may be permanent. Restaurant suppliers have had to pivot to stay afloat. The good news is that they are now selling more to consumers than ever before and most say they plan to continue to do so. I wrote about this development over at Martha Stewart, but I thought I'd also share a few of the places where I've personally been shopping and that have been recommended to me. The benefits include better social distancing but also fresher food and support for farmers, fishers and ranchers.

I've also been buying dumplings, ramen, baked goods and taking cook-along classes at home, I'll share the details on those soon along with a list of where to find great takeout and delivery options.

Fresh produce
I often shop at the farmers market, but right now I am really enjoying the produce boxes from Tomatero Farm. They are only $20 and are delivered weekly around the San Francisco Bay Area. They include a wide variety of produce and sometimes a basket or two of their fantastic strawberries. I find one box is good for almost 2 weeks for my household of two. The box varies from week to week. This week the box had fennel, zucchini, curly kale, lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and a small cauliflower and savoy cabbage. I've also purchased the strawberries by the flat ($30). The boxes often sell out, so get on their mailing list and order promptly!

Seafood & meat
I've ordered from both Four Star Seafood and Water2Table. They both offer a lot of incredibly fresh seafood, some of it local, and great prices and service. I've enjoyed fresh local salmon and black cod as well as excellent shrimp, mussels and monkfish. Water2Table is located on Pier 45 where a massive fire recently took place, but they hope to reopen soon. Four Star Seafood also offers meal kits, pantry items, meat and even foraged ingredients. They each have different minimums, and offer delivery or pick up and shipping for the rest of California, Nevada, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Arizona. I have also heard good things about ABS Seafood, a top choice for sushi grade seafood. They are also located on Pier 45 so stay tuned for their reopening. One more seafood purveyor I haven't used but was recommended is TwoXSea.

Duck
I just got my first order from Liberty Ducks, a local company based in Sonoma who is now selling directly to consumers. I believe the minimum order is $50 and they deliver fairly widely. The frozen product is particularly economical. You may want to consider sharing an order with family, friends or neighbors. They also ship nationwide.

Grocery
There are lots of options for grocery delivery from restaurant suppliers, but the one that intrigues me the most is Cheetah. They have an app for ordering and have turned their trucks into mobile delivery locations around the Bay Area. You order, pay and then head to a convenient spot for pick up and there is no minimum purchase requirement so you don't have to order more than you need. Some items are fairly large, but others are not. Again, I'd recommend you consider ordering with others if the quantities don't work for you. If you're looking for other restaurant suppliers with broader distribution, take a look at my article at Martha Stewart for tips.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

28 May 2020 3:08pm GMT

feedSimply Recipes

How to Clean and Care for Wood Cutting Boards

A wooden cutting board will last for years with proper care and conditioning. Here's how to care for it!

Continue reading "How to Clean and Care for Wood Cutting Boards" »

28 May 2020 2:30pm GMT

Is Minced Garlic in a Jar as Good as Fresh?

Jars of minced garlic are so convenient, but is the garlic as good as fresh? Can you use pre-minced garlic just like you would use fresh garlic you mince yourself? Here's what you need to know.

Continue reading "Is Minced Garlic in a Jar as Good as Fresh?" »

28 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

27 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Who wants tacos?! These sweet and spicy slow cooker chipotle chicken tacos are the perfect weeknight dinner. They make a ton, so get ready for leftovers!

Continue reading "Slow Cooker Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos" »

27 May 2020 9:00pm GMT

26 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Instant Pot Paella with Chicken and Sausage

No need for a paella pan for this one-pot meal! The pressure cooker makes paella quick and easy. This rice dish is studded with tender chicken and slices of spicy sausage for lots of flavor.

Continue reading "Instant Pot Paella with Chicken and Sausage" »

26 May 2020 9:00pm GMT

14 Homemade Pizza Recipes for Family Movie Night

Family Movie Night never tasted so good! We have thin crust, thick crust, whole wheat and gluten-free options. Get the whole family involved and top these homemade pizzas with meat, vegetables or both! Grill them, bake them or cook them in a skillet.

Continue reading "14 Homemade Pizza Recipes for Family Movie Night" »

26 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

25 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Classic Potato Salad

Going to a cookout? This classic potato salad is what you want! It's made with boiled potatoes, sour cream, mayo, green onions, celery, parsley, pickles and bacon. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Continue reading "Classic Potato Salad" »

25 May 2020 9:00pm GMT

Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Garlic Shrimp

Cauliflower rice bowls are a filling, low-carb, vegetable-and protein-packed weeknight dinner for two. The cauliflower is mild, so it doesn't compete with the garlicky shrimp in this dish.

Continue reading "Cauliflower Rice Bowl with Garlic Shrimp" »

25 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

Charred Skillet Broccoli

Got broccoli? This is the perfect veggie side dish for every occasion! Use it as a layer in veggie bowls or serve it with nearly any meat or seafood main.

Continue reading "Charred Skillet Broccoli" »

25 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

24 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

How to Grill the Best Steak

The most foolproof way to grill the best steak? It's not complicated-it's about small details, like a picking the best cut, air-drying in the fridge, and making an herb butter sauce for basting. Fire up the grill!

Continue reading "How to Grill the Best Steak" »

24 May 2020 9:00pm GMT

Easy Grilled Steak Fajitas

For casual family dinners, backyard BBQs, or camping trips, these Easy Steak Fajitas are always a hit. Cook the veggies in foil packet while the seasoned steak grills alongside. Everything can be assembled ahead, and dinner is ready in 10 minutes!

Continue reading "Easy Grilled Steak Fajitas" »

24 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

23 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Weekly Meal Plan: 5 Dinner Ideas to Prep Ahead

Simplify dinner by using a different cooking technique or tool! Dust off that slow cooker, break out that new air fryer, or transform your favorite sandwich into a casserole.

Continue reading "Weekly Meal Plan: 5 Dinner Ideas to Prep Ahead" »

23 May 2020 2:19pm GMT

22 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Pineapple-Mango Mimosa

Make your next brunch extra festive with this bright, cheery Pineapple-Mango Mimosa. It's great made with Cava, a Spanish sparkling wine, but your favorite bubbly will do!

Continue reading "Pineapple-Mango Mimosa" »

22 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

21 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

What is the Best Oil for Deep Frying?

Wondering what oil to use for making your favorite fried chicken or doughnut recipe? Here's our top pick!

Continue reading "What is the Best Oil for Deep Frying?" »

21 May 2020 2:30pm GMT

20 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Easy Vegetable Lo Mein

This veggie-packed lo mein is a filling, super fast, super easy noodle stir fry. It uses staple vegetables like cabbage and carrots, with bell peppers for a pop of color. Use what you have on hand - lo mein is a great mix and match meal.

Continue reading "Easy Vegetable Lo Mein" »

20 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

19 May 2020

feedSimply Recipes

Classic Chicken Salad

This family favorite chicken salad is made with celery, bell pepper, green olives, apple, lettuce, and mayo-plus a secret ingredient that makes all the difference!

Continue reading "Classic Chicken Salad" »

19 May 2020 9:00pm GMT

6 Recipes that Remind Us Why Banana Bread Is the Best!

Bake your way through this tasty collection of banana bread recipes! Satisfy your chocolate cravings with Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, head to the islands for Jamaican Banana Bread with rum-soaked raisins or make swirls of cream cheese in our rich Cream Cheese Banana Bread! Time to bake and find a favorite!

Continue reading "6 Recipes that Remind Us Why Banana Bread Is the Best!" »

19 May 2020 2:00pm GMT

12 May 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Dijon Mustard Black Cod with Cabbage & Potatoes

Black cod sheet pan supper
I know a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of cooking fish. A fillet of fish can sometimes fall apart when you cook it and because it's expensive you don't want to ruin it by undercooking or overcooking. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, it's hard to mess up black cod. This recipe is actually a sheet pan supper, which makes both the cooking and clean up particularly easy.

Black cod also known as gindara, sablefish or butterfish, is incredibly rich. The names are a bit confusing since it's not actually butterfish or a member of the cod family. Butterfish is the name used for a popular misoyaki style of cooking it, popularized by Chef Nobu. It's also popular smoked like salmon and is sometimes just referred to as sable. It is sustainable and caught along the Pacific coast from Baja up to Alaska.

Recently I discovered several recipes for black cod using Dijon mustard. When I think about Dijon mustard my mind goes to sausages, and the combination of cabbage, onions, apples and potatoes. If there was ever a fish as rich as a sausage, it's black cod. The key to the recipe is layering most of the ingredients in thin slices so they cook quickly and evenly.

Note: You can easily scale the recipe up or down but do not substitute cod for black cod. That would be a big mistake. They are not the same species and cannot be cooked the same way. Black cod has 30 grams of fat in a 151 gram portion, whereas Atlantic cod has 1.5 grams of fat in a 231 gram portion.

Dijon Mustard Black Cod with Cabbage & Potatoes

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons oil, divided
1 medium savoy cabbage
1 large yellow onion, peeled
1 Fuji apple
4 Yukon gold potatoes
4 filets black cod, about 4 ounces each
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salt

Dijon vinaigrette
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Remove the core from the cabbage and slice into thick slices, about 1/3 inch. Thinly slice the onion, apple and potatoes, you do not need to peel the potatoes or apple.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Pour the oil into a small cup or ramekin and spread about half of it around with a pastry brush, until the paper is well coated. Layer on the sliced potatoes, season with a sprinkle of salt, then layer on the onions, the apple and finally the cabbage. Brush the cabbage with the remaining tablespoon of oil.

Roast for 25 minutes. While the vegetables are cooking make the vinaigrette by combining the Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil with a pinch of sugar. Whisk together until emulsified and add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Evenly coat the top of each filet of fish with a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Place on top of the cabbage and broil just until the fish is cooked through and cabbage is brown in spots, about 7-8 minutes. Divide the vegetables evenly on four plates, top with a piece of fish and drizzle each portion with a tablespoon of the vinaigrette.


Enjoy!

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

12 May 2020 4:22pm GMT

22 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Caesar Salad Recipe

Just as there are phases of grief, I'm pretty sure there are phases when it comes to food cravings while sheltering in place. I have officially reached the salad phase. When I got back home from a short vacation in Hawaii we were eating a lot of Japanese food. I cooked ramen, gyudon (beef bowl), Japanese curry and Japanese hamburger steak. After that, I craved carbs and it was pasta, rice, grits, tortillas, pizza, potatoes day after day. Along with the carbs, I wanted cheese. After all, what's better than carbs and cheese? Maybe a Caesar salad.

I guess Caesar salad is a transition from the cheese phase (with some croutons for carbs) into the salad phase. Caesar salad is a favorite in my house, but I usually don't make the real original Caesar. I doctor some mayonnaise with Worcestershire sauce and Parmigiano Reggiano and call it a Caesar. But it's not a real Caesar.

A really good Caesar salad makes a fine main course and never needs the addition of chicken. It only takes a few ingredients, but using high quality ingredients and taking the care to make the dressing and the croutons from scratch are well worth the effort. The usual way to make the dressing is by slowly whisking the olive oil into the other ingredients, but I found using a stick blender is faster, easier and much more efficient. If you don't have one, you'll need to mash the garlic, blend it with pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and then the egg yolk and finally whisk in the olive oil, a little at a time, to fully incorporate it into a smooth emulsion.

Note: This dressing in this recipe makes enough for 4 main courses or 6-8 as a side salad. The salad dressing will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.

Caesar Salad
4-8 servings

Ingredients

2-3 slices of sourdough bread
Cooking spray
1 egg
½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 medium hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
White anchovies, optional
Shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, optional

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the bread into cubes and place on a foil or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Lightly spray the cubes with cooking spray and bake for 10 minutes or just until golden and crisp.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the egg and boil for 3 minutes. Remove the egg, and cool it under cold running water. Peel and separate the yolk and white. Place the egg yolk into a large beaker or wide mouth jar. Add the olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, pepper and Parmigiano Reggiano. Use a stick blender to blend and emulsify the dressing.

Toss the lettuce and dressing and add croutons. Add white anchovies and or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano, if desired.


Enjoy!

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

22 Apr 2020 5:18pm GMT

21 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Ginger Matcha Walnuts Recipe

Ginger Matcha Walnuts
I received free samples of California Walnuts mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Walnuts and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Everyone has their own way of coping during a crisis. For me, it's time spent in the kitchen and lately, coloring. Yes, I've taken up coloring. The title of my coloring book is Meditations on Tea. Doesn't that sound soothing? Of course, I need a snack to keep me going. And since the coloring book is tea themed, I figured my snack should be too. While the California Walnuts contest is all about how walnuts can work well in savory or sweet snacks, I tend to prefer a balance of both so I leave it up to you to decide which category it fits in.

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the hardest to perfect. This recipe was no exception to that rule. I tried roasting the nuts in a pan and in the oven with a bit of oil, but I found that the oily surface of the roasted nuts made the matcha look very unappetizing. I messed around with the recipe several times before settling on both the technique and the ingredients.

I use walnuts in baking quite frequently so I often have them on hand. I also use crystalized ginger in my granola so I usually have a stash of it. I was inspired to combine the two along with matcha tea powder. It's all pretty healthy stuff and the toasty nuts which are an excellent source of plant-based omega-3, sweet and spicy ginger and just a bit of bitterness from the matcha make a tasty snack you can actually feel good about eating. Not quite nirvana, but it will do.


Ginger Matcha Walnuts

Ingredients

1 cup California Walnuts
1/4 teaspoon matcha
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the walnuts on it. Roast for 10 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove and let cool. Sprinkle with the matcha and salt and add the diced ginger, gently toss until well combined.


Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

21 Apr 2020 11:12pm GMT

17 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Lavender London Fog Latte Recipe


My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands I personally use.


While it may sound like a drink from England's Victorian era, legend has it that the London Fog latte drink, Earl Grey tea flavored with vanilla and topped with foamy milk, was invented in the late 1990s at a Vancouver cafe for a customer who was pregnant and did not want to drink coffee. We may never know if the story is true, but it is a very popular drink on the West Coast and especially in and around Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia.

The origins of Earl Grey tea are also a bit mysterious. It is said to be named after Charles Grey, the 2nd Earl Grey who was a British Prime Minister in 1830. Who came up with the blend and why remains a source of some debate but there are ads referencing Earl Grey tea from the 1880s. Earl Grey tea is a Chinese black tea flavored with bergamot, a type of sour orange that is very fragrant, and possibly a hybrid of lemon and bitter orange, it pairs quite nicely with lavender or vanilla. In fact, both are quite frequently blended into Earl Grey tea.

Earl Grey is one of those teas that is complemented by either lemon or milk. A bit of sugar also rounds out the tangy citrus notes. The foamy milk in the latte version is supposed to be reminiscent of fog, but someone I know who normally drinks tea with lemon likes milky tea on rainy days. I also like Earl Grey tea with milk on cold days, it's invigorating and adds a bit of brightness and the latte version feels particularly cozy. For my version of a London Fog, I use lavender rather than vanilla. It enhances the fragrance and floral qualities. But you could try it with vanilla syrup if you prefer or maybe a bit of both! This drink is very good with shortbread cookies or scones.

Lavender London Fog Latte
Makes 1 cup

Ingredients

1 Earl Grey tea bag
1/2 cup boiling hot water
1/2-1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Lavender Infused Simple Syrup, or to taste
1/2 cup milk
Culinary lavender, optional

Instructions

Bring water to a boil and place a tea bag into a cup. Pour the hot water over the tea bag and let it steep for 3 minutes and then add the syrup and stir. In a small saucepan or in a mug in the microwave, gently heat the milk until hot and use a milk frother or whip it in the blender until very foamy. Pour the foamy milk into the tea. Garnish with the tiniest pinch of crushed lavender if desired.

Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

17 Apr 2020 1:54am GMT

03 Apr 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Angkor Cambodian Sauces


For many years I've been wanting to write a cookbook about how to cook with condiments and sauces. I have a refrigerator and pantry filled with all kinds of ingredients from everyday ones like ketchup and miso to more unusual ones such as pomegranate molasses and preserved lemon paste. My Asian sauce collection is massive and I don't just use Asian condiments in Asian recipes but in all kinds of things. Which brings me to Angkor, a line of Cambodian ingredients.

A couple of years ago I met Channy and Kent Laux at the Winter Fancy Food Show. I was blown away by their first product, lemongrass paste which also includes garlic, jalapeno, onion, fish sauce (there's a vegan version as well), galangal and makrut lime, and couldn't wait to experiment with it. It's herbal and tangy with funky notes from fish sauce. Channy has shared a number of traditional Cambodian recipes on the site Angkor Chef but I knew the sauces would work in so many non-Cambodian dishes as well. Earlier this year I took some samples into the kitchen and began experimenting. Many of my recipes are now up on the Angkor Chef blog. This was not a paid project, I was just so enthusiastic about the products I really want to see them succeed and help to demonstrate how versatile the products are.

If you're looking to add new flavors to your favorite recipes, the Angkor line of sauces is really great. Here are some of the sauces and links to the recipes I created that use them:
1. Lemongrass Paste
This pungent, herbal and funky paste complements artichokes beautifully. I used some in both the steaming liquid and blended with mayonnaise and Greek yogurt for a dip. I also used it as a marinade for shrimp to use with tacos. It's great with any kind of seafood.
chrouk metae deviled eggs and macaroni and cheese
2. Chrouk Metae - Cambodian Hot Sauce
A spicy hot sauce, but thick and very fresh tasting, not overwhelmed by too much vinegar it also has a hint of garlic. I used this in both macaroni and cheese and in place of mustard with deviled eggs.
tuk meric eggplant salad and meatballs
3. Tuk Meric - Kampot Pepper Sauce
I am crazy about this sauce, it's traditionally used with fried foods and hard-boiled eggs. It is peppery but also has lime juice and sea salt. I used it in meatballs and it quickly became a favorite. I also used it to season a salad of grilled eggplant, tomatoes and green onions.
Tamarind sauce three bean salad
4. Tamarind Sauce
The tamarind sauce is for Cambodian wraps and spring rolls, but it is really a perfect dressing for salads. It has extra virgin olive oil, dried shallots, garlic, and chili as well as some fish extract. I loved it on a three-bean salad.

All of the products are available online, check their website for special offers.

Disclaimer: I was not compensated monetarily for this post, I did receive samples of the products.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

03 Apr 2020 8:57pm GMT

06 Mar 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Mint Matcha Latte Recipe


Mint Matcha Latte Recipe

My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands I personally use.

Growing up I loved pistachio ice cream, green marzipan covered princess cake, and shamrock shakes from you-know-where. Yes, green was my favorite color. I'm not sure I would have liked matcha as a child, but I certainly like it now. I usually make matcha with just water, but for St. Patrick's Day I created a minty green matcha drink as a treat.

Matcha is a Japanese green tea, ground into a powder. You can easily find matcha powder suitable for recipes at the supermarket nowadays. Matcha can be used in cookies, ice cream, cakes and more. It has a lot of health benefits including antioxidants and is reported to help protect the liver, boost brain function, may help prevent cancer and even support weight loss. In many recipes matcha is combined with milk, if you combine it with cow's milk the calcium counteracts the absorption of many of the beneficial nutrients and antioxidants. Some non-dairy milk also has calcium added. But if you're not drinking it for health reasons it's fine to use any milk you like.

The flavor of matcha is usually pretty subtle in recipes, so I like combining it with other complementary flavors. Sonoma Syrup Peppermint Simple Syrup adds both sweetness and the hint of mint flavor that makes this drink so special. I particularly like using coconut milk in this recipe because while it doesn't have any real coconut flavor, it does add richness. This drink is intended to be served hot, but I tried it cold and it's good that way too!

Mint Matcha Latte
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 serving matcha powder, about a teaspoon
2-3 Tablespoons hot water
1 cup coconut milk (or other milk of your choice)
1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup Peppermint Simple Syrup, or more to taste

Instructions

Heat the coconut milk until hot but not boiling. Meanwhile, in a mug whisk together the matcha powder and hot water until smooth. Add the hot milk and simple syrup. Whisk to combine and serve immediately

Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

06 Mar 2020 3:45pm GMT

03 Mar 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Emma's Famous Beet Borscht Recipe


Emma's Famous Beet Borscht


There are a few dishes that I grew up eating that are my soul food. High on my list is borscht, a beet soup from Eastern Europe. I like it hot, I like it cold. I like it thin, I like it thick. I like it with beef, I like it vegetarian. And I particularly like it with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. The beets somehow transform mundane carrots, onions, and potatoes into something sweet, juicy and scrumptious.

I used to make borscht from a recipe from The Victory Garden Cookbook. It's a great recipe from a really great cookbook, but it is incredibly involved and time-consuming. To the rescue comes my friend, Emma. Emma is a colleague of mine so I get to see her fairly frequently at events around town. She is in some ways a bit like me - she is curious, has a great appetite, is interested in art and strongly opinionated. We don't always agree about everything but I am guaranteed a good conversation with Emma and I truly enjoy her company. Recently on a long drive together I learned about her life in Kiev and her story of coming to America.

So it should come as no surprise that Emma has a good recipe for borscht. The most common variety of borscht is from Ukraine. It's not just good, according to Emma, it's famous. She tells me I'll love it so much, I'll soon be making it once a week, just like she does. While it's not exactly a quick recipe, a big pot can be made in just about an hour. I used a bit more liquid than she did, adjust the liquid as you see fit. A few things to note, I peeled the potatoes but did not peel the beets or carrots. I also added water in addition to broth, and used at least a teaspoon of Kosher salt to season it.

Emma's Famous Beet Borscht Recipe
Makes about 6 servings
This recipe is adapted from Emma Krasov of Art and Entertain Me

Ingredients

1 32 ounce box chicken stock or broth
2-3 cups water
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
2-3 red medium beets, scrubbed, tops and bottoms trimmed
1 medium green cabbage
1 large potato, peeled and diced
Fresh dill
2-3 Tablespoons of tomato paste
Juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Sour cream

Instructions

Heat the broth and water in a large soup pot. When it comes to a boil add the onion, carrots and beets. Bring to a low simmer, cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the diced potato and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the beets with a slotted spoon and let them cool. Add shredded cabbage. Cook for 10-15 min. until soft but not mushy. Add the tomato paste and stir until it dissolves. Meanwhile, grate cooled beets on a big-hole grater. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat for a couple of minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning again as necessary. At this point, Emma says you can add paprika, cayenne, more lemon juice, any herbs, but in small portions, to taste. Turn off heat, stir in chopped fresh dill. Serve hot, and garnish with sour cream. Keeps well for a week.

Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This post includes an Amazon affiliate link.

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

03 Mar 2020 9:34pm GMT

19 Jan 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Masala Chai Recipe

My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands that I personally believe in and use.
Hot, creamy, spiced, black tea is called masala chai in India. In Hindi chai means tea and masala means a mixture of ground spices. But in the US we often refer to masala chai as chai tea or chai tea latte. During Winter I crave masala chai. I first tried it in an Indian restaurant. It was rich with milk and very, very sweet, then in college, I discovered the pleasure of making it myself. I got the recipe long before the internet, from someone I met at a party. Calling it a recipe might be a stretch, it's more like general guidelines.

Funny that tea is not even mentioned in the recipe! But that ancient scrap of paper is the basis for my recipe, which is a combination of strong black tea and milk, flavored with cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, and fresh ginger. I've tried many commercial versions of chai, but they often use flavorings or ground spices rather than crushed whole spices and I like mine much better. I find the chai at most Indian restaurants to be too sweet. Making it at home, I used to use white sugar, but Sonoma Syrup White Ginger, Pumpkin Spice or Vanilla infused simple syrups are even better because they add another layer of flavor.

There's no right or wrong way to make chai. You will see some recipes that use whole spices or grind them completely, some simmer the tea bags with the spices and some simmer the tea, the spices, and milk. The best thing about making masala chai at home is that you can adjust the technique and the spices to your liking, something you can't do with chai mixes, tea bags or concentrates. Just as I adapted the recipe I was given, you should do the same, experiment with different spices or different proportions to make it truly yours.

Masala Chai
Makes 2-3 servings

Ingredients

4 cardamom pods
4 black peppercorns
3 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
2 thick slices fresh ginger
2 cups water
2 tea bags of strong black tea or 1 Tablespoon loose black tea
1 cup milk, or more to taste (dairy or non-dairy, I use 1% dairy milk)
Sweetener-white sugar, Sonoma Syrup Pumpkin Spice, White Ginger or Vanilla infused syrup to taste

Instructions

Crush the cardamom, black pepper, clove and cinnamon and bash the ginger slices, but do not grind any of it completely. In a pot combine the water and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer over low heat, covered for 10 minutes. Add the tea and turn off the heat. Cover again and let steep for 5 minutes then add the milk. Strain and add sweetener to taste.

Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

19 Jan 2020 1:14am GMT

17 Jan 2020

feedCooking with Amy: A Food Blog

Half The Sugar All The Love Cookbook Review


Sugar has been in the news lately and it hasn't been sweet. While it isn't a surprise to learn that too much sugar is bad for your health, it is a bit surprising to learn just how addictive and pervasive sugar is. In Make 2020 The Year of Less Sugar, a story that ran in the New York Times just a few weeks ago I learned that sugar lurks in 70% of packaged food, the many health risks associated with too much sugar as well as the "addictive nature of the fructose in processed foods and beverages."

The article recommends taking a 7-day break from added sugar, and then adding it back in but carefully. The New York Times also published a "7 Day Sugar Challenge" but if you're really serious about cutting the sugar, check out Half The Sugar All The Love, a new cookbook by Jennifer Tyler Lee, a healthy food advocate and Anisha Patel, an MD and Stanford professor who researches children's health. The book definitely slants toward families, but even a household without kids like mine will find the recipes appealing. I made the Double Chocolate Brownies, twice (!) and the Creamy Tomato Soup. I already had recipes I like for both of these things so it made for interesting comparisons.

The brownies are grain and gluten free, and have only 1/4 cup of maple syrup to sweeten them! The recipe uses almond butter and sweet potatoes and is fairly low in saturated fat. They are rich, not terribly sweet and very tender, but not caky. But my favorite recipe is actually the tomato soup which is incredibly smooth and well balanced without added sugar, but with a couple of carrots to lend sweetness to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Some of the recipes are truly a marvel, each one shows how much sugar is in it, and what the typical amount of sugar is. Some recipes have 1/4 or 1/2 the usual sugar but others have as little as 1/10th the sugar. I'm looking forward to trying the Cold Sesame Noodles, the Caramelized Pumpkin Bread, Pineapple Teriyaki Salmon Burgers, and the Maple Roasted Almonds.

I received an extra review copy of this book, so I'm going to give it away to one lucky reader!
Just follow Cooking with Amy on Instagram, like the brownies post, and leave a comment tagging someone you think would like the recipe to enter.

*Must be 18+ years and have a US address to win. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted directly. If the winner does not reply within 24 hours, a second winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Instagram. The contest will end on 1/23/20

Disclaimer: This book was provided for me as a review copy. I was not paid to write this post but it does include an affiliate link.
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17 Jan 2020 4:45am GMT

30 Dec 2019

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White Ginger Turmeric Latte Recipe

Disclaimer: My thanks to Sonoma Syrup for sponsoring this post. I only work with brands that I personally use and want to share with my readers

I love the tingle and zing of ginger, especially fresh ginger, but lately, I've been using Sonoma Syrup White Ginger Infused simple syrup to add a bit of spice and warmth to Winter recipes. Just this past week I used it in both applesauce and turmeric latte or golden milk. Instead of using sugar in applesauce, I added 1/4 cup of the white ginger infused simple syrup to 8 peeled and diced apples and the juice of one lemon. This was a change from the usual cinnamon, and it was particularly good on potato pancakes.

I'm a bit of a latecomer to the pleasures of "haldi doodh" also known as turmeric latte or golden milk. A traditional drink in India, it is purported to have all kinds of health benefits including everything from warding off colds to curing acne to supporting weight loss. I can only speak to one benefit, which is aiding in sleep. Growing up I drank warm milk on nights I couldn't sleep. It might have been the power of suggestion, but I still associate warm milk with sleep. Turmeric latte is a soothing, relaxing and warming beverage, and my version is enhanced with the addition to ginger and black pepper.

Turmeric latte is a very flexible recipe. A pinch of black pepper and a bit of ginger both supposedly enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of the turmeric but also complement the flavor of turmeric and milk. While adding sweeteners is not traditional in golden milk, it is used in a lot of contemporary recipes. Some recipes use maple syrup or honey to sweeten golden milk, but white ginger infused simple syrup is particularly good. Be sure to use really fresh turmeric powder in this drink, if you use between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon per serving it won't be gritty or require straining but it will be golden.

White Ginger Turmeric Latte
makes 2 servings

2 cups of milk, dairy or non-dairy
1/2-1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2-1 teaspoon Sonoma Syrup white ginger syrup
Pinch black pepper

In a small saucepan combine the milk, turmeric, syrup and pepper. Heat over medium heat and whisk until frothy. When hot remove from the stove and taste. Adjust the amount of turmeric and syrup to your liking.


Enjoy!
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

30 Dec 2019 11:31pm GMT

23 Dec 2019

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Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated Review

Joy of Cooking was one of the first cookbooks in my collection. It's been a solid reference book for home cooks since it was first published in 1936 and was the cookbook I turned to when I was learning to cook. I turned to Joy to learn how to make biscuits, cobblers, pie crust, gingerbread, how long to roast a chicken or leg of lamb, and the general guidelines for everything from how long to steam an artichoke to how to make zucchini bread.

As my cookbook collection has grown and my cooking has become more adventurous, I stopped referring to Joy of Cooking which felt a little old fashioned, and a little too Midwestern. But the latest version has brought me back into the fold and here's why. The most recent version was updated by John Becker, the great-grandson of the original author Irma Rombauer and his wife Megan Scott. They live in Portland, Oregon, and the book now has more of a West Coast flavor than ever before- which is evident in recipes for things like poke and cioppino. They are young and adventurous and have thankfully dispensed with recipes that relied on things like Jell-o and canned soup while incorporating a very wide range of international spices and condiments so you'll find explanations of things like koji, amba and gochujang. The book has sections on canning, fermenting and even how to infuse vodka.


Recently I wanted to make kimchi but having never made it before I found the recipe in Joy of Cooking was perfect for a beginner. The book has caught up to where I am in my cooking and culinary explorations while still being a solid pick for the basics. Even if you already have a copy (or more than one) of Joy of Cooking, I recommend checking out the new one. There are 600 new recipes and it feels fresh and modern while preserving everything cooks appreciate about the book, especially the intertwining of ingredients and instructions and an approachable personality. Becker and Scott have done Irma Rombauer proud.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy of Joy of Cooking. I was not compensated monetarily to write this review. This page includes affiliate links.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

23 Dec 2019 5:04pm GMT

12 Dec 2019

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Pantry Pasta Pomodorini Recipe

Pantry Pasta Pomodorini Recipe
I'm a big believer in a well-stocked pantry. I could probably cook everyday for a month without shopping thanks to my pantry full of beans, pasta, rice, condiments, jars of anchovies, cans of tuna, along with fresh onions, garlic and potatoes. I also have tomato paste, canned whole, diced, fire-roasted tomatoes and cherry tomatoes from Italy. I believe you can never have too many cans of tomatoes or too much pasta. No one will ever go hungry in my house.

There are probably a million things you could make from pantry staples, but pasta with tomato sauce has got to be one of the most comforting. This pasta recipe uses cannelini beans so it's kind of a mash up of pasta fagioli soup and pasta pomodoro. The beans add creaminess and starch to the pasta and also protein. If you haven't ever tried using canned cherry tomatoes, you really should. They have a flavor and texture that you won't get from regular canned tomatoes and they are perfect for a quick pasta sauce.

Pomodorini is the Italian word for cherry tomatoes. Another name for them is ciliegini. You won't find domestic canned cherry tomatoes, they are something uniquely Italian and have to be hand-harvested. They come packed in a sauce that is close to a puree of tomatoes. In addition to sauce, you could use them in place of fresh tomatoes with fresh cheeses like feta, ricotta or mozzarella, bake them on a pizza, use them with things that cook quickly like fish or seafood, or add them to chunky stews or casserole dishes. They are sweeter than other canned tomatoes and the skin helps them to hold their shape which giving them a sweet pop to recipes.


Pantry Pasta Pomodorini
Makes 2-4 servings

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 14 ounces can cherry tomatoes, "pomodorini"
1 15 ounces can cannelini beans, rinsed
3 cups ruffled pasta, I used sagne a pezzi but fiorelli, campanelli or even radiatore would work
Salt to taste
Grated cheese, such as Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano, optional

Heat a medium skillet and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook over medium high heat for 3 minutes, then add the beans and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions. When cooked, use a slotted spoon or mesh strainer to transfer the pasta to the sauce. Add one ladle of pasta water and simmer for another 3 minutes. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and season to taste with salt and top with grated cheese if desired.


Enjoy!

Disclaimer: My thanks to Greatest Tomatoes of Europe for providing me with samples of pasta and tomatoes.
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12 Dec 2019 5:30pm GMT

02 Dec 2019

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All About Simple Syrup & No Oil Added Granola Recipe

Simple syrup is one of the most classic cocktail ingredients. Even though simple syrup is extremely basic and true to its name, simple, it is also incredibly versatile and can be used in so many ways other than just for cocktails and coffee drinks. I became fascinated with simple syrup thanks to Karin Campion, the founder of Sonoma Syrup. Her company grew out of her experiments developing high quality handcrafted simple syrups infused with ingredients from her garden in Sonoma.

I use Sonoma Syrup simple syrups because they come in a wide variety of flavors making them more suitable for recipes and because unlike homemade simple syrup, they don't require refrigeration and last a very long time, even though they don't include any artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. After Karen shared her products with me, I discovered that in addition to using simple syrup in cocktails, and in hot and cold beverages, it could also be used in cooking.

While I rarely see recipes using it, I reach for simple syrup often to add a hint of sweetness to vinaigrettes and marinades and to round out any harsh acidity or saltiness in sauces. It adds flavor but also provides the smooth texture I prefer over white or brown sugar. Sonoma Syrup infused simple syrup provides an additional layer of flavor and can often be used in place of sugar, honey or maple syrup. I've even adapted an easy and no-oil added recipe for granola using it.

Ways to use flavored simple syrups

* Pour on sweet potatoes before or after cooking

* Combine with fruit and yogurt to make popsicles

* Use in place of sugar to make glazed nuts (1 cup nuts, 2 Tablespoons simple syrup)

* Blend with butter to spread on biscuits

* Add to fruit salads

* Mix into cream cheese and spread on banana bread or pumpkin bread

* Add to water when poaching fruit

* Freeze with water in ice cube trays and use to chill drinks

* Drizzle over plain yogurt, waffles, pancakes or hot cereal

No Oil Added Granola Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans, walnuts or almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin or sunflower seeds, or a combination of both
1/4 cup Sonoma Syrup vanilla syrup (or try another flavor)
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped dried fruit, optional

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the oats, nuts, seeds, syrup and salt in a bowl and mix with a spoon or flexible spatula. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and evenly distribute the mixture on top.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden, stir 1/2 way through the baking. Add dried fruit if desired and store in an airtight container.

Enjoy!


Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. My thanks to Sonoma Syrup Co. for partnering with me.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

02 Dec 2019 10:32pm GMT

01 Dec 2019

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Fall Fruit Salad Recipe

I love the Thanksgiving meal as much as anyone else if not more, but I admit, it's heavy. It needs something light, bright and frankly refreshing. I know fruit salad isn't traditional but my mother often decorates the holiday table with seasonal fruit that makes the table pop with color, and I was inspired by her tablescape to make a salad using Fall fruits. The main fruit in the salad is Fuyu persimmons. Fuyu persimmons are the rounder ones with bright orange skin and a very firm crunchy texture. They are incredibly sweet and have a very unique flavor. Hachiya persimmons are delicious as well, but too soft to use in this recipe.

While Summer fruits are probably my favorites, Fall fruits are pretty compelling too. In addition to persimmons, I used grapes and pomegranate which each provide a pop of sweetness along with acidic and sweet tangerines. Apples and pears are in season too, but they have a tendency to brown. Kiwi fruit is another fruit that is in season starting in October in California. The surprising thing about this fruit salad is how sweet it is! I thought I was going to make a dressing from honey and lemon, but the salad really didn't need any additional sweetness. In fact, the salad needed more acidity.

In Italy balsamic vinegar is used on strawberries and so I tested it with the salad and it was a hit. You could serve the salad without any dressing, but I think the vinegar helps to balance the sweetness and adds a pleasant tangy quality. The fruit salad will keep at least a day or two, but dress it as close to serving as you can. It's good on its own or served with ice cream or yogurt.


Fall Fruit Salad
Serves 8-10

Ingredients

4 Fuyu persimmons
3 tangerines
3 kiwi fruit
1 pomegranate
1/2 lb grapes, red or green
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions

Remove the stem, peel and cut the persimmons into small bite-size pieces. Peel the tangerines and cut them horizontally into rounds, and then into quarters. Peel the kiwi fruit and cut into round slices, then cut each round in half or quarter. Remove the arils from the pomegranate and wash and remove the stems from the grapes.

Combine all the fruit in a bowl and toss with the balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy!

©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

01 Dec 2019 9:40pm GMT

27 Nov 2019

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A Taste of Travaglini Gattinara


The Travaglini family is obsessed with Nebbiolo and I don't blame them. Nebbiolo is a grape native to the Piedmont region of Italy and it's the grape in wines from Barolo and Barbaresco. But the Travalglini family is from Gattinara, a region of Piedmont that received a DOCG certification for wine in 1967 and wines produced there must be at least 90% Nebbiolo (a tiny amount of Bonarda and Vespolina are also allowed). In Gattinara the grape expresses itself in a way that is extraordinary-it has incredible minerality and earthiness, but also freshness, with spicy, fruity, floral and herbal notes, terrific acidity and elegant silky tannins. Imagine a wine with raspberries, cherries, violets, roses, and even a bit of licorice and sometimes tobacco. I'd say it's a great wine for Thanksgiving because it pairs with just about everything. Drink it with pasta, with cheese, with game, with turkey, with beef, even with fish.

Nebbiolo is named for nebbia, the Italian word for fog. But it's not just named for the climate, but rather poetically for the opalescent cast on the grapes that resembles fog. The very small Gattinara appellation is in the rocky alpine foothills of the Monte Rosa mountain range where cold winds blow down from the alps and the volcanic soil is rich with granite and iron. The family-run Travaglini Gattinara winery owns 146 of the 247 acres of Gattinara production so it's the label you are most likely to find.

The Travaglini bottle makes quite an impression. Literally, the bottle. It is "twisted" and was designed by Giancarlo Travaglini in 1958. While there is charming mythology about the bottle-that it was formed accidentally by fire, or designed to fit the hand of a left-handed pope, the truth is much more practical. As you might imagine, Gattinara is a wine that ages very well, but with age comes sediment, so the dip in the bottle collects any sediment when the wine is poured. I hope you get a chance to experience this exceptional wine, entry-level bottles cost around $30.

Disclaimer: My thanks to the Taub Family Selections for including me in an event where I got to meet the Travaglini family and enjoy their wines.
©2020 Cooking with Amy. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

27 Nov 2019 5:59pm GMT