Chic Pea Pop-up recap & photos

Style Blueprint Feature

StyleBlueprintI have had the wonderful pleasure of being a personal chef for Liza Graves of Styleblueprint and her lovely family.  Liza has been wonderful to work with and now she has posted a wonderful article about what I offer.  Check out the feature here.

Baked Cauliflower Latkes

LatkesI came across this recipe in an Bon Appetit magazine from 2008 and have had it in one of many of my file folders of dishes that I need to try. I was hired for a brunch of 32 and decided it was the perfect occasion to test these babies out.

WOW, they are absolutely amazing! They are also on the menu for the upcoming vegetarian and wheat & gluten-free wedding reception I mentioned in my last post.

They are the perfect appetizer, spicy and cooling at the same time, with a dill yogurt sauce I paired them with. They aren’t very time consuming and so well worth it, I hope you like my rendition!

Yield: 45

Ingredients:

7 1/2 cups cut cauliflower florets (about 2 medium heads)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 cup plus 2T fine dry gluten-free bread crumbs
1 1/2t baking powder (aluminum free)
3/4t sea salt
1/2t ground cayenne pepper
1/4t freshly ground pepper
1/4t onion powder
2-3 eggs

For the sauce:

1T freshly chopped dill
1 lemon, zest completely and use 1/2 of the juice
1/4t onion salt
1/4t garlic salt
sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Method:

Cook cauliflower in large pot of boiling salted water until very tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool.
Add garlic and half of cauliflower to processor; blend until smooth.
Add remaining cauliflower, parsley, and dill.
Pulse until cauliflower is chopped and mixture is still slightly chunky.
Transfer to large bowl.
Mix in breadcrumbs, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Beat 2 eggs in small bowl; mix into batter. If batter is dry, beat remaining 1 egg in same bowl to blend and mix into batter by tablespoonfuls until moist but not runny batter forms.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
On an evenly greased baking sheet, place the mixture about an inch apart using a melon baller to get a similar size and then flattening slightly. Bake on 375 degrees until browned on the bottom and flip till the other side is browned as well.
While the latkes are baking, begin making your yogurt dill sauce by adding all the ingredients and mixing well.
Plate the latkes with a dollop of yogurt-dill sauce and garnish with any extra dill or parsley.
Enjoy!! Try not to eat too many… I dare you! 😉

Polenta hearts with caramelized onions, goat cheese & honey

Polenta HeartsI am catering a wedding for a lovely couple in June and one of the appetizers on the menu are these amazing polenta hearts!  They are such a wonderful party snack, I just had to share the recipe with you!
I am definitely going to have to make these for some friends very soon!




Ingredients

For the polenta:

2 cups almond milk
2 cups water
1t kosher salt
1c polenta
1t onion salt

For the topping:

1T extra virgin olive oil
1T butter
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced in 1/4″ slices
2oz goat cheese, crumbled
honey to drizzle
thyme

Method

Bring the water, milk and salt to a boil. Slowly whisk the polenta in the mixture. Turn the heat to low and continue whisking for 5 minutes or until polenta is smooth and creamy and add the onion salt. Spread polenta in a 9×9 baking dish and set aside to cool.

While the polenta is setting up, add the butter and olive oil to a heavy bottomed skillet and set to medium-low heat. Add the onion, a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, golden and caramelized. About 20-25 minutes.

When the polenta is set up, cut out your desired shape (I had a heart shaped cookie cutter) and place on a greased cookie sheet and broil until browned and crispy on top and flip to brown the other side.

Place your polenta shapes on your platter and add the onion mixture on top along with the goat cheese, drizzle of honey and thyme leaves. Enjoy!

Simple Egg Salad

Egg SaladI have been enjoying this weather soooo much! Not too cold, not too hot, but just right!! The birds are so happy and singing their little hearts out, everything is blooming and I couldn’t be enjoying myself more… other than our cat taking a piss on my grandmother’s quilt which was on our spare bed! Those of you who have cats know that they are both RUINED! Argh!!! As angry as that made me, I still love that little bugger!

Ok… now that I have that out of my system, here is today’s post!

I have been hankering for eggs… eggs in all kinds of ways! So I decided to make some egg salad to curb my cravings and it really hit the spot! I’d forgotten how simple and delicious egg salad is. Yum!
I did this spur of the moment and didn’t really measure anything out, so bear with my “Kindy” measurements! 😉

Ingredients:

6 eggs
salt, to taste
4-6 grinds of freshly cracked pepper
a touch of cayenne
1/4 medium red onion, diced small
1 large spoonful of Nayonaise (or mayo/mayo alternative of your choice)
2 second squeeze of mustard (I used stone ground, but you can use what you like)
1 teaspoon of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (dill would be a wonderful alternative)

Method:

Make sure your eggs are close to room temperature. This will alleviate the shells cracking when added to the boiling water.
Add about 3 inches of water to your pot and bring to a boil.
Bring water to a rolling boil, add the eggs, bring to a boil again, cover and shut the burner off and let sit for 10-15 min.
Plunge the eggs into cold water and let sit for a few minutes.
Peel the eggs and add to your bowl.
Chop up the eggs and add all of your ingredients, mixing well.
It’s that easy! Enjoy your egg salad on a sandwich, wrap or with crackers!

New Camera = Spring Photos!

The new camera has been so awesome! I have really been enjoying taking pictures of everything blooming. I was lucky enough to receive some amazing strawberries plants that my friend Natalie’s dad began harvesting decades ago!!

They are doing wonderfully in my pot and I am about to have my first ripe one! I thought I would share some of the strawberry plants progression and some other pics around the yard. Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla SoupI have been a huge fan of Mas Tacos since first visiting the truck at a Tomato Art Festival several years ago. Up until recently, I was only partaking in the amazing tacos, but I finally got to try the chicken tortilla soup and man am I hooked!! I have meant to get this post up shortly after the chicken salad as I made the soup with the same rotisserie chicken, but I have been crazy (good) busy! Well, here is my version of Mas Tacos chicken tortilla soup… it’s so close!!



Ingredients:
rotisserie chicken carcass, meat pulled
8 cups water
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
cilantro, to garnish
avocado, to garnish
6 jalapeno, stemmed, seeds removed and sliced
2 limes, juiced, 1/2 reserved for garnishment
6 tortillas, cut into strips
1T poultry seasoning
salt, to taste
freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Method:
Pull all meat off the chicken and set aside.
In a large stock pot, add the carcass, water, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and jalapenos. Bring to a boil and then take it down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove carcass from the broth, add pulled chicken, sliced onion and lime juice and simmer until all the flavor come together, about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the tortillas into strips and bake until crispy @ 375 degrees.
Slice the avocado and cut the cilantro for your garnishment.
When the soup is finished, spoon into your bowls and garnish with your avocado, tortilla strips and cilantro with a squeeze of lime on top. Yum!!