Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Make It! Pan Fried Radishes

I'm not the biggest radish fan.  My daughter loves them with just a sprinkle of salt, but at most I can have a couple of pieces that way.  I try to have them around for her when they are in season, but because I tend to avoid them, sometimes they are forgotten in the fridge.

Recently I had forgotten to put the radishes in the crisper drawer and after a few days they already started to wilt. Not knowing what to do with wilty radishes I left them a few more days.  Hmmm, what to do, what to do. They were still edible, but would need to be prepared quickly.

I decided I'd try something a little different.  I sliced them up and pan fried them on high heat in a little butter.  I salted them and sprinkled  a little seasoning on top.  They turned out amazing! All the bitter/spicy bite of the radish was gone, but there was still a ton of flavor.

The other night I had a couple of friends over for dinner and I wanted to recreate this dish.  I was out of butter so I just used a dash of grape seed oil in the pan. I also used the inner parts of the rough broccoli stalk I had leftover, and sliced them thinly.  I sprinkled the sliced radishes and the broccoli stalk with salt and a little thyme and some pepper.

I cooked on high in a ceramic sautee pan, flipping the radishes and stalks frequently so they wouldn't burn.  They were done when they were well cooked and a light golden brown. Again, they turned out delicious! They were a big hit and the first thing to be eaten up by everyone.

This is an easy dish that takes only a few minutes to prep. It can be cooked in any kind of fat, and any many spices would go well with it.  Or you can just stick to salt and pepper.  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Have you ever cooked radishes? What do you cook that most people eat raw?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Make it! Lentil Crackers

These crackers are really easy, tasty, and higher in protein that straight flour crackers.  The recipe is very forgiving (and may require some adjustment depending on how you cook your lentils), and the taste combinations are unlimited.  I'm not one to always exactly follow a recipe exactly, even my own, so each time I make these I have made them slightly different, and they've always come out great. In fact, the only reason why I wrote up a recipe is so I could share it with other people!

Lentil Crackers

You will need:

2 Cups cooked lentils (I used split red lentils)

4 tablespoons flour of your choice (I use Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend)

4 Tablespoons oil of your choice (I use Olive Oil)

Parchment paper

Salt and spices

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.

Take your 2 cups of cooked salted lentils (salt lentils as they cook in water).  You want them to be fully cooked and mushy. I didn't have hardly any excess water by the time mine were done.  If you do, drain it off.

I cooked a 1 pound bag of lentils and used the rest in other ways.  You can certainly make a really large batch, but you'll need to adjust the proportions.

Put your 2 cups of cooked lentils in a bowl.  Add flour, oil and salt to taste if desired.  Mix it all up with a spoon or your hands (I wet my hands to work with the dough).  Your dough will probably be a little sticky - and that's ok.  Slightly tacky is better than really dry.  Add more flour or water as you go along to get the desired consistency.

Divide the dough in half and make a round ball. It should hold together well even with gluten free flour (the first time I made these I used brown rice flour).  Place on parchment paper or silicone baking mat (you can reuse parchment over and over until it starts to brown and get more fragile - then toss it). Put another piece of parchment on top and roll out your dough evenly until it is thin.

Peel off the top piece of parchment.  Sprinkle with salt and spices (I used Trader Joe's South African Smoke). Cut your thin dough into cracker shapes. A pizza cutter works great for this.  No need to separate them - they will do this in the oven on their own.

Carefully lift the parchment paper onto a baking sheet and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until brown.  When they are browned they will be fully crispy and cracker like.

Do the same with the other half of the dough.

Store in an airtight container and enjoy!

Do you make crackers? What kind of spices would you use?