October 26th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
With Halloween less than a week away, pumpkins proliferate in most retail establishments, including your local natural and organic food store.
Pumpkins are a member of the gourd family, and you can substitute them in virtually any recipe that calls for winter squash (butternut, acorn, Hubbard, turban, etc.). The large pumpkins used to make jack-o’-lanterns are not the tastiest; instead, choose smaller pumpkins (jack-be-littles, cheese pumpkins or sugar pumpkins) that have more flesh.
Pumpkins pack a powerful nutritional punch, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. They’re low in calories, essentially fat free, and rich in potassium, vitamin A, beta-carotene and fiber. When shopping, select a pumpkin that has a hard, smooth, unblemished rind. A fresh whole pumpkin can be stored at room temperature for up to a month or refrigerated for up to 3 months.
I enjoy cooking with pumpkin any time of year, but I’ll admit to preferring simplicity. I buy canned pumpkin puree when baking or making pumpkin soup. My local Whole Foods Market carries 15-oz. cans of Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin, produced by Stahlbush Island Farms. It’s grown and processed in Oregon under Oregon Tilth organic agricultural requirements.
Tune in tomorrow for the first in a series of pumpkin recipes.
Read More:Organic Halloween Cuisine
April 13th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
What would Easter be without eggs? For a festive brunch, try this easy-to-make frittata.
Health-conscious readers who shop for organic food may be concerned about eating egg yolks, which are high in cholesterol. But it’s saturated fat—not the cholesterol in food—that raises your blood cholesterol level. The American Heart Association suggests a limit of three or four eggs a week for healthy adults. If high-cholesterol foods are off-limits, use cholesterol-free liquid egg substitutes or the egg whites alone.
Instead of the ham or bacon often found in frittatas, this Asian version uses shrimp and other healthful ingredients. Broccoli, for example, contains sulforaphane—one of the many powerful phytochemicals that help protect us against cancer and other serious illnesses, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Scallions, red onion, garlic and ginger offer other phytochemicals.
This frittata recipe appears in the institute’s cookbook, The New American Plate Cookbook.
Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp
Makes 4 servings
2 cups broccoli florets (1/2-inch pieces)
2 or 3 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
5 oz. peeled cooked shrimp, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1½ cups)
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
Canola oil spray
- In a medium bowl, combine the broccoli, scallions, onion, bean sprouts, shrimp, sesame oil and pepper.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites and flour until the lumps are almost gone, about 2 minutes. Pour it over the vegetable mixture, mix well with a fork and set it aside. Preheat the broiler.
- In a cup, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon cold water. In a small pan, bring the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, sugar and broth to a boil over medium heat. Stir cornstarch mixture to re-blend, add to the hot liquid and whisk until the sauce is thickened and translucent.
- Coat a large ovenproof skillet with canola oil spray and heat over medium-low heat. Stir the egg/vegetable mixture and transfer to the skillet, smoothing the mixture into an even layer. Cook about 4 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the bottom is browned. Place the skillet under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the top is browned and the center is almost dry. Loosen the frittata from the skillet with a spatula and slide it onto a serving dish.
- Cut the frittata into quarters and serve with the warm sauce spooned over the wedges.
Read More:Easter Brunch: Sesame-Ginger Frittata with Broccoli and Shrimp
March 17th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Organic Authority!
Fred Cordonnier, executive chef at The Clarence in Dublin, Ireland, has the pleasure of cooking for Bono and Edge of the rock group U2. In 1992, the two musicians purchased the 150-year-old hotel, reopening it in 1996 after 20 months of restoration and refurbishment.
Chef Cordonnier presides over the critically acclaimed Tea Room, an impressive restaurant that made the Conde Nast Traveler Gold List last year. He has graciously provided his recipe for Potato and Almond Soup. I’ll warn you now: It’s extremely rich. Shop for the ingredients at your favorite organic food store and enjoy!
Potato and Almond Soup
6½ cups water
2/3 lb. (11 oz.) white potatoes
1 slice ham
1 carrot (whole)
1 onion (whole)
1 stalk celery (whole)
1 clove garlic (whole)
3 stalks parsley
1/4 cup very cold water
1¾ cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons almond oil
1¾ cups cream
1/2 cup almond powder (available at natural food stores)
1 drop bitter almond essence
1¾ sticks of butter
1 cup cream
Salt to taste
- To make the bouillon, peel and cut the potatoes. Add the rest of the bouillon ingredients and cook slowly for 1 hour. Strain, separating the bouillon and cooked potatoes. Do not discard.
- Prepare the almond cream. Add the cold water to the whipping cream. Season with salt and whisk together. Add the almond oil, and keep in a cool place.
- Make the almond base. Boil the cream. Add the almond powder and almond essence. Cover and let sit for 20 minutes so the flavors can infuse. Pass through a fine strainer.
- To prepare the soup, place 4¼ cups of the bouillon, 1/2 lb. of the cooked potatoes, the almond base, almond cream, butter and cup of cream in a pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. If the soup is too thick, add some additional bouillon.
More Irish Recipes
Read More:Potato and Almond Soup
March 15th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Clyde’s of Georgetown
With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, we’re publishing another recipe that’s perfect for your organic food feast.
Clyde’s of Georgetown, winner of the Wine Spectator 2005 Award of Excellence, changes its menu each day, based on the availability of fresh, seasonal produce. Executive Chef Jeff Eng prepares this unique Brussels Sprout Hash, which he serves with his Red Wine & Juniper Marinated Venison with Bacon and a sweet potato puree.
Brussels Sprout Hash
Makes 2 servings
10 Brussels sprouts
1/4 Spanish onion
Pinch of garlic
2 strips bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper to taste
- Julienne the Brussels sprouts and onion. Chop the garlic.
- Sauté the bacon over a medium heat until crisp.
- Add the olive oil, onion and garlic to the same pan. Continue cooking until onions are soft.
- Add Brussels sprouts and butter to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve as soon as the Brussels sprouts are tender.
More Irish Recipes
More Brussels Sprouts Recipes
Read More:Brussels Sprout Hash
March 1st, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy a satisfying St. Patrick’s Day feast. In preparation for the March 17 holiday, Organic Authority will feature several recipes over the next few weeks from top chefs here and abroad. Today’s recipe shouldn’t require you to do too much shopping for organic food, as all of the ingredients are kitchen staples.
Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques in Los Angeles developed the recipe for these savory Brown Scones, recently featured in her new cookbook, Sunday Suppers At Lucques. The secret to successful scones? Don’t overwork the dough.
Makes 12 scones
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Place the flours, sugar, salt and baking powder in a food processor and process 30 seconds, until well combined.
- Add the butter and pulse about 10 times, until the mixture is a coarse meal.
- With the machine running, quickly pour in 1 cup of the buttermilk. Stop the machine as soon as the dough comes together. It’s important not to overwork the dough.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and bring it together with your hands into a large ball. Divide the dough into three pieces, and shape each of them into a 5″-wide disc. Cut each disc into quarters.
- Brush the tops of the scones with a little buttermilk. Place on a lightly buttered baking sheet and bake 25 minutes, until the scones are golden brown.
More Irish Recipes
Mildly Spicy Red Cabbage — Chef Catherine Fulvio of Ballyknocken House in Wicklow, Ireland
Read More:Irish Brown Scones
February 16th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Chef Anthony Walton
I still hear from chefs across the country about our pre-Thanksgiving recipe series on organic Brussels sprouts, which remain very much in season. (Check out the links at the end of this blog entry.)
Anthony Walton, executive chef at The Central Park Boathouse in New York City, has a wonderfully simple recipe. His culinary philosophy: “Keep things light, with subtle yet distinct flavors, and allow natural flavors to shine through.”
Chef Walton’s dishes are derived from fresh, seasonally driven ingredients and specially selected produce. Here’s his ever-so-easy recipe for sautéed Brussels sprouts, which he currently serves alongside an oven-roasted, chive-crusted halibut filet.
The Boathouse’s Brussels Sprouts
1 lb. Brussels sprouts
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped shallots
Salt and pepper, to taste
- Place Brussels sprouts in a pot with about 4 cups salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until sprouts are fork-tender. Drain. Then “shock” the sprouts in a large bowl filled with ice water. (Editor’s note: This stops the cooking process, preventing the sprouts from becoming mushy.)
- In a sauté pan, melt butter and add the shallots. Heat until butter turns golden brown. Add Brussels sprouts and toss until coated and warm again.
More Organic Authority Recipes
Read More:The Boathouse’s Brussels Sprouts
December 22nd, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
Mary Micucci is one of the most famous caterers in Los Angeles, specializing in large events like Hollywood movie premieres. She launched Along Came Mary in 1975, working out of a Volkswagen Bug. Today, she runs a $10 million business as the largest gourmet catering company in the entertainment industry. The “Hollywood Reporter” even dubbed her the “epicurean Steven Spielberg.”
When entertaining for Christmas, “think themes,” says Micucci. “Try snowmen, reindeer or toy soldiers carried out in the decor or cut out as cookies, with fun decorations and celebratory desserts.”
Here’s Micucci’s recipe for wassail, a traditional Christmas punch, which she made for last year’s star-studded premiere of “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.” You should have no trouble finding organic ingredients at your local whole or natural foods store.
1 gallon apple cider
1 quart pineapple juice
1 quart fresh orange juice
2 cups light brown sugar
1 teaspoon whole nutmeg, grated
10 to 18 whole cinnamon sticks
3 whole oranges, cut in half
25 whole cloves
8 stemmed Irish coffee mugs
- In a large saucepot on low, heat apple cider, juice and sugar. Bring to a rapid boil while adding 10 cinnamon sticks and grated nutmeg. Simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stick cloves into the skins of the 4 orange halves, placing them in even, linear rows. Turn off heat and add cloved oranges. Allow flavors to expand within the mix for 15 minutes.
- Using a peeler, zest 8 orange strands (4” each) from the third orange and set aside.
- Reheat mixture and pour into decorative coffee glasses. Garnish each glass with whole cinnamon, with orange strands twisted around it. Serve hot.
Cheers from everyone at Organic Authority!
Read More:Organic Christmas Wassail
December 12th, 2005 - Barbara Feiner
The weather outside has occasionally been frightful—and the skies are far from delightful in some areas of the country. It’s the perfect time to curl up by the fireplace and enjoy a mug of steaming hot chocolate.
Sure, you can buy a presweetened organic cocoa mix. (Check out mixes from Ah!Laska, Green & Black’s and Whole Foods Market.) But there’s nothing like making your own grown-up version of hot chocolate with organic milk and organic cocoa powder. The following recipe from the Dairy Farmers of Washington is all the richer with the addition of an organic egg.
Holiday Eggnog Hot Chocolate
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth and well-mixed.
- Transfer mixture to a double boiler.
- Without boiling, heat until steaming hot, stirring constantly.
Note: If you find this to be too bitter for your taste, add the organic sweetener of your choice.
The Super-Easy Version
- For a simpler version, combine equal parts of organic chocolate milk and organic eggnog.
- Heat on the stove until steaming hot. Do not boil.
Note: We recommend two brands of organic eggnog: Horizon Organic and Clover Organic (available only in California).
Sources for Organic Cocoa Powder
Green & Black’s
Read More:Homemade Organic Hot Chocolate with Eggnog