Tangled Branches: Satiated

riveting tales of how we sustain ourselves

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Green Garlic

A couple of ideas featuring green garlic I tried out over the weekend.

Rosemary Chicken Skewers

I first had these several years ago, then lost the recipe. There's a similar one here, with good photos of the process. I didn't fiddle with aluminum foil on the ends of the skewers but I'll admit it might make a nicer presentation than blackened rosemary leaves. We're not that fussy for weeknight family dinners.

Step one is to find some straight woody branches of rosemary to use as skewers. I stripped the leaves off the lower part of the stem and left a tuft of leaves at the top.

Cut up some boneless skinless chicken thighs into kebab-size pieces. Finely chop rosemary leaves, lemon thyme, parsley, and green garlic. Toss the chicken pieces with the herbs, a small amount of olive oil, and salt and lemon pepper.

Cut a few shield-shaped pieces of onion to mingle with the chicken on the skewers.

Now for the fiddly part. Poke holes in the chicken pieces with a metal skewer and then thread them on the rosemary twigs, with a piece of onion between a few chicken pieces.

Grill until the chicken is cooked through.

I served this on naan with a yogurt and chile sauce, but I think the sauce obscured the flavor of the rosemary. The rosemary is really the whole point here. Next time I'd be inclined to serve this with salsa verde and maybe rice instead of bread.

Mushroom Omelet with Green Garlic and Tarragon

This was a Plan B dinner after our Plan A grilled steak got rained out.

First make the mushroom filling. Slice about 8 oz. of ordinary grocery store mushrooms. Thinly slice the bottom portion (where it's solid, before the leaves branch off) of one or two green garlic stalks crosswise. Finely chop the leaves of about 3 sprigs of tarragon. Chop together the top part of the green garlic with an equal amount of parsley. Heat olive oil in a skillet, then add mushrooms, the sliced green garlic, and the chopped tarragon. Cook until the mushrooms soften and give off their juices, then add chopped parsley and green garlic leaves. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook until the mushroom juices are reduced a bit.

Remove the mushrooms from the skillet, and make an omelet. When the omelet is almost set, add the mushrooms on top. Fold over and serve.

There were too many mushrooms to fit in the omelet, but we liked them so much that we ate the rest of the filling on toasted slices of baguette.

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posted by Entangled at 9:29 AM 0 comments

Monday, April 07, 2008

Green Garlic Soup v1.0

I still remember the first time I ate green garlic. The spouse and I stopped for lunch at the (lower priced, no reservations) café at Chez Panisse. This was at least 15 years ago, probably more. I don't remember what else I ate there, but we still talk about the green garlic soup. It was such a revelation. I remember it as being a pale green potato soup and one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.

I think that version must have been made something like this, but yesterday I concocted my own version, and it went something like this:

Chop one half a medium size yellow onion. Cook it slowly in 1 tbsp. butter until soft. Add 2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes and 3 stalks green garlic, thinly sliced crosswise. Stir this around for a minute or two and add 1 pint chicken broth (store-bought in this case) and 1 pint milk. Season with black pepper, but hold off on the salt for now (store-bought broth is usually so salty).

When the potatoes are very well cooked, mash them with a fork (or potato masher), and then puree part of the soup in small batches. This leaves you with a silky textured base, but not totally smooth. Taste first, then add salt if needed. I added a small amount of half & half just before serving, but it really wasn't necessary.

Now, this amount of garlic wasn't enough to really tint the soup green, and while the garlic flavor was there, it wasn't dominant. Perfectly acceptable for a business lunch or any other social occasion. We liked it a lot, but I plan to do it again with more garlic. And next time, I'm going to save some of the green leaves to chop as a garnish.

Alice Waters' latest cookbook (the only one of her books I own), The Art of Simple Food, has a green garlic soup recipe that's thickened with semolina instead of potato. We're very fond of potatoes, so I probably won't try that one until I've exhausted all the green garlic/potato possibilities.

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posted by Entangled at 6:05 PM 2 comments

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Indian-Style Omelet Sandwich

Today's lunch was Indian-style Omelet Sandwiches. I found the recipe last summer at One Hot Stove. We made this several times last year when we had plenty of good tomatoes. Now, in early spring, we just left out that part. It's good tomatoes or no tomatoes for us.

I made one large flat omelet in a 12-inch skillet - something like a very thin frittata. I didn't turn it over, just cooked it until the top was set. The omelet does get browned a bit on the bottom, but we think that's just fine.

Beat 2 eggs with about 1 tablespoon of half & half; mix in 1/2 onion chopped, 1 Pinocchio's Nose (long cayenne) pepper, some chopped fresh cilantro, and a few leaves of spinach cut into strips. Melt a small amount of butter in a 12" skillet and pour in the egg mixture. Cook, without turning, until the eggs are set. Toast 4 slices of Jim Lahey's no-knead bread, then generously butter the toast and divide the omelet in half to make 2 sandwiches.

Indianish Radish Relish

3 small French Breakfast Radishes
2 very tiny Shunkyo Radishes
3 pinches of Chunky Chat Masala
2 pinches of coarse salt
a few drops of lemon juice

Chop the radishes somewhat coarsely - think of the texture of hot dog relish. Mix all the ingredients, adjusting to taste.

My spouse used this as a topping for his omelet sandwich, but I thought it should be a side dish. Turns out it's good either way.

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posted by Entangled at 1:33 PM 0 comments