Fresh, Flavorful Chickpea Veggie Burgers!

Fresh, Flavorful Chickpea Veggie Burgers!

If you are feeling big and bloated after the holiday season, you’re certainly not alone. A lot of us are looking to renew our gym memberships, and eat more healthfully, at least through January. This month, the hash tag #Veganuary is everywhere – it’s a trend that started in the UK urging people to try going vegan for the sake of animals and saving the planet.

As a meat lover, I’m not quite ready to jump on the solar paneled band wagon, but I can vouch for this chickpea veggie burger recipe.

Chickpea burgers have so many scrumptious possibilities! You can experiment with different ingredients, like swapping rosemary for cilantro, or topping the burger with sliced and seasoned radishes, instead of cucumbers. I like to sprinkle a little feta cheese on top of my chickpea burger – don’t tell the vegans!

While not the perfect vegan recipe, my veggie burgers ARE filled with fiber – something a much more caloric beef burger can’t claim. This is your go-to recipe for a basic veggie burger that most condiments and giant bun can make extra delicious. I like that you can make it in a skillet just like you would a grilled cheese.

Here you go! HAPPY 2020!!

Chickpea Veggie Burgers

15 minute cuisine

Yields about 6 patties

For the “burger”

1 (12-ounce) can garbanzo or “chickpeas”, drained

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Juice of 1 medium lemon, about 3 tablespoons

½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

Kosher salt and coarse ground pepper

For the buns

6 whole-grain hamburger buns

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, chilled

1 small clove garlic, peeled and minced, about 1 teaspoon

Garnishes:

1 English cucumber, sliced

Red onion, sliced

1 ounce Feta cheese, crumbled, about 3 tablespoons

In a food processor or blender, combine the garbanzo beans, cilantro, lemon juice, flour, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, pulsing until a batter like consistency forms. With a large spoon, transfer batches of the mixture to a non-stick pan, or one with 2 tablespoons olive oil for frying.

Each batch transferred to the pan should resemble a hamburger patty in size and shape.

Cook the patties for 5 to 8 minutes, about three minutes per side. Remove to a platter and top chickpea patties with the cucumber slices, onion and feta cheese.

Add the garlic to a separate pan with butter and sauté on medium low heat about 3 minutes. Brush butter/garlic over the top of each hamburger bun. Toast the top of each bun in an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees for up to 8 minutes or until golden brown.

Place cooked patties on the bottom half of the bun, and top with the garlic buttered bun tops for the perfect bite!

Make Your Own Fresh Ricotta. It’s So Easy!

Make Your Own Fresh Ricotta. It’s So Easy!

I chose ricotta as the first recipe to make into a cooking video for 2 reasons: One, I needed something incredibly fast and easy and Two, I think people deserve to know that ricotta is just one of those things you’re better off making yourself.

I turned to a film student to make Jorj.com’s first official cooking video, and may ask her to follow up with ricotta ice cream w/fruit syrup and baked ravioli recipes.

My video(s) should be ready soon, but in the meantime, let me tell you how fun it was to make this basic cheese ingredient. I tried it myself at home with a friend.

We poured a half gallon of milk into a stock pot and chatted about our summers as it came to a boil. I stirred it. Then as it began to bubble, I added the buttermilk.

We stirred, then waited for 5 minutes. By then, delicious and recognizable ricotta cheese curds had formed. We took them to the sink and strained them into a colander lined with cheese cloth.

Our ricotta now “in the bag” (ha, ha!!), we held it over a cup and collected the last few drips and then transferred it to a bowl.

It was so beautiful! A perfect little blob of delicious cheese. Spoons ready, we tried it and thought that with a grate of lemon zest and chopped herbs, we could eat it right now with crudité or crackers.

But into the fridge it went, where we planned to let it set up to five hours. When it comes out, we had basil, chives and parsley waiting to fold in.

I am told the same kind of scene transpired in the Berman’s kitchen, where their prospective NYU film school student filmed a story about a whole lotta ricotta. She has sweet ingredients for a dessert-y ricotta that she will be tinkering with this week, AND a copy of my book, CANVAS & CUISINE. She and her family loved the artwork in that book, and promised to make something from its pages soon…

Anyway, I would like to officially welcome The Bermans to my culinary Adventureland and thank them for offering their home as stage set, and working with my food blog editor, Jen Russon to produce fresh homemade ricotta.

Here’s the recipe. Video out ASAP. Ciao!

Fresh Homemade Ricotta

15 minute cuisine, plus up to 5 hours to set

Yields 4 to 5 cups

1 gallon whole milk

4 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon very fine sea salt

In a large stock pot, add the milk and heat to a boil. Stir continuously, so a skin doesn’t form on the milk. Add the buttermilk and salt. Stir and wait 5 minutes for cheese curds to form.

Line a colander with cheese cloth and pour the cheese into it; drain, then tie off into a bag, holding ricotta over a cup or a bowl to collect further drainage.

Place the ricotta in an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 to 5 hours. After it cools and sets, you may add any chopped fresh herbs you like, such as rosemary, chives, basil or parsley. The ricotta may also be enhanced with sweet flavors.

The possibilities are as scrumptious as they are endless!

 

 

Grill Me Something, Mister, with Salad on the Side!

Grill Me Something, Mister, with Salad on the Side!

It’s that time…. Father’s Day! To all you Dads out there, enjoy your day. To all you moms and kids old enough to know your way around a kitchen, here’s a fresh farmer’s market salad, WITH an amazing easy to put together dressing.  Trust me, it’ll be the only side dish you need to go with perfectly grilled steak, pork or chicken. I’ve included a few extra photos in the cooking instructions to show you what a scrumptious possibility this salad actually is – but before I get to it…

DADS, here’s a foolproof way to create a flavorful grilled dish.

It’s a simple technique of using a board sauce! On your cutting board, chop several cloves of garlic and use the flat side of the knife to smush (a grown up cooking term) the pieces into the board. Choose your favorite herbs like thyme and rosemary, and finely chop these on your board. Drizzle the herbs and garlic with olive oil and dot the board with pieces of butter. Sprinkle kosher salt and coarse black pepper over everything. Now, your board is ready.

Remove your cooked steak (or pork or chicken) from the grill and place it onto your board. Use tongs to flip the steak several times, coating both sides with melty, buttery, garlicky goodness. Cover the steak with aluminum foil, and let it rest in the “sauce” for several minutes. The steak will absorb the flavors of the board sauce, as well as all its juicy goodness. After 4 to 5 minutes, remove the foil and cut the steak into slices right on the board.

You can serve the steak with your favorite side dish, but for all of you Moms out there, here’s an adaptable farmer’s market salad. It’s the perfect way to utilize all the fresh ingredients you’ve piled into your basket at the market. This recipe (like most) is only an inspiration and a guideline. Use whatever veggies you have on hand, and flavor them with your favorite herbs and spices. It’s all good!

Farmers Market Salad

With Roasted Garlic Buttermilk Dressing

serves a crowd

1 hour cuisine

 

Prepare the veggies:

10 baby red potatoes, halved

2 or more tablespoons olive oil

1 or more teaspoons kosher salt

1 or more teaspoons coarse black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic scape pesto

3 bulbs garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 bunch baby carrots

1 bunch purple spring onions, green tops removed

1 red bell pepper, seeded and deveined, cut into strips

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and deveined, cut into strips

2 beets, roasted, peeled and sliced into rounds

1 bunch radishes, tops trimmed and cut into rounds

½ cup white balsamic vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus a smidge

1 lemon, cut in half

1 bunch haricot vert

1 pint baby tomatoes, cut in half

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

For dressing:

½ cup buttermilk

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh chives

I head red leaf lettuce, torn into large pieces

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the baby potatoes onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until the potatoes are golden, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Drizzle the warm potatoes with pesto and toss to coat. Cool to room temperature.

Cut the top ⅓ from the garlic bulbs. Drizzle with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with oregano and drizzle with a bit more olive oil. Place the bulbs onto a piece of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around the garlic leaving an opening at the top of the pouch. Bake until the garlic is soft, and the cloves begin to crawl out of their skins, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Place the carrots, onions and peppers onto a baking dish. Drizzle with some of the olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast until the veggies are just crisp tender and beginning to soften, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Whisk ½ cup vinegar and 1 tablespoon sugar in a large bowl. Place the beets and radishes into the bowl and toss to coat. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the veggies from any excess liquid.

Bring a pot of water to boil over medium high heat. Squeeze the lemon and place into the pot. Add the haricot vert and blanch until just crisp tender and dark green, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the beans to a bowl with ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove the green beans from the ice water bath and transfer to a dish lined with paper towels.

Place the tomatoes into a bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of granulated sugar. Toss.

Place the buttermilk and sour cream into the bowl of a food processor or into a blender. Squeeze the garlic cloves into the cream. Add in the chives and season with salt and pepper. Puree the dressing.

Line a large platter with lettuce leaves. Lay the veggies onto the lettuce in bunches. Serve the dressing on the side. You can arrange the salad several hours in advance. Cover with plastic wrap. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving.

 

My First Supper from Farmer’s Market Opening Day!

My First Supper from Farmer’s Market Opening Day!

My friends, the farmers, are all over social media promising the fruits of their spring labors – I start drooling and reaching for my tote bags every time I go online. I couldn’t wait to get to my favorite place in the mountains, Watauga Farmers Market, which opened for the season on May 4th.  Over the last few weekends, I’ve gotten my hands on those lovely purple spring onions and the coils of garlic scapes, painted and cooked a lot within the pages of CANVAS & CUISINE: the art of the fresh market.

Watauga will have early (greenhouse) tomatoes this year and the tender leaves of baby greens. Here I come, and will continue to come through October!

After my first visit this year, I created a dish that pulls together some of my favorite farmer’s market finds: tender collard greens and rich pork belly. It makes for a lovely first course or a wonderful side dish…once you’ve chopped up the belly and stir it into the greens. Either way, it’s sure to delight and perhaps motivate you to find a fresh farmer’s market opening near you. If you find a new one in your neighborhood, please share the experience with us! I love posting scrumptious possibilities to my social media @jorjmorgancooking.

Now, please excuse me while I simmer my greens…

Collard Greens with Slow Roasted Pork Belly

serves 6 or more

30 minute cuisine plus slow cooking

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 (1 ½ pound) piece pork belly

3 bunches collard greens, stemmed, rolled and chopped

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

3 to 4 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Mix together the onion, garlic and chili powder with salt and pepper. Season both sides of the pork belly with some of the seasoning. Reserve about a tablespoon for the collards. Heat your slow cooker (or Dutch oven) over medium high heat. Place the pork belly into the cooker and brown on one side, about 5 minutes. Flip the pork and brown on the second side, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the pork belly to a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and cook on low heat (about 275 to 300°) for several hours until the meat falls apart when pulled with a fork.

Place the onion into the bottom of the slow cooker and cook until soft. Add the chopped collard greens and stir. Season with the remaining spices. Add 2 cups of the chicken stock. Set your slow cooker on high and place the lid on to top. If you are using a Dutch oven, place the lid on top and move it into the oven with the pork belly.  Continue cooking adding more liquid as needed to produce soft, syrupy greens. Before serving, stir in the balsamic vinegar.

Serve the collard greens on a plate with pieces of tender pork belly on the top. Drizzle the juices from the pork belly pan over the top.

What to Feed Your April Fool? How About Dinner for Breakfast?

What to Feed Your April Fool? How About Dinner for Breakfast?

There are so many savory breakfast classics that seem better suited to dinner, am I right? Steak and eggs, Quiche Lorraine, a mound of white grits that could be your April Fool’s Day mashed potatoes in the right light….

I wasn’t sure how to usher in the first Monday of this month. To help me brain storm, I got out my bullet journal. Bullet journals are trending lately. It differs from keeping a regular old diary, in that you just make lists and outline your goals in fun colors, adding little drawings in the margins.

Ideal bullet journal entries are grocery lists and recipes. When I embarked on note taking for Jorj.com’s Monday offering, I drew a Spanish sun first. Light was streaming through my kitchen window, warming my skin. I thought of the chapters in my new cookbook that were inspired by mine and my co-author, Sue Fazio’s trips to Spain.

I then decided that a perfect, savory dinner for breakfast is the Tortilla Espanola. In Spain, it’s just a tapa, but on April Fool’s Day in my house, it’s dinner!

You can make it in a cast iron skillet – any skillet – but be warned. It’s HOT!!! There are a lot of fiery bites on tapas plates. I guess the thought is the more blazing your taste buds, the more you require a swallow of chilled aperitif to put out the flames.

SANGRIA, anyone? Oh, and April Fool’s Day Tip – maybe make one side of the tortilla extra spicy and tell people to take their chances, wink, wink…

And remember – all days of the year, not just 4/1/19, this is a terrific dish for a pot luck. It’s good old-fashioned comfort food!

Tortilla Espanola

(Potato Torte)

serves a crowd

40 minute cuisine

5 to 6 medium Yukon Gold potatoes

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Vegetable oil for frying

2 large yellow onions, diced, about 3 cups

6 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced, about 3 tablespoons

6 large eggs, beaten

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Chopped, fresh parsley

Use a mandolin or very sharp knife to slice the potatoes into thin rounds. Place the potatoes into a colander and toss with salt. Pour enough oil to come halfway up the side of a deep skillet. Heat the oil over medium high heat. You will know that the oil is ready when you place the end of a wooden spoon into the oil and you see bubbles. Fry the potatoes in the oil until they are tender in the middle and just beginning to brown on the edges, about 5 to 8 minutes. You can do this in batches so that you don’t crowd too many slices into the pan. Use a slotted spoon or wire skimmer to transfer the potatoes onto a paper lined baking sheet.

Carefully add the onions and garlic to the oil. Lower the temperature to medium low and cook until the onions are soft and beginning to turn golden, about 5 to 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon or wire skimmer to transfer to the baking sheet holding the potatoes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully pour all but 2 tablespoons of the oil into heat resistant bowl. (When cooled, you can strain and re-use the oil for another recipe.)

Place the eggs into a large bowl using a fork to blend.  Gently slide the potatoes, onions and garlic into the bowl. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper and gently blend trying not to break the potato slices.

Heat the oil in the skillet over medium high heat. Pour in the potato and eggs using a spatula to spread evenly in the pan. Cook for 30 seconds to brown the (soon to be top) of the torte. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the center is set, about 5 to 8 minutes. Use the spatula to gently loosen the edges from the pan as it cooks. Shake the skillet to make sure the center is setting. Turn off the heat. Take a plate, that is large than the skillet and place it upside down over the skillet. With one hand on the plate and the other on the skillet handle, invert the pan so that the torte comes out and onto the plate. There might be a little loose egg around the edges. Use your spatula to scrape any bits back into the torte. Gently slide the inverted torte back into the pan and turn the heat to medium. Cook until a tester inserted into the center of the torte comes out clean, about 5 to 6 minutes more. Transfer the torte to a clean platter and keep warm. The torte can be served warm or at room temperature.

Kiwi Cooking Class: Learning in New Zealand

Kiwi Cooking Class: Learning in New Zealand

Chef Grant Allen

 

Tucked into the countryside of KeriKeri, in the Bay of Islands in New Zealand, is a local farmstead with herb and vegetable gardens, and state-of-the-art kitchen (pictured above). The transplanted Canadian owners of the homestead offer cooking classes from local Chef, Grant Allen. Allen’s philosophy on Kiwi cooking is that it’s similar to New Zealand cooking and based on our English, Scottish and Irish traditions.

“Our ‘culinary culture’ reflects our colonial history; as we travel, we become more aware of our Pacific and Asian neighbors, and their ingredients and cooking methods; like, New Zealand’s indigenous people, the Maori.” said Chef Allen.

Grant also believes that Kiwi cuisine is evolving. It has its origins in the food of their “European Grannies” and Maori cultures, while it is absorbing the influences of Pacific and Asian cuisine. To demonstrate these tastes and flavors, Grant offered an expansive menu that included a multi-coarse luncheon meal.

It started with the local delicacy of white fish bait fritters, a delicate crepe made up of whipped egg whites and whole, baby, salty white fish. He added Iki Mata, a ceviche of snapper cooked in citrus, with finely diced veggies and herbs.

Another starter, showcased beetroot chips stacked with crème fraiche and smoked salmon. Mussels, one of New Zealand’s most prized crops, were topped with coconut cream, ginger and diced chili, then broiled and served warm.

The main course featured a whole leg of lamb, simply prepared on an outdoor grill served with an herb-fresh salsa verde alongside buttery, garlic hasselback potatoes and a most delicious salad of fresh lettuces and herbs plucked from the garden, with crisp corn, avocado, pear and orange segments.

A secret ingredient to Grant’s salad were baby, sweet tomatoes that had been marinated in balsamic vinegar and honey, which later turned into the salad dressing. Dessert was made by a local cookbook author who whipped up a stone-fruit crumble which perfectly finished the meal.

As cooking classes go, this one was not only informative, but ABSOLUTELY DELISH!!!!! The meal was totally indicative of the food we explored in New Zealand. I come away with two words that for me, define the experience… fresh and simple.

Check out Grant Allen’s cooking tips on Facebook @grantcooks. What you see below is, in his own words, The Making of a Good Salad:

Remember these principles when composing:
Use what is fresh and in season – be inspired by what you find at the market.
Contrast colors and textures
Contrast shapes and size
You need “Crunch”
Build your ingredients to create a vibrant picture .
Dress with flavors that compliment or contrast with your ingredients.
Classically a vinaigrette has a 2/3 oil and 1/3 acid ratio but it’s over to you – use different kinds of oils , vinegars, citrus juices, pomegranate juice, verjuice, honey, mustards.
Season very well – remember your dressing is being carried by a lot of unseasoned ingredients.
Wash and spin your greens, wet leaves will wilt when dressed.
Dress just before serving.

A BOUNTIFUL SUMMER SALAD

Cos lettuce leaves
Ice burg lettuce leaves
Watercress

Blanched corn kernels
Fine sliced red , white or spring onions ( scallions )
Fine diced or ribboned cucumber
Fine diced or sliced peppers

Orange segments – save the juice for the dressing
Pomegranate seeds – save the juice for the dressing
Baby tomatoes – marinate in balsamic and liquid honey – save the marinade for the dressing
Nash Pear – slice finely with the skin on and dress with a little lemon juice to stop browning

Avocado – split, remove the stone a slice, leave the skin on if you wish, this stops the avocado getting mashed.

Mix together the citrus juice etc and blend in avocado oil to your taste, season well with S+P