Fresh Herbs

A fresh and fun recipe catalog by a girl who likes to play in the kitchen the "from scratch" way.

|EAT MORE VEGGIES| 10/09/2011

Filed under: Apps,DILL,PARSLEY,Savory — |FreshHerbs| @ 12:23 pm

I’m trying to eat more veggies (EMV)…but I’ve never really been a fan of crudite. I think that is partially due to the fact that I’m an event planner for a living, and crudite for an event is, well, rather expected and boring (though typically one of the healthier options on the menu). So really, it’s an entertaining staple. I started to think to myself that maybe crudite isn’t just for parties anymore. Why not keep some dip on hand in the fridge to help aid my EMV goal? Hubs L-O-V-E-S raw carrots. Everytime we run out of cut carrots I get a {sad face} from him so having veggies on hand isn’t the problem (me washing, peeling, and chopping them is). I, on the other hand, always have plain nonfat greek yogurt in the fridge (can’t remember the last time I purchased sour cream at the market). Not only is it healthier, but it’s easier to digest too. So I set out to find a dip using my greek yogurt as a base and found this tasty dip that I modified to my taste.

Veggie Dip
Makes 1 cup; can be doubled for a party

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay ™ seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and let sit in fridge for 2 hours (better overnight). Serve with crudite, potato chips (not part of the EMV goal!), and other favorite party dippers.

This makes me think of my SIL- she’s a Maryland girl and loves Old Bay. As the weather turns colder and I find myself reaching into my spice cabinet for dried, as opposed to |FreshHerbs| I’m reminded just how handy dried herbs can be. This dip has no salt (outside of what’s already in the Old Bay) yet it still packs a flavor punch that fancies up bland raw vegge. So who’s going to EMV? I’m going to try! Cook often and eat well!

 

|MANGO TANGO| 07/04/2011

Filed under: Apps,CILANTRO,CORIANDER,fruit,Savory,Sweet — |FreshHerbs| @ 5:40 pm

Ah… mangoes on sale at the market. They’re packed with vitamin C and fiber, and a welcome departure from the norm. Oh yeah, and paired with cilantro? Mango-riffic!

Cilantro is, hands down, my favorite |Fresh Herb|. It smells great and tastes, well, I don’t know. The words that keep popping into my mind are fresh, bright, cool. Hubs and I enjoy good Mexican cuisine and I tend to gravitate toward anything with cilantro in it. Salsa verde? I’m in. “Fresh cilantro on that miss?” Do you even have to ask? Pile it on!

In fact, cilantro is typically a staple ingredient in Mexican, Asian, and Caribbean cooking (it grows wild in South East Europe…can you imagine!?). It is actually the leaves and stems of the coriander plant. Now coriander is an herb that I don’t typically cook with and frankly know virtually nothing about (except that I can thank it for cilantro). So, here and now I will promise to bring you something featuring coriander at some point in the future.

But now, back to mangoes. I love fresh salsa and make all kinds.  Salsa is my favorite recipe for nice, ripe mangoes. It goes great with chips and as a topping for broiled salmon. Is your mouth watering? No? Then re-read this post.

Meg’s Mango Salsa

2 ripe mangoes, medium dice
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 jalepeño, finely diced
1 lime, juiced
1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
1 splash of EVOO
pinch sea salt
a few shakes of fresh pepper

Mix all of this in a bowl and start eating!

Do you know the mango prep trick? It’s called hedgehogging [really]. I realize now that I should have taken a picture of this process {mental note}. But, dear reader, I’m not going to leave you hanging. I’ve gone and found a video for you!

Helpful Tool: I find that a mango corer is an insanely handy tool for prepping a mango. You won’t use it for anything else, but it takes up virtually no room so it is well worth having for just such an occasion [particularly if you plan to make mango salsa a lot, which you should]. Thanks to Laura for giving that to me many moons ago. The stone (seed/core) runs lengthwise and is rather flat. The corer gets around the stone without the waste you’d have if you just used a knife. But do what makes you happy.

 

|THANK YOU GOAT| 06/23/2011

Filed under: Apps,Savory — |FreshHerbs| @ 6:07 pm

…just realized I promised the recipe to my goat cheese and mushroom crostini from my inaugural post.  But first, a word on the title of my post. I have a niece who is a particularly picky eater. She likes chips, and sports drinks, and an occasional bite or three of whatever my mom-in-law has made for a family meal. So imagine my surprise when my hubs tells me that she adores goat cheese. What the what?! In fact, enjoys it so much (quite simply spread on crackers) that mom-in-law overheard her exclaim “thank you goat!” I couldn’t say it any better myself.

So a trip several months ago to a tiny little French bistro introduced hubs and I to an app that I simply had to try and recreate at home. It’s perfect with a glass of white wine (you’ll need some for the recipe anyway) and, being a texture girl myself, I just love the soft/crunchy/warm/fresh deliciousness of it all. So here’s my version::

1 fresh french baguette (I go from-scratch here, but store bought would work in a pinch)
1 small can of mushroom pieces (fresh also works, slightly different texture, but delicious)
2-3 sprigs |FreshHerbs| – I think thyme works best, parsley could be good too
1 Tb.ish of EVOO + EVOO in a Misto for baguette crostinis
1 Tb.ish of white wine (whatever you drink)
Goat cheese
little pat of butter (optional, to finish)
shallot (optional)

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utensils: cutting board | sharp knife/bread knife | tablespoon | kitchen chopper | skillet | baking sheet | spatula/knife

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Rinse your herbs and pat dry in a paper towel.

Slice baguette into about (10) 1/3 inch slices and arrange on baking sheet. Spray liberally with EVOO and broil in oven (I use my convection toaster oven). About 5-10 minutes depending on appliance used. You want a nice golden brown top.

Meanwhile, use your kitchen chopper to mince the mushrooms. If you use canned you’re golden. If you use fresh, you’re going to need to do these in batches. If you don’t have a hand kitchen chopper your ninja knife skills or a food processor will be fine.

In the skillet, heat 1 Tb oil and add mushrooms (shallots too if you have them). Saute for several minutes until mushrooms wilt (and shallots are transparent). Check your crostinis.  Are they ready? Strip or mince your herb(s) of choice and add to skillet with wine. Saute some more.

Meanwhile, take your crostinis and smear them (to taste) with goat cheese. Leave them on a pretty plate begging for warm mushrooms. Go visit your mushrooms and add a little pat of butter to finish. You’ll be glad you did.

Top your crostinis with the mushroom mixture. Pour glass of wine. Cook often and eat well!