Friday, May 31, 2019

Sautéed Caramelized Fennel

I'm currently enamored with Fennel and often cut it up and add it to my lunchtime salads, but today I wanted to make it a different way to tame it for the rest of the family who are not as crazy about the licorice-like taste as I am. I decided to sauté it in a combination of Olive Oil  and Vegetable Oil to give it a higher smoke point and I sliced the Garlic so it wouldn't burn. I finished it with a bit of White Wine. It was so delicious and was greatly appreciated by all my non Fennel loving family members!  

Be sure to use a frying pan that is not nonstick if you want to caramelize it properly. I used my trusty All Clad stainless steel frying pan and the Fennel ended up with that golden glow that is the hallmark of good caramelization. All in all it took less than 10 minutes to prepare and that includes slicing the Fennel and the Garlic and cooking it too. It was so easy and so fast and so good that I will be making it often!  

Sautéed Caramelized Fennel

2 Fennel Bulbs, top and bottom trimmed and cut into thin slices
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 - 3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and slice thinly
1/4 cup dry White Wine

Heat the Oil in a frying pan (not nonstick) and add in the Fennel slices. Cook, stirring often until the Fennel starts to brown. Add in the Sea Salt and the Garlic and continue to cook until the Fennel is golden brown.  Then add in the White Wine and cook until the liquid is completely evaporated. All in all it should take about 5 - 6 minutes to cook. 

Five Element Analysis

Fennel is one of the few Metal Element vegetables, but because it is caramelized and becomes sweet, as does the Garlic, it also has the properties of the Earth Element.  The Olive Oil adds the Wood Element and the White Wine brings in the Fire Element. All that's needed is a main dish from the Water Element, such as Fish or Pork or even some Beans and you will have a balanced meal!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Sautéed Spinach and Beets

I've just returned from teaching in England. While there, I stayed at an Airbnb so that we could cook and my friend Deirdre made a delightful dish of Sautéed Spinach and Beets. I'v never thought of putting these two ingredients together, but Spinach does belong to the same family. The dish came about because we found a package of pre-cooked beats so it was a simple matter to slice them and add them to some sautéed Spinach and Garlic. It took no time at all. However, if you cook the Beets yourself, it will take much longer. She drizzled the dish with Balsamic Vinegar and it was wonderful!  I hope you like it too.

Sautéed Spinach and Beets

4 small or 2 large Beets, cooked* and sliced 1/4"  (in half if small, in quarters if big)
10 oz of Spinach (2-5 oz packages) of Spinach
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Salt
2 Tablespoons Balsamic 

Heat the Olive Oil and add the Garlic. Cook, stirring until you smell the Garlic fragrance Add in the Beets and stir and then add in the Spinach. Sautéed until the Spinach wilts. Sprinkle with the Salt and drizzle with the Balsamic Vinegar. Toss to coat and serve immediately. 

*If using fresh Beets, boil with the peels on until the Beets can be cut through with a knife. Rub off the peels and trim the ends. Then proceed with the recipe above.

Five Element Analysis

Beets belong to the Earth Element as they are sweet root vegetables, but they also have some Fire due to their red color. Spinach belongs to the Wood Element and the Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar add even more Earth. The Garlic brings in the Metal Element. Be sure to serve with a Main Dish from the Water Element, like Fish or Pork to balance the meal.  

Monday, May 6, 2019

Simple Sautéed Corn and Edamame

I haven't been posting much since I've been working so hard on my cookbook - due out later this year. Testing recipes over and over again kind of takes away the time and creativity I need to develop new recipes but I will be done soon and I'll keep you posted. about the release date!

 In the meantime, here's something I whipped up tonight when I wanted some protein from a vegetable source. I had three ears of Corn in the fridge that needed to be cooked and I found a container of already cooked shelled Edamame from Trader Joe's. If you can't find this particular product, look for Edamame in the shell and cook following the package instructions and then peel them. I cooked the Corn, cut it off the cob and sautéed it in Butter it with some Green Onions and the Edamame. I added some Tamari too and it was so good!  My son said he was going to add some Sriracha to his, but he gave a thumbs up to the dish, which means he will definitely eat it again.  I served it with a Green Salad with lots of other cut up vegetables. This dish a really quick and easy to make when you have so many other things to do and it's delicious!

Simple Sautéed Corn and Edamame

3 Ears of Corn
9 oz of shelled Edamame (already cooked)
3 - 4 Green Onions, ends trimmed and cut into small pieces
3 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Tamari

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the fresh Corn. Cook for 5 - 7 minutes and remove. Cool and cut the Corn off the Cob.  

Melt the Butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add in the Green Onions and cook until you can smell the fragrance strongly. Then add in the Corn and the Edamame and sauté for 4 - 5 minutes or until the Corn and Edamame are hot. Then drizzle on the Tamari and toss to coat.  Serve immediately.

Five Element Analysis

Corn belongs to the Earth Element whereas the Edamame is partly the Water Element because it's a bean and partly the Wood Element because they are green. The Tamari brings in a hint of the Water Element and the Butter and Green Onions contributes the Metal Element. For a balanced meal, serve it with a Fire food, as I did with a Lettuce Salad with Tomatoes and Red Onion pieces (more Metal) and dressed it with Lemon Juice and Olive Oil  (Wood foods) to balance things out.