Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Now I Can Say I've Tried It: Pea Shoots

Fresh pea shoots! These were sitting right next to the Jerusalem artichokes that started this whole "let's try something new" thing last week. Having never tried them, into my shopping basket they went. Tender and organically grown by the local Gardenworks farm, these greens are remarkable. Perfect in a salad, they are sweet and delicate. So tasty.

Here's my loosy-goosey recipe:

Pea Shoot Salad
Handful of pea shoots
Handful of mixed greens
Cucumber, peeled and chopped
Scallions, sliced

For the dressing, whisk together:
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
1 Tb honey
1/2-1 tsp sesame oil
Splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Some toasted sesame seeds on top would be excellent, not to mention pretty. But the taste of the pea shoots are center stage and brilliant!

Monday, November 02, 2009

From the kitchen: Browned Butter Apple Muffins

After the rave reviews for the Joy the Baker Browned Butter Blueberry Muffins from this summer, I've been getting requests for more muffins. I thought Apple Muffins would be great for fall, so I combined the browned butter recipe with one from Cully's Kitchen. Delish!

Apple Muffins
Makes 16 muffins.

1 1/4 c. flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1 c. buttermilk (Or substitute 1 tsp vinegar plus milk to make one cup. Let stand for 5 minutes.)
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 c. peeled, cored and diced apples

For the topping:
3 Tb. cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 1/2 Tb. brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Fill muffin pan with liners.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the butter. Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan. The crackling will subside and butter will begin to brown fairly quickly after that. Keep a close eye. Remove from heat.

Whisk together egg, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Stir in sugar.
Mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and apples. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until combined.

Spoon into muffin cups-about ¾ full. {If you end up with more than one pan's worth of muffins, fill halfway any empty openings with water so that everything cooks evenly.}

Combine topping ingredients with fingertips and sprinkle generously onto each muffin. Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until firm to the touch.